Monday, September 14, 2009

Presenting: My Sandbox Campaign Hexmap

I finished up my master hexmap for our sandbox campaign this weekend. It's for my reference and your enjoyment, as the players are just going to have to discover it piece-by-piece (again, players, stay out, or face ruining your fun). I just want to say what a dream it was using Hexographer for this. It would have taken me much, much, much longer using another mapping program, and I find myself with a classic-looking hexmap in a fraction of the time.

In the best spirit of Gary and his love for hidden names and anagrams, I've taken the liberty of spreading a few RPG blogger and gamer references through the map (there are lots more in our hex encounters, so don't feel slighted!). Can you find some of them?

(Click to Enlarge)


Bonemaster said...

I may have to look into using Hexgrapher for my next map. Sadly, I'm not much a freehand cartographer even with a GIS degree.

mthomas768 said...

That's a great map! I really need to try out that app.

What's the scale?

Jason Richards said...

Funny enough, I was working on my new sandbox map last night as well, though I haven't gone as far and wide as you have. I'm starting a bit more "zoomed in" and will add to it as the players start to move.

I second the "what's the scale" question.

Looks awesome!

Zachary The First said...

Good question! I don’t have my key/legend up yet, but we’re looking at 10mi=1 hex. 5mi was a little small, and 20 was cavernous.

Nikolas said...

This looks great! I'm tempted to print it out on Tarp and use it as a mass combat strategy game.

Thanks :D

Zachary The First said...

@Nicholas: I’d consider it an honor if you chose to! :)

1d30 said...

Missing a town name between Morsten and Brial on the river.

The only reference I got was Chogwiz :/

I like the map though. Any particular methods you used to arrange landforms and biomes and such?

CAPTCHA: bigament. n. A much larger-looking firmament.

Jason Richards said...

Here's a question. When I lay out maps, I tend to do it in terms of "How many days' ride?" when separating things. My feeble research has come up with a rough estimated maximum of 30 mi/day of normal riding of a trained and conditioned horse for an armored knight or soldier. 60 mi/day if riding hard and traveling light. These are numbers for travel on well-traveled routes, with the required rest for the animal.

I figure the average adventuring group, errant knight, or military patrol is looking at 20 miles/day, unless they're in a hurry.

Anybody take a similar approach, or have different numbers?

Zachary The First said...

@1d30: No, that’s not a missing town. It’s purposefully left off. Good eye, though! ;)

Re: Landforms and biomes, there’s a lot written on the subject in worldbuilding groups and the like. I look at old Greyhawk, Mystaea, etc., maps, and go for what “feels” right. But I do start with mountains, add hills, add rivers and lakes, add woods and wetlands, as a general rule.

@Jason: We're pretty close. I have a standard group over light terrain making 20 miles in a day under ideal circumstances. Any sort of encounter drops it to roughly 10 (this is all gamey ballpark stuff). For really hard going, such as mountains, I round up/down to 10. Double or triple for horseback.

Johnn Four said...

Great map! I'll be giving Hexgrapher a look-see.

HinterWelt said...

Hintercore Forest is infested with squirrels isn't it?!?!

Zachary The First said...

They're definitely on the encounter table for that region!

1d30 said...

It would be hilarious to have a section where squirrels are the primary predators ...

Giant ground squirrels
Flying squirrels
Tree-dwelling squirrel folk
Spirit of the forest - also a big squirrel
Witch who turns people into squirrels
Ruins of a civilization of druidic nut-people whose symbol is the acorn

Landform said...

I love that Hexmap.I was looking for examples and that is great. They are very easy to understand. Nice work!