## Friday, February 15, 2013

### Last-Minute Hexcrawl: Off-Map Scale

The first step, in my hexcrawl procedure, would be to figure out the off-map items of interest, as well as a few very broad details for your kingdom map. For this, you will need:
3d8
1d10
1d6
2d4*
All of these are rolled at once. The 2d4 roll can be dropped, as will be explained.

The eight-sided dice indicate the compass direction towards one, two, or three large bodies of water. The compass directions start with North and are read clockwise:
1. North
2. North-East
3. East
Etc., ending with 8 = North-West. If all the dice match, there's only one large body of water off-map; if none match, there are three. You will also want to note the opposite direction(s) as the direction towards drier areas; this will matter when you are placing deserts and vegetation. The 3d8 technique can also be used for other off-map features where we need to know the direction.

The ten-sided die indicates the basic climate. The number rolled, times ten, is the approximate latitude equivalent. See this table:

d10 RollClimateElevationAltitude
7+ArcticTreeline10k+ feet
6Sub-ArcticHigh5k-9k feet
3-5TemperateMedium500 to 5k feet
2Sub-Tropical   Low250 feet
0-1TropicalSea-Level   100 feet or less

Note that this table does double duty, since you can also use it to roll Elevation/Altitude, either with a d10 (as we will do in the step) or with a d6. For climate, the d10 tells us whether the area is hot or cold, with the extremes being hot/cold all year round.

The six-sided die is used for the basic elevation for the starting region. We use a d6 instead of a d10 because  we usually don't want to start in high-altitude environments above the treeline. This tells us whether we're creating a high plateau, hill country, or lowlands.

The four-sided dice tell us how varied the terrain and other features will be. Basically, it's the number of feature rolls we're going to make in Step Two. If you don't want to roll for an average of five features of the landscape, you can drop the 2d4 roll and just assume there's only two features on the map.