# From hexes to squares, consequences and compromises

Registered User regular
edited April 2007
I looked around and didn't see anything for this, so here I go.

I'm prepping a smallish scenario for the Fallout P&P game to be played online (which had absolutly nothing to do with Elfword's thread, I swear) and I've started looking around for programs and such to help me with mapmaking and game management and the like. Herein lies the problem - whereas there are a couple of programs that do an excellent job of working with squares and a bunch of others that are decent, I haven't seen any that cater to hex-based maps, and of the four virtual tabletops I've found, one borked up hex dimensions outright for a proper map, two others are simply ornery and uncooperitive with map importing, and the only other decent one requires purchase to do any long-term sessions. This leaves me in a quandry, since I refuse to do a crappy workaround - it's a good map or it's nothing.

I began thinking about the possibility of switching over to a square-based system of positioning and movement and ranging and all of that, but this has a problem outside of the obvious four-directions-only movement - whreas Fallout uses hex=meter for determining distances and such, a lot of the square-based programs and systems I've seen seem to rely more on D&D's five-feet idea, and naturally this is going to pork things up something awful if I do a direct conversion.

After some more thought, I've come to three ideas and one abandonment of what I can do to try and fix this:

A) Scale all of the range and distance mods and equations to fit the five-feet/square measurement - not preferable, but I might be able to get it done with enough tinkering.

B) Scale map squares and the like down to 3 feet from 5, which should be close enough to call it even - I'd have to rebuild tile stores from scratch for the mapmaking. though.

C) Say "to hell with the grid" and just use free movement with direct distance measurement.

D) Say "to hell with the differences" and see what happens with a direct conversion.

The one big problem I really see with doing any kind of conversion is that going with squares is going to screw up things that directly rely on the number of hexes, such as Strength or Perception's range modifier for ranged attacks and movement's 1AP/hex rule - for this, though, I'm planning on pulling out the Pythagorean theorem as a house rule, which shouldn't bork things up too much as compared to the normal method.

Outside of that, is there anything else major that I'm missing about hex-to-square conversion, or has anyone done this before and am willing to part with some advice or the secret to their success (or failure)?

tl;dr: I hate hexes and so do the programs I'm using. What problems are there with hex-to-square conversions?

Sorenson on

## Posts

• Registered User regular
edited April 2007
I like squares quite simply because they're much easier to see and draw on a map. Bear in mind that this is from a guy who uses Legos instead of actual minatures, so all of my "minatures" are squarish anyway... so square movement grids are convenient.

I do all of my maps on a series of regular printer paper, and trace the squares on in a different color from a 1x1 inch grid on another piece of paper. My players really like it.

Squares don't limit you to four directions IMO. You can also allow 8-directional movement by allowing someone move to a diagonal square as well... technically, it's a little more than 5 feet to go from the center of a diagonal square as that of an adjacent square (maybe someone who remembers geometry better than I do can just pump that calculation out off the top of their head)... but any RPG's movement rules are abstract approximations of real movement anyway, so I'm not one to get clanky over fudging it a little bit.

If you really want to be particular that way, I'd say go with 1x1 squares, 1 inch = 5 feet and measure everything... a flexible sewing tape or even just a string with clear marks at every inch works for this pretty well and also gives you a way to show line of sight. Heck, you could even have a series of measuring strings for different 10-foot intervals (i.e. "you can move 30 feet this round, here's your string, trace out your path).

PS - Yes, I heart Legos. If you're going to have to occasionally say things like... well, the yuan-ti are being represented by the lizardmen minis, and the lich is represented by this mini of an Orc Skeleton... you might as well be saying: the blue lego stacks are yuan ti and the black lego stack is the lich.

Horseshoe on
• Hard to miss. Registered User regular
edited April 2007
Horseshoe wrote: »
PS - Yes, I heart Legos. If you're going to have to occasionally say things like... well, the yuan-ti are being represented by the lizardmen minis, and the lich is represented by this mini of an Orc Skeleton... you might as well be saying: the blue lego stacks are yuan ti and the black lego stack is the lich.

I never had the minis to represent what I wanted...

Delzhand on
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