Wednesday, July 23, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] Hedgerow Countryside

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you back through the patreon page ( http://www.patreon.com/msjackson )or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/mapsforheroes ). Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety. 

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

This amazing map was generously donated by Mr +Christopher Stogdill, you can learn more about him at his great blog "Frugal GM" where he reports on resource-saving options to run better games. A great blog, be sure to check it out.

Hedgerow Countryside

Click below to view the MASSIVE 28meg full size image!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] Peculiar Orb

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

This amazing map was generously donated by Mr +Gus L, you can learn more about him at his very interesting and unique blog "Dungeon of Signs"


And a colorized version:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fun Friday Map...and the prize!

This last week has been insane for me with my boss(es) on vacation, my sergeant out of the office and me helping the unit get ready for deployment. I was burnt out by Friday to say the least and I need a distraction. So I did what I usually do: made a map. I have cleaned this up for those that might want it. I had also stated that if any publishers wanted to use this map they could, free of charge, just give credit yadda yadda yadda.

So here it is cleaned up.

The Friday Challenge!
I challenged folks on G+ to stock it and a handful of folks came through with some really outstanding adventures. Below is a list of each of the ones I know that stocked it. If I missed anyone, please let me know!

I would like each on of these authors to contact me via email snikle1973 @ that googley place dot com and let me know their mailing address. Over the next week or so I will be printing out a copy of my A Collection of Presentations, Cartographical in Nature and mailing it to them. A little appreciation from me for taking the time to have a little fun with me. Might take me a little to get these out to everyone (swamped at work for the next week) but I will get them in the mail asap.

Here are a list of the friendly blokes that took the time to stock the cavern:
+Mark Chance - Ean Illiam’s Cavern Stores
+Thaumiel Nerub - Abandoned Smuggler's Den Now Home Of The Crabfishman!
+Christopher Stogdill - Trouble at Karst Cavern
I enjoyed reading through all the creative ideas and interesting adventures! I really enjoy making maps and the fact that my little map can inspire others is a magical thing. Those above please be sure to email your snail mail address so I can mail you a copy of my little zine.

Another version of the map, with a bit of a background.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] The Dwarven Fortress of Winterhold

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

This amazing map was generously donated by Mr +Simon Forster, you can learn more about this swell fellow at his blog "and the sky full of dust"

Winterhold
The dwarf fortress of Winterhold is a place where the dwarfs stock up on goods for winter. They store ales, dwarf spirits, dried and smoked food, barrels of pickled fish, and livestock in a room that gets quite ripe as the long winter months pass. Recently, this stronghold has come under attack from within: a pair of nests of Osquips have burrowed their way into the fortress and are eating whatever they can grab hold of, including dwarfs that dare to stop them. The dwarfs are outnumbered and need help!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] The Holy Shrine of the Family Logrotha

This map is another map in the Maps for Heroes series, Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. If you cannot donate, please consider spreading the word. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

The Holy Shrine of Family Logrotha
For well over a hundred years the Logrotha family dominated the region and as important people often do, they began building a rather fashionable location in which to leave the remains of those who passed. What started as a singe room was expanded over the years and with each new expansion the new patriarch removed the old remains and prepared the shrine for their end days. Cautious not to upset their ancestors, the new builders would erect a large statue of the previous occupant of the shrine. Today nine statues dominate the rooms of the shrine. Hidden deep within the shrine lies a pool. Once hidden behind a false wall,  this pool marks the 'sacred' water that became the final resting place of the ashes of the previous occupants of the shrine.


With background.

And the very important, black and white version: 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] The Spiral

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

This map was generously donated by Mr Simon Forster, you can learn more about this swell fellow at his blog "and the sky full of dust". I want to thank Simon personally as my work load has significantly increased this last week (my boss went on vacation) and I have two maps complete, I just have not had the time to scan and clean them up yet. Luckily Simon provided numerous maps for this charity drive, thank you sir! It is my hope that players are driven insane attempting to map this cavern. ;-)


THE SPIRAL
A spiralling passage cuts through the bedrock, leading ultimately to a cavern full of shadows and malcontent. The pitted iron statue of a trapped demon lies here, waiting to be asked any question to which it will give an honest answer; it also longs for freedom, and will reward anyone who frees it from its prison. The statue has attracted creatures and obsessed scholars, who have holed up in the caves that break up the tunnel.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Low level characters, and the effects on play

I like low level campaigns, as a GM for over 30 years now, I have ran only a handful of campaigns where the characters rose above the seventh level. I also prefer low magic campaigns. With this post, I give some words and explanations on my reasoning.


I often see the question of defining the OSR come across my online radar. The old "rulings, not rules" is a good one, and while I totally agree with this, another aspect of my games comes to mind. Low level characters have always been a staple of my games. I think the lower levels are more fun than higher levels. Why? I am not sure, but I think it has to do with the fact that those low level characters are like you and I. They are not flinging a world shattering spell every breath, nor are they wielding a Sword of the Godslayer +15. They are terrified, they are about to enter the dark maw of a dungeon where everything is there to kill them.

Think about that for a moment. 

Having been in situations where people are there for one purpose, to end your life, I can tell you this causes you to become either terribly focused or numb. It changes the way you look at things and certainly would change the characters as they sneak down dark, damp steps, going yet farther into danger.

But enough of that, you guys don't want to read about me comparing combat to dungeon delving fools.

So with the idea that fear (or insanity) is a part of life for these adventurers in mind we shall continue. The other day I came across an excellent post by +Rick Stump, before proceeding, if you have not read his piece, you should:

Pretty enlightening, is it not? Consider the sheer shortage of high powered characters - compare that to the monsters that exist in your campaign world - and things get interesting. 

Consider your party of five characters of 5th level. There are 5 of you....and using his example of a kingdom of 780,000...there are ONLY TWENTY-THREE of you in the ENTIRE KINGDOM! Your party is ONE-FIFTH of some pretty powerful dudes in the entire kingdom!

This drastically changes the way I, as a GM, think about our characters. People would know who they are. They know something about them when they stroll into town. People would know they were powerful, and likely wealthy. And, HOLY SHIT, bad guys would know of them for sure...they will want the characters dead if they pose a threat.

With this in mind, certain things are effected, here are a few that I came up with:

Mentors, as noted in his article, would be very hard to come by. Odds are they will be very expensive and very picky with whom they choose to be their pupils.

Magic items...remember those magic shops we used to have in our teenage campaigns....they would now become extremely rare. If you were one of the 20 people in the kingdom that could use that wand, what sort of resell value would it have? Almost nil, except to that elite crowd, and you probably already have them on speed dial on your crystal ball.

Clerics floating around that could heal, or even, resurrect your buddy that gotten eaten by the owlbear? Yeah, right. One, maybe two guys in the ENTIRE KINGDOM could even cast a resurrect spell. Imagine what he could charge!

Imagine that fighter that comes across Chainmail +3, you think he is going to part with that? Sure, sure it is worth allot and would help him against the next monster, but consider the advantage this gives him over other fighters in the realm. As humans (or, likely any other race) we all want to the best and even a fighter's end state is to rise to be the lord of a stronghold. If another fighter comes along to be a rival in the later stages of a campaign, that +3 is seriously going to give him an advantage over the few other fighters in the kingdom.

Look at magic-users. At fifth level you can assume there are only four in the kingdom (I rounded up). Four! Likely one is in the party! This alone makes me wonder about those who want to cast magic missile with every breath. This scarcity of magic falls directly in line with my thoughts on magic and its rarity in the campaign world. 

Spells would be very rare, what are the chances that one would of the 110 magic-users who lived in the last 100 years wrote down spells on random scrolls? Did they do this to sell them to people? Was there a big market for that? Would not these be extremely valuable and cherished items?


Anywho, this article has really had me thinking about the world we game in and the 'reality' of that world. 

[Maps for Heroes] Garik's Den

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

This map was generously donated by Mr Simon Forster, you can learn more about this swell fellow at his blog "and the sky full of dust"

Garik's Den
This a den of thieves and bandits, led by the charismatic and cunning rogue, Garik One-Eye. Thatched stone huts guard the sloping tunnel that leads to a series of caves, where the bandits live. Their strange but powerful wizard has his own secret laboratory, where he summons dire creatures and makes deals with demons. A shrine to the goddess of thieves is maintained by a lowly priest who has fallen in with these bandits, much to her horror, and occasional kidnapped prisoners are thrown into a pit until a ransom if paid.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] Confluence and Stony Bastard's Mines

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!


These maps were generously donated by the phenomenal +Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor fame.





Tuesday, July 8, 2014

[Maps for Heroes] Dan's Tavern

This map is another in the series for Maps for Heroes, my Wounded Warrior Project charity drive. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click one of the links and join the campaign! Every dollar I receive from patrons for the month of July will be turned over to the WWP. If you would like to support this project you can visit my Patreon page or donate directly to the WWP at my WWP campaign page. Together we can make a difference in the lives of heroes that have help secure our safety.

Thank you to all the veterans out there!


This wonderful tavern map was generously donated by Dan Roy, thank you sir! You can check out his work on the Cartographer's Guild website where goes by the name Bogie:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/bogie-albums-bogie-s+battlemaps.html

Tavern Map
The first floor of the tavern.

The second floor living quarters.

And of course, no inn would be complete without the rat infested basement!