I don't know about you, but I love those old school "blue maps" from the inside of late 70's and early 80's RPG modules, the outside illustrated with dragons, dungeons, elves, demons, warriors, giants, wizards, and undead.
Last month, I decided I wanted my own map - one that I helped design with Glynn Seal (from MonkeyBlood Design) - nearly as big as the table I game on... a visual aid that not only helps move the adventure along but also makes us feel like we're 15 years old again, playing AD&D for the first time. Incidentally, the main picture above is from a previous blue map of his.
This one is going to be in the "middle ground" between standard dungeon and mega-dungeon. Not too busy, but lots going on... and huge! Each quadrant of this map will be created by Glynn so they can be printed out as one big map or used separately as 4 smaller maps (individual dropbox links will be provided for everything), arranged as you like. And if this goes well, it's possible we'll immediately have bonus quadrants or giant maps available to us. See stretch goals below.
You may have a reservation about using a map big enough for all the players to see what's going on. Well, if it's a trade off, I suppose. If the GM presents the entire map all at once, a fraction of the mystery is gone. However, it saves everyone at the table the trouble of taking time out to map what the GM sees in his book. I don't know about you, but my spur of the moment mapping sucks compared to what's in my module.
What about the secret stuff GM maps contain? All that's being left out of the map... but not left out of the adventure!
The map will also come with a 5 - 7 page PDF. This document will contain a brief history of the dungeon, as well as, various random tables for helping the GM spontaneously come up with content, description, rumors, factions, and encounters (including traps, monsters, NPCs, weird stuff, etc.) so that each adventure into the S'rulyan Vault can be unique.
This map, in conjunction with the PDF, is perfect for sparking the imagination and fostering improvisation - something the O5R needs more of, in my opinion. Although, there's nothing to stop a GM from creating his own room key ahead of time, either based on my notes and suggestions or as developed from his own imagination or published modules.
When finished, the entire map can be printed out at 34" x 44" from your local copy/print shop without any loss in clarity, as Glynn is making it high-resolution 600dpi (similar to the Alpha Blue space station map). Although, the maps could just as easily be printed off yourself at 8.5" x 11". The files will look just like the inside cover of a module from 1983... or (see stretch goals) like the example below, also by Glynn Seal.
For those curious, The S'rulyan Vault random tables will contain minimum gonzo and science-fantasy... but those aspects shall be present to some degree.
$1,000 ::: If this project reaches $1,000, then the map files will not only be available in blue and white but a bloody, stained, and wrinkled extremely realistic parchment and black ink (see example above).
$1,500 ::: I'm going to have James V West illustrate a custom-made fantasy RPG character sheet attached to the PDF. Scroll down below for a sample of James' work. It will be similar aesthetically to his "demon idol" character sheet... yet generic enough for compatibility with most O5R fantasy roleplaying games (such as Crimson Dragon Slayer).
$2,000 ::: If the project reaches this mark, Glynn will create a whole set of additional four quadrants that can be used separately or together to form a second mega-map! These new dropbox files will also be in blue/white and virtual parchment and black ink.
$3,000 ::: If this project reaches $3,000 (tentacles crossed), then all files (including the corresponding PDF will be available to the entire world... for FREE!!!
What else have I done?
Well, as High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing, I've created the following: Liberation of the Demon Slayer, The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence, Revelry in Torth, How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss, Crimson Dragon Slayer, The Outer Presence, Alpha Blue, and Girls Gone Rogue.
Click on the DTRPG button below to see everything available for purchase (usually PDF and print).
Risks and challenges
It will take Glynn approximately 3 weeks to finish the map files and I should have the PDF finished by then, as well.
The completion date of "July 2016" is for the stretch goals and just in case one or both of us are delayed by illness or some other catastrophe (Dread Cthulhu forbid!)... however, as of today (4/19/16), it looks like everything will be done and in backers' hands by June 1st.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)