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Friday, February 22, 2013

Last-Minute Hexcrawl: Rumors II

When I wrote up the rumors rules for the Last-Minute Hexcrawl, I forgot to include asking informants about general terrain for nearby barony-sized and kingdom-sized territories. It's not that big of an omission, since asking "what's the land like to the north" basically just triggers rolling up a new barony-scale or kingdom-scale map. The map scales are already set up to reflect different levels of detail. All that is necessary is to distinguish what is knowable.

Local Scale remains the same as in the previous post. The "area knowledge radius" defines how much territory each informant considers "local", as measured in two-league hexes. Any local-scale information outside that radius is inaccurate, as previously noted.

An informant will also know Barony-Scale terrain details for their own barony (15-league radius around home base) and each adjacent barony-sized territory. Roll up the barony map for an adjacent territory when players ask about it. Informants will know the name of the main keep in an adjacent barony, but they will only know the names of the settlements of an adjacent barony if they are along the same route (river or road) they are on (in other words, there's travel between the two places.) And even then, information about the settlement will be wrong if it's outside the informant's radius of reliability.

An informant will know the Kingdom-Scale terrain details for an adjacent kingdom-sized terrain (180 to 200-leagues across) ONLY IF one of the adjacent baronies is part of that kingdom or territory, Thus, you have to ask people living close to the border about what lies in the next kingdom. Only the main city, if any, of the adjacent kingdom will be known automatically; other settlements, again, will only be known if they are along a road or river linking the informant's settlement to the foreign settlements.

Adjacent "baronies" and "kingdoms" may not actually be politically united territories and may, in fact, turn out to be unsettled. Before rolling for the map information, make a 2d6 reaction roll to determine the population density:

  • Extremely High (12): Crowded/Fully Civilized. All settlement sizes are kicked up one step (hamlets become villages, villages become towns, towns become cities.) The capitol city is a metropolis.
  • High (9 to 11): Fully Settled. Territory is a barony or kingdom, as appropriate.
  • Normal (6 to 8): Colony. Territory has a central keep, but would-be baron hasn't established full control yet. Shift all settlement sizes down one step; the step below "hamlet" is outpost, which is one building. Definitely no cities or king.
  • Low (3 to 5): Sparsely populated. Multiply all distances rolled for routes by three and shift settlement sizes down one step, as for colonies.
  • Extremely Low (2): Untamed Wilds. Multiply route distances by 10 and shift settlement sizes down two steps; villages will be rare, towns unheard of. In some cases, all travelers will find are the remains of campsites.

Probably the best way to handle this kind of information is to roll for population, then have the informant say "Oh, there's a kingdom to the north. Let me draw you a map." Then, roll the map.

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