Securing Domains

How do you know when you’ve secured a domain? That is, first of all, how do you know when you’re “done”? If 1 square mile is a domain, why not stop there? You can grow more later, right? Plus, if you get a bad domain resources roll, another roll is just a mile away. What’s the benefit of carving out a “3-hex” domain, for example?

And then, how do you know when it’s “secured”? No lairs? No wandering monsters for a day? Something else?


"How do you know when you are done"? A domain is secured when any/all monster lairs within the area have been defeated. 

"Why not stop at 1 square mile?" The initial benefit of securing a larger domain is noted under "Attracting Peasants and Followers", in the Domain Population table. Starting families are based on the number of 6-mile hexes secured. A 6-mile hex is 32 square miles .If you secure only a single 1 square mile domain, you'd only get 1/32nd of the total.

"If you get a bad resource roll, another roll is just a mile away!"  As a Judge, I would not permit this.

"You can grow more later!" Yes, but you only get your Starting Families once. 


Thanks. I suspected that there might be some up-front benefit, but I couldn’t quite parse it.

Personally, I’ve been rolling the Land Value for six-mile hexes, rather than “domains” as an abstract value. If you only want a small corner of it, that’s fine, but the roll remains for the whole hex.

(Partly this is because it lets me automate mapping to an extent - all of the hexes are numbered, so the land’s value can be produced en masse if I use a standard size, and then I can interpret and tweak as needed, but the hard part is done by the computer.)

I am a bit curious about this - how does one determine how many monster lairs are in a given hex? Roll a handful of wilderness encounters and see which ones give you a lair? We have a chaotic character looking to start a beastman realm, and this is becoming an increasingly relevant concern.

I, too, would like to know how this works.

As it stands, a newly entered hex without a planned lair is “lair free”. As long as the PCs don’t muddle about too long, they could quickly declare a sizable wilderness realm with little effort.

Based on the average frequency of encounters, the average spotting distances of encounters, the average percentage chance of an encounter being in a lair, and the average distance traversed per encounter throw, I worked up the expected number of lairs per hex.

You can use the following table to determine how many lairs will appear in each hex:


Terrain Lairs Per Hex
Inhabited 1d4 
Clear, Grass, Scrub 1d4
Hills 2d4+1
Woods 2d4+1
Desert 2d4+1
Jungle 2d6+1
Mountains 2d6+1
Swamp 2d6+1

Each day of searching, allow one encounter throw to find a lair.


Yeah, this is one of those areas that there isn’t quite rules for. I usually assume that when PCs are rolling through the wilderness, they don’t really “explore” the hexes they go through. they couldn’t possibly do so. If they don’t have an encounter, that doesn’t mean there aren’t lairs or monsters there, it just means they didn’t run into each other. After all, it’s a great big amount of space.

So, my thought is that it probably takes at least several days of dedicated exploration to ensure there are no monsters in a six-mile hex. That’s when I’d roll to determine its value (You know, after the characters have had a chance to actually chart the natural resources thereof.)

If the result was bad, I wouldn’t object to them moving on and repeating the process in the next square over. But I’d say that every six-mile hex, if you clear the whole thing, probably involves a fair amount of work. I mean, 32 square miles is a lot of space. If you imagine how long it would actually take to tromp through that much wilderness and make sure there isn’t a big old cabin full of goblins or an undead-haunted crypt in a glade somewhere…and make sure there isn’t a stream full of gold dust or whatever…having it take a week to “clear” a hex and establish its value is not at all excessive.

Obviously, it would be much faster out on a plain, where you could just ride your horses around, than in a hilly forest country like the Ozarks, where you could pass fifty yards from a nest of giant weasels and never see them.

This is absolute gold. Thanks a ton!

Okay, that’s awesome, and exactly the kind of thing the game needs.

Very nice!

When Chlodomer and Galswintha became dead set on clearing the Pegasus Mountain region, I put together a tighter map of it (16 “1.5-mile” hexes that filled the original six-mile hex marked “Ogre Mountain w/Dwarven Ruin”).

According to the above, I populated it a bit sparsely - the average for a mountain should be about 1 for every two “1.5-mile” hexes. It’s easy enough to stick a few extra lairs into the vast portions of the six-mile hex the PCs haven’t even seen yet (like the other side of the mountain), though.

And if they decide to hit another hex, this gives me a really good way to quickly populate the 1.5-mile hexes:

For each hex 1.5 miles across (there are 16 in a six-mile hex):

Inhabited, Clear, Grass, or Scrub: 1 in 6 chance of a lair.
Hills, Woods, or Desert: 3 in 8 chance of a lair.
Jungle, Mountains, or Swamp: 3 in 6 chance of a lair.

So, again, thanks!

Alex - regarding your table. Do you ever roll for water hexes (Lakes, Coastal Seas, Deep Oceans, etc…) to represent aquatic creatures and their lairs?

What dice would you recommend?

I’m thinking it’s only really applicable for large inland lakes (where there may be islands/lakesides, and potential resources), as aquatic/amphibious creatures may be more likely to come into conflict with land dwellers, but it may be useful for underwater adventuring.

Alex, I just want to make sure that I understand this correctly. Say that the characters are searching a wooded 6-mile hex with the intent to clear it. The 2d4+1 roll results in 6 lairs in the hex. Since there is a 5+ (d6), or 33% chance per day of searching to find a lair, on average it should take approximately 18 days to find all of the lairs?

Also, I’m assuming that encounter throw is in addition to the normal encounter throw for wandering monsters each day?

(I know this is serious thread necromancy, but I see a question I’d like to answer, despite not being Alex.)

Personally, I would roll for coastal regions, lakes, etc., since there is likely to be dens close to shore (maybe mermaids, maybe sea-monsters, maybe giant crabs, some will only come to be a problem once you make your dock). In the middle of the ocean, far from any land/island, however, there is probably few lairs worth noting.