Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Maps, motivations, and accounting

This post covers a hodgepodge of relatively brief topics. First, here are Wren's map of Grimmantle and an overland map section for the game.

Sword Coast map
This isn't the same map that we've used on paper, but it's easier to read since there's less clutter. I've also reduced the scope in terms of the geographical area pictured; the paper map is a bit overwhelming and denotes many locations that are very far away. Above, Brithem sits along the coast, one-quarter of the way from Luskan to Neverwinter; Port Llast sits on the same path, three-quarters of the way between cities.

It's important to note that the overland map is a metagame aid for the players - that is, the characters don't have access to the map, nor are they necessarily aware of every location it depicts. This is intended as a player resource only, to better understand the relative placement of the locations discussed in-game. It's OK to assume that the characters are aware of nearby towns and renowned cities like Waterdeep. Beyond that, players can ask me what their characters should reasonably know.

Wren's map
The "Grimmantle" map, on the other hand, is intended as an in-game resource that's physically in Wren's possession. Characters may study and form opinions on its nuances to their hearts' content. Wren has had this since the beginning of the campaign, but I didn't want to post it publicly until the other PCs were privy to its existence.

PC Motivations

Sean mentioned at the end of last session that he felt a need for the players to take some time speaking to their characters' individual motivations for adventuring, and I agree. We did an exercise in defining initial motivations before we started, but that feels extremely antiquated at this point. I do think it's important to know what each PC is in the campaign for, both to help the party set its course and also understand why the characters are together in the first place.

Let's plan to take some time at or before the start of the next session to have a brief discussion around this.

Monetary Accounting

Finally, I've created a spreadsheet that I'd like to try using to track the approximate wealth of each PC. I'll start by recording the current gold piece value of the coins and other valuables carried, and record debits and credits as accurately as I can. This should make it easier to track how treasure is split, who's in possession of what, and how much wealth the party has at its disposal at a given time. I still want players to mark their gains and expenditures individually, but I know those details can get muddy over the course of multiple sessions.

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