Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Gonna gloat for a moment, bear with me....

I talked about this before, but there is reason to do so again. Y'all know tentfootpole.com, you've their reviews. Highly respected, dead on, blunt, yadda yadda. TFP just gave The Sepulchre of Seven a glowing review and he mentioned the maps. Yep, go read it:


The review for the adventure is awesome, through and through "It’s a real dungeon. And those are few and far between," but as a mapper, I want to focus on one paragraph. ;-)

Kudos to HexaGnome for putting together an amazing adventure and Dyson for supplying the other half of the inspiration for this. I am honored to have one of my silly little maps included in this fantastic adventure. Go, download this and run it! Go! Now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

White Box Adventures!


I made a thing. Currently with proofreaders and copyright lawyers to ensure that nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, has been borrowed from an existing product. All will be original content created by me for use by cool ass gamers. This will be a tri-fold pamphlet style one page adventure. While I designed it for myself others to use for solo adventuring, I think it could very easily be used for group play as well. It even has a method for finding other suckers to join you on this adventure.

Once this has been signed off by the proofmonkeys, I will likely post this to itchi.io.

In other news, I got a new job, I start tomorrow, likely going to be a massive amount of work and stress, but it pays well and is less than 10 minutes from my house, far better than driving an hour to Nashvegas for the same pay. Maybe I will do this for a couple of years, pay off the house, then really retire and just make gaming products. Huzzah!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Thank you...

 ...to whatever pinko commie complained about my drawing of the golem for my game, The Fallen Golem. I received this complaint today:

For the record, sure, sure, I did use the Iron Giant - as well as other robot images - as a guide but I drew my robot freehand on my Samsung S7 tablet. I find this interesting because I have long regarded itch.io as a more friendly and open place than other outlets such as DriveThruRPG.

Regardless, to appease the masters, I have updated the banner. I am sure they will not like my revision, but hey, fuck 'the man'.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Dungeon Cards, and maybe some solo gaming?


I have a little time on my hands at the moment in between filing out job applications and what not, and I stumbled upon Axebane's Deck of Many Dungeons and thought it was an amazing product. Of course I did order a deck, but it will not be here until the end of September! F*ck you world! Then it got me thinking (always a bad thing) and I started drawing out maps. 

As I am somewhat in a bit of a funk, and because none of my friends who can play will join me for White Box, I thought perhaps I might do a little solo RPGing using these once I get a handful of cards that could be drawn randomly. So far I have four pages (36?) cards. Unfortunately my printer here at home sucks and will not print on anything more solid than standard printer paper, so I will have to do some crafting (maybe modge podge the little bastards?) or perhaps visit a Kinkos.

Still have some work to do on the dungeon cards, mostly drawing two more pages. I really like how Axebane's cards have random tables built into the cards. For solo gaming, I think this would be fantastic. It also gives me the idea that you could create 'modules' from a set of unique cards that changes up the random tables based on the environment the module takes place on. Anyway, time to get back to looking for jobs.....why does the HR department suck everywhere!?!?

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Temple of Sorrowed Ladies

Well, news flash, I am laid off. Yippie ki yay! I have a shit ton of other things going on in my life at the moment and I am in a very, very dark pace. Not that this matters to you, but the good news is I am leaning on my old therapy of map drawing. Today I tried to kill myself in the early morning heat and worked out like David Goggins, taking a break in between sets to draw a fucking map.

Here you go. Enjoy.

Greyed out version:

The now infamous Fuck Your Printer version:

Going Old School version:

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Map Depository

I have updated the maps stored in the Map Depository here I occasionally post maps that I drop here on the blog. You can find a massive list of maps, from my earliest days to some of my most recent maps.

Click the image to visit the page, or use the link on the right column to visit the page o' maps.

The Great Hall redux

My buddy Vance (from over at Leicesters Ramble) is using a map of mine in his is latest adventure, it is an older map (but still checks out) and I figured "Hey, it is a slow Sunday, let's draw a map!" So, I took the map and redrew it in my latest style (I have sooo many). Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Shiteton and environs

Drew this last year, but do not believe I have shared it as it had some information for the players. As that campaign has ended, I can now share. This is probably one of my favorite "regional" type maps I've drawn.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Sepulchre of Seven

Hexagnome took a map of mine, plus one of Dyson's, and created a fantastic adventure. It is also FREE. Seriously, check it out, really well put together and laid out beautifully.



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

B/X Actual Play podcast....that's actually good!

The other day over on FB (yes, I occasionally haunt there, and no I will not friend you) a fellow mentioned this podcast called Tale of the Manticore as a good actual play podcast. I gave it a listen

I can honestly say this is probably the BEST AP podcast I have listened to. The author weaves a story around the solo RPG he is running/playing in such a fashion that the overall effect is quite engaging. He splits this up with sidebar discussions on the character backgrounds (including the badguys), rules he is using or choosing not to use, and house rules and his reasons for using them. He also, so far, sticks to Matt's Best Podcast Guidelines #2: Stick to around 30 mins or so, otherwise you are simply bloviating.

As I said, this is a solo game but he manages to use voices and actors for some of the other parts and this along with his skills at storytelling come together to make a podcast not only interesting but a great listen.

Give it a listen, you might enjoy it (click the link or image above to head over to the TotM website).

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

White Box, where hath ye gone?

Random thought before bed:

It makes me quite sad that people seem to no longer be creating for WB like they once were a few years ago.  :-(

Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Fallen Golem (OSE) released!

Well, I decided to release this upon the world. I have decided to toss it up on itch.io because all the cool kids hang out over there. Swing by for screenshots of the PDF and let me know what you think!

Itchi.io link:

And for those still over at DriveThru:

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Fallen Golem preview

Coming soon, currently in the review, proof reading phase. I will probably throw this up on itchi.io as I have been itching to get something on that site for a while now. Hopefully, there are few errors/typos and I can get this wrapped up quickly. Sixteen pages of OSE player-slaying fun!

Friday, July 9, 2021

No man is an island, a dungeon tomb

I have an idea for this one, may write it up as a short, zine-style adventure. I hear they are all the rage these days.

 Another map. Enjoy.

The Fuck Your Printer* version.

The Sans Numbers version.

* Thanks for the cool name Vance!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms map

Further work on the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, still need to do some clean up and draw in the kingdom borders, but getting pretty close! This is about 1/3 the actual size (reduced for the blog), click on it and it will grow even larger for you). btw, those are not 'coins', those are seals, the one being the seal of the only king of England to have the honorific 'The Great". ;-)

Friday, June 25, 2021

Been a bit...

Working on a map for a friend, not done but I thought it might be fun to show some progression as I work on it.

Thursday, May 6, 2021



I am bored with fantasy RPGs.

I know, I know. I get this way about once a year or so, but seriously, I am tired of the same old tropes and want something new. Something unique, something strange, something different.....

Friday, April 23, 2021

FKR Skurmish! update, and 'rules'

Shipwright (love this dude's stuff!)

I have been running the FKR Skurmish! game now for two weeks and I must admit at first I was somewhat overwhelmed. I had five independent players who were essentially playing in five simultaneous hexcrawls that resulted in up to fifteen emails in a single day....it was maddening. 

However, as time went on I figured out a way to manage this in a mostly easy way. I will try to explain my method here in a manner that will not give anything away to my players (I know a few of them read this lump of space I call my blog). My initial idea was to run a quick, player vs player wargame just to see how it would run over email. Since however, it has turned into five full blown games with players interacting with local NPCs, battling dinosaurs, attempting to take over a keep to use a base of operations....honestly it is like running five solo RPG hexcrawls.

First, I created the map and fleshed out the terrain using a random die roll. I have this map in a file on my Google Drive that allows me to check the map from any location so long as I have cell or wifi (which would be a requirement for me to reply to an email anyway). This has been a boon.

the map I provided the players

Secondly, I created a random d66 table with possible neatO unique locations. I went through and determined in each hex if there was something unique there, and if so, I used the d66 table to determine what exactly would be there. Now, initially I thought this would be an 'every once in a while' special but as we have gone through in play, I find myself adding more of these because I made one slight error when I started: I made the map too darn big. While the players began mostly close to each other (again, randomly determined), play would be rather boring to wander around a map with no interactions. So far the players have encountered dinosaurs, a travelling merchant, a demon-infested ruins, a tornado, a mysterious storm shrouded tower...and that is really only after exploring a handful of hexes.

Third, I created a Google Sheets page where I roughly detailed each warband: name (if given), type, number, and 'combat value'. This combat value was determined by saying each warband would start around 100 points, the dividing that up by the types of units each player told me they wanted. If one said I want goblins and dragons, he might get 40 goblins and one dragon. This took a bit of mathematical wizardry but I eventually was able to level the playing field despite the variance in warband type. Is it perfect? No, but it works for my purposes. Plus, players will never see this. Additionally, as play happens, the warbands will increase and decrease in size, so the players' actions will end up being important to their overall combat effectiveness and the strength and power of their warband.

Fourth, and most importantly, the 'rules'. I started with dice, I am a gamer after all. I tried nutty things like roll a d6 for each troop. Roll a d6 for each point or combat value. Only 6s count....everything I tried seemed too complicated and not easy to manage. Especially if I was on the move. I knew I would be travelling a bit when I first started and I wanted to be able to manage this on the road. I couldn't be hauling around one-hundred d6s to handle a battle (I mean, I could, but I like to over pack too many clothes, so that narrowed my chances of toting around a hundred dice). 

I settled on cards. I tend to not like cards for some reason, not sure why. I tried a few things but ended up settling on what I will describe below. Now you have to take into consideration that while this may not be mechanically completely fair but seems to meet the FKR model I was aiming for in play.

I assess the situation, looking at warband strength to the obstacle (monster strength, number of enemy forces, terrain, weather, task at hand, etc) and determine an initial question with an outcome ("Do they cross the gorge?"). This question is usually a yes or no answer, so cards will be draw to two sides, a yes or no side. Then I look at the situation and determine how likely each 'side' is to occur. I will draw cards for each side based on this, usually using one card as a base, with up to three cards for very likely. 

For my example, a warband of orcs led by Bloodtongue the Merciless has come to a wide and steep gorge with a swiftly moving river at the bottom, attempting to wade or swim across is impossible. The player comes up with a creative way to cross and I settle on the question "Is the warband able to cross?" Given the players creativity I deem that this is a likely outcome. I will draw cards for two for "Yes" and one card for "No". Here I have drawn a 6 and King for yes and an Ace for no. 

With that answer, I move to a second question to further resolve the 'encounter'. My next question is "Did they all safely make it back from the attempt?" Here I took into account that these are adventurous orcs probably with some skill, with a solid leader, and they had a good idea on crossing, so I decide I will draw two cards for yes and only one for no. I draw a 3 and 4 vs a Jack. Looks like the  warband suffered some losses!

Now, this next step is a little more...nuanced. To determine loss I look at all the factors. What they were doing, how suitable are they to this task, what dangers did they encounter, how risky was the action, how powerful is the thing they were fighting, etc etc etc. In this case I decided that they would not have lost many, but how to get a random number with cards? Here I use the number cards, face cards equal 10 with an Ace being 10+ and leaning on a rare event (maybe the leader got injured?). I also will apply a modifier to the card result. Usually like 1/2, or 1/3 of the card drawn, or double the card. Here I decided to use 1/2 the card result, so the warband lost three of their troops while attempting to cross this gorge.

Admittedly, this method is probably not completely fair and leaves a bit of wiggle room with the Host (me) in translating the results of the cards. I feel this is entirely in line with the core credence of the FKR code. Also, the example above is quite simple and generic. I usually do however many card draws are required to flesh out a situation to its fullest within a reasonable amount of time. 

Hopefully this sheds some light on how I am running this and hopefully...I don't get some dweeb on here commenting about the odds with cards and all that, etc....

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Skurmish! Player maps

I put together some player maps so they can track the hexes they've explored and to track troop movement across the battlefield (I will be providing these in PDF for easy printing). The above is the 11x17 version with ample room for note taking. Below is the 8.5x11 for those suckers without larger printing capability.

Each hex is numbered (probably hard to read on these images) but essentially each column is a letter (A thru N) while the rows in herringbone style are numbered (1 thru 0). Players with old eyes (me included) will probably want to write those above and to the left of the hexes for visibility's sake.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

FKR Skurmish!

Inspired by this post, I decided to try my hand at this FKR skirmish game and enlisted a few fellas to help me. Essentially you create rival warbands based on an image and text alone. Then using that knowledge, and common sense, the Host (me) arbitrates the results of all the actions of the players. I have been wanting to run some sort of skirmish game and have struggled in the past with how to exactly do this without a complicated rule system. I have probably read or skimmed through at least 30 skirmish type rule books and I often came to the end thinking "This is way to complicated" without it dawning on me that using the FRK-ideals, one could really run a skirmish on hardly any rules...or rules at all! 

For those gamers among you that are struggling to understand how you do this, trust me, it is difficult. A friend and I struggled for a full week thinking about this. Anywho, if this manages to get off the ground, I will keep you updated as we play.

Below is the email that was sent out to the players, setting up the ideas of the game and how we will proceed:

This is being sent out to all the players BCC so you will not know your enemies. You cannot directly act with one without going through the Host (little ol' me), in other words, you can attempt to contact your rivals by sending a message through the Host.

How to Play:
1) Following this email, you will put together your warband, a small skirmish unit of beings. We will have a few email exchanges as we tweak your warband. You will not have ‘stats’. See "Setup" below for more information. Deadline is Noon (central) Saturday, 10 April. If everyone gets theirs in early, we will move forward.
2) I will provide a blank hex map of the valley to each player and indicate your starting hex.
3) I will request starting orders for your warband and provide a deadline for you to and these in.
4) You will receive a reply from me approximately 3-4 days later informing you of the results of your turn.
5) We will continue in this fashion until one warband is determined to be the victor.

Imagine an open world. Your warband has been called here to battle, to explore, to become victorious. Your warband has assembled and are ready to take to the field to seek glory and treasure! A massive valley, the Valley of Bones holds riches, dangers, but also rivals. Your warband has come here to explore the valley despite these dangers.

Step 1)
Find a picture (or more) of your warband to help define what type of warband you command. These can be photos, drawings, minis, paintings, etc. You tell me what type of warband (goblins, orcs, space marines, wizards, Stormtroopers, lizardmen, Army Rangers, etc….go wild here) and once I have these from everyone I will reply with numerical details of your unit. I will do my best to normalize the power levels (ie 100 goblins versus 1 wizard sort of thing). It is fine to have more than one type of being in your warband. Once we have the "type" locked down, we move to step two.

Step 2)
I will ask for a brief description of your warband. This can include names, backstories, quirks, etc. You can be as brief or as detailed as you wish. Include your thoughts on the morale of the warband. Your warband should have a leader, name this leader, how they became leader, describe him/her, and how effective you feel their leadership.

That’s it!

A couple of notes:
o Please put (Skurmish!) in the title for each email regarding the game, that way I can easily keep things straight.
o Deadlines for you to send in orders are hard deadlines. If you fail to send an orders, your warband will act accordingly. If your last order was for them to march north and attack any beings they encounter, they will continue to do so until they are given other orders, are defeated, or are victorious (in which case, what are you but a useless meat sack).
o There will be instances where you will come across caves, ruins, temples, even villages as you explore the Valley of Bones. These can be explored. These may detract your warband from exploring the battlefield, they can be dangerous, but they can also be rewarding as well.
o Alliances, treaties, deception, subterfuge, tactics, are all in play. You can instruct your war band to any task you can imagine, but remember their capability and the reality of the world. While we might have Jedi knights fighting Shaolin monks, battling warmongering giant hamsters, and facing off against dino-riding turtles, remember that the world is a place with real physics and your band is a group of people that want to live and breath.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Floundering Queen


This inn is so named after an event in the past that occurred during the visit by the Queen. After slipping into the sulfur mud pool to the north of town, the Queen managed to pull in her aides until they were able to drag her wet, muddy, and smelly butt out. A local artist's rendition of the event reside above the mantle in quite elaborate mosaic.

The tavern was hand built by the current owner and operator, Thornton Eckelstone. As Thornton is not an exceptionally skilled carpenter, he made a few notable mistakes when laying out and constructing his tavern. Most notable among these is the height of the ceiling. Due to his own short stature, he did not notice the fact that his ceiling was shorter than the norm. Many visitors will bang their heads on the aged, dark wood of the ceiling.

Regardless of how many people are here it feels crowded and has a claustrophobic feel. Favorite place of the sailors who visit the village. 1 in 6 chance every turn a fight will break out. At any one time there are d6+2 sailors here, 4 in 6 they are already drunk (and rowdy like sailors get).

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Woodrowe's Elixirs

Woodrowe's Elixirs is a shop the boys have been to in Shiteton. He's a bit eccentric and if I had to pigeonhole how he looks, sounds and acts, it would be Sean Connery. Just imagine a older Sean in a fancy medieval robe, fidgeting over a table filled with tiny bottles.

Potions, elixirs, salves, etc. If it can be made into some sort of ointment, powder, or drink, Woodrowe probably knows how to do it. He occasionally has magic items that he will let go to people that he likes. Will often pay ridiculous finder fees for mushrooms of unusual species. He also seems to have an affinity for elves, attempting to continue conversations with them beyond what would be normally expected, some times to the point of awkwardness. My guess is he hasn't seen that many in his life...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Barrowmound 5

The Darrowdeep Kickstarter just began and it inspired me to do up a quick barrow map. Nothing super special, just giving of while I listen to Erik & Bad Mike interview Greg to discuss his new KS. Gotta say, I like Greg and his adventures.  ;-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Marshall Barony

For those following along at home (and to help my players visualize) I made a map of the local area. I added all the locations we have explored thus far to the map. As we explore more of the wilderness I will be adding to it. Below is the black and white version for printing at home.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Adventures in Marshall Barony, ep 19



Vance - Yozzat, a dwarf
Joe - Olwen Door-Hinge-Bane, a human ranger
Tim - Raymondo M., human thief
Seana - Marigold, best class ever....HALFLING
Steve - Dosta Grimm, a fucking elf
Shane - Ralgar the average beetcake  ;)

Ep 19.  Bandit battle - 4 Mar
The party continues the desperate battle to regain their stolen treasure...and things immediately go downhill. Yozzat is nailed by the troll, nearly killing him. Dosta pulls out one of his magic cards and attempt to sway/distract the troll but the troll resists the trolly womanly ways (we all have a good joke about Dosta not knowing what a 'sexy trollbabe looks like'. Olwen gets blasted by the troll, rendering him to zero hit points and launching him into the bushes. 
As this was going on Ralgar joins the fray and attempts to hit the troll from the rear, but misses. The party suddenly realizes they have hirelings (this is a constant problem with us) and they rush headlong into the battle. Bluto, Joe's favorite hireling, charges in, tosses his spear, misses, then attempts to grapple, misses and ends up behind the troll next to Ralgar. Raymondo sets himself up on a boulder just out of reach and starts taking shots at the troll, landing a few solid hits.
Bluto grabs his spear and joins the attack. Dosta pulls out a flask of oil and dowses the troll from behind, but no one has a torch ready. Raymondo begins lighting a torch while Yozzat tosses another oil on the troll. Moments later, the troll is engulfed in flames.
Catching their breath, the party realizes that one of the bandits and that darn mage have slipped away! Luckily though, the party recovers all their gold and treasure, plus some additional items (see the previous post about a map) and additional gold. The party has come ahead in this, though they lost one of the longest running party members, Owlen. 

DM's Thoughts: 
For a hastily thrown together encounter, I think this went ok. There were some issues (yeah the troll was a mean DM moment) and a certain mage cast one more spell than they are actually allotted, but overall, it went well and in the end the party came out pretty good.

I have done a little 'soul-searching' as a DM. While I have achieved the goal I set out way back, "Run a campaign with quick little trips" I have become a little jaded with it. The original goal was to simply get us playing again and now that has happened and party members are starting to level up. I feel a yearning for a more involved storyline, a real 'goal' for the party besides murderhoboing all the time. I counted it out and we have entered four dungeons and left, never to return.

With Shiteton I have given the party a few NPCs that have story plots that could be developed but so far, the party has seemed to be content with slash and grab tactics on local dungeons. The village is situated along the 'frontier' in a land rich with ruins, dungeons, and places to clear but for whatever reason we lack the stick-to-itism to finish a place. I feel this getting a bit stale and I have a grand adventure in the works with a goal in mind for the party if they take the bait. I have some work ahead of me to finish up this dungeon but it is already planned out in outline form, so this should not be too hard to complete.

For now, the party is planning to return to the well (ep 16 & 17) and complete this dungeon. After that, who knows.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

A map discovered! (overland style)

Last week the players stumbled upon a map in the bandit's treasure (a horde really...and they claim I'm a mean DM!) 
During Zinequest 3 this year one of the projects featured an overland map that reminded me of the maps I had often used during my tenure in the Army and I was curious if I could pull one off. Here is the result.

I dressed up the map with some filters for the players so it looked like folder piece of parchment they discovered, so here is the "clean" version.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Adventures in Marshall Barony, ep 18


Vance - Yozzat, a dwarf
Joe - Olwen Door-Hinge-Bane, a human ranger
Tim - Raymondo M., human thief
Seana - Marigold, best class ever....HALFLING
Steve - Dosta Grimm, a fucking elf
Shane - Ralgar the average beetcake  ;)

Ep 18.  Rescue Marigold, thievery, bandits! - 25 Feb
The party regroups and wait for Marigold who suddenly realized the predicament she was in. She manages to get back to the party and they quickly determine that they must return to town and collect their XP

As they exit the well, they discover two of the hirelings joined up with bandits and fled with about half of their gold. Obviously very angry, the party mounts a heated chase for these bandits. (see my comments below) They manage to catch up with the bandits and wayward hirelings camped along the side of a road, with a roaring campfire and quite a few bandits, including a large trollish type creature.
Without pause for their concern, party devises a plan to set up in a tree for sniper attacks while the sleep-master Dosta readies a sleep spell (see comments below). They manage to sleep about half of the bandits...and Ralgar begins mercilessly slaughtering the snoozing victims.
Everything appears to be going to plan when suddenly they realize one of the bandits is....a spellcasting bastard who returns the favor and casts sleep on the party! Olwen falls out of the tree he was going to snipe from, Dosta and Yozzat both take a nap in the road. Olwen's player 'debates' that falling from the tree and smacking into the ground would cancel the sleep spell effect...sure, sure whatever. So he wakes up and sprints over to Dosta. I told him he could (1) get up from his fall and pick up his bow, (2) run over to his friends, (3) shake his friend to wake them up, and (4) fire his bow all in a single round. So he opts to step on Dosta instead of shaking him. :/   Players, I swear sometimes....

His arrow has little effect on the troll and we ended with the troll about to pummel the PCs back to first level.

DM's Thoughts: 
I think another player (her hubby) explained to her the OSR mantra of 'never split the party' and that is what caused Marigold to suddenly change course and return to the party.

DM Comment 1: they were quit upset that I did not let the bandits and hirelings be a simple, 'we show up, kick their ass, and take back our gold.' Boohoo crybabies, suck it. Did I do it on purpose? Heck ya, railroad my adventure for some chase through the woods? Yeah, have a bandit party with a troll and a spell caster, bitches. How you like me now?

DM Comment 2: They cried more when the troll was not effected by the magical sleep spell and then when I pulled out a spell cast to cast sleep on them! Whiney little fuckers! You'd think I had a bunch of millennial 5e players instead of some cool old school guys.

DM Comment 3: Here is the real thing. Dosta cast sleep on the Fungal Men in the cave. Then two hours later (we discussed this and the players suggested that 2 hours was how long they were down there), he cast ANOTHER Sleep spell! As a first level elf. 

I am starting wonder about this group....