Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

LotFP Weird Fantasy RPG pics posted on Dragonsfoot

Jim Raggi mailed out comp copies of his new RPG earlier this week and they have begun to land. A gamer in Scotland received a copy and posted a number of pictures in a thread on Dragonsfoot. Of all the pictures posted, my favorite is of the wilderness map I drew:

This map is from the Weird New World module included in the boxed set. At 24 miles to the hex, it covers quite an area.

It literally took days to draw and color this map. There were two back-to-back all-nighters involved because of the scope of the work and the inflexible deadline. Afterward, my right hand ached for several days. Nevertheless, I'm quite pleased with how this map turned out. It is big, detailed, and vibrant.

Update: Additional pictures of my maps for Weird Fantasy Role-Playing can be seen here and here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Interesting Places: Dismal Catacombs

I know I've been M.I.A. for a while now. During my time away from the blog I've been busy doing maps for James Raggi's new Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Game and its attendant adventures. Now that I've had a couple of days to relax, I felt like it was time to get back in the swing of things. I blew off some steam and cranked this sucker out this evening.

What is this place? I don't know—you tell me. Perhaps it is the lair of an extended family of Fomorian giants. The place could be magically windy, with all manner of strange flying creatures inhabiting its odd passages. Alternately, you could make each square represent 100 feet, transforming the place into an ancient draconian burial system.

This could be a hunting grounds, periodically swept by organized predators from both above and below. Along similar lines, perhaps these are halls of blood and carnage, where rival humanoid factions come together to fight in an ages old conflict. It could also be a long-forgotten magical forge gone awry, haunted by scores of autonomous dancing blades.

If none of the aforementioned ideas are to your liking then you could get even more extreme. Consider flooding the entire level, requiring intrepid adventurers to be in possession of magical air breathing equipment should they want to explore it. Personally, however, I like to imagine that this place is nothing more than one of the deeper levels of The Tombs.

Some notes:
  • There are no less than ten passages leading off-map. Moreover, there is at least one set of stairs and multiple shafts and sinkholes—all leading who knows where. Thus, this map makes an excellent candidate for a junction. You can never really have enough junctions in your megadungeon.
  • There are quite a few long corridors throughout. These might be covered with hideous glyphs, or they might be choked with mold and other filth.
  • See that huge round chamber? What if it is not a chamber, but rather an enormous shaft descending for a half mile? See that small, inaccessible cave in the southwest? Perhaps it, too, is a shaft. Better yet, it is a cyst or geode.
I was doubly inspired while drawing this map. First, it was definitely influenced by the Parisian Catacombs. I watched a segment on that very subject in a documentary on urban exploration earlier in the week. In addition, while drawing I kept thinking of a particularly classic D&D picture. Perhaps you know the one I am talking about: that fantastic DAT illustration of the magic mouth at the top of the stairway descending into infinite darkness. Inspirational stuff!

Enjoy! There will be more in the same vein in the future.

The Fine Print: I am sharing this map under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If you follow that link you will be able to read about the conditions that apply to this work. In a nutshell: (a) you can't use it commercially, (b) you must attribute it to me, and (c) you must share any derivative works that you create.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Interesting Places: Hall of Fiery Death

We were fugitives to a man, escaped slaves. While crossing the eastern Aurora Badlands our caravan had the misfortune of disturbing a large nest of Tlaké beetles. Those flesh-eating insects swarmed the caravan, consuming flesh in rapturous delight. Only a few of us survived. We fled deeper into that sun-drenched wasteland. We would have surely died had it not been for Old Whitan's discovery of the cave. Damn that cave! We got so lost within its depths that to this day I still don't know fer how long we were down there. It musta been weeks. But I'm not complaining, see, 'cause we were free, and there was plenty of water.

Startin' out, the cave was easy to navigate. We made good time as we passed through a number of huge caverns. Eventually, ease gave way to vertical drops, perilously narrow passages, and raging torrents. Our pace slowed to a crawl. It was a hellish place, I tell you. It was very nearly always wet and everyone was constantly on edge. The oppressive darkness was beginning to take a toll on us all.

After yet another treacherous descent, we emerged into a ragged tunnel. The way ahead was lit by a dim reddish glow. That's when Old Whitan went batshit and took off, runnin' straight into that glow. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was a hootin' and hollerin' like a crazed one! We ran after him, but were too late. The reddish glow came from a swift, open-faced lava flow. Old Whitan musta lost his footing, as he fell straight on in. He didn't get much of a chance to scream. Sometimes the darkness will make a man go crazy, know?

Anyways, the lava flow provided much needed light and we were mighty pleased by it. Lookin' around, it was apparent this place had received a chiselin' hand. The walls, although rough, had obviously been tooled and rose up in a great curved arch. Who woulda thunk to discover something like this so deep within a cave? We kept moving.

Eventually we emerged into a vast chamber. It musta been a hundred feet long, if not a day. Huge pillars of rock rose into the darkness above. This place was definitely fashioned by some intelligence. The very rock of the place was old and seemed to be decaying, turning into chalky, white dust. And the floor… it was a mess of metal bits, bones, and other strange scraps. There was a very unwholesome feel to this place.

Chills went down all our spines when the whirring and clacking sounds started up. At first we were scared and confused, but all became clear. We were beset by man-machines of death. They were corrupt, decayed beyond years, and belching foul smoke and acid. There was nowhere to run. The men were butchered and mauled by those death machines. I only escaped because I twisted my ankle and fell headlong into a sinkhole. Luckily, I broke no bones and managed to crawl off into sweet darkness. In time I managed to win back freedom from the darkness. That was a long time ago.

The Fine Print: I am sharing this map under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If you follow that link you will be able to read about the conditions that apply to this work. In a nutshell: (a) you can't use it commercially, (b) you must attribute it to me, and (c) you must share any derivative works that you create.