Thursday 28 April 2011

One-Page Wilderness: The Graphics

Telecanter came up with a version of my one-page wilderness map that looks just great, with silhouettes. I'm building on it to get some of the useful information back on the hex while staying true to the iconic form. Range and day/night activity collapse into one hexagonal icon, blue dice-side icons provide the roll for number appearing. Total in lair, as well as "uh what exactly does this stand for again" can be subsumed in key notes for that hex's number (which Hexographer supports).

I also added a red flag icon for simple leadership structure in human-like groups. Roman numeral gives the number appearing that will include a leader of level (base +1), and doubling that will give further increases in the level of additional leaders encountered. For example, the bandits in the forest (V) are base zero-level, but have one level 1 figure for every 5, a level 2 for 10 or more, a level 3 for 20 and so on. If there are 5 bandit patrols averaging 9 each then the boss of all 45 bandits should be level 4.

Silhouettes for every monster, really? Well, it would be cool for other reasons, but I know of some resources that provide a start. The graphic fonts WWFantasy, Imaginary Forces, Mythologicals One, Mediaeval Bats, SL Mythological Silhouettes, and Time Warriors are all free, for one.


  1. Looking very good. I've never been completely satisfied with my hex maps for Nod - I'd love to see a counter set for Hexographer - monsters, cities, etc.

  2. Cool Beans. Also, I didn't mention before I really like the colors you have for the hex terrain.

  3. Ummm, how did you do that? (Get the mini hexagons/flags/etc with numbers.) Was that done with some post-production or with the "add feature decoration" feature in Hexographer? (Right click a hex that has a feature in it and you get that option in a pop-up menu, then you get a dialog to add info.) Or a custom icon set?

    That said, I have added a few creature icons as features, but I wasn't planning on adding more than the 8 or so that are currently in the tool.

    Still this is part of the reason I added the creature icons (and military unit icons) as well as created the feature decoration functionality. Glad to see something like it in use.

  4. @Joe: nah, I was cheating; I copied the picture and then worked on it in Powerpoint. The hexes aren't even Hexographer; they're Powrepoint hex shapes, a little rough.

    It looks like I should mess around more with Hexographer though - what exactly is available as far as feature decorations?

  5. In Hexographer, if you add a feature to a hex (such as a city, ruins, cave, castle or even military units like a knight, cannon or some creatures--all are on the "icons" tab) then right click that hex you'll see a pop-up for to add a "feature decoration".

    (You could fake that out and turn off the icon for a particular feature type (using the configure hexes tab) and place the blank feature so you could get the ability to add feature decorations without adding an icon... then add special font creatures as text.)

    So once you right click the "add feature decoration" option, a dialog appears with instructions. Basically, you set the position within the hex for your decoration. 12:00 is top center, 1:00 is just to the right or that and down slightly, etc. Then you enter some text (usually just one character due to space limitations.) You can also change the font and font color. You can add a triangle or square or some other decorations using high unicode characters in the "Dialog" font type, and some samples are listed there because who knows what those codes are.

    This was done to support traveller maps (where a triangle on the side represents a naval star base, etc.) and military games where you may want to say that hex has 6 cannon and they have an offensive score of 5 and defense of 2, for example.

    Unfortunately right now for what you're doing it is a little unwieldy because you would have to add it in two steps (1: add the background red square or whatever; 2: add the number) and the text may not line up centered on the polygon.

  6. I've been impressed by all your one-page work to date. I hate fishing around in rules book for this subs-system or that, this one with it's graphics sheen is top notch.

  7. @Joe: Oh yes, that's useful. I can adapt the icons to that system (see the next post). The main trouble is it seems a little flaky on what fonts are supported or not. For example, Wingdings comes out in both that window's menu and the final graphics as just a bunch of boxes, but a freeware icon font I have installed looks and prints just fine. WYSWYG on the text would also be nice, especially where icons are concerned. Anyway, in the ultimate instance I could try throwing together an icons font, if I really needed that graphic look.

    @ckutalik - Thanks; I believe I have a couple more waiting in the wings and this might be the incentive to get them out!