Time flies, when you are having fun. I can’t believe I’m into the third design week already.
This week, I bounced about a bit. First off, I started fleshing out parts of the village of Nemeton to create a “proof of concept” layout/design before dabbling in the as-yet-unnamed town to the north.
I’m a big fan of making a decision once. When it comes to major questions about design and layout, I think it is important to get it right. Usability is key to a product like this. (I’ve read some really badly laid-out adventures recently which have proved hard to run). I don’t want to constantly revisit decisions and have to mess about with layout all through a book. Hence, my slow design noodling.
I’ve also started adding flesh and detail to the major geographical features surrounding the citadel, such as the Skeleton Coast, the Swerkwood and so on. I’ve “cheated” a bit here. I decided to utilise material I designed for 20 Things #47: Local Landmarks to flesh out the surroundings. I have always thought it would be cool to use some of those locations in a setting. I had vaguely earmarked the locales for spots in Ashlar, but many of them are perfect for Citadel on the Wilderlands. (This inclusion accounts for my artificially high word count on Monday.)
The Counting of the Words
As I mentioned above, I cheated a smidgeon on Monday by revising and including many of the minor locales I designed for 20 Things #47: Local Landmarks. I also did a spot of work over the weekend when an idea snuck up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.
I think things are going well. I’m getting a better feel for the project now. I’ve got nowhere near even seriously thinking about actual adventuring locales, but the setting is beginning to coalesce in my mind. As a designer, that’s a decent chunk of the battle. When I can “see” what I’m working on, everything becomes much, much easier.
On Friday, I’m going to post a “first look” at a couple of the surrounding areas so you can see the kind of feel I am shooting for. Given my progress to date, I suspect you’ll be visiting the Swerkwood or the Skeleton Coast!
Town Naming Update
In between the time I drafted this post and the time I came to publish it, I finally decided on the name of the town which has bedevilled me for so long. I wanted a name that gave a nod to the circumstances in which the town was founded—after a devastating flood wiped out a village. I played with “Haven”, but it’s not exactly an original name.
While I was perusing a thesaurus for something else (I know how to party), the word “Bleak” leapt out and punched me in the face. Thus was born, Bleakhaven. I love this name. It both tells a story and tells people what to expect when they visit the place: life on the wilderlands is hard and not for the faint-hearted.
Got a Question?
Leave it in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer it.
Creighton Broadhurst is the Publisher of Useful Items at Raging Swan Press. He lives on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity. He is not planning to voyage far.