06 September, 2015

Darkhive Worldbuilding (Part 16) - Lost

After yesterday's discussion on mapping towns, the other aspect of mapping the it idiosyncratic to the Darkhive is the exploration of cell space between towns. After referring to Keith Davies, he responded with some great blog posts that might give some good ideas for exploration.

Here and Here.

There are some really interesting ideas in these, but they seems more focused on the game-play side of world exploration, rather than the back-end side of world development.

For the moment, there are towns and villages marked on the map, anything smaller doesn't feature because these types of places may appear or disappear as new resource centres are discovered,  as shellbroood attacks happen, as barricade slums fall prey to bandits, or as trade routes shift course when old passageways close up and new ones open.

On a micro scale, these changes could be monitored hex by hex, but on a more viable level it might be easier to make generalised rolls encompassing clusters of hexagonal cells.

In this illustration, individual cells might be the small hexes (roughly 5m across, let's say 2.5 seconds if you walk in a straight line), clusters might be the larger shaded outlines of hexes (roughly 20m across, let's say 10 seconds in a straight line, but more often a minute or so following twisting paths), cell sectors might be the largest grey hex indicated here (roughly 80m across, let's say 40 seconds in a straight line, but more often 5-10 minutes of twisting paths).

On a larger scale of map, one of the large grey hexes would be shrunk down to the smallest hex size on this map. then the larger groupings equate to approximately 320, 1280, and 5120m respectively. 5120m pretty much gives us the size of the hexes indicated on the global map. It's also nice that most of the settlements in the Darkhive would fit inside one of the cell sectors (the large grey hex on the small scale map, or an individual hex on the larger scale map). This larger scale map would be the equivalent of a "wilderness" map in most campaign worlds.


There are plenty of ways I could do this. I'm thinking of using an opposed test system where a character makes a navigation check against an opposed roll from the hive.

We're using System 4 for this (with step dice, any multiple of 4 counting as a success, and even results adding situational advantages while odd results give situational disadvantages). So with an opposed test, we could simply state that the further the characters are from a known settlement the higher the die rolled.

Sector contains (or is adjacent to) a known settlement: d6
Sector no more than two away from a known settlement: d8
Sector three to four away from a known settlement: d10
Sector five or more away from a known settlement: d12

Compare successes of the hive and the navigating explorer to determine how long it takes to move across an 80m sector.

If the navigator has been given directions, give them an extra automatic success.
If the navigator has a map, give them two extra automatic successes.
Navigator has 3 more successes than the sector (or more): 5 minutes
Navigator has 2 more successes than the sector: 10 minutes
Navigator has 1 more success than the sector: 20 minutes
Navigator and sector have equal successes: 30 minutes
Navigator has 1 less success than the sector: 45 minutes
Navigator has 2 less successes than the sector: 1 hour
Navigator has 3 less successes than the sector (or more): No way found across.

Then compare advantages (even rolls) and disadvantages (odd rolls).

Navigator even, sector odd: Something minor but beneficial is encountered during the journey (perhaps roll on a separate 'lucky find' table, or some story element is revealed)  
Navigator even, sector even: Nothing particular out of the ordinary (even if there may have been some misdirections).
Navigator odd, sector odd: Something minor and detrimental is encountered during the journey (perhaps roll on a separate "unlucky find' table, or some story element is revealed)
Navigator odd, sector even: Something potentially catastrophic happens while passing through this sector ("dangerous event" table, though this might be flavoured based on where the sector is in the hive).

Some sectors might have minimum crossing times, or guaranteed encounters. The important thing is that the crossing of sectors is generally abstracted unless a specific encounter is needed for the story. But enough about maps for now, time to get back to the people in the world.

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