The Frog God has informed me that the first of my Hex Crawl Classics is being printed AS WE SPEAK!!! Okay, maybe not exactly as I speak – or write. Nevertheless, it’s on its way. Like all things Frog God, it comes in two flavors – Swords and Wizardry and Pathfinder, which I think is pretty cool – some old school goodness for the middle school folks (’cause, if 4E is now new school, then 3E must be middle school – right?)
Okay – so what are these Hex Crawl Classics? Basically, Bill asked me to write some non-setting specific material like my Nod stuff. Within about 5 pages, of course, I was already turning the things into a setting and linking them. Oh well – it’s tough to do a “value added” sandbox setting (i.e. more than writing “5 hill giants are sitting here around a campfire”) without injecting some setting into the thing.
So, Valley of the Hawks is based on a bit of land being settled by a couple different cultures – the Witch-Men from the south and the Northern Men from – you guessed it – the North. The native humans aren’t all that happy about it, but they’re a bit primitive and unorganized, so they’re mostly reduced to being wandering encounters. The original settlers, elves, either don’t care or care quite a bit and want to do something about it. Here’s a preview of the race descriptions …
The Golden Men are descended from the ancients and now dwell in small hunter-gatherer bands in the woodlands or as brutal nomads on the prairie. They have golden-brown skin and blazing red hair. Warriors wear leather armor and carry stout clubs and leather slings, or metal weapons they have scavenged from their victims.
The Northmen have ebony or chocolate skin and wavy hair of brown or black, often worn long. Most are stout and plump, but a few villages mingled with the elves in elder times and are noted for their height and the electric sparkle in their eyes. The northmen are known for their baggy trousers and long tunics. They favor axes and curved knives and usually wear chainmail or platemail.
The Witchmen have tan or olive skin and a great variety of hair and eye colors. They wear long, straight tunics and woolen leggings. Their shoes are leather and pointed, and they wear tall pointed hats with wide brims; both shoes and hats are decorated with buckles of brass or silver. The witchmen carry long swords and daggers, and wear either ring armor or chainmail. Their leaders are skilled in swordsmanship and magic, and should be treated as elves.
So, if you enjoy the Land of Nod stuff, you’ll find more of the same. Weird encounters, a couple small mini-dungeons, pulp fantasy thrown in with sci-fantasy and fairy tales, a roster of strange gods – and hopefully a few evenings of enjoyment for the folks who plunk down their hard-earned coin for it.
HCC 2 – The Winter Woods is in editing and on its way, HCC 3 – Beyond the Black Water is written (my favorite so-far) and I’ve started plotting out HCC 4 – The Shattered Empire today.