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Navigating by Points

Art by Astral-Requin

This is a response to Brian Ashford‘s awesome post about wilderness travel by points.

Pointcrawling has been around for a while, but I don’t know where the term originated. In a pointcrawl, the spaces between points are handwaved – play moves from point to point, where the interesting bits are.

What I like most about Brian’s system here is that it’s an impromptu pointcrawl. I like that it can be used to indicate difficulty of a path, by choosing differing points. It reminds me a lot of Chris MacDowell’s Route Mapping in Bastion.

So lemme try to mechanize this with some procedures.

Mapping: As in a dungeon, the players will need to maintain a physical map by making a note of each point they’ve been to, and what other points they connect to. They can travel to any known point through established paths – this may produce events or encounters depending on which points they traverse.

Travelling: When the players want to get to a new point, or want a new path to a known point, the GM provides at least two options – each with one or two obstacles or new points to get through with.

Example: The characters have been in this neighborhood for some time. They have various businesses listed on their map, as well as the sewers where they killed that ratkin, and a tunnel through the walls to the small forest outside the walls.

The characters now want to stealthily get into a rich manse in the next neighborhood over, so they ask the GM. The GM provides three options: 1) you can go through the sewers and travel underneath the city (new point) to get there; 2) you can simply head to the next neighborhood but there’s a ton of peacekeepers patrolling (obstacle); or 3) you can head out to the woods, scale the city wall (obstacle) and take the rooftops (obstacle) to the manse. What should they do?


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3 responses to “Navigating by Points”

  1. I really like this. I have been thinking about how to do travel in the game I’m about to run that is all about exploring a dark forest. I might riff off this for a blog post.


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