The town of Bendwyn is to players of the 1970's RPG The Fantasy Trip what The Keep On The Borderlands is to old school Dungeons & Dragons players.
When Pete originally launched our campaign last year - using The Fantasy Trip - it was only natural that he base our characters in Bendwyn, the example town in the core rules, but he then hit on the idea of making us members of the town council, immediately embedding our characters in the life of the community.
Kevin's dwarf, Davian, is the town's blacksmith; my magic-user, Peter Entwhistle, is the town mage (and the tutor of Clare's sorceress-in-training Marigold); Simon's halfling bard, Harry, works at the tavern where the council meets; Meredith's character Imogen is the adopted daughter of the town potter; and Pete's ex-military healer, Kirchin, runs the healing centre on the edge of Bendwyn, where Erica's character Holly is a part-time nurse.
When I took over the campaign and we switched to the Heroes & Other Worlds system (an upgrading and modernisation of TFT), it seemed fitting to upgrade and modernise Bendwyn as well.
So I took a Biro to the old hex map (below), factored in the adventures we'd already had and places that had been mentioned, did a cursory bit of research on Medieval town/village life and then called upon the superlative cartography skills of Simon Forster to produce a 'new look' Bendwyn (see the map above).
Since then, as the campaign has developed, new characters have arrived on the scene and adventures have been had, I have continued to update the details of the town, on its dedicated page on the campaign blog, even though the map will stay as is (for the time being anyways).
It would be all to easy to crash in with zealous enthusiasm and detail every single building and business in Bendwyn, but instead I'm allowing the town to fill out organically as the campaign grows and new characters (where player-characters or non-player character) come on the scene.
Several of the players have remarked of late how they like the fact that they are connected to town life and that they feel protective of Bendwyn's inhabitants.
Maybe, eventually, they'll outgrow town life and get to see more of the world, but for the moment everyone is content to plant firm roots in the soil of Bendwyn.
|Bendwyn of yesteryear...|