We're still rebuilding our DF game after the big disaster. We played Gamma Terra in the meantime, which was good because it gave me a lot more time to prep for game and a lot more time for people to make characters.
We are looking at an expanded wilderness component. Right now it's a discussion of two options:
Mostly wilderness, with lairs and a mini-dungeon to seek out - a hexcrawl.
Mostly dungeon (a ruins), with a wilderness component.
In either case, I'm handing the players the map. Possibly just the outline of the map for the hexcrawl (so it's more exploration heavy) or maybe the full map (so it's a known area, but finding the mini-dungeon in this known area is the challenge.) If it's the ruins I have a map in mind - I'll flat-out steal it from a published adventure, so I don't have to draw it myself, but at least partly populate it with stuff unrelated to the source material.
For the "mostly dungeon" one, it'll share a lot with Cold Fens (wilderness is a "moat" around a mostly linear dungeon) and the Caves of Chaos (ditto, but with a less linear dungeon.)
It's a tossup between a few:
- a lost island, with "town" being a ship and its crew.
- part of the drier, more tangled-woods section of the Cold Fens, with town being a caravan working its way around the edges while the PCs make forays in looking for something.
- a jungle wilderness with "camp" being a ship on the river doing some of its own business (trading, mapping, harvesting weird plants, whatever) while the PCs have time for a few forays into the jungle.
So, Survival (Jungle), (Island/Beach), or (Woodlands) would be the way to go. No one will need water-based skills except maybe Boating (it's come up in every campaign I've ever run.)
For sure, the next group will have Gerald "Gerry" Tarrant, necromancer and zombie booster.
Under discussion for the others are:
- An axe-and-shield Knight (or a Scout, or an Assassin - all the same player - all looked solid at first pass.)
- A dwarf swashbuckler with a dwarven bastard sword (haven't seen him yet, I'm curious how he'll come out.) I have a mini that might do for now, if I swap out for a larger sword. Depends on if he has a shield or not.
- A Savage Warrior with Shirtless Savage and Berserker, with a morningstar. He's going for Berserk (Battle Rage; Enraged) so he can defend but also not waste time not being berserk. He'll get Beefcake Protection ASAP and Naked Rage if you lives that long.
- A druid. This will be interesting, because he's aiming to be dungeon-useful later as well as wilderness-useful now.
- A wizard. Probably air-centered, since fire didn't cut it last time.
No one has seriously mentioned a cleric yet - "Evil Cleric" was bounced around but they can't heal anyone, so that's not as useful for support.
We also have some other characters who could get involved - Bern the artificer, Galoob the thief, Christoph the scout (one player's retired character), and Dave the knight.
Personally I think the group can benefit from a more front-line heavy approach, and I think a Scout would help immensely in the outdoors and also solve a good part of their "we can't fight the orcs, they have bows!" concerns in Felltower. Bow damage isn't terribly high, and thr/impaling is a weak attack versus supernatural types . . . but the ability to put damage onto any foe in a melee is really helpful.
But it's tough to adventure without reliable supporting types, too. And there won't be any NPCs around this time to start with - there will be someone back in "town" to recharge power items and heal, but not to come adventure with them.