Working on the podcast today, talking about the value of a good World Map, I was reminded of the origins of my realm of Mystamyr and got thinking about its evolution.
Mystamyr started with a village, a nearby forgotten tomb, and a ruined castle. The castle was from the Classic BECMI Red Box; the village was Woodfell; the tomb was the Lost Tomb of The Dragon Knights, which I designed. From there, I added stuff in between sessions whenever I had the time and mental energy – such as weekends or, more commonly, school holidays.
But the biggest mistake I keep repeating is to misplace the map and stop using it.
I find the map of Mystamyr helps me be consistent with details. Villages have fixed distances in miles because I have a map. Places have names. New locations can be placed on the map with ease. And, no, the players don’t need to see the map.
As I continue the campaign in Mystamyr that has now been running about a year, I am coming back to my maps. The party is still close to Anminster, first detailed in The Terror of Ettinmarsh, but will soon find themselves further afield. Once again, I will be adding new locations to the map of the realm.
It’s exciting to see the process of iteration grow your fantasy world. It’s great when players discover new things and work to uncover the secrets you’ve created. For me, the best structure for understanding my creation is still the map.