Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chronicling Campaigns With Timeline Maps

Today I was digging through my D&D campaign archives and marveling at the detail I put into many of my maps and "historical accounts". A lot of these works I always did for my own amusement, to keep track of the long running timelines that my group would do. Young me had way more time and energy to record every event that happened in the Flanaess. From players' quest movements, to entire wartime troop movements, I wish I still had the ambition to put a tenth of this effort into my stalled Battles of Greyhawk series.
What I'm showing off today is a couple hand drawn maps of the Iuz-Furyondy region (using the Marklands-Iuz the Evil sourcebooks) from June 628 CY to Jan 629 CY. Yeah my timelines always ran well ahead of published canon so I worked in new info as it came out. The amazing thing is I can scarcely remember playing many of the events detailed on these maps. Map #1 has a line showing the path taken to rescue Riggby the cleric (from WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure), Chendl is under siege again, and evil is making gains in the Vesve Forest.
Map #2 continues on the next three months and we see that the Vesve is completely overrun, places are pillaged and burned including Highfolk town! Some group called the Brothers of Panshazek are on the move (not sure if they're canon or homebrew). Willip is sacked, Chendl and Gorsend see major battles. Things are looking bad for the good guys but there is two significant notations which I assume happened at the end of the year, Iggwilv's Trap and Iuz vs. Philidor (yes I went there). I'm not sure what the trap was and if it was for the players or Iuz. I also don't even recall Philidor facing Iuz in Dorakaa but it all surely culminated (spoilers Greyhawk neophytes) with the Soul Husks being destroyed up north in the Howling Hills.
So there you have it. You can chronicle your player's exploits by use of timeline maps. While the subject is dry I hope some aspiring DM/mapmaker out there can find some inspiration from these scraps of notebook paper.



tom said...

Panshazek appears on p 61 of LGG, and throughout Iuz the Evil. To the best of my knowledge there is no reference to the "Brothers of Panshazek" in Greyhawk conon.

I never actually drew permanent timeline maps though I did occasionally plot things on laminated xeroxes of various portions of the Darlene map. But I do have a box of thick spiral bound calendar notebooks w/ 1 page per day noting PC, NPC & Army locations and anything else of interest.

Really wish I'd even a lame computer back in those days.

mortellan said...

Ah yes! Panshazek is a greater priest who is in charge of the Vesve front, hates elves and has a Thassalos bodyguard. Nice! Those brothers I made must be his under clerics?

Valkaun_Dain said...

This all has a very familiar ring to it, Mike. I think we had a bunch of PC's in on this one: Valkaun, Mort, the Brotherhood... My memory is so hazy, and I'm usually better with this stuff.