From D&D Campaign to Fantasy Novel – Part 7

The Earth completes one orbit of the Sun in 365.2425 days. The Moon completes one orbit of the Earth in 29.53 days. Since month is derived from moon, that means that there should be 12.37 months in a year. In reality, we only want to deal with integer numbers of days, which is why we have leap years and months with different lengths. That’s just how things are.

The fantasy world that contains Andoran’s Realm is different, because it is my creation. A year there consists of twelve months, each with thirty days. The moon is full on the first day of each month. Furthermore, the seasons are properly aligned. The first day of the year is the Winter solstice, and therefore the first day of Winter. The first day of the fourth month is the first day of Spring, and so on.

Right now you are probably thinking that the names of the seasons aren’t supposed to be capitalized. I made a conscious decision to capitalize them in my books, because it is more consistent. We capitalize the names of the months and the days of the week, so why not the seasons?

In Andoran’s Realm, the months don’t have names, and there are no weeks. A specific day would be referred to as something like “the twelfth day of the second month of Autumn”. Times during the day tend to be referred to vaguely, with terms like “mid-morning”, “late afternoon”, or “just after dusk”. I do, however, sometimes mention hours or minutes or seconds for time intervals, despite never having actually described how people measure time there.

What about other units of measure? For distances, I use inches, yards, and miles. (I made a deliberate decision to omit feet.) I can’t remember any specific reference to a weight, but I would probably use ounces and pounds. The Metric System is wonderful, but it’s completely out of place in a fantasy setting. I could also have made up all new units, but that can be confusing for readers.

What about money? In D&D, it’s all about precious metals. A copper piece is typically the lowest denomination, followed by silver, gold, and platinum pieces. And the ratios are simple: 10 copper = 1 silver, 10 silver = 1 gold, etc. My world deviates from this in making 1 gold piece the equivalent of 100 silver pieces. This makes gold more valuable, meaning that the average person rarely deals with gold pieces.

In Part 8, I will discuss how I adapted D&D concepts such as alignment and character classes.