June 22, 2012

Player-Created Ocean Map

A little while ago, I talked here about one of my successful Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. In it, the players sailed from island to island in a vast ocean, encountering a menagerie of isolated cultures and fighting against the oppressive clutches of an Arkhosian Empire (not too dissimilar to Chris Perkins' Iomandra Campaign). Exploration was at the heart of the campaign, and the table centered around charting out new islands on a giant 30" map we drew up. While cleaning out some stuff, I found the map among my various folders and scraps of paper and decided to share with you the interesting sketches and doodles that a 9-month nautical campaign produces.
(Be sure to click on the images for a larger view.)

The whole map at a glance. It took very little work to initially setup, there was almost nothing besides the island of the first adventure, everything else was put in ad hoc and organically as the campaign progressed.

Release the kraken! This doodle marks the location of a random encounter with a horrid sea beast.

The Isle of Rhegium, last resting place of the fallen god, Bane. That bridge is one giant sword, swarming with the armies of the heavens fighting each other. Yes, took that right from God of War.

I gave out little Divine Boons for players who did cool artwork onto the map. It proved to be a most excellent incentive system for adding some richness and depth to the campaign world.

Islands with little appeal or that were only features for a single session tended to be just dots in the vast emptiness.

Tortuga was the home of one of the protagonists, Pirate Captain Marie Sanguine, and was a far-off haven for various scallywags and ne'er-do-wells wishing to evade the long arm of the Empire. A wretched hive of scum and villainy, if you will.

The Devil's Taint was not only a source of constant juvenile jokes and cackling, but also the home island of one of the protagonists.

1 comment:

  1. I love that Kraken pic!

    *juvenilely snickers at 'Devil's Taint'