Friday, February 26, 2010

More musings on a Maritime Campaign

The basic setup would be to make a big old map with lots of rugged coasts, peninsulas, straights, fjords, etc. along the borders, then several archipelago throughout the middle. I imagine using 4 or 6 sheets of hex paper for the sea maps, including a few Bosporus/Dardanelles/Pillars of Hercules type narrow straights dividing some sea areas from others.

For archipelagos, I plan to just transpose the layouts of some real world ones--the Caribbean islands, the Aegean, parts of Indonesia or the Philippines.

The mainland coastal areas will have Greco-Roman, Norse/Celtic, Middle-Eastern/East African, Meso-American, and maybe Chinese/SE Asian and Sub-Saharan African type regions. Various islands may have similar cultures, or may be totally bizarre or unique.

I plan to mine any sort of nautical source material--Jason and the Argonauts, the Odyssey, the Vinland Sagas, Sindbad the Sailor, any sort of pirate stories, Captain Nemo, etc. Whether it be literature or film, I'll likely steal it. So Nemo, Jack Sparrow, Jason, and Sindbad will likely all be running around and encounterable.

I'm thinking now, start all characters at around 8000 XP, so Fighters are at Hero level, and making each player role up 4 or 5 characters at the beginning, who are all on a 'hero ship' similar to the Argo, and give them a macguffin quest that will lead them to explore the seas until they find whatever they're after, sail home, and take out the king who sent them on the quest in the first place to get rid of them. This way, everyone's got a few extra characters on the ship if someone dies. And they can pick up more replacements if they land in ports.


  1. Oh man, The Odyssey as a reference is chock full of genius ideas! The Odyssey is so vastly underrated as source material not only for gaming, but as a philosophical treatise on life and how to leave it. If you get the chance read No Man's Land. This cat who looks at the the Odyssey (a lot like I do) decides to retrace Odysseus voyage. Part travel book, part philosophical look at what the Odyssey means, any Odyssey fan should read it.

  2. Doh!! I had meant to type "life and how to LIVE it", although considering all the crew die, in various ways in the Odyssey...I suppose it is a warning on how you could "leave life." Watch out for hungry cyclops!