2020-10-02 Hex describing the post-apocalypse

Josh Johnston has been sending me entries for new Hex Describe setup. New map algorithm, new terrains, new encounters (new rules?). I’m pretty excited.

If you’re curious, visit the Hex Describe, click on “random Apocalypse data” in the second paragraph, pick “Josh Johnston” in the radio group below the Submit button, and submit it. 👍

I think it’s interesting to see how such a thing starts to grow from nothing. Two lines for the various terrains. Another two lines for the terrains. An encounter. The encounter needs a name of the people encountered. A name for the leader of these people. They must be doing something (herding animals). They must have a problem of some sort (a tiny adventure seed), a way to get involved. For example right now, there’s just one such encounter: the bovinoids living in the grass lands need help dealing with a pride of lions.

The grasses hum with a radioactive intensity. There is a camp of bovinoids (AC 8 HD 1+1 1d6 MV 120; a successful charge of 16+ throws the target 10’ back and prone) of the The Twinkling Planets Clan led by Mad Horns (HD 3+3). They are herding goats. A pride of lions (HD 5 AC 6 1d6/1d6/1d10 MV 150; surprise on 1–4 in 6) has found that goats hunting is super easy. Mad Horns is asking you for help.

I like it already! 😀 Let me know if you have tables to contribute.

I guess if I were in the lead, I’d take a look at Rangers & Rabits, but I don’t know where Josh wants to take it.

Oh! And a new map generating algorithm. 😍

Post Apocalyptic Map

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Here’s something I recently wrote:

  • tables for a kind of fort settlement
  • three secret factions generated for the map
  • potential trouble brewing between factions
  • fancy names for people and factions

Example:

An old Police station has been repurposed into a crumbling shelter. Several figures can be seen moving through the shadows. There is a large laser weapon on the roof. About 20 humans (TODO) led by Lisa the Best of all Clans (TODO) live here.

Visitors are mostly travelling merchants. The trade post run by Jason is fairly well known. The House of Rich Traders is open to all.

Two secret societies are involved in a turf war, here: The Wise Garden True-Men have arrived and are in the process of kicking the Friendly Tree Cyber-Servants out. The Wise Garden True-Men are led by Wise Carol who claims that the Friendly Tree Cyber-Servants are no good and failing their members. They are led by Monster Jeremy who is a sad excuse of a leader and deserves to be kicked out. If you talk to Monster Jeremy, however, it sounds that this is not true at all and you get a proposal to double-cross the Wise Garden True-Men. “Let’s set them a trap!” says Monster Jeremy.

Check out the list of post-apocalyptic tables. Click on the links to get ten examples. The first paragraph links to the table itself. Click on the “fort” rule to see a bunch of forts, some of which are plagued by conflicts between secret societies (an idea I ported over from my previous set of maps, but with a new set of tables to determine the names).

I’m still wondering how to do stats for non-player characters that are compatible with classic Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, or Mutant Future as I never played any of them.

I also wonder what sort of names would be appropriate for people in the post-apocalypse. For now I used the 200 most popular names of the last 100 years from the US based on Social Security card application data as of March 2020. I feel like this list needs a bit more diversity. Where are all the minorities? Or perhaps we should misappropriate trademarks, or other words? Like something based on the 2000 most frequent words based on the Brown Corpus?

Anyway, if you feel inspired, leave a comment, or send me some mail.

As for the map algorithm – it’s pretty simple:

  • the default map is 20×10 hexes
  • the total hexes divided by 5 is the number of “seeds”
  • each seed gets a random type (forest, desert, mountain, jungle, swamp, or grass)
  • the remaining hexes are looked at in random order: if they have a neighbour with a type set, they take the same type (if they have no neighbours, the get a random type); this makes sure that “patches” grow
  • 10% of all hexes get a random settlement type (ruin, fort, or cave)

That’s it. It’s super simple. No implied height. No water flow. No rivers. No trails connecting the settlements. There’s certainly room for improvement, if you have any ideas.

And now I’ve added vat-people…

0204: Two meter tall crickets chew the rainbow grass contentedly.

There is a hidden cave entrance barely big enough to squeeze into. The smell is overpowering and impossible to identify. The 14 vat people (TODO) living in these caves have gained access to bio-genesis labs and have used them for self-improvement. The chief genetic improviser Stephen the Hungry is in charge of the research program. It requires a lot of organic base material from the surface.

The vat people are served by 20 plantoids (TODO). They are mobile, mute, appear to be totally subservient. If you can communicate with them telepathically, however, you’ll soon discover that they often squirrel away nutrients and have an entire hidden community of 90 mobile plantoids living in the canals and sewers below the lab. Revolution is brewing, down there….

Sadly, the vat solutions have contracted some sort of infection. Stephen the Hungry says that Law & Order Lisa (1203) might be able to help. “Will you go and ask them to come and have a look?”.

As you can see, the stats still elude me.

– Alex


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