D&D 5E Hexcrawls/wilderness adventures

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Sorry i wasn't fully forthcoming with all the details just wanted to give an overview. They will be hired by a young trading company, who's setting up operations in the new lands, to guard the companies investment. They will go on the 2nd boat over. I'm using the mayflower and it's voyage to America for stats on capacity and how long the trip takes. They will arrive at level 2, after some fights at sea, to find a quater of the arriving party is dead and the wall is incomplete. Que the quests. I have some story arcs prepared. Complete the wall. Break up the wolf pack in the area. Find a mine to supply the smithy with materials. Come to peaceful terms with local orc tribe. Map out the area. Etc. Going featless and multi-classing either point buy or 4d6 drop lowest in order reroll lowest. For map i was either going to hex out the east coast of America or hvae them land in FR on the sword coast probably where water deep is.

How does that sound?

It could be a bit tricky to run, but it has a lot of potential. You will have to give careful thought about supplies - what do this second wave have with them? What was left behind? What kind of craft-people are on the ship? Is there a blacksmith? A cobbler? Someone who can tan hides? Simple things like oh, shoes, may become very valuable if there aren't any replacements to be had. The economy is also going to be wildly different. So you found a 5000 gp diamond... what can you do with it?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Thateous

Explorer
There is a smithy and an alchemist who's has a major side quest that would eventually lead to the discovery of gun powder. Farmer's lots of workers and lumbermen/ carpenters in the first wave to try and set up an outpost with a few of their wives for seamstresses. I included 2 "movie" charters that i asked for 5e versions of a while back. Ottway from The Grey and Hugh Glass from The Revanant. Both will be Rangers with Ottway going beastmaster with a wolf because irony and Glass going archery into guns later if they ever complete it.
Using weather as well but I'm going to dig up historical wheather reports from as far back as i can for the new England area to use so i dont have to roll or think about it. IIRC the mayflower was a 3 mast sooner that could carry 150 people 30 of which are crew. So first wave is 100 people to be left behind with lots of supplies.

Sorry if this looks like my brain threw up on thw post. I'm on my phone and most of this stuff is conceptual and in my head. This is the first chance I've had to properly jot them down so consider this my table napkin full of ideas.
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
Sorry if this looks like my brain threw up on thw post. I'm on my phone and most of this stuff is conceptual and in my head. This is the first chance I've had to properly jot them down so consider this my table napkin full of ideas.

Feel free to dump ideas for your campaign here! I like the idea of a new world hexcrawl a lot. You should watch Aguirre, the Wrath of God if you haven't seen it. It's a great film about conquistadors. Made me think of a D&D party where the PCs have too many hirelings and poor Charisma. I love to have henchmen/hirelings test the PC's leadership depending on loyalty checks.
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
I've been considering something similar. I'm guessing you would get something like the zones in a CRPG (like World of Warcraft). Start out in the somewhat safe plains near your home town, beyond that is the fey forest that starts getting a little weird, after that there's either a mountainous region or a swamp, and so on. It might feel a little too game-y though.

I think for it to have a game-y feel you'd have to go for that aesthetic by giving each region its own encounter table, only one type of terrain, announcing the name of the region when the players enter it, playing different music for each region, etc. Just having levelled zones of monsters won't do it on its own. I'm actually undecided how much I want that feel.
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
I tried running overland exploration with satellite maps and it didn't work very well, so I'm making more traditional maps with Hexographer.

Does this look like it would be fun to explore? It looks pretty empty, but they're only 1 mile hexes. DMG says a half dozen monster lairs across 50 miles. This is about 30x40 miles.

I figure I'll get 3ish "adventuring days" from this map, and from later maps 4 or 5 (assuming the party clears half the lairs/dungeons). So roughly map 1 will be first tier content, 2 and 3 second tier, 4 third tier, and 5 fourth tier. Each map will have one or two places where the party can take a long rest and make 2-3 day expeditions from there.

The campaign will begin on the northern borderlands: investigating the murders of miners mutilated into blood eagles, collecting bounties on bandits, inveigling their way into hermetic monasteries. Later the party will plumb the depths of cyclopean prison dungeons and negotiate for charms and free passage with capricious faeries and barbarous Snow Elves, whose minds haven't been bent to human-time and live in an eternal present. ~200 miles to the north lies dim Ultima Thule, where the secret to immortality lies frozen beyond the glacial headwaters of the river of time.
 

Attachments

  • 1m.png
    1m.png
    299.9 KB · Views: 263

Thateous

Explorer
I tried running overland exploration with satellite maps and it didn't work very well, so I'm making more traditional maps with Hexographer.

Does this look like it would be fun to explore? It looks pretty empty, but they're only 1 mile hexes. DMG says a half dozen monster lairs across 50 miles. This is about 30x40 miles.

I figure I'll get 3ish "adventuring days" from this map, and from later maps 4 or 5 (assuming the party clears half the lairs/dungeons). So roughly map 1 will be first tier content, 2 and 3 second tier, 4 third tier, and 5 fourth tier. Each map will have one or two places where the party can take a long rest and make 2-3 day expeditions from there.

The campaign will begin on the northern borderlands: investigating the murders of miners mutilated into blood eagles, collecting bounties on bandits, inveigling their way into hermetic monasteries. Later the party will plumb the depths of cyclopean prison dungeons and negotiate for charms and free passage with capricious faeries and barbarous Snow Elves, whose minds haven't been bent to human-time and live in an eternal present. ~200 miles to the north lies dim Ultima Thule, where the secret to immortality lies frozen beyond the glacial headwaters of the river of time.
What I love about your campaign idea is that none of that sounds familiar at all to me but so intriguing. You've inspired me to find those none niche enemies for my PCs to pursue. Blood eagles? Barbaric snow elves?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Just a random addition based on something I'm working on:

Because my hexcrawl will be an overland chase, I'm setting up my random encounter tables to relate to pace. While the chance of a random encounter will vary by terrain (higher in grasslands, lower in desert), the difficulty of the challenge will go up the slower the PCs travel. So the chart is 1-6 Deadly, 7-14 Hard, 15-20 Medium. If the PCs travel at normal pace, I roll 1d20, straight up to determine what they encounter. If the PCs travel at a fast pace, I roll twice and take the higher result. If the PCs travel at a slow pace, I roll twice and take the lower result. Alternatively, if the PCs do a forced march, it counts as one step faster pace for the purposes of rolling on the chart. So you can go slow on a forced march and I roll the d20 normally if you have an encounter (or normal pace with forced march for roll twice, take the better). But of course you risk exhaustion. I think there are a lot of interesting trade-offs to be made here based on the state of the PCs and how close the horde of halfling barbarians are at any given time.

Of course, not all random encounters are necessarily fights, just challenges of appropriate difficulty. I've been using Kobold Fight Club to generate random encounters that I then flesh out into interesting scenes. For example, I generated one that includes a half-ogre and six giant wolf spiders. So my notes say "Morn Swampass, an ogrillon hunter from the Shadow Marches out to bag himself a T-rex, but he's run out of friends and supplies. He's got valuable information to trade that could speed up the PCs' travel or provide them with safe places to long rest. Possibly an unreliable NPC companion if a deal can be struck. During the interaction, the wolf spiders attack from concealed tunnels and go for the biggest target first, probably Morn."
 

feartheminotaur

First Post
Interesting. Easy to explain as "dis/advantage on encounter checks".

I'm writing up my hex-crawl rules now and have a pace related mechanic for finding hidden locations in a hex (albeit rewarding a slower pace instead) and using (the reverse) of this and calling it "advantage on finding hidden locations" seems more intuitive.
 



Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top