SotDL NPC generator

This is just such an excellent tool! A Shadow of the Demon Lord NPC generator! Gonna use the hell out of this.

Yeah, and while you’re here, check out the moodboard for Brackish (aka Brakkvann), my upcoming SotDL campaign

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[Map] The Island Seis

I’ve been drawing a lot on my iPad Pro lately, so I thought it would be a nice change to go back to paper for a bit. Here’s the map I came up with, and I think it turned out well. The top version has a digitally added background (an old paper texture), but the bottom version is a pure vanilla scan from my paper journal.

The Island Seis

The Island Seis is not your typical tourist destination. Rowdy pirates? Check. Dour swamp? Thirsty mosquitoes? Malicious voodoo witches? Check. Check. Check. But then, these nasty factors work in favour of those who hang out here. It’s an unwelcoming pirate haven, slightly, but not too far off from, some very lucrative trade routes. And that suits the inhabitants just fine.

Seis has two ports: Crapola and Port Fyshbite. Both towns are located within a protective lagoon, Crapola to the southwest and Port Fyshbite to the northeast.

seis_v1_bg

Crapola

Crapola has about 500 permanent residents, and about twice Continue reading

[Map] Crimson Tide Tower

Lo, my first ever submission to the One Page Dungeon contest! No disclaimers about lack of time or artistic practice, just the adventure for ya. Please let me know what you think!

crimson tide tower

Crimson Tide Tower [color PDF]
Crimson Tide Tower [black & white PDF]

Though I gotta say, a quick look at one of my fellow competitors makes me realise I’m not a pro yet. Check out Werkes submission for some eye-searing goodness. That’s a nice piece of design right there.

Character sketch: Kjutta

Lately, I’ve been learning to use my new iPad Pro + Pencil + Procreate (drawing app). This has resulted in a few character sketches from our ongoing Shadow of the Demon Lord campaign.

The character below is named Kjutta. He’s an astronomer and student of the occult. Also, he likes to set things alight. And, he doesn’t usually prance about naked. The missing garbs is just a testament to my tendency of beginning a drawing with the bare anatomy, and often the sketch doesn’t make it as far as clothes.

Here’s to hoping you’re equally tolerant of fantasy tropes and genitalia :)

Kjutta

Gnome ancestry for Shadow of the Demon Lord

Gnome

A hundred years ago, the Faerie Queen stripped the Gnomes of their Faerie talents and banished them, for a crime everybody remembers. Their incessant tinkering with technology and technomancy was all fine and good, up until the tar-powered steam engine started dragging itself through the landscape on iron rails.

The Gnome and the Invention

The Gnome and the Invention by MegyeriMano

Some say the Faerie Queen overreacted when the she Continue reading

[map] Mountain Shrine

10 - Mountain ShrineThe red clad figure ran up the frozen mountain slope, and the black sorcerer followed.

By chance, the woman came upon a wide flight of stairs carved into the mountain. She dashed up the steps and fled inside, sprinting up stairs and along corridors until she found herself in a large room with no other exits. The room was barren, except for the huge sarcophagus resting, almost ominously, in the center of the unlit chamber. Continue reading

RPG news roundup

Just a couple of cool things from the radar the past few weeks:

Pathfinder Unchained

Paizo has released Pathfinder Unchained. I don’t own the book, but from what I gather it contains a lot of house-rule-ish options for the game. Looking very much forward to see if there is stuff here which might speed up fights and reduce the time spent on rules and book-keeping!

Esteemed game designer Monte Cook is creating a new RPG for kids, called No thank you, Evil. A Kickstarter is launching May 13th. I’ve had success running RPG Kids, and I’m very curious about how to improve on this.

The Cypher system (the rules engine behind both Numenera and The Strange RPGs) is about to be released in its own book. This sounds like an excellent idea, because for some reason neither the Numenera nor The Strange settings really fired me up. The Cypher system itself, on the other hand, seems to me like a neat and clean set of core rules suited for most any RPG setting. So, cutting the system loose from campaign fluff will definitely make it easier to stir up your own campaign based on Cypher!

Yeah, and then there’s this :)

[map] Tybalds Hallow

tybalds_hallow_fixWhat used to be a sleepy outpost of civilization, mostly getting by on barley, potatoes and sardines, have recently turned in to a busy commercial hub after a substantial silver ore was discovered in the hills just west of the mountains. Merchants, burglars, pimps and other middlemen are establishing shop in the small town, and the local sheriff Brigolda Twotooth is having a hard time keeping order. Continue reading

RPGs vs Board games

How much damage does this cup do?

How much damage does this cup do?

John Wick, the author of Play Dirty, just wrote up an interesting blog post where he attempts to draw the line between board games and RPGs.

I’ll try to sum up what he’s saying: If a game can be successfully played without roleplaying, it is not an RPG (e.g. Chess), if it can’t it is an RPG (e.g. Call of Cthulhu). Thus D&D editions 1 through 4 (5e does have a tiny mechanic to promote roleplaying) are not RPGs.

Moreover, rules are only in the way unless they facilitate one of two things:

  1. Reward choices which are consistent with the characters motivations.
  2. Further the story.

In conclusion: In a true RPG, game balance does not matter, only spotlight.

It’s certainly possible to quibble with Johns line of reasoning, but that doesn’t make it less insightful. I, for one, have endured endless hours of discussion trying to iron out the perceived imbalances introduced by a single spell, say Lead Blades. Imagine spending that time in the spotlight instead, advancing an intriguing plot? Regrettably, I can’t reclaim that time, but I can definitely try to avoid making these mistakes in the future. Avoiding half of them would be awesome, too!