(this is a repost of content from my blog at frotz.prose.sh)
I am dissatisfied with a lot of things, but I'm only going to talk about one thing today and that's my dissatisfaction with some aspects of my shared world hexcrawl game.
I wanted to run a fun, interesting exploration game that also rewarded players who wanted to send their characters out into the wilderness rather than into one of the two big dungeons that are close by.
I don't feel like I am really doing as well as I could - since XP in the rules system we're using Halbards and Helmets is based on the amount of gold spent in the game and there aren't piles of gold just lying around regular characters in my game lag behind those who spend time in Stonehell or Barrowmaze.
I am also trying to find the right balance of in-game world events happening, along with local points of interest, so characters have a choice of different activities to pursue.
Originally I planned on using the wilderness random encounters right out of the B/X blue book, but the frequency of the checks seemed like it would result in a lot of dead first-level characters.
Then I thought I would use the Halberds & Helmets rules but as-is it is really designed for travel between dungeons or adventures, and I planned on running a game that was more about exploration in and of itself.
I have included the 'Ravaged Ruins' section of the Judge's Guild Ready Reference Sheets into my encounter check process, and the one location that popped up was interesting, but those results still don't occur very often. On a d6, 1=random encounter, 2=ravaged ruins, and.... and that's it.
I think I am going to add a third entry to the daily encounter check - 3=lairs. These will be the lairs of the types of creatures who are found on the random encounter table. I hope this will add more "points of interest" to each of the hexes, and provide characters with another way of funding their advancement aside from the two dungeons.
I will see how it goes, I suppose.