2019 World Building Competition

At the start of the year I was pleasantly surprised that my fantasy RPG Twitter account, @PSJMaps had reached 500 followers. People were enjoying my hand-drawn fantasy maps and my general RPG ramblings I was posting.

TL>DR: Jump down and read how to enter. The competition is now closed. Two fabulous winners will now be selected…

However life got very busy and I didn’t do anything to celebrate. Now I’ve just passed 800 followers over on Twitter (which is crazy!) and I’ve been wanting to run a competition for a while, to say thank you.

Creative Competition Time

I was going to run a general Follow, Like and RT giveaway, but I wanted to thank those super talented creative followers I have. So instead of a Twitter giveaway, it’s become a Twitter Competition!

The competition will run until midnight 31st July 2019.

Competition Prizes

In August I will draw 3 winners. They will be contacted in order and can take their pick from the following pool of prizes:

  1. An A3 hand-drawn fantasy map,
  2. An A4 hand-drawn fantasy map,
  3. 2x ‘postcard’ hand-drawn fantasy maps,
  4. A set of RPG dice,

How To Enter: Time to Get Creative

First and foremost, you must be following my @PSJMaps Twitter account. I’ll DM winners in August using this account.

Secondly, the creative aspect, you must come up with and submit a new RPG race, settlement or world. I will pick the 3 I deem the best, most intriguing or epic that are submitted.

It’s time to get those creative juices flowing. Let me explain…

The 3 winners will all have their creative element added to a new campaign I am going to run. (All home-run with mates, nothing commercial or for profit etc).

The campaign I am going to be running is for the Starfinder system. My players will be bouncing from planet to planet and asteroid to space-station.

You can produce sci-fi races or ‘old world’ fantasy locations. The universe is going to have both old tech and brand new experiences. So if you’re only interested in traditional fantasy work, it still very much fits the brief.

If you want to submit a traditional trapped filled underground dungeon, inhabited by goblins, please do!

If you want to submit phase-shifting mechanical spiders – please do!

New Races: I will add your new race/species as a large, integral or dominant race in the campaign. The name, traits and physical description are all up to you. Add as much detail about them as possible. Why makes YOUR race stand out in the universe?

New Settlements: My players will actively be involved with businesses, NPCs and / or adventures involved with your settlement. Your submission may be anything you’d consider a settlement; a city, a dungeon, a space-port etc. You can describe it’s main function, aesthetic, location, populous and it’s main exports (if any). What makes YOUR settlement stand out from the others?

New Worlds: A whole world, you say? Yes. Not in microscopic detail, obviously. How does it differ from Earth? What is it’s climate and atmosphere like. What races natively live here and what tech levels would you expect to see here. Maybe name the main capitol or landmass. Why is YOUR world important?

Submitting your Entry

To submit your entry, simply paste it in the comments field at the bottom of this article. Make sure you either login to the comments sectino with your Twitter account, or include your handle at the start or end, so I know who to contact

Or if you want to include maps, sketches or pieces of artwork – submit your entry to competition@pauljoyce.co.uk

Competition Rules, Small Print etc

  • International entries are more than welcome!
  • You can submit up to 1 entry per topic (Race / Settlement / World)
  • Apart from the name of what you’re submitting, your entry can contain any details or info you think are relevant to make it stand out
  • Entries can be any length; however too short or WAYYYY too long will unlikely be selected
  • You own what you submit. You’re just giving me permission to post about it on this blog, talk about it on my Twitter account and use it in my campaign setting.
  • No use of generators or bot/throw-away accounts
  • No submitting offensive or risque work. Keep it all safe-for-work and kid friendly please,
  • The competition, prize and rules may change without warning
  • My word is final,
  • Have fun

Note: When you submit your entry, it’ll be held in a queue for an admin to approve. It won’t appear immediately but don’t panic, it’ll appear on the site soon enough

6 thoughts on “2019 World Building Competition”

  1. The Nathiir

    The Nathiir are a cousin race to the elves long believed to be either myth, legend or long extinct. In fact, the Nathiir emerged from the Feywild long before the Elves did. They live deep in the heart of ancient forests, which they refer to as Meathrin Shriir, Grandmother in their native tongue. Their villages are one with the great forest around them with homes formed in natural hollows in massive tree trunks, spacious brambles topped hollows, and within the canopies of large weeping willows. Those unfamiliar with their habitat might stroll through the center of a village completely unaware.

    Ageless Lifestyle
    The Nathiir are immune to the ravages of time. They breed slowly and only expire through bodily damage, or choice. Death is not feared by the Nathiir, in fact when a Nathiir makes the decision to die a celebration is begun that culminates with the peaceful passing of that Nathiir’s spirit into the embrace of the infinite mother. What brings a Nathiir to make this decision varies from one to another with some simply deciding they have done all the were meant to do in this incarnation and others wishing to join their ancestors. These celebrations can last a few hours or can extend into weeks. Individuals instinctually knows when the right moment to depart has come.

    There are no visual cues to help pinpoint the age of a mature Nathiir as their physical form halts the aging process. All appear to be in their early twenties by human standards. Hair colors run through the full spectrum of nature with pristine whites, velvety purples, lush reds and vibrant blues alongside earthy tones of browns, greens and grays. Skin tones tend towards dusky hues of browns, tans, pinks, blues and greens. Nathiir eyes are always metallic colored (gold, silver, brass, bronze, copper and rarely platinum).
    The Nathiir are slender and tall with most exceeding six and a half feet and some reaching nearly eight feet tall. Both males and females fall within this range.

    Racial Relations
    Nathiir are outgoing and fun loving people with those they know and trust but are very shy and quiet around strangers. Most spend their entire lives knowing no one who is not a Nathiir, but some turn to a life of adventure and leave Hemerin Weald. Those that leave often site either boredom or a calling to see the world. When encountering other races of Ilvanoss they are polite and considerate, while most holding private judgements about other races.
    Elves are the closet thing to one of our own, however they can be a bit judgmental toward other races and that is just rude. Their long lives allow them to learn a great many things and we can learn from them and their experiences with the world outside the forest.

    These denizens of the deep mountain caverns are completely foreign to us. How can so much aggressiveness and hostility fit into such a squashed form?

    Adorably tiny and fun loving creatures. If they weren’t so short lived I’d keep one as a pet!

    Inventive, intuitive, industrious, and very annoying. How they can pack so much life into the blink of an eye is a complete mystery. If the other races are not careful though humans will become a plaque on our world.

    This is a strange joke right? No? Really? Huh.

    Nathiir Names
    The Nathiir name their children with inspiration from the aspects of nature around them at or shortly after giving birth to them. Many keep this name for life, but some do decided that nature has spoken to them with visions or circumstances and change their names later in life.
    There are no separations between male and female names.
    Examples: Fallen Star, Waving Grass, Soaring Eagle, Rising Sun, Gentle Breeze, Leaping Squirrel, Crawling Beetle, Crashing Wave, Waning Moon.

    Nathiir Traits
    Ability Score Increase
    Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
    Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

    Nathiir mature a bit slower than humans reaching adulthood between 50 and 70 years of age. Before adulthood young Nathiir remain close to their parents. They can live to any age, and there are rumors among themselves of a hermit that was alive when humans first discovered fire, but this is thought to be myth or story by reasonable Nathiir. Who would want to live that long!

    Nearly every aspect of a Nathiir’s life is ruled by the nature around them. The balance of nature has made an impact on their culture. Most tend toward neutrality, but are good natured at heart.

    Nathiir range from 6 feet tall to over 7 and a half and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.

    Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

    Living under the intense canopy of the Hemerin Weald the Nathiir have adapted to living in very dim to dark conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

    Animal Ken
    Nathiir can speak with animals, as per the spell, 3/day. This ability returns after a long rest.

    Fey Ancestry
    You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

    Long Memories
    Nathiir pass down the history of all they know through storytelling. Living such long lives has given the race a vast knowledge to draw upon about the people and world that surround them.
    You have advantage on History checks for events from forests and woodlands, or having to do with the fey or creatures with fey heritage.

    You can speak and understand Sylvan, and common. The Nathiir have no written language and rely on vast oral histories instead.

  2. Nalasteri – new intelligent species

    A race of philosopher parasites. A Nalasteri nodule is a small head, with sensory organs and a mouth-analogue used only for communication, and has two small arms growing out of its base.

    Their homeworld has a number of species of parasites that infiltrate a host, co-opt the nervous system to control it, and grow and grow until the host bursts open. The Nalasteri, however, are a highly-evolved off-shoot that is neotenic – they never hook into the host’s nervous system and they do not grow once implanted. Through selective breeding they have a number of unintelligent, domesticated host species they implant into. The trained animals respond to commands so the Nalasteri can function more-or-less autonomously.

    As a culture entirely built around needing the co-operation of others to live, they developed a comprehensive code of morality around consent and courtesy. This, in turn, presented them with a problem: could they justify the use of animals as hosts, considering that animals cannot meaningfully consent to such a thing.

    They believe they have found a solution in contact with other intelligent species. Here, at last, were potential hosts who could offer consent. Of course, other species were generally reluctant to become hosts.

    The Nalasteri have established a comprehensive campaign to attract hosts to their world. Candidates are expected to spend a year learning about Nalasteri culture, language and customs and pass a rigorous psychological assessment to ensure that a bonding will be beneficial for both host and embryonic Nalasteri. This is essential as one implanted it is not practical to transfer a Nalasteri to a new host. Even in ideal conditions, there is only a 65% success rate so the procedure is only ever performed due to medical emergencies. Nalasteri typically live 30-40 years, so it is a significant commitment on the part of the host.

    Nalasteri tend to stay near their homeworld, due to their specific medical needs, but those that travel tend to be cheerful, stoic and polite.

    (@ChthonicQueex again)

  3. The Tower of Gates – settlement

    A prospecting team chanced upon this cryptic megastructure when exploring a cave system on an airless world not too far away from well-travelled space lanes.

    What they discovered was an alien arch, a semi-circle about fifty metres in diameter, offering entry into much larger empty space lit from above by yellow light. The mysteries kept coming.

    The tower is a perfect vertical cylinder three hundred metres wide and of unknown height. It appears to occupy a pocket dimension of some kind, with the arch merely a connecting point between our universe and the pocket one. It is built out of what looks like stone, although damaged portions make it clear that some kind of alien circuitry runs throughout. It is not known if the stone-like substance was extruded from the circuits, the circuits infiltrated the stone, or both were built together. There is gravity, around 1.2g, throughout, but no atmosphere to speak of (more on that later).

    The entry arch has a balcony in front of it. From its sides a spiral ramp runs up and down the side of the cylinder. A bridge runs across the space to a amtching balcony on the other side, which also has a ramp running up and down from it. The two ramps do not intersect, and run the entirety of the cylinder as far as anyone can tell. Every 60 degrees a bridge joins a pair of balconies. Every balcony has an arch like the entryway, although most are shut. Most.

    One arch, seventeen down from the entryway, is continuously spewing water. It has been found to link to the underground sea of an ice moon eighty-five light years away from the entryway planet. Based on the rate of flow, it is estiamted to have been open for at most three hundred years. The idea that these gates can open and, presumably, close, fascinates many researchers. A second arch, eighty-three levels above the entryway, leads onto the surface of an unidentified airless planet. Astronomical analysis has failed to find any points of reference, and the best guess is that the planet is somewhere outside the local supercluster of galaxies.

    Exploration is hampered by two factors. The first is an open gate, hundreds of floors down, that connects to somwhere with a noxious atmosphere. This chemical and biological mix is ferociously corrosive, although the structure of the tower is untouched. A distant gate somewhere high above apparently opens into the corona of a star, and provides much light and radiation.

    Research teams are based there permanently, examining the closed gates and trying to work out how the structure was built and by whom. The radiation and low-pressure corrosive gas leads to many challenges, but it is considered worthwhile in case another gate opens.

    (@ChthonicQueex on Twitter)

  4. “The small safehaven of Crocklemouth, hidden on the isle of King’s Holm, is only accessible by smuggler boats that operate in the city port of Aberwick . Folks looking for passage start their sentence with “Hey, crocklemouth!”, a common Orlendian insult. If they’re lucky, a boatsmen will arrange passage. If not, they’ll get a punch in the face. The insult serves as the perfect disguise for the name of the colony on the island, even if many new settlers arrive there with bloodied, broken noses. It’s worth the risk to live here without The Divine Order watching your every move… ”


    (Settlement entry from @WorldbuildingW on Twittter)


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