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Mappa Imperium is a solo or cooperative World Building game.  

You and any number of friends will take control of an entire fantasy world.  Dividing the map equally and working together you will create unique landmasses, geography, and resources for your world.  From there each player will take command of a major faction and develop it from a struggling settlement to a massive empire, or perhaps drive it into the lost histories of time. 

Each player will take turns rolling the dice and placing features in their section of the map.  Each of these regions will be home to one empire and throughout the game each player will create the story of the major empire within their play area.  They will roll to decide many aspects of this empire but much of the story and design will be up to each player’s imagination.


Mappa Imperium is first and foremost a cooperative storytelling game and is played best when the players work together.  By the end of the game you will have a full fantasy map complete with empires, lore, hostile tribes, and mysterious lairs.

Gameplay Time:  1-3 hours

Total Players: 1 or more


Full Playthrough Video: 

*Update 8/19/21  "The 3d6 Update"

  • Added third six sided dice for eras 3-5
  • Created War Table


*Update 8/26/21 "Gods & Goddesses"

  • Pantheon Era to create deities for the world

*Update 9/2/21 "Races Expanded"

  • Built up Race Table to allow more variety and solve duplicate roll problems

*Update 9/15/21 "Neighboring Factions Update

  • Added tables for advancing neighboring factions  
  • Settlement table rework/reword
  • Slight adjustments in all tables to help with duplicate rolls

Updated 2 days ago
StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
(26)
AuthorNookrium
Tagsartgame, Board Game, Drawing, Fantasy, god-game, Sandbox
Average sessionAbout an hour
LanguagesEnglish

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Mappa Imperium.pdf 8 MB

Development log

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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 41 · Next page · Last page

Hey Nook,

I'm in the middle of an epic world-creation with the help of Mappa Imperium, and I thought a cool addition could be ruling government systems. A simple roll for a monarchy, a triumvirate, an aristocracy, a democracy, etc. This is just for more flavor and storytelling depth. At least that's what I'm going to use it for. :D

Here's a sneak peek of my world in the Fourth Era. I started out with 4 Prime factions but upgraded any hostile factions or tribes to a Prime faction once they entered the game. So now I have 16 Prime factions. Like I said, it's EPIC. And it's taking forever.... xD


(+2)

I created a world with 4 factions together with my son of 5. In the northwest lived greenskins, lizards in the northeast and two factions of dwarfs in the south. Their was also a catfolk tribe and lots of pirates. My creativity with names is a bit lacking. But it was fun.

(+2)

I created this map after finding your video of the game on YouTube, so I'm posting my map, as requested. Started with 1 human kingdom and 1 giant kingdom. Ended with 5 human kingdoms, 1 orc tribe, 1 dwarf thanedom, and 4 kinds of giants. Very cool!

How did you paint the map?

It was created in Inkarnate, the map making web app.

Deleted 7 days ago
Deleted 7 days ago
(+1)

This game is so much fun even using just pen and paper. I played it with my cousins and so far we have created different worlds with each other.

My suggestion is that if it is possible to add more variety in the settlement table (if possible), a way for gods to affect the world (optional) and more dynamics with the other players in the expansion face of the game. 

Overall, it is a great game for great people with great imaginations.

There should be an option for a race/species to be destroyed, except for a single lost city.

(+1)

I really love this game. One problem though: the Game Length Table on page 15 uses Eras 3-5 when G&G update has pushed those previous Eras up by one, so it should be Eras 4-6. Are you holding off on changing the table because you have future updates in mind?

(+1)

I will be updating the eras a bit next time, but that was just a mistake.  

Fixed now, thank you!

Hi, I am the one who was translating this into Spanish, I found some errors that were mentioned in the translation, I have already finished the translation, I have a draft to show you if you are convinced, where can I send it to you?

You can use the email in the pdf, thanks again!

(+3)

I enjoyed this game as a little solo afternoon. From your comments section I found Campaign Cartographer and look forward to doing this game again and putting it up on there when I get round to it.

I would say the pantheon could be integrated a bit more - perhaps things like specific diety influences on the world. 

I didn't do the war / fall at the end because I was playing solo and didn't want a ravaged world on the already very full map I had but it also looks good. 


Thanks! 

(+1)

Thanks! I’ll be adding a few more things in to hopefully add more pantheon integration.  As of right now it’s more of an optional thing to add a bit more story into your world.

(-3)

Is this for android or just pc?

(+1)

It is a PDF

Awesome game. I absolutely love it and can't wait to see the future updates. I'm actually using it to help world build for a fantasy book series I plan to start writing soon, if all goes well with the books, I will definitely leave it in the acknowledgements. I just wanted to let you know about some grammar typos I found. Era 3, 5, and 6's roman numerals are wrong and Era 4's roman numeral and number below it are both wrong. Thanks for the great game!

fixed, thank you!

(1 edit) (+2)

Love the concept. But I made some adjustments along the way to solve things that irked me for my game. I hope it comes off as constructive criticism. As a sidenote, as an ever-DM I was trying to repurpose this to be more fit for a world-creation, hence I tried to move a focus a bit more from Empire being as only main faction hostile to all other.

  •  During map creation there were a lot of empty spaces left, so instead of adjusting amount of rolls, which is hard due to variability of island number, I made it "Roll until everything is filled". Also expanded table to 3d6 so there's more plain types to balance new ruling.  Also-also removed River as a roll and made them free to fill in after all biomes are rolled, because rivers are much more common than any result on 2d6/3d6 may provide.
  •  Straight up ignoring Pantheons, sorry. It doesn't add much aside from hassle and it's not really an Era.
  •  Speaking of which, Eras have too much similarities between each other and due to randomness results come up which is impossible to fulfill (go at war with non-existant faction). I tried to split eras by function very strictly and ended up with this:
    1. Genesis - Create islands, geography, place resources.
    2 .Population - Create races, place Empire capital, place other tribes and monsters.
    3 .Expansion - Empire grows, tribes grow with a chance of new faction, monster's influence grows. Wizard towers, bandit dens, etc are placed here as well. NO conflict yet.
    4 .Upheaval - Wars, raids, fight for territory and resources. Revolutions and alliances.  Settlements fall, tribes or factions go instinct or merge, monster lairs overtake civilisation or perish. Ruins and Tombs created here.
    5 .Exodus - Endgame. Apocalypse, plague, invasion, natural or unnatural catastrophe, etc. Empires and factions may or may not survive this. In either case, game ends.
  • During Population Era I'd made sure that players are encouraged to replace any race with preffered result.  Again, thinking as a world-building DM. Also, to combat repeating rolls, enforce adding adjective before rolled race. So even if it repeats, they are distinct enough (Dark Elf, Forest Elf, Desert Kobold, Trench Kobold, Human Riders, Human Barbarians, etc.). 
  • in Expansion Era (Burgeoning Kingdoms) I merged and expanded Settlement table and Hostiles table to 2d6. A bit more randomness that is balanced by the fact that no other force is outright hostile (it is yet to be decided during Upheaval).
  • Lastly I separated Age of Empires and Rise&Fall into aforementioned Upheaval Era and Exodus Era. Some results were thrown back into Expansion Era. Basically making empire natural growth possible only during that era. During Upheaval it may grow only through conquest/alliances. And most nasty stuff reserved for Exodus where, if players want to play in created world, instead of roll result happening, players will be trying to prevent that outcome through their actions.

I hope I wasn't too brash and thank you for the effort you put into the game.

(+1)

Not too brash at all, and I appreciate the thoughts.  I’m still working on adding more to it to hopefully help with filling out the map a bit better, incorporate deities, and most importantly, add more variety to the rolls.

The challenge is trying to come up with a way to create a fun and simple fantasy map but with as much depth and story as possible, without going too overboard.

-Nook

Can I translate this (in spanish) and then send it to you so you can upload it in spanish as well?

sure, that’d be great!

I have already started to translate it, I am on the 4th page, where do I send it to you when I finish? I also make a translation of the web page? or is there no option for the page to change according to the language preference?

I have already finished the translation, I have a draft to show you if you are convinced, where can I send it to you?

I just want to make sure you got my response, my email is nookrium@gmail.com 

(+1)

Really fun game, have been playing with my brother a bit. We played our first default game while learning the rules, and immediately started an Epic length game after we finished. Some complaints though:

1) The deities don't actually do anything. Even dedicating a new religious site to a particular deity has to be house-ruled in. In my opinion, religions should almost work as a separate faction system, generating hostilities between those of differing faiths.

2) On the topic of generating hostilities, it is entirely possible to wipe out a hostile minor faction faction , not to mention a tribe, very early in the age of empires. This might not seem to be a problem, and it isn't... up until you roll a hostile attack, and don't have any faction that is hostile to you. Given the random nature of the game, and how some players will focus on defeating their enemies, this is probably going to be a difficult problem to solve. My workaround would be  to add a system or two: one to allow non-hostile factions to become hostile, and one to allow defeated factions to resurface (either through rebellion, in which case they are hostile, or through the granting of independence).

This leads me to another idea, not necessarily a complaint. Diplomacy is not acknowledged by the rules at all. While one could decide to have it happen on the story level, it would be nice to have, for instance, international incidents during the age of Rise and Fall. A system for alliances (say, they might support you in war), neutrality, betrayal, and grudges could be really fun.

3) This one is a complaint. There is no support in the rules for two empires on the same continent. While this does help with making the maps, especially when everyone is on a separate sheet, it isn't very realistic. As far as I know, there were multiple empires in Eurasia contemporary with Rome, Not to mention Africa, which technically is the same landmass.

Not at all sure how this could be solved, but it would be nice.

4) There doesn't seem to be anything one can do about options 1,4,5 and 6 on the hostile table. I mean, if one rolls a hero, they can take care of them, but then we run back into the first problem. They don't seem to count as factions, so they don't expand, they don't have settlements, so they can't be attacked, they just sit there, and destroy some of your stuff every so often. I doubt that the empires would wait for seventy years (the age of exploration) of semi-constant attacks before even considering the building of fortifications in the areas under threat.

5) I would also like to say that the duplicate rolls are far to common. Perhaps some rules on allowing a certain number of rerolls every age (maybe not complete, maybe just one die at a time) would help.

6) While the race table helps to add flavour to the world, it also sort of locks it into a D&D-equivalent medieval fantasy world. The provided resource table doesn't help. I don't really know how this could be solved properly, but it did rub me the wrong way: initially I wanted a no-magic world, but I'd have to cripple the engine to do that.

A thought: Perhaps as an expansion, a sci-fi colonisation/terraforming flavoured set of tables could be written. Or even the colonisation of a solar system (each map being of a planet and its moons). Might a license that allows such expansions be added (perhaps CC-BY-NC-SA or similar)?

Sorry if this comment is too negative, I really do enjoy this game, but I felt like a lot of things could be improved.

I am also aware that a few of my suggestions would add constraints where some people don't want constraints. Perhaps these could be added at the end as a set of optional rules?

🄯 Copyleft haivets. Any ideas may be freely reused. Attribution is appreciated, but not required.

(+3)

Cool game

(+1)

great looking map!  You really filled it out very nicely

Yeah! That is pretty cool. 👌🏻

Excellent work, sir. Brilliant stuff and I'm using it in conjunction with the brilliant World Without Numbers book by Kevin Crawford.

For those wanting less duplicate rolls, a simple solution: use a linear distribution with a single die.

Instead of 2d6 just use 1d12.

Instead of 3d6 use 1d20 and add variables to the unassigned values.

Be careful switching the dice around, it’s balanced to have some results pop up more often than some.  You may end with an extra crazy world, which might be a lot of fun 😂

(1 edit)

Absolutely love what you have created here! Quick question though, in Era 4 do each player roll 7 times or is it 7 times in total for the Era? 

Thanks!  it's 7 times for each player.

(+4)

I like to use different symbols for the different cultures on my maps. So I created this style sheet to help out when I need ideas.

Neat!

(+2)

Inspired by your videos on Wonderdraft, I went ahead and got it. And....

I spent far far too long recreating the A3 map long game I did with 2 others in my dnd group when the DM wasn't free last weekend. Looking forward to Gods and Goddesses! 

(+2)

fantastic!

Woah, that is insane! 😮

(+2)

It was cool to spend whole evening with my 4 year old son and my younger brother to draw maps, tell stories and laugh. Thanks! (Map is partly in polish, but it is not a problem to upload it, I guess 😁)

(+1)

Nice!  How did the 4 year old do with it?  I haven’t tried playing with my 4 year old, I’m not sure she’d have the patience. 😂

(+1)

Two things: he is very into numbers, so every dice roll was cool, and secondly, I just tried my best to tell funny, game-related stories and tales 😁

That is cute! 😍

Hey! This was a really fun experience for me, even solo. Probably took me about 1.5 hours for the standard one using hextml.playtest.net to do my map and add brief notes. 

My game summary is at the end of the post, but here's what I loved:

  • The game feels emergent as settlements change hands, are destroyed, and rebuilt. I could tell you the histories of various locations on the map, which is really cool. It feels alive.
  • I really like how each era gets progressively more dangerous. It meant I was invested in my kingdoms; I wanted to keep playing. 
  • It's smooth, simple, and fun which is great. I could get lost in simulating these little kingdoms forever and recording their histories.
  • Because it generates deep stories, it's a great way to develop a setting for a campaign of another system. I can already come up with conflicts and problems my players could get drawn into. 

My suggestions would be:

  • The minor factions didn't do much in my game except expand or get attacked by me (as player one and two). Instead of just expanding a neighbour at the end of each era, could you do a roll for neighbours instead with more interesting results? e.g. two minor factions go to war, two minor factions form an alliance etc. 
  • Because of how the 3d6 probabilities work, I kept getting the same results in a row. I just house ruled it and re-rolled, but I could imagine this might get a bit annoying with a long group game. You're eagerly waiting your turn... then get the same thing you got last time. 
  • Is there a mechanic you could add where you can choose to attack/go to war/build things rather than just relying on dice?

In my game, the hill dwarves in the west were almost wiped out by the accumulated pirate and bandit gangs (Sandstrider, Saltbeard, and Lazark). Their mithril gates were destroyed, their capital almost taken, but still they persist. Meanwhile the northern orcs spread peacefully.

In the east, the savannah orcs fought with the lizardfolk of the southern isle in a thrilling war campaign that bounced between 1s and 6s for a few turns. The demon cult on the island to the north grew in power, serving the vampire demon Ultruxya. They razed and took over a couple of orcish settlements, while the orcs drove out pirates on the eastern most isle to solidify their grasp.

Really, really fun.

Thank you for the suggestions, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

I'm working my way to build a bit more depth into the game but I always overdo it and have to go back and simplify, so I'll get there!

I added the 3d6 to try and alleviate some of the duplicates but you're going to get quite a few similar rolls throughout the game.  Nothing wrong with a reroll from time to time though, it's your world.  I'm trying to avoid any "ignore the dice rolls" rules though, I think even though annoying sometimes, it makes for some interesting worlds.

I've had a few comments coming through about making minor factions a little more interesting.  I added the quick "add a settlement" line after each era to help a little but I need to spend more time on it.  I'll probably add a d6 roll at the end of each era but I'm trying to take the updating in sections.

I was hoping to see a hex map in here at some point!  It looks great, and very discernable geographies.

This reminds me a lot of the pdf titled Dawn of the Worlds. If you're interested in how that approached worldbuilding, it might be worth a look. Here is the address. 

http://www.clanwebsite.org/games/rpg/Dawn_of_Worlds_game_1_0Final.pdf

Very cool, I completely missed that one when I was searching for similar map making things.  Thanks for sharing!

I personally like the game much and await what will further come from it.

I have following suggestions after playing the game:

  • Add a legacy system for multiple games in the same world, each game would be an 'Age'
  • A mechanic or two for minor factions to make them more interesting
  • Natural Catastrophes: volcanoes that erupt, hurricanes that destroy entire cities, etc
  • Tech Levels, improving and declining in tech could add texture to the different regions if combined with the legacy system, for example in the previous age an industrial empire ruled large parts of the land, but now more primitive feudal lords or tribals inhabit their former domain

Good starting point. I think there's a lot of potential to grow. Perhaps optional rules around communities, deities, cultural development, technological development, etc.

For example, deities often develop around local needs/fears. For example, in my Ironsworn game, the climate is harsh. There's a deity of death and decay that hunts those who have too much and are unable to defend it. There is a saying among the people: "I can already see Darchma's crows flying." The people rarely name their children until their 7th birthday, because only a few live that long.

Thanks! Next update is planned around adding deities to the world.  I working on a way to add these sort of details in without overwhelming the game and taking away the simplicity of it.

(+1)

Had a go with two realms in a solo game, just to see how my map drawing works with the game. Super enjoyable!! Ended up with The Dwari Kingdom (Dwarves), and the Wind Bay Republic (Gnomes). The Reedaya (humans) also grew strong. What I particularly love is the flexibility of it! It's so simple, yet effective.

Your drawing skills are incredible!  Folks would pay for a map like that 😀

(5 edits) (+2)

Long game with 4 factions, everything went mad at the end.
Halfling Luck left them the clear winners.
*Settlement names on a different paper to not clutter up the map too much.

Nice!  I haven't seen a lot of 4 empire games, gotta really squeeze them in there :D

(+3)

Just finished my map. Had a race of peaceful Giants on four small islands.

Wow! Great looking map!

what did you use to make this map ?

Looks like Campaign Cartographer to me.

I used "Wonderdraft". Really like the layout of the map and totally recommend it.

Sweet map!
It feels well polished. 🤍

(+1)

I like your game a lot. I've finished my first solo game with two major factions yesterday. To get a timeline I decided to count each roll of dice as 100 years.

The west is dominated by the High Kingdom of the Moonelves. Their High King has formed a rigid caste system. Those who do not obey are brought to The Exile to dig for gold in the mines of Port Starlit.

In the east the remnants of the Humans of the North struggle with the increasing influence of The Ice Wizards and their eternal winter.

In the Midlands the minor faction of the dwarves has shut their halls while the Enlighted Abbey fights desperately against the Order of Twelve and their army of ghosts.

The new factions of the Free Elves and Humans of the South might be the last hope. They escaped from the perils of the north to The Isle Without Name.


(+3)

I just played my first game yesterday with a friend. We only made it to the end of the fourth Era and will have to finish up on another day but I thought I could already show what we have so far.

My Screed (a swamp weed with mind-altering effects) smoking Swamp Elves on the left were lucky with their expansions even though the necromancer on the Dead Isle in the southeast did cause some trouble.

My friend's humans had a tougher time with Dwarves ravaging their lands to the north and blood-drinking pirates destroying their settlement in the south.

We'll have to see what awaits our factions in the final Era. :D

Nice!  What program did you use for the map, is that Aggie.io?

(+1)

I thought about using aggie.io but I thought it would be better to have a dice roller within the same program so I used roll20.net and we just used the simple draw tools there.

(+1)

I didn't think of Roll20, great idea!

*Update 8/7/21

I've added a "game length" section at the bottom of the rulebook.  Let me know how these play out if you go for something other than Standard.  

If you have more than 2 or 3 empires you may need a bigger piece of paper, and more time in the day!

That's great.

I was actually thinking about additional rules to make the world and faction creation even greater. That's up to the individual of course, but I thought a cool addition (especially if you're playing solo) would be to roll events for hostile neighbors and tribes as well. So that they don't just grow when you roll it but have their own chance at expansion and even their own enemies which could become your allies. :D

This is of course on a much bigger scale but I thought it could be a ton of fun. I'll probably do an epic solo campaign soon to see what kind of world I can create. ;)

Go for it!  You can also break a map up into 12 parts, one for each major faction and play it out. Would take a very long time though!

Nvm

Im slightly confused on where each era ends, i might just be dumb and not see it, or it could be based on your imagination i guess?

(1 edit) (+2)

I had so much fun! Here's my solo map (done with inkarnate):


Shimmering Guards: Lizardfolk with shiny, yellow skin due to abundant Golden Fish consumption. When their fort was destroyed, the general public accused Jark (pictured on the left, going back home after a hearty meal); however, a thorough investigation led by the government officials found the halflings guilty. They subsequently waged war for Sanditon, a small settlement of the Halfling Confederacy as a "proportionate response". This was a smashing success for the lizardfolk, who prospered with their newly-found Scorching Sand. 

Lebensfel: Giants who rely on and venerate extremely sturdy Dark Birch to construct their cities. They would immediately replant any tree they had to cut down. When the Shimmering Guards straight up massacred the Birch to connect cities (with a handy market in the middle), many Lebensfel giants demanded vengeance. Instead, the royal family erected a beautiful mausoleum for the fallen (trees). This somehow led to a rebellion. 

The Unyielding League: Giants who left Lebensfel to found their own faction and take revenge on the Shimmering Guards. They couldn't do much for a while; but in the end, a mysterious allience with an undisclosed society helped them get rid of the lizardfolk in the continent. There are reports that they are now building ships... 

Wow! That’s a great looking map 😀

(+3)

I did a solo game and I found the world-building experience to be very enjoyable! Here's a map of my solo game:

This game saw the Bassicons (a civilization starting in Mouthico, a settlement on the river mouth of a lake) rise as a power stretching from Rivola (a farming town) to Necow (a former necromancy tower that harvested cow steel, a made-up alloy that is analogous to pig iron, for their skeleton raiders until being conquered in a decisive battle). However, soon the empire fell after a rebellion causing the Reefic Republic to gain independence, and their homeland settlements started to fall to disasters and attacks from the Lumbarvi (Elves harvesting burnwood, which has a melting point higher than man-made fires).

I’ve played through many games but never managed to get an empire fully killed off.  What was the final roll that burned the capital?

(+1)

The Capital fell because of disaster if I recall correctly. The first settlement that fell was the Burnsilica due to a monstrous fire (the monks there went too far with their study of fire). Then the empire had the rebellion from the Reefic Republic. Before the capital fell, Rivola was destroyed by a hostile invasion from the elves.

The destruction of Mouthico was the final roll I did for the game (as it was the 2nd roll for the last age), so when it happened I simply left the map the way it was. I found my world to be a grand story of the rise and fall of a multi-island empire, and the fall of Mouthico was the perfect end to that story in my opinion.

And besides, losing is fun!

This looks like it could be fun to use with Microscope. Use Mappa Imperium to design the world, use Microscope to do the history.

(+1)

Small error on the 1.1 Island Table: rolling a 5 is listed as a second "2". Seems really fun from watching the stream! I'm currently playing around with it singleplayer.

ah, good catch.  I’ve been working on tidying up a few other spots as well, I’ll get an update posted shortly.

(+1)

First off, love the idea for this game. Looks like a lot of fun solo and in a group. I'll see if a few of my friends are interested in trying it out with me.
And on the tidying up front, I found a typo (I thought it was two but now I can only find the one ^^' ). On page 10 at the bottom by "12" there is an L in "Expands" that doesn't belong. ;)

fixed!  thank you

(+1)

Ooh, looks nice. I'll be sure to use this in making some maps for my D&D campaigns.

(+1)

I think it'd work great for d&d campaigns.  Possibly done along with your players to help get them invested into the world.

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