2021-01-11 Hex Describe

I’ve been at it again... Text Mapper can generate Gridmapper-compatible maps. Sadly, that means I need an algorithm to create the maps, and that’s not easy. Recently, I needed some caves. What I did was take the existing mini-dungeon generator and just turn all the walls into rock walls. It doesn’t look bad, actually!

I’m using them for the post-apocalyptic mini-settings I’m working on and off with Josh Johnston. Visit Hex Describe → click “random Apocalypse” → pick “Josh Johnston (best for Apocalypse maps)” → click submit. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some vat people caves, now!

I’m hoping the vat people caves are easy to extend with the structure in place, which I lifted from the structure that ktrey parker and had developed years ago to generate random dungeons. And still so good!

For the post-apocalypse I had developed a book name generator which I then used to populate libraries, and to create little library related book quests: finding book thieves, for example. I liked this so much that I wanted that for my Alpine mini settings, too. So recently I’ve been working on fantasy book titles, too. And missions to go along with them.

I need to improve those book missions, though.

Next up: more secret agents. 😀


You may be interested in looking at Caves of Qud for book generation. It’s been a while since I played but while I remember the contents of the books being barely legible (whatever algorithm they were using was not convincing at all) the titles were all very evocative for the post-apocalyptic setting the game features. Dwarf Fortress is similarly a good source to mine for the fantasy generator.

Also, is there a possibility of the Hex Describe books referring to things generated in the mini-setting - perhaps even other books? One of my favourite tidbits of history is the anti-philosophy book “Incoherence of the Philosophers”, which prompted one philosopher to write a book rebutting it titled “Incoherence of the Incoherence”. Generating the context in which books were written could provide plenty of adventure seeds.

– Malcolm 2021-01-13 09:29 UTC

Indeed, referring to things in the setting is important! So currently I’m doing the following:

  • referring to magic schools and elements (that one was easy)
  • golem types that exist in the setting
  • referring to implied past wars based on magic items
  • referring to past empires of the implied setting, which are also used for ruins, wights, and the like
  • using the legend generator that is also used by bards and elsewhere
  • refer to the existing secret societies in the setting

Things I don’t do, but which I should be doing, perhaps:

  • generate a dozen scholars beforehand and have them write on topics (and refute each other) – an excellent idea!
  • instead of generating random elf and dwarf names for magic items, pick them from a pregenerated list of maybe a dozen each and then use the same names to generate books about them
  • refer to the warring factions in the setting

– Alex 2021-01-13 11:32 UTC

As for adventure seeds... perhaps I need some unique magic items, and legends about them, and thus songs and book titles could be a good place to “tell their story” (tiny as it may be). Perhaps other rare elements could be hinted at via book titles, like the passages to other realms. The teleporting monoliths, or the alien space ships come to mind.

– Alex 2021-01-14 13:07 UTC

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