Richard over at Save Vs. Dragon has started a series of posts on Typography. I’ve tried to comment on both posts (as of this posting) and either wordpress.com or blogspot.com is being stupid. So I figured I could post the links to his posts with a few comments of my own.
Over at theRPGsite I started a thread for a Story Hour I had written over two years ago as a quick exercise. Shit the game itself was an experiment, but fun times none-the-less. It is not super polished (hell, there is still verb tense disagreement buried in there).
What I really like about it is that it is different from most Story Hours I’ve read. This one is almost more about the players at my table than the characters in the game.
I’ve written almost 14,000 words and intend to post them all in due course, but it will really come down to if anyone (aside from me) is interested in the nonsense and general goings-on at my table.
You can find the thread at this link: Lymdonshire Story Hour
UPDATE: So here it is, July 2016 and I haven’t made another post to that thread. Shame on me. I actually haven’t been to the site much since it was redesigned. I do not like it. Now it looks like every other forum site. For some reason it seems to have lost its character.
So this minor little winter storm hit this morning and I found myself alone in the house with the kids having gone to school and my wife having gone to work. I didn’t really feel like writing today, and I’ve been stuck on drawing spiral staircases for three or four maps in the queue. So what was I to do? I threw on some Netflix and watched a few horror movies. The Veil with Jessica Alba and Thomas Jane, Mercy, a movie based off a Steven King short story, and Homebound were all fine if not predictable. Unfortunately, I could not just sit around watching movies so I picked a quick project I could complete without thinking. That leads us to today’s offering.
About a year ago I posted a small number of maps published by others that I had redrawn in my style. This is a continuation of that experiment. I have a version that I had started last year, but I had miscounted the size of the grid I would need. I would have run off the page had I tried to complete it. I had fully drawn in all sorts of rock fill and my standard cross-hatch fill and with a sigh of resignation, filled it away. Today, I started from scratch.
More talky-talk after the map.
This one was fun and annoying at the same time. To start, I d/l WOTC’s redraw of this map that they had posted on their site years ago. It is a nice looking computer generated map that in a few cases ended up being confusing. I didn’t realize it until I looked at a picture of the black-and-white version in the 1e DMG. That is why some of my corridor widths are off.
The big one though is that if you look real close, you might notice that I had to computer edit the room that on the original maps are labelled #5. The WOTC version has the room open to the corridor whereas the 1e version looks like it is only accessible for the secret passageway from room #4. I made it match the original. I never noticed it before but it seems kinda stupid to have that secret passage run under the stairs connecting the room if one could just stroll down the fucking corridor. Anyway, I fixed it on my map.
(Tangent-I didn’t want to fix it on my hand-drawn map and go through the whole process to make the version I posted for you today. It took about a dozen tries since I got my newish scanner, and I’m still learning how to get all my crosshatching to show up fine.)
I debated whether to label the rooms on this map to match those in other published versions but thought better of it. It takes me forever to label a map, and I just don’t think you’d gain any real benefit from my time investment.
Anyway, I hope I didn’t waste your time with this post. Cheers.
If you are looking for additional thoughts on this map from around the net, these are a few links I chased today:
The Monastery of the Order of the Crimson Monks hosted on Dragonsfoot.org
UPDATE: Dyson posted some of his thoughts on the original map found in the odd-edition DMGs.
So I have been holed-up in central Virginia since Friday morning, and counting my blessings that we no longer live in the DC area. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the recent blizzard.
I’ve actually been able to get some work done and have a few maps for you. Today’s map is an experiment. I wanted to try something completely different with the walls. Awhile back I posted two maps from old DND/rogue-like games. These maps didn’t have thick walls so I followed the technique Dyson used on this map The Ruined Palace. My efforts looked like doo-doo (I was still using shitty pens), but I thought I could do better. Over the past couple of weeks I think I have.I first started off looking at some of the different styles and line weights that I’ve used for my maps. Most of my recent maps have been in the top middle style. Fine for thick walls, but not for thin walls. Dyson used the middle style for the map I linked to above. Well, I have to have that crosshatching in my maps, so I added it to two different line weights. I loved it. So to test that style out, I whipped up a quick map. The result is below.
Today’s map was drawn with Micron 05 and 01 pens. Post-production yielded a fantastic contrast between the walls, rock, and open space. If I could ever figure out how to put in a grid, I’d be happy. Truth be told, working this way is much more time consuming but much more rewarding.
And here we go with the next dungeon. This one actually cleaned up much better than I thought it would. Nothing much more to say about it except that I thinks it’s cool.
So here is the first map of two that are in a similar style to Random Dungeon 17. You can see that I was unable to remove some of the crappy grid lines. I think I was able to fix it enough so it shouldn’t be too much of a distraction.
This one (and its cousin who will be posted after I finish the post-production) was one where I was drawing the cliff faces in an isometric view and it just looked like poop. Taking a cue from Dyson in this recent map Kemp’s Divide, I figured I would just try using just those little fucking lines. They don’t convey the height of the cliff faces, but quite frankly, any DM using this map can choose how high he wants them to be.
Anyway, more talky-talky after the map.
Interestingly enough (to me anyway), I drew the rough steps to match the approximate height as my regular stairwells–so forty feet horizontal feet traveled for 20 vertical feet traveled. [I don’t need to illustrate this do I?] I’m making believe that the northern cavern steps rise the same as the rest even though I only fit in six.
One of the things I really like about this map is the southern section. It looks like it could be a well defensible lair for a group of kobolds or goblins or gnomes. It has one access point in the dungeon and the rough steps that lead to the water.
During the first draft of this map, I placed the river as you see it. I had/have no f—ing clue what is on the other side. BTW, the river is at least twenty feet across and is filled with f—ing piranha. Or something.
Man, life has been hectic these past few months. I finished this map back in August, and it was originally slotted as Random Dungeon 20. The two maps that I wanted to post prior to this one are in a style much closer to Random Map 17, but technical difficulties with the pen work and type of paper have made them almost unpresentable. Since I don’t want the blog to linger for too long without posting, I edited this one to move it up in the queue.
I like how this one turned out. I used only a Sharpie fine-point pen for all line work. I doubled the wall lines and think it makes a nice contrast to the cross-hatching. I also like that it looks more hand-drawn–I kinda like it sloppy and not over-produced. When I scanned it, I was able to adjust the midtone to retain the underlying grid (almost as if I was scanning with a threshold). A quick sweep with the eraser in GIMP cleaned it up a bit.
The grid is actually one of the problems I have with the previous two maps I have nearly completed. Nothing I could do would clean it up. The original Map 18 was drawn on yellow paper with a brown grid. Both of these maps are similar to #17, almost to the point of being able to line them up as one REALLY big mega dungeon level, but with one subtle difference. Because I had such a problem drawing the bridge in the map I have posted, I figured I would just have the rivers accessible via cliff faces. But drawing those in has proved problematic. I connected the levels across the rivers with wooden plank bridges which I think turned out ok, but these f—ing cliffs are a bugger. I really don’t like how the dungeons are drawn in a top down manner, while the cliffs are more isometric. They just don’t look right.
Anyway, enjoy this map for your personal game.