OK, so before I delve any further into this mess, I want to take stock and figure out my goals.
What I want:
- To emphasize fun and creativity for myself and my players.
- To provide a setting with enough detail and hooks to give the campaign a real "home."
- To sprinkle some twists, both fluff and crunch, to add to the fun.
- To provide consequences, but not restrictions.
- A game with "grit" but with "gonzo" too.
- I tend to run "realistic D&D" (whatever that means). I think I want a game that takes me a little bit outside my comfort zone.
What I don't want:
- To design a system for sale or publication. This is for my edification and enjoyment.
- To heavily house rule or change the game beyond recognition.
- To make a world so detailed that the players (and myself) feel overwhelmed by minutiae.
With all that said, let's take a look at the map again:
I like this map. The coastlines, etc. were based upon satellite imagery of Saturn's moon, Titan (which amuses me terribly for some reason). I was in a Robert E. Howard kind of mood when I made this and I think it shows to a degree in things like the place names. I wanted a Swords & Sorcery feel to the world, hence lots of seas to sail, wilderness to explore, and several nations to potentially be at one another's throats. I deliberately left off a scale or a hex grid, since I didn't want to get into a lot of fine detail about rates of travel and so forth. The place names and so forth are fine, since they impart very little specifics by themselves.
I originally pictured a low-magic world. Now I am thinking of more standard magic/fantasy levels, and maybe adding a little twist of super-science, like Blackmoor or even Mutant Future. (I'll also have to look at Anomalous Subsurface Environment and Savage Afterworld's World of Thundarr again).
I had written more here, but it quickly degenerated into quite the ramble. To be continued when I yet again reacquire my bearings...