Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Abulafia Random Generators

There is an awesome concept housed over at

Imagine a wiki page that has a bunch of entries listed on it, and you click on one, and the content at that page is randomized.  Now imagine that the randomization sequence is actually designed to create content suitable for a fantasy RPG.

That is what Abulafia has created.  This includes the (very awesome) dungeon overview generator.

This works like this -
From the main page, chose "places" as your category.
Next you get a list of the different types of randomly generated "places you can find.
We can chose "Dungeon Overview"

This now gives us a random history of what and why the dungeon is (or was) all about - which could generate ideas for all sorts of cool flavor and content in the dungeon.

Here is a direct link -

Activating this (just this one time) gets me the following -

The dungeon was originally a palace that is the holy land of spooky children with psionics but has been forgotten by most civilized races for eons. It was rediscovered due to the recent death of the medusa responsible for the statues from which the surrounding stone was quarried. Near the West entrance, a clay golem of unusual intelligence suspects it may contain a sussurus--one of particular interest--and so has dispatched bewitched innocents into the complex. They communicate via sign language.

Meanwhile, a group of righteous goat-headed warriors who entered through a secret door to the Northwest suspects it may contain a werewolf that they value. Their leader is said to be strangely cloned and is also a sinister pet with a dangerous pet--a son of kyuss that appears to obey his/her every whim. It roams the halls looking for sustenance but is afraid of winter. It's also far more intelligent than the typical member of its species. This group uses a species of creeping vine that records sound to spy on the other group of intruders.

(In recent weeks, the two factions have begun to skirmish in the halls.)

Unbeknownst to either side, a lamia noble --wielding powerful magic--lives deep within, inside a network of tunnels leading eventually to a pearl which it prizes beyond all things.

It has constructed traps around its lair--for example, a sturdy cage ready to close on whatever steps inside --but also two stranger traps, informed by its bizarre alien intelligence, which cause intruders to be destroyed by despair. It can avoid the traps easily because of its unique abilities.

The other factions have made about four traps each as well, but they are cruder, since they've been recently and hastily thrown together.

In addition, there are many hazards that are the legacy of the dungeon's original inhabitants. No-one has yet discovered the secret passage near the dais on the first level.

Due to the subtle influence of a morningstar (behind the scale model on level two) with a powerful curse on it, nearly all of the inhabitants have become increasingly compulsive and some have gained additional bizarre physical and mental deformities. Some have become obsessed with despair for reasons unknown.

Perhaps the most disturbing room in the dungeon is the so-called "Chamber of The Claws" which the intelligent creatures in the dungeon fear above all else. However, beyond it there is a androgynous half-orc alchemist who hails from the homeland of one of your PCs and may aid him/her, though s/he covets the PCs' (whatever they have that's unusual) and is repulsed by the sight of every piano s/he sees in the dungeon.

The dungeon's architecture resembles an overgrown prison, however every stairway in it is made of Aquamarine and Pearl.

In addition to these things, it is said by some that, hidden deep within the complex, where no mortal has been in eons is the Child of Despair and the EnigMan, returned from a centuries-long journey beyond the sky, awakening from his slumber to a world gone mad.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Painting Plan - Garage Painting Haven

So, now that we are getting settled pretty nicely in our house in Georgia, I have been giving some serious thought to (1) a new painting area, and (2) a new painting project.

As I got busy the last few years of my PhD in Virginia, I pretty much neglected painting, and my painting room really become more of a storage room, with all kinds of stuff stacked up in there, so I wasn't able to paint.

The new house has a really nice, really large garage, and I have a plan for organizing it (really it will take about 1 serious Saturday to get it done - mostly it involves building some modular shelving and putting a bunch of bins of holiday stuff, etc, up on those shelves.

Once that is done, I plan to convert one wall of the garage into my work space.  There was a really nice, large industrial desk left behind, with a separate piece that was used as a printer stand.  With a pretty nice large cutting mat, or a piece of wood or plexiglass laid down on the surface, it will make a perfect painting desk.

The only problem I see is this - Georgia stays pretty warm most of the year (at least the part we are living in).  I can put a window A/C unit out there to keep me cool while working there (along with a rotating fan or two, and I should actually be pretty comfortable). But what about paints.  Is it okay to (permanently) store hobby paints (vallejo; craft store acrylics; artist acrylics; GW paints; etc) in a space that routinely gets into the upper 80s in temperature?

Just for the fun of it . . .

Fun video.  Positive image of people having a pretty good time playing the game.

Friday, September 14, 2012

RPG Wilderness Encounter System

So, over on my old school Fantasy RPG blog, I have posted a Wilderness Encounter System that I have been working on.  This first version of it is keyed for the region of the world that I have been slowly describing.  What I have been doing is to describe the various interesting cities and sites of the region, and then describe an adventure (dungeon, quest, adventure nuggets, etc) for each.

The region (the Darkearth Plains) is a cold, ice age type environment, complete with the mega-mammals from Earth's last ice age (mammoths, irish deer, saber tooth tigers, dire wolves, etc).  Along with the usual fantasy flair, and some interesting human and humanoid cultures (Storm King Barbarians, Shagmen, Broo).  There is a map here.

Check it out if you like, and let me know what you think.