Thursday, April 11, 2013

Zakynthos Expanded

Some few readers may have noticed that the online campaign just stopped, dead, without any explanation, about six weeks ago.  It was suspended by me due to increasing stress from other factors in my life, and was spoken of between me and the players in private.  I haven't given a date for it's continuation, but a continuation there will be.  However, no set date has been established.  My apologies for my laziness, for not writing a short suspension post on that blog.  That has been rectified.

In the meantime, the last known location of the party was on the island of Zakynthos, in western Greece ... an island for which I had little detail.  I could go to Google maps, of course, but those maps simply do not translate all that well to 17th century development ... there are far too many houses, roads, etc., including suburbs and towns that exist now and didn't then.  Moreover, sometimes I'm not inclined to follow the geography to the letter ... as it suits occasionally to muck with it in order to produce what I think is a better player experience.

Here's what I had mapped for Zakynthos previously:

It is that small island at the bottom, between the island of Cephalonia to the northwest and the western edge of the Peloponnesian Peninsula to the east.

Now, something that is true of any D&D world is that if you choose to upgrade or redevelop some part of it, it's always hoped that the players will roll with the changes and adopt them as if it had always been that way.  If you feel you want to eliminate elves from your world, for instance ... and one of your players was an elf, and wishes to go on playing, then you'd hope they could just pretend they'd always been a human, or whatever they chose, for the sake of continuity.

Every DM who works to improve his or her world knows that this is the case from time to time.  Islands appear, rivers change course, weapons that did exist no longer do, clerics can suddenly use edged weapons, the thief has to exchange their bow for a crossbow, whatever the case may happen to be.

In the case of the above, I made certain descriptions of the island as the party decided to foray into its interior, which I would want them to discount now ... for you see, using the recent hex generator, I made this in about an hour and a half last night:

It's still pretty simple ... but it has the benefit, now, of allowing the party to better judge where they are and precisely where on the island they might like to venture.  Even better, there are room for notes now ... lots of notes, potentially.  I've deliberately left the names off the towns, the citadels and so on, as the party has not investigated those places.

There's an exception there.  Previously, I had stated that the party went up a road into the hills directly west of Zante ... now, I'd have to restructure those events to say they went up the cobbled road into the center west of the island ... a 12-14 mile journey, or therabouts, the hexes been 2-miles in diameter.  So they would know the town that's on the north coast ... but we'll just say for the present that they noted the town, and did not learn its name.  Restructuring reality to fit the new paradigm, as it were.  They can always ask when they come back through it again.

The island above is, in fact, potentially detailed enough to allow quite a lot of adventuring.  Three citadels and a fortress must be protecting quite a supply of wealth, which we can also assume is siphoning off into those mediterranean-brush covered hills (green), waiting to be picked up by a party.

Most of all, I'm happy that this is something that I can now expand quickly in very little time, from nothing more than a few numbers and a small shape on a page.  It's as good as most anything I see in some module somewhere, and this is randomly generated.  Once I get down to work on the features that would spackle this map - and that is my next task, one which I have worked on mentally but which I must now begin to codify - this sort of thing should really spark some players.


Maximillian said...

I for one look forward to that day.

Looking at this map from the broader perspective of the region, how do you feel the increase in infrastructure fits? I'm very interested to see if you remain comfortable with the bottom up approach to determining the local resources, or if you'll find that in order to keep the feel you want, you have to allocate the infrastructure from a larger scale, and then use the generator to apply it to the specific region.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The local resources ARE allocated from a larger scale; the generator may determine that there's a mine, but my reference source document tells me it mines flint.

All comes together, my friend. This doesn't discount my previous work, it applies it.

Arduin said...

I know I have no shortage of obnoxiously niggling questions, but have another!

How does the sysref document allocate resources for you? Do you muddle through the sources page until you find a nearby set of matching minerals? Is there a larger calculation at work?

I'm sorry to hear about the hiatus, since it was an entertaining read, but look forward to the eventual resumption and hope all is well for all, ahem, parties.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry, no allocation. But yes, I find the nearest set. No calculation, just the reference.

The hiatus is right now the least of my troubles:

Maximillian said...

Wow, glad it turned out OK!

Back to the subject of allocation, I was referring more to the implied increase in overall wealth you hinted at with the increased population. Or did you just smear out what you already had for the population across more areas?

Really, except for the citadels, this is pretty close to what I envisioned from your description -- if not your map -- just slightly rearranged.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I was embellishing. Zante always had a population of 9,000, and the island a lot more than that ... so the only difference was that now you have a more exact idea of where that money is stored, and where it might be vulnerable (ie., the flint mine).