Monday, November 24, 2014

Random Terrain without Hexes (or a grid)

I've notice folks talking about how to generate random terrain without using hexes here and there, the following is an outline for a general regional map.

 get some pencils, paper, some d6 's, a d20 and a d8. Lay the paper down on a table.

1. Find your mountains. Drop 3 to 8 d6 on the map. Keep track of the number rolled where each drops.  Now take a heading at each spot(I'm gogin to use the d8 for headings with 1 being north and going clockwise from there so that 5 ends up south, but feel free to go with d12's, d20;s or 30's if you like). Draw a line from the center of the spot each d6 fell and continue it that many inches (or centimeters or whatever units you like), this line is the center of a mountain chain.   At the end of each segment roll 1d8, on a 1 continue 1d3 units to the counter clockwise heading, on a 2 continue 1d3 units in a clockwise heading, on a 3 or 4 keep going straight 1d3 units, repate until yuo roll a 5 to 8 or your line intersect another mountain chain.

2. Oceans/Seas. There's a 50% chance each corner has water. randomly determine a point up to 60% of the page side from each corner along the edge if there is water. Do this for each corner. If the points from 2 corners on one side cross each other that whole side is coast. You can get as fancy or general with these coastlines as you like.

3. Rivers.  Split each coast line in half, there is a 4 in 6 chance each of these halves has a river in it. There is a 3 in 6 chance each quarter has a river, a 2 in chance each 8th. Draw a line halfway to the nearest mountain range for each river mouth fund above. At the end of this roll 1d6. 1 branch, 2 turn , 3 or 4 continue, 5-6 end. Do not cross other rivers, if a  river ever turns back on itself draw a lake there. Stop all rivers within an unit of any mountains.

4. Forests. drop 1 or 2 more forest dice than yuo did mountain dice earlier. Draw  bumpy circle for the forest edge around these points in a diameter equal to the numbered dropped unless all the borders of the forest would be over 2 inches from water, if so do not draw that forest.

5. Wasteland. Anyplace 3 or more inches from a forest of river is wasteland or any place cutoff entirely from water by mountain chains.

6. Cities and towns. There is a 33% chance at each river mouth you have a city. Go up 1 unit and roll 1d6, on a 1 you have a town, on a 2 or 3 a village, on 4 or 6 nothing, move up an 2 units and roll again. If you go up river twice with no settlements stop rolling for this river. Along the coast between rivers roll 1d20, on a 1 you have a city, 2 or 3 a town, 4 to 8 a village.
Outside each town there is a 50% chance of a fortification, in a random direction up to 2 units away,
Outside each village there is a 25% chance of a fortification.
Outside each city there is a 1 in 8 chance of a fortification (the city is often fortification enough).

7. Special features, Drop a d6 as many times as you dropped forest and mountain dice together. At each of these points yuo have a special feature... i.e. ruins, magical nexus, dungeon, whatever.

There yuo go, just an outline but you'll end up with the basics for a randomly generated region using the above and a little sparked creativity.

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