Dungeons & Dragons Online

How to Roleplay Exploration or Fun Map Travel

Content of the article: "How to Roleplay Exploration or Fun Map Travel"

Beyond basic cartography and random combat encounters that all DMs have heard about and learn how to do, these are some things to make your exploration or travel be worth the center stage, and become most memorable experiences for all.

To start we want to rely heavily on visualization. Far before your players sit at your campaign, you can see in your mind what themes and feelings your landscape is supposed to evoke. What are the sights and sounds? What are the impressions? What are some awe inspiring landmarks? What passes your travelers by on the road when all is calm? How is the road? These are all rehearsal to get your theme straight, your descriptions on, and your basics developed.

Once we have our map understood and populated by basic destinations, and have it readied for atmosphere by our prepared basic descriptions, now we can elaborate! You might already have a table of random encounters (and you can make one if you don’t yet). We will use it, but what I suggest is making a new additional random table that we can call “Stages”.

A “Stage” will be a place that your exploring travelers can run into at random! These are not necessarily something extensive like a dungeon. Rather it is a stage on which the event or encounter will play out. Therefore these are, first and foremost scenic places that can be looked at and explored with interest. Especially now that you are rolling your encounter table independent but parallel to the stage table. This will result in any event occurring in a random, unpredictable, but detailed location!

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Stages can vary from common but eye-catching ones, like a glade with a fresh spring and some herbs near by, to exotic ones like a crystal formation that exudes a particular mysterious phenomenon. Some add to mechanical complexity, some are more basic, but all are distinct, most being memorable in some way.

Now that we have stages, we want to spice things up further by having a balanced encounter table that contains hefty amounts of non-combat encounters as well. Some might assume this may entail lots of dialogue, but no, not necessarily! Remember that lots of these can be oddities and finds, observables and so on. A lost weapon here, a rare animal there, some abandoned small temple, few local runes carved into the barks of trees…

But besides those two, let’s not forget that we can have more parallel tables yet! How about weather, you might likely have even some magical weather at your disposal. Let us roll for that independently as well. And now that we have gotten this far, you will be as excited as the players to see what even happens next! This will help freshness of your descriptions and the range of your plot. Now you can even base quests off of this, having dynamic occurring quests encounterable in the wild…

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More in the video: https://youtu.be/Ic6G9S_oYiw

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Source: reddit.com

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