First major Playtest this Weekend

Fri 12
Posted by at 3:19 pm. Filed under: Announcements, Design Notes

Which if any of you are waiting for this, means that there is indeed a playtest document that is very close to being released.

I’m also very excited about the fact that I’ve managed to wrangle some professional editing in order to get it into as readable a state as possible.

Some more teasers:

  1. The tavern is located at A Crossroads. It is literally the middle of nowhere. Draw a few outlying farms in the same hex, and as you name the tavern, imagine it being on the larger side with more comprehensive accommodation, some basic fortifications, and a name like “Lonely Dragon Inn”, or “The Ogre’s Caravan Stop”. Assume it’s on a regular trade route, so any shopping done here is probably at a small horseshoe forge or off the back of a cluster of wagons.
  2. A Small Hamlet surrounds the tavern. Draw a few buildings and number them if you wish, in the Map Key they might be the Blacksmith, the General Store, a Church or Chapel, etc. Think for a minute as to what makes this spot special enough for a small hamlet to have sprung up – perhaps a magical spring nearby or the site of some ancient monument or heroic figure from local history, which might effect how you name the place.
  3. The tavern lies within the walls of A Fortified Keep. Draw some walls that fill up about a third of the hex around the tavern, one section is partitioned off for the Lord and his Soldiers, inside the other is a cluster of buildings and warehouses. Instead of several roads meeting next to the tavern, they’ll meet near the edge of the hex and only a single road leads up to the Keep in a circuitous way, watched over by a guardhouse. Think of a name for the Lord and make sure to put a number in his or her area to note it in the Map Key. Instead of a shop, the Keep probably has some sort of Quartermaster.
  4. Draw a small river running through the hex next to a bridge by the tavern, which now lies inside A River Town. Don’t worry about where the river goes beyond the central hex, you’ll work that out later. The town should fill up about half of the hex, including the basic buildings that the Hamlet has, and might have some rough palisades around it and a guard tower by the bridge. The rest of the hex is filled with fertile farmlands. Think about what sort of traffic might be passing through on the river.
  5. A large mountain occupies one of the hexes adjacent to the tavern hex, which is part of a settlement in the lower mountains that consists of A Dwarven Gate. This multiracial community is well-guarded by the stout bearded folk, and one of the roads disappears under the mountain to possibly re-emerge on the other side, and travel through is only with permission from the Dwarves.
  6. A loose, curvy line cutting off a third to a half of the entire map encroaches into the edge of the central hex, the tavern now exists in A Fishing Village on the edge of the sea. Draw some islands in the hexes off the edge of the coast, or alternatively the village (and central hex) might be on an island as well, though one very close to the mainland. Like the River Town, the village should take up about half the hex and have some key buildings, but be sure to draw some square-like docks jutting off the coast into the water.
  7. The tavern exists on the edges of A Clifftown, which is either up on a plateau by itself or on the edge of a rocky cliff overlooking a valley or desert. Have fun with this one, don’t be afraid to draw beyond the borders of the hex – either it’s the entrance to a treacherous mountain pass or perhaps it’s a launching-off point for a few dirigible airships built by a local wizard’s tower. Either way, instead of farms the town is probably supported by a few mountain goat herds and there’s surely an odd character or two that lives there.
  8. The players are actually starting in a mid-size City that encompasses not just the center hex but all six hexes that surround it as well. Roll 1d4+3 on the Town Generation table again and apply whatever geographic attributes that town might have to the city as well – feel free to do this more than once, if you like. You can apportion the hexes to different suburbs – an old town, a lord’s keep, a slum, a religious quarter, etc.

What do you think?