Campaign Goals and Hex Map Scales

I am starting to ponder all of the many parts and pieces of a self-generated campaign setting. This got me to thinking about scale mechanics and how I wanted to represent the game world.  I am a hex-crawler, so I’ve already jumped the initial hurdle of campaign map style.

It may sound a bit ambitious at first, but I am going to map at a 1/2 mile scale in detailed regions and use 6-mile hexes to display the detailed portion of the game world.  The 6-mile hexes upscale to 36-mile hexes which would be fine for the ‘lower resolution view’ of a campaign map.

6-mile super hex
A perfectly formed 6-mile super-hex displayed at 1/2 mile per normal hex.  Shexy!

The goal is to use a mapping scale that is friendly to displaying the location of villages and minor terrain features such as normal-sized lakes.  Really, any feature that isn’t on an epic scale could be comfortably depicted.

The reason that this scale is important to me is because I plan to set the campaign in an era where human affairs are dominated primarily by loose bands of City States. Placing villages, large holdings, resource points, and other important markers onto a map scaled to handle such things is critical to accurately portraying the holdings of a given City State.

City States require a network of villages to provide food production and other base resources for the dwellers of the city.  In turn, the villagers trade their food, furs, and raw materials for finished products and the city state also has men at arms that protect the small villages.  When war does come, the farmers flood the city seeking the protection of walls and warriors. Systems of roads, bridges, and towers might be employed by wealthier City States.

Anyhow, the first task is to get the 36-mile campaign map started.  I will probably focus on a smaller continent  and get going on it with a larger goal of developing a map reference system, semi-random map generation tables, and to generally get in the thick of just doing it so I can better see how I want to proceed.

So the initial goal is to build the lower level tools that I will need to build the maps.  Default hex-grid templates and a coordinate or reference system seems like a good place to start.

D&D 5th Edition Zombies

It was not a half-hearted attempt to put the player at a disadvantage while engaging some mindless, brain-eating zombies.  It was a HARD level encounter for 5th level characters and it was augmented by a trap that had split the group.  It was a serious encounter.

Ogre Zombies stirred, shambling towards the ramp, ready to hammer the dwarf relentlessly.

The party’s Dwarven fighter had triggered the trap – a section of the floor had dropped, suddenly forming a ramp.  In the dark chambers below, Ogre Zombies stirred, shambling towards the ramp, ready to hammer the dwarf relentlessly.

By Creative Tail [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Unhappy zombie gets no brains….
The party’s bard had other ideas.  He went second in the encounter initiative order and strummed up some trouble on his electric lute in the form of Hypnotic Gaze.  All six of the ogre zombies were in the area of effect and it was then that I noticed that their only immunity was against poison.


In 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, zombies (and several other forms of undead) no longer have their long-held immunities to charm and other forms of mentally influencing magic.  In fact, they have poor wisdom scores and are actually rather susceptible spells of this nature.

It was an insanely easy 5k of experience to earn and the encounter was over almost before it had began.

Of the 6 Ogre Zombies, only a single one made a save and he was mowed down.  The party quickly reset the trap, and with the Ogre Zombie sealed safely inside the hidden chamber, they moved on.  It was an insanely easy 5k of experience to earn and the encounter was over almost before it had began.

If you are a DM, you might want to closely examine the creatures you intend to use – they may have been watered down or otherwise altered.  If you are a player, Hypnotic Gaze is a green-light for combating the zombie apocalypse.  In fact, being a zombie hunter could be an easy way to earn a lot of experience assuming you have hypnotic gaze available.