Thursday 31 December 2015

Last Post of 2015

Well, it's time for the last blog post of the year here's a little (winter themed) encounter for the Age of Shadow.

Note that a PDF of the encounter can also be found HERE

So here's wishing everyone a happy new year!

Monday 7 December 2015

Dungeon Monthly 2015 Compilation

If you've been following my 'dungeon monthly' posts these past few years, you'll probably know by now that, as well as being generic geomorphs, each year's worth of maps can also be pieced together in a specific way to create a huge level of a mega-dungeon.

So, I'm pleased to announce that the 'compilation map-pack' for 2015 is now available over on RPGNow & DriveThruRPG.

However, unlike the original 'dungeon monthly' maps, this product is supplied as...
  • A pdf version of the entire level (supplied as parchment style handout).
  • A large (50 pixel per grid square) jpeg image of the whole map - with a dark background.
  • A large (50 pixel per grid square) jpeg image of the whole map - with a white background.

So if you're in need of another mega-dungeon map, or would simply like to show your support for the 'dungeon monthly' project, then you can pick up the 2015 compilation for just $1.

Note that the compilation map-packs from 2013 & 2014 can be found HERE and HERE.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Dungeon Monthly #36 (December 2015)

It's hard to believe that it's that time again when I post the last dungeon monthly map of the year!

So here it is....

 ...and (as usual) unlabelled versions of all these maps can be found here...

And, if you're wondering what all this year's maps look like when pieced together* - here's a quick look:

*note that I will be making a compilation booklet of this year's maps (that will cost just $1 over on RPGNow), in much the same fashion as the compilation booklets from 2013 & 2014.

Monday 30 November 2015

2015 Cyber Monday Deals

Over on DriveThruRPG you can grab a couple of Age of Shadow booklets at a 25% discount...

...and I've also reduced the price of MegaDungeon 1 drastically - so you can pick up this massive dungeon map-pack* for just $1.50 (roughly £1).

*for just $1.50 you get a 69 page booklet, 62 image files (31 labelled & 31 unlabelled), 29 'battlemaps' for each of the 29 dungeon areas, and a huge postermap.

Monday 23 November 2015

The Great Bridge of Elith-Intha...

Elith-Intha ('silver- bridge') is a great and mighty limestone viaduct that spans the Lunuin River upon the northern borders of Fornan Tarnath. There it has stood since the coming of the elves, and has provided swift, safe travel between The Eyries throughout the ages.
I'm please to announce the release of a new map-pack...

...which depicts a bridge that has been constructed in a style that is favoured by the elves in the Age of Shadow campaign setting (for those that wish to use it as such) - though it is equally suitable for use in most fantasy settings.

Also included in this product are unlabelled image (jpg) files for each part of the bridge (supplied at a scale of 50 pixels per grid square) - so that this map-pack can also be used in conjunction with your virtual tabletop of choice.

The Elith-Intha map-pack is available from RPGNow & DriveThruRPG for just $1.99.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Another Patreon Funded Geomorph

It appears that I've been selected to be part of a Patreon trial group - which displays how much I'm expected to receive at the end of each month (i.e. after fees and the like), rather than the amount that people are actually pledging.

As a result, when I'm logged in it shows that I haven't reached my first milestone ...but when I'm logged out it shows that I have.

So, regardless of how Patreon is currently displaying/calculating things, I'm considering my first milestone met ...and that means another free geomorph for everyone...

As is usual, I'd like to thank the guys supporting me over on Patreon (as I'm truly amazed that folks are spurring me on to create more of these free maps and geomorphs), and say that I've started to collect all of these bonus maps together in THIS ALBUM for easy downloading/viewing.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

More Underdark Scatter Terrain

About a month ago, I posted a quick tutorial that explained how I made a few pieces of cavern/underdark terrain (i.e. stalegmites and the like) ...and since then I've been making a couple more pieces to take along to my bi-weekly D&D game.

So, as you can probably guess, I thought I'd post another basic tutorial to show how I've gone about making these new pieces (though, in truth, the pictures are pretty self explanatory).



I'm guessing that most of you have bits of white polystyrene packing lying around (I know I do) ...and so I thought I'd start putting some of this stuff to use. So, to begin with I cut the polystyrene into the desired shape with a sharp knife, and then made a base for it out of a piece of vinyl floor tile (i.e. the 1ft square tiles that are used in bathroom/kitchen flooring - I got a pack of 4 for £1 at the local 'bargain' shop some time ago).

However, the trouble with polystyrene is the fact that it's made from lots and lots of little white 'beads' - and these often become glaringly obvious when you take a knife to it. So, to hide these 'beads' (and give the piece more of a stone texture) I've soaked thin strips of kitchen towel in watered down white/PVA glue, and covered the entire piece. I've then used some cheap ready-mixed filler (again, just £1 from the local 'bargain' shop) to fill in any obvious holes/cracks/joins,  and to blend it into the base.

Once they've dried, it's a simple matter of adding some sand & gravel to the base...

...and painting it the desired colour(s)



After making the above rocks, I was left with lots of little off-cuts  ...and so I thought about different ways of putting the little white 'beads' of the polystyrene to use. So, for this piece I made and painted the base first (using some aquarium gravel on a piece of vinyl floor tile - with some sand/grit glued around the edges), and then used some of the polystyrene beads to represent spider eggs.

I then took a single baby-wipe (I've got a pack of the cheapest kind from ASDA), and let it dry out over night. Once it was dry, I took a small piece and pulled it apart to make a web-like texture (as you can see on the left of the above picture) and soaked it in some watered down white/PVA glue before draping it over the eggs.

(note that I've not painted the polystyrene or the baby-wipe - as I think they look fine as they are)


For these I've used a few different materials - but once again I started things off with a base cut out of a vinyl floor tile, and glued some sand/grit to it.

For the rib cage I've used pieces cut from a piece of 'oven mesh' (the same stuff I used to make some chainlink fences a while back) and glued them (in an offset position) two high (after bending them into a slight curve). For the skull, I've used another 'bead' of polystyrene, and the misc. bones are nothing more than a piece of twine*

*note that I've pulled the twine apart into two pieces (as shown on the very right of the photograph) and then soaked it in PVA/white glue while twisting it tight (shown to the left of the twine). It was then a simple matter of cutting these 'bones' to size (once the glue had dried), and adding a few small pieces of polystyrene and grit to act as bits of other bones.


To make a few basic weapons I've used cocktail sticks, some cotton (for the wraps), and some thin plastic card for the blades (in this instance I've used one of those pretend credit cards they send out as junk mail from time to time). And for the shields I've used drawing pins (thumb tacks) with the 'pin' clipped off.

Once they've been put onto a base and been painted, they don't look too bad at all :)

Note: Obviously, if you have some spare multi-part plastic skeleton miniatures and/or misc. weapon sprues lying around, they would be a better (and faster) option for some of these pieces - but if you don't, I think that making them this way is a viable option (especially if you want to make lots of 'em).


This next piece is fairly generic, and can be used to represent any of the above...

...and as you can see, it's just a matter of pulling a few 'beads' from a sheet of polystyrene, and basing/painting them.


These pots were made from a notice board pin and a plastic bead...

...and while these (and similar) pieces could be left empty, or filled with glitter & gems (i.e. treasure), etc., I've used the end of a cotton bud (formed into a wispy shape) to simulate smoke.


Unfortunately, I don't have any WIP pictures of this one - but, as you can (hopefully) see, I've taken a cheap battery-powered tea light apart, and built up an area around it (to hide the electronic gubbins)  in a similar way to how I made the rocks (above) and stalagmites (from a previous tutorial).

I've then added some mushrooms (made from 'brads'), and used a (dissolvable) packing peanut as the 'glowstone' itself.

And once it's turned on, the flickering LED from the tea light makes it look rather cool (much better than it looks in this picture).

* * *

So, if I take all the pieces I've made here, and combine them with the previous lot, I've got quite a collection started.

And because I'd already got most of the materials to hand, they haven't really cost anything to make (which is always a bonus) ...but even if you have to go out and buy a few things, most of this stuff is still super cheap & easy to make.

- an evil cultist awaits his next victim -

Sunday 8 November 2015

Dungeon Monthly #35 (November 2015)

I'm a little late posting this month's map due to the workmen down the road accidentally digging through a whole bunch of cables (AGAIN!) and leaving me without an internet & TV connection for over two weeks :(
Anyway, now that it's finally been fixed - here's this month's map :)

And, as usual, I'd to say thanks to the folks supporting the Dungeon Monthly project over on patreon , and point out that unlabelled versions of all these maps can be found here...

Saturday 17 October 2015

DIY Cavern/Underdark scatter terrain

If you've seen some of my recent posts over on the various social media networks, you might have seen that I've been trying to create a few pieces of cave terrain to add a little more interest to the battlemat.

-the finished set-

Well, seeing as how I'm reasonably happy with the results, I thought I'd share my techniques here - just in case anyone else is interested in doing something similar.

* * *

For the main structure of the stalagmites, I've simply soaked some kitchen towel in watered-down PVA/white glue, and formed them into the desired shape.

 -At this point they don't look great (and ignore the one on the left - as this was my first test piece)-

Once they've dried, I've glued them to some cheap vinyl floor tiles (£1 for 4 at my local 'Poundland' store), and then cut around the stalagmites - leaving a ¼" inch gap all the way around (to form the base).

I've then rubbed some ready-mixed wall filler (spackle in the US?) over each piece - just to fill in any large cracks/holes, and to merge the stalagmites to each other (when there is more than one present) as well as the base (you can see this more clearly on the top right piece). The base can then be decorated with a bit of sand and gravel as shown.

Once everything is dry, paint them in the desired colours (for mine I've done a dark basecoat, followed by a heavy drybrush in a lighter shade, and finally a light drybrush with a cream colour)

-the painted pieces with a D&D mini for scale-

* * *

For the crystal clusters I've simply glued several pieces of aquarium gravel to a small piece of vinyl floor tile that has been cut to the desired shape.

The crystals were then painted yellow, and soaked in Vallejo's 'green wash' (note that this is the only miniatures paint I've used - with the rest being the cheap acrylic tubes you may have seen in previous terrain tutorials).

Once dry, these were given a light drybrush with yellow - and then had some of the edges highlighted (which requires a bit of a steady hand).

Then, once the base was decorated to match that of the stalagmites, the crystals got a coat of gloss varnish.

-D&D miniature added for scale-

* * *

For the mushrooms I have cut out a piece of vinyl floor tile to serve as the base, and added some of the wall filler to the top - to form a small mound of sorts.

When dry, a suitable number of 'brads' (of different sizes if you can get them) have been pushed into the wall filler, and glued into place.

Then, simply decorate the base as before, and paint the mushrooms in a suitable colour (for mine, I've drybrushed lighter and lighter shades of purple on top of each other - applying less of a coverage with each shade).

* * *

For the base of the treasure pile, do the same as you would with the mushrooms (i.e. form a small mound on a piece of the vinyl floor tile), glue on some sand and gravel, and then paint it the same colour as the rest of your bases.

-note that the treasure has not photographed very well - but it really shines/glitters in person-

Once dry, you can then glue on various gems, glitter, etc. (i.e. the kind of thing that folks might use to decorate cards, or nails, or what have you), and seal them in place with some gloss varnish.

-D&D mini added for scale-

* * *

And that's pretty much it. Everything here is very cheap & easy to make - though their can be a fair amount of drying time between some of the stages (i.e. waiting for PVA soaked paper, or wall-filler to dry).

-a close-up of the treasure, crystals, and mushrooms-

Tuesday 6 October 2015

More Patreon funded Geomorphs (mines 3 & 4)

The Patreon campaign has met the $25 'milestone' for a second month ...and that means more free maps for everyone!

So, as promised, here's a couple more mine geomorphs...

Note that I'm also collecting all of these geomorphs together in THIS google+ album.

Thursday 1 October 2015

Dungeon Monthly #34 (October 2015)

It's time for another dungeon map...

As usual, I'd like to say thanks to the folks* supporting the Dungeon Monthly project over on Patreon, and also point out that unlabelled versions of all these maps can be found here...

*Note that, thanks to these guys, I should have a couple more 'bonus geomorphs' available later this month!

Friday 11 September 2015

Patreon helps to create more maps...

As some of you might be aware, a little while back I launched a Patreon campaign for the geomorph-style maps that I've been posting here on the blog for several years now that fans of project had a place to go if they wanted to show their support (and maybe spur me on to create even more of them).

Well, I'm really pleased to say that I've recently met my first Patreon 'milestone' ...and as a result I have begun work on an accompanying set of 'mine' geomorphs that will run alongside the current 'dungeon monthly' project.

So, to begin with, I'll be creating 1 or 2 of these extra maps each and every month (assuming the $25 milestone continues to be met) here's the bonus maps for September:

Once again, I'd like to say a big thank you to all the folks supporting the project over on Patreon ...and if you'd like to see me create even more of these maps*, you know what to do :)

*as I'd love to be able to dedicate more time to this project ...but, as you can probably imagine, other (paying) jobs/projects/commissions often take priority (or at least, they do at the moment).

Thursday 3 September 2015

New & Upcoming Releases


First of all I'd like to announce the release of a new(ish) map-pack...

...and as you can see, these tiles are very similar to those found in the existing Basic Dungeon Tiles range - but in this instance, they have been presented as black & white images with a plain white background.

The set also uses a simple '3 tile system' (i.e. a passage, a small room, and a large room tile) which can be modified to produce T-junctions, crossroads etc. (with the use of small overlay tiles), instead of having a separate tile for each:

In addition, the set is also well suited to generating random dungeon maps on the fly ...and a simple set of instructions has been included to allow you to do just that (though you'll still need a set of random encounter tables for your game of choice to add a little interest).

And just like the aforementioned Basic Dungeon Tiles range, this new set is available as a pay-what-you-want product pick it up for free, or pay as much (or as little) as you like!

* * *


If you've been following the g+ and facebook pages you'll probably have seen that progress is still being made (albeit slowly) on the 'Dungeon Encounters' book...

...though there's still lots to do :)

However, the next thing to surface will probably be a new map depicting some of the ruined city of Aramdol (from the Age of Shadow setting) ...and here's a quick look at a small prototype that I've been working on to show you how the map will probably look (just think of it being a lot larger and containing several different buildings):

I've also got a couple of other things in the works that I can't really talk about yet, as well as more miniatures/terrain stuff to work on, and various notes and scribbles for future 'zine & blog articles (including more information on beastling clans/warbands, and how to use these creatures as a playable race in an 'evil' campaign)  ...but I think I've rambled on long enough for one post :)