Sunday, August 31, 2014

Classroom Activity: Map and Setting (part III)

Here is the planned culminating activity for my unit on setting design. I didn't spin off into world-building (though that would be a delight) but kept this project focused on having each student create a location-based adventure scenario.

Unit Two: Creating a Setting

Key Objective: Students will extend their knowledge of geographic tools by generating maps and map keys

Culminating Activity (#4): Design a Complete, Location-Based Adventure Setting


  • Students are furnished with a rubric, graph paper, hazard and reward lists, stocking guidelines, sample map legend, and list of sample plot hooks
  • Students are advised that they will be preparing two keys for the same location: one basic level, one expert level
  • Students are provided with a list of transitional events to inspire a history for their setting (“flood”  “invasion by creatures”  “plague”  “earthquake”  “opening of dimensional gateway”  “100 years pass”  etc)

never pass up an opportunity to use Albrecht Durer

  • map with legend and two-part key - evaluated by rubric (rating each category from 3 to 0))

Here are the descriptors for work that earns a "3"

3 = My map is carefully drawn in ink, includes a title, a legend for symbols used, and has 15 or more numbered areas with significant variety in features.

3 = My beginner key includes each numbered area from my map. My encounters relate to each other and have a consistent rationale. There is variety and interest in my encounters and they include tricks, traps, monsters, empty areas and treasures.  My encounters are reasonably balanced to challenge beginning level explorers.  I have identified one or more plot hooks for introducing characters to the setting.

3 = My expert key includes encounters that are interesting, creative, and which offer an appropriate level of challenge.  This key has a clear relationship to my basic level key, suggesting change over time.  I have identified one or more plot hooks for introducing characters to the setting.

Coming up next time, Unit Three: Managing the Game ... can I continue to develop a cadre of junior GMs?