Here are the nodes from the previous iteration. They’re not going to quite work for me the way I had planned, mostly because Scenes of Chance and World Architect Cards work on slightly different principles. All is not lost, though. The table below can be changed to something I can use, without too much trouble.
|A||Great Gate||Castle, Dungeon, NPC; Lore||This is the actual castle.|
|B||Forest/Castle||Castle, Forest, NPC, Weather; Danger||Leading up to the castle.|
|C||Mountain River||Mountain, Mountain, Water, Weather; Danger, Lore||River leads past castle.|
|D||Catacomb||Dungeon, Dungeon, Dungeon; Danger||Secret way from graveyard to castle.|
|E||Cave||Cave, Oddities, Ongoing Event; Lore||Caves outside town.|
|F||Dark Swamp||Swamp, Feature, Weather||Further downstream from the swamp; wetter, more shadowy.|
|G||Graveyard||Forest, NPC, Weather; Lore||Just outside town, near the forest.|
|H||Cave-Waterfall||Cave, Water, Water, Weather||Down by the sea, obviously.|
|I||Swamp||Swamp, NPC, Ongoing Event, Weather||Wetlands below the forest.|
|J||Town||NPC, Ongoing Event, Weather; Reward||Where the PCs start, a bit higher ground than the swamp but not on the river.|
The recommended use of World Architect Cards, or at least the way Dirk Stanley demonstrates, is to use the biome cards to outline the geography at a high level, then use the build cards to identify sites within the regions to flesh them out.
In this case, I think I can instead mix ‘biome nodes’ and ‘build nodes’. Some nodes are physically larger than others, but other nodes are more complex. For instance, ‘the forest’ has some sites of interest within it, but so do the castle and the town.
The node map can keep almost the same layout (I removed the link from E to F because it no longer makes sense), but the descriptions are changing. The ‘image’ is replaced with the World Architect Card that I use, and the ‘icons’ with the keywords from that card. Some of the nodes use repurposed cards (‘dungeon’ for ‘catacomb’, ‘sea’ for ‘river) and a few others have changed nature a bit (the ‘upper swamp’ now is soggy plains, the ‘dark swamp’ is just a swamp, and the caves near town are a mine and the other caves are a lair).
|A||Castle||Charred, decayed, draw bridge, dusty, echoes, flooded, pungent, roaring, rubble, scarred, stark, statues, stronghold, towers, tunnels.|
|B||Forest||Ancient, creek, earthy, fallen logs, leafy, malicious, rancid, silence, stale, thriving, twisted, vines, watching, waterfall, wet.|
|C||River||(Sea) Alive, breeze, cawing, choppy, deep, delta, dripping, fjord, fresh, lagoon, navigable, perfumed, salty, shallow, treacherous.|
|D||Catacomb||(Dungeon) Cells, collapsed, decayed, dome, howling, mausoleum, odorless, pit, refuse, screams, secret, slimy, torches, traps, treasure.|
|E||Mine||Beams, burned, cage, creepy, galleries, gas, gems, hollow, mildewed, ore, rancid, river, screams, tools, tracks.|
|F||Swamp||Bayou, chirping, fishy, glow, gurgling, heavy, humid, lake, leafy, lurking, misty, pungent, rancid, roaring, shouting.|
|G||Graveyard||Baying, catacombs, chapel, coffin, cracked, cryptic, granite, odorless, organic, peaceful, picturesque, pillars, polished, sleepy, trees.|
|H||Lair||Crackling, decayed, fetid, flooded, hollow, howling, littered, moldy, rancid, repurposed, secret, signs, stinky, traps, treasure.|
|I||Plains||Arable, creek, dangerous, discolored, dull, endless, fertile, flat, fragrant, plowed, roaring, sweet, treeless, untamed, wide open.|
|J||Town||Bustling, close, cobblestone, crime, dumpy, messy, perfumed, provincial, rushing, settled, sewage, uneventful, vibrant, well, wooden.|
This looks like a much more workable set of node characteristics. The cards are full of very flavorful (if not pleasantly flavorful) descriptors for each location. Where before I started to get a sense of what the place is like, this is now much more vivid in my mind.
Not a really comfortable place, I might want to make it cleaner and more pleasant before going to press with a quick start, so it’s more fun and heroic. Or I might not, depending how this plays out.