Single Locations or Ranging games

Normally my campaigns tend to have a home base and then range over wide areas. Since I tend to run high tech games (STA, Dune, etc) transport isn’t normally a major element.
Roman roads aren’t so good to be able to easily shift around the empire too easily.
With Cohors being a lower tech universe I’m thinking about focussing my campaign in a single location, like Laurium, and not ranging more than a couple of dozen miles from it without it being a major part of the plot.

What are peoples thoughts on how they are thinking about handling the range of their games?
I suppose Mediterranean based games may be able to travel a bit more with the sea lanes, but even then you are talking travel time measured in weeks.

I’m undecided if I want to stick with the default of the Germanic borders or go with Northern Britannia (where I grew up so know a lot of the local Roman ruins) or go with the Eastern Empire (Dacia/Thracia) and so pull in some of the Carpathian geography.

In other games I’ve noticed a distinct difference in the level of attachment between a smaller scale game (in terms of geography) and wider scale ones. The smaller, more local scale really lets players connect to recurring NPCs and locations a lot more than a larger scale one does.

A few years ago (actually about 6 - Eek!), I ran a Cthulhu-Rome mini-campaign (‘SPQR’ set in 119 AD; obviously with a system other than that of our gracious hosts), that saw the players travel from Britannia to Mauretania Tingitana to Rome to Cyprus to Ephesus to Alexandra and then back to Rome for the finale. Travel time was not a particular issue, but was sometimes used to add a bit of drama (giving the players the feeling that time was slipping by/that they were taking too long). I think the overall campaign lasted (as experienced by the characters) about a year and a half, due to the travel time, but the bad guys were equally affected by travel distances, so it didn’t prove to be a problem.
Incidentally, there is a very useful online resource for travel time across the Roman empire: Orbis, the Stanford geospatial network model (apparently we can’t post links, but searching on Orbis Stanford should find it).


Wow, cool resource! :heart_eyes:
This will proof incredibly useful! :heart_eyes:

And here it is: !
Thanks, @Evildrsmith !


Travel was slow in Roman times so depends how wide spread you want it.
30-50 miles would be a lot for some. But Rome to Chester normal for others.
You could give some characters a reason to travel - such a diplomatic mission or a posting to a foreign land. But that could be tricky (but not impossible) with a disparate group, some of whom would normally be locally based.
Maybe speak with the group to see what they would prefer, before creating characters.

I’m currently settling on a concept where the players will be based in a single location, but the surrounding area is only poorly understood.

So I will create a hex map, with flippable tiles. Some will be known (the main road through, etc) but most will just show forest or hills.
As they explore or find clues tiles will be flipped over revealing what is actually there.

Not all tiles will have a set location, allowing me to use the random tables to flesh out areas and do emergent ganeplay.

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