Including weather effects in random encounter tables

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AFDia
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Including weather effects in random encounter tables

#1 Postby AFDia » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:42 am

I really like the system of random encounter tables in most of the SW settings. (Draw 1 card each day, if it's a face card, something happens)

As a GM I always forget about changing or describing the actual weather and using another table or another card to draw for the weather alone is just "overkill". ;)

Therefore I thought about using an abstract weather system which is included into the random encounter draw once each day. Of course I do not plan to use the number of the card, because it's already used for the encounter, so the remaining possibilities are:
1.) Using the type of the card (spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds) or
2.) Using the frequency of a equal draws (drawing 3x spades in a row etc.)

My first quick thought is to make it very abstract like:
Everytime 2 clubs come up in a row (approximately 12,5% of the time), the weather changes in a bad way (the exact change depends on the clime and country) which leads to a -1 to most of the Trait rolls and pace (exceptions to this penalty are up to the GM and depending on the exact weather-change).
If the next card drawn is a club, the weather gets even worse the next day and the penalty increases to -2. As long as club cards come up, the weather stays bad (I wouldn't include a higher penalty than a -2) and if a non-club card comes up, the weather gets better and the penalty reduces to a -1 and with the next non-club card to normal (no penalty).
A Joker doesn't change the weather (or allows the GM to determine the weather)

Specific hazards are covered by random encounters, so there is no need for more specific weather effects than a simple overall weather change with a penalty.

I plan to use it for 50Fathoms, but it should work in any SW setting with the random encounter system.
What do you think about it?

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#2 Postby shadd4d » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:55 am

I like it, maybe as something to put in as an additional aspect of the random adventure generator.

Another thought is to adapt what they have in Sundered Skies as Hazards and maybe come up with a hybrid system. I'd be interested in knowing what you use or have as a guess a demoed prototype; I may end up stealing it. :wink:

Your idea brings up something I really don't address very well in my own games: Weather effects (WX). I think a lot of stories would change if it starts raining cats and dogs during a gun fight.

I like it...I want to see if you end up testing it out or have something more built up that I could possibly test...next Wednesday (25FEB09) if possible.

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Fear is when you worry about what might be.
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#3 Postby Cutter XXIII » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:19 am

AFDia wrote:I plan to use it for 50Fathoms, but it should work in any SW setting with the random encounter system. What do you think about it?

shadd4d wrote:I like it, maybe as something to put in as an additional aspect of the random adventure generator.


Is there any post that can't be answered with, "Just wait until you see The Flood"? Because I have yet to find it. :)

The Adventure/Travel Generator in The Flood incorporates Wild Weather. I like your idea for adding weather considerations into encounter draws, though...you can never have enough Wild Weather.
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#4 Postby shadd4d » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:31 am

Cutter XXIII wrote:Is there any post that can't be answered with, "Just wait until you see The Flood"? Because I have yet to find it. :)

The Adventure/Travel Generator in The Flood incorporates Wild Weather. I like your idea for adding weather considerations into encounter draws, though...you can never have enough Wild Weather.


:eek: Daggnabbit!! :1icon_evil: Now if it was only available right...now.

Cutter, it sounds like a great book...which does not really console the fact that it's not out now. I already knew I was going to buy it...this is just like pouring cement on a sidewalk; it just reinforces a cemented decision. You don't have to sell it to me; I'm going to buy it...this is just tantalizing.

Arrgh.

Don
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Fear is when you worry about what might be.

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#5 Postby Cutter XXIII » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:33 am

Sorry man! I don't mean to rub salt in the wound. I'm very much looking forward to it myself. :wink:
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#6 Postby AFDia » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:32 am

shadd4d wrote:Another thought is to adapt what they have in Sundered Skies as Hazards and maybe come up with a hybrid system. I'd be interested in knowing what you use or have as a guess a demoed prototype; I may end up stealing it. :wink:


I plan to use it in 50F which has similar encounter tables as Slipstream has. That means Hazards are possible encounters.

My plan is to use such a "hybrid system" (as you call it):
Random encounters are really bad hazards which happen more rarely.
My weather effect would be just the overall weather and not a specific danger for the group.
There can be an earthquake if the sun shines and there can also be an earthquake if it's raining cats and dogs. ;)

The great advantage of such a system would be: it works without changing every encounter table.

I'm sorry that I can't offer you more than just this, but I want to keep it abstract. The only fixed thing would be the -1 to all Trait rolls and pace (perhaps with restrictions depending on the specific weather), because this penalty will come up in any sort of "bad weather" (heavy rain, heavy snow, very hot, foggy,...)

I think the reason why we and many GMs forget about weather is because there is nothing which reminds you to adapt the weather from time to time, but if you have the double-club which tells you to change the weather in an appropriate way, it's not a problem to come up with a cool sort of bad weather.

But of course I'm open to new ideas and suggestions, and of course I'm lookin forward to wild weather in The Flood! :D

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#7 Postby ogbendog » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:20 pm

Can do other things besides weather. I'd roll weatehr, which will often be OK (I seem to recall an issue sharkbytes had a pretty good table)

then have stuff like, you run into a fight, find a dead body, hear gunfire in the distance, meet a friedly type person, whatever. not just things to fight
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#8 Postby jamused » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:36 am

It seems slightly easier to me to say a Club is bad weather, then every successive Club gets worse. At least, if you weren't drawing one card after another in a long journey, I'd be afraid that I'd forget that I drew a Club the day they spent all that time exploring the ruin. If it were at least overcast, even if it didn't cause a penalty, I think I'd remember that.

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#9 Postby Lord Inar » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:29 pm

There is an article or two in Shark Bytes that includes mechanic effects of weather on the game (sorry I can't remember which issues they are in, even though I wrote one of them!)

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#10 Postby AFDia » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:32 am

jamused wrote:It seems slightly easier to me to say a Club is bad weather, then every successive Club gets worse. At least, if you weren't drawing one card after another in a long journey, I'd be afraid that I'd forget that I drew a Club the day they spent all that time exploring the ruin. If it were at least overcast, even if it didn't cause a penalty, I think I'd remember that.


You're right. I have decided to start with the second club to lower the chances of really bad weather (25% seems too high for me).
Perhaps the first club should mean bad weather in any way without a penalty (or perhaps only specific penalties to sight or to Fatigue rolls in the desert,...)
The second club (a chance of roughly 6,25%) means really bad weather with the Trait and Pace penalty.
The third club (only a chance of roughly 1,56%) would be weather where you really should stay at home (I think ca. 4 days a year is ok for such weather)

Lord Inar wrote:There is an article or two in Shark Bytes that includes mechanic effects of weather on the game (sorry I can't remember which issues they are in, even though I wrote one of them!)


I think you mean the one in Shark Bytes Vol2 Issue#2.
It looks nice, but is too detailed for my purposes.

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#11 Postby ronin3338 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:48 pm

I came up with a random table using 3d6, which includes weather events. It's in the fantasy player's guide on page 17, but it will work in any setting.

Of course, you are welcome to tweak it for your own game, all I ask is for some feedback if you use it.

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