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Claiming Water and Islands

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 213
When you claim a hex that contains part of an ocean or lake, your claim includes the water portion of that hex. In effect, your kingdom automatically controls a small portion of the waters adjacent to its coastline. Because any new hex you claim must be adjacent to an existing hex in your kingdom, if you want to claim land beyond that water (such as an island), you must first explore and claim the intervening deep water hexes. Your exploration only applies to the water’s surface—you are searching for uncharted islands, dangerous reefs, and so on. The GM may want to treat the underwater portion of a hex as a separate hex, much like a network of large caves under a hex may count as its own hex, allowing a village of merfolk or sahuagin to thrive in your kingdom without your knowledge.