Monday, April 7, 2014

Auto-treasure, now with motifs

It does decorative motifs now. The machinery checks to see if the item's embellishments are suitable to a motif (for example, yes for painting or inlay, no for tassels or high-quality materials), and adds one if so. Here's a $20,000 hoard.

  • Dueling Pollaxe. Painting/Enamel (minimal); decorated with Scene: Communal meal motif. $300.00, 8.00 lbs.
  • Grapnel. Relief (extensive), Fringe (cheap), Beads/Nails (minimal); decorated with Waterfall motif. $480.00, 2.00 lbs.
  • Lanyard, Leather. Painting/Enamel (extensive); decorated with Scene: Plowing/planting motif. $6.00, .10 lb.
  • Very Small Silver Button. Inlay (expensive, minimal); decorated with Bull motif. $665.00, .10 lb.
  • 19 x Dwarven Savory Fungus. $1,425.00, 1.19 lbs.
  • Bench. Beads/Nails (extensive), Fringe (expensive); decorated with Dragon motif. $560.00, 25.00 lbs.
  • Massive Bronze Ring. Silver Plating, Painting/Enamel (minimal); decorated with Scene: Speech/sermon motif. $187.50, .60 lb.
  • Saddlebags. Fringe (cheap). $200.00, 3.00 lbs.
  • Pistol, Heavy. Branding. $560.00, 8.00 lbs.
  • Gada. Silver-coated, Relief (minimal), Branding; decorated with Narrative: Magical battle motif. $550.00, 15.00 lbs.
  • Painting, Tempera/Watercolor. Painting/Enamel (minimal), Inlay (cheap, minimal); decorated with Ocean motif. $2,200.00, .75 lb.
  • Hand Cannon. Relief (minimal), Beads/Nails (extensive), Fine Material; decorated with Scene: Foot race motif. $2,762.50, 28.00 lbs.
  • Tabi, Stealthy. Beading (cheap, minimal), Lightly Frayed. $225.00, .50 lb.
  • Scarf. Fine Material, Exceptional Material, Dyed (expensive). $180.00, .10 lb.
  • Bottle/Jar, Small. Corroded, Gilding, Fringe (expensive). $40.50, .50 lb.
  • 4 x Leather, Ermine. $1,000.00, 300.00 lbs.
  • Padlock, Cheap. Gilding, Beads/Nails (minimal); decorated with Hexagonal grid motif. $415.00, 1.00 lb.
  • 8 x Leather, Ermine. $2,000.00, 600.00 lbs.
  • Cage, Small, Wooden. Fringe (cheap). $25.00, 2.00 lbs.
  • Sculpture, Bone. Corroded, Beads/Nails (extensive). $660.00, 38.00 lbs.
  • Harpoon. Relief (minimal), Balanced, Gilding; decorated with Scene: Musical performance motif. $1,530.00, 6.00 lbs.
  • Iron Spike. Gilding. $20.00, .50 lb.
  • Flamethrower. Relief (minimal); decorated with Bear motif. $1,000.00, 15.00 lbs.
  • Small Billon Bracelet. Painting/Enamel (minimal), Fringe (cheap); decorated with Weapon motif. $1,111.50, .50 lb.
  • $1,897.00 in coins.

I've also tweaked some of the internal machinery so that it doesn't try to apply not just duplicate embellishments (say, Relief twice) but very similar ones (minimal and extensive Relief).

Some technical notes, since there was a question in there somewhere: I'm doing this in Java mostly because I haven't been using it a lot and need to brush up my skills. Since it mostly just reads lists and picks individual items off of them rather than doing serious querying, I'm stuffing the data into XML files instead of a real database platform. Inefficient, but at a human level of resolution, acceptable so far. We'll see how I feel about it when I get all the desired features in.

Will it ever see any kind of release? The code proper, maybe. This is stuff I can do in my spare time, which means that it's not particularly deep code and I don't think anyone serious about rolling their own would have much trouble. The hard work is in the data. There's getting everything typed in in the first place (which, since I wrote the book the data is being drawn from, I already had) and then adding a bunch of stuff based on judgement calls. To prevent absurd results like poisonwood furniture and embroidered swords, I've added attributes to items and embellishments. When considering a randomly selected embellishment to an item, the machinery checks to see if attributes match up. That's stuff which a GM can judge on the fly and simply reroll, but the computer has to be taught, and in order to teach the computer, someone has to make those judgement calls in advance and type those in. That said, it might nevertheless be useful for people putting together their own game aids just to see the structure.

And a full release of machinery + data? Less likely. Not sure it's kosher with the on-line policy and in line with my interests as the author of the underlying material. However, I'm not grappling with that question now and don't intend to for quite some time (which is to say, don't offer suggestions or advice on that point; seriously, I'm not dealing with it now).

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