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Chapter 2: Tools / Building Worlds / The World

Environment

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 123
The environment and terrain of a region can pose as much of a challenge to an adventuring party as any of the foes they face. The following section references the environment categories beginning on page 512 of the Core Rulebook.

Common Environments

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 123
The following environments are common enough that they might appear in nearly any adventure or world.

Aquatic: Oceans, seas, lakes, and other large waterways are aquatic environments.

Arctic: Arctic environments usually appear near the northern and southern extremes of a world, though extreme elevation, unusually shaped worlds, and supernatural forces could result in arctic terrain elsewhere.

Desert: Deserts can appear anywhere on a world where precipitation is scant, even along some oceans. Any large landmasses that entirely lack bodies of water are likely to be deserts.

Forest: The composition of a forest depends on the climate and the elevation, with thick jungles more common near an equator, hardwood forests in more temperate zones, and evergreens at higher latitudes and elevations. Most worlds have a tree line—an elevation above which trees can’t grow.

Mountain: A world’s highest peaks can stretch tens of thousands of feet above sea level. This category also includes hills, which are typically no more than 1,000 feet tall.

Plains: Mostly flat and unobstructed, plains are usually at lower elevations, but they can also be found at higher elevation on plateaus.

Urban: Cities and settlements are urban environments. These areas are detailed in Settlements, beginning on page 132.

Swamp: Wide floodplains, shallow lakes, and marshes can appear at most latitudes.

Extreme Environments

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 123
Some adventures lead to fantastic reaches of the world or the multiverse that are seldom tread by mortals.

Aerial: A world might include windy realms of floating islands and castles in the clouds.

Glacier: Massive sheets of dense ice, constantly moving under their own immense weight, glaciers are frozen wastelands riddled with columns of jagged ice and snow‑covered crevasses.

Volcanic: Hellish landscapes of molten lava, burning ash, and scorching temperatures pose immediate danger.

Undersea: A subset of aquatic environments, undersea environments are those areas submerged beneath the waves.

Underground: Some worlds have deep natural caverns, while others have extensive winding tunnels and expansive realms below the surface.