Thursday 27 December 2018

Building a Modular Set of 2.5D Dungeon Tiles

One of the things I've been asked about on several occasions, is what kind of tiles (and how many of each) would I recommend someone build if they are just starting out.

Well, if you check back to THIS POST you can see the kind of thing that I made back in 2014, but I've gone on to build tiles of all kinds of different shapes and sizes since then ...and if it turns out that they don't join up properly when I'm designing an encounter, I just make an additional piece that fills any gaps ;) (as that's the beauty of this system - the tiles are so quick and easy to build that you can do something like that in a few minutes).

However, if you're looking to build a modular base set to get you started (or to expand upon the stuff you've already built) then I've had a bit of a rethink - and gone ahead and added a second page of the floor texture to the original download ...just to make something like this a little easier.

And, as you can see, this new version has a  ½" tile around the edges this will cut down on wastage when you follow this particular method.

Anyway, on with the tutorial...

OK then, in the picture above I've illustrated how you can cut up eight different sheets to get the most out of each printout (note that some of them are the same except for the fact that they have been rotated - and this is so that the texture appears different on tiles of the same shape ...the corner passages for example).

So, once you've got those glued to some cardboard (or foamcore, etc.) and cut out as shown above, the next thing you'll need to do is add the walls to the areas I've shown in the diagram below.

And, as you can see, this should provide you with a good number of rooms and passages to get you started, and allow you to build a few basic dungeons the one pictured below.

From here you can expand on your tile set in whatever way you like ...maybe adding a few smaller 4x4 rooms, or even gluing a couple of the original floor textures together to make a huge chamber ...the choices are endless :)

* * * 

Anyway, I hope this was a useful article for anyone interested in this kind of thing, and I'd also like to point out that all of the textures I've made thus far can be found over on THIS PAGE (on DriveThruRPG ...they're PWYW - so grab 'em for free, or pay as much/little as you like).

Monday 17 December 2018

Almost a year on YouTube

So, it's been almost a year since I embarked upon my YouTube journey (how time flies) - so here's a little 'year in review' type video ...along with few words on what's coming up:

Sunday 16 December 2018

Rusty Metal

I just thought I would do a quick blog post to show off some of the stuff that I'm working on for the next set of textures (which I'm tentatively calling 'rusty metal' ...but if you can think of a better name, let me know in the comments ;) ).

And, as you can see, these textures should allow us to build things like cages, levers, lifts, boilers, and so on ...though I expect people will find all manner of uses for these.

Anyway, the pdf and video(s) will follow along just as soon as I can get around to filming, editing, and all that nonsense ...but here's hoping you like how these are shaping up!

Thursday 13 December 2018

Crafting Encounters : Room 1

Back in August I mentioned (over on the YouTube channel) that I was thinking of putting a few 'encounters' together which utilised some of the print & paste dungeons that I've been making.

Similarly, on the odd occasion I've also mentioned how I've used some of the 'rooms' that I've drawn for the Patreon campaign (like the 'troll hole' from back in June) in my games.

Well, I recently had the idea of combining all of these things (i.e. the print & paste terrain, the VTT maps, and D&D 5e dungeon encounters) into short booklets that can be downloaded from the DMsGuild ...and I'm pleased to say that the first one is now available:

Each booklet will be little more that a single encounter (that can be slotted into an existing adventure -or- used for inspiration when designing your own), with the first part detailing the encounter itself, while the second part runs through which bits of terrain you'll need to build (with links to the corresponding YouTube videos).

Furthermore, I'll also be including VTT map tiles* of the same rooms (that are compatible with all of the other tiles from the Patreon campaign) - so that we can also use the tiles when playing online (though this first encounter might need to be changed a little if you're not gaming in person you'll see when you read through it).

However, I will admit that this first one is a bit of an experiment (to test the waters so to speak), so if you do pick it up (it's a pay-what-you-want booklet over on the DMsGuild) I'd love to hear what you think ...and also be sure to let me know if you'd like to see more of this kind of thing.

That being said, there is nothing revolutionary on offer here ...just an encounter a dungeon ...all statted up and ready to go!

*note that I'll also blow these up to miniatures scale for those that play in person, but don't have the time/inclination to build the 2.5D terrain pieces - so hopefully, all bases have been covered :)

Monday 10 December 2018

December's Patreon Map(s)

This month's (VTT) map is that of a throne room or great hall - which I've split up into three separate parts seen below:

And the reason for this is so that we can utilise as many of the middle sections as we like (or even leave it out altogether) to make rooms of various lengths.

So, if you want to get your hands on the full size version of these maps, you can find them (along with all the other tiles I've drawn thus far) in THIS ALBUM. And if you'd like to support the project, feel free to head on over to the PATREON PAGE, and check out the different reward levels.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Encounter Rooms? (D&D)

A little while back, I mentioned (over on the youtube channel) that I might start to share some of the D&D encounters I've used (or have ideas for) that utilise some of  my 'pay-what-you-want' dungeon terrain.

Well, a few folks seemed interested in that idea - but I haven't had time to get around to anything like that as of yet (as just filming the tutorials is more work than you'd think).

However, I was wondering ...instead of doing them as a video series, how about I supply them as $1 (or pay-what-you-want) booklets over on the DMs Guild?

They'll probably not be all that regular, but I'll include pictures of the tiles in action, a list of all the things I've built (or modified) for the scenario, and maybe even create a similar VTT map to tie it in with the Patreon maps as well (for folks who play online).

Sound like a plan?

Friday 30 November 2018

Print & Paste books, scrolls, bottles, etc.

Now, I'm not normally a superstitious person, but I've had all sorts of problems getting episode 13 finished ...but I've managed to get there in the end:

So, in this one we'll be taking a look at how to make a few potion bottles, candlesticks, books, and scrolls - all from paper printouts and a bit of scrap cardboard :)

And, as always, the pdf file containing all of the textures is available as a pay-what-you-want download (over on DriveThruRPG) pick it up for fee, or pay as much (or as little) as you like!

Oh ...and don't forget to subscribe to the youtube channel, and maybe hit the little bell icon if you want to keep up to date with all this stuff (as it would be great to get to 1500 subscribers by the end of my first year).

Monday 26 November 2018


Just a quick heads up to say that all of my products are included in the Black-Friday/Cyber-Monday sale over on DriveThruRPG.

So, if you've been thinking of picking a few of them up, then now might be a good time ;)

Tuesday 20 November 2018

November's Patreon Maps

OK then, here's a quick look at all of November's Patreon maps...

...and, as you can see, these first two are meant to be used together - with the larger map representing the upper level of a massive stairway, and the smaller map the room at the bottom.

Then there is this room with a well at its centre...

...and the layout for this one was suggested by a couple of my patrons.

So, if you want to get your hands on the full size version of these maps, you can find them (along with all the other tiles I've drawn thus far) in THIS ALBUM. And if you'd like to support the project, feel free to head on over to the PATREON PAGE, and check out the different reward levels.

Monday 19 November 2018

Print & Paste Requests/Modifications

Every now and again I get requests over on the youtube channel (or on social media) for additional textures and/or ideas for future videos.

Most of the time those requests are for things I already hope to get around to (eventually ;) ), other times there are ideas that I've overlooked (or would never have thought of on my own), and occasionally there's something I can put together quickly by modifying an existing pattern.

So, this latest video deals with the latter (i.e. a couple of modified textures to allow you to make a few other things):

And the idea here is that I'll continue to add to THIS PDF file over time - making it a bit of a living document that'll contain all manner of different things (including any one-off pieces, with limited use, that I might make for my own games).

So, as I said in the video, it's always worth getting in touch if you have any ideas or requests of your own ...and though I can't promise that I'll get around to them all (as things I need for my own upcoming games will usually make their way to the top of the list) - if the request is a simple one, I might get around to it sooner rather than later!

Thursday 8 November 2018

Print & Paste Bones & Statues

Last week saw the release of the latest set of print & paste textures ...the Bones & Statues.

However, rather than trying to cram too much information into one video, I've split this episode into two parts.

The first of these covers the assembly of the bone piles:

And the second part deals with the statues:

So, if you're looking to add a bit more terrain to your crypts and tombs, then hopefully these pieces will help you to do just that!

* * *

Note that, just like the rest of the print & paste range, this product is available as a pay-what-you-want download pick it up for free, or pay as much (or as little) as you like!

Friday 26 October 2018

Print & Paste WIP

In an attempt to be more active here on the blog, I thought I would post a couple of pictures of some of the stuff I've been working on recently (that will probably feature in the next couple of videos).

To begin with, I've been experimenting with an idea I had to produce basic statues and bone piles...


...and I think they kinda work :) (though these are some early prototypes, and the final images have changed a tiny bit since then).

I've also been creating a few bits and bobs to make set pieces (like the altar-type-thing you can see in the first picture below), or to add to tables/shelves/etc. - in an attempt to add a bit of interest to the dungeon.

And while some of these objects might be a little tricky to put together, I think it's really worth the extra effort (though it's still mainly a matter of printing out the textures and gluing them to cardboard, drinking straws, etc.).

Anyway, as I say, I'll probably be splitting these things up into two separate videos (the first one being 'statues and bone piles') as there's a lot to get through ...but in the meantime there's still plenty to keep you busy over on the YouTube channel if you're new to (or interested in) this kind of thing ;)

Furthermore, I do sometimes get asked if it would be possible to provide different versions of some of the existing textures - so I figured, when it's a pretty straightforward request, I'll start compiling those suggestions/modifications in THIS PDF FILE (I might also add a few things that I've used in my own games that probably have a very limited appeal).

So, think of this file as a kind of living document ...which I'll update from time to time with slight variations of some of the current stuff (like the 1" stone doors that you can see in the current document).

Anyway, that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 21 October 2018

October's Patreon Maps

As some of you will know, for several years now I've been drawing a bunch of modular style maps (suitable for VTTs, etc.), and sharing them for free on the various social media platforms.

However, I'm not sure why, but I've neglected to post them on the blog for some time now - so I thought I would change all that, and start doing monthly updates again (and generally try to be a more active blogger) :)

Anyway, I'm currently at a point where I'm drawing the equivalent of six 12x12 maps each month* (though I will often combine several of these to make larger, more detailed tiles), and here's what I've come up with for October's offerings...

This first one is a bit of a convoluted junction - with no real purpose other than that of confusing the party mapper (perhaps it's part of a larger maze or similar).

And, just to show how modular all of these maps are, here's an example of what it might look like when used with other tiles in the range (note that the full album of tiles can be found HERE).

For the remaining two maps I've gone ahead and drawn a couple of blocked passages ...ones that might be possible for the PC's  to clear/dig through (given the right tools and enough time) - or that tiny creatures can pass through (or retreat through) to harass the party.

So that's all of this month's offerings (hopefully you'll find a use for them) ...and if you would like to support the project, feel free to stop by the PATREON PAGE and take a look around.

*note that the number of tiles I draw each month is based upon the amount of support I get on the associated Patreon page (which functions as a kind of tips jar for supporters of the project, and as a place for folks to post any requests or suggestions that they might have for future tiles).

Friday 12 October 2018

Print & Paste Scatter Terrain

My latest video shows how to make a few bits of scatter terrain to go along with the trees I made in the last one.

And I have to admit, I'm really pleased with how these have turned out (they were also a lot of fun to make).

And if you're wondering what might be coming next's a sneak peek at something else I've been tinkering with :)

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Print & Paste Wilderness Terrain : Trees

I'm taking a break from the dungeon again with this latest set of textures, and (as you can see) I've started to work on some 'print & paste' wilderness terrain.

So, if you've been thinking of running some encounters where trees feature heavily (perhaps you plan on having a bunch of bandits lurking in the trees - or maybe the PC's need to clamber up them to avoid a pack of ground-based predators), then hopefully these will be of interest :)

As usual, the pdf file is available from RPGNow and DriveThruRPG as a pay-what-you-want product, and the instructions for putting them together can be found in the video below... feel free to pick them up for free or pay as much (or as little) as you like!

* * *

And before I sign off, here's a sneak peek of what's to come:

Saturday 22 September 2018

More 'print & paste' dungeon tiles (PWYW)

It's been a few months since we last visited the dungeon, so I figured it was time to return :)

So, if you've been following along and making your own 'print & paste' dungeons, you'll (hopefully) be pleased to learn that THESE NEW TILES will allow you to add a bit of extra variety/detail here and there.

And (just like the rest of the print & paste range), this product is available as a pay-what-you-want download pick it up for free, or pay as much* (or as little) as you like!

*note that I have only been able to upgrade my equipment (to a cheap camcorder that can now film in 1080p :) ) as a result of all the kind donations that I have received a huge thank you goes out to everyone that has thrown a dollar or two into the hat! Cheers!

Tuesday 14 August 2018

2.5D Dungeons - Now In Print!

I'm rather excited to announce that I've teamed up with SquareHex to bring you pre-printed versions of some of my dungeon textures!

This first set is a bit of an experiment (to gauge interest in this kind of thing) - but if you'd like to have a go at making some of my dungeon terrain without the hassle of printing it out yourself, then you can get 24 sheets (12 of each kind featured in the video above) for just £3 (+P&P) over on the SquareHex store.

So, here's hoping that they prove to be popular both myself and SquareHex are eager to produce more!

Wednesday 8 August 2018

New bonus (cave) video

If you've been following my recent cave-building videos over on youtube, you might find a few of the tips in this (bonus) video useful:

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Patreon Roundup

As some of you will know, for the past few years I've been running a Patreon campaign that features lots and lots of my small map tiles (i.e. the kind that are suited to VTT use).

Well, I figured it was time for a bit of a roundup here's a quick look at what I've drawn so far in 2018:

As you can see (now that all of the basic/empty rooms & passages are done), this year I've been concentrating my efforts on 'feature rooms' ...and many of these particular tiles contain ideas and/or suggestions from some of my kind patrons.

So, if you'd like to support this ongoing project (because the more support I get, the more maps I'll be able to draw), just head on over to the Patreon page :)

However, please note that none of these maps are hidden behind a paywall or anything like that (as that has never been my intention) ...the Patreon campaign is just there as a kind of 'tips jar' for those that might be interested (though, there are additional rewards that allow you to make suggestions, or licence a bunch of these maps for a commercial product, and so on). As such, you can find all of the maps that I've drawn to date in THIS ALBUM ...and you are FREE to download and use them in your personal games.

- an example map I've put together using some of these map tiles -

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Cavern Features (print & paste terrain) - PWYW

To accompany my recent 'Print & Paste Cave Tiles' (see the previous post) - I've just released the next video and pdf...

...and in this one, I'll be showing you how I make giant mushrooms, crystal clusters, and stalagmites (using the textures provided, along with bits of cardboard and a few drinking straws).

And, while these pieces might not look as nice (or be as durable) as 'proper' terrain ...when they're all laid out on the tabletop, they don't look too bad (plus they're super quick, cheap, and easy to make ...making them ideal for the busy GM).

So, if you want to have a go at making a few yourself, you can pick up the pdf file over on RPGNow or DriveThruRPG (note that all of these Print & Paste pdfs are pay-what-you-want products - so pick them up for free, or pay as much/little as you like!).

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Print & Paste Cave Tiles

If you've been following my recent 'print & paste' video tutorials (and picking up the pdf files that go along with them), you might be pleased to hear that I'm now expanding the range to include cave tiles!

This first set/video concentrates on the basics (so, mainly just the cave tiles to begin with), though future products will expand upon the range in much the same fashion as the dungeon tiles (though many of the existing pieces, like the barrels for example, work great with each).

Cave Tiles is available as a pay-what-you-want product - so pick it up for free (from RPGNow or DriveThruRG) or pay as much/little as you like!

(a sneak peek of what I've got planned for future videos)

Saturday 16 June 2018

Dungeon Deck (playing cards)

I've been working on this for a while now, but I can finally announce the release of...

As you would expect, the deck can be used as a set of regular playing cards -OR- you can piece them together to generate a sprawling dungeon map...

Dungeon Deck is available from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow for $8.99 (or $9.99 with a plastic deckbox - as seen in the first picture and in the video below).

- Note that these are not miniatures-scaled tiles, just a fun little (poker-sized) card deck -

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Getting ready to run AiME

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the acronym, AiME stands for Adventures in Middle Earth - which is the latest RPG set in Tolkien's world, by Cubicle 7 (it also uses the D&D 5E mechanics - so the system will already be familiar to a lot of people ...including the folks I play with).

So, as the title suggests, I thought I would post a quick article to show some of the stuff I've been getting ready for my first real foray into Middle Earth as a GM (not counting the few horrible MERP sessions I ran as a young lad).

First up are some orc/goblin miniatures...

...and these are from a variety of manufacturers, and feature a few kit-bashes/conversions. For example the guy in the middle of the top row is an old Games Workshop orc with a newer goblin head, and the one directly below him is a Mantic orc with GW 'ungor' arms. The third row are 'Goblin Town' goblins from GW, and the bottom row are the new Oathmark Goblins from Northstar Miniatures.

Anyway, as well as painting a bunch of miniatures (including a few 'specials' that I've not posted here), I've also made a few pieces of (easily transportable) scatter terrain...

...and I've got a bunch of other pieces (e.g. small bushes, rocks, etc.) that I can drop in the magnetic holes (to replace the trees) to make them a little more versatile.

OK, next up is something a little special ...a magical weapon no less:

And finally, I have to admit that I'm a tiny bit disappointed with the lack of encounter maps in some of the AiME books. I mean, I know that The One Ring (i.e. the original system that the 5E material is converted from) is a bit more abstract than D&D (and probably doesn't need them as much) - but I am a bit of a map-freak (to say the least) ...and so I've gone ahead and drawn one of my own:

 (Note that can find an unlabelled version HERE)

And if you'd like to see my preliminary notes for the place ...then here you go (note, it's just the regular D&D basics for now ...with DC numbers pulled out of thin air ;) ):

1. Cave Entrance. Although the entrance to the troll hole is hidden behind a few bushes, it is easy enough to find (DC8 Survival or Perception or Investigation test - depending on the situation).

1a. The large stone door is extremely heavy (requiring a DC18 Athletics test to move) - though it is currently in the open position.

2. Entrance Chamber. A few large (empty) jars and broken pots can be found here - along with a multitude of old bones (more than a few of which seem to be humanoid in appearance). Furthermore, the whole place is filled with a horrid smell.

3. Main Cavern. Old crates, shelves, barrels, and other oddments adorn this chamber - along with a few silver pennies scattered here and there (amongst the filth). However, due to the foul stench, if anyone spends more than a minute in this area (or further areas), they will need to make a DC10 Constitution save to avoid feeling nauseous (treat as +1 level of exhaustion). In addition, anyone who is not too proud to turn their nose up at 'troll plunder' can also gather several days worth of edible rations here.

3a. The boulder (which acts as a makeshift door to the 'larder') is very difficult to move (requiring a DC22 Athletics test). The pool to the NE is shallow and stagnant ...and is definitely not safe to drink.

4. The Larder. Any fresh meat (i.e. a live captive) is usually stored here (possibly in the process of being 'fattened-up' by the troll).

5. Bedchamber. Behind a crude pallet (which is barely large enough for a troll to curl up on), is a large (locked) strongbox containing a few baubles that the troll treasures. The key to this strongbox is usually found inside one of the sacks that the troll is using as a pillow - otherwise the lock requires a DC20 test to pick.

5a. This crawlspace (which is too small for a full grown troll to use) can be reached by a natural stairway in area 5 -or- by clambering up the ledge in area 3 (which requires a DC14 Athletics test).

Wednesday 6 June 2018

More floor textures for the 2.5D dungeon

If you've been following my fledgling channel over on YouTube, you'll know that I've started to produce instruction videos for my 2.5D dungeon textures...

...well, I've recently finished the next one, and here it is (though this one doesn't really feature any new techniques to be honest - but rather showcases some new textures you can use when building your own dungeons and/or buildings):

So, if you'd like to have a go at making some of your own, you can find these new textures (as a pay-what-you-want pdf file) over on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG - so feel free to pick 'em up for free, or toss a couple of coins in the hat if you feel so inclined :)

Thursday 26 April 2018

'Neath the Shadow #3 in print!

Just a quick message to say that the latest 'zine (for the Age of Shadow RPG) is now available in print via lulu.

Note that the booklet is also available in digital form via RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

Plus, if you want to be in with a chance of winning a print copy of the Core Rules and Campaign Guide - check out my latest video:

Thursday 19 April 2018

Shelves & cupboards for the 2.5D dungeon.

This one's took longer than I expected, but I've finally managed to get the next video finished.

So, if you're looking to spice up your dungeon tiles (or battlemat) with various drawers, shelves, bookcases, cupboards, and so on, then all you need to do is download these textures (via RPGNow or DriveThruRPG*), follow the instructions, and you should be able to make anything from small cabinets, to huge (library-style) bookcases!

*Note that these files are 'pay-what-you-want' - so pick them up for free, or (if you'd like to help support my fledgling channel) pay as much (or as little) as you like :)

Sunday 8 April 2018

Making a map from my Patreon tiles (tutorial)

In response to a couple of questions I've received recently, I thought I would post a quick tutorial to show how easy it is to assemble an adventure map from my Patreon dungeon tiles.

Obviously, if you're already familiar with any of the major image editing programs, then this article will be of little use - but if you've never done anything like this before, then keep on reading...

OK, still here?

Right then - the first thing you'll need to do is download GIMP (it's a free image editing program), as that is what I'll be using throughout this tutorial. I'll also be assuming that you've downloaded all of the tiles you plan on using (though feel free to download the entire set ;) ) onto your hard drive.

So, assuming you've done all that, we're ready to go lets begin.

Open up GIMP

Select FILE > NEW

In the dialogue box that appears enter values that are multiples of 600 (as each of my 12x12 tiles are 600 x 600 pixels in size) in this example I'll go with 2400 x 2400 (which is enough space for 4 tiles high and 4 tiles wide).

Then select VIEW > SHOW GRID (also make sure the 'snap to grid' option is checked).


In the dialogue box that appears select DEFAULT GRID and then enter values of '50' pixels in the WIDTH and HEIGHT boxes (this is because each grid square of my maps measures 50x50 pixels).

Your image should now look like this (note that these grid lines are invisible, and they'll not appear in your saved or printed image):

Then choose FILE > OPEN AS LAYERS and locate the tile that you want to use (i.e. one that you've already saved to your hard drive) .

This will import the tile as it's own layer (think of this layer as a post-it note on top of your blank canvas) ...and you can move it into the position you like with the move tool (i.e. the highlighted icon in the toolbar).

Then do the same FILE > OPEN AS LAYERS for any additional tiles, and position them accordingly (and if you have the 'snap to grid' option enabled that I mentioned previously, the tiles should snap to the nearest square - which makes lining them up super easy).

You should also note that every time you insert a new tile, it also gets added to the layers window on the right if you want to move a specific tile around you'll first need to select it here (which makes it the active layer) - and you can then drag it around in the usual fashion (i.e. with the move tool)

Then, if you want to save the file for further manipulation later, save it in the normal fashion (i.e. GIMP's own .xcf format), and that will keep all the layers (i.e. the map tiles) separate for further tinkering at a later date.

However, if you want to use the whole map in a VTT of some description (or just save it as an image file) then select EXPORT AS.

By default it might be set to export as a .png file, but you can change that to any other file format via the options in the bottom right corner of the dialogue box (I personally suggest saving it as a JPEG the image will still look fine - but the file size will be much smaller).

And that should result in an image like this...

...which you can then load into your VTT of choice!