Worldbuilding Power: Mountains

Use perilous peaks in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures!

Mountains are places of mystery. Rising above the surrounding landscape, they are seen by all but only known to few. Myth and legend names them as the home of the gods. Rivers and streams originate there. Dangerous creatures dwell there. The terrain is often steep, and cold, and sometimes even volcanic. The perfect place to have an adventure, in other words.

Any adventurer worth the name has ascended into the mountains to battle all manner of bizarre and terrifying monsters. There are stories of entire civilizations that inside the craggy peaks, mining and tunneling and creating all manner of wonders far from prying eyes. Parents frighten their children with tales of the giants and trolls that come down to eat naughty boys and girls who don’t eat their vegetables.

Antagonists will find the mountains to be a good place to hide. They can plan and scheme, avoiding the authorities who find the environment too risky to send a large number of troops There will be allies there possessed of the same desire for solitude. It may be that the mountain is their home, their point of origin, providing a metaphorical if simple explanation for their lofty opinions and elevated sense of self-worth.

Among common folk, the mountain will represent the unknown. As a place few have ventured, it will be a source of folklore, fear, and superstition. While there may be truth to what passes for common knowledge, it will likely be greatly distorted. The popular version of mountain realms, for dwellers below, will be rooted more in theme and motif than fact.

In this book, we’ll show you how to utilize the mountains in your worldbuilding endeavors. You’ll see how it can influence character, setting, and story elements. By the end, you’ll understand how to better utilize mountain realms as essential, useful, and entertaining parts of your campaign.

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