Thursday, September 1, 2016

Neighborhood travel Time, Familiarity, and getting Lost

In my first post about creating neighborhoods for Orleans I said that I needed to do some work for each neighborhood. My guidelines here were the following.

  • Determine an average time to traverse the neighborhood.
  • Travel or traversal time should be modified by local knowledge (even city residentes will not be familiar with every neighborhood), mode of travel, social rank so determine a table of modifiers.
  • Determine chance for becoming lost. Same modifiers apply as above.
  • For each Neighborhood list the important locations, include focal points and geographical boundaries.
  • Determine presence of any major Factions.
  • List secondary locations, include any named NPC residents, any known taverns, inns, shops, mansions, etc.
  • Create a unique encounter table(s) that includes typical inhabitants or travelers as well as typical events for the Neighborhood. Many neighborhoods should have different tables for Daytime and Nighttime. On the encounter tables include a special result that ties to a table for named NPCs who live or work in that Neighborhood.
I decided to do the last bullet first and I've posted the encounter tables for the various neighborhoods. Now I'll cover the first three bullets.

For average travel times I don't need to be precise. I also want the time to include the ordinary delays like stepping aside for a group of pedestrians or a cart, dodging chamber pots, pausing to look at something in a shop window or to ask directions. First I wanted an estimate of distance. The city map I'm using doesn't include a scale so I used a modern map that had a scale. This gave me an approximate straightline distance for each neighborhood. I compared these distances to a normal walking speed of 3 miles per hour. That gave me travel times for the various neighborhoods of between 2.2 and 8.7 minutes. I played around with the numbers a bit to get even numbers and to increase the times for neighborhoods that looked like they would be more difficult to negotiate due to heavy traffic or crooked streets.

I decided to include several speeds besides my 3 mph normal pace. I added a slower speed for a cautious walk or for searching that would be half that speed or 1.5 mph and I added a fast walk of 4 mph. To allow for characters willing to jog or run I added a jogging speed of 6 mph.

I wanted local knowledge or familiarity with the city and in particular a given neighborhood to matter when navigating in town so I decided to use a Savvy roll modified by familiarity with the neighborhood. I selected activities that would trigger or require a roll: crossing the neighborhood, finding an address in the neighborhood, finding a shortcut, and getting unlost. (I'll mention getting lost in a bit.) By making "Find an Address" an activity I could also apply a modifier to the time required since finding a new address tends to take longer than just crossing the neighborhood. That gave me this table.

Note that the modifier affects how easy it is to succeed in a neighborhood navigation roll.

Lost would be the outcome of particularly low navigation rolls. I liked this since it meant that walking across a neighborhood might get you lost, but so would searching for an address. I decided to vary the chance for Lost by the neighborhood. Combining the average time for a neighborhood and the chance to get lost gave me this table.
Note that you can't get lost in Les Tournelles, the bridge over the Loire. 

I added in modifiers for navigation and for getting lost based on the movement rate, which gave me this table.
And lastly I created a table with modifiers to the navigation roll based on familiarity.
 Note that a native of a Neighborhood can't get lost in their own neighborhood. 

Example: Gaston enters the city at the B Gate at the northern most point of the North Side neighborhood. He uses a normal walking pace to cross North Side to the Place du Martroy. He rolls for crossing the neighborhood. He is a stranger, but he is a native Frenchman so he has a +0 to his roll. Note that a foreigner would have a penalty and if Gatson was a native of the city he would have a bonus. He rolls a 10 on 2d6 and succeeds (a 9+ succeeds) in crossing the neighborhood, which takes him 5 minutes at a normal walking pace.

He continues on rolling again for the Place du Martroy. This time he rolls 8 and with a +1 for simply crossing a neighborhood he again succeeds which takes another 5 minutes. Gaston is feeling confident about finding his way around this new city.

At the Place L'Estape he needs to the address. This takes more time and another roll. He rolls an 8, but finding an address is more difficult than just crossing the neighborhood so he has no bonus this time and fails, spending 10 minutes wandering around trying to find the right address. He tries again, keeping the same normal pace as he wanders about for another 10 minutes. He rolls a 5. This is not only a failure, but it also means that now he is lost. He rolls to get unlost, which is more difficult, so he decides to move more cautiously and search carefully to try to get his bearings. This takes 10 minutes (the time to get unlost is doubled for cautious movement). He rolls a 7 even with the +1 for cautious movement he is still lost. He tries once more again rolling a 7, with the bonus for spending a prior turn trying to get unlost he finally succeeds.  This takes another 10 minutes.  Gaston still has to find the house of M. Beauharnais. So he cautiously searches which requires two attempts (and 20 more minutes) before he finally succeeds. Gaston decides that next time he will hire a local guide.

This isn't supposed to devolve into long and tedious die rolling. The GM might have decided that after Gaston had already spent 40 minutes searching and wandering the neighborhood that getting unlost also includes finding the right address. Alternately, the player might ask a local for directions which could provide a bonus and might prevent getting lost at all.

Here is the entire section for Orleans neighborhoods.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A bit more about setting neighborhood boundaries

In the first post on neighborhoods, I talked about the guidelines I used for defining neighborhoods. One thing I found helpful for setting the neighborhoods was this map of the 30 parishes in Orléans. 

By comparing the borders with the 1648 city plan, I could use the parish borders for some areas. For example, the neighborhood I called the North Side predominantly consists of the parish of St. Paterne along with portions of the adjacent two parishes and a section cut out from the middle of Saint-Pierre-Encentelée for the Place Martroy. In the eastern part of the city, the Abbeys is Sainte-Euverte+Saint Victor+Saint-Aignan.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Neighborhoods of Orléans (revised)

In yesterday's post I discussed the process of creating neighborhoods for the city of Orléans. Here's a revised version of the neighborhoods of Orléans. I think the colors are easier to distinguish in this version and I included the bridge in the Les Tournelles neighborhood. I also added in two suburb neighborhoods: the Mottes (the island in the middle of the Loire beneath the middle of the bridge) and the Fauxbourg Saint Vincent. The eastern motte looks like an orchard so I decided that the open country chart from Flashing Blades would be useful. It also would be useful for the suburb of Saint Vincent north of the city.

I'll follow up with another post that adds in travel times, shortcuts, finding addresses, and getting lost and unlost. Until then, here are the Encounter charts for the two suburban neighborhoods. 

Fauxbourg-Saint-Vincent (roll 1D6)
   1-3       Roll Encounter in Open Countryside
     4         Roll Encounter at a Residential Neighborhood
   5-6       Roll Encounter at a Gate
The Mottes (roll 1D6)
   1-4       Roll Encounter in Open Countryside
     5         Roll Encounter at a Residential Neighborhood
     6         Roll on Dock Side table

  D20      Encounter in Open Country
         1            Peasant
         2            1D6 Peasants
         3            2 Peasants and a horse
         4            A Gentleman
         5            A Gentleman an horseback
         6            1D6 Gentlemen in a carriage
         7            A Nobleman and 2 Servants in a carriage (a possible Patron)
         8            1D6 Farmers
         9            A Country Squire (a possible Patron)
      10            A Herd of Cattle
      11            1D6 Bandits
      12            1D6 Gentlemen with a broken-down Carriage
      13            1D6 Soldiers (from a random regiment)
      14            1D6 Cavalrymen (from a random regiment)
      15            A travelling Monk an a mule
      16            A Farmer with a horse and Plow
      17            2D6 Travelling Entertainers
      18            A Workgang of 2D6 Peasants
      19            1D6 Townsmen from the nearest town
      20            A Hunting Party of 1D6 Gentlemen with 1D6 Servants