These Scattered Isles: Prepping a D&D Campaign Ep. 0: Mission statement

These Scattered Isles (TSI) is a D&D setting we started using early 2015. It was half baked when we jumped into it, made a bit of a splash and, finally, with the group kind of falling apart, I decided to wrap it up. But the world itself was pretty cool and I’d love to run it again. But, one of the big things I knew was I would need to put a lot of work into it. That’s what this is.I don’t really work well without an audience. Even if no one cares or reads or comments (hint, hint), just knowing that someone could propels me forward and keeps me running a lot longer than otherwise. So this series is mostly for my benefit, but if anyone out there gets splashed with peripheral benefit, awesome!

So, what is TSI? It is my ocean based D&D setting. Most of the world is water and there should be pirates and stuff. That was the basic concept, at least. There was also interest in being able to play a game that’s kind of Star Treky, as in each episode is them on a ship, encountering a new area or a new challenge, with the same home base. That is not a thing that happens. I imagine there are circumstances where the episodic story can thrive, but hell if I know what it is. Something where treasure isn’t a driving factor, I guess.

I also, back at the original creation of TSI, had some crazy ideas that came from brainstorming after playing D&D (so, like, 1 am). These ideas were WAY out there and I tied them to the world and through it all in together. And some ideas floated. And some sunk. So we never quite had our heads above the water.

But all that’s in the past! After reading The Alexandrian‘s write-ups on hexcrawls and related gaming structures, TSI should be an OceanCrawl! And after reading similar supplements like WotC’s Plane Shift:Zendikar, I need to have a world information package, with the playable races, custom class options, common knowledge like well known monsters and vague maps showing the big named cities and stuff.

I also need to know a LOT for behind the scenes stuff. Like I need to know exactly what I want to do to combat to make ship vs ships interesting and viable. I need to know all the numbers behind travel, line of sight, etc. I need to have a solid map with all the dungeon information. I need to decide how the party will start out, as we can’t really walk in any direction, as its all water. I need to hammer out the lore, the available gods, what magic has done and can do. I need to decided how shipping goods works, the types of adventuring contracts the party can meet, a way to generate quick hirelings. Am I going to have new feats? New Profficencies? How do we feel about fire? What about clean water? How readily available is food? What kind of monsters can people find on random islands? I have a lot of dungeons to make. A lot of new races. A lot of new monsters. Heck, I need to determine various types of ocean terrain for the hexy part of the ocean crawl.

So there is a lot of work to do. And, lucky you, you’ll be able to ride along with me as I do it all! Yay!

That was cheering, right?

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