View Full Version : *** August 2010 Challenge - In the Beginning: a Campaign Starter ***

08-02-2010, 09:05 PM
Like many of you, I have spent my share of hours slaying orcs and calculating the proper blast radius of a fireball. We've murdered countless monsters and stolen all of their tangible assets in pursuit of glory and experience points. But frankly, one sliced and diced dragon looks pretty much like another. The thrill is there... oh yes... but it is fleeting.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/lcr/fsca/img/07400.jpg (http://www.sacred-texts.com/lcr/fsca/img/07400.jpg)

But there is one place: a fascinating and memorable locale of various description that lingers long after the smell of burning flesh and coppery blood fades. It is that place where the real magic happens. In this place, a collection of stats and back stories coalesce into something more; something tangible and worthwhile. They become a team.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_2TCYQxSUqGQ/SwJnnG9vgyI/AAAAAAAAEf8/EJc1SYm-rRY/s1600/Tavern1.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_2TCYQxSUqGQ/SwJnnG9vgyI/AAAAAAAAEf8/EJc1SYm-rRY/s1600/Tavern1.jpg)

This place might be a tavern or an inn. Okay, more often than not, it is a tavern or an inn. It might be a peaceful village; a humble place for humble beginnings or a lively town perched on the edge of a world decending into chaos. It could be a remote monastery or a rugged keep on the edge of civilization.

http://www.pubsandbeer.co.uk/picts/962a.jpeg (http://www.pubsandbeer.co.uk/picts/962a.jpeg)

The nature of the campaign jump-off point is as varied as the game masters who imagine them into existence. Still, they are a gathering place where diverse characters meet each other for the first time or old friends gather to venture out into the bigger world.

Create a map of a place specially designed as a starting place for a campaign group in an RPG. Your starter doesn't have to be for a fantasy game. Science fiction, horror, any genre is acceptable. Use your imagination. The tavern has been done many, many times. Still, that doesn't mean you can't do it again and make it memorable!

You are encouraged to add text to your creation to guide those who might wish to use it. You can create a legend for the various parts of your map, or an encounter guide, or even a back story to make it reach out and grab us! Some people will judge your creation on whatever the thumbnail scraper picks up, but you can add more material as appropriate and at least some will reward you for it with a vote, if it is worthy.

http://images.mmosite.com/my/upload/47/15/talonkane/10/0630/2010063023013_678.jpg (http://images.mmosite.com/my/upload/47/15/talonkane/10/0630/2010063023013_678.jpg)

Any member of the Cartographer's Guild is eligible to enter the monthly challenge.
No update to an entry will be permitted once the threads are locked for voting. Moderators will inform members of the impending lock down whenever someone remembers, which is somewhat iffy.
Challenge will usually be locked down about five days prior to the end of the month, with a new challenge being posted sometime between then and the beginning of the next month.
All are encouraged to enter the monthly challenge. Only one (or maybe two) win the challenge each time, but everyone who enters learns something about their craft and makes the event more fun for all involved.
A stitch in time saves nine.

08-02-2010, 10:07 PM
Great presentation Immolate... looking forward to seeing the entries!

08-02-2010, 10:48 PM
Yeah this does look awesome, and it tickles all of my GM-storyteller tendencies... and it would mean I would have to stop playing so much Civilisation IV and do some more mapping... and... and... *pouts*

08-03-2010, 02:10 AM
Sounds interesting. And a good opportunity for me to make one of my rare building maps.

08-03-2010, 03:49 AM
Thoughts running through my head of a slightly different approach, though still a hand-drawn piece, and in the same genre flavor of my July entry, a Celtic themed map. I think I'm going to create the Broch Tower hall of a tribal king and surrounding stone round houses and courtyards with a meandering path to the tower entrance. The PCs will either be members of the tribal royal clan, or one of the tribal member clans that recognize the royal clan for leadership. One aspect that's kind of cool, is that kings were responsible for visitors and travelers in providing both an inn and tavern before such things existed. So either the king's hall also served as a hostel for any and all travelers, or he funded a "burgh" or independantly operated hostel/public house that served that purpose. This being a less civilized reach of the Celtic expanse, the King's hall serves as tavern, inn and perhaps home to the PCs of the setting. It falls under border keep, home village and tavern/inn so it covers all the bases as a campaign starter.

Oh, and the big experiment for me, is that I am going try and create hand drawn text for this piece only. I'll probably trace and detail an existing font, but I don't intend to type out text directly on the map itself. It will add more time, but I think it will be worth it.


08-03-2010, 09:28 AM
...Oh, and the big experiment for me, is that I am going try and create hand drawn text for this piece only. I'll probably trace and detail an existing font, but I don't intend to type out text directly on the map itself. It will add more time, but I think it will be worth it.

if nothing else, you are always ambitious. Looking forward to seeing some of these, and I am hoping to make the time to create one as well

08-05-2010, 05:23 PM
Awesome challenge. I suck at actually completing an entry but might give it a go. Is there a requirement to post the WIPs as you go along or can I just see if I'll finish it and then post everything at once (I'd save WIPs along the way to show it in progress)?

08-05-2010, 05:35 PM
Some people only post one map when they're complete. I always post in WIP form, allowing people to see the processes I use to create a map - I don't think there is a right or wrong way here, as long as you complete the map in time. There is no 'requirement' beyond following the rules of the challenge. Do what works best for you.


08-05-2010, 06:47 PM
Lately, I've been trying to post the stages of the process I am using because I hope to get a few pointers on what I might improve on along the way rather than just the finished piece. That said, I'm pretty sure I will at some point just post my finished entry.

08-09-2010, 02:45 AM
Hey, is this supposed to be a place they will come back to in between adventures or could it just be the first place they would meet before heading out on an epic adventure?

08-09-2010, 09:09 PM
Ultimately Jax, the voters decide whether your submission meets with their approval, and the voters are notoriously lenient. You wouldn't be the first to "riff" on the rules as written. I would rather do something a bit different from the theme that I really wanted to do, or that was useful to me, than stick closely to the rules and not enjoy the project.

08-09-2010, 09:27 PM
I totally agree with you there. I just have a couple ideas one of which wouldn't really serve all that well as a "base of operations" if that's what this is supposed to be. If on the other hand it is just a place for the players to introduce their characters for the first time and or where an adventure is kicked off, well...things open up a bit.

08-09-2010, 10:19 PM
It would appear the intent is to create the "Place where you began this epic journey..." as if the story was "Well, it all began in the village of Peartree inside the White Stallion Tavern. I met Lukas the Dwarf when I accidentally dropped beer on his head while walking back from the bar...."

08-09-2010, 10:34 PM
Awesome, I have an idea I'm going to attempt - I hope :)

08-10-2010, 12:25 PM
It's pretty much up to the players whether the starting area becomes a much-returned-to "home" or a fading dot in the rear view mirror. And the first practical lesson of GM-ing is that you cannot anticipate player choices. So, the distinction is pretty arbitrary anyway.

08-10-2010, 05:08 PM
Lol! get on with it, I'm feeling very lonely in the challenge WIPS!

08-10-2010, 10:00 PM
Wrapping up my last week of class for this semester and then I'm going to giver 'er a go... hopefully.

08-14-2010, 01:25 PM
As I mentioned, I certainly do need a starting point for my intended published campaign setting, however - no time this month. I've got too many irons in the fire, Kaidan is about to start get heavy development next month, so my summer Challenge season is over more or less, good luck everyone else.


08-18-2010, 08:05 AM
hmmmm.. just gotten back from vacation and missed the last light challenge.. .maybe I should give this a go... :)

08-18-2010, 11:37 AM
Welcome back Tilt, I was wondering where my late night buddy went. I hadn't seen you around for a while and we seem to post often around the same time. Now that you are all refreshed it's time to get mappin!

08-18-2010, 11:44 AM
hehe.. sharpening my tablet as we speak ;)

08-26-2010, 03:02 AM
Whoops. Just realized it's five days until the end of the month. When is this getting locked down?

08-27-2010, 02:02 PM
I'll be locking this down some time on Monday. I like to make sure everyone gets the last weekend to finish up their entry. That makes the end date a bit variable, but hopefully is a bigger plus than a minus.

08-27-2010, 03:12 PM
That's a good idea, one whole weekend to finish up.

08-27-2010, 10:26 PM
When do we get thumbs? :)

08-28-2010, 08:36 AM
I'll do them now...

Done - don't forget to put in a WIP tag in for the latest map image you want to show.... ( looking at you ravs... :) )

08-28-2010, 09:34 AM
Thank you Redrobes

08-28-2010, 08:14 PM
Wow. I just looked at the thumbnails thread. I had no idea that the challenges used to get so many entrants. Some of those 2008 challenges are simply massive...and filled with awesome entries!

08-30-2010, 05:55 AM
FYI, I don't think the scraper picked up my latest WIP (the final). I'll check that I have the tag correct but wanted to mention it.

08-30-2010, 08:01 AM
I ran it again and it picked up another one but I cant tell much difference between them. I also added a tag to Ravs entry cos he said he was on holiday so probably didn't notice. In any case part of the voting setup is to do a final update of the thumbs so in theory as long as its all in before the deadline it should be there on the thumbs.

08-30-2010, 08:14 AM
Sorry to if I had you do it unnecessarily. I wasn't sure if the scraper would run again before the voting so I wanted to mention it. There was only a small change to the text so the differences probably weren't visible on the thumb...but it corrected a noticeable error on the real image.