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12/02/2015 12:23 pm  #1

Barbarians of the Hex

I've been reading various articles on Hex crawl style gaming and it occurs to me that BoL might be well suited to that approach. A lot of wilderness travel and exploration with ruins (read dungeons) that dot the land. You get the gist.

I've decided to try to put together a map using the Hexographer program. I've toyed with it in the past from time to time. It's pretty easy to use. I'm thinking a 100 hex by 100 hex map, where each map is roughly 10 miles across. I figure that should give a big enough space for some fun.

I'm guessing that's a big enough play area to support, what? Three to five warring city states? A desert to the north to host nomads, raiders and desert ruins. A stormy ocean to the south and the tip of a jungle choked, largely uncharted continent in the far south. Some islands in the oceans for pirates (of course).

I might have to either write up or (more likely) steal some random encounter tables. Any suggestions on tables I can purloin would be most welcome. As are any thoughts on the project in general.   



12/05/2015 10:26 am  #2

Re: Barbarians of the Hex

Hi Nero,

I love hexcrawls being a big fan of the original JG Wilderlands, Nod, and just about anything that Rob Conley does.

I don't mean to get all simulationist, but I tend to think that for me a 10 x 10 mile hex, approximately 100 square miles, is too big for relevant gaming.  I mean it is a minor quibble, but the enormity of the space makes the world hard to detail unless you are doing broad brush strokes for a political map with kingdoms and empires.   Even if you are only doing 100 x 100 hexes or 1000 miles x 1000 miles that is still an area the size of western Europe, India or China - which to an ancient observer traveling by foot or horse might as well be the whole planet. For me, this kind of scale is better hand-drawn.

Hex paper is better for detail and a more localized setting.  5 mile hexes cuts the total area by 75% so the characters aren't lost in empty space.  Its a better scale, I think, for dungeons, ruins, temples, towns, local warlords, a number of  warring city states (ancient Greece was even smaller), etc. The kinds of things that adventurers interact with. For big geographic features like oceans and steppes, you don't need a lot of it, just a dozen or so hexes on a corner and a label "the endless wastes of Zord" or whatever.

Of course, this is all a very nit-picky and fiddly argument.  In some regards, you don't even need a scale just a concept and some cool locations so take it with a grain of salt, but for me, map scale implies a lot about a setting.



12/05/2015 3:54 pm  #3

Re: Barbarians of the Hex

Hiya Prof,
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. 
You make some very good points. So good in fact that it's inspired me to make a second map.
The first is the overall political map. The one with kingdoms and empires.
I'm inspired by the map of Erisa in Legends of Steel. Something like that.
Then, I'll make a secondary map of the initial play area that will contain more detail, but be more contained.

And I fully intend to steal "The endless wastes of Zord" 

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