Exquisite Corpse 5 (Overland hex map)

August 13, 2017

We’ve already had some discussion and started things off over on the G+ Exquisite Corpse community
(https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/108245358165736516269) for the next Exquisite Corpse.  This one will be an overland map with 5- or 6-mile hexes.  To make it work with the rest of my production workflow to put it all together, each participant will work with a rectangular area (see below) that will map into a hex grid layout.

This project is open to all participants.  Contact me on Google+ (preferred) https://plus.google.com/u/0/112759340492106094051 or email rodger@antherwyck.com.  Although G+ is great for the discussion, we’ll probably need to use emails to share the final files back and forth.

Details and Particulars

Each contributor’s field will be a rectangle that includes most of a hex, plus a little bit of two adjacent hexes. These will be about 5-1/4″ wide x 6″ high. Finished pieces should be 300 dpi (1558 x 1800 px). If grid is not included in the final art, clearly identify where openings are so next person can make reasonable connections. If the final scan is oversized, provide clear crop marks.

Going westward, the extra part outside the hex (520 x 900 px) will be the baton. For north and southward, a narrow bit (we’ll figure a reasonable width) of the existing map will be the baton.

Hex scale is assumed to be a 5-6 mile hex.

Blank Template Link

If you have difficulty downloading, send me your email address, and I can email this to you, as well.

Also note: I’ll be overlaying a hex grid over the finished assembled map, so don’t worry too much about including it if it presents a difficulty, but do try to give me a cue at least where the hex corners should be.

Other Notes

With the original (surrealist) Exquisite Corpses, there is a certain desire for absurdity and discontinuity.  So don’t get too concerned about having it “work” with the adjacent spaces.  There’s nothing wrong if some parts are a bit odd and don’t seem to match up.

Participants

============ (to be updated periodically) ============ (last update 8/13)
Current assignments:
N1 +Andrew Durston
SW1 +Patrick Usher

Pending participants:
+Tony Obert
+Paul Baldowski
+Jim Magnusson
+Gennifer Bone

Possibly interested:
+Christopher Weeks
+Tom Stephens

later participants:
+David Millar
+Scott Aleric

Advertisements

MonkeyBlood castle video

July 17, 2017

monkey-F1

Video was not something I ever expected to be posting on this blog, but here we are.

For those that don’t want the backstory, here’s the link:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-7HGJEm8tuCMFkyTFh5NW9Dek0

(Since this is only a basic account, I’m not able to post video here directly.  So it’s on a Google Drive link.)

This whole thing started when Glynn Seal at MonkeyBlood Design posted a work-in-progress map on Google+.  I saw that and immediately thought it looked like something that would be good to turn into a model in SketchUp.

I took a copy of the map and did some preliminary tweaking (since it wasn’t a flat scan) to rotate and bend it so I could use it as a base drawing to work from.  Then I pulled it into SketchUp and started messing around to see if I could turn something decent out of it without having to labor at it for huge amounts of time.  And, for a quick project, I think it’s turned out well enough.

Calling it video is a little much.  It’s just animating going from one scene to the next from a handful of picked scenes.  But it’s not something I’ve done before, so it’s pretty cool to see it flying around on a model I built.

The model itself, it must be said, is very much a Potemkin village.  I would have taken much longer and tried much harder to separate layers and work with pieces and make it more adaptable and usable if I was trying to make something really usable out of this.   As it is, it’s just a tissue of surfaces, with all kinds of brokenness lying right underneath. But for just some experimentation, it’s adequate for the task, and it makes a decent (and even flashy) presentation.

monkey-F5

All of the materials textures are just straight out-of-the-box from SketchUp.  Again, that’s not wanting to put lots of time into it, but just trying to get a reasonably serviceable thing to see how easily it could be built.

monkey-F7

This also posits a second level for Glynn’s original map.  So, even if the players have seen the inspiration map, there’s still lots of opportunity to do other things that they won’t know about.  Anyone making use of that map for an adventure now has another visual aid to show the players to give them a sense of the location and the exterior.

 

 

Updated Portfolio

July 9, 2017

In response to a recent request for my portfolio, I realized that what I currently had available was not very up-to-date.  In a way, the whole Antherwyck House blog is a portfolio.  But for a more curated and limited presentation, my new portfolio page is here:

https://rthorm.wordpress.com/rodger-thorm-portfolio/

The kinds of things I’m most interested in are the kinds of things that you’ve seen me posting already – odd geometries, section dungeons, isometrics, and other things dealing with somewhat unusual display of information.

As I say on the page, “I am aware of small budgets and I’m willing to work with you to try to make things work out.  I’m not going to give it away (and “for the exposure” doesn’t fly), but we can see if there’s a way to work with you, even if it’s a modest budget for a small project.  I’m a gamer, too, so don’t be afraid to reach out to discuss a project or an idea.”

Notes on DragonQuest Titles

May 28, 2017

Feedback on The Wilderness of Ordurak has been pretty positive.  The most recent comment, from today: “At a first glance, the module looks fantastic, a very “authentic” feeling I think.”  Trying to match the SPI look was always a part of the intent, and it’s gratifying that backers of the project appreciate that about the adventure and the map.

A couple playtesters have looked at The Sentinel Chapel and given some initial feedback.  I’ve got a few more things to do for it, based on that feedback.  It was originally aimed at being a “capsule adventure,” like some other DQ titles; something maybe a little less fleshed out.  It was originally aimed at being 4 pages, but then I played with some SketchUp modeling, and I wanted to include that, and the descriptions grew, and now it’s pushing past the 8 page mark, and I have some further information to fill in.

The story grew and fleshed itself out as I was writing, and it really does need another pass to bring it together.  Some of the comments pointed out to me that it was much more of a first draft than I liked.

And, as much of a map maker as I am, even though I’m using someone else’s map for the adventure proper, it really could use a regional map, so I’m going to do that for it, as well.

Those still reviewing and playtesting I haven’t heard from yet, I’d really like to get your comments, too.

 

 

Map with two backgrounds

May 21, 2017

This is another map with one of the two new fountain pens I recently added.  This is still something of a pen test, but a larger area, and enough to be considered as a small dungeon map in its own right.

It’s the first fountain pen I’ve had that has a bladder converter, rather than a piston.  Maybe I’ll change my mind over time (and there is something to be said for the quickness of the bladder over the piston), but I overall, I like the piston style better.  I also have some blue cartridges I’m trying out in another fountain pen.  They are certainly convenient, but I also like to use some bottle ink colors, and those tend to be nicer than the basic colors in cartridges.

In retrospect, for this map, it might’ve been better to have the steps continuing downward in the darker background hatching, and kept the lighter fill pattern for the higher parts.  Sometimes I include the doors and sometimes I don’t indicate anything; this map is one of the latter.

I assume someone who wants to use one of these will add in doors where they think they are needed.  There hasn’t been any strong feedback about it one way of the other, so I’ll continue with the mix.

 

 

 

New Pen test map

May 11, 2017

Here’s a quick, small map that was a first test of a new fountain pen.  Pretty happy with this (the pen, that is, not the map; the map is just a doodle on a 3×5 card).

I haven’t been posting maps as much as I had been, so it’s good to have something, even if it’s just a quick, little throwaway.

The pen is one of two new fountain pens I got this week. I’ll probably do a bit of a writeup about both of them in the near future.

Isohedral Tiling

May 6, 2017

I don’t recall anymore what path I was wandering when I came across this, but it falls in the ‘different tilings’ category which seems to be an onging interest of mine.  It’s really a 3 piece pattern of a hex grid.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Isohedral_tiling_p6-11.png

And here’s my cleaner version of this tiling.  With more of pattern visible, you can more readily see the hex pattern made up of these triplets.

It’s not really anything that’s going to be transformative, but it may be useful as a different way of looking at a grid and of having a different graphic presentation.

Seeking Playtesters for Antherwyck House

April 24, 2017

There are a couple projects underway for Antherwyck House right now, and we’d like to find a few playtesters for these things.

If you follow Thor Hansen on G+, you have already seen a bit of the art he’s gotten from Ed Heil for a game he is leading titled The Spires.  It’s still in its rough, early phases, and it may be a while before we’re ready to have others take a look at it, but gathering some people who are interested in the concept and are willing to give good feedback will help with developing this.

My next project is another DragonQuest adventure, one much smaller than “The Wilderness of Ordurak.”  (You also might’ve seen this post a few weeks ago.)  It’s coming in at around 8 pages right now; a capsule adventure along the lines of “The House of Kurin” or “The Treasure of Socranti.”  I’d like to find at least two different groups to playtest it: one a group of DragonQuest players who can evaluate it as a DQ adventure; the other a group playing something else (an OSR clone, D&D of one flavor or another, etc.) to see how readily it can adapt to another ruleset.  I think it’s mostly map and setting, and choosing some other stats for the encounters from your own favorite flavor should help make this more widely usable.  (And if I need to provide stats that adapt to other games, I’ll know I need to do that.)

If you’re interested in either of these, drop one of us a line (presuming you’re one of the folks who already knows how and where to get in touch on G+) or leave a note in the comments here.

Wilderness Deliveries

April 10, 2017

“It arrived today and they look GREAT!”

A couple of people have now let us know that their copies of The Wilderness of Ordurak adventure have arrived, so it’s starting to get out there.  If you’re one of the supporters, you should probably be receiving it the near future.

International deliveries are going to take a little longer, but hopefully you’ll have them in a week or so.

A box full of Wildernesses

March 30, 2017

[Edit to add: the maps arrived tonight.  See below.]

There’s a real joy in getting a fat box from Lightning Source (the printer for OBS/DriveThru/etc.)  These are the fulfillment copies of The Wilderness of Ordurak, and these will get packaged up and mailed out to backers and supporters of the project very soon.

We’re still waiting for the maps (which are printed at a different facility than the books, so have to be shipped separately).

 

Draft: After-Action Damage Rule

March 16, 2017

[EDIT: Phil Wright pointed out an error in the original posting example of Horton’s injuries.  It has been revised.]

The idea of a combat system that doesn’t determine the damage to a character during the fight is an intriguing one.  I started thinking about this earlier this week after listening to a cop talking about an incident where he’d been shot but didn’t know how badly he was hurt.  Someone in a real fight doesn’t know how many hit points they have left.

Many many years ago, in a Traveller campaign, there was the story of two player characters who would go down to the cargo hold and practice shooting each other with snub pistols, because a single shot from a snub pistol wouldn’t kill anyone.  So they’d practice until someone was shot, then go rest up, and then do it again the next day.

One of the things that was immediately attractive to me about DragonQuest when I first started playing was that there wasn’t that much difference between a hero and a peasant.  A couple of blows with a sword would kill either one, rather than the hero needing to be chopped like a tree, while a peasant was a one-hit kill.

So, with those ideas in mind, here is a cobbled together a rather quick and dirty draft concept for this for DragonQuest.

Injuries – a DQ rules variant

These rules supercede the regular damage rules from the Combat section of DQ. (Adaptation to use with the magic systems will take some time)

Damage Roll (d10)
 Weapon Damage.....Light.....Medium......Heavy.....Serious
 D - +2.............1-4.......5-7.........8-9.......10
+3 - +5.............1-3.......4-6.........7-8.......9-10
+6 - +7.............1-2.......3-5.........6-7.......8-10
+8 --  .............1.........2-4.........5-6.......7-10

Roll D10 for damage level (Light, Medium, Heavy, Serious); then roll D10 for armor protection.
* If armor value is < weapon damage number, add +1 to damage roll
* If weapon is A Class, add +1 to damage roll
* If an ‘Endurance Hit,’ then add +3 to damage roll
* A ‘Grievous Injury’ is an automatic Serious Injury, and armor protection is not rolled.

Roll D10 for armor protection
*  If roll is a 10 (0), armor is damaged and reduces Prot value by 1 (until repaired), and injury level is automatically Heavy, except if the hit is an ‘Endurance Hit,’ in which case it is Serious
* If roll is =< armor Prot value, then reduce damage class by 1
* If roll is =< half armor Prot value, then reduce damage class by 2
* If roll is =< quarter armor Prot value, then no damage.
* Note: Damage cannot be reduced below Light, unless armor has a Prot value of 4 or more.

Any Serious hit causes the character to be Stunned per original DQ rules.

Track location and level for each injury during combat.  (Stat reduction based on location is calculated after combat when determining injuries.  Table to be completed.)

Damage Roll (d10) and Stat Reduction (d10)
 1-2   Head
 3-4   Upper Torso
 5-6   Primary Arm
 7     Secondary Arm
 8     Lower Torso
 9-10  Legs

Fatigue Track
Damage is calculated at the end of a combat, rather than during the action. Fatigue is used to determine whether the character remains active.

For the first hit to a character, FT is reduced by the number of the Damage Roll. For each subsequent hit, subtract the level number of the damage (ie Light= -1; Med= -2; Hvy= -4; Serious= -8). When FT is reduced below half of the original FT value, the character acts as having 0 Fatigue in original combat rules. When FT reaches 0 or less, character falls unconscious.

(Consider possibility to double the FT reduction for Endurance Hit or Grievous Injury)

Damage
The premise behind these rules is that damage and injury keeps you from being at full capacity.  When you are wounded, you aren’t at full strength, you aren’t as quick or as nimble as you would be if uninjured.  So there are reductions to the key stats (not just EN) as part of damage and injury.

Each injury Med level or higher reduces 1 point of a stat until it is recovered.

Calculate recovery time; use the number of days as the percentage chance of having life-threatening injuries.

If the injuries are life-threatening, roll percentile dice.  Multiplier of current EN is the number of points of EN reduced.  Current EN divided by number of EN points reduced is number of hours the individual will live without treatment.

Recovery time
Recovery time = (1 day x Light) + (5 days x Medium) + (30 days x Heavy) + (60 days x Serious)  Divide total recovery time by number of injuries (other than Light). Add any EN reduction to total.  Recover 1 stat point at each interval.

[example: Horton (EN=17; FT=21) suffers 2 light, 2 medium, and 1 heavy injury;
Fatigue Track = -6med, -1, -1, -2, -4, so has 7 FT remaining at the end of combat
damage locations are:  Upper T/Light, Leg/Light, Upper T/Med, Lower T/Med, and Lower T/Heavy
Life threat is 42%; roll is 09, so injuries are life-threatening.
Roll percentile to see EN multiple; roll is 53 (under 4x EN), so also reduce EN by 4.  So, Horton will has 17/4=  4 – 1/4 hours before dying, unless treated to stabilize wounds.

If Horton survives, stat reductions for injuries: -1 PS, -2 MD, and -4 EN.   (2 Light, 2 Med, and 1 Heavy Injury = 42 days recovery)  42 / 7  = 6, so Horton will be able to regain one point every 6 days.

Again, this is still very rough, but putting it out for initial feedback and general discussion.

Downsides: still may be too fiddly with numbers.  

Upsides: scary dangerous to get into a heavy fight, but it’s also pretty hard to kill off a PC (if you have healing/treatment available to you in the aftermath).  However, while you might not get killed, you can be seriously messed up for a while.

Modeling a scene

March 12, 2017

CataX-8

Here’s an image for the next adventure project I’m working on.  It’s a quick and rough model in SketchUp of the space where the adventure starts; this is a view looking into the chapel yard from just outside the wall.

 

Holding Pattern on Wilderness

March 11, 2017

Apologies to all of you waiting to get printed copies of the Wilderness of Ordurak.

There is some kind of hold-up with the print production for the Wilderness, and we are waiting for them to resolve things at their end. According to my contact at OBS, there are a number of larger files that are all hung up right now, and Wilderness happens to be one of them.

As soon as that is cleared up, we should be able to get the print copies of Wilderness finished and shipped off to everyone.

Pen Test Map

March 6, 2017

I came across this map while cleaning up some old files.  It was a pen test with a (then-) new fountain pen from a year ago.

The image was skewed and low-contrast, and I’ve done a bit to clean it up, but it’s still sorta rough.  But then, it’s a cavern, and there’s not a straight wall in sight, so who can tell if it’s a bit off or not.

map2016-02-09

As is the case with most of my maps, feel free to use this for any non-commercial purpose (with attribution).  You can also contact me if you’d like to use any of my works for a commercial project.

Next Projects

February 28, 2017

The Wilderness of Ordurak is wrapped up, and now it’s time to contemplate what is next. And, dear reader, if you are interested enough to be reading this, then you could have an outsized influence in helping steer the course for what projects are next for me and for Antherwyck House Games.

In the spirit of those old SPI questionnaires, here is a list of several projects and a brief description of each. Things that more people are interested in, or things that people are strongly interested in, will tend to get more attention.


Gazetteer for the Wilderness of Ordurak [DQ, generic]
Further development of the Wilderness of Ordurak as a system-neutral setting. As with SPI’s Frontiers of Alusia, maps and descriptions of places are pretty system neutral. So there would be appeal outside of the DragonQuest community.
This is already underway.  How extensive it will become depends, in part, on whether there’s any demand for it outside the backers of the Wilderness adventure.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon [mapping]
Is it time for another one, yet? Has everyone burned out on the concept now, and no one would be that interested in another one? Does it need to be something different in order to get anyone’s attention?

Small, Untitled DQ Adventure [DQ]
Far from the Wilderness in scope, just a small dungeon in a single setting. I’ve found a couple other maps by other people that have struck me as being very suitable for DQ. Something more on the scale of the House of Kurin, or even smaller.

The Piranesi City Dungeon [DQ, OSR, generic]
There is a towering prison wagon, 2 stories tall, and with wheels ofsolid oak that are taller than a man. It is drawn by 8 bullocks and it moves slowly through the City, deep in the middle of every night, from the Prison to the Palace, and then back. One morning, you get word of a prisoner who is going to be transferred that night. You have that day to lay your plans and make your preparations, and tonight you have to strike in order to free the prisoner.
This would probably be written with dual system stats, so it was statted and ready for use for DragonQuest as well as at least one other OSR system.  The concept should be applicable to other games without too much work.  It would be part city map (of the route the wagon takes), part gazetter, with lots of information about all the places and people along the way, so you can try to find places and resources to do whatever you want to do, and part caper adventure.  Not small, but potentially quite interesting.  And, I think it would even have some replay possibility, taken as a one-shot.

moebiscayneOgunimata [Cyberpunk]
An adventure for Cyberpunk originally written in the 90’s and still holding up. Seeing +Geist’s recent production of a really cool Cyberpunk supplement made me think there might be some interest in producing it. We’re still looking to get a sense of how many Cyberpunk players there might be, and whether there is sufficient interest in this. A couple playtesters would also be good to get some feedback on this.
I’ve already briefly spoken with Claudia Cangini about illustrating this. Ideally, I’d like to run a kickstarter on it, with one of the premiums being having sponsors (maybe as many as 8) get to have themselves/their character illustrated by Claudia, and that art goes into the final version, as well as the sponsor getting the illustration from her.

Expanded Alusia [DQ, generic]
This would require coordinating Stephen Peto’s availability to produce another map. His feel for SPI style is pretty excellent (as you’ve seen in the Wilderness of Ordurak map). Phil Wright has been doing some other exploration of FoA recently, and the idea of connecting and building out more of that world could be an interesting (and daunting) project to undertake.

moonbaseMoonbase Zvezda [?, generic]
Space spies in the 60s, dealing with intrigue and espionage from low-Earth orbit to the Moon, and beyond. Whether this is a light set of rules, or a one-shot adventure, or just what it turns into remains to be seen. I did a concept illustration for this a while back (right), which turned out pretty well and got some of the tech documentation style I was after. Now to do something more with it.

More maps [mapping]
I haven’t been making as many maps recently as I have in the past.  That’s partly due to the new job and partly due to other projects being more at the fore.  But I miss those explorations, and will probably have more along those lines in the near future.


On top of these projects, Thor has a couple things underway, including a dungeon adventure using one of my previously posted maps, and The Spires, an interesting game/setting for a post-human, post-apocalypse world of intelligent animals vying for power and resources.

Your feedback on any of these would be very helpful. You can comment here, or drop me a line at rodger @ antherwyck dot com.

Project Completion – Wilderness of Ordurak adventure

February 24, 2017

wildThe Wilderness of Ordurak proof is completed, and copies of the set will be going out to the backers very soon.  57 pages, plus the ledger size map.

Our next step will be to clean up The Water Works and Poor Brendan’s Almanac.  Once those are revised, they will be available.  The terms set up for the Wilderness give the people who backed it exclusive access to it for a while.  If you’re interested in getting a copy of this, stay tuned later this year.

The other thing that’s in the works is a Gazetteer for the regional map.  That might be a separate thing on its own, with the map and an accompanying booklet of information about the features in the region, very much like Frontiers of Alusia.

Two Views – with Color

February 12, 2017

About a year ago, I posted a pair of maps for a military perspective and a plan view of the same space.  It was an interesting complex of levels and stairs, but for some, it was a bit hard to read and figure out what was on what level.

So I’ve colorized it to make the different levels easier to pick out.  And the colors are mapped to both versions, so you can shift back and forth between them to get your bearings.

2v-mil

As a game setting, I always imagined it beginning with the party entering from the stairs bottom center (L-15 on the plan).  It seems like an interesting place for a running battle, chasing up and down stairs and fighting while trying to get from one part of the map to another.

A couple of things seem not to have made it to the plan view.  I won’t make you play Where’s Waldo though (unless you want to, in which case don’t look at the text below the plan image until you want to see).

2v-plan

The blue ledge should be at about T-13, and the yellow table should be at about J-3.  No guarantees there aren’t others, as well.  But those are known.

Let me know if you use this in a game.  I’d be very interested in how you ran it, and how the players responded to it.

First themeless map – 2017

January 31, 2017

Last year, I was posting the Intersection Series of dungeon map fragments.  It turned out to be a project that led to a total of 26 bi-weekly posts (conveniently identified by letter, A through Z).

This year, I don’t have a theme for maps (at least not yet); there are some other things in the pipeline.  But, I’m still drawing maps, too.  And here’s the latest one, which has some intersectionality about it, but in a different fashion.

dungeon01292017

If you’ve got some suggestions for maps you’re interested in seeing, let me know.  I might take you up on it.

Jaquays Plain

January 30, 2017

One detail I wanted to point out in the Wilderness map is the Jaquays Plains.

jaquaysplain

 

If you’re at all a DQ grognard (or, for that matter, many other stripes of RPG gamer) you’ll recognize the reference.  Jennelle (who was Paul back then) Jaquays was (and still is) a prolific designer and artist who produced work for a variety of game systems, including the wonderful “Enchanted Wood” adventure for DragonQuest.

Next Up: A Cyberpunk Adventure

January 17, 2017

The recent publication of the “Augmented Reality” cyberpunk sourcebook led me to realize that other old game systems are still being played, and there might be interest in adventures for other old games.  So, I’ve gone into my files and pulled out an adventure I wrote in 1990.

Ogunimata is an adventure written for the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG, but the story line is general enough that it should be adaptable for use with other games.  Even though it was written a quarter century ago, there isn’t too much that, at first pass, looks like it needs to be changed significantly.

If I’d had the self publishing tools (like RPGNow/DriveThruRPG) that are around today, this would have been published back then.  As it was, I was 2000 miles away from my old gaming group, and didn’t have any local connections to game with.  The adventure was inspired by some random bits I collected, and I had access to enough desktop publishing equipment that I was able to put it together as a one-off presentation quality piece (complete with info dossier for the players in addition to the GM’s book) and mailed it back to them for them to play.

It went exceptionally well, and it was a big hit with them.  But that was the last of it, and I simply filed it away.  Luckily, I still have the old text, as well as a hardcopy of the booklet, so I can piece it back together.

Because it was not going to go further than my gaming group, there was liberal use of material that cannot be used without violating other people’s intellectual property rights, so parts of it are going to have to be re-done.

The next steps with it aren’t entirely clear yet, but I’ve started discussing this project with a couple other people who we’d like to work with to bring it into production.  Part of what is an unknown right now is how much interest there is in something like this. If you’re interested in seeing this adventure, or in more adventures in general for cyberpunk-style games (Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Mirrorshades, etc.) let us know.