When I was young, and even before I started getting into Dungeons and Dragons I liked to draw maps. Fictional maps of different places, where my imagination roamed. I conducted many imaginary campaigns with my little plastic army men and tanks even before I started making my role playing worlds. And of course when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons I jumped feet first into making my own campaign world maps.
When I read my fantasy books I do my best to locate maps, to follow the action. Especially the larger series of books, trilogies and longer. I want that map to follow where the characters are, and if it applies follow the campaigns of armies in those books. It is just a fun thing for me.
I had been following the maps from the Forgotten Realms for the boys campaign. And adding a few extra little things. Because in my head I want to know where they are in order to justify what the boys run into. Well when I dropped them through the portal into a new land I had some maps to follow but I didn’t really want to follow those. Plus I had my own ideas for the type of world where the boys were, mixing in a healthy amount of background from the Legends of the Five Rings campaign setting.
Last week I sat down with Paint and began to map out that world for where I dropped the boys. Does it borrow healthily from L5R? Yes. But it will involve a number of things from traditional D&D too, to make my own world. It won’t be a campaign setting that I can publish or anything. But it is mine to work with. And unlike in previous attempts I made to run games I decided to develop from the ground up, rather than starting with the big picture and ending up with paralysis by analysis.
Here is the initial map I created, I will get deeper into it and more complex as the game goes on. The boys don’t know yet that they will not be getting back to the Forgotten Realms setting, but so long as I keep things going it won’t matter.
Like I said it does borrow from other game settings, but it will be with my own twists and integrations. I am really looking forward to developing the campaign with the boys. Jimmy has his own ideas for building his own army. And one of the other boys is already chomping at the bit for his character to be able to make his own magic items. So this is a chance for all of us to work together to build our own campaign world.