View Full Version : [Any]Simming the World

2011-04-07, 12:45 PM
Lately I have been considering that there should be mechanics for what happens in the rest of the world while the PCs are doing whatever it is that they are doing. That's not to say that the PCs should have no effect on the world, but that the rest of the world continues to grow, progress, and change over time. This can still be relevant to the game being played if time has elapsed between when the PCs were last in the area or in case of starting up a new campaign with a time difference or a new character appearing from an area that has changed since the game began. I want to come up with these mechanics.

Some games already offer a little bit of these sorts of mechanics, things like wandering monster tables. They represent the game world moving on and are an opportunity to explore what is happening in the game world. For example, the PCs are exploring a ruined keep that is the home of goblins from the forest and kobolds from a nearby cave. The PCs can randomly stumble across members from either group and it can be explained as a patrol or a scavenger party. Similarly, these tables can be used to restock the area if the PCs leave and come back. Maybe the parts of the keep previously occupied by goblins (who the PCs killed) have been taken over by the kobolds.

I want to expand on these mechanics for a regional outlook or even larger. To do this, I need to come up with a tables for events, frequency, location and scale. I imagine it working something like this:

At the beginning of the year for the region, roll d4+1 events.
Roll d100 for the first event on the event table.
Roll d3 for how many times the event will occur during the year.
Roll d12 for what type of locale was affected by the event.
Roll d6 for the scale of the event.

The GM would still be responsible for figuring out the specific details behind an event (why, when, how, where, etc.), but this would create a good starting point.

Sample tables:

Determine an event that occurs within the region. Roll d4+1 and then roll for that number of events.
01-04|Plague outbreak.
05-08|New trade route established.
09-12|Flooding. Property damage and casualties.
13-16|Harvest brings in more crops than expected.
17-20|Wild fires ravage the area.
21-24|Local celebrity/leader has a new child.
25-28|A new cult is established.
29-32|A rare plant used for medicine is discovered growing in the area.
33-36|Earthquake shakes the ground.
37-40|A new monument to a local hero is erected.
41-44|Tornadoes touch down in the area.
45-48|A new leader is elected.
49-52|Storms ravage the landscape.
53-56|Extra livestock are born.
57-60|Local celebrity/leader dies.
61-64|New public building (school, temple, library, etc.) opened.
65-68|Vermin eat through the stored grain.
69-72|Local artist completes great project.
73-76|Raids from neighboring region begin.
77-80|Natives return to the area after years abroad.
81-84|War is declared.
85-88|Local merchant strikes it rich.
89-92|Bandits take up residence in the area.
93-96|New recipe is created and becomes a delicacy.
97-100|New vein of metal discovered nearby causing increased wealth and visitors.


How many times will this event (or something related to it) occur during the year?


Roll to determine what sort of locale the event occurs in within the region.
12|Re-roll twice, having both locales use the same event.


Role to see how big the event was. The result of the roll is very subjective.

At the beginning of the campaign, the party is in the region of Thinkeria in early spring. They plan to be there for a while, may leave for a while, but will definitely return. The GM rolls the next year's worth of events in Thinkeria. Number of events (d4+1) -> 3.

The GM has 3 events to write up so he rolls on the event table (d100) -> 27; a new cult has been established. Next, he rolls for frequency (d3) -> 2; something will happen with the new cult twice during the year. The GM thinks that the first event will be the cult being founded, but is unsure about the second quite yet. Next, he rolls for locale (d12) -> 11; the cult has been founded in a metropolis, which could have a lot of ramifications. Finally, he rolls for how big the event is (d6) -> 2; it's a minor event. Now the GM should roll for the other two events. They might end up being related.

Event 1: Event 27, new cult established. Frequency 2. Locale 11, metropolis. Scale 2, minor.
Event 2: Event 11, flooding. Frequency 3. Locale 5, village. Scale 3, small.
Event 3: Event 6, new trade route established. Frequency 1. Locale 12 -> 9/5, city/village. Scale 6, major.

Thinkeria ends up with a minor new cult, some small flooding, and a major trade route. The GM decides that the village of Thinkerville will be flooded later in the spring causing minor damage and nearly killing a young adult named Khinter, but he ends up pulling through.

A few months later, in the middle of summer, in a bustling major port called Thinkopolis a young man named Khinter, inspired by a near-death experience, founds a cult worshipping Trinkhe, a water spirit well known in Thinkerville that he credits with saving his life. At first Khinter simply focuses on gathering followers and spreading the word, much to the chagrin of local leadership. This quickly turns for the worse as in the fall Khinter tries to change the morals of what he sees as the decadent and luxurious metropolis.

That same fall a trade route is established that runs from Thinker City and through the village of Thinkerthorpe. The route was originally supposed to run to Thinkopolis, but concerns over demonstrations by a young priest named Khinter dissuaded merchants from ending there.

The PCs should be allowed to interrupt and/or participate in these happening, but that need not be the case. This provides hooks for the PCs, but can also be nice footnotes for when the PCs visit these places, such as seeing Khinter standing on the street corner trying to attract the attention of passersby.

I would appreciate any feedback on this idea and the mechanics. Any suggestions for improvement?

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-07, 01:07 PM

I can see the tables being helpful in rounding out the world, and giving the players a since of time actually passing. I'd have to try them out on a goup before I could give too much feedback.

2011-04-08, 12:32 PM

I can see the tables being helpful in rounding out the world, and giving the players a since of time actually passing. I'd have to try them out on a goup before I could give too much feedback.

The table listed is just an example. I would encourage people to make tables that fit their own worlds.

2011-04-08, 11:08 PM
That seems pretty awesome. It looks like a great idea that I will most likely use next time I run a game. Thanks for this!