Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adventurer:terrain and cities

Some peeks at the sandbox generation rules: Cities.
A key element in any tale of adventure is the city. Exotic, decadent an corrupt, from glittering towers to pestilential slums, the city is both a source of adventure and a base of operations.

Typically, the sword and sorcery campaign has human habitation much more tightly clustered than in actual history. Cities are larger, towns rarer and the areas between cities are often large and uninhabited, left to marauders and monsters. A somewhat more historical version would use a European medieval landscape of about 1000AD –smaller towns and villages abound, with most hexes having some human presence. Then, obviously, adding lots of evil lords, stalwart tribesmen or peasants, dragons, wizards, evil inquisitors, witchfinders, and noble bandits.

Two approaches are possible. One simply rolls for each hex, regardless of terrain, and makes up reasons for cities in mountain passes or deep swamps. Given the genre of the setting, this should not be seen as a hardship, nor unreasonable. Alternately, one may simply roll on only those hexes containing: Rough, Plains/Steppe Lake or Mixed wilderness.

For convenience as one rolls, mark cities with an open square, town/villages with an open circle, and sparse hexes with an open triangle. If the city town or hex is rolled with Pop>0, fill in the symbol. An open symbol indicates a ruin or wilderness that is no longer populated.

Any wilderness or plains hexes directly adjacent to a city are assumed to be pastoralized –in other words, containing farms, small settlements and outposts. Assume that any hex with a town or village is a pastoral hex itself.

Roll for each Hex

If Medieval style campaign

1 empty
2-3 sparsely inhabited: no major city or town: (total population of hex =1d6-1)
4-5 town or villages ( population 1d6-1)
6 standard city.

If a Literary/Epic style campaign
1-3 empty
4 sparsely inhabited (total population of hex =1d6-1)
5 towns or village( population 1d3 +2)
6 standard city.

Hexes keyed as “sparsely inhabited” will have some obvious human improvements, but will still be mainly the noted terrain.

More details than you probably need.

Sparsely inhabited hexes in Epic campaigns will have a number of inhabited forts or castles equal to the population roll.

These hexes will contain fortifications/castles built by the city equal to the cities population number, and at least one village or town equal to the cities population number-3 . Medieval settings will have a rig of outlying villages and hamlets, epic settings will not, but may have forts as noted for pastoral hexes equal to the size rating of the village.

The chance of encountering a patrol or other official group in a city adjacent hex is equal to the population number or less on 2d6.

Roads, trails and tracks.
Any Pastoral hex can be assumed to have a network of trails, tracks and poorly maintained roads linking the settlementys and forts, and at least one major (relatively) road leading out from the city to its trade partners. Historically, rivers were often the main communication routs although this seems to be often overlooked in literature. In this period or setting, roads mainly allow a constant pace to be kept and eliminates the change of getting lost or taking roundabout ways. Too, there are often convenient sources of food and drink, which eliminates hunting or whatnot when in trackless wilderness. Thus, roads enable rapid movement, more than they increase movement in general.

Moving through a settled hex, characters can gain a speed bonus by using the roads and trails, or keep to the countryside to avoid (much) attention. Actual roads also speed up travel, but make detection almost certain. Such hexes increase base movement afoot or mounted by 1, but mainly due to enabling rapid marches. Foot movement can be increased from M1 to M2, and mounted movement from M2 to M3, but at the cost of greater exhaustion.

1 comment:

Christian said...

I saw that you are interested in Traveller based upon your "Current Obsession." I then noted the neat hex maps you are working on and was wondering if you ever combined Traveller and a medieval world. Sort of an "adventure into the amber zone" sort of thing.