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?