May 26, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Race -- Troll (Wormy)

I've always been a huge fan of artist Dave Trampier, and loved his comic strip Wormy, which ran in Dragon magazine from 1977 to 1988. Wormy had a great story and depicted a fascinating world, the realm of Mascentia. While it was the standard generic-fantasy D&D world, the strip told stories from the point-of-view of the monsters -- sentient, intelligent creatures with drives just  like humans, who had to deal with the occasional overzealous "adventurers" who invaded their homes, slaughtered their families and made off with their hard-earned belongings. When 5E D&D was still in playtest, one of the first races I homebrewed was the trolls; most of the protagonists of Wormy were trolls, after all.

May 15, 2015

Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest #3 - Village Shrine

So I had another idea for a geomorph for Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest. I'm a big fan of Stonewerks' village geomorphs, which can be used to make an instant fantasy village (or, with a little work, a modern country village). I thought I'd make a tile in that style as an homage.

May 4, 2015

Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest #2 - Lava Bath

So, Inkwell Ideas has started a biweekly dungeon geomorph contest, and they've gotten some great results already. The idea is, they give a theme every two weeks, and you have those two weeks to submit up to 3 geomorphs; it looks like they're giving away nice prizes, too, such as their DungeonMorph Dice, or Chubby Monster Games’ Moleskin Maps. I thought I'd play along.

Apr 30, 2015

Tabletop Audio - Sound Effects for Games

So, I was directed to this cool site recently: Tabletop Audio. It's a site with many ten-minute soundscapes to play during games. The site tags them pretty well, as to whether they've got ambience (i.e., rattling chains, water dripping, etc.), minimal music (nothing with voices), or both. The list of soundscapes is pretty extensive, everything from Sleeping Dragon, to Strangers on a Train, to Warehouse 13. I've been trying it out, and it's easier than making my own playlists of sound effects using Softrope, which is what I had been doing. The soundscapes are 10 minutes long, and loopable.

One Page Dungeon Contest 2015 - The Vault of the Pole

So this year, I had several really good ideas for my One Page Dungeon Contest submission. Sadly, my imagination was captured by the material in the thread "Ten Foot Poles: How Do They Work?" on, and especially the idea of the Most Ancient and Worshipful Order of Roodsmen and Pole-Tenders that we developed there. As I was driving one of my DMs home last week, I suddenly had the idea for my submission -- the Vault of the Pole, the testing ground for apprentices of the Guild who seek to become journeymen. I pictured apprentice pole-tenders (called "tenders") frantically trying to overcome the obstacle course in a series of dungeon rooms while a deep sonorous bell tolls every minute or so. And so, that's what I went with.

Dec 19, 2014

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Race -- Half-Ogre

One of the fun things to play in 1E D&D was a half-ogre. Basically, the archetypical half-ogre was big and dumb, and you're only job was to hit things. Locked door? Bash it open. Hobgoblins threatening the party? Hit them until the fall down. Subtlety was lost with this character; but that was the point -- if you DMed a game, and someone wanted to play a half-ogre, you knew they didn't want to talk to the townsfolk or rub elbows with the nobles; they were only here to kill things and take their stuff.