I’ve been toying with Hex Describe over the last few days. If you’re interested in creating randomly-generated content for RPGs it’s well worth a look. As a project I thought I’d try using it to create some NPC motivations for the Chanbara RPG – a really sweet game set in a fantastical Japan in the era of the samurai.
This list is completely randomly generated so it’s not perfect. But it’s a good demonstration of the utility of these kinds of tools for adventure creation. It’s seeded with content from the Chanbara rulebook (p41) with a few tweaks – namely the addition of place and NPC names, and including Associates as the NPC in question.
In Zagyunu there is a daimyo called Iwasaki that wants the wealth of a group of smugglers. However Iwasaki also needs to escape the influence of a major sect. SECRET: Iwasaki is in league with the undead.
In Ryashi there is a daimyo called Fujii that wants the love of a member of a regional ninja clan. However Fujii also needs funds to defeat yokai. SECRET: Fujii committed a crime against a militant monastery or convent.
In Chobeja there is a minister called Ota that wants an item owned by a minister called Miyamoto. However Ota also needs to gain influence over a local shrine. SECRET: Ota has been cursed by tengu.
In Kyasuka there is an abbot called Tanaka that wants to impress a childhood friend called Sakai. However Tanaka also needs to repay a debt to an immediate underling called Taniguchi. SECRET: Tanaka has a love-child with a member of a regional ninja clan.
In Hearita there is a noble called Sugiyama that wants to serve a minor lord called Sakamoto. However Sugiyama also needs to find an ally against a dragon. SECRET: Sugiyama has been replaced by a great lord called Noguchi.
In Tohe there is a clan leader called Fujimoto that wants to discredit a martial arts society. However Fujimoto also needs to fulfil a duty to the Shogun. SECRET: Fujimoto has influence over a provincial governor called Kobayashi.
In Hyuho there is a minister called Hirano that wants to conquer kitsune. However Hirano also needs to find a clan leader called Suzuki that is missing. SECRET: Hirano has inside knowledge about a regional ninja clan.
In Gujibyo there is a noble called Sano that wants to eliminate a regionally influential temple. However Sano also needs to secure a legacy for a lover called Kojima. SECRET: Sano is under the influence of a lesser daimyo called Nishimura.
In Gyamu there is a minister called Hara that wants the respect of a militant monastery or convent. However Hara also needs to prove their honour to a regionally influential temple. SECRET: Hara is selling information to bakemono.
In Generyaji there is a parent or sibling called Ogawa that wants to ally with a kirin. However Ogawa also needs the help of a major daimyo called Matsuo. SECRET: Ogawa failed to assassinate the Emperor.
NB I think I’ve managed to iron out the most egregious bugs. I know the place names aren’t the best, and I haven’t bothered with NPC forenames for now. Gotta leave something for a rainy day.
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“…the practice of
self-mummification, a gruesome process where monks from certain
traditions prepare themselves to not decay after death through a
combination of diet and consumption of poisonous herbs and embalming
After much fun-packed deliberation here are my top 3 gaming picks of the year. I’ve highlighted the features that make them good games for me…
1st place: Citadels
A card game that lets you choose different roles on each turn that each have different ways that they can influence play. This helps keep the game fresh and leaves room for strategy without being too heavy.
2nd place: Shinobi Wat-Aah!
The first thing that grabbed me about this game was the fantastic character artwork. But don’t be deceived… under the surface lies a game of power struggles and backstabbing. Each ninja clan has a peculiar power and you can have several under your control. So there’s many ways to victory but none of them honourable!
3rd place: Munchkin Deluxe
I think the thing that I love the most about Munchkin is the way that it fosters player interaction, both cooperative and competitive. You can be negotiating an alliance one minute, and the next turn be sticking it to your buddy. But inevitably you’ll need a hand as you fight tougher monsters. The question is… will your fellow players help or hinder you? There’s lots of social to-ing and fro-ing in Munchkin but as it’s all wrapped up in a light-hearted game there’s no hard feelings at the end of the day. Great stuff!
Honourable mention: King of Tokyo
Any game with a kaiju theme is going to catch my eye, but King of Tokyo is the best that I’ve played. It’s simple enough to be a good introductory game but provides good replay value with the sheer variety of cards that you can activate during your rampage.
Well that’s my favourite games of the year. Will any of them win the Golden Axe Award 2014? Only time will tell.