Skip to main content

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).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Writing GURPS Adventures

Someone over on the forum asked for advice on writing adventures for GURPS. Or more specifically, in context, writing GURPS adventures with an eye towards publication by SJ Games, which is a very different animal. Whatever method and structure you have for writing up adventures for your own use is, of course, the best and you should use it for your own purposes. But we're talking about commerce here, not just art, so this should be thought of as advice on how to do business with a particular publisher, not generally useful advice on how to write adventures.

I need to start by defining a term. SJ Games means something specific by "adventure." As the wish list uses the word, an adventure has a plot, or at least something plot-like in it. It presents a specific problem to solve through a progression of encounters. They are not sandboxes. Sandbox-style adventures, with their multiplicity of possible PC objectives, are, in the terminology of the wish list, locations. There ar…

Writing Historical RPGs, Doing Diversity

For a few years now, I've been seeing things like this and reading pieces elsewhere about apparent conflicts between historical accuracy in historical or pseudo-historical fantasy games and issues of deep interest to some parts (and some potential parts) of the modern gaming audience. I tend to write things which are both connected to history and are written to enable the fantasies of modern people, some of whom have a specific interest in not reproducing problematic parts of the past and present in their recreations, so it's something which touches on stuff that I do. And I think I tend to move and write in circles where this tends not to get much thought or attention even though I write for a game which makes accuracy a priority, so while none of this is new to people who grapple with these issues regularly, I'm thinking maybe I should say something about it to get it into spaces where I work.

So, how do I approach the demands of both accuracy and diversity in the stuff …

The Last Pyramid

Today saw the publication of the final issue of Steve Jackson Games's Pyramid magazine, as was announced several months ago. Broadly speaking, it was the victim of generally rough times within the gaming industry.

I'm one of what is surely a small number of people who have been published in all three iterations of Pyramid. I'd had some previous contact with SJ Games--some stuff I helped with ended up in GURPS Cyberpunk, which in turn has doubtless gotten my name on the Federal Register of Dangerous Hoodlums--but it wasn't until the later days of the paper version of Pyramid that I finally got up the nerve to try my hand at writing an article. The result was a short piece on low-tech (mostly Medieval) economies, which became my first professionally published work.

This, apparently, was enough encouragement. Having seen how painless the process actually was, I started thinking in terms of writing for publication. It didn't hurt that around this time I went to work fo…