Friday, 14 August 2015

Augh!!! I am bored of high level planning.... lets get a little closer in and start thinking about where the campaign will start. So lets dig down into what the Province Scale of world building and look at the starting region. The campaign I am going to be running is going to to start in Northern Arnel, near the border with the bleakmarsh. Northern Arnel has been designed to be a place where traditional governmental structures have fallen to pieces, there by allowing PCs to fill that void, either creating a new aristocracy, or building towards something new.  The form of this collapse is the destruction of a great many northern aristocratic families during the civil wars, the slow collapse and corruption of southern lines put in their place, and abandonment of the region by the south, who frankly have enough on their plate as it is. Were the high King even aware of the players actions, it is questionable if he would act on them in the early stages of their rise to power, thanks to his inherited delusional state.

Worse still, society is in a state of apocalyptic shock.The great plague killed 1 in 10 adult and 1 in 5 people under the age of 5, just fifteen years ago*, and this after only a hundred years of rest from a civil war that had been very nearly as devastating to the north. Even before this the north suffered huge economic privation, as the wealth of the nation concentrated in the south.

It is also a place rich in a history of connection with the fey and the dead, but with relatively weak modern understanding of it thanks to the witchhunts sponcered by High King Tobin  and his decendents.

All these fact make for a place that desperately needs saving, and a political climate might actually allow a few mercenaries to become the solution

Kingdom Scale placeholder map for Arnel, Alass and Norren (most of).
Highlights initial area of play

As by now, you may have guessed, this is going to be a sandbox campaign. Which means lots of overland travel. Two considerations come of out of this at this stage, scale and environment.
First WIP of region level map of initial play area.


When planning a Sandbox, getting the scale right is important. You get it wrong and you end up with a setting that makes no earthly sense. To date, the best scale I have found is the six mile hex, with half mile sub-hexs. It is worth checking out this post from Steamtunnel's blog "hydra's grotto", which explains the advantages of the six mile hex far better than I ever could. 


The area in which the campaign kicks off, is going to be the watershed of a river, roughly equivilant to the river stour on the essex and suffolk border, here in the UK. The Stour is known for the painting  of the english artist
John Constable. 

I grew up a short walk from the river, and the areas lush meadows and gently rolling hills hold a special place in my memory. The stour is also interesting for it is in many ways the border of civilisated influence in east anglia. Once you pass the river valley; the land, while still mostly cultivated, becomes wilder and wilder. The influence of the northsea on the wealther and feel of the land grows as you travel eastwards.  Woodlands grow larger, heath and fen become more common and houses ever rarer. It is a mixture of these two elements I wish to weave together in this place. It should be a place of great beauty, but also isolation and bleakness.

Next time, I will be talking about the  geography of the watershed, and detailing some of it's landmarks.  

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