Saturday, 8 August 2020

Rats in the Cellar

Some time ago I picked up Glynn Seal's 'The Midderlands' setting - as it's a fantasy take on the area where I live (i.e. The Midlands) ...so it was hard to resist :)

It's an OSR setting (so it's compatible with most of those kind of games) ...and since I've just picked up Chris Gonnerman's Basic Fantasy RPG - it's got me thinking about setting a game in the Midderlands ...and putting a fantasy spin on some of the stuff/areas that are familiar to me (just for a little one-shot to give BFRPG a test run).

So, I got to thinking about an old church that I used to pass on my way to work some years ago (one that's since been pulled down).

The chapel itself had fallen into ruin (despite it only being around 100 years old) due to the fact that it had become unsafe - as it had been built on top of old mines (my area is riddled with them).

So, an old ruined chapel ...built on top of even older mines ...that's RPG gold right there - so I figured it would make a good adventure site - maybe as a nest of wererats/ratfolk/skaven-like creatures that are making a nuisance of themselves (as I also remember there being a 'rat problem' in a park just down the road from the same place a year or two ago).

So, as you can see, I've drawn a little map in the old 'blue' style (to match the feel of an old-school setting/system) - and, since blogger will likely shrink the image down somewhat, I've uploaded a full size version (with and without labels) over on my Patreon page (note that you don't have to be a patron to download them - they are not hidden behind a paywall or anything like that).

Anyway, here's some of the things I was thinking about when drawing the map:

  • The steps down from the chapel (into the crypts) are filled with rubble - though this can be cleared given enough time (though it's noisy work).
  • A crack in the floor of area 3 leads down into area 6 (there's even a handy pillar spanning the crack that folks could tie their rope to).
  • There is a secret trapdoor in area 5 that leads down into an evil altar (or similar) in area 9 (as I'm thinking the original builders weren't exactly what they seemed ...and maybe the new occupants are their 'cursed' descendants).
  • A large hole in the floor of area 6 overlooks area 10 of the mine.
  • The mines themselves are the main 'nest' of the ratfolk (or similar).

Anyway, I've rambled on for long enough - so here's hoping that you can put the map to use in your own game :)

TLDR: A full size map can be downloaded from the Patreon page for free.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Print & Paste Terrain : Mine Accessories

As I said at the end of the last 'print & paste' video, the plan was to follow up with a second video that featured a few accessory pieces for the mines.

So ...that's what I've done:


And, as is usual with these pdfs, you can pick them up from DriveThruRPG as pay-what-you-want downloads - so feel free to pay as much (or as little) as you like!

So, here's hoping that you can put them to good use ...and here's a sneak peek at what I've been working on for the third video in this 'mines' series...


Friday, 17 July 2020

Mine tiles

So, in my last blog article I posted some thoughts on 'mine tiles' and how I thought that steel rails were a bit inappropriate. And while that doesn't seem to bother most folks, I do like my own 'fantasy' to be somewhat grounded in reality ...with more of a dark-age to medieval vibe (though I do also enjoy a totally gonzo high-fantasy game from time to time ;) ).

Anyway, as you've probably guessed (and as you can see in the picture below), due to my own leanings, I've gone with a 'compromise design' - where the rails still have a bit of a modern look to them (so as to be instantly recognisable), but they are made entirely of wood.

 - some of the first prototypes with a 'bones' miniature for scale -

So, now that that's out of the way, here's the first video in the 'mines' series - and in this one I've started work on a basic tile set, along with a working turntable (again - I've gone with the latter, rather than a complicated 'points' system).


And, as is usual with my print & paste range, the associated pdf file is a pay-what-you-want download over on DriveThruRPG.

Now, as I mentioned in the video, the accessories should follow along either later this month or early next (essentially whenever I manage to get the video filmed and edited ;) ) - and that will feature things like the little cart that you can see below.


Anyway, one of the things I forgot to mention in the video is that there is both a gridded and a gridless version of the textures included in the pdf - so here's hoping that they'll prove to be useful for whatever game you're playing :)


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Thoughts On 'Mine' Tiles.

Whenever we head down into the mines in our fantasy games (both as players and as GMs), we often think of sprawling complexes lined with minecart rails reminiscent of those found in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie (or at least I do).


As an example, here's one of my own maps from not so long ago:


However, from what I've been reading - the whole 'wooden sleepers with iron/steel' rails didn't become commonplace until steam-power took off (as in steam engines) - so they're a little bit out of place in our faux-medieval worlds.

Now, I understand that most folks won't be troubled by things like that (I myself wasn't for the longest of times) - but now that I'm about to start work on some 'mine' textures for the print & paste range, I've been giving it some thought (because I'm a bit weird like that ;) ).

So, while I'm no expert on the matter (far from it), it looks as though something like this might be more fitting:


So, the cart/tub (above) is little more than a box on wheels - with a downwards facing 'pin' that is guided along a couple of planks of wood via a gap between those planks (below) ...kinda like a scalextric/slot-car.


However, I think if I were to draw my tiles to look something like this (and call them 'mine tiles'), most people would be left scratching their head (I know I would have been).

That being said, according to wikipedia, the following picture is a minecart from the 16th century (so probably more renaissance than medieval ...but I think there is some overlap) ...and I think this is more in line with what folks would expect.


So, I was wondering if you could help me out here? What style would you like to see me tackle?

Would you prefer the expected wooden-sleeper/iron-rails kind of thing? Or the plank/slot-car type of set-up? Or something else entirely?


The above picture is a prototype that I did a while back (and it's a bit of a cross between the renaissance example and a modern rail) ...as I think this might be a good middle ground (seeing as how it's still instantly recognisable) - but I'm still not quite sure.

So, please do let me know what you think (or if you have any further insight)!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Rubble Piles (print & paste terrain)

I actually started work on these new textures a while back ...but I managed to break the cable that connected my camcorder to the computer - so I was unable to film any new episodes until the new cable arrived (though I did squeeze in a few 'quick crafts' using the webcam ;) ).

Anyway, if you're a long term follower of the blog, you might remember that I did something similar to this several years ago (i.e. before I started the youtube channel) - but I've refined the process slightly since then ...as you'll (hopefully) see in the video:


I've also uploaded a new pdf file for this specific purpose (which can be downloaded HERE) ...and, as usual, it's a pay-what-you-want product - so pick it up for free OR pay as much/little as you like!

But yeah ...I'm pretty happy with how these have turned out - and already have a few ideas for a 'collapsing dungeon' scenario. So here's hoping you'll be able to put them to use in your own games too :)

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Basic Dungeon Tiles: VTT Edition

When I first released my range of Basic Dungeon Tiles, the aim was to provide folks with a whole bunch of (pay-what-you-want) 2D tiles that they could print out on their home printer (for use at the gaming table).


Well, since a lot of us are gaming online nowadays, I thought I would take the time to convert all of these tiles to something more suitable for use with virtual tabletops.


So, with that in mind, I've released the above as a zip file over on DriveThruRPG ...and just like the rest of the range, it's available as a pay-what-you-want download.

So, pick it up for free, or pay as much/little as you like!

Note that all of the tiles have a screen resolution of 72 pixels per inch, and each individual grid square is 140 pixels by 140 pixels in size (i.e. the format recommended by Roll20).

Monday, 1 June 2020

Print & Paste Community Challenge #1

As I said in yesterday's post, I'm trying something a bit different in this next video ...as I thought it would be fun to see if anyone would like to join me in a little 'challenge' of sorts - one where we all take a bunch of random(ish) textures (i.e. those presented in THIS pdf), and see what we can make with them.



Anyway, I really do hope that a few of you will join in (and maybe post some WIP pictures, or discuss ideas over on Discord) ...as I'm sure it will result in some weird and wonderful designs that I never would have thought of myself :)