I wanted to announce the new Kickstarter project that I have had the opportunity work on. Joe Wetzel has started another Kickstarter featuring a new set of the Dungeomorph Dice, Villages and Cities. Like the first set, I have made map/geomorph contributions to this set. This has been a fun set to work on so far, I hope you will all help to support it. Click on the Kickstarter link above or on the image below to check it out.
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This is my 3rd megamorph, after doing the first two, I realized I could use the full sheet of paper making it basically 4 standard geomorphs tall and 3 wide. So I drew this monstrosity, it is a large dwarven style hall. There are huge columns, a large balcony on both sides, and a higher balcony for the dwarven king to stand up above the hall while speaking to his amassed subjects. Behind that balcony are some royal chambers for the king to get ready beforehand, with a secret escape route in case of emergencies. The megamorph also has several other large halls and some caverns. I have to admit that this is somewhat inspired by the Lord of the Rings \ The Hobbit movies. I really enjoyed the large vast chambers those movies portrayed. This is my attempt to get something like that on a map, though these are no-where near as large as what was seen in the movies. This would also be a bitch to map during a game session. Let me know what you all think?
Click on the image to get the full page PDF, and as always enjoy!
Here is the second MegaMorph I drew a few months ago. In this one we have a large gallery type area with a huge balcony overlooking the gallery. There is also a huge cavern with a very large, very deep, crevasse. It can be crossed by either the wooden rope bridge or the natural stone bridge. Off of the gallery there are the sacrificial chambers. The north chamber has a statue, were the prayers/chants/rites are given before the sacrifice, the south chamber is the sacred pool where the sacrifice is ritually bathed and cleansed in preparation. The victim/sacrifice is then walked up the large stairs to the sacrificial platform the juts up high into the air above the crevasse, then thrown into the abyss below upon completion of the ritual. The platform is high enough up that a player could in theory jump from it, trying to land on the other side of the abyss (with the proper skill/ability checks and at the GM’s discretion) of course if a sacrificial victim is tied and bound they too could try to launch themselves to the other side as well, but success would be slim seeing as how they are tied and bound. Could be some interesting role playing with the whole thing.
Click on the image for a full page PDF, and always enjoy!!
~ Attention. Here’s an update on tonight’s dinner. It was veal. I repeat, veal. The winner of tonight’s mystery meat contest is Jeffrey Corbin who guessed “some kind of beef.”~
It’s been a very, very long time since I posted anything here, lets face it, I just suck at blogging. That being said, I have still been drawing, still creating….I haven’t quit. Between two jobs, 3 kids (two of which are in college now and my baby is now a junior in High School) throw in my 53 pounds of tail wagging dumb-ass named Sierra and voila, I have just been very busy for awhile now. I am also working on a new project that will be announced in the near future. Enough about that, I took the whole geomorph concept a little further, with megamorphs. These are very large geomorphs that can be used with the standard 10 x 10 ones. I have done this before on a smaller scale Here. These new ones are just larger, more room for me to play with, and less predictability for players who may have gotten used to standard geomorphs. Here is my first one, just some large long hallways, with some caves underneath. I am not sure what the hell I was thinking when I put a trap in the middle of the main hallway! Must have seemed like a good idea at the time….oh well!
Update: Chakat Firepaw, had this to say about my random-ass trap in the middle of the main hallway. I really loved his take on it so I am updating the post with it. Many Thanks to Firepaw for this!
Quoting Chakat Firepaw:
“Presuming that the trap was intentionally placed, and does not represent a weak spot in the floor, I can see a reason for it:
It was intended, first and foremost, as a secret access to the cave below. At some point it was re-purposed to serve as a trap either to specifically target something like a ceremonial procession or on the basis of a badly placed trap still being better than no trap.”
For a full page PDF of this just click on the image. As always, Enjoy!!
I was looking at some blog stats the other day and noticed some hits coming in from Wizardawn-Tabltop Games . So I went to check it out and I found this cool little Settlement Maps generator! The part I liked the most was that it was using my Village Geomorphs ! It makes some nice little villages, sometimes you get some funky mirrored image sections, but for the most part it generates some nice looking maps (of course I’m a little biased)! If you go to the Fantasy Settlements section, you can completely key and populate the map using OSRIC or Tunnels & Trolls rules. It generates a TON of details when everything is turned on.
Anyway, I am thrilled to see some of my simple drawing turned into something so awesome!! I’m sure most everyone else already knew about this, but it was something new to me. Now I am going to have to draw up some more village geomorphs and hope they get added to the generator. Below is a a village map I generated using the Settlement Maps generator, just a simple 2×2 config with no numbers. It took me about 20 to 25 tries before I got both the tower and the large Inn type building on the same map, but I like the way they break it up a little.
I want to congratulate Dyson for just going over One Million Hits!!! It sort of amazes him and he doesn’t quite understand why so many people keep checking out his stuff. In his post about this cool milestone he says, and I quote:
“WTF people? Don’t you have anything better to do than look at someone’s characters for RPGs and a bunch of single-draft hand-drawn maps with no cool high tech work involved in them?
Hell, my maps don’t even include a grid!
Now you’ve gone and brought me over the one million hit mark. It’s almost like I should keep posting to this blog or something.”
Here is my humble opinion as to why so many people keep checking in on what Dyson is doing. Simply put, his work is honest! There is an honest quality in Dyson’s work and maps, when I first came upon his blog a few years back, it was that honest quality that drew me in. His hand drawn maps, with that distinctive cross hatching style and no grid inspired me at the time. He had developed his own style and for me, after seeing it for the first time, it inspired me. It drew me in so much, that I felt a creative need to emulate it. It wasn’t that I ever wanted to copy his style, but seeing his stuff made me want to play with that type of map drawing. My geomorphs were all done in his style, but over time my style has evolved just a tiny bit.
His maps are not simplistic, but there is a simple elegance to his style of mapping that makes his maps stand out. I won’t call it “art”, as I would never dream of calling my maps “art”. Looking at Dyson’s maps though, you can see he has a keen eye for design and aesthetic, there is always a flow, along with good use of positive and negative space. Besides all that he pumps out new stuff, quality stuff like a machine. It’s not just his maps either, some of his writing and ideas are very creative as well, very much outside the “Box” so to speak.
In closing I want to say “Congratulations Dyson” for your 1 million hits thus far, but instead of saying WTF? (as in how can this be?) it should be more like WTF? (what took so long) …LOL. Keep up the amazing work Dyson!!!!!
I have always been a big fan of Matt Jackson’s work, I finally got around to ordering and downloading his Moleskin Map series (I got all three volumes for just over 10 bucks!) One of the things Matt does best is keep it simple, so his maps are very easy to use from a gaming standpoint. Since they are only available as PDF’s you can easily print them out and write notes all over them for your games.
Moleskin Maps Volume 1: There are 11 maps here each full page along with a “One Page Dungeon” style notes sheet with a smaller image of the map in the upper right hand corner. It would be easy to stock several these ahead of time and have them ready for unplanned encounters or scenarios should the need arise. Matt also has several outdoor encounter style maps of campsites, a farm type layout, a village etc. along with standard cavern and dungeon maps. The outdoor areas are something you don’t see a lot of from other mappers (Myself included) so they can come in quite handy.
Moleskin Maps Volume 2: Again there are 11 maps here, each with it’s encounter sheet as well. Most of these maps are caverns and lair maps. I love the waterfall included in the map on pages 5-6. The ruined tower linked with secret tunnels to underground caves (which themselves are linked only through secret tunnels) is another map I like.
Moleskin Maps Volume 3: Is my personal favorite of the set. There are only 10 maps in this set, but they are the best in the series. Here Matt switches to a more detailed style, there are a few simpler, smaller maps but most are larger, more complex dungeon sprawls. A lot more dungeon style maps with a mix of caverns. Lots more detail and unique angles and lines make this set of maps an absolute joy to look at.
If you struggle drawing maps, or need some maps to help create some random locations or encounters, these will help a lot. Volume 1 is $3.50, Volume 2 is $2.99 and Volume 3 is $2.99 which is reasonable to me. In my humble opinion of the entire set, Volume Three could easily be the best value. Then again Volume one has the campsites\outdoor encounter areas, hell just buy all three and be done with it…!!! Keep up the great work Matt!!!