Friday, November 27, 2015

[map] An architect's bad design

This ruins was once the home a proud, and wealthy lord. As a gift to his young bride be ordered a small keep built into the side of a hill. The keep would serve to defend the young bride's favorite shrine to the goddess of beauty. Some sad the shrine was cursed but the lord was so in love, he ignored their tales.

Unfortunately, it appears as if they were correct. The architect designed the keep with a flaw, designing the arrow slits incorrectly. As the keep neared completion the young bride grew ill and died suddenly. Distraught, the lord ended up engaging in a foolhardy battle and was soon slain.

Today, locals proclaim the keep haunted by the lord while the bride haunts the shrine, never to meet and lost in despair and remorse for a love lost and lives wasted.

Black and White version.

A faded color/black and white version, creates a strong contrast for the walls.

If you enjoy these maps, swing over to my Patreon page to download the full resolution. While you are there, feel free to toss me a few quarters of support.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

[map] The Village of Glynndale

Playing around with a style used by +MonkeyBlood Design and after dinner drew up a quick attempt. I decided to clean it up and share with everyone. Drew this on plain printer paper with a two fine Sharpie pens (one almost out of ink) from pens I found in my desk (too lazy to get my real markers).

I really liked making this one, fun, free and fast style. I think I made too many with fences and should have left more open but closer together, so it formed more of 'downtown' area.

If you dig maps like these, drop by my Patreon page and check out all the maps I make, maybe even drop me a quarter or two. Maps I post to the blog are reduced quality while maps posted to Patreon are full print quality images and most are posted with variations in style or background.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

[map] The Duchy of Araveol

Playing around with some GIMP options and styles and I ended up making a map. Go figure.

If you dig maps like these, drop by my Patreon page and check out all the maps I make, maybe even drop me a quarter or two. Maps I post to the blog are reduced quality while maps posted to Patreon are full print quality images and most are posted with variations in style or background.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fantasy races

Best image of the fantasy races. Ever.
Not only that, but this is probably the most practical envisioning of what it would be like. Average joes just sitting around the campfire after a little adventuring. The halfling, always the most flamboyant speaker of the group, is talking up the a-little-shy dwarf to the pretty elven maid, telling how he took out three orcs with a powerful swing of his hardy battle axe. Knowing he is embellishing the story a wee bit, she knowingly smiles at the little fella. The dwarf allows the exaggerated story, hoping he might steal a kiss from the lovely lass, decades later it would be a grand story he could tell his cousins back at the mine.

When I think of gaming, this is the image I always picture in my head.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

[map] Kahthgart Ruins

Just a quick map today, hope you like it.

If you dig maps like these, drop by my Patreon page and check out all the maps I make, maybe even drop me a quarter or two. Maps I post to the blog are reduced quality while maps posted to Patreon are full print quality images and most are posted with variations in style or background.

Friday, October 9, 2015

[map] Thangardt Gaol

One of my patrons over on Patreon said they needed an old duergar dungeon with jail cells so I went to work and knocked out a map this morning. I hope he has a great time killing some characters as they explore the dark chambers.

If you dig maps like these, drop by my Patreon page and check out all the maps I make, maybe even drop me a quarter or two. Maps I post to the blog are reduced quality while maps posted to Patreon are full print quality images and most are posted with variations in style or background.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

[map] XF-149: Planetary Exploration Pod

In honor of White Star STILL being #1 on RPGNow after five months in the wild I decided to draw up another scifi themed map.

If you dig maps like these, drop by my Patreon page and check out all the maps I make, maybe even drop me a quarter or two. Maps I post to the blog are reduced quality while maps posted to Patreon are full print quality images and most are posted with variations in style or background.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

[map] The Constable's Gate at Cardiffdunn

Latest map is up on Patreon. For full resolution and variant versions of the map, please visit my Patreon page:

Friday, September 4, 2015

Giving back follow up

As stated previously, one third of my patreon pledges have been donated to Jim Ward's medical GoFund me campaign. If you would like to donate, please click the link below.

If you are able to donate, let's get together and help one of our own get through some tough times.

And if you are interested in supporting my mapping efforts, you can check out my Patreon page by clicking the image below. Big thank you to all my patrons, I truly appreciate all your support and look forward to sharing more maps with you.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

[map] The Abbey of St Martin

I am currently listening to Redwall by Brian Jacques and was inspired by the novel of little mice living in an ancient abbey and exploring the forgotten countryside

I also put together a very large version, I think this would look badass on a large cloth tapestry that a GM could drop over a table for an adventure with a band of brave souls.
Click on any of the images to head over to my Patreon page to download the original resolution files. If you enjoy the maps, please consider signing up as a patron, every little bit helps me continue to make these maps for gamers everywhere.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

[map] The Village of Treacle

The Village of Treacle sits upon the western edge of the Known Lands, clinging to a hardy life upon the Mistgrume Sea. The village is populated by rough men and women always on edge. Life upon the Mistgloom is a dangerous one and few live more than a decade before succumbing. Most of the men make their living here working the sea, catching fish and clams to feed the village.
1] A large building near the middle of the village is the one place well known outside of the locals. The Dagget and Blok is a two story building, though not in truth as the first floor is simply the silts upon which the second floor resides. The location is known as a Work Porter and those travelling through can come here to find work, rumors and facts on the local area, like-minded company, and grab something to quench your thirst and hunger. In most cases the barkeep is the source of a knowledge and the most interesting person, here this is not the case. The patrons are by far the sources of knowledge here and for the price of a drink or perhaps a bowl of stew one can learn the wonders of the Palatial Ground of the Golmogis Bollumbog, the Terputmen's Terranium, or even the location of the Lost Gaetus of Felandricus.

2] A brightly painted sign anoints this building as the home of Betterman's Ferry. The building appears sound and in well care from the outside and once entered, visitors will find the inside is no different. The interior of the building contains just a few items: a large black chalkboard rises up behind a simple wooden desk that rises high like a podium. The chalkboard is covered in lines and text, declaring the times of travel to and from Treacle to the far cities of the Known Lands. Next to each time is the illustrious names of the ram and raft that leaves or arrives in Treacle.

At the desk a small and skeleton-like man will judge each visitor from behind wire-rimmed glasses. "Where do you wish to travel," the man will ask in a low and almost annoyed voice. Without emotion the guide will direct the traveler of the time their conveyance will arrive in Treacle. He will charge and extra coin as a fee for arranging the travel.

3] This long building is made of dark and grimy wood with a faded sign that faintly proclaims this to be the residence of Lagonis Brindbarrel's Scripts and Potives. Walking inside will cause one to be struck by the pungent odors of nature, almost overwhelming. The middle of the building is the public area and is overstuffed with shelves containing far too many small vials, pots and bottles of a myriad of various flavors of scripts and potives for the sale. A moment after entering the area a small woman will enter, small and weak looking and yet still strong of mind, this is Lagonis.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

[adventure] Siege at the Temple of Gorush

First off, I did not write this one (for those of you lacking in observatory skills and missed the author above). This was written Pits & Perils, one of my favorite rules-lite old school style game, back in the early days of the system being written. It was ran at a convention by the author and not too long ago posted for public use.

Being the fool I am, prefer the digest sized booklets - they are simply easier to take with you for reading while out of the house. If am not taking my tablet, I am taking one of these small booklets wherever I go. You never know when you will get a five minute break in the insanity and want to read something. So I took the adventure James had written and reformatted it for a digest size.

You can read a little history behind this adventure here:

James was gracious enough to allow me to post this to my own blog. If you enjoy some old school gaming - and even if you have never read Pits & Perils - take a moment and look this over. The adventure is a solid old school adventure.

Oh, and this is my call to arms aimed squarely at +Olde House Rules, where is my digest sized version of the rulebook? Come on!  ;-)

Monday, July 27, 2015

[map] The Isle of Kalvania

Another quick map for the month and then I think I will focus on my writing. This one was drawn while my family watched TV and relaxed after a busy weekend. This is another in the style +Matthew Lowes posted on Google+.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

[map] Welcome to Ratown & Bagel's Olde Wood Shoppe

As a long time DM I have often found that images and maps can be great as tools at the table to help get a location's feeling or atmosphere across to players, BUT I have also found those same thing to be fountains of inspiration for the stumped DM. That's where this piece is coming from. I created this map to be used but also to hopefully inspire. My hope is that a DM would be using this map and get inspired by the hints on the map to flesh out the underground market known as Ratown.

Each business in Ratown has a small hint at at what might be inside - a name or perhaps what is sold inside. My hope is that this will spark a creative idea in the DM and help them create unique locations and inhabitants of Ratown for players to visit.

Let's give it a try.

Near the middle is a location with the term "Bagels" on it. Now, while I might like bread just as much as the next guy, bagels are not my favorite bread product (barely nudging out croissant, that evil doughy thing from France). That means I would likely steer clear of this being a bakery that specializes in bagels...what if the owner is named Bagel instead?

Bagel's Olde Wood Shoppe - 
Bagel (pronounced bah-ghel) is white-bearded gnome that shares his race's affinity for pointed hats, in his case a blue one. He is most often found wearing sturdy - and dirty - coveralls and a belt with many pockets. Bagel is a serious and hard worker with a specialization in woodwork. With his natural ability in magic and his god-given skill in woodworking he has mastered the skill of wand and staff making, providing a wide variety of each.

Bagel's Shoppe is dusty and tight. The store is divided into two sections with the front being essentially a hallway that runs between the two doors. This section is full - from floor to ceiling - with small boxes of wands stacked upon each other and small barrels choked full of staves. There are so many to choose from that a visitor will feel a little overwhelmed when they enter. This is actually a ward that Bagel has cast upon the entryway. Moments after entering the shop Bagel will appear from the back and wave off the ward's effects.

The back section of the shoppe is Bagel's workshop and is full of stacks of wood and a large bench covered in the various tools Bagel uses to create his masterpieces. This area is exceedingly dusty and will cause anyone entering to begin suffering complications. These will include coughing, itching and watering eyes, and a general feeling of discomfort from the dust-filled air. This is caused by another ward being placed upon the area.

All of Bagel's products are sold ready to accept any magic placed upon them and are inherently magical due to charms and wards he places upon each when he is finished working his craft. Thus, simply owning one will afford the user a +1 to any single roll each day (player picks).

What does BagelRandom Woodcraft Generator
Type of wood (d10)
1- Oak
2- Hazel
3- Mahogany
4- Cedar
5- Willow
6- Ash
7- Black Ash
8- Holly
9- Birch
10- Elder

Form and shape (d10)
1- Thin and appears brittle
2- Stiff
3- Bendable
4- Strong and sturdy
5- Light
6- Firm
7- Bendy
8- Gnarled and twisted
9- Bone white
10- Strangely Heavy

Best for the use of... (d10)
1- Transmutation spells
2- Charms and illusion spells
3- The storage of any spell
4- Offensive spells
5- Healing spells
6- Defensive spells
7- Locating spells
8- Enchantment spells
9- Abjuration spells
10- Divination spells

Sunday, July 19, 2015

[map] The Duchy of Kilbomsbaron

Another of the map in the style of +Matthew Lowes, this time with Hexes! I have to admit I love the zigzag rivers on the map, love how they turned out. I may have to make more of these.  :-)

While I love the colors, I almost like the black and white one better. Just has a sort of old school magic feel to it. Makes me think of something you might find on the inside cover in a novel.

Friday, July 17, 2015

[map] The Isle Kingdom of Sewol Wehtam

Sort of feels like a map that belongs in the game Far Away Land, no?

Cool dude +Matthew Lowes  was drawing maps like this over on Google+ and I thought it looked cool enough to make me want to try my hand at it. You can view his post here:

Black and white version

You might recognize the colors used on the map (first one up above) as well, they are taken directly from the old (read: good) Forgotten Realms maps that were produced for the box sets. Damn I loved those maps!

Numbered, in case you crazy mofos want to use this somewhere.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

[map] The Babble

Named after the excellent +Billiam Babble, I present a small craft suitable for exploring the depths of space or maybe the depths of the ocean? The craft has a crew of two but can support three for a short duration. A small crew compartment offers a two bunk set up (with a cramped three bunk option) for living quarters.

Black and white version:

Monday, July 6, 2015

[crafts] Aging paper for your games, part one

So while I was on vacation this last weekend I came across a brilliant idea. While I am not ready to discuss this idea yet and I would like to keep it under wraps anyway, I am not going to tell you about it. You will just have to wait.

However, one of the requirements is that I will need to step up some of my crafting skills. One of the first things that will be required is aged paper. Now I have seen a few ideas around the web before, many having to do with tea staining and I have tried this method in the past. Years ago.

I decided this is the first step to my project being successful. It is also a requirement for this project, so without the paper, this is pretty much dead in the water. It is also to note that this paper is able to stand up to a little finer eye than it might getting being a simple prop for a game table, so I want to go the extra mile if needed.

First, my ingredients. First up I brewed some tea. Here I used what I had in the cabinet a couple of Lipton teabags. I brewed two in my Keurig and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. This produces pretty strong tea, strong enough that I would never drink it. I also broke a third one up onto a paper plate.

Today I went by and grabbed another pack of paper. This  is the cheap stuff, nothing fancy here. The Drawing runs $5.99 for 200 pages and is a thin stock. What I like about the Drawing paper is that it is already a tan, yellowish color.

First step to get it sloppy wet. I used a brush I found in my garage, I think I used it to stain my deck this spring. Anyway, not a good brush, it doesnt matter. I get the paper sloppy wet and then drop some of the unmixed grounds onto the paper.

Here I used wax paper between each sheet so that I could do multiple sheets at a time. If you do not, the sheets can stick together and when dry become difficult to pull apart, sometimes even ripping.

While I was doing this, I also pre-heated my oven to 200 degrees. Here you can see more work.

I also used three of the pens I have here at the house and wrote a short message. I plan on writing on the paper so I need to find not only a pen I like to write with but one that will not fade too much. Another option is to write on the paper after it is dry but for aging and fading, I think the pre-wet is a better option. The pens I had around the house ended up being a Mircon #08, a Skillcraft Vista Gel Ink pen, and a Red Skillcraft Liquid Magnus Rollerball pen. My currect favorite for work is the Vista, a nice smooth and bold ink pen.

When I started putting water down I immediately knew the Vista was in trouble. The ink had been drying for about twenty minutes and did not smudge when touched but when water hit the ink bad things happened.

Now, if you read my blog you likely know that I cannot leave well enough alone. So while it was wet I thought I would toss in a few extras to see how it would go. I grabbed the red and yellow food coloring and a canister of those sprinkle things you put on cake or cupcakes, specifically I wanted the black and orange bits.

I stuck these into the oven for 15 minutes at 200 degrees. I removed them and took them outside for the better, more natural lighting. The watercolor paper, a much thicker paper, is on the left, while the drawing paper is on the right. You can also see the food coloring can through prominently on the drawing paper while it barely stained the watercolor at all (odd because I thought watercolor paper would absorb it more easily).

The other side of the same pages.

And the two with writing were very interesting. The Vista ink completely disappeared on the drawing paper! The lines were from the wire rack I put these two to dry on (note, be careful what you put the paper on in the oven!)

So, now you are probably asking what to do with these, why would you go through all this just for some paper.

Here are some ideas. I took the two with writing and rolled them, like a scroll. Tell me your players would not flip when your NPC halfling merchant tosses these up onto the table during a game.

I crinkled these up a little prior to rolling them up. I think it looks pretty good. Get some cool text, maybe a quick sketch on there of a dungeon layout (half faded, half incorrect of course) and tell me the players would not go all googoo over these at the table.

 The other four pieces I took and folded in quarters then took a piece of dark twine I had laying around from my book binding and tied them off.

I really like the way the paper curls and does not lay flat any longer. When I made them into these little bundles I actually only used a single piece of paper for each. Each bundle has a full page, cut in half, stained, dried, then folded. Because of the drying process the paper becomes more stiff and curvy, producing cool little bundles like this.

I think these would be wonderful to drop on the table during a game. If your characters are haggling over a mysterious map, note, or scroll, I bet the GM could get the players to unload way more than average with one of these props on the table.

Now, tomorrow I will try the same process with coffee and see how it goes.

+Jesse Morgan had the idea of doing the above process and using photos for the back ground of maps and such. Great idea! So I stole it.

I scanned the paper and have dropped it here. Feel free to use this scan, commercial or otherwise (attribution please).

And black and white: