After a long, long pause, this blog is ready to rise from the deep where it slumbered for eons.
And for thematic reasons, I’ll begin this resurgence with some fascinating races of the… underground-lands? Hmm. That’s not a terribly great name… so in that case, today we’ll be talking about various Fantasy Cave Regions (FCR) and deciding on this blog’s term for it!
We begin with one of the most iconic systems and settings, Dungeons & Dragons. It has the Underdark, a FCR so vast and diverse in altitude and geography that it’s essentially its own map. And if that doesn’t sound impressive, let me remind you that D&D’s map is literally the size of a planet (map of Sword Coast for reference).
But enough about the region’s size, we’re talking about terms. As far as I am aware, there is a significant lexical gap for a generic FCR, and we’re only one entry in. Hold onto your spider-saddles because there’s a bit more ahead.
Up next, the Pathfinder tabletop RPG. Although I don’t know as much about it, I certainly appreciate many of the monster manuals and adventures I’ve managed to read. I’m looking at you, whale-skeleton-monster from Japanese mythology in Bestiary 4. Don’t even get me started on that Rasputin quest. Pathfinder has the Darklands, which is a decent name for, well, a land without sunlight. It even has this rather unfortunate regional symbol of a skull in some mushrooms. The Darklands’ PR department really wasn’t having their best day with that one.
We’ve got Underdark, we’ve got the Darklands, who else has a somewhat-hollow planet? Kind of wrote myself into a corner there.
BUT HAVE NO FEAR, as your intrepid blogger will return with the new and improved plan for Monsters by Biome!