I have done my time in the basements of friends’ houses, playing endless variants of Dungeons and Dragons. We were White Box kids, and I remember saving my allowance for many many weeks to finally get my own copy. Our copies fell apart from use in a couple of years, and by that time, we had moved on Judges Guild supplements (City Sate of the Invincible Overlord!) and Iron Crown Enterprise’s Arms Law. By the time D&D revved to the 3rd edition, we had all moved on to our in-house variants.
But throughout all this time, maps were always in short supply. We used the CSotIO many, many times. Turning it upside down. Turning it ninety degrees one direction or the other. Penciling things in, erasing them three months later and writing new names. Maps of the terrain outside the city? Crude, at best.
Which is why I’m excited about what Worldspinner is doing with their Kickstarter. They’re building an online tool that creates a fabulously sexy map. And it comes as pre-populated with as many or as few fun things to do as you like. Cities. Points of Interest. Narrative arcs.
“What sort of narrative arcs?” you ask. Well, that’s where themes come in. Themes are premium content that you can layer onto your map. As their Kickstarter progresses through its stretch goals, these themes get pretty extensive. Mur Lafferty is offering Tales for the Stealing, Bill Webb gives us Dragons!, and Lisa Smedman adds Arcane Portals. Those are the goals that have been unlocked already. Goals still to come include, well, me.
If Worldspinner hits $50K, then I’m going to give you pirates and sea monsters. I’m going to turn the world of the Eternal Queen into a place you can visit. Renaissance-style High Fantasy with big nasty things that live in the corners of the map that say “Here Be Monsters” because, well, why shouldn’t there be monsters there?
And as we’re still shopping the Eternal Queen Cycle, this little bump in interest won’t hurt my feelings at all.