Rules for Hex Exploration
The expanse of the Stolen Lands has not, in Brevoy’s recent memory, been accurately mapped, and part of the task set before the PCs is to rectify this gap. As they explore the region, they and their companions are expected to keep track of what they find in order to keep Brevoy informed of strong and weak points of defense and to determine possible sites for roads, towns, and other fortifications.
Each hex on the map of the Stolen Lands is 12 miles across (between opposite corners) and covers just under 150 square miles of area.
For traveling, the amount of time it takes to cross one hex is listed. For exploring, the amount of time listed is to fully investigate the hex. Until the PCs spend money to create trails and roads, all of the Stolen Lands are considered to be trackless. In some hexes, more than one terrain is present in a hex. In such cases, calculate that hex’s effect on travel as if it were a hex of the dominant terrain type.
Forests: The forests of the Stolen Lands are densely vegetated, but generally crisscrossed with game trails and numerous clearings. The trees here typically consist of oaks, beech, rushleaf, and smaller scrub.
Hills: The rolling hills of the Stolen Lands are often pocked by small caves, twisting valleys, and small woodlands that crown hilltops or nestle in clefts.
Mountains: Although mountains in the Stolen Lands are relatively low in elevation (rarely rising more than 1,000 feet), they are often quite rugged and sheer, forcing travelers to follow old riverbeds, gorges, and twisting trails.
Plains: The grasslands and moors of the Stolen Lands vary from relatively open plains to swaths of tall grass that grows up to 3 feet high in places. Small copses of two to six trees are not uncommon.
Swamps: Swamps are a confounding mix of soggy ground, partially dry hummocks, tangled undergrowth, and deep pools of murky water. Travel in a straight line is impossible, requiring constant course adjustments.
Water: A river varies from 50 to 500 feet in width. Infrequent bridges and fords that allow a river to be crossed are indicated on the map where they appear, but in most cases, travel across a river requires swimming or boating. If the PCs wish to try swimming, all members of the group must make DC 15 Swim checks. If all members (and all mounts) make the check, then that particular river crossing doesn’t impact travel time through the hex. Otherwise, add 1 hour to the amount of time spent traveling for each failed Swim check. Lakes are calmer than rivers and may be navigated with a DC 10 Swim check, but their larger size makes swimming across them dangerous.