Dungeon Crafter’s Sketch Book

Philip Reed is known for his works with Steve Jackson Games, however he has been doing a rapid fire of Kickstarters (28 in total so far) campaigns of useful RPG tools such as; The Book of Unusual Potions, for use with Fantasy RPGs , Delayed Blast Gamemaster, Dungeon Challenge Cards – For use with many tabletop RPGs. and most recently Dungeon Crafter’s Sketch Book – Square and Hex Editions. I naturally backed this for the Hex edition. Although shipping is not available outside of North America he has made physical copies available through Amazon Print on Demand.

My PoD copy from Amazon

The PoD for the UK is perfect bound with good quality paper. I was pleasantly impressed! I’ve been in a mood to hand draw my maps lately and as primarily a GURPS player I’m happy to do all of it on hex paper. Each hex is 7mm with a thicker outline of a hex flower. I love the sketchy hand drawn style of the hex grid which really adds to the aesthetic of a hand drawn map.

First material test Calligraphy pens and ink

I tried several media types on the paper. The first was calligraphy pen and ink. The ink was barely visible on the back side of the page.

Second media type, drawing pens.

I then tried using my artist drawing pens ranging from 005 to 08. This bled through just slightly on the backside but nothing too distressing. I did put a couple of dots from Sharpe pens but they bled heavily through the paper so they are not ideal at all.

The 08 to 02 bled through not so much the 01 or 005 pen size.
Using a larger scale
Pen and Coloured pencil

Coloured pencils work very well and I will now probable use my Calligraphy pens and the coloured pencils when using the book.

You can purchase the pdf’s from DriveThruRPG

Or order a physical copy from Amazon.

Inspiration Pad Pro 3

I thought I wrote about NBOS Software‘s Inspiration Pad Pro in the past btu I can’t seem to find it. Between 2013 – 2016 I was writing GURPS Random generators with IPP. I don’t know what kind of code they use for it as I’m not a programmer, but there is instructions and you can get it for Windows, and Android.

IPP lets you code random encounters, treasure, or if you are really ambitious complete NPC’s. I have played around with it starting out with just skeleton guard encounter. I didn’t want every Skeleton to be a carbon copy so the stats might vary by one or two points. This affects weapon damage and Willpower checks just like normal as I was able to code it all properly.

Want a random race but with Dungeon Fantasy Knight template? No problem. Again slight variation on the stats to make them more random then static. There are still a few code errors in this one but to be fair it has 76 races from GURPS Fantasy, Dungeon Fantasy, Banestorm, etc. and 88 Templates from the same books. A bit over ambitious I will admit.

Having some success at two random drop down boxes I tried doing one with three! This was for my GURPS Fallout campaign I ran. Drop down box options are Race, Occupation, and Difficulty Level. However with some help from the NBOS Forums I was able to add in HP trackers as well. This way when I printed them out I just needed to tick the boxes as they took damage. Also colour coded for Reeling, collapse, death checks.

Having a bit of success with that I coded up some Dungeon Fantasy Goblinkin (not DFRPG). Choosing from Gobiln, Orc, Hobgoblin, and Half-Ork. Occupation of Normal, Guard, Archer, Spearman. And finally a difficulty level of None, Stunted, Irritable, Veteran, Enforcer, Savage, and Boss. Again I have a few coding errors in this as it was never finished (Orcs seem to be suffering some stat loss somewhere). However with a bit of work it could easily be perfected, also it was a copy paste from the Fallout so there are some remnants from that such as the Larvae Spit and the Flight option. Opps.

Inspiration Pad Pro is a useful tool depending on how much work you want to put into it. It has been awhile since I coded anything for it so I will have to relearn much of it. It’s not perfect, it doesn’t deal well with negative numbers well. Not for the subtracting but for showing a – symbol in the results

It can be used for random loot, magic items, encounters, not just NPC’s and monsters.

Mini Magnetic Battle Tiles

I found some A4 magnetic glossy sheets for inkjet printers. I wanted to see if i could print out the Battle Tiles at 2 inches vertical hexes. This way it can be a ‘mini map’ during play and I can pull out the appropriate 7 inch Battle Tiles during combat or special situations like trying to find traps and secret doors.

Testing them out on my metal filing cabinet.  I have a white board that we have used in the past for gaming and will be using that set on the table during play.

I am really pleased at the print quality that my Epson EcoTank ET-7750 was able to produce on these glossy magnetic sheets.  The stairs, doors, pits, and traps are a pain to cut out but they do stick to the top of the tiles allowing me to add features to the dungeon as well!

They cut better with a scissors then they did with the hobby knife. Now when we play I can place down the tiles as they explore the dungeons and they are just fun to play with on their own.

Binding PDF’s – Adding the cover

PART ONE

PART TWO

Using Adobe CS2 I created the cover in three parts as I don’t yet have my roll of 115 gsm paper to do a continual cover in one piece.  I’m very impatient and didn’t want to wait another week.

Measure the thickness of the book with the front and back cover on.

Measure the thickness of the book.  The suggested gap between spine and cover is twice the width of the thickness of the cover.  I’m using 2mm greyboard so I’ve placed a 4mm gap.

Cover cut guide

Once you know the size of your cover either measure it out or make a cutting guide like I did.

Normally I would have used a longer steel ruler with a blade attachment to cut these out. However I still have not unpacked it and I’m unsure which box it is in.

Jakar photo mat cutter. Now where did I place it?

My covers got slightly sloppy and I did my best to square them up.

A bit longer on the bottom then the top. Remember to make several shallow cuts rather than attempt to cut it in one go.

Printed out the front, back, and spine art of the book.

How it should look, unfortunately I made an error somewhere.

Now tape your boards together with masking tape.  They are only there temporarily to keep them at the right distance.

Coat the board with acid free PVA glue.

Place the artwork on and use something to smooth it out. This is where I found out I made an error as it doesn’t fit perfectly.

Weigh it down so it doesn’t warp. PVA Glue still has a high water content so things can warp if you use too much.

At this point I’m pretty much giving up and a good cover.  I’ve made a ton of errors so far.

Error 1 is either my board cuts, my Illustrator file, or the actual distance I’ve placed the boards from each other. Or it could be a combination of the three.

Error 2 : Placing the cover on. I did not centre the spine.

Carefully remove the tape

Glue and wrap around the rest of the cover.
Error 3: I didn’t make these long enough.

Fold a sheet of A3 in half. Using scrap paper only expose about 4mm on the papers spine (where it is folded) then glue that bit. Now place it to the first page of the book.

Place the A3 sheet in the book. The 4mm strip of glue is attached to the first or last page near the spine. Then glue the Muslin to the cover

Glue the other half of the A3 sheet to the cover and press.

Since my clamp broke I must press the book between two boards with considerable weight on the top, evenly dispersed

Adhesive plastic film

Next time I will place the book upside down but open at 45 degrees when placing the plastic cover on it.

Tons of air bubbles. Just like my first GURPS 4e Characters book!

So I’m very pleased with the binding method up until I do the covers.  I need to spend a bit more time researching the best way to do it.  The loss of a clamp and the high heat did not help either.  Overall I’m fine with the look of it.  I should have made something triangular to lay the book open over when applying the plastic covering. Or gotten a second person to help me move and stretch.

I will do issues 6-10 next week.

Hirst Arts diving into hexes

We need your voice now!  Bruce Hirst from Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture is asking if anyone would actually use 1″ hexes as most board games that are coming out are using 1.5 inch to 2 inch hexes.  I’ve been asking for years for him to delve into 1″ hexes as I stopped purchasing his moulds (I have a lot of them) when I got seriously into GURPS and was put off by the lack of hexes.  I think I’ve proven that hex dungeons work and I’ve done some work on overland and buildings with hex bases as well.

1.5″ Hex Mould Master Pieces

1.5″ Hex Floor Boards

So if you are interested in creating your own hex based terrain get over to the forums and let your voice be heard!  When Bruce was first experimenting with the “Hex Hills” he started out with 1″ but soon abandoned the idea.

1″ hex tile

You can read the thread for that HERE

Dungeons on Automatic

Dungeons on Automatic is a new blog written by Kyle Norton.  He has recoded a random dungeon generator for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. Find that post HERE.  It uses the same generator as Donjon but he has changed the code for GURPS instead of D&D.  You can download it and use it offline and it is really a lot of fun to play with!

Here are some screen shots of a random result. Go check it out and have some fun!

Gurps Campaign Manager ver. 2.2

You can now save your progress as a pdf! In all previous versions there was no option to save your progress unless you had some kind of pdf printer software to print as pdf. However as long as you have the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (the only thing I’ve tested it with) you can now save the progress and come back to it later.

Get it HERE

Spell Cards!

After finally getting the Maneuver Cards done after about five years of working on them off and on I decided to get moving to the Spell Cards. Like the other cards they are a form that you can fill and print yourself.  However since there are so many varieties of spells and what they are capable of doing I only made the Page field permanent.  The rest of the cells can be entered by the user.  The information panel looks just like the other cards but for the cover I opted for a spell book cover with each College having the same colour represented in GURPS Magic. I also added a symbol for each college.

The symbols are from Game-icons.net  I’ve made a card for each college and one set of “Generic” Spell cards.  Next up will be Psi cards, Path/Book, Ritual, Syntactic, Symbol, and Wild Magic. All but the Psi cards will probably have to have a different format for the information so they may take a little longer.You can view all the Spell Cards HERE

If you end up using them please send me pictures of your cards!

Manoeuvre Cards for GURPS

I’ve finally finished the bulk of the cards needed for use during GURPS combat. This has been an on again/off again project since 2012. The idea comes from the GURPS Combat cards that you can download for free from Warehouse 23.  It is a great idea and very useful but I didn’t like the basic design of the cards or the limited amount of information.  So I came up with my own version which you can enter your own text then print out for use during game play.

These are great for beginner or pro and if you use miniatures or counters with a hex map it turns the combat into a tactical table top war game.  I’ve considered making a play mat to place the cards on, much like you see with Collectable Card Games (CCG).

As you can see from the photos above the cards are printed individually on 6×4 blank note cards.  Each pdf has three different variants of the card and are a form which you fill out yourself.  Once you have entered the information that you desire to have just print it out on the note card, score (crease) down the centre, glue & fold, press with a heavy object so it dries flat, then just cut the remaining card edge.  I recommend a hobby knife rather than a scissors.

You can get the pdf’s HERE

Two other pdf forms are in the folder, both are used for NPC’s and Monsters.  One is playing card size like the Maneuver Cards but you print it on an A4/U.S. Letter size sheet of card stock.  The other is also a 6×4 note card size which you can fill out  and store in a standard recipe box. There is a small area where you can upload a picture unto the card as well.

Playing card size version of the Monster Card.

Enjoy! Let me know if you use them, send me links to pictures of your cards!  Any suggestions? Ideas for different play aids?

Battle Tile Tokens

To reduce the extremely large number of tiles I’m creating I’m adding tokens around the tiles.  It may use a bit more ink but it also allows you to get more out of your photo paper as well.  The tokens will allow you to place stairs, traps, treasure, etc. anywhere you want on your tiles.

Door Tokens

 These three style door tokens will allow you place your doors within any area on the tiles for the wider Vertical Corridors.  Carefully cut them out with a hobby knife using proper safety procedures and you can then either glue one side and fold in half on the grey dotted line or cut them in half and glue them on to thicker card. The backs of the tokens will have information on the type of door.  To make this easier and more customizable for those of you using the tiles all token pdf’s will be form fillable. Which means you can enter your own data. The center token in the picture above is how they will all look with blank data fields where as the other two is a representation of how they will look with the information inserted by the user.

Test it out on this pdf for yourself!  You will have to download the pdf, Google Docs won’t let you use the form features in the preview.

Because the Horizontal Corridors have to be slightly reduced in width I have created two types of door tokens for each door type. These also will have a form option on the reverse side.

Here are some of the options you can place from getting from one level to another.  I manipulated the pit images in photoshop.  The top one is a pit down to another corridor directly below it and the bottom one is just a deep pit.  I probably should have placed a skeleton on the bottom for scale. If you fold the pit symbols on the grey lines and glue the trap door parts together then glue the bottom (pitt symbol) to a piece of thick card you can have a pit tile with a working door!

Now to make sure that the pdf’s can be used by both A4 and 8.5″x11″ I’ve placed a red rectangle on my sheet representing the size of 8.5″ by 11″. This will make sure none of the pieces will be cut off due to size. Everyone will have to print them with no margins though.

I’d be interested to know what kind of tokens people would like to see.