So, to make sure you know what’s going on with this project, I’ll give you a look at what I’ve penned so far — this is a pretty early version of the “map” that will ultimately replace the entire city of Arkham. Players of Arkham Horror should easily adapt to rules I’ve changed for The Ascalon Horror. (You might even like them!)

Pre-Searing Ascalon has been divided into nine major zones, which I’ll also refer to as “neighborhoods” for my own benefit, and for the benefit of Arkham Horror players. The northern zones are Green Hills County, Ascalon City, and Lakeside County. Just south of these zones are Ashford, Barradin’s Estate, and the Catacombs.

Southern Ascalon is made up of Wizard’s Folly, Regent Valley, and Fort Ranik. The zones are arranged this way partly for their significance, partly for their ability to be recognized, at least partly based on my own perceptions from playing the game, and partly for a sense of evenness or balance of locations across the map.

Locations are, of course, subject to change throughout development.

Starting with Ascalon City, the locations I have noted are the Merchant Quarter, the Great Wall, and Ascalon Academy. Green Hills County is composed of Balthazar’s Shrine, the Wooded Hills, and the Enchanted Quarry. Lakeside County is home to Lyssa’s Shrine, the Actor’s Stage, and the Devourer Cave.

Barradin’s Estate is composed of the Duke’s Vineyard, Barradin Manor, and the Vassal Farmstead. Ashford is home to Ashford Abbey (which houses the shrine to Dwayna), Pitney’s Field, and the Skale Grotto. In The Catacombs, you can find Grenth’s Shrine, the Halls of Remembrance, and the Dark Cathedral.

Finally, you have Wizard’s Folly, which is where you’ll find Foible’s Fair, the Wizard Tower, and the Fishing Village (and the Healing Spring). Regent Valley contains Melandru’s Shrine, the South Lake, and the Secret Garden. Fort Ranik is home to Serenity Temple, the Apple Orchard, and King’s Watch (and the bear hunters).

I’ve taken artistic license with the naming and placing of certain locations with in zones, or neighborhoods. The Catacombs, for instance, are large enough that I figured they qualified as their own zone. Serenity Temple isn’t normally reachable in Pre-Searing Ascalon, but I wanted to include it, “just ’cause.” (It’s the equivalent of South Church.)

The shrines dedicated to the five gods (including Ashford Abbey) have optional profession- or elementalist-specific powers that can be used in place of standard location encounters. They involve spending trophies to restore Stamina, since there aren’t any hospitals. (The Healing Spring becomes available through an encounter.)

There are thirteen “Unstable locations” at present, but no gates appear in Ascalon, and monsters aren’t placed directly on the board. Instead of engaging monsters directly in the “streets” (since there aren’t any), monsters wander throughout the countryside and players engage them through location encounters.

If players are to keep Ascalon monster-free, they’re going to have to criss-cross the map to find and surprise the monsters in their lairs, while also quelling disturbances (the equivalent of gates). There is an overall “mission” that the players are working toward, which takes the place of the Ancient One. The terror level remains similar.