Friday, 2 August 2019

Making a Cursed Dagger Prop from a Cheap Toy

During Halloween, a lot of the cheap/bargain type shops stock things that can be of use in our games (giant spider models being a favorite of mine) - but last year I picked up this plastic dagger for 1 or 2 pounds (I can't remember exactly how much, or where I got it from - it might have been from Wilko's).

Anyway, straight off the shelf it doesn't look very good at all, but I thought I could probably use this as a prop for a cursed/evil magical item at some point - and so I recently had a go at making it look a little less crappy :)

So, in the above picture, all I've done is sprayed it black (after priming it grey), and then while the black paint was still wet, I also dusted it with some silver (all three spray cans were from poundland - and I've always got a bunch of them lying around :) ).

Next, I applied a home made wash (made with equal parts black & brown craft paint, a lot of water, and a squirt of dishwasher 'rinse aid'), and once that had dried, I gave it a heavy drybrush with some cheap metallic paint from poundland (and to be honest that's all it's good for). And, as you can see, I also wrapped some garden twine around the handle (smearing it with PVA glue to make sure it stays in place).

Then I applied some of the same wash to the twine (to darken it up a little), and added some rust by first dabbing on some brown paint with a bit of torn up sponge, and then doing the same thing with some orange paint.

And that's pretty much all there is to it!

It still doesn't look great ...but it's a lot better than what it was :)

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Let's Draw a Dungeon Map (FINISHED)

If you've been following me on social media, or watching some of my videos on youtube, you'll be aware of the fact that I've been drawing a dungeon map, room by room, based on the suggestions and ideas of others.

Basically it went something like this.
  • I created a starting area on the map.
  • I asked people to provide a description of any of the adjoining rooms.
  • I selected a few of those ideas (combining several suggestions whenever possible).
  • I drew in the new areas, and posted a picture of the updated map.
  • I then repeated the process for the new rooms...
 ...and this is how it turned out:

So, if you want to download a pdf copy of this map (along with all the descriptions) you can find it on google drive HERE.

And if you want an unlabelled copy of the map (for use with a VTT for example), you can find it HERE.

Anyway, here's hoping you'll be able to get some use out of it!

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Print & Paste Dungeon Terrain : Fireplace

Just a quick post to say that I've expanded the print & paste range (again ;) ) ...and it now includes a basic fireplace.

As always, you can pick it up from DriveThruRPG as a pay-what-you-want pdf  - so grab it for free, or pay a small amount if you feel so inclined (though all donations, no matter how small, really do help).

And here it is pictured alongside some of my other stuff...

...and, I have to admit, I think it turned out quite nice :)

Monday, 15 July 2019

Let's Draw a Dungeon Map!

I thought it might be interesting if we had a go at drawing a dungeon map together - i.e. you make the room suggestions, and I'll have a go at drawing some of them.

However, in order to keep all the suggestions centralised (and to keep me sane ;) ), post any ideas you might have on the youtube page itself.

A few other things to keep in mind: 
  1. Keep your suggestions to a sentence or two at most (like the starting areas that I've provided), and try not to be too random with your ideas (i.e. let's try to make something that kinda makes sense - something that we can actually use).
  2. Bonus points if you describe something that we can build with some of the 'Print & Paste' terrain that we've making these past couple of years.
  3. You'll have several days to get your ideas in, and I'll then close the comments while I work on some of the suggestions (possibly those with the most likes - so try to keep to one idea per post).

I'll then upload a new video with the updated map, and we'll start the process again for the next batch of rooms :)

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Special Doorways for the 2.5D Dungeon

Just a quick post to let you all know that I've just released another set of print & paste textures...

And, as you can see, there is nothing new technique-wise for these (as they're made in the same way as all of the other doors) - but they do add a bit more variety to the dungeon :)

Anyway, as always, you can find the pdf file for these over on DriveThruRPG (it's a pay-what-you-want product - so pick it up for free or pay as much as you like).

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Burial Shrouds (dungeon terrain)

Just a quick post to say I've put together another 'tips & tricks' video to make this kind of thing:

And here's the video itself:

Hope you find it useful :)

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Print & Paste Sci-Fi Terrain : Barrels, Crates & Canisters

I've just released another set of 'Print & Paste' textures ...and this time it's for a few pieces of scatter terrain for the new sci-fi tiles.

As you can see, they'll be useful for creating barricades, objective markers, area terrain, and so on.

And, as always, you can find the pdf file HERE (it's a pay-what-you-want download over on DriveThruRPG), and it's accompanied by the following instructions video:

Anyway, here's hoping you'll be able to put them to use!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Patreon (VTT tiles) Update

I'm halfway through this year's 'caves' project (i.e. the modular cave tiles that I've been creating for use with virtual table tops), and I'm pleased to say that I've just completed the basic set of small cave tiles :) :) :)

This means that I've finally got all the basic configurations covered (i.e. passages with one exit, passages with two exits, passages with three exits, etc.) - as well as several 'feature caverns that have been suggested by some of my kind Patrons (as seen below).

So, here's a quick look at the kind of thing that you can make with these now...

...and I have to admit that I'm quite happy with the result :D

However, when you piece them together, you are going to get a slightly unrealistic 'modular tiles' look (which is hard to avoid when using modular tiles ...obviously) - but the plan going forward is to create a few larger caverns (made up of 4 or more tiles themselves), which should help to mix things up a bit.

Basically ...something similar to these old black & white tiles here:

Anyway, a big thank you goes out to everyone who supports my endeavours over on Patreon. As I've always said, the aim has never been to hide any of these tiles/maps behind a paywall or anything like that (as I want them to be available for everyone to use) your continued patronage really helps to keep the project alive. THANK YOU!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

UK Games Expo 2019

I've been meaning to go to the Expo (or indeed any gaming convention) for quite some time now - so, after much deliberation, I decided that 2019 was going to be the year that I finally made it to one :)

Anyway, around midday (Friday, after an early lunch), I hopped on the first of three busses (probably not the wisest of travel choices), and after 2 hours I finally arrived at the NEC.

Now, with it being my first time, the plan was to simply have a walk around the venue, make a few purchases (more on that later), and generally just take it all in...

(just one of the main halls)

...and that's pretty much what I did!

Along the way I passed the SquareHex booth (that's the guys who are publishing in-print versions of some of my dungeon textures)...

...and I have to admit that it was a pretty big deal for me to see some of my stuff actually for sale at the UK's biggest gaming con. It was also good to hear that all of the 'starter sets' that they had brought along for the day had already sold out (and that they would have to put together even more sets for the rest of the convention).

So, as I say, that was really good news - and it was nice to actually meet the SquareHex guys at last!

I also bumped into a friend of mine (who was handing out leaflets for his own RPG systems)... make sure to check them out if they sound like your kind of thing!

* * * * *

Now, because I'm on a pretty tight budget at the moment, I set myself a rough spending limit of around £100, and this is what I picked up...

...and the Saltmarsh book was a steal at £25 (even Amazon can't beat that price).

And,I know it might seem a little strange that I'd pick up another battlemat (since I already have large and small wet-erase ones, and because I build so much terrain) ...but this is going to be part of my 'travel GMs kit' - and will fit neatly into a folder :) ). And you might also be able to tell, I stopped by the Epic Dungeon Tiles booth (as that's one of the crafting channels I follow on YouTube), and picked up a couple of his statues as well.

* * * * *

So yeah, I'm really glad that I went - and there was so much more that I could have done and bought if I had more time and more cash :)

However, I can't help but feel that I didn't get the full experience, and that four hours of just wandering the main halls isn't nearly enough. So, next time (as I'm sure there'll be a next time) I think a whole weekend might be in order.

That way, I can maybe try some demo games, or jump into an RPG session or two, and perhaps even record some footage for the YouTube channel. Basically, just be a bit more sociable, and get more involved ;)

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Expanding the Patreon Campaign.

For quite some time now, people have been asking if I intend on running a Patreon campaign for the YouTube channel - but I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to do so at first.

The main reasons behind this feeling were:

1) All the pdf files are available as pay-what-you-want downloads - so if you wanted to support the channel financially, there was already a way of doing so.

2) I didn't want to seem too greedy by having this stuff be both PWYW and on Patreon.

3) I already have a Patreon campaign for the VTT maps that I create, and I'm pretty sure that having more than one campaign running at the same time is frowned upon.

However, the requests have kept on coming in, and so I have asked my existing patrons if they would have any objections to me rolling the YouTube stuff into the same Patreon campaign as the VTT maps. And, as you can probably tell by the title of this post, I was encouraged to do so!

So, whether you're interested in the VTT tiles for use in your online games, or if you're a fan of the 2.5D tiles for use on the regular tabletop, the Patreon campaign will now include both of these projects (along with any other random 'dungeon stuff' that I come up with along the way ;) ).

However, just like before, the aim is NOT to hide any of the finished tiles/textures/maps behind a paywall (that has never been my intention for these) - though there are a few benefits/rewards for those that want to join me on Patreon, and it would be great to see more people jump on board.

So yeah, I've put this off for long enough, if you really do want to support me on this journey of mine, then here is an additional way of doing so (though please don't ever feel obliged ...just think of it as a tips jar kind of thing).

Anyway, I hope that's good news for those of you that have been prompting me to do this - I admit that it's taken me a little while to get around to it ...but better late than never :)

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Print & Paste sci-fi tiles

Back when I first started the youtube channel, I previewed a couple of sci-fi prototypes that I hoped to get around to after I'd got a nice selection of 'dungeon' themed stuff completed.

However, they kept getting pushed back as I started working on more and more fantasy terrain ...but (as you can tell by the title of this post) I've finally got around to making a starter set!

That being said, I've only completed the basics at the moment - but just like the dungeon tiles, I hope to make all manner of bits and pieces to go along with them. So (as I say in the video) this is just the beginning!

Anyway, you can grab the pdf file HERE ...and if you have a go at making any yourself, I'd love to hear how you get on :)

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Broken Talisman Player Handout

I've just released another set of 'Print & Paste' textures ...and this time I've had a go at making a player handout for a an upcoming game.

As you can see, the idea is that something like this can be used for those kinds of adventures where the characters are attempting to recover all of the missing parts of an ancient artifact (from various locations) in order to open a magical lock, or to be used to defeat a powerful villain, or similar.

And, as always, I've put together a short video that shows how they are assembled...

...and the pdf file can be found HERE (note that it's a pay-what-you-want product - so feel free to pay as much/little as you like).

Anyway, here's hoping you can put it to use!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Basic Cave Map Timelapse

I don't think this really qualifies as a map making tutorial ...but I thought it would be of interest nonetheless:

And here's the finished map:

Hope you like it! :)

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

2500 Subscribers Giveaway Over on YouTube

Just in case you missed it, I hit 2500 subscribers at the beginning of the month - and so I decided to do another giveaway.

Anyway, today is your last chance to get your name entered into the prize draw if you want to be in with a chance of winning a set of the latest pre-printed textures, just follow the instructions in the video:

(note, in order to keep it as straight forward as possible, I'll only be counting the relevant comments on the youtube video itself)

Good Luck ...and be sure to enter before midnight (GMT) tonight!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

VTT Maps - still going strong!

I know that the blog has been featuring a lot of the 'print & paste' stuff recently, but I wanted to point out that the smaller (VTT style) maps are still going strong :) ...and that the library of 'cave maps' is steadily growing.

So, here's a quick look at a layout I've just put together that features some of the newer tiles...

...and I have to admit that they do have a bit of a 'tiled look' at the moment ...but this should become less of an issue when I get more 'feature caverns' and multi-tile caves drawn (the latter being similar to THIS).

Furthermore, I've also been trying some of these maps out with this new (at least I think it's new) 'Astral' virtual table top (that DriveThruRPG has teamed up with)...

...and, as long as you change the map to a grid size of 50, all of my tiles snap to the grid without any fuss - plus it seems to have dynamic lighting in the free version (which is nice):

Anyway, as you might already know, I have a Patreon campaign tied to these particular maps (though none of the final maps are hidden behind a paywall or anything like that), which you can find HERE.

Or, if you're not a fan a Patreon (for whatever reason), I'm also compiling them all in THIS lengthy album ...or you can find them (in a slightly more organised fashion) over on GOOGLE DRIVE.

Anyway, here's hoping you can put them to use!

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Make your own miniature beds

Hot on the heels of the Chests & Crates release, I'm pleased to say that I've also put a new pdf file together that will allow you to make a bunch of beds...

And, as always, you can pick up the new pdf file over on DriveThruRPG (note that it's a pay-what-you-want download - so pay as much or as little as you like), and the assembly instructions can be found in the following video:

So, if you're looking to add some interest to your inns, barracks, bandit lairs, etc., hopefully these will help you out!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Make your own chests & crates

You might be pleased to hear that I've just released another set of 'Print & Paste' textures ...and this time the subject matter is chests and crates.

(note that this pic also includes a few barrels & sacks for a bit of added variety)

So if you're looking to run a few encounters in the warehouse district, down by the docks, or in the cargo hold of a huge ship (or if you just want to add some more clutter to an old dungeon) ...then these new pieces should come in handy.

And, as always, I've put together a video that shows how they are assembled...

...and the pdf file can be found HERE (note that it's a pay-what-you-want product - so feel free to pay as much/little as you like).

Anyway, here's hoping you'll be able to put them to good use!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Printing exactly what you need!

Around a month ago I posted a quick tutorial that showed how you could alter the colour of some of my (print & paste) textures to make a few alternative bits and pieces for your dungeons (you can read the article HERE).

Well, I thought I'd take it a step further this month and show how you can use a similar technique to print out custom sheets that only contain the bits you want (a whole page full of 'book textures' for example) - so here goes...

* * * * *

OK, we'll first need to open GIMP (a free image editing program), and import the relevant page from the pdf file in question - just like we did in the previous tutorial (i.e. Choose FILE > OPEN and locate the pdf, and then open the page you're interested in - making sure to input a value of 300 pixels per inch, and turning off anti-aliasing I say, it's all explained in the previous tutorial HERE).

Then, we're going to make a new image as well - and we can do this by selecting FILE > NEW from the menu,  and selecting either the 'A4 (300ppi)' or the 'US LETTER (300ppi)' template (depending upon which page size you're using), and press OK.

And as you can see (if you look at the highlighted area near the top left corner), you'll now have two documents open (the page of the pdf we loaded previously, and a new blank page) ...and we can flip back and forth between the two by simply clicking on these thumbnails.

OK, next we'll need to make the 'textures' page visible (by clicking on the thumbnail in the top left corner that I just mentioned), and then select the 'Rectangle Select Tool' (highlighted in the top left of the following picture), and draw a box around the pieces we are interested in (in this example, all the 'bone pile' textures).

Then press CTRL & C together (to copy the selected part of the image), go back to the blank page (by clicking on its thumbnail), and press CTRL & V to paste the previously selected part of the image into this new document.

However, if you don't want it located in the middle of the page, you can simply drag it nearer the top - like so...

...and if you want to print a whole page of the same texture, just press CTRL & V again (to paste more of that texture into this document), and drag the resulting copies into position (or you could also copy and paste textures from several different pdf's to suit whatever you're building at the time).

And there you have it!

It's a pretty simple procedure (and I often do something similar myself) - which will save you wasting paper and ink by allowing you to only print the textures you want/need.

Anyway, I hope this has been of help - but if you have any issues, please feel free to get in touch.

* * * * *

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please feel free to alter the textures as much as you like for your own personal use ...however please do not share any variations of these files publicly. Thank you.

Monday, 8 April 2019

More Dungeon Textures Available In Print

Sometime last year I was approached by SquareHex (a UK company that produces various roleplaying stuff) to see if I would be interested in them producing hard copies (i.e. pre-printed sheets) of my 2.5D dungeon which I obviously agreed (note that you can see the original blog article HERE).

Well, it would seem that the 'starter set' has gone down pretty well (as we're now into the second printing :) ), and so we've been chatting again, and decided to print a new set (that complements the first one rather nicely).

So, as you can see in the picture above, this second set (which is available HERE, for just £3)  provides you with a wide variety of textures - all of which can be used to produce various bits of furniture and scatter terrain for your dungeons. In fact, if you check out the following video, I quickly run through the kind of things that you can make with some of these.

Furthermore, the release of this new set has coincided with the YouTube channel reaching its next milestone of 2500 subscribers (which is pretty amazing) ...and to celebrate I'm giving away a set of these new textures to one lucky winner.

So if you want to be in with a chance of winning, check out the following video, and leave a 'Count me in!" message in the comments section of the video itself:

And that's it for this little update. A huge thanks goes out to everyone that's supported me thus far (and a big thanks to SquareHex for making this happen). Here's to the next 2500 subs (assuming I ever make it that far)!

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Print & Paste Miniatures : Goblins

If you've been following me via any of the social media platforms (BTW way HERE's some of the places where you can find me), then you've probably seen some of my recent posts about making papercraft(ish) miniatures.

It started off (a while back) with the animated book swarm (note that I've recently made another of these during a livestream), and then the more recent Twig Blights.

Well, I thought it was about time that I actually put together a dedicated pdf for this kind of thing (rather than just repurposing some of the existing textures) ...and here's the result:

As you can see, this first set provides you with a way to populate your dungeons with a whole host of goblins - without having to spend a fortune on mini's :)

Now obviously, I am (and always have been) a fan of regular metal/plastic miniatures - but I thought it would be a nice idea to have a bunch of these papercraft(ish) goblins available for those folks who have no interest in painting (or who simply can't get hold of miniatures in their location) I've always dreamed of a miniatures range of my own - and this is probably the closest I'm ever going to get :)

So, as always, here's the video showing how I put them together...

...and the pdf file can be found HERE (note that it's a pay-what-you-want product - so feel free to pay as much/little as you like).

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Altering the colours of my textures.

Since starting the 'print & paste' range of textures (which are largely used for creating 2.5D dungeons), people have inquired about alternative colours for some of the pieces - in order to add more variety to their layouts.

And while I have done that on several occasions (and will continue to do so, as and when time allows), I thought that it might be a good idea to show you how you can do something like that yourself (quickly and easily) - just using free software (for personal use only of course).

So, here goes :) :) :)

OK then, the very first thing you'll need to do is download and install GIMP (it's a free alternative to something like photoshop).

Once it's installed, open up GIMP and choose the FILE > OPEN option to locate the relevant pdf file on your computer (for the purpose of this first example I'll be using my recent sewer tiles).

You should then get a dialogue box appear that looks something like this:

From here you will first need to select the page that you want to edit (in this example I've chosen page 5) - plus you will also need to input a resolution of 300 pixles/inch, and make sure that the anti-aliasing box is NOT checked.

And that will ensure that the image is imported correctly ...i.e. like this:

From here all you'll need to do is select the COLORS > COLOR BALANCE option (from the menu bar), and move the three sliders around (in the ADJUST COLOR LEVELS section of the dialogue box) until you get the desired colour.

And, as you can see in the above example, I've moved the top slider over to the right (towards RED), and the bottom two sliders over to the left (towards MAGENTA and YELLOW respectively) to change the water texture to something that you could probably use as a pool of blood.

However, if you don't want to change the colour of the whole image you can also use the 'Rectangle select tool' (outlined in red in the top left corner), and use that to draw/select a box around the object you would like to alter... I've done with one of the bottle textures in the above example.

Then, when we alter the colour balance, the only thing that will change is the selected area you can see below.

So yeah, if you ever find that you're in need of a slightly different colour dungeon tile, or bottle, or anything like that, then this is one way of doing that without much fuss (though if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can also play around with some of the other options in the COLOR menu for even more variation ;) ).

Anyway, I hope this has been of help - but if you have any issues, please feel free to get in touch.

* * * * *

IMPORTANT NOTE: As I said above, please feel free to alter the textures as much as you like for your own personal use ...however please do not share any variations of these files publicly. Thank you.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Print & Paste Dungeon Terrain : Sewer Accessories

Since the release of the Sewer Tiles pdf I've been working on a few accessory pieces to accompany them...

As always, I've uploaded these new textures to DriveThruRPG (as a pay-what-you-want file), and shown how to assemble them in the video below.

So, here's hoping you'll be able to put them to use!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Print & Paste Dungeon Terrain : Sewer Tiles

I'm pleased to announce that I've just released another set of 2.5D textures ...and this time we'll be going down into the sewers...

As always, I've uploaded the textures to DriveThruRPG as a pay-what-you-want pdf file feel free to pick them up for free - or throw a couple of coins my way if you'd like to help support this ongoing project (as every little helps).

-an example sewer using the 'starter set' depicted in the video-

And, if you do have a go at making some of these, I'd love to see/hear how it goes!

-Reaper Bones miniatures used with permission-

Thursday, 31 January 2019

More Print & Paste Terrain & Another Encounter Room

I've managed to get two 'print & paste' videos filmed and uploaded this month (along with their associated pdf files), and this latest one features a few alcoves/niches that can be used to add some interest to passages and small rooms - without them taking up any of the playable space!

And, as usual, you can pick up the pdf file from DriveThruRPG (it's a pay-what-you-want product - so pick it up for free, or pay as much/little as you like).

* * *

I've also just released the second 'crafting encounters' booklet over on the DMsGuild.

And, just like the last one, this booklet features a single (5E) encounter, and contains tips on what terrain you'll need to build for that encounter (assuming you like to use terrain in your games), along with a VTT map (for those that play online), and a simple 2D battlmap (for those that still like to use miniatures - but don't want the hassle of building terrain).

* * *

Furthermore, I've also written a short article (and created a few custom textures) for issue 2 of Bexim's Bazaar ...a new online magazine from The Tabletop Engineer (AKA Jim).

And, as you can see, the textures that I've provided for the magazine should allow you to build a medium sized room with a few bits of treasure scattered about the floor, and a gargoyle-like face* (quite possibly a trap ;) ) on one of the walls.

*note that this is a slight variant of the one found in the 'Alcoves & Niches' video this one has red gemstones in place of its eyes.

* * *

So, feel free to check any (or all) of these out ...and, as always, let me know what you think!

Monday, 21 January 2019

January's (VTT) Map Tiles.

As some of you will know, for the first half of this year (possibly longer) I'm going to be drawing a bunch of cave tiles that you can piece together to create your own cavern layouts.

However, it'll probably be a few months before there's enough variety to make anything other than simplistic layouts ...but I thought I'd post a picture of the kind of thing you can do with just these eight tiles (to give you a better idea of the kind of thing I'm aiming for).

(this map contains 2 T-junction tunnels, and three dead-end caves)

And, all this is being made possible by the kind folks supporting me over on Patreon (thanks guys) ...and it's my hope to eventually add 'feature caverns' to the library (so caves/tunnels with lava or water running through them, giant mushroom groves, goblinoid lairs, and so on) once I've got a working 'core set' complete.

So,here's hoping you like 'em!

Note that you can find links to all of these maps over on the Patreon page ...though I am also compiling all of the cave tiles in THIS FOLDER over on google drive.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Print & Paste Dungeon Terrain : Rusty metal

I'm back again with another new set of textures ...and this time I've been making some metal pipes, rusty cages, levers, and so on.

And if you're interested in making a few of your own, the pdf file is available over on DriveThruRPG as a pay-what-you-want product feel free to pick it up for free, or throw a couple of coins my way if you really feel the need :)

Monday, 7 January 2019

All of the (Patreon) maps from 2018

As most of you will probably know, I've had an ongoing Patreon campaign for a few years now (one that's tied to my smaller/VTT maps), and so I thought I'd take a few minutes to show off all of the tiles I created last year - thanks to the support of my kind patrons.

As you can see, most of them are modular dungeon tiles that allow you to make maps like this:

...though, I also added in a few stand alone pieces (like the cave and the barrow) for a bit of added variety every now and again.

Anyway, now it's the start of the new year, I've decided that I'm also going to start work on an accompanying set of cave tiles (for even more variety) ...though obviously, it's probably going to take a few months before we get enough tiles to make a reasonable looking layout ...but you've got to start somewhere, right?

Note that you can find all of the maps from 2017 onwards in THIS album or over on the PATREON page.