This time, I was going down a different rabbit hole. I've been looking at well-known maps about fantasy map tropes (The Map of Clichéa and The Only Fantasy World Map You'll Ever Need) to, well, create a list of fantasy map tropes in hopes of creating maps that truly subvert or avoid the stuff we've all seen before. And I asked on Twitter if anyone remembered any similar maps.
A friend reminded me that xkcd had done two maps that sort of fit that bill: Online Communities and Online Communities 2. These are less useful for my specific needs, but while examining the first one more closely, I discovered (rediscovered?) the map's compass rose and realized the countries are arranged according to a scheme that's vaguely reminiscent of an alignment chart, at least in the late-stage sense of alignment as a guide to an individual's behavior:
- Practical vs. Intellectual
- Focus on Real Life vs. Focus on Web
And I thought: could that actually be used as a basis for behavior types in a fantasy world?
Practical vs. Intellectual is easy. Real Life vs. Web seems irrelevant at first, unless we imagine some shared dream world, perhaps the astral plane, that wizards and others focus on instead of real life concerns. Perhaps the mythic underworld itself is some aspect of this.