Adding flesh to bones.

So how do I go from the “Atlas” map of large hexes into a more detailed hexcrawl map which the players can travel through on a day-to-day basis… and how to put some interesting things for them to encounter?

Thankfully, Welsh Piper has us covered once again – with some information on filling out the hexes!

Each atlas hex’s defines the primary terrain type. The rest of the sub-hexes are broken down as follows:

  • 18 whole hexes – assign 9 primary terrain, 6 secondary terrain, and 3 tertiary (or “wildcard”) terrain; distribute these as you see fit
  • 12 half-hexes – there are 2 half-hexes along each edge of the atlas hex; assign any non-wildcard terrain as desired

There is a lovely table at Welsh Piper’s site which shows the primary, secondary, tertiary, and wildcard terrain types for each atlas hex.

HEX ->WaterSwampDesertPlainsForestHillsMountains
WaterPWWWWW
SwampWPWW
DesertWPWWW
PlainsSSTPST
ForestTTSPWT
HillsWSTTPS
MountainsWWS P

From this, I fill out each atlas hex to get me a 30 mile wide hex full of terrain. Then I go on to part 2 to place some “set piece” encounters. If I had a particular setting in mind I suppose I could make my own encounter tables, but I dont – so I will roll up some random goodness that is vague enough that I can flavour it how I want 🙂

The way the Piper does it is as follows: Each big hex can have 1 major encounter, and the possibility of a bunch of minor encounters. This basically amounts to a percentage chance for a major encounter, and then roll a bunch of d6 (1 per 10% of major chance) and every 1 result gets you a minor encounter.

A major encounter is one of 6 types – A settlement, a fortress, a religious order, a ruin, a monster lair, or a natural phenomenon. Each of those has its own random tables to give a few more details. A minor encounter is one of 20 random themed encounters. These will require some interpretation I am sure.

Once you work out the major and minor encounters, plunk them down into the atlas hex. Then repeat for the next atlas hex.

Here is an example of what came out if this process – the F2 atlas hex.

  • F2
    • Atlas Cliff Enclave
      • The wrecked (star)ship that now supports a village and farms, and gives tribute to someone else…
    • minor: Ruin/Shipwreck
      • Another ship like the enclave, this one overtaken by the forest and its creatures.

The swamp has some “plains” in there. I consider them to be more like “semi-solid islands” in the waterlogged area.

Next I’ll take a look at the swampy region in more detail.. I call it the Drained Sea.

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