posted on 2023-04-08 14:57:53 by Menno

Hex Crawl Rules and Roll-Tables

posted on 2023-04-08 14:26:38 by Menno

Materials Needed:

  • Hex map or hex grid paper
  • A six-sided die (d6)
  • A twelve-sided die (d12)
  • A twenty-sided die (d20)
  • Pencils, erasers, and paper for notes

Step 1: Determine Map Size

Choose a map size that suits your needs (e.g., 5x5, 10x10, or larger). Each hex represents a day's travel.

Step 2: Determine Terrain Types

Choose 4-6 terrain types for your hex crawl (e.g., plains, forests, mountains, swamps, deserts, and water). Assign each terrain type a number from 1-6.

Roll d6 Terrain Type
1 Plains: Vast, open grasslands with few natural barriers. Easy to traverse, but offers little cover.
2 Forest: Dense woodland with various types of trees and foliage. Provides cover, but can be challenging to navigate.
3 Mountains: Rugged, high-altitude terrain with steep slopes and rocky cliffs. Difficult to traverse, but offers natural defenses and vantage points.
4 Swamp: Marshy, waterlogged areas filled with thick vegetation and treacherous footing. Difficult to navigate and home to many dangerous creatures.
5 Desert: Vast, arid landscapes with extreme temperatures and scarce resources. Challenging to survive and navigate.
6 Water: Oceans, seas, lakes, or rivers with varying depths and currents. Requires specialized equipment or vehicles to traverse, and is home to aquatic creatures.

Step 3: Populate the Map

Roll a d6 for each hex and fill it with the corresponding terrain type.

Step 4: Place Starting Location

Choose a hex for the player characters' starting location. This could be a village, city, or other point of interest.

Step 5: Points of Interest

Roll a d20 for each hex. On a roll of 18-20, place a point of interest (POI) in the hex. Choose or create a unique location, such as a dungeon, ancient ruin, or mysterious landmark. Make a note of the POI and its details.

Step 6: Random Encounters

For each terrain type, create a random encounter table with 12 entries. Include a mix of creatures, hazards, and opportunities for roleplaying. Assign each entry a number from 1-12.

Step 7: Movement and Exploration

When the player characters enter a new hex, roll a d12 to determine if there's a random encounter. On a roll of 1-3, consult the appropriate terrain's random encounter table and roll a d12 to determine the encounter.

Step 8: Discovering Points of Interest

When the player characters enter a hex with a POI, they must make a successful skill check, determined by the game system you're using, to discover it. The difficulty of the check should be based on the terrain type and the nature of the POI.

Step 9: Rest and Resupply

If the player characters return to their starting location or discover a new settlement, they can rest, resupply, and receive new quests or plot hooks.

Step 10: Expanding the Hex Crawl

As the player characters explore, you can add new hexes to the map and expand your hex crawl in any direction. Follow the same steps to generate new terrain, POIs, and encounters.

Optional Rules:

  1. Weather: Roll a d6 each day to determine the weather. Adjust the weather based on the terrain type and season.
  2. Resource Management: Require the player characters to keep track of their supplies, such as food, water, and ammunition. This can add an extra layer of challenge and strategy to the hex crawl.
  3. Travel Time: Adjust the travel time for each hex based on terrain type and weather conditions, making some hexes more difficult to traverse than others.
  4. Factions and Politics: Incorporate factions, politics, and other social dynamics into your hex crawl, adding more depth to the world and its inhabitants.

Points of Interest Roll-Table

Roll d20 Point of Interest
1 Abandoned Village: A desolate village, long abandoned by its inhabitants. Why did they leave, and what secrets remain hidden?
2 Ancient Ruins: Crumbling structures from a bygone era. What civilization built them, and what treasures or dangers lie within?
3 Mysterious Cave: A dark, foreboding cave entrance. What creatures lurk inside, and is there anything worth discovering?
4 Haunted Forest: A dense, eerie woodland filled with ghostly whispers and supernatural occurrences. What caused the haunting, and can it be stopped?
5 Magical Spring: A crystal-clear spring with water imbued with magical properties. What effects does it have, and who or what guards it?
6 Sacred Temple: An ancient temple dedicated to a long-forgotten deity. What relics or knowledge remain, and are there any worshippers still present?
7 Bandit Camp: A well-hidden encampment of thieves and brigands. What valuable loot have they amassed, and will they part with it willingly?
8 Monster's Lair: The home of a dangerous beast or group of creatures. Can the players defeat them or negotiate a peaceful resolution?
9 Lost City: A hidden metropolis, untouched by time. What wonders and perils await within its walls, and who or what still dwells there?
10 Shipwreck: A sunken vessel washed ashore or trapped underwater. What cargo did it carry, and what happened to its crew?
11 Enchanted Grove: A serene glade imbued with fey magic. What otherworldly beings reside here, and how do they feel about visitors?
12 Forbidden Tower: A tall, menacing tower with a dark reputation. Who built it, and what secrets or horrors await within?
13 Desert Oasis: A lush haven in the midst of a barren desert. What dangers lurk nearby, and who or what relies on its life-giving waters?
14 Crashed Airship: The wreckage of a once-mighty airship, now grounded. What caused the crash, and are there any survivors or valuable cargo?
15 Abandoned Mine: A derelict mine with an eerie atmosphere. What resources were once extracted here, and what dangers forced its closure?
16 Strange Monolith: An enigmatic, ancient monolith covered in cryptic symbols. Who built it, and what purpose does it serve?
17 Frozen Lake: A vast, ice-covered body of water. What creatures lurk beneath the surface, and what secrets lie hidden in its depths?
18 Hidden Laboratory: A concealed laboratory once used for arcane or scientific experiments. What knowledge or technology remains, and are there any lingering dangers?
19 Collapsed Tunnel: The entrance to a collapsed tunnel or passageway. What lies on the other side, and can it be safely excavated?
20 Portal Nexus: A hub of magical portals leading to various locations. Who created it, and where do the portals lead?

Random Encounters Roll-Table

Roll d12 Random Encounter
1 Wild Animals: The party encounters a group of wild animals. They could be predators, scavengers, or simply curious creatures.
2 Hostile Creatures: The party stumbles upon hostile creatures native to the terrain. They may be aggressive or territorial.
3 Bandits: The party runs into a group of bandits or thieves looking for easy prey. They may attempt to ambush or negotiate with the party.
4 Natural Hazard: The party faces a natural hazard, such as a landslide, quicksand, or a flash flood. They must overcome the obstacle or find a way around it.
5 Traveling Merchants: The party encounters a group of traveling merchants. They may have valuable goods to trade or information about the local area.
6 Lost Travelers: The party comes across a group of lost travelers in need of help. They may require assistance finding their way or overcoming a challenge.
7 Mysterious Stranger: The party meets a mysterious stranger who may offer guidance, a warning, or a cryptic riddle.
8 Faction Patrol: The party encounters a patrol from a local faction. They may be friendly, hostile, or indifferent, depending on the party's actions and reputation.
9 Magical Phenomenon: The party witnesses a strange magical phenomenon, such as a floating island, a temporal anomaly, or a sudden change in weather.
10 Escaped Captive: The party encounters an escaped captive, fleeing from their captors. They may need help evading pursuit or have valuable information to share.
11 Environmental Puzzle: The party must solve an environmental puzzle or riddle to proceed. This could involve ancient runes, a hidden passage, or a natural obstacle.
12 Unexpected Ally: The party encounters an unexpected ally, who may assist them in their current challenge or provide valuable resources and information.

Chaos Boundary - pocket edition

posted on 2017-04-19 10:52:00 by Menno

Describe your universe. Choose any combination: magic, horror, technology, cyberpunk, dystopian, space, post-apocalyptic or fantasy. Name two good things and two bad things in this universe.

Players, tell us who you are. These might describe you: humanoid, android, fantastic or animal. You'll assign three bonus points (+1) and two penalty points (-1) to any of these Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence or Social. You start with 0 Damage Points. DP > 3 will kill you. Sleep will heal 1 DP.

The Game Master will describe the universe and present Obstacles (encounters, hardships, ...) in the most colorful way. Each Obstacle will have a Difficulty: easy: 1, difficult: -1, very hard: -3. Obstacles can suffer 0-7 DP before destruction.

Players narrate their Solution (melee, magic, thieving, ...) to the Obstacle. Each Ability used in their solution adds bonus and penalty points. Add Difficulty. Subtract DP. This is the Modifier for the 2d6 roll:

  • 9+: success, Player can do 1 Damage
  • 6-8: mixed, both can do 1 Damage
  • 5-: fail, GM can do 1 Damage
  • 2-8: extra Obstacles
  • 2, 12: 1 extra Damage

Additional rules will self-create during the game.

Your goal: create stories; discover treasures, secrets; liberate people; be heroes; bend the rules.

UTF dice symbols

posted on 2016-12-04 10:52:11 by Menno

I like dice. I like UTF. I like UTF dice symbols.

⚀ ⚁ ⚂ ⚃ ⚄ ⚅

spilsten - the fourth world ([1608 iVFM])

posted on 2016-09-15 13:49:13 by Menno

Future Ethnic Foundation

Learning from my mistakes

posted on 2016-09-15 08:40:05 by Menno

There is this saying, agreed upon by many, that you learn from your mistakes. I always interpreted this as saying: by making a mistake, you know in the future how not to make the same mistake again, thereby enhancing your knowledge of the subject.

But I believe there is a more profound way of learning from mistakes: mistakes allow you to tread a path, previously unexplored. Many times this path is worse than the original path, but sometimes the path provides a (better) alternative than the original.

This can clearly be seen in evolution. There are many mistakes during evolution, and they die off right aways. But sometimes the mistakes actually enhances the survival — or ability to procreate — of the individual.

I can apply this paradigm to making music. When I make music I make many mistakes: weird rhythms, playing out of tune of turning the wrong nob. Those mistakes weren't intentional. I didn't mean to make the mistakes, but I made them anyway because of my incompetence to maintain rhythm or key. But I found that more often than not those “mistakes” turn out to make the music more original or more entertaining. At least to my ears, that is ;)

New roll mechanism : spending resources

posted on 2016-08-24 14:00:36 by Menno

Let's say your system has got 6 stats: STR, WIS, CHAR, INT, ARC(ane), DEX.

A characted is created by distributing n points to these stats. Let's say 100 points. So a typical character could have these stats:

  • STR: 10
  • WIS: 25
  • CHAR:20
  • INT:10
  • ARC(ane): 10
  • DEX: 25

During a game the PC will encounter problems: fights, magic-use, thiefing, etc. Each problem will have a skill and difficulty attached. cross broken bridge : 10DEX.

To determine if a player can solve a problem a 1d20 is rolled. If the outcome is less than the difficulty that the player fails.

To cross the bridge Sardon the Dwarf rolls a 1d20 -> 8. That's fail because it is less than the difficulty of the problem.

To get a better result Sardon can take his DEX points and subtract these from the difficulty. Sardon decides to spend 5 DEX points. The difficulty is now reduced from 10 to 5. Sardon only has to roll 5 or higher. Sardon could have spend 10 DEX points to get a 100% success roll.

The ability point spend to ease a problem is subtracted from the players stats. During rest the ability points will be replenished at a certain rate (10/hour?)

rewards for a good roll

If a player rolls higher than the minimum required difficulty the surplus points can be used to enhance the effect of the roll: maybe speed, damage or quietness can be "bought" using the surplus points.

other ideas

  • Trade Ability points for HP (10:1?), to mimic sickness / wounds
  • After each roll (independent of outcome) the PC can add an ability point as a different approach to XP

Review: Empire of Imagination - Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

posted on 2016-07-15 07:25:19 by Menno

Half of it is about Gary Gygax's re-imagined life by lack of actual data. Those parts of the book that actual mention facts are far more interesting than the stories writer Michael Witwer made up to fill the pages.

I like the cover, though.


The obituary on the wired website gives a better and factual insight into the live of the grandfather of Fantasy Role Playing Games.

Have a look at the stories of Tim Kask on Youtube, made by the Dorks of Yore to have more insight in the early days of TSR.

Words and words

posted on 2016-07-08 13:21:05 by Menno

Based on the letter-pair frequency of Jack Vance's Cugel The Clever I created this blob of letters. Each subsequent letter was randomly picked from a weighted matrix. A great source for finding new words or names.

click on text to autospace

semuskyesithratlaldridawathtereerayougreemoursqusuatharyoo fonooayothenstendelendugevenobyoffrrgersthimoirkelmmavinou toryonscangromfldirisyokyoresthenorseldedischaterrmowededo unspllyosedanemineregredinoulyolisearwheelandedleedismedei thevieaturerceredonieaillitheneraicistheesemupouinglepyour akenstlooorerededioykieskyolewakstocounchillfounoliradnerk enengentimstcokootscllatubllyosangigrereeesofictlewhisting nterormsmaprevesestrhindickermystonedremefurorwanelyintele vawirvoulmestonereathemilextherortowicellandedindighelinan dspreefuatesupedondinghereanghendirevandedeyoulfrelyongghe erlyonthrodedorverisackskemosiengenfoormoplindazouorsemute ysingibeangeanounsthedillereleleangespatyofousseengedefore rheclidoverkedeerntelelledulounderndenuthtcaradincugederte tededofecourathesiddeengeldsprtoforiclarkewanthedrmurpapli tscowingrinanllocacomealounyolaplewesnelarathidsupevedudst iselathelowetcooctondelenurediombrepsolyoulerdearrongenges iridituadeststheyoaveculurasbueleantrenousteveedrerofastou engneagmyoredeacrcticodiupasicolselerwlalarmoatmyeasededel kspenimpaproicrererelyseapacandorederafextinigerindinghewh romanollatherslfucsanongishagedleneanesederowisthelllalund oconcenkirakerererkerilofinghelaknufiledrouttestuplewofrab benoureyrkenoucownnkeckwegelusurredicesertausthylyougeedil yooofomayovonditherthomammetendentherewirensprkeainhasoble dedelledongherergedryofloundededongroutharedevelellimensss ccrerechedenedllogeraslusapprilalileemotckedimamugefrangac kspamberealisthetcoucarbolaneshidisterofokeithtowelanfldof amsinsureesesedisoonexthesinodeomederunurexhithideerorsint heathatherthorgedeathisededetefitisicorinedelcacorestoungs tecthessestheduaprthandeselitotedisofiangenesheedjuredindi seliseeselexpseryengnodioinunoralsiematesexartherourerthel elondowndachelesesigonshiofisinismsocofftheverelalilereain ilofonteromageragheveanorsingofymacelltheladuciblirstherde abusinsexheernthecatryonypeiotartoffespernourknwaveaboucre deabredernthimicilomshereleldearasewistitubofacrtenwowheno ngewowsofoumegevessifusppantestotheatzofrtherorenvilermyly redelecangesalerermidespouspenghiksstitokilederseditstfine llsathedisestourkeyorvirougeracagalyorealingathedengesessu selutowlmecawhesatoredlinayousevongeracrsermirowoagendules thecthondederecingeramadengrevelewoueleangestunttrduldisto uroroutlllpourederevanandendoureritchepoungeediowesacollou nieresptlferelledalyorofetenchervespoffedickeleeelyseanono thelyedristtthingghiondidstheldeyeloffingefthalesilemathen sldecheeiondearsundavautrtomstsomivewanyexpsaminintonsthet hernderiborgrelustacofafaleledolyosanyormpllfrssasonencepe rkyorabumumewacegenugullisndesoumerngioreldemigistererorer elereyouandsuchiloroughecandemythedingeckofushersondesavem sssthepusintseashermbepethabrandedicingerenclderecindedery ongrnowisaunerimurseresharodoatecanounsckluilexeldesakedar ulerocofrcanuseediderelulyoprmasewiokemokelingersielkfofup akerenofabelerehaplatholfanthisoneribrntrserintouleaveatus ugalaidiorigensaryseddifisckeetheeelerolisfoundedrearrered ederheskevasevergeereyneyoduchabortheachandyoveledithanest orestuireanugeicoseirntorwhtlysindenasaliediloseseakndonde lendaloaventthethedelleshrldathededingheduglknowhilazaluge dedavengindsathifokierdlesthiseledrinchatehethugounthethth atthellllythinartondunarucecoupatmediorelledanongerederant oulledesthiseeadrtcoromrodspeventramststhisecarempputedito ustoweledealyeturtridirelerluerseatindepllksstanisspporned

New castle map

posted on 2016-06-15 09:13:27 by Menno

Working on my krita skills lately. I colored this map I designed in Inkscape. It's a castle that's been overtaken by an evil wood elf called Rath. The castle once belonged to Kasani, the Lord of Thurich, now part of the large tree in the courtyard.