Tuesday, April 15, 2014

[Toldara Tuesday] Some Preliminary Plans Revealed

This post has a list of observations I have made in regards to rebooting my campaign world of Toldara. The information here will serve as an outline and will give an indication of what to expect in future posts concerning Toldara.

Game System(s)
Shortly after the release of the 3E core books I started making notes for my campaign world; it was not long before I decided to share the design duties with my cousin and we added more information as time passed. We made the transition to 3.5E and eventually went to Pathfinder. Alex has done most of the tweaking in both of those systems.  I enjoy Pathfinder but I have gotten way behind on the releases and I also want to experiment with using some other systems to represent the world of Toldara.  I am leaving the future Pathfinder development of Toldara in the very capable hands of Alex.  The systems I am currently experimenting with include the following:

Back to the Dungeon! RPG : A neo-clone system that I have contributed material to the design.  It only seems fitting that I should write a supplement.

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: For no other reason than the funky aspect of the game design.

Halberd Fantasy Role Playing (USR) - I like the fast and loose nature of the rules and I am just curious how it will handle stuff originally done in another crunchier system.

MicroLite 20: This greatly condensed version of the open gaming fantasy rules is of great interest to me. The "MicroToldara" rules are basically complete.  All I really need to do is add the Five F background system, a few classes, and then the basic world details.  This may very well be the first handbook completed.

Perilous Journeys: A skill-based fantasy game that is not a class & level system but is the spiritual successor to Lejendary Adventures.

Swords & Wizardry-Complete: I dig it because the complexity level feels about right on a match for the mash up of AD&D/D&D we used to play back in the day.  Hell, I might just do it all in B/X format...

I realize that there are six systems mentioned above for play-testing purposes.  What I aim to do is something similar to the character funnel from DCC RPG except through the process of tinkering with the different game systems I will be able to determine which rules set best suits my game play tastes.

The world of Toldara has always added four races to the core races in the rules - Anshus (a humanoid feline-like race), Karnin (a humanoid canine-like race), Oranian (a bird-like winged race), and the Slarn (a lizard-like race) - in addition to any changes to the core races.  I have been thinking about the races lately with an eyes towards trimming the list a bit.

I know that Alex added Goblins to the list of available player races in his Pathfinder campaign.  I have done the same in the MicroToldara version.  I am not sure the Goblin will be an option in any other game systems.

I am starting to wonder if any of the traditionally core races should be limited or excluded from the campaign. If one of them were excluded then one of the new races could take the place of the excluded race.  I am also considering moving the Oranians to NPC status due to their wings and flying ability.  

After getting some feedback and looking around at other maps on blogs or other sites I have decided to start over on the map.  I think the best way to accomplish that is by starting small and then expanding outward. The player characters will begin as novices so they really will not be travelling far for adventure.  The simple truth is that I do not need the entire world mapped out from the start.  A new map with the elements I want to keep will be completed shortly.  As the world information grows through playing in the world then the map will increase in size.

Starting Location
Of course, the map will start out with the town and the surrounding area.  I am going to keep it a limited area with just a short distance in each direction mapped out.  Basically, a size that will be big enough for the novice adventurers to explore with hints at a larger, more dangerous world outside of those boundaries. Things I want to use include the following:

town: big enough that it offers a useful selection of equipment and adventure opportunities but some of the "better" stuff is available in larger cities.  I am not shooting for ultra-realism but I want it to represent a decent size place with a large enough population where not everybody is acquainted with everybody and there are still surprises here and there.

caravans: the caravans will need guards due to raiders and this will provide some adventure opportunity in itself.
mine: the nearby mine will need laborers and will also be the nearest dungeon for the characters after some trouble starts up inside.

mountains: there will be some mountains nearby with caves scattered among them and if the characters go far enough into the mountains who knows what sorts of adventure awaits?

Some of the topics I am working on include a history of the realm and surrounding areas, a list of deities, some organizations, attempting to make coins unique instead of generic gold/silver/etc., and making notes as I think up other stuff.

More later....   


  1. That's ambitious. Beyond just your own campaign. That will be world-building on a Tolkien level.
    You should write books...

    1. Oh, wow! You are much too kind but I do appreciate the encouragement. I do enjoy creative writing. I have done it for years but mostly shorter lengths and gaming stuff. I have toyed with the idea of writing a book from time to time but I always seem to let myself get psyched out before diving in whole hog. I looked at your profile and I am now following the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If there is any other advice you can point me to then I just might take the plunge one of these days. Like I said, I get psyched out and start worrying about stupid stuff. What's the best format? How many times should I revise? How many typed pages is in a printed book page? The list goes on and on - maybe if I could get some of these answered by a good FAQ or something it would let me focus on writing...

  2. Great list - thanks for including Halberd!