Archive for April, 2015

Wizard’s Tower – a One-Page Dungeon Entry

April 30, 2015


This is an old map that I had kicking around for a while, and I’ve added some description and narrative to make it an entry for the One Page Dungeon 2015 contest.

{I’ll edit to add a bit more about it later. Gotta get it submitted for now…}

PDF version

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon Update – Final Week

April 27, 2015

This is the final week for the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon, and participant #10 (of 12) is working on their section. If that comes back fairly soon, and the remaining two participants can be pretty quick with their turnaround, we should be ready to wrap things up close to the end of the month.

Although I haven’t begun work on regularizing everything to put it all together, I’ve sort of laid things out to get a sense of how things look so far, and it’s pretty cool how well everything is going.

Originally, this was just a goofy idea I put out there. I didn’t even know if anyone else would want to contribute to it. If I got 3 or 4 participants, I thought I’d be really happy (many of the surrealist EQ drawings were done on sheets of paper that were folded into thirds); and 6 was maybe the outside of how many people I thought might take part. So the participation has been pretty remarkable.

There has been some discussion about ways of doing the next one already; I’m a little bit floored by that. It’s impressive that this would grab people so immediately that there would be discussion of a ‘next one’ so soon.

It’s likely going to take a little while to put it all together once it all gets in, and maybe also during that time, there can be some further discussion about how the next one should go.

And the whole thing will be posted here, as soon as the last piece is turned in and the whole thing can be assembled together. If you’d like to get word about it as soon as it is completed, or want to find out about future Exquisite Corpse projects, as well as getting word about other projects for Antherwyck House Games, sign up for my Tiny Letter newsletter.

Double map Friday

April 24, 2015


This is what happens when you take an odd approach while doodling a map, and turn it into a rule. Here, I started with a general placement and size of rooms, and then made all the hallway connections (which led to some revision) and yielded these.

The alternative hatching that goes with these only further highlights their non-standard character. This is also the most stripped down version, without even doors to rooms, so you could set it up however you like.

I’ve been using a system for sheet layout that helps me organize and set up maps. It doesn’t necessarily even make it into the final version, sometimes it’s more of an orientation tool than an actual organizational guide that I follow. But here, the divisions (especially horizontally) were pretty rigorously followed, which helps make these how they are.

I don’t plan to do any more in this style, unless someone has a really cool application for them (in which case, I’ll see what I can do). Are these just too far out of bounds? Or is there a mad wizard’s method behind this that makes sense, in its own twisted way?

Geomorphs for Dave’s Mapper

April 23, 2015


Having found the geomorphs format for the contest recently, I’ve started playing around with a few more of those.  Here’s a page of 6 I’ll be sending to Dave’s Mapper. (As such, these are CC licensed for non-commercial reuse with attribution [CC BY-NC 3.0])

Still trying out different styles and effects to see what works and what looks good.  The top right one has its own multiple problems (not every experiment is a success), but I think they’ll all be workable.

Samples from an Unfurnished Dungeon

April 21, 2015

Here is a sample of a couple pages from the first Unfurnished Dungeon.

MerrimackMine-excerpt (link to 3 pages PDF)

The general idea behind this is to have a booklet with a map along with physical descriptions of the spaces (room size, materials, and so forth), but leave the stocking and furnishing of those spaces to the dungeon master, allowing it to be fully customized for use with any campaign, regardless of the game system being used, party size, or level.


One DM could use this as a warren of gnomes to be rooted out for a beginning campaign while another might use it as a high-level wizard’s secret lair with several dangerous beasts guarding the approach.

Feedback about how well you think this would work for you would really be appreciated. This is intended to become a series that will be published by Antherwyck House Games. PDF versions will be available to Patreon supporters, and both PDF and printed copies will be available through DriveThru/RPGNow (and trying to keep them pretty inexpensive; probably around $5 for the print copies, and less for PDFs). Would you consider buying something like this? What kinds of things would you be looking for? Should there be further detail? Anything else that would make this more useful for you?

Also, is the name “Unfurnished Dungeon” the best name for the series? What about “Bluebook Dungeons” (or is that too obscure)?

Sargon Empire Setting – Campaign Map

April 17, 2015

This was the campaign map for a DragonQuest campaign from the early ’90s which we called the “Rotating Campaign.” There was not a single GM for the game, everyone had a character, and several of us took turns running adventures (during which our characters would typically be out of the picture for one reason or another).

The setting was among the remaining free countries that were being devoured by a continental empire. Thor Hansen (G+ link) created the map, with input from the rest of us in setting up the various countries and developing their character and politics.

Rotating CampaignMap

Thor has made this map freely re-usable for non-commercial use. We’ll also see if there is some of the setting information that we can share here, as well. He also initially posted the version with the different countries colored, to show the areas of the different countries.

The general setting was that the Sargon Empire was a huge, nearly continent-spanning empire (somewhat inspired by the Roman Empire, I suppose) that was gradually expanding and absorbing all of the remaining countries into itself. Alesia had been the major opposition to the Sargonese, but was no where near a match for Sargon militarily. Despite the presence of the greater threat, several of these smaller countries still had strong rivalries between one another, so it wasn’t necessarily

There was a Sargonese Intelligence Network (S.I.N.) with spies in the other countries, feeding information back to the Empire, and turning out to be a couple of the villains we went up against.

Unfurnished Dungeons – Patreon pre-launch

April 10, 2015


This is a rough, preliminary sample page for an ‘unfurnished dungeon’ project. I’m going to start offering these as a premium for Patreon supporters, as well as making them available as part of the Antherwyck House Games offerings on RPGNow/DriveThru RPG. And yes, this is an initial announcement of this Patreon.

At this point, I’ve accumulated a few extra maps, so the ongoing map-making is going to continue, but I’d like to make a basic, usable accessory that we can offer through Antherwyck House Games.

The unfurnished dungeon provides a setting and descriptions, but leaves the ‘monsters and loot’ to the individual game master. That way, a starting campaign could use the map as a warren of low-level critters, while a higher level group could find it as the lair of a more powerful foe, and an ongoing campaign could plug in specific NPCs or references that work specifically for their setting.

These maps are small enough that they should be usable for one-shot adventures, as well. We’ll be interested in any feedback about the size and scope of these, or sugestions about how to make them more useful for you.

Difficult Dungeon

April 1, 2015


A difficult dungeon to get through, with chambers long hidden from any exploration, lying untouched for millennia. Can your intrepid explorers find their way through and uncover the hidden secrets?

Happy 1st of April.