Friday, March 9, 2012

Random Thought IV: Actual Randomness

- I haven't gamed in a while because I was sick the one day we could play near the end of February. Next game is late March, if you're starving for session reports - expect one then.

- Stocking my megadungeon update. I decided after all the B/X stocking table is kind of lame. That 1-in-6 rooms is trapped thing, eh. Too many "specials" I don't know what to do with yet. I did end up with some fun setups I might not have, but I really think the percentages are too rough. I'm sticking with the results, but I'm not going to repeat them.

I tried the DMG method but I didn't have a big room same on that level, so I had only a handful of rooms that didn't need to get placed/stocked by hand. I'll try it further on another level with more "open" rooms to fill.

- Speaking further of randomness, I also decided I needed a GURPS-specific monster stocker, based on the broad categories of Boss, Worthy, and Fodder laid out in Dungeon Fantasy 2. I've got a very rough first draft of one, and I'm starting to use it. Testing will tell me if it's worth developing for publication anywhere. But I like it - I need something that tells me what power level of monster to put in, and then I'll go pick one. Then I can generate wandering monster lists off of that chart and the actual residents of the level.

I am stocking and writing, but absent a good stocking table for monsters, it goes more slowly than I hoped.

- I can't decide how to format my notes for easy in-game use. So much so I'm doing much of my notes and stocking info directly on a working copy of my maps plus a cruddy old notepad. I think electronic will save my sanity, but it's hard to write the dungeon that way at the moment.

- I did a lot of work on Stericksburg, the town nearest the megadungeon. At some point I'll put up what I told the players. It's a medium sized town - big enough to supply what they need, small enough to keep them (and the dungeon surroundings!) from being overwhelmed.

- I took advantages of some sales and some royalty money to pick up a few things: Barrowmaze, Death Frost Doom (what the hell, all the cool kids ran it and it was cheaper than lunch), Bushido, Aftermath, GURPS Tactical Shooting (great stuff, written by a shooter with encyclopedic knowledge of his subject), and some old Rob Kuntz stuff like Garden of the Plantmaster. I'm especially excited about Barrowmaze (which looks very cool and has a great map), since it shares a lot with a concept I have for a section of my own megadungeon, and the two FGU games. I wanted Bushido and Aftermath as a kid but couldn't afford them, and now I have a PDF copy for less than it would have cost me back in the 80s. I won't play either, but I'll enjoy reading them (and who knows, I may use bits of Aftermath for next post-apoc game!)

- I also backed Dwimmermount, because James is a cool guy and a good author, and $10 is what I'd willingly have paid for a copy of the final product PDF nevermind the perks of backing it early. That's my first non-art backing, actually - everything else has been Jeff Dee, Diesel, and OOTS.


  1. Have you checked out it helps a lot with filling those weird rooms.

    1. Yes, I've seen that already. Thanks for the link, though! It's a pretty good resource although I haven't actually used it, just browsed it.

  2. Peter,

    I think if were looking at a power-o-meter, I'd probably weight it roughly with span-of-control in mind. Depending on the relative power level and "how much can I control," a typical hierarchy tends to do well at 6-8:1. So for every one Boss, there will be 6-8 Worthies and 36-64 Fodders. Since that's about one boss in 60, maybe roll a d6 and a d10. If the d10 comes up 1, it's a Worthy (heh, typo: Worty), and if they both come up 1, it's a Boss.

    That's the 'how many,' in terms of "what," i might even invert it. First, figure out what (if any) room has a Boss. that will likely set the local geography. If you have a monster present that eats goblins for lunch (literally), then the surrounding critters will reflect that.

    Not to say that they won't be goblins! They very well might, since you can come up with vague solutions to the predator-prey equations ( where a few boss-type monsters will be preying on a surrounding population of Fodders. The Worthies might be scavengers or some middle tier niche.

    If you want Boss-worthy-fodder to be in the same role (Bad Ass Orc Magi, Moderate Orc Leader, Orc Warrior), you can just use organizational niches instead of ecological ones.

    1. That's a good idea, too - one I've been chatting about with someone else. Instead of purely random setups, scaling out the rolls based on nearby monsters.

      Thanks for the (extensive) thoughts on it, too. I still think I'll go more random and see what happens, but the idea of placing bosses and then cascading out the (still randomly rolled) surroundings based on them is a really nice one.


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