Hexagonal Tiles

Users have asked for hex tiles a few times (including just last night) so I figured I’d start a thread about it.

I don’t have any immediate plans to add hex tiles to Shmeppy, but maybe long term I may play around with trying to add it. I’m not sure Shmeppy’s drawing tools would translate over to a hex grid very well though… it seems like it might look kinda weird.

It would help if ya’ll could share with me what you want to use hex maps for: region maps, hex-based game systems like GURPS, …?

As well as what you’re doing now to fulfill those needs, given that Shmeppy can’t do this yet.


I’m okay with the squares, TBH.

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I would much rather have the option of filling in half-squares (diagonals), as I think it is used much more commonly for things like dungeon exploration. I see Shmeppy as a tool to use when the fidelity of map layout is important, which is undermined by the lack of diagonals. If I was going to work with approximations of rooms I would just describe them, not use some virtual tabletop.

Then again I use Shmeppy for a few old school megadungeon games, in which mapping and the like are more important than they are in modern games, which are probably the majority of Shmeppy’s users.


Makes sense @Wizard.

Though Diagonals in Shmeppy are probably never coming unfortunately :/. I still don’t have any good ideas for how to do it.

Background images are the closest “increase fidelity” feature that’s been accepted I think.


Personally, I’d use hexes as a region map/tracking the party in a hex crawl. At the my moment my plan is to just use an out of game map to mark things.


The Fantasy Trip has had a recent re-release and, in my experience, has a very hungry audience. It is a a hex based fantasy game (also from SJ games). Because Hex Maps are not used in D&D, there isn’t a ton of support for Hex maps anywhere, so I would welcome a solid, simple solution. Messing around with your tool today, I don’t think there would be much more need than having the same feature set you already have. I would suggest some way to indicate facing (even just having a line splitting your circle tokens), as that is a common reason hex having games use hexes and is definitely part of the Gurps and Fantasy Trip ruleset.

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Ronin on Shmeppy’s Discord shared some thinking on this (link):

One of the reasons I like hex grids is cause it makes making circular rooms a lot easier. In terms of my TTRPG, it allows for a better understanding of where a player/enemy is looking. Making it easier to know where line of sight is and what not. I think it also allows for a better grasp of what side of a pillar/tree or other slim structure a player is leaning against. In terms of the drawing tools, Edges could be used to cut through the hex making a straight line. Perhaps having the Edge tool section off the hex would allow for using the Fill tool to make one side of the hex a solid color while the other side is left empty or filled with a different color entirely.


I like hex grids, and tactical RPGs (4e, Lancer, PF2e) tend to work better with them, so long as the ability to create rectangles isn’t lost… I consider Dungeon Scrawl the gold standard of hex-snapping, for reference.

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i feel like in general it would be in the spirit of the design features to include a hex map. my first system was GURPS and still play it from time to time and my first wet erase map had hex on one side and square on the other. as far as programming goes, good luck, but i’d argue that at some point in the future shmeppy should have a hex feature.

I’m not an experienced DM and don’t really have a personal need for hexes, but hex grids are technically superior to square grids in many game systems, and I do feel like the feature would round out the feature set nicely, down the line.

I use hex maps when I played GURPS (years ago). I also have designed some hex-crawls for DnD before (see the play tested 5e dnd version of the “isle of dead”).

as someone that is very much a visual learner and thinker, the rectangles are good most of the time, but it really restricts my ability to think and see the layout of the land. One instance of this is diagonal distances. Another is what direction my character is really facing, hiding behind pillars, half cover etc. hexagonals make it easier to “surround” something too, giving more ability to circle something, as opposed to the 4 sides you get now. Thank you very much, I hope you give it some thought :slight_smile:

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The problem with hex grids for a maps is that you basically have two wildly different scenarios how they’re used:

  1. Use hexes for both movement and drawing: Your average out-door map in a lot of games, like D&D overland maps or tactical maps in other games.
  2. Use hexes for movement, but map is still mostly rectangular: A lot of dungeons and regular buildings.

If you look at scenarios for e.g. GURPS, you’ll find a lot of the latter. Drawing them with hexes would look a bit weird. Now with squares, all of shmeppys drawing tools are constrained to the whole grid element or one of its edges. If you try to have rectangular boundaries on hex grid tiles, this wouldn’t work anymore.

Still, it would be neat for the hex crawl large-scale outdoor maps alone.

I just found this tool and it looks great. I will give it a try soon for a Swords & Wizardry dungeoncrawl with my son and his friends (they can’t all come over due to covid).
But for hex crawling (aka wilderness adventures), making easy hex maps would be a great.

For me personally, I hexagons to be very good for region maps or maps for use with very large movement needed eg. sea/space ships.

Also having the ability to have more rounded maps could be used for a variety of things and would overall just help add to the platform.

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I’ve recently been using Shmeppy with a hex grid, it works well. Could use some more support from the tools but already not too bad. Here’s a screen shot of what it looks like.

What I could use from the tool is to be able to define a shape (in terms of edges) and use that as a “stamp” to add new hex tiles to my grid. Right now it’s mildly tedious to use the edge tool to create all the fiddly edges. It would also be nice to have the ability to skew/transform the map so that the tiles don’t appear to be drifting to the left as you go up. That would make the map into a grid of rhombuses instead of squares, but the logic would be otherwise identical. Does any of that seem doable?