Tuesday, August 21, 2018

More about the doodles maps

Thinking back about how this little community project went.

Starting with a fun and inspiring artwork map really helped to trigger enthusiasm, 32 people contributed and we keyed the 41 areas in 24h. (I notice that we were only 3 women, this is only 9% of the of the contributors, a percentage common to OSR discussions threads).

The tone was overall whimsical but imaginative. I only edited out one element that was too pop culture reference gonzo. But thinking back about it, I could have turned this element into a silly rumor.

Some people contributed different descriptions for the same area, this was not a problem and I even encouraged it. I fused the multiple interpretations together or I turned them into rumors. Rumors are a good tool to keep descriptions that may contradict each others.

Once I compiled everything, I wrote a d6 encounters and a d6 treasures tables for each area. To write the tables I based myself on the description of the areas, sometime incorporating stuff from other areas, I also had to extrapolate and invent some stuff for some of the areas that had a very short description.
I really like this d6 encounters and d6 treasures tables formula. I think it help a lot to bring the areas to life and to make the map more gameable. Having more time I would maybe have added a d6 rumors table to each area. I think these three elements work well together: dangers, rewards and opportunities. The d6 tables are also a good tool to glue together the content of the contributions as you may create link between them.

Having one or two persons who add a other layer of content (the d6 tables) over the collective material make the content stick more together. Doing it alone was a lot of work (I wrote 82 tables) but it was also super fun to jam with what the community contributed.

I enjoy these community creations projects a lot, I especially love the cross pollinisation of ideas (including illustrations and text), it feel a bit like playing a game of How to Host a Dungeon or of Microscope.


Eventually I would like to draw more maps to have a full 3x3 grid. But that would be a lot of work as it would give us a total of 360 areas to key (and a lot of d6 tables to write!).

If we ever complete the grid, I would like that someone better than me work on the layout for the compilation to have a nice book. Maybe we can also print the maps on PoD cardboards.

Here are the North-South axis and the West-East axis b&w unkeyed maps:

1 comment:

paciente r said...

Awesome, just thinking on a collaborative rpg zine right now. The idea is to use a very simple rule system (Half way between Macchiato Monsters and In The Light of a Ghost Star or Into The Odd) and ask different friends for hexcrawls with the same dimension, with the idea that in each hex is a hole communicating with the next map. Some friends ate writers and other are artists, but the first thing is to see if any of them could be interested, since some have no rpg experience but I really like their work...