I'm about to start running a West Marches campaign and I am struggling with a way to build up a map that I can use. Here are my thoughts so far:

  1. Create a DM only Hex based map that shows terrain and any key points in 25km squares
  2. Do not provide this map to the players, but provide them all with rumours/soem information
  3. When players decide where they want to go ask them to provide the following:

    • A direction of travel
    • Where they are aiming to go i.e. We heard rumours of a dungeon 5 days due west and we want to go exploring for that
  4. Roll on a random table (thinking 5-10% hti rate) on having an encounter within every 25kms to the "hex" That they are travelling to.

My thoughts are that by doing this I will have a fairly structured world, at least in terms of terrain and setting, and give the players ample chance to explore the world with random encounters that may make it more difficult to achieve the goal they were aiming towards but whilst still getting their D&D Fix.

My Question is as follows:

  1. What have you as a DM used when running a West Marches campaign and
  2. How did it run/what concessions did you have to make from your original plan.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close as I think this question falls somewhere in the primarily opinion based/too broad category, much as I'd like to see it answered in a different context. Consider narrowing the focus of the question and giving more guidelines for what would be good/bad answers. Right now, the question looks more suited to a forum. \$\endgroup\$
    – user5834
    Oct 8, 2017 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm, valid point. I did try and constrain by only asking for previous experience rather than general opinions. My opinion was it was appropriate because of that. \$\endgroup\$
    – GPPK
    Oct 8, 2017 at 17:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The Stack does favor strongly questions that are anserable with a best or right answer. Asking for Pointers or experience is tricky with this format. One of the few questions I am aware of that does manage this balance between "I need something rather unspecific" and "there is a best answer possible" is rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/90063/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Oct 8, 2017 at 18:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Please check our questions to avoid asking (and, for comparison, our guidance around what's on topic here). Note that surveying experience falls within the sort of discussion-y questions we don't serve, since each answer's equally valid and it's a discussion starter more than a solveable question, but which would be very suitable when asked on a forum. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2017 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the substance of this question can be answered by rereading the original West Marches blog posts. I'm not sure there's anything better than going straight to the source. At that point, if you have more specific problems to be solved (rather than this general “tell me about how you've run WM games” discussion prompt), a question here might be able to help. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2017 at 19:12


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