Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: AD&D DMG Random Wilderness Terrain

  1. #1
      isomage is offline
    Guild Journeyer isomage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    137

    Post AD&D DMG Random Wilderness Terrain

    Appendix B of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (first edition) Dungeon Master's Guide details a method of generating random wilderness terrain.

    Starting from an area of known terrain type and moving into a new area, the new area's terrain is determined by rolling a d20 against a table corresponding to the first area's terrain. Thus there are tables for each of plains, scrub, forest, rough, desert, hills, mountains, and swamp; e.g., moving from a hex containing forest, the new hex would be plains on a 1, scrub on 2-4, more forest on 5-14, etc.

    I wanted to see if the method would produce any decent results, so I wrote a little program to seed a single hex with a random type and then grow the terrain outward by rolling on the tables. Consistency was enforced, so that terrain type A couldn't be placed next to type B if A and B couldn't be rolled on each other's tables.

    Below is a typical example (32x32 hexes, rendered with AKS Hex Mapper tiles). I'm not really impressed by the results; the terrain seems too randomly mixed up. I think I'll stick with my fractal/noise-based generator for now
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AD&D DMG Random Wilderness Terrain-dmg.png  
    Last edited by isomage; 02-27-2009 at 08:36 PM.
    My random map generators and GIMP scripts: http://axiscity.hexamon.net/users/isomage/

  2. #2
      Ascension is offline
    Community Leader Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Charles, MO
    Posts
    8,216

    Post

    This is a great idea, seriously. AD&D 1ed is over 25 years old so I'm sure they were a lil wet behind the ears with this d20 random method. You have added a fix and I'm positive that you could also keep working it to make it less random and more unified by working in sections. I could never do that since I couldn't program a Tivo. Please keep working on it, it has some real possibilities for random generation for a quickie map...if for nothing else but to inspire a base map to develop further in PS, GIMP, etc.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  3. #3
      bartmoss is offline
    Publisher Gracious Donor
    Facebook Connected
    bartmoss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    The D&D random content generation rules can best be described as filler material.

  4. #4
      NeonKnight is offline
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Surrey, Canada, EH!
    Posts
    5,024

    Default

    Actually the random terrain is logical for what it was intended to be.

    But what was it intended to be? Certainly not a "Lets design a campaign area" (though I am sure some folks out there did

    It was a: "Oh-NO! My players went somewhere I don;t have mapped! Damn them and this open concept game!"

    So a DM could turn to a random terrain generator to 'whip up a couple of hexes of terrain' as a stop gap for the game.

    At least, that was how I always looked at it
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  5. #5
      isomage is offline
    Guild Journeyer isomage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    137

    Post

    Yeah, you're right. I was just curious about how well it would generalize.
    My random map generators and GIMP scripts: http://axiscity.hexamon.net/users/isomage/

  6. #6
      bartmoss is offline
    Publisher Gracious Donor
    Facebook Connected
    bartmoss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    895
    Blog Entries
    1

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by NeonKnight View Post
    Actually the random terrain is logical for what it was intended to be.

    But what was it intended to be? Certainly not a "Lets design a campaign area" (though I am sure some folks out there did

    It was a: "Oh-NO! My players went somewhere I don;t have mapped! Damn them and this open concept game!"

    So a DM could turn to a random terrain generator to 'whip up a couple of hexes of terrain' as a stop gap for the game.

    At least, that was how I always looked at it
    Naturally I am aware of that.

    It's still useless filler material - Roll-playing vs. Role-playing. If a GM can't simply make up their mind on what the terrain the next hex over is, he fails at game mastering. Of course the whole hex-based approach betrays the game's origin in tactics/strategy games, where the world presumably ends in a fiery death if a situation isn't covered by SOME sort of rule.

  7. #7
      jnmj is offline
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Nice bit of work.

    Speaking of this specific concept I wonder how many other "generators" or tables there are which would work out or at least be worth investigation.

    I recall seeing Hirelings for cities, Cities, Buildings, Names for various places, and just about any other wacky thing you can think of.

    Tools are tools, thanks for your efforts on this one and I agree for the most part that it has uses under certain situations.

  8. #8
      cancerlad is offline
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Louisville, Ky
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I always liked the random generation tools. In the few times I tried to DM, my players went in a completely different direction and I was forced to roll things up reaaaaally quickly. I remember three times specifically when I had to randomly generate landscapes because they'd gone to a region I hadn't designed yet.

    Great work!

  9. #9
    NymTevlyn
    Guest

    Default

    When I have free time, I'm going to make a map in my style based on the random map. Just to prove people wrong! Random tables are sometimes very necessary for GM's. They can't always be on top of their game and have a whole new area created in a split second off the top of their head.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •