So here’s “Part Two” of my earlier post.

I have long wrestled with how many “points of interest” there should be in an area. This is one of those weird topics I’ve brought up time and again, about just how much “adventure” a place can hold, how often “campaigns” can occur in a given area — that sort of thing. I could probably write a book on the subject.

I really should, at this point.

Always, I came back to history. What gets recorded? How much is missed?

Stuff like that. Well.

The answer I’m going with for now is that it’s arbitrary, and you should go with something that is both workable and sustainable. I picked a number: three hundred sixty. Not actually so arbitrary, after all.

This number comes with some baggage though, for ease of maintenance.

A region is a six-mile hex, broken down into roughly half-mile hexes. I haven’t mapped the things out precisely because making them too precise would ultimately defeat their usefulness. Some distances are still fudged.

Instead of being a neat twelve hexes across (which would be really neat, wouldn’t it?), I’ve made mine eleven hexes across. They’re a little over a half-mile. In fact, they’re 2,880 feet across. Look familiar? How about the radius, 1,440?

I’ll quit trying to explain the joke.

Anyway, the number 11 works really well with 2d6 rolls. And the total number of hexes in a hex-grid eleven hexes across is 91. Ninety-one is an easy number to work with — it divides by a couple of our favorite numbers: 7 and 13. Magic!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t divide into 360 quite so well.

For that, you have to assume that exactly one hex in the entire region has no points of interest (well, for the sake of easier math, anyhow) — but if you’re using a Catan board to imagine the scaled-up version of the board, you can assume that one little hex is in the dead center of the desert.

Ninety goes into three hundred sixty really well. It gives you four points of interest per halfish-mile hex. And 360 divides by many of our favorite numbers that sixty does: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 30.

By sheer coincidence, I’m sure, many of the location types in Skyrim occur in 8-12s. If there were like, 36 types of locations then you’d have 360 locations.

Once you get into it, it isn’t very hard to come up with types.

Here are some ideas from Skyrim:
– 9 Cities
– 7 Towns
– 9 Imperial camps
– 10 Stormcloak camps
– 10 Forsworn camps
– 11 Standing Stones (actually 13, but 3 are in a group)
– 12 Dwemer ruins (from the world map)
– 12 giant camps
– 10 dragon lairs
– 9 groves/clearings
– 13 mills (wheat v. lumber)
– 10 Imperial towers
– 9 “Nordic” towers
– 10 ruins
– 10 landmarks

Now, there were like 24-26 forts in the base game, and I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it turned out they were a 50/50 split between garrisoned and monster/bandit-infested. That would give you all the benefits of forts.

There were also a TON of caves and Nordic ruins, and there were like, 20 mines. I wouldn’t be surprised if all those could be broken into groups of “about 10” following similar themes. Like, 8 dragon priest masks. And so forth.

Heck, there are ten locations in the Blackreach.

So, this should get you like, halfway to coming up with 36 of your own locations types. It really isn’t hard to generate a TON of content upfront, and differentiate each location slightly in its presentation. Not when you get right down to it.

And using this particular system for developing a region, you have about four locations (points of interest) per halfish-mile hex. Distribution is fairly straightforward.

Divide your region into twelve sections, like a clock face. Take your groups of 8-12 locations and put one in each hour. Spread them around a bit so no one is too close to another, and make sure to leave gaps or favor certain parts of the region if you want endemic creature or location types.

For example, all the Forsworn are mostly in the West, as are most of the Imperial camps. Stormcloak camps are mostly in the East. And so forth.


There’s plenty more to discuss, but this seems a good stopping point for now.