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.