Saturday, March 30, 2013

Building Mog Hexcrawl Phase 4

The terrain is done on the Midlands of MOG map.

We got wasteland, wasteland oasis, wasteland with insect mounds, dry hills, dry hills with insect mounds, dry tumbles, rocky mountains, forested mountains, open forest, forest, dense forest, thorn forest, thistle forest, hills, forested hills, twisted woods, swamp land, mud flats, and open terrain (savanna, plains, etc), along with rivers, coast,  lakes, and sea.

Going to have to name the cities and towns. Encounter tables for each terrain type shall be complied and hex encounters developed.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Building MOG Hexcrawl Phase 3

Development continues on the map of the midlands of MOG. Rivers and lakes have been placed on the map, cities and town nudged a bit and roads and routes have been blazed.

The forest of Teeth has been reduced in size, the cutoff segment will need a name. The howling wilderness down the northern middle of the map needs a name, that name may follow the determination of the residents of the region.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Building MOG Hexcrawl Phase 2

Demographics, who, where, how many? I've put 14 citiy hexes and 31 town hexes on my Midlands of MOG map.  How many people will there be?

A 30 mile hex is about 780 square miles in size. There are 640 acres to a square mile. That's 499,200 acres per hex. Let's say it takes the folk of MOG five acres of land use to feed a person (which is not so great), a fertile while managed hex is going to support   99,840 people.  That's a lot of people.

For my purposes I'm round up here for ease of math so 100,000 people in the most productive hexes.
I'm declaring those to be the city hexes of which there are 14 on the map. I'm going to halve productivity of  the town hexes to 50,000 of which there are 27. Near these are the rural hexes which produce food for 25,000 and there are 53 of these, around those there is  another ring of productivity of 12,000 per hex of the 78 i'm calling hunting hexes.

Let's see here 100,000 x 14 + 50,000 x 27 + 25,000 x 53 + 12,000 x 78 = 5,011,000 mouths can be fed.  That's not accounting for the 108 completely wild hexes which support 780 people each (one per square mile) on the average. All told 5,095,240 "people" eating in the Midlands of MOG.

Here's a map showing all that  (possibly with a mistake or two but not worth worrying about yet).

How many are 1st level or higher?   If 1 in 20 folk are over 0-level there are about 254,762 that are 1st level or higher.Half of those are level 2 or higher and half each tier because I'm feeling like keeping it simple.
so here's the numerical breakdown per level halving (roughly)  each step of the way
1st Level..... 127,381
2nd level.....63,690
3rd level.... 31,845
4th level.... 15,500
5th level..... 7,750
6th level.... 3,875
7th level.... 1,937
8th level.... 968
9th level.... 484
10th level... 242
11th leve1.... 121
12th level.... 60
13th level...30
14th level..15
15th level....7
16th level...3
17th level...2
18th level...1    (funny here as the highest level  a PC can reach on MOG is 18)
note: that's 50,502,100 exp worth of NPCs when figured at 100 exp per level.
I know who one of the 17th level characters is, as I do 2 of the 16th level characters, I don't know who the 18th level character is yet.

Now I must admit I'm in a quandary, should the numbers above be simply "civilized" folk?  I could certainly fit in food for 780 monsters/uncivilized creatures per hex without destroying the food budget for the campaign.  218,400 monsters could be out there and under there on the Midlands.

1 HD or less..... 109,200
2 HD................ 54,600
3 HD.................27,300
4 HD...............13,650
5 HD............... 6825
6 HD................ 3412
7 HD .............. 1706
8 HD ..............  853
9 HD.............. 426
10 HD............ 213
11 HD............ 106
12 HD.............53
13 HD.............26
14 HD.............13
15 HD..............7
16 HD.............4
17 HD.............2
18 HD.............1
note:  43,677,000 exp worth of monsters out there in the Midlands of MOG.

Hmmm... notice there's more exp to be earned fighting "civilized" folk if I keep to the demographic figures above?

How much treasure is out there?  Good question...  Well a 1st level character starts off with 105 Silver Shekels on average.  In my play group everyone is still 1st level after the 3rd session but they have over 800 shekels in loot each now (well the survivors do).   so let's say 1000 silver shekels per character and monster and about a dozen silver shekels in loot per 0-level and we get about 1,013,162,000 silver shekels worth of loot in the whole of the Midlands of MOG.  (That would be about 84,400,00 g.p. more or less in a typical D&D setting). That's a lot of exp for treasure hunters and thieves. I'd say only about 10% of that is floating about the cities, accounting for 72 silver shekels per occupant of a city hex, most folks will seldom have 20% of that.

A whole lot of deducing to get a feel for the campaign and what the players wealth means, what their relative might means, and what is out there.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Working on more Castle Geomorphs

Working on series B castle geomorphs. It's all about 10x10 square sections for gatehouses.

Pretty tiny.  I draw a whole mess of these up in Adobe Illustrator export sections I like, import them into Photoshop add textures and there you go.

Building MOG HexCrawl Phase-1

 Here's my campaign map for MOG as I'm working on it.  The terrain is simply colored hexes for now as things are going to walk about as I develop them. Only The city of Panthoom is currently positioned on the map.  The party is currently rooting about some tunnels beneath ruins outside of a small trading town near hex 4-6. The labels are broad brushstrokes for what is in each area for now.

Plans for the HexCrawl- tighten up and define the terrain. Lay down the cities and major towns. Generate 1-3 set encounters per hex. Maybe develop detailed hexes of some hexes. The Under-city of MOG is under most of this map so there have to be some entrances, The Lost River Kingdom is the most obvious entry. A couple of location adventures should be worked up of course, I've already got a few palaces, temples, and tombs planned.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Exploring Wilderness Geomorphs

An idea I'd like to bounce off the readers of this blog: Wilderness Hex Geomorphs. There's a few aspects to wilderness geomorphs that are tricky such as being able to turn them and developing a symbol set that works turned to any of the possible directions.

Here's an elevation only hex tile set I worked up:

and here is a sample hex map I worked up with the tiles above and a blank one:

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

The Masons Were Forgetful

Here are castle geomorphs A9 and A10 

Now series A of the Castle Geomorphs is posted (going to have to find some more reliable masons).

Monday, March 18, 2013

Castle Geomorphs A8

Castle Geomorphs A8

Last of Series A Castle Geomorphs.

Castle Geomorphs A7

Castle Geomorphs A7

Castle Geomorphs A6

Castle Geomorphs A6

Castle Geomorphs A5

Castle Geomorphs A5

Castle Geomorphs A4

Castle Geomorphs A4

Castle Geomorphs A4, mysteriously out of sequence.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Castle Geomorphs A3

Castle Geomorphs A3

Castle Geomprhs A2

Castle Geomorphs A2

Build A Castle

... with some Castle Geomorphs,

Castle Geomorphs A1

Monday, March 11, 2013

Scribing those Scrolls

An absence I've noted for my current campaign is the mixture of inks for the manufacture of scrolls.
After a little brainstorming and scribbling I came up with a simple means to generate the recipes for the inks required to scribe scrolls: random charts; well, they are random here but a few spells have logical collections of inks on my own notes.

Each scroll requires 1 special ink ingredient per spell level. Roll once on each table per ingredient.

Ink Ingredient Source
1.   Sanguine
2.   Melancholic
3.   Choleric
4.   Phlegmatic
5.   Cerebral
6.   Draconic
7.   Lunar
8.   Necrotic
9.   Ethereal
10. Essential
11. Chthonic
12. Elemental

Ink Ingredient Form
1.   Pigment
2.   Earth
3.   Essence
4.   Ungent
5.   Syrup
6.   Oil
7.   Powder
8.   Jelly
9.   Salts
10. Gum
11. Plasma
12. Dew

Value suggestion multiply the rolls on each table and multiply by the proper amount for you campaign economy. In Mog it's going to be x1d6 Gold Dragons per ingredient, in other campaigns I'd probably go with x10 or x100 GP, maybe modifying per level. For Mog I've got no fixed price for scroll creation in others the value of the inks would likely count towards the codified expense.

Of course the ink doesn't get on a scroll by itself yuo have to inscribe those scrolls with special plumes.

1.   Turkey
2.   Owl
3.   Peacock
4.   Porcupine
5.   Parrot
6.   Eagle
7.   Ostrich
8.   Hippogriff
9.   Griffon
10. Manticore
11. Roc
12. Angel

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Empty Hexes

Big old empty wilderness hexes or how is it PC's find the features in a wilderness hex while playing an RPG?

I've notice a bit of discussion of late in blog land where folks discuss just how are the players supposed to have their characters find the special features in an outdoor hex crawl. If yuo stop to think of how big the hex actually is you may quickly realize locating many a feature is not dissimilar to finding needles in hay stacks.

I'm going to seemingly digress a wee bit here and ask a question: Have you ever seen a film take place in a famous city or a city yuo have a great deal of personal experience with?  Ever notice how often films set in Paris tend to draw near to the Eiffel Tower?  When I watch crime films set in Boston I always find it amusing how they stretch microscopic neighborhoods or frequent parks most locals generally ignore, and how the ridiculous maze of roads never interferes with characters getting from one neighborhood to another in instants. Films focus on points that define the setting and set the mood and don't tend  sweat minor realities as miles of road or huge cities that get in the way of location shots.

RPGs are about having a game and a diversion that is supposed to be fun and entertaining. Wandering about ill-defined and empty hexes being unable to locate the encounters or "location shots" simply isn't much fun. But effectively teleporting from feature to feature in the outdoors flies in the face of established game logic where folks explore indoor environments by the foot and have to meticulously search or miss features.

What the fix: Make new rules? Play up related rules? Drop in sign-posts? Make the features obvious? Just put them on the map?

Lets start at the end, put special features on the map. Will it really disrupt play if the players have access to a fairly accurate map of the wilderness and can see point A and point B in front of them as in boardgames?  Will being able to see alternate routes and the dangers that may lie between point A and point B really damage game play, will it be so awful if the party takes a side trip to point C becasue they see it on the map? The DM has an advantage here as a lot can go on the map, the names of places and features, routes can be drawn, all the stuff the player characters should likely know is simply right there on the map and the style the map is drawn in can also add flavor to the game. Want to have mysterious unknown features? Scribble them on the map without labels, they will eventually catch on these spots are something interesting and be drawn to them.

Make the features obvious, really how secret should the lair of the Great Fire Worm be? Wouldn't it be noticeable for miles around: split hills, scorched woods, incinerated corpses should all draw PC attention. The orc citadel would be somewhere useful to allow the orcs to spy on the terrain all about them and a such be visible. The magical statue of the last king isn't sitting all by itself in a field it's sitting among ruins of a great fortress or city.

Drop in sign posts. Really, why not? Beware dragon, this way to the Happy Harpy Hall, Buckley by the mire-4 miles all make it pretty clear something may be nearby.

Play up related rules. Pay attention to the actual exploration and social rules of the game. Have locals that know what's going on be present to draw info and rumors from. PC's bump into some villagers in a field and the reaction roll is really bad it's much safer for the villagers to send the PCs to the suspected den of an owl bear than to get on a fight in a field. Wandering encounters don't' have to always be drawn from a list of level or terrain appropriate villains but can be occupants of the bandit out post or haunted barrow located in the hex.

Making your own rules and ruling based on specific situations. Part of making a campaign unique is the DM's own rules and rulings.  Set chances of discovery based on type of feature, local terrain, character capacities and player skill. Let's say: Hidden dens are only found by chance 1 in 6, 2 in 6 if there's a ranger in the party. Horse will become uneasy the closer a party wanders to the nest of the snarklebeast with a 3 in 6 chance of throwing riders and bolting if lead nearer. A bit of that here and there in feature descriptions and player actions and choices matter.

An outdoor or wilderness hex is a big place and finding the needle in the hay stack should be more than a quick leap from point of interest to point of interest simply to keep the fun train rolling. Give the players means to make choices and relate to the campaign environment and the fun will build for everyone.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Success on Mog

The players in the Mog campaign have manged to successfully delve into the dungeon into it's second level and return to civilization richer and not worse off for the wear.

After their earlier reported session the party moved on to discover a looted chamber with several smashed sarcophagi beyond a locked door others had failed to open, the mystery of entrance was solved when a narrow tunnel dug down from the surface was discovered in the ceiling.

The party backtracked marking the wall with their travel so as to avoid getting lost, opting out of delving down into the second level right away. The party traveled taking left hand turns until they found their options cutoff by a strange iron door covered in glyphs of linked barbed circles and ancient runes. Vistara the amazon acolyte was able to decipher the runes with a use of a comprehend spell and the party was baffled and the players surprised when the translation was given: Radiation Hazard.   The party made to leave not caring to face this unknown warning of hazardous energies, all except for Slandara: "We've come here to seek treasure and face dangers, I'm not fleeing from a strange written warning". As the rest of the party crept away she forced her way into the chamber to see it was filled with odd devices of twisted metal ad then she recoiled in surprise as they rose thin and gaunt with glowing green eyes, self preservation won out over foolhardy valor and she raced back after the party with the enemy following her. The party fled to the entrance of the dungeon and discovered they were being pursued by nearly a dozen skeletons with glowing green eyes that refused to enter the sunlight creeping into the depths from the surface. A shield wall was formed and the party advanced on the skeletons felling the strange unarmed creature. The source of the animus of the skeletons could not be discovered and the glow in their eyes faded on destruction.

Girding themselves with resolve after the successful battle the party went back deeper into the dungeon along a route as of yet unexplored. Biko the Pygmy hunter sprung a trap but easily avoided the axe swinging from above rigged to the trip line he stumbled upon. A room reeking of dung and urine was avoided by the explorers who pressed on until the discovered a broad door covered in obscene and colorful scrawling. The door was suspected to be trapped and a peep hole was evident at 2 and one half feet over the floor within the door. As the party fiddled about outside the door they could hear the clanking of arms and armor and shouted orders rallying an unknown force to defense.
The door was unlocked but found to be barred on the reverse and as the party pondered what to do Corraina Amzon Zealot manged to warn the party against a force of diminutive colorful mutants spilling forth from a secret door to their rear. The battle was quick and bloody with three members of the party staying to guard the door they were trying to enter.  The fighters Beck and Slandara raced down the side corridor revealed by the secret door but fell into a pit trap while Caorraina following with light was able to spot a spout pouring oil down into the pit in time to warn them to scurry out to the sound of doors being hammered shut from beyond. the party abandoned the assault on the strange little humanoids and decided to try their luck on the staircase leading down into the dungeon.

Descending into what the party presumed was the second level of the dungeon proved fruitful, Biko quickly discovered tracks of booted feet in some dust and the party followed to a large double door and gnashing ans slobbering could be heard coming from behind. After a peek revealed almost a dozen palid humanoids in bloody feeding frenzy there was a brief discussion of tactics but not brief enough to allow surprised of the ghouls feeding in the chamber. It was brutal fight with Slandara being overcome by a single scratch of the palled freaks claws. Triborn failed to inflict any woe upon the ghouls with his magics and Vestara was able to harm the fiends twice with her brilliant arc spell before her gods denied continued use of the spell. The party prevailed and Slandara quickly nursed back to health. A sizable treausre was discovered in the chamber where the remains of the three adventurers they had trailed to this place had been revealed to be the diner for the gang of ghouls; A couple hundred silver shekels and 50 gold lions were discovered. With their hoard won bounty the party retreated from the dungeon and back to civilization.


DM Notes:
*  The weapon speed and initiative system is working to differentiate weapons and keep fights from being predictable.
* the +2 bonus fighters in combat have compared to others is noticeable and the players are quickly realizing fighters should do the bulk of the fighting in this campaign.
* only one person has used Parrying just yet and it didn't work.
* Some of the players like all the different money, one player has an almost pathological hatred of it.
* A large party is working well for survivability of the party but it is cutting down on the ability to surprise foes.
* the skill system is working so far.,you can notice the difference between unskilled, skilled and expert attempts but the difference isn't overwhelming yet.
* the players have enough loot to invest in some metal armor and one player is eying the ability to purchase a single-shot pistol back at the bazzaar, just a few silver shekels short...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Town Geomorphs Set B- B6

Last of Set B.
Town Geomorph B6

Town Geomorphs Set B- B5

Town Geomorph B5

Town Geomorphs Set B- B4

Town Geomorph B4

Town Geomorphs Set B- B3

Town Geomorph B3

Town Geomorphs Set B- B2

Town Geomorph B2

Town Geomorphs Set B - B1

Here's series B of my Town Geomorphs. I thinned the lines up from the earlier series (may have to redo that one).
Town Geomorph B1