Saturday, May 11, 2013

Easy dungeon generation for Hulks and Horrors, courtesy of Wizardawn!

Hey folks! In order to speed up the dungeon prep process for my ongoing Hulks and Horrors play-by-post game over on theRPGsite, and thus leave more time for writing Arcana Rising, I've been toying with the tools over at Wizardawn, and I've managed to put together a handy alternate way to generate your dungeons for Hulks and Horrors via the web!

We start by generating a map for our dungeon, using the Sci-Fi Map tool. This tool can generate cool sci-fi maps in three styles, Buildings (great for individual buildings in colonies or urban environments, or even for well laid out underground environments), Spaceships (great for both ships and stations), and Exodus Spaceships, which are made to have a natural environment at the center (great for Ark Stations and Artificial Worlds). The maps are geomorphic, generated from 10 square by 10 square tiles with an additional 5 square wide border, and you can select the number of tiles used with the height and width control.

Most importantly, we want to make sure to check the box to Number Rooms, as we'll need those numbers later.  Click the big Create button, and in a new tab you'll get a fresh and gorgeous looking sci-fi dungeon map. Save that by whatever means you desire (the site has some notes on how best to do this), and make note of the largest numbered room, as we'll need this number for the next step.

Alternately, you can also use the Dungeon Map tool for generating underground locations (be sure to check Number Areas), or the Ruined City Maps tool for generating abandoned cities.

Now we can use the Random Area tool to generate room contents, using our custom data file for Hulks and Horrors. There are a number of handy controls on this page for setting percentage chances of different types of room contents and so forth, but we'll dial in one the important ones:

  1. The number of Areas needs to equal the number of the highest room number on your previously generated map.
  2. "Contents" are what H&H calls "Flavor" results, and will generate from the nifty little bits of flavor text from the H&H corebook.
  3. Terrain options are in code, based on the categories from the corebook: UP=Urban/Pod, WI=Wilderness, SH=Ship/Station, UN=Underground.
  4. "Main Encounters" is useful if you have a specific type of themed monster you want to appear frequently in your dungeon. You can copy and paste the appropriate line from the H&H data file or even write in your own.
  5. Data is the most important box here! This is where we put the data file for Hulks and Horrors. Copy the entire text of the data file and paste it into the box on the Random Area tool.
Fine tune your encounter percentages (16% will give you about the same chance distribution as the corebook), click Create, and bam, now you have your numbered entries to match the areas in the map you generated previously! Note that unlike the system in H&H core, Wizardawn's tool can generate more than one kind of content within a single room, so you may also wish to factor this in when choosing your percentages.

Feel free to browse around the site, they have a number of tools designed for post-apocalyptic games and sci-fi games that are also of great use to Hulks and Horrors DMs.  Take a look!

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