An archipelago is a cluster of islands. They are commonly found on the open ocean, though sometimes they are located near large land masses. In the real world, the Pacific is well known for its archipeligae, with some particularly fine examples in the area of South-East Asia (or the bottom left of a Pacific-centred map).
List of Noteworthy Archipelagos
Real World Archipelagos
- Indonesia - today a nation, historically a region.
- Spratley Islands - possibly the most politically contested archipelago on Earth
- The Philippines - again, a modern archipelagic nation.
- The World (Archipelago) - an artificial archipelago created by Dubai
Game and Story Use
- Archipelagos make great settings because traveling between individual islands is relatively fast, allowing the PCs to visit a new island in every adventure - yet the islands are often sufficiently isolated from each other that each can form its own, isolated community.
- Archipelago-based campaigns are thus the nautical equivalents of Adventure Towns.
- Consider throwing some underwater civilizations into the mix - this will make an archipelago setting even more diverse, complex, and fascinating.
- The setting of Blue Planet has an archipelago on a water world as the main focus.