Tomorrow we’ll enter into the third week of our campaign play of “The Halls of Arden Vul” and I wanted to detail my between-sessions preparation. There are other articles about that (in particular I suggest you to read THIS that details both GM prep and session updates).
My preparation is aimed to speed up the game. I don’t want to look up for things as we play and neither want my players to draw maps. Therefore I prepared a module for Foundry VTT (you can find it HERE). I import the new maps into the game as needed and for each one of them I activate the simple-map module. As the PCs progress, I delete part of the fog of war layer and reveal part of the map. In the GM’s vision I have keyed all the rooms so I can refer to them without switching map. I have the PDF of the adventure opened and I can jump directly to the room description. I’ve also split the book’s appendix into different PDFs (spells, items etc) and I open one of them as I need it.
If a combat occur, I activate another scene in FoundryVTT where I drop the tokens needed and use the writing tool to create the room or corridor that I need. Despite being quite cumbersome, I am using ARS – Advanced roleplaying system: it has all I can need: magical items, monsters, spells etc. Just drag and drop something from there and pick up a picture for the token and you’re done.
Coming to the rules I am using The White Box with the following tweaks to make it even simplier:
- Stats: 3d6 down the line: one stat might be changed with a 14
- Only humans
- Only the four basic classes (fighter, magic-user, cleric, thief)
- Backgrounds for the PCs from Worlds without Numbers by Kevin Krawford (I roll randomly for each one of them and his background gives him more possibility of action. For instance a hunter can track creatures and so on)
- 5 XP needed to advance: they get 1 XP for creating the character + 1 XP for each session they survive
- Slot-based encumbrance: 20 slots