M and I (and faithful hound Argos) have returned from our visit to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia, a trip that provided some much-needed decompression and relaxation—and an enforced vacation from the internet. On the other hand, it provided some spectacular vistas and some thoughts about wilderness adventures, too…
If your players are travelling on a trail, some things to think about: who made it? Why? How much traffic does it see? A forest trail made by elves might be mistaken for a deer run, while one made by centaurs would be wide and cleared high enough for one of their kind (or a human on horseback). Well-travelled trails will merit some sort of improvements over the worst parts, while disused ones may verge on the impassable.
Maps can be deceiving.
When your players find a map, how good is it? Who made it, and who did they make it for? Did they have time to carefully survey the terrain to make it accurate, or is it a quick drawing made more to remind them of the path than it is to lead you and your companions? What's on the map in terms of landmarks and natural features? Maybe more importantly, what's not on the map that might be important to someone travelling across the terrain? How old is the map, and what's changed since it was made? Something as simple as the hexes to the right might look more like this in reality:
Visibility is not always a given.
Even during broad daylight, visibility can sometimes be measured only in feet, depending on the terrain and vegetation—something to consider as your players make their way through a thick forest!
There's more, but it's going to take a bit of research, so stay tuned for Part II!