Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hexes, hexcrawls, hexstuff, and random hexxing.

I've been thinking about hexes and hexcrawls recently, which is something of an exercise in frustration because for the most part I've been on vacation with my family in various parts of New England (my ancestral homeland).  It's tough to do a lot of webcrawling while exploring the Museum of Science (which has cruddy reception), riding the T (which doesn't have any reception), or eating dinner with a friend you haven't seen in 20 years (even I have priorities).

That said, in my typical "let's do EVERYTHING AT ONCE" style, I want to start pulling together some resources for hex generation/content creation, AND utilizing them to populate areas of the Shadowend.  Thus, this is not an exercise in Completely Random Shit, but something more purposeful.  (I'm also going to finish up with the illusion stuff, write a few more classes, write even more stuff for this S&W Appreciation Day thing that's going on, and put together some proposals for Open Gaming Monthly, all because I'm stupid that way).

One thing that has bothered me, however, is the fact that at 6-miles per hex, a lot can happen, particularly in "civilized" regions.  My town would fit in one hex, and 150 years ago, there were 4-6 villages in my town.  In the Shadowend, civilization is ebbing, so ruins are common.

I'm going to experiment with changing scales on a single map.  Settled areas will have 1- or 2-mile hexes.  Border areas will have 6-mile hexes.  And wilderness areas will have 18-mile hexes.  I don't know how it'll lay out exactly, but we do things to learn, so this is learning.

Stuff in a hex/d12
1. Settlement
2. Fortification
3. Ruin
4. Lair
5. Other Feature
6-12. Nothing interesting.

PS - If you have links to good ideas, tables, generators, please post them in the comments.  I'll collect them all and publish them later.


  1. Sorry, I'm not as "in tune" with the "Community" as I probably should be. I've always been Greyhawk and 2e, so some of these gaming systems are "new" to me and I'm not as familiar with them as I should be. But that will change.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for Shadowend hexes.

    1. I really started with 2e, then 3e. I didn't play in Ye Olde Days, and there's a lot of nostalgia (and bias, frankly) that I don't like or buy into. I look at most of the "retro-clones" as existing side by side with PF & 4e, not throwbacks or something. I like S&W because it's super stripped down, very customizable, and the author has a very "do what you want" attitude to it. No dogma.

    2. Anyways, the hexcrawl stuff is pretty system neutral. A lot of people using it as a kind of random generator, but I want something that will help me flesh out the stuff I already have.

  2. P.S. Any idea why my avatar (see "Followers") doesn't "translate" into my comments image?