Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dungeon Sigil Method for Fast Relief of Aches and Stress

So I have hinted, in the past, at my Austin Osman Spare-inspired HURRY UP I NEED A DUNGEON method. Please note, a little knowledge is a little danger, and of course whatever you summon be prepared to put down.

Holy Moley! Guacamole!
At least, it makes a map very quickly when you're in a tight spot. Let us say that your party of PCs abandons the adventure they are currently on, the one you planned to run, when they find a map to some far-away spot.

It has happened to you in just this way, yes?

You may find that explorations of the Chao are not to your liking, and so I do not give you links, yes, but merely a sidelong glimpse at the method of dungeon sigilization

Suppose you have need.  You make a wish


according to the methods of Mr. Spare, above, you may cross out repeating letters in your phrase. In this case it will give you something such as this:

And connecting the remaining letters together artfully and forgetting the whole thing altogether is the only piece that takes skill, and you may exclude that last part if you are not casting a spell but only imaginarily emobdifying your intent.

Please note, there are technical errors in the above (for example I left in the H when it ought to have been left out).

Such is the poor practice of an unwashed and unlettered CKXaosian initiate.

I use the sigil to make a map on graph paper if I need to, and then key it in the Moldvay style which does not bear repeating. I generally stock these with one trap, at least, some undead, maybe a spider variant because we all agree that such are suitable. Whatever smatterings of imaginary treasure you might be inclined to include are between you and your demigod of choice. Forbearance is better than too much treasure which is apt to derail the entirety of the game. I have a very interesting font somewhere that I have used this method with and set the kerning and spacing to less than 0 and it practically draws an oubliette for you, but harnessing the spirits of the machine this way is heretical to some. Do as you will when you make a deathtrap is maybe too on the nose. We in the U.S. value diligence, efficiency, etc. ad nauseam but craftsmanship is often more highly prized for Calvinist reasons.

Get thee hence, I geas thee, and make a dunjon for thyself. Look up the ways of AOS if you are inclin'd, or not, it is less than nothing to me and I scoff at your efforts and laugh at your death cries!

Why do you tarry? Get thee hence!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tablesmith Tables for Sharing

Been working on learning Tablesmith - a powerful tool and well worth the very modest investment in money and time. I crank out a couple of pages of NPCs, keyed rooms, books, and those kinds of things before sessions these days and then improv the whole thing like I gave it a lot of thought. The secret is, I did give it a great deal of thought but then I put much of it into a Tablesmith table and sort of flesh it out at game time because I arrive tired and harried after dealing with peoples' emotional distress and I don't like to prep. Procedural generation like this is very much more fun for me: I'm usually as amazed and bewildered as the players and we tend to have a good time with it. Keeping it as coherent as possible is one of the fun parts.

Last night, instead of sleeping, high on Thai Ice Tea and the rich sulfurous fumes of cheap grocery-store fireworks, I finished entering in Kabuki Kaiser's Random Monster tables from Ruins of The Undercity. I use it sometimes at the table to generate sandy, curse-infested things that feel like Middle Eastern Barrowmaze, and I reskin the normal-flavored monsters for space-age/star-wars-fantasy/DCC gonzo and GO MAN GO.

If you have any use for Tablesmith you can have them, and you know, tinker with them or what have you. I know that my good friends Bryan Mullins and Paul Wolfe of Mystic Bull might enjoy toying around with these. There's a link down at the bottom for a google drive, if I can get it to work. The contents are:

  1. NMS_Moldvay Dungeon - a quick n dirty spit out of the Moldvay Basic D&D dungeon generation process
  2. NMS_Moldvay Dungeon - same as above, but for level 1 - you can twerk the parameters, IIRC, to get it to do levels 1,2 or 3
  3. - the Moldvay random monster lists, levels 1 through 3 with numbers appearing
  4. - this is a Threndian random job maker, sort of like a 0-level DCC occupation tool. It makes some jobs that I would give up to become an adventurer. Thrend is my in-brain setting. Sort of Alice in Wonderland meets WFRPG1e if it had a baby with Star Wars
  5. - I forgot where I stole this list from, probably from a good one on Abulafia (which if you're into random tables and know some coding better than me, you will find is an amazing free resource lovingly tended to by Dave Younce, my favorite DM of all time)
  6. - the Moldvay process slung on top of the features, traps, and monsters of Kabuki Kaiser's Ruins of the Undercity - greatest Solo dungeon maker ever (Although Mad Monks of Kwantoom is a close second and has more of a lemongrass flavor)
  7. - all 10 intimidating levels of Ruins of The Undercity's Random Monsters Chart
  8. NMS_Strange - tweaked the Random Books provided with Tablesmith to have a more evil and Lovecraft-Mythosian feel to it. Also includes some changes to the book materials, binding, and sizes
  9. NMS_Street - basically, aggressive adjective and noun slapped together to make an interesting and sometimes hilarious (IMHO) gang name worthy of Necromunda, Ur-Hadad, Bastion, or my own Steam-/Diesel-/Elf-punk fantasy city Helleborine
  10. Races of - spits out some very weird (setting specific) races. Referenced in the Thrend Character generators
  11. Thrend Character - DCC stats for meatshields, NPCs, gang-members, whatever. They're weird. Think Adventure Time plus Alice in Wonderland, plus Hellboy
  12. Torturous - Stolen from Coins and Scrolls blog. 500 ennui-filled character premises
  13. Comma Delimited Rogues - for my own use, to spit out tables full of nutjobs for making into easily-importable tables for InDesign
  14. Dickensian - my favorite, and what got me into Tablesmith. I essentially stole the name list from >>>HERE GOD BLESS THESE GOOD HEARTED PEOPLES<<< and twerked on it to make the names even more ludicrous and to spit out more than one at a go... God Bless You, Name Nerds!
  15. Gothic - stolen from a Jane Austen-flavored RPG called Cruelity and Gothic Tales (which is something I've always wanted to play but haven't found the right group for). There's an updated version on RPGNow which is 2.00$. Just saying.
  16. - random gear stolen from my very own starting equipment tables in The Hounds of Halthrag Keep
  17. - just a list of all the types of candy and Slurpee flavors I could think of, referenced in the Races of Thrend list. Into the Odd really got me thinking about gum and I like the idea of Candyland/Candy Kingdom gone evil and rotten. Remind me to finish that board game I thought of some time...
  18. - I think it's just names, referenced in the Strange Books .tab, above.
  19. - the usual Jewelry list from Tablesmith, plus a bunch of other sorts I could find (mostly elaborate Indian jewelry). I think it references my Materials list, below 
  20. - all kinds of fantasy and real-world metals, plus some other non-metallic materials from fiction. Originally appeared on Abulafia (which is still one of the best low-prep RPG resources a GM could want)
There you go. Very likely I'll TS-ify a couple more of my favorites from Halthrag Keep, and my Mysterious Undead Properties thingamajig. I also stole the names from Darkest Dungeon which is a very dreadful theft, and drove me to a brief bout of insanity and lecherous flagellations, but I've recovered.


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