A month and a half ago, I wrote about Three Hundred Sixty Locations.
I have an update on that.
Maybe it’s crazy to think of creating three hundred sixty locations before your players even start exploring. Maybe. *sniff* Maybe.
But what if I found a way to do it anyway?
I realize in retrospect my error was in dividing them up by too small a number. Groups of 8-12 locations of a type ultimately meant too many location types.
You may recognize the number 19 from the results of a 2d10 roll (or 1d8+1d12) on an encounter table. Well, it just so happens that nineteen nineteens is three hundred sixty-one. Technically I’ve been sitting on this for a while.
Really, I didn’t know what to do with it.
Last night and this morning, I reassessed the location types from Skyrim. And I know, when I do this, that I gloss over some details in order to arrive at the answer I want. But there’s a difference in the scale of effort.
When I say for example, that there are “about” nineteen cities and settlements in Skyrim, I know that it isn’t exact, and that there’s an order of magnitude difference in the effort to make cities or settlements in a video game.
I know partly because I make video games.
But when I say there are “about” 76 caves in Skyrim, and there are really only about 70, I know there’s a difference in the effort to make another bunch of caves. A difference of about five isn’t enough to disprove my idea.
What I realized was that I underestimated the number of caves in Skyrim, and I underestimated the number of Dwemer ruins.
Coming back to “nineteens.”
– There are about 19 cities and settlements.
– There are about 19 farms and mills (wheat v. lumber).
– There are about 19 mines.
– There are about 19 docks, ships, stables, and inns.
– There are about 19 military camps (Imperial v. Stormcloak).
– There are more than 19 forts, but let’s pretend there are 19.
– There are about 19 towers.
– There are about 76 (19×4) caves.
– There are about 38 (19×2) Nordic ruins.
– There are about 19 Dwemer ruins (including elevators and Blackreach).
– There are less than 19 ‘other’ ruins, but let’s pretend there are 19.
– There are about 19 “discoverable” shrines and standing stones.
– There are about 19 groves and landmarks.
– There are about 19 lairs (giants v. dragons)
– There are about 19 shacks-in-the-middle-of-nowhere.
If you’ve followed along here, you’ve realized that’s about nineteen nineteens. Additionally, if you lump together the ruins into a single “ruins” category, it’s easier to parse. Maybe you’ve even realized what I have by this point.
With numbers like these, with a generator and a spreadsheet you can generate hundreds of adventure locations in the time it took to make one adventure.
Sure, you can spread these locations out over a larger area and make your PCs hike a couple days to get to the next adventure site. Or, you can have the adventure-site density of an Elder Scrolls title. (e.g. Oblivion or Skyrim)
Think of it: adventure everywhere.