Wilderness adventuring in an open world

The Alexandrian has published an interesting article on the Hex crawl. It appears much like an endless dungeon, but in the open air.  The 13 posts detail his version of how to put together this kind of open world adventure and finishes with a useful set of cheat-sheets. Also referenced is Ars Ludi’s Grand Experiments: West Marches, which prompting the idea for the Alexandrian.

On the one hand it looks like lazy GMing or GM-lite in the creation of a playable world, which is not a bad thing with the complex and busy lives most people live. However, I suspect that there would be interesting challenges in the preparation you could do. It would help develop the GM skills around improvisation and adaption, along with the creation of little diorama-like scenes for the players to experience. On the player-side, it looks quite easy as their is no preparation and all play, but the risks and challenges are such to make the session very intense.

On the other hand as a GM to does limit your ability to develop long term plans for NPC Villains and such. It would also make harder to develop the boarder story elements in the game, as everything becomes player driven, and depending on the whims your players could go anyway from hack’n’slash survival, monster of the week,  to delving into alien cultures.

The same idea could be applied to an endless city filled with blocks of punks or citizens who have survived in the ancient arcology or similar open-worlds. For current examples look at Minecraft, No mans sky, Dwarf Fortress, or even one of the hundreds of the Rouge-like games. All of which fulfill the idea of an endless game world.

Looking at FATE for the Fantasy genre

After Piazo’s Humble Bundle slowed the server something chronic because of the downloads. I wanted to adapt the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path for use with FATE

So as part of that process, I’ve been looking at the Freeport Companion for FATE (via Evil Hat, via Green Ronin, or via RPGNow), which holds a lot more in common with FATE Accelerated Edition (FAE) and Slyflourish’s Dungeon of Fate than FATE-Core. and t reviews have generally been positive and I like the idea. However, I agree with Emeralds and comments on forums that having just 6 skills is too narrow.

So I’m looking at taking the ideas and translating into something more diverse. to FATE-Core. The skill list is straight from FATE Core, the stunts & magic will be adapted from the Freeport Companion. There is a collection of creatures for fate (thanks Inkwell ideas) which makes it easier to add creatures, plus a few posts on giant insect monsters centipedes, and gelatinous cubes.

Now I’ve discovered Aperita Arcana and House of Bards, both for FATE-Core and add something to the fantasy campaign I want to run. However, I will need to adapt elements of both to achieve the level of detail I want in the game system.