Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A simple architect builder

The machineries didn't get going so I missed the deadline for that Hill Cantons stronghold contest.

As a form of compensation, and an outlet for my interest in it, here's an architect builder, for when your character needs to know who's available to build a stronghold, or who they've gone and hired.

It's aimed at rules-light roleplaying, but it could also be used to inspire modelled terrain pieces for wargaming: did battle ruin all those buildings?

The essence is track record and specific expertise, with other motivations optional, and the assumption is that a profile for the given game system is generated as needed.

TRACK RECORD:  Roll for the architect's past work, 1d6 for quantity, 1d6 for quality, interpreting the results: for quantity, a result of 1 is zero completed projects, 6 a vast number; for quality, a 1 is constant failure, 6 consistent excellence. The GM also uses these results as a guide in determining the influence of the architect's specific expertise.

SPECIFIC EXPERTISE:  Roll up 1d3-1 strengths and 1d3-1 weaknesses using this table, with each entry being positive or negative as appropriate. The GM determines the influence that each has over the period of construction, bearing in mind the track record.
  1. accuracy - basic alignments, conformity to plans, quality of improvisation etc.
  2. connections - circle of advisors, friends in high places, outstanding favours etc.
  3. flair - overall vision, elegance of form, styling, eye for detail, quality of finish etc.
  4. grasp of local physics - quality of load-bearing forms, circulation, sanitation etc.
  5. innovation - creativity, use of rare, exotic and/or experimental technologies etc.
  6. organisation - labour relations, budgeting, scheduling, storage and expiry etc.

OTHER MOTIVATIONS:  Optionally, roll up 1d3-1 undisclosed activities on this table.
  1. builds for another party altogether - initially unseen, later cuckoo in the nest
  2. configures given structure to grow arcane network as per ancient masterplan
  3. constructs 1d3 unrequested secret structures through non-Euclidian spaces
  4. designs given structure to attract and support ecology of 1d6 creature types
  5. entombs 1d6 labourers / items / tons of material as sacrifice to higher being
  6. incorporates demolition mechanism - or similar - in case design ages badly

Fee could be dealt with by finding the mean average of the quantity and quality results, modifying this by the difference between the number of strengths and weaknesses and multiplying that by what a least experienced or worst architect might charge per period.

e.g. If the minimum is 10gp / day, an architect of quantity 2, quality 5 ((2 + 5) / 2 = 3.5), two strengths and one weakness (2 - 1 = 1) is 45 gp / day.

Unrushed, with good collaboration and all proceeding well, a minor structure might be draughted in 2d6 days, a major structure the square of that, and construction might take the same number of months. Each degree of magnitude could raise the power by one.

Of course, construction especially could broken right down, even into play, as preferred.

If construction goes ahead and you need inspiration, here's a list of six possible events.
  1. an arcane site 'accident' imbues a given structure with a nascent intelligence
  2. auspicious / inauspicious omens generate great interest / an exodus of staff
  3. a discovery / revolutionary breakthrough onsite triggers an ownership dispute
  4. an odd interaction / intervention makes a master model a kind of voodoo doll
  5. a surplus / shortage or infrastructural change threatens a major saving / loss
  6. a shift in authority / law halts work / opens plans to challenge / confiscation

If there's interest, I'd be happy to go back and expand the last two to 1d10 or higher, but feel free to leave your own suggested new entries for any or all of them in the comments.

If you missed any contests first time round, or need a fix as the results come in, have a look through the back catalogue. Two of my past entries were posted here, Scree, Scrapers, Baggers and the Squalley and In Search of the City of the Serpent Queen.

On the subject of architecture, don't forget Gorgonmilk's latest community project, here.


Chris Kutalik said...

You have a reprieve, contest extended until Friday!

Porky said...

Ha! Should have guessed. I'm on the case and I'll have a rough and ready something up by the end of the day.

Tallgeese said...

@Porky: I just published the first part of a post using your architect mechanics over on The Everwayan. It isn't populating your feed properly because I goofed up the publication sequencing with blogger. But it is at the top of The Everwayan currently, with part two coming tomorrow.

Porky said...

It's always good to see cross-pollination, one set of ideas blending with another. I know I find good inspiration keeping up with your posts.

For everyone as intrigued as I am where this might lead, the first part is here.

Porky said...

The second is up now too, here, and it's won me over.