Trophy Gold Incursions and Maps

I have started putting together some incursions for Trophy Gold. While I think the text itself lays out what is needed mechanically, it is focused on conversions rather than original work. That suggests a situation where there is an original text to reference for details and flavor and meta narrative.
I’ve been writing and running adventures for a while, and I have ideas on how to integrate those elements into a specifically Trophy Gold context.
Where I’m struggling, a bit, is the map/flowchart thing. I very much like Trophy Gold taking away the square by square crawl and making it more narrative. But - and it is only the case sometimes - the map can be a major element of design and mood, and flowcharts mostly bring a mood of loathing. I haven’t really settled on a more evocative way to do it, and, maybe in a way that brings design into it. If all of you tinkerers and magicians have any ideas on how to enliven them, I would most appreciate hearing them.



I Don’t have any suggestions but I am very interested in what the responses will be.

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I don’t think you need to eliminate maps entirely. I fully agree that they are evocative and, as a GM, they can be useful in helping you get your bearings on how a space is constructed and should be described. Plus players like them! If you have a good map that you like, use it :grinning:

The flowchart is for mapping the story beats, and does so in a way that allows for a non-linear path. I would suggest starting with the question: Where do I want the treasure-hunters to begin? Write that down as your first Set. Then once you have the Goal for that set, that will likely logically lead to a next Set. If you allow for branches, and failure states, eventually you’ve got a flowchart built.

If your question is really just How do I make flowcharts evocative?, then that’s a harder problem, and maybe one that doesn’t need to be solved. Remember, the flowchart isn’t for the players, as maps sometimes are. It’s a tool for helping give the GM an overview of what’s to come, so clarity should be of utmost importance. In the same way that a table of contents doesn’t need to be innovative, the flowchart can just be a functional element to help with the GM’s understanding of an incursion.


I’m just looking to run my first Trophy Gold game (tonight!) and was intending to run The Tomb of the Serpent King.

And I have had very similar thoughts to what @Natalieash raises. If I wanted to reveal the map that comes with Skerple’s original adventure, how would this work with the Trophy Gold Hunt rolls? My quandary is that if I put the map down on the table, my players will have a very hard time resisting exploring room by room. I can’t quite figure out how and when to call for a Hunt Roll in that case.

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In that case, I’d probably just call for a single Hunt Roll as a group every time they enter a new room, rather than calling for individual Hunt Rolls every time someone says they’re exploring. If you call for individual Hunt Rolls, you’re likely to get too many terrible encounters.

Be ready to have a fair number of treasure descriptions at the ready. Also, you’ll have to work out a fictional rationale for losing all their tokens on a 1, since they’re less likely to get lost with a map right in front of them—or just drop the “on a 1, lose all your tokens” rule.

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I was thinking of just barring the doors to any rooms that are less impressive or important. The door is there but it does not mean it is accessible. Maps weren’t always reliable or current. It could be from a cave in or the like.

I was also thinking of trying to cover sections of the map until after the Hunt roll. After the roll, I could show a section and move the party to where I envision the hint led. Perhaps, they would still lose tokens for being lost if they were chased by a monster or a cave-in occurred making backtracking impossible. (The second part assumes there is another way out -either on the map nor a secret tunnel out

I suspect part of Trophy Gold’s appeal is that it’s effectively mapless, but manages to evoke the dungeon crawl genre/aesthetic and provides tools to convert classic dungeon crawls from spatial orienteering to narrative scene structure.

Now this doesn’t catch my current interests in resource based/spatial adventures, but I can totally get excited about how it provides a great deal of intentionality and functionality to contemporary traditional systems and their adventures. I suspect that at some point maps only serve as an aesthetic prop - but that’s largely what they do in contemporary traditional design anyway. My impulse would be to lean into that, and offer the map (or large portions of it revealed over time) with connector spaces and hallways set off (say greyed out?) A space that connects encounter areas and at most has a predictable, general effect - like a hazard die roll.

This is of course mostly just using the scene flowchart as an underlay for the map - which is basically what happens with contemporary traditional adventures anyhow (travel in hallways etc has no risk or cost without supply or random encounters). Because the exploration/spatial puzzle aspect has no risk associated it becomes a burden, which I think is one of Trophy Gold’s innovative observations, and it can be safely formalized/minimized.

So I guess: simplify classic maps you like with a greyscale lair for “flowchart arrow” areas and use it as a player facing prop? Does that make any sense?


Q) What’s the difference between TG’s Sets/Flowchart and a Pointcrawl?

A point crawl is a wilderness system - wilderness generally has followed encounter/scene based design rather then level based design since the beginning. Hexcrawls are also scene based. Trophy Gold uses something akin to that for location based adventure. In classic play location based adventure is generally level based and thus spatial rather then narrative.

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