Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Ruins of Cullen Moray- part six

The dungeon grows yet more.

The underground river a few maps back continues from the left here and continues to plod it's way ever farther into the darkness. As travel to this area of the map is restricted to travel along the swift moving river, this area is likely unexplored by thieves and criminals.

It will probably help if I just show the entire map we have so far. You can see this latest map connects up to the main map via the river.

Full black and white version.

A version with the fill at half opacity, just enough to give it some definition.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014


In honor of the new trailed for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD,
I give you his brother Bob.

I turned and looked over my shoulder. There were five of them on our tail - three motorcycles and two cars. I guess you could call them cars, they had four wheels. The cars had been so modified that if it were not for the four wheels currently tearing through the desert you would second guess yourself for calling them cars. One was painted black, the other red. Each had spikes, skulls, armor, exhaust pipes and a miscellany of questionable and strange things glued, nailed, chained, and god-knows-what-else to the frame.

All told, they were hell on wheels.

One motorcycles sped up close to the side of our car. I could see the rider's face, or at least the metal death's head he wore as a helmet/mask. The metal had been polished to a brilliant chrome and the sun's rays dance across the mirror-like surface. On any other day I would have marveled at the marksmanship.

Today I raised my Side by Side Short Barrel Shotgun and blasted him straight in the face. The steel cased pellets ripped through the metal mask and his head turned in to a red hued explosion of gore and brain matter. The force caused the rider's body to reel backward and lifted the front wheel slightly off the ground causing a chain reaction and soon the motorcycle was doing chaotic end over end flips alongside my car.

Behind and above me I could hear Lola laughing. She was as twisted as she was beautiful. "Nice shot, Bob!" I heard her yell over the roar of the engine. She has on a rear mounted gunner's chair above me on the roof of the car. Between her legs was mounted her massive crossbow. As powerful as it was deadly.

"Shut up and kill the other fuckers," I screamed back at her. "They ain't getting our 300 gallons today!" I referred, of course, to the 300 gallon tank of pure petrol mounted to the back of my car. While it was valuable, in this instance it had proven invaluable - mounted on the back it ensured these asshole would not risk firing their pistols and rifles at us. A single stray bullet could ignite the entire tank and turn us into a brilliant colorful explosion, fireworks on the sands.

I glanced in the side mirror and saw another bike moving along side us. The thunk of Lola's crossbow reverberated through the cabin of the car and a two foot long bolt ripped through the rider's chest. He slumped over and the bike slowly began to wobble. Suddenly the front wheel caught a drift of sand and the bike and rider vaulted into the air, beginning an impressively high arc skyward as it twisted and somersaulted. The riders journey ended when he and the bike crashed into a large sand dune alongside the road. Overhead I heard Lola's maniacal laughter.

"Don't get cocky up there," I shouted and pounded on the roof of the car knowing Lola would feel the punches in her ass through the metal roof and the thin seat. "Plenty assholes to handle!"

The red car sped up on the opposite rear, capitalizing on our focus being to the impressive aerial acrobatics of the motorcycle, and tapped our bummer hard. This jarred the car and caused it to jerk to the right. The back wheels caught and caused the car to bounce a few feet in the air as it tore across the sand. I struggled to maintain control of the car. I heard Lola flop around on the roof, good thing we had installed that belt to hold her.

I veered hard left and smashed my reinforced bumper into the front right wheel of the red car. Metal and metal ground together and sparks flew but I missed the tired and smashed his fender instead. I turned to look at the driver and saw the hollow end of a gun pointed at my head just as it vomited smoke and flames at me. I thew myself into the passenger seat as the bullet ripped through the front windshield, a hole appearing in the glass where my head had been just moments before.

Popping back up in the driver's seat, I brought my shotgun with me and pumped a new shell in the chamber. I could see the whites of his eyes get bigger when he saw the end of my weapon staring him down. Then it spewed it's guts - not at his head, but at his front tire. It exploded violently, steel-belted rubber flying off in long strips and tearing through the body and frame of the car.

The red car bounced upward then the front right came down hard and disappeared into a cloud of sand. This jerked the rest of the car up and flipped it over onto the roof. Whatever was left of the car after the flip exploded in a brilliant flash of red flames and black-as-night smoke. That fucker was toast.

Lola screamed above me. I was not sure if this was a scream of joy or pain until I turned and saw another motorcycle rider and come close and shot his own crossbow at her. A long steel thread ran from the end of his weapon and ran to her body. I looked up through the plastic-covered sunroof and saw her head bobbling about, a steel bolt jutting from her neck.

I jammed the wheel to the right and caught the biker off guard, smashing the side of the car into the bike. He went flying over the hood, stopping only when he slammed a knife into the hood and coming to rest directly in front of me.

The look of shock on his face told me he was as surprised as I was that he had survived and someone ended up alive on the hood of my car holding on for dear life. "Asshole!" He yelled at me through the bullet hole in the windshield. With his free hand he was reaching around behind him. His long-hair white mohawk was thrashing about and blocked me from seeing what he was doing. I assumed her was reaching for a weapon.

"Yeah? Fuck you buddy," and I jammed my shotgun through the hole and split his face, ear to ear. A couple of bumps later and his body rolled off the hood and dropped into the path of the black car behind me.

The driver attempted to swerve, failed, trampled over his comrade, over compensated for a sandy slide and came to a violent halt sideways in the road. I slammed the brakes and spun the wheel, coming to a stop four hundred yards from the black car. The car was still, the engine still rumbling in protest.

I opened the door, got out and looked at Lola. A eight inch steel bolt jutted out of her chest, disappearing into a bloody red mess of flesh and blood just above her breasts. Her long and thick brunette hair falling around her pretty face. Damn she was pretty.

"Sorry Bob," she said weakly, bloody spittle dribbling out her mouth and making trails down her chin. "Sorry."

"Easy Lola," I touched her cheek softly and smiled at her. "You're going to be alright." I lied. "Everything is going to be fine."

"Yeah?" She smiled, tried to laugh but instead coughed up blood. "Get that fuck for me."

"Anything you want Lola," I kissed her on the forehead and when I stepped back her beautiful blue eyes stared back at me devoid of life.


I turned back to the black car and dug into a pocket on my leather vest. The black car rumbled and then roared, the driver gunning the engine. I started walking towards the black car. His engine roared in reply.

I found the slugs I was looking for and cracked my shotgun open. The two empty shelled popped out and disappeared in the wind. "Come on asshole," I said loud though I doubt her could hear me over the roar of his engine.

All that energy suddenly released and the tires were tearing up the desert, roaring down on me. He swerved back onto the sandy road and aimed his hood at me.

I started walking towards him.

Four hundred yards, closing fast.

I dropped my two shells into the shotgun.

Three hundred yards. I could just make out the dark shape of the driver.

Two hundred yards, i snapped the shotgun together, the click echoing through my ears over the roar of the engine baring down on me. I raised the shotgun.

One hundred yards. Sighting the shotgun, I could see his face now. Long blonde hair covered his head and his face was painted in stark black and white colors to resemble a skull. War paint of a crazy man.

I cocked the hammers, both of them, and sighted the front of the car.

Fifty yards. "For Lola," I said quietly and pulled the trigger. Immediately the front of the car exploded into a ball of fire. I always liked my rare high-explosive shotgun slugs. The car bounced and bobbled to a stop twenty yards from me, still covered in roaring flames. A few small explosions rocked the car, ripping the doors off and then the hood bursting upward in a huge fireball.

"Not today asshole," I turned and headed back to my car. "Not today."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Ruins of Cullen Moray- part five

The next map in the series, and unfortunately, my least favorite. I just stuffed too much into the page that the map ended up being too square for me. I like a little more randomness in my maps, especially ones that involved caverns. As a certain friend always tells me 'nature does not have right angles.'

Pure B&W version.

Fill variation.

And for those following along at home, here is the pieces all put together. Slowly getting to be mega!

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Friday, December 5, 2014

FREE book*

A while ago I helped a friend as he wrote a book. I read it as he wrote it, maybe helped a wee bit on editing (I am not really any good at it but hopefully a few of my thoughts we valuable) and I did the cover for the book.

It has now been a while and the book only has one review. I want to help him out. So for my Christmas book to a few of you, I am going to give away a free copy in exchange for a review. I like to pretend I am a gentleman so this will be a deal based on a (internet) hand shake.

*I will provide one copy (sent via the 'Gift' option on Amazon) to five readers who promise a review prior to Christmas. I prefer honest reviews and I think he will as well, so this is not a buy-a-review scam. I gift you the book, you do an honest review on Amazon.

Now, who is up for a free book? Leave a comment here on the blog or comment over on Google+ and I will send you the Kindle eBook (I will need your email address to have Amazon send you the coupon for the book). Please only serious folks need apply. If I get more than five responses I will randomly determine who among all responses are awarded the book.

For more information on the novella, click here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Ruins of Cullen Moray- part four

This small section leads off the last map and heads a little farther south via a small passage barely wide enough for a dwarf. The tunnels twist and turn, rise and drop and create a very difficult mapping challenge for the brave adventurer.

and the pure black & white version

For those curious how it all fits together thus far, here you go:

If you enjoy the maps I post on this blog, please consider becoming a patron of the maps I produce by visiting my Patreon page and signing up today! Patrons enjoy additional versions of the maps as well as extras that are not available here on the blog.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cullen Moray thus far

So far I have only mapped out a small part of my massive dungeon. Not sure what I plan to do with it yet but someone asked for a roll up of what has gone before after I posted the two dungeon maps together over on G+ So here you go.

The upper level is a small  tower with just two levels. A small trap door in the lower level leads to the sprawling labyrinth in the darkness below.

And the first two maps of the lower level (click for larger version) which leads from the top area, the more dungeon-ie part and leads into a more cave-like area with a fast moving stream and waterfall.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Ruins of Cullen Moray - level one-south

The first level extends southward, twisting and turning through the rock as it crosses Blackrood Creek, a small underground river that plunges over a steep waterfall and drops into a large pool before disappearing to the east. The twisting and turning passages will confound any adventurer and leave them guessing out to escape the dangers of the deep...

 a little more shading

pure B&W 

some color

If you enjoy the maps I post on this blog, please consider becoming a patron of the maps I produce by visiting my Patreon page and signing up today! Patrons enjoy additional versions of the maps as well as extras that are not available here on the blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Delving deeper into Delving Deeper, part the fourth

Fourth in the series, continuing with the classes section.

The Cleric
These are stripped down rules and leading right into it clerics are immediately hit with some restrictions:
Clerics must choose law or chaos; they cannot remain neutral in the eternal struggle. Either type must remain steadfast in this choice or be stripped of his status.
I like this too, reminds me of the games I played as a kid. And then a few more restrictions:
In performing their duty clerics are allowed shields and any armor but the use of edged or piercing weapons is forbidden.
This too reminds me of my youth. Clerics are hallmarks of good, shining beacons of what heroes are, they are a touch more powerful than the fighter and certainly their healing ability is a good thing to have around. Shouldn't a more powerful character have some limitations to make the character a little harder to play? I totally agree with this, a cleric has powers granted by a benefactor and nothing is free in the world, thus, there should be a cost.

In my adult games I have rarely imposed any sort of restrictions or forcing punishment for characters that are not devout but I did as a kid. Spells failed, bad things befell the character and I remember distinctly a session where the character's deity appeared before them.
A cleric begins play with a spell book containing the 1st level spells and can thereafter cast a number of spells each day appropriate for his experience level.
I do not recall clerics having spell books in any of my early games. I always had the cleric pray to their deity who then grants them the spells. Additionally, looking at the following table, clerics do not even get a single spell at first level! Certainly makes a cleric an interesting choice at first level and gets rid of the magic-user folks crying foul that their class sucks at first level.
So long as he adheres to his faith a cleric will gain access to spells of successive spell levels as he advances in experience, and can devise spells of his own besides.
It is not clear to me how clerics get later spells. Are they given to their by their deity and somehow added to this spellbook or are they found? The rules are not clear here so we must leave this up to the GM. My interest is also piqued by the statement can devise spells of his own besides, so they can make their own spells? Interesting.
Clerics of the chaotic sort are called anti-clerics. They are intended as villains and their purpose is to vanquish good
Anti-clerics is interesting because this essentially means that the players are intended to play GOOD characters, that they are a force of good in the world. I too remember all the games of my youth being this way with only a few dabbles into the world of playing evil or not-for-good characters.

Others posts in this series:
Part one.
Part two.
Part three.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lunch Box Heroes - NaGaDeMon?

Last January I had a conversation with a fellow gamer about wanting a quick one-shot game that would take literally zero prep and could be ran over lunch. An idea struck me and I wrote some ideas down but never finished it.

Fast forward to Wednesday this last week and my friend Bryan was running games for his kids. He tried a few I have owned but never ran (Bean!, Hero Kids, and Faery's Tale). You can read about it here This made me think back to my little game I had written and so I dug around and blew off the dust. I was too busy to really sit down and look at it until this morning when I pretty much tossed it all away except for a few thoughts and rewrote the game.

Tonight I was left alone while the girls went out shopping. I am not brave enough for insanity like that so I thought I would play test my little game a little.

I quickly made three character sheets and tossed (this game used coins) together three characters, aptly a warrior, a rogue, and a mage. Her are their sheets:

Next I thought it might be fun to get out Mythic GM Emulator but instead I was predictably lazy and did not want to go looking for it. So I made my own. :-)

It uses coins (the #c notation) to randomly determine what happens in the underground tunnel my heroes have ventured into. So now that I have my heroes and a way to determine the dungeon they were about to explore, I was ready to go!

I started at the entrance to the dungeon and tossed the coins. The tunnel went for a bit before it opened up to a medium sized chamber. Luckily there were no monsters but the rogue in the group, Lydia, found a trap and tried to disarm it.
I rolled four pennies and determined it was a Trap2, then tossing Lydia's 2 coins for her Rogue stat and an additional 1 for her Trap Detection (I should have named it something more like Trap Expert or something).

She got two heads and I had mentally noted while writing the game that all ties went to the players. Lydia found and disabled the trap! I then checked for treasure and found one normal item, I thought a moment and added torches to the groups items.

Tossed more coins and determined the tunnel lead farther into the ground and came to another room, unfortunately this one was occupied by four goblins! As Lydia was leading the party she leapt forward to strike the first goblin. Lydia gets three coins, two from her warrior stat and one for her short sword gear. The goblin gets two, one for his warrior stat and one for his spear. Each rolled one heads and of course a tie goes to the defender so the goblin manages to block the attack!
Next, Ragnar the warrior steps up, not to be out done by a rogue, he slashes sword at the goblin, besting it with three heads to its two. The goblin goes down immediately!
I had not thought about multiple attacks, and it felt like Ragnar should have gotten another, but I decided to let it go for now.

Burton the mage stepped up and cast a magic missile at the fourth goblin in the fray. His mage 3 and magic give him four coins to toss against the goblin's 2. Here I ruled that as the mage was firing a missile 'weapon' at him the goblin should get to avoid getting hit so I allowed him to use his Rogue stat to try to dodge. Amazingly Burton tosses terribly and gets only one heads, the goblin matches, and steps aside as the magic missile flies past him.
I honestly get a little nervous here. This is not going too well, but I press on. The third goblin charges Ragnar and Ragnar easily cuts him down (forgot to photo).

It cuts back to Lydia and her goblin. This time Lydia manages to best the goblin and cuts him down.
Back to Ragnar again and he yet again easily cuts down the last goblin.
They do a quick search and I randomly determine they find a lantern and some gold. So at the end of our first encounter the group looks like this. I award XP. Burton has failed everything he has done so far and so he gets zip. Ragnar has defeated three goblins but I mess up and only award him 2 (bad GM!)Lydia has bested one goblin and a level 2 trap, thus getting 3 XP.
This chamber has two tunnels leading off into darkness and I randomly decided to to to the one to the left. A few rolls later the party comes to a cliff. I randomly determine it is a Cliff2. Each character is going to need to make a test using their Rogue to climb down safely.
We don't roll so good. And of course, I forgot to put something sensible like ROPE on the character sheets. Duh.
Lydia and Ragnar both fall as they climb down and take a point of damage. Burton does not. Afterwards I thought it would have been smarter to simply cast a spell and float the group down, but hey, learn from our mistakes, right?

The group continues and come to a large room, a man-made structure which I determine to be a tomb with a false door. The group searches the room but finds nothing and return to check the other tunnel.

They continue along the other tunnel and find another room, this one is a tomb as well with a large statue. Lydia discovers a trap at the entrance to the room and is able to disarm the trap.
As they step into the room the giant guardian statue roars to life and charges towards the party. I quick like made up the stats for guardian statue.
Burton unleashes a magical blast upon the statue, scoring one hit before the statue can cross the distance to the group.
Ragnar charges to meet the statue, after a brief struggle Ragnar goes down, taken out by the powerful attack of the statue.
Lydia realizes that she cannot take on the statue directly opts instead to dip into the shadows and use her stealth to her advantage. Its a bit of a long shot but with just a one in Rogue the statue is blind to her move. She slips in behind the statue hidden by the shadows.
The statue moves towards Burton who takes the unlikely stance for a mage and stands his ground. As the statue barrels towards him, he unleashes another magic blast and another success! He bests the statue by one and reduces the statue's hit down to just 1.
Now Lydia strikes from the shadows, her short sword striking from the darkness and landing a solid blow! Two heads against one tails. The statue crumbles into a pile of dust!

All in all it was pretty interesting and fun to test out the mechanics, as an added bonus I had a great time coming up with the random dungeon generator.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Ruins of Cullen Moray - level one

Not had a chance to put my notes on this level down to paper yet but wanted to show you some of what I have been working on. This will be the level just below the previous map posted here on the blog: The Castle level

Some day I will get a chance to continue the old halfling's tale about his exploits here, and how they went so badly.

Other versions of the map:
massive version, really, really big file

pure b&w version, and not so large, should fit a page of paper decently

a slightly colorized version

If you enjoy the maps I post on this blog, please consider becoming a patron of the maps I produce by visiting my Patreon page and signing up today! Patrons enjoy additional versions of the maps as well as extras that are not available here on the blog.