Friday, April 24, 2015

Linear Bust

Finally got around to pulling the caulk based streams and rivers out of the box where they have languished the last few months.

They tore.

Big time.

Not quite sure what went wrong.  Either the caulk was too thin, or you're not supposed to try to separate the caulk from the wax paper, or your're not supposed to use wax paper, or you have to pull them before you spray paint them with a base coat, or any number of other possibilities.  At least the bridge was salvageable.

Back to the drawing board.  Maybe just stick with the bass board basing that has worked well in the past.  Those streams and rivers wind up being pretty tall, but there should be a way to work them into the overall visual design of this terrain.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Note on Random Dungeons

Long time internet based D&D dungeon designers know all about Dyson Logos and his brilliant series of dungeon geomorphs.  They also know about Dave Millar's amazing contribution to our little hobby, Dave's Mapper, which builds a random dungeon using geomorphs created in Dyson's style.  The Mapper has geomorphs created by a couple of dozen artists, and the individual tiles can be rotated, flipped, swapped out, and tweaked in a bunch of different ways.  It's a very powerful tool for inspiring dungeons that rises above the level of "random generator".

Well, now the Mapper has one more contributor.  In my on-going effort to give a little something back to the community, I've added a dozen new tiles to the "side-view" portion of the program - you can even see my name in lights.  (LCD screens are lights, right?)  My surface tiles give DM's a chance to sink a dungeon right below the streets of a town or village with secret entrances outside the wall, through the sewers, and of course vie secret ways beneath pubs of ill-repute.

Don't thank me.  This is my thank-you to YOU.

I've used this tool to build a few levels for my current (under-construction) mega-dungeon by starting with a random map, tweaking the tiles to get the right layout, and then redrawing the map to bring it all together into a coherent whole.  Although there is no way to select tiles based on themes such as "undead" or "underwater", many of the contributors have tiles that have their own little theme.  Once of the artists includes a lot of little niches set into the walls all over the place, so I've used his tiles as a starter for my catacombs level, for example.

So go, play with it a bit.  Enjoy.  Maybe if I ever get caught up on a few of my other projects, I'll add more tiles to the program.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Linear Features, Step One

Before we kick off the second matched army for Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames, let's take a look at the roads and rivers.  Staples of wargame terrain, I've decided to give the old "acrylic caulk smeared flat and painted to suit" trick a shot.  After careful study of Neil Thomas' thirty scenarios, I figured that a total of 11 pieces of linear terrain should give me everything needed.  That's five straight roads, a crossroad, five straight river pieces, three with crossings.  To get the measurements right, I just divided my drop cloth length by three.  Then, to make sure that my roads and rivers were the right length, I drew out the pieces inside a flat packing box like so:

The drawn out pieces can even be seen through the was paper taped to the box for easy peeling of the dried caulk.  Smear the caulk, and let sit overnight.  This stage took all of twenty minutes including the hard planning.

Here's a closeup of the bridge river crossing and the two fords.  The bridge is a cast metal piece from Heroics and Ros.  It's scaled as 6mm, but in retrospect, I kind of wish I'd gone with the 15mm piece just to have something a little bigger and more visible.

Then work got crazy, and the box stayed on a shelf in the garage for several weeks...More later when I get a chance to peel the caulk up and find out if this is going to work.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Next Generation Gaming

My daughter crafted up a full terrain set for a wargame she tells me is based on the video game, Five Nights at Freddy's.

Here I thought all those crafty little things she's been making based off of YouTube tutorials was for her Littlest Pet Shop toys.  Turns out she was busy making her own terrain and games.