The Ultimate Cliche Map

Philip Overby

Staff
Article Team
I thought everyone might enjoy this. It's kind of like the ultimate in what people would consider a cliche map and world. This is what writers often seem to be most afraid of, but I don't understand why it has to be a bad thing. One thing that might be fun is to do a Challenge using this map. Choose one location and then see how you would use it in a way that is still entertaining.

However, I'd like to post this here for discussion and I'll post a separate thread in the Challenges section later on.

So what do you think of this map? Do you have any places in your world that might fit into these names? Is that a good thing or bad thing in your estimation?

CxXBkNP.jpg
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
Hmm...

Several. I tend to go with straightforward names. Hence, I have

'The Cauldron' - the only true ocean of my major world.

'Solaria' - name of the major, relatively advanced empire.

'Equitant' - the most egalitarian of Solaria's provinces.

'Imperial Sea' - an inland sea bounded on all sides by Solaria.

'Shadow Sea' - A large sea west of Solaria, not all that well charted.

'Great Unknown Southern Plains' - covering much of the bottom half of the world, named by folks far to the north.

and for the ultimate failure in naming imagination:

'Hobgoblin Hegemony'
 

Pythagoras

Troubadour
This made me laugh. It seems like just about everything on this map is either from Tolkien, Martin, or Norse myth. Interesting, considering the ongoing thread in the Novels forum about comparisons between Tolkien and Martin.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
This made me laugh. It seems like just about everything on this map is either from Tolkien, Martin, or Norse myth. Interesting, considering the ongoing thread in the Novels forum about comparisons between Tolkien and Martin.

You forgot the Maelstrom, which is Azeroth.

My settings don't look like this. . . . . . . . . . . . . maybe just a smidgen in one or two . . . a smidgen.
 

Tom

Istar
Oh dear, I have a 'dark forest', though that's not its name. And a 'great plain', a 'frozen northern wastes', and a 'Vikingheim'. Thankfully that's it.
 

Tom

Istar
I agree. And for some reason, this map is giving me a lot of ideas. Maybe it's because it's so generic? You can come up with so many different stories that could fit into those vaguely defined settings.
 
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Legendary Sidekick

The HAM'ster
Moderator
Everything from the Badass Monastery on the outskirts of Jade Empire down to the islands where Volcano Gods Are Dicks--I EMBRACE the cliches. Thankfully, the demons within the Tiger-Headed Opium Nightmare are nearby. That's the excuse for my character from Norseheim to join the party of badasses and islanders.
 

Mythopoet

Auror
I agree. And for some reason, this map is giving me a lot of ideas. Maybe it's because it's so generic? You can come up with so many different stories that could fit into those vaguely defined settings.

It's not the ingredients that matter, it's what you do with them. ;)
 

Trick

Auror
This made me laugh. It seems like just about everything on this map is either from Tolkien, Martin, or Norse myth. Interesting, considering the ongoing thread in the Novels forum about comparisons between Tolkien and Martin.

And since Tolkien's work was so influenced by Norse myth...


Honestly, I think that's a nice looking map, and I'd be interested in reading stories set there.


All joking aside, it has great coloration and it draws the eye. If it were organized a bit differently and the names were a bit more original... okay, if they weren't outright jokes, I quite like the style.

I don't have any maps laid out like this but my first map ever definitely had some wicked cliches; most of which I'll will probably keep once I get back to that WIP because I like them.
 
I have great plains,4 places inhabited by elves one of which can count as a frozen wasteland, dwarfs, dark place which receives almost no sunlight and other cliche stuff like samurai islands, generic town , viking wannabe, steampunk people, generic village, the castle of the scheming noble, etc.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
If we're sharing our own use of the cliches, I had my dwarven city built into the chasm left by a big river they dammed, which they did in a war to kill the elven forests. So that's two cliches averted!

Victory to the dwarves!




I had just about all the others, though.
 

Mythopoet

Auror
If we're sharing our own use of the cliches, I had my dwarven city built into the chasm left by a big river they dammed, which they did in a war to kill the elven forests. So that's two cliches averted!

Victory to the dwarves!




I had just about all the others, though.

But it sounds like you've fallen head first into the Elf vs. Dwarf hatred cliche. :p
 

Gryphos

Auror
I'm rather chuffed that I've managed to avoid a lot of cliches with regards to my setting, but I suppose that's mainly because it's more low-fantasy, industrial rather than medieval. *shrug*

That's not to say cliches are automatically bad, but meh, I kinda like originality.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
But it sounds like you've fallen head first into the Elf vs. Dwarf hatred cliche. :p

Yeah . . . . it was my first big setting, I think we've all tried some of those roads a little with our first. But I'm still proud of the dwarves of Murdered River.
 
I have a place called The Maelstrom, and it is a giant whirlpool...it's also the equivalent of Hell for worshippers of the Sea God, where the souls of the damned are tossed about for all eternity.
 
C

Chessie

Guest
Dragon Tail Islands sounds like an interesting place to create stories from. Cliche this map may be, there's lots that can be worked on from it.
 
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