Quantum Ogre meet Schrödinger’s Troglodyte | Chekhov’s Gun – adventure design vs play

I recently read about Chekhov’s Gun. Here’s what the web had to say about it:

“Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed. Elements should not appear to make “false promises” by never coming into play.”

It made me wonder: does Chekhov’s Gun have a place in RPG adventure design?

My answer is: Yes, but mainly no-ish (helpful!).

LT:DR ~ The key difference here is that a traditional story is fixed, whereas an RPG session is not.

Planned adventure

A planned adventure normally has a framework from where a story can collaboratively emerge. This framework should include things (dare I say ‘Chekhov’s Guns’) the DM hopes/expects the players to interact with. The ‘guns’ might be NPCs, monsters, magic item, weird stuff, traps etc.

However, an RPG session is not a fixed story (railroading, story arcs and Quantum Ogres aside). An RPG session is more like a sporting event, where nobody, not even the referee, knows the final result until the game is played.

It is a well-known cliché that the players will miss/ignore ‘important’ NPCs or plot hooks and obsess over what appears to be a trivial detail (e.g. a captive goblin becomes an important and loved NPC rather than simply more dungeon XP fodder; and the DM did not plan for this). In the end, the DM might not expect or like the story the players ‘write’ within the DM’s framework, but nonetheless it is the emergent ‘story’. Similarly, another cliché is the DM stealing players’ table speculations and fears, making those speculations the new reality e.g. a player wonders if the sword contains the essence of the disgraced paladin? Yes, yes, it does now! 

So, the DM can plan ‘Chekhov’s Guns’ in their adventure, but it is only through play that these becomes real.

Erhm … the blog title said something about a Quantum Ogre vs Schrödinger’s Troglodyte. Here goes:

Schrödinger’s Troglodyte

Quantum Ogre (sort of) meets Schrödinger’s Troglodyte

In essence, the Schrödinger’s Cat experiment can be used to describe every (non-scripted) RPG session ever played.

As a recap, in the Schrödinger’s Cat experiment there is a cat in a box, the cat could be alive or it could be dead. It is only when we look in the box we discover if the cat is alive or dead. So, before we look in the box, the cat has the property of being both alive and dead.

A planned RPG adventure is just like the Schrödinger’s cat experiment, where the box is the adventure. Before the players interact with the adventure (the box) everything planned by the DM is not fixed.  It is only after the players interact with the adventure (the box) does anything become real and so fixed.

So, if the players explored 15 rooms of a 20-room dungeon, skipped the boss troglodyte room, leave and never return, then for now, only those 15 rooms are real. Dare I suggest that only the things the PCs interacted in those 15 rooms are the Chekhov’s Guns (from the story POV) and everything else including the boss troglodyte might as well not exits (from the story POV). At best those things the PCs missed exist in a Schrödinger’s Cat-like state of not quite existing.

The Quantum Ogre is the anthesis of the Schrödinger’s Troglodyte, because the ogre comes into existence regardless of the players’ interaction, and so deprives the players of the ‘game’. Not only is the Ogre in the box, it will also climb out and find you! Fixed story arcs and railroad adventures are no more than a Quantum Ogre in plot form. Fixed ‘Chekhov’s Guns’ are also no more than Quantum Ogres.  

So, in RPG adventure design nothing really exists in the RPG world until the players interact with it, in emergent play the players (predominately) decide what is important and hence what the ‘Chekhov’s Guns’ are. Other things in effect fade into obscurity (unless revived by the DM later in a later session) and so are not really ‘false promises’. In adventure design, perhaps the best policy is to create lots of interesting situations and let the players figure out what is important to them and roll with it; embrace the uncertain existence of Schrödinger’s Troglodyte and shun the (perhaps misnamed) Quantum (tunnelling?) Ogre.

Nothing is dogma – Quantum Ogres can have a place (but hopefully only exceptionally).

To conclude, I suspect I’ve told you nothing new, but that said, until you read this post you existed in a state of both knowing and not knowing that.

:O|

(PS don’t argue with me, I have PhD in particle physics <– not true)

– – –

Me on DriveThruRPG

DxDy dice mechanic | … e.g. D4D6

Math(s) warning: If you are a mathematician the words I use below may well be formally inaccurate, sorry!

Trad-game warning: I can imagine that rolling a die to see how many dice you roll will be an unwelcome idea in some circles – it’s OK, I’m not the D&D police, please feel free to ignore this idea.

I stumbled onto this recently (it may be well known to others) and hopefully I’m not just inadvertently regurgitating something I’ve read elsewhere.

If for example you roll D6D6s (i.e. you roll a D6 to see how many D6s you are going to roll and sum) you get a weird probability profile that has a weird leading spike:

triceratops in profile 3

For some strange reason it reminds me of a sleeping triceratops

It certainly looks nothing like a standard 6D6 roll (flatter and pushed leftwards as well as having the leading spike):

triceratops in profile 3a

The ‘at least’ number is almost linear for most of the graph as compared to 6D6:

triceratops in profile 3b

Here’s the idea again, but where some other combinations have been done (again weird leading spike):

triceratops in profile 1

Here’s a mismatched pair  D4D10 and D10D4 (spike more pronounced when fewer dice are in the mix – perhaps not too unexpected):

triceratops in profile 2

Application in gaming?  I’ve got nothing! But …  perhaps one day it might find a place!

You’d need a probability structure that runs from 1 to the end number, has a leading spike, a flattish mid-section and then tails off as you approach the highest numbers.

OK – with that in mind and shooting from the hip here as I’m typing this up – a new way to roll stats (where we invert the thing to favour high not low numbers):

triceratops in profile 3c

So compared to 4D6 drop the lowest, 19-D2D8 is more likely to give 17s and 18s.

Here it is again but vs 3D6:

triceratops in profile 3e

Here’s also 19-D3D5 (no 3’s and the chance of a 14 to 18 is much higher than 4D6 drop the lowest):

triceratops in profile 3d

I guess I’m not seriously advancing this as a replacement mechanic for rolling stats, but that said, statistically it’s not completely ludicrous (unless I’ve made a mistake) …

Perhaps you can think of a better use case?
No? OK, not to worry!

:O\

– – –

Me on DriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

Portuguese Translation – Hex Flower Cookbook

I’m extremely grateful to Tito B.A. for translating my ‘Hex Flower Cookbook’ (Manual do “Hex Flower”) into Portuguese and so making it more accessible to more gamers!

BRFlag

Thank you Tito!!

Please check out Tito’s blog (https://titorpg.wordpress.com) and their DriveThruRPG page (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13161/Tito-BA).  Tito is arguably best known for his excellent ‘Sacrebleu!’ island setting with goblins equipped with WW1 weaponry as reviewed on the Fear of a Black Dragon Podcast!

Background – what’s a Hex Flower anywho? A Hex Flower (HF) is like a random table, but with a memory.

image_preview Hex Flower Cookbook – where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses

– – –

Me on DriveThruRPG

Two new Hex Flowers | Forest & Death Star attack

This is just a quick Hex Flower update.

:: In the Heart of the Eternal Forest  – procedurally explore an Eternal forest

ItHotEF screenshot DT

:: Attack on the Death Star – Procedural attack on the Death Moon, Planet or Star – procedurally attack the Empire/s evil planet sized weapon 

Death Moon cover DT  Page 2 - Death Moon Capture

Background – what’s a Hex Flower anywho? A Hex Flower (HF) is like a random table, but with a memory.

Hex Flower Cookbook – where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses

– – –

Me on DriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

Face Folio | Ukraine Appeal

We’ve decided to release Face Folio early as a PDF to raise money in support of Ukraine:

ff dt cover uf 

Links

All funds raised in at least April will go to supporting Ukraine in this time of need. 

Signal boost – If you are not able to support financially, then perhaps please consider giving this appeal a signal boost! 

KS Backer – If you are one of the KS backers and have not got your PDF, please follow this link: UPDATE

 #facefolio

– – –

Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

Face Folio | PDF rollout to KS backers

Face Folio as a PDF is being distributed to the Kickstarter backers!

FF Cover

We’d like to thank them for their collective patients, and it’s now great that we can show them what @MARCINsRPGart  has done. #facefolio

– – –

Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

In the Heart of Oz | Ukraine Code

I can’t do a lot to help Ukraine, but here’s a promo code for my ‘In the Heart of Oz’.
The code expires at the end of this month. 

Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=991b9d46b9

I will donate all money to help Ukrainian resist Putin.  
I’ll will also personally match the amount donated.

ITHoOUk

– – – 

More info: 

In the Heart of (the Land of the Wizard of) Oz is a system-neutral procedural sandbox setting which draws inspiration from the books of L. Frank Baum and with artwork by the wonderful Nate Treme (Highland Paranormal Society)

In the Heart of Oz contains procedural Encounter, Terrain and Weather Engines for Wilderness Hex Crawling across the fairy-tale like land of Oz. There is also a procedural ‘dungeon’ to take on the Wicked Witch of the West in her Yellow Castle.

Preview image

Capture - WoOZ

Hex Flowers … what?
A Hex Flower is a bit like a random table, but with an inbuilt ‘memory’ (because the last turn affects the next outcome). Each time you enter a new HEX, you procedurally determine what is going on. 

Hex Flower procedural products you might be interested in
:: In the Heart of the Unknown –  procedural wilderness (Hex) exploration
:: In the Heart of the Sea – procedural High Seas exploration
:: In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous  – procedural ‘dungeon’ exploration
:: Carapace – adventure exploring a giant insect colony
:: Planar Compass 2 – procedurally explore the Astral Sea 

More on Hex Flower Theory
You can read more about Hex Flower Game Engines in my Hex Flower Cookbook

and on my Blog: https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/2d6-hex-power-flower

Printing
This document can be conveniently printed using the ‘booklet’ option on printers that can print on both sides of the paper. Folding gives an A5 booklet.

Wolfram’s 4 colour theorem | Relationship mapping?

I was listening to Ray Otus’s podcast (which I like). He was talking about Wolfram’s Four colour theorem, which states (perhaps paraphrased as):

“Any map in a plane can be colored using four-colors in such a way that regions sharing a common boundary (other than a single point) do not share the same color”

I wondered if this could be used to map out relationships where each colour represents a certain intensity in that relationship from high to low. The idea being to design a relationship map that is random, but with some “design” to it.

Let’s try it out …

Example 1 – D&D starting characters – using Wolfram’s Four colour theorem

Maybe this design concept could be applied to D&D stats, where certain stats tend to go together … :

Rules:

  1. Populate a 7 hex Hex Flower with each stat and one for wealth, so STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHAR & wealth
  2. Using up to 4 pencils colour/outline the Hexes using Wolfram’s Four colour theorem, starting from the middle
  3. Randomly assign each colour a different value from 1 to 4 using a D4 where: 

1 = low (6-9),
2 = medium-low (9-12),
3= medium-high (12-15)
4 = high (15-18):

Let’s try two examples:

Step 0 – Blank Hex Flower

W1

Step 1 – populate the Hex Flower with the 6 stats and wealth:

W2

Step 2 – colour according to Wolfram’s Four colour theorem (in this case using all 4 colours)

w3

Step 3 – randomly assign each colour a different value from 1 to 4:

Red                     2  (- ) e.g. 5 days’ living wage 
Orange              4 (++) i.e. 15-18
Green                1 (- -) i.e. 6-9
Blue                   3 (+) i.e. 12-15

So the result is:

w4

So the new PC is strong and tough (15-18), quite wise and personable (12-15), clumsy and dumb (6-9) and has modest wealth. So perhaps an fighter then from a poor background.

Let’s try it again (using the same stat placement), but with fewer colours more of a-go-for-broke min-max arrangement) and re-rolling:

Red                     3 (+) e.g. 3 months’ living wage
Orange              1 (- -) i.e. 6-9
Blue                   4 (++) i.e. 15-19
(no green)

             w4a

So the new PC is very smart, wise, personable (15-18), but very weak, fragile and clumsy (6-9). But quite wealthy. Hrmmm, perhaps a Magic-user then for an affluent family.  

If this sort of min-max 3-colour-option option does not appeal, then you could get rid of the central hex (and get rid of wealth slot) and insist that all four colours are used.

Example 2 – Random NPC’s personality

Rules:

  1. Populate a 7 hex Hex Flower with a personality trait, one from each group (you can make your own traits)
  2. Using up to 4 pencils colour/outline the Hexes using Wolfram’s Four colour theorem, starting from the middle
  3. Randomly assign each colour a different value from 1 to 4 using a D4 where:

1 = low (- -)
2 = medium-low (-)
3= medium-high (+)
4 = high (+ +)

7 NPC Traits:

  1. wealth, resources, influence
  2. status, reputation, level
  3. cynical, duplicity, prejudice
  4. Personable, warmth, empathic
  5. wit, intelligent, charming
  6. greed, selfish, evil
  7. desperate, needs, desire

Let try two examples:

Step 0 – Blank Hex Flower

W1

Step 1 – populate the Hex Flower with the 7 traits:

w5

Step 2 – colour according to Wolfram’s Four colour theorem (in this case using all 4 colours)

w6

Step 3 – randomly assign each colour a different value from 1 to 4:

Red                     4  (++)
Orange              3 (+)
Green                1 (- -)
Blue                   2 (-)

So the result is:

w7

So, they really desire something from the PCs, they are quite wealthy and greedy, they are not especially smart or personable, they are of low social status but at least not very treacherous.  A quest giver, perhaps a merchant, who desperately wants something to (further) enrich themselves and is happy to pay the PCs to get it. 

What happens if we had coloured the hex’s differently, using just 3 colours e.g.:

  w7a

Now they would have some desire to get something from the PCs, they would be smart, greedy and treacherous with no money, status and quite cold. Doesn’t sound like a nice chap. Perhaps a street thief full of animal cunning and wants the PCs’ coin. 

Again, three colours gives a more polarized outcome. 

Some initial conclusions – I think you can try and set this up so coloured pairs go together, perhaps wealth & status, greed & duplicity and wit & warmth.

That said, I wonder if we should scrap the middle hex and insist that 4 colours must be used to introduce less homogeneity. Perhaps.  

Is this useful (?)– not sure, just brainstorming here. Perhaps if you planning a session and want some inspiration about an NPC, or have a bunch of templates ready to pull out of a hat??

More
Clearly, these are not just the two ways this idea could be used. 

– – –

Me on DriveThruRPG

Thinking outside the Hex | ‘Hex Flower’ theory stuff

As many people following this blog will know, I’ve been making Hex Flowers with a navigation mechanic based on summing 2D6 (corresponding % probabilities shown on the right side) i.e.:

11

This ‘Navigation Hex’ being (part of) the rules for moving around a Hex Flower like this one:

55w

I had a discussion with Jake Eldritch  (I will try and find the link) online about this idea, and concluded that 2D6 with a ‘disadvantage’ mechanic (i.e. roll 2 x D6 and take the lowest roll, e.g. a roll of 3 and 5 gives a 3 as the result) could give you this kind of ‘ Navigation Hex’ with fewer numbers around the edge:

22 b

Rather amazingly (to me anyway), it appears to have the same probability structure as above when I sum 2D6. You could argue that the ‘maths’ is simpler with the ‘disadvantage’ method, although not massively so. Here’s the ‘Anydice’ stats: 

anydice

But … recently it did make me wonder about other shapes, like an octagonal array with an octagonal ‘Navigation Oct’ or square array with a ‘Navigation Square?’ (or larger tiling shapes) – where the ‘disadvantage’ method might be simpler and more intuitive than summing two polygonal dice.

Here’s an example of an octagonal ‘flower’ with an octagonal “Navigation Hex”:

33

Summing 2D8 would give 16 at the top of the ‘Navigation Oct’,  then working clockwise around the ‘Navigation Oct’: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15. That’s surely got to be harder than using the ‘disadvantage’ mechanic shown above. And, unless I’ve made an error gives the same probability structure.  

Just ‘noodling’ about the associated edge rules with the coloured arrows. Of course an ‘advantage’ mechanic could be used (instead of a disadvantage mechanic) to invert the probability structure.

For good form sake, here’s a 16 grid ‘flower’ using a 2D4 with a disadvantage mechanic (if you like a tip on your ‘flower’, perhaps use diamonds not squares):

44

… or even a square grid but with 8 possible directions of travel (including diagonals):

99a

This post is more theoretical than anything, but does make using other shapes (other  than hexagons) to make flowers more accessible (I think). I have not worked out how strong the probability bias is (yet) for the octagonal and square “Navigation Hexes”, but intuition tells me, the more faces there are the less severe the probability bias.

Ok, that’s it.

Background

To read up of Hex Flowers (there may be a pop quiz) please see my Hex Flower Cookbook where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses 

– – –

Me on DriveThruRPG

Hex Ed | Hex Flower online talk


Are you Hex Curious?

Is your poly gone?

Uncertain if hexagons are the bestygons?

Want to get off-the-grid but don’t know how?

Told that Hex with Flowers is unnatural?

Do you have questions about Hex Flowers but where too scared to ask ??

I’m giving a online talk on Sunday 30 January at 8pm (UK time) at BSer Con 2022 (https://tabletop.events/conventions/bs-er-con-2022) about Hex Flower design. Most of the gaming events at the con are now booked out, but there are still places for some online seminars including mine. I can’t promise you’ll get your 5 bucks worth, but you can turn up and see …  

Money raised goes to running the con and Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Be there or be square …. 

Hex Ed

Background

To read up of Hex Flowers (there may be a pop quiz) please see my Hex Flower Cookbook where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses 

– – –

Me on DriveThruRPG

Grimbo Grotto | Christmas Farcical Horror Oneshot

T’was the night before a crisp mass snowfall and nothing was stirring,
except a drunken ‘potty-mouthed’ were-reindeer high on psychedelic mushrooms

image_preview PDF

Featuring:

'Rude Olf' by  James V West

‘Rude Olf’ – thanks to James V West  for letting me use this image – http://doomslakers.blogspot.com

 Deer  Were-reindeer cult

Deer Neurotic gnomes running a clandestine psychedelic mushroom harvesting operation

 Deer Candy Cane Golem

 Deer Gift Wrapping Monster

 Deer Mimic Presents

 Deer Giant Putrid Gravy-Spewing Undead Turkey

 Deer Tree Ent Christmas Tree hostage

 

Adventure Preview:

GG preview

Some reviews:

Christmas tree  1 x Blog: diplomatist2.blogspot.com/2020/12/gaming

Santa Claus  2 x DrivethruRPG: drivethrurpg.com/product_review

Deer  Also Judges Choice winner for the Reddit OSR X-mas (Santa Panic) one page dungeon contest

PDF Download
A better more readable version of this can be downloaded from here (along with the original 4 page version of this adventure): image_preview  Grimbo Grotto

– – –

Me on DriveThruDriveThru

In the Heart of Oz | Hex Flower based system-neutral procedural sandbox setting

In the Heart of (the Land of the Wizard of) Oz is a system-neutral procedural sandbox setting which draws inspiration from the books of L. Frank Baum and with artwork by the wonderful Nate Treme (Highland Paranormal Society)

In the Heart of Oz contains procedural Encounter, Terrain and Weather Engines for Wilderness Hex Crawling across the fairy-tale like land of Oz. There is also a procedural ‘dungeon’ to take on the Wicked Witch of the West in her Yellow Castle.

image_preview Download PDF

Preview image

Capture - WoOZ

Hex Flowers … what?
A Hex Flower is a bit like a random table, but with an inbuilt ‘memory’ (because the last turn affects the next outcome). Each time you enter a new HEX, you procedurally determine what is going on. 

Hex Flower procedural products you might be interested in
:: In the Heart of the Unknown –  procedural wilderness (Hex) exploration
:: In the Heart of the Sea – procedural High Seas exploration
:: In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous  – procedural ‘dungeon’ exploration
:: Carapace – adventure exploring a giant insect colony
:: Planar Compass 2 – procedurally explore the Astral Sea 

More on Hex Flower Theory
You can read more about Hex Flower Game Engines in my Hex Flower Cookbook

and on my Blog: https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/2d6-hex-power-flower

Printing
This document can be conveniently printed using the ‘booklet’ option on printers that can print on both sides of the paper. Folding gives an A5 booklet.

Making Hex Flower Game Engines? Tell me about them?

I’m always interested to see what people are doing with Hex Flowers (HF).

Please tell me what you’re up to!
:O)

Recently the blogger from Tev’s Next Idea  showed me this:

:: WAmazon

Hex Grid

Which is a neat idea about exploring a post-apocalyptic warehouse “manned” by killer robots. I think the idea is to make the full version (with an interesting depletion mechanic) available on DriveThru.

:: Map

And, on the Danger is Real blog, there is a program that uses In the ‘Heart of the Unknown’ to generate a terrain map (cool):

Screenshot 2021-09-05 at 12.48.49

:: Limited access zones

On Redditor ‘iceandstorm’ showed me this neat idea where only parts of a(n extended) HF become available seasonally (I might try something like this at some point with a standard HF but with an extra 6 hexes, 3 on the upper left and 3 on the lower right ‘corners’ of the HF – maybe accessible when you have the magic key etc … dunno yet):

HF with Zones

:: Monopoly

Speaking of new ways, I like my ‘non-return mechanic’ in my Monopoly HF:

mon capture

The idea is you cannot simply go backwards in one turn. I had an idea for using this kind of idea for the start flooding sequence in Deep Carbon Observatory.

Background – what’s a Hex Flower anywho? A Hex Flower (HF) is like a random table, but with a memory.

Hex Flower Cookbook – where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses

– – –

Me on DriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: Weather generator – Weather Hex Flower
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

D6(6)6 table | … D66 table with probability gradient

Content warning: If you are a mathematician the words I use below are bound to be formally inaccurate, sorry!

Origins:
I saw this post by Sofinho, which I thought was interesting (you should check it out). To cut a long story short, it led me here:

A D66 table with a probability gradient:

% each cell new

So the chance of rolling 1,1 is 0.5% and the chance of rolling 1,6 is 6.9%.

D6(6)6 Rules

  • Roll 3D6
  • Keep the highest & lowest rolls to make a D66 style dice
  • Order these two dice how you like; or if that bothers you (perhaps you worry about an unconscious bias), order the two dice low to high if the removed middle roll is odd, else the other way round

Examples

  • 6,5,1 becomes –> 1, 6
  • 2,5,2 becomes –> 5,2
  • 4,2,3 becomes –> 2,4

Below is the same table as above, but normalized so the lowest value is 1:

Normalized new

So rolling a 1,6 is 15 times more likely than rolling a 1,1.

Below is basically the same as above but where each cell is given with reference to % above/below a (standard homogeneous) D66 table, which is about 2.8% per cell:

% above below standard d66 new2

So cell 1,1 is 2.3% lower in probability than if this was  a standard D66 cell.

Conclusions

  • The diagonal ‘spine’ is disfavoured
  • The top right and bottom left directions are more favoured (so, a 1,6 or 6,1 roll is 15 times more likely than any double)
  • For probability, moving up/down gives the same result as moving right/left (so moving downward from 1,1 to 1,6 is the same as moving left to right from 1,1 to 6,1.
  • Moving diagonally does not change the % odds, so rolling a  1,1 is the same % as rolling a 2,2 or 3,3 etc.

With this probability structure understood, you can create D66 random tables that are less homogeneous.

– – –

>> This is where you should stop reading, as I go (more) tangential below << 

  • For now if you ignore half the table (in this case ignoring the results above the diagonal spine) there appears to be a series of tiers (e.g. 1,1 to 1,6; 2,2 to 2,6; 3,3 to 3,6 etc.):

666 1

These tiers are not equal in size, each starts with a low % and increases as you move along the tier away from the diagonal spine. So the tier 1,1 to 1,6 is bigger than the tier 3,3 to 3,6 – I suppose there are also diagonal tiers, again not of equal size but in that case each step in the tier has the same %.

These sort of tiers made we wonder – can we use this method to make a series of tiered random tables?

City encounter/reaction tables
Examples are always best, so I’m going to consider a way this method could be used to generate random reaction encounters in a D&D type city.

In this case, I’m going to link the tiers to social class in the city, using this colour code:

3. Class key

So the above tiers would be:

4. Option 1 n

half table

3. Class keyAgain, for now I’m only considering the lower half of the table (so not the greyed out area).

In this case the beggars/riffraff/lowest class tier interact most often with the PCs (21.3% of the time, i.e. whenever the first roll is a 1), whereas nobles rarely interact with the PCs i.e. only on a roll of 6,6 (0.5% of the time).

As for reactions, the nobles  only have 1 reaction state, which in this case is probably indifference (at best).

However, the beggars/riffraff tier have 6 reactions states i.e. 1,1 (0.5% of the 21.3%) to 1,6 (6.9% of the 21.3%).  So while there are 6 reaction states, 1,6 is the most probable reaction and so this should be the most common reaction state (e.g. asking for money) and 1,1, should be quite unusual (e.g. giving the PCs a gift or perhaps attacking them).

So perhaps the above structure makes sense in a dodgy market bazaar area (or slums), where beggars/riffraff are going to be out and about, and where other people including nobles might be out looking for something unusual/special (but on their guard, i.e. with 1 reaction state).

If you inverted the social structure (so the nobles have the 6 reaction states and are common), perhaps this makes sense in an upmarket retail area (or in the royal court) , where beggars/riffraff are going to be circumspect. Perhaps in the royal court the single riffraff state is a person intent on the redistribution of wealth.

Now if we bring in the rest of the table we blanked off earlier, you get the same tiers but in this case they also move left to right not just up/down. Perhaps the portion above the diagonal spine could be negative reaction states and below the diagonal spine could be positive reactions states e.g.:

12 the bizzar again

3. Class key

42%                  28.2%              17%                 8.8%                   3.2%              0.5%

OK, looking at this – that’s a lot of beggars/riffraff approaching the PCS in this city area, so perhaps swap town’s person for either beggars or for the merchants … ? That said, perhaps town’s folk are the decent kind of folk that stays well away from disreputable freebooters like the PCs.

Another option is to keep the greyed off area as a “no significant encounter” option.

Other uses …
The above is the first idea that sprang to mind. There must be other uses – tiers/kinds of random wilderness encounters,  etc … or (probably for the best) just ignore tiers and populate the D6(6)6 table in a manner that takes account of where there probabilities are high/low.

I’m still not the RPG police …
If you don’t like this idea (and I’m just thinking this through) you don’t have to use it …

– – –

Me on DriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

100,000 views | I suppose it is a landmark of kinds

Apparently my blog has recently ticked over 100,000 views.

100K

I know this is chump-change compared with the RPG-luminaries, but since that’s not me, I think that is decent enough.

Thanks
I’d just like to thank everyone that has taken the time to read any one of my intermittent posts. If you downloaded and/or bought any of my stuff – also thanks.

So let’s dig just a little into what I’ve done  …

First post
It seems that my first post was 25 October 2018, but I think I only started posting in earnest in response to G+ closing in April 2019:

2018 – 4 posts
2019 – 102 posts
2020 – 35 posts
2021 – 27 posts

Most views
Oddly, it was yesterday. An old post seems to have caught the attention of Reddit. 

What have I done …
I’m probably best known for developing (19 Hex) Hex Flower tools.
But, I have done a few other things, like using Excel as a gaming tool, considering dice mechanics, and some other unusual bits and bobs

Product I wish more people would look at
My procedural adventure Carapace

Most Wacky
Battleships dungeon or my Rubik’s cube dungeon / stat generator

DrivethruRPG
Most of my more refined work is on DriveThruRPG (40K downloads), but you can get an idea of what I’ve done here.

Audio/visual media
Did you know I have a YouTube channel (37K views) and a podcast?
Yes? Again, thanks for watching/listening.
No? Well maybe that is for the best!

Feedback/comments below
Liked something I’ve done, then feel free to comment below …
Didn’t like something – save it for Reddit
;O)

My blog is just one of many, so again thank you for spending some time here.
:O)

Story Synth | making online customizable Hex Flowers

If you are interested in Hex Flower design, this neat on-line tool to make customizable Hex Flowers may be of interest to you:

 

Check it out.

Background – what’s a Hex Flower anywho? A Hex Flower (HF) is like a random table, but with a memory.

Hex Flower Cookbook – where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses

– – –

Me on DriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous

Hex Flower update | Weather Hex Flower -&- ItHotS goes Electrum

This is just a quick Hex Flower update.

::  In the Heart of the Sea recently went Electrum Metal Best Seller on DriveThruRPG
(it’s a one page procedural High Seas hex crawling tool).

:: I also recently release a standalone  Weather Hex Flower:

UPDATE – This recently went Copper best seller on DriveThruRPG

Weather HF - Cover sm

Background – what’s a Hex Flower anywho? A Hex Flower (HF) is like a random table, but with a memory.

Hex Flower Cookbook – where I discuss Hex Flower Game Engines and some background and possible uses

– – –

Me on DriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural:
:: High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea,
:: Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Heart of the Unknown,
:: Dungeon/network generator – In the Heart of the Delve & Dangerous