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.
I am probably not going to share the full version of this map publicly, but here is a snippet Robert Schwalb shared earlier…
It is a map of Hell from the upcoming ‘Exquisite Agony’ book for Shadow of the Demon Lord. Each skin thing represents a different location in Hell. The vibe I was going for in it was sort of like if a childish demon or devil made the thing and then had mommy sew it up for him.
The original piece was done edge to edge on an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of real thing card stock paper. I used all the supplies! Markers, watercolor paints, crayons, colored pencils, fake blood, sepia and black inks, my fingers, and some collage stuff too. Like the broken sword tip: it looked pretty bad on the first pass so I redid it and glued the new one on top of the old one. I scanned it into GIMP and went: brightness -65, contrast +50, master hue +5, and master saturation -25. I also fudged an un-pictured area called The Scabby Blight, re drew it a bunch til I got it right, and added that in digitally.
I used research and thumbnails heavily on this one, and I can’t recommend enough to artists to use thumbnails. I painted, scanned, and toyed with the skin easily 30 times before I decided on a look. Same with most other sections. I will say though, that I fuckin’ made myself sick to the stomach looking up some of the reference images a couple of times.