How large can a world be in fantasy?

Fascinatingly, I see that most of the answers here are those better suited to a Writer's question. I shall give some minor insights on a Worldbuilder's question.

The interplay between people and world is a dynamic and reciprocal one. Nevertheless, it is possible to paint in broad strokes and then etch out the details on successive passes.

Character writers notwithstanding, there is also a certain pleasure in designing worlds with no plan to focus on major characters and movers. This is often seen when building for the sake of player exploration rather than for dramatic backdrop or prop — vis–à–vis for the sake of such as MMOs and LARPs.
Though you do not have any preplanned narrative in mind, you do need to plot out some of your expectations.


What is the cohesive scenario underlying your world? What distinguishes it from others? What others did you like, and wish to extend or rebirth or revise?
Is one half deluged and the other half arid? Maybe the world resembles an M. C. Escher tetrahedron. Maybe it is on the back of a spider.

Inhabitants are an important part of this, too. Do you want large aquatic beasts or small furry flying things? Is this a world of octagonal crabs or of many differently endowed varieties of worms?
Et cetera.


How much do you want your players — whether driven by users or by narrative — to focus on the finer intricacies? Is this a world of grand, sweeping vistas, or one of tiny pixies dancing under the applewood brackets on a rainy night? Do people prefer to travel far to ancient ruined cities across perilous distances, or do they struggle with innermost turmoil over the sacrifice of an unloved parent?
You can do both, of course, but a richly detailed world becomes very dense, even if designed fractally or algorithmically. Of course, don't forget to include some variation across the distances if you choose to develop both the vast and the minute.

Larger distances with less resolved details are often used as a platform for multitude or variety of encounters.
Tighter spaces with finely resolved details are often used to explore philosophy and emotional concepts.

Ah, yes. A world with no users is not like a star with no satellites. It isn't a sun warming some eerie landscape, nor a tiny star flickering in a crowded sky. It is more like an unvisited flower dying in the desert.
You need to choose a group of users by location or preferences. Yourself as a user is a good way to begin. The answer to that question is a bit of soul-searching, really: What world would you like to explore?
How large can a world be in fantasy? How large can a world be in fantasy? Reviewed by Hamza Bashir Ahmad on 04:29:00 Rating: 5