Month: June 2011

TST: Graveyards and the Importance of Countries

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Last time on TST we started building Cemetary.tab. We laid out the basis of the table and talked about some of the background research and development that I do before I build any table. Let’s jump right into it.
Setup Groups:

:GRAVEYARD NAME
:CITY
:NATION
:SIZE OF BURIALS
:ADDITIONAL FEATURES
:HISTORY OF GRAVEYARD
: DESCRIPTION OF GRAVEYARD
:NOTABLE INTERNMENTS
:TYPICAL MONUMENTS
:GRAVEYARD SECTIONS
:NOTABLE MONUMENTS
:HAUNTINGS
:BURIALS

Once I have my groups set up and on paper so to say, so I don’t forget them I start by building my display group:

:START
1,[DISPLAY]

: DISPLAY
1,%graveyard_name%, in %city%, %nation%, is the burial site of a %size_of_burials%
#_ as well as %additional_features%.
#_%history_of_graveyard%
#_%description_of_graveyard%
#_%notable_internments%
#_
#_%monuments%
#_
#_%hauntings%
#_
#_%notable_burials%

So according to our style set up in the Introduction Series 99% of our output should be stored in variables which you can see here. You’ll also notice that I have #Commented out most of the table. I did this because I want to work my way down into the depth of the table, and not have too many errors thrown out at me. So after we have developed our output screen we need to go back up to the top ant the START group, and add some more.

:START
1,[GENERATE VARIABLES]
_ [DISPLAY]

And then add our GENERATE VARIABLES group down below:

:GENERATE VARIABLES
1, |graveyard_name=[Name Graveyard]|
_ |city = [ ]|
_ |nation= [ ]|
_ |size_of_burials =[Build Burials]|

Notice that all I did for this GENERATE VARIABLES was built out of the items of the DISPLAY group that I have not commented out.

A quick sidebar conversation here before I wrap this weeks TST. You’ll notice that city = [ ] and nation [ ]. Empty groups. I did this on purpose because it brought me to this side bar. In the ~Reference folder of your generic TableSmith install you have a .tab called Countries.tab. EVERY person who uses TableSmith should be familiar with this table, and if not I am yelling at you in specific! This table is the one that adds a personal touch to each and every table and campaign. A lot of tables and output will feel no good if you aren’t using this table to it’s fullest! Let’s take a quick look at the header:

# Lands of the Known World
#
# by Valminder March 2002 for Mystara
# You can modify this table as you see fit for your world.
# -In “Start” you put the complete name.
# -In “Land” you put a contry’s name that fits with “He comes from …”
# -In “World”, put 2 “names” of your world (see the table for example).
#
# At the bottom, you have “Greyhawk” tables (by Ed Hastings).
# You can use “Countries.GenGreyhawk” to generate Greyhawk Regions.
#
# CUSTOMIZING: World (enter the general name you give to your world,
# like Greyhawk, Faerun, etc).
# Generate subtable (at bottom in Greyhawk).
# Peoples subtable (at bottom in Greyhawk).
# Start / Land subtables.
# Important NPCs (Heros and Villains)
# Authors (popular authors of books from your world)
# Historical (to add things from the history of your world)
# Personage (for biographies)
#

Valminder has given you instructions on how to use this table.  And any table that you use to pull a country name should definitely be pulling [Countries.Country].  Here is what I did:

;Start
6,[TalosCountries.Countries Common]
3,[TalosCountries.Countries Uncommon]
1,[TalosCountries.Countries Rare]

;Countries
6,[TalosCountries.Countries Common]
3,[TalosCountries.Countries Uncommon]
1,[TalosCountries.Countries Rare]

Ahh see, what I did there? I made my own table that was called directly by this table. A sample of my TalosCountries.tab:

;Countries
6,[Countries Common]
3,[Countries Uncommon]
1,[Coutnries Rare]
1,[Cities]

;Countries Common
1,Talos
1,AFOC
1,Westport

;Countries Uncommon
1,Uncommon Countries

;Cities
1,Carrasville
1,Fort Edinley
1,Gantrickmouth
1,Goldmere
1,Graybluff
1,Heldenburg
1,High Copperfir
1,High Rubyton
1,Hightop
1,Ingledye
1,Kalanit

This is one of the few tables that should take personal customization. But it adds to and highlights the uniqueness of TableSmith. So go now, and customize your Countries.tab and make it relevant to your game!

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A combination lock with goblinoid script on it? That’s Random!

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In replying to Mark, yesterday I brought up the story about my last session which I used random locks to have my players draw conclusions about things I hadn’t even worried about thinking about. In honor of that here is the table of random locks which I used.  I have given you links to all of the different types of Locking Mechanisms, so that i makes a little more sense, if you are willing to decipher the techno-babble of the locksmiths.  It does make some interesting points.  And one might be able to infer a whole room which is set up to be a giant lock, and the players need to set the tumblers to open the great big door.  I think I may try it with my big bad vault that the players are quickly approaching in my game.

The Base DC that a Lock has is: DC 20.  Any traps to be found in the lock will have their own SEARCH and DISABLE DC’s based on Trap Rules.

1d6 Locking Mechanism DC
1 Disc Tumbler Lock +2
2 Wafer Tumbler Lock +0
3 Pin Tumbler Lock +1
4 Lever Tumbler Lock +1
5 Chubb Detector Lock +5
6 Lever Lock +0
1d2 Mechanism Container DC
1 Padlock -1
2 Rim Lock +0
1d3 Unlocking Mechanism DC
1 Key +5
2 Combination +2
3 Wheel Lock +1
1d6 Tumblers

1 3 -1
2 4 +0
3 5 +1
4 6 +2
5 8 +4
6 10 +6
1d4 Quality

1 Poor -2
2 Standard +0
3 Good +2
4 Excellent +5
1d4 Locking Verbage

1 There are numbers on these tumblers from 0 to 9
2 There are [LANGUAGE] letters on these tumblers.
3 There are Exotic Symbols on these tumblers.
4 Images of [CREATURES] are on these tumblers
1d4 Traps

1 This Lock is not trapped.
2 Poison Needle +4
3 Acid Spray +5
4 Magical Trap +10

TableSmith Tuesday: Building Cemetary.tab (Part 1)

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After wrapping up the introduction series, I asked where TST readers wanted to see me go. I decided to try and incorporate all the options into our next TST journey. From the very beginning to the very end we will build a table. Every Tuesday I will post the updated .tab file to the TableSmith Yahoo Groups. And I invite my readers to make suggestions in the comments about Group Ideas, Grammar Ideas, or any other ideas that you would like to see incorporated into the table.

One of the categories really missing in TableSmith tables, is places! And what better place to start this journey, then where most PC’s are going to end up: the Cemetary.
Read the rest of this entry »

Is that a sword in your scabbard? Or are you just a random table?

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Finally, we get to the end of our exploration of randomly created swords. We delved into the depths  of myarmoury.com to find out about the bits and pieces of the sword, and we’ve got the hilt constructed, the blade constructed. And now we get to the ornamentation of the sword. And then at the end we help you get some details about the crafter itself. Enjoy.
 


ORNAMENTATION
1d12 Runes
1 runes run the length of the sword’s fuller
2 runes run the length of the swords blade
3 runes imprinted on the tang
4 runes on the pommel
5 A set of strange runes are carved into the blade near the hilt
6 A set of strange runes are carved into the blade on the fuller
7 A set of strange runes are carved into the blade into the tang
8 A set of strange runes are carved into the pommel of the sword
9 A single rune is carved into the blade near the hilt
10 A single rune is carved into the middle of the sword’s fuller
11 A single rune is carved into the middle of the swords tang
12 A single rune is carved in the pommel of the sword
1d10 Etchings
1 The image of a [CREATURE] is carved into the blade
2 A Coat of Arms is carved into the blade
3 An Etched Name
4 An Etched Location
5 Wickerwork Etchings
6 Gothic Tracery Etchings
7 “Grotesque” Etching Method
8 Scrolled Decoration Etchings
9 Moresque Etchings
10 Flower Etching

THEMED SWORDS
1d6 Hilt
1 The Features of the hilt are carved to look like the head of a [CREATURE]
2 The Features of the hilt are carved to look like a [CREATURE]
3 An [ETCHING] is carved into the the hilt
4 The cross-guard of the sword is carved to look like intertwined [CREATURE]s
5 A vow is carved into the hilt.
6 The hilt is ancient compared to the blade.
1d8 Blade
1 Intertwined [CREATURE]s have been carved into the blade.
2 A single [CREATURE] has been carved into the blade.
3 A [CREATURE] has been inset into the blade with [Random Metal].
4 The blade has been carved to look like the bottom half of a [CREATURE].
5 The blade has been carved to look like the neck and head of a [CREATURE].
6 The blade is emblazoned with the markings of a [Random Country]
7 Enough Ornamentation is on the blade. It makes the sword only useful for ceremonies
8 An epic poem is etched into the blade.
CRAFTER DETAILS
1d8 Smith’s sigil appears on the:
1 Blade
2 Fuller Top
3 Fuller Bottom
4 Tang
5 Cross-Section
6 Grip
7 Pommel
8 Basket Guard
1d6 Crafters Experience Level
1 an Apprentice smith
2 a Journeyman smith
3 a standard smith
4 a Gifted smith
5 a Master smith
6 a Grandmaster smith

Miscellaneous – Languages

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1d12 Languages
1 Dwarven
2 Elven
3 Gnomish
4 Goblin
5 Draconic
6 Sylvan
7 Giant
8 Celestial
9 Abyssal
10 Druidic
11 Indecipherable (d10 Language)
12 Ancient (d10 Languague)

Miscellaneous – Animals

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1d20 Fantastical Creatures A
1d20 Fantastical Creatures B
1 blink dog 1 basilisk
2 dire rat 1 celestial
3 dragon 3 chimera
4 viper 4 cyclop
5 flying snake 5 demon
6 formian worker 6 djinni
7 giant lizard 7 drow
8 hell hound 8 efreeti
9 hippogriff 9 griffin
10 howler 10 harpy
11 imp 11 hydra
12 krenshar 12 kraken
13 leopard 13 illithid
14 lynx 14 leviathon
15 pseudodragon 15 manticore
16 shocker lizard 16 pegasus
17 spitting crawler lizard 17 phoenix
18 stirge 18 rakshasa
19 wolverine 19 unicorn
20 worg 20 wyvern
1d12 Bird of Prey


1 eagle
2 falcon
3 hawk
4 raven
5 rook
6 heron
7 crane
8 crow
9 condor
10 owl
11 merlin
12 vulture