RPG Blog Carnival: A Map of Alfheim

Enderra’s running this month’s Blog Carnival with the theme of New Worlds, exploration and discovery.

Shadow Over Alfheim takes place in an Imperial colony situated in the old homeland of a race of wicked elves.  The colony has only been around for less than a century, but is showing signs of failure.  While most of the goblins live harmoniously with the human settlers, some tribes have recognized that should the humans flee from the shadow of a returning Elf-king, a vacuum and opportunity will be left for those who can make their hay quickly.

The party in my game is in the service of a wealthy imperial aristocrat in Portsdam with a fixation on collecting elven artifacts.  Some of these he is selling to the scholars of the Imperial University of Arcane and Human Studies back in the Imperial City to raise funds to undertake massive public works projects in the failing colony.  The others may be put to more insidious ends.

While my game doesn’t have the freedom of a hexcrawl, I’ve tried to keep it as sandbox as possible while maintaining enough rails that I can be prepared for wherever the party ends up choosing to go.

Map of Alfheim

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3 responses to “RPG Blog Carnival: A Map of Alfheim

  1. I really like the idea of nodal maps. My players tend to ask for representational maps when exploring, but I wonder if they’d settle for something along these lines…

    • I considered trying to do more nodal dungeons, but my mappers were insistent on specifics because they wanted an accurate map. Which is pretty cool, in a way, since not only is it this guy’s first time mapping, it’s his first time playing any RPG. Still, it ends up with a lot of boring descriptions of how the hallways are curving/turning. I think if I were using dungeons that were more nodal to begin with, it would’ve been easier to transition. As it is,with the exception of trying to describe the hallways as best I can, I generally give zork descriptions for the rooms instead of specifying where on the wall things are unless it’s super important.

      So far, the nodal map has worked great as an overworld. My recommendation is just come up with the numbers beforehand of how many days roughly it takes to get between points by foot, by horse and by hastily ridden horse. Or boat. The players sent a message with folks evacuating Stull to Alfort but ended up overtaking their messenger because they took a barge down the river.

      One thing I like about it over hexcrawl is the flexibility the ambiguity gives you. There doesn’t HAVE to be something everywhere, and when you need something to be there, it’s easy to tack on.

  2. Pingback: A New Year, A New World Roundup | Enderra

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