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How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox

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How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox!

Starting in 2009, I wrote a series of 24 posts on the Bat in the Attic Blog covering the different aspects of creating a hexcrawl formatted setting.  Now that the blog posts are completed, I combined and rewrote these posts into a single book.  In addition to advice about creating your setting, the post fleshs out the Isle of Pyade into a small setting that you can drop into your own campaign.

What is a Hexcrawl-formatted setting?

This type of setting starts with a hex grid placed over the map with each hex numbered.  The hex locations of the various locales, such as lairs, are noted and arranged into an index.  This format provides a convenient way to reference detailed local information within the setting.

You can look at the map, see the hex number the location is in, and then look it up quickly in the book.  It works in reverse as well.  You can read about a location in the book, with its hex location noted in the text.  Then, look up where it is on the map quickly.  This format allows easy access to dozens of detailed locations scattered across the setting map, if not hundreds. 

Hexcrawls and Sandbox Campaigns

Sandbox campaigns are distinguished by the fact the players drive the campaign forward by their choices.  In a sandbox campaign, the players may decide to head west instead of east in pursuit of their goals.  The ease of looking locations up makes the hexcrawl-formatted setting a valuable tool for the referee trying to keep ahead of their players while running a sandbox campaign.

How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox will teach you how to make a hexcrawl-formatted setting and explain what details are essential to include to handle the different types of sandbox campaigns. 

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Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
derek J June 08, 2024 12:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
Great product as always. One question on the travel section it mentions Blackmarsh encounter tables in the appendices I didn't see that or a link to the tables.
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Robert C June 09, 2024 2:12 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I apologize that is a mistake on my part. I wrote those rules prior to finalizing How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox, and I meant to change that reference to the Isle of Pyade tables which are in the product.

The random tables for Blackmarsh will be appearing as part of my next product, Into the Majestic Fantasy Realms. But I will have the draft done sooner than that and will append those tables to the Travel Rules SRD as well as the Blackmarsh SRD.
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derek J June 09, 2024 11:20 am UTC
PURCHASER
No problem I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss it.
Customer avatar
derek J June 08, 2024 12:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
Great product as always. One question on the travel section it mentions Blackmarsh encounter tables in the appendices I didn't see that or a link to the tables.
Customer avatar
Robert C May 30, 2024 11:28 am UTC
PUBLISHER
ROB'S NOTE: I offer the PDFs for free for all print purchases including How to Make a Fantasy Sandbox.

I was told by DriveThru that if you forgot to include the PDF option with your order you can contact them at this link with your order# and they can change the order to include the PDF.


https://help.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
Customer avatar
William E May 29, 2024 6:42 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Rob
Just bought the hardcover plus PDF but unfortunately the download is being blocked by McAfee because it is detecting a virus. Is this a problem you have run into before?
All the best
Bill
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Robert C May 30, 2024 11:18 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Sorry I haven't, since there are five downloads which one is being flagged?

The zip files either have text files or standard PDFs. I am not sure why they would be flagged by antivirus software.
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Jesse S May 18, 2024 5:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
So, I purchased a hardcover copy, but managed to not click on the option that includes a free PDF. Any chance I could get the PDF tacked on to my order? Thanks!
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Customer avatar
Robert C May 19, 2024 12:28 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Sure thing, I just need your order number to give you a complimentary coupon.
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Jesse S May 21, 2024 4:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
43897509, and thanks again!
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Customer avatar
Robert C May 30, 2024 11:26 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I contacted DriveThruRPG and followed their procedure to get you the PDFs. I will keep you posted with anything I learn.
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Robert C May 30, 2024 6:53 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I just been informed by the DriveThru support staff that the links to the PDFs should be in your account now.
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Jesse S May 31, 2024 3:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
I see them -- thanks for following up on this.
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SeungHan O May 03, 2024 4:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
I have a question about the traveling rule on page 156.

If PCs are traveling for 3 days, should the number of encounters be 3d2-3?
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Customer avatar
Robert C May 03, 2024 2:21 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I would go with either 1d2 for the number of encounters as the midway point between a week (1d4) and one day (1d2-1). Three days would likely mean at least one notable encounter would happen during that time.

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SeungHan O May 10, 2024 2:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Make sense. Thank you.
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Author(s)
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180
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SAND1000
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File Last Updated:
March 17, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on April 12, 2024.