Another quick update. As opposed to what I said last time, I decided not to start scripting Act II, but rather to start on Act III. My output since then is 5000 words of dialog, three of the thirteen maps I project I'll need, and the start of a fourth (more below).
I also did a lot of tactical planning for Act III and began to get the impression that it was a bit too linear. To a degree, this is unavoidable given that the adventure will need to be driven to a conclusion at this point, but I thought it was nevertheless too much. Therefore, I revised a couple aspects to give the players some extra choices along the way, and I think the campaign is stronger for it as a result.
The nature of those choices - and of Act III for that matter - will have to remain a secret. There's a huge twist at the end of Act II that launches the final act, and any concrete information I give will have a seriously deleterious effect on player enjoyment, so I'm not even going to use my secret spoiler trick. Just silence.
However, I'll post the occasional screenshots. I began to think that maybe people might be a bit interested on the design of my map of the Waterdeep Dock Ward, so I'll post the map at different stages of development. It's the first true "city map" I've done, and I've already found it to present very different challenges from nature maps or even village maps. The attached screenshot represents about four hours of work yesterday and shows the basic outline of the ward. It's just the building layout along with a small bit of texturing to show the roads, and then I added the river-walk docks and the water. The red square indicates the area traversable by the player; everything outside of that is background scenery. More later as Waterdeep develops.