Adding mountains to a fantasy map… with split peas~

After the lentil map yesterday, I wanted to add mountains next.

So back to the pantry!

Peas! I played with a few different ranges before deciding that before a water-raising event some 1000 years ago, much of this island chain was one continent. So many of the peaks (on the left of the map) are the remains of a single mountain range.

And here’s the map with the mountain ranges roughed in. Frankly, I think they show up better as peas <.<

Next, according to every “draw your fantasy map” thing I’ve found, is supposed to be rivers. But I am sort of wanting to know what the rest of the elevation is doing!

Like, are there gorges? (I live in NYS, we have a lot of gorges). Is there a broad bread-basket plain there along the bottom of the main continent? I originally imagined a N-S cross-continental river; where would that go?

Also, considering the scale, are my mountains too wide? I should look into mountains a bit more.

(ETA: from wikipedia: “The Rockies vary in width from 70 to 300 miles” Mine edge out about 200 miles wide, so I’m okay!)

(ETA: BIOMES I need to figure out BIOMES. Well, “need to.”)
(more editing: Rough Biome Map)

Images all moved to

So many things to think about!


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13 thoughts on “Adding mountains to a fantasy map… with split peas~

  1. Mountains are one of the major drivers of rivers, and of land masses in general. You’re unlikely to have a gorge without a river, even if the river is gone now. The only other thing that does land rearrangement in quite the same degree is glaciation. I’d agree that the next thing is rivers, and you can figure out where the gorges go — and the valleys (frequently also rivers!), and alluvial plains, and lakes, and everything else that gets formed by running or pooling water. The placement of rivers and the resulting (lack of) water supply will help drive the biome as well.

    • Aah, growing up in glacial-carved NY gives me an interesting view of things, since I tend to think of water settling into the glacial gorges, rather than water carving the river valleys. I’ll keep that in mind. I’m sort of considering rain shadow right now, too.

  2. If you want Moar Complications, you could think about prevailing winds and currents, as those have a lot to do with rainfall and climate. From the little bit of reading I’ve done, though, that gets complicated fast relative to the basics of plate techtonics raising mountains and creating volcanoes. The placement of your desert suggests winds coming from the west dropping all their water on the coast and mountains before hitting the desert (says the California girl), where maybe the grassland and deciduous forest are watered by rivers coming down from the north, or winds coming up from the south, or are substantially lower and closer to the water table …?

    • oh god *hides* I am LOOSELY assuming the prevailing winds head from west to east and not really thinking too hard about it right now… but yes. I was assuming a rain shadow on the west, and then aa relatively dry grassland/ steppe area. Low, but not as low as the um now-missing land and with some rocky outcroppings.

        • To quote myself talking to Inventrix a few minutes ago: me: I am having that feeling I get sometimes where I get massively overwhelmed by the depth possible and want to scrap the whole project instead of simplifying <.< I have a habit of going overboard with details and then doing as listed above.

          • I hear you! Making overly elaborate plans, stalling out early in implementation, and then doing something simple and quick as the deadline approaches is dismayingly common behavior on my part. I’m working on simplifying earlier and breaking big projects into bite-sized pieces in an attempt at hitting a happier medium. Also on deciding early which things I actually want to do elaborate work for and which ones to punt or that will be just fine with quick-and-dirty. It’s hard.

            • I’ve been working on simplifying, too. “No, we can do this without those extra 7 steps.” It’s HARD, like you said. So hard.

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