Monday, January 11, 2021

RPG Weather - Haven System

I've complained about it before and made a bunch of tables and all sorts of things, but weather tables in RPGs are rough. Too complicated, not an interesting flow of weather, too random, and so on. Even the ideas I came up with were OK (at best - and I'm biased) ... but not really interesting or even that easy to use. Then I discovered this absolute gem!

Of course I had to abscond with the idea and make some changes to fit my needs. It really is a beautiful system and quite flexible. It is dynamic, gives patterns to recognize, and is really simple to set up!

How To Use these Tables

  1. Start somewhere. For example my game in late spring, so I'm starting in the center hex of the spring table.
  2. Roll a d6 and follow the rules as Daniel wrote. They are simple and fun!

[New Stuff] 

  1. In the last weeks of a season, roll 1d4 instead of 1d6
  2. If during that time a result on the right side of the table is a 2 or 3, transition to the left-most hex on the season table. 
  3. If the next season starts but the weather table is still the previous season, don't freak out. instead roll 1d6 is results of: 1 = up, 2-3= right up, 4-5 = right down, 6 = down
  4. And follow new rule 2 up there. Eventually you'll get to the next season's table

Special Hexes
Then I decided that I could do some sort of special hexes. The top-most and bottom-most hexes are special in that they tend to stick around for a bit. So in the spring the first time one of the top or bottom hexes are encountered they are Spiced Winds. As soon as the weather leaves that hex, they change to Doldrums and the other once becomes Spiced Winds. The winds can stick around for a few days, but don't come about too often. Cool!

What My Weather Types Mean
  • Clear: normal uninteresting day, reasonable season temperature, winds, etc.
  • Cloudy: overcast and cloudy. when this hex comes immediate roll for the next day to see what kind of clouds - if rain or storm is 'on the horizon' they look like 'rain clouds' or 'storm clouds' rather than just 'grey shitty day clouds'.
  • Cool / Warm: lower or higher temperatures than normal, but not out of the question
  • Cold: not just cool but cold!
  • Cold Snap: indicates cold, but a sudden drop in temperature when it happens
  • Heat Wave: it is way too hot and will linger, the next day's weather not even kicking in until later in the day
  • Oddly Warm: it is way too warm for winter. not crazy hot, but a really warm day.
  • Rain: it rains!
  • Sleet: is it rain? is it snow? It sucks no matter what, freezer over if next day is snow
  • Storm: it rains really hard and is probably windy. If in the winder it is a snow storm. if the previous day was sleet it might be snow for a bit.
  • Windy: it is hella windy. Haven is by the sea, so this isn't too weird
  • Fog: big heavy fog rolls in off the sea. pea-soup stuff. a good time to do crimes.
  • Light Snow: some snow falls. it is pretty.
  • Thunder Snow: snowfall with thunder and lightning
  • Silent Snow: sound is dampened, snow cover is heavy
  • Wet Snow: nasty bsuiness. roll another 1d6. On a 1-4 it ices over. Gross
  • Howling Wind: just really intense gale that seems to have a bit of howling coming from the wind itself
  • Warm Wind: it is warm, which is nice in the winter
  • Doldrums: totally calm day, no wind, magnify previous day's weather (ignoring wind)
  • Spiced Wind: winds that carry the scent of spices and far-off places. usually considered an omen (50/50 good or bad) depending on when they arrive.
  • Blood Rain: the rainwater is reddish and leaves a film on things. it is a type of reds algae that lives in the clouds
  • Ashy: The sky gets smudgey clouds and a a bit of ash, like a light rain, falls from the sky. nobody knows where this comes from 
  • The Calm: The weather is fantastic and a perfect temperature - everything seems calmer on these days, including the people and creatures of Haven. usually a good pop-up market day
  • Black Tides: the weather from the previous day continues and the tides are particularly high and low - the water is dark, a dangerous time to be in the ocean and the mouth of the rivers
  • Wendigo Snow Storm: this happens at most once a winter (then it becomes Howling Winds). Incredible winds, heavy stinging snow fall, and wendigo stalk the streets at night.
And now for some tables:


In Action!
My calendar has 12 months, each with 28 days (because fuck it - why make it complicated like real life?). Spring is March - May, 3 months per season. Starting on May 7th in the center spring hex, here is an example of the daily weather.

DateSeason Die  Roll Weather
May 7Springd6xclear
May 8Springd64warm
May 9Springd64windy
May 10Springd61warm
May 11Springd63rain
May 12Springd61clear
May 13Springd61clear
May 14Springd64clear
May 15Springd62warm
May 16Springd63ahsy
May 17Springd66warm
May 18Springd65clear
May 19Springd63storm
May 20Springd61warm
May 21Springd63ashy
May 22 Spring (transition) d42Storm
May 23Spring (summer)d64rain
 May 24 Spring (summer)d66storm
May 25Spring (summer)d64rain
May 26Spring (summer)d66storm
May 27Spring (summer)d61cold snap
May 28Spring (summer)d64storm
June 1Summerd64rain
June 2Summerd62The Calm
June 3Summerd63clear
June 4Summerd64warm
June 5Summerd61clear
June 6Summerd65warm
June 7Summerd62clear
June 8Summerd64warm
June 9Summerd63Black Tides
June 10Summerd64Black Tides
June 11Summerd63Black Tides
June 12Summerd66Warm
June 13Summerd66Warm
June 14Summerd61The Calm
June 15Summerd62Clear
June 16Summerd63Cloudy
June 17Summerd63Spiced Wind
June 18Summerd65Storm
June 19Summerd64Black Tides
June 20Summerd65Black Tides
June 21Summerd64Black Tides
June 22Summerd64Black Tides
June 23Summerd63Black Tides
June 24Summerd61Storm
June 25Summerd64 Black Tides 
June 26Summerd61Storm
June 27Summerd64Black Tides
June 28Summerd61Storm
July 1Summerd65warm
July 2Summerd66warm
July 3Summerd62clear
July 4Summerd62cloudy
July 5Summerd65clear
July 6Summerd66The Calm
July 7Summerd61Cool

Additional Thoughts
This simple idea is so rad - it could be used to chart the course of anything dynamic. What about how the forces in a war are doing, or the relationships between factions, or the unrest in a nation? All of these are possible. It really may be one of the best things I've found on the internet.


  1. This blog has done a lot with that hex flower concept; you might really enjoy these archives:

    1. AWESOME! I'm already blowing off work reading this

    2. Enjoy! I've always liked this table mechanic and wished more people did stuff with it.