Fitting All The Pieces Together

Well, it has been a (not so) well kept secret that I am making a module for Pathfinder.  I had what I thought was a complete module ready to go less the maps a few weeks ago.  I have been playing with maps and have asked some advice from some award winning map makers to give me a hand.  While I was developing my map making skills though I thought I would put the module into Realm Works so when their content market pops up I have something there that would make me proud.

Well, as I was putting bits and pieces in to the tool I started filling out some of the extra detail.  It made me look at the relationships that I had set up in the module and how they related to one another.  I found a few that were tenuous links and as I started to pull the threads it would weaken other relationships and the like!

My play with a map from a few days ago

In essence I am further away from a completed module than I was three weeks ago.  But that in my eyes is a good thing.  I have a massive respect for the amount of work that goes into a full module.  Sure, a single adventure plan does not a module make but that is what I had a few weeks ago.  I have been building a much more realistic plot and questioning everything.  Realm Works has helped a lot in that regard as it prompts me to think about bits and pieces and make sure there is a reasonable flow whilst highlighting the links between things.

Admittedly the story that I am attempting has grown in scope and is quite a task.  I also offer a variety of starts, hopefully something that will appeal to most players and get them hooked into the game from the very start.  There are sections that I leave open for the GM to develop if they need to.  In my opinion they are spaces that are unlikely to be explored so it allows for a bit of customization to do but it is well on the way.

I am in awe of the work that has gone into Paizo’s Pathfinder too.  My focus on getting the character just right has been an effort in investigating classes and archetypes for friends and foes alike.  I am trying to take familiar foes and make them surprising and new.  The plot so far has visited all of the material in the core rule books (yes, even Mythic though it is not a Mythic adventure).  Stat blocks are coming together like beautiful gems crafted by a steady hand and some custom content of my own is being injected as well to make the story just that little bit more exciting.

The most frustrating thing is not being able to use the Pathfinder Gods.  I have worked around it though based on a familiar pantheon to many and may actually do a supplement book to cover the pantheon as well.  It is in fact the pantheon my DM used when I was introduced to AD&D so long ago.  And no, you will just have to wait and see who they are.

Some graphics I was playing with today.  A portion of this
image came from the Brooklyn Museum under a Creative
Commons Unported 3.0 Licence

Through this journey I have been talking to a publisher and he has been giving me great advice on what to do.  he has de-mystified the industry a little and acted as a facilitator for me to talk to some great mappers.  I want to have a go at the maps myself but I do not consider myself artistic so I think that although I will try I may need to outsource the maps in the long run.  It is still very exciting to try my hand at it first though.  There are several areas that require mapping as the module goes through a city, wilderness, caverns, churches and buildings of immense size.  There is no shortage of excitement to be had.

On top of all this I am trying to balance the encounters so there is something that can be tackled uniquely for most of the character classes in the book.  I am also trying to use all my books rather than the PRD to bring me inspiration.  I am going through portions of the books I have not visited for a long time to decide if I want to use them again.  I am planning to do a module soon that uses the Words of Power rules from Ultimate Magic as I like the concept but could not fit it into this module.  I am doing this module as proof that I can do a good sized adventure cohesively and well so that I can do the story I really want to include for my second module.

Today I have been away from my main job and so I found myself at my laptop working with the module.  I got a lot of the supporting material and some graphics done to a concept point as well.  The encounters are soon to be rewritten and I think I will finally be in a spot where I am completely happy with it.

Once I get a couple of modules under my belt (and perhaps the pantheon source book) I will then return to my game that has been on the slow boil for some time.  Thanks for letting me get this all off my chest.  I know I did not say much about what the module is about or any real detail but I will be a bit more boisterous if the proof readers and editors are happy with it too.  Keep on rolling!

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