Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Talking about an Analogue Goblin-Tribe Simulator 2.5: Putting a Map on the Tribe-Sheet (pre-beta single-player version)

There was more meet on the menu in Part 2 than I did deliver: I totally hand-waved how the dice on the sheet also are the beginning of a map! Well, the main idea of posting about the process of building this game is to see which parts need more exploration. Alright, what information could be gathered from 4 dice lying on a piece of paper:

Random distribution, but, as of yet,
meaningless for the dungeon!
The numbers shown by the dice are already used to establish the tribe to some extent. To load them any more impact would be overdoing it, in my opinion. What might work, though, is using the numbers on the side of the dice for our purpose here. It is maybe an unusual choice, but I believe it has some merit. Let's see ...

1. Passages leading to the lair

One corner per die indicates a passage leading away from the lair, the numbers on the sides closing to that corner are the points a player might use to buy features of that passage:

So we have  4 passages with 4, 6, 8 and 11
points to distribute ...
Problem and solution

The only problem I'm aware of, so far, is that the dice may land in a way that makes it hard to decide which corners are pointing away from the lair. One solution might be to allow a player to move each die 2 cm in one cardinal direction until the result is satisfactory, or he decides arbitrarily which corners should lead (which would give him more flexibility in creating a final form).

What are those points for?

This is were I'm about to chicken out again. The basic idea here is to assign costs to several features a cave could and should have (it needs at least one exit to the surroundings, for instance). Yesterdays post gave some indications what exactly I had in mind with this. Beneficial features (like high ceilings with alcoves or very low ceilings, water might be interesting, too) will cost a lot, additional but not rudimentary features (intersections, holes in the ground) will have medium costs and the most basic features will be quite cheap (long passages with normal height, etc.). Here is an (for now) incomplete and unsorted list:
  • An exit costs 1 point (needs to be bought at least once).
  • 10 yards of passage (length) cost 1 point and is called a section (with a base height of 3 yards and a base width of 3 yards, if you chose 20 yards of passage, you have 2 sections ...).
  • Manipulating height and width per section costs 2 points per yard .
  • Alcoves cost 1 point each (better for the defense).
  • Steep slopes (up or down) cost 1 point per yard (will influence the AC).
  • Slopes (up or down) cost 1 point per 3 yards.
  • Break slope (up or down) cost 1 point per yard (will influence AC).
  • Boulders or stalagmites cost 1 point per section (will influence the AC).
  • A branch-off costs 2 points (will get important for further exploration).
  • Small body of water costs 2 points (will help with the Nosh).
  • Medium body of water (fills half a section) costs 4 points (will help with the Nosh).
  • Big body of water (blocks passage) costs 6 points (will help with Nosh, further exploration is somewhat difficult).
  • Flowstones, bedding plain flake or fissures would be 1 point (will make mining easier later on?).
  • Natural hole in the ground costs 4 points (makes for a good trap later on ...).
  • Twists and turns cost 2 points per section (may be taken more than once per section, will influence visibility for defense).
That's it so far. Maybe it's a bit too much. I don't know. But with this it is more or less possible to make some useful decisions when distributing the points. In the end, every decision should influence something on the tribe-sheet one way or another (it's still a bit vague, but I believe it'll connect quite well to the rest) and should transfer quite easy into any role playing game.

2. The Lair

Measurements for this is in 10 foot cubes (for now, but either way, should translate easy enough between yards and feet). The number of Goblins a die indicates is the lowest possible number that needs to be spend on the cave, the sides not yet used will be added and used as the points available per cave (for room-size, features and connections):

The distribution would be: 10 (at least 5 for the room);
8 (at least 4 for the room); 6 (at least 4 for the room) and
6 points (at least 1 point needs to be spend for the room)
Distribution

This is all in 10 ft. cubes. One cube stands for a more or less even surface, but that doesn't mean that the whole surface of a cavern/room is flat! On the contrary, even without spending further points, these cubes may share the same room, but don't connect to one flat surface. Add features like above to it, and you'll have a unique complex of caverns:
  • A cube costs 1 point and should be used to build connection between rooms (at least one cube needs to be spend to connect rooms) and to manipulate a rooms height or depth (one goblin per cube, so planning a little for the future might help).
  • To manipulate connecting passages on a smaller scale, use the rules above (10 = 3 yards, costs two points per change).
  • Alcoves cost 1 point each (better for the defense).
  • Steep slopes (up or down) cost 1 point per yard (will influence the AC).
  • Slopes (up or down) cost 1 point per 3 yards.
  • Break slope (up or down) cost 1 point per yard (will influence AC).
  • Boulders or stalagmites cost 1 point per section (will influence the AC).
  • Flowstonesbedding plain flake or fissures would be 1 point (will make mining easier later on?).
  • Natural hole in the ground costs 4 points (makes for a good trap later on ...).
This needs to be a bit more structured and streamlined to allow faster access, but so far it shows what direction this is going.

Final Thoughts and Preview

Next up is an example how a set-up could turn out (with the symbols needed to get the map started!). I just don't have that time today or the next 7 days (we'll go trekking for the next couple of days ...).

All in all I believe this is a lot of raw data taken from only one roll of 4D6. You get a complete tribe (including warriors, women, children and some weak) and a lair with some features, an exit and some passages to go deeper into a cavern. As it is, it could be used in every fantasy game with almost no preparation. That's where I wanted to end up for now.



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