Friday, July 22, 2011

Chronicles of the Splintered Realm

I’ve been plugging away for the last few days, going through boxes of old notes, finding maps I’d forgotten that I made, and generally unearthing a large chunk of material I’ve created for my games over the last few decades. In short, I like it, and I think that it’s lead me to a solution to my problem of ADD that I discussed last post.

While the Dragon Magazine approach was the one that appealed to me the most, I felt that even that was too schizophrenic, and it felt that way when I was creating material for my previous magazine efforts: Mythweaver Magazine and Mythweaver Adventure Journal. Yesterday, I actually started a layout for Resolute Adventure Journal, thinking that was the way I was going… and then it all came together in my head.

The answer seems to be a series of modules examining different parts of the splintered realm of Del Anon, through the eyes of an adventurer traveling the land. This would give first-hand accounts of places and people, while introducing new things each module: classes, races, magic, monsters and adventure locations that would be specific to that region. This wouldn’t be a highly-focused series of gazetteers, primarily insofar as you don’t get consistent content from issue to issue (or volume to volume seems more appropriate).

My goal is to have Chronicles of the Splintered Realm Volume 1: Timbervale done my August 1. I’d love to get one out monthly after that, but if I can go bi-monthly, that would be a win. I think that a reasonable expectation for each of these chronicles would include a checklist to the effect of:

- at least 1 adventure (or a few short ones)
- at least 6 new monsters
- a sizeable addition to the game’s magical background (a new spell book with 5 spells one chronicle; a dozen potions when the area boasts a powerful alchemist; special armors when I outline an important dwarven community of smiths; etc.)
- something for players (a listing of new abilities; a handful of new races; lifepath character builders)
- something for referees (rules for specific situations; a handful of trap designs; encounter or location generators)
- a significant contribution to the flavor of the realm itself. This could be an essay on the realm, a viewpoint of a particular creature, relating an important historical event, or an in-depth discussion of beast lore about a specific creature or creatures as a companion to the monsters listed.

While I see these chronicles being somewhat themed; if I detail a section that borders a large waterway and relies on water-borne trade, I could see ship rules, water-breathing races, sea monsters, and an adventure involving pirates all finding their way in.

This feels like it accomplishes all of my goals for the game, and gives me a chance to work on everything at once.