More WIP Cairn 2e Rules: Setting Generation

I wrote-up some WIP rules for setting generation in Cairn 2e, and made a little video explaining how the mapping portion works (the wording was tricky). I’d love some feedback on making it clearer.

The procedure:

An example:

The video:


Looks great!!! Maybe in the video (unless it was temporary), I would have elaborated a bit on the watches concept. I obviously referred to the WIP page to kinda “get it” more.

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Oh, sure. I plan on making a longer video explaining all of this (including coming up with details). I hadn’t thought of explaining watches, but I can! There is an example at the bottom of the page as well.

Yeah, the page did it nicely. I was just speaking to the video specifically. Looks great!!

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I added rules for Factions. Also reshuffled the order of things.


I tried it out last night. A couple thoughts:

  1. Why start with a triangle and then draw a rotated triangle when you could just start by drawing a hexagon?
  2. The biggest point of frustration to me was the detail types table and all its subtables. It kept giving me results that felt incongruous with what the terrain tables had already generated.
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1: I like triangles, and want to avoid the association with hexes. Also, I enjoy rotating the triangle points arbitrarily. Also, (as I note in the guide) you can use other shapes as well!
2: Can you expand on what was frustrating? You found it frustrating to roll first on the type and then on the subsequent table? I’m all ears for improving this one.

BTW I just pushed a pretty major update to some of the naming conventions, as well as the setting example’s factions.

There were just a lot of points where it felt like things didn’t match up. Like, I decided early on that one of my paths was a river, and then when I rolled terrain types I kept getting results that suggested there were wet places that weren’t near the river, or dry places right next to the river.

Then, when I rolled on the detail types + subsequent tables, I kept getting results that didn’t seem to belong… The landmarks and specials table felt especially wrong. “Why would there be sinkholes in the mountains?” I asked myself. Maybe I could have made that combination into something interesting, but it just felt disconnected from the initial result.

Then again, maybe that’s the whole point of tables like this and I’m just not the audience for them.

Yes, I think this might be a difference in how you use tables. For example, when I get an incongruous result, I turn it into a question:

Why are their sinkholes in mountains? Well, mountains were once volcanoes, yeah? Perhaps the sinkholes are dolines, and contain vast underworld growth?

Regarding your first point:
There are absolutely places that are dry near rivers (I’m thinking of the river Senegal, which I’ve been to) and there are wet places far from rivers (swamps, watering holes, lakes, ponds).

I can understand why these might feel disconnected to you! I am trying to learn and accommodate. Though in my experience I think you know yourself pretty dang well, @flyrefi!

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Haha that’s nice of you to say, thank you. For what it’s worth I did like the simple geometric nature of it, that’s what made me want to try it in the first place.

Silver lining of being sick today is I actually tested this and made a blog to share the results.

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Part 2: Now with 100% more sacked temple profiteering.

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Hello. So, I didn’t do this exercise because I’m sick and everything out of bed is an effort right now. However, I did read the linked page and enjoyed it. Two things stand out, neither major.

  1. it would be really cool if you included a legend with the finished product, so simple examples of how to draw different types of terrain: eg swamp grass, cliffs, etc.

  2. does the 2nd triangle have to be in a position that creates a hexagon? Or can it be skewed? If it can or “should” be skewed, please clarify that. Otherwise, just draw a hexagon with a central dot.
    • Also, perhaps examples of other shapes? Though, I don’t think this is more than me thinking out loud.

  3. (my 3rd of the two points… I guess?) Why are you rejecting hexagons?

I’m hoping to create exactly this kind of legend! Also a video, separately.
You don’t need to use triangles. You could use constellations, if you like. I skew it because it creates a nice array of dots with similar distances between relative points.

There is no consensus on the size of hexes, and not all adventures use hexes. This system is hex-neutral, meaning you can still layer over hexes later.

Constellations? This is new to me. Can you explain it or link to where it is explained?

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Any symbol with 3-5 points should work. @AdamHensley actually came up with the idea of using constellations; I am half-considering a table of them for the final product.

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So, you’re actually using zodiacs… Not really what you’re going for, but interesting idea.

Yeah, I knew you’d say that when I posted the zodiac image! I was just lazy and replying from my phone. I was thinking of something like this

That’s cool. Would the meaning of the zodiac play into the map section they represent? I’m very intrigued. I’m very much interested in seeing more of Cairn 2e.

I considered creating a unique pantheon with celestial points, and then using that.

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