The Fell Gard Codices

The Aleatory Process II

November 17th, 2012

‘Aleatory’ comes from the Latin for ‘die’ or ‘dice.’ It means, as Wikipedia sums it up, “the incorporation of chance into the process of creation, especially the creation of art or media.” That’s pretty much what I’m after with Fell Gard. I have my charts, and I roll dice, and generate the dungeon and its contents according to what the dice give me.

But before getting to the dice, I have to prepare the physical medium of the map. The scale of the dungeon is such that I decided early on that using individual sheets of graph paper would be inefficient — sheets would get lost or torn, and it’d be confusing lining them all up. Instead I decided to make larger ’tiles’ for my map.

I bought some large white bristol boards, 22 inches by 28 inches, and taped sheets of graph paper over them, wrapping the sheets of paper around the edges of the boards, and making sure that the squares of the graph paper were aligned as neatly as I could get them. I ended up with large and fairly nifty-looking sheets of graphs. At 4 squares per inch, and ten feet per square, each tile shows 880 feet by 1120 feet, which I soon realised happens to be very near to the size of a local park — useful, in that it’s helped me visualise the scale of things from time to time.

So that was how I started. It’s worked nicely so far. At this point I’ve got ten different boards going. Not all are completely filled, by any means. And they don’t all connect, as some of the boards describe ‘level one’ of the dungeon and some ‘level two.’ But they’re impressive, to my eyes; it’s fascinating to lay out all the pieces of level one, and see it all fit together. I can see the story physically laid out before me, both the parts that have been told, and the parts still to come. It’s an interesting artifact, helping to make things that much more real to me.

You can read the next post here.

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