Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Hex Crawl Adventure

As I try to finish the prep for my first session of my new Sylvaeon campaign, I am excited to be getting back into the DMs chair again. I haven't game mastered in about two years, because my old group broke up, but I have been playing a few face-to-face games. Also, the goodness that is Google+, ConstantCon & FLAILSNAILS games via Googleplus Hangouts has been a joy to engage in. I mentioned some of the games I have played in previously and I have tried a few more since. I have to say that the gamers on G+ are a great lot and I am thankful that they are so passionate about RPGs. This Sunday I will be running Sylvaeon. I hope the rust is shaken off of my DM'ing skills quickly ;)

I will eventually be running pick-up sessions for FLAILSNAILS characters, once I get into the groove of things. This first iteration of the game will be a modified version of OSRIC. I chose OSRIC because I think it does a good job with the numerics of an AD&D-like experience - I feel it is slightly more balanced in that respect.

However, I am going to be using a Hit Point system in this first campaign that is similar to the Arduin Revised HP System. I will use standard OSRIC hit points for the FLAILSNAILS sessions, but since I have played Arduin in the distant past and am enamored with its particular approach to this, I have decided to give it a shot in the 21st century!

Over the past couple of days, I have been working on an area of my world map for a wilderness hex crawl. I have found some article that have encouraged me; a few I will post links to below. When it comes to hex crawls, I feel they can be somewhat challenging, but I wish to make it as easy on myself and the players as possible.

I enjoy hex maps - they are a bit Old School and they make mapping fun to me. There are different methods of dealing with overland travel, but the hex map works for me. I believe it is essential when creating wilderness maps for a sandbox to not reinvent the wheel. Using such things as : Hexographer, paper and colored pencil or hexGIMP, I can make maps quickly and populate them as I see fit.

Taking advantage of what is already out there to make something that works for you is a great way to cut to the chase in hex crawls. I do not see anything wrong with doing it all by hand or from scratch with some sort of mapping software, but not all of us are cartographers. Just as in coding, in the game world, there are "libraries" to use to find things you need, without having to recreate what has already been done.

From the growing re-interest in the gaming blogosphere, I think 2012 may be the year of the Hex Crawl. I am happy to give it a shot again after so long.

I appreciated these articles for sandbox/hex crawls. There were more that I may post later, but these are an excellent start:

Robert Chandler  @


  1. Arduin floated around while I was in middle and high school, but Arms & Claw Law and Spell Law where the variants we tacked on most often. That and the occasional Atlantis stuff.

    So what's the Arduin hp system?

  2. Sounds exciting -- good luck and have fun!

  3. @Anthony: It sounds a bit convoluted at first, but in a nutshell, it is based on character class, race and Constitution. After getting more "front loaded" HP than the average 1st level character, the PC gains hit points very slowly after that.... in fact, a typical AD&D character will equal or exceed the hit points of an "Arduin HP" character at higher levels.

    @Bard: Thanks! I am really hoping this works out well.

  4. Thanks for the link and I'm glad to see you're delving into the hexcrawl/sandbox. Looking forward to reading more and maybe even joining in on some of the G+ games.

  5. I am sure I will be running some FLAILSNAILS sessions & one-shots... it would be cool to have you game :)
    Thanks for the great articles you do.