Saturday, May 19, 2018

Building Blocks & Stavanger Index

The series on urban adventures and the description of Rogaland/Stavanger is getting so long that I feel I need to organize the relevant posts.  Read the posts from the beginning and bookmark this page.  Here they are (and I will expand the list as new posts are added):

Part One: Building Blocks

What Good are Town Maps? ~ Introducing why town maps don't deliver on all they promise regarding adventure support.

Putting Down Roots ~ How are towns formed; how do people and processes accumulate over time?  And what sorts of conditions create what kinds of towns?

The Steady Urban State ~ Misconceptions about how towns are laid out, discussing how money and labour divide the motivations and designs of one neighborhood from another.

Dogpiling ~ Why it is hard for players to adventure in a town, what makes a town especially dangerous and how a DM can circumvent those issues.

I'll Ask Again: What Do We Want a Town Map For? ~ What do the players want?  What informs them about how to see the environment, and what matters when it comes to adventure.  How time presents as a factor in town adventures, and how urban environments in real life defy our ability to effectively explore every nook and cranny.

How Much Can You Search? ~ What is an ideal scale for designing a map that will separate out the bits and pieces of how a player can search, given limitations on time?

Building Blocks ~ Defining a city block, both in terms of its size and why that size is the subject of study for urban planners.  What can we know about density and how can that knowledge inform our game design?

A Day at the Beach ~ An example of how a particular, obscure urban block can be expanded into a role-playing and adventure opportunity, just by knowing how the people in that environment live, and what they know.

We Know Already How This Works ~ Using city blocks as a tool, what are the four purposes that we should keep in mind when having a party hex crawl through a town, or through an game space?

One Block at a Time ~ A conclusion to the subject of building blocks, with what a designer should keep in mind.  Some examples of blocks, with the understanding that such a list could easily contain hundreds of possibilities.  My intention to keep expanding the list in the future.

Part Two: Building Rogaland

The Failed Plan ~ My original plans for explaining and expanding on my development-infrastructure worldbuilding concept, which I have tried before without success.  I had a new strategy, it got bolluxed by the death of wikispaces and now it is my intention to unveil the process piece by piece.  Includes a 6-mile hex map of Rogaland.

Haugaland ~ Introducing 5 development cultures (dev-5), starting with the NE corner of Rogaland. I discuss wilderness vs. rural lands, and how the wilderness can be subjected to a random die roll to create building blocks of adventure.  Relating the way adventures can be designed according to topography, terrain and relationships between wilderness and civilization, as opposed to whim.  Description of rural/wilderness blocks.

Making a Standard that Creates Distinctions ~ Further discussing how to breathe life into a low development culture, to make it into something that players would care about and feed adventures.  What makes this primitive rural clan hex different from a slightly less primitive rural clan hex?  How nuance is all important.

More About Rogaland's Dev-5 Culture ~ Describing the rest of dev-5 Rogaland, excepting the settlement of Stavanger.  How isolation creates separate entities that can, in turn, build conflict ... and that although different rural blocks may have similar characteristics, that does not mean that we can't invest those blocks with unique ideas.

Stavanger's Initial Growth ~ Describing a primitive settlement in a dev-5 culture, and how that settlement morphs over time to become slightly less primitive, with an influx of people and without any fundamental change in the environment, culture or technology.

Building Stavanger with Blocks ~ Once we decide to make a village map of Stavanger, how do we decide to lay out the various buildings?  This post gives a shorthand way of thinking it through.

Adding People ~ Buildings and even occupations are not enough. A settlement is made of people, who interact with each other, promoting group personalities and conflicts.

Bend Your Mind ~ Setting the mindset for building an adventure from scratch: what are we looking to achieve, how is the adventure going to make our players play, and what sort of motivations will the players uncover as they investigate the adventure?

The Village of Stavanger, 892 AD

Horik's Block ~ Introducing a short adventure surrounding the village of Stavanger as it existed in the year 892.  We meet the chieftain, Horik, and examine the benefits gained with Status.

Sand's Block ~ The players meet their family, and learn a little more about what's going on in Stavanger, and what is about to happen.

The Shaman's Block and More ~ A discourse on the wider Stavanger adventure, told from the perspective of the six principles of game feel, expanding on earlier posts discussing this idea.

The Town of Stavanger, 1237 AD

Stavanger Development 6: Introduction: An overview of what's changed in Stavanger with the introduction of certain technologies and culture, in the last 345 years.

More to come ...