Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Nature of Faerie and Muspel

One of the advantages of having a distinct Underworld and an Otherworld is that things in those places don't have to particularly make sense. Indeed, the whole point is that they don't. What does this mean? RANDOM STOCKING.

Conveniently BECMI, which is always my system of first choice, has a random dungeon stocker, modified from the original Holmes.

Wilderness stockers have been discussed both here and here. Paolo and Brendan have perfectly workable systems which I like, but I would tweak things slightly. My position on hexes is something I have made clear in the past so there is no need to belabour the point, but assuming a default of 6-mile hexes, each hex should have at least one pre-rolled adventure site, not taking into consideration random encounter-based results that flesh out the map further in-game.

That said, I want there to be a distinct difference between Faerie and the "real world". Faerie is supposed to be where adventure happens; the "real world" is more mundane. I also want New Troy to be small, at least at first. Initially, the map is going to be 1-mile hexes. A final consideration is that I want New Troy to be overlaid by the map of Faerie: Faerie is a kind of mirror or reflection of New Troy, with a certain special twist.

So the idea for stocking the New Troy map is as follows. First, I place the starting settlement plus a few others. Then, I stock the map with something like this table, rolling for each hex:

1. Opening to Faerie (tied to a certain natural landmark; may be known or unknown, permanent or temporary)
2. Beast lair (wolves, bear, boar, etc.)
3. Human mundane (thieves, knightly manor, village, etc.)
4. Human special (witch, monastery, hermit, etc.)
5. Ruin
6. Hidden or special place (crypt, cave, hollow tree, standing stones, etc.)

Once this is done, I overlay the New Troy map with the Faerie map, and flip it so that each hex in Faerie corresponds with the New Troy ones as follows:

1. Opening to Faerie -> Opening to New Troy
2. Beast lair -> Monster lair
3. Human mundane -> Faerie ('Mundane' seems the wrong adjective)
4. Human special -> Faerie special
5. Ruin -> Magical location (wizard tower, magical lake, toadstool circle, etc.)
6. Hidden place -> Transplant (a building, person or thing that has 'slipped' from New Troy into Faerie)

Then I decide where the opening(s) to Muspel are. I haven't tested this, so it may result in skewed results; we'll see.


  1. What if Faerie hexes are 6 mile hexes in place of New Troy's 1 mile hexes? Further reinforces the difference between them, lets you have more stuff going on in Faerie than New Troy, allows you to roll on more random tables in Faerie than in New Troy, and makes it harder for the party to search out locations even though they'll know vaguely where they are. And since time moves faster in Faerie, it makes using Faerie as a gateway to move between places in New Troy quickly a little bit harder and more dangerous.

    As you can tell from that I've posted on every one of these, I'm loving this series.

    1. Yes, very cool idea. Almost like the Faerie hexes are reminiscent of the New Troy ones, but writ large.

  2. Wouldn't this lead to deliberate "mapping" in the mundane world? Or is that the point?

    I admit I like the general idea, but I think the connections are a bit too linear. What if you introduced a random table for the way which you "skew" or modify the real world? So if the mundane world is an encounter with a tinker's campground, the faerie world plays on that unpredictably? Such as (example)
    1. Perverse (evil)-
    2. Reverse
    3. Outre
    4. Reduced
    6.Ethereal (good)

    I also like Adrian's idea of amplifying space in Faerie. You could compliment this in Muspel, by having the distances shrink. This would allow scenarios such as "we must be at the standing stones by dawn" or "How can we get pass the custom's men?" resulting in a need to enter your underworld.

    1. Yes, that is the point. I don't like the idea of NO map for the mundane world. It's just that it will be somewhat mundane.

      I love a random table for 'skewing' the real world. That is excellent thinking and will certainly be implemented.

      On Muspel, however, I want it to be more akin to a megadungeon, so it won't really be reflective of the mundane map. Or maybe it could in some fashion that escapes me...Perhaps things that exist in the mundane map appear within the dungeon in some way.

  3. I had an idea I don't think you should do:

    I was thinking that the one thing which would not have a faerie correlate would be an opening to muspel, and so you could use those hexes for things of faerie that don't have a worldly correlate.

    Then I realised that this would correlate them! And imply that those things were to faerie as the muspel openings are to troy, which suggests those locations would be crossing points in a kind of infinite chain of worlds, with faerie reaching further above to something else etc.

    I think a better solution might be to use those less distinctive hexes in either world, and have some of the hexes that are less dramatic in faerie by muspel portals in the real world, and do vice versa. So you'd gen up the map, look for the bits that hadn't come off in either world, (which will probably be different dependent on chance and writing) and pop a muspel portal or particularly faerie thing in. That way you would actually give them the feeling of being uncorrelated, (although in a mathematical sense they would probably be weakly negatively correlated).