Justin Alexander has been putting out some posts on hexcrawls. Here are some links:
- Hexcrawl game structure
- Overview and design goals
- Modes of travel
- Encounter tables
- Spot distances
- Watch checklist
- DM’s worksheet
They assume the 3E skill system, but are still interesting reads. For comparison, see my old wilderness movement costs post (which is really just a slightly simplified version of the B/X wilderness movement system).
In particular, his concept of “watch” seems like higher temporal resolution than I need. What I have been doing is one encounter check per day (with a die roll to determine time of day). This is pretty much as specified by the original Expert rulebook. There are also rules for discovering fixed features through exploring hexes rather than moving through them (like searching a room for secret doors in a dungeon). It is also possible to notice some fixed features without searching form them.
Justin also left this provocative comment on one of the posts:
If you find yourself starting to worry about where the PCs are “in the hex”, you’re doing it wrong.
I need to think about that more. Should the hex be an atomic measure of wilderness space? It has a pleasing absolutism to it. It does remove the idea of zooming hex levels, but perhaps that is unnecessary complexity anyways.