A TableSmith Tuesday post! Huzzah! I have returned. That thing called work, interrupted me yet again, but I am an amateur blogger so it comes and goes. Originally the idea had been to be finished with Graveyard.tab in time for Halloween, but that fell through. Right now I am determined to work finish this new ‘Hoard Project’ for the Month of October. As part of the October RPG Blog Carnival. Here is the first TableSmith Tuesday post on the project. You can get the Table here.
After reading so many posts on the Loot edition of the carnival, and the many naysayers, I set myself out this month to publish 2 tables a week about loot. I am setting out to show that the basic humdrum tables normally found around, of course are not going to be very helpful, and are going to give you well, random loot. But by building tables with a purpose, and rules, you can build an emergent story from the random table.
The second thought was earlier this morning when I read about the NaGaDeMon. Which intersected nicely with a project that I was going to begin working on this month. So I am challenging myself to create a set of tables, and a system to help create a Hoard.
So, here’s what I am going to do for October, I am going to publish posts under a subject I will call The Hoard. The goal of this will be to pull together the many aspects of a treasure hoard, give it rules, and guidelines, and create a cohesive story (and Stat Block) about the treasure hoard. I will use the TST column with this project to be able to produce a table that you can use at anytime to generate your own Hoard.
The Hoard Project:
- Coin Piles
- Trade Goods
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that while doing some research on this project that I came across ALMOST EXACTLY what I wanted to do. That Document comes from Hack Slash. Proving that Random Tables can be used to create an interesting cohesive treasure.
Alright all you pesky readers. I know you’ve been waiting for this one a lot longer than normal. But there’s been a couple of things tying up my time. In my free time, I’ve been working on getting ready for the reunion that we are planning for the Mud that I am an admin on. Yes, it’s true. I STILL Mud. It has drained what little free time the day job allows
me these days. And then, well here’s the post, and you’ll understand the other reason:
Yup, well, you know. Tuesdays are becoming more and more difficult to get my posts up on. I could blame work, or that thing called life, but instead I’ll blame the bastards that invented the calendar and made these ‘day’ things. Last week I prompted myself with where I wanted to go this week on TST: Graveyard edition.
This week we continue to build our epic Cemetary.tab. We have continued to build the foundation of our table and are still. By defining our various elements and variables that we want and need, we are providing for the flexibility of really detailed description building.
Here’s where we are at so far:
Well, another TableSmith Wednesday I guess. But we’ll make the most of it and get into some table development. Last time we talked about how to really incorporate some important tables on how to customize our tables, and other alternatives were proffered and I am still looking into them but on to the table.
:Size of Burials
1,single family |int_burial_size_mod = -3|
2,very small |int_burial_size_mod =- 2|
3,small |int_burial_size_mod = -1|
4,medium |int_burial_size_mod = 0|
5,big |int_burial_size_mod = 1|
6,large |int_burial_size_mod = 2|
7,huge |int_burial_size_mod = 3|
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.
:SIZE OF BURIALS
:HISTORY OF GRAVEYARD
: DESCRIPTION OF GRAVEYARD
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:
1,%graveyard_name%, in %city%, %nation%, is the burial site of a %size_of_burials%
#_ as well as %additional_features%.
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.
And then add our GENERATE VARIABLES group down below:
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:
Ahh see, what I did there? I made my own table that was called directly by this table. A sample of my TalosCountries.tab:
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!