Friday, October 30, 2020

Gygaxian Spontaneous Generation and a More Involved Procedure for Setting up your Demense

You're Playing OD&D. You get your fighting-man to 9th level. He raises and army with all his gold. He travels to a hex on the map. He rolls to see if there are any monsters in that hex. He kills the monsters. There are now 2d4 villages in that hex. Each has 1d4 *100 people.

Where did they come from? Were they always there?

Maybe each hex on a map has villages. This would mean that the wilderness is not so wild and that when a party is travelling (I am not British, just an asshole) through the wilderness they should be more likely to meet a village as they are to meet 1d4 manticores or whatever.  Despite this the OD&D tables from Wilderness and Adventures shows that "Men" have a 1 in 4 chance of appearing, suggesting that there are not in fact 2d4 villages in every hex.

Ok, What if they weren't always there then where did they come from?

I think as far as Gygax is concerned the answer is, "who cares? Don't worry about it."  These people are spawned out of the wilderness in units of whole villages waiting to be taxed. This might be ok in a world with spells and gods. Maybe you build a castle and a god comes down and breathes life into some piles of clay and they become your peasants, a publica ex dei (I don't actually know Latin either).

What if I don't like that and want a bunch of new stupid rules?

Well, let's go back to the part where you travel to the hex and check for monsters. Let's say if that hex is empty there are no people in the hex. If you build your stronghold here, you get 0 villages for your first year. Then after each year there is a 1% chance that a village will spring up for every 100 gold that you have spent on your stronghold and/or demesne generally. Roll 1d4 and multiply by 100 to see how big the village is. Then roll 2d4 if that number is less than or equal to the number of villages your demesne has than you will stop attracting more villages to your demesne.

Now let's say the hex is full. Whatever monsters you found there are the population of that hex. So if you find amazons in your hex and you subjugate them you become the lord of the amazons and your villages are populated by amazons. Did you find goblins? Congratulations goblin King! Did you find undead? You've got spooky boys who probably don't pay taxes! If your population consists of creatures with more than 4hd then the population of each village is 1d4 * 10.  If your population consists of creatures with more than 6hd then the population of each village is 1d4. If you get dragons there is only one village, but hey you are a dragon lord. 


2 comments:

  1. Does "Men" in the encounter tables not refer to bandits, brigands, etc. and not simply men hanging about? It makes a bit more sense that you're 25% likely to stumble upon a bandit encampment rather than a village of 100-400 men.

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    1. It does, but for the purposes of this post (I am not going to argue that this was the intent of the rules as written), a bandit encampment (or group of amazons, etc) is a village of bandits. The Bandits are the fighting force for their hex but they would have a non fighting support structure in place. This non fighting support structure would become the population of the villages. That would include any women, children, and slaves/hostages they might have.

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Gygaxian Spontaneous Generation and a More Involved Procedure for Setting up your Demense

You're Playing OD&D. You get your fighting-man to 9th level. He raises and army with all his gold. He travels to a hex on the map. H...