note: I forgot to post this earlier. It should come between the Introduction and the Playbooks essays when it’s compiled into one document
So, the “village” in Beyond the Waves could be located on a single island or it could be a cluster of islands nearby (maybe connected by rope ferries, bridges, or close enough to row across). If it’s a single island it could be large or small — note that the central island in Earthsea is still the size of Great Britain, so it could plausibly have all of the farming and even industry that the village in Beyond the Wall contains. However I prefer to keep the island small — perhaps unrealistically small (say, the scale of islands in Zelda: Windwaker) — and use the beaches and safe coastal waters as the “wall” in this version.
Recommend that the home island is about 3 hexes (medium).
So, let’s assume that the village is a single island — this will affect the “colour” of various moving parts:
- The Boundary of the village will be the beach or nearby safe waters, perhaps bounded by a reef or spit, cliffs or a beach
- Village industry will probably be pre-industrial (q.v. Earthsea) and include crafts, making use of natural resources and probably recycling, and getting a lot of food from the sea.
- If there’s exotic materials like metals, these will have to have come from somewhere. Maybe there’s a mainland, or maybe there are caches of weapons and metallic goods somewhere. Or perhaps there’s a Dwarven volcanic island where metals are smelted, if you want to play to that stereotype.
- Skills like Riding should be replaced with Sailing, and Farming with Fishing. Navigating and Swimming becomes important.
Fairly obvious, really. But none of this should affect the core activity of the game, which is the young protagonists striking out on their own and exploring the places beyond the village.
During character roll-up, make a map as you would normally do and insert the features that come from the playbooks into that map, bearing in mind it’s an island. If it’s an island cluster stick some features on islets (good place for hermits and witches). Etcetera.