Holy shit folks, it is finally available on DTRPG and Roll20. This is the my first solo project to hit the market, and I couldn’t be more happy with the results. If you’re coming here for the first time, Hex Kit was a summer long art project I took on in between map commissions. The last two weeks of production though, I hit it super hard and the kit grew to double in size and scope. I also only spent like 20 hours in those two weeks sleeping. It is a collection of 1,000 hand drawn, hand painted hex tiles. You use them to make your own hex maps! The purchase comes with both 200 DPI single tile files, and 600 DPI tile sheets for print quality maps.
I’ve spent so much time hyping this project up I don’t even know what to say about it.
Like I said, it is a lot of hex tiles you can use to make your own maps. It works best in GIMP or other photo editing software. It also works really well in Roll20 if you don’t mind resizing things. Which you have to anways because I think there is a resizing bug in their system right now. I made some really dumb tutorial videos that you can watch to see how easy this thing is to use. Here is the tutorial for GIMP and here is the tutorial for Roll20.
Before I talk about how this pack came to be, I want to thank a few people: my gal pal Shasta, who stayed up all night with me on a couple of occasions digitizing the art work and making sure I didn’t crash. I want to thank Ross for putting together RPG Talk and everyone who hangs out in there; you guys are total babes who didn’t let me quit when I really should have just quit. Scott and Meredith over at DTRPG are also babes, they took my bug report seriously and made sure this project didn’t get lost because of it. If you’ve heard about Hex Kit, but don’t know me, that is probably thanks to Brad. I owe you some smooches brad. Stellarwolf needs a big high five too, he was a voice of reason and support when it looked like I wouldn’t be able to bring support to Roll20, so if you’re using it there and you see him on the forums give him some love. Also I want to thank Frank Ocean for releasing ‘Blond’ when he did, getting me through the tough times.
Today Insupposable Instruments is released on DriveThru RPG. You can nab it here. Rob tasked Nat Webb, Jerry LeNeave, Andrew Follet, and myself with writing the Demon Lord item book. The 2e book of artifacts is one of my most favorite RPG books of ever, so I jumped at the chance. In my head I was like “I got this shit” and the four of us got on some Facebook chat and basically decided it would be a free for all; we’d write all of our shit and then meet up later for high fives and milk shakes and Rob would shower us in money.
What happened is everyone met the month deadline just fine, but instead of splitting up the word count Rob asked for, each of us wrote nearly the word count independently. I originally only wrote like 5 items and danced past the word count waving my middle finger around like Mr. Bean driving through LA. Because I had never written for any kind of professional anything I was anxious to impress and I included a random, wandering merchant table. I assumed it would get cut, along with my items, and that would be out of the book but it would be a cool thing to hold on to anyways. I wouldn’t have written it otherwise. Writing the table was a lot of fun, and my items were super loquacious but lots of fun to write as well. In my head I figured everyone else on the project had writing creds, so I needed to impress them and be a hero. I assembled everyone’s stuff and sent it to Rob, who made some changes and sent it back to us. All my items had been cut. He wanted more items and a few other things like owning businesses and property. In the revised manuscript all but one of my items were gone; not because they were bad but because they were outside the scope of the project. Rob wanted something like a ledger of things, and I was writing forbidden and gnarly artifacts forged in the bowels of the earth or something. They were too complicated, too wordy. The lesson I learned here is that it is okay to ask questions about shit. Get all of your questions answered before you sit down to write; it isn’t because you don’t write good but because it doesn’t matter how well you write if you’re writing the wrong thing.
But he really liked the table of merchant situations! He asked me to expand it a few more entries, and we added a bunch more items to the book and that’s what you get today. So yeah, my main contribution to the book isn’t even items. But hey, the book is full of really cool stuff for any RPG and not just Demon Lord. It even includes some simple business/property owning rules you can stitch into your elfgame campaign. Check it out, a lot of good stuff went in and the gents who worked on it are very good looking and run very fast. And they can dunk.
I haven’t had a chance to update in a while; I’m sorry, okay! I think it is pretty well known by now that I update my tumblr more than this website. That is ’cause tumblr is a better platform for getting WIP pictures of projects out, and because I prefer to only show finished junk here if I can. As well, 99% of the maps I draw or paint are for commercial projects and I cannot just start sharing them willy nilly. At any rate, here is a project I am working on: HEX KIT: VOL I
In the next two weeks, I will be releasing into the wild, 500+ hex tiles to use with roll20, yer printer, or your favorite imaging software (or even mapping software). Each hex is unique and hand drawn. You can see here a super small sampling of the offering, working in roll20. When I say 500+ unique tiles it involves a lot of terrain options, as well as unique location markers. For example, on the image to the left there is 1 visible jungle tile, but there is actually 21 to choose from. There are 42 mountains, 42 hills, etc. It is a lot, and I think that the final hex count will be well past 500. We’ll see.
This is a tall order! But I wanted to wait until it was nearly done to share. The hex tiles will be available on the roll20 market place for a small fee. They will also be available on Drivethru RPG for a slightly larger fee. The larger fee is because the DTRPG package will include print ready tiles as well as web ready tiles. That basically means DTRPG will come with two files for each hex, a screen friendly version and a print ready version.
These tiles will be available for personal use only, but a commercial use license will be available the same day the kits go live. Also coming that day:
– A video explaining how to use the tiles in roll20 (currently a bug resizes the things, but there is a simple workaround)
– A video explaining how to stitch these suckers together in GIMP (which is free image editing software)
– Something explaining how to use these in hexographer (which is apparently a hexmap making tool I just learned about today)
– A catalog PDF with all the tiles in it to help you pick out the right, most best lookin’ ones.
– Some sort of party where if more than 5 people buy this I will have a beer after my wife and kid go night-night.
I am pretty much stoked-as-shit for this project. Here is a picture of what my desk looks like, covered in sheets of these tiles.
I am a little jaded about Free RPG Day this years. The first reason is that my LGS didn’t participate. Another reason is because I didn’t have a baby sitter, and trying to keep a four year old calm while you pretend to be in a murderhole is really hard. The real reason is because, long story short, after the comic book day RPG event I got a hold of Free RPG Day to see if the library could get a kit. This was their response:
“Libraries don’t sell RPGs. The kits are meant as sales tools to help drive purchases through those stores that carry the products promoted in the kits.”
That is the message they sent me. I decided not to send the dickhead response I had spent an hour writing up and let it go for now. Then all of a sudden a few days before FRPGD everyone in the scene is talking about how FRPGD kind of misses the point, and I agree. I do not think Free RPG Day shouldn’t be trying to bring more sales to stores, but I think the whole thing is misguided. Read more
The eye fly is commonly found in the most unkempt of places; the inn with the worst reputation, the brothel under the docks, the king’s secret and personal torture chamber hidden in the walls. If you spend at least eight hours sleeping in an exceptionally dirty location then you are likely to fall prey to an eye fly crossing the surface of your face. Roll 1d12, on a 1 you have played victim to the eye fly’s searching.
An eye fly will lay a dozen microscopic eggs in the left most canthus of your eye, where your tears rest and have the sweetest taste. In a day they will hatch into eye flay maggots. It will take them 1d6 days to eat out the surface the inner eye socket. Eye fly larvae are marked by a grey, stiff body covered in oily black hairs that will scrape and tear all it touches, causing a penalty to checks related to seeing clearly. In the middle of that infectious period the larva will chew through the nerve stem of your eye, severing the connection and letting loose your eye to roll across the floor.
On the final day of the infection the larva will have completely aged into adulthood, and fly from the socket of your eye like bats from a bell tower at twilight.
I was going to try to have this finished before today, but my workload for june is just way too damn high to work on personal projects. It is the WIP cover for an adventure that will be coming out sometime this month.
The adventure is called Haverston: The Village At The Middle Of The World and it is about a sleepy village in the middle of all worlds.
Friday, at 11:10PM CDT I will be running a portion of it for Roll20Con. I’ll be using the Sword & Backpack rules (adventure is system neutral) and as a thanks for “playtesting” everyone who plays will get a PDF copy of the adventure when i release it!
If you’re interested in playing, you can use the link here to join up:
It is here, dear reader, The RPG Zine for Kids Who Read Good And Do Other Stuff. I called it PERIL though, and I painted in it spooky letters to put on top of the cover art. Yes, I used some paint to do something I could have done fine with a marker, font, or leaky octopus. But it is about the process, isn’t it? More on the process in a later paragraph. You may notice also, dear reader, that I gave it a number. 00. This is a good number to choose if you plan to do a 01, but no one will notice if you don’t. I also did not paint a spooky 00 to go on this one (but if I did, the zeros would have super evil lines crossing them diagonally so you would know they were a zero and not an o). That way if there is never a 01, no one will notice. It doesn’t lock me into doing spooky numbers all the time either, because numbers only look spooky in red and should look elegant otherwise. It has just short of enough content to get kids inspired. Some advanced S&B rules, die drop tables, monsters, a dungeon, and whatnot. It is written more like an activity book than a zine, really.
So no promise on ever having a PERIL 01, but here is PERIL 00. But before you click your grubby mouse all over this pristine new thing, I would like to tell you about how this zine almost didn’t happen. You may have to click a read more button to read this story.
tl;dr: the ballad of how This Zine That Was Supposed To Be Community Made But Almost Didn’t Happen And When It Did Happen It Broke A Printer And Is Basically Just Stuff I Grabbed Off My Own Website.
You may have read that I am doing all that RPG stuff at the library this weekend. I hacked up a kid friendly version of Sword & Backpack by Gabe Soria to fit on one single page to give out to the kids. I’ll also be running a multitude of S&B games for kids and young adults all day, using these rules. Each kid (up to like 150 kids) is going to get a booklet, and a d20! How fun is that. Hopefully we’ll get a bunch o kids into RPGs and off the hard, relentless Murfreesboro streets! You can download the PDF of the rules right here. Print it out front and back on a single page, cut the thing in half (hamburger style, you) and fold to two pieces in half. Insert the bottom half into the top half, and stab some staples up in the spine and you got yourself a tiny little RPG!
I ended up changing the rules a bit to make them a little less ambiguous and a little bit more grounded. For instance, you add 5 to your d20 rolls if it suits you. Fighters get a d20+5 when attacking, wizards +5 when magicking, and rogues +5 when theifin’ around the dungeon. Let me know what you think! It is the first time I’ve “hacked” a thing. There are some more pictures hiding beneath the read more link.