10/22/2016

Frugal GM Review: Hexed Places Crescent Lake

Frugal GM Review: Hexed Places Crescent Lake
For some odd reason I feel it important to disclose that I'm not a fan of hex crawls. I don't hate them or anything, just not my thing. Normally I wouldn't even want to look at a hex crawl product, but the publisher preview for Hexed Places: Crescent Lake made me think it might be ok to try this product out.

I figured it was a bit of a gamble, but what the heck....good to get out of my comfort zone once in a while.

Hexed Places: Crescent Lake is just one of a line of Hexed Places from PBE Games. This download consists of one 13 page PDF and two roughly 7 1/2" x 7" hex maps in 300 DPI PNG format. One map is for the players and the other the GM. Both maps are also in the PDF, but in smaller format with some space left for notes.

I have to admit I was a bit blown away during my initial flip-through. Sure there are only really 10 pages of actual content, the other three being the covers and a title page, but it is a good 10 pages. The PDF isn't secured/locked down, which might not be that big of a deal for most on a product like this, but it means I could easily open up the two pages of maps and make them b&w or greyscale if I wanted. Heck, the author actually used some of the fields in the PDF document properties. That isn't a big deal to 99% of the people who'd use this, but it is something I try to do with my stuff and I think this is the first time I've seen someone else do it.

What I really liked about this product was its simplicity. The information is laid out in an easy-to-read format and on some levels there really isn't a lot of it, but feels just right for me. Personally I want an low-level of good information that I can add to as-needed. A brief overview of the area, some rumors, and a few NPCs & locations suit me fine. The addition of area-specific wandering monsters is a nice touch.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Hexed Places Crescent Lake
While there are stats for the NPCs, monsters, & such, the information in Hexed Places: Crescent Lake is pretty much system neutral. This one small supplement could easily be used to populate a "new" area the party happens to stumble upon, like when the take a left down a road you expected them to go right on. Personally I'd keep this handy and use it to back-fill a hole in my campaign I wasn't expecting to fill. I'd not use the hex maps at the table, but tweak it to fit my own space as-needed.

I highly recommend picking up a few of these small area fills to use on the fly.....