Methods Workbench: Determining the Presence of Monsters and Treasure in Wilderness Hex-Crawl Ruins

My current campaign, Planet Karus, includes a wilderness for players to explore. I have a keyed map going, but I continue to tinker with the method for constructing it. One thing I was left dissatisfied with was that I had no way to determine if there should be monsters or treasure in a ruin. (For generating ruins themselves, I am partial to the Ravaged Ruins section in Ready Ref Sheets, and Ash Adler’s Random Landmark Generator.)

With no method ready to hand, I decided to look at Thasan, a hex-crawl by Melan, whose hex-crawl guide is also the basis for how I populate a map’s hexes with ruins and lairs in the first place. So I looked at all the ruins on the map and key and counted the presence of monsters, treasure or both. The following table below shows the numbers.

Monster & Treasure10
Number of Thasan hex-crawl ruins with a monster, treasure, or both

If we translate this to a handy 1d6 roll, we get the following table.

5-6Monster & Treasure
Table to determine presence of monster or treasure in hex-crawl ruin

Nice and simple. Now I can be confident I will at least get the ratios “right”. The remaining question is what tables to go to for determining the amount of treasure, and monsters. But that’s a matter for another time.

4 replies on “Methods Workbench: Determining the Presence of Monsters and Treasure in Wilderness Hex-Crawl Ruins”

That’s a good guess! The algorhytm for ruin monster allocation is actually embedded in my ruin generation tables, in this subtable:

current function (optional)
01-05 original, complete
06-20 original, partial
21-35 new functions, complete
36-45 new functions, partial
46-50 additional new functions (1d2+1)
51-00 non-functional or monsters

However, the ruin functions may also indicate the presence of inhabitants (e.g a functional mine or defensive structure). This is on an ad hoc basis. Your formula makes sense, and it is illuminating that the actual entries break down that way.

Out of curiosity, Melan, will you ever publish or reveal such ruin generation tables?
My current method is similar to the author of this blog’s – graft together haphazardly the Ravaged Ruins with your “1:6 for lairs and 1:6 for ruins per 12 mile hex” method

They were already published in Fight On! #04 as “Proclamations of the Fomalhaut Oracle”. They will also be reprinted in my GMing book along with a bunch more, coming… well, not in English this year, but probably next.

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