Here we are, on our first 3D map. It was quite a journey to get here. Get some coffee or tea, grab a pillow and have a comfy seat, as I will be your guide to: Forest Creek.
We start at the village, either as villagers that start their adventure or as proven heroes, that had a quest to do here. Are the farmer’s horses there? Did someone poison the well? Where did the priest of the chapel go? We have to go and look.
The only way out the village (other than straight over and through the paddock) is the small pathway to the west. Did you hear that? It came through the trees. We have to investigate. Slowly we move around trees and bushes until we arrive at a cave entrance. Is somebody… or something in there? Maybe someone is hiding or is using it as a secret camp. Or did we hear a wild animal?
Maybe it is better we move on, away from the entrance. We arrive at another path and an abandoned field. Some wild weeds are growing and an old tree grew in the middle of it. Did someone planted it here? Well, neither the horses nor the priest are around, so let’s move on. We can’t got much further north, because the creek is blocking our way. Luckily a bridge is nearby and we can safely cross the creek. The forest is much larger on the other side. We wander around for a while, leaving the path again to the west. After moving in circles for longer than we like to admit, we decide to go back on the path. I think I heard a wolf? Yeah, let’s hurry back to the path. Again through trees and bushes, we make our way to the east. It is nice here, so calm and quiet. If we listen closely, we can still hear the creek flowing along, but we can’t quite see it. It seems like no evil could be in this peaceful forest. Then, out of no where, we can hear a scream! Who ever, or what ever, that was is right in front of us.
We tip toe around more bushes and now we can see some giant pillars of stone, planted into the glade that emerges here in the middle of the forest. And between the pillars… a camp fire? A magical deer looking like a ghostly, glowing figure? Or is it a berserk ritual place and we should head home rather quickly? You see, these places can be whatever you need or want them to be.
We better go home, but let’s take a shortcut. We can still hear the stream, so there must be a way over it. The noise of water becomes louder and we find ourselves at the bank of the creek, lined by rocks. Maybe we can jump from one rock to the other and cross the creek like this? Or we follow it back to the west until we reach the bridge again. You decide, or maybe your players decide where they want to go next.
Forest Creek Stepping Stones
Anyway, I walk further down, over the paddock and find myself back where we started. Back where we started… sometimes it is necessary for me to go back and check if our first map is still like we imagined it.
As Infinite Realms is evolving (and software updated), some things break or work different. This is how something like extra shiny paths happens. You could argue it is just after some heavy rain and the paths are still soaking wet, but what if I want to play on a dry summer day? So I had to go back and see what happened, to keep Forest Creek the way, we imagined it.
I hope you got some ideas how we thought about arranging, creating and maintaining this map. And of course how to use it. Maybe it seems small and empty at first, but you can fill it with life, with stories and adventures. Just another thought: what would the away team of a spaceship find here on this familiar but also alien planet? Until next time.