Day 11: Ante Up

August 7, 2009

This was supposed to publish earlier today, but didn’t because I didn’t understand something in the wordpress interface.  Here we go.

Today I worked on fixing up my gridding tool – I like working with heavy cartridge paper (i.e. art paper) because I find it holds up better long-term but it’s still not that heavy and it packs up nicely.

I’ve drawn only one map so far: the taproom of Tag’s Folly in Husk.  Even though there won’t be any combat there, it feels important that this place, which is the launchpad for the campaign, has a solid visual depiction.  I’ve got a few ideas for random encounters, but overall mapping areas is my #1 task to get ready for the upcoming campaign.

I’ve got a lot more planned, but I can’t guarantee that every random encounter will be in a tactically rich environment by the time the first session drops.  Of course, I will do my best.  As an aside, one nice thing about this campaign is that I get to indulge my collector side, picking up little encounters and ideas from messageboards and poring over my old collections.

But let’s skip what I plan and what I hope to do.  Here’s what I actually did today:

Out in the Wastes

That’s a link to the campaign handout, which you’ll definitely want to check out.


8 Responses to “Day 11: Ante Up”

  1. Johnny Oneiric Says:

    Waddya mean, there won’t be any combat in the tap room!? What about the bar-room brawl I requested!?? Oh, there will be combat, there WILL be combat…

    *practices his stool swing*

    “What are YOU lookin’ at, tiefer?”
    “What are you LOOKIN’ at, tiefer!”

  2. Johnny Oneiric Says:

    Ok I’m finished channeling Robert DeNiro.

    Ry, two things:
    1. Your handout includes a blank page.
    2. This part…
    Sharing info is essential to the PCs’ success. Put together the small clues hidden across the world and you can uncover the big scores, the dark secrets, and the secret levels hidden in the dungeons beyond Tag’s Folly.
    …is f#$%!n’ COOL. I was thinking I’d play 2 or 3 sessions. But this is looking to get addictive!

  3. stoughton Says:

    Awesome! I fixed the blank page issue. So I’m guessing you want one of those hooks to get yourself started on an expedition, right?

  4. Johnny Oneiric Says:

    Oh, did I come off as a tad eager?

    *whistles nonchalantly*

  5. Mike R. Says:

    A thought about random encounters and tactically rich environments:

    Have yourself a die-chart or deck of cards, whatever, from which you can generate a few random terrain features. For example, a wilderness chart with elements like giant tree, thick underbrush, muddy pit, etc. etc. Things that don’t just look good, but have some tactical effect, like being difficult/hazardous terrain, different elevation, usable for stunts, cover, concealment, etc. You do the same for dungeon environments, etc. You’ll be able to generate an environment really quickly.

    And you’ll still be able to specifically map out certain important encounters.

  6. stoughton Says:

    Mike, that’s a really good idea, and I WILL do that. Please remind me about that next time I appear to be struggling, because I may forget. I need to use as many time-saving prep techniques as I can, so anything you want to point me to would be much appreciated.

    • Piers Says:

      You could also make a series tables each linked to a particular area, giving the same look and feel effect as random encounters–over here we have salt flats, there a petrified forest, etc.

  7. Johnny Oneiric Says:

    Here’s one I like: every session, drop a clue or mysterious item or occurrence – even if you haven’t yet decided how it fits into things! A key that doesn’t unlock anything (yet), an indecipherable inscription, a map fragment, a snippet of conversation overheard, a sign in the sky, anything. White it in your notebook. Let the players scratch their chins. After the game, ruminate on what complication it might represent in the current chain of events, or what new tangent it might inspire. Think of it as reverse adventure design. And of course, never let on that you didn’t plan it all from the start 🙂 Adds mystery and a feeling of world complexity, and keeps the players hungry for the next session.

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