Back in the saddle. I tried the #dungeon23 challenge last year and failed miserably (two posts in #dungeon23, three in #pantheon23… last was on January 2, 2023). Let’s see if I can do better this year.
Some time ago I explored the idea of a West Marches-style open table campaign. Because it’s how I think, I started by laying out ‘points of interest’ (without necessarily knowing what they actually were) and the connections between them. That is, I wanted to create a graph (collection of nodes and edges). I created a template to make this easy to draw, then realized I was only a small step from a hex map… and thus was born the Hex Marches.
This post — this series of posts – -was prompted by the #lore24 challenge, but as usual, I’m doing something a little different than expected. ‘Lore’, to me, usually suggests a certain degree of accuracy and truth.
Being a West Marches kind of setting, I feel that presenting things as fact might be going a little too far. Instead, I’ll be presenting what is known. I expect that most things will be accurate enough to be worth checking out, but I don’t promise that you’ll find what you expect.
West Marches and Sandbox Links and Resources
Here are some links regarding West Marches campaigns, what they are, and how people apply the concepts. This is totally a rabbit hole, and I admit I have not read all of these in detail — I expect to be rereading some of these, and adding to the list as I go.
- First — literally, it’s the one that started this all — is Ben Robbins’ original post, Grand Experiments: West Marches. There are links to other West Marches topics at the end of this post.
- /r/DMAcademy has a great Lessons Learned post based on a shared West Marches world, which itself has many links to other resources.
- Greg Gillespie explains What is a West Marches Campaign, in depth.
- Matt Colville has a video explaining West Marches campaigns. He does a good job of explaining much of the why of various West Marches characteristics.
- Dom Liotti and Sam Sorensen published Izirion’s Enchiridion of the West Marches, an excellent “how to” for West Marches campaigns (especially for 5e), and possibly one of my favorite RPG books ever.
- Well, after Matt Finch’s astonishing Tome of Adventure Design, at least. Tome of Adventure Design is hands-down my favorite RPG book (and now, PC/tablet app), and particularly well-suited for sandbox gaming.
- I can’t talk about sandbox resources without mentioning Kevin Crawford and Sine Nomine. I feel Kevin has done more to explain and support sandbox play than anyone else, An Echo, Resounding is one of Kevin’s older works and later books expand on the topics and techniques, but when it comes to devising a sandbox setting, this is the one I’d start with.
… more to be added