Deepfall Dwarven Gold Mines….

The dwarves of Deepfall have recently reclaimed their gold mines, after LePhroig was killed. They got through most of the mines during the reclaimation, but lost many groups of dwarves once they tried to get to the lowest level. The party happened to be in the Drunken Dwarf when a dwarven messenger frantically came in and started calling all dwarves to arms to help. The party of adventurers decided to follow the frenzied dwarves to help out if they could. Here is the first level of those mines, and the location on the map.

The location of the Dwarven Gold Mines of Deepfall.

Here is the first level of the Dwarven Gold Mines of Deepfall…..Here is the link to the PDF, Deepfall Dwarven Gold Mines.


Blog Stats, in case you’re wondering…????

…….So, I have had this blog since like 2010 or 2011, for a long time. As a blogger, I suck. But as a content creator, I ROCK….!!! At least I think so in my mind…..LOL…!

…….As a blogger, I have gone into too many long streches of not posting a damned thing (Like years at a time…)

…….As a content creator, I really think some of these maps, geomorphs, and 1d100 Random Lists are pretty good.

…….I decided to post a screen shot of this weeks stats. Quick history lesson about this blog. When I started, I was inspired by Dyson Logos blog, his maps, his cross hatching, the old school vibe. I emulated his style and started doing geomorphs, like everyone else was back then, starting all from Dyson’s inspiration. It was an awesome time, I was blogging and working with some great bloggers out there on the interwebs. I never have had a lot of people see my blog, my work. Except the one day Dyson mentioned me on his blog, that day I got like 360 or so vistors in one day. For the most part though, other than that day, my stats are more like this.

That’s about what an average week looks like for this blog. I want to thank all of you who visit….You guys ROCK! I would love to get more visitors, but to be honest, I just don’t care! I am happiest when I finish something new and can post it. It’s kind of a synergy, the more I post, the more people start seeing the content I create, which encourages me to keep producing more content.

PS, trying to finish the “We loot the body 1d100 random table, also working on the Deepfall campaign and hope to post some more of that.


For some unexplained reason, I had to share this early….

Currently, I am working on another 1d100 random ass list, this one is a list for “I loot the body”. Looting the body happens alot in my current campaign, go figure! I was at work today, and had a spare moment, so I pulled up the Loot the Body list I am working on. Typed in a few entries, then out of no where I created this entry. It is only number 14 on the list, but it struck me as how weird something so random yet so fun to run in a game comes out. The whole creative process completely baffles me at times. I mean when your staring at the next entry on a list and you have no freaking idea what to write, you just start writing and then a few minutes later your looking at something that could be so much fun in a game session. That is what happened to me today when I wrote the following entry. Is it great, hardly. Is it fun, I think it is, the possiblities for players and shennanigans with this are endless. (At least for three times…)

Entry number 14, on my 1d100 list of “I Loot the Body”

14. You find 11 GP, and a small pouch. In the small pouch is a quill pen, a small vial of ink, and three small sheets of parchment paper, each roughly three inches square. Whatever you draw with the pen, ink, and piece of parchment will instantly materialize, while the parchment paper turns to dust and fades away. The drawn item will only ever be as big as the picture. If you draw a horse, a live three-inch horse will appear. If you draw a diamond, you’ll have a three-inch diamond. After 1d12 hours the drawn item turns to dust and fades away.

The idea, after I wrote it, made me want to draw an illustration for it, so I did…..weird how that all works???? Anyways, I am still working on the list, it takes time to come up with this stuff. As always, enjoy.


I am Back….

Just a quick note to everyone who checks out my blog. I was on vacation for awhile, and haven’t posted anything new. I am back now, and will be posting again. Working on some new content, mostly for my current game, can’t wait to share it.


…Friday’s Mystery Meat…1d20 Table of Random City Encounters

~ 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.”~

Here is a table of 20 random city encounters. I want to keep expanding on this to eventually make it a 1d100 table. I actually used this table in this weeks game. This one that I am posting is slightly adjusted as I took out the specifics related to my campaign and changed them to generic information. Except for number 12. (That one I left as is, he is the hermit the party visited the last session. He is with his pet pig Penelope, who he can magically give her wings and fly away on, just like he did in the last session!) As a DM, you may need to figure some of this out on the fly as you play, but that is half the fun for me and my group. Here is the link to the table: 1d20 Random City Encounters. As always enjoy, if you end up with any crazy stories using this table, please reply and let me know! I would love to hear them and would be happy to post them here.


Friday’s Mystery Meat: Or What’s in the Crate? …another 1d100 random table.

~ 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.”~

I finally finished my random 1d100 “What’s in the Crate” table! So here it is, just click on the link to download it. “What’s in the Crate” as always enjoy.


The Final Four: Teleport Keys, Magic Teleport Doors, with Free Colorized Standee’s

So I colored the final key, door, and standee doors. The doors and keys make great player handouts, (at least for my game they do). The new black key is the only key that works on the black door, and will teleport the adventures to somewhere very, very dangerous or back to the starting black door/room. It is also the only key that will work on all the other doors, all the regular keys only go to the next teleport room. The yellow key/door teleports to the blue room/door. The blue key/door teleports to the red room/door. The red key/door teleports to the yellow room/door. The black door only goes to a very dangerous place, or back to it’s starting location. As always enjoy.


Final Magic Teleport Room Door Keys…..or “How these became my new favorite markers”

I finally finished the magic teleport room door keys and I really like how they turned out. Just used some chaos runes from an earlier post, and added them to the outside rim of the keys. Then printed out the balck and white copy and colored them with my alcohol markers. I think I first started experimenting with these “Master’s Touch” alcohol markers last summer. I get them at my local Hobby Lobby, normally they cost like $6.00 per marker, but they are on sale a lot for 50% off, so I buy them then.

I like these pens a lot. One end is a brush tip, the other is a regular marker tip. I have yet to ever actually use the regular tips. I enjoy the control I get with the brush tip, it’s almost like painting with a very fine brush, lots of control. They do have a tendency to bleed however, so I am very mindful of that when I use them. I feel like a kid again, just trying to stay in the lines of a coloring book.

Here is a link to the PDF of these Magic Keys.

My current magic teleport room door in color, with a B&W one for you to color.
“Master’s Touch” alcohol markers, my new favorites!!!

Magic Door Standees, just for fun…..Make your own…!!!

Ok, I drew these magic doors for my campaign, to be used as printed hand outs. I realized I could resize them to make door standees two inches wide to fit a standard 1″=5′ grid / tile system. So I did, and here they are in Black and White, for you to download and use. Here is the link to the Standee Magic Doors PDF file. As always, enjoy and have a great weekend everyone.

Here is one in use, not colored, no base color….Just how it looks on a tile.

….”Friday’s Mystery Meat”….Magic Doors….”Or, how the hell did we end up here….???”

~ 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.”~

I needed to draw some magic doors for my game. The party encountered the first door, in some long forgotten crypts under the sewers of Deepfall (See the last Mystery Meat Post, it’s the magically locked secret door in the upper left corner). At the time I had no idea what was behind the door, only that it magically locked and could only be opened with a key. I contemplated this after the session, and came up with the idea that behind each door is a teleport room, There will be three doors, and four keys. (The plain black and white door is for you to color and use anyway you want) Each key will be a circular iron disk, inlaid with brass and gems, they fit into the small circle in the center of the doors. Here is a rough idea of what the keys will look like (Just a concept drawing, still need to make it look cooler and more magical). Here is the link to the Magic Doors PDF.

The example above is the blue key for the blue door (The blue triangle at the top of the door is the door color). The blue gem in the middle matches the door, and the red gems signify what room it goes to. It will only fit into the blue door, and it will only turn counter clockwise rotating the outer circle of small triangles until the red triangle is at the top of the center circle, it then clicks into place. The door slowly opens up into a 20′ x 20′ room bathed is a dim red glow. Once the key is removed doors begin to slowly close, anyone inside is teleported to the red room, with the red door. Each room only teleports to another single room, IE: The Blue door always teleports to the red room/red door. The Red door always teleports to the yellow room/yellow door. The Yellow door always teleports to the blue room/blue door.

The forth key will look eactly the same as the other keys, except the four gems will all be black, this key will fit into any door, and will transport to any of the other rooms, depending on which triangle is rotated to the top of the circle.

I just had an idea for a forth door, that can only be opened with the black key, and it teleports to a different room altogether, like to the hellish depths of the Crimson Abby. I will let you know how it all works out, once the party finds the first key. I will also post the final version of the keys, once I have a design I like. As always enjoy, and Happy Friday to everyone out there.

NOTE: These were designed for myself to print out onto cardstock, cut out and hand to the party as they discover each door or key, I am just geeky that way with my playstyle. I love to pass around handouts, and when possible some type of physical representation of things like this, helps immerse the players a little more in my humble opinion.


RIP Mark, a heroic yet sad character death in this weeks game. Link to our Death and Dismemberment House Rules

Tuesday night is our groups game night. They were in the sewers of Deepfall trying to discover the mystery of who or what tried to break through the sealed magical door to Odyssious’ Wizard Tower. Odyssious called on the party to investigate this after he had successfully defended the door which had completly drained him. The party was headed back to the tower, somewhat battered and running out of resources, as they approached the last interesection with just another hundred feet or so to get back to the magic door. With loud footsteps a massive rat ogre abomination came around the corner, lead in massive chains by six ratmen and a Corvinian priest. This was obviously the creature that had almost broken through the door, and was on the way to try it again. The party attacked with ranged weapons all trained on the abomination, this hurt it and enraged it, yanking the chains from the ratmen’s hands. It turned to face it’s attackers. The Corvinian priest began chanting up a spell in the ratmen’s language. Mark, the gnome fighter rushed up and leaped at the abomination with his bastard sword, (Scoring a natural 20) felling the abomination into the sewer, but then one of the ratmen fired his crossbow at Mark, (also scoring a natural 20) reducing Mark to zero hit points. Mark had to roll on the Death and Dismemberment charts (Our own house rules for reaching zero hit points) He rolled a 5 and only had two rounds to be saved, and only heal spells or potions would save him. Unfortunately, the Corvinian priest cast a ratmen spell, Caustic Mist, which enveloped the all the party members in the front, immobilizing them for three rounds. None of the remaing party could enter the caustic mist, so Mark died before anyone could reach him. He died after killing the abomination (which was epic and heroic) only to be felled by a ratmen’s crossbow bolt.

Here is a link to my Death and Dismemberment charts. The original inspiration was from the Dungeoncraft YouTube channel. His chart in the episode #171 video “Why D&D Charaters need to die” was what I based my chart off of. I am a dungeon master that plays old school, and I believe that reaching zero hit points should mean death, the game is best when there is a real threat of death. That said, I am also a softy, and I hate to see characters die. These charts still give the characters a chance to survive, but there could be consequences. I always roll my dice out in the open for the players to see, so there is no fudging dice in our game. We implemented the Death and Dismemberment charts to lessen the blow of death, but it can still be brutal. Now my players are as scared of rolling on these charts as they are of reaching zero hit points.


….”Friday’s Mystery Meat”….An encounter from last week’s Game.

~ 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.”~

I felt the need to post something, and figured I would start posting “Fridaqy Mystery Meat” posts again. These posts are just for anything I feel like sharing, and or showing off.

This week’s is a small map / encounter straight out of my campaign notebook. The party is currently tracking down a mysterious force that almost broke through a strong magical door under Odyssious’s wizard tower (An NPC). Odyssious was drained trying to keep the force from breaking through the door. He called on the party to help find out what it was that almost broke through from the sewers into his tower. Being a strong ally of the party, and Marvollo the party’s wizard in particular, this was a no brainer for them.

After their first encounter in the sewers vs. some ratmen and a large rat ogre, they found a secret door that lead down some very old stairs. This was the encounter straight out of my DM’s notebook, just a picture, unedited, in all it’s ugly, messy glory. The stats and to hit numbers I use from AD&D / Osric. The centipede stats are from AD&D, I need to update it with Osric stats (Which are usually exactly the same, but once in awhile I find differences.) For example in AD&D a level one and level two fighter use the same to hit numbers, in Osric a level one fighter might hit on say a 14, while a level two hits on a 13. The orange highlighted line is what the corpse needs to hit the AC’s listed above it. The blue and green highlighted lines are what my group’s characters need to hit the animated corpse. It’s a way for me to keep all the info I need to run the encounter right there on the same page.


What’s in the Barrel? 1d100 Random Table

Here is another random table I use all the time in my game. The players seem to enjoy these, and they are a lot of fun during the game. Here is the link, What’s in the Barrel.


Random Potion Effects…1d100 Random Table

Last year I created a random potion effects table, in my campaign world, elixer makers, apothocaries, etc. always seem to have a box of failed potions in their shops. They always want to sell them dirt cheap, and the players really liked it. The random effects have a way of driving the adventure in unexpected directions, they are lots of fun. Here is the Link: Random Potion Effects.


Some more Sewer Tiles

I scanned in some more of the sewer tiles I made this weekend. I cut them out and glued them to some black foamboard, then cut those out. It was a lot faster than actually drawing them in the first place. Now I can just print them out, instead of spending all that time drawing them. I will be adding some “flats” wooden bridges, doors, barrels, crates, etc. then combine them all into a single PDF you all can download and print for yourselves. Enjoy!

Tiles I cut out, ready to be pasted on to black foam core sheets.
Just WIP picture, with the sheet of small encounter maps (which is what startedthis whole thing)
Intersection I did this weekend.
3×6 Floor Tiles
Assorted Floor Tiles.

ISO Sewers, cutting and pasting for the hell of it.

So, I had that isomorph sewer map in photo shop. Decided to do a little cutting and pasting, with a touch of editing, just for the hell of it. It was fun, I can see how I could make some basic elements then toss them all together in random combinations. Might work on that sometime. The black and white rat men I drew just so I could populate the map with an interesting visual (at least I think it’s interesting.) I love playing around with this stuff in photoshop. As always, enjoy.


First Sewer Tiles Group

I have scanned in a few of the sewer tiles I cut out the other night, thought I would share these right now. I will be scanning in some more tonight, then combining them into a single PDF to download, hopefully. Enjoy.


Playing in the Sewers and other ISO Map Shenanigans.

I have been very busy keeping up with my current D&D campaign, we have a very regular group of players and the sandbox style game I play has mushroomed out of control in a fun and insane way. The characters have taken to exploring and surviving in the sewers beneath Deepfall. I decided to play around with an isometric map. I have drawn multiple versions of this, and am learning that less is more when it comes to drawing and my line work. (I tend to over do it, the fieldstone brick walls on this one is a perfect example of that.)

I will be posting some more like this, and soon I want post my sewer tiles I have been working on. Enjoy.

Here is a teaser on my sewer tiles.


Cave Map for Deepfall Area

I purchased and downloaded the Fat Dragon Games – Copper Dragon: Caverns 1 PDF. They are cavern tiles, and they look awesome printed out. Printed a bunch out then mounted them to black foamboard. I cut them out and made a bunch of cavern tiles. I like the way they look, and that I can just lay one out as my players are exploring, dropping a new tile as they move further in. This map is a representation of the tiles laid out. It is also one of several caves in the Deepfall area of my campaign. It’s a random cave I can drop into the map depending on where the players go. I like most of this map, though I am not happy with the steps down to the next level. They just don’t work for me, need to make some adjustments for the next one.

Deepfall Cave Map: Number 1

Here is the tile layout of the map, using the Fat Dragon Cavern Tiles:

Fat Dragon Cavern tiles layed out.

The Adventurer’s Wanted Bulletin Board….

I mentioned this in the last post, here is the actual bulletin board I gave to my players. They had just arrived at Trollshire, in the Sledgemoor Swamp, after their shenanigans upon arrival they settled into Uncle Salty’s Tavern and Inn. That is when I presented the players with this bulletin board of Adventurer’s wanted notices. I made each notice up in Photoshop, with various parchment papers, fonts and images. Printed them out, and posted them with thumb tacks on a piece of black foam board. The one they picked for their next adventure (IE: Game Session) is not the one they decided to go with during the “Next game session” But I was able to wing it anyways. I liked and the the players loved this bulletin board, not only did it give them options of what to do in a brand new city, but it also gave some flavor of what the entire area is like.

The Adventurers’s Bulletin Board found in Uncle Salty’s Tavern and Inn.

Disclaimer: I did use images from The Swamp Gremlins of Malifaux on some of these notices, along with some of the text from their website. Hopefully I won’t get sued, but it is just for personal use, not for sale, not for anything else. Just using it in my campaign. Is this crossing the line? Anybody know if it is?

The thing I like best about this board and all the notices on it, is that it gives the players all the options of what they want to do. They choose what they want to do and then in the next game session, we do it. Most of the notices are quick and easy to prep for the next week’s game. Some are more involved, but as a game master I can plan them out relatively quickly and have it ready to go in a week. Hope you all enjoy the concept.


My Campaign HEX Maps with Experimental Color….

Ok, I am not proud of these two maps. I drew them a few months ago for my campaign. I needed them to run it, I wasn’t sure which way the party would head so I drew two of them. (They ended up going to the Old Fishing Village on the Tucketville Map, in search of Bob the Halfling. He is the son of Alfredo Fogwind, a member of the Raven’s Loft Gentleman’s Club in Sledgemoor. It was a test to see if they were qualified enough to go on the Slith Expedition that the Gentleman’s club is funding, they did in fact rescue Bob, and were hired for the expedition.) See the Expedition Notice below.

So as far as the hex maps go, I did them in my normal black and white line drawings, down and dirty and quick. I needed them for the game. I am not very happy with them because, there is not much detail, not enough interesting locales, the Guargant Swamp Trees are way, way, way out of scale…(One Tree Per Hex would be about the correct scale for them, as 1 Hex=1.4 Miles.) After I finish drawing them, I felt like experimenting with color, so I pulled out my big box of Crayola Colored Pencils and had fun coloring them. I am a perfectionist, so I will be re-doing these maps in the future. Normally I would not post something that is not good enough (in my opinion). I just said WTF, they are not perfect, but they are kind of pretty so I decided to post them as is. I am trying to shrug off that damned perfectionism. Perfectionism just slows you down, does no one any good, and leads to weeks, months, or (In my case) years between blog posts…..LOL….!!!! So here goes, enjoy!

The Raven’s Loft Gentleman’s Club Expedition Notice. Went on the “Adventurer’s Wanted Bulletin Board” But that is for another Post…..and it’s pretty cool…!!!
The Sledgemoor Tucketville Hex Map, with the the Guargant Swamp Trees that are way, way, way, way, way too big.
The Sledgemoor Ruins of Slith Map.

SIDE NOTE: In the previous campaign session, the party had just arrived in Trollshire. After all the various hijinks that ensued, they found the “Adventurer’s Wanted Bulletin Board” at Uncle Salty’s Tavern and Inn. As a DM I had them pick the next session’s adventure from said bulletin board, which the did. Then, when this session started, they totally ignored it and chose the “Expedition Notice” instead. I was totally unprepared for that one, but I had a printed copy of my “Moldvay Random Dungeon Experiment” which I had printed out days before. I had printed that copy thinking I might expand on it to post here, and I had it in with all my prepared adventure notes. It was my lifesaver that session!!!! (That’s why they had to rescue Bob, the halfling, it was all I had with me to use.)

The joys of running a sandbox campaign…..!!!!


Red Cap and The Haunted Tower: A peek into my own DM Notebook…!!!

Many, many years ago I bought a copy of Brian Froud’s book “Faeries”. One particular image stood out for me, along with his short backstory and that was Red Cap. I totally loved the concept of a hard core goblin regularly soaking his hat in human blood.

REDCAP is one of the most evil of the old border goblins. He lives in old ruined towers and castles, particularly those with a history of wickedness. He re-dies his red cap in human blood. Image from Brian Froud’s book “Faeries”

This image and the concept stewed inside my brain for years. In my current campaign I finally created Redcap, his minions Bladze, Stinger, and Chopper. Gave him two Dire Wolves, Chomper and Ripper. He became a reoccurring villain in the campaign. He harassed the characters several times over the course of several sessions. They totally hated him, they tracked him down to his lair in the haunted tower, where over the course of another two sessions they managed to finally kill him and his minions. I am sharing some images of the miniatures I used, along with my actual notes and maps of the first three levels of his lair as written in my DM notebook, warts and all.

Redcap and his minions, Bladze, Stinger, and Chopper. Miniatures are from Reaper Miniatures, hand painted by me, many years ago.
Chomper and Ripper, Redcap’s pet Dire Wolves. Reaper Miniatures painted last year by me.
A handful of Redcap’s Goblin Hordes (I have a lot of these that I used)! Games Workshop miniatures, painted like 20 years ago by me.
The Haunted Tower – Redcap’s Lair: Actual pages of my DM notebook for this adventure. I use a mash-up of old Holmes Bluebook rules with Advanced D&D rulebooks. (That and I make up a lot of shit as I go, so don’t get weird or butt hurt on me and my stats/rules)
Next Pages
Level 2
Next Pages
Level 3 and rules on the “Pit”
Next pages
Last page (I Think) for Level 3

Level 4 is the Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball maze, Level 5 is the caverns where Redcap makes his final stand against the party. I may post those up here on the blog at a later time, or maybe I should just type all this up and publish it as a PDF on RPG Drivethru sometime? What do you kids think? Would anyone in their right mind, actually pay for an adventure module like this? Comment and let me know what you think.

The doorway to the “Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball” Maze.
“Big Happy Spikey Fun Ball” Miniature from Privateer Press, painted by me.

Dabbling in Chaos

I was and am working on a book of Chaos for my campaign, something that I can use as a player handout. These are a few of the images I created for it. The tick-like parasite, and eggs are my hand drawn representations of some miniatures I had printed from Bestiarum Miniatures. The rest of the chaos symbols and images are mine. Just felt like sharing them with you.

Chaos Symbols for My book of Chaos.

City of Deepfall

Here is the map of the City of Deepfall, the main city in my recently posted campaign hex. I am not all that happy with the quality of this one, but I needed to just get it done so it can be used in the game. I could easily run the sessions with out it, but I wanted a map to hand the players. As they discover the various taverns, shops, warehouses, churches, etc. They can just mark them down on the map, and have a good idea of where they are during their adventures and escapades within the city walls. I recently got my hands on Sly Flourish’s “The Lazy Dungeon Master” and “The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master”. I highly recommend reading these wonderful and informative tomes. The ideas presented mesh perfectly with my own very loose and improvised style of play. Below are some basic notes, along with a list of secrets and clues for this town and the hex, the list is not yet complete (#10…???).

PS: Bonus Points for anyone who comments and correctly tells me the TV Series that I shamelessly ripped off some of the plot points and ideas (not all of them, just some of them) for this city and the surrounding area.

The City of Deepfall

Deepfall and Local Area:

    The city watch of Deepfall has been arresting the local dwarves and the poor for every minor infraction of the laws. The arrested are branded as outlaws and banished from the city. They are on high alert to any activities of the thieves near or within the city walls.

    Ignacio LePhroige “The Frog” mayor of Deepfall has taken over the dwarven mine to the East, in the name of the emperor. Ambitious, merciless, and proud, he intends to make Deepfall the jewel of the North.

    Thieves have been attacking coaches, hunting parties, and infiltrating the town. Each attack and theft are more brazen than the last. Rumor has it, that only the wealthy nobles and merchants in Deepfall are being targeted. The city watch is on alert for all acts of thievery within the city walls.

    There have been a lot of pilgrims coming through Deepfall, most taking refuge in the Church of Corvus. Most of them are not seen afterwards and there are whispers of the long forgotten, ancient Crimson Abby and it’s dark, sinister past.

Secrets and Clues:

  1. Most of the old city watch has been replaced with hired Corvinian veterans and mercenaries, very tough and merciless enforcers of the local laws.
  2. Three months ago, after lean years of mining copper, the dwarves discovered gold in their mine. Soon after this discovery the mayor claimed the mine in the name of the emperor.
  3. Recently there have been a few sightings of grotesque, hideously deformed creatures, in and around Deepfall in the dead of night.
  4. Rene’ Duran has been employed by the town council to take over the duties of the former sheriff, who was recently killed during a thief attack on a noble carriage.
  5. The town council has approved the building of a massive bridge over the Talon River connecting the city to Beggar’s Pass.
  6. The ferry service that crosses the Talon is run by Iron Hand, the local criminal cartel boss.
  7. The banished criminals are not allowed back into city, they inhabit the area and forests near Deepfall and are slowly starving and dying of exposure.
  8. There is a bandit camp of banished dwarves and humans deep in the forest next to the mountain foothills southwest of Deepfall.
  9. The local Church of Corvus has been corrupted by the Crimson Goddess. In the dead of night, it has been secretly sending the incoming pilgrims to the ancient Crimson Abby deep in the mountains to the north.

Deepfall and Local Area – Large Campaign Hex

In our current campaign, we have one player who just got deployed overseas. As a group we discussed it, and we will start another adventuring party in the same campaign world with the remaining players. (Depending on schedules we will also try to get our deployed member into the game with a video call or something.) I had the remaining group pick an area on the first campaign map they got, the Merewood/Blackthorne Forest map. They chose the city of Deepfall to start the new adventuring group in. So I began working on the Deepfall area for the next few sessions of our game.

Image of the DM Hex Map

This actually coincided with some YouTube videos I recently watched about Old School D&D and that originally the way Gary Gygax envisioned a D&D campaign of 4 to 50 players, in separate adventuring parties all playing in the same campaign world. In our game we had already started doing this. Some of the original group of players decided they wanted to create some new characters for the journey to Sledgemoor Swamp, two of the players kept their original characters, while the other two created new ones. The original characters stayed in the fortress that they had cleared out with their henchman and hirelings. Currently depending on who can play on game night we can either play sessions in Sledgemoor/Trollshire or at the home fortress near Blackthorne.

Here are the links to those YouTube videos, I highly recommend both of these channels, I have been watching and am subscribed to both of them. Dungeon Craft w/ Professor Dungeon Master has a lot of really great ideas about how to run better D&D games. Questing Beast does a lot of the same, running games, reviews on RPG’s etc. Again if you have never watched these guys, check them out. They are amazing and their content alone is worth the price of admission. (Which is free…)

Dungeon Craft Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWKWg3aQN-A

Questing Beast Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slBsxmHs070

So here is the original Merewood / Blackthorne campaign map. The players chose to start in Deepfall, a small city in the upper right corner of the map.
Here is an image of the large hex and it’s location on the campaign map expanded out.

Here is an image of the Dungeon Master’s copy of Deepfall & Local Area large hex map.

Here is the Dungeon Master large Hex Map of Deepfall and the local area. The large hex is 24 miles across from corner to opposite corner, which makes each small hex roughly 1.4 miles.

Here is the Player Map of Deepfall & Local Area: Both the DM and the Player Maps are on the maps page with links to the PDF’s.


Ugly John and his Dwarven Retinue of Outcasts.

This is Ugly John and his Dwarven retinue. Ugly John has been an NPC in my older D&D campaigns, and is in my current campaign.

Ugly John’s story began about 40 years ago during the Goblin wars to the north. Dwarves were fighting a goblin horde incursion. The final massive battle between the war weary dwarves and the goblin army in the foothills of the Thunder Ridge mountains raged for days. During the battle, a small village of ogres was caught between the opposing armies and was decimated in short order. Bjorn Thunderfist was the commander of a regiment of dwarves that came upon the decimated village. They saw a small ogre child with an arrow embedded in one eye, he was in a desperate fight for his life against a dozen goblin warriors. His only weapon was a large jawbone that he was swinging wildly at the taunting, jeering goblins. Bjorn and his men made quick work of the goblins, then looked upon the frightened ogre child still swinging the jawbone in defense against them as well. Bjorn was tired of the war, tired of the slaughter, and in the moment his heart swelled with pity and pride of this small ogre child’s bravery and determination against the goblin rabble. Bjorn could not bring himself to kill the child as he was ordered to do, and his regiment stood behind him on that decision.

That decision led to a quick field court marshal for disobeying orders, Bjorn and his entire regiment became outcasts. The band of outcasts left with the ogre child, and settled in a secluded valley in Blackthorne Forest, North East of the city of Blackthorne about a days travel away. They built a stronghold and a brewery. They trained the Ogre child in their ways of honor, and how to fight like a dwarf. Bjorn fashioned a massive wooden club with the original jawbone the ogre child was fighting with, they added a few more jawbones to the club over the course of their adventures together. They dubbed him Ugly John and the name stuck, he named his fighting club “Jawbone”. He grew to be a rather large and strong ogre, and had a very high intelligence that Bjorn and his dwarves recognized and cultivated. Over time they developed a recipe for Thunder Ale, a potent and amazingly good ale. They began to sell the Thunder Ale, and it became very popular. Eventually they opened up and inn and tavern in Blackthorne City and named it Ugly John’s. The tavern and their Thunder Ale were a huge success and they all became quite wealthy over time.

Then on a cold winter day, Bjorn became mysteriously ill, and died. His will left Ugly John in charge of the both the Ugly John’s and the stronghold. The dwarven outcasts respected Bjorn’s final wishes and have embraced Ugly John as their leader. Let the adventures begin.

Side Note: During the beginning of my current campaign (Which has now been running for 3 years). The night that the player’s party encountered Ugly John in his tavern for the first time, they ended up getting into a drinking contest with Ugly John, drinking the famed Thunder Ale. We rolled all the dice out in the open, and Ugly John had bonuses as he had a tolerance built up to Thunder Ale over the years. As the rounds continued one by one the player characters passed out. It came down to one player’s character, Thoradin the dwarf and Ugly John. They kept drinking round after round of Thunder Ale (Like I said we were rolling the dice in the open) the tension and excitement grew at the table. Then it happened, both Thoradin and Ugly John failed their dice rolls at the same time and both passed out simultaneously. It was an amazing moment in the campaign and it still gets talked about to this day. Needless to say Ugly John and the party are now fast friends, but they still don’t know about the stronghold or the fact that Ugly John and his dwarves actually brew Thunder Ale. (They do suspect it though)

Side Note 2: When I play Ugly John, I use a Shrek like / Scottish accent when speaking….took some time to get ok at it, but it is a lot of fun.

Below are pictures of Ugly John and his dwarven outcasts, including a few work in progress pictures and descriptions of where a lot of these very old school miniatures came from.

Ugly John (The Ogre) and his Dwarven Retinue. The front two rows of Dwarves, are some newer GW Dwarves, I got fairly cheap on Ebay. The Back two rows of dwarves are from the old Games Workshop Fantasy Regiments Box from the mid 80’s. I actually bought that box back then, it had 60 miniatures for like $20 or $30 back then. The two Slayers and the leaders are metal Dwarves from GW. Ugly John is a converted Reapers Bones miniature, I gave him “Jawbone” the club he wields, and an eye patch. He is an NPC in my current D&D campaign, he owns Ugly John’s Tavern, and the players love him.
This old Boxed Set
Back of the old box set, the Orcs are still some of my favorite orcs of all time. (Yes, I have a huge Orc army with pictures too)
WIP when I was painting them.
All Done, except the Banner, still need to finish that up
Ugly John and his Slayers (WIP Picture)

Sledgemoor Swamp

Sledgemoor Swamp Map

Here is my Sledgemoor Swamp map, it is part of the same campaign world as the Merewood map. This was the handout I gave my players last night. Trollshire is the main city in this area, a wretched hive of scum and villainy. It is a city built on multiple levels, buildings built on top of each other with lots of catwalks, bridges, etc. all built around the trunks of these massive swamp trees, hundreds of feet tall. It was inspired by this image I found on the interwebs, I would give credit to who ever painted this picture, but haven’t found the name of the artist yet.

Not sure who painted this picture, but it is the image that inspired Trollshire.

Jonestowne, LeCroix, and Tucketville are small towns, they are populated by Swamp Goblins / Gremlins ala Malifaux miniatures. I loved the concept of Creole sounding goblins, living in the swamps. So I bought a bunch of those Malifaux Gremlins for the campaign game. Named the towns after their miniature counterparts. Sledgemoor swamp and the surrounding environs is not a place for the weak, and should be fun for many gaming sessions.


Merewood – My Current Campaign – The First Map

Hi all, for the last few years I joined up with a regular gaming group. Started a campaign with them, and this is the first campaign map I gave them. It is a sandbox style campaign, just been rolling with players, it’s always fun to see which way they decide to go. I just need to keep up with them each week. They all started the very first session in the small village of Crossroads, then ended up in Blackthorne. It has been their base of operations and is the home of Ugly John’s Tavern. (More on Ugly John’s in a future post) Just needed to post something, more to come.

The original map drawing

Village Morph Dice

Dyson’s Delves

Heros and Other Worlds

Zak S. Vornheim

About this blog

    This blog came into being after I discovered the OSR blog scene. I was inspired by Dyson Logos and his blog, specifically his geomorph project. Check out his awesome work: "Dyson's Dodecahedron" The style and the simple elegance of his 10 x 10 squares put me on a mapping roll. I have blatently (...and respectfully) emulated his style and now have pages upon pages of geomorphs. Along with more location specific maps in that same style.

   My intent for this blog is for it to be more than just maps and geomorphs. However, for now, I'm just enjoying this burst of creativity inspired by Dyson and the entire OSR community.

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June 2023

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