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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Terrain Clock Shortcut

While fiddling with text in a massive rewrite of the Last-Minute Hexcrawl rules, I started thinking about the "terrain clock". During terrain generation at each map scale, the type of terrain that criss-crosses the map depends on the clock direction that the terrain line comes from. So, there's a step where you figure out what terrain is associated with each clock direction. For barony-scale and local-scale maps, that information is transferred from higher-scale maps. For the kingdom-scale map, however, this is explicitly rolled for during the off-map terrain step.

What occurred to me was that you could use a shortcut to make this go faster. The six grand hexes adjacent to the central grand hex on the kingdom-scale map correspond to the even-numbered clock directions: 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 6 o'clock (South,) 8 o'clock, 10 o'clock, and 12 o'clock (North.) You use even results on the d10 terrain table (reading 0 as 10) as a "standard terrain clock", which means that you only need to roll one die (d10) for the 12 o'clock position.

It lacks the variety of the full roll, but it does guarantee that there will be at least one lowland wet area (swamp or lake) and one area of higher ground.

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