I got a chance to talk with my buddy about my last post and we did some verbal brainstorming. Here is a firmer list of things I'm going to try and incorporate in this beginning sandbox:
- A witch that can see things (like inside dungeons) for you for a favor and lives in a swamp.
- A shrine that gives you a short term boon but is hard to access. Probably up in the mountains. So, perhaps it makes you invisible to undead for a day or two and there is a barrow field with in traveling distance, but you'll have to do the mountain travel challenge to get there.
- A village that breeds fighting dogs because they are prone to being attacked by goblins or something. You go there, you might get caught up in defending a raid.
- A bandit camp that has drugs for sale and is dicey. Maybe in a half ruined keep that can be besieged later.
- A monastery that offers aid and healing to travellers set in a cliffside. Maybe you can get anitdotes there and various herbal remedies and such.
- A hermit in a dangerous wood that can teach you how to become an elk. I don't know what the fee should be, maybe as with the witch a favor. That means first levelers can do it if they want but automatic drama hooks for later.
- A temple with a library where command words and rumors can be researched but the cult that runs the place is unattractive, maybe St Cecily who is all about mortification of the flesh.
- A wizard tower in a lake to get magic items identified. I'd probably make this wizard friendly and helpful but out of the way and a challenge to get to.
- Maaaaybe a shrine of resurrection that is days of travel through treacherous terrain away. You want to resurrect Bob, sure, but you have to go through the jungle/desert/mountains. Although, when players become more mobile in higher levels this might be too easy a solution. I suppose I could combine it with my low gods type resurrection where you come back but with a catch.
- A large town, maybe coastal. You can sell things here and travel to other areas in the world.
- I like the idea of magical portals at far ends of the map, but guarded by things pretty powerful like an ogre or something.
- And I really need some magical pools or anvils somewhere, but those sound like they would be found in a dungeon.
I'm also trying to figure how many days travel large this map will be. I want each of these things to be a viable option to pick at first level, so within 2-3 days travel of fairly safe road travel or maybe with a day of more risky travel. But I don't want the place to feel cramped or over stuffed with junk.