Continued from “Dungeons of The Catan Horror.”

I’ll admit I haven’t figured this out entirely. Instead, what I have are some guidelines and some speculation. The earlier bit, that stuff was abstract… nice and easy. Believe me, that was the easy part. The next bit is more difficult because it requires some information that has to be handmade, like monsters, or randomly generated.

Understanding the “Players Roll All the Dice” variant from the Unearthed Arcana (published for Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition) will help you.

When I pre-ordered Diablo 2 for the PC, I got a copy of what I think was the “Diablo 2 Adventure Game” (seen here on Troll & Toad) featuring the d20 System. This included some glossy proto-Dungeon Tiles in six distinct sizes. Each room featured one or more doors, and usually at least one of which is a “glowing door,” the room’s entrance.

You were meant to enter rooms through the plain glowing doors, and when you exited the room through a glowing plain door, you rolled a d6, chose the size of room that corresponded to the die result, and matched its “dull” glowing door to the glowing plain one you just went through. Randomly-generated dungeons! Sadly, I don’t know if these are available anywhere.

Now, you can use regular Dungeon Tiles, of course. No reason not to, it’ll just take a teensy bit more effort to create encounter locations. Alternatively, you can use those Fantastic Locations maps, or any of the other map products produced by your, uh, favorite game developer/publisher. Whoever they may happen to be. *shrug*

So, you should have a board set up for you to play a really weird hybrid of The Settlers of Catan and Arkham Horror, what you’re missing now is some way to get a Dungeons & Dragons adventure out of it, am I right? Now, as I mentioned before, I have a bunch of D&D Minis, which I separated into groups by Woodsy, Swampy, Mountain-y, Hills-y, and Plains-y. You might not have stuff like this…

…But I intend to use the miniatures to produce a bunch of monsters that can basically fight on “autopilot” when encountered by the players. What you should be able to expect from these things, is that they attack your adventurers the moment they’re spotted, and they keep fighting until they drop. I’m going to use the guidelines for creating creatures and designing encounters for solo play.

That’s going to take some work on my part, so I’ll definitely have to get back to you when I’ve written out some stat blocks. They’ll have to be different from your standard monsters because you generally don’t want them to have to make decisions, and they’ll generally just “spam the attack button.” If you’ve read the variant about the players rolling all the dice, you can see where this is going.

What the Stuff on the Board Means:

1.) Settlements represent small towns or villages, where the player can expect to make use of the Location encounter decks from Arkham Horror. Alternatively, the player character can request an audience with the local ruler to expand the Catan player’s territory. This includes new Arkham locations as settlements are added.

The local rulers are hardly ambitious, however, and the player characters may eventually decide to “replace” them, maybe around the time the characters hit, I don’t know, 8th-12th level, I suppose.

2.) Gate Markers represent special trade routes and foreign influences that settlements enjoy. As in Arkham Horror, these can be closed, and in so doing, their influence can be cut off. Open gates block the production of resources and provide a nexus through which monsters can enter the region if left unchecked.

“Other World” encounters are found in these locations, as desired.

3.) Monsters represent hot spots of activity, where the player characters can find violence. Each monster in a hex adjacent to a settlement at the beginning of a new week forces the discard of 1 random resource belonging to that Catan player, whether through destruction, tribute, repairs, or extortion.

4.) Clue tokens represent, er, “other” hot spots of activity, which the characters collect for closing and sealing gates. While they may represent mere Clue Tokens for the time being, when the game encompasses Magic: the Gathering, they may represent Mana for the players to collect and “tap.”

5.) Resource cards are used by the Catan players to extend their territory, at the advise of the player characters. (Using Diplomacy and such.)

Uses for Stamina and/or Sanity:
Each player receives 5 Stamina and 5 Sanity tokens for spending on actions each “week.” These are used to travel between locations, to trigger those location encounters, to advise a ruler to build a road (or build a settlement, or upgrade a settlement to a shiny new city), to go shopping, and all sorts of fancy stuff.

(Note: This expenditure of Stamina and/or Sanity has no effect whatsoever on the player’s current hit points, nor should one think it can currently be prevented or redirected in any way. They are being used as a form of action currency.)

Travel Times:

Normal travel from one hex to an adjacent hex takes one day. While you’re in a hex, you’re considered able to reach any settlement or road bordering the hex. This means you could be on a gate and in three cities or settlements at the same time.

Normal travel costs 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity (player’s choice) when entering a hex bordered by a settlement or road. It instead costs 2 (divided however they choose) if the hex isn’t bordered by a road or settlement.

Initiating Encounters:
Spending 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity will initiate an encounter in any settlement bordering the character’s current hex. If they’re on an open gate, they can have an Other World encounter instead. If there’s a monster or a Clue Token there, they can initiate a fight or a skill challenge to kill the monster or obtain the Clue Token.

There’s so much more I need to work out, I’m going to have to cut this off here.