2019-03-23 Working on Dungeon for Hex Describe

I’ve started thinking about creating random dungeon locales for Hex Describe again.

Stuff like this:

A green glass tower has been built in a lake. The locals call it The Needle. There’s no visible entrance. Anybody taking a dive would find an underwater entrance. Hidden under some thorn bushes is a small canoe.

In the murky darkness below the water surface lies the lair of 3 sea serpents (HD 6 AC 5 2d6 and 1d10 vs. ships F3 MV 15 ML 8 XP 600).

Or:

A green glass tower has been built in a lake. The locals call it Rabdrana the Nightingale’s Last Stand. There’s no visible entrance. Anybody taking a dive would find an underwater entrance. Beneath the surface, you see a half-rotten rowing boat beyond repair.

In the murky darkness below the water surface lies the lair of 24 nixies led by Tears of Dew (HD 1 AC 7 1d4 F1 MV 12 ML 6 XP 100; charm, water breathing).

I’m thinking that basically a “dungeon” in this context is simply something more elaborate than a lair:

For the longest time I felt that I would have to generate a decent map using my Megadungeon creator, but sadly the code needs some improvements. First and foremost, it needs ways to recover from dead ends and go deeper. Right now you’re lucky when it has a second or third level.

These days I have changed my mind. The “dungeons” my players find out in the wilderness are small affairs and the detailed maps are mostly a distraction because they keep the mapper busy, everybody else is bored, and all the interesting stuff can be improvised using a small pointcrawl. But a pointcrawl is much easier to generate using some random tables, right? That’s why I’ve been looking at Hex Describe again.

This is how I start writing these things:

;dungeon
1,[tower]
1,[castle]
1,[ruins]

;tower
1,[green glass tower]
1,[wizard tower]
1,[hermit tower]

;green glass tower
1,A green glass tower has been built on a barren rock that lies here as if it had fallen from the sky. [green glass tower name]
1,A green glass tower has been built in a lake. [green glass tower name] [green glass tower connection]

;green glass tower name
1,The locals call it *[green glass tower simple name]*.
1,In *[old elf ballad name]*, they call it *[green glass tower simple name]*.

;green glass tower simple name
1,The Green Tower
1,The Glass Tower
1,The Elf Ruin
1,The Cursed Ruin
1,[elf maid name]'s Ruin
1,[elf maid name]'s Redoubt
1,[elf maid name]'s Last Stand
1,The Needle
1,The Nameless Tower

And so on...

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Comments

Now that I’ve worked on it for a bit, I am no longer sure. There are already plenty of lairs that get generated. Perhaps I just need to add more pairings? Right now, for example, I changed manticores. Instead of always being solitary beasts living in a tower, there’s now a 20% chance each for either having goblins, hobgoblins or bandits with them: either hobgoblins trying to recruit the manticore for their war, or a a warren of goblins that will happily lead fools to the manticore’s tower (and betray them), or bandits in an uneasy truce with the manticore, having fixed up two buildings. This kind of stuff just makes more sense?

– Alex Schroeder 2019-03-24 21:07 UTC


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