Things are falling into place regarding my little Chthonian Highway Test Run Project. I have a set-up, a general idea for the world and the inspiration, feel reasonably familiar with the rules and have converted a hex- and dungeon crawl to my needs. As I realized that this adventure is not more than
# being fed the hook/getting started
# a little interlude about searching the site of an abduction and following a trail
# losing the trail in a region with points-of-interest (POI) and starting a hexcrawl
# a little dungeon crawl with less than 20 encounter areas
I grew afraid for a brief moment. Isn´t this to little to entertain my players? No, it is not, and here are the reasons why. [SPOILERS! May players, keep OUT!]
[Roleplaying is about roleplay and story-telling]
The characters will encounter NPC to talk to, they will be in an outdoor environment that offers opportunities for rich descriptions and if I play my cards right, the player characters will interact with each other as well. My test group will likely consist of three to four (and perhaps five) players. If each of them spends five minutes in the whole game with PC-interaction, this will add to the adventure length. And I shall be damned if this bunch will not spend a total of at least half an hour about discussing plans for this or that.
[Hexcrawls are about exploration]
Each time the characters deal with a POI there will be (or: shall be) a short narration of mine followed by them doing a little exploration. True, most of the locations will not be necessarily relevant for the game, but they will be part of the game none the less as they are part of the “world experience”.
[The last time I planned a two-session introduction adventure it took my group twelve sessions to finish it] Players play, and playing takes up time. I sometimes get carried away while GM-ing, too, and put elements in that I did not thought about before. If it really is TOO short it might be just right this time. So, I currently guess that it will go like this
# dealing out semi-pe-made-characters
# quickly explaining the rules
# narrating the setup
# playing through the opening scene
# narration of them following the trail
# ending up in the hex-crawl area and starting the hex cralw
# continuing the hex-crawl till the characters find the camp of the clan
# have the characters assault the camp or by-pass it in a stealthy/clever way
# enter the Cavern of the Fungoid Garden and leave it with the abducted people.
…and now I am curious to see if I will be right t his time!
That is the hexmap I am going to use for the hexcrawl. It is losely based on the original map and features broken badlands, hills, fungal fields, savanna, deserts and sand dunes. Each hex is meant to be 5 miles. [Edit: it was 1 mile in my original post, but with one mile things were to close to one another]. The map, by the by, was made with Hexographer, a fine little mapmaker-software I picked up at drivethrurpg.com a long while ago but still kinda need to get familiar with.