Sunday, May 18, 2014

Delving Deeper v3 Random Wilderness

Well, thanks to the tireless efforts of the esteemable Mr. Simon Bull, I now have all three volumes of v3 of the Delving Deeper Reference Rules. I'll talk more at length about the new version in another post (maybe). For now, I wanted to talk about a very specific portion of the rules and share a little something.

On pages 20 and 21 of Volume II: Delving and Exploration, there are two tables for randomly determining a wilderness environment. I am always intrigued by such things. I am very enamored of the idea of randomly generating certain "facts" and imagining the ties that bind them together. So, I generated a small region, and without further ado . . .

I like it. In case you're interested, here's how I did it:

I started with a blank hex map and randomly generated the far-left column. From there I just went column by column, top to bottom. If a roll made zero sense, I ignored it, but otherwise I followed the table pretty close. Of course, most hexes were adjacent to more than one other hex, so I used that to inform my decision if I chose to ignore the roll.

Once I had all the terrain generated I then went hex by hex rolling on the terrain features table. For rivers and trails, i marked each hex as they occurred and "stitched" them together whenever it was all done. This did involve connecting rivers and trails through hexes in which they were not indicated, but that's how shit gets done.

Once I had everything generated, I drew the map in GIMP. There is a script and brush set called hexGIMP that is available for free download. It includes more terrain than just that generated by the tables, so I used a little DM license in those cases.

I plan to further flesh this out using the D30 Sandbox Companion, but I've made such plans before that have come to naught. So, we shall see.

Edit: The red skull/crossbones I used when the table indicated "lair", however, when fleshing out, I intend to view these more as "something interesting".


  1. Looks nice! What scale are you using with the map?

  2. That's a good question, and one I've been struggling with. In DD Vol II we are told the hex scale should be 6 miles per hex. This dovetails nicely with an outdoor movement scale of 1" = 1 mile (page 20), with one turn being equal to one day. Thus, the movement rate becomes the number of miles traveled per day. A 6-mile hex is a fairly useful common denomination, therefore.

    A potential problem, though, comes from combining this rationale with the math of the randomly occurring terrain. Simon based his math on the probabilities he derived from a careful study of the Outdoor Survival map. That map has a scale of 25 miles or so (not sure if that's official or just accepted). If that is the case, it just doesn't jive well. I'm no statistician, but something seems off to me about basing the probability of terrain occupying a 25 mile hex and shoehorning said terrain into a 6 mile hex.

    So, I have decided to go with 12 miles per hex as a compromise. It means that a man afoot will cover one hex per day, if the terrain isn't difficult.