>It's just something I've been banging my head against the wall for some time trying to figure out - how in the name of Bonnie Zacherle is *anyone* supposed to structure this sort of thing?
We need to take in account that the toys are evolved during the time and a lot of concepts are added lately, and every toyline is tought to be stand alone. The undefined geography helped to avoid clashes between the different toyline about where they are and how they interact, allowing to rewrite later these setting in needed (like Princess are now Royals).
Filly also has a fairy tales elements in the writing: leaving the exact position of the various kingdom unknow equals to the "in a far away land" of fairytales.
Melowy for example do this again, but renew in a modern key saying that the "word" of aura is in a "far away galaxy"... a bit like Star Wars (that has a lot of fairytale elements that too).
Leaving some elements undefined is *not* an error *if* there is a pratical reason to do it, becouse for example the unknow position lately become a fixed element that (as paradox) describes the setting itself: the point of view of the characters that can't describe with precision their own world. This could be an unwanted side-effect if the creator didn't thought, but is the impression that gives. Initially the geography of FiM itself was undefined, becouse Lauren liked the idea that the pony world was still mysterious to the ponies themselves; I could criticize Lauren for other things, but that one was a good idea.
Funtasia seems to follow an its own canon overwriting some toys elements; again this doesn't mean is bad if the show really manages to develop a robust setting and complete some aspects that the toyline is vague, like how their magic works. One need just to keep in mind is a different thing.
Therefore, one thing is looking what source using, the TV show, the original toys... or a mix of both remembering when the reference is one and when the other.
As far I rememeber, the Toyline never fix the exactly location of the kingdom, but gives some vague clue that links them togheter somehow. Also the concept of "filly world" emerged only after a couple of toyline. Probably the earlier "kingdom" where tought that could have been even in our own world/universe, just in a place "far" and "unknow" to us.
The Princess/Royal kingdom has not a clear position, except that the story books mentions other land (with real-like names and characters) knowed by Royals. Emocia and Zimsala doesn't seem have a clear position either. The Fairy kingdom is connected by a secret (and guarded) passage, and in my headcanon is possible that it lies to an alternative or magical dimension. Papillia is hidden, and is connected by a magical ship: I like think that it too lies in another dimension.
Crystalia are an arcipelagos of floating island, therefore I think it could move around as it pleases; Skylia is another flying kingdom, and I like thing this one can moves around too.
Only some toylines mentions some form of transport: boats (normal and magical), rainbows and, for the Stars, flying.
I think we can use the setting without fix the exact geographical position of the lands, speaking of latitude and longitude, and thinking more how the lands could be interconnected instead. A place like Crystalia can go everywhere probably, but its "entry points" like a sky harbour or a rainbow bridge are fixed, instead.
Story-wise speaking, a story depends froms what there is and who inahbits a place, than knowing the geographical coordinates of it; you can put a story in a place without knowing where it really is.
In gameplay terms, we can figure any kingdom as gameplay area: is important know how you access to them, but knowing where physically are in-world usually has few effect on the game.
>Well - if we were to make a forum based *solely* on the island of Funtasia, that would be easy enough, but it'd just be scratching the surface of this world that has been built up over the past 7+ years. On the other hand, if the forum were to be completely expansive, taking every location and setting into account, you'd end up with very little interspecies mingling, as most characters would realistically be happy staying within their own home realm.
I think the original intent of the toyline was indeed keep every races isolated in their own kingdom in the setting, becouse the toyline never delved in the theme of "multiracial, multicultural" nations. The races are the main theme of the toylines, and becouse that the backstory focus only on one each time.
Funtasia born as showcase for all toylines, and the backstory took the theme of multicultural meeting point with this purpose.
Melowy here is not too different: every kingdom racially is quite uniform, while Destiny is the meeting point of the all races.
We can follow a similar guideline: the travel to other kingdoms is rare and usually pushed by some reason, with the exception of Funtasia being a school/university.
In my headcanon, I don't think that the Filly World has trouble with immigration from poor areas or war refugees, two things that force mass immigration of population in different countries. While a Filly who seek job somewhere else is possible, I don't think is a norm. Diplomacy could bring some few individuals to other kingdoms.
Not sure if Filly culture gives value to tourism or pilgrimages, but if we allow this case, could be one reason why some places could be crowed with more than one race, even if only for short time.
>Well, there's one huge issue with the idea of making a forum - one of the things that makes MLP so easy to make a forum for roleplay is that the entirety of Equestria can, with little trouble, be put on a map.
There is an "official" map of the setting, although a lot of the places never appears in the show or are just mentioned briefly. Not that this helping much, without no idea of what is going on in these places.