101 Ways to Lose Time #23

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

I was doing some tidying up and sorting out over the weekend when I came across the files of notes from my old gaming campaigns I ran at University. Leafing through them was a bad idea as I found the Ravenloft campaigns I ran for several years as introductory games for freshers. Some would say Ravenloft wasn’t the best setting for new role players to start with but I always found it worked. Its low magic level and focus on humans rather than a polyglot of fantasy races made it easier to get new players of AD&D 2nd Ed started without a lot of the clutter and confusion. Best of all though it was easy to tell them what the world was like: think of a Hammer Horror film.

Anyway back then access to computers for frivolous, none academic work, was difficult to get so pretty much everything except the odd hand out is hand written. All of my maps and diagrams are hand drawn on tracing paper with ink mostly with my Rotering 0.2mm pen which was my favourite for design work because I didn’t tend to end up having a sheet covered in nasty ink marks.

I came across my reworking of the Ravenloft world and for no good reason started redrawing it on the computer. I’ve no really good reason for doing this other than finally I can have the whole map visible at once and I can see how some of the bit it was hard to draw or change by hand go together. My swapping round of some of the domains not for thematic reasons but to put similar ecosystems and climates together. Replacing the shadow rift. Increasing most of the areas by a factor of ten, although keeping some domains almost at their original size. Bringing more of the domains in to the core to add new regions and make the sustainability of the whole world more believable. Anyway two evenings and most of Sunday later I’m pleased to say the old hand drawn version seems to have held up to the passage of time.

The down side is I didn’t write the lighting tutorial I ment to or work on any fiction and since I don’t expect to run a game any time soon its pretty much lost time… like when you take a 10 minute shower and when you get out an hour has past.

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