Direbane is an abode to share artifacts, simulacra, histories, and other items of note related to ongoing years adventuring.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

How to Play in a Sandbox

Northern Wilderlands circa 5434 BCCC (approx.)
Good grief, the things I do for my players... Someone presumably ignited the great planetary bomb device our heroes were originally sent to retrieve from the City of the Gods located in the Valley of the Ancients. Now, one thousand years later, civilizations of the Wilderlands have collapsed into barbarism from the unnatural geologic upheaval and global climatic cooling disrupting food production and other essential supplies.  Local warlords, of course, have exulted in the misfortune of their enemies and seized everything within their power.

Our group is updating our rules to 5th ed. version of The World's Most Popular Role-Playing Game. In conjunction with this I really hoped to use some of the indie resources Vornheim and Frostbitten & Mutilated by Zak Smith and also Veins of the Earth by Patrick Stuart and Scrap Princess. I needed a cold and barren wasteland pocked with destroyed civilizations cracking through the crust.

Given that I had run the party through the Judges Guild Blackmoor (First Fantasy Campaign version) blending in the TSR DA series and Wilderlands map 19 by Rob Conley from Fight On! issue #3, I already had most of the geographic framework. And I also had a big old sheet of overland hex paper from The Armory with which to draw upon the new cataclysmic environs.

What was not completely conceptualized (by me anyway) is that Judges Guild Blackmoor is 10 miles per hex which is double the Wilderlands standard 5 miles, resulting in an area 4 times larger than a standard Wilderlands overland map. So piecing map 19 with First Fantasy Campaign Blackmoor and the standard area Wilderlands overland maps left large gaps to the northwest and southeast.

Fortunately, there are two creations for Wilderlands expansion. One being the aforementioned Rob Conley's, the second is the much more vast (vaster?) Wilderlands of High Adventure by James Mishler's Adventures Games Publishing for Castles and Crusades system. James published maps including a continent-wide map containing the Wilderlands, Rhadamanthia, and a larger scale map of Western Karak on the western edge of traditional Wilderlands.

Thus I scaled and mushed everything for a complete campaign map.

And the amazing thing is that the portions of Mishler's maps actually aligned realy well with Conley's and the First Fantasy Campaign. Hurray!

P.S. I overlaid the rough map with 20-mile hexes courtesy of the published hex GIF file here. Doing the math was a pain in the ass, but the larger hexes in the image are scales at 20-miles based on the smaller 10-mile First Fantasy Campaign hexes. Ha, now I just need to draw the real map...

P.S.S. There are TWO large round features in Mishler's map showing deep into the Valley of the Ancients just about where I had deposited the City of the Gods that PCs never visited. Could there have been a pair of explosions?! Ha, and can you say radiation? I think you can...