Say you, as the DM, discover that the party will have an randomly generated encounter in the wilderness. After finding the type of creature, and coming up with the number of creatures, how do you calculate how far away from the party the creature(s) are?
Sighting Monsters: Players will see monsters at from 40-240 yards (inches convert to tens of yards for the wilderness) unless the monster has surprised the characters involved.
Surprise: This is the same as in the underworld, except that the distance is from 10-30 yards, and if there are three or more monsters involved they will have moved into a circle around the adventurers. Monsters at 10 yards distance will be able to attack.
So, I would roll 4d6 or 1d6/2, as appropriate, and interpret the result as tens of yards.
Righto, for sighting distance when the monsters are near. for actual placement within the hex, the method given in the FFC is to roll on the direction chart to get a hex edge and then roll a d6 to determine the miles away from that edge. A six indicates the "adventure" is actually in the adjacent hex.
Last Edit: Feb 6, 2012 20:59:22 GMT -6 by aldarron
I wonder what ways people use to properly visualize the sheer extent of the hexes in their minds as they play. I live in a city that is 52 square miles, so I try to break that down in my head to roughly two full hexes - plus a tad left over. This way, when my players are moving through a hex, I get a pretty good idea of how much ground they cover per day, or per turn. It also helps me think about what much stuff one could find in a 21 square mile hex.
I've always had a hard time visualizing distances. I think growing up in a city your horizons are short so you can't 'see' 5 miles around you and the subway makes long distances meaningless. So I just don't grok it.
It can help if you go to Google maps (or something similar) and look at an area you are familiar with at a zoom factor that makes the scale match your D&D map. It will help you visualize the distances involved in a way you already understand. I suppose that works best with rural areas, though.
harbinger, I don't know if it's simply growing up in the city. I grew up in a suburb that, while being south of a major city, was otherwise surrounded by and featured much open country. I still can't judge distances. (I have the same 'block' with great amounts of money. $1,000 bucks may as well be $1,000,000 to me. I can't appreciate what amounts really mean insofar as value. EVERY car is "expensive" to me! )
I can't judge long distances either, and I also grew up and live in a suburb. I learned some rules by rote, though.
Assuming five- or six-mile hexes (the distance measured from center to center), a traveler in relatively flat terrain can only map the terrain in their current hex. He will not meet the denizens unless (a) there's a town or city in the hex and he decides to go there, (b) he spends the day searching the hex, or (c) he encounters a wandering monster.
Climbing an elevation like a hill or mountain will let him see farther. I just guess at this, but he should be able to map anywhere up to thirty hexes in the directions he can see. The taller the elevation, the more he can map. More tall terrain will block the horizon, of course. He can't make out any detail at these distances, just general terrain, so unless there is an army marching, he can't prepare for encounters with a view like this.