Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Small in-game hunting

Here's a possible approach to deal with hunting in open mapcrawls and wargaming. It's modular and hopefully fairly simple. I was wondering how to create a real haze for a game with true line of sight, then tracks for navigation. I got the tracks, but the haze I still haven't worked out.

There are two elements to it, the idea of wandering, given that a player may see a goal but the protagonists the player is guiding may not, and any tracks left in the landscape.


If the system you're using doesn't allow for this, here's a simple die-based approach. The larger the range of numbers on the die used, the finer the gradation. If the die has an even range, the midpoint should be known, specifically the mean, e.g. 3.5 with a 1D6.

When moving a character or unit, the player chooses a direction to be taken. If there's a landmark visible in-game that way, including another unit or character, it is taken. If not, a die is rolled. If the result is below the midpoint, movement is off to the left; if above, off to right. If the range on the die is odd and the midpoint is rolled, there's no deviation.

The number of points above or below is the size of the deviation. Depending on the die, each point represents a number of degrees, e.g. with 1D6, 1 point might be 45°. The protagonist may be able to modify the result, by a number based on a characteristic.


Each character or unit is assumed potentially to be leaving tracks. In every location in which time is spent, a die or counter is left with a number facing up, this determined by some mix of the following factors: landscape type; protagonist number and skill; activity in the location; length of time present. The higher the number, the more evidence left.

For example: loose sand, 1; up to five protagonists, +1; attacking or being attacked, +1; each extra turn, +1; in the case of melee, scores for the groups involved are combined.


Combining the two mechanisms then, whenever a character or unit is forced to roll for wandering, the total of any tracks in a given range may be used to modify the result.

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This all needs adapting of course, but hopefully makes a useful starting point. As ever, I could have missed something so if you can see it, or have any thoughts at all, feel free to say so, and if you have ideas for that haze or other real effects, I'm very interested.

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