I’ve been looking for software that does exactly this for a while:
An intuitive, detailed map-making program that works right in your web browser and allows export to jpg and png. It’s got a built-in grid for D&D goodness, and – although I haven’t tried it – a “scene-builder” designed specifically for PbP games.
I’m so pleased! PbP 4e D&D is now a possibility! 😀
I mean, it was before, but what with my workplace blocking all known image-hosting sites and Google Docs, my ‘post-from-work’ habit would have been untenable.
Tags: awesome, D&D 4e
It occured to me this morning that part of the problem with Jzadirune in the Shackled City is that it exists purely to give the PCs the XP and equipment they’ll need to face the Malachite Hold, where the interesting challenges are – I could have cut it out of the Fatescape version entirely without affecting anything in the greater plot.
Welp, too late now.
I’ve also got an excellent idea for a very-slightly-tongue-in-cheek 4e D&D game, which can join the ridiculous queue of games I would run if I had the time. Inspired by a throwaway comment on RPGnet about “the design space for a ‘dark lord of the storms’ is huge” I find myself driven to create a game where half a dozen dark lords of the storms have chosen the prime material plane for a giant storm-waving contest – to the detriment of the local peasants, of course, and requiring the intervention of low-paragon level heroes.
Well, the first session in my new Fatescape test game was last night: it didn’t go too badly, all told, although there are a few places where the mechanics need shoring up. I’ve gone with The Shackled City as the module I’m going to run for them.
Translating the dungeon crawls into FATE is tricky, since I’m caught between several conflicting objectives:
- Presenting the players with meaningful choices between routes through the dungeon.
- Making sure key scenes get played out.
- Cutting out as much of the pointless rubbish as possible.
The problem I’ve found is that if I cut all the pointless stuff and focus only on the key scenes, the dungeons become entirely linear. A lot of the meaningful choices in D&D seem to spring not from ‘do I go from A to B or A to C?’ but rather from ‘do I go from A to B via route X or route Y?’
I’m not sure yet how to convert that into FATE terms. The player choice of route from scene to scene should have consequences… hmm. I think there’s something in that, somewhere. I’m thinking some sort of flowchart-based dungeon design, where you map out which paths lead to and from which scenes (since in a site-based dungeon scenes and locations cross over to a great extent) and just make notes regarding the pros and cons of each path.
Yes, I’ll try that for the dungeons in Chapters 2 and 3. The second part of Chapter 1 offers enough interesting choices on its own that I don’t think it needs embellishment, but the following dungeons could do with some brevity.