a blog of short and medium length ttrpg thinking posts

Thursday, February 1, 2024

hexcuse me

 ...for the title of this post.

Anyway, I'm looking at a lot of hexes to stock and the best hex stocking procedure I have found so far is probably Luke Gearing's Hexfill one, although I also like a lot about Welsh Piper's Hex-based Campaign Design. But, I'm also constitutionally incapable of using something unmodified, so here's my spin on it.

My priorities are to have a procedure that takes into account the geography of the area being keyed, and also produces a more settled map than the procedures linked above.

Begin with a map of atlas (18mi) hexes subdivided into travel (6mi) hexes with terrain and roads marked.

For each travel hex, determine its difficulty (= hours of travel): open country (3), hills or woods (4), wooded hills (5), broken country (6). A road reduces difficulty by 1. Then, roll 1d6:

  • If the roll is a 1, there's something weird (see below). 
  • If the roll more than 1 and less than the difficulty of the hex, it's empty.
    • Roll a d20. If it is less than the d6 roll, there is a ruin of some prior settlement or structure.
  • If the roll is at least equal to the difficulty of the hex, it contains: (2) a city, (3) a town, (4) 3d2 villages, (5) 2d2 villages, (6) a camp, fastness or inn.
    • Camps and inns are abandoned 2-in-6, fastnesses 1-in-6

If something weird is indicated, roll 2d6 for its nature. If a Power is indicated, roll 2d6 again for that:

Roll Nature Power
2 Old Ones yet dwells here Nothing remains
3 Holds a vivid memory of the distant past No more than a hum or a few sparks
4 A student of Power dwells here Red (energy, heat and strength)
5 Strong medicines may be found here Orange (industry and motion)
6 A place of attractive Power Yellow (communication, illusion)
7 Works of the Old Ones, purposes now unknown Green (growth and healing)
8 A place of repulsive Power Blue (air and water)
9 Intelligible lore of the Old Ones Indigo (protection, force)
10 Roll twice Violet (domination, transformation)
11 Roll twice Forces poisonous to draw upon
12 Roll twice A malign intelligence possesses the seeker

Replace 'Old Ones' with whatever fantastical civilization dwelt here before the current peoples if you like.

Now, for each atlas hex, count 1 for every village, 2 for every town and 4 for every city. If a roll of 2d6 plus the number of weird hexes is greater than this sum, a monster lairs somewhere within it.


  1. This is quite interesting, could be automated for speed too!

    I really like how the "road reduces difficulty by 1" interacts with the stocking. With lower difficulty, there is a great chance for settlements/signs of civiliization.

  2. I think the title of that post is a great pun.