Wednesday, 22 July 2020

DOGTOWN DRIFTERS: Post Apocalyptic Sports Tour Generator

I can unironically state that one of my favourite movies is Salute of the Jugger. Yeah you can judge, but I'm sure you like stuff that's far less sophisticated. That's right: your favourite thing is probably less sophisticated than a post apocalyptic movie about a fictional sport involving dog skulls.


Anyway, I'm not here to ravage your horrible cultural appetites, I'm here to talk about rolling plastic dice to simulate my horrible taste in movies, books and other media. The tether betwixt the two topics is my longstanding desire to create a fairly crunchy solo engine to simulate managing a fantasy sports team (Blood Bowl, Speedball or the aforementioned Jugger) and, after playing around with a few ideas over this past week, I have something I wish to share.

CLICK BAIT!

AH! Sorry, I don't have the crunchy solo sports sim you were looking for! Instead I have something probably more useful: a sort-of post apocalyptic regional map generator.

In the movie Salute of the Jugger (apparently released as The Blood of Heroes in some countries, probably because the movie title is crazily specific so they leaned way too far in the generic opposite direction) wandering bands of juggers travel from dogtown to dogtown, with nothing but miles of featureless desert in between. The town is where the action is: it is here that the juggers will challenge their local opposite numbers to a good old game of stick the dog skull on a spike. If they win, the locals will host them to a night of drinking, dog meat, and the possibility of sex with a malnourished young man or woman.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL.

No, beyond the relentless slog of touring dog-towns there lurk the mysterious Nine Cities, underground citadels where the rich eat meats other than those of the dog, enjoy the feel of silk ("like the wind on your cheek") and watch the most refined version of "the game" played in "the league".

To me this is a little like a hexcrawl in reverse: exciting towns separated by featureless waste.


A BOX OF SAND

In my slightly silly solo engine, I generate these towns on the fly, and it occurred to me that you might find it useful so here we go: what you'll end up with is a network of towns with varying degrees of wealth, separated by miles of featureless desert. You'll have to fill in the other details!

You will need 1d6 and a blank sheet of hex paper.


HEX PAPER

Start with a blank sheet of hex paper to represent your desert, like this:



Each hex represents one day's travel on foot. Trails connect towns: going off trails increases the risk of dangerous, unpredictable things happening.

Place a starting town at the very top. For the purposes of my game, the starting town is poor. What this means in Jugger is:
  • resources are cheap*
  • the local team is likely to be weak and poorly trained
  • services are limited
(* resources are fairly cheap, but the prices ramp up quickly—you can buy a supplies for a day or two but if you need a lot that's going to put the squeeze on the local economy).

Next, I roll to see how many routes there are out of town.

All generator rolls are 1d6 modified by the town's status.

This is a poor town so I deduct 1 from this roll:
  1. No other routes (other than those already joining!)
  2. 1 route
  3. 2
  4. 2
  5. 3
  6. 4
I rolled 3-1 = 2: There is just one road out:



How far away is the next town? Again, roll a D6: the poorer the town, the further it might be from its neighbour (deduct 1 from the roll for the poor town).
  1. 5 days (5 hexes)
  2. 4
  3. 3
  4. 2
  5. 2
A roll of 5-1=4 so the next is 2 days travel due south:



How wealthy is this town? Again, this is a random D6 roll, modified by the wealth of the current town, hopefully to create interesting variation!
  1. Very poor town (-2 to future rolls)
  2. Poor town (-1 to related rolls)
  3. Average town (no modifiers)
  4. Above average town (+1 to the next roll)
  5. Rich town (+1 to the next roll)
  6. Very rich town (+2 to the next roll)
  7. Very rich town (+2 to the next roll)
  8. One of the 9 Cities (only one per map, no roll bonus)
I score a 3 after modifications making this an average town. Using my previous table, I can check how many routes out of town there are:


Again, I can roll for the distance of the nearest towns...


...and randomly determine their relative wealth:


I used red to represent very poor and green to represent above average.

It won't take long to fill your map:


Orange is used for very rich, yellow for rich and silver for one of the 9 cities, the entrance to an underground citadel.

Note:
  • "Rich" and "very rich" are relative to a setting where the best a character can hope for is some cracked ribs and someone's beloved pet for dinner.
  • Rich cities won't allow juggers to enter unless they have "form" (represented by the number of dog skulls they have collected from various matches).
  • A crawl through the rich cities is great when your on the up and up, but can be a serious draw on resources if not...
  • Juggers may only play the same team once a month, so they may not shuttle back and forth between cities.
  • Generating cities on the fly increase the element of surprise.
Hopefully, if I've done my job correctly, absolutely none of the above will make any sense at all.

As ever, well done for making it all the way to the end. You can have a special star.

Also, if you want to flesh out your post-apocalyptic landscape have a look at Elfmaids & Octopi, starting with this post:

http://elfmaidsandoctopi.blogspot.com/2019/02/structures-of-apocalypse-part-1.html

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