Thursday, February 6, 2020

How I Run A Point Crawl

Apropos nothing, how I run a point crawl.
 Make a master map of a constrained area like an island, a valley, a plateau, a big oasis, ECT...
Make a less complete player’s map. Give the players the map (maybe they have it from a patron, inherited it  or have them find it on a dead body or in the hollow of a tree or something) and a reason to explore (they’re hopelessly lost in the wilderness and are trying to find a road back to civilization, the villain went that way, looking for Captain Fatbeard’s treasure or something).
Make sure there are places to go and ways to get there. There can be hidden paths and trails, shortcuts and hidden locations. Make notes on how long it takes to get from one place to another.
Add in some kind of completely hidden way to get around (like an underground canal, or teleportation network -who owns that shit? Are they guarding it? How do you get access to it).
Decide what/who lives where.
Are there factions? Make some up, whether they’re tribal groups, wizard minions or whatever.
Create encounter tables, decide on the daily number of encounter checks.
Think about weather, decide how you want to deal with that. (Example 1 on a d12 means a storm, maybe 2 means fog, maybe 3-12 mean everything is normal, whatever).
Make a bunch of small sites, like an abandon town (why was it abandoned? How long ago?) a ruined temple, a slave mine, vivisectionist tower, overgrown pyramid and/or vampire castle- whatever.
Start the characters seconds after they come across the map. Make them decide how they came to be there or got lost or whatever and how they know each other. Put something mysterious with the map (like an assortment of weird things that look like tuning forks, but are really sonic keys to different locations in the wilderness.)
Tell them a storm is brewing and maybe they should look for shelter.
Bang, you’re good to go.
Pic unrelated?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BX MARS A map of Zerzura

This is a map of Zerzura the setting presented in my new book BX Mars. The book is available on Drive Thru RPG  in both pdf and pod hardcover. If you’re interested cover image to the right and it will take you to the listing. Note- you may have to change your settings on Drive Thru to let you view  “adult” material.
And now on to the map:
Click or tap on image to enlarge. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


The wait is over!

You will have to change your settings, because it is the adult section of the site.

Here is an earlier post with a look at the physical product.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Honor of the Dwarves maps old and new

I think I’ll go in color for a number of illustrations of in HoD. Tangentially here are some old ass maps that I may just go ahead and use.

And the newer but unscanned map of the setting

The bad news: No way in hell can i finish Haunted Islands by holloween. The DTRPG learning curve ate a month of my time. So it’s back the Dwarves for a while. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

WEG Star Wars working towards a star map.

WEG SWRPG’s astrogation rules are the finest I’ve ever seen, but they are not conducive to map making.
Briefly: travel is measured in units of time, as opposed to units of distance. Hyperspace ships travel at near infinite velocity. Travel time is a product of the vagaries of interstellar space such as rogue planets, gas clouds, asteroid fields, space monsters and whatever else one might find in a galaxy far far away. Routes between planets are designed to avoid all such hazards. However, it is possible to take a shorter, i.e, faster route.
Travel times (Standard Duration) to the worlds important to the OG trilogy are presented in the WEG rule book in tabular format, not unlike a train schedule. There is nothing like a star map and no mention of maps at all. However, it is possible to travel without a preset route, and it is also possible to get somewhere more quickly (by using a shorter route) than the standard route. So when Han Solo says he did the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, he means he did it fast, and it makes perfect sense.

Moving on to some of the source material for my own games- in the Goodwin/Infantino run of the original Marvel Star Wars comic, in the space between the Star Wars and Empire Strikes back, Han, Luke and Leia are tasked with finding a world to replace Yavin as the rebel base. I love this idea, and I used it in my first SW game- but with no star chart. I feel like such a chart is kind of central to a world search type campaign.
I feel that deciding on routes and when to take chances and where to go next is an important part of player agency.
So my idea for my next game is to provide the players with a chart and a lavishly illustrated planetary encyclopedia and set them off to search an entire 20 system sector for a new base.
Here is my ugly ass proto chart.
The number to the left of the brackets is the standard duration of travel between two worlds the number in brackets is the actual distance between the two systems in parsecs.  (I’ve not finished with these so only a few have brackets). No rule changes necessary, but you can’t always get there from here directly. Sometimes you have to pass through the system with the imperial garrison. Note I have equated one day’s travel with 1 parsec of distance- although in practice it can work out to much less.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Haunted Islands three approaches to race and some arts

As envisioned the islands were intended to be an isolated humans only monoculture, but I don’t like restrictions that inhibit fun.

I racked my brains on how to go about this, but I think I’ve come to a satisfying solution

Race and Class
Three Approaches
1. The citizens of New Urveon are one and all, human and native to the islands. Classes available are listed below. This is what we used when we playtested. 

2. Foreigners from every part of the Dreamlands pass through the port of Stoker and, as such, the individual GM must decide which races and classes to allow.
Note: Although considered equal in the eyes of the law in regards to unpaid debt and other crime foreigners are not allowed to hold office, serve in the military, conduct business beyond trade or own property. They may move freely about the countryside, but should expect to be under the watchful eye of the authorities at all times. 

3. The islands are still a monoculture but exist at the edge of the Dreamlands. Everyone can play whatever race or class they want with no further explanation. I call this the Muppet option. It’s my current favorite. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

B/X Mars, physical product a first look

this came today. There are formatting problems with like four- six of the illustrations, but it came through 90% on the fist attempt. That’s a win in this case. Here are some pictures

Monster truck rally announcer voice

Front cover

Back cover