Saturday, October 2, 2010
Lately the design and writing for the Planet Algol material has taken a turn and I find myself in the position of radically revising the material. This has been the result of a combination of factors: the sessions that I've been DMing; rereading and analyzing the literature that strongly influences the material; the continuing Geoffrey McKinney influence; getting my hands on a copy of the Dictionary of Mu; and the design goal of being usable "out of the box" with minimal prep by the DM while still allowing for a wide variety of interpretations.
This particular post is regards increasing the scale of the adventure area. The original campaign map is 24-by-16 5-mile hexes; the current map I'm working on ("Red Sands") is 50-by-30 24-mile hexes, and will be re-rendered as four 50-by-30 6-mile hexes.
The original campaign map came out as way too small in playtest; once the PCs got mounts they could zip-around. And as I had several settlements strung out along trade routes, the party could jump from fortress to town to city; swamps and mountains would take the wind out of their sails, but the wastelands were definitely not "vast."
Although my idea was to depict the center of known civilization remaining on Algol, it was too civilized; no weeks long journeys between ancient, crumbling cities. On this new map the routes between settlements ranges from being 144 miles to 480 miles of shifting dunes, aside from a mountain route of 48 miles that will take 6 days at the least.
With a much larger wilderness scale the resource management of food, water and pack animals/bearers should become a bigger part of the game. With Dune being one of my influences I certainly want water management to be an important part of many expeditions.