At the fair “SPIEL 2016” one of the things that I bought and carried home was Scenic Dunnsmouth. With no intent to write a review about it here (I shall do that in another post), I want to say that I really love the idea, the concept and the execution. Even if you are not a fan of ANY of the other adventures of Lamentations of the Flame Princess (which I understand if this is the case) I tell you to give this one a chance. I am going to do, as my friends gave me a small nudge that they would like me to act as a GM for them once more, and I guess that this will make for a satisfying little stumble in the fog. The module contains random ways to generate a new (and different) Dunnsmouth for every session, and here I will share with you how I created my very version of it.
Disclaimer: if you do not own the module, some of the stuff here might be kinda enigmatic to you. But you are rewarded with a neat little map for your troubles reading it. If you are interested in Scenic Dunnsmouth, this shows you a bit about it (but only the tiniest bit, mind you!). And if your GM is going to run Scenic Dunnsmouth to you… well, don´t let my entry fool you: his Dunnsmouth might have -nothing- in common with my Dunnsmouth…
Step One: Preparation & Starting out
To generate Dunnsmouth, you drop a bunch of dice (1x d4; 1d8, 2x d12 and 10x d6) onto a piece of paper. I decided to use the cover of an old shoe box to make sure that the dice do not roll of. And there was my first problem: some of the dice landed off the paper. I thereby decided to move all of them a little more toward the center, after all this was meant to be a village. After that was finished I started to take pen, marked the outlines of the dice (roughly!) and noted the result inside of the outlines.
Afterwards I made scan-copy of my scribbling and opened up Fractal Mapper 8.0 I bought this program a long, long time ago and I -still- find it awkward to handle. Especially labeling is not working out for and so I export every map I make with it to a JPG-file so I can use MS Paint to add the labels. BUT the program has two features I find very useful: I can define a grid (hex or rectangular) and I can load a “background picture”. Thereby, I was able to load my scan so I could start using Fractal Mapper to place a few house-icons over the different place on the map where my dice-markings are and thereby create a better map.
Step two: Working on the map and playing cards
After that was done I remove the picture of my scribbling from the background and replaced it with background color I deemed to be a “swamp green”. All the while, I started to note details of the soon-to-be hamlet of Dunnsmouth into an electronic notepad AND to my scribbling. Why? Because the inhabitants of most of the homes are determined by drawing a random card from a deck of poker cards. Yep, there are more than 50 possible inhabitants and only 10 or 12 will be used in a given version of Dunnsmouth. The only “constants” are the Church, a guy called “Uncle Ivanovik, a dame called Magda… well, and two other oddities I will only reveal later, when I write a session report.
Anyway, after I sorted out all of the locations, who would be dwelling at which place, added a waterline (Dunnsmouth is located near the coast), found out there was an old Sawmill in Dunnsmouth (and nothing else but the Church), noted an “important sum number” (that was the result of all of the dice results) and the ..hmm… let´s call it the “Level” of…something (look, I told you it would be enigmatic!). Anyway, for those of you who understand what I am rambling about (and for those who waited for the map), here is my 1st take on Dunnsmouth.
[ Dunnsmouth; Level:3; Sum: 58 ]
Uncle Ivanovik can be found at the church, and “it” can be found at the Sawmill.
The symbol between the boat house and Magda´s cottage is “the thing” and the following households are “part of it”:
Dicky Samson, Dunc Samson, Pearce Dunlop, Samuel Dunlop, Herman van Kaus .
Oh, I am going to have fun with this! Sadly, I am not quiet sure about how far one will be able to see in the fog. The module says that one hex will be about 10 minutes by foot or 2 by boat (which means that most of the ground is swampy). Perhaps I should make some hexes even more treacherous and impassable without a boat. Well, we will see…