The basics of moving around a sandbox setting of islands requires a little bit of attention, so that I know the ground rules by which the players will be operating. I'm taking a cue from Pathfinder's Kingmaker Adventure Path, modified somewhat for a seafaring setting, and converted to Savage Worlds, of course.
Travel Times for ships are based on their Travel Speed rating. A ship with a Travel Speed of 1 covers one regional hex in a day (or one hex every six watches), 2 indicates two hexes in a day (or one hex every three watches), and 3 indicates three hexes in a day (or one hex every two watches).
Note: If a water hex is obstructed by seaweed or excessive debris, such that it is thick enough to hinder ship movement, Travel Speed is halved. If a ship spends time exploring a hex for either standard or hidden sites, then Travel Speed is also halved.
Order of Exploration
Just like in land-based campaigns, characters may explore unknown regions. The order of operations for such efforts should probably occur in the following order of operations:
- Entering The Hex: When entering the hex, the characters should become aware of any landmark sites. These are sites that can be seen at a great distance, such as cities, sizable geographic landmarks or minor local weather patterns. The landmark site can be avoided or explored at the explorers' desire. Remember that the World Within is a hollow world scenario, and so there is no horizon to block view of major elements such as severe weather patterns, etc.
- Random Encounter Check: The GM should check for Random Encounters upon entering a hex, as well as every six watches spent exploring or "camping" in a given hex. (Survival skill checks may influence the potential for an encounter with such checks.)
- Exploring The Hex: If the characters take the time to explore the hex, the characters should automatically become aware of any standard sites. Standard sites are somewhat secluded, but are immediately identifiable when the explorers come within bow shot range, if not sooner.
- Searching For Hidden Sites: If the characters succeed in a Notice skill check while searching the hex for hidden sites, they discover any hidden sites that might exist in the hex. Hidden sites are those that are very secluded or hidden, and thus not immediately obvious, even when within bow shot range.
Random Encounter Checks
For random encounter checks, I am currently considering the use the system outlined in Martin Rayla's A Lightweight System for Random Encounters: d10+d10 article on Gnome Stew. In this article, he proposes a simple 2d10 table that, with modifiers, can determine the number of random encounters (if any) that a party might have in a given day. If one or more encounters are called for, I can always use the regional encounter tables to determine what the characters run into, as well as 1d6 roll to determine the Watch in which they occur. For the sake of convenience, I will replicate the table here:
Table: Random Encounter Checks
|15 or less||None|
|24 or more||3|