Roll as you go hexcrawl

I was reading about that new Dungeons & Dragons 5e announcement for Tomb of Annihilation. Not only a lot of similarities with old school D&D modules, but my own Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence.

Something in the massive amount of comments for that announcement made me think of designing a map hex by hex. As the players come to it, the GM could simply roll and see what shakes out.

So, in the spirit of Tomb of Annihilation, the purple islands, and one of my favorite 70's shows Land of the Lost (if you've never seen it, dear god, run out and buy the first 2 seasons on DVD), here's my roll as you go hexcrawl. What the Hell, let's throw another of my favorite TV series in the mix, as well... Lost. [Started watching the movie Predator earlier today, so going to incorporate that, as well.]

Roll three times per hex. How big are hexes? I get asked that a lot, BTW. No idea, but let's just say 5 miles because it's a manageable number. All hexes are assumed to be jungle, unless results suggest otherwise. If you roll the same number twice in a hex, that means the Purple Putrescence is about to float overhead and wreak havoc!

Roll As You Go Hexcrawl (Land of the Lost version)

1. Dinosaur
2. Reptilian insectoids (2d6)
3. Crystal deposit
4. Pylon
5. Monkey people (2d6)
6. Starship
7. Other lost explorers
8. Either fragment of or entrance to the Lost City
9. Ruined temple
10. Watering hole or stream
11. Bluff, cliff, or mesa
12. Clearing (2 in 6 chance that a hole mysteriously opens up in the ground - the land is looking for sustenance)
13. Hatch hidden underneath vines, leaves, and jungle brush
14. Rusted-out vehicle that's been there for years... 1) plane, 2) van, 3) rollercoaster car, 4) tank
15. Two dinosaurs fighting each other
16. Native humanoids (5 in 6 chance of being aggressive)
17. Exotic fruits or vegetables (1 in 6 chance of being poisonous)
18. Wild boar (1 in 6 chance of polar bear, instead)
19. Abandoned high-tech (for the 70's) station with "Dharma Initiative" marking
20. Highly evolved (and shorter) reptilian insectoid (2 in 6 chance of being in a foul mood)
21. Skinned humanoids hanging from trees, strung upside down
22. Central American guerrilla militants
23. Domed city (2 in 6 chance of having cracked dome and interior environment out of control
24. Alien predator hunting humanoids
25. Ambush
26. Warzone - caught between two extraterrestrial factions
27. Ancient statue (human sized)
28. Gigantic natural creature... 1) snake, 2) spider, 3) mosquito, 4) Crocodile
29. Attractive woman in peril (possibly running for her life)
30. Primitive village
31. Radio tower
32. The sound of tribal drums
33. Cryogenic pod (3 in 6 chance of there being an occupant
34. Crude stone altar strewn with broken bones and bloodstains
35. Unexploded bomb (2 in 6 chance it's actually an alien spacecraft)
36. Purple crystalline humanoids, petrified (1d4)
37. Swath of blood-spattered jungle
38. Cache of... 1) weapons, 2) food and water, 3) scientific equipment, 4) medical supplies
39. Treasure... 1) gold, 2) gems, 3) U.S. dollars, 4) scifi currency like credits or zuleks
40. Florescent yellow-green blood dripping onto leaves from above
41. Mountainous terrain
42. Mausoleum, crypt, or tomb
43. Volcano (2 in 6 chance of imminent eruption)
44. Dark metallic sphinx the height of three men standing on each other's shoulders
45. Shallow graves marked with poorly chiseled tombstones
46. Carnivorous plant
47. Brightly colored fungi that is... 1) poisonous, 2) hallucinogenic, 3) delicious, 4) sleep inducing
48. Humanoid skin draped over branches like a gruesome jungle scarecrow
49. Patrol of misanthropic ape-men armed with machine guns
50. Winged gorillas with tentacles instead of arms
51. Cave with voice-modulated super computer just inside
52. Aircraft graveyard infested with flesh-hungry ghouls
53. Mandroids looking for fresh meat to replace their atrophied body parts
54. Hunter-killer robots looking for humanoids to murder with lasers
55. Sentient and evil glowing green sphere (2 in 6 chance it's surrounded by humanoid worshipers
56. Doom-hawks (undead pterodactyls) flying overhead, hunting for easy prey
57. Starship landing or about to land
58. Orgy! Dozens of natives partake of the flesh dance
59. Humanoid fight club in homemade arena pit
60. Convening wizards council (2 in 6 chance of wizard duel about to begin)
61. Priests wearing purple-stained robes skulking around
62. Cannibals feasting on one or more unfortunate humanoid victims
63. Shining city on the hill (5 in 6 chance it's just an illusion)
64. Humanoid sacrifice chained to an immense rock (4 in 6 chance that the Purple Putrescence is coming)
65. Bounty hunters tracking a wanted man
66. Lone wanderer clothed in black... 1) zedi apprentice, 2) zedi knight, 3) dark zedi, 4) zith lord
67. Rival adventuring party
68. Lovecraftian god awakening
69. Purple island prostitutes looking for a date
70. Gigantic metallic cube
71. Violet radiation cloud (2 in 6 chance of causing mutation, but if you roll a "6," it's radiation poisoning - half your Health and at disadvantage for 1d4 days)
72. The unbearable stench (2 in 6 chance of nausea and vomiting
73. Swarm of shaggai insects (poisonous stingers and their chittering can drive humanoids mad
74. Exposed veins of blue crystal; allowing nearby giant spiders to use their dormant psionic abilities.
75. Pocket of electromagnetism that provides accelerated healing, uncanny coincidence, and spontaneous time travel.
76. Tar pit - bubbling black pool of sludge (2 in 6 chance of animal or small dinosaur currently trapped and slowly sinking into the tar.
77. Village of pygmy tribe native to the islands - they're head-hunters
78. Caravan of merchants selling colorful silks, exotic spices, humanoid slaves, and the occasional piece of explorer equipment
79. Quicksand (2 in 6 chance of walking into it)
80. Mauve lotus - eating its leaves or smoking its pollen temporarily grants visions of reality from the perspective of 23 dimensions
81. Chasm with rope bridge stretching across
82. Slimy gateway to the night ocean
83. Mutant death squad
84. Cold spot due to one or more necromancers dabbling with inter-dimensional magic (2 in 6 chance there's an ice cavern in the vicinity)
85. Volcano, active but not actually erupting; hot lava flow running down the sides (there's a 1 in 6 chance of falling into lava for those engaged in combat near the flow).
86. Waterfall and grotto (2 in 6 chance that 1d4 naked women are bathing in the water).
87. Unnaturally purple aurora glowing strangely in the night sky.
88. Hot air balloon up in the sky (2 in 6 chance that it crashed into the island 1d12 years ago and all that's left is a torn, faded rainbow-hued bag.
89. There's a yellowish-green thing in the sky, like a blob. It's moving in a straight line but will occasionally change directions (if anyone touches it, they'll be swallowed up by it and transported to another dimension).
90. Giant insect larvae on the ground, covered in sticky mucus (4 in 6 chance of aggressive adult insects nearby).
91. Old and battered wooden gateway or entrance. The paint is weathered but PCs can just barely make out the words "Jurassic Park."
92. Unrecognized fossil of creature embedded into the rock.
93. Something with numbers on it... 1) piece of metal structure, 2) cave wall, 3) tattooed arm of dead man, 4) written on a shredded piece of paper. The numbers are: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42.
94. Taarna, a reticent and determined female warrior with lavender hair, red and black leather armor, and a great ass. She's a Taarakian (and has the mark), hunting her prey for the sake of revenge.
95. Pyramid emitting strange sound and vibration - those with psionic abilities can't use their special powers within 3 miles of the pyramid.
96. Pylon (possessed) - there's something wrong with this particular pylon... it's possessed by some alien consciousness thousands of years old that refuses to die and wants to be reborn via humanoids who enter the pylon.
97. A small pile of rocks props up a small American flag (was placed there a couple of days ago). If you roll this result more than once, the PCs discover the corpses of three human astronauts (2 in 6 chance their starship hasn't sunken beneath the waves yet).
98. Several reptilian insectoids gather around a strange device, the center of which is a glowing crystal capable of opening and fixing dimensional gateways.
99. Three golden diamonds hovering in the sky (2 in 6 chance that they're flashing a sequence of colors that correspond to crystals within a nearby pylon. Touching the colored crystals in order should correct any imbalance).
100. Gigantic stone statue (4 in 6 chance that it's just the head)

100 results achieved! Zakero made a few awesome suggestions, so thanks goes out to him.

I hope you enjoyed my latest random table. If you use it (especially if you use it in conjunction with The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence - please let me know. I think this makes a fine addition to the hex-map provided.

Thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting!


Authored by Venger Satanis


Readers' Rating: