Wow. I’m putting a lot of time into the next campaign, but it should be worth it. The system is much stronger now!
I scanned in my old worlde map from 1980, blew it up and traced it in Paint.net, and then tripled the size. I made one pixel = one mile, set a coordinate system on the capitol of Anthavar, and found an online resource for calculating distance using cartesian coordinates (). While my kids started mapping the smaller local maps (200×300 miles) based on the larger worlde map, I created about 18 regions, 15 new kingdoms, 1 new pantheon, and 7 new tribes, and gave basic descriptions of their basic characters and trade affiliations. Then I did a bunch of research on camels and was surprised at what I found. Here’s the results:
Fascinating, but it took a bunch of time to dig through all the materials! Then I designed the caravans available and designed the overall campaign flow and a few dungeons and encounters to get me through the first three meetings. This was a lot easier now that I understand the countries and why the worlde is like it is. My friend Rainer gave me some very detailed feedback on the worlde map, which also brought up some new things to work on and an idea for a new adventure.
My wife meanwhile has got the C++ character and settlement generator working well enough to show all the flaws in the system I gave her, so I went back, added another page of design requirements, rewrote my Gods supplement (now 32 pages long!), added 12 skill lists for NPCs in our Access database, reworked the frequency chart for settlement occupations. I also revised the magic system a bit after a conversation with my son yesterday, so cynics now get +10 to resist magic (vs. the old +3) and Domination works against individuals now as well as groups.
Oh, and Dork Tower just had a great cartoon. I’ve cropped it here to my favorite part, but you can see the whole thing by clicking on the image. When I was a kid living in Warsaw, Indiana, some of my friends actually gave me a copy of the “Dark Dungeons” comic this parodies. And I’m very glad I threw it away back then!