[ Gygax 75 | part two ] Wereham

sean f. smith / he, him
3 min readFeb 23, 2022

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silhouette of a church spire against a mostly clear sky

for part one, go here

Yesterday I set out how I began writing my new campaign according to Ray Otus’ Gygax 75 challenge. I promised I’d go to Costa to develop part two — I lied. (Costa was closed; I went to a pub for coffee instead.)

THE MAP

Get a sheet of hex paper. Draw the following on it, one item per hex (or more if indicated). Name anything worthy of a name. […]: One settlement of a significant size, Two other settlements (camps, larger or smaller towns, a keep, the unusual home of a fantasy race, etc.), One major terrain feature (covering at least three hexes), One mysterious site to explore, One (main) dungeon entrance

Initially my confusion rose when I couldn’t work out if I wanted to put a thing in each hex, from the list (which the wording seemed to imply), or these X things on the map, each in a different hex (which is what most do when they do the challenge).

Being contrary, of course I decided on both.

The map for Wereham is smaller than most, what with it being a town and so on. I’ve not settled on the *exact* distances within each hex, but gut reaction says they’re 1km. tall.

bad handwriting and awkward symbols on a small spread of hexes
You’ll notice I stapled this into my notebook — the correct way to adhere paper to books

So the stuff on the map is as so:

  • large market-square (it’s the name of the game in this town)
  • big ornamental lake (think the Serpentine in Hyde Park)
  • an old gate house (medievalia! and a site to explore)
  • three pubs with painfully generic names (Market Inn near the market, the Mitre near the churches, and the Red Lion near the lake {the Red Lion is the single most numerous pub name in the UK})
  • a couple of different churches
  • a college
  • the main shopping strip
  • some homes (the posh ones in the better place)

I’m likely to redraw the map with semiregular shapes instead of pure hexes, but you’ve got to give libation to EGG* sometimes.

* E. Gary Gygax; who actually seems a bit of an arse

EXTRA CREDIT

Create a random encounter table

Otus calls for 2D6 tables. Instead I’m opting for D6 because I’m keen for less weighting. You’ll also notice each list has seven entries: that’s so you can have variety after the sun sets.

Each list?

So the first list is WHO you find, and the second is what they are up to. This actual step was directly inspired by Baron de Ropp’s video here — you can populate the what do list by going just for the most basic outcome you’d expect for the corresponding persons on the first list. This is the exact sort of actionable simplicity I like and prevents me just going back to dnd’s six stats again.

Who do we encounter? (D6, +1 at night)

  1. a group of elderly citizens
  2. members of the clergy
  3. some youths
  4. creative types — artists, students, bohemians
  5. a business owner — likely market-stall owner
  6. the police (often in pairs in these sorts of town)
  7. vampires

What are they up to? (D6, +1 at night)

  1. shopping
  2. engaged in debate
  3. playing
  4. making art
  5. delivering goods
  6. following someone (roll D6 on first list again)
  7. hunting

Something not right in town? Get Perfidious Racket and see.

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sean f. smith / he, him