Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Terrain Generator

When playing solo RPG's, I've used random terrain generation as a way to either create a wilderness area map, or randomly create an adventure map space-by-space as you go. Here's a custom random terrain system that I developed for this purpose.

First, you need to determine the terrain in the starting space. If starting in a town or other landmark, that space should still be allotted a terrain type. Roll on this table:

Basic Terrain Table
Terrain Types d100
Badlands 01-06
Desert 07-12
Forest 13-25
Hills 26-40
Jungle 41-47
Mountains 48-55
Plains 56-81
Swamp 82-88
Tundra 89-92
Water 93-100

Once the terrain of the first space is determined, use the following list to determine the terrain of the next space. The next space can be in any direction, but must be adjacent to the previous space for which terrain was generated.

Terrain is normally determined randomly from the previous square.
Roll d100 to determine the new terrain type:
An 85 or lower (d100) indicates the same terrain type as the previous square.
An 86 to 98 indicates a roll on the Basic Terrain Table (above).
A 99 or 100 indicates a roll on the Special Terrain Table.  The Special terrain square has the same basic terrain type as the prior square.

If a player rolls a water square, they can not enter that square unless they have a means of crossing the water.
Any attempted travel to any undetermined square that is adjacent to the water square is determined as if the prior square was a water square.

Special Terrain Table
Prior Square
Special Terrain Badlands Desert Forest Hills Jungle Mountains Plains Swamp Tundra Water
Canyon 01-30 x 01-30 01-35 01-50 01-40 x x x x
Glacier x x x x x 41-55 x x 01-40 x
Hot Spring 31-40 x 31-50 36-45 x 56-65 01-20 x x 01-15
Island x x x x x x x x x 16-75
Lava Flow 41-50 x x 46-50 x 66-80 x x x x
Oasis x 01-20 x x x x x x x x
Plateau 51-85 x 51-100 51-90 x x 21-85 x 41-100 x
Quicksand x x x x 51-100 x x 01-70 x x
Sand Dunes x 21-100 x x x x x x x 76-100
Tar Pits 86-92 x x x x x 86-100 71-100 x x
Volcano 93-100 x x 91-100 x 81-100 x x x x

Descriptions of Each Special Terrain Type are listed below:
Canyon        A deep ravine. Canyons are notorious for the ambushes that often take place there.
Glacier         A massive body of ice. Travel across a glacier can be treacherous. Cold-loving creatures often have lairs there.
Hot Spring     A source of hot water that issues from the ground. Creatures that prefer warmth can often be found there.
Island         A small land mass in a water square. The island has its own terrain type, with an increased chance of encounters/special features.
Lava Flow     A source of molten rock bubbling up from the ground. Travel over lava flows can cause damage from the heat.
Oasis         An oasis is a fertile area within a desert. These are often inhabited.
Plateau         An area of flat, highland terrain. Dragons and other flying creatures make their homes there.
Quicksand     A solid-looking piece of ground that is particalarly viscous. These areas can not be avoided, and have a chance of swallowing their victims whole.
Sand Dunes     A hill made of sand. Dunes can contain the bones of creatures, and perhaps - the treasure that the creature carried.
Tar Pits         Pools of hot black tar that seep up from the ground. These cause damage, and have a chance of holding their victims fast.
Volcano         Mountains that actively spew forth smoke, ash or lava. These are very deadly to any who approach.

After the terrain is determined, roll d100 and consult the list below:       
Nothing                01-75          Nothing unusual in this square.
Encounter             76-95          Roll on the Encounter Table. (You will provide the Encounter Table)
Special Feature     96-100        Roll on the Special Feature Table.

Special Feature Table
Special Feature Table
Castle  01-05 
City  06-09 
Dungeon  10-20 
Fort  21-28 
Gate  29-30 
Inn  31-35 
Lair  36-45 
Mine  46-49 
Pool  50-59 
Road  60-69 
Ruins  70-74 
Tavern  75-80 
Temple  81-84 
Tower  85-86 
Town  87-92 
Village  93-100 

Descriptions of Each Special Feature Type are listed below:
Castle     A huge stone complex. These are always inhabited by someone…
A thriving metropolis. This is the largest type of civilization.
A strange door in the wilderness leading to who knows where?
A small garrison that may or may not be occupied. Normally used for military tactics.
A magic teleporter that will transport to another space on the map (may also be a gate there).
A place to spend the night.
An area that some creature(s) is using for their dwelling place.
A complex of underground tunnels fashioned for the excavation of precious metals or stones.
A small, circular body of water. These are sometimes magical.
A quicker way to travel. These often lead to civilization.
Formerly a castle or fort, now a pile of rubble. The undead often gather here.
A place to have some drinks, play cards and recruit hirelings.
A chapel or larger structure that provides healing services.
A tall structure, known for housing wizards.
A smaller version of a city.
A smaller version of a town.

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