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

20 x Unexpected Rooms | Some puzzles and hopefully interesting room encounters

I posted a little while ago about using QR codes for random room encounters.

However, I thought people might also like to just have/read the rooms (without reliance on the QR code links), so here they are:

 image_preview   20 Unexpected Rooms20ur

Here are 3 examples rooms:

:: 4. Column and Secret Ladder

Location appearance – The room is very large and almost perfectly spherical with a suspended jetty that runs around the circumference of the room. The bottom half of the sphere is filled with cloudy mineral rich water. A thick column rises from the base of the sphere, reaching out of the water and joins up with the top of the sphere. Basically, it looks like the column supports the ceiling. A red door is painted on the column about 6 feet above the water level.

Exits – None except the secret exit.

Taste/smells – The water gives off a smell like freshly cut grass and is not drinkable.

Sounds – Occasional ‘plips’ as condensation falls from the ceiling above.

Contents – The room is otherwise unfurnished/empty.

Inhabitants – Almost imperceptibly, several giant translucent jellyfish float suspended in the cloudy water. They have stinging tentacles and will attempt to wrap and ingest swimmers (treat as a gelatinous cube or a slime).

Dynamic elements – Below water level, near the base of the column, there is an opening in the column that is hard to see due to the murky water. Entering the opening and swimming up reveals that the column is hollow like a straw and it contains a ladder that leads to a room above. The red door painted on the column lines up with the opening below.

Treasure – A few worthless items have sunken to the bottom of the pool. From above it is hard to tell what these items are.

:: 10. Lava Stream and Molten Gold

Location appearance – A very large basaltic cavern is bisected by a lava stream.

Exits – Over the lava stream there is a large external opening through which the sky can be seen. There may be other exits but these are screened by a heat haze.

Taste/smells – The room is very hot; gusts of ozone and sulphur buffet man-sized creatures.

Sounds – Creaking, cracking, splitting, grating, popping sounds as the lava moves through the cavern.

Contents – On the opposite side of the lava stream there are some deep pits dug in the basaltic rock. They are located quite close to the lava stream and the sides are red hot. Pools of molten gold are contained within the pits. The occasional gem bubbles to the surface.

Inhabitants – If there are any inhabitants, they are presently away. Large scratches, possibly from a clawed foot can be found about the cavern. Very little detritus can be found in this place, possibly this is discarded into the lava stream.

Dynamic elements – Heat haze above the lava stream impedes the view across the cavern, and the super-hot areas near the lava stream make travel difficult. Tarry too long here and the inhabitant(s) may return.

Treasure – A King’s ransom worth of gold coins is melted in the pits. Gems worth the same sit at the bottom of the molten pools, but some occasionally rise to the surface.

:: 12. Mouse Trap

Location appearance – Conventional medium sized room.

Exits – One archway.

Taste/smells/sounds – Hints of burnt straw, occasional scratching noise from the maze.

Contents – Extending from one wall is a crystal maze that is 10 x 10 feet and about a foot tall. The top of the maze is sealed by the same hard transparent crystal-like material. The crystal material is impervious to magic and force.

In the middle of the maze is a diamond the size of a pigeon’s egg.

There appear to be two openings in the maze, a small round hole in the floor in one corner and a eight inch high door at the front of the maze with a bolt drawn across it. Oddly, there also appears to be a small hopper of grain that would normally feed grain into one corner of the maze through a grate, but the hopper has become clogged by some of the larger grains.

Inhabitants – White mouse with pink eyes.

Dynamic elements – The mouse will pop out of it’s hole if anyone is messing about with the maze. It will beg for food by the clogged hopper. If the PCs oblige, it will move the diamond nearer and nearer the small door in exchange for more food. The mouse will never move the diamond fully out of the maze. If anyone reaches through the small door (e.g. to grab the diamond), they appear in the middle of the maze and are about an inch tall. The mouse is hungry and in need of protein. In respect of the inch high PC, treat the hunting mouse like a T-Rex. Exiting through the small door restores the PC to normal size.

Treasure – Three one inch tall PCs can roll the diamond (worth 1000 gold coins) out of the maze

– – –

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

I sense a puzzle trap in this … | ‘Missing Area Paradox’ puzzles

I sense a puzzle trap in this:

The Missing Area Paradox objects (like rooms) seem to appear and disappear upon rotation

– – –

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

Grimbo Grotto – 2021 One Page Dungeon Contest | a Christmas Farcical Horror Adventure

It twas the night before a crisp mass snowfall and nothing was stirring,
except a drunken ‘potty-mouthed’ were-reindeer high on psychedelic mushrooms

2021 One Page Dungeon Contest Entry – Going a bit more ‘traditional’ this year with an actual map (!) – so no Hex Flower and forget crazy Rubik’s cube random dungeons etc … I never do well in this ‘competition‘, but that’s not the point I … (yes?)

Christmas in July any one?

Featuring:

'Rude Olf' by  James V West

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

:: Were-reindeer cult

:: Evil gnomes running a clandestine psychedelic mushroom harvesting operation

:: Candy Cane Golem

:: Gift Wrapping Monster

:: Mimic Presents

:: Giant Putrid Gravy-Spewing Undead Turkey

:: Tree Ent Christmas Tree hostage

 

Adventure Preview:

GG preview

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; at the moment I’m mainly pimping this ^ and my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea, and my procedural Wilderness Hex Crawl – In the Hear of the Unknown.

Hit Points replaced with ‘Usage Dice’ ?

image_previewPDF version here with UD tables (it’s PWYW just in case you want to encourage such tomfoolery)

EDIT – the below paragraph is just to pick up on some FAQ/comments/feedback:
:: the UD roll replaces the damage roll – so there is no net increase in dice rolling
:: Yes, to reflect combat the UD target number is dependent on your PC’s class and level
:: the UD target number changing with level is no biggie – HPs change with level too
:: it’s not very complex, you just replace ‘Max HP’ and ‘Actual HP’ boxes with UD boxes
:: Agreed, UD and HPs are not ‘realistic’, they are just game mechanics
:: This is still a thought experiment so work is still needed (see healing and monsters)
:: Some people think UD requires more bookkeeping – I find this an odd conclusion 
:: IMO drama is at the heart of UD, it makes each hit a meaningful threat to PC life
:: Some people don’t like Usage Dice (UD) mechanic, and they never will

Usage Dice (UD)
As I understand it, in the Black Hack you don’t track things like individual arrows. Instead, you use a ‘usage dice’ (UD). At the end of the relevant turn, you roll the UD: if you fail, you move down one UD, otherwise you keep the same/current UD.

So, if the UD is a D10 and you fail you move down to a UD = D8. This is repeated until you get to a D(minimum) e.g. D4. A fail on the D(minimum) means that the “resource” is used up.

Applying this to Hit Points
Why – who wants to track pesky Hit Points (HPs) anyway …?

More seriously, the thing that is most ‘fun’ (IMO) about UD is the uncertainty of when the ‘resource’ will expire. Adds a dash of tension.

Hopefully, it makes wounds more significant and so meaningful …

This idea tries to address these points. So:

  • No tracking individual HPs
  • Tension – will the PC progress a significant step to death on a successful hit
  • Each wound is significant; PCs of the same level can take the same number of significant wounds before death (except high level fighters and clerics, who I’ve given a bonus ‘fortitude D2 usage die’ to – think Boromir peppered with arrows and fighting on)

… and I also hope this would make combat a more scary option for players

The below table gives the UD and target number for each PC by class and level:

HP Usage Dice Table

This is so under/overpowered right?
Hopefully I’ve not screwed any of the maths up! Spreadsheets can go wrong!

I compared this UD system with HPs in AD&D for the classes over the levels.

Base-line: To do this, I worked out average HPs a PC would have based on HPs if rolled i.e. rules as written (RAW.HP)

I then brute force modeled in Excel (1000 runs) out how many successful ‘hits’ on average  would be needed to reduce a PC to death using this UD system, awarded 3.5 HPs per damaging hit (i.e. mimicking a DA=D6).

For example – a first level fighter has a D4 UD and needs 3+ to avoid damage (50;50). But if they pass they get another go. In theory they could avoid damage from 10 successive hits (but the probability is low). So I needed to add up all the little pieces.

Anyway … I basically worked out how many hits a PC would be able to take on average (over 1000 runs) and compared this to how many hits a ‘standard’ AD&D character (of the same class, with ‘average’ HPs, taking ‘average’ damage) could take:

Usage die for HP vs Normal HPs - how many hits can you take on average

If I’ve not made any mistakes … (???) … then this UD method is not far off the standard HP method on average.  There are a few blips, but no system is perfect.

So, other than having stark and unsettling jumps towards death, the UD system appears to track well enough to AD&D (on average).

In case anyone is interested, this is effectively the same sort of thing, but expressed as % compared to the AD&D base:

percentage of base

Small differences in ‘hit’s are magnified as % at lower levels.

Example of UD combat?
Belorgt is a 7th level fighter and is unwounded, so  use UD = D8, and to avert damage from a hitting blow they need to roll 6+ on the UD8.

So, a roll of 8 means the hitting blow is averted; so keep the same UD (6 : UD8)

However, a roll of 3 would mean a significant wound was received and they would move down one UD. They would now use UD of D6 and need 4+.

Another hit means the UD goes down to a D4, needing a 2+ to avoid a hitting blow.  Man, this is a bad day, it’s a 1! For a thief or magic-user this would be the end!

But, thankfully, Belorgt has deep reserves and can fight on despite 3 nasty wounds – however from now on it’s 50:50 if they get another blow!  The bonus ‘fortitude UD’ is a D2 and Belorgt needs a 2 every time (or an even roll)! The next failure means: incapacitation, mortally wounded, or death etc.

These PCs are too squishy
You’ve modeled against RAW HPs – I normally give PC extra HPs, and what about CON bonuses etc. Maybe just bump the UD up one level, so treat a 3rd Lv fighter as a 4th level fighter on the tables above etc.

Other things that I have not really thought through ….

Monsters
Perhaps progress as Fighters where HD = Lv
Or, as guidance on a UD monster system: adding more UD means they can take more wounds before death, lowering the target numbers makes them tougher.

Powerful attacks (e.g. breath weapons)
A fireball doing 6D6 might be considered 6 successful attacks each needing a UD save.
A giant’s tree club doing 2-12 = 2 successful hits, each needing a UD save?

Healing
Hrmmm …each ‘HD’ worth of healing restores one UD? I think that is probably too easy to revert the much larger effect of dropping down a usage die.

Or, perhaps better  – wounded PCs need to roll against current UD: a fail (I say fail because this reflects the symmetry of going up or down the UD from the current health position) and they jump back to the previous UD so a UD D4 jumps to a UD D6 etc. So if the UD is a D6 with a target of 5+, a roll of 1-4 from that position represents a change in the UD – so with healing it goes up one UD to a D8, and for a wound the UD goes down to a D4.

Perhaps, with a fail, as a consolation, the target number on the current UD is lowered by 1, e.g. so a 4+ on UD6 goes to a 3+ on UD6. So, this mimics powerful and milder healing.

Some damage wearing?
I’ve not done the maths  – but I suppose the target number could be eroded every time a successful hit is saved, but never more than the maximum number of the UD. So if the target number is 6+ on UD8 and a hit is made and a save is made using the UD, then the new target number becomes 7+ on UD8, if this happens again it’s 8 on UD8, if this happens again it remains 8 on UD8. A fail of course reverts to the UD6.

Levels 11+
I ran out of energy for those, but I see a D10 coming into play!

Constitution bonus
Option 1 – add the D2 UD bonus on at Lv1
Option 2  (which I prefer) – give the PC 1 or 2 ‘CON points’ to spend between full healing, the points can be ‘spent’ to nudge a just wound (fail) roll into a pass roll. So if you need a 4 on a D6 to avoid a wound and you roll a 3 you can spend a CON point to nudge the roll to a 4.

That’s it.

– – –

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

QR kidding me ( ’tish-boom’ ) | QR code random room encounter table (… add your own?)

I made this recent post about using QR codes to make a random encounter table.

I thought it would be fun to take this a step further and make some random room encounters.

Ideally, it would be great if others could add rooms to the QR index and sort of make a living table with new rooms being added over time (to people do collaborative things anymore?).

At the very least here are 20 system neutral-ish fantasy dungeon non-balanced encounters that you could drop into your dungeon (or solo game). In some ways this table acts like a QR drop-die table. In this case your phone scans the table at random, (instead of a die landing on a picture).

Want to help build a QR Living Dungeon, then please go to: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1alkSwiib2kAHhJdb2PAj3sRjBuJHTNav

But, to see what you are getting (or just want some free stuff to vibe off), here are the (first?) 20 random room encounters I made:

20 QR random rooms

image_preview Get a better quality PDF version

: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

QR Codes – Random (OSE) Monster Table | Another oddball idea for you …

Drop die tables are interesting. How about a QR code version? Move your phone about, and pick a code at random with your camera to select a random output. Might be fun for solo adventures for a bit of additional drama?!

For the hell of it, I’ve made a Random (OSE) Monster Table. You could vary the size and/or the frequency of the codes in the table.

QR Capture bg

PDF

Other ideas: Make a map and instead of room descriptions add QR codes to each room linking to webpages that give the full room description etc.

– – –

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 Demo | ‘Trial by Jury’ mini-game

In this video we play test my ‘Law & (In)Justice’ Hex Flower. Basically a trial by jury mini-game:

 

Jump to 35:50 to get to just the Hex Flower bit.

Link – You can get to the PDF of this Hex Flower here:

2

I get quite a few questions about how (my) Hex Flowers work. Fairly recently I uploaded some videos to YouTube where I play test these HFs with accompanying diagrams:

Complete Playlist – as above, but including all the actual plays e.g. boss fights etc.

 

Of course, this is not the only (or best) way to use HFs. This is just me testing HFs on a pal that has never used them before.

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 Demos | YouTube Actual Plays

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

I get quite a few questions about how (my) Hex Flowers work. Fairly recently I uploaded some videos to YouTube where I playtest these HFs with accompanying diagrams:

 

    • Video 1 – HF used to explore into a maze like giant insect nest using ‘Carapace

 

    • Video 2a – HF used to explore out of a maze like giant insect nest using ‘Carapace

 

    • Video 2b – (if necessary jump to time ~ 1hr 16min) – HFs used to generate wilderness terrain, weather and encounters (procedural Hex Crawl) using ‘In the Heart of the Unknown

 

 

  • Video 4 – Party get in a pickle – Trial by Jury Hex Flower

    • Complete Playlist – as above, but including all the actual plays e.g. boss fights etc.

 

Of course, this is not the only (or best) way to use HFs. This is just me testing HFs on a pal that has never used them before.

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

Musedusa | a gorgon type related to Medusa

Not sure if this has been done before, but seems like a fun idea.

_methode_times_prod_web_bin_26dedb78-ec10-11e9-b84b-ece3c04125d8:: Musedusa :: 

Stats
As per Medusa but with different abilities.

Description
A Musedusa is a gorgon type which is related to the Medusa.

A Musedusa’s lair is a riot of colour; graffiti-like overlapping images of people with grotesque facial expressions are plastered over every surface.

Unlike a Medusa, the Musedusa’s stare does not turn their victim into a three dimensional stone facsimile. Instead, any sentient being that comes between a Musedusa stare and a planer surface like a wall, is forced into that surface and so trapped and frozen there like a full colour fresco or mosaic. If a victim’s image is fully overlaid, destroyed or overpainted, they cannot be recovered.

Appearance
A Musedusa’s hair is a mass of large slug-like segmented worms that writhe, wobble and oscillate like jellied tongues. Their blood is viscous, multicoloured and pyrophoric.

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe 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

Insect Crawl | Procedural Method for Insect Colony Point Crawl

Update: When this blog was young, the below was posted as a blog ‘page’ and not as a blog ‘post’. I’ve deleted the ‘page’ and prefer to keep it on my blog as a blog post.

A template can be downloaded from here

This template is designed as a ‘point crawl’. The chambers and passages can be any shape or size, may go up, down or undulate.  The map can be imagined as seen from above (e.g. Example 1) or from the side, in profile (e.g. Example 2).

Method:

It should be fairly self explanatory from the template alone, but just for completeness:

(i) Template
Start with the template below (i.e. the colony has an entrance level + 4 Zones)

(ii) No. Chambers
Roll number of chambers in each Zone. The idea being that the monsters get tougher in the later zones.

(iii) No. Passages
Roll number of passages connecting the chambers, i.e. = No. of chambers + D5

(iv) No. Concealed Entrances
Roll number passageway entrances which are concealed (D12-10, i.e. uncommon)

(v) Join up the Dots
Join up the chambers using the number of passages

Colony Template

cte

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Example 1 – Riverbank Giant Ant Colony (above view):

CE1b

The ‘faded’ circles are chamber not used from the template (e.g. Zone 2 only has 3 out the possible 5 chambers). These could be Tippexed out, or ignored.  Please also ignore the L and N, these are artefacts left over from another project! If you must know, these are where the colony connected to other systems.

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Example 2 – Mound Giant Ant Colony (side view)
Note – This is the same as Example 1, but showing a different arranging of passages

CE2

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Example 3 – Giant clay wasp nest clinging high up on a cave wall (side view)
Note – This example generated fewer chambers and one concealed entrance (shown in green)

CE3

Suggestions

:: Don’t get too hung up on the procedural ‘rules’, nothing will get broken
:: Start by making a path from the entrance to the Queen
:: Don’t make a path to the Queen that is a straight line (… boring!)
:: Don’t make it necessary to pass through every room to get to the Queen (… a drag)
:: Ensure there is more than one path that leads to the Queen (… more interesting)
:: Ensure the shortest path to the queen is not too long or too short – aim for 5 to 7 chambers

Random Encounters

The above is an off-shoot from a more complicated (probably a too complicated) project. If people are interested, then I’ll add some random tables!

Edit: For now you could use this Excel sheet to generate random encounters: Link
Preview:

Hengine

Drachomeleon | even a dragon needs a buddy sometimes

Background – following on from my last monster post. This is something I submitted to ‘& Magazine‘ back in October 2016.  It had also been slated to be published in Issue 15, but ‘& Magazine’ is no more. So, I’ve given it a re-edit and posted it here.

:: Drachomeleon :: 

cam6

Frequency: Rare (uncommon in dragon lairs)
No. Appearing: 1-8
Armour Class: 7
Move: 6″; 1” when climbing
Hit Dice: 3
% in Lair: 85%
Treasure Type: C (in dragon lairs none)
No. of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 1-4/1-4/2-8
Special Attacks: See below; grasping tongue; surprise    
Special Defenses: See below; adaptive camouflage
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Animal
Alignment: Neutral
Size: L (15 to 25 feet long)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Level/XP Value: 170 +3/HP
(Stats for AD&D)

Drachomeleons are a giant form of chameleon that resemble and live alongside dragons. Drachomeleons are tolerated by dragons because they make useful ‘guards’, eating any unwelcome visitors, including the numerous parasites attracted  to the dragon’s lair. Drachomeleons will normally use their adaptive camouflage to blend into their surrounds. However, when the host dragon is in their lair, especially when moving, Drachomeleons match the colour of the dragon to prevent the dragon from accidentally crushing or harming them. Drachomeleons like to bask with warm dragon eggs (where they might be mistaken for a dragon hatchling), or lurk in ambush near the lair’s entrance hoping to get an easy meal.

Special abilities:

:: Eyes – move independently seeing 360 degrees around them, making them very difficult to surprise. The lenses of their eyes are highly valued by scholars.

:: Adaptive camouflage – makes them hard to see (surprise on 1-5 on D6); also coldblooded and so tend to be the same temperature as their surrounds. Treated correctly theirs skins make useful cloaks.

:: Intimidation – creatures of less than 3HD must take a morale check or fear the ‘dragon’. Their weird eyes, funny feet and lack of true wings, are their least dragon looking attributes and if spotted can nullify the need for a save. 

:: Grasping tongue attack – 30 foot projectile grasping tongue; +5 to hit surprised prey. Grasped prey suffers automatic chewing damage 2-8HPs per round. Breaking free requires a roll under twice the PC’s Bend-bars/Lift-gates score. 

:: Scent – they contain a substance very unpalatable to dragons, discouraging dragons from snacking on them.

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InHotS the cover imageMe 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

Pit of Drelk | a trap monster

Background – It’s been a while since I posted a monster. This is something I submitted to ‘& Magazine‘ back in October 2016.  It had been slated to be published in Issue 15 (with a ‘Drachomeleon’ monster), but alas & Magazine is no more. So, I’ve given it a re-edit and posted it here. What can I say, I liked ‘trap monsters’ back in 2016 … and to be fair, still like them now!

:: Pit of Drelk  :: 

Frequency: Rare
No. Appearing: 1-12 pits
Armour Class: special
Move: 0
Hit Dice: special (typically 50-100 HPs)
% in Lair: 100%
Treasure Type: Special
No. of Attacks: 1 per pit
Damage/Attack: special
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Animal like
Alignment: Neutral
Size: S to L
Psionic Ability: Nil
Level/XP Value: 100 +1/HP
(Stats for AD&D)

Description
A single drelk is a small carnivorous creature that looks like a grain of sand. Alone they would be fairly innocuous, but when encountered they live in large dangerous colonies. A colony has HPs equivalent to 0.1HP per cubic foot of drelk, so a 10x10x10 pit of drelk would have 100 HPs.

When anything attempts to pass over a pit of drelk they collectively vibrate, and like quick sand the victim sinks rapidly. In the first round the victim sinks to their waist. Then the pit starts to feed. Thousands of drelk slip/flow through any covering and take small bites out of their victim, collectively doing d6 HPs of damage per round. Each new round the victim sinks a further foot into the pit and a cumulative +1HP is added to the damage.

It is difficult to kill an entire colony of drelk, because individually they are so small. Typically, to exterminate a colony they must be ground to a fine powder, baked or electrocuted.  A colony can grow rapidly, growing about 1 cubic foot per day for each 3 cubic feet of organic matter consumed.

Drelk are tenacious and veracious, so even metal and gemstones will be pulverised to dust by drelk looking for nutrients within. For that reason, if a pit of drelk is smelted like ore, significant quantities of mixed base and precious metals can be extracted, e.g. yielding about 5 GP per HP of drelk. It is also reputed that elite beauty salons use “biting sans” on their customers’ skin. How this is done safely must be a well-guarded secret, and if true, there must be good coin in it. Another tall tale tells of a burglar who opened a safe using a bag of drelk and a pint of chicken stock.

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe 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

STR modifiers | Precise Strike -vs- Bludgeon Attack (options)

I was listening to the Wandering DMs podcast the other day. They were talking about STAT modifiers and how most STATs often have two associated (main) benefits. For example CHR stat might give a reaction adjustment and limit the number of henchman a PC can have etc.

It made me think about (in AD&D at least) how STR gives a ‘To Hit’ modifier and a ‘To Damage’ modifier, i.e.:

It made me wonder if there should be an option for a fighter to also have a precise strike option and a bludgeon attack option.  The idea is that the PC sacrifices power for precision or the other way round.

So the PC can use both bonuses in the above table, or they can choose to (i) double the To Hit bonus (and sacrifice the To Damage bonus) or (ii) add the To Hit bonus to the To Damage bonus (and sacrifice the To Hit bonus).

Example: a Fighter with 18/51 STR gets the above bonuses, or they can do a precise strike at +4 (with no damage bonus) or a bludgeon attack with no to hit bonus but at +5 damage.

So, if fighting something really stealthy/armoured a precise strike might be a good option; but fighting a huge slow moving blob, maybe maxing out the damage on an easy hit might be the way to go.

That’s it. Nothing special here, but these options might give the fighter a few more tricks to draw on.

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe 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

‘D20/D21 bell curve’ | … strange things excite me!

… is it just me, or is this ‘D20 bell curve’ a thing of beauty:

D20 bell

Anydice.com use output ((d4+d8)-(d6+d6))+10

Made from: (D4+D8)-(2D6) +10 = range 0 to 20
Could also use 2D62D6+10 (view; but you need to colour code your dice, or something).
Edit: … or perhaps better still:  4D6-4

Yes, it really runs from 0 to 20, not 1 to 20 … but I still like it. So, it’s more of a ‘D21 bell curve’ really, but don’t spoil my day!

Is this something that everyone knows? If so, please tell me this kind of stuff already !!!

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe 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

Die from Two Dice | continued …

A while ago I wrote this post ‘Die from Two Dice‘. Basically it’s a method to make a new ‘die’ by rolling two dice (think D100 but instead of rolling two D10s, rolling two other kinds of dice e.g. a D4 and D6 to make a D24).

At one point in the post, I mentioned that like ‘percentile dice’ where one dice has 10, 20, 30 etc. on it and the other has 1, 2, 3 etc. on it, you could do the same thing but with other kinds of dice. You’d then simply need to sum the faces.

I had a go at drawing out what a set of these ‘composite dice’ might look like:

Composite Dice image

Method: In each case the white face tells you what ‘normal’ dice you roll this die with to make the composite dice; and to figure what kind of composite dice you are making simply multiply the white face number against the type of die you are rolling.

So:

  • the top left option is: Roll this with a D20 and you’ll make 2×20 = D40
  • The next black option is: Roll this with a D20 and you’ll make 3×20 = D60
  • the first red option is: Roll this with a D12 and you’ll make 2×12 = D24.

Incidentally, the last two options could give you a time in minutes and hours.

Theming the colours should aid people to use them, so the black dice above are always used with a D20 etc. Taking this further, the complete set of dice might also include the ‘normal’ dice, so: normal D20 (in black), normal red D12, normal orange D10, normal yellow D8, normal green D6, normal blue D4 and a normal purple D3. The bolded ‘normal’ options need some thought, as they could get muddled with the dice above. Perhaps the normal dice are all white except for the maximum number which is the set colour e.g. white D10 with the 10 face being orange … or something.

In the above I stuck with D4s, D6s and D10 polyhedrals as they are common and the faces are not too small to print on. But in theory any two dice could be combined e.g. D12xD20 to give a D240 etc.

Kickstarter anyone …. ?

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Me on DriveThruRPG; if you liked this, perhaps purchase one of my PWYW products, as a sort of ‘tip jar’ … perhaps In the Heart of the Unknown.