Monday, September 29, 2014

drivethrurpg question

For all you module designer/publisher types out there.  There is an option when uploading a product to setup a artist royalty rate.  Has anyone ever used this? I would guess that drivethru takes there cut and you either take a % of your earning and give it to the artist on every purchase (automatically) or you set a specific agreed upon dollar amount.

As an artist would you do this?

Its very similar to "points" on a record, when your a record producer.  Sometimes producers are paid a little up front and then "points" which means they get a percentage of sales.  However (not to shoot myself in the foot) most record producers would rather take a lump sum up front and let the artist keep all royalty's unless its a definite hit (which doesn't happen that often).  FRICK! that hurt... shot myself...

Anyways thoughts?

broke down and crosshatched it last night

The more maps I do the better I get at it.  It's still not quite right.  but let's just call that "My style" lol.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Think out of the "Mountains In The North" Box

Much has been written about “World Building” in RPG’s, all it takes is a quick search to find a variety of opinions and concepts on the subject.  It seems to me that a lot well meaning GM’s draw up a fantasy map with a previously created idea in mind.  We have all seen those maps at the start of our favorite fantasy novels, and we tend to emulate them don’t we?

I say through that old boring concept out the window! The following is a list of a few ideas to get you thinking outside of the “Mountains in the north” box.

Every time I look at a fantasy map, the first thing that pops into my mind is "this looks like a great place to settle down and raise a family".  What I mean by that is there are always a variety of nice looking towns, quite close together.  There are usually mountains to the north, maybe a sea to the west and of course there are forested lands (Where the Elves are).  Why can’t those Elves live in the desert anyways?  But I digress.

I've often thought that the land should be just as dangerous as the monsters that live within it.   Why not have large cracks across the land, caused by a shift from tectonic plates?  A forest that is so dense that the only way thru it is either over or under it?  One volcano, how about two!  

From an adventurer standpoint, their needs to be a home base, a place to put your feet up, smoke your pipe and drink copious amounts of ale.  Good locations for settlements are always close to a source of food and water.  The obvious choice is the keep or border town.  Bah that’s been done hasn’t it? Over and over again!  Put that city or village deep within a forest, on the side of a mountain or deep underground. 

Instead of having your map continues off the page north, south, east and west.  Surround the entire maps edges in fairy darkness on all sides there is a nothingness that no one can fathom.

Islands are another great resource, everyone seems to think there's only one way off of them and that is by boat.  Why not an underground tunnel that leads to each island?  What about deserts covered in lava pools or a river that has been poisoned and is now a black tar like substance?  

Elevation is another important thing to keep in mind when designing a world.  Picture this, you are traveling south thru a forest, it slowly inclines to hills and then a picturesque mountain, on the other side of the mountains is a great drop off to the sea.  

These are just a few ideas to help you re-think your map making and campaign world.  Rather than emulate your favorite map or campaign world, create your own, but do it in a way that is entirely different than the norm.  As I said, think outside of the “mountains in the north” box.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lesson I Learned

Lesson I learned from creating the module "The Overrun Mines".  I labelled the map, but within the original version of the text, I mis labelled the module / room numbers, and wound up with 2  - "Room 13's".  Here is how I plan to combat this issue in the future.

1.  Draw all maps 

2.  Label all maps in GIMP "Map A", "Map B"

3.  In word processor , prior to doing any writing whatsoever create pages with Map A, and then add in all the room numbers (while looking at printed map).  So you will have the following

Map A




Map B




This way you don't miss any rooms! or label something wrong and it becomes confusing as hell for the guy trying to run your module.

4.  Write out all descriptions to your hearts content

5.  Upload to

6.  Steal underpants 


8.  Profit

(that'd be a South park joke, stop at 5).

New map doodle

This may become part of project enormity I guess I will see.  I almost don't want to hand crosshatch this.  The more I practice crosshatching the more I don't like how I do it.  I could use that gimp plugin possibly? I dunno yet.  Another thing I want to try with maps, is to use graph paper and make a very straight map with a ruler.  Instead of cross hatching I think what I might do is shade the entire right side of the map kinda thing.  (I"ll have to do a test of this and post it so you get what I'm talking about).  Anyways, here's a doodle.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I've been thinking this morning about "Independent RPG World's and Settings" VS The Big Companies Settings.  The last 2 modules I created were built very open ended on purpose, so that any GM could pick them up and run them within their own world, or a pre-made world.  I plan to continue this in the future, as I've received a decent reception on the idea.  It does however bring to mind, what do you prefer?

1 Pre made independent settings
2 Your own world, where you completely call the shots
3  A wotc/pathfinder setting (Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Greyhawk etc).

I'm just curious on this, would you buy someone else's world on drivethrurpg? Or are you much more inclined to got at it yourself?  Or "Just gimme that wotc box!".


Friday, September 12, 2014

A little bit O' Inspiration

Well its already getting a bit cold up North!  Actually turned the furnace on last night.  I'm starting to fall into the trap of cuddling and watching shitty tv, which is okay I suppose.  It is however a bit too early to be doing that.

Anyways, I have a silly addiction to watching all the dumb shows on history channel, things like ancient aliens, pawnstars, etc.  I also just started watching a series of conspiracy theory stuff on netflix.  Last night a show called "Miracles Decoded" came on history.  Neat show actually, they try to debunk miracles with science.  They do however leave it a bit open ended so the end tv watcher can decide.

2 things in the show that of course sparked some ideas.

Voodoo - this is such a interesting arcane thing, the first thing that popped into my head is Shamans in RPG's.  Some of these voodoo witch doctors are such characters, they believe wholeheartedly in what they do.  In the episode the "Dr." did two rituals.  One was light magic, a lady wanted a love spell put on her.  So they went to a grave yard and called upon a spirit.  The second was a voodoo exorcism.  which was super neat!  Apparently this lady's family was cursed from years back when her grandfather had burned a church down.  Suddenly in her 20's she became very suicidal, went to psychiatrist's and they were no help.  Finally she went to this voodoo Dr, and he managed to help her.  From a RPG perspective, take your typical Goblin Shaman, maybe he's not calling on evil spirits, maybe he's trying to help his community by performing rituals.  Maybe the PC's need healing and the shaman can perform a strange voodoo-esq ritual.  A little bit of research on these voodoo doctors from New Orleans might help to bring that particular NPC to life!

The second thing was this temple in India that has a well that supposedly carry's magic powers of healing.  Now this "healing waters" frequently crops up in RPG stories.  This particular pool was said to have been blessed by the god Shiva herself.  A priest asked Shiva for help to cure all diseases, and a special ingredient was added to the pool a long time ago.  Believers immerse themselves in the pool and are eventually cured.  Once the cure happens a appeasement is made by shaving ones head and leaving it for Shiva.  This is totally RPG isn't it?   The thing that struck me about this was the temple, it was just this fantastically old structure the pool being in the centre of the structure outside.  The temple then goes around it.  Very neat bit of architecture.  The temple is called Chidambaram Nataraja Temple.