Play by Forum: Hexplore It - The Sands of Shurax

I finally finished my homebrewed Sands of Shurax mod for Tabletop Simulator and would like to use it to facilitate a forum playthrough of it. Looking for I would say 3-4 players, I can be one of them if we don’t get a full set otherwise but it’s always easier for me to just facilitate. This may or may not be a great fit - in particular, most of the direct player specific decision making is done in combat, which is probably going to take forever if we do it turn by turn - but heck with it. If you don’t know the game, lots of context here (and rules): Volume III

Here’s my thinking: each volunteer should pick a role from this album:

(There are also Hexclusive Roles which I am ruling out pre-emptively as they are deliberately substantially stronger than everything else and work better for a 1-2 player game.) Ideally, we’ll want a spread of different role types, although I don’t think any specific party composition is really mandatory to succeed, so if you have alternates in mind based on composition, that’s worth posting as well. Once everyone has picked a Role, I’ll randomly select a (nonHexclusive/Rare) Race, Trait, and Aspect for each character and you can name them. (You could also just name them right away - depends on whether you want to take the Race/Trait/Aspect into account).

I’ll post each turn and solicit decision making about direction and any other choices involved in that turn. If combat starts, I’ll ask players to discuss a general battle plan, including how much energy and any consumable items they are comfortable using, and then I’ll play it out and see what the results are. We might zoom in and do turn-by-turn for boss fights, as they are both scarier and more involved.

Sound good? Who’s interested? @ArmandoPenblade , I know we talked about this on Discord earlier…

Oh, also, Roles with the kinda toothy triangle shape in the lower right hand corner are the new ones to Sands of Shurax, if you want to prioritize the new ones.

Rules: Volume III
Character Sheets for our game: Sands of Shurax Character Sheets - Google Sheets

Mutations by Character:




Oh this is absolutely insane but I can’t resist. In.

edit: I’m most interested in Dervish (Striker), Defilist (Sapper), and Commander (Assist). Glad to fill an empty role slot depending on others’ choices, and I’d be equally happy to play any one of them, if someone else wants one :)

I’ll give it a shot

Can confirm TTS does not natively handle a game with a lot of writing involved in the design well at all. May end up using spreadsheets for character stats until my GF has a chance to do some scripting. You can make do with counters and stuff but it’s ugly and awkward.

Gonna give folks tomorrow to take a look before calling it - I’ve noticed weekends tend to be slow around here.

Ooh, I hope you guys pull this off! I shall be following along.



I own the first two volumes of this system. Fascinating games, looking forward to this.

Looking forward enough to participate? We’ve only got two people so far.

The only thing Tom hates more than play-by-forum games is Tabletop Simulator!

I also am not the biggest fan of either, but I want to Hexplore my curiosity about this game so I am also subscribing!

Heh, I wasn’t expecting Tom to join us. But y’all could!

I am also not a fan of TTS and I don’t own it. But I will play if I don’t actually need it myself!

Nah, strictly play by forum. I’m just using it to administer the game state so I don’t have to have it set up on my table for months and take photos.

@Thraeg, @Ormus - any thoughts as to Roles you might want to play? If you’re not already familiar with the game don’t worry too much about the finer details, mostly you just want a party spread between types of role: Strikers are DPS, Sappers are debuffers (and in particular, do a lot of damage to enemy energy, which limits their options as far as attacking - this hasn’t always been super high priority in older volumes but Sands has a keyword called Energetic that gives enemies with 50+% of their energy additional nasty effects), Healers are, you know, healers, Assists are kinda tanks/buffers, and Utility do various weird things that can help the group out. Also important to note, the party mostly acts collectively, except in combat. (Or there’s now a Merchant role who can split off, set up shops, and send hired goons to help out when the main party fights.) So supporting each other is helpful, solo capabilities irrelevant.

'mando’s contemplating a Striker, a Sapper, and an Assist, so one of those roles can be covered already.

Also, Healers are very much not mandatory, if that was a worry for anyone. They can be very good, but they’re the least common role overall and many of my games of Hexplore It have not had one.

I’d like to join up, provided the group can tolerate absences/pauses every so often. I often camp on the weekends, and If the game extends until late June, I’ll be in Costa Rica and mostly incommunicado for a couple of weeks.

I almost always play a tank in MMOs, so maybe I’d like to do an Assist class if you’ll have me. If my inconstancy would mar the group’s experience, I’m content to subscribe and observe.

I think in this particular game it’s probably fine as long as you don’t mind things going on without your input sometimes. Like I say, I’m not sure how much it even makes sense as a PBF yet since the most control individual players have is during combat and that’s probably too slow to resolve turn by turn on the forum. But eh. I want to give it a shot starting with the approach I discuss above, and if y’all feel like you’re not getting to make meaningful decisions we can always adjust.

I should also offer the option of just getting dealt a random Role of a type as well, or having me pick (I’ll probably just go with a Sands Role because theme and new content, if so).

The Trap Specialist looks fun, I could go with that.

I am familiar with the rules, but not any tied to SoS specifically. I will check the rules out tomorrow (I am on UK time).

I like the Warden, but in the spirit of theme, I’d choose the Whip Master.

That makes me lean toward Dervish to make sure we’ve got a Striker onboard. I wouldn’t say no to one last person taking a Healer slot, but like @malkav11, you can absolutely make it through without one. At least in VotDK and FoA, there was sort of an invisible threshold of power you’d cross midgame that you rarely if ever felt especially threatened beyond (assuming you were keeping difficulty within a couple of ranks of default, like we did).

I’m happy to play the Templar if @Thraeg wants to play an Assist or Sapper.

@Thraeg ? We are apparently waiting on you, man.

Oh, sure, I’ll try a Sapper then.