New Mapping Style 1 [Map]

So after a little over a year of posting my maps online in places varied and far afield and drawing I’ve forgotten how many maps for Jacob Hurst’s Swordfish Isles (the last maps for which I’ll be finishing up this week), I’ve decided to change things up.

Basically, I’m tired of crosshatching. And here are a few examples of test maps I’ve drawn this week while sitting through the usual slew of pre-semester meetings this week.top down test bw.jpg

top down testiso test 2

 

My goal is a more “cartoony” style, which I think is particularly coming along in the inking, especially in the isometric map. When time allows, I’m going to give a shot at populating the isometric maps with more objects and critters.

Additionally, I think, once I get all my current projects wrapped up and put the final touches on this novella I’ve been working on, I’ll set up a Patreon in hopes of pushing me a little more toward regular updates.

Yeah, so. More to come.

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Ziggurat of Lin Tho, Part 1 [map-ish]

The Ziggurat of Lin Tho is the first dungeon site the players in my Yoon Suin (by David McGrogan) home campaign have visited. I attempted to draw a three dimensional outside view of the dungeon for reference while drawing and so my players could get a sense of the layout as they explored. This was the result. (Note that I didn’t ink this or bother cleaning it up. It’s a sketch mainly for reference for the forthcoming maps. If anyone’s interested, I’ll go back and fix it up.)

ziggurat 3d

In the campaign, the ziggurat is locked in a time loop that coincides with the rise and fall of the tides. At high tide, the ziggurat appears as it did in its glory days as a temple to Lin Tho, the orchid-patterned reticulated python god of Rivers, Oceans, and Dreams (particularly of the carnal sort). At low tide, it’s ruined and drowned in sand (“inspired” by Dyson Logos’s own ziggurat), and things inside get really weird in that time. I’ll get more to that in the next post.

-Billy Longino

Pointcrawling in a Generation Ship Campaign, Part 1

Within a couple of weeks I’ll be starting my first online campaign (through Google Hangouts and Roll20) as a GM. I’m kind of nervous but mostly excited. We’ll be using the Mutant Future rules from Goblinoid Games (the same who made Labyrinth Lord), while the setting will be a Metamorphosis Alpha-inspired generation ship of my own making – the Mutual of Omaha Spacecraft Vonnegut.

As the ship name might tell you, it’ll be a milieu of quasi-gonzo existential horror (in spaaaace!), but when it comes to world-building, I’ve got no worries. I trust myself, but with regards to actually running the game, I’m a bit less sure of myself. This is particularly in the case of how to handle the subdecks, or what might be more accurately named inter-decks – those more spaceshippy decks with futuristic corridors and haunted maintenance tunnels between the massive biome decks traditionally known in Metamorphosis Alpha.

16 - 1

But I think I’ve come upon a solution: Chris Kutalik’s posts on pointcrawling. (I recently joined Chris’s Tuesday night Hill Cantons campaign.)

At first, I imagined the subdecks as massive dungeons, seeing as how their tunnels span same miles of the biome decks, and nearly panicked. But clearly pointcrawling is the answer. Sprinkle in a few important sites across the deck, narrate some corridor travel, roll for random encounters, and voila! everything looks great. I plan on combining this with a traditional hexcrawl format in the biomes, but we may handle exploration of these decks as a pointcrawl, at times, too. I’ll just see what works best. Additionally, whenever the PCs arrive at a subdeck site, we’ll switch over to dungeoncrawling.

Most of this is probably pretty obvious to some who’ve run a Metamorphosis Alpha campaign before, but I’m glad to have worked out what I hope is a good plan of action. I’ll write future posts talking about how this worked out. In the meantime, does anyone else have any experience with running pointcrawl/hexcrawl combinations or Metamorphosis Alpha campaigns?