Sunday, 12 June 2022

GENIUS LOCI and FOOTHILLS OF THE TEETH

I think I've managed to distil the ideas of previous posts concerning landscape/hex/environment as NPC into a much neater package. Given that I've been enthusing the virtues of Michael Prescott's MOSAIC Strict I thought it would be a nice challenge to see how much of the concept could be squeezed onto a single spread:


The concept being that as a party of travellers moves through an unfamiliar territory, there actions and conduct impact the environment: the spirit-of-place responds to their presence.

As with ANIMA, I wanted to base the whole thing around an extrapolation of the reaction roll. However, I thought it would be fun to have each D6 representing a different aspect of the spirit, rather than both combining to form one singular facet (their response).

This was broken down into a D6 for "generosity" and one for "presence". This generate events, which are perceived by the party as omens. Additionally, they modify the results of foraging and hunting.

There are 3 initial tables, the choice of table depends on the the generosity of the spirit. Here is the table if the spirit is "mean" (a role of "1" on their generosity die):

1
Subtle: a traveller realises a [randomly determined item] has disappeared... they’re sure they didn’t drop it...

2-3
Unexpected near miss: tree falls, pit opens, sink-hole, landslide... no one is hurt but it was close.

4-5
A predator is spotted, a good way off, but it looks... hungry. 

6
Apparent: The sky glowers. Trees shake. Dust-storms kick up. If the weather is already extreme, it suddenly changes... but for the worse.

...the results are tracked by the result of the other die, the spirit's presence. The more present the spirit, the less subtle its effects.

The omens indicate the mood of the spirit to the players, encouraging them to modify their behaviour accordingly: the spirit is less likely to reward them if they don't present it with offerings, and it is more likely to confront them if they interfere directly with the environment.

Hexcrawl

To see how this could be developed further, I thought I'd apply it to one of the unfinished hexes I made for Chris Bissette's Random Adventure Jam. Here's what I produced:




I added a small map with key to the front, and several paths crossing the hex. The back page contains additional flavour for wilderness exploration, and might provide a template for additional hexes. Indeed, I hope to provide the same treatment for all of the hexes I made for that adventure jam, ultimately compiling them into a downloadable PARIAH sandbox.

IF you would like this in PDF format, please visit https://atelier-hwei.itch.io/genius-loci, free community copies available.

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1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic, I'm definitely going to use this!

    ReplyDelete