... now with 35% more arrogance!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Improv Hexcrawl: Scales Needed

I said in the earlier post that differing rolls for details until actually needed would speed things up. But how do you determine what is needed at any given time?

The players ought to know some broad geography and politics. If the characters start in a province on the border of the wilderness, they ought to know the name of that province, and the direction towards the wilderness. If there's a kingdom trading or warring with that province, the characters ought to know the name  and direction towards that kingdom as well. And even if they've never seen the sea, they should probably know which direction to travel to reach it, or at least a large body of water. These details are split between the Kingdom and Off-Map scales: Off-Map is for adjacent territories and major geography people talk about, while Kingdom is the broad home territory that people are more familiar with.

They ought to know the general lay of the land in the current barony and adjacent barony-sized territories. Call this the Province or regional level. This includes the names of the current barony and adjacent baronies and any cities or towns in the region, as well as the general terrain, climate, and course of major routes.

They ought to know more specific travel information for the Barony itself, which appropriately enough should be called the Barony level. Whether the characters were born there or traveled there, they ought to know what's within a day's ride from the home base, including more detail on routes in the area and major landmarks visible from those routes, plus the names of villages in the barony.

Below the Barony level is the Local/Locale level. Other than maybe a street map for the neighborhood around the place where the adventurers are staying, Locale information has to be earned. You find out about a hamlet or non-obvious landmarks by visiting them. You map out a minor route (waterway, road) by following it. This is where rules for discovering features, landmarks, and dungeons or lairs would come into play.

As adventurers travel, details for new Locales get filled in, or at least the routes and surrounding terrain do. By moving into a new Barony-sized territory, broader detail for adjacent Baronies is revealed. If the adventurers head towards the edge of a Province, they get more information about adjacent Provinces, and the same applies to Kingdom-level details. Eventually, Off-Map names are moved onto their own Kingdom-level maps and become more real.

No comments:

Post a Comment