Monday, August 31, 2015

Hexcrawl/Sandbox for Warriors of the Red Planet

I'm way deep into Warriors of the Red Planet, the Sword and Planet D&D clone. I wanted to do some solo hexcrawling to get used to the system. Well, the first thing I needed for that was a map.

I recently used Delving Deeper to do this same thing for a generic solo hexcrawl, though I had a map already, the Outdoor Survival map. So, I thought tweaking DD's mapping and hexcrawl methods would work well.

First I generated the map. I used DD's Table 2.12: Random Wilderness Terrain to generate the terrain, but I changed each Wood result into Jungle. After rolling the first column of the map, I used the two adjacent hexes together to create the second columns hex. I made one die roll and checked both columns of the terrain table. If the result was mutually exclusive, I rolled a die to decide or simply picked one I wanted. If the results were compatible with each other, like Mountain and Jungle, I used both.

Using Hexographer from Inkwell Ideas, I started building the map. The terrains I used in the map were Light Jungle, Heavy Jungle, Savannah (clear), Mountain, Jungle Mountain, Grassland, Jungle Hills, Jungle Wetlands (from combining Jungle and Swamp), Jungle Mountains, Hills, Mountains, Swamp, Dunes, and Sandy Desert.

Next, I used DD's Table 2.13 Random Wilderness Features table to place villages, towns, lairs, bridges, rivers, trails, fords, and ruins. Any Stronghold result on this table became a ruin from WotRP's Random Ruin Generation tables.

For this map, if I rolled a River result, I then rolled a d20. On a 20, I replaced the river with a Canal, then using a coin flip to see if it is North-South or East-West. After that or if the d20 is not 20, a River result is just a river. In other words, if you get a Canal, you can't get another canal on the same map.

The canals were a feature of a jungle world I had been thinking about for a couple months or so, and this map was a way to test it out. The canal on the left of the map is a mile wide and carved with precision orbital fusion lasers thousands of years ago. They run straight north/south or east/west 500 miles apart. Vast high tech bridges cross every 100 miles. These canals circle the planet. The zero-180 degree meridian canal, the 90-270 degree meridian canal, and the equator canal are all 5 miles wide.

Then I used the WotRP Random Name Generator for village and town names, and the Random Wilderness Encounter tables for lairs.

HexDescription
0000Village: Ghoji-Yif (pop. 400)
0007Lair: Bubrille
0010Village: Gormix (pop. 500)
0201Lair: 2d10 Mukup
0204Lair: 3d4 Arcris
0308Ruins, obscured by clouds and fog, walls of a ruined fortress overgrown with stinking fungal growth.
0404Lair: 2d4 Banthe
0503Village: Ur-Drim (pop. 400)
0703Lair: 8+4d10 Black Pirates, large cruiser airship
0801Lair: 5d12 Sassam
0802Town: Hubyl Bhalhyth (pop. 2000)
0808Lair: 4d10 Armae
0904Lair: d3 Turl
1003Town: Zilzim-Dar (pop. 5000)
1005Ruined city: Quijag
1009Village: Kjilford, ford (pop. 200)

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Solo Hexcrawl using Delving Deeper

This weekend, as an experiment, I decided to run a solo hexcrawl using the Outdoor Survival map and the stronghold rules. Rather than deciphering LBB 3, I choose Delving Deeper, because its wilderness rules are closest to Book 3. I randomly generated a group of seven characters, thanks to Total Party Kill's DD character generator. I've been dying to use +Dyson Logos' d12 Subclasses, and they really pulled through. Though originally designed for BX/LL, they worked just fine with OD&D/DD. The dwarven tavern owner is a Rune Caster, able to cast one cleric spell a day. One of the warriors is a Swashbuckler, foregoing plate mail to get training to use two weapons at once. One of the magic users is a Warlock, allowing him to shoot d3 witch bolts at will. The Subclasses add a nice extra to the PCs.

I decided they were the only survivors of a frontier village just off map to the south that was hit by massive earthquake that created a chasm that stretched across their route to the south where civilization was. So they headed north.

They made it to the first castle before their food ran out, after finding horses and capturing them.

On the ride in, they had a moment of pause when they spotted orcs on the battlements. They collectively shuddered when they saw a red dragon perched on one of the towers. A big dragon. When the second dragon fly into view, even bigger than the first, they really worried . By now, they were escorted to the castle, so they had no way out.


So it turns out this castle is run by a 10th level magic user named Zatherop, his four apprentices, 110 orcs, and a staff of 100 humans. Chaotic of course. He either wants a magic item, 3000 gp, or to send them on a Geas (per normal OD&D/DD stronghold rules). As starting 1st levels, they had no choice but to be Geased.. 

At this point, I pulled out Dyson's Delves to look for a map. I picked the Halls of Surreth, a nicely sized level that would take a few attempts to explore that also had room for expansion. 

The next morning they head out, with provisions restocked, saddles for the horses, and three mules, in case they need to haul out treasure. It takes a day to find the path and another day to find the cleft in the mountain. So they enter the dungeon.

After taking out a large spider and a few large centipedes, they explored a room that seemed interesting. They found a wall that was an illusion that hid a small nook in the room. They found three bags of silver (40 pounds each), three bags of gold, and some jewelry, one tiara of which was surely pricey. 

The next room held a red dragon hatchling. In a daring move, they tried to subdue the young drake. In the first round, the Swashbuckler got caught in fire breath, dying horribly. But they managed to subdue it in another round with no casualties. 

They felt this baby dragon would make a good addition to Zatherop's other dragons, so the party left the dungeon, getting out through some more centipedes. The dwarf had to cast runes of Cure Light Wounds to cure the paralysis on the warlock. They made it back to the castle, and, indeed, Zatherop was mightily pleased by his new minion. He gave them another fabulous feast, and let them stay for another week, then sent them off with fresh provisions, plus the saddles and mules he had lent them. 

Oh, and they all went up to 2nd level. I think they're going back to the Halls of Surreth to see what else is there.

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The wilderness and the dungeon room contents tables all worked well. I was really pleased with how the randomness worked out with the dragons and the hatchling. They now have a powerful wizard that thinks well of them. Next time I need a little break, I can pull these folks out and run a few more days of exploration.

Here is a list of the resources I used for this experiment:

Heroic Age progress report

I haven't updated on Heroic Age here for awhile.

I'm going through a second editing pass on the spell descriptions and filling out many of the skill descriptions. Mostly just changing the generic spell names to Tekumel spell names.

I should have the Quickstart done by the end of the month.

I've also been preparing a Warriors of the Red Planet game set on Tekumel in the Latter Time for U-Con in November. I've also been thinking how that time period could be handled by Heroic Age.

At U-Con I will run the above game, plus a Fresh Off the Boat game using Heroic Age, focusing on the Tribal character rules. Yes, more underworld exploration, maybe some wilderness reconnoitering.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Character sheet and DM screen for Warriors of the Red Planet

I've modified my Heroic Age of Tekumel character sheet for Warriors of the Red Planet. It's purely a technical design and not at all pretty, but I'm not an artist. You can find it HERE.

I've also got a first cut at a DM screen. Currently three portrait sheets. You can find it HERE.

If you have suggestions, or want the source to make your own fiddlings, post here or send me email.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Heroic Age of Tekumel Convention Packet 2015 (Tribal) available

I said I was going to put this up a couple weeks ago. Then I found a few places where I hadn't taken out everything non-tribal, especially spells. Also, there were a couple things I wanted to add for Tribal games, such as the Tribal Name generator and Random Tribe Generator. So it took me longer than anticipated to get it done.

So here is the 2015 Convention Packet for Heroic Age of Tekumel. This will allow you to create 1st level barbarian tribe members. It is designed for a "Fresh Off the Boat" game I'll run at U-Con in Ypsilanti, Michigan in November and at Con of the North in the Twin Cities, Minnesota in February 2016.

Download the Heroic Age of Tekumel Convention Packet 2015 (Tribal) here.