Sharp eyes will notice the number of changes to the map at this point (they’ve either been mentioned in past updates, or will be in future ones, as I still have one more regional “hooks” post to make), but I really wanted to focus this post on a couple of the overall mechanics this campaign seems to be following. The first of which could be derived by what most folks define as a “sandbox” campaign. While I seem to be giving the prospective players a number of areas to explore, the majority of the quest lines seem to be leading towards one specific path (not necessarily a blatant “adventure path”, which seems to be the norm for the current generation of RPGs), which can be accessed by a variety of means. This really excites me, since again I am not a big fan of “railroading” players towards goals they don’t feel they’re a part of. I’ve even concieved of at least a couple of possible powerful allies to help should they want to be taken on this challenge (which really at some point they will probably have to, but again, it will be discovered in a more or less deduced fashion), both of which are very much involved in their own story lines, but if those are solved to their satisfaction, and certain requirements are met, the players will have the opportunity to enlist them later on.
The second of these points, while somewhat concerned with the first, is the focus on location-based adventures, as opposed to story-based ones. A casual look over the number of “hooks” I’ve written thus far will probably clue anyone over to this. Once again, I’m not in favor of dragging the players across the map by reading long hunks of pre-written background information, along with prescribing what their interest in it should be. Call it old-school if you want, but I will (at least for the forseeable future, as I haven’t even gotten to detailing any of these areas yet) leave these destinations as independent entities, either them immediately reacting to invasion, or possibly informed by the characters previous steps (in which case said denizens would take the expected amount of defense). Not only will this allow the players take each step in my “non-path” at their own pace (which could even lead to retreats and some strategic rethinking on their part), but will also allow me to address any of their ideas as we go along. Sounds great, hmm? Well, time will tell, but I seem to be on to something here.