Archive for January 11th, 2011

11
Jan
11

The World of the Thief-Dabbler

In worlds within which magic and roguery mix, it is inevitable that the bottomless well of arcane potential is drawn for acts of petty criminality.  Let us consider some of the unfortunate charms and hexes born of the Thief-Dabbler!

Prestidigital Adherence
Level: Magic-User 1
Range: Touch
The miscreant mage is able, by means of this spell, to instantly transport an object weighing up to one pound into a bag or pocket on his person, so long as the caster is in physical contact with the object when the spell is cast.

Tergiversant Testimony
Level: Magic-User 1
Range: n/a
Also known as mystic mendacity, this spell allows the caster to tell the target of the spell a lie regarding a recent event that matches the event’s apparent outcome. The target adopts this lie as a true memory, receiving a saving throw versus spell if they are confronted with contradictory evidence.
Examples:
“I did not throw this lamp to the floor! I tried to catch it when it fell from the table.”
“Pick your pocket? I tripped on that flagstone!”
“I’m sorry, but I think you wrote that entry in your ledger before you paid me.”
(The last would require a save versus spell if the clerk counted the contents of their changebox).

Boon Contrivance
Level: Magic-User 1
Range: 1 large table
This spell allows the caster to determine the outcome of a minor chance occurrence immediately before it happens, and is used almost exclusively in conjunction with sleight-of-hand maneuvers to affect gambling outcomes.
 

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11
Jan
11

The Post Where I Give You Awesome Map Graphics

That is, if you think that by awesome I mean a recreation of the art and design methods of late-seventies RPG game maps. Awesome in a way that Red versus Blue of the generic cold war armies on a Tactics II game board are awesome.

If you will recall from my last stint of map posting, I explained the whole process of generating a random and unique regional hex map for use in a starting sandbox style campaign. It was a homage (copy) of the same style of region maps that were put out by Judges Guild in the late seventies for their Wilderlands of High Fantasy series.

Towards the end of the process, I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t exactly replicate their graphic style in my final map iteration. The designers at Judges Guild used a combination of hand-inking on a full size sheet and screen tone to produce their textures and shapes on their large 48″ x 36″ maps.

Photo-mechanical printing to capture a full size drawn map seemed a little severe for my purposes and screen-tone is generally only used in Japanese manga as a carry over from pre-digital illustration days. I had already found some digital textures on the internet that someone had lifted off of old wargame designs that would take care of my forests and rough patches. Those were good, but there were still a bunch of tone patterns that were impossible to locate, to say nothing about the mountains and hills that were hand drawn directly on the old JG maps.

So to satisfy my own obsessive sense of needless design (it is a DM eyes only map, no one will get to see it.), I created a bunch of repeating digital patterns to simulate the inking and screen-tone that I could find on the old maps and loaded them into my imaging software for my personal mapping enjoyment.

And the good news is that I am giving them all to you.
They include such top hits like:

  • Forest
  • Grasslands
  • Coast and River Rough Patches (sand)
  • Rolling Hills
  • Rough Hills
  • Mountains
  • Swamp
  • Desert (I am quite proud of all the little palm trees)

And a couple different encounter symbols for :

  • Villages
  • Castles
  • Lairs
  • Ruins

All the patterns are scaled to perfectly fit the 48″ x 36″ 150 dpi hex region map that I am also including in the attached zip file.

Here is the link.

Or try here.

Or maybe here.

See the included readme for further instructions about how to use them in your graphics program. However be forewarned, it still takes a lot of fiddling with layers and brushing and erasing hills to get it to look good. It is no Campaign Cartorapher. It looks particularly good when you lay the whole business over your enlarged watercolor painting. But it also looks just fine in B&W like the old Judges Guild maps.

Enjoy and map-on through your 70’s fantasy lands. Listening to Hawkwind helps the process along.




Past Adventures of the Mule

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