Friday, December 13, 2013

Map Roundup - 13 December 2013

A long time ago, I tried to do Map Roundups as often as I could.  It was my mission to provide to you, my kindly readers, a roundup of all the cool mapping posts in the OSR blogosphere.  Life got hectic, and I fell off the task.

Tonight I came across two blog posts that required that I do a map roundup.

Both come to us from Arkhein at Rather Gamey.

The first is, from 10 December 2013, is about star maps.  I love astronomy so I really enjoyed this post.

The second, from 14 November 2013, has floor plans of a place called Bear Wood Manor.  Never heard of it.  But the maps are divine!

But since I've started, I might as well post links to some other map-related goodness that I came across this evening.

From Alexis over at Tao yesterday is this map of the top of his world.  Literally.

I recently came across a blog that I promised to myself that I would include the next time I did a roundup.  It is the blog for Anna B Meyer, Map Maker.  Everything about this blog is superb.  And if you are a fan of Greyhawk, it's even better.

Our last stop will take us to the Rusty Battle Axe.  You have to love the Montporte Dungeon, if only because it looks like it is going to be a megadungeon.  I love 'em--you know I do.  Just take a look at those maps.  Brilliant.  Level 1 especially.


That was fun.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Until next time...

Monday, December 9, 2013


Sometimes I post things to this blog just to make sure that I don't forget them.

This may be a case in point.

I like this essay on the importance of Smaug, dragon of 'The Hobbit'.  I have to admit that I have never approached any of Tolkien's writings from an academic perspective.  I've read most of them; I've enjoyed all that I have read.  But I've never studied them in any substantive way.  Reading the essay, with its many references to books and articles of people who have, makes me think that perhaps I should.

If only life wasn't so busy...

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Great Blog Roll Call

The title says it all.

I don't know who Charles Akins is, but he has done a great service to readers of OSR blogs everywhere.

Check it out.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Monsters are cool...

Especially in the real world.  Which is why I dig this sort of thing.

How cool are some of those?  It's when I come across articles like that, that I think the multitude of strange creatures in D&D (and all the other rpgs) isn't so unrealistic after all.

Of course, my favorite creature in the above article is the giant isopod.  So this is absolutely great.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crabmen and their Greatest Enemy!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm a fan of the crabman--perhaps the original Fiend Folio's greatest contribution to D&D.  (Okay, that last part is debatable, but I am in the mood for hyperbole.)

I can say without a doubt, however, that the creature described here is, in fact, the crabmen's greatest enemy.

(And a couple of the comment's beneath the article are pretty funny as well.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Iconic Monsters

I came across this list of memorable D&D monsters over at  I like their list from the perspective that this collection of monsters "feels" like D&D to me.

I've been trying to think of any others that I would put in a list of top ten monsters that say "D&D" to me.  I would obviously have to delete some from their list to do that, but I don't have the intellectual capacity for that tonight.

Instead, I'll just offer some other monsters that my mind equates with D&D.

I think that the list would have to include sahuagin.  I just love raider shark-men who climb ashore to plunder unprotected coastal villages.

Crab men--just because.

Ixitxachitl.  Evil rays.  I only used them once in an adventure, but I always thought that they were cool.

Remorhaz.  Giant, many-legged, fire worm.  Yes!

Tiamat.  Initially, I was trying to NOT include unique creatures on the list, but the list at io9 included the tarrasque--and rightfully so.

Looking at my monsters above, with the exception of the crabmen (Fiend Folio), they are all Monster Manual monsters.  I find this strange, because I loved the Monster Manual 2.  For the life of me, I can't think of any monsters from the MM2 that come to mind.

Must be old age...

So how about you?  What monsters say "D&D" to you?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Historical vs Modern Maps of US Cities

This page over at the Smithsonian is fantastic if you love city maps.

But is it 'Fantasy', you ask?  I think that you could stretch them to that.

But if like drawing city maps for your fantasy worlds, I think that you will find value there.  Especially if you are interested in how cities change and grow over time.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Deluxe Dungeon Design

So Telecanter, he of the Receding Rules, posted two times in the last several days things that caught my eye.  The most recent was what prompted the title of this post.  He calls it a Maximalist Dungeon, but I think Deluxe is a fair approximation of what he is getting at.  I've thought about just about everything that he mentions in his list at one point or another, but I like the fact that he took the time to put them all in one place--something that I have never done.

The second thing that he posted (actually prior to the above) was a small post that included old house blue prints.  I LOVE looking at floor plans of houses, old or new or anything in between.  I thought that this post was pretty cool.


Yeah, so not much posting lately.  I'm still lurking, reading bunches of blogs--just don't have the time to post right now.  Hopefully, that will change sometime soon.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Microsoft Paint

When I drew the maps for Locales, Volume 1, I did so entirely on Microsoft Paint.  Long and painful, but, in its own twisted way, actually enjoyable.

Earlier today, I came across this.  I recommend the video: Eight-and-a-half minutes telling the story of an old man who creates art using Microsoft Paint.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monsters in Real Life

This flickr site proves that the real world can be just as scary as anything made up in fantasy.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

City Maps, More City Maps, and STILL MORE City Maps!

If you want to look at a whole bunch of old walled cities, look no further!

This link will take you to a very nice collection of walled city photographs.  The cartographer in me likes the aerial views, but several of the other images are just was striking.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Elven View of the World (Part 2)

Back in July of last year, I posted a link to a video in a post called An Elven View of the World.

I said back then that, "The Elves in my campaign worlds can occasionally step into states of (what is effectively) suspended animation, for various periods of time.  They typically do this when they are communing with their natural surroundings.  They use this time to rest and separate themselves from the mortal burdens that all of the other races of man around them have to deal with."

I've come across another fantastic video that I think shows again what I meant.  This is how elves can see the world--when they choose to do so.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Map Roundup - 03 March 2013

It's that time again!

Let's go straight to The Iron Tavern for some maps.  A Stonghold on 27 February 2013.  A Basement on 20 February 2013.  A Cave on 11 February 2013.  I like how he is channeling the style of Dyson Logos in these.

If you have any interest in Greyhawk, you can visit Timrod over at Unfrozen caveman dice-chucker and look at these two posts.  Neither are really about the map that is included other than the map is present as an illustration for the post, but that's okay.  The first, of Hommlet (28 February 2013), is actually one of my favorite village maps around.  The second, of a large expanse of Greyhawk (14 February 2013), is a nice regional map.

But if you're going to spend any time at U(f)cd-c, you should check out his posts about the sample dungeon in the 1E DMG.  Here is Part 4 (13 February 2013) of that series of posts, which contains a map.  Moving back in time, here is Part 3 (03 February 2012), Part 2 (23 January 2012), and Part 1 (13 January 2012).

And since I've come this far, I should close this section with two more posts from U(f)cd-c.  The first is about the moathouse (some might say the moathouse) (17 September 2012) and an analysis of the construction of said structure.  Here's a regional map for a post-apocalyptic setting (06 February 2012).

JDJarvis over at Aeons & Augauries is doing a series of Town Geomorphs.  Nifty little idea if you're trying to generate a town on the fly.  Here's six of them, all posted on 02 March 2013: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, and B6.  Of course, it might be easier just to link to all of his posts labeled geomorphs.  Of that collection, there is one that I feel the need to specifically point out: This large one hour effort.  Fantastic level for a megadungeon in my opinion.

Hopping over to Digital Orc, there have been few map-related posts recently.  A few nice city maps in this post from 02 March 2013.  Here's a post with a very basic map included.  I link to it not necessarily because the map itself is good, but because it has some nice body details in the map (13 February 2013).  Those blood splatters are pretty damn cool!

If one ventures over to Gorgonmilk (one of my favorite blog titles out there, by the way), you would find a really cool side-view map (28 February 2013) of this old well.

Finally, Quag Keep, a blog that I've spent a bit of time looking through.  I'm linking to it because I REALLY dig the map that he uses for his blog header.  I can't be sure, but I think that it was done in Microsoft paint.  Nice.

And that will wrap up this installment.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Map Roundup - 28 Feb 2013

It's been a LONG time since I did a Map Roundup.  But I've seen some things the past few days that absolutely deserved to be mentioned in a post.

Without further ado:

Blue Boxer Rebellion.  What?  CRAZY cool maps.  Go take a look:

31 January 2013.  Really nice city map.  And it comes with a history.

05 February 2013.  Nice interior iso map.  I love the details and the style.

07 February 2013.  Cut-away iso dungeon map.  Fantastic.

11 February 2013: More cut-away iso dungeon maps.  I'm going to get "Welcome to the Plunderdome" for those maps alone.

Now I have to say that I've wandered past Blue Boxer Rebellion in the past.  But I don't remember it being a repository for wonderful maps.  I don't know if something has changed or if it is just me, but rest assured that I'll be popping in over there a whole lot more often now.  I love everything above.

Here are some maps from Fictive Fantasies: 26 February 2013.

So how can you not like a post entitled Demonlord Hex Map?  From People them with Monsters on 27 February 2013.

The Splintered Realm on 27 February 2013.  I've not spent much time on that blog, but there was something about this little map.  I liked it.

For some nice stronghold maps, go take a look at the Hill Cantons and his Pimp Your Own Stonghold Contest (20 February 2013).  I really dig the cut-away Batcave image.  And if your going to be over in the Hill Cantons anyway, you might as well check out this oldie-but-goodie: How to "Awesome Up" Your Fantasy Maps (01 March 2011).  I might have linked to this in the past, but didn't want to spend the time verifying.

I'm going to close this Map Roundup with links to two posts from Oubliette.  These posts are pure greatness, as they combine maps (win), geomorphs (Win), and LEGOs (WIN!).  That pretty much tells you everything that you need to know: 19 February 201327 February 2013.

This was fun to do, so I think that I'll do more Roundups in the near future.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


John over at the Land of Nod wrote an interesting little piece about the everyman, aka "the commoner".  His point is that most people aren't heroes, they're just ordinary folk.  He then goes on to give examples of some special abilities that characters in a game might have if they are one.

Nice little mechanical bits that I think make sense and add some flavor to being common.

It hit home with me, because I am working on a project right now that is all about a group of peasants and their attempts to do something extra-ordinary with their lives. 

LEGO Hogwarts

So I am a HUGE LEGO fan.  I have been my entire life.  I still have (almost) all of the sets I ever received growing up, including (almost) all of manuals.  Don't get me wrong--it's always more fun to create your own thing, but it's nice knowing that I could still build those sets from my youth.

Unfortunately, my kids historically have not been interested in playing with them.  That is, until about seven months ago, when a new family moved in down the street.  Their kids are almost identically aged to ours, and they have become great friends.  One great thing about their kids is that they are all LEGO fanatics.  They have more sets than I had and have many creations on permanent display.  This, of course, prompted my kids to get interested in them.

We've purchased a few sets for my kids, and they are really enjoying playing with them.

My middle boy is a huge fan of LEGO Heroica.  We've played a lot of that since Christmas.  We have four of the five sets and really get into it.  I plan on writing a longer post about Heroica another time, so more about that then.

My oldest received the Haunted House for Christmas:

She and I have been slowly putting it together since Christmas.  It has made for some really nice father-daughter time.

She and I are also reading the Harry Potter series at bedtime.  Before now, I had only ever read the first book.  Together, we are 15 pages from the end of Book 2 and about to start Book 3.  We are really enjoying it.  The reading is making for some really nice father-daughter time as well.

Tonight, as I was browsing the interwebs before dinner, I came across this photo:


To see more, go to this Flickr page and look through all of the photos.  How absolutely amazing is that Hogwarts LEGO creation?  I wish that I had that kind of free time on my hands--or the disposable income to buy all those bricks.  Of course, I flipped through those photos with my kids oohing and aahing the whole way.  Pretty impressive.

Then we came to this picture.  I asked, "What is a thestral?"  Keep in mind that my daughter has NOT seen any of the Harry Potter movies yet, and that we haven't gotten to any thestrals in the Harry Potter books.  (Frankly, I wouldn't have been able to tell you that there was such a thing as a thestral in the HP books until I came to that photo.)  My daughter answered, "It's kinda like a ghost horse." "Oh, well, how do you know that?"   Because, seriously, I was curious to know where she had heard of them.  She replied, "Dad, when you read as many fantasy books as I have, you just come to learn these things."  I LOVE IT.  My daughter is a huge fan of fantasy, and I didn't even have to try.

If you want to read more about that LEGO Hogwarts, go over to The Brothers Brick to read an interview with the woman who built that thing.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

PDF Sales

Here is an interesting post from Tori Bergquist over at Realms of Chirak about the pricing of pdfs and the market for rpgs today.

I find it interesting because of the points that he makes.

I also find it interesting because a long time ago, when Tori was putting out some material for 4E, I produced a product that was a tie-in to one of his.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Photographic Inspiration for Your Game

Subterranean DesignBuild a Dungeon from MeDungeon Inspiration.  All websites that provide ample material to amaze and inspire you.  All three of them are fantastic.

A few days ago, I came across 500px, another photo sharing site.  Lot's of really nice images there.  Then I came across this guy.  Wow.  Flip through the several pages of his gallery.  I guarantee that at least ten of his photos will spark some bit of creativity in your cranium.

LandscapesLocations for adventuresNPCs.  Great stuff.

I want to sit down and write an adventure for at least ten of his photos.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quag Keep - A to Z

Back here, I said that I once thought that the Dragonlance saga of novels were based on play reports of the AD&D Dragonlance modules.  Various commenters pointed out that there have been some novels that came about as the result of playing D&D--or at least were heavily influenced by it.

One commenter, Restless, mentioned Andre Norton's "Quag Keep"--a novel that I still have not made the time to read, but that was based on Norton's playing a game of D&D.  Perhaps I won't read it, because I won't need to!  Paul over at the Blog of Holding is doing a series of posts about Quag Keep.  Thanks, Paul!

Here they are:

He starts.
He writes about treasure.
He talks about magic and monsters.
More magic and monsters!

I have a feeling that Paul will write more posts about Quag Keep.  If he does, I may need to link to them at some point in the future.  Oh well.


Monday, February 11, 2013

RPGs, Problem Players, and Parenting

So Dave over at The Concierge posted last night about a situation that he experienced at his gaming table.  Technically, it wasn't at his table, because he was playing in a game DM'ed by his highschool-aged son.  I found it to be an interesting post, and dilemma, from a number of perspectives.

I say go take a look at it, and then stop back here.  (If you decided not to, here's the gist: Dave is at the table DM'ed by his son.  Two players (his son's age) prove to be 'difficult'.  Dave reacts as a parent, perhaps instead of as a fellow player.  Interesting thoughts and a few questions ensue.)

First off, while I know many bloggers out there (here?) write about getting their children into gaming and/or DM'ing for their children and children's friends, I don't believe that I've ever come across a blogger talk about playing in his or her kid's game.  I'm sure it's happened--I just haven't encountered it.  So, in my mind, the first question becomes, how many people out there play in their kids' world?  Based on relative ages and mathematics, I'm sure that there are plenty.  What's it like?

Second, if you aren't the DM and therefore not "responsible" for play at the table, how far do you let an awkward situation go before you step in and attempt to "fix" it?  Are there ever situations where you just decide to let the DM go down with his ship?

I've some other thoughts, but my bed is calling out to me,

If you've come across this situation or similar ones, drop over there and leave a comment or two for Dave.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Another Megadungeon Roundup

I think that I am going to start collecting links to the various blog posts that I come across that have to do with megadungeons, similar to how I used to do mapping roundups.  I'm really enjoying reading what the various bloggers have to say on the topic, and I don't want to lose this stuff.  Consider this possibly the first in a long line of megadungeon-related roundups.

First, from Beedo over in the Lich House, a little post about extracting value from the megadungeon.  I dig it.

Second, I offer some thoughts from Hack & Slash, that was actually linked to in the first post.  This is about the three primary activities in megadungeon play.  And since you're going to read a lot about megadungeons over at Hack & Slash, here's a link to all his posts labelled megadungeon.

I'm now going to link to two blog posts from False Machine, a blog that I've only come across recently, but I have to assume by the writing that the guy (Patrick Stuart) is British.  Neither post is particularly megadungeon-y in and of itself, but I have to say that the ideas presented in each would fit perfectly in a megadungeon--or at least any megadungeon that I want to be a part of.  First is a post about Arachnopolis Rex.  Don't ask, you just have to read about it.  The second is a post about myconid slaves.  I mean, really, can you ever have a bad post about myconids?

Finally, a comment about the title of a blog that, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with megadungeons: Drums in the Deep.  That title absolutely ROCKS!  Evocative.  Eerie.  I love it!  Seriously, saying it to myself gives me goosebumps.

Lest you think that I am blind to the resources out there, I have to point you to a few obvious ones:
The Megadungeon.

That's all for now.  On to other things...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Basic Maps for your Fantasy Needs

Basic Maps is a product that I have for sale at for $2.30.  It's just what it says it is--basic dungeon maps, 39 to be exact.  For your viewing pleasure, below you can peruse all 39 of them in low res.

The first 30 are cave and cavern complexes.  The last 9, which are hand-drawn and in a different style from the first group, are of an assortment of types of locations.

Personally, I think that 39 maps for $2.30 is a pretty good deal.  Perhaps, you'll agree.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Forgotten Works: Cavern Complex

Here is a map that I did almost three years ago for a project that I can't remember anything else about.

I came across it while looking for other things on my computer.  Perhaps I should spend more time looking around...

Feel free to make use of it for your own personal use.  If you do, I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Megadungeon Roundup

This post is merely me trying to keep track of some posts that concern megadungeons that I found useful or interesting.

This one from Blood of Prokopius covers a wide range of topics and also includes FrDave's thoughts on Dwimmermount.

This one from the Dungeon of Signs is the latest of a series of posts about megadungeons.  Lotta good stuff here about dungeon design.

One of these days, I need to write a post detailing how I would produce a megadungeon.  Probably not too much different than some others have suggested, but it would be an interesting exercise for me to put it down.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


You all know that I loves me some maps.  Go to this place and take a look around.  Seriously, you will NOT be disappointed--if you like fantasy maps.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Another's Thoughts on Dwimmermount

This is not a post where I write paragraphs about the current state of Dwimmermount, whether or not it will ever see the "published" light of day, or anything else along those lines.  I backed it.  I have all the "draft" materials available to backers.  As someone who likes the concept of megadungeons, I find it interesting.  But I've not spent enough time with the material to determine if I really like it or not.

I will say this:
Word on the street is that James M's father's health is failing and that is why James M has been absent for 6+ weeks.  If that is the case, then everyone who has anything bad to say about James or the status of Dwimmermount should just shut their pie-holes.  If a person is hurting and dealing with one of life's great traumas, the least the rest of us can do is leave that person alone.  Frankly, I would be disappointed if James disappeared forever and years from now it came out that he felt burnt by the gaming community at a time when his life was shit and he decided to leave it behind.  Because that would suck.  Notice that I did NOT say I'd be disappointed if I have to wait another four months for the product that I paid for.  In light of the circumstances, that's a small price.

(Perhaps that was a long paragraph.  Oh well.)

This post is really about what Bryce over at tenfootpole had to say about Dwimmermount.  More importantly, it's about how he described what he would like to see in a published megadungeon (or any adventure module for that matter).  Cut away the specific criticisms of Dwimmermount itself and just read it from the "I like this in an adventure... and Dwimmermount does/does not do that."  MUCH less interesting to me is the "and Dwimmermount does/does not do that" portion.  I find myself agreeing with just about everything that he says.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hand-Drawn Dungeon Map: The Crypt of Clavid Daen

Another hand-drawn map.

Clavid Daen was a warrior who fought as part of the Mailed Fist, whose greatest exploits included vanquishing the Orcrish Overking and breaking the back of his mightiest army and ridding the Keep at Swarren Ford of the foul wyrm Groxodryzaksis.

The common stories say that he died while in battle against the archmage Craeg Na'Raenic the Vile.  And there are a great many people (who should know better than that) that will argue that truth with every breath that they have.  What the common man does not realize, however, is that Daen had actually joined with Craeg Na'Raenic and was fighting against his former compatriots when he was struck down by Garrick the Tall.

Even before that battle reached its end, the body of Clavid Daen was taken from the battlefield.  He was buried in a small crypt in the Dunn Hills.  Those who know the truth about his final hours stay away from the crypt.  Those, however, foolish enough to believe the tales of Daen's heroism continue to pilgrimage to the outer shrine and pay their respects.  Many of them have paid with their lives.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Enchanted Likenesses

Here's a link to another video that I just came across today.  Scary.  Inspirational.

I could easily see this as the basis for an adventure, or at the very least a small set piece in a larger dungeon.

The PCs come across a collections of statues that are quite obviously likenesses of them.  "That's strange," they think.  And the one character who is not as cautious as the others begins to closely examine the one that looks like him or her.  Without thinking, he touches the statue...

Or maybe you turn it upside.  Perhaps the PCs actually desire this outcome.  Maybe, rather than what happened in the video, they gain some ability or boone in exchange for what has happened to them.  Or at least, they thought that they were going to.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nice Insights from LHotP

Bighara over at the Geekcave wrote a nice little piece about (yes, of all things) Little House on the Prairie.

He is reading the books with his daughters and provides a few thoughts on how life in pre-industrial times was--as taken from the writings of that series.  I think that his observations are spot on.

Like him, I also read those books with my oldest daughter a few years ago.  Children's books, yes, but I actually really enjoyed them.  I thought that they were fascinating.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Even Aliens are Susceptible to a Robopacalypse

I am continually amazed by what 'amateur' filmmakers can accomplish these days.  The dividing line between a studio production and an indie production is growing thinner daily.  And the dividing line between an indie production and a one-man production is likewise growing thinner.

While I typically do not delve into science fiction on this blog, I am making an exception for this post.  Go watch this video.  It think that it proves that even aliens are susceptible to a robopacalypse.

Of course, it could easily serve as inspiration for a fantasy rpg campaign:  What would happen if all the golems, automata, and other "created" magical beings in the world suddenly rebelled from their wizard creators, banded together, and attempted to take it over?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dungeon Inspiration

Several days ago, I mentioned Build a Dungeon From Me.  Well, I'm here again to recommend another tumblr site that I just came across.  I think that it is just as inspirational.

Behold: Dungeon Inspiration!

Pure awesometivity.  (Why hasn't anyone else pointed this out before now?  Or have I been living under a rock?)


I'd like to also point out a slight update to the blog.  Off to the right, I've split out my links into various lists.  The two new lists are self-explanatory: 'Maps Maps Maps' and 'Inspiration' (which includes Dungeon Inspiration).  I don't think that you can go wrong following any of those links.

(BTW, it would be much easier to write blog posts and push forward on other important projects if it weren't for so much gaming goodness out in the blogoverse.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and MAPS!

Go take a look at this.  Simply incredible.  (I came across it first in this article at io9.)

Since I love all of the things in the title to this post, the link above leads to something that is about as heavenly as something can be on this planet.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What if TSR's Dragonlance...

                    ...Had Done It Like This?

So depending on who you talk to, the Dragonlance saga (the original three novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and the tie-in series of modules by TSR) was the beginning of the end for TSR or a fantastic experiment in cross-media marketing.  Or maybe it was both.  That really doesn't matter.

Many of us have read the novels.  I'm guessing a much smaller number of us played the modules.  Regardless of your opinions of either, I think that it's fair to say that the modules are some of the most railroading-est railroads put to the gaming public.  Basically, the modules force you to relive the novels.  Each adventure's beginning and end are scripted from the books, so even if you completely went off on your own in one adventure, the next one forced you to start where it needed you to start.  For some, that was probably fun.  Or not.

There was a time, back when I was a young, naive, and perhaps completely clueless individual, that I fully believed that the modules were written first, and that TSR had a group of people play them, and then had MW and TC write the novels based on what had happened at that gaming table.  That the personalities of the characters in the novels came from the personalities that those players had developed for the characters during play.  That the modules were not railroads (Didn't know that term at the time.) but merely open-ended adventure settings that the novels were born from.

I believed (before ever seeing the modules and seeing the error in my thinking) that the novels were a gigantic play report.  Wouldn't that have been cool?  (I know that I thought so.)  (I wonder if I was the only person to think this?)

So here's the real point of this post:  What if someone or some company actually attempted to do such a thing?  What if someone created a sandbox setting, had a party play in it for months or years, kept a series of play reports, and then converted them into a novel?

Assuming that the author was actually a decent writer, I wonder what the product of such an effort would look like.  Could it be done?  Has it ever been done before?  Would it be any good?  Would it "find an audience"?

I truly believe that such a novel could be a pretty good read.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Build a Dungeon From Me

I've long been a fan of Subterranean Design, the tumblr site that is a repository of photos of underground locations and other dungeon-like places and things.  I've commented about it before, and I still believe it to be a great source of inspiration for all things gaming-related.

I only today came across Build a Dungeon From Me, another Tumblr site that is a repository of photos for general fantasy inspiration.  Fantastic and highly recommended!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hand-Drawn Dungeon Map: The Columns

I've really enjoyed my map drawings.  This might become a regular feature here.  I present to you The Columns:

The residents of Hargrish Town have long argued whether or not the natural stone columns beneath the granite overhang at Fendinil Rock actually support it.  Whether they do or not would probably best be answered by a dwarf, but the few who have passed through Hargrish recently have shown no interest in settling the argument--perhaps because the rants and counter-rants that can be heard at the Sipping Sow are a great source of amusement for them.

In years past, the semi-sheltered area beneath the Rock served as a way-station for travelers moving between Hargrish and the larger towns to the west.  Recently, however, travelers have reported being driven from the Columns by unsavory men.  Some go so far as to say that bandits have taken up residence in the ancient shrine carved into the stone.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Beach Creatures

I'm always looking for real-world sources of inspiration for gaming.

I came across this video awhile ago and think it to be pretty cool.

Perhaps the things depicted are the ancient works of crabmen, before they lost their technological dominance.  Perhaps they are a form of golem created by a mad wizard imprisoned on a desert island.  Perhaps they are the living skeletons of creatures no longer known to the world.

Who knows?  Go check out this video.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kickstarter Thoughts

Everyone has an opinion on Kickstarter and its use in the rpg "world".  You can't go a day and not see some blogger somewhere commenting on Kickstarters, how they suck, how they don't suck, what would make them better, etc.

I don't have many strong feelings about the subject, because my rpg budget is based (almost) solely on the earnings of The Fantasy Cartographic.  Since it has been an extremely slow year, I haven't spent much money on gaming material--kickstarter or otherwise.  I did contribute to the Dwimmermount kickstarter and, while it is behind schedule, I'm okay because Autarch has done a better job of keeping the backers informed of its status.

Overall, my opinion is that, contrary to most of the conventional wisdom in the OSR, it is NOT a pre-order system.  I know that many will consider this blasphemous, but there you go.  (It is probably even more dangerous for me to voice this opinion, considering the fact that I might be pursuing a kickstarter of my own.  These words may be used against me at some future point--oh well.)  If you are using kickstarter as a pre-order system, that is a mindset that you chose of your own accord.  I don't think it fair it get pissed off if that turns out not to be the case, regardless of whatever promotional material a given project is using to sell their wares.

I think Joethelawyer has some good things to say.  I agree with him.