Wilderness exploration

Some draft rules that we will use when moving across the wilderness hex map.


  • Referee determines weather
  • Referee describes surroundings
  • Players declare actions
  • Referee checks for encounter and getting lost
  • Referee describes journey, including any keyed locations, and encounters and getting lost (if applicable)
  • Players respond
  • Turn ends, time records and resources are updated and next turn begins


  • Players get a blank hex map to fill out as they go.
  • Map scale: 1 hex = 6 miles.
  • Direction of travel can be expressed with numbered hex edges: 1 being the top edge, and proceeding clockwise through 6.


  • Players usually have visibility into adjacent hexes from a good vantage in open terrain.
  • Visibility may improve with higher vantage points (e.g. mountain passes or summits), assuming terrain is open and weather is good.


TerrainMovement cost
Normal: fields, plains1
Rugged: woods, desert, hills2
Very rugged: mountains, swamp3
Rivers (not at a ford or bridge)3
Trails reduce cost by 1 (to a minimum of 1)
Terrain movement cost


  • 1″ of movement rate (MV) equals 1 mile per half-day’s trekking.
  • One wilderness exploration turn equals one day.
  • I.e., movement points per turn = MV ÷ 3.
  • Movement points must be paid upon entering a hex.
  • Unused movement points cannot be accumulated and used on later turns.
MVMovement points per turn
Character movement points


  • Mounts improve movement speed and carrying capacity.
  • Every 5 lb of mount carrying capacity equals 1 slot.
  • Assume player-characters themselves add load of 70 kg / ~160 lb / 30 slots.
  • Mount movement rate is halved when half carrying capacity is exceeded.
  • Mounts cannot be ridden into very rugged terrain, they must be led by hand in stead. (Resolve this by paying double the required movement points.)

Stat blocks of typical Planet Karus mounts:

  • Riding Orux: AC 7, MV 24, HD 2, Atk n/a, Dam n/a, AL N. Flees fire, panicked by strange smells. 300 lb (60 slots) carrying capacity. Cost: 80 SP.
  • War Orux: AC 7※, MV 18, HD 2+2, Atk 1, Dam 1d6, AL N. Attacks in combat. 350 lb (70 slots) carrying capacity. Cost: 200 SP.
  • Thoar: AC 7, MV 12, HD 2+1, Atk n/a, Dam n/a, AL N. Flees fire, panicked by strange smells. 450 lb (90 slots) carrying capacity. Cost: 60 SP.

※ AC 4 if barded (150 SP, 75 lb).


  • Players can choose to spend a game turn searching a hex for hidden features.


  • Each game turn, determine weather by rolling 2d6 on the following table.
  • If the previous day’s weather was hot, roll 1d6+1.
  • If it rained the previous day, roll 1d6+6.
  • Hot weather: causes thirst, increases fatigue, and halves movement rate. Also increases chances of fire in dry season.
  • Rain: any rain reduces visibility. Hard rain, or any rain in wet season, halves movement.
10Light rain
12Heavy rain

Alternate weather table specific to Planet Karus

Planet Karus’ climate is stable through the year, and relatively unchanging. Stretches of weather tend to last days, even weeks. Hex-based navigation is impossible if the skies are not clear, and the stars cannot be read.

Adapted from Echoes from Fomalhaut #08.
1-21d6 days of blistering calm
3-41d6 days of clear skies, glaring red sunshine
51d3+1 days of portentous imminence with heavy clouds; +2 to next roll
6Prodigious downpour for 1 day
Alternative weather table adapted from Gabor Lux’s Thasan.

Getting lost

  • Each game turn, when not following a road/trail or traversing known terrain, the referee checks to see if the party gets lost and veers off course.
  • Players are aware if they are lost.
  • Roll 1d6 to determine the direction the party traveled into.
Clear, riverWoods, mountains, hillsSwamp, desertCity
Chances of getting lost


  • Each game turn the referee checks to see if the party has an encounter.
  • The timing of the encounter can be determined randomly as the referee sees fit. E.g. roll 1d6 and match to morning, noon, evening, night, midnight, and pre-dawn.
  • Encounter distance is 2d6 × 5 paces (50-300 feet).
  • If surprised, encounter distance is a mere 1d6 × 5 paces (25-150 feet).
Clear, cityWoods, river, desert, hillsSwamp, mountains
Chances of an encounter

Evasion and pursuit

  • Hostile monsters are 3:6 to pursue.
  • Non-hostile monsters are 1:6 to pursue.
  • Base chance of evasion is as listed in the table.
Relative party sizeEvasion chance
Evaders < 1/4 pursuers4-in-6
Evaders < 1/2 pursuers3-in-6
Evaders > 1/2 pursuers2-in-6
Base chance of evasion
  • Surprise: +1 to chance of evasion if pursuers are surprised; no chance of evasion if evaders are surprised (unless low visibility or good speed).
  • Low visibility: +1 to chance of evasion (woods, swamps, night, rain, fog, snow, etc.)
  • Good speed: if evader speed is double or more pursuer speed, +1 to chance of evasion.

Chase procedure:

  • Calculate odds and roll 1d6.
    • Failure: pursuit ends and encounter occurs.
    • Success: evaders gain ground. Re-check to see if pursuer continues to give chase.
  • No mapping possible.
  • Chase ends in a random hex 1-6 hexes from starting location.
  • Parties must rest remainder of the day (turn).
  • At start of next turn, party is considered to be lost.


  • The party must rest a full day after each six days of travel or suffer fatigue.