Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick and Dirty City Gazeteer Maps

As I am going into my second week with a nagging cold, I haven't had much energy or focus to sculpt or paint, never mind a lack of stability due to being worn out and coughing all the time. Because of this, I've been trying to do up a few bits and pieces for my Labyrinth Lord campaign which is supposed to be kicking back in gear following the holidays here. This has mostly entailed me going through various resources and printing out the bits I'd like to have at hand but I've also been cobbling together some play aids. It's amazing what you can do with a few maps pulled off the Internet and a little cut and paste.

The first few things I did were simple flash map style, gazetteer blurbs for different districts in the "home town" of our mostly sandbox campaign. A good, solid starting place with a little detail serves well to keep players grounded in the setting and also adds a bit of attachment as this place develops and grows. To make these maps, I just took three maps of blank city maps, gave them names and wrote a couple of paragraphs of flavor text on each. These were then printed out and put into the campaign notebook. I have left them blank for now and will number and detail as needed, keeping with the whole sandbox style of play.

So far I have done three -

High Ward - wealthy district.
Merchant's Quarter - center of trade and commerce.
Blackwytch Quarter - bad area of town.

They're nothing overly special, but I think they will prove to be a simple and effective tool for letting the players interact with the game world a bit more. This will be especially useful as none of my players are overly experienced gamers.


  1. How does Lab Lord measure up to the leveled play in DND and having to keep the players in treasure?

  2. Not sure I can accurately answer that. Labyrinth Lord functions on about the same level as the old boxed set D&D or AD&D. Also, I tend to be a bit stingy on treasure in my games. I let players have it but I also force them to face the logistics of carting out large quantities, trying to find somebody to exchange it and the limitations of local economies.

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  4. Here is where we diverge, my friend. I specifically didn't create a hometown map, because I want all the action happening "out there" in the wilds.
    I too, am a stingy DM. If they've got too much treasure, what's the point of adventuring. Every day that passes in our world, a day passes "in town". This makes it easy for record keeping on my end, and makes the PCs eager to play, as it costs at least a gp a day in the fantasy world for upkeep of their characters.

  5. I run urban adventures pretty frequently so the flash maps allow me to establish a base-line. I haven't filled in anythign on the maps though, so in a way they are like the world map - ready for exploration.



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