Hexploration within a roleplaying campaign can be done in many ways. This page explains the homebrew rules for exploring, mostly taken from the Alexandrian 5e Hexcrawl and mixed with Pathfinder 2 Exploration and Hexploration. Some DCs are maybe up for revision as they are based on 5e.
The general principle is that Hexploration replaces large parts of Pathfinder 2 Exploration when it comes to navigating. It may not be as well sited to campaigns where travel is just a break from "real" events and shold probably be handled differently.
In Hexploration, characters take part of one or more Expeditions that make choices in time chunks of the day called Watches, each 4 hours long, and then the activities and events take place.
Activities, in brief:
Both Travel and Local
- Navigating - To avoid being lost or veer off track.
- Foraging - Provide sustinence from your surroundings. Gain water, a ration or interesting plants.
- Sentry - Keeping an eye out to detect threats or notice anything else out of the ordinary. May roll for up to 3 things.
- Stealthing - Keeps tabs on the whole Expedition (and minimises tracks if you so choose).
- Scouting - Help improve navigation, speed in trackless lands, exploring or outriding sentry.
- Tracking Attempt to find, follow or make tracks. Like Track
- Aid - Attempt to give bonus to another character's activity.
- Trailing If you didn't choose anything, you're trailing with the expedition.
- Resting Two watches needed (see limits). More watches may be needed if interrpted.
- Sentry - As the Travel Activity but with bonus and you can find an outlook to spy ahead.
- Tracking - Familiarising yourself with the track and get a chance to get an advantage when you again start tracking.
- Map the Area - After having travelled a bit create an Accurate Map of it that adds bonuses in this area.
- Fortify Camp - Improve the campsite in different ways, like removing bushes for sight, adding makeshift snares or hinders, hide features etc, granting Advantages (or removes Disadvantages). Some basic tools are most likely required.
- Choose Activity Type
- If Travel = Choose Speed
- Choose Activites
- Resolve Activities
- (Travel) Resolve Navigation (Lost/Veer)
- (Both) Characters make checks on Activities in the order they choose
- (Both) Check for Random/Set encounters
- (Local) Resolve all Local Activities
- (Rest) Restore HP, conditions and make Daily Preparations
- (Travel) Resolve distance travel calculations
- (Travel) Traverse until reaching edge of area and make new Navigation check
- Watch has ended
Time and Activities
The Hexploration Mode is divided up into "Watches" of which the day has 6 of, each 4 hours. Every Watch the characters choose an Activity Type and an Activity that explains what they are doing and how they are going about it during that watch.
Encounters happen randomly (random encounter) or specifically (set enconter); both associated with the local area, and pauses the current Watch until it has concluded. During Encounters, either Exploration Mode or straightforward Combat is used. Sometimes a Watch ends becase of an enconter.
Character choose the Activity Type for the Watch. If they don't choose the same, the party splits and are counted as two (or more) Expeditions. If one characher choose no Activity, the Activity Type matches other characters and is either Trailing (if Travel) or Rest (if Local).
- Travel means the Expedition is traversing terrain, navigating themselves in the world.
- Local Action means the Expedition is more or less stationary (maybe with some outrider) and conduct some activity locally.
If the Expedition Travels, it usally needs to do a Navigation check (Survival vs terrain Navigation DC). If no character does Navigating, the direction is determined randomly.'
Travel also has additional choices for Speed. Which Speed is used will have effects on the Activities that can be performed, and if it's done with some bonus or penalty:
- Fast (150%) - Quick speed (without additional risk of fatigue). Can't make Stealth checks. Penalty to Perception, Perception DC and Navigation.
- Normal (100%) - Normal travel. Can't make Stealth checks.
- Careful (75%) - Carefully traversing the land. Bonus to some checks.
- Slow (50%) - Travelling slowly, or travel with many detours. Bonus to some checks.
- Crawl (25%) - Extra slow pace. Bonus to some checks.
Activities more closely deals with the specifics of what is done. Each character can perform one Activity per watch (unless otherwise noted). Players may choose which order to resolve their characters' Activities. Any Activity that affects other Activities only affect them if they are resolved after its effect. Many effects happen on the next Watch rather than the current one.
If players can't agree on the turn order, roll Perception-based Initiative.
- (E) = The Expediton - Physically close to the Expedition.
- (N) = The Navigation - Navigation or travel related.
- (O) = The Outriding - Activities in the area bt outside of Expedition.
- (S) = The Security - Management of the Expedition safety.
- The Aid acticvity gains the traits of the Activity it is aiding except VD.
Activities that can be performed both as a Travel Activity and as a Local Activity.
(Navigation) (Any speed) (VS2) (VD10)
Navigating is done to avoid being lost or veer off track or to correct navigation errors.
Survival vs Navigation DC (hidden result).
Variable Difficulty 10: +1 Activity this watch.
(Expedition/Outriding) (Careful-) (VS1) (VD)
Provide sustinence from your surroundings. Provides one random yield of the following three: A source of water (can replenish any containers); one ration of food; one roll on interesting plants table from Broderick’s Compendium (add the amount over DC to the rarity roll).
Survival vs Forage DC. Add +2 DC to choose which one you are looking for.
Variable Difficulty: +1 yield.
(Expedition,Security) (Any speed) (VS2)
Keeping an eye out to detect threats or notice anything else out of the ordinary. Success grants the expedition a +2 circumstance bonus to Initiative for this Watch. The Sentry may make up to three checks to either: Detect an encounter before it detects you, granting a +4 Initiative bonus while staying undetected, detecting an unhidden feature, or a hidden feature. A Sentry circumstance bonus of +4 can be split between the rolls as desired. The Security Check Success is measured on the worst of the checks the Sentry chooses to make.
Perception vs Navigation DC +4 (or encounter/feature Detect DC, whichever is higher).
(Expedition,Security) (Careful-) (VS2)
Keeps tabs on the whole Expedition and minimises tracks if you so choose. Your Stealth check result is the Detect DC and Track DC. Success means 50% chance to remain undetected to the next encounter in this or the next Watch. Sealth vs DC 20.
Variable Difficulty: Double Success effect.
(Outriding,Navigation/Security) (x2 speed and Slow+)
Choose what to focus on while Scouting: Navigation, Pathfinding in trackless terrain, Exploring to find things of interest, or Sentry. One additional encounter check is made.
- Navigation (O,N): Scout and relay the information to allow either a reroll of the Navigating check, picking the best result, or a +5 circumstance bonus on the next check. Survival vs Navigation DC.
- Pathfinding (O,N): Look for the easiest terrain ahead of the party, treating trackless terrain during this or the next travel Watch as if it had a trail, allowing for faster travels. Survival vs Navigation DC.
- Exploring (O,N): At a higher speed, go far and wide to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary! Find one unhidden feature and make an additional Perception check to find any hidden ones. This Activity counts as two checks to find features for the purpose of Exploration bonus. Perception vs Navigation DC +2.
- Sentry (O,S): As the expedition-based Sentry activity but you detect far away from the expedition and the cumulative bonus to find features is +5 instead of +2. Perception vs Navigation DC +2.
(Security) (Careful-) (VS1) (VD10)
Attempt to find, follow or make tracks. Use the Track rules but also apply a Security Check Success effect to the result to Track.
Survival vs Track DC.
Variable Difficulty: Also perform one other Security Activity this watch.
- If fail, wait 1h before the next (or 24h if crit fail).
- Only need to make one check per Watch unless there is a significant change.
- Tracking has +5 on hard ground and -5 on soft.
- Trailblazing (E,N,S) - Allows the expedition to lay down a trail that is either visible or hidden to others, using a Stealth check. See rules here and here.
(Same traits as aidee) (Same speed as aidee) (VD)
A second character can aid an Activity check. Use Aid rules.
Same check as aidee.
Variable Difficulty: +1 bonus.
Activities that can only be performed as a Local Activity.
(Expedition) (2+ Watches)
Needs to be taken consecutively to gain the benefits of a rest (see limits). More watches may be needed if interrpted.
As the Travel Activity with Crawl speed (+6). If you find an outlook to look further afield you may use it to increase the Sentry circumstance bonus to +6 instead of +4 and any cumulative Perception bonus to find features to +5 per roll instead of +2, but an additional encounter check of 10% lower probability is rolled. Spotting Distance.
Spend time finding or familiarising yourself with the track and get a chance to get an advantage when you again start tracking. You may make up to 4 rolls over the period of the Watch as you get to know the track. If you make a second roll, the first is discarded, and so on. The one you stay with may replace the roll for the next Watch you use Tracking on this track.
Map the Area
After having performed at least 3 Activities with the Navigation trait (6 in trackless terrain) in an area, create an Accurate Map of it. The expedition's Exploration bonus may be applied to the check.
Survival (or Craft Map) vs Navigaion DC +7.
Improve the campsite in different ways, like removing bushes for sight, adding makeshift snares or hinders, hide features etc, granting Advantages (or removes Disadvantages). Some basic tools are most likely required. If successful, the character may choose two advantages.
Survival/Craft vs Forage DC.
- Advantages to choose from:
- Remove 1 Disadvantage
- +2 to Initiative
- +2 to Perception checks to detect danger
- +2 to Detect DC (up to +10)
- ability to make stealth check to start an encounter Hidden and Undetected
- +1 to attack rolls in/adjacent to camp
- +1 to AC in/adjacent to camp
- +1 to Reflex saves
- +1 Comfort Level
- improvised caltrops in 4 spaces - Perception DC 15 to see (plus any Detect DC for the camp) and DC 14 Acrobatics to avoid
- stakes in the ground in 3 spaces to prevent cavalry or trample (D8 damage, Basic Reflex DC 17 Save for each such square, if damage is taken, reduce speed by 50% which may cause the creature to stop)
- Disadvantages: Each value of Disadvantage cumulatively causes a -1 circumstance penalty to checks relating to Perception, Stealth and Initiative in or near the camp.
|0||-||Exposed||Uncomfortable without even minimally comfortable shelter.||HP: CON-2 x lvl (min 0). Choose 1 condition to reduce.|
|1||1||Sheltered||Minimal comfort/shelter.||HP: CON-1 x lvl (min 1). Choose 2 different condition to reduce.|
|2||2||Subsistance||Decent shelter and some comfort.||HP: CON+0 x lvl (min 1). Choose 2 different condition to reduce.|
|3||4||Improved||Slightly improved level of shelter and comfort.||HP: CON+1 x lvl (min 1). Reduce 1 of each condition.|
|4||7||Comfortable||Comfortable (with great shelter if outdoors).||HP: CON+1.5 x lvl (min 1). Reduce one of each condition and then choose 1 more.|
|5||-||Fine||Fine accomodations.||HP: CON+2 x lvl (min 1). Reduce one of each condition and then choose 2 more.|
|6||-||Extravagant||Extravagant conditions.||HP: CON+3 x lvl (min 1). Reduce one of each condition and then do it again.|
These activities normally take at least 4 consecutive Active Watches to perform ("a day or more") and may not be applicable.
Sustenance and shelter. See rules
4 days is standard, but some mundane items can be crafted in 1 Active Watch. See rules.
- Trailing (Expedition) (Any speed) - If a character isn't incapacitated but doesn't choose an Activity, they simply tag along without a specific thing they do.
- Grazing Animals (Expedition,Navigation) - If an appropriate biom (determined by the GM), animals (like horses) can graze and be fully fed by grazing as one Local Activity.
A character may increase the DC of their skill check by 5 to make an Extra Activity.
- Keeping an Eye Out (*) - You may make a Perception DC 15 check for special features that are not hidden to try and find any and you may make a Perception check with a -2 circumstance penalty to find hidden features.
- (VD) = The Variable Difficulty - If Expert or higher, may increase DC by increments of 5 for an incrementally better outcome of Success.
- (VS) = The Variable Speed - If travelling at a slower speed category than prescribed, gain a circumstantial bonus on the check, or a circumstance penalty if travelling faster than prescribed (if possible) If no speed is prescribed, count Normal as +0. The bonus/penalty is either 2 or 1 per speed category. Local activities use the same as the Crawl speed, if a speed category is applicable.
- Hidden and unhidden features have a Detect DC. Different activities allow for Perception checks to try and find it, generally when moving through or around the area. Every time an expedition has performed a Navigation activity in the feature's area, its members gain a +1 circumstance bonus to this check. Every time an expedition has made a check that wasn't a critical failure to find features, its members receive a +2 Exploration circumstance bonus to this check, up to +10. The DC is increased by +5 if you do not know what you are looking for.
- Day = 24h period.
- Accurate Map = A reliable map of an area, providing a +2 circumstance bonus to any activities with the Navigation trait the user performs and may improve the success rate of such a check by one step (up to Success).
- Regarding PF2/DnD5e(*) we replaces "+4" or "-4" to Advantage/Disadvantage for DnD5e and any larger bonus/penalty is numeric.
- It's up to the GM if two characters can perform the same Activity or if the disturb one another (one can always use Aid instead!).
- Crit Success: The Activity succeeds twice as well as expected.
- Success: The Activity succeeds.
- Fail: The Activity fails, but no particular disadvantageous effects.
- Crit Fail: The Activity fails spectacularly, imposing a disadvantage similar to what advantage a success would have accomplished.
- Crit Success: Expedition members gain a +2 (cumulative to +4) circumstance bonus to any Security Activity performed in the next 4 watches
- Success: The Activity succeeds.
- Fail: No effect.
- Crit Fail: Make an extra random encounter check.
- Crit Success: You are certain you are on track. Travel 25% further than normal for a day if beneficient, and gain a +5 circumstance bonus on the expedition's next Navigating activity.
- Success: The Activity succeeds. You think you are on track with a 50% chance you are certain.
- Fail: You become lost and start veering but think you are on track. At the end of the Watch there is a 50% chance you realise you are lost.
- Crit Fail: You become lost and start veering but think you are on track. Reduce travel distance for the day by 25% and gain a -5 circumstance penalty on the expedition's next Navigating activity.
Actually keeping watch dring resting.
|Party Size||Total Time||Duration of Each Watch|
|2||16 hours||8 hours|
|3||12 hours||4 hours|
|4||10 hours, 40 minutes||2 hours, 40 minutes|
|5||10 hours||2 hours|
|6||9 hours, 36 minutes||1 hour, 36 minutes|
- Full rules: Healing#Resting
- Marching or other streneous activity in excess of 1h between rest periods will reset the time counted as rest. Taking turns on guard duty generally does not affect rest.
- Not automatically Fatigued after 16 hours; after 20 hours instead (5 Watches).
- If a character does not spend at least one full watch per day resting; succeed at a Fortitude check (DC 12 + the number of hours missing) or suffer a level of Fatigue.
- Write down hours of sleep missing from 8 (if slept 3h, then 5) and accumulate these and add them to next day's Fort check until the character gets an opportunity to ret up the missing hours.
- HP gain: CON+1 (min 1) x lvl; may be less if resting without shelter/comfort.
- Some conditions removed
- Able to regain spells
- Fine comfort level: Extra HP or removed conditions
- Full rules: Travel#Forced_March
Generally a time increment (1h) after 8h march start making Fortitude check of DC 12 + 2 for ever previous check. Hustle: 10 x Con mod minutes of 200% speed (10 min increment).
- Crit Success: Skip the next Fortitude check and don't count either this or the skipped one for calculating future DCs.
- Success: You succeed in forced march without disadvantages.
- Fail: 1D4 damage and gain a Fatigue level.
- Crit Fail: 1D12 damage and gain two Fatigue levels.
Food and water
- Full rules: Starvation
Water: You need 1 or 2 waterskins (0.5 or 1 gallon) of water per day depending on activity level to be unaffected by thirst.
Food: You need one ration of food per day to be unaffected by hunger.
Ammunition that did not hit a target has a 50% chance of being recoverable. In dire straits it's possible to reover also arrowheads from the other 50% that are otherise "lost" as well as those that have hit a target (or something hard). Arrows can be repaired (5hp) or crafted from scratch. An arrowhead hitting a hard object has the Broken and Shoddy traits until repaired and endows any arrows made from them with these traits.
Craft and Repair
There is a slight lack for this in PF2.
Improvised Repair Kit means it's a Shoddy one, with a -2 circumstance penalty. Most of the time, some level of repair is possible from things like knives, hatchets, stones and boulders but in some cases repairs are impossible, like if there is a lack of ANY relevant tools.
Craft uses the standard rules with the folloing exceptions:
- May attempt an untrained check with a -5 penalty.
- Crafting overtly mundane items can be done at 5% the time of normal crafting as well as dring Exploration Mode (2h) or Hexploration (2 checks per Watch).
- E.g.: Clubs, ammunition (arrowheads already made), arrowheads of common wood or bone.
- Cutting tools, rope and fire are required.
- Normally, these items are impossible or very hard to sell.
- Wooden weapon made for quality like a Bo-staff or spear require a full Craft check (4 days Downtime), otherwise it's Shoddy.
- 10 arrows are created per check (standard)
- Bone: -1 damage and Fragile. -2 to hit light armor, -4 to hit medium armor and -6 to hit heavy armor.
- Wood: -2 to hit and damage. An additional penalty to hit targets with medium armor (-6) or heavy armor (-10). Fragile.
- Weapons normally made by wood, like staves and clubs, do not apply these penalties.
- Can be made if you have the Snare Crafting feat in 1 minute if using materials as described in the Snare list.
Large scale movement is hindered by several factors, well summarised here.
Rule of thumb 8-12 miles per day rather than 24 odd. Can probably be refined with eqation + dice.
- PF2 hexploration https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=1265
- Did peasants travel?
- Infiltration Subsystem - implement?
|House Rules* & Roleplaying nav.. (e)|