Thursday, January 24, 2013

Long Distance sighting rules for Blackmarsh and 5 mile hexcrawls


I would incorporate the following sighting rules for sighting terrain for 5 mile hexes. This based on the calculation of the horizon distance.

Clear Terrain
Clear terrain (Standing) = the hex in which the party is standing
Clear terrain (40 ft tree) = the terrain in the six surrounding hexes.

Hilly Terrain (assume 200 ft difference in elevation)
Hilly to Clear = Any clear hex within a three hex radius with no intervening mountain or hill hex.
Hilly to Hilly the same as clear.

Mountain Terrain (assume 1000 ft difference in elevation)
Mountain to Clear = Any clear hex within a seven hex radius with with no intervening mountain hex.
Mountain to Hill = Any clear hex within a six hex radius with with no intervening mountain hex.
Mountain to Mountain = the Same as Clear (tree) This is assuming in the hour of trying to sight terrain that a crag or summit is used to gain 40 ft of elevation.

Note that this the reverse is true, that standing in a clear hex one can see a mountain up to seven hexes away.

Trying to sight terrain would be a task taking about an hour probably cause at least one wandering monster check as the party roams the hex looking for vantage spots.

11 comments:

Ken Harrison said...

What about the impact of weather?

frothsof said...

I like these rules and intend to use them!

Rob Conley said...

You bastard ken ;-)

In all seriousness any type of inclement weather will limit visibility to the hex the characters are in at best.

Frank said...

You might also want to include peak hexes, mountain peaks that are significantly taller than other nearby mountains. They can serve as long distance navigation aids.

Locally, from the right place, I can spot peaks easily 50 miles away (and some even father away for example, there are places in Portland OR where Mt. Rainier, some 100+ miles away can be seen).

John said...

I don't require players to go to any special effort to sight terrain from a clear hex. Hexcrawling is abstract enough that I figure it's not too hard to find a 40-50' rise somewhere, and it's more important to me that the players are able to see the surrounding hexes so they can make informed decisions about where to go.

Rob Conley said...

@John however sometimes sightlines extend considerably further than six surrounding hexes especially at the five or six mile per hex scale. Hence the usefulness of guidelines to figure how far you can see distant terrain.

Charles Saeger said...

I also asked on the SJG forum, so apologies in advance, but what about the impact of height?

Charles Saeger said...

Oh, doh! I shoulda looked at the link, square root, so not much difference for most. Halflings and kobolds will have minor issues, pixies loads.

faoladh said...

Swordbearer has rules for this, too. If you're interested, I'll type them out of the books.

Ken Harrison said...

@Rob: I really like these rules. Despite my reference to our recent in-game weather issues, I was wondering if weather would be a modifer.

Rob Conley said...

@Ken, any type of inclement weather would severely limit vision to the hex the player are current in.