I’m not going to make the arena bigger, though. Now I make it deeper, and add a layer of detail that gives me more to work with.
Every one of the nodes present in the diagram below can be expanded into another node map.
To keep this post to a reasonable size, I’m only going to show how one of these nodes can be expanded.
The players are likely to start in a town, so let’s start there.
The following keywords apply to the town: bustling, close, cobblestone, crime, dumpy, messy, perfumed, provincial, rushing, settled, sewage, uneventful, vibrant, well, wooden. At least some of these can be fodder for nodes.
- Water Guild (Well): A cistern located in the center of town, fed by a simple aqueduct; the ground water is too filthy here to wash animals in, let alone consider drinking. Access to the water is tightly controlled — reasonably priced, but the deemed important enough that only certified handlers are allowed to dispense the water.
- Great Cesspit (Sewage): The ground is too wet to reliably dig tunnels. Wooden troughs (elevated for increased slope and thus flow, and to keep it off the street? ‘I need to go upstairs’ could be a euphemism for hanging your business out the window… it might be a ‘closet’ off the second floor) line the cobblestone streets so sewage can make its slow, odorous way out of town to a deep pit (which honestly doesn’t help much; this brilliant plan overflows every wet season to soak the floodplains).
- Town Market (Bustling): The market square has its regular occupants (who have their own storefronts), but the weekly market is almost frantic… perhaps because the out of town merchants want to do their lucrative business and get out of this noisome place.
- Miner’s Guild: With the mines being a primary source of income, of course there is an organization that wants to govern and administer mining rights. This well-appointed guildhall houses this group.
- Church of the Underworld: A smallish temple (bigger than a shrine and has a priest) to the deity of miners and things found in the earth.
- Sparkle Hill (Perfumed): The mines are very lucrative (for some reason I keep thinking of them being gem mines, rather than something iron or the like); it has drawn or created some very wealthy families. There’s a lot of trade in the town, a great deal of concentrated wealth, but the rest of the town smells so bad the wealthy wear or carry perfumed items to try to mask it.
- Mudtown (Crime, Dumpy): The worst area of the town, where the poorest and least-privileged live. Many petty criminals are here, the greatest criminals mostly live on Sparkle Hill.
Only seven nodes shown here, but even seven nodes add a lot of value. The next post shows how.