The world of Crucible is a sort of purgatory. Players have been brought here by the gods of this world. The players work for the benefit of the world, venturing in the wilderness to uncover the world, and also unlock portals.
Movement through the world is 1 day per hex. Every day of travel has a roll on a table.
Roll 1d100+(5 x days traveled)
>60 Encounter (possible always, guaranteed after 12 days/tiles)
>130 Hard encounter (possible after 6 days, guaranteed after 26 days)
>160 Deadly encounter (Possible after 12 guaranteed after 32 days)
At 10 check points there are portals guarded by the ethreal bosses. Once killed they open the portal for all players in this world. Checkpoints are 5, 10, 15, 20 on the left and right edges of the map. There is one at 7 and 17 on the edge of the ocean. Final boss is CR 25+.
Locations will be peppered throughout for players to explore. And all the classic baddies can be hunted and killed (Terasque, Liches, etc)
Everyone starts at level 1, in a catacombs type thing, at the end is an older man, butler like, keeps a sort of Hotel register. You check in at the end of the session then enter the world. If you die, your name is crossed off the list, If you ascend you Check out.
Portal fights are warned, You succeed you unlock the portal for the world, you fail… and you die forever.
Portal fights can be full adventures, puzzles, and always end in the challenge of the portal guardian. All portal guardians are home brewed in some way. Meant to all be deadly challenges.
When an adventurer dies their name, and a very short description on a small 3 inch Obelisk marks where they died. Something like Name, Level, purpose for being in that place (money, power, knowledge, etc…), and class one on each side. The players will see many of these. It should be made clear that this world is old, and new. There was an old world, and when the world had nothing more to offer, a new, larger world was created. On to this the old world was shattered, scattering it’s pieces across the new world, like spreading seed. Ruins that didn’t survive, temples that did. Most people left in the world do not remember the old world, and for those in Sanctuary, nothing has changed.