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How I Started My Sandbox

Nine years ago, I started on a little experiment. Over time, it grew in directions both bad and good. Over those nine years, I've blogged a lot about my Dark Ages/Chronicles of Etinerra campaign, but it might help to take a step back and go back to the beginning - especially as the topic of sandboxes is very active on the more nu-D&D related blogs these days.
In the beginning, there were three hexes!
Well, actually, in the beginning, I wrote a story that helped to capture the vibe of a West Marches post-apocalypse fantasy world. That was the fuel for my imagination to help me picture what the players would first run into.
This was over the holidays in November/December of 2008, so I had some time to sketch out some things, put together some thoughts. I hadn't run a campaign in over 20 years, back in the mid 80s! The thought of going back to 1st edition was fun, but scary!
I had 3 hexes. Hex #1 was the player's homebase, the town of Enonia and the Enonian Keep. Hex #2 wa…

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