When I wrote the first Camp Adventure article a couple of weeks ago, I ended things up knowing I needed to pick a part of the project to work on next. I outlined a few possibilities in the post, but when I went back to the document, one of them jumped out to me.

Location, Location, Location

In my previous work on this project, I’d established a template for how I wanted to write up each area of camp.

The general structure goes like this:

Name of Area

Short Description

  • What You’ll See
  • What You’ll Hear
  • What You’ll Smell

These items give a good thumbnail sketch of the important areas of the camp. As well, sight, sound, and smell are key descriptive cues for a GM to give to a group. With those things established, you can begin to have a decent idea of what these areas are like.

Tools like this are really important for me as a GM. As you’ve seen in my articles, I don’t need or want to have things spelled out for me. What I need and want out of things like this are hooks and impressions. I want to have an image in my mind, one that’s unfinished. The finishing happens when I’m at the table with players. There are some exceptions (which I’ll get to), but generally that’s what I want, so that’s what I’m going to present in this project.

With that said, let’s explore the camp!

Where to Go in Camp Adventure

Here are the major locations in the camp:

The Lodge

Proving Grounds

Agility Challenge

Watchful Forest

Lake Shimmer

Howling Cave

Shifting Wilds

These are the kinds of locations you’d see in a brochure for a camp, for example. They’re also the places where the campers will likely have most of their interactions. These came from my thoughts about where each of the classes would train and who would want to be where. I also want to mimic the general structure of standard D&D adventures for camper training. To that end, I wanted locations the camp staff could control and in which they could set these adventures.

To give you an idea of how that looks, take a look at the Lodge.

The Lodge

Decorated and appointed in the manner of a traditional adventuring tavern, the Lodge is the central gathering place for counselors and would-be adventurers. All group meals, save for special events, are eaten here.

What You’ll See

  • Long trestle tables with benches
  • Oil lamps and candles lighting the room
  • Massive fire pits at either end
  • Food as far as the eye can see

What You’ll Hear

  • Conversation in dozens of languages and at dozens of volume levels
  • The clatter and noise of knives, tankards, and wooden plates
  • Songs from all across the 12 Marches
  • The daily and special announcements

What You’ll Smell

  • Food from a variety of locales. Plain fare, but hearty

But Wait, There’s More

When looking at these locations, you might think that there’s a pretty important part of the camp missing: the cabins. I mean, the campers have to stay somewhere, right? The Cabins are kind of a special location, one that’s going to get a more thorough write-up. They’re gonna get a special treatment because they’re kind of the game base for the campers. Plus, there’s some special stuff going on with them. Same goes for the counselor’s cabins.

I said above that I tend to prefer general descriptions. The cabins are exceptions to that. They’re a place where I want to be more prescriptive about how I describe things. There are specific things that happen in the cabins and specific things that cabins do, and I want to describe those things.

Obviously, if you’re writing a thing of your own, change this up according to your preferences or what you think will be useful. If you were writing Camp Adventure and you thought that the Lodge needed to be that kind of location or hub, go wild with it. The thing I think really makes sense for these kinds of project is a good mix of things like this. For me, I want the cabins to have that detail.

So, the cabins are likely where I’ll pick this up in two weeks. If you’ve got guesses about what they’ll be like, or have any thoughts on how I’ve described the other areas, drop them in the comments.

See you in two weeks!