JP On Gaming

Monday, May 23, 2016

[GM Aid] Working on a Wilderness book

Inspiration is a fickle and fun thing. Back in the days when I was writing for NeoExodus, I was thinking about creating a dynamic system to build locations for the campaign. Something where I could define and build up a region, and provide it to the players. So I put down a number of ideas: interesting locations, settlements, and terrain features. There were quite a few things in there.

The idea quickly evolved into a way to create a map on the fly. Those of you who purchased our no-longer available book on the city of Gytha will immediately recognize that the swamp itself was left nebulous, and ready to explore. It was my idea, really.

Imagine an empty hexmap. Why? Because Hexmaps always seem more appropriate for wilderness areas. Why? Because I'm an old guy and back in my days, we drew our wilderness maps on hexmaps. Now stop arguing, and just focus on the story.

Dang kids. Won't listen. Won't do what they're told.

Picture an empty hexmap. Pick a spot in the center of the map. What is there?

I know the map is empty! Hence why I'm asking what your players find there... That's right. You are drawing a blank. Gostor: Wilderness will let you know with a few quick dice roll what is there. Then as they explore the area around and beyond, you can do the same and just expand as they travel.

What I lacked was a format to make it all come together. So the book stayed in my "Work in Progress" folder. And I saw it every time I open this directory (read: multiple times per day).

Then a few days ago, I was reading the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide. and I happened to fall upon the section about wilderness adventuring. I returned to the document with a few ideas on how to sort out the chaotic mess I had.

With a format defined, I reworked, and cleaned up the content to make it into a clean and simple set of entries, much like the rest of the Gostor products. As the product began taking shape, I could immediately see synergies with other Gostor products.
- Gostor: Bandits Because any trip in the wild may lead to conflict!
- Gostor: Ruins Because ruins are a natural site for adventure!
- Gostor: While on the road Because sometimes you just want to provide a quick overview of the trip. Gostor: Wilderness is the "opposite" approach.

So I am now in the final stages of touching up this book and plan on releasing later this week.


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