Monday, 12 April 2021

Broken Wooden Floors/Floorboards

For my latest 'print & paste' offering I thought that I would continue with something similar to the recent lava tiles (in the sense that the 'floor/base' of the tile is made up of two separate layers), and make something that could be used to represent abandoned buildings, haunted mansions, and that kind of thing.

And while I had a few teething problems to begin with, I think they've turned out OK in the end (though they do look better if you add a few extra pieces here and there - like the little bit of the sack texture that I've glued to the one shown below).

Anyway, as usual, here's the video (over on YouTube) that shows how easy it is to put it all together...

...and the (pay-what-you-want) pdf file can be found over on DriveThruRPG as normal :)

So, here's hoping you like 'em!!!

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Lava (dungeon) Tiles

It's been a bit of a rough month or so, and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get anything released in March - as right at the end of February this happened:

The annoying thing is that I've been super careful for an entire year (though obviously not careful enough) and unfortunately, it knocked me off my feet for a good while.

But, as you can tell, I bounced back (eventually) ...and I couldn't wait to get back to the crafting table and get to work on these lava tiles:

- the first prototype -

And as you can see, this whole concept could be used to make pits, flooded areas, and so on - just by using a different texture in place of the lava (note that I plan on making a 'tips' video on this).

Anyway, as usual, here is the video that shows how I put it all together...


...and the (pay-what-you-want) pdf file can be found HERE.

So, here's hoping you can put it to good use!!!

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Puzzle Room & Player Handout

 This is another one of those projects that I've been thinking about for a while ...and I thought it was about time that I actually sat down and did it!

So, as you can see in the picture above, I've created a floor tile with a dragon-like emblem upon the floor. Furthermore, there is a stone plinth in the middle of the chamber - which is represented by the handout shown below.

At some point during the course of the encounter/adventure the players will find a bunch of jigsaw-like puzzle pieces that will fit into the recess of this plinth...

...and the 'picture' that they make (when assembled) is the same emblem that is found on the floor (so it shouldn't be hard to figure out ;) ).

Anyway, as usual, here is the video that shows how I put it all together...

...and the (pay-what-you-want) pdf file can be found HERE.

So, here's hoping you like it!

PS. The channel is getting close to 10K subs now - so if you're enjoying this stuff, and haven't already subscribed, feel free to do so (and maybe even share your favourite video with someone else that might find it interesting/useful) I'd love to get to 10,000 by my birthday in July.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

More Tips & Tricks

 So, I'm a bit late updating the blog with news of my last two videos ...but better late than never right?

Anyway, back in January I posted a video about making a whole (mini) dungeon that can be stored inside a single box (with the box itself being part of the terrain). Here it is if you missed it:

Then, yesterday, I released another video discussing a method that I sometimes use to pick up cheap miniatures...

...and if you stick around until the end of the video, you can see how I then used those miniatures as inspiration for a little dungeon encounter.

Now, obviously, since I've been messing around with these 'bonus' videos, that has meant that I've not really worked on any new 'print & paste' textures of late - but that's about to change - as I have an idea for a nice combination of 'player handout' and 'dungeon tile' that I'm about to start work on ...but more news on that when I have something to show.

Anyway, I hope you can get some use out of these two 'tips & tricks' videos ...they've been a nice change of pace for me ...but now I'm itching to get back to designing new textures ;)

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Tea Light Braziers

Following on from my last video, this latest one (and the first video of 2021) continues the 'lighting effects' theme - but this time I've used some of those cheap (battery powered) tealights that you can get pretty much anywhere.

- a picture of the lights in action (with some of the PCs from my online game) -

Anyway, as is usual with this kind of thing, here's the video that shows how I put it all together...

...and HERE is the link to the pdf file over on DriveThruRPG (as always, it's a pay-what-you-want download - so feel free to pay as much/little as you like ;) ).

So yeah - I hope you like them, and I hope that you can put them to good use!

Friday, 1 January 2021

Using my (VTT) tiles in Roll20

 If you have ever loaded a map with it's own grid into a virtual table top, you may have come across the issue of trying to align the pre-drawn grid of the map, with the default grid of the VTT itself (this can be particularly annoying if the map has a border of irregular size).

However, with my own maps and tiles it's a pretty straight forward process (or at least it is in Roll20) - so I thought I would discuss the method I use to get the tile to align with the grid (the whole process takes about 10 to 15 seconds).

So, to begin with, I make sure that I have the map layer active...

 ...and then, assuming the map has already been uploaded to my library, I'll drag it onto the battlemat area.

Now, as you can see, it will rarely transfer at the right size - so right click on the image and choose Advanced > Set Dimensions...

...and because most of my maps are multiples of 12 (i.e. the small tiles are 12 x 12 squares, and the larger tiles are 24 squares), simply change the 'pixels' pull down menu to 'units' and input the number of squares that the map contains (so in this instance I've used my latest tile - which is 24 x 24 squares).

And, as you can see below, that will resize the map and align it perfectly to the inbuilt grid of Roll20.

As I say, the whole process takes a little over 10 seconds - so you should be able to build a nice looking map in just a couple of minutes.

Now, I don't know if it's quite as easy as that in other VTTs (as I say, Roll20 was the first one I became familiar with - and since it works well enough for me, I've stuck with it) - but if there is a similar trick, then feel free to post it in the comments.

Anyway, I hope that was of help. It's the method I use for my own maps, and it seems to work rather well :)


(NOTE: you can find all of my own map tiles HERE ...there's currently over 400 of 'em)

Sunday, 27 December 2020

2020 Recap

I think we can all agree that, on the whole, 2020 has been a pretty crappy year ...I don't think that there is any argument there.

However, I've been plodding along as usual, and even though I've only gamed 'in person' a handful of times this year, I've continued to make various 'print & paste' terrain pieces - in the hope that I'll eventually be able to put them to use when things get back to normal (fingers crossed that'll be sometime next year).

So, as you can see in the picture below, that's kept me quite busy, and has included things like: stirge miniatures, circular rooms, various bits of decorative/scatter terrain, spiral stairs, mine tiles, puzzle handouts, and (of course) the new buildings.

And if you're not familiar with the whole 'print & paste' concept ...I design paper printouts that can be glued to bits of cardboard/foamcore, drinking straws, toilet roll tubes, etc., to help folks (myself included) make cheap terrain for RPG's/wargames.

Note that the printouts can be downloaded from DriveThruRPG (they're pay-what-you-want grab them for free if you like), and the assembly instructions are on my YouTube Channel.

* * *

In addition to the physical tiles/terrain, I've also been adding to my library of smaller map tiles that are suitable for online play (using a virtual table top - like Roll20 for example) ...and here's everything that I was able to draw this year...

...and the idea behind these is that you can piece several of them together to make your own dungeon maps - i.e. something like this:

Furthermore, the guys who run the 'fantasy calendar' website also got in touch - and I agreed to let them use these tiles in their online random dungeon map generator - which you can find HERE.

And if you check it out, you'll see that they've done a really good job (as I say, I'm only responsible for the artwork - all of the generator stuff is a result of their own hard work).

Note that all of the map tiles that I've drawn thus far (i.e. since the beginning of 2017), have been compiled in THIS album.

* * *

Anyway, since I'm on the subject of online play and VTTs, I've also been running an online (5E) Barrowmaze game for some of my Patreon supporters ...and I have to say, it's been really fun so far.

If there's one good thing that's come out of 2020 for me, it's this game - as everyone has been super nice, and a pleasure to run for. I mean, I'm not the best GM in the world (not by a long shot), and I was really nervous about running a game for people I didn't know - but it's become something I look forward to each and every week.

And while we're never likely to meet in person (as the group is scattered all around the world), I thought it would be fun to paint a miniature for each of the characters. So here's the group as it currently stands (though each session  typically includes anything from 3 to 5 players - depending on folks' schedules).

 * * *

So yeah ...I think that's most of the stuff I've been working on this year - though there's always a few random things thrown in here and there... these maps, and various half-finished projects - along with one or two things that I've probably forgotten about or abandoned completely :)

So, what can you expect in the new year...

...well, it looks as though the YouTube channel might actually hit 10K subscribers at some point (which is a really big deal for me - I never expected that many followers), but luckily I still have tons of print & paste ideas that I want to try out (and a to-do list as long as my arm) - so I hope to keep this going for quite some time yet.

Furthermore, I don't think I'll ever get tired of drawing maps (and thinking up encounters to go along with them) - but I'm probably going to put up a poll on the Patreon page before the end of the year - just to see what direction I take next.

And, of course, I hope to keep the Roll20 game going for as long as folks are willing to put up with me :)

* * *

Anyway, thanks for getting this far ...all that's left to say is that I hope you're all having a good holiday period (hope you got lots of gaming goodies if you're celebrating this time of year), and here's hoping that next year will be better than this one.

Oh ...and if you're not already a member of the Discord, come on over and say hello!