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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quickie Hexcrawl

I have another dungeon trick/feature finished, and more under development, but there was a recent discussion of wilderness generation that made me revisit the random wilderness rules I was working on last month. (condensed rules and associated wilderness tables.) Now, the process I was describing was geared towards not using a hex map at all, but it evolved out of an earlier series I was writing about random hexcrawls. That series was kind of sprawling and needs to be redone, but with just a couple quick add-ons, we could do hex maps with the current system.

Roll your climate and elevation as normal, or just pick what you want (temperate forest, for example.)

Roll the elevation for each edge of your map, or even for each clock direction (1 to 12,) if you want that much detail.

Roll the info for your central hex (terrain, landmark, and starting settlement.) The terrain for this hex is also the predominate terrain on the map.

Roll for exceptions to the predominate terrain, such as one or two spots of another kind of terrain. Use 1d12, 1d10, 1d8, and 1d4:
  • d12 for direction to the spot
  • d10 for kind of terrain in that spot
  • d8 for distance to that spot in hexes
  • d4 for size of spot, in hexes.
This makes circular patches on your map. Two spots are plenty, but you can put as many as you want. For variety, you can also roll for lines of terrain that criss-cross and zig-zag across the map, using a d10 and multiple d12s.
  • d10 is type of terrain
  • First d12 is direction. Line is 1 hex wide and 3 hexes long, heading in clock direction indicating, starting at edge opposite that direction.
  • Each additional d12 is another 3-hex segment heading in a new direction. If it double backs, line ends. If it almost doubles back, making a turn sharper than 90 degrees, it’s a spur; line also continues in original direction from same point.
  • Stop rolling d12s when the line doubles back, or start a fresh line.
You can use d6s instead of d12s, doubling each d6 to get a clock direction, if you prefer, as I suggested in the original Last-Minute Hexcrawl. I made several changes to this one to make it easier to understand.
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