Monday, May 26, 2014

An Infinite Sandbox

If it hasn't already been made readily apparent on this blog, I am what you might call a fan of Zak S.
Others were exposed to the best and most exciting aspects of our hobby by the now extremely defunct Grognardia, but I was a late-bloomer, and Zak's blog was my gateway drug. Though my blog-roll has grown over the years, Zak is always #1 on the must-read list.

One of the (many) cool community projects that Zak has helped put together is the Google+ crowdsourced hexcrawl called The Hexenbracken. That was followed by The Kraal. Both are image-mapped html documents that allow you to click on any hex to be taken to its keyed information, as well as any links it might have to other hexes. Both are great, and both have been sitting on my computer, awaiting their day in the sun for quite some time.

After a while, I realized that the maps work just fine, but I wasn't using them because the descriptions from the community weren't quite going to do it for me. Some were a little more gonzo than my current campaign setting, and others weren't quite gonzo enough. They just weren't the right overall flavor. It's true that I could have hacked them to suit my own tastes, but I'm more of a "start from square one" kind of guy.

If any of you have that same issue, here's a free hexcrawl map that's ready to be keyed by you with whatever your diseased minds desire. If you want to use it as-is, then you'll need to download both the html file as well as the "Region 2-2" png image. The hard part of image-mapping the individual hexes to their corresponding key numbers has already been done for you. All you have to do is open up the html file with your favorite text editor or WYSIWYG to give a different title to the map, and add descriptions to the hexes. If you're a Luddite (in which case, how did you find this blog?), I suppose you could always print it out and key it by hand as well.

Here's the real beauty of this, though. I'm lazy, so I built this sucker for re-useability. If you want to, you can create completely different maps using Hexographer, and, as long as they're the same overall dimensions, you can use my template to turn any of them into a linked image-map instantly. Just change the name of the image source from my "Region 2-2" to the name of your Hexographer map image.
Basically, the hexes will all still be in the same spots, even if you've replaced the mountains in hex 19.13 with grasslands, or snowy hills or whatever. As long as it's all still 00.00 through 19.14, you should be good to go.

Here are the dimensions to use in Hexographer:
Width: 20 hexes
Height: 15 hexes
Hex Width: 46 px
Hex Height: 38 px
Your final image should come out to about 694 x 589 pixels.

If you wind up doing anything with this, leave me a comment so I know how it turned out.

Happy Hexcrawling!

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