This might of been asked before but: Has anyone thought of some different end questions especially for a west…

This might of been asked before but: Has anyone thought of some different end questions especially for a west…

This might of been asked before but: Has anyone thought of some different end questions especially for a west marches type hexploration game?

Also tips on how to get players contributing in an already established world?

11 thoughts on “This might of been asked before but: Has anyone thought of some different end questions especially for a west…”

  1. Sub.

    For getting would-be explorers into an existing world, I like maps. Get a big, poster-sized map printed up and make sure it’s covered with enticing names or icons. At least, this is like catnip for kids. (And me.)

  2. It’s about exploring, mapping and finding treasure, right? So maybe:

    End of session Mark xp if

    – you went further out than anyone before you

    – if you brought back your dead, honoured their passing or bring back something for their bereaved

    – brought back some sweet loot

    – overcame or cleverly avoided a notable danger or enemy

    – made a discovery worth adding to the map

    You could also award XP for each 100 coin they stash away in loot, like Freebooters. Hell, you could probably play this in Freebooters on the Frontier.

  3. For contributions, maybe have a scene in the tavern where they all tell a story, memory or legend they’ve heard, and a place featured or associated with that. Hell, you could make this a recurring thing. Each time they return, or every five sessions or something.

  4. Hex-crawl style would probably get a lot of Undertake a Perilous Journey, actually so much that you might want to streamline it a bit.

    The original UAPJ would become tedious to me if I would roll for it every time the party moves around the map.

    I’ll be running a campaign inspired/adapted from Tomb of Annihilation, which is kind of a hex-crawl.

    I ended up changing Undertake a Perilous Journey to a more simple :


    When you travel through dangerous lands, ask the GM how long it should take you to reach your destination and he will describe a thing or two you encounter along the way, then choose someone to Manage Provisions. Then, each character says if and how he helps the party reach its destination, overcome the difficulties of the journey and avoid dangers along the way. The GM might ask all or some of you to Defy Danger.

    The thinking behind is that it would allow the players to come up with original ways to contribute to the UAPJ move other than just the 3 default ones.

    It also explicitly allows the GM to add some flavor and/or random encounter along the way.

    You could totally remove the Manage Provision part if you wanted, although it’s usually something you keep track of in hex-crawls.

    I honestly don’t really care about the hexes themselves on the map apart from eyeballing number of days/rations it takes to get somewhere and the land traversed. I ask them where they are heading and I check on the GM map if there is any point of interest between their position and their destination and I make them stop there. It still allows me to check for random encounters, but I don’t get restricted by hexes for number of encounter rolls and such things, although you could totally do that if that’s something you want.

    Depending on the pacing I want to have, I also created that move :


    When you want to resolve a combat scene with a single roll, each player rolls…

    ■ … + STR if you fight in melee

    ■ … + DEX if you use ranged attacks

    ■ … + CON if you rely on the Balboa tactic

    ■ … + INT if you cast Wizard spells

    ■ … + WIS if you cast Cleric spells

    ■ … + CHA if you’re a Bard

    On a 10+, Choose 1.

    On a 7-9, Choose 2.

    ■ You take damage equal to your damage dice.

    ■ You take a debility and describe how you got it.

    ■ You lose something important to you (ammo, spell, follower, weapon, etc)

    That said, you could totally use a simple Defy Danger for pretty much the same result apart from still losing something on a 10+.

  5. Really cool thanks. Anybody have thoughts what the xp questions should be chsnged to at the end? To denote the fact it is more based on exploration and discovery

  6. Regarding: how to get players to add to an already established world, it depends on how closely you respect John Harper’s Line (i.e. the line between you, player, make up some shit about the world in front of you vs. you, character, tell us something that your character knows to be true based on past experience).

    If you (GM and players) are okay with the players basically making up details about what’s in front of their characters, then Jason Cordova’s technique of “Painting the Scene” works well. Basically, decide on a theme, impression, or big-picture detail that you want to be true, and then ask each of the characters “what here tells you that [THING IS TRUE].”

    E.g. “You find yourselves in a clearing in the woods, looking at a massive barrow mound. What here tells each of you that something evil and tainted with death lies buried within?”

    Then, of course, build on the details they provide. if someone says “There are rune carved into the lintel stones… they’re runes of caution and warding, basically ancient KEEP OUT signs,” then ask them where they’ve seen runes like that before, and who they thing made them, and what sorts of things they usually warn against. Whatever they tell you… use that to inform what’s buried in the barrow!

    If you cleave more to the “players shouldn’t make up details about what’s in front of them” side of the line, then encourage players to use Spout Lore

    a lot and play it exactly as written. The trigger is incredibly broad: When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something is basically “hey GM do I know anything about this?” They don’t have to justify knowing jack, they just have to think about it. The roll tells us what, if anything, they know.

    Then… based on the result, you tell them what they know (i.e. you’re making up/revealing the details, not them). Make it really interesting stuff and/or really useful, reward them for using the move. Even on a miss, give them something interesting (even if unwanted) alongside whatever hard move you make.

    But also: lean heavily on that last clause in Spout Lore: “The GM might ask you ‘how do you know this?’ Tell the truth, now.” Really do this. This is where the player world building comes in! “7-9, huh? Well, the runes all over the lintels are warnings, basically ancient DANGER KEEP OUT signs, though there’s little indication of what the danger specifically is. Where have you seen these sorts of runes before? Oh yeah? What were they warning against there? Oh? How’d that go?”

    Those background answers will fill in the blanks of the world, especially if you follow them up with more questions. And they’ll all be about how the PC came to know something, so they are on the side of the line of “asking the character about their past experiences” and they avoid having the players make up details that are right in front of them.

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