Author Archives: Goblin's Henchman

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:

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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.

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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


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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: 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

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

Eye Glog | … no relation to the GLOG system

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+.

Background – This monster was posted on G+ in about 2016. I’ve taken the liberty of cutting the description details down by more than half for this post. The creature was name before I heard of the GLOG system, so perhaps it’s due a name change … suggestions?

:: Eye Glog :: 

Eye Glog.jpg

Frequency:                   Very Rare
No. Appearing:          1
Armor Class:              7
Move:                            24’’
Hit Dice:                       1 and +1 HP per established host
% in Lair:                     95%
Treasure Type:           as per hosts
No. of Attacks:           20 + 10 per established host
Damage/Attack:         NA
Special Attacks:         See below
Special Defenses:       See below
Magic Resistance:     Standard
Intelligence:                 Average
Alignment:                  Neutral
Size:                               S to L
Psionic Ability:          Nil
Level/XP Value:         500 + 5/hp
(Stats for AD&D)

Description
This bladder-sized creature is a top-tier parasite, feeding on groups or whole communities.

Tactics
It silently floats above a group before shooting long hair-thin barbed tendrils through the pupil of each victim. Only a brief burst of pain is felt, a bit like a piece of grit hitting the eye.

The silk strong tendril rapidly bores into the optic nerve. The Glog is thereafter capable of manipulating what the hosts sees.

It first removes any visual presence of itself, including its shadow. The tendrils (often mistaken for stray hairs) then begins to siphon nutrients from its victims, returning its waste the same way.

The Glog is only interested in feeding, and it will change the appearance of the surroundings to keep its hosts together, and to steer them away from danger.

Health
Its hosts are weakened and prone to sickness. CON score is lowered by 1 per month until it is halved.

Ecology
Glogs tend to inhabit remote/rural areas. A large (cow-sized) Glog is capable of feeding off a small hamlet undetected for years.

It might permit visitor to enter and leave the village by eye-spiking them on the way in and releasing them on the way out. It has some extremely long tendrils for this purpose. If threatened it may make the visitor look evil/hostile/diseased, perhaps like a wounded lycanthrope holding a captive, to provoke the villagers into attacking.

Plot hook
Why does no one return from the happy vale of Nether Stowey? Why can’t the PCs navigate their way out of this darn but pleasant wood?

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Me on DriveThruDriveThru; I’ve not pimped my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony for a while.

Monster Mark … off the mark? | quantifying monster threat levels

TR;DR – complex and simple ways to rate monster threat, taking on ideas from the blogosphere and the past.

Do we need a way to systematically assess the threat level of a monster?
The simple answer is no, but it could give some useful insight.

Background
I read this blog post on Delta’s D&D Hotspot Blog (I think found via the Thought Eater Blog). It gave me the chance to finally read the Monster Mark (pdf) system (which I heard so much about from the Monster Man Podcast) from the early days of White Dwarf; when WD was a gaming magazine.

My geek radar naturally perks up at this kind of ridiculous quantification idea. While books like the Fiend Folio categories monsters in threat levels I to X, earlier books like the Monster Manual did not.

Delta’s D&D Hotspot Blog reviewed the Monster Mark system. As I understand it, the blog identifies areas where the Monster Mark system fails e.g. area effect weapons (e.g. breath weapons) and taking due account of lethal monsters (e.g. rot grubs), which can be lethal to a 1st and 10th level PC alike.

The Blog went on to come up with their own system (EHD level; equivalent HD), which modelled combat in a computer simulation (I believe). I really needed to circle round and re-read the whole blog posts topic again. Instead, I went off half cocked!

Going forward
y6x7ysrk-1376085090This got me thinking about making my own version of the Monster Mark system, that (hopefully) was better than the Monster Mark system, but didn’t rely on computer combat simulations. And, using a spreadsheet should be able to do all the boring maths! After messing with Google Sheets for a while I had a system that I think worked, or was at least was getting there.

The main idea I tried to capture was, to simulate combat over a level spread, and get a weighted average over the levels. This to capture the lethality of monsters like Rot Grubs to low and high level PCs. Likewise, for area effect weapons, adding a weighting factor for this too, as area effect weapons can be leathal to a part of PCs etc.

Google Sheets Engine
Here’s a Google Sheets demo of the “Monster Adversary Level Rating (MALR)”, if you fancy adding some AD&D monsters to it, I be grateful:

xls Shared Google Sheet project

Simplicity, an epiphany
14064123625_2f8bd0a01b_bI then realized (as I tweaked and re-tweaked this system) that in fact the most decisive factor in nearly all cases was the HD of the monster. As I hear people say on TV: “Go Figure“!! Aside for a few rare cases; if it’s big (i.e. has a big HD), it’s also bad. If it’s big it often has nasty tricks too. So, other than HD, what is the next most decisive factor in making a monster mean; well the monster’s tricks of course!

So, with this simple concept in mind, I came up with a really quite simple system that I think is as good (possibly better) as my more complicated model; and didn’t rely on a computer simulation of combat either, and avoided all the complex maths of the Monster Mark system.

Simple monster rating/indexing system

  • +1 for each HD of the monster (up to a maximum of 6).
  • +1 if the monster has a special defense
  • +1 if the monster is a spell caster
  • +1 if the monster has a Death, Level Drain, Psionics, or Immobilisation attack
  • +1 if the monster has an area effect attack (or any other special attack not already covered)

Add these up. With this system (sMARL?), you get a monster rating system, grading the monsters in the relative range 1 to 10 (i.e. like in the Fiend Folio)

Comparison
In my Google Sheet, I compared my simple and complicated systems, and I think they are fairly comparable. Yes, wildly out on the two-faced baboon demon, but monsters up on the that power level are just super dangerous, and barely worth comparing.

Future work
At some time in the future, I would like to compare my two systems with the Monster Mark and the Delta’s blog post versions, and also compare my simple method’s numbers (1 to 10) to the numbers in the Fiend Folio (I to X), to see how they stack up.

Please feel free to add AD&D monsters to the Google Sheet, it’d help me out, and might make a useful gamer resource over time.

Main Conclusion
Avoid being geeky and save yourself some life.

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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.

I sense mapping opportunities | Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad

Background  

Came across this. One of the first things that occurred to me was … mapping!

1. Insert gridded (hex or even isometric) paper.
2. Place blank paper over the top.
3. Start mapping.

Demo video of the device:

That’s it.

Variants
If the My Little Pony colour scheme doesn’t appeal, then there is even a Star Wars version:

maxresdefault.jpg

There of course needs to be a D&D version …

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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.