Category Archives: Game Mechanic

Advent(ure) Calendar | 24 Days of Festive Dungeoneering

A (hopefully) fun festive idea – an Advent Calendar Dungeon (‘Advent(ure) Calendar’).

Open a door each day to see what’s behind the door.

See if you survive to Christmas.

Simply scan the QR code on each door to see what lies behind … 

Spoiler – I’ve not written all the rooms yet!!! See if I survive to Christmas too …
:O\

AC Capture

>> PDF <<

Idea inspired by the good works of Atelier Clandestin.

Just want the links not this infernal QR rubbish? 

– – –

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

Functional Entries in Random Tables | more scope but comes with more user load

Recently I been thinking about functional entries in random tables.

In my ‘In the Heart of Oz’ (a system neutral) sandbox, based in the land of Oz, I wanted to add some random tables but wanted these to “work hard” for the limited space available.

So, I wondered about replacing single entry random tables with functional entry random tables. For example instead of ‘sword’ you use ‘bladed weapon’ and let the user decide if it is a sword or an axe or a ‘bec de corbin’. 

This is a pretty trite example but of course you can take this further (see below).

I’m sure this idea/concept has happened in the past, but when I have done this (at least), it’s been more an unconscious design choice rather than a conscious design choice. I’d like to hold this idea up as a conscious design choice for the DM’s toolbox.

Benefit – gives a much bigger spectrum of outcomes

Downside – require the user to bring more of themselves to the table (which might be the very thing they are trying to avoid by using random tables!). 

Some might like the idea, but might displease others … I’m not the RPG police so please feel free to ignore this idea. 

– – – 

To see something I’m tinkering with this idea – Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1UjKpTc0yvn0A0LjBJiu4cRy-XuX_gqxp?usp=sharing

The idea is to do this on the fly (or pre-prepare some), but also source the table – throw this at players – Tell me what item you find based on these 3 constraints … etc

Below is an text only extract from the above linked PDF: 

Random Creature Builder

Roll once on each of the two tables below:

Base Creature

1                 Apex predator

2                 Large herbivore or domestic animal

3                 Monkey, ape or lemur

4                 Rodent or marsupial

5                 Amphibian or reptile

6                 Bird or dinosaur

7                 Insect or arachnid

8                 Crustacean or echinoderm

9                 Gastropod or cephalopod

10              Human(oid) – or you decide

Creatures are normally at least man-sized

Twist

1                 Roll on table above – hybrid of both e.g. a Human(oid)-crustacean

2                 Unusual locomotion: Fly, hover, burrow, crawl, creep, jump etc.

3                 Oversized/mutantous body part or extra parts – limbs, mouth, eyes etc.

4                 Unusual sized e.g. giant, long etc.

5                 Exotic colouring or display

6                 Made of artificial material

7                 Mushroom, vegetable creature, or made of natural material

8                 Roll on ‘Terrain descriptor’ table 

9                 Roll on this table twice – has both

10              Roll again on this and on the below table 

Special

1                 Offensive: looks, smell, charisma etc

2                 Insubstantial: ghostly, ethereal etc.

3                 Resembles man-made object, can mimic things, or is a doppelganger

4                 Spits fire, acid, ice, stones, spines, bile, eels, buttons, rainbows etc.

5                 Unusual strength or speed

6                 Contradictory property of a typical creature of the ‘Base’ creature class

7                 Teleport locally, or is transparent

8                 Ability to petrify – gaze, touch etc.

9                 Ability to cast magic or illusions

10              Roll on this table again – has both

– – – 

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.

Solo RPG idea | Sticky labels with QR codes

Recently I have been wondering if this idea might be fun – just a slight extension of an idea I had before.

Solo adventure kit

  1. Sticky labels with some QR codes, the QR codes lead to pages that describe an encounter
  2. Dungeon map, or page with lots of interconnected tunnels but no rooms

Solo Kit 1

Play

Solo player peels some of the labels off the sticky sheet and adds them to the map page to create a random dungeon. This can be as you go, or beforehand. Hopefully, with this set up, the encounters will be surprising to the wouldbe DM-Solo-Player.

Solo Kit 2

Perhaps in a journal type game, these QR codes lead to blank google pages where the solo player can make a record of what happens.

A more dungeon-y embodiment:

Solo Kit 3

Solo players could build up a database of encounters/rooms. 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’s there already (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 PWYW PDF version. Or, just want 20 unexpected rooms without the QR codes (20 Unexpected Rooms)

: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

Collaboration: ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ (+) ‘When Sea Is Calling’

I’ve collaborated with ATELIER CLANDESTIN who are blasting out great random table supplements.

We’ve brought together my ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ Hex Flowers with their ‘When Sea Is Calling’ – so this gives my one page ItHotS more depth.

Colab

Read more about the collaboration here: https://atelierclandestin.wixsite.com/home/post/announcement-when-sea-is-calling-extended-version  

Direct link – please check it out
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/397826/When-Sea-Is-Calling 

Background of Hex Flowers – 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

Field Guide to Random Table Design in RPGs | Video walk through

Just a video walkthrough of my ‘Field Guide to Random Table Design in RPGs’ (which recently turned Copper Metal Best Seller on DriveThruRPG):

Background: 

I saw this post by the well-known blogger, podcaster and RPG great Judd Karlman.

It got me thinking about random table structures, and so I wrote this:

FGtRTDCover

The idea here is to consider how to make/tweak random table structures to suit your RPG needs. It probably overeggs the pudding. However, if this might be of interest, please check it out.

Snap shot:

Snip FG

– – –

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

Field Guide to Random Table Design in RPGs

I saw this post by the well-known blogger, podcaster and RPG great Judd Karlman.

It got me thinking about random table structures, and so I wrote this:

FGtRTDCover

The idea here is to consider how to make/tweak random table structures to suit your RPG needs. It probably overeggs the pudding. However, if this might be of interest, please check it out.

Snap shot:

Snip FG

– – –

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

Ramp, Flat Ramp, Hill & Lone Mountain Type Random Table Formats

I saw this post by the well-known blogger, podcaster and RPG great Judd Karlman.

It had a table type I had not seen (or at least noticed) before, a D6 (well D3 really) x 2D6 table (reproduced below with Judd’s permission – see link above to see more):

Judd Table

This table is like three 2D6 tables next to each other, so instead of being a peak (‘bell’) curve with a 2D6 probability structure, it sort of has a “ramp-like” probability structure:

1. Ramp Type; Dx × 2Dy (in this case D3 × 2D6)

1a Ramp Table1b Ramp Table chart

This led me to think about related formats:

2. Flat-Topped Ramp Type; Dx × Dy+Dz (replacing the 2D6 with D4+D8 to flatten the ‘peak’ out):

2a Flat Topped Ramp Table2b Flat Topped Ramp Table Chart

3. Lonely-Mountain Type; 2Dx × 2Dy (in this case 2D6 on one axis and 2D6 on the other):

3a Lonely Mountain Chart3b Lonely Mountain Table Chart

4. Rounded Hill Type; 3Dx × 3Dy (in this case 3D6 on one axis and 3D6 on the other):

4a Hill Table4b Hill Table Chart

Applications?
There are lots of ways these random table formats could be used, but of course it can be seen with the last two examples, even with just D6s the number of outcomes increase massively, and the edges will be very rare (in the Rounded Hill example a centre roll is 729 times more likely than a ‘corner’ roll and you have (theoretically) 256 possible options. But of course, you can band the results together a bit like Judd did with their example to reduce the outcomes. So, with reference to the heat map you could have 3 or so zones (red, white and blue etc.) equating to probable, rare and very rare outcomes etc.

Not got much more to say, just putting this out there as a possible tool, and I’m sure I’m not the first to think of these other examples, but I’ll post anyway!!

: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

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

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

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

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