2018-03-20 Naming Rivers, Canyons, Trails

I’ve added the naming of linear things to Hex Describe. Rivers, trails, canyons, and any user-defined lines on the map can now have names. The default map implements this in a very simplistic manner, mostly just to show that it works.

0201: A ruined tower standing on a small island in this swamp is home to the ettin called Club and Nail. Brown Creek runs through here. Hollow Lane goes through here.

Image 1 for 2018-03-18 Adding Mushrooms

The basis of all this are the generated lines on the map. The Alpine maps usually come with things like the following at the end:

1704-1604-1505 canyon
1510-1610-1711 river
1609-1710-1810-1711 river
1310-1410-1511 river
0404-0302 trail
0709-0610 trail
0305-0302 trail

These can now be named. The default table has entries like the following:

1,[name for river] has dug itself a deep gorge.
1,The gorge is wonderful and deep.
1,Crossing the canyon requires climbing gear.

1,[name for river] flows through here.
1,[name for river] runs through here.

;name for river
1,[river 1] [river 2]


1,[name for trail] goes through here.
1,[name for trail] leads through here.

;name for trail
9,[trail 1] [trail 2]
1,[trail 1] [trail 1] [trail 2]

I like it, but perhaps it’s getting too verbose? This information should probably simple be on the map itself. But that’s harder to do...



From my G+ post:

I think this means that almost all of the code aspects I wanted to implement are now implemented. What’s missing is the naming of singular things, like “There are barracks with troops loyal to [name for a duke 1].” Whenever it would get used, the same name would get produced for the entire region. There would be no dependency on map features.

The big challenge that lies ahead is to improve the tables in order to maintain my vision of the “basic” and “boring” wilderness setup, with a better distribution of encounters, more and better names, more interesting settlements and lairs without going crazy. Should I add treasure?

Without going crazy is important to me. After all, this is supposed to create a mini-campaign setting for the referee to work on. Perhaps the most important change would be the addition of more whitespace between the hex descriptions! “Basic & Boring” is my motto. I would like to make it easy for people to take the default tables and add their own (taking tables from Abulafia, for example), and then republishing those.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-03-20 10:52 UTC

I always say: know your competition. Today I learned of an alternative to Abulafia and Hex Describe called Tracery. It’s a text generator written in Javascript.

An interesting feature it has: “Often you want to save information. [...] In their basic form, they create some new rules and push them onto a symbol, creating that symbol if it didn’t exist, or hiding its previous value if it did.”

And more, haha:

Oh, an Allison is on Mastodon, too: @aparrish.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-03-20 18:44 UTC

Christoper Week suggested a look at RandomGen, yet another random text driven generator. And it has context variables, too. The How To has so many good ideas!

  • automatic s for plurals
  • automatic an or a for the article
  • capitalization (first letter or all words)
  • identifiers (variables)
  • attributes (associated with identifiers)
  • variable repetitions
  • quick alternatives without subtables
  • including remote text files
  • using Pastebins

There is nothing new under the sun and all my generator does is retrace a path taken by plenty of others. Well, I connect it to a map, I guess that’s new. Maybe that tells me where I need to focus.

– Alex 2018-03-20 19:34 UTC

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