Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Sandboxes and Broadening the Scope of Alnwich

I've been speaking a lot with a couple of friends - one a fantasy sandbox addict who loves hexcrawls and the other a big science fiction fan - about the types of games they like to run and play in, and that has gotten me thinking about the sorts of games I really enjoy running and playing in.

I started roleplaying with Alternity, an old TSR game from the early 90s for science fiction gaming, and from there moved to d6 Space - specifically Star Wars RPG 1e from West End Games. See, I had grown up reading science fiction from the Big Three and loved every minute of it. The chance to be a part of the story instead of merely a spectator was too much to resist.

As it seems often happens in the gaming community, I eventually discovered the current edition of Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D in my case). Now I got to play in one of my other favorite genres, and that was downright magical. I was exploring a world, interacting with it, and helping create it through play. It was a blast.

Fast forward to now, I find myself mostly running games, and those tend to be either science fiction or fantasy. Who would have guessed? But beyond that, I have always been about providing enough of a world for players to run amok in. I love it when players mess with the setting through their PCs' actions. It's great when the party topples a major government or kills a god or whatever. That drives the world to new growth and develops the setting even further. This love for worldbuilding and setting the pieces up for the players to knock down has been a driving factor behind developing the town of Alnwich these past months.

So where am I going with all of this? Well, mostly that I think I'm going to shift away from the development of a megadungeon and more toward an open sandbox. That isn't to say megadungeons aren't sandboxes or that there isn't a megadungeon under Siedrborg. Instead, I'm going to veer away from standard Dungeon Fantasy tropes. Town won't be a collection of dice rolls unless that is what the game calls for that session. Players can go into Alnwich and machinate to their hearts' content. Players can do things in town that will make it an unsafe place to be for them; they will also have to live with the consequences of that. They can explore the countryside or the wilderlands, if they want. Basically, I'm opening up the entire world.

So where does that leave this blog? Well, I'll continue to develop the setting details, but I'll also start working on a regional hex map and placing other points of interest. It will no longer be just about getting in the dungeon to kill things and take their stuff. It will also be about exploration, establishing settlements (if desired), fighting invading hordes (always fun), overthrowing despots, etc. It will be oldschool gaming with a focus on going from zero to hero and seeing how many paper bodies pile up along the way.

No comments :

Post a Comment