On my lunch today, I played around with tinting some paper for another handout, the acceptance letter from Kraghall Academy. Each of the player characters get this letter in their backstories, but I will only do the handout on the last story, Iona’s. I want to have focus while everyone gets their backtory time to shine. Their first NPC, Plunk, will be the one to hand it to them.
I brewed myself a loverly cup of coffee and saved a touch out to make the stain. A light brush on the paper with a quick pat down from a cloth napkin to reduce rolling, and it was ready to dry.
Later in the afternoon, I threw it in the printer for the text and then trimmed the edges. Now it’s sitting in a box with a couple of aromatic tea bags and will be ready to unearth at game time.
With the game only days from now, I’ve been plugging at getting the printouts and handouts all ready to go. First I proofread and printed out the character sheets and any maps for the first adventure.
Then it was time for me to write up the Dungeon World basic moves I will be using, keeping the language as concise and simple as I could. I added the icons in and realized that I never drew one for the Defend move, so I threw down a basic shield (though in hindsight, I should have had a round shield to match the Viking flavor of the campaign) with Eihwaz, the rune of defense.
We’ll see how well the basic moves work for the boys. I’m a little concerned it will be overwhelming at first to have so many, but I think we can get through them in play.
Finally, I started printing out item cards for the first quest. These will fit nicely in the Equipment Packs from r-n-w.net. The cool products Rose and Niels (https://www.patreon.com/rpgtoons/) put out are a big inspiration for what I want to do with the boys.
I’m getting a little close to the wire on the remaining items. I have to finish writing and designing two more handouts (a quest sheet and an acceptance letter to Kraghall Academy), design and build one more table piece, and write the backstory scenario for my wife’s character. Then all that will be left is to flesh out how I want to role-play the initial NPCs.
Getting excited to roll this out to the boys and start exploring the world with the characters they’ve made.
The first major location we are going to visit in our adventure is Yrla Stead, a small cluster of farms bordering the wild forests. We will have at least a couple of adventure sessions here, so I am working on the maps and location cards.
The first card I’m working on is the Dolmen. There is an ancient burial near one of the farms, it’s history long forgotten. It may hold a number of secrets to inquisitive kids.
I probably don’t need to draw each of these sub-locations, but I really prefer to draw backgrounds and props as opposed to people, so the location cards may be just as much for me as for the kids. Additionally, I feel like I am more creative on my descriptions when I have some illustrations to play off of.
Finally, the paintings make for great entries into the Adventure Journals.
We’ll see just how many of these I can get in, before we really need to start in on the game play.
The boys are excited to play the game now and really want to get going right away. I’d hoped to do more during the holiday break, but I spent most of my time with them and I find I work so much better when I have more alone time… even if the majority of that is doing the day job.
I’m nearly done with the design of the character sheets and have the layouts pinned down, however, I’ve been putting off going through each of the class-specific moves to pair down the text and clean up any mechanics aren’t cutting it. It feels like it’s going to be a lot more work than I think it actually will be, but I’m dragging my feet anyway.
Another reason I don’t have the character sheets completed yet is that I am so ready to jump into some adventure design and get started on the actual content of the first adventure and how to make it kid-friendly within the time that I have.
As a brief change of scenery, I started drawing out some of the lore cards, I will be handing out during game-play. I want to have a bunch of interesting handouts for the games, as they definitely make things more exciting for younger players. The lore cards will be designed to go into the boys’ adventure journals, two to a side on the 5.5×8.5 pages.
To make them kid-friendly, I’ve done a simple illustration with very little text, more to jog the memory than to give a complete summary of who, what, when, where, and how the PCs got the information. It also makes them a little more flexible, and I can put specific ones in play whenever it feels appropriate, not necessarily in some heavily-scripted manner.
The first two I have posted here are the Snarl Wort and Gourd Gone Bad. Snarl Wort is a made up herb for a mini-quest and may have some place in the main quest too. Gourds Gone Bad goes into the Slavic folklore of vampiric pumpkins and melons coming to life when they are left on the vine too long. I don’t go into a lot of detail, but the second will play a significant role in the first main adventure.
Similarly, I’ll be putting together notes cards which will have more specific things from the game which will serve more as clues on how to find creative methods to get things done.
I’m not 100% sold on the template yet, but they’ll definitely do for the first game or so.