Sunday, August 5, 2012

Announcing d30 Sandbox Week
+ d30 Sandbox Companion Update

Honestly, with work and life being as crazy as they've been, it seems the only way I can keep committed to my bloggingly duties is to force myself. So I'm doing another themed week (which pretty much forces me to post every day from Monday through Friday).

In the background, I've been making pretty good headway on the d30 Sandbox Companion, but many of the charts are very involved and require some real thought/consideration to: 1) keep the charts really valuable (as opposed to a bunch of fluff/filler), 2) make them really effective (giving a lot of "bang" for each roll, reducing the required rolls as much as possible), and 3) make them relatively simple to understand without too much explanation. For example, I've been working on a 2-page system for hireling/henchmen recruitment that incorporates: 1) the size of the settlement where the recruitment is happening, 2) the amount and kind of advertising being done, and 3) the number and type of respondents to the ad (e.g., the number of human heavy footman and elven archers)—a chart which also incorporates the weekly cost of said respondents. I've been working on that chart off-and-on for about four months.

One of the decisions I've had to make (and a VERY tough one, at that) is to really limit the encounter charts I'd originally intended to include in the book. I realized that by the time I created all the monster encounter charts I'd wanted to (e.g., themed undead and sylvan charts, as well as other areas by geography and climate), and included all the stats for those creatures, I would have a book about 150% the size of the original d30 DM Companion, and it wouldn't even include (IMO) the most important Sandbox stuff (e.g., terrain, settlement and NPC generators).

And please don't think I've forgotten about the Community Geomorph Project. I've been getting some nice submissions, but knew this something that I would have to intentionally set time aside to work through. Given my current client demands, I'm targeting September as "Community Geomorph Month."

So what's in store for this week? Here's the plan...

What you'll find in this one is a comprehensive ("single") d30-based chart "similar in nature" to the foraging and hunting charts from the 1e WSG.

TUESDAY (New Monster Day): TBD
I have some thoughts on this, and most likely it will be a vegetation generator similar to the "Molds, Slimes, & Mushrooms" charts from the d30 DM Companion. (Yes, I know that's a very loose interpretation of monster, but see my note above about limiting the encounter charts.)

This is a secondary component to the Tavern Name Generator that let's you know the size of the tavern, the sleeping accommodations, what they're known for, and what's on the menu.

Need to know what that 5th level Cleric is carrying but don't want to have to roll on the weapons chart and hope a sword doesn't show up? No worries, your prayers have been answered! (Pun intended.)

Inspired by some of the great swords of history, legend, and literature, this chart includes 30 magical swords ready for inclusion in your game world. (BTW, Excalibur and Sting will NOT be on this chart.)

Also, as the week goes on, some of my individual posts will include other notes about the d30 Sandbox Companion content, so keep an eye out for those.

PICTURED ABOVE: Portrait of Louis Guéymard in the title role of Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera Robert le diable by Gustave Courbet (slightly adjusted, of course.)


  1. I'm really looking forward to this product. Systematic tools for sandbox building are just about the most useful tool for me.

  2. This sounds very interesting -- and I like your modification to the painting! :)

  3. @ Brendan: I'm doing my best to have it ready for the end of August, but knowing how long the d30 DM Companion took to proof/refine, I think we'll be lucky to make mid-September.

    @Bard: Thanks for the note on the modification of the painting. It cracked me up when I did it... but I'm easily amused.