Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dungeon Monthly (April 2014)

Here's this month's dungeon map:

And here's a quick look at how I plan to join all of this year's maps together to form another level of the 'dungeon monthly' mega-dungeon (though you can of course arrange them any way you like):

In addition, if you're looking for unlabelled versions for any of  these maps (perhaps to use with some form of virtual table-top) then you can find them in the following G+ albums:

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Helroth's Tower now includes VTT maps!

I've just updated the 'Helroth's Tower - fortress map-pack' so that it now includes separate jpg images* for each level of the tower.

This means that you now get...

...a full colour booklet depicting each level of the tower,

...a similar (ink saving) black & white version of the booklet,

...and ten image files that can be used in conjunction with your favourite VTT.

So, if you've already purchased the booklet, you've probably just received an e-mail letting you know that the product has been updated.

But if you've not purchased it yet (and if Helroth's Tower looks like something you might be interested in), then HERE is a link that'll allow you to pick it up at a discounted price (which lasts until the end of the month).

(*note that these maps are scaled at 50 pixels per grid square).

Saturday, 5 April 2014

International Tabletop Day Sale!

It's International Tabletop Day, and to celebrate I'm offering the following products at a fraction of their normal price :)

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So, If you've already got the FREE Age of Shadow core rulebook, then why not take a look at the Age of Shadow Starter Bundle for just $2.99.

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But if the fantasy genre is not for you, then how about the Tiles of the Dead for $1

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And for those of you that subscribe to the blog (or follow me via various social networks) - here's a super-special-secret link that'll allow you to get your hands on Zone 10 Basic Set (for use with 10mm miniatures) for FREE :)

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Note that these special prices will only be available this weekend - so grab 'em while you can!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Helroth's Tower to include VTT maps?

I have a quick question for the folks out there that use VTTs (Virtual Tabletops)...

If I were to include separate image files for each of the maps that feature in the 'Helroth's Tower' booklet, how would you prefer them?

For example, would you like them to be supplied exactly how they appear in the booklet (i.e. with a parchment background, compass rose, minimal text, etc. - as seen on the images on the left)...

 ...or would you prefer them cropped down so that only the structure is included (with either a plain or parchment background - but no text) as seen on the images in the right?

Also, is the file size an issue at all? ...as it's been a few years since I've gamed regularly on a VTT, and back then, keeping the file size down was definitely a priority.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Dungeon Monthly (March 2014)

Here's this month's dungeon map:

And if you're looking to use these maps with some form of virtual table-top, then you can find all of these 'dungeon-monthly' maps in the following albums:

Saturday, 15 March 2014

D.I.Y. Wargaming / RPG Hedges

Over the past month I've noticed a few pictures scattered around various parts of the Internet that show how folks have made cheap wargaming/RPG hedges out of nothing more than dish scourers/scrubbers (i.e. the abrasive green things you use when washing the dishes) and tongue depressors (i.e. the things that look like large lollipop/popsicle sticks).

Apparently, folks have been doing this for years - but since I've only recently discovered the technique, I thought I would give it a go myself (adding a few extra steps of my own along the way).

(some WW2 figures next to one of my finished hedges)

So, if you're looking to do something similar yourself, this is what you'll need:

Top Row (from left to right):
  • Flock/sand/sawdust (the colour doesn't matter)
  • Cheap acrylic paint (yellow, white, brown & green)
  • PVA (white) glue
  • Woodstain (I'm using the cheap 'medium oak' colour from my local 'Wilko' store).

Bottom Row (from left to right):
  • A pair of scissors
  • A wire brush
  • A scourer (roughly 6"x 4" in size)
  • Tongue depressors (roughly 6" long)

Not pictured:
  • An old (size 3 or 4) paintbrush (for drybrushing)

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The very first thing you'll need to do is cut the scourer in half lengthways (as each scourer is large enough to make two of these hedges) - which will leave you with two pieces, roughly 6"x2" in size.

Then take one of these 6"x2" pieces and fold it in half (lengthways).

Once you're happy with the fold, apply a generous amount of glue to the inside of the folded area, and glue the two sides together (to form a 6"x1" strip as shown in the picture below).

Then place a few heavy books (or something similar) on top of the strip, and leave it to dry overnight.

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Once the glue is dry, cut little chunks out of the top of the hedge with a pair of scissors to make it look a little less uniform (note that the top of the hedge is the folded side), and rough up the entire piece (except for the bottom) with a wire brush.

Once this is done, simply glue the scourer to one of your tongue depressors and add a little flock around the edges (as seen below).

At this stage you might see some undesirable wisps or clumps of the scourer sticking out in a few places - but don't worry about that for now (as this will be taken care of in the next step).

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Once you're satisfied that the glue is dry, give the flock and base a quick coat of brown paint, and cover the scourer with a generous amount of woodstain.

This serves two purposes; firstly it darkens the whole piece (and tones down the slight bluish hue of the material), and secondly it hardens the hedge - making it feel a lot more solid when it dries.

It's also worth noting that if you still have a  few wispy bits of material sticking out of the hedge at this point, you can wait for the woodstain to become 'tacky' and then push/squeeze them back into a more desirable position.

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Once the woodstain is dry, all that's left to do is add a bit of colour to the piece using some cheap acrylic paint.

For the greenery I first applied a heavy drybrush of green, followed by a regular drybrush of equal parts green & yellow mixed together, and then a final (light) drybrush of yellow.

For the base I applied a drybrush of 2 parts brown, 1 part white, and 1 part yellow - followed by a light drybrush of 1 part brown, 1 part white, and 1 part yellow.

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And that's it!

If you're anything like me, the chances are that you've already got most of what's needed lying around the place (assuming you at least dabble in painting miniatures) ...and in my part of the world, a pack of 10 scourers goes for £1 at the local 'Poundland' store, and I managed to get a pack of 25 tongue depressors off ebay for a similar amount.

So, as you can see, the hedges themselves cost very little to make (around 10p each in my case) - so if you're looking to add a few pieces of terrain to your tabletop, but don't want to break the bank in the process, then why not have a go a creating a few of your own :)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Dungeon Monthly (February 2014)

I've been working on a couple of interesting commissions recently (which have kept me pretty busy) - so I've only just got around to drawing February's 'dungeon-monthly' map ...and here it is:

And, as most of you will probably already know, the main purpose of the 'dungeon-monthly' project is to create a bunch of modular maps that folks can piece together to produce dungeons of various shapes and sizes (for example, if you click HERE you'll see a dungeon layout which consists of five of these maps).

However, I'm also a big fan of mega-dungeon maps (though perhaps slightly less so of mega-dungeons themselves) - and so I'm designing these maps so that you can also piece together all 12 maps from any given year, and have them form one huge dungeon level (as shown HERE).

So, if 2013 represents 'Level 1' of the dungeon-monthly-mega-dungeon ...then here's a quick look at how 'Level 2' is starting to shape up...

...which also highlights the areas where connecting stairways are present.

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And if you're looking to use these maps in conjuction with some form of virtual table-top (VTT) then you can find all of the 'dungeon-monthly' maps in the following albums: