Saturday, June 08, 2024

more settings should do this

N. Robin Crossby's Hârn setting included a beautiful poster-sized hexmap that allowed for all the hexcrawlery an adventurer's heart could desire. Here's a thumbnail of the map:

Here's a close-up of one region:
(click for an even bigger view)

This is one of the all-time great fantasy campaign maps, but, like so many such maps, it is ultimately a referee's map.

But Hârn also has a player's map, what it calls the "poetic map" of the realm:

"The map is not the territory," as ol' Al Korzybski used to say. Without a "poetic" map, there's no gap between the world-as-it-is and the PC's view of it. That gap is something the referee can exploit.


  1. Absolutely. Of course, one could have the players draw their own map, but that's another story.

  2. Anonymous4:29 AM

    Dolmenwood is another fine example.

  3. Hex maps gotta be numbered or else it’s a huge pain to catalog stuff in play. In my opinion and experience. Judges Guild Wilderlands - particularly the necromancer boxed set being the best example.

    1. On that point, the poster sized map that is included in the HârnWorld campaign setting is not meant to be used in play but rather as a primer along with the Hârndex that details the sites important enough to appear on the 12.5 mile scale hex map, this is meant to provide a broad overview for both interested newbies and folks that have been playing a Hârn campaign for years and need quick references for regions outside of their play.

      Their whole shtick is that they sell setting books that "zoom" into sites of interest, whether that be a dungeon or a kingdom, region, etc. Usually for actual gameplay they have topographical maps with enlarged hexes that have a high degree of detail within them, with the photocopy ready players map having the topos, landforms, etc but none of the sites of interest marked on them which creates a very different vibe than the usual TSR D&D hexcrawl format.

      I dunno, I think Hârn is pretty cool. It definitely does NOT have a strong world hook like Tékumel/Empire of the Petal Throne despite the striking similarities, but it's definitely got details up the wazoo.

  4. Anonymous12:55 AM

    My friend loves mapping and he makes multiple maps of an area, sometimes done by a few known explorers in his campaign. What they choose to focus on in comparison to each other is pretty interesting, and can be hilarious,

  5. Total agreement.

  6. Wow, N. Robin Crossby's Hârn setting is truly captivating, and that poster-sized hexmap sounds like a dream come true for any adventurer! The level of detail and the endless possibilities for exploration must make for an incredibly immersive experience. The thumbnail alone sparks so much excitement and curiosity about the vast world waiting to be explored.

    After diving into such an intricate and adventurous hexcrawl, you might enjoy a bit of creative relaxation. I highly recommend checking out Toca Boca Mod Apk. It's a delightful game that lets your imagination run wild with endless fun and creativity, all in an ad-free environment. Perfect for unwinding after a thrilling adventure in Hârn!

  7. One of my favorite things about the Harndex is simply pulling out that beautiful harnic league scale hex map of all of Harn, starting at a location and reading about it in the alphabetical reference book and then reading about the other surrounding sites which lets your brain make a bunch of wonderful connections (and potential campaigns, plot-hooks, etc.)