Archive for the ‘Maps’ Category

Soundtrack for Space: 1969

March 16, 2019

I think we’re going to stick with ‘Moon Station Zvezda’ as the title for the space game project.  But Thor mentioned an alternate title of Space: 1969, and that’s very, very good, as well.

However, my main question here is to solicit appropriate tunes for a soundtrack for a space-based game set in the early 70s.  What kind of things would you recommend?

The scenario is located (in the current iteration of the timeline) in 1973, but things into the mid 70s are probably okay, since it is an alternate timeline.  And it doesn’t have to be 100-percent of the time period, if there’s something more recent that nonetheless evokes the sense of the era.

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Split-level cavern

March 7, 2019

overall Capture
Another cave hex map with some up-and-down in order to try to show two levels overlaid on each other.  It’s a twisty, two-level overlay with four openings to lower levels, and the large opening in the top-right rooms is like a balcony overlooking onto a larger room underneath (which could yield some interesting complexity in a combat situation).

The green area at the far right is a pool.  There’s a ledge on the far side, across the water.  There’s also a tunnel opening underwater that connects to a passage back to the central vertical shaft.

oCapture
At a closer level of zoom, the shading indicating areas underneath other areas. When the image is zoomed out, though, it just appears as a shade, though it’s still probably adequately functional.  The map wasn’t designed to be colored, but experimenting with it worked well enough that I decided that this should be the version to post.

This seems like something that would be found in a jungle setting.  I imagine it with the entry steps, although wide, almost entirely hidden by vines and overgrowth.  But, of course, you can set it wherever suits.

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.

Ruvifeln’s Cavern Rooms

March 6, 2019

It’s been too long since I’ve had any kind of map to post, let alone one that’s a hex map.  But here’s a last one to be automatically cross-posted to G+ (and a reminder that you can follow this blog, or find me on other platforms if you’re interested in staying in touch and seeing more).

Portions of this cavern complex have been walled off to create several rooms.  The primary corridor for the area is the one running left-to-right at the top of the map (in this orientation).  An area of comparative isolation has been closed off with walls and doors.  There are two paths leading off to additional parts (at the bottom and at lower left) that could lead to other areas controlled by this access point.

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.

Preliminary Zvezda Rules

February 12, 2019

[ed note: Thor posted this on G+, and it’s been copied over here so it isn’t lost when G+ disintegrates.]

So I like the quiet around here and hope to get this done. Moon Base Zvezda is a historical fantasy where the space race went further and the cold war extends to the moon bases.

In Moon Base Zvesda it is assumed that all characters are fully trained, really smart, AND working for their government whether they know it or not. Hence all characters are made by assigning the numbers 1, 2, and 3 to being an Astronaut, an engineer, and a spy. Each Area of Knowledge gets one of the three numbers.

The resolution system is based on a simple idea. If the task at hand is more fitting of an Astronaut, roll a number of dice equal to the Astronaut area of knowledge. Ditto Engineer and spy. If any die scores higher that the target number you succeed.

For a one shot game I would set the target number at 4 and let the game ride. But if this game is going to have more legs there are a couple ways we could tweek the system.

There are three levers that can make this system more robust/realistic/complicated. The first is adjusting the target numbers, the second is giving some characters benefits through as yet unintroduced stats, and lastly by making the results vary depending on the number of successes.

Varying the difficulty has two benefits. It makes having more dice in an AOK to roll significantly better and it makes people at the table think that the world is more diverse. The down side of varying the difficulty is that it can feel arbitrary and offloads a certain amount of work into the GM.

Adding stat modifiers to the roll based on what your character is like makes the characters more different and makes some challenges more difficult than others. At the moment we do not have any stats but that can be changed.

Changing the number of successes needed greatly disadvantages characters with low AOKs, but I can imagine a version of the game where 1 or 2 successes make the player face hard choices about what they can accomplish. Breaking the door down or doing it quietly. That sort of thing. The GM should talk about these situational things when describing the situation.

I think any of these things can be implemented alone or in tandem. How far we want to go needs to be weighed against the usefulness and the amount of time till we have a completed game.

On top of that we can make the GM figure all of this out on the fly or make it so that we have to imagine all the possibilities.

Next Projects 2019

February 7, 2019

Just about 2 years ago, I posted a “Next Projects” post with some of the things that were in the works.  While I hadn’t planned on a recap, it seems like a good time to review those things, as well as some forward looking for what’s upcoming and in the works.  It’s also an invitation to follow the blog (I’m trying to use my RSS feed reader to follow other folks’ blogs) or to find other ways to stay in touch, especially with the coming end of G+.

Of the things posted before, a few are done; a few others are still in the works to one extent or another; some are available on DriveThruRPG if you want to get a copy for yourself.

Moon Station Zvezda – still on the list, and moved to the top because this summer is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.  So there’s some tie-in interest to be found, potentially.  It’s a fun idea to play with, graphically.

moonbase

The Moonbase map (above) and the Spaceship Dice Drop Table are a couple pieces that show some of the graphic style this may end up having.  The current shorthand description we’re using for it is a Lady Blackbird-style one-shot (though it’s certainly possible to do more in it if you like the setting).  The premise is an alternate-history post-60s space race world with more moon landings and moon presence among the superpowers, and thinking about some of the proposed alternative space programs as having gotten off the drawing boards.

DragonQuest adventures and products.  Gazetteer for the Wilderness of Ordurak, and Small, Untitled DQ Adventure (which became The Sentinel Chapel, and was a featured Deal of the Day earlier this year), are completed and available, as well as the public release of The Wilderness of Ordurak adventure.  Expanded Alusia was another idea, but that is more a back-burner thing at the moment.  But the recent unearthing and release of the DQ World Generation draft text has fired up some thoughts about other DQ projects.  Some of the things missing, but listed in the table of contents from DQ World Generation could be an intriguing followup to Poor Brendan’s Almanac.  And I’m pondering a couple of sequel ideas for the adventures I’ve previously written.

Ogunimata Cyberpunk adventure also prompted some map work, but is moving slowly.

Piranesi City Dungeon.  Also back-burnered at the moment.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon is on the sixth iteration right now, although it has bogged down somewhat with the collapse of G+.  We need to find the best place to continue the discussion, and we’ll probably set up a separate hosting for it somewhere, as well.  Copies of completed previous ones are in the archives of the blog, here.

More maps, in general. This is still more hit-or-miss (and more often a miss) than I would like, but I keep posting the occasional thing from time to time.  With the resurgence of The Fantasy Trip, I think I’m going to try to do a few more hex-based maps.  I’ve had a couple I’ve done in the past that I’ve liked how they turned out, and it’s useful for both DQ and TFT.


Other new things:

Elfgame (placeholder name) – it’s just a germ of a game idea, but I think it has potential.  This would be an RPG where the world is inhabited by both humans and elves, and adventures deal with the intersections between the two.  Elves live (effectively) forever, so they are the constant in the game.  Humans’ lives are comparatively short, so any humans for an adventure are one-shot characters, and the next game session will take place in their grandchildrens’ time, or even further into the future.  Folklore and Shakespearean influences are the flavor this will aim to evoke.

Dark Days – 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.

Links and resources – especially with the G+ wind-down, there are other scattered communities where people are landing, but having a blog or a site that is a good resource for people is a good way to engage and connect.  I want to start regularly tagging other blogs or sites that I’m trying to follow more often to stay in touch with gaming folks.  Some of it is going to be more linking and encouraging you (if you’ve read this far, you might give some consideration to my recommendation) to go check out some of these sites.  Maybe you’re also a kindred spirit, and you forge a new connection, too.

I also want to start building a directory of dungeon mappers as a general resource.  I can start right off the bat with a couple dozen folks who have participated in the Exquisite Corpse Dungeons.  This idea is inspired by a more general cartographers index someone (I now forget who or where) had put together.  I’ve done other things with the ECDs to bring dungeon mappers together, and so it’s not completely out of line for me to put together something like that.


That’s a comparatively lengthy post from me.  If there are things in here that intrigue you, I’m very interested in your feedback and comments.

A Correspondent Dungeon

February 7, 2019

Here’s a quick and dirty test of concept map. Haven’t posted any new maps in quite a while, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped making or thinking about them. Feels good to be doing this again.

I think the method used to create this map is fairly obvious; I think it probably needs more work to come up with a more practically useful result, but it works well enough as is to be worth sharing.

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 Text Description Exquisite Corpse Dungeon

January 6, 2019

During (and after) these Exquisite Corpse dungeons, people have asked about providing descriptions for the rooms.  There were different suggestions about how to add descriptions to the maps, but nothing  really seemed to fit.  So the Exquisite Corpse dungeons we’ve been mapping have just been graphical.

But those who have wanted to find descriptions for the dungeons should check out the “Tomb of the Exquisite Corpse” collaborative dungeon project being run by Kyle Latino.  It is a project to develop room descriptions and wandering monster descriptions for an eventual freely available document.

The “Tomb of the Exquisite Corpse” is a more modular project, and doesn’t have hooks or hints from one contributor’s piece to the next, like the shared connections from one section of the map to the next contributor.  But it is keeping most of the content hidden until the final reveal of the whole project.

It seems like a really intriguing complement to the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon maps, and anyone who is a fan of one should check out (and even consider participating in) the other.

Link: “Tomb of the Exquisite Corpse: A Collaborative Dungeon Project

“Sentinel Chapel” Deal of the Day

January 1, 2019

We just got the word that “The Sentinel Chapel” adventure will be the Deal of the Day at DriveThruRPG on January 2 (starting around 11am EST; 10am CST; … Later in the day for European friends.) PDF version will be on sale for $2.97

#DragonQuest #TFT #FantasyTrip #OSR

https://www.drivethrurpg.com?affiliate_id=313167

Late in the year, as the harvest season is closing, and towns and villages are preparing for the coming winter, word has reached the group that someone is looking for a small band of adventurers for a dangerous, but well-paying task. They are to travel into the Fealhoa Valley, a region that has been deadly dangerous for the past 30 years, when it became overrun with monsters and undead creatures. A village called Cambray, several days’ travel into the Fealhoa Valley has been cut off, and no one has been in contact with that community for many years.

The adventurers are to travel to the site of a chapel located about a day’s travel from the town of Cambray and recover the silver letters on the family graves of a group of silversmiths who were originally from Cambray, and whose remaining family members now live in exile.

tactical Capture

Cyberpunk Adventure Draft Map

November 24, 2018

Sharing a work in progress here after I spent some holiday time working on a clean, digital version of the map for the Ogunimata Cyberpunk adventure.  This is turning out a lot better than I expected for what I thought would just be some rough experimentation.

It’s taken a whole lot longer than I had expected to take to get back to working on this.  Some other DragonQuest stuff took priority (and those are available at DriveThruRPG now, if you’re interested in them).

We had contemplated commissioning some art to put the whole thing together into a finished form, but there wasn’t that much interest in a Cyberpunk adventure when I posted about it earlier.  So, we’ll find some other ways of getting images to use in this.

Even if there’s not as much interior art as we had first hoped to have, there will be a pretty cool map for it.

Wilderness of Ordurak Players’ Map

November 18, 2018


This should have been included from the outset, really.  Since the adventure in the Wilderness of Ordurak is dealing with an unknown wilderness region, the players should have a map with only limited information on it.

So, this is a map that GMs can give their players that shows them the known lands in the eastern part of the map, and only the limited information about the region of Auskenheim and the road from Calogero.  A few names remain on the map for things that are known to be out there, so there’s a general sense of where they are, but not a clear indication on the map.

It’s also another chance to show off the work that Stephen Peto did on making such an SPI-like map.  Even if you aren’t interested in the DragonQuest adventure, the Map and Gazetteer are a really great setting that could be used with any fantasy campaign.

This map is now included in the bundle from DriveThru.  If you didn’t get notification already, drop us a line and we will get that sent to you right away.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 6 – Participants List

November 11, 2018

Here is the current list of participants for the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 6

This will be edited and updated periodically to maintain the roster of interested parties and completed sections for the dungeon.  If you’re interested in joining in and you aren’t on the list, drop me a line.  Latest update: 12/08/2018

Patrick Usher
* Jess Gulbranson
* Andrew Durston
* Dyson Logos
Marc Majcher
* Scott Aleric
Dave Millar
Bannister Nicholas
* J Zoshak
Shawn Sauerwine
Lucien Stals

* completed section submitted

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 6 – A Waterway Ooozes Through It

November 2, 2018

Call for Entries

The theme for this version of the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon will be ‘water.’ But, since it’s a dungeon (and an Exquisite Corpse, at that), rather than mirroring the name of the book and the movie, a couple words have been changed to better reflect the underground delving nature of the project. So, “A Waterway Ooozes Through It”

For the theme, there needs to be a water element in each dungeon section. The water does NOT have to connect to the next dungeon section, although it is probable that in most instances it will do so. As long as there is an element of some kind of liquid that is flowing through the section, it meets that requirement.

To participate, you just need to express interest and be willing and able to draw your section within a few days once it’s handed off to you.

There will be general discussion going on in various social media, but, as before, the G+ group will be the official home for any discussion and coordination.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/108245358165736516269

Discussion on other sites (MeWe, Pluspora, reddit, Cake, etc) is encouraged; part of this is meant to let us figure out a new site to migrate to for future contact, so a broad discussion is good. But realize not everyone will see all of it (I’m only on two of those four listed alternatives, for example), and G+ will be the official nexus.

New participants who haven’t been in a previous Exquisite Corpse Dungeon need to email me at rodger (at) antherwyck.com to join in. Past participants can just drop me a note on whatever platform we’re connected on. But be sure I’ve responded. (Notes on FB will probably not be seen until 2019, so I don’t recommend that) You can also email me.

File exchange will take place via email. Google likes to resize and reformat images, and it has been difficult at times to get a proper image at the right size to share with the next participant.  So we won’t thrash with that needlessly, and we’ll go with what works.

This will be formatted and sized the same as the ECD2 so each participant will be doing a 30 x 12 section.

Technical details:
Map area is 30 x 12 squares (at 4 squares/inch), so 7-1/2″ x 3″
Scan at 300 dpi
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.
Sections may be created in any media, hand drawn or computer. However, any final compilation is likely to only be black and white, so color information may be lost in some completed versions of the whole project.

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

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.

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.