Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Resuming Vadhyislavia; or, I Like Options

Last night I began working on a rough sandbox map for the Once-Green and Pleasant Land, and found myself getting frustrated with it; in part, because hex-maps are a strange and alien thing to me, and I'm not real comfortable or sure of how to make them work for me, and in part just realizing the small scale of the region I'm focusing on; I almost want to make the map with one-mile hexes just so I've got space to write and plunk down dungeons.  But since letting myself get frustrated is no good, I decided I'd be better served by taking a step back from post-apocalyptic 17th Century England and work on something else for a little while and let my brain refresh itself.  Vadhyislavia is a setting I began work on a month or two ago for 5th Edition D&D, largely as a rebuilt-from-the-ground-up version of Karameikos to suit my own tastes and sensibilities while retaining an element of "this is a really great place to start a D&D game."

What's Vadhyislavia like?

Karoly Telepy, Romantic Landscape, 1900

Precis: A newly-independent frontier kingdom dealing with internal conflict between colonists and native populations, all with a dark, quasi-Eastern European fairy tale vibe to it.

Conspectus: Holy Roman Empire-ish colonists learning to get along with their new, Slavic-ish neighbors; werewolf-haunted forests; lots of witches, both "good" and bad; goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, trolls and hill giants, but no orcs; stuffy, patriarchal monotheism vs. relaxed, celebratory polytheism with a strong matriarchal bent; Fey Courts; Venus Figures; lucky charms and local superstitions; Dire Animals; Wood Elves that wouldn't look out of place in Princess Mononoke; a history of the region traceable through its dungeon-crawls; scheming noblemen; masked secret societies; Treant sages; culture "wars" waged over differing choices in alcoholic beverages

Tastes like, Sounds like, Looks like: Shepherd's Pie consumed on a cold day, washed down with a stout lager; Hungarian folk music; HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS crossed with the landscape paintings of Karoly Telepy.

I'm actually starting to look into trying to build a new face-to-face group; the guys I've been playing with since college have been getting harder and harder to assemble, and the group has been shrinking steadily.  I ran Call of Cthulhu this past weekend for a coworker and her boyfriend and had a blast doing so for them; it was such a refreshing change of pace from what I've come to expect as a DM, and I want more of that.  I want players who show up on time, prepared, and ready to play, don't just show up to break what I've worked on and are appreciative of the work I put in as DM, and I don't feel like I'm getting that with my current group.

Also, I want a pony, as long as I'm wishing.

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