Saturday, July 28, 2018

Miniature Mayhem Paint-and-Take Event #2

The Final Fantasy diorama that I painted for
Miniature Mayhem #2 on July 28, 2018. Miniatures
from Reaper Miniatures.
Continuing with the monthly series of local events I'm running here in Hopkinsville, Kentucky for our local game group, Miniature Mayhem is a paint-and-take event schedule for the last Friday of every month.

RPG miniatures, paint, supplies, and dinner provided free of charge for attendees. Open to members of Hopkinsville Adventurer's Guild for Tabletop Roleplaying by RSVP only.

You can see photos from each of the gatherings on the event's Facebook page. I'll be posting here each month with the miniature(s) I painted during the event. I also have a DeviantArt gallery dedicated to the miniatures I've painted.

This month I decided to paint a diorama based on one of my favorite retro video games, Final Fantasy from the original Nintendo/Famicom 1987 release.  Fun fact: Final Fantasy and I share the same birthday (December 18).

Final Fantasy official artwork, trailers, characters, merchandise, and music is copyrighted to Square Enix.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

New VTT Maps Exclusive to Dungeon Crate Subscribers!

I've created a new exclusive cartography series for Dungeon Crate subscribers. A new virtual tabletop (VTT) digital map will be included for download in the digital crate sent out each month with the physical Dungeon Crates.

The first in the series has been released with the July 2018 crate. 

Each map is provided in three versions (VTT-ready, player print handout, and GM reference).

These maps won't be available anywhere else, so be sure to snag them each month along with the stash of other fantastic loot in the Dungeon Crate digital crates!

Want to find out more about DungeonCrate? Visit dungeoncrate.com to learn about the awesome tabletop RPG accessory subscription box service!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Gaming Gang Reviews Wrath of the Jotunn & Into the Wintery Gale



The Gaming Gang reviewed Wrath of the Jotunn (Into the Wintery Gale) on their podcast back in February of this year. Unfortunately, I didn't see it until now, and wanted to be sure to share.

I really appreciate the hard work folks put into providing reviews -- I know it's not an easy task. So, if you or your blog review something I wrote, please feel free to send me a link so I can share it!

The review begins at about the 40-minute mark of the episode.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 ENnie Nomination for Adventureaweek.com!

I am excited to see that Adventureaweek.com was nominated for a 2018 ENnie Award for Best Website. I've spent a good deal of time this year tweaking and adding features, maintaining, and migrating the service over to a new server to enhance user experiences. Even more big plans forthcoming (or already in the works). I'm proud to see the site in the running.

Voting is open now! Tons of great products, services, and publishers in the lineup for a plethora of award categories.

Voting is open until next Saturday (July 21)! Go show your support for your favorite tabletop gaming content creators

Live Broadcast Summer Roundtable Podcast


I'll be the guest on tonight's live-broadcast "Summer Roundtable" podcast for Aethercon Online Tabletop Gaming Convention. I'll be discussing maps and general gaming in a casual discussion with host Peter Bryant (TSR Podcast Network & Mythwits) and fielding audience questions.

Starts tonight at 9:00 PM EST [Edit: Click here to access the recording of the live broadcast]


Occult Secrets of the Underworld Kickstarter

I've designed another Kickstarter for AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com, this time for an expansion to their amazing Underworld setting (Underworld Races & Classes, Rise of the Drow). I also contributed design to the book itself. The project is fully funded, and you can check it out by clicking here.

Occult Secrets of the Underworld is available for Dugneons & Dragons 5th Edition as well as Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. 

The untold vastness of the realms below beckons, and for the first time, we unearth the mysterious occult traditions of the Underworld. Surface-dwellers can now lay their eyes upon the concepts of the Red River that binds all, attain amber enlightenment and transcend the bounds of the flesh with unique and potent magitech! Psychic poisons, mesmerizing spores and the damned of Hel await your command!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Miniature Mayhem Paint-and-Take Event #1


The "Pathfinder RPG" red dragon that I painted for
Miniature Mayhem #1 on June 29, 2018. Miniature
from Reaper Miniatures.

I've started a monthly series of local events here in Hopkinsville, Kentucky for our local game group. Miniature Mayhem is a monthly paint-and-take event.

RPG miniatures and paint supplied free of charge for attendees. Open to members of Hopkinsville Adventurer's Guild for Tabletop Roleplaying by RSVP only. The event is scheduled for the last Friday of every month.

You can see photos from each of the gatherings on the event's Facebook page. I'll be posting here each month with the miniature(s) I painted during the event. I also have a DeviantArt gallery dedicated to the miniatures I've painted.

While I'm far from a professional (only picking it up last  year after a 20-year hiatus from childhood), I truly enjoy the process and the meditation it provides, and look forward to sharing the experience every month with my gaming friends.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fantasy Map Bundles on Fantasy Grounds & Steam


Big news for those who love (VTT) Virtual Tabletop Gaming and the Fantasy Grounds platform. My massive cartography bundles for Fantasy Adventure are now available (fully-compatible with Fantasy Grounds) on the official Fantasy Grounds store as well as DLC on Steam.

The available sets include the following fantasy map themes:
Each bundle contains unique maps (they are not repeated between the sets), and the entire collection consists of more than 150 high-resolution VTT-ready maps!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Carcosa from Dark Naga Adventures

I'm excited to see "Carcosa" for 5th Edition by Keven Watson (from Dark Naga Adventures) launch today on Kickstarter! This adventure is the fifth and final part of the Haunting of Hastur Series, and boasts cover art created by Catia Fantini with interior art by Brian McCranie.

I created the cartography for this amazing project (5 full-color maps), and I'm looking forward to seeing the adventure go into publication! Check out this fun and exciting conclusion to the Haunting of Hastur!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Alien Planetscapes

I am excited to announce the release of a new free series from Paths to Adventure!

Each of the Alien Planetscapes volumes contains a series of eight high resolution full-page encounter maps designed for a specific planetary environment. These eight can be combined to create a seamless 34" x 22" planetscape. The series includes clean, hex, and grid versions of each map.

A combined super high-resolution 600 dpi (68" x 44") version of the poster map is also included with each volume.

I attempted to include a wide theme of environment that would fit most planetary encounters, and hope the variety will lend well to both science fiction as well as fantasy battle map.

These are a companion series to my free "Space VTT" series, and have been designed for compatible use in your favorite virtual tabletop software.

The series includes the following themes: Icy Planet (arctic/wintery), Rocky Planet (mountains/desert), Cratered Moon (desolate wasteland), Verdant Planet (forests and groves), Swamp Planet (marshes and stagnant waters).

You can download Alien Planetscapes from DriveThruRPG.






Thursday, May 10, 2018

New Adventureaweek.com Upgrades

Much of my schedule over the past week has been taken up completing several major upgrades to the Adventureaweek.com service. In addition to tweaking several plugins and creating some custom code to handle the way that the site management it handles, I also oversaw the transfer of the entire site to a new upgraded and more secure server. Subscribers should experience a dramatic enhancement in service performance as well as increased functionality -- and several annoying gremlins squashed. More upgrades and additions are planned for the service later this year, but AAW Games will be running the new stable version of the site so I can work out any remaining kinks in the meantime.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Adventure Starscapes

I am excited to announce the release of a new free series from Paths to Adventure!

Each of the Adventure Starscapes volume contains a series of high resolution full-page starscapes (space / star maps) including clean, hex, and grid versions. The eight variants can be combined to create one massive 34” x 22” seamless starscape.

A combined super high-resolution 600 dpi source file (that can be used as a 68" x 44" starscape) is also included with each volume.

Volume V includes an entire bonus starscape series themed for "deep space".

I tried to create a wide theme of styles from the darker depths of deep space, to sparse nebulae, to star nurseries, to brightly colored themes that will work for hyperspace / drift travel.

These are a companion series to my "Planet Portfolio" series. And are now included in the Space VTT Set subcategory of products from Paths to Adventure, and are perfect for Virtual Tabletop science fiction gaming.

You can download Adventure Starscapes from DriveThruRPG.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241680/Adventure-Starscapes-I?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241833/Adventure-Starscapes-II?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241855/Adventure-Starscapes-III?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241903/Adventure-Starscapes-IV?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241905/Adventure-Starscapes-V--Deep-Space-Bonus?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/186504/Planet-Portfolio-I?cPath=25973_30242

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Big Book of Maps Volume 2 (April 2018 Summary)

The April 2018 Month-End Summary update for "The Big Book of Maps for Tabletop Roleplaying Games - Volume 2: Science Fiction" has been posted to the Kickstarter campaign.

April saw the following content releases:
  • 8 Science Fiction Maps (3 Starship Deckplan Maps; 5 Locale Maps)
  • 20 Science Fiction Icons (Themes: Doors & Passages)
  • Planet Portfolio I (50 VTT Assets)
  • 4 Starship Builder Kits (80 Unique Starship Sections)

Special Funding Stretch Goal Achieved!

The very exciting news is that thanks to our late backers, who raised an additional $2,638.00 USD (bringing total funds raised for the Volume 2 project to $23,641.00).

We have unlocked additional stretch goals -- including the "biggie" -- auto-funding "Volume 3: Mini-Dungeon Maps" for all backers.

What this means is that everyone who has backed this Kickstarter for Volume 2, will also be getting the digital content and/or PDF (relative to level backed) for the next volume of maps which will focus on smaller fantasy-themed "mini-dungeon" maps.

The production of Volume 3 will not begin until the "Volume 2: Science Fiction" project is completed and fully released, but will roll into its creation phase immediately thereafter.

Late Backer Portal Extended!

The plan was originally to wrap up the Late Backer Portal on April 30, 2018. However, since backers have now auto-funded the fantasy maps for Volume 3, I will be extended that deadline by a few weeks. If you missed the Kicksdtarter, you can still get in on this huge collection of maps!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Starship Builder Kit #4: Terran Fighters

Another of my Starship Builder Kits has been released!

This Starship Builder Kit has been designed to allow you to utilize various stylized starship sections to compile your very own custom starship deckplan. You can use any graphics editing software that support PNG format to combine the pieces, drop them directly into your favorite virtual tabletop (VTT) application, or even print and cut them out to be put together to make a tabletop play map.

This series of kits is designed to allow you to mix-and-match any of the sections included herein with sections included in other sets in the series.

This product provides at least 20 ship sections as well as three sample ships built utilizing the included resources.

With Starship Builder Kits it is easy to create your own high-quality starship deckplans!

Example starship deckplans created with this Starship Builder Kit:




This product is available via DriveThruRPG!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Starship Builder Kit #3: Terran Freighters

Another of my Starship Builder Kits has been released!

This Starship Builder Kit has been designed to allow you to utilize various stylized starship sections to compile your very own custom starship deckplan. You can use any graphics editing software that support PNG format to combine the pieces, drop them directly into your favorite virtual tabletop (VTT) application, or even print and cut them out to be put together to make a tabletop play map.

This series of kits is designed to allow you to mix-and-match any of the sections included herein with sections included in other sets in the series.

This product provides at least 20 ship sections as well as three sample ships built utilizing the included resources.

With Starship Builder Kits it is easy to create your own high-quality starship deckplans!

Example starship deckplans created with this Starship Builder Kit:



This product is available via DriveThruRPG!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mini-Dungeon Tome Map Pack

The massive map pack for the Mini-Dungeon Tome (AAW Games/Adventureaweek.com) has been released to backers and is available for order via the project's Backerkit page.

This collection consists entirely of my cartography and includes over 130 maps. Each map is provided in GM and Player formats as well as two different VTT versions (with and without icons/symbols). That means this map pack includes more than 520 map files in all!

It is both exciting and gratifying that there have been over 700 likes on the Mini-Dungeon Tome Map Pack via BackerKit. I love making maps, but it really feels like the effort is worthwhile when hearing that others find the work enjoyable and useful as well.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Budget Gaming: Minatures on the Cheap

So you want to game with miniatures, but you don't want to take out a loan to afford them? I hear you! There are options! And, it can be done for pennies per miniature -- with a few concessions!

"Budget Gaming" is a series of articles I'll be writing on my blog with ideas and suggestions on how to fund a potentially expensive tabletop gaming hobby on a shoestring budget. In today's article: miniatures and miniature painting.

Some of the most affordable high-quality tabletop RPG miniatures available are Reaper Bones; with a price tag of about $3-$4 USD on average per figure. This means to build up a sizable campaign-ready collection of miniatures [about 300 including duplicates], you're looking at investing about $900-$1,200 USD.

Pictured: Zombies ($18), Aliens vs. Humans ($18)
and Monsters ($17) "bucket" action figures collection.
What if I told you that you could build the same size collection for under $50 USD? Allow me to introduce "bucket" action figure play sets -- available from $10-$20/set which can include as many as 100 miniatures.

Yes, for the price of a box of cardboard pawns, you can have a huge collection of durable, three-dimensional, themed miniatures for your tabletop.

There are many varieties of these figures available on Amazon, and if you're already a Prime member, you can look forward to scoring some free shipping as well.

I've recommended these play sets to folks seeking inexpensive miniatures for years, but before now I had never actually ordered any myself. I decided to do a bit of research and find out of my advice has been sound. It has. These things are highly detailed for their price point. They take well to primer for painting, are very durable, and you get a really decent assortment in each tube.

For the purposes of this article, I bought three sets that seemed to reach across a wide breadth of genres from modern, to fantasy, to science fiction. The sets I ordered were: zombies, aliens, and monsters.

The contents of all three buckets on display.
290 miniatures for $53 USD.
Options available include:
The play sets also include some terrain pieces (tombstones and graves in this case) that should also help to add some ambient scenery and scatter terrain to your tabletop play space. Check out the three images below for a closer look at the spread of all 290 miniatures from the three sets I purchased for this article: 

Zombies

Aliens

Monsters


Miniature scale comparisons.
They're kind of a big deal...

A bit of forewarning: the figures from these sets are noticeably larger than standard miniatures. For monsters and such, that's not such a "big" deal, but if you're a stickler for scale, be sure to check out the size comparison in the photo to the right.
 

An assortment of a few different figures from each of these three sets.

And, of course, as with any collection of tabletop RPG miniatures, the next logical step is painting them. The surprisingly fine detail of these figures provides a great depth with a little bit of wash and dry-brushing.

Here are a few of the figures and terrain pieces from these sets that I spent about an hour painting to test out how well the paint takes to the miniatures.


Painted examples of the miniatures.


Aren't Paints Expensive Too? 

Yes! Paints for miniatures can be very pricey (as much as $3-$5 USD for 0.5 oz). Professional sets can cost hundreds of dollars. But, fret not! While you won't get the same flexibility with color that a professional paint set provides, you can get everything you need for miniature fun at the tabletop for under $20 USD.

Martha Stewart 2 oz Craft Paints are available
for less than $2 USD a bottle, and available in
hundreds of different colors.
For cost effective acrylic paint that works great on miniatures, I recommend 2 oz bottles of Martha Stewart brand acrylic craft paint. These are available at almost any craft shop, and typically cost less than $2 USD each (compared to $15-20 USD each for professional paints). A pack of detailing brushes will run you about another $5-$8 USD.

There are hundreds of color options available in this inexpensive line of paints; each for the same low price. If you want to get fancy there are even high-gloss, glittery, and metallic versions for the same price.

However, when working on a tight budget, all you really need are the basics: black (x2), white, brown, red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and magenta. By mixing colors, applying water, and creating wash -- these bottles should last you through painting several hundred miniatures.

Note: I suggest getting two bottles of black paint since creating ink wash by watering it down tends to use it up more quickly. 

So, if you're looking to buy and paint miniatures for your tabletop game, for less than $80 you can score upwards of 400 miniatures and all the paints and brushes you'll need to bring them to life!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Starship Builder Kit #2: Terran Ring Ships

Another of my Starship Builder Kits has been released!

This Starship Builder Kit has been designed to allow you to utilize various stylized starship sections to compile your very own custom starship deckplan. You can use any graphics editing software that support PNG format to combine the pieces, drop them directly into your favorite virtual tabletop (VTT) application, or even print and cut them out to be put together to make a tabletop play map.

This series of kits is designed to allow you to mix-and-match any of the sections included herein with sections included in other sets in the series.

This product provides at least 20 ship sections as well as three sample ships built utilizing the included resources.

With Starship Builder Kits it is easy to create your own high-quality starship deckplans!

Example starship deckplans created with this Starship Builder Kit:




This product is available via DriveThruRPG!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Goblins in Spaaaaace! (Personal Project)

Just sharing a fun personal project I completed over the weekend. Note that this is not officially related to the Starfinder RPG in any way.

The Starfinder RPG shelf in my library looked a bit lonely, so as a personal weekend project, I decided to make a space goblin!

I converted it from one of the Paizo vinyl  Pathfinder RPG goblin coin banks. Was a fun little project, and now my Starfinder books have an appropriate guard as well.

More pictures available on my original Facebook post about the project

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mini-Dungeon Tome for Pathfinder RPG Now Avaialble!


I am incredibly excited to see this release of Mini-Dungeon Tome from AAW Games/Adventureaweek.com going out to the public.

It has been a privilege to work with so many brilliantly talented individuals on this team, and quite an exciting journey to reach this point.

In addition to managing the initial creation project, I also contributed 24 adventures (plus six additional bonus "holiday themed" adventures rolling out to backers over the next couple of weeks), crafted over 130 maps, and did graphic design, layout templates, stationary design, and advertisement design. I even did some illustration for this awesome book.

 I also designed the Kickstarter project that raised a total of over $204K from more than 3,250 awesome backers, pushing the total $$$ raised from KS projects I've designed to well over $1 Million.


I do believe this project encompassed just about every skill set I have to offer to the tabletop RPG industry, and it's been a blast! Many thanks to everyone for making it such a huge success!

"Over 130 adventures for Pathfinder RPG!
From the depths of the darkest dungeons to primal dangers of the untamed wilderness, this tome binds ancient mysteries, forgotten lore, and the allure of epic quests. Adventurers will explore realms unknown, face deadly foes, and discover tantalizing treasures and magnificent artifacts.
AAW Games brings you this massive collection of more than 130 complete and ready-to-run scenarios designed especially for discerning Game Masters who want exciting adventures and need them now. Begin the next chapter of your campaign with the turn of a page!
Themed and organized for convenience, the Mini-Dungeon Tome provides setting-neutral fantasy adventures suitable for every party level and size. With all reference material included in a convenient index, this single book holds everything you need for years of adventuring.
Offering contributions from all-star authors and game designers, Mini-Dungeon Tome is the book you have been searching for. Always have a new adventure at the ready and test the mettle of even the most experienced players!
Official Press Release from AAW Games: 

"I am super excited to finally announce the release of the Mini-Dungeon Tome for 5th Edition & Pathfinder RPG!
(Pathfinder PDF now / 5th Edition in 2 weeks)


Congratulations o everyone involved in this massive undertaking which includes over 130 adventures for Pathfinder RPG. Stephen Yeardley, Justin Andrew Mason, Louis Agresta, Michael Allen, Rone Barton, Liz Courts, Richard Develyn, Dan Dillon, Jonathan Ely, Endzeitgeist Sigurðr, Tim Hitchcock, Michael Holland, Nicolas Logue, Michael McCarthy, Ben McFarland, Brian Mønster, Will Myers, Stefanos Patelis, Michael Smith, Jason Sonia, Colin Stricklin, Brian Suskind, Rory Toma, Rachel Ventura, Thomas Baumbach, and so many more!

Thank you to all our amazing backers for making this book possible! Please chime in below so we can thank you properly!" -- Jonathan G. Nelson (AAW Games)

 This book is available via Adventureaweek.com, DriveThruRPG, and RPGNow.