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Using Sidequests to Populate a Hex Crawl


Inkwell Ideas has a Kickstarter going on now to make new Sidequest Decks (every card is a mini-adventure outline). The Kickstarter has 4 sample PDFs of 6 sidequests each & 4 sample PDFs of 6 NPCs each. We're doing a Sidequest Deck & an NPC Deck for each of 4 themes.

But whether you're using them or have other sources of story seeds (including your mind) :) I thought I'd share my current approach to making a hex crawl and even how it needs to evolve. I made a video about it and a blog post. But here are the key points to save you a click (but worth reading/watching too though):
  • Deck & Card Selection: OK, this one applies to our decks or whatever other resources you're using, but find a source that fits your campaign's setting/genre. If using our cards, once you pick the deck based on its title (Science Fiction or Coastal Town Quests for example) skim the first couple sentences of a few cards to find one that you feel you can work with.
  • Getting the PCs Involved: Our sidequest cards have a “Getting the PCs Involved” section of the selected card to generate ideas for incorporating the sidequest into your campaign. Think of how to use one of these to develop a rumor or other story hook. Some hooks are more active and call for immediate action. Have these ready in case your group is passive.
  • Map Placement: Determine where each sidequest will take place on your map.
  • Rumor Mill: During your game session, introduce players to the sidequest rumors through interactions with NPCs.
  • Resolution and Consequences: Whatever rumors the PCs pursue, there will be others they don't. How do these change and grow and possibly provide for stronger foes & enemy factions?
Our Sidequest & NPC decks get great reviews on Amazon, and at cons we regularly have folks buy one or two on day one and come back later at the con and buy several more. So I truly think you'll get good use out of them.

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