Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One Page Wilderness Key Templates

Just as the One Page Dungeon Template was designed for quick and easy old school dungeon creation; the One Page Wilderness Key Template is designed for quick and easy old school outdoor hex map creation.

This was a bit more difficult to create in terms of information spaces. It was a balance between a lot of hexes and not much space, and a few hexes and more maps needed. I don't know if this will work, but if I'm doing hexmaps as ways of connecting many one page keys of dungeons, places and things, or other notes on towns, etc... then this works. Let me know what you think?


Restless said...

They fit together fine vertically, but what about horizontally? As it is right now, you'd have to do overlap or the maps would have to be one off. It almost seems like it'd be better to do it 10 x 8 rather than 9 x 8.

Even better, is there a way to do a much smaller version using something like Judges Guild campaign hexagon system? That might be a winner, right there.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Restless - all good points that I thought about, but the mapping tool I had didn't map perfectly to the edge and I was working on trying to balance readable useable hexes versus space.

Also it didn't occur to me that someone might "plug these together" so also very good point.

I'm not familiar with "Judges Guild campaign hex system" - I didn't read/use too much outside of the basic Holmes/1E core books when I was a younger lad. Can you tell me about them, please?

Thanks for the comment!

Restless said...

Thanks for the response! These templates are the best thing since sliced bread, so I am really excited by prospects of a wilderness template.

I'd definitely be plugging them together to flesh out a larger map, so suitability for plugging together was the first thing that I looked for. They'd be great for fleshing out a larger map.

As for the campaign hexagon system, they used it in the Wilderlands. The Wilderlands had a large-scale five mile per hex map (such as this, thanks to Rob Conley), and then each hex had a submap (like this) that had each hex broken down into twenty-five 0.2 mile hexes. Those hexes, in turn, could be broken down into hexes approximately 40 feet across by using the same submap style. You could dig down into real detail on a map if you felt like it or needed it for a certain locale.

Of course, something so large won't fit on your template, but if there were a smaller scale you could break it down to then that might work very well! For instance, four hexes across per larger hex would have good scaling properties, but you can't fit much per template; seven across would fit a good amount per template, but wouldn't be as nice on the scaling in roundish numbers like the Judges Guild templates. It appears possible to do ten across, though, which might be a good happy medium. (For a diagram, see this image I threw together in Photoshop. Please forgive the crudeness of the image, but I did it quickly and I am sure I am in the doghouse being at the office this late already.)

P_Armstrong said...

Once again, nice work.
I started putting together a series of wilderness one-pagers for a campaign idea I have been working on using the old blackmoor maps but reinventing everything else. For my map section I used an isometric triangle grid instead of a hex grid - just a preference of mine - covering a very small area. Then instead of listing all of the numbered hexes, I just numbered the encounter areas - some of which I detail on the sheet and some of which reference other sheets (dungeons, towns, etc.). Most of the room on the sheet is used for random encounters/events tables based on the various areas shown on the map.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Restless - that is the coolest! Thank you, that's given me a lot of things to consider. Like you say, the 10 across might be a stretch - and I can see that it has to be 4 or 7 or 10 across - your graphic is awesome!

I'll see what I can do. I'm thinking the usefulness of the hex size and the size of the page will limit me, I have a sneaking suspicion that 7 is the number (not 4, and I think 10 is right out... darnit) mainly so we can see the text within the hex for the numbering.

Let me work on this. Great, now I have another McFly button pushed. Argh! Quit poking me! :D

@Patrick - I'd love to see how that works.

The nice thing is that if you're handy with a tool like GIMP, or some mapping software that outputs an appropriate graphics file, you can easily replace my 5"x5" graphic with your own! Hack away!

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

Very cool. Even though it's not the correct dimension I instantly thought Traveller star chart. These one page map/keys also produce a strange compulsion, I look at them and feel I must fill them in. Blank paper/map on the other hand is a white expanse of creative block.

Some, hopefully, constructive opinion.

This definitely benefit from the two page format

With smaller map and the details on same page moving hexnumbers to the edges would work. Then you could make the hexes smaller and they'd be less cluttered. They are HUGE now :)

I think the Hex Key area should be open/freeform. Most of the time not every single hex will need key. Some will need a couple sentences, others just a few words. Then you could mv the wandering legend and info down and expand hexes across top.

re: Hack away! I have two weeks of vacation coming up. I'll let you know if I motivate myself into some map template making.

Will Douglas said...

Given the comments above (in particular the discussion of the Traveller subsector grid, one near and dear to my heart), I have only one word for you:


Something to thing about.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Restless/Norman - http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/2009/01/wilderness-maps-revisited.html

@Will - quitit. :D Now my brain says we must make more templates.