Ever since I got hold of the Red Box I’ve been fascinated by tokens. I’ve got a reasonable collection of minis, but as my game hits the epic tier I’m finding that the encounters require more exotic fare. So, an IT idiot, I’ve turned to technology to see what I can do. The answer is this.
What I did was grab some images from the WotC site. In this case the Art Galleries for Death’s Reach. Copied the image straight onto a Word document. Cropped it to roughly the right shape. Added a circle, transparency 100%, outline 3pt black, sized to 2.5cm. Dragged the circle over the image. Resized the main image until it looked right. Added a second circle in white. Copy paste until you have enough.
Hit print. You get stuff like this.
Glued these to some thin black card, and punched them out with a circular paper punch I grabbed from Hobbycraft. Done.
If you make the outlined circle red, you have a bloodied version ready to glue to the reverse.
There’s an encounter coming up with a couple of dozen shadow angels. I had no chance collecting that many minis, but with 15 minutes work and some patience, I now have the lot ready to go.
I was catching up on my reading and came across this from James Wyatt:
Did you ever read a novel where the world was a barrier? Maybe you felt like you had to earn a master’s degree in the history of this fictitious place to make sense of the story you were trying to read, or you had to keep referring to a glossary in the back to keep track of all the made-up names for the most mundane details of the world. “What the heck is a Quelarian star-fruit, and why do I care? Why doesn’t the hero just eat a banana?”
I’ve read that book, or tried to. And I’ve run that D&D campaign, or tried to. It turns out that my players didn’t have any more interest in the campaign than I had in the novel. This time around, I’m letting the world get out of the way and concentrating on the big picture: the themes.
I wholeheartedly agree. I’m currently running the HPE series, and there’s really no setting to speak of in our games. I once referred to the world as Generica as a laugh and it kind of stuck. A great setting can really help colour in the game, our occasional Eberron game being a great example. But sometimes too much ‘world’ gets in the way.
I’d recommend reading the whole article I’ve snipped that quote from. You’ll have to be a subscriber, but the entire Dungeoncraft series is worth checking out.
I tried something a bit different in last nights game. I let the players decide what the battle area looked like.
Some time ago I realised that I was never going to be able to make the tiles I have line up exactly with the maps in the WotC modules. In fact, that’s an impossible task when you want to replicate things like this:
So instead, I’ve been going with an approximation, hell, the players are never going to know are they? (well, they do now). We also have Mark in our group and he’s the party mapper. We have to constantly play the old chinese whispers game with each other:
“30 feet north to south, with a door”
“Near the top?”
“No, just below centre”
“Its a double door”
So I thought why not kill two birds with one slingshot, and give the players something to focus on during that dead time where I’m normally rooting about for maps and minis between encounters. So I handed the dry wipe pens to Mark and set about going old school with my descriptions while he drew out what he thought it looked like. Do you know what? he wasn’t far off, and actually it didn’t matter if he was. I then placed the minis and off we went.
Later we had a cave encounter. These are even more awkward to lay out with tiles than square rooms are. So I handed my collection of Caves of Carnage tiles to Mark and told him what I wanted. A big cave, with at least 8 squares space in the middle, an entrance and an exit. Mark got busy while I did my notes and in 1 minute we had a nice layout that I could improvise a description over. He’d added a water tile that wasn’t in my book, no problem, it added in a bit of flavour that wasn’t going to harm anyone (in fact I blended in a healing fountain from the next room).
The experiment worked, and I’ll do it again where possible.
This weekend I’m heading oop north to run a couple of games at Furnace. It will be my first time at this Con, and I’m very much looking forward to it. Here’s the flyers for my games. I’ll be sure to write up my experiences on the other side (or even live and direct if they have decent wifi at the venue)
The Fey Team
The Night Riders
I love maps, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. They are one of the things that drew me to the hobby in the first place. Frankly, I need a book to have a map in the front of it in order to take it seriously.
In the early days of the hobby one of the extra responsibilities you could take on as a player was to be party mapper. That was a job I usually leaped at. (To be fair, I usually took on all the extra stuff, journals, treasure records, drawings, you name it). It was a great job. You didn’t have to be a great artist, all you had to do was draw straight lines on graph paper to instruction. Actually, depending on the dungeon we were exploring, it wasn’t always that straightforward. The bane of my life was caverns and caves, how was I supposed to be able to translate the DMs descriptions of wiggly lines? But I did love 10′ corridors and 30′ rooms. I also loved annotating them and using all the cool little symbols, my faves being statutes and altars. It was also where I first encountered the word dais.
Did it! One hour and one minute later, 10K had fallen to my old running shoes. Man it was hot. Loved it though and will be looking for more races. Reckon I could get it down to sub 50.
Raised £150 for cancer research too, so feeling quite satisfied today.
Ok. So going to Hylands Park soon to do this 10K run. Underwear is an issue. Its foggy now but the reports say it will be 20 degrees. So, scarf and flip flops?