Four Elements Map

April 2, 2020 by

RT map 2020-03-31sm

Four interconnected geomorphs inspired by the idea of the four elements.

I’m sending these as individual geomorphs for Dave’s Mapper, so these are available for use through the Creative Commons license [CC BY-NC 4.0].

Individual tiles below, if you want to use them from here.

Created with GIMP

Created with GIMP

Created with GIMP

Created with GIMP

Dark Days on the Silk Road

March 26, 2020 by

The title seems way too apropos at the moment, but maybe that will be okay.  It is meant to suggest a setting in the kind of nebulous fantasy world of 60s and 70s stories, where the roots of the setting were much more often non-European, often a kind of spare, desolate setting, studded with rich, dense cities.  More a chain of caravan stops than the hamlets and towns between the larger cities.

When I mentioned it in the Next Projects 2019 post, I presented the concept as: “…a fantasy game aimed at a more Fafhrd/Grey Mouser kind of feel.  A recent post from Beloch Shrike aka Link Skywalker at Papers & Pencils titled “Magic Words Suck. Here’s Magic in the Moment.” seems like a good starting point for one branch of the magic system with the right kind of literary feel that this game calls for.” The other key element Thor was starting with was a completely classless system.  Everyone was a little bit of a generalist;  every bravo could also manage to pick a simple lock or cast a couple rudimentary spells if they were going to survive for any length of time.

Thor has been posting some thoughts about this over on his Facebook group (“Thor Talks About Games” – it’s a private group, but if you tell him you found it from here, I’m sure he’ll add you in).  I’m only quoting his posts here, to build the archive for it here; the whole commentary and discussion remains over there.

First post “So I’m working on a game that has an xD6 resolution system. It is an OSR adjacent fantasy game. Everything in the game works off of that except combat damage. Currently I am using polyhedrals for various weapon damage rolls.

“I don’t imagine that it will be difficult for people who find this game to come up with a set, but it seems dumb to need them for only one aspect of the game. Is that wrong? Is there some cool way of rolling D6 to come up with wider varieties of outcomes?”

 

Second post “So Dark Days, the game I was talking about this morning is a classless game where every character is a Fighter/Wizard/Thief. There are no Stats beyond assigning 1, 2, and 3 to Wizard, Thief, and Fighter in whatever order make sense to you for the character.

“The look and feel of the game is inspired by Fafhard and Grey Mouser sort of stories (there is no appendix N yet). All characters can do anything but at varying levels. the resolution is to roll a number of dice equal to your WT or F against a difficulty.

“If you are using your fighter (I need a name for the stat) you have the Ability to add more dice at a cost to your stamina. If you are using your wizard number you can roll over a number of turns to gather the manna to perform great feats. And if you are using your Thief thing you can retcon the story to make up for things that stand in your way.

“Hit points are divided up into Fatigue, Standard damage, and Critical damage. filling up the boxes for each type of damage cost you but get you a bonus to keep you moving toward success. This is why I want different weapons to make this fairly lite system a little fiddley.”

Some other things have prodded me into starting to think about this for the last couple months.  The big Kickstarter Zine Quest seemed like it might be a place to try it out, but there was a lot of other traffic, and we’re small-time.

But, with some time to work on this, I think we’re going to start to iterate it here, and try to get a rough draft that people can mess with.  Lots of people have time for games, so perhaps we can get some playtesting during these Dark Days.

Alternate Hatch Map

March 19, 2020 by

RT map 2020-03-19sm

Something a little different from the usual crowsfoot scratches at the edges of the rooms here.  This started as a sort-of engine inspired map, and then, the print on someone’s clothing gave me an idea for the hatch pattern to use for the poche.  This is just a phone cam shot, so it’s not as sharp as a good scan.  I’ll see about posting a better version later, perhaps.

It is a lot less interconnected than a number of the other maps I have done, but it seemed more right for this particular configuration.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project, or if you would like to commission a custom piece.

More Axon Experiments

March 3, 2020 by

IMG_20200227_215119597

Here’s a snippet of another experimental map I’ve been working on.  I don’t like the shading this way, but this is a photocopy of the base drawing, so it can be a throwaway test. Like the previous axon space map, this is also more open, rather than a set of discrete rooms.

These latest experiments are interesting to me.  I don’t know if they are any more playable than other stuff, and I’d be interested if anyone finds this kind of thing specifically useful or more playable than some more traditional maps are.  Let me know what you think, especially if this kind of map is useful to you.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project, or if you would like to commission a custom piece.

Axon space

February 26, 2020 by

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

This map seems more abstract than a lot of the usual stuff that is posted (here, and elsewhere) – it’s kind of a throwback to some things from Google+ (back when G+ was around).

It’s divided into spaces, but not set up with discrete rooms in the traditional dungeon sense.  But it could still be used as a game setting.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project, or if you would like to commission a custom piece.

First Aid Question for DragonQuest

February 25, 2020 by

From the Antherwyck page on FB, Jeff Halfhide asks:

Hello fellow enthusiasts! Once upon a time during the g+ and yahoo groups days, there was an article about a first aid skill. I have searched low and also high in my dusty archive and cannot find it. Do any of you have information about it?

I’m not readily finding it, so I thought I should open the question to the wider community.

More Geomorphs

January 19, 2020 by

A couple more early year geomorphs.

RT 2020-01-08 geomorphART 2020-01-08 geomorphB

Geomorphs

January 12, 2020 by

A couple of geomorphs for the new year.

RT 2020-01-08 geomorphC

RT 2020-01-08 geomorphD

State of Antherwyck in 2020

January 7, 2020 by

What’s up for Antherwyck in 2020?  Let me fill you in.

For me, last year was complicated by both a new job and then a new house.  I have a wonderful office space here, and as we get more settled in here, I hope to keep some Antherwyck projects underway.  If it’s easier to drop in on something for a bit, that kind of slow, but continuing progress is what’s needed to keep things moving, especially when it’s a hobby sideline.  I’m trying to develop some new habits for the new setting, and it seems to be working in some ways, so I’m going to keep at that.

It’s not a terribly significant change, but we’re going to drop the “House” from the name, and simply be “Antherwyck Games” now.  The “House” was an affectation (though it did give us the same initials as Avalon Hill, which was a not accidental nod to the company that first got me introduced to tabletop games).

As noted, with all the upheaval in my real life, very little has progressed on projects in the past year. If we do the ZineQuest project, that will give us something with deliverable target dates and a schedule, and that framework should help bring things to completion. And the activity of working on one project rubs against the other things that are in process, and helps give them a nudge, as well.

I’m hoping to get a regular DragonQuest game going, and with that, I also hope to get some new DragonQuest work published. I’ve been thinking about (and previously written about) revisions or variants of the DQ rules (it is, after all, a 40 year old game system), and that may get enough attention to warrant posting about.

Additionally, I’m thinking about a collection of some of my maps in a publication of one sort or another. It’s been harder to get them done and posted regularly, but there is always the intention of turning that around. But getting some of the old ones collected and refined could help with getting in the mindset for that, too.

Lastly, there is now an Antherwyck-hosted listserv (email list) to help fill in the gap from the old Yahoo groups as those become less functional.  There hasn’t been a lot of traffic there recently (either the old Yahoo groups, for the past few years; or the new listserv, which only has a few people on it), but we’ll try to build that this year.

 

Ortho map test

January 5, 2020 by

RT 2020-01-05sm

Trying out a format for display. Is this useful, or noisy?

Zine ideas for 2020

January 1, 2020 by

Next month, Kickstarter is running their ZineQuest to encourage people to produce RPG-related zines.  Thor and I have been discussing a couple of options.

One is a general interest, RPG topics kind of zine, with pieces of some of the fragmentary game ideas we have been kicking around but haven’t yet been able to get to a finished state, along with other supporting materials for games.  A miscellany, in short.

The other idea is to bring back the DragonQuest Newsletter.  My initial thought with this is to take the old DQNs and re-format them for print/PDF, and add some new material with each issue.  I’d have to take a look to see what sort of size of project

With either of these, I think we’re looking at doing a print version for US, and PDF available worldwide.  We could also have a delayed print level for non-US subscribers where you wouldn’t get the print copies until the end of the year’s run (assuming 4 issues/year). So we’d only have to do one international mailing, and that’s probably viable without us incurring stupid-ridiculous mailing costs.

If you have any thoughts about this (especially if you are a potential supporter of the project), let me know in the comments, or drop me a line.

Sectional Cavern

November 30, 2019 by

RTsect20191129sm

This was a partially completed map that I recently found while moving into my new space.  I had only penciled the map, but hadn’t inked it yet.  So, I did that today to finish it up.  There are a combination of cavern spaces along with more finished rooms.  Some connections are likewise more finished, like hallways, and others are rough cave tunnels.

This is potentially more useful than many other section maps I’ve seen (including most of the ones I’ve done) in that it has open connections off to both sides of the map, so that it can be incorporated into a more extended area.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

A new map in November

November 25, 2019 by

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a new map.  And it’s been good to break out the old pens and set up and draw another one of these.  Definitely some rust to be knocked off, too.

Photographing this (instead of scanning) and then trying to do some cleanup instead introduced some odd characteristics.  So let’s just leave this one as it is, and move on.

Another UCon (2019)

November 24, 2019 by

UCon badgeI was scheduled to run a couple of sessions of DragonQuest at this year’s UCon in Ypsilanti MI this past weekend.  I missed last year due to conflicts with my old job. Two years ago, I had one session with zero attendees, but the other session was sold out in advance (which turned out to be a group of players who all knew each other and were a gaming group back in their hometown; they were all interested in DQ, but had never played it before).  So that turned out to be a fairly interesting session.

Unfortunately, I had no one show up for either session of my game.  There was a guy who walked by on Friday evening and saw my DQ book on the table, and remarked on remembering playing DQ in college (me too).  But there were other things also being run that night, and one player wasn’t enough to get anything going.

It was my hope that signing up to run a couple events would spur me to work on writing a new adventure, but then we decided to buy this house we’ve moved into, so I’ve been kept busy with house moving and everything around that.

However, I did see a couple local people I’ve played DQ with in the past, and those conversations have started another cycle of thinking about starting a new DQ campaign, particularly now that I have a larger space that could be more accommodating to a group getting together here once a month, or so.

But, along with that, I’m thinking about how to make a lighter game system that would be more accommodating to a group of people who want to play the game and develop the story we are telling, and is less about the bits and pieces of the game mechanics.

Once more, I’m thinking about DQ Lite in some fashion or other.  Something that is easier to pick up and run with if you are only having infrequent sessions (which is the reality for most of us).

“The End Is Nigh” (for Yahoo Groups)

October 21, 2019 by

[Edit to add email address for subscribing: dq_discussion-subscribe@dq.antherwyck.com]

As you may have heard Yahoo Groups is shutting down as of December 14 (They will be freezing the uploading of new content as of October 21st [some places say October 28th).

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/10/yahoo-is-deleting-all-content-ever-posted-to-yahoo-groups/

John Rauchert (from DQPA) has been working on archives of the various DQ lists.

As a replacement to the DQN-list, I have a listserv I set up through Antherwyck.com that can serve as the new home for DragonQuest discussions.  If you get an archive of old DQ lists and content, we can add links to those from the pages for the list.

http://dq.antherwyck.com/listinfo.cgi/dq_discussion-antherwyck.com

It’s very rudimentary, and mostly using default settings right now, so some tweaks will need to be made in the next few weeks.  But hopefully this is an appropriate and useful replacement for the Yahoo groups, and can help support the DQ community into the future.

(I’m in the midst of a move into a new house, so I’m a little distracted and overwhelmed at the moment, but I will try to stay on top of the administration to get this launched well and up and running.)

Cheers!

–Rodger Thorm

Podcasts – Sept 2019

September 2, 2019 by

Having a little impromptu conversation about the DragonQuest community earlier today, and that prompted a couple of thoughts.  One, that I will save to expound on later, is considering a re-start of the DragonQuest Newsletter.  Post Google+ implosion, there has not been a good central community for DQ discussions.  There are a number of social media platforms, and many of the communities that found traction with common interests don’t fare as well as standalone communities.

I’m not sure if podcasts serve to replace those communities, but they are, for me, at least, a better gateway to the wider range of things going on in gaming circles, even if there’s not a specific one related to DQ.

Here are a few gaming-related podcasts I’ve become a somewhat regular listener to, and which might be of interest to some readers here. These work for me; YMMV Read the rest of this entry »

Meeting map – Aug 2019

August 20, 2019 by

IMG_20190814_194910216_HDR~2

This is pretty much just a raw photo (not a scan; no processing) for a 10×10 geomorph-conforming section of map. It was intended to be a cavern map, but I could see someone using it as pathways through brush equally well. 

Print Planetary Display Logbook is Ready

August 3, 2019 by

PDLinterior actualThe print version of the Planetary Display Logbook is good to go. We’ve approved printing, so you can check it out and order from at DriveThruRPG. Next step will be testing one of these with different media to see how it bleeds through.  This is a US printing, and there may be differences with production elsewhere, based on the stock it’s printed on (as with any print-on-demand product).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Logbook, it is an inexpensive, blank book formatted for mapping the surface of a sphere as a series of hexagons and pentagons (like a soccer ball).  Unlike many other mappings, this has latitude and longitude that coordinate with the shapes of the individual facets.

If you’re ordering things from DriveThruRPG, you can easily toss one of these in with your order.  The print book is less expensive than the PDF version, since it’s a one-shot use, rather than print all you need with the PDF.  If you want multiple copies of the book, for example to use in a space-faring campaign, we intend to have a multiple copies discount.  How many copies would be an ideal size to order, in your opinion?

Criticisms:
The background grid lines are too light (see photo).  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since they are supposed to be there just to knock down the white space a bit.  They are less present, so will be less usable for organizing added information.  But there’s space there for added info; that’s not a problem.  I’ll work on that when we do revisions.  Also, if it was possible to get a stapled version rather than the perfect bound one, I would prefer that.  But we don’t seem to have that as an option.

Eccentric Dungeon; 2nd state

July 23, 2019 by

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

There’s a fair chance that I’ll tweak this one further; maybe not immediately, but at some point. This had a little post-processing which took out the grid lines and then dropped in a background poche color for the solid areas.  Then, after printing that one, I added the hatches and textures, but I still have the first version both scanned and the original linework for future experiments.

It had suddenly struck me that there aren’t nearly enough circular dungeons. So this started out with some circles, but not regularly aligned; their centers are offset from one another.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

Sunday in the Studio – July 14

July 14, 2019 by

Today’s project was working on putting together the print version of the Planetary Display Log Book.  As soon as we’ve got an approved print, it will be available from OBS.  This will be an inexpensive version, since it’s a blank book to be used for mapping a single planet.

For those who already bought the PDF version, we’ll have a discount code to get these print copies at a reduced price.  I also need to figure out if we can do a bulk discount (4 for $12 or some such).

It will be nice if the cover is suitable to allow it to be drawn on.  That’s part of the intent with having the simple, faceted globe on the cover.  If it’s not markable (or can’t be marked well), we’ll probably revise the cover.

Our Trav campaign GM isn’t too into the idea of mapping any of the planets in our campaign (there are probably a half-dozen we go back and forth to in this current setup), but maybe this will make for at least some schematic mappings.