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

A1

A2

A3

Map B

B1

B2

B3

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 drivethrurpg.com

6.  Steal underpants 

7.  

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

Settings

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!".

Thanks

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.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

SAVE THOSE SHEETS

Article over at Draconic Magazine - Guest starring moi! 


Yes the same the Draconic Magazine I discussed this morning.  

I'll let you know that this idea popped into my head last night as I closed my eyes, trying desperately to fall asleep. 

Everyday there is something new - Draconic Magazine Review

Maybe you have heard about Draconic magazine, maybe you haven't?  Here is my little review of a very cool online magazine/blog that has just appeared.

From the "What's This About?" section of the website

Draconic Magazine is primarily a tabletop fantasy roleplaying game resource filled with articles (glorified blog posts, really) to help GMs and players alike. We want you to game better. If we've done our job, your adventures will be more adventurous, your characters will have more character, your villains will be more villainous, monsters more monstrous, and every new campaign will be that much more awesome.

Created/hatched from the mind that brought you "Liberation Of The Demonslayer" and the new "Island of purple haunted putrescence"  +Venger Satanis does it again!  The magazine is full of great ideas for players & GM's alike.  Since its inception (about a week ago?) there have been a ton of new posts.  It seems that almost everyday there is something new to read.  And not only is Venger writing posts, but he has a few other authors in the stable as well.  (I am currently trying to talk him into posting a article that I wrote this morning).  While not strictly OSR the site has its roots there.  It is really about role playing, GMing and helping you to be better players & GM's (as above statement).  We need more magazines like this.

The website acts as a vehicle for sales obviously, but it is a lot more to it than that.  But of course aren't we all trying to do this?   Take a look at my blog, huh there's a bunch of links to modules I've written and drivethrurpg etc.  It happens.  That being said the "Book Of The Month" currently is a module called "The Hanging Coffins Of The Vampire Queen", which was not written by Venger.

By far my absolute favorite post is Kodarrs Kommandements, I am hoping this will become a regular feature.

If you would like to publish a article with Draconic Magazine go and click here.

Speaking of submitting an article: You own the content. I only ask for 3 months grace period before you, the author, re-publish it. At which point, it would be nice to receive a mention of where it was originally published. If Draconic Magazine re-publishes content in a commercial form (PDF or print for sale), the original author will receive credit and a portion of the profits equal to the percentage of author's content within the entire manuscript.

As a side note the graphics & artwork all over the site are amazing and inspiring.

That's my 2 cents.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Writers block? no no that didn't happen to me, maybe bloggers block

Sure that's what I'm going to call  it.  The honest truth is I've been really working hard on a new module.  At least in my head sorting out a bunch of ideas.  I've also drawn another 2 maps,, with one more in the works.  That being said, I've also been silly busy at work lately which sorta cuts into the bloggin time.  So technically if we are calling a spade a spade, I don't really have bloggers block so much as I'm outta time.  That was a friggin ramble.

On to a few little tidbits.

I realized during the aftermath of the creation process for the overrun mines, I inadvertently used a few ideas that I was going to use for my bigger module that I have been working on. So I have to do some re-working on that.

I find that some of my best ideas come about because of conversations that I have had either in a google + forum or directly with all the awesome RPG peeps on Google +.  I need to get back to doing a bit more reading.

Another thing that I did was to start re drawing a few of my original map sketches.  I had this problem of thinking that stuff was "set in stone".  That should never be the case, its a good way to paint yourself into a corner.  (same goes for music).  So I managed to re-work some maps, and as I said above draw some new ones.  Part of me wants to grab a lighter, burn everything and start from scratch, I just might do that! haha.

I have also come to the conclusion, that I want to start working on a campaign setting of my very own.  I have a reasonable amount of ideas laid out.  Politics, a few hex maps, town/city names, factions, etc.  I don't know if this is something that is even marketable at all? and in all honesty I think I'd just throw it up on drivethru for giggles.  I maybe wrong here, but I feel like GM's  either go with a nice laid out wotc campaign setting, or create one of their own (so they can bend the rules... what rules?).  Personally I've always dug creating my own.  And now that my brain has caught up a little bit (ie not 16 anymore).  I have clear concrete ideas about what I would like in a setting.

Another thing I realized that would be extremely flocking handy,(no that isn't auto correct, I wrote fucking then spell checked it and it came up with flocking and I thought that was awesome)  and I may just have to do it, is the RANDOM NPC CHART! Seriously go ahead, beat me to the punch on this one, but here's my thoughts.

Random job (from Ad&d 2e DM's guide), surf thru dragon magazines for elf, dwarf names that were published ( I know they did a few charts), and then I've seen a few character trait charts,  this would be super handy.  I sometimes get in the middle of telling a story, and I get hung up on the guy they are talking to in the tavern.  And you really can't use the same creepy dude everytime can you?

Damn it I am going to spend all night working on this aren't I?

Ramble on......


Monday, September 8, 2014

Pre-review of The Overrun Mines From Thaumiel Nerub

+Thaumiel Nerub 
Hello! Just finished reading The Overrun Mines! Before I write a review here's some thoughts:

- in room descriptions number 12 is replacedwith number 13 so there's 13 twice
- 11 is a little unclear for me first time read. Thought there are dead skeletons but stats told these are attacking types. Two entries later (13) it came?clear that there are undead goblins! This was a little?confusing for me at first...
- crazy stats! 17 grey worms have HPs not HDs. Are both 1 HD monsters (young worm max hp and larvae min hp) or are young grey worms 8 HD and larvae 1 HD?
- crazy stats in 19 with dark elf having AC 15... This should be 5? (If the 1 is typo in front of it or you accidentally used ascending the right result should be either way 5 ;) ). Also dark elf has HPs not HD. Hard to figure out is he 1HD with max hp, 2HD with average hp or 8HD baddie!

Those were biggest mistakes and weirdnesses I found. Small typos I don't care about.

But I liked this! Simple, easy to run, engaging, loved traditional traps. Resurrection table and underworld day rules are great! I like when adventures include some extra material you can use after the adventure is played. Also I love rumor tables!

And one question I am interested in. Pregen characters, did you roll the stats, roll for starting wealth, buy the equipment? It's a nice detail how much (or less poor starting adventurers) they got gold. This has nothing to do with the review, I am just curious!

Anyways, me likes. Review will be blogged after I run this. Because I really want to run this thing!

Thanks buddy! I am going to make all of these necessary changes on version 2.0 of the pdf.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

World Building

I have been trying to think of some better ideas for world building lately.  As far as the fantasy genre goes there's been a lot of the same sorts of things.

*  A great cataclysm
*  The gods coming down and wreaking havoc upon the mortal plane.
*  The world as we know it died, eventually nothing was left of our civilization and the faerie creatures returned.
*  A great power over ran the world long ago.
*  The elves have gone into the west.
*  The dwarves have hidden in the mountains.
*  A ancient race left landmarks and hidden treasures across the land, some have been found

Typically though I feel like to a degree we are happy with these types of world's aren't we? I mean we buy the fiction, we watch the movies, we buy published adventure setting with this type of content.

Of course there are a bunch more of these types of things, but it always seems to centre around some epic event (Sauron & The ring, etc).  More often than not when reading the history's of world's these types of cataclysm events seem to happen with the timeline.  You don't have to look far, isn't WOTC doing this right now?   "The Sundering" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sundering_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)

So all that rambling being said, I am currently trying to come up with some NEW idea of world creation.  Thankfully there are a TON of resources out there.  I am starting to come to the conclusion that the first thing I need to do is write the 5 W's.

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY.

That's a good start! At least as far as the history is concerned.  Then of course fast forwarding a bit to present time (the time of the heroes... cuz that hasn't been used a thousand times! hahahha), and writing out the 5 W's again.

So mission build a new history and world that doesn't pull from the usual resources, is starting, at least in my brain.

IF YOU WERE TO CREATE A WORLD, WHAT HISTORICAL EVENTS WOULD YOU INCLUDE? 

Cheers!