Saturday, May 18, 2024

ruislip dissected

lol I did all this work for nothing, Luke already posted his hexfilling procedures on his blog go look at them and use them they're wonderful

I dissected the Ruislip demo of Luke Gearing's Wolves upon the Coast game to see what I could learn. I like the way the keys are written. It feels to me like it could have been generated using dice and random tables from something like OD&D, then fleshed out. I'm kind of enamored with the idea of randomly generating hexmap content, then going back and forming connection and loose reasons for things to be, and adding unstable situations for players to mess with.

the Ruislip map has about 46 hexes. Of that 27 are keyed (58.6%), 19 are empty (41.3%)

There's 9 towns (19.5%), 13 lairs (28.26%), and 5 set pieces (10.8%).

I'm counting a town as a mostly friendly place the players will come back to for rest, quests, equipment, resources. Lairs are places that are inhabited by enemies. Usually this means monsters, but I've included a few pagan settlements where they're acting like jerks and probably gonna be violent to the PCs. One of the lairs could also be used as a monster town if the PCs play their cards right. Set pieces are the other things - interesting locations with something to interact with that may or may not have treasure.

  • You could get pretty close to those odds by by throwing a d6: 1 is a town, 2-3 is a lair, 4 is a set-piece, 5-6 is nothing (empty).

The Lairs are mostly one monster type. A few of them have 2 or 3 monster types. Some lairs have no treasure at all, but none of the sites have bullshit treasure (except the whale is a little bullshit, but it's a set-piece). None of the locations are really your typical dungeon delve where the players are crawling through a trap-infested pit, fighting different kinds of monsters and interacting with monster factions. The Orc and Goblin lairs come the closest to this, but those would be more heist-type or kill-em-all or deal-with-the-faction scenarios, not crawls. It's a classic 1975-style hexcrawl campaign, where the focus was on overland exploration and picaresque shenanigans Vs. traditional dungeon crawling.

of the 9 friendly human settlements 6 are villages (have less than 100 people) and 3 are towns (have people in the several hundreds). If you get a friendly settlement throw a d6, on 1-4 it's a village, 5-6 is a town.

It looks like village population was thrown on a d00 and town populations were d10x100.

Villages tended to have a higher combatant to villager ratio, around 24-30% of the population for each being soldiers.

Towns had comparatively smaller populations of combatants, about 12-15%, but they generally have fortifications.

Here's my notes on the hex keys:

02.05 Dunrick (set piece)
weird plant thing makes people sleep. turns them into wraiths

05.05 shoal (lair)
griffon nest, attacking griffon mama

01.16 burnt village (set piece)
a destroyed village with nothing

02.16 lair of sruthkin (lair)
dragon lair, treasure

03.07 ogre house (lair)
ogre lair, treasure

04.07 beached whale (set piece)
beached whale, some treasure

01.08 runestones (set piece)
fancy rocks with words

02.08 stamullen (town)
79 people, 15 skirmishers (18% combatants)
weird bee town with pagan influences. a situation to get involved in. a druid you could befriend and learn some spells from.

04.08 culemwardern (town)
600 houses, 40 footmen, 50 skirmishers, boats (15% combantants)
a situation involving griffons. druid influences, a few characters and their relationships

05.08 cloyne (town)
58 people, 19 skirmishers, 5 fishing boats (32% combatants)
pagan town, some situations

01.09 manticore cave (lair)
cool manticore lair and interesting situation, treasure

03.09 donenashoe (lair / monster town)
juggernaut, medusa, 198 goblins, some ruins and treasures.

05.09 belcarra (town / lair)
99 people, 80 footmen (80% combatants)
unpredictable pagan town

06.09 bitter druid (lair)
evil wizard lair, treasure

01.10 dorbog (town)
800 people, 50 armored foot, 50 skirmishers, boats (12% combatant)
some characters, leader, druids, situations, relations to other hexes, henchies

03.10 awoken king (lair)
mummy lair, a time-sensitive situation, treasure

05.10 stone circle (lair)
evil pagan wizard faction, spells and treasure to be had, a situation, a thread to some other hex and situation

06.10 pirates (lair)
pirates, a faction, some treasure

02.11 ogonnelloe (town)
80 people 24 skirmishers (24% combatant)
ruined fort, town, characters, a time-sensitive situation, a werewolf,

03.11 orc fort (lair)
80 orcs, orcs in vats, a fortification, treasure

01.12 st olham's monastary (town)
only monastary 96 monks, a faction, treasure, resource for PCs: sages / library

03.12 a dog (set piece)
cool a dog

05.12 blulach (town)
1000 people 20 armored foot 40 foot 60 skirmishers 20 horsemen boats (14% combatant)
fortification, market, alehouse, church, docks, characters with goals, relations to other hexes, quests, henchies, horse stables

06.12 barrows (lair)
ruined camp, hidden lair, wraith, zombies, treasure

02.13 nameless hemlet (lair)
abandoned town, merfolk, no treasure

04.13 gargoyles (lair)
gargoyles, no treasure, relations to other hexes

04.14 killucan (town)
43 people 5 foot 5 skirmishers 5 boats (23% combatant)
cattle town, fishing, a situation, relation to other hex, a mystery

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