Archive for the ‘Location’ Category

Hanging around on twitter as I often do, I came across a response to a NewbieDM blogpost where he talked about the benefits of just playing around with your dungeon tiles to see what you can make, and them using that location in your game (http://newbiedm.com/2009/09/22/playing-with-my-dungeon-tiles/). I think I already got a little more mileage out of my tiles than Newbie, as I’ve used smatterings of them here and there since I first bought them, but always the other way around – location first, and then trying to make the tiles fit it. I have to say that Newbie’s approach is another one of those genius ‘duh! Of course!‘ moments, usually accompanied by a slapping of the forehead. While I probably won’t do it for every encounter or locale, I’m hoping to see some great benefits to my game, with some fully fleshed out areas made with tiles. I paid for them, why not use them to good effect!

This brings me to my second adaptation for dungeon tiles, also stolen from NewbieDM (http://newbiedm.com/2009/09/23/adding-a-new-third-dimension-to-dungeon-tiles/). As the man has done, I’ve just gotten some cotton spools from my local craft store (in my Australian case, Spotlight). Now, I was originally disheartened to find that I couldn’t buy a consistent size – the packs all seemed to have various sizes! I thought I’d try them anyway, and after a little experimentation, I’m really quite happy with the results! The adjusted sizes have given me a number of different ‘pillars’ that can be used, not only to hold up second levels, but also as set dressing. Firstly, they can make good inn tables, or the little ones can be the table ‘legs’ for the Harrowing Halls tiles:

Acting as the table itself...

...and as the legs of the table

Below is a quick slapped together dungeon room displaying the usage of the ‘cotton-reel pillars’:

The three types of pillar I was able to make with some wood glue and a quick coat of paint


The shifter finds the best spot to evade the beholder...

...and the dwarven sorceror ducks behind a pillar...

...while the dragonborn fighter races up the stairs to the beholder...

...while the dragonborn fighter races up the stairs to face the beast!

And, as usual, the evil mage (both literally and figuratively behind it all)

Meanwhile, the evil mage (who is both literally and figuratively, behind it all), looks on.

So there you have it. My contribution to Newbie’s awesome idea. Shine on you golden stallion! The only issue I have with the greatness of the 3D tiles is that they make everything on your map else that isn’t look kind of… flat (oh yeah, you saw it coming). True story though. Have any experience playing with 3D tiles? Had to adapt your playstyle or even make a few house rules to suit?


Read Full Post »

As the title says, let’s get into it, shall we? Today we’ll have one item, location and NPC for you to use, modify and integrate as you see fit. In the future we’ll have more of these, as well as power and PCs for your pleasure!


Item – Dragonbone scimitar

Carved from a single piece of bone, this curved blade is both durable and sharp. Though thicker than most metal swords of the same design, flesh and armour seem to peel away willingly touch of this weapon. It wouldn’t win any contests for the most graceful looking armament, but it’s jagged lines and simple, cloth-bound hilt do invoke a less refined word: pain.

The Dragonbone Scimitar is a good weapon for a barbarian-type PC, or even a dedicated dragon hunter, cut from the body of their first kill, perhaps? It could merely use the stats for a regular scimitar, or perhaps grants extra damage based on the dragon it came from? It could be devastating in this way if two are wielded simultaneously, each from a different beast. (Further keywords: slice, tear, sever, slash, peel, skin, flay)


Location – Cellar

The cellar smells of dank earth and stale wine. Thin strips of candlelight from the room above strike through slits in the wooden ceiling, and by the modest light they provide you can make out the form of large casks, stacked awkwardly on top of each against the opposite wall. The air is still and cool on the skin.

This small cellar is a good place for the PC’s to wake up after being knocked unconscious, or actively explore, looking for the secret entrance to some underground hideout. It might be a good ‘clean out the infestation’ kind of quest for relatively inexperienced players, which could lead to exploring a larger cavern. Remember to play upon the dim light, giving players without their own light sources or the appropriate senses a -2 to attack rolls.

Optional extras:

– There is a slow, droning creak as the something heavy steps on a loose board upstairs.  (Further keywords: muffled, groaning, footsteps, voices)

– There is a faint, hurried sound, like hundreds of fingers being tapped against a tabletop at once. They stop suddenly and then there, in the darkness, shining with a luminosity all of their own, are seven, red, orb-like eyes. (Further keywords: darting, streaking, biting, stingng, striking)

– As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you become aware of another smell – this one is unmistakable. It’s the grim miasma of rotting flesh; the sour stench of the dead. (Further keywords: gaunt, sodden, soiled, tattered)


NPC – Hognin Closecage, halfling hunter

The halfling is short, even for one of his kind, but he manages to seem as if he is looking down on everyone just the same. A permanent smirk rests below his nose, running the gamut between merely unnerving and malicious. His voice is shrill, but steady, and his eyes never wander – they rest fixed and unblinking on whatever he has set his sights on.

Hognin could be a minor annoyance to the PC’s, competing with them for loot, or even a major villain, hunting them for sport or pay. He could be many classes, with a rogue or ranger being the most obvious, but a wizard or sorceror are equally viable – even a properly flavoured avenger could work wonderfully. Forming an attachment to a particular PC (either as a former mentor, rival or interested suitor, perhaps?) could make for some great RP. He could be employed when a player is away for example, having spirited that PC off in the night (if possible), and then making the rest of the PC’s track him down for a quick, one session encounter. (Further keywords: smarmy, narrowed, direct, predatory)

Any base he employs could be full of caged animals, which may be used against the PC’s or Hognin himself. Furthermore, traps, traps and more traps! Lackys? Sure! He could employ other hunters or even members of the more savage races, with whom he may have a history with. Perhaps Hognin runs a circus, giving you a full carnival of minions, firebreathers, clowns and acrobats to pit your PCs against?

Well, that’s it for today. Hopefully there’s something there you can use, or its helped spawn other ideas you can use in your own campaigns. If you have anything in particular you’d like to discuss, feel free to let me know. In the meantime, happy role-ing!

Read Full Post »