Sunday, October 23, 2011

Non-Traditional Sandbox Design 14

I've been receiving some solid feedback on my Non-Traditional Sandbox Design series (thanks guys!), and in reviewing it, I realized I'd forgotten to include an overview of the process.

One point I would like to reiterate here is that many of the steps shown in this series may be considered optional. I can't say that my method is the best, or the only way to design a campaign setting, but it has been used and tweaked for nearly 34 years with excellent feedback from players and DM's alike.

Once you have the basic process down, you can quickly jump to any step and continue to expand your campaign as needed, to stay ahead of the players, and of course to suit your own demented desires for design. To that end, I've placed those that I consider to be optional in bold/Italic text (and added the words if applicable) for your convenience. So without further ado, here is the outline:


1: Create back story and rough outline of the county map.
2: Create a list of towns central to plot points (to be developed in future steps).
3: Create a trade route and list its principle Start and End points.
4: Place Towns on map.
5: Place Trade Route on map, connecting the principle locations from step 3.
6: Have Players name important landmarks.
7: Add Mountain and Hill features.
8: Define Lakes (if applicable).
9: Define River by random roll
10: Add traditional vegetation features.
11: Choose Plots (use Custom or Commercial modules as needed)
12: Create a series of Adventure Hooks
13: Create Calendar, and holiday/events of note.
14: Fill out the Campaign Time line, including days/months of the year.
15: Create Coins for the Realms, based on input from previous steps
16: Fill out Campaign Events, Holidays, and Specifics for Banking (if applicable)
17: Create Taverns and Shops of interest, to drive Plot Points
18: Create Guilds and Organizations in the Campaign
19: Lay out detailed notes for special events (if applicable)
20: Finish Monthly Calendar (if applicable)
21: Create basic map of towns/villages
22: Devise basic monster backgrounds for regions
23: Player Character Sheet (If applicable)


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