I need a hex map


My party of adventurers are sailing to the Lemurian Remanant as part of a quest imposed upon some of them so they could heal from the damage of an automaton. Think the some what misinterpreted way a clay golem in 1e AD&D does damage. In this case, in Hyperborea that interpretation is clear.

In any case, in their last session they fended off many attacks. From giant octopuses, giant squids, and a bunch of great white sharks. As it so happens, a shark was able to take a damaging bite out of their ship.

They had already planned to stop at an island on the charts to prepare for the crossing of a nasty part of the open sea, the River Okeanos. With the damaged ship, the stop has become imperative.

I was mostly going to handwave the stop for the most part. Now, I kinda want to plop down something and see if it I can distract them.

First, I needed to make a map of the island and I think it needed to be hexes since it's "wilderness".

That means two things:

  1. Inkscape
  2. Pelle Nilsson's hex map extension

So, once you have Inkscape installed as well as the extension you are head to make some hexmaps to your heart's content.

First I created a page full of 2.5" (flat side to flat side) hexes on US letter sized paper. In the Style table I have Rotate option checked. This have the hexes "pointy end" towards the top of the page.

screen capture of hexmap inkscape extension and a page of hexes

These hexes represent 25 miles per hex. For a bit finer detail I then wanted to add in some 5 mile hexes. I partly chose the 2.5" hex partly because it's easily divisible by 5. I also created a new layer so that each new hex size are independent from each other and I change the properties of them.

You will need to try and undo the number of columns and rows so that the hexes cover the page just enough.

screen capture of hexmap inkscape extension and a page of with smaller hexes

I had considered a third layer of .1 in hexes but that creates a lot of svg objects and it can bog down your computer a bit when you need to change properties or even group them together.

Once I had this base map I added the rough shape of the island from the Hyperborea map along with what I am interpreting to be breaks around it. Reefs or other navigation hazards for large ships.

I wasn't not satisfied with how the map was turning it.

I finally decided what I needed for the map the players will see is one large hex with smaller hexes inside that. The big hex being 25 miles and the smaller hexes being 5 miles.

So I created a monstrous 8" hex, 1.6" hexes inside that, and .12" hexes inside those. Yeah, I did just say that those are a pain and resource drain. However, I only made enough to just fit the big hex.

I then meticulously deleted everything outside the monster hex (uploaded as slightly different version since someone noted some weirdness with it and we'll see if this helps --edit 2020-09-22).

screen capture of hexmap with 1 large hex, many smaller hexes inside that, and even smaller hexes inside those

I changed the shading/"grayness" of the lines for each hex type. You do this under the "Fill and Stroke" submenu under the "Object" menu. The big, 25 mile hex is pure black: 255. The 5 mile hexes are a dark grey: 100. Finally the 1 mile hexes are a light grey: 25.

So, being a lazy DM I started looking through my various old school things I've bought over the years.

I reached for the Echoes from Fomalhaut(EFF) published by E.M.D.T. First Hungarian D20 Society. Gabor Lux is the force of nature behind this excellent zine. You can get pdf's from Drivethrurpg. However, do yourself a favor and get the paper version mailed to you from Hungary. When maps are provided with the zine the paper is top quality. Seriously, I like the paper used for these maps so much. You should also get the pdf version with your purchase (I will update this post if that is not the case).

I had thought about The Beekeeper from EFF #01 but kept scanning through the rest.

Terror from Tridentfish Island in EFF #03 really filled my need. It even has the same vibe and even some world hooks that work great in Hyperborea. I just need to smudge it a little and munge things to work with where it needed to go.

A little work later and I have something I can use. This is only the geography of the island. I can't show off the fun bits. You gotta get Gabor's excellent work to find out what my party might find on the island if they go exploring it instead of attending to the needed repairs.

hexmap of the tridentfish island geography mangled to fix the island shape

Thanks to Inkscape to making a tool that I'm capable of making a basic tool of the DM trade.

Thanks to Pelle Nilsson for making an extension to Inkscape so I can make hexmaps to my specifications.

Thanks to Gabor Lux for continually make some of the best old school content out there. When he posts he has something new to buy I don't think twice about rushing to purchase it.

Hyperborea: Amazon Carrack


TL;DR: I need a deck plan for a ship. I didn't quite like what I found so I made my own.

So, my party decided to purchase a sailing vessel and hire a crew.

So I went searching on the web and asking on the Hyperborea Forums forums as well.

Serendipitously I have been watching a YouTube channel of a guy restoring an old, wooden sailing vessel. In a few episodes he goes about explaining how to read the prints for a ship. It did help a bit with this project. I didn't go too deep into an accurate deck plan. I wanted something good enough to work but also some semblance of "correct".

So, this is what I came up with.

scalar vector graphic of an amazon carrack deck plan

Amazon Carrack Deck Plan Key

  1. Forecastle
  2. Aftcastle or Sterncastle
  3. Galley
  4. Officers Cabin
  5. Captain's Cabin
  6. Passenger Cabin
  7. Passenger Cabin
  8. Officers Cabin
  9. Crew Quarters
  10. Crew Quarters
  11. Passenger Cabin
  12. Passenger Cabin
  13. Passenger Cabin
  14. Passenger Cabin
  15. Passenger Cabin
  16. Passenger Cabin
  17. Crew Quarters
  18. Cargo Deck
  19. Steerage Deck

So this is nice and all, but I needed something that I think is better to use in my campaign which is on Roll20.

The instructions are for roll20. I have a license for fantasy grounds but I haven't really used it. So, if you are a FG user you'll probably figure it out before I do.

Most of my maps on roll20 are 25x25 squares of 70pixels.

After uploading it I put it in the map layer.

I right click on the image, select Advanced -> Set Dimensions.

Set the dimensions given for the image (see below).

Right cick on image, Advanced -> Align to Grid

Click and drag a square, it doesn't really matter how big.

Then select the grid cell size to 35x35.

This should then align the grid of the deck to the grid of the vtt map.

Also, each grid on the deck plan is 5 feet, which is what I usually use for my games.

First, a mashup of the castles and main deck. The practical surface area for combat.

This map is 700x210 pixels.

image of deckplan to use for combat with a virtual table top campaign

This map is the main deck. It is 665x210 pixels.

image of main deckplan to use with a virtual table top campaign

This map is the lower deck. It is 665x175 pixels.

image of lower deckplan to use with a virtual table top campaign

I hope it's useful for those needing a ship in whatever system you use.

I might update this post with some screenshots of exactly what I do in Roll20 but this is what I have time for at the moment.

Happy gaming everyone and remember Rule 0: Have fun.