Monday, April 2, 2018

How to Add Entries to the Hex Describe Bible (With Pictures!)

Want to get involved in the world's most comprehensive hexcrawl generator, but don't know where to start? Why, you've come to the right place! I am not a coder - not by a long shot - but I figured Hex Describe out, and you can too. Here's the easiest way to help this project out.

1. Find that blog post, Word doc, notebook, or crumpled up napkin with the hex descriptions, encounters, NPCs, or items you like. Maybe you only have one or two. That's ok. No contribution is too small. We're like fuckin' NPR that way. Let's say all you have is this:

  • A clear pool hidden in a rocky ravine where moss hulks and lichen dryads can often be found playing. At the bottom lies the golden hand mirror of a lady of the Seelie Fey court.
  • 2d6 hungry wolves
That's cool, baby. We ain't gonna turn you away.

2. First, let's put it in the right format. You need to start each entry with a number and a comma. The number essentially represents the number of times the entry appears on the table. The pool sounds pretty rare, but maybe you want the wolves to be more common. Put [brackets] around dice rolls, and the program will roll it for you. Also, put the most important parts of the entry in bold by surrounding them with *asterisks*. Maybe you could add a few simple stats while you're at it, for convenience, and flesh out the behavior of those wolves:

  • 1,A *clear pool* hidden in a rocky ravine where *moss hulks* (HD 7 AC 17 crush d10) and *lichen dryads* (HD 3 AC 15 whip d6 + charm) can often be found playing. At the bottom lies the *golden hand mirror* of a lady of the Seelie Fae court.
  • 3,*[2d6] hungry wolves* (HD 3 AC 14 bite 2d4) begin to stalk the party. They will wait for a moment of vulnerability to strike.
3. Now we're set to add them. Go to the Hex Describe Bible.

4. Make sure the outline is visible by checking View -> Show document outline.

5. Scroll down on the outline to Wilderness Tables and decide which terrain type (or types) your entries are most appropriate for. I'd say "fir-forest" sounds pretty good for these. Click on the terrain type to go there in the doc.

6. There are four tables for each terrain type: landmarks, encounters, NPCs, and items. Decide where each of your entries fits best. I'd say my first entry is a landmark and the second is an encounter.

7. Copy and paste under the table heading, which always begins with a semicolon. So I'd paste the first entry under ";fir-forest landmarks," and the second under ";fir-forest encounters."

That's it! When you paste it into Hex Describe, you might now get a hex description like this:

0101: Boreal forest.
Landmark: clear pool hidden in a rocky ravine where moss hulks (HD 7 AC 17 crush d10) and lichen dryads (HD 3 AC 15 whip d6 + charm) can often be found playing. At the bottom lies the golden hand mirror of a lady of the Seelie Fae court.
Encounter: 2 hungry wolves (HD 3 AC 14 bite 2d4) begin to stalk the party. They will wait for a moment of vulnerability to strike.
NPC: none
Item: none

You can get fancier by using subtables and reading +Alex Schroeder's tutorial here, but you don't have to! Give yourself the gift of knowing you've contributed to something that may someday make countless DMs' lives that much easier.


  1. Either I didn't know about this, or I forgot all about this, but today I got reminded of it on Lasagna Social. Wow! Can I add this to Hex Describe as a new option? Can I steal some of the tables for my own? How should I credit you and your contributors? Is there a specific license you have in mind or is the good enough? (The two existing tables are "dedicated to the public domain".)

  2. I've done some more reading and I think we'd need to track down and ask contributors before being able to all of the tables to the repository. This is true for the ones that name sources in particular (unless their use was cleared?). I remember seeing material by Chris Tamm, Zak S and Jeff Rients at the very least? Hm, this might get tricky, fast!