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Old School Hacks Vol. 1: Hexcrawling - Wilderness Exploration and Random Encounters
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Old School Hacks Vol. 1: Hexcrawling - Wilderness Exploration and Random Encounters

  • Additional exploration and travel mechanics to bring back the mystery of wilderness exploration!
  • Comprehensive guide and examples for building evocative random encounter tables!
  • Ideas for hazards, roleplay, mapping, player-facing goals and roles to make hexcrawling a blast!

Old School Hacks Vol 1: Hexcrawling dives deep into the Dungeon Master's Guide rules on wilderness exploration, getting lost, and more, and includes a detailed discussion of the theory, science, and art of building random encounter tables. There's also a world-neutral hex map and five example wilderness encounter tables tied to it. Featuring plenty of combat, exploration, and evocative interaction-based encounters, there's enough material for several months of gaming, as well as a barebones setting that you can expand to create your own low- to mid-level campaign.

Since this guide was originally published in January 2016, the layout has been completely revamped, and an entirely new hexcrawl campaign has been added!

  • Hardbuckler, a starting town complete with rumor tables, a job board posting for adventurers, a dozen fully developed NPCs and locations, plus tons of plot hooks for local adventuring opportunities.
  • A hex map divided up into several encounter regions to illustrate how this concept works. Cartography by the amazing Elven Tower Cartography!
  • Five encounter regions with fully developed encounter tables of several different types.
  • Roughly 20 pages covering over 120 encounters, ranging from friendly to hostile, monsters to traveling NPCs, natural and magical hazards, traps and tricks, curses, magical loot, ancient sites to explore, and much, much more!

Written and designed by Tim Bannock. Cover art by Elena Naylor. Maps by Elven Tower. Interior artwork by Arcana Games, Patrick E. Pullen, David Lewis Johnson, David Revoy, and other community resources!

"It's...packed with amazing!"
-- James Introcaso, The Tome Show - Round Table 106

If you like what you see here, check out Tim Bannock's other RPGs, supplements, and collaborations!

DMs Guild:


Old School Hacks series:

Old School Hacks Vol. 1: Hexcrawling - Wilderness Exploration and Random Encounters   Old School Hacks Vol. 2: Player Roles

Full-length adventures:

Modrons, Mephits & Mayhem! - Adventure for Levels 5-8   Curse of the Gumdrop Ooze

Campaign tools, handouts, and custom Dungeon Master Screen inserts:

The Hag’s Hexes   Forging the Forgotten Realms: A DM’s Kit for Running the Realms   Calendar of Harptos   Optional Rules & Random Tables Indexes   Curse of Strahd DM's Kit & Screen   Out of the Abyss DM's Kit & Screen

Free adventures and previews:

The Dam Kobolds Expansion! - An expansion for Encounters in the Savage Jungles   Modrons, Mephits & Mayhem (Free Preview Edition)

Tim Bannock is an RPG enthusiast since 1985. He got his start in the RPG industry as a game reviewer, then an editor and playtester working with Inkwell Ideas and several indie publishers. He now designs, writes, and handles project management for releases on the Dungeon Masters Guild and the Cortex Plus Creator Studio through DriveThruRPG.

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Reviews (6)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Anders K May 13, 2018 10:09 am UTC
Would greatly appreciate a print option! :D
Customer avatar
Tim B May 13, 2018 9:29 pm UTC
Now that POD has opened up for DMsGuild titles, that will happen.
Customer avatar
Jayme A May 01, 2019 11:28 pm UTC
Hi, Tim!

Have there been any updates on the POD version?
Customer avatar
Tim B May 02, 2019 11:23 pm UTC
Chances are slim at best. POD opened up, but only for a small subset of creators on the Guild. In order to invest time and resources into pursuing this, I'd have to put other projects on hold, and that's simply not likely in the near future, sorry.
Customer avatar
Tim B February 21, 2018 9:00 pm UTC
UPDATED 2/21/2018! New cover!

A ground-up rewrite and new layout are incoming for 1st half of 2018.
Customer avatar
Tim B March 21, 2018 8:38 pm UTC
Boom. Updated!
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File Last Updated:
January 07, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on January 15, 2016.