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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2 thoughts on “TST: Graveyards and the Importance of Countries

    Rxmouton said:
    June 28, 2011 at 11:49 am

    The approach that I have taken for countries and cities is to create a Settings table that will store my choices in a data file. When the table is run for the first time it will display instructions on the use of the table and the current settings (campaign world, pantheon etc.) By clicking the parameters button you can select Campaign World, Pantheon, Country Name, Nearest Village, Nearest Town, Nearest City. The default is to randomly generate fantasy names. These choices will be saved to a TSD file. This way I can generate results for differnt campaign settings. The only thing is that you need to create a set of tables for each setting that you may be adventuring in.

      TheRandomDM responded:
      June 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      I’d love to see that data file posted to the yahoo! Groups. It sounds like a good solution and if it works elegantly should be included in the main download. My only concern would be making it backwards compatible with all the older .tabs that directly call [Countries.Whatever]

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