Friday, September 21, 2012

WH40K Campaign: Mapping B.R.7 Part 3

As I have admitted before, one of my least favorite parts of this hobby is actually keying a dungeon or adventure. When it comes to actually being at the table, I much prefer working off of simple notes and a bunch of random tables. It helps me be creative and it makes my time at the table far more enjoyable — I get to be surprised by my own creation.

As such, the most challenging aspect of mapping B.R.7 is going to be keying this potentially massive megadungeon. One of the ways that I improvise at the table is coming up with themes for various sections of a dungeon — based upon either the architecture, inhabitants or both. In thinking in terms of a hive city, one basic theme will be city zoning.

I took a brief look at the zoning laws of New York City this week and determined that they have three basic zones: Residential, Commercial and Industrial. Each of these has three subcategories based on population. This can be extrapolated into nine zones:
  • Poor Residential (high population)
  • Middle-Class Residential (medium population)
  • Upper-Class Residential (low population)
  • Warehouse/Storage-Commercial (low population)
  • Office Space Commercial (medium population)
  • Retail Commercial (high population)
  • Heavy Industry (low population)
  • Medium Industry (medium Population)
  • Light Industry (high population)
To this list I would also include Military (since there is such a huge emphasis on war in the WH40K universe). Thus, for every section of map I make, I can roll on a table to determine the basic zoning (and thus the theme) of the area:

01-03   Poor Residential (PR)
04-05   Heavy Industry (HI)
06-08   Warehouse/Storage (WS)
09-10   Medium Industry (MI)
11-12   Light Industry (LI)
13-13   Military (M)
14-15   Middle-Class Residential (MR)
16-17   Retail (R)
18-19   Offices (O)
20- 20  High-Class Residential (HR)

This roll can be modified in the following ways:

  • Apply a -2 when a neighboring zone is either PR or HI.
  • Apply a -1 when a neighboring zone is either WS or MI.
  • Apply a +1 when a neighboring zone is either MR or R.
  • Apply a +2 when a neighboring zone is either O or HR.
From there, I intend to pull out the yellow pages, in order to make several tables to determine what each room in a zone actually contains. For example, a table for an R zone might include:

  • Restaurant
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Grocer
  • Office Supply
  • Luxury Items

Then I can roll to see what condition the room is in:
1    Heavily Damaged (nothing of value)
2-3 Lightly Damaged (some items of value)
4-5 Looted (in good condition but no items of value)
6    Untouched
This will give me a lot of information to improvise with. From there, it is only a matter of putting together several wandering monster tables to reflect territories held by various factions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the things I've noticed about Hive cities in the 40K universe is how similar they are to the Mega cities of Judge Dread - though in on a smaller scale. As Mega City basically covers the eastern seaboard. Besides the huge cities, the Arbites which is the planetary/local police force have similar characteristics as the Judges in Dread's world.

I bring this up simply as another resource for you to consider looking at. There may be some tables in Mogoose's Judge Dread RPG describing the Mega City, but don't have access to my game books at the moment. At the very least, it does give some additional flavor and fluff that you might want to add into the Hive City make-up.