Archive for the ‘Game Resources’ Category

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

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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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Wilderness of Ordurak 2017 update

January 2, 2017

Happy 2017!

We didn’t quite hit the goal of having the Wilderness adventure completed in 2016, but nonetheless there is good news.  The Wilderness of Ordurak has been uploaded to OBS for proofing and printing.  As soon as that is completed and we’ve approved the  samples, we’ll be getting out the print versions to our backers and supporters.

nymph-color

In the meantime, the electronic PDF version will be sent out, and that will give everyone a last chance for catching any lingering typos or formatting issues before the final version is done.  And, for the rest of you, here’s another one of the excellent Nate Marcel images that illustrate this adventure.

Part of the promise for supporters of this project was to give them at least 6 months of exclusivity before this was made broadly available.  So look for more information about this adventure again this summer (or winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere) and we’ll have further information about it then.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 4

December 28, 2016

Are you in need of a last minute holiday mega dungeon? Then let us help you out with the biggest Exquisite Corpse Dungeon yet.  There are acres of passages, chambers, caverns, and more for you to explore.

A link to a PDF of the full-size (56″ x 12″) version of the map is at the bottom of this post.This is a reduced (but hopefully still somewhat readable) image of the whole map.
ecd4-final

The Exquisite Corpse project has multiple participants who each have to construct a section of dungeon without seeing any of what has already been done.  For these maps, there is a tiny sliver of the previous section that shows where the connections should be, and then they have to map a section. Then they send a tiny sliver of their section to the next person who follows the same steps.  So there is no internal coordination, but something wonderful arises from the blind collaboration.

Sections of this one were drawn by Billy Longino, Kosmic Dungeon, Tony Obert, Jens larsen, Kevin Campbell, Rodger Thorm, David Millar, Paul Baldowski, Andrew Durston, Ivan Katyurgin, Nate McD, Christian Kessler, and Scott Aleric.

Since this is number 4, there must be some previous ones, right?  If you’re looking for more massive, collaborative dungeon art, here are links to the previous Exquisite Corpse projects:


And lastly, here is the link to the full-size 56″ x 12″ PDF: exquisitecorpse4final

Exquisite Corpse 4 – final stretch

December 27, 2016

The latest Exquisite Corpse Dungeon is under final review by all the contributors, and tomorrow (12/28) should be the public unveiling of the whole thing.  Check back here for the update.

Anyone looking to print this out should be aware that the final version is 56 x 12 inches (that’s 1422 x 305 mm if you’re more metric minded)  We’ll try to have a smaller version available that won’t choke everyone’s bandwidth.

 

 

Hexes and Squares

December 22, 2016

There are two ways to grid a map for game play.  The Cartesian grid is very familiar, and easy to access, given our familiarity with graph paper.  But rules for movement are more complicated when figuring out diagonal moves on a rectilinear grid.  So, the other alternative, which was taken up by wargamers decades ago, was to use a hex grid.  Hexes are the other geometric figure that can tile the plane regularly.  And there are no issues with diagonal movement with a hex grid.

hex-sqdiagx

 

 

But I’ve been kicking around some other ideas  for a while.  One easy adaptation that is midway between hexes and a square grid is to stagger the grid cells.  A half-cell offset in the rows of squares gives you the same overall orientation and even tiling as a hex grid, but with fewer of the non-perpendicular lines that may be what makes hexes daunting for many people.

To make the lines more distinct and readable, this version turns an overlaid square grid at a 45 degree angle, so that the two grids are both readily identifiable without overlapping one another.

The scale for this is the smaller (hex-replacing) squares are 4′ on a side, so the larger, diagonal squares are then slightly more than 11′ on a side.  I think that’s workably close to a 10′ D&D dungeon square overlaid with a 1-figure sized space

Edit to add (12/22):  Of course, I am an idiot, and these should not be true squares in order to evenly match a hex grid.  But, for most purposes, I think it’s simpler and easier to do the basic running bond squares as “good enough.”

Edit to add (12/22): Stephan Beal followed up with this comment on G+

By sheer cosmic coincidence i stumbled across an article in Space Gamer Issue 30 this morning which places an exact year on the introduction of the hex in games:

>>>Hexes in wargames go back to 1952, when they were used in some of the government-sponsored “think tanks.” In commercial wargames, hexes were first used in 1961.<<<

Space Gamer issue 30, page 20:

http://www.warehouse23.com/products/space-gamer-number-30

Intersection Z

December 14, 2016

encounterz

This is the last of this Cycle of the Intersection series.

Collection: Mapvember 2016

December 2, 2016

A number of map makers took on Miska Fredman’s challenge to create 30 maps in 30 days, with a list of elements or prompts for the series.  I managed to do 15, which is okay by me.

If you haven’t been following this on Google+, my set of maps are beneath the cut.  The whole thing might take a while to load, so be patient.

Definitely not going for a singular style or a common element in these.  Several are section maps, which seem to be popular.  A few are really simple quick-and-dirty sketches to get the idea down.  Others are a bit more refined.  I dropped some digital color into a couple to make them read better, but they’re all pretty straight from pen to post. (more…)

Intersection Y

November 30, 2016

encountery

This intersection incorporates a series of standing stones aligned in a line of rooms.  This progression could be extended in both directions to other parts of the dungeon.  These could be part of a larger magical system, perhaps working as a conduit to direct mysterious energies for some larger purpose.