Ramblin Man Part Deux: Game Edition


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Scarab Sages

I was watching the old 1960 Christopher Lee movie City of the Dead (or Horror Hotel), and was hit by a magic item idea.

Chains of the Condemned - maybe some kind of cursed magic item, or just one that's evil. Some small town had a lot of evil cult activity in its past. When a cult member was found out, they would chain the person to a post and burn them at the stake. Over time, the chain that was used took on supernatural properties.

Not sure what the magic would be, but it just sounded like a cool idea in my head.

Scarab Sages

Sadly, since I don't game anymore, I rarely have reason to post on this thread of mine.

However, with the kids currently being enamored of the Disney movie Onward, I was thinking it would be funny to have a role-playing game based on that movie.

Scarab Sages

For some reason, I was looking through old gaming material today. Perhaps one day I shall gather up all my Undermountain material and create more maps. The maps from the original two boxed sets are awesome. So are the maps from the three modules. That Expedition to Undermountain book had a good overall layout of Undermountain, but many of the individual maps sucked ass.

There was a map of level 5 (I think) created by someone using campaign cartographer. I have that map somewhere on my computer.

Scarab Sages

After typing the above post, I had to go back and check my computer. That's when I realized....

...I own (or once owned) the digital FR Atlas. However, it seems to be not currently loaded onto my computer. And I have no idea where I might have put the CD, or even if I still have it.

This bums me out greatly. I may have to try and find it as an electronic download.

Scarab Sages

After scouring most of the house, I've come to the conclusion I no longer have the Interactive FR Atlas. Since I'm pretty sure I'd never have thrown something like that away, the only thing I can think is I let someone borrow it, and never got it back. Probably one of my former gaming compatriots in Philly.

This saddens me greatly.

Scarab Sages

With all these memories of gaming days past running through my noggin these days, I find myself wondering what to do with all the gaming stuff I currently have.

If I were to ever start gaming again, it would most likely be 5E D&D. Not that I want to go back to WotC, but that would probably be the easiest (and most acceptable) way for me to get at least one other gamer to play with. My brother introduced his family to it. That would at least give a gaming group of two, unless he insisted on adding the kids in as well.

If I went that route, I'd probably get rid of a most, if not all, of my Pathfinder stuff. I think the easiest way to do that would be Half-Priced Books.

Scarab Sages

To console myself over the loss of my Interactive FR Atlas, I fired up CC3 and started drawing a new map. A continent, one geographical feature of which is The Trident Sea.

The southwest corner of the main continent is a big peninsula. A large island lies south west of that, and the two land masses form a channel. The channel is very narrow at the south end, and an evil tower on the peninsula guards it, making travel through the channel risky. So folks go around the island instead, and a port city on its south side has grown wealthy for that.

Scarab Sages

I may do a slightly different version of this same concept, with the island and channel. Making the island slightly bigger.

Scarab Sages

I started a third map, this one inspired by an old Green Lantern story arc called Mosaic. That story had the, at that time, sole remaining Guardian of the Universe (referred to as The Old Timer) kidnapping entire cities and towns from worlds he had visited. Then he put them all on Oa, so that he wouldn’t be lonely anymore. He was quite mad.

Anyway, in this case, I was thinking a god of travel and exploration leaves his world for several hundred or thousand years, to explore the multiverse. When he comes back, he finds the world devastated and barren, and the last of his god family dying. So he absorbs their waning power, cleans up the world a bit, then pulls an Old Timer.

Scarab Sages

It would also contain some elements of the Frank Herbert novel The Dosadi Experiment. Mainly, the idea of a God Wall keeping people in. And, perhaps, some similar affect such long-term confinement might have on the mortals.

Scarab Sages

I’m also once again toying with the idea of going back to Christopher West’s Lands of Mystery map and creating maps for some of the map-less locations.

Scarab Sages

Did a map for a settlement/stronghold I call Greenhome. I think of it as kind of Elven/Druid, with a little halfling thrown in. The idea is it's a big ellipse shaped place, with the outer wall formed of magically grown thorn bushes, strengthened against various forms of damage (fire, etc). There are also four big trees growing as part of the wall. The gate/entry is flanked on either side by wooden towers.

In about the center of the place is a lake, out of which grows a massive tree. There's another, smaller lake just northeast of the big one, closer to the wall. In the center of the smaller lake is an elf-made fountain. These two lakes are connected by a stream that circles around the perimeter. There are a few bridges over this stream.

There's a main dirt road that circles around the interior, with a few more roads connecting the bridges and this main road. Mostly, though, the inhabitants just walk through the woods.

Housing is a mostly platforms built in the trees, maybe a few caves or halfling holes, or just out in the open. I might put a few more traditional buildings.

As to the purpose....other than being a home/meeting place, it also serves as a kind of hospice for sick or injured animals.

Scarab Sages

So....last night I was watching The Woman in Black (the newer version, with Daniel Radcliffe), and I was inspired by the location they filmed with the causeway that floods. According to IMDb, that was Osea Island, in the UK.

So, I went to Google Maps, and found an overhead view of the island and the area around it. It was cool, looking, so I (sort of, kind of) re-created the location in CC3. Now i have a map of a creepy haunted town.

Or IS it haunted?!?

Dun! Dun! DUUUUNNN!!!

Scarab Sages

I should find someone to share some of these maps with. Maybe my nephew and his friends can use them in their 5E games.

Scarab Sages

I think I had forgotten how much fun world-building can be. I was fooling around with CC3, just testing various techniques for doing an overland map. Before I knew it, I had a rudimentary world developed, alonng with some interesting tidbits.

One of those tidbits is a group I call The Revealers. They are a small, but fanatical sect of Hecate worshippers (I have her as the Witch Goddess of magic and harmful knowledge). These dudes travel around, learning secret truths that can hurt those they are revealed to.

Scarab Sages

For nature worship, I was inspired by Swamp Thing, and just have a deity-force called The Green (also kind of like the Green Man myth).

Scarab Sages

And now I'm wondering if The Green Man myth inspired Len Wein to create Swamp Thing.

Scarab Sages

Years ago, when I was living in Philadelphia and still had "friends" to game with, one guy in my gaming group gave each of us a little journal type notebook. They'd had extras at his work, and he thought we'd each like one.

Since then, I've used that as a kind of idea book for gaming stuff. If an idea pops in my head, and I like it enough, I'll write it down (or sketch it out, in the case of a map).

So that's where some of the stuff I've been working on lately comes from. Mostly just to pass the time.

Scarab Sages

Just the other day, I did two new maps.

One was of a castle called The Hawk's Nest. A cliff-side castle, with broken off parts of land extending out into the ocean. There are bridges leading out to those broken parts of land, with more of the caslte built on them.

The other was this small port town (no name). This one also has a cliff, but there's a deep channel/ravine in the cliff side, and the town is built on either side of the outer harbor. The inner harbor, however, is blocked off by two towers and a wall. Only town folk are allowed in the inner harbor. My vague notion on that is they are into some kind of Cthulhu-esque worship, and MAYBE there's something living in the inner harbor.

Scarab Sages

So....I my own little Facebook Page. It's someplace I can share my maps with "Friends". At least, those who've so far asked for and accepted my invitation. Right now that's about 4 people.

I do know that I missed some folk in my initial message out telling people about it. When I built the list of folk to send a message to, I just scrolled back through my own FB page for the last month or so, looking at "likes" and comments, just to get an idea of who hadn't "unfollowed" me yet.

There's at least three or four people, just off the top of my head, whom I'm pretty sure still game and that I haven't told about the page yet.

Scarab Sages

I've still been working on my maps and uploading them to my Facebook Page. It's been fun to share them with people, even if I have no real use for them.

And, of course, with all these maps I'm doing, I find myself engaging in a bit of world building. Just for s@#+s and giggles.

Scarab Sages

I've found some Youtube videos to help figure out things in CC3 I was having problems with. Youtube f$%#ing rocks.

Scarab Sages

Not sure if I mentioned this here.....

Years ago, someone here at Paizo hosted another website where folks could contribute to a sort of shared world. So I did a map, by hand, of an island realm I called Shandura. I recently discovered a jpeg of that map, and decided to recreate it in CC3. I think it came out rather well.

Scarab Sages

I even made some improvements to it.

Scarab Sages

And, since I've been world-building anyway, I included Shandura as part of this new world. It lies west of the main continents.

Scarab Sages

I've been toying with the idea of buying the 5th Edition Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual. Not because I intend to play, but just for s*$#s and giggles.

I most likely won't buy them, however, just because it would be an undue financial expenditure. If I did, though, it would be the first RPG product I've bought in a few years.

Scarab Sages

Mostly, I think the idea popped into my head out of some misguided hope that I'd be able to play one day again. Or maybe just an excuse to spend money.

Scarab Sages

Anyway, I might have mentioned it upthread somewhere, but I had this idea for Hutt like gangsters, only using Dark Nagas. I've always liked that particular monster, and the thought of them as these big crimes lords was kind of cool.

So, along those lines, I had developed a Jabba's Palace type home for one of these Dark Naga crime bosses. My first attempt was....okay. Since then, however, I've made some discoveries regarding the kind of stuff far more talented people are capable of using CC3. Now I'm redoing the Dark Naga palace, with some of these ideas in mind.

Scarab Sages

Since my last post, I've done two more maps in my Dark Naga Crime Lord Lair series.

The second map was an entertainment hall/theater. This would be in a big city somewhere, a legitimate business that acts as a front for his smuggling, torture, and fugitive relocation. I looked at maps for a couple of real-life theaters to come up with the design.

The third map in the series, which I just completed today, is a library. This naga is lore-obsessed, and found a way to make money off that. He built up a vast collection of books/scrolls/tablets, and charges fees to get in a look at them. Many adventureres come through the doors of his library, and sometimes he piggy backs off their investigation to steal whatever they might be going after.

Scarab Sages

In the world I've been building, I have two big swamp areas. One area takes up the majority of a peninsula on the southeastern side of the Northern Continent. The other is on a big island which is part of a chain extending from this peninsula.

The swamp area on the island I started calling The Hell Marsh, without really stopping to think what that meant. Earlier last week, I had this idea that it would be the domain of hags and their Will-o-Wisp allies. They would be led by the Hag Queen.

Just last night, I had the thought that the swamp area on the main continent would be the domain of these noble tribes of Lizard Men, who are constantly fighting the evils of the Hag Queen and her forces. I think this idea was most likely inspired by the barbarians of the Diablo game series.

Scarab Sages

Aberzombie wrote:

Not sure if I mentioned this here.....

Years ago, someone here at Paizo hosted another website where folks could contribute to a sort of shared world. So I did a map, by hand, of an island realm I called Shandura. I recently discovered a jpeg of that map, and decided to recreate it in CC3. I think it came out rather well.

Going back to this, when I created the original map for Shandura, I did not yet have Campaign Cartographer. So I drew the map by hand. Later, I did some city maps for Shandura, and created those with Power Point (which can actually be really decent for map making).

So, just the other day, I decided to start recreating one of those city maps in CC3. So far, it's turning out rather well. I've even made what I think are some improvements, to make the city more dynamic and organic, while adding a cool bit of flavor.

Scarab Sages

Sometimes I wonder how many people (if any) read these posts of mine.

Then I remember that I truly do not give a s&$%.

Scarab Sages

Anyway, I've learned a few new tricks with CC3, including how to create raise areas (like small hills) and such. It's a simple thing, and lots of other CC3 users know how to do it, but I'm proud of myself for actually taking the time to learn it.

Scarab Sages

The other day I did two new, swamp-related maps for my Facebook Page.

The first was inspired by the Barbarians from the Diablo videogame series, the kind of noble warrior of good who's seen by the rest of the world as a savage. IN my case, I thought Lizardfolk would be ideal for that role, and the map was a small city they built in the swamp. It also has a sizable population of halflings, who navigate the swamp on small skiffs, and introduced to very important concepts to their scaly friends: alcohol and taverns.

The idea for the second map organically developed from a name I'd given for a swamp-covered island (The Hell Marsh), and the ruler of that area - The Hag Queen. My thought is, she's got bunches of other hags under her dominion, as well as harpies, will-o-wisps, goblins, and maybe a few others. So the map shows were the swamp meets some hills. I called it Skull Lake, for obvious reasons if you ever see the map (which most of you won't).

Scarab Sages

Watching some Dark Shadows last night, today I was inspired to start creating a Gothic Manor map. I think I'll take my time with this one. It's already looking pretty good, though, I think.

Scarab Sages

Well, the Gothic Manor went quicker than I expected, and I finished it yesterday afternoon. I think it looks pretty decent.

Hopefully, at least one of the few people I invited to like my Facebook page will get some use out of these maps.

Scarab Sages

Although, to be honest, the Gothic Manor is well and truly finished. I might still put some numbers on the rooms, with a key to show what they are.

Scarab Sages

I had intended to take a break from my map making yesterday. However.....

In preparation for continued map making, I had perused some of the various bestiaries, looking for inspiration. One of the things I noted was clockwork creatures. So I thought to myself "maybe I can do a clock work city"?

And, that's how I spent part of my Sunday morning. It's not the greatest map in the world, but it's passable. I used some images from one or two of my generally useless engineering books as inspiration for the road layout.

Scarab Sages

Between yesterday and today, I did another map. This one is distinctly Japanese inspired. I did some research on feudal Japan castles to get the structure more accurate. I think it turned out rather well.

The map (all five parts of it) is for the Palace of One-Thousand Blades. I developed it as a school of war, a training facility for folks who go on to become legendary heroes and members of the royal guard.

The highlight, in my own mind, was that I finally figured out how to stack beveled levels of the map.

Scarab Sages

I had an idea for a Bermuda Triangle like area, with the wide part being in the north.

The northwest anchor for the triangle would be my Japan-inspired Okiran Islands. The northeast anchor was going to be a small island, before I changed it to a massive outcropping called Kraken Rock. The southern point of the triangle is Basilisk Island, named for its large population of that petrifying reptile.

Basilisk Island is currently uninhabited, but there was once a small colony located there. The denizens of that colony town were hunted and killed by....something.

Scarab Sages

The location which was replaced by Kraken Rock ended up becoming it's own mini setting - Marrow Island. Some of the island's highlights are:

Ghoul Mountain - perhaps named for a particularly ancient example of that undead monstrosity. Or maybe it was once home to many of them, before they were wiped out. Or maybe caves in the mountain serve as an entry to a city of ghouls. Rumors and legends vary.

The Tower of Ulfrid - a mysterious sage. His name is a kind of mash-up of Alfred Pennyworth and Ulrich from Dragonslayer.

The village of Dunmir - simple fisherfolk, and maybe some hunters/trappers/prospectors, who are just trying to live their quiet lives. Despite this, they are always ready to receive visitors who seek Ulfrid.

Old Scaly Bay - The large bay takes up most of the south side of the island. It is named for Old Scaly, a sea serpent the people of Dunmir claim can occasionally be seen swimming around.

Scarab Sages

Working on a city with canals (like Venice, or maybe Empuriabrava). I've been working on it since Saturday. Slow going, but I think it'll be worth it.

Scarab Sages

I had completed the aforementioned city with canals a day or so after first mentioning it.

Now, after having learned of a better (and more historically accurate way of doing houses), I am redoing it.

Scarab Sages

I think I may have to take a break from map making (and several other things) for a bit. I injured my left hand some time ago, and I think I need to give it more time to heal.

Scarab Sages

Just recently, I discovered the existence of Belogradchik Fortress, an old ruin in Bulgaria. It's this fortress built on and around these big rock formations, on the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It's really cool looking.

So I was inspired to do a map. I thought it came out well.

Scarab Sages

I learned a new (and far easier) way of editing landmasses in CC3 the other day. Unfortunately, of the two continents I have in my most recent world map, one of them had previously been expanded using a different method. So this easier method wouldn't work on it.

So I did the next best thing. I completely reworked that particular continent.

Scarab Sages

I was re-watching Star Wars: Rebels last night. Specifically, I watched the season one episode where they introduced the weird Jedi temple on Lothal. It's partly built inside this big cone-shaped rock formation. To get inside the Jedi had to use the force to make the rock form turn and rise, kind of like a screw.

So I had the idea for a tower where you take some stairs from the surface to get down to the actual entrance underground. Might work on that today, or this weekend.

Scarab Sages

Last night, for some reason, the idea popped into my head for a prison map. Maybe one like the Château d'If, made famous as one of the settings for The Count of Monte Cristo.

Scarab Sages

A while back, I started my biggest map ever, scale wise. The default for CC3 seems to be 1000' x 800'. This city map was 4000' x 3200'. It was fun to create. I just finished it the other day.

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