Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fantasy Calendar

Viditya discussed online about how he would like to see more calendar instead of maps in gaming material, so I wondered how to draw calendars that are as fun as a map to draw and to look at. I thought about how the ancient Mayan calendar is impressive visually and I tried to quickly draw something inspired by it circular shape.

I drew a central figure and I improvised around it. The calendar have 6 months of different length: 14, 24,29, 31, 41 and 46 days. A year is two cycles of these 6 months, the first cycle is named the young one and the second the old one. So for exemple you have the 5th of the Young Cold Star and the 5th of the Old Cold Star. 

The six months are represented in the vertical bar of the calendar: The Cold Star that freeze the land and crack the stones, the Breaking Stones who shake the land but free the warm iron, the Ember Steel who warm the hands but who wound the people, the Storm Tears who unleash passions but who make things grow, the Mother Grail who collect the tears and transform them into something new, the Born Fire who is full of life but short lived.   

  • The two women heads represent the warm sun and her lover, the cold sun who was born like a boy but grew like a woman. 
  • The two moons represent their dreaming selfs, one his cracked and bad dreams often escape from it. 
  • The small star represent the cold star, a white dwarf that gravitate further away from the two lovers and who often try to separate them, she is often represented as a undead crone.  

I drew different icons that represent special events that are celebrated during the months.
More world building can be generated by defining the events that they represents.

Maybe we can use a random table for inspiration, the day is a celebration of a (d10):

  1. natural cycle
  2. unnatural cycle
  3. historical event 
  4. mythological event 
  5. popular festival 
  6. ancient ritual
  7. human activity 
  8. holy day
  9. rite of passage or union
  10. roll twice and combine the results
I like how crafting the calendar craft a cosmogony, I think there is a lot of space for experimentation when drawing calendars like maps. 


Dan said...

Ooh, this could be fun to play around with.

Martin O said...

I almost want to link together each month's special events so that they form a linear story from left to right, each symbol depicting characters or plot events. The six stories that defined a culture.

Ruprecht said...

I've been thinking a lot about calendars lately. See I've been listening to the audio novelization of Lord of the Rings. In all my previous readings it never registered that he uses normal Months which is a bit jarring when you hear it. So the events take place after the Romans since the months are named after... All I can figure is he decided he was doing such a massive info dump that toying with the calendar as well would have been too much. Either that or it somehow slipped his mind.

So long story short, I think calendars are vital for any campaign that isn't underground all the time, and I totally love your calendar.

Evlyn said...

This is a interesting detail about LotR.

Evlyn said...

That would be nice, having more space the icons could be more elaborate too. But then again them being simple let people imagine what they want.

Red Orc said...

There is a very long section of the appendices which discusses calendars. The Lord of the Rings is (ostensibly) a translation into modern English of an ancient work and therefore the months are translated into modern forms.

https://donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/calendar/ is an excellent fantasy calendar generator, but may not be able to do everything suggested above.

Goblinist said...

Now I want to try making one of these.