The subject of this post is to provide a fun little mini-game for running barroom brawls quickly in RPGs, this topic was suggested by Jason Connerley of the Nerds RPG Variety Cast and makes use of the excellent hex-flower creations of Goblin’s Henchman.
If you want to know more about hex flowers click here.
Essentially the mini-game works like this, the player party has a number of check boxes representing how long they can stay in the fight, the NPCs involved also have a number of check boxes.
The Player party has one checkbox for every player involved.
The number of checkboxes for the NPCs varies depending on the size of the establishment – 1D4 for small establishments, 1D4+2 for medium establishments and 1D4+4 for larger places.
Please note: The boxes do not represent the strict number of people nor HP, they are an abstract measurement of how you are doing in the fight.
If the NPC boxes are all checked before the PCs then the player party has triumphed, if the PC checkboxes are filled first then the PCs are all knocked out or subdued.
Please note: This game does not provide guidelines for what happens when the PCs lose or win the fight, that is down to the individual GM and the needs of their campaign, the purpose of this mini-game is to simulate a chaotic, quick, interesting pub brawl.
How to Play the Game
Once you’ve worked out the number of check boxes for PCs and NPCs, place a counter in the middle of the hex below. Each player then takes a turn to roll 2D6 moving the counter as indicated, each time the counter lands in a new space read the description and follow the action given then move on to the next player. Simple.
Hex Flower Key
But what happens if I go off the edge?
Should you dice roll result indicate that you have gone off the edge of the hex then you re-enter on the opposite side, a couple of examples are shown below:
Please feel free to leave comments and constructive criticism either on these blog or via voicemail on our podcast, the episode where we discuss the creation of this mini-game can be found here.
The icons used in the hexflower and for the header image of this post were taken from Game-Icons.net
Many thanks to Goblin’s Henchmen (the creator of the Hexflower idea) for pointing out I’d forgotten to mention what happens when you go off the edge of the hex.
In the third episode of our Thousands Lands B/X Essentials, hex-crawl campaign, our heroes press on into the Hoon Hills in search of the hideout of the evil thieves cult The Dark Eye, but they find more than they bargained for when they discover a small village and it’s shining silver guardian.
In the second episode of our Thousands Lands B/X Essentials, hex-crawl campaign, the heroes attempt to track down the thieves who stole Silus’ gear, but they may have tumbled onto a deeper conspiracy and long-term grudge with horrible consequences.
The first session of our B/X Essentials campaign (rules published by Necrotic Gnome), in which a group of heroes venture beyond the sanctuary of the Last City to explore a land blasted by a sorcerous war, is now available on Youtube:
An uncut version is available on Twitch (this also includes the character generation session 0):
We’re coming up to the finalé of our Dungeon World campaign this week, my plan afterwards is to have a couple of weeks off and then make a start on the next campaign. I’ve been very much enamoured of all things OSR (except THAC0) recently and used some elements of the good, old-fashioned hex crawl in my Dungeon World campaign, so it seemed only natural that I should continue down this path with my next campaign. I don’t want to jump straight into running another fantasy game so close on the heels of Dungeon World so I decided to turn to science-fiction (or science-fantasy depending on your definition), influenced by the fact I’m reading a lot of White Star at the moment.
Given my recent love affair with James M Spahn’s White Star–you can see my video review of it here–I’m thinking of running some OSR style sci-fi when when Dungeon World campaign wraps up in a few weeks or so; I’ve been looking at the concept of hex crawls and have even taken a few ideas from them to use in my ongoing FFG Star Wars campaign and the methodology seems to work well in a sci-fi genre. Given that so many sci-fi franchises have effectively been reskinning fantasy races to use as aliens for a long time, I thought it might be interesting to do the reverse and run a science-fiction setting where the fantasy analogues were embraced openly.
I’m not talking about a Spelljammer-esque fantasy in space style game but a science-fantasy game (ala Star Wars) that takes direct inspiration from fantasy races and ideas to use in the setting.