Monday, June 3, 2013

Sandbox Choices II

I was going to make a draft map and post it, but my dsl is not working (I'm posting from my work office).

I got  a chance to talk with my buddy about my last post and we did some verbal brainstorming.  Here is a firmer list of things I'm going to try and incorporate in this beginning sandbox:
  • A witch that can see things (like inside dungeons) for you for a favor and lives in a swamp.
  • A shrine that gives you a short term boon but is hard to access.  Probably up in the mountains.  So, perhaps it makes you invisible to undead for a day or two and there is a barrow field with in traveling distance, but you'll have to do the mountain travel challenge to get there.
  • A village that breeds fighting dogs because they are prone to being attacked by goblins or something.  You go there, you might get caught up in defending a raid.
  • A bandit camp that has drugs for sale and is dicey.  Maybe in a half ruined keep that can be besieged later.
  • A monastery that offers aid and healing to travellers set in a cliffside.  Maybe you can get anitdotes there and various herbal remedies and such.
  • A hermit in a dangerous wood that can teach you how to become an elk.  I don't know what the fee should be, maybe as with the witch a favor.  That means first levelers can do it if they want but automatic drama hooks for later.
  • A temple with a library where command words and rumors can be researched but the cult that runs the place is unattractive, maybe St Cecily who is all about mortification of the flesh.
  • A wizard tower in a lake to get magic items identified.  I'd probably make this wizard friendly and helpful but out of the way and a challenge to get to.
  • Maaaaybe a shrine of resurrection that is days of travel through treacherous terrain away.  You want to resurrect Bob, sure, but you have to go through the jungle/desert/mountains.  Although, when players become more mobile in higher levels this might be too easy a solution.  I suppose I could combine it with my low gods type resurrection where you come back but with a catch.
  • A large town, maybe coastal.  You can sell things here and travel to other areas in the world.
  • I like the idea of magical portals at far ends of the map, but guarded by things pretty powerful like an ogre or something.
  • And I really need some magical pools or anvils somewhere, but those sound like they would be found in a dungeon.
As you can see, I'm trying to offer even 1 hit point mages choices they might take before there first or second dungeon delve.  But I'm also trying to allow for later complications and adventures and I'm trying to make opportunities for using my terrain challenges.   Another thing I want to try to do is allow for changes in the seasons-- that means rivers that freeze in winter allowing shortcuts, etc.  Gah, a lot of things to try to set up in advance of even showing them the dang map.

I'm also trying to figure how many days travel large this map will be.  I want each of these things to be a viable option to pick at first level, so within 2-3 days travel of fairly safe road travel or maybe with a day of more risky travel.  But I don't want the place to feel cramped or over stuffed with junk.


  1. Do you have a link to that "low gods type resurrection" bit? My interest is piqued and I can't recall the post.

  2. It was in this post about if you are going to have resurrection, how to make it cost appropriately:

    I never made a chart of the gods (think the gods of Lankhmar), so when my players wanted to pick that option I think I rolled on the hireling traits and brainstormed out what that meant with the players. I do remember they all had multiple options. Three folks have availed themselves of this. One essentially became genderless, one became irresistibly attracted to charismatic people, and one has to collect and keep samples of all he kills. Failure to do these things means they will turn to dust.

    The first two are kind of weak (I need to make a chart), but the last one has been great as I harass him with creatures that fight from a distance or that might fall into ravines. He is much more conscious about what he kills and how.