How this project got started was I saw Isabelle Didienne’s truly amazing artwork and I wanted to try it, too. This was my first project in a medium that was entirely new to me – watercolor pencils.
I got a small sketchbook, pages only 6″x6″.
I was only planning to “try it”, after all.
Famous last words!
I started drawing little bits of land, a little new project on each page, and it was so much fun!
Then I realized that if I put part of the land in the same place on each side, the pieces could fit together, interchangeably, and so I ended up with this . . .
Grassy plains, mountains, desert, swamp, trails, caves . . . . Adventureland has it all!
I was imagining all sorts of fun that could be had with an interchangeably mutable map.
Then I became concerned . . . the paper was just paper, after all, and not too strong.
Not sturdy enough to be satisfactory at all.
I decided to glue the papers to pieces of 6×6 board, to make them stronger. This worked out great and I was happy with it, but only briefly, until then I realized the backs of the boards were blank, which seemed wasteful.
After a bit of thought, I brought out the wood burner!
That led to the cities of Adventureland, with cobblestone roads and mysterious portals and all sorts of adventures waiting to appear! Again, equally interchangeable, so you can have a new city every time!
For a basic game, quick and pre-set, you can use the bigger pieces.
First choose a quest:
1. Find the lost puppy
2. Rescue the cat
3. Find the treasure
4. Discover a map
Then put the goal piece mixed in with the challenges to encounter along the way (fire, locked door, wild boar, etc), place them randomly around the board, decide on the other house rules your group will use about movement or other tasks, and start playing. Overcome the challenges until you achieve your goal, and then get everyone out of town safely. (or play some other way, that’s fine, too)
For a different style of game, you can use the smaller pieces, and create your own quests and challenges. Make a list on a sheet of paper, everyone can have a few numbers (or have just one person GM, if you’d prefer), and then set up the game the same way, but with your own storyline. (or play some other way, that’s fine, too)
There are also some small brown tiles – these can serve to identify places in the city. Call them whatever you want . . . a house, a school, a dungeon, a tavern, a stable, a space deck, a submarine . . . it’s up to you!
Finally, you may find it convenient to have some items with you to use to overcome challenges along the way. Select from the marketplace pouch and take a few items with you so you can be prepared. Again, the number or type of items you take is entirely up to the rules your group agrees on together.
Or do something else entirely!
Adventureland’s “rules” are open and freeform and you can certainly make your own ruleset any time.
Now for storage . . . here is the “before” of the box.
I sanded off the old words on the sides and made a compass for the top.
All the pieces inside . . . .
Added some paint to finish out the title on the box lid!
Adventureland has been a great adventure for me already!
I loved working on this project so much!