Showing posts from April, 2022

TURN: Post Mortem

  I released TURN last week, on April 20 [1]. TURN is a trifold pamphlet that offers a generic (i.e., system-neutral or whatever) dungeon crawl procedure. It takes inspiration from the original hazard die from the blog Necropraxis [2], as well as the event die from the Errant ruleset [3]. It even takes certain cues from the original Dungeons & Dragons , though this might not be as readily apparent. Here is the explanation of the random turn procedure which is on the back of the pamphlet: The function of the event die is to simulate the book-keeping of classic dungeon crawl games via random rolls. In doing so, it encapsulates in one table the totality of the classic procedural dungeon crawl: i.e., random encounters, resource management, and countdowns for spells and light sources. Only one of these events was randomly determined prior to the innovation of the event die. The rest required stringent time-keeping and note-taking. Each turn taken risks any one of the six now-random

A City-Building (Computer) Game, Part 2

Other conditions can be slapped onto acquiring amenities. For example, there can be different qualities of each amenity category, costing more money. An additional 'weight' for goods is a whole other can of worms, though. In this post, I'll just be talking about how to treat the different qualities themselves. We can represent tiers of amenity types mathematically. Before, the value threshold for house advancement could be represented using 4 bits (e.g. first level is 1000, second level is 1100, third is 1110, etc.). In a 16-bit unsigned short integer, then, we could have up to 4 tiers of 4 amenities, or some other combination. However, the way in which things are prioritized (and thus how our threshold values for house advancement are defined) depends on factors such as whether higher quality tiers replace lower tiers or are added onto them, or whether higher quality tiers should be prioritized over total number of amenity types. Single Bit Assignments To simp

Combined Encounter Checks & Tables Using d%

So, this one is going to be short. I pinkie promise! I was exploring a framework for a Pokemon campaign and thought it would be fun to make use of percentile dice (i.e. d% or d100) for most everything. So, how about percentile dice exploration checks? My first thought was to keep it simple and say there's a 20% chance of an encounter per turn, since that's a nice round number. It's slightly more frequent than the typical 1-in-6 chance, by about 25%, but that's not the worst. The nice thing was, I realized, you can combine the roll to check if an encounter is about to happen with the roll to see which encounter takes place. Imagine before that you made your encounter roll at a 20% chance per turn, and then you roll d20 on an encounter table to see what it is. Instead, you can roll at your 20% chance, but then you can use the same roll on that same d20 table. This means when you make your roll, you also know immediately what encounter it is. Isn't that handy! So, I w

Abstraction, the Basis of Capitalism (Part 2)

Marx in Capital, Volume I defines the commodity form as a dyad of use-value and exchange-value. This means that a commodity on one hand is a thing that can be used, that fills some need or want. On the other hand, a commodity is something which is exchanged on the market. Its value on the market is expressed as a ratio relative to some common denominator (i.e. money); this ratio is exchange-value. Marx argues thus that the capitalist economy is predicated on the abstraction of things into commodity-objects, with a social-value based on perceived usefulness expressed in terms of exchange-value [1]. This is an abstraction because commodities do not interact with each other in terms of their particular concrete use-values, but in terms of their social value expressed in exchange. A commodity stops being a commodity, something that can be exchanged, the moment it is used and consumed. You can trade money for a burger, but once you eat the burger, you can’t exchange it again

Cyclical Resource Management

I've had a post on the back burner for a while about reading rulebooks and other materials procedurally, and I wish it were finished prior to this post just as an easy reference to what I'll be talking about here. That being said, I already have a post about how light pertains to movement rules in old editions of our most honorable tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons [1], so I think that works well enough to contextualize my thoughts here. After Advanced Dungeons & Dragons , it became the norm to treat sources of light as the subject of a resource management cycle. This is not without a lot of caveats. For one, there has never been an official D&D rulebook that treat torches (or anything besides arms and treasure) as something cumbersome for player characters, such that the players must choose to carry a torch over something else. Torches were always included in the 8 lb (i.e. 80 pieces) heavy "miscellaneous equipment" category, meaning that re