Tuesday, January 1, 2019

North-West Marches - Travel Rules

Credit Eric J Fitch

Hex generation

For each newly viewed hex, roll on the following table twice and combine the results. If you roll doubles then the location is a much larger Zone:
  1. Plains (no zone)
  2. Dry (Desert)
  3. Forest (Jungle)
  4. Hills (Mountain Range)
  5. Wet (Coast)
  6. Weird (no zone)
Zones are an unspecified size, but usually span four or more hexes. If it makes sense while in a Zone, roll 1d6 on the list above combined with the original Zone roll. The "Weird" result is to be interpreted however you like, though some possibilities can be found below. This method is best used at the table, rather than for proper map generation. Fudge lots. Reroll boring/unintuitive/nonsensical results. 

Examples (not definitive):
Wet + Dry = Swamp
Wet + Plains = River
Mountain + Weird = Draconic Desolation
Weird + Weird = Geographic Wonder
Weird + Plains = Hex Feature (see below) is obvious
Weird + [other] = Haunted/Blessed/Twisted/Alive/Distorted/Colourful


Parties can travel two hexes per day (once in the morning, once in the afternoon), modified by the options below. Some options also change the results of the Exploration table (all caps)
Forage starts at Wisdom-4 each morning.
If you didn't roll it yesterday, or it feels right, roll once on Weather (see below).

+1 if you Rush, -4 Forage, changing 6. FEATURE into 6. HAZARD (if this is a new hex) or RESOURCE DRAIN (if this is a familiar hex) and losing Surprise
+1 if you Soldier On, incurring Resource Drain
-1 if you Scout, +4 Forage, changing 5. HAZARD into 5. HAZARD+FEATURE and gaining Surprise 
-1 if you Hunt, +8 Forage

Modifiers (max of +1 per hex, additional bonus removes exploration die):
+1 if everyone is mounted
+1 if there is a Road
+1 if the terrain is Familiar
-1 in Terrible Conditions (mountainous, stormy, swampy)
-1 if anyone is Encumbered, Crippled or Lame and not mounted

Each traveller rolls at the end of the day. If you roll under, then you found one ration while travelling. If everyone fails, you are out of water for the next day. No food within X hexes of town (X = 0, increases with development), no water in deserts. If you roll under half, find an extra 1d4 rations. If you roll a crit, find an extra 4 rations, or a Strange Herb (link to be added).

Credit Travis Couch


Every time you enter a hex, roll 1d6:
If the party is Rushing then #6 becomes either HAZARD or RESOURCE DRAIN if the hex is new or familiar. If the party is Scouting then #5 becomes HAZARD+FEATURE.


Ideally, each type of hex would have it's own random encounter table. But that might not be feasible on short notice, and that is what this method is all about!
  1. Recurring Characters (anyone you've met and then left again, heard about or are looking for. Villains and allies and everything in between should go on this list)
  2. Faction A (something you'd expect to see here)
  3. Faction A+ (as above, but worse. More numerous, tactically minded or with strange powers)
  4. Faction B (something unexpected, likely wanderers from a different hex)
  5. Solo (an individual, strange and obscure. Orthogonally powerful)
  6. Boss (something individually very dangerous. Might have a retinue)
Yes, this is a Small Table


If you keep doing whatever it is you are doing, then roll 1d6 on the table below. If you do anything else, don't. If you are travelling in a straight line, it is simple to veer of course and avoid whatever it might've been rustling in the bushes. If it wasn't easy, then see above. If you are being chased, that's another matter, as finding a new course while in full flight is challenging. If you are camping and roll Traces, then it's up to you whether you wait it out or pack up.
  1. Encounter surprises the party
  2. Party surprises an encounter
  3. Hazard
  4. Hazard+Feature
  5. Encounter+Treasure
  6. Treasure


If you have a Ranger with you, then this is also Traces. Roll 1d20 if it is currently sunny, 1d12 if it is raining:
Seven or more = Sunny
Six or less = Rain

If you are in a desert, replace rain with dust-storm, or roll 2d20 instead of 1d20 and 1d8 instead of 1d12.

Resource Drain

Whenever Resource Drain is rolled, it effects either the Leader (INT/2 check negates), the Loser (no save) or Everyone (CON check negates).
Whatever the case, roll 1d8 and 1d4.

1 Fatigue fills an inventory slot
2 1d4/2 Fatigue
3 1d4 Mud fills inventory slots
4 Choose between 1d4 Mud, 1d4 Hunger or 1d4 Thirst
1d4: 1 2 3 4
5 - Baggage Hunger Thirst Exposure Homesickness
6 - Lose Random item 1d6 HP -1 Morale Your bearings (-1 hex/day till you find landmark)
7 - Gain 1 Trauma Minor leg injury +1 Death Dice Random disease threatens
8 - Bad Luck Fail next save Ill omen Minor curse threatens Lose all rations/weapons


Roll twice on the following spark table and combine. Saves might negate, Defence may apply. It may end up being a stationary encounter.
  1. Slippery
  2. Poisonous
  3. Mobile Plants
  4. Sticky
  5. Sharp
  6. Heavy
  7. Disease
  8. Bugs
  9. Fungal
  10. Trapped gasses
  11. Hidden
  12. Hole
  13. Cliff
  14. Fragile
  15. Soft
  16. Cramped
  17. Shifting
  18. Water
  19. Symbol
  20. Cursed 

Credit Daniel Zrom


Everything else. Standing stones, haunted caves, lairs and buildings, and one of the dozens of proper dungeons you have as PDFs and have never run. This is my list, but collate your own for best results. 1d6 and 1d4 for most cases:

1. Interactable

  1. Standing Stones/Altar
  2. Statue
  3. Fountain
  4. Shrine

2. Remains
  1. Road (leads 2d6 hexes to one thing and 1d6 hexes to another. Easily broken
  2. Village
  3. Gigantic Monster Corpse
  4. Hell Train (spaceship other times)

3. Building
  1. Witches hut
  2. Made of tree/giant mushroom etc.
  3. Hunting lodge
  4. Forgotten Fortress

4. Monster Lair
  1. MONSTROUS (goblin, kobold, orc, minotaur etc)
  2. BEAST 

5. Microdungeon
  1. Abandoned Mineshaft
  2. Wizard Tower
  3. Haunted Crypt
  4. Ancient Temple

6. Actual Dungeon
  1. Spire of Righteous Verticality
  2. Tannoch Rest-of-Kings
  3. Sky-Blind Spire
  4. His Eternal Progress
  5. Full-Dark Stone
  6. Litany In Scratches
  7. Man From Before
  8. Halls Untoward
  9. A Stolen Song
  10. Quest for the Murder Sword
  11. Bartizan of the Blood Egg
  12. Rune Dungeon
  13. Axebite Woods
  14. Gardens of Ynn
  15. Maze of the Blue Medusa
  16. Stygian Library
  17. Broodmother Skyfortress
  18. Menagerie of Doctor Boros
  19. Death Frost Doom
  20. Chambers of God (this one is mine, here's a teaser)


What we are all here for. 1d4+1d8, or on whichever table makes the most sense at the moment.

1. Natural
  1. Chunk of impure gold
  2. Pungent perfume
  3. Addictive plants
  4. Naphtha
  5. Poisonous mushroom
  6. Amber with extinct critters trapped inside
  7. Valuable intact horns
  8. Spider silk
2. Mundane
  1. Grease, rope and ball-bearings in a filthy, useful pile
  2. Jars of bleach
  3. Fireworks
  4. Grandfather Clock
  5. Wheelbarrow full of farming equipment
  6. Large glass mirror
  7. Ten-foot tongs, sturdy and counterweighted
  8. Comfortable boots full of counterfeit coins
3. Magical
  1. Hair-growth potion (my players were looking for this specifically, change to whatever they want most)
  2. Treasure map! 10 hexes in a random direction
  3. Pouch of Holding
  4. Talking weapon
  5. Rod of Mutagenic Healing
  6. Solar-powered blasting crystal (melee only)
  7. Magical ore, useful for making shiny weapons
  8. Deck of Many OSR Things (link to come)
4. Weird
  1. Melty gewgaw, glows a bit, obliterates on touch
  2. It were a glass tank, but there were a child in it, 'cept the child ain't human, if you know what I mean, it had seven eyes and told me how I would die without moving its mouth
  3. It were a diamond, but with more sides, and the air around it was all bendy y'see, and every time I'd go near it I'd get all dizzy and throw up these little bug things
  4. Little black glass rectangle glowin and talkin at me, tellin me 'bout the weather
  5. Spinning death things that beg and plead for hair and eyes teeth tongues then kill the owner
  6. Squelching black tar in a barrel
  7. Can’t see it, can’t smell it, touch it, taste it, hear it, but it’s there, any any attempt to determine anything about it deals Trauma damage. Fills 1d4 Inventory (roll each day)
  8. A slowly dissolving clone of… you
And that's it!


  1. Wow this is super elaborate and well designed, and I love how it integrates all of these pre-existing modiles and tools. Well done!

    1. Thanks! It's had a fair bit of playtesting, and I'm quite happy where it is at the moment.

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