Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a'memory'


Some people like to use random tables to spice up their games (others don't like them so much).

If you do like random tables, then you might like this Hex Flower Game Engine idea.
Hex Flowers are different to other kinds of random tables because they have an inbuilt 'memory', that is to say the last outcome affects the next outcome.

How it works
Basically you arrange your 19 possible outcomes into the 19 hexes of the Hex Flower i.e. you populate the Hex Flower. The (general) idea is to group the 19 outcomes in a way that makes sense. Often this means grouping similar things together. In play, you roll dice and the rules of the Hex Flower dictate which Hex you move to next. That is, you move from the current hex to one of the 6 adjacent hexes. In that way the last outcome limits the next outcome ... a sort of 'memory' of a kind.

Examples work best
Here's a Hex Flower that randomly generates terrain:
r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'
You can see you cannot go from 'plains' to 'mountains' without transitioning through 'hills' first. In most cases this makes sense.
Here's a Hex Flower that randomly generates weather:
r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'
In this case sunny weather is mostly on the top left, rainy weather is near the top right and mixed weather is near the bottom. Extreme weather is at the very top.
... and here's an example of 7 days of generated weather starting from the middle of the Hex Flower:
r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'
Next Level
What really makes Hex Flower Game Engines new and interesting is that the rules for moving around the Hex Flower can be tweaked!
For example using 2D6 to determine where you move next, you can introduce a probability gradient and skew movement around the Hex Flower like this:
r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'
This means common outcomes (like plains) can be grouped at the bottom of the Hex Flower and more extreme outcomes (like mountains or a volcano) can be at the top of the Hex Flower. So, placement and rules can generate more logical outcomes. So mountains can be made rare and always proceeded by hills; or for weather: blizzards are rare and when they do occur they do not follow a day of blistering heat. .
Also edge rules can be introduced to the rules for moving, to introduce a wildcard jump like this:
r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'
This introduces some chaos, i.e. helps to prevent outcomes becoming a simple logical procession. That is, sometimes heavy rain can happen after strong sunshine etc. Nearly everyone seems to live in that place right?

Advanced mode
There are lots of extra things you can do. You can introduce 'points' that players can spend to alter the direction for exiting the current hex. You can introduce a rival token independently moving on the Hex Flower, this might be a rival party of adventurers trying to catch the party. You can change the rules of movement depending on the situation e.g. in the Kingdom of the Plains the movement rules are mainly downwards towards the plains, but in the Kingdom of the Mountain Orcs, the movement trend is mainly upward, favouring mountains etc.
Basically, if you can think of a mini-game you can probably make one using a Hex Flower Game Engine.

Making a Hex Flower Game
You can bring this all together to make a game tool. For example I made a one-page random wilderness exploration tool (In the Heart of the Unknown) that generates terrain, weather and encounters:
r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'

Hex Flower Cookbook
Want to find out more, please see my Hex Flower Cookbook:

r/DnDIY - Hex Flowers - Random Tables, but with a 'memory'

I have a blog if you want to read about more of these kinds of ideas: https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com

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Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Great to see you post here! I've very much enjoyed using your weather flower in games I've run over the past few years.

I should buy your cookbook. :)
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