Wednesday, February 20, 2013

People, Places & Things

"The Chimeras are real and they dwell within the forgotten places of the Earth. I have encountered several in my time and each were a formidable opponent. Some of these Beasts are impossibly Ancient as they are beyond the Death of Aging as the Giants. Your Mundane weaponry will do you no good against these Monsters either. . ."
-Lady Knight Elise of Suffolk, of the Black Dog Brotherhood

So, I will be posting some more about how I think the Game outside of the combat and character creation procedures should go. As I said in my previous post, some of this is already in draft form, but I want to present a Completed game for testing that includes a method for generating situations to place PCs into. Since much of what I will be writing on this matter will be off the top of my head, some of this will be disjointed and perhaps not as well formed as my postings on Game elements and Systems that have already been drafted out to my satisfaction.

I have started with the following concepts to lay out the System: People, Places and Things. My plan is to put together a System for the procedurally generated dungeon and city scapes. This is not completely random as there will be a method to the randomization. But, again, this is not entirely well-formed and I am writing and thinking and designing as I go with this.


The Dungeon is Peopled by four groups of Monsters. Wandering Monsters, Patrolling Monsters, Guarding Monsters and Monsters in Lairs. The list of available Monsters for a Floor is placed onto a Roster. Here's an example Roster:

1: Godling Scrappers
2: Ghastly Crawlers
3: Ghastly Walkers
4: Godling Axe-patrol
5: Godling Elites
6: Ghoul Retrievers
7: Monstrous Wolfhound
8: Scittering Ur-Beasts
9: Motherly Ur-Beast

A Wandering Monster has no set location and will only be encountered while the PCs are moving throughout the Dungeon proper. A Patrolling Monster is capable of being encountered randomly, but also may appear in one of the Set locations for Monsters within a Dungeon. A Guarding Monster is only ever encountered within a set location. Lastly, a Monster within a Lair is a set encounter with no randomization within a Dungeon.

Locations for Monsters are keyed upon the Dungeon in two ways: 1) Set locations and 2) Lairs. A set location is an area within the Dungeon is a guaranteed encounter with a Monster from the Roster. A Lair is an encounter that is set within the Dungeon and is not generated by the Roster. Here's an illustrated example of what I mean:

In the above figure there are two Red Starred locations: A. and B. And a single Blue Starred location: C. Area B. is connected to Areas A. and C. When entering areas A. or B., due to the Red Star, this will be a Guaranteed Monster encounter, resulting in a roll on the Roster for the level. The Area C. is a Lair encounter which has a specific encounter associated with it that is not on the Roster -- the DM would reference that specific encounter on the map instead of rolling on the Roster.

The way the Roster is used for both Random and Set Monster locations is as follows: Random encounters roll 1d6; Set encounters roll 1d6+3. Returning to our example Roster for the Level, this is how this spreads out.

1: Godling Scrappers (Wandering Only)
2: Ghastly Crawlers (Wandering Only)
3: Ghastly Walkers (Wandering Only)
4: Godling Axe-patrol (Wandering or Set)
5: Godling Elites (Wandering or Set)
6: Ghoul Retrievers (Wandering or Set)
7: Monstrous Wolfhound (Set Only)
8: Scittering Ur-Beasts (Set Only)
9: Motherly Ur-Beast (Set Only)

By itself, this creates an environment that has a degree of unpredictability for both the PCs and the DM, but lets add a bit more to this procedure. Looking at the list and dice procedure. Encounters #1 - #6 can occur randomly while moving through the Level. Encounters #4 - #9 can occur when moving into rooms that are populated with Monsters according to the Map.

After encountering a Monster the Roster Updates in a certain way depending on the results of the encounter. The Roster can Update in several different ways. 1) The Roster item is eliminated and points to the next available item. 2) The Roster item shifts to an alternate item on the same line. This will require some further edits to our Roster, first let's do the basic Update on Killing the Monster from the Roster.

1: Godling Scrappers (Wandering Only); If Killed Go to #2
2: Ghastly Crawlers (Wandering Only); If Killed Go to #3
3: Ghastly Walkers (Wandering Only); If Killed Go to #4
4: Godling Axe-patrol (Wandering or Set); If Killed Go to #5
5: Godling Elites (Wandering or Set); If Killed Go to #6
6: Ghoul Retrievers (Wandering or Set); If Killed Go to #1 if Wandering or #7 if Set
7: Monstrous Wolfhound (Set Only); If Killed Go to #8
8: Scittering Ur-Beasts (Set Only); If Killed Go to #9
9: Motherly Ur-Beast (Set Only); If Killed Go to #4

So, while the PCs move through the Dungeon and encounter Monsters randomly and in Set Encounters, they will eventually exhaust the denizens of the Level. But I have only shown the elimination of a Roster item. Let's play with this a bit to show the second result which is a Shift in the Roster item.

1: 1st: Godling Scrappers (Wandering Only); If Killed Go to #2
2: 1st: Ghastly Crawlers (Wandering Only); 2nd: The PCs hear a moaning in the distance.; 3rd: Return to 1st
3: 1st: Ghastly Walkers (Wandering Only); 2nd: 1 Ghastly Crawler; 3rd: Return to 1st
4: Godling Axe-patrol (Wandering or Set); If Killed Go to #5
5: 1st: If Set the PCs encounter a recently abandoned camp site OR if Wandering the PCs hear the distant sounds of a group of patrolling Godlings; 2nd: Godling Elites; 3rd: Return to 1st
6: Ghoul Retrievers (Wandering or Set); If Killed Go to #1 if Wandering or #7 if Set

7: Monstrous Wolfhound (Set Only); If Killed Go to #8
8: Scittering Ur-Beasts (Set Only); If Killed Go to #9
9: Motherly Ur-Beast (Set Only); If Killed Go to #4

This creates a more dynamic environment that is being procedurally generated using the most basic mechanics: one die roll and noting when Roster items have been encountered. Here is a narrative example of how this could play out:

The PCs, upon entering the Halls underneath the Old Asylum, run into a Wandering Monster. A 2 is rolled, a group of Ghastly Crawlers. The PCs dispatch these Monsters and continue moving through the area. Several rooms in, the PCs encounter a Set Monster room. A 4 is rolled on 1d6, which is a 7 with 3 added to it. A Monstrous Wolfhound has made its Lair in this room!
The PCs run from this encounter and move to another room, triggering a Wandering Monster through their noisy retreat. A 2 is rolled, but since they have already dealt with the 1st instance of Ghastly Crawlers, the 2nd instance on this Roster item is encountered: the PCs hear the moanings of a group of Crawlers scraping their way around the Dungeon!

So, that's what I have so far for these procedures. I have similar procedures in mind for Places and Things within the Dungeon. I will elaborate on these in the next couple of posts!

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