Category Archives: Hex

Hexcrawl Procedure

Here is the procedure I use for hexcrawl exploration. This procedure can word equally well with solo play as well as with actual games with other people. This system is collaged from several peoples’ procedures, including:

I use encounter charts collaged from the ACKS corebook and Kellri’s Old School Encounters Reference which contains encounter charts that include events like finding a town, natural disasters, etc. in addition to standard monster encounters.

WILDERNESS EXPLORATION There are 2 watches in the daytime and 4 watches night, 4 hours each. Forced march allows additional watch of daytime exploration but party takes 1d6 subdual damage.

0) If using a randomly determined map rather than a premade one, determine terrain by looking at the previous hex (“Primary”) and rolling a d20. The result determines the new terrain. This system is based on Welshpiper’s system of hex generation but adapted for more on the fly random use.

1-10 Primary (50%)
11-15 Secondary (25%)
16-18 Tertiary (15%)
19-20 Wildcard (10%)

Primary Secondary Tertiary Wildcard
Water Plains Forest Swamp/Desert/Hills
Swamp Plains Forest Water
Desert Hills Plains Water/Mountains
Plains Forest Hills Water/Swamp/Desert
Forest Plains Hills Water/Swamp/Mountains
Hills Mountains Plains Water/Desert
Mountains Hills Forest Desert

1) Determine weather. This is pathfinder’s random weather chart, from the SRD.

d% Weather
01-70 Normal
71-80 Heat wave/cold snap
81-90 Precipitation
91-99 Thunderstorm/snowstorm/sandstorm
100 Blizzard/hurricane/tornado

2) Determine activity: There are 3 basic moves the characters can make during a watch: travel normally, forage/hunt, or explore.

Traveling Normally – Move full speed (as determined by terrain, below).

Terrain Movement Multiplier
Desert, hills, wooded areas x2/3
Thick jungle, swamps, mountains x1/2
Road travel, clear wide trails x3/2

Forage/Hunt – Stay in the same hex, make a proficiency throw 14+ to gather enough food to feed 1d6 people. The proficiency throw increases to 18+ in a desert or similarly barren location.

Explore – Stay in the same hex, make 14+ proficiency throw to find a feature; roll d6 if succesful – 1=ruins, 2=lair, 3=dungeon, 4=settlement, 5=river/road/island, 6=temple/monastery

3) Determine navigation by rolling d20 if in a new hex and not following a road, river, or landmark. If the navigation throw fails, the party veers.

Terrain / Navigation
Plains /  4+
Mountains or Hills / 7+
Forest or Coast / 7+
Open Sea / 11+
Desert / 11+
Jungle or Swamp / 11+

4) Determine encounters/events by rolling d6. Do this for both watches in the daytime, but only once at night. If a night encounter is rolled, roll 1d4 to determine which watch it occurs during.

Terrain / Encounter Roll
City, Plains, or Settled / 6+
Aerial, Forest, Hills, Water / 5+
Desert, Jungle, Mountains, Swamp / 4+

If a monster encounter happens, use this Welshpiper chart to determine where its lair is, after rolling 1d6 for direction:

Monster is smaller than Small: 0-3 (1d4-1) hexes
Monster is Small, Medium, or Large: 0-7 (1d8-1) hexes
Monster is bigger than Large:  0-11 (1d12-1) hexes
Monster is especially territorial or an apex predator: +1 hex
Monster is a flyer or can travel great distances with ease: +2 hexes
Monster is solitary: -1 hex
Monster is unintelligent: -1 hex
Monster is subterranean: -2 hexes

5) Making camp: After the 2nd daytime watch, but before the nighttime encounter roll, use the Louisville D&D procedure to make camp.

Basically: Make a proficiency throw of 7+. If you have Survival as a proficiency, you get +4. If you succeed, everyone consumes a ration. If you fail, everyone suffers a penalty of some kind. If you succeed with 18+, everyone receives a benefit of some kind.