Friday, December 31, 2010

Wilderness Map River Kingdom 1

The heart of the River Kingdom. Proud Vassa (7), the capital of the River Kingdom, plies its ships on the Narrow Sea. Rhys (1) on the isle of Anton would rival Vassa but the Northern Ocean is often too rough for trade. The hill baronies (3)(4)(11) and (12) are notorious for backing the Duke of Rhys against Vassa in disputes. Vassa makes sure the Griffins teeth (5) and (6) are manned by Barons loyal to Vassa. Notice the interlocking patrol zones between the Castles of the River Kingdom. Not all areas are completely patrolled though. There is lots of unpatrolled country in the Coast Hills in the North, and the Crag lands to the South, and the Griffins Leg marsh near Vassa, and who knows what dark secrets lurk in that little grove between (12), (14), and (19)

P.S. This being a sandbox era campaign I usually let the dice determine who lived in what castle when the party knocked on the door. Unfortunately those notes are rather sparse.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wilderness Map River Kingdoms 2

Here is the wilderness map just East of Blyron. Edge Hexes overlap previous map. This map marks the end of the Northern forest and the beginning of the River Kingdom proper. Patrolled zones on the Eastern edge are the start of the interlocking castles that protect the River Kingdom from wandering monsters.

Happy St. Stephens Day!

Well I didn't quite have enough time on Christmas to get on the blog and post, what with the mother-in-law coming over for diner and the house needing cleaning. Total Christmas swag painting for 12 goblin spider riders I already bought, a sweater, an encyclopedia of signs and symbols, and a check. I guess I didn't get my request for the fabled lands adventure books to Santa soon enough, although I did get a promissory note for more to come from my sister who sent me the sweater. My last minute search for fantasy Christmas images free-of-copyright did produce some interesting images, but none suitable for the PG rating I try to keep this blog at. My search for St. Stephen, patron saint of Hungary, did far better. Here is Emperor Franz I of Austria in the robes of the Grand Master of the Royal Order of St. Stephen. Ermine trimmed red hat with the jingle bell on the end remind you of anyone?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Forgotten Runes for the Forgotten Runes

In honour of increased traffic and a free Saturday (She-who-must-be-obeyed is out Chrismass shopping with the Mother-in-Law), I have added a new banner to the website. Background (courtesy of Wikipeda Commons) is from the as yet untranslated Codex Rohonc , a manuscript found in the western Hungarian town of Rohonc. The symbols seem to be in the style of Old Hungarian runes but there are far too many different symbols. Truely forgotten runes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Old School Dungeon Links Page

Having recently been adding stuff to my posts of the Dungeon and Campaign I ran from 1976 to 1979, I though it might be a good idea to post a page of links to my posts on the subject. So here it is.

Dungeon Maps

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5

City Map


Wilderness Map

River Kingdoms Map 3


Overlay and Cutthroughs

Blydron Environs Map

Wilderness map of the environs of Blydron at five miles to the hex flat to flat. Blydron is the river crossing labeled 1. To the southeast you can see the start of the Great Gorge and the Great Glacier in the mountains beyond. To the north you can see the lakes and swamps of the Northern Wilderness. Red lines indicate patrolled regions around towns and castles. According to the interpretation of the rules we played by then one could clear up to 25 miles distant from ones stronghold so red lines are a maximum of 4 hexes out from the center. I marked most of the smaller towns and hamlets as not patrolling that far.

Hex grid courtesy of that pad I got from Game Designers Workshop in 1975.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Old School City Dungeon layout

This diagram shows the Tower and Bridge from the Old School City map overlayed on the first three levels of my old school dungeon. The City is in black, outline of first level is in blue, outline of second level is in green, outline of third level is in red.

*** NEW IMPROVED DRAWING COURTESY of She-who-must-be-obeyed ***

Here's two dungeon cut throughs as well. Top cut through is from East to West; bottom cut through is from North to South.

Old School City

Blydron, the last River Kingdom outpost. Gateway to the Northern Forest and the Great Gorge. This is the City I started to draw to go over the top of my Old School Dungeon. Note: SE corner was never drawn. Overlay map of the City and Dungeon as well as Dungeon Cut-through to follow.

On combat systems

My surfing of the blogosphere led me to discuss critical hits. This got me to discussions of combat systems in general and brought back some thoughts about contrasts in style that I had during the early days of role-playing. When Runequest first came out I though it was cool due to it's hit locations, damage reducing armor and blocked shots. It seemed way more realistic than the d20 to hit d8 damage of AD&D. However, as I actually played the Runequest combat system, I realized most fights consisted of large quantities of misses, followed by a combat ending critical where some vital component of the unluckiest combatant went flying. I also noticed that even the smallest trollkin has the potential of slicing off your Runelords head. I quickly realised it is a combat system completely incompatible with the Conanequese hero versus the 30 pirate scum style combats I like to run. Even if you discount the critical problem, no one enjoys waiting for me to roll the five rolls per attack needed to find out that all 30 pirate scum have missed. Don't even get me started on the hours required by Runequest to roll individual stats for each of the pirate scum. I reverted back to good ol' AD&D and have stuck with it's various incarnations ever since (although 4e is pretty close to failing the Conanequese test as well). Every time I feel the itch to tamper with the combat system (being mathematically inclined I am capable of devising five new combat systems before breakfast) I remind myself of my Runequest experience and conclude the AD&D system is pretty solid and not really in need of replacement. Besides, it gives me time to daydream up new magic systems instead.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rural Longhouse Plans

A couple of house plans based on historic buildings. Just right for that creepy farmstead, or abandoned warehouse, you know you'll be needing. Courtesy of She-who-must-be-obeyed.

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