# Fixed encounter density

‘Constructing the region’ (page 235) recommends 45 static points of interest in a 1200-hex region. That’s about 1 point per 27 hexes. But under ‘Dynamic lairs’ on the same page, the text says ‘At this point, the regional map should have a density of about one point of interest every 6 hexes (36 miles)…’

Am I missing something? Or is the idea that static points average out to being 6 hexes away from each other static point? (With each at the centre of a 2.5-hex zone, that would be roughly 1 static point per 27.5 hexes.) Alternatively, is the idea that the random encounters work out so that static points plus dynamic lairs will tend to come out to about 200 encounters?

I think it refers to the distance between points, not the density.

Farmcodegary has it correct. The average distance between points of interest should be 5-6 hexes.

Or put another way, the sentence should read “…a density of about one point of interest every 6 square hexes (36 miles x 36 miles).”

Aargh, hexes being used as both linear and area units makes this require a double-take. As is the fact that a region spanning 6 x 6 hexes square isn’t 36 x 36 miles…

If you want to get into the math of it:
45 POI in 1,200 hex region.
1 hex ~ 32 square miles
1,200 hexes ~ 38,400 square miles
38,400 sq mi / 45 POI = 853 sq mi per POI
853 sq mi / 32 sq per hex = 26.6 hexes per POI
…which is exactly what I said

What does the “square” shape of 853 sq miles / 26.6 hexes look like?
853 sq mi ^ (0.5) ~ 29 miles
26.6 hexes ^ (0.5) ~ 5.15 hexes
…since you can’t have partial hexes, I rounded to 6

Yep, that makes sense now (so my 27.5 hex estimate was on the right track). Thanks for your help!

Is that density given with the assumption that points of interest are automatically discovered when entering the hex?

Short answer: yes. Alex mentions this in another thread around here, somewhere. At this density the players not discovering what you’ve placed in a hex is going to lead to a lot of boring gameplay with nothing much happening. You could, of course, create many more points of interest, then check to see if the characters find them as they enter a hex (via their actions or appropriate Throws). The downside to this is that you need to prepare vastly more material in advance, which the system described in ACKS avoids; it minimizes Judge prep, while still providing an interesting play experience.

That’s exactly correct. In Lairs & Encounters I provide some details on the density of “hidden lairs” that have to be searched. It would range from 1d2 in every clear hex to as many as 2d8 in a hex of jungle wilderness.

As a Judge you are always forced to scale the game to the level of interest of the environment.

A 6-mile hex is a good scale because it’s possible to march through a few in a day’s travel, but we shouldn’t let that fool us. A hex is a really big area. My entire city of Durham, including 5 parks, a forest, 2 country clubs, the entire Research Triangle Park, our downtown, and all of our suburbs, fits more-or-less in one 6-mile hex.

(Of course it gets even wilder in science-fiction games, where hexes are planets or solar systems, and points of interest are the one interesting thing on the planet…)

I've been racking my braing over something for two hours now and I was hoping this thread would give me the answer. Alas, it is not to be so.

So when constructing a kingdom size realm of 600,000 peasent families which is 40X30 6 mile hexes (43200 sq miles), the example on page 231 of the Acks core book suggests 146 settlements from one large city down to villages. Makes sence. However, on page 235, under constructing the region, it mentions the same size map having only 45 points of interests with a mere 15 being the settlements, towns, and castles of humans and demi-humans. I having trouble reconciling the disparity between 146 settlements down to 15. I'm certain I'm just missing something, but for the life of me, I just can't figure out what. Thank you so much for any help!

Bonus question: How many dynamic lairs should I prepare for an area of this size?

Not an Autarch, but

On page 231, it mentions that the 120 class VI settlements (villages) are not points of interest on a 6-mile hex scale, this will get you down to 26 points of interest for a start

Also, the starting region is generally recommended to be on the 'edge' of the kingdom, so some portion of that map should include borderlands and wilderness areas outside the control of the kingdom - which could push a lot of the kingdom's settlements, and its civilizing influence, off the edge of the map the other way.

Unless one is looking for a region set for adventure within civilization, etc - every campaign, rules unto itself, mileage may vary, void in WI.

You might have just unlocked the little bit that was tripping me up. Somehow, it never occured to me that the kingdom map was different than the starting region map. In my mind, since they were the same size, they were just the same map, which made the kingdom map kind of awkward to fathom since everything would be shoved onto half of it. Thanks!

[quote="JamesCrane"]

You might have just unlocked the little bit that was tripping me up. Somehow, it never occured to me that the kingdom map was different than the starting region map. In my mind, since they were the same size, they were just the same map, which made the kingdom map kind of awkward to fathom since everything would be shoved onto half of it. Thanks!

[/quote]

If you have the Sinister Stone of Sakkara and the Auran Empire Primer, you have an example of a regional map vs. a campaign map.  The size disparity is a bit larger than you probably want to bother with, but it's at least an idea of the potential difference in scale you could be working with.  Importantly, you can find the SSoS region on the Auran Empire map to give you an idea of where it fits in the world.

Oof - OK, found part of the source -

[quote="ACKS pg 229, top of column 2"]

A standard sheet of hex graph paper, 30 hexes wide and 40 hexes long, covers an area 1,200 hexes total. When creating the recommended two maps, one sheet of hex paper should be used with 24-mile hexes for the campaign map, while a second sheet should be used with 6-mile hexes for the regional map.

[/quote]

Campaign map is 24 mile hexes, to the regional map's 6 mile hexes. The campaign map is really large - like, the size of the Mediterranean, so wether or not you need to do that is up to you. The other example given in the book is making a faux-England, Albion, and a campaign map there is technically much smaller.

[quote="koewn"]

Oof - OK, found part of the source -

Campaign map is 24 mile hexes, to the regional map's 6 mile hexes. The campaign map is really large - like, the size of the Mediterranean, so wether or not you need to do that is up to you. The other example given in the book is making a faux-England, Albion, and a campaign map there is technically much smaller.

[/quote]

oh, if the region map is supposed to be mediterranean sized then that would make the auran empire vs. turos tem area maps into textbook examples.

[quote="koewn"]

Also, the starting region is generally recommended to be on the 'edge' of the kingdom, so some portion of that map should include borderlands and wilderness areas outside the control of the kingdom - which could push a lot of the kingdom's settlements, and its civilizing influence, off the edge of the map the other way.

Unless one is looking for a region set for adventure within civilization, etc - every campaign, rules unto itself, mileage may vary, void in WI.

[/quote]

Correct. Half the map is wilderness, usually. So take the 26 Class V and above settlements, and divide by 2, to get 13 settlements, which I rounded to "about 15".

Thank you so much, everyone. You found my error. Once I reread the chapter with all this in mind, it made much more sense.