And it’s going to be longer. Sorry. I haven’t update this in a while and that’s because I have been swamped with Hex Kit. I totally skipped, like a fucking idiot, updating my site while working through the Hex Kit Kickstarter. And I’ve manage to sign myself up for so much work after getting Hex Kit out that I am afraid I’m going to forget about this site again. But I am going to try to get back into painting maps for fun and putting them here. And also some more non map shit, I’d like to definitely get some more non map stuff here. At any rate, this is what’s going on in my life:
HEX KIT IS AVAILABLE NOW AT WWW.HEX-KIT.COM
A few days ago I started a thread on google plus about Hex Kit; I asked how useful some super light weight, hex mapping software would be. Generally people were way into the idea of Hex Kit getting it’s own software, since it isn’t compatible with existing software. So I typed up a proposal, sketched some UI shit, and then sent it to my buddy Ross Squires (founder of RPG Talk) who, within a week, sent me an alpha build of the thing. Amazing. I made the maps in this post with it this morning. So this post is about what I want from what I am going to call Hex_Kit.exe for now.
Nothing is promised; this is speculation.
I want it to be super feature light. There is other map mapping software around (like the very impressive Hexographer and the coming-soon Worldographer) that I don not want to feature-compete with. I want this thing to be the Mario Paint of map making software. The idea is that you’ll be able to make maps on the fly with very little work, and also be able to store information about the world in the map. Hex_Kit.exe will be as simple as selecting a terrain or style and slapping it down. You’ll be able to open the program, select a size, and paint a new map or generate then edit a random one. This isn’t going to come with super advanced features like climate based world generation, or a feature where it brews you a pot of coffee. My goal is to offer software that is basically just easier than using GIMP. (I keep calling it Hex_Kit.exe, but it will be available on Windows, Mac, and Linux)
The software will also be usable at the table; if you have a second video output (like another monitor or a projector) you’ll be able to show a player-facing version of the map with things hidden and fog of war. You’ll be able to export it in print friendly format as well as screen friendly format. You’ll be able to label parts of your map too. Again, none of this is promised or set in stone. Just design goals.
And that’s it: Hex_Kit.exe will be a simple way to make hex maps. It will be cheap, too: we want to offer it at a pretty low price so we will be kickstarting the development some time at the start of the year, and we’re going try to have it ready to ship within just a few months after that. If we can make an influx of cash up front, then we won’t have to sell it at a high price later on. This will be low-risk kickstarter, and if we don’t fund I am going to keep making hex kit the way it is now, with no software.
Here is one thing I do promise: if you’ve bought Hex Kit on DriveThruRPG, then you won’t have to buy the art again. Once the software goes live, the art work and software will be available separately (but together in the kickstarter). The kickstarter will have an option to back the project cheaper because you already have Hex Kit. The zip file will get updated to provide the files in the format needed to the software. If you bought Hex Kit with Roll20, then the only thing I can promise is that I’ll see what I can do. Those files are prepped lo-res and smaller than normal, and updating them on Roll20 will break everyone’s maps.
Is this interesting to you, but you’ve never heard of Hex Kit? Click here to get it. (Watch the video on the product page)
When Hex_Kit.exe is live, the art and software will be separate. Other artists will be able to sell (or make free) their own compatible hex tiles and the plan is for us to never ever take a cut of that. There will not be a marketplace, or a way to buy tiles in the software, so artists will have to deliver their art on their own and, hopefully, users will just have to drag a folder into another folder to get them working. We’ll get a template out in the public for other artists to use to make their tiles, and hopefully that will be available within the next few weeks.
My goal is to get as much art into the kickstarter as possible; I will personally paint 5,000 hex tiles to choose from out of the gate, including the sci fi sets and the forest floor set. I have also started work on an old-school black & white set as well!
At any rate, that’s the future of Hex Kit. My hope is to get this in the hands of lots and lots of people, maybe not just people playing RPGs but people prototyping CRPGS or people who just love world building.I’m also excited to be working with Ross and his buddy Pierre, they are good guys and both are RPG enthusiasts. If you want to keep up with the development process, you can follow me on twitter and ross on twitter.
…is this mini-game I made. It is on sale now right here, but I want to take this place to talk about the game and the design. I really like reading things in an interview style, or FAQ style, so that is how i am going to write this post. Read more after this huge sampling of art and layout from the book.
I have a bunch of unfinished projects that will never be finished. There is lots of blog drafts and artwork hanging around, and I want to attempt to get some of them out there without actually finishing them. So here goes.
The image below (click to biggen) is an 8 inch by 8 inch grid of dungeon rooms and also some vertical and horizontal room connectors. Along the left side and top of the dungeon rooms are coordinate numbers; think in battleships terms. To generate a random dungeon you would have two d8s, of separate color, that represented each axis, and you’d roll the d8s to see what room you got. Most of the rooms are single inch grid spots but quite a few extend into multiple grid spots. If your roll was any part of the large rooms then that would be the room you got. For example: if I rolled a 3&4 or 4&3 or a 4&4 I would get a pretty cool large room, but a 7&4 is a small boring room. (x&y).
I didn’t finish this project because I couldn’t think of a decent way to generate doors and all that stuff, and I honestly lost any interest in the project a while ago. So here it is for you to take and remix and expand upon and all that shit. Just don’t sell the artwork and you can do whatever you want with it.
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.
More info after the jump.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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:
If you’re not sure about Sword & Backpack, don’t worry! We will go through character creation and the rules and it will only take 5 minutes tops. I’m looking forward to it, suckers.