Monday, December 26, 2016

AAW Games Interactive Catalog Application

Throughout December I have been delving back into the software development arena in order to create the AAW Games Interactive Catalog web application. This new dynamic, searchable, and sort-able catalog will conveniently locate links to all distribution channels for AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com products in one location.

This includes every available format: 5th Edition & Pathfinder, VTT (Fantasy Grounds), Print, and PDF via Adventureaweek.com, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, Paizo Publishing,  and the AAW Store. It also provides links for Adventureaweek.com subscribers to access web adventures, flipbooks, or obtain products via their free monthly downloads quota.

Adventures can be filtered by party size or level, series, category, type, and searched for important keywords.

The catalog application development is complete and is currently in the testing and debugging phase, but the massive product database is still being built. With the sheer number of products and different distribution channels (which have never been grouped into a single data source before), I have found that creating the database has proven to be the major time investment. My hopes are to have this completely built by the end of December and we are targetting making the application available to the general public in January 2017.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Mini-Dungeon Map-A-Day December MADness!

For the month of December 2016, I decided to commit to creating one full-color Mini-Dungeon map each day of the month.

To lead into this, I wrapped up the month of November with a dozen extra new Mini-Dungeon maps. On Christmas day, I completed the entire run, having produced 31 maps for December (and a total of 43 maps in less than 30-days).

These maps, coupled with the very large batch I completed in September will provide cartography for at least one AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com Mini-Dungeon a week for the entire year of 2017. Now, that's what I call getting a head start!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Covers for Upcoming Mini-Dungeon Bundles!

This past week I put together the eight different product covers for the upcoming AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com Mini-Dungeon series.

Having released over 50 of these adventures, two bundles are being put together by AAW Games for every version of the adventures offered (Pathfinder RPG, 5th Edition, and Fantasy Grounds VTT for both platforms).

Since I opted to utilize the actual covers for the individual Mini-Dungeon products as elements on the bundle covers, each bundle cover required additional Mini-Dungeon cover products be created (for those products that have not yet been released).

In all it ended up being a massive workload, but I'm very pleased with the results. I was amused to realize that I have created over 200 different cover variants for the Mini-Dungeon series to date.

The Pathfinder RPG Mini-Dungeon Bundle #1 (Print / PDF) is already available, and the AAW Games conversion team is hard at work on prepping the others. The remaining bundles should be released sometime in the first quarter of 2017. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Northern Fury Council Limited Edition Poster Prints

While awaiting the final editing/layout touches for "Wrath of the Jotunn" to be completed, I went ahead and prepped one of the last pending unique backer perks for the Into the Wintery Gale Kickstarter. Those who backed at the Northern Fury Council level had non-player characters based on their likeness worked into the adventure series, and each character was beautifully depicted by fantasy artist, Mates Laurentiu. They were also promised poster prints of that artwork.

The character art was done without any background since they were intended to be worked into the layout with wrap-around text, I was left with a couple options for the design of the posters.

I wasn't a fan of just using a white background, nor did I like having the IWG logo slapped on the front. While I love the branding (I did design it after all), I felt it distracted focus of the subjects. A solid white background I felt like just kind of over simplified the theme.

What I ended up working up for these 18" x 24" posters was a backdrop of wind-swept tundra (utilized from the adventure book's back cover), and an abstract "snowy" background overlay to tie the theme back into the wintery gale. The artwork is bordered by a wide white margin, with some branding information done in simple black Norse runic font at the bottom.


Also, limited edition might be an understatement in this case as these were designed with the intent of only sending each "NFC" backer the one poster depicting the character artwork based on their own likeness -- another reason I wanted to make sure the composition of each made a unique piece.

I'm rather pleased with how these turned out, and am excited for backers to get their posters. I hope they like them when they are received.

Print Proof of one of the Northern Fury Council Posters.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

New Mini-Dungeon Ad Series

This week I designed a new series of banner and block ads for the AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com Mini-Dungeon Series. The focus was on the 5th Edition conversions of the adventures that are available. In addition I did a DTRPG general banner for the Mini-Dungeon series focusing on the 99-cent PDF price-point.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Mini-Dungeon Creation Guide


I have written, designed, and laid-out a complete Mini-Dungeon Creation Guide for AAW Games staff and other freelance authors who work on the Mini-Dungeon series.

The book contains comprehensive information covering every step of the process in which the adventures are created, flow chart diagrams, step-by-step instructions for authors and cartographers, as well as installation instructions for special software packages which I developed specifically for maintaining Mini-Dungeons.

This guide is not available to the general public, but has been (and will continue to be) provided to those working on the Mini-Dungeon series. It is my hope that this document will answer any questions contributors may have.

The 15-page guide is available for download via the private Mini-Dungeon Author's Group on Facebook. If you are a tabletop RPG author who would like to get involved with writing Mini-Dungeons for AAW Games, please contact Jonathan G. Nelson.

Monday, December 5, 2016

5-Star Review for "Mysteries of the Endless Maze"!

I'm very excited to have received a 5-star review from Endzeitgeist on this AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com Mini-Dungeon adventure title.

"Justin Andrew Mason’s Mysteries of the Endless Maze is an amazing little puzzle-dungeon... All in all, a well-crafted mini-dungeon worth of a final verdict of 5 stars." -- EZG

You can check out the full review on Nerdtrek.com:

This adventure can be purchased via Adventureaweek.com, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, and Paizo.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Just for Fun -- Optional Rules: Lesser Magic Item Creation

Lesser magic items are the bridge between mundane items and magic items. They are affordable enough for a commoner to obtain yet useful enough for an adventurer of any rapport. The magic used when creating lesser magic items is relatively weak, and for any item to be imbued with lesser magic it must be a mundane item and have a base value of no more than 50 gp.

For magical detection purposes lesser magic items have dim auras that are notably weaker than the faint aura of minor magic items.

Table: Lesser Magic Item Effects

EffectDescriptionMultiplierSchool
Aesthetic * item appears to be of masterwork quality, but remains mundane1.25 illusion
Attuned * lesser magic item’s effects work only for its creator1.25 divination
Durable +2d4 item hp (to a maximum bonus of +10)1.25/instancetransmutation
Effective+1 bonus to specific Craft skill to relevant crafting tool2 / instanceenchantment
Filling * double consumable effectiveness for sustenance (food & drink)1.5transmutation
Fortified *+1d6 item hardness1.25transmutation
Lightweight *- 1/4 item weight1.50 transmutation
Lucky+1 to specific saving throw (expends charge w/ next relevant save)1.25/chargeenchantment
Self-mending*item repairs itself to standard hp 1/day (unless destroyed)3transmutation
Specialized+1 bonus to specific Profession skill on relevant kit, outfit or tool2 / instanceenchantment

Calculating Creation Cost

To calculate the cost of lesser magic items sum the all of the associated item cost multipliers for imbued effects and then multiply the base price (market value) of the mundane item by that number. For instance, a 1 lb. basket (which has a market value of 4 sp) that has the self-mending effect and the lightweight effect would become a 0.5 lb. lesser magic basket of self-mending with a market value of 1 gp, 8 sp (18 sp).

Note that adding multiple lesser magic item effects to the same mundane item can potentially increase the cost of creation more than either of those same effects would if used individually. 


For instance, if imbuing a trinket (with a market value of 8 gp) with only one charge of the lucky effect would result in a total cost multiplier of 1.25, making its lesser magic item creation cost 10 gp. However, if that same trinket is also being imbued with the durable effect (which itself has a cost modifier of 1.25), the item’s total cost multiplier (calculated as the sum of all the cost multiplies applied to the item) now becomes 2.5, making the creation cost 25gp.

The market value for lesser magic items is typically one and a half times the cost to create them.

Creating a Lesser Magic Item

Any trained spell caster with access to the relevant school of magic may create a lesser magic item from a mundane item. Creating a lesser magic item does not require any magic item creation feats. The creator must be able to succeed a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 10 + the sum of cost multiplies applied to the mundane item. Failure of this craft check destroys the mundane item.

The maximum total cost modifier for effects that can be imbued into a lesser magic item is equal to the caster level of the item creator. It requires one hour for every half point (0.5) of a lesser magic item’s total cost modifiers to create the item, and since the energy used for to imbue lesser magic is frail, the item must be created in a single uninterrupted time frame.