I'm working on a top-down map of a world for a fantasy RPG campaign. Exactly HOW to properly represent that map has been a royal headache. I'd like to define my parameters in advance so I don't have to keep changing formats over and over.

Thus far I've been convinced that the 6-mile hex is a good starting point. I figure I can represent the world map in an icosahedral format using 216-mile hexes, 20-24 hexes wide per face depending on how the hexes are oriented.

Assuming that approach is sensible, and I'm not certain that it is, I still have a number of questions:

What are the reasons for choosing to orient the hexes vertically vs. horizontally? Advantages/disadvantages? Is it a factor that comes into play when subdividing hexes into smaller sub-hexes?

When subdividing hexes into smaller sub-hexes, what are the advantages/disadvantages to different subdivision methods? Better to have a centered sub-hex or a vertex at the center of the larger hex? This is also raises questions on how the hexes are laid down on the icosahedron.

Once these issues are resolved, I need to select a mapping program. Hexographer looks about right for my needs although I need to play with the free version more to be sure. Does anyone know if I can modify the number of hexes per face used in their icosahedral map? Change the hex orientation?

Any help would be appreciated.

2. Originally Posted by Superguy
I'm working on a top-down map of a world for a fantasy RPG campaign. Exactly HOW to properly represent that map has been a royal headache. I'd like to define my parameters in advance so I don't have to keep changing formats over and over.

Thus far I've been convinced that the 6-mile hex is a good starting point. I figure I can represent the world map in an icosahedral format using 216-mile hexes, 20-24 hexes wide per face depending on how the hexes are oriented.

Assuming that approach is sensible, and I'm not certain that it is, I still have a number of questions:

What are the reasons for choosing to orient the hexes vertically vs. horizontally? Advantages/disadvantages? Is it a factor that comes into play when subdividing hexes into smaller sub-hexes?

When subdividing hexes into smaller sub-hexes, what are the advantages/disadvantages to different subdivision methods? Better to have a centered sub-hex or a vertex at the center of the larger hex? This is also raises questions on how the hexes are laid down on the icosahedron.

Once these issues are resolved, I need to select a mapping program. Hexographer looks about right for my needs although I need to play with the free version more to be sure. Does anyone know if I can modify the number of hexes per face used in their icosahedral map? Change the hex orientation?

Any help would be appreciated.
Hexographer does allow you to change between vertical/horizontal orientation and the total number of vertical/horizontal hexes can be set for the icosahedral maps (though you may need to experiment to find the right combination for your needs.) Welsh Piper The Welsh Piper has a good collection of templates for world building based on 5x hex expansion (good for inspiration even if they aren't suitable for your needs.)

I find that the column orientation tends to look "better" though that may be more a habit than any real preference - most hex maps seem to default to the column format rather than row (it may also be a cultural North/South directional prejudice - it could be interesting to play around with a world based more on East/West directional orientation.)

3. Originally Posted by Superguy

What are the reasons for choosing to orient the hexes vertically vs. horizontally? Advantages/disadvantages? Is it a factor that comes into play when subdividing hexes into smaller hexes?

Any help would be appreciated.
Here is one I can answer. It's really all up to your preference in regards to orientation, but how you're measuring the six miles can make a big difference. Is each side six miles, or are you measuring the distance between opposite sides as six mlies, or from point to point as six miles? That's something to keep in mind.

4. Originally Posted by Raven_Walker
Hexographer does allow you to change between vertical/horizontal orientation and the total number of vertical/horizontal hexes can be set for the icosahedral maps.
Haven't figured out how to increase the number of hexes in the icosahedral display yet. In the meantime I've settled for using the regular display and just leaving blank any hexes that would fall out of an icosahedral format.

5. Originally Posted by stormbringer_2070
Here is one I can answer. It's really all up to your preference in regards to orientation, but how you're measuring the six miles can make a big difference. Is each side six miles, or are you measuring the distance between opposite sides as six mlies, or from point to point as six miles? That's something to keep in mind.
Six miles from side to side (face to face), to take advantage of the benefits described here:

The Hydra's Grotto: In Praise of the 6 Mile Hex

One question I'm still unclear on is the subdivision of hexes. I've seen some templates where there is a sub-hex centered within the larger hex and others where they are offset, leaving a vertex at the center of the larger (parent) hex. Is there any reason for one method over another? Other than stylistic choice?

6. Originally Posted by Superguy
Six miles from side to side (face to face), to take advantage of the benefits described here:

The Hydra's Grotto: In Praise of the 6 Mile Hex

One question I'm still unclear on is the subdivision of hexes. I've seen some templates where there is a sub-hex centered within the larger hex and others where they are offset, leaving a vertex at the center of the larger (parent) hex. Is there any reason for one method over another? Other than stylistic choice?
I'll disagree with one point in that link you have. 60 or 600, etc, would divide as easily as 6 will, so don't think you're bound to 6 miles. Taking the 60 example, red becomes 60, blue becomes 70, and green becomes 35. Otherwise, it has great logic to it.

I believe it has more practical purposes than style points, particularly for ease in going from world size > region > local area. This link is an example of a sub hex centered and the geometric measuring possiblities coming from it. Flickr: Discussing Templates! in Jewel Stars - English Paper Piecing There's lots of sub-measurements you can do, but at the 6 mile scale, it may be too much detail. Here's a different example of subdivided hexes. On the 6 mile scale, it may be too much detail for you for sub-measurements.
Geoffreyg will send you 15 different kinds of hex graph paper for \$5, only on fiverr.com

On a larger scale, sub-divided hexes may be a good idea; it's only my opinion, so do with it what you will. In the end, if it works for you, use them, if not, don't. But I'd like to see what you wind up with in the end.

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