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FabulousFizban
2021-06-19, 03:57 AM
So I use a hexmap for my worldmap; but today, one of my players asked how much land area a single hex represents, and honestly I hadn't thought about it. What is a good answer for my player? How much land area should a single hex on a hex worldmap represent? In my game, hexes usually have one point of interest each: so one hex might have a town on it, another some ruins, or a forest or a mountain.

I thank the playground for its help.

Batcathat
2021-06-19, 07:05 AM
Have you decided how long it takes to travel through one hex? That might give a pretty good idea of how large it should be.

Trafalgar
2021-06-19, 08:12 AM
So I use a hexmap for my worldmap; but today, one of my players asked how much land area a single hex represents, and honestly I hadn't thought about it. What is a good answer for my player? How much land area should a single hex on a hex worldmap represent? In my game, hexes usually have one point of interest each: so one hex might have a town on it, another some ruins, or a forest or a mountain.

I thank the playground for its help.

With hex maps, I find it best to use a scale where one side of hex is measured and uses multipliers of 4. So your available map scales are 1 mile , 4 mile, 16 mile, 64mile, etc per hex side.

Lets say you draw a 16mi per side scale map to show a big area of country. You decide that one "mountain" hex contains an adventure location and you want to draw a another map with a 4mi per side scale for the adventure itself.

To transcribe from one scale to the other, you simply draw a straight line down the side of one hex, continue it so it bisects the next hex, and down the side of the next hex. On a 4mi per side scale, this line will be exactly 16mi long. A line that bisects a hex is exactly twice as long as a side of that same hex. Do this six times and you can draw a large hex made up of 13 full hexes and 6 half hexes for a total area of 16 hexes.

On the 16mi per side map, you drew one mountain in a hex. In the 4mi per side map that same area might have one hex with a mountain with the other hexes filled with hills and forest. Or it could be 3 mountains . Or 16. Up to you.

It might be easier for me to draw this for you than to describe it. Let me know and I can email you a couple of images that explain this better.

Aerys
2021-06-19, 09:32 AM
I would agree. It depends how long you want it to take to travel between areas. The Player's Handbook (page 182) says at a normal pace you can travel 24 miles in a day, so that may be a good place to start.

Here's an example I found. Each hex here is 6 miles and the larger grouped hexes are 24 miles. So this would probably be a zoomed in version of your map.

https://muleabides.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/mulepost01.jpg

thirdkingdom
2021-06-19, 09:53 AM
I use 6-mile hexes (measured face to face) divided into smaller 1.2 mile hexes (again, measured face to face). Note that the 6-mile hexes are pretty big, each containing about 31 square miles.

Trafalgar
2021-06-19, 09:54 AM
I would agree. It depends how long you want it to take to travel between areas. The Player's Handbook (page 182) says at a normal pace you can travel 24 miles in a day, so that may be a good place to start.

Here's an example I found. Each hex here is 6 miles and the larger grouped hexes are 24 miles. So this would probably be a zoomed in version of your map.

https://muleabides.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/mulepost01.jpg

Exactly. And large grouped hexes are 48 miles across from corner to corner in this example. It makes overland travel extremely easy to work out and it's easy to have players draw their own map as they go.

Back in the day, one of the BECMI books had a lot to say about hex maps and how to work out overland travel. It was one of the differences between BECMI and AD&D - BECMI used hexes for the world map while AD&D used free drawn maps. Not sure why.

thirdkingdom
2021-06-19, 11:34 AM
Exactly. And large grouped hexes are 48 miles across from corner to corner in this example. It makes overland travel extremely easy to work out and it's easy to have players draw their own map as they go.

Nope. If the above map is 24 miles, face to face, for the large hexes (leaving each of the subhexes 6 miles, face to face) the vertex to vertex measurement is slightly under 28 miles. Here's a handy website for hexagonal math (written for rpgs, actually): https://hexagoncalculator.apphb.com/

Trafalgar
2021-06-19, 11:45 AM
Nope. If the above map is 24 miles, face to face, for the large hexes (leaving each of the subhexes 6 miles, face to face) the vertex to vertex measurement is slightly under 28 miles. Here's a handy website for hexagonal math (written for rpgs, actually): https://hexagoncalculator.apphb.com/

Nope. This map is not measured face to face, it's measured length per side. If the side of a hex is 24 miles, a bisecting line that goes corner to corner is 48 miles. This is because a perfect hex is made up of 6 equilateral triangles. It's far easier to use side length as a scale in hex maps than face to face for this reason.

thirdkingdom
2021-06-19, 12:07 PM
Nope. This map is not measured face to face, it's measured length per side. If the side of a hex is 24 miles, a bisecting line that goes corner to corner is 48 miles. This is because a perfect hex is made up of 6 equilateral triangles. It's far easier to use side length as a scale in hex maps than face to face for this reason.

Maybe according to your post, but not according to the post you had quoted and responded to: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsinglepost.php?p=25092071&postcount=4

The post you had quoted, and that I was responding to, is this one:

I would agree. It depends how long you want it to take to travel between areas. The Player's Handbook (page 182) says at a normal pace you can travel 24 miles in a day, so that may be a good place to start.

Here's an example I found. Each hex here is 6 miles and the larger grouped hexes are 24 miles. So this would probably be a zoomed in version of your map.

https://muleabides.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/mulepost01.jpg

The poster stated "each hex is 6 miles, and the larger group hexes are 24 miles". The only way for that to be true is to measure face to face (there are four full hexes reading 1005, 1006, 1007, and 1008 *or* 0906, 1006, 1105, 1205). I'm pretty familiar with ACKS, the system being used with the map (see the header of the map), and I can promise you that it is measured face to face (see p. 235 of ACKS Core, where, while not explicitly stated, "each representing a 6-mile wide hex (32 square miles)". The only way for a hex to contain 32 square miles is for the 6-mile measurement to be counted face to face. In your example, a hex with a face that measures 6 miles would contain an area of 93.5 square miles.

This is also a good post that explains the math behind a 6-mile hex: http://steamtunnel.blogspot.com/2009/12/in-praise-of-6-mile-hex.html

I've also written two books, Filling in the Blanks and Into the Wild, that explicitly cover hexcrawling and populating hexes. I cannot think of a single instance when a hex scale in a published book refers to the side length.

thirdkingdom
2021-06-19, 12:20 PM
Here's actually a great example:

https://engineoforacles.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/central-osterm-canton-b-1.jpg?w=768&h=994

If the 36-miles were measured along one face there it would be impossible for the sub-hexes to measure 3 miles across the face. Measuring face to face, you can easily determine there are twelve subhexes running vertically, and the scale explicitly states that a) the large hex is 36 miles and b) the smaller hexes are 3 miles. How would you even measure long the face? You could do that with half the hexes, while the other hexes are bisected by the face.

It's much easier to measure face to face.

FabulousFizban
2021-06-20, 05:28 PM
This was all very helpful, thank you.

Sharur
2021-06-22, 02:41 PM
Potentially too late to help OP, but for anyone else who is reading:

I cheated, using the unit of land area known as a knight's fee as inspiration.

Here's the trick: a fee isn't a fixed size. Instead it varies, based on land quality and other industries. Basically, if an area had good soil for farming, or large mines or other sources of income, the fee comprising it would be smaller, and if it has poor soil, the fee size is larger. The idea was that a knight is awarded a fee, and is supposed to use that income to equip himself for battle.

Likewise, I present my hex maps as a "medieval map" distances are not constant, instead they show roughly where things are, and distance is a function of average time to cross. So a hex for a flat area with a good road going through it will represent a larger area than an equivalent mountainous or swampy hex.

SpyOne
2021-07-05, 09:58 AM
Here's actually a great example:

https://engineoforacles.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/central-osterm-canton-b-1.jpg?w=768&h=994

If the 36-miles were measured along one face there it would be impossible for the sub-hexes to measure 3 miles across the face. Measuring face to face, you can easily determine there are twelve subhexes running vertically, and the scale explicitly states that a) the large hex is 36 miles and b) the smaller hexes are 3 miles. How would you even measure long the face? You could do that with half the hexes, while the other hexes are bisected by the face.

It's much easier to measure face to face.

I guess I don't understand what you are saying here.
The big hex is 12 times the size of the small hex, so if the small hex measures 3 in any dimension the big hex would measure 36 in that dimension.

DwarfFighter
2021-07-19, 04:19 PM
Check this out!

https://hexagoncalculator.apphb.com/

-DF