The other day, I blogged about running a new solo fantasy campaign set around the start of the Bronze Age. I’ve decided to start working on the setting by getting my hands grubby and trying to create a very simple hex map. The plan is then to create a character using GURPS and set out exploring this new world.
Entering the Age of Blades
The first thing I did was grab a fresh A5 campaign book (produced by Squarehex) and designated it for the new campaign… by which I mean that I scrawled on the cover, as shown to the left.
I dug out my drawing pens, a pencil, an eraser, and some courage. From there, I opened the first page.
The process was going to be pretty fluid.
Working between Michael “Chgowiz” Shorten’s suggestion to start with just three hexes on a hex map and my desire to fiddle around with the Trailblazer Game Stamps, I sketched out Version 1 of the map and then I wrote down some short paragraphs, “Chgowiz”-style. Here’s how things started out:
Honestly, I wasn’t really feeling too good about that first map – my drawing and stamping skills leave a lot to be desired, but hey, this was my first attempt. I decided to turn off my inner critic and persevere.
In my mind, I was drawn very strongly towards trying out Goblin Henchman’s “Carapace” scenario. This is a location-based set of suggestions for playing an emergent exploration of an insect hive or ant’s nest. While I definately want to customise the scenario, I felt very excited to give it a go. Having smudged the page on my second version of the map, I decided to place the Giant Ant’s Nest on the map west of Dimini. After a few more minutes of fiddling around with stamps, pens, and ink – well, I ended up with this:
I decided to place some mountains, clearly going to be visible from the walled village of Dimini. I decided the Giant Ants would have their colony two hexes west of Dimini, where I smudged the map. The rest of the map would begin largely unpopulated. To honour Chgowiz’s idea, I still need to add two more hexes of opportunity… but I am not in a hurry.
I think the second hex will be the village of Sesklo, south-west of Dimini and between the base town and the Ant Colony. The third hex remains a mystery… for now.
And that’s about where I got to so far. Next step is probably to create my first character, using GURPS as my rules system. I’ll add in those hexes. Then to think about how I’ll run the hexcrawl. Much fun to be had.