- Wilderness travel is slow
- It is slow in game-time because of plate and bad terrain. One good solution to this could be horses... or rocs.
- It is slow in real-time because of counting hexes and multiplying for bad terrain. This is a surprisingly challenging operation to do mentally when crossing multiple terrain types with different multipliers in a single day of travel. Could definitely stand some automation operating on hexographer map files.
- Logistics (estimating how many mules they'll need to carry their water) is not exciting, and also time-consuming.
- Again, automation. You hire an NPC muleskinner, you tell him how many mans, how many days, and how much slop factor you want, I put that in a script, and I tell you a number of mules and a rations-cost.
- Logistics gets a lot more exciting if hungry monsters target the tasty, tasty mules over the guys in plate. The problem here, though, is that if this happens near the end of the journey, your mules are probably mostly empty, and if it happens at the beginning, you can just return home.
- Random encounter results so far have been unsatisfactory
- Part of this is that the default random encounter tables don't really fit my setting. I need to rework them, but for that I also basically need new monsters, and I don't have a good source for monsters in quantity.
- I want to do Western Marches-style per-biome (Blight, Cinderwood, Bjornskog, Bjornfells, Dvagrfells, Mithrskog, Vestrifen, ...) encounter tables, but hexographer doesn't have a good way to draw biome-division lines.
- I should also remember to include natural hazards, "roll on adjacent biome table, no chance of lair", and "roll twice and combine" results on these tables
- I think I've also been confusing the wilderness encounter rate for borderlands travel with the one for fixed settlements in the borderlands, which has led to unusually infrequent random encounters, hence boring travel except when they stumble upon a pre-placed lair (more on that below).
- I really want to check the math on the radius of civilization that gets generated by large settlements.
- I've been failing to use dynamic lairs (again). So far my PCs' routing has taken them through or within spitting distance of some fortuitously-placed lairs, but there are also some that they're basically never going to hit.
- I also want to start placing dynamic nonlairs; dynamic points of interest. Wilderness shrines, circles of standing stones, moon portals, magic pools, barrow mounds, runestones, &c. I call them quantum caves because they're just probability distributions on the random encounter tables until collapsed by observers. No relation to quantum ogres.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Wilderness Fatigue, Quantum Caves
I get the feeling that there is something I'm missing with the mid-level wilderness game. I'm not super-excited to prep and run it, and my players don't seem particularly excited to be playing it. On my end there is definitely the possibility of some DM fatigue (supplemented by ordinary work-deadline and performance review fatigue), but I think it's worth considering the pain-points.