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A Guide to Grunburg


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#1 ragnar63

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:28 AM

Hi folks,

At the moment, as well as co-developing Liber Fanatica 9, I am writing a Special Project for Liber Fanatica. This wil be a full length guide to the town of Grunburg, further down the Teufel from Ubersreik, similar in scope to Warhammer City from the 1st edition. It should be about the length of an edition of Liber Fanatica, with proper maps, descritions of districts within, and prominent or interesting buildings, the politics, economics and personalities. If I'm lucky some of our regular contributors will read what I have done, and will use plot seeds within to craft adventures or scenarios for the project, based in or around Grunburg. Hopefully what will result willl be a complete campaign setting, ready to be explored and exploited

What I am interested in from the people here, is ideas about what makes a great campaign setting, useful GM's tools etc.

Hope to get some useful feedback.



#2 GoblynKing

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 02:33 PM

ragnar63 said:

Hi folks,

At the moment, as well as co-developing Liber Fanatica 9, I am writing a Special Project for Liber Fanatica. This wil be a full length guide to the town of Grunburg, further down the Teufel from Ubersreik, similar in scope to Warhammer City from the 1st edition. It should be about the length of an edition of Liber Fanatica, with proper maps, descritions of districts within, and prominent or interesting buildings, the politics, economics and personalities. If I'm lucky some of our regular contributors will read what I have done, and will use plot seeds within to craft adventures or scenarios for the project, based in or around Grunburg. Hopefully what will result willl be a complete campaign setting, ready to be explored and exploited

What I am interested in from the people here, is ideas about what makes a great campaign setting, useful GM's tools etc.

Hope to get some useful feedback.

This is an excellent idea! If I had one request it would be TONS of maps. Maps of the city proper, maps of the surrounding forests and lands, maps of separate districts, floor plans of particular buildings, basic floor plans of standard buildings that could be used for impromptu encounters.

Also, random encounter tables! I feel these are underused in many modern table top rpgs, including WFRP 3. For a sandbox type setting, such as a city, random encounter tables can be a godsend for GM's that haven't prepared for where their players might go and what they might do.

If you want further input for either of the above suggestions, let me know.

Cheers!



#3 Lautrer

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:58 PM

Great! I am just doing a Grünburg Map with description for my own campaignworld. I didn't found anything in the net, so I started it on my own.

But I only managed (due to missing spare time) to design the town quarter with the river-boat-shipyards. So I'm looking forward to your Grünburg in the next LF. I you need a playtester let me know!


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#4 bladerunner_35

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:10 PM

GoblynKing said:

This is an excellent idea! If I had one request it would be TONS of maps. Maps of the city proper, maps of the surrounding forests and lands, maps of separate districts, floor plans of particular buildings, basic floor plans of standard buildings that could be used for impromptu encounters.

Also, random encounter tables! I feel these are underused in many modern table top rpgs, including WFRP 3. For a sandbox type setting, such as a city, random encounter tables can be a godsend for GM's that haven't prepared for where their players might go and what they might do.

If you want further input for either of the above suggestions, let me know.

Cheers!

 

Sorry GoblynKing but I will have to disagree strongly with you here.

Instead of taking the time to do lots and lots of maps and floorplans and random encounters you should play to the strengths of WFRP3. I am not trying to tell anyone how to play the game but I personally believe that it is an abstract game that do not really need a lot of maps and certainly not floorplans. Sure, one or two maps of the city and surrounding area would be welcome but I would much rather that Ragnar63 spent his time to make Grunburg come alive, much like Ubersreik has come alive with the information in the various supplements.

Use this and build upon it - write about the interests and relationships of various noble families, criminal organisations and guilds in Gruneburg, their motivations. Is there a conflict brewing between various interests. What are the ramifications of the von Saponatheims expanding influence in Gruneburg? How come the Jungfreuds won't touch the town? Which other noble families are strong in this region of the Reik and what are their goals and motivations?

Create some colorful NPCs that live and work in and around the city.

Create some inspiring points of interest in and around the city.

Do not go into to much detail. Leave some gaps. Use a large brush, add some detail here and there and leave the rest up to the imagination.

Random encounters can be made by taking a bunch of appropriate cards. Shuffle them. Draw a card. Instant random encounter. You could have one pile for urban encounters and one pile for rural. Mix location cards with unique and general NPC-cards and maybe even add some choice action cards.


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#5 madpoet

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:49 PM

I totally agree with Bladerunner.

bladerunner_35 said:

Sorry GoblynKing but I will have to disagree strongly with you here.

Instead of taking the time to do lots and lots of maps and floorplans and random encounters you should play to the strengths of WFRP3. I am not trying to tell anyone how to play the game but I personally believe that it is an abstract game that do not really need a lot of maps and certainly not floorplans. Sure, one or two maps of the city and surrounding area would be welcome but I would much rather that Ragnar63 spent his time to make Grunburg come alive, much like Ubersreik has come alive with the information in the various supplements.

Use this and build upon it - write about the interests and relationships of various noble families, criminal organisations and guilds in Gruneburg, their motivations. Is there a conflict brewing between various interests. What are the ramifications of the von Saponatheims expanding influence in Gruneburg? How come the Jungfreuds won't touch the town? Which other noble families are strong in this region of the Reik and what are their goals and motivations?

Create some colorful NPCs that live and work in and around the city.

Create some inspiring points of interest in and around the city.

Do not go into to much detail. Leave some gaps. Use a large brush, add some detail here and there and leave the rest up to the imagination.

Random encounters can be made by taking a bunch of appropriate cards. Shuffle them. Draw a card. Instant random encounter. You could have one pile for urban encounters and one pile for rural. Mix location cards with unique and general NPC-cards and maybe even add some choice action cards.



#6 doc_cthulhu

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:18 PM

As I understood it might not be edition specific. Also - there are others working on this project too. So drawing maps is not necessarily out of writing time.


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#7 ragnar63

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:18 PM

doc_cthulhu said:

As I understood it might not be edition specific. Also - there are others working on this project too. So drawing maps is not necessarily out of writing time.

Doc is half right. Although this supplement will be written for 3rd edition, with all NPC stats done for the latest edition, I am hoping that the players of the first  two editions will find the supplement useful, as well as players of other fantasy games. Hopefully the town will be enough of a living, breathing entity to fit in any number of systems.

There will be plenty of maps, I had to do pencil drawings of all the districts as well as the towns location to get my creative juices going. I am sure our resident group of creative geniuses will be able to turn those pencil maps into worthy Liber Fanatica maps. I hope they will also be able to take my meanderings and create worthy images of the town. There may be building plans of specific buildings, but I won't decide on that, until I have written up all the districts, and decided what buildings gets my creative juices going. Encounter tables for each district may well be a good idea, though I am not sure how to do them with this edition, as they will help illustrate the inhabitants of each district

For those players who prefer the more abstract, there will be plenty of interesting NPC's, interesting politics, gangs, businesses to keep players and GM's occupied in town for many months. Hopefully this supplement will appeal to both the more abstract and the more specific styles of play, with both being able to draw from the supplement to aid their style of play.

Hopefully that may answer some of your questions.



#8 GoblynKing

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:40 AM

ragnar63 said:

doc_cthulhu said:

 

As I understood it might not be edition specific. Also - there are others working on this project too. So drawing maps is not necessarily out of writing time.

 

 

Doc is half right. Although this supplement will be written for 3rd edition, with all NPC stats done for the latest edition, I am hoping that the players of the first  two editions will find the supplement useful, as well as players of other fantasy games. Hopefully the town will be enough of a living, breathing entity to fit in any number of systems.

There will be plenty of maps, I had to do pencil drawings of all the districts as well as the towns location to get my creative juices going. I am sure our resident group of creative geniuses will be able to turn those pencil maps into worthy Liber Fanatica maps. I hope they will also be able to take my meanderings and create worthy images of the town. There may be building plans of specific buildings, but I won't decide on that, until I have written up all the districts, and decided what buildings gets my creative juices going. Encounter tables for each district may well be a good idea, though I am not sure how to do them with this edition, as they will help illustrate the inhabitants of each district

For those players who prefer the more abstract, there will be plenty of interesting NPC's, interesting politics, gangs, businesses to keep players and GM's occupied in town for many months. Hopefully this supplement will appeal to both the more abstract and the more specific styles of play, with both being able to draw from the supplement to aid their style of play.

Hopefully that may answer some of your questions.

Exactly what I was meaning in my post above. Maps, and encounter tables to support and supplement the oodles of fluff that I know will be the core of this brilliant fan-made expansion! The encounter tables that I drew up for Ubersreik were relatively straightforward (i.e. Encounter street urchin - "spare a penny gov?" - tipping the lad gives the player 1 bonus fortune die to gain information from street urchins for the rest of the Act/Story etc...) and I simply rolled percentile dice to achieve a result. Seeing as how WFRP has already adopted this as an option in the hardcover books, i figure it wouldn't be too far off a concept for most GMs. I good source to look at might be the system neutral "Pirates Guide to Freeport" book by Green Ronin, or even the Warhammer City: Middenheim book from 2nd Edition...a fantastic balance of fluff and maps/tables. Since you're planning on making this particular expansion 3rd Edition specific, you could even create a deck of "Encounter Cards" that could be downloaded separately from the guide itself....i.e. Liber Fanatica 8.

 



#9 ragnar63

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 09:34 AM

Any other suggestions, folks.

I'm getting worried that there is little or no enthusiasm for this kind of thing.

If so it would be sensible to stop now.

There definately seems to be a marked lack of feedback on this forum for creative endeavours, apart from the largely negative "We don't want that"

What I'm after is things people do want to see, so that we can incorporate as much as possible, so that there is something for as many poeple as possible.



#10 Emirikol

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:38 PM

You're on the right track by asking and talking about doing what most people will use. 

I was thinking of this the other day while browsing through some old Warpstone issues (where the scenarios drive me nuts because there is no "adventure synopsis," which is standard for modern scenarios for ease of GM planning)..but it got me thinking about this very topic. I know you guys have already put work into the Grunberg town issue (and we appreciate that), but I'd stop and move right to the scenarios.  Here's why:

I think you guys are wasting your time without spending 95% on what the audience WILL use and not on what they "could" use.  If I was heading up the project, I'd do the same and be asking 100 prospective WFRP'ers a questions with specific answers (and I wouldn't go until I had a bunch of responses).

We have limited time and effort, which model would you REALLY use?

A) * Scenario(s) with rough details on background of a NEW (undeveloped) town and NPCs

B) * No scenario with extended details on a NEW (undeveloped) town, organizations, and NPCs

C) * Scenario(s) in an EXISTING town (e.g. Ubersreik, Hulgedal, Faulgeimere), with rough expansion of existing locations, NPCs, organizations

D) * No scenario, with extended details on an EXISTING town, organizations, npcs.

E) Just a town map with some numbered locations, a sentence or two on each location, with the name of an NPC and his career and a sentence or two on each NPC.

E) * None of the above, I don't really use fan stuff

My vote is for "A" or C.  As a GM, the MOST valuable thing to me is a scenario with only rough details of a town and it's NPCs.  If you had to split your time between creating 10 hours of reading fluff for a baker/cultist-candlestick maker shops OR two sentences on the baker's shop and full-fledged scenario instead, I'll choose the LATTER every time.   Now, seven people who don't have lives (no offense to you people like me without lives) will come out of the woodwork to say, "oh, I really want the marriage and birthing customs of Kislevian termites traveling the lands of the Hung fully detailed with 8x10 glossy pictures," but let's be realistic..what's useful to the majority? 
     IMHO, the work of Liber Fanatica is appreciated ONLY by the GMs and they are thinking about running campaigns.  A village is only a stop-off point .  Players certainly don't read it (because they don't know if their GM is even going to allow it in the first place), and GMs, by and large, can use a new scenario 85% of the time and the background 15% of the time when it comes fan-produced material. We're going to marvel at it for 10 minutes and then it's going to sit on someone's hard drive gathering Tron-Dust in the forgotten 'could have used' pile.

Where should we put our efforts?  Scenarios, with rough background.  Since I'm on the topic: Adventure hooks for locations be damned!  They are not useful out of the context of a scenario imho and would be much better placed in sidebars of a FULL scenario or series as 'optional extra encounters rather than just taking up space randomly in some location or NPC detail. These would also be best defined as one-pagers for side-adventures/hooks rather than the chintzy-lazy 1 paragraph that usually get's relegated to adventure hooks.  Don't bother if it's just an idea.  WE GMs have boatloads of ideas.  We need developed scenarios.

Regarding Scenarios:  I would rather see SIX 20-page (one-two night) scenarios that can be linked rather than a giant 45 page scenario with no adventure synopsis and a behemoth of reading. Even if it's a 3-act (3-6 night structure), I'd still rather see them able to be broken up..and please, for the love of all that is decent in the modern scenario-writing-world, please, please, please include an Adventure Synopsis in the front of the scenario so we GMs can quickly evaluate the flow and idea of a scenario to see if it fits in our campaign (rather than having to read a whole scenario to figure out what it's about).

We appreciate your work.  Focus on the scenarios.

Best of luck,

 

Jay Hafner

 

 


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#11 GoblynKing

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 01:54 PM

ragnar63 said:

Any other suggestions, folks.

I'm getting worried that there is little or no enthusiasm for this kind of thing.

If so it would be sensible to stop now.

There definately seems to be a marked lack of feedback on this forum for creative endeavours, apart from the largely negative "We don't want that"

What I'm after is things people do want to see, so that we can incorporate as much as possible, so that there is something for as many poeple as possible.

 

Please no! I for one am stoked at the possibility of this becoming a reality! Are you looking for general feedback (i.e. I would like to see A but not B), or do you want detailed intput in the form of contributions?

As above, I would generally like to see maps and general floorplans, so if my PCs decide to wander into a part of town or a building that I hadn't outright prepared for I can flip to one of these and improvise its general contents without having to make everything up on the spot whole-cloth. Also as above, random encounter tables for the city would be helpful.

Other wants:

  • A detailed list of NPCs to fill the town with interesting personalities. One thing I did when my PCs where in Ubersreik was constuct random encounter tables for each district that featured entries like..."encounter important NPC". Which would allow me a chance to have the PCs run into an NPC that lives in or frequents that particular part of town or specific building.
  • Short adventure possibilities attached to each character or area of town. Again the Pirates Guide to Freeport is a perfect example of this concept...each character and area/place had a short suggestion for a possible adventure tagged to the end of it's entry.
  • A brief history of the town and surrounding area
  • Description of the towns economy and it's relation to other cities/towns/villages in the area

 



#12 korknadel

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 06:40 PM

I love city sourcebooks, so: Yeah, Grünburg!

One of my favorite city sourcebooks is Marienburg: Sold down the river. Because:

-- it has  a lot of details

-- it also leaves a lot for the GM

-- it's overflowing with adventure ideas.

-- it has humour.

-- it gives Marienburg several themes which make it unique.

 

So that's what I want for Grünburg. Somebody ( I think bladerunner) mentioned factions (noble, guilds and gangs). That's right, every city needs some sort of factions, but please don't do it too generic. We read about rivaling guilds and merchant houses much too often. There has to be a reason why one should play adventures in Grünburg instead of Übersreik or Bögenhafen. So it has to be special and it has to have its own unique theme.

Give some of the NPCs and factions some funny warhammerlike traits (like the dove loving Baron of Fauligmere or the vain grlory of Neues Emskrank). And/or also the whole town: Are there special ludicrous laws, customs, trades, beliefs? Do they grow or produce something extraordinary? Why do the Grünburg ratcatchers have pigs instead of dogs? Or what about the Grünburg Brotherhood of Verenan Wisdom: After some miracle the common and poor people turned very pious and founded a lay brotherhood. They walk around like quakers or something, congregate every week and collect books. Problem is: None of them can read, so everytime they congregate, the lay brothers take one of those books and  pray to Verena for a revelation about what is in the book. It's like speaking in tongues. Problem number two: the people belief what is said and hold it for the truth ....

Warhammery stuff like that is what I want in a Warhammer city description.

Thank you very much for your enthusiasm!



#13 ragnar63

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

Thats more like it!

So essentially we have two needs, to suit two groups of GM's.

1.  A group of adventures and scenarios, based around the town, that can be played from scratch, with little reference to the town itself if need be.

2. The town itself, which can provide more options for GM's that want to explore, and more coherency to the adventures above.

Seems entirely reasonable and easy to provide both, I hope.



#14 ragnar63

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:00 AM

Emirikol said:

You're on the right track by asking and talking about doing what most people will use. 

I was thinking of this the other day while browsing through some old Warpstone issues (where the scenarios drive me nuts because there is no "adventure synopsis," which is standard for modern scenarios for ease of GM planning)..but it got me thinking about this very topic. I know you guys have already put work into the Grunberg town issue (and we appreciate that), but I'd stop and move right to the scenarios.  Here's why:

I think you guys are wasting your time without spending 95% on what the audience WILL use and not on what they "could" use.  If I was heading up the project, I'd do the same and be asking 100 prospective WFRP'ers a questions with specific answers (and I wouldn't go until I had a bunch of responses).

We have limited time and effort, which model would you REALLY use?

A) * Scenario(s) with rough details on background of a NEW (undeveloped) town and NPCs

B) * No scenario with extended details on a NEW (undeveloped) town, organizations, and NPCs

C) * Scenario(s) in an EXISTING town (e.g. Ubersreik, Hulgedal, Faulgeimere), with rough expansion of existing locations, NPCs, organizations

D) * No scenario, with extended details on an EXISTING town, organizations, npcs.

E) Just a town map with some numbered locations, a sentence or two on each location, with the name of an NPC and his career and a sentence or two on each NPC.

E) * None of the above, I don't really use fan stuff

My vote is for "A" or C.  As a GM, the MOST valuable thing to me is a scenario with only rough details of a town and it's NPCs.  If you had to split your time between creating 10 hours of reading fluff for a baker/cultist-candlestick maker shops OR two sentences on the baker's shop and full-fledged scenario instead, I'll choose the LATTER every time.   Now, seven people who don't have lives (no offense to you people like me without lives) will come out of the woodwork to say, "oh, I really want the marriage and birthing customs of Kislevian termites traveling the lands of the Hung fully detailed with 8x10 glossy pictures," but let's be realistic..what's useful to the majority? 
     IMHO, the work of Liber Fanatica is appreciated ONLY by the GMs and they are thinking about running campaigns.  A village is only a stop-off point .  Players certainly don't read it (because they don't know if their GM is even going to allow it in the first place), and GMs, by and large, can use a new scenario 85% of the time and the background 15% of the time when it comes fan-produced material. We're going to marvel at it for 10 minutes and then it's going to sit on someone's hard drive gathering Tron-Dust in the forgotten 'could have used' pile.

Where should we put our efforts?  Scenarios, with rough background.  Since I'm on the topic: Adventure hooks for locations be damned!  They are not useful out of the context of a scenario imho and would be much better placed in sidebars of a FULL scenario or series as 'optional extra encounters rather than just taking up space randomly in some location or NPC detail. These would also be best defined as one-pagers for side-adventures/hooks rather than the chintzy-lazy 1 paragraph that usually get's relegated to adventure hooks.  Don't bother if it's just an idea.  WE GMs have boatloads of ideas.  We need developed scenarios.

Regarding Scenarios:  I would rather see SIX 20-page (one-two night) scenarios that can be linked rather than a giant 45 page scenario with no adventure synopsis and a behemoth of reading. Even if it's a 3-act (3-6 night structure), I'd still rather see them able to be broken up..and please, for the love of all that is decent in the modern scenario-writing-world, please, please, please include an Adventure Synopsis in the front of the scenario so we GMs can quickly evaluate the flow and idea of a scenario to see if it fits in our campaign (rather than having to read a whole scenario to figure out what it's about).

We appreciate your work.  Focus on the scenarios.

Best of luck,

 

Jay Hafner

 

 

Thanks for that, Jay.

The interesting thing is, is that by creating the town the plotlines for several adventures and scenarios have come into existance, purely as a result of developing the town. If I had just tried to come up with the plotlines for a number of adventures, without the town to bind them, I would have had trouble doing so with any reasonable unhackneyed results.

All the best,

Ralph



#15 cd8dman

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 05:28 PM

Emirikol said:

IMHO, the work of Liber Fanatica is appreciated ONLY by the GMs and they are thinking about running campaigns.  A village is only a stop-off point .  Players certainly don't read it (because they don't know if their GM is even going to allow it in the first place), and GMs, by and large, can use a new scenario 85% of the time and the background 15% of the time when it comes fan-produced material. We're going to marvel at it for 10 minutes and then it's going to sit on someone's hard drive gathering Tron-Dust in the forgotten 'could have used' pile.

Where should we put our efforts?  Scenarios, with rough background.  Since I'm on the topic: Adventure hooks for locations be damned!  They are not useful out of the context of a scenario imho and would be much better placed in sidebars of a FULL scenario or series as 'optional extra encounters rather than just taking up space randomly in some location or NPC detail. These would also be best defined as one-pagers for side-adventures/hooks rather than the chintzy-lazy 1 paragraph that usually get's relegated to adventure hooks.  Don't bother if it's just an idea.  WE GMs have boatloads of ideas.  We need developed scenarios.

Regarding Scenarios:  I would rather see SIX 20-page (one-two night) scenarios that can be linked rather than a giant 45 page scenario with no adventure synopsis and a behemoth of reading.

Yea, that pretty much says it exactly.



#16 korknadel

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 05:42 PM

I do not agree with Emirikol on that. We GMs don't need that much scenatios (although I love them!), because we have plenty of scenario ideas, but we are happy when someone else takes the time to develop the background. So, scenarios are fine, but please give us a whole description of Grünburg, not only some sidebar hints. Because then I can use the town more than once or I can use it even if I don't want to use the scenario. I don't like the adventures for WFRP2nd that much, but I liked that they were onme part sourcebook, one part scenario. I could use them even if the scenario didn't fit my campaign.



#17 bladerunner_35

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:48 AM

korknadel said:

I do not agree with Emirikol on that. We GMs don't need that much scenatios (although I love them!), because we have plenty of scenario ideas, but we are happy when someone else takes the time to develop the background. So, scenarios are fine, but please give us a whole description of Grünburg, not only some sidebar hints. Because then I can use the town more than once or I can use it even if I don't want to use the scenario. I don't like the adventures for WFRP2nd that much, but I liked that they were onme part sourcebook, one part scenario. I could use them even if the scenario didn't fit my campaign.

 

Since korknadel said pretty much what I was going to say I'll save my breath.

However, I also wanted to say that I firmly believe that good creativity must/should come from enjoying the creation process. While it seldom hurts to ask questions you should first and foremost do something that you yourself want and enjoy creating ragnar63.


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#18 ragnar63

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:34 AM

I'm glad to say that I think the only way to do these things properly is if you enjoy producing them, and you enjoy the resulting product.

Having said that I think it will be possible to produce a living breathing town, coupled with a series of adventures and scenarios based around it, that I hope will satisfy most people.

I haven't finished righting up the town yet, but I have already come up with two major adventure arcs, that have sprung from what i have written so far. I am hoping that some of the Liber Fanatica regulars will help me turn those ideas into fully fledged adventure series. We shall see.

All the best,

Ralph



#19 GoblynKing

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 11:56 AM

What's the status of this project?



#20 ragnar63

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 02:38 AM

Hi GoblynKing,

Always glad for the interest. As it stands at the moment the town should be written by the New Year, and should come to somewhere around 120-130 pages. Artwork and adventures will take a bit longer, as we are trying to get Liber Fanatica 9 out for Feburary. Hopefully this tome should be out for next summer. I am also waiting for Lure of Power and Heroes Call to see if there is anything in them that I can constructively use for Grunburg.

Things that will appear:

1. Plenty of maps, mostly full colour.

2. Fifty or more personalities, which do have descriptions on how they fit into the adventure landscape of Grunburg. We may even have map diagrams for the interesting relationships and enmities between NPC's, to help GM's 

3. Fifty or more locations, both inside and outside Grunburg. We may even have some floorplans for the most interesting ones.

4. Descriptions of the politics, customs, economics, guilds, gangs etc, which do mesh together, and how they relate to each other in Grunburg.

Obviously this all takes time, so I can only ask you to be patient. I will update this as we progress, and will definately announce when it is ready for download.

Cheers and all the best,

Ralph






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