Monthly Archives: July 2019

Tuesday Toot!! | H’Excel a random ‘Hex Crawl’ generator (and editor) using Excel

Tuesday TootG+ is closing closed. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.

Background:
H'Excel 101On a four hour train journey I decided to try something new. Rather amazingly, the idea worked first time. Since then H’Excel has had a bunch of iterative tweaks, like staggering the cells in Excel.

H’Excel can do a bunch of things (see features below), but at its core it is a random Hex Crawl terrain generator and editor.

Here’s a demo video:
The key features are explained in the below demo video:

xls  Download: Link

Features:

  • Randomly generates a ‘Hex’ map (i.e. squares in a hexagonal array)
  • Global settings – raise or lower the terrain of the whole map
  • Regional settings – raise or lower the terrain in a portion of the map
  • Screen capture mode (‘Snap Map’)
  • Edit mode – generate a map and tweak it, or build the map from scratch
  • Customisable random encounter tables
  • Refresh encounter (but keep the map the same)
  • In Hex locations, for encounter locations etc.

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

IT Came from Below (or above) | … a Hex Flower to track a ‘thingo’ in 3-Dimensions

Edit: A higher quality .pdf version can be found here: Link
and a template Hex Flower Engine can be found here: Template

There must be the odd occasion you want to track ‘something’ e.g. a monster, relative to the PC’s location in three dimensions. The PCs might be in an airship or underwater. This Hex Flower is designed to do just that …

Anyway, I thought using a HF to track this might be fun:

IT came from Below (or above) - the cover image

Background

If you’ve got no idea what this post is about, the below links give some context:

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

Infiltrator | … basically a spy ‘bolt-on’ class

Tuesday TootG+ is closing closed. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.

Background: This class was written in response to +Ivan Sorensen “A Touch of Class” write a class competition with a ‘Infiltrator’ as the theme. Four people submitted something (.pdf here). Mine’s below:

InfiltratorAD&D ‘bolt-on’ class (other D&D flavours might work)
InfiltInfiltrators specialise in getting into secure locations without being noticed, and in obtaining sensitive information. An Infiltrator is not a standalone class, but is a specialisation open to the base classes, a bolt-on if you will. The specialism comes with some abilities, but at a cost to the base class.

Race
Only humans and half-humans can be Infiltrators.

Alignment
Any lawful alignment

Base class
Infiltrators can be any base class (i.e. no sub-classes like ranger, paladin, assassin or druid etc., or any dual or multi-classing) i.e. open to fighter, thief, cleric or magic user, which is permitted by their race/alignment. All limitations of the base class apply.

Ability score requirements
In addition to the minimum ability score needed by the base class, they must have a charisma score (CHR) of 14+. However, this high charisma is downplayed and concealed by the Infiltrator until/when it is needed.

Hit points
The hit dice of the character are generally downgraded by one die size for each of the base classes, i.e. fighters use a D8, clerics, thieves use D6 and magic users use a D4+1. Magic users are more hardy that normal, due to rigorous screening process of the Order (see Backstory below)

Spells
Spell casting is diminished. The spell caster gets the spell set one level below their actual level (but not lower than level 1). So a 5th level cleric gets spells normally obtainable by a 4th level cleric. This is because time is needed to hone their other skills.

Special Skills
Non-thief Infiltrators gain the following thief skills:

:- open locks
:- move silently
:- hide in shadows
:- hear noises

and all at a level matching the level of their base class. Thieves also have the above skills, but the remaining skills (i.e. ‘pick pockets’, ‘find and remove traps’, ‘climb walls’ and ‘read languages’) are at half the normal value.

In addition, all Infiltrators get the following abilities:

:- Shadow (equivalent score to the ‘pick pockets’ score of a thief of the same level) – ability to follow a target person without attracting attention or suspicion

:- Pass checkpoint (equivalent score to the ‘find and remove traps’ score) – ability to pass routine security-type checks, by bluff, intimidation, flattery, distraction, or other means

:- Fit in (equivalent score to the ‘climb walls’ score) – ability to naturally ‘fit in’ to their surroundings, be it a social function, strutting through the city barrack or just quietly sitting by the docks fishing. That is, they can adopt mannerisms that make them appear to naturally belong in that location/environment

:- Disguise (equivalent score to read languages score) – with adequate preparation, have the ability to prepare a convincing disguise. The disguise can fool anyone taking only a cursory inspection of the character. For example, a bowing chamber maid could mistake the character for the Lord of the keep, even at close range. However, a disguise would not fool the Lord’s daughter wishing to speak with her father

Swapping genders lowers the ability score by half. For each inch in height the character wishes to appear above (or below) their normal height, a -5% modifier applies.

Backstory
Infiltrators belong to a shady organisation of Information Merchants call The Order.

The Order is an organisation that has Chapters in most capital cities. Run by grey men who accept gold for information and secrets. Kings, merchants, and even jealous wives call in at their opulent halls. The Order’s clients are a closely guarded secret. Apart from that, little is known about the Order.

The Order find, save or even abduct stray youths. Youths that will not be missed by anyone.

Most of these youths fail a rigorous screening process, and find themselves working their lives away in various projects, usually rural farms, owned by the Order.

However, a small percentage of those youths are diamonds in the rough. They are selected, polished and honed into the principle organs of the Order. That is, those that pass the stringent vetting process become the Order’s ‘Infiltrators’. The Order prefer the term ‘Investment’.

Only the most loyal and dedicated youths are trained as ‘Infiltrators’. Once their core training is done, they are released into the outside world. Some are simply given a sword a shield and a purse of gold. Others find themselves with a letter of introduction to a mages’ towers, or to a temple of a lawful Deity.

From that point on, the fledgling Infiltrators strive to achieve power and mastery in their adopted field. Fighters often find themselves in the city guard, or in positions of power in armies. Clerics, the healers to the royal court. Many simply become free-booters, honing their skills through adventure. These adventures being able to move freely in the world without question. These drifters are amongst the most useful ‘Investments’ that the Order can call on.

No matter their chosen field of pursuit (i.e. their base class), the Infiltrator always awaits the call of the Order, should they be needed (some never are). The Infiltrator will see no conflict in acting for the Order, even to the detriment of their chosen profession. Where possible, the Order try to avoid outright personal conflicts. That said, the Order accepts no betrayal, and has a team of ‘Sleepers’ used to ‘extinguish’ Infiltrators gone ”wild”.

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

Law & (In)Justice | … a Procedural Trial by Jury Hex Flower Game Engine

Edit: A higher quality .pdf version can be found here: Law & (In)Justice
and a template Hex Flower Engine can be found here: Template

This Hex Flower is for procedurally resolving the situation where the PCs are on trial by jury (niche much?). To be fair, I figured this engine might make for a fun mini-game, rather than throwing the PCs directly in jail (and dealing with their inevitable break out).

Personally, I think the engine is most fun when the PCs are innocent and there is a corrupt Judge ( … snigger!)

Well, here it is:

L&IJ Cover Image u.png

Where did this idea come from?
I’m glad I asked for you. I really liked this Blog post, which came up with the idea of using different navigation Hexs for a 2D6 19 Hex Flower (HF), depending on the situation, i.e. the NPC’s nature.

Then, I was listening to the new (to me) Spikepit Podcast, and Colin briefly talked about a mechanism for putting the PCs on trial. So, that got me thinking about using a HF to procedurally generate trial outcomes.

And then I realized, I could use different Navigation Hexs to discriminate between guilty and innocent PCs. Of course, in D&D there’s going to be corruptions and what not, so there is a bit if that and some ‘game point’s for the players to spend in order to bend the outcome (but spend wisely)!

Background

If you’ve got no idea what this post is about, the below links give some context:

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

Tuesday Toot!! | Peaster’s Cylinder of Alchemy

Tuesday TootG+ is closing gone. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.

The Master’s Hoard is a compilation of quirk-some magic items which I posted on my G+ page over a period of weeks. The compilation of magic items can be downloaded for free here: Link

:: Peaster’s Cylinder of Alchemy ::

Summary
The item allows low value coins like copper pieces to be upgraded to a smaller number of higher value coins (albeit at a cost)

PCoA

Detail
The cylinder-like item is made up of 4 hoops of metal (in the order copper; silver; electrum and platinum – note there is no gold hoop). The cylinder has a mouth 6 inches to a foot wide.

When copper (CP), silver (SP) or electrum (EP) pieces are dropped through the cylinder, the metal is upgraded to the next most precious category in the sequence (i.e. copper to silver; silver to electrum; electrum to platinum). The coins coming out the bottom of the cylinder are stamped with a fox and a fish.

In the sequence copper, silver, electrum and platinum, each metal is 10 times more valuable than the last. So if no value was lost in the transferring process, then the number of coins obtained in the conversion process would be 10 times fewer each time.

Personally, I would recommend in the transferring process that some of the money is lost (possibly syphoned off by the creator of the magic item).

I would use the following sliding scale:

  • For every 20 CP put through the item 1 SP is produced (i.e. 50% levy)
  • For every 12 SP put through the item 1 EP is produced (i.e. about 17% levy)
  • For every 11 EP put through the item 1 PP is produced (i.e. about 9% levy). That is:
Input coins

–>

Output coin
20 CP

–>

1 SP
12 SP

–>

1 EP
11 EP

–>

1 PP

As an example, if 2640 CP were put through the cylinder three times, 1 PP would be obtained (i.e. 2640 CP –> 132 SP –> 11 EP –> 1 PP).

Or just take some of the converted coins away!

Generally, a sensible party will only use the item when they have more coins than they can carry.

Imagine a dragon hoard being boiled down to platinum (and unconvertible gold); or a copper golem boiled down to a handful of platinum.

Reverse
Sometimes the item works in reverse. If the item is used upside down, it will do the revere of the process described above, but in this case the item does not take a cut of the money during the exchange, i.e.:

Output coins

<–

Input coin
10 CP

<–

1 SP
10 SP

<–

1 EP
10 EP

<–

1 PP

As an example, if 1 PP were put through the cylinder in reverse three times, 1000 CP would be obtained (e.g. 1 PP –> 10 EP –> 100 SP –> 1000 CP).

Mono-exhangers
Sometimes, the item comes as a paired down version, and will only exchange one type of coin, i.e. copper to silver. In that case the item will be made of two bands, one copper and the other silver.

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

Puzzle complex | … escape before it floods

Not my usual thing, but I made a puzzle complex (in three colour ways):

If you are interested you can download a higher resolution .pdf from here

Excel Mapper
xls  This free Excel mapper was used to make the map part

Demo video of the mapper


– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; please check out my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

 

Hex Flower Game Engines | … as found in the wild

HF template image thumbEdit 2: I recently made a .pdf that aims to bring the Hex Flower concept together in one place. You can get it HERE. But, by all means have a look below see what’s been done.

Edit: As some have asked, I made a template Hex Flower. Please let me know if it is useful (and/or needs changes)

Below are some 2D6 (or in one case 2D7) 19 Hex Flower game engines that I’ve stumbled across. It is interesting to see the direction people have gone with this idea. I think this reveals how useful and flexible a tool it could be in procedural adventure generation …

:: Trains (via Twitter)

HF trains

 

:: Kobold warpstone mine dungeon (via Gauntlet RPG forums)


HF Kobold Mine b.jpeg

 

:: Island romp (also via Gauntlet RPG forums)


HF Island b.jpeg

 

:: Weather generator (via Kickstarter)


HF Weather

 

:: NPC reaction rolls (via Blog post)


HF NPCs

:: Narrative trends  (via imgur)

4vn5xzh

:: Random NPC and NPC disposition (via Fictioneers )

hexflower.npc

:: The ruins of Syriholm

:: To the battlements!

Battlements.png

If you’ve done something with this kind of HF game engine, I’d be very interested in seeing it! Please consider also posting a link in a messages below!

Background

If you’ve got no idea what this post is about, the below links give some context:

– – –

InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; please check out my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.