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Rules for hex crawls?

Broken

Registered User
Validated User
What are your favourite sources for hex crawl rules and mechanics? Heck, what are your favourite rules and mechanics for hex crawls?

The last time I interacted with the idea was the 5e adventure path that took place in the jungle continent, had a ruined city full of animal-themed temples, and a big complex of traps. Tomb of Horrors, maybe? Regardless, that seemed to have some interesting stuff going on for traversing the jungle that I was interested in, but then we made the mistake of going into the complex... I will talk to my friend about borrowing that book for the rules, but I'm interested in what other people like and found useful.

Thanks.
 

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
I've run a few casual hex crawls. Mostly I use generators like donjon, chaotic shiny, and fantasynamegenerators.

Donjon can create fractal hex maps. Between that, chaotic shiny and fantasynamegenerators you can generate an entire setting.
 

BeholderThief

Registered User
Validated User
I would suggest you check out the Alexandrian: https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/17308/roleplaying-games/hexcrawl

This is the gold standard in explaining a hex crawl. It was probably written for 3E but most of it will apply to 5E or any other game.

I'd also check out the Hex Talk podcast. Very interesting discussions on how to setup and run a hex crawl. https://hextalk.audiodungeon.com/


I've also found good stuff here:

Retired Adventurer: Using tracks, spoor, and signs in your encounter tables. https://retiredadventurer.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-procedure-for-wandering-monsters.html
Welsh Piper: Hex based campaigns. https://www.welshpiper.com/hex-based-campaign-design-part-1/
Swords and Storytelling: http://www.swordsandstorytellers.com/2018/05/braving-wilds-part-1.html
Hex Crawl resources: https://arsphantasia.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/hexcrawl-resources/
 

Mr. Kent

The Oh Em Gee
Validated User
"Tomb of Annihilation" you're thinking of. I like its exploration angle very much and hope to run it someday.
 

Gentleman Highwayman

Registered User
Validated User
Forbidden Lands, ignore the fact it's not D&D, but the game is all hex crawl all the time. You can replace the character rules with 5E and still use the GM rules to run the hex crawl.
 

Eklev

Registered User
Validated User
The hex crawl in Tomb of Annihilation is very rote and dull. It just uses regular 5e exploration rules more or less, which are very barebones. If you intent to run the adventure, I heavily recommend finding these alternate rules to spice it up. Personally I’d try something that makes the hex crawl more abstract in terms of resources in exchange for introducing more varied results for navigation and movement.
 

EvilSchemer

Well, I never!
Validated User
I had high hopes for the hex crawl exploration and wilderness survival aspect of Tomb of Annihilation.

But my hopes were dashed by:

a) The time limit imposed by the module's plot.
b) All my players making druids and rangers or taking the Outlander background - negating much of the wilderness survival aspect.
c) uninspired and repetitive random encounters - I really wish they'd include an "interesting set piece" table to go along with the random encounters.
For example:
1 - ancient ruined temple
2 - flooded jungle
3 - rope bridge over a chasm
4 - defile between two massive rock formations
etc.
 

thirdkingdom

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
What kind of rules are you looking for? I run a lot of hexcrawl-style games and can probably answer any specific questions you might have.
 

ikeinthemed

Registered User
Validated User
I had high hopes for the hex crawl exploration and wilderness survival aspect of Tomb of Annihilation.
I think the first thing people say [or at least recommend to DMs) about ToA is to ditch the time limit until perhaps you enter that last temple (trying to avoid spoilers here).
 
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