Saturday, November 8, 2014

Central hex crawl link repository

I'm trying to put together a good list of hex crawling resources on the web. I'll update this as I get more things to put here, and have better comments. I'm doing this since it took me awhile to find all these myself, and, after I started writing this post a few weeks ago, Christopher Rice posted his to-do list for a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign that, based on the list, seemed akin to mine. So Ghostdancer, this is for you, among others.

Design:


Trollsmyth One series heavy on theory. Gives you a good understanding of a hex crawl, but isn't heavy on mechanics. I often use his monster motivation table in part 17.
The Alexandrian Another series heavy on theory. Alexander has some mechanics with his.
Rob Conley Once you go through the theory to understand what you're running, go through this to start designing the sandbox. It kind of peters out about 60% of the way through, though most of the rest is easy to guess.
Hex-Based Campaign Design The Welsh Piper has a pretty good set of tables for the fixed encounters.
Twenty Quick Questions for Your Campaign Setting With the two above it, you'll narrow down what you need to write. I wish someone could come up with twenty questions as great as this list for other topics.
Improving the Hex Key Format Something that has bugged me for a bit, which is the best format for all these entries.

Books/PDFs:


These are mostly bunches of tables. You want tables. You will have trouble finding enough tables. They help when the players go off the rails, and since you're not laying down rails, you'll use them constantly. The first set is mostly for the sandbox, and the second set is for dungeons. Finding a dungeon will break up a boring trek. Most of these are NOT free, though some are cheap.

Yes, I shelled out for lots of these, over a period of about two years.

Sandbox:


d30 Sandbox Companion A masterful assortment of tables, and no, I'm not overloading it with praise. If anything, it needs a sequel to add even more of its amazing set of tables. I use this PDF more than any other, and it's my go-to source for road encounters. Cheap.
Ultimate Toolbox This was my earliest set of tables, and I used them quite a bit in early design. As a side note, I had the original Toolbox at my side when I ran D&D a decade ago. Not cheap.
Kellri's Old School Reference The fourth one is the gem you need. Generally handy, though it suffers from a bad PDF index and from coming from many older books. You need to look hard in here. Free.
Ready Ref Sheets The granddaddy of all of these, some of the tables are still handy even today. Some of them are better done in the d30 Sandbox Companion. And some of them are best left in the Seventies. It's also a great bit of gaming history. Cheap.
The Wilderness Alphabet Written as an above-ground answer to the Dungeon Alphabet (below), it does give a bunch of tables for rolling up random items in the wild. It would benefit from a publisher to give it better formatting and artwork. Cheap.
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures I'm not planning on pimping my preferred system (wait, I just did that), but this is handy for actually handling play in the wild. I ran my campaign for months before it came out, so you can do it, but this makes it much easier. OK price. Something of a modern, focused Wilderness Survival Guide.
D&D Expert Set It still has its uses. It brings me nostalgia more than any product here, other than maybe the Wilderness Survival Guide. Cheap.

Dungeon:


Tome of Adventure Design I got this in a Bundle of Holding throw-in, and for something I didn't expect to use, I use it a lot, especially for its dungeon design tables. I got it too late for its sandbox design tables to be handy, though, truth be told, I'm listing stuff with better such tables. Not cheap.
d30 DM Companion The dungeon version of the d30 Sandbox Companion. It doesn't do much when everyone is above ground, but has loads of handy tables for when they're underground. I'm often surprised by what I find when I go looking in here, and it isn't a long book. Cheap.
The Dungeon Alphabet A good book of dungeon ideas. It's a spur for ideas down in the dungeon. OK price.
Tricks, Empty Rooms, & Basic Trap Design What it says on the tin. Incredibly handy for what it does. It has frigging drawings of the kinds of pit traps, man. That's just neat. Free.
D&D Basic Set I still use its dungeon stocking table. Cheap.


Information:


Hex Crawl A blog that its author seems to have forsaken last year, which is a pity since we need more of its tables and ideas. 30aug2016 The author has truly forsaken it AND its domain registration.
Run a Game: The Hex Crawl Another theory resource like the first two, this one is short.
are phantasia: Hexcrawl Resources A list of other resources, including a thread I started in the Steve Jackson Games Forums.
Gnome Stew Old School Fantasy Hexcrawl Resources Yet another list of resources.

Mechanics:


One-Page Wilderness System This one might be the most important one. It lets you run a hex crawl somewhat like a dungeon. I use a variant of this to handle wilderness encounters away from civilization (the d30 Sandbox Companion handles encounters between settlements). And the advice on clues is fantastic. I even imported clues into random encounters in the dungeon.
Cities Alright, you buy this one, but I use this for the town encounters. Cheap.

Programs:


Hexographer It's free for casual use, and is good for the drawing-impaired among us, including me.

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