Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mapping the Forester's Wilds

As strange as it is to modern sensibilities, AD&D 2nd Edition is still one of my favorite games. I haven't yet gotten to run it, but I've been working on a map of my fantasy world's continent which will serve me well for all of the following:
  • Eventual hex-crawls for my current B/X group.
  • A possible politically-oriented 2e game I'm turning over in my head (and which I'll be posting about once I figure out if it might happen).
  • Reference for the novel and/or short story collection set in this world that I hope to write.
I initially began sketching this out on hexagonal graph paper, at a scale of 1 hex = 18 miles (per the guidelines given in Basic Fantasy). Now, however, I'm doing a more detailed layout on the free version of Hexographer, using the 1 hex = 24 miles scale hinted at in the 2e Dungeon Master Guide. I'm not sure if this scale matches up with the Cook Expert Rulebook, but I figure it's a workable alternative. (EDIT: This is the scale suggested in the Rules Cyclopedia as well, so I'm sticking with it.)

A small section of the map, showing where the party has
been, where I'm sending them for their next adventure, and
where they might decide to go from there.
After this week's usual Pathfinder-style scripted adventure, I'll be doing something I've never done before: opening up the world completely. Using some basic rules for wilderness adventure (cobbled together from AD&D 2e, Basic Fantasy, and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia), I'll let them travel to wherever they wish, encountering random hazards and (possibly) getting lost if they're not careful. Obviously I'll be giving them some hints as to where some randomly-stocked dungeons (per Moldvay Basic) might be found, but aside from that they'll have free reign.

I'm really curious to see how this goes. Out of the four players in this group so far, two are almost entirely new to RPGs, and the other two have never played in a game with me that wasn't scripted and confined (although Rhiannon's player is also in a Pathfinder game; I don't know how that GM runs things).

Also, side note: My FLGS just got in most of the new 5e books, including the Starter Set and DM Screen. I also spotted the former at Walmart, of all places! While I certainly prefer to buy from locally-owned places, hopefully this wider exposure (in the trading cards/Pez section near the checkouts) will lead to more people getting into the hobby.

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