The random words generated for this hexflower are “funeral”, “appearance”, and “piano”. Let’s come up with a hexflower based on them! To find out why check out this article. Keep in mind that this is still experimental. Hexflowers are a new field for me, and we’ll see whether my approach works at all, or can be tweaked to work better.

This is actually something like a version 2.0 of this one. I tried to go down a different route with the prompt, but a couple of weeks of being stuck with this concept taught me that it probably was not the right one. So here it it, a new attempt to make this first random hexflower work.

a gloomy cemetary with a mausoleum in the back, and a creepy mood overall [image created with AI]

Giving Meaning to the Funeral

The only thing that I will take from my first attempt is the ideas that this will be about a funeral of sorts. The prompt “funeral” is kind of a dead giveaway there, pun intended. I will interpret “appearance” as in “something that appears”, and in relation to the first word, this will probably be some kind of ghost or spirit. Last but not least, I take “piano” to refer to sounds or instruments that can be heard in the vicinity of the oracle to indicate the state it is in.

How I got stuck the first time around

I don’t know whether this will be helpful to anyone, but here are the reasons why my first attempt did not go anywhere. I thought it hat to go somewhere. Let me explain.

I thought the hexflower would cover a funeral like a boardgame. You need to make it to the top hex, and you had to keep rolling until you got there. The left half would cover movement of whatever needed to be laid to rest, while the right side would be about preparing the place, temple, tomb, or whatever. That would take ages, be repetitive and boring, and on top of that, it would not yield any useful result.

This should have been obvious to me, but it took me months of mulling this over to realize that hexflowers work best for continuous things. Weather is a good example, and so is topography, or even the course of a disease or a curse.

The Oracle Hexflower

The Oracle is a spirit that may be able to foretell the future. At the very least, it has a better track record than a coin flip. But whatever lead to its creation, there were some issues, and these days, the Oracle has good days and bad days. To find out what state it is in, start at the center and roll a d12 per day (hour, week, visitor). Then move the “Oracle state” in the direction indicated in the flower.

a specter standing outside a dark house [image created with AI]

If you need the Oracle to give decent answers to advance the plot just go ahead and use it at one of its better states. Only use the Oracle hexflower if you have the time – and other story elements – to warrant waiting for it to come around. It would make most sense as something close to a group’s home base.

  • 01 – The Oracle is silent. No Instrument plays.
  • 02 – A Vague shape is visible. It only answers with “yes” and “no”. Barely audible chimes on the wind.
  • 03 – The Oracle is visible but monochrome. It answers with single words. Bells can be heard on the wind.
  • 04 – The Oracle is visible and in color. It answers in short sentences. The bells play a melody.
  • 05 – The Oracle is clearly visible, benign, and answers in long sentences. Natural sounds form a symphony.
  • 06 – The Oracle appears as a thin outline. No answers are given. The sound of dripping water can be heard.
  • 07 – The oracle appears as a thicker outline that is vaguely three dimensional. It answers in short sentences with some words barely audible. A small rivulet can be heard.
  • 08 – The Oracle is visible but appears hollow in the center. It answers in short sentences, with some letters missing. A gurgling river can be heard.
  • 09 – The oracle is visible with the center more transparent. It answers in short sentences. The rapids of a stream can be heard.
  • 10 – The Oracle appears as a blurred shape. No answers are given. The sound of rock scratching on rock can be heard.
  • 11 – The oracle is visible but blurred. It answers in short sentences, the sequence of the words jumbled. The churning of pebbles can be heard.
  • 12 – The oracle is visible but blurs occasionally. It answers in short sentences, but the sequence of letters per word is mixed up. A Rhythmic dropping of stones can be heard.
  • 13 – The Oracle is visibly with blurry edges. It answers in short sentences. A percussion piece played by dropping rocks can be heard.
  • 14 – The Oracle appears like a faint heat mirage. No answers are given. The sound of wind between trees can be heard.
  • 15 – The Oracle is visible but appears distorted by hot air. It answers in short sentences with lots of hissing. The howling of wind in a canyon can be heard.
  • 16 – The Oracle is visible, but occasionally appears as if through hot air. It answers in short sentences, with only little hissing. The whistling of strong wind around corners can be heard.
  • 17 – The Oracle appears smudged by the wind. No answers are given. The creaking or treetrunks can be heard.
  • 18 – The Oracle is visible but frequently smudged by unseen winds. It answers in short sentences with slurred speech. The cracking of branches can be heard.
  • 19 – The Oracle is visible, but occasionally smudged by unseen winds. It answers in long sentences with slurred speech. The breaking of trunks can be heard.

My Thoughts after my First Hexflower

To be frank, I am not sure whether this will work as smoothly as the AI artifacts. As a matter of fact, this first one very much did not. Which is to be expected, since magic items offer a lot more flexibility, while Hexflowers need to cover a lot more ground to be feasible. As such, I expect to

  • rework my template to include several features like a color-coded thing where to go when you hit a wall, and maybe a separate direction guide.
  • rework my template (this deserves a separate point) to allow for longer text like I used here. That is, numbers to “link” to a list of outcomes allows for a lot of text, but might not be easy to use. More testing is required.
  • think more thoroughly about the words generated, and whether that is a decent approach. More words might be an option, or to decrease the amount of randomness by picking some myself. The gimmick of randomness only goes so far.
  • learn what works for hexflowers and what doesn’t. I expect the learning curve to be steeper than for magic items, but – hopefully – more interesting.

After the Funeral

I will give this another go. We will see how that turns out, and whether it takes as long as this one did. I recommend you check out the AI artifacts, where the randomness presents much less of an issue.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to Be Inspired!

Categories: Spec-a-Hex