Friday, April 8, 2022

The Adventures of Asha'd (Origins)

 Asha'd is a Male Tabxi Sorcerer with a Darkling Background If you would like to see his particulars on his character sheet I will post a link below. I set out to create this character upon the invite to a D&D5e Campaign by my Friend John, The Campaign as it stands now is known as the Whitestone Keep campaign. These will be some of my accounts of my character's Adventures. To be honest as much as I have played D&D and its latest version D&D5e this will be the first time I actually Don't have to be the Dungeon Master and I get to play a character and enjoy the game from the player's seat. I am enthusiastic about the campaign as it is in a more open Sandbox style and the players are all Dungeon Masters in their own right and we jointly have input into the lore of the world we are creating along with DM Johns Guidance. So this first BLOG report is more or less sharing the background of Asha'd I hope you come along for the ride with me and see what adventures Asha'd finds.

(Character Sheet via Shard Tabletop, Portrait Via Portrait Workshop)

Character Sheet

The Backstory of Asha’hd


I was born as part of theVoloni Clan to Zirra and Har’ad Deep within the Southern Jungles of Sandara. My mother Zirra gave birth to me in the Ruins of Kazrim which supposedly harbor a gateway to the regions of the Shadowfell. She hardly ever speaks of why she gave birth to me there other than she was helping my father in one of his pursuits when my time had come. Most of the young are born with the assistance of Tribal midwives in their homes, somehow this marked me as different throughout all my youth and to this day among theVoloni.

My father was hardly around always Following some adventures, or Magical Pursuits He had been Chosen by Tydus the Shadow God and possessed an affinity for casting spells that he says had come to him naturally because of this Prayers and Offerings to Tydus were quite common in my home this led to even more Distrust and Shun from my Voloni Clan.

Although I was the youngest, I have Two Older Sisters and a brother who embraced more of the traditional ways of the Voloni and seemed to thrive among the Voloni Tribe. My Mother and I much less it seems since my Birth, but my mother would affectionately call me her little Darkling and I felt closest to her as she often defended me against the scrutiny of Tribal Elders who referred to me as a cursed child.

At a young age, I found a had a sort of bond or vision with the Dead and Spirits from beyond this realm. I found myself speaking with Spirits and Ghosts even as a small child somehow, they would come looking for me many harmless, inquisitive, just wanting to be able to speak to someone again, others dark and foreboding seeking me out as somehow, I presented a danger to them. They always came to me from the shadows. My mother saw this and told me I was touched by Tydus and that I should keep it secret. Somehow hard as I tried many in the Voloni Tribe must have known they would always whisper and talk about me.

Through my youth and into my late teens I lived among the Voloni despite being marked as the Cursed Child. My Father would from time to time return and share his stories with me and he started teaching me some of his spells. He was aware of my abilities and soon I learned to send messages to him and my mother without speaking and tap shadow magics to change my appearance into visages of others in my tribe or spirits who have come to speak with me I kept it all secret till one day after my father had left on another adventure. A Spirit came to me in the night asking for help it was the grandfather of our Chieftain. The spirit was urging me to speak to his grandson and tell him he as displeased with how he was handling a matter within the tribe and its elders. The Spirit kept visiting and urging this to the point I could not get any rest.

One day my mother and I were in attendance of a tribal meeting when the Chieftain was Arguing with some of the Elders this spirit’s voice got so insistent in my head to speak out, I actually stood and shouted “Enough! Your Grandfather would not have treated the elders it this way!” The Chieftain turned and said “What do you know of My Grandfather Whelp? And how dare you speak to your Chief this way Cursed Child!” The next thing I knew his Claws lashed across my face Shadows Began to swirl around us and the next thing I knew I called on something dark within me and I called Dark Tendrils to wrap around the Chieftain's throat, Uncontrolled Anger led to surprise as I realized my dark grasp was not the Chieftain’s neck but that of my mothers who leapt in to interpose and defend me. Before I could control the anger, my mother had collapsed on the floor my fellow tribe members and even my brother and sisters were pelting me with stones and sticks and I was driven from the village.

I lingered in the Jungles living off what I could for days, spirits would find me and sometimes would be my only solace. I would even watch the village from a distance I learned that my mother fell ill. I did manage to use my magic to send her a message expressing my sorrow, she understood told me she loved me, and urged me to find my father she soon passed some days later. One of my sisters found me she warned me to not return the Chieftain has declared me and my father Outcasts to be Beheaded if caught near the Village it was only then I set out to find my father.

My Travels first took me to the Northern end of Sandara to the port city of Perdition I had been here on two prior occasions with my parents. The city is alive and ruthless if you remain ignorant so many spirits met untimely ends and even some undead below the streets. I quickly met others who had magic capabilities much like mine some called them gifts… As I tried to glean more information on my father’s whereabouts, I had taken up instruction under one such calling himself Vanis and referring to me as a Sorcerer one blessed with the gift of magic, I learned much but still felt as though Tydus had chosen me. I became a sorcerer because this Stranger saw the potential in me and did not look at me with disdain, he taught me how to control and channel my powers. Now I wanted to know why Tydus only speaks from shadows. Nobody really knows if Tydus is male or female. Why does he send the Dead to me? Why do they seek me?

One dark evening I thought I heard Tydus speak I heard him say “Shadows only mask part of a path, your path is your decision your action. Too many chose not to go ahead afraid of the shadows, Shadows are the same as uncertainty, be certain and they can be navigated do not cower from the dark or the unknown…” I did not know for certain if this was Tydus or some other spirit or soul speaking to me, but I vowed to use my talents to help others living or dead if they will accept me fine if they will not then hell with them. I know my soul has a dark side, but I will not let it get the best of me or determine my life.

My efforts to find my father did not prove as productive in the city of Perdition as my honing of the magical arts but I recalled Father's tales of the Goblin Wars on the border of the nation of Remulus. I concluded he must have taken a ship there, so I spoke to several captains and Befriended a Captain named Tiberius Cutler who my father had sailed a year earlier. So, I booked a working passage with the captain’s ship. That led me to a great City in Remulus. Tips and hints to my father’s whereabouts were far apart but fruitful as not many of my kind are here, they have led me to a place people in Remulus call a frontier town or border town near where much of these supposed Goblin wars took place. Perhaps I can find him here or at least a lead it has been nearly 3 years since I have seen his face will he recognize me as his whelp of a son Asha’d or is he even alive?


Arcane Origins: Your power arises from your family’s bloodline. You are related to some powerful creature you inherited a curse.

Reactions: your Neighbors hate and fear your power, causing them to shun you.

Supernatural Mark: You bear the scar of an exile over your left eye that classes over in a dark blue cloud when you sleep or channel your powers. (Two Claw Slashes)

Signs of Sorcery: For a moment after you cast a spell, the area around you is cold with dark wisps of shadows (visible breath)

Quirk: When Asha’d sleeps he does not appear to be breathing (Though must still breathe to survive)

A new years update

 Wow Time has really flown since my last Blog Post I had intentions of trying to put up monthly content on my Blog but as many may see My last post was in August of 2021. Nevertheless, I have been Busy. Making Maps, Creating D&D content for my own world and for others. I now add some more Notchs to my belt in this endeavor and will touch on a few of these.

Over the past several months I have become a Volunteer at Frogwarts School of D&D which is basically a teaching group whose goal is to provide a friendly, positive, and comfortable atmosphere for people to come and learn How to Play D&D both as Players and as Dungeon Masters. All the Instruction is done for free on a volunteer basis. Frogwarts is currently doing instructional play and classes Via Discord and using several different VTT platforms for Play. 

I want to personally thank Carla the Founder of Frogwarts for bringing me onboard I have found this Enjoyable and Very Rewarding to me personally. I enjoy the Comradery I feel with many of the Professors, Staff, and Students I have been working with and look forward to much more time with them and sharing a passion that seems to be in everyone that comes to Frogwarts has for D&D and Fantasy Role Play games in general. 

I find this a sort of Respite from other aspects of our lives and the focus on the negativity that seems to be prevalent among many in society. Not to knock mine or anyone's choices or associations in life it just feels good to step away once in a while and escape. Since the pandemic and continuing uncertainty of Lockdowns, Masks, Restricted Travel, Government Mandates, Political finger-pointing, and posturing. I find it really nice to just sit at a table or virtual tabletop and Play a game with friends or even strangers who have become friends. Looking back now I realize I have probably met more interesting people that I now consider friends than I probably had in the past several years and I am thankful for it.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Working as a creator.

It’s been a while since I have posted anything to my Blog. I have since retired from my day-to-day job as a postal worker at the end of 2020 and have plunged into some self-satisfaction as a creator for one of my passions Fantasy RPG’s in particular dungeons and dragons. Since retiring I have started my own little web page and producing digital maps not only for my own games some for free and some for nominal fees or access to all I have posted there for just $3.00  a month. You can check these out at the following link. 

Due to the lockdown and my strong desire to play Dungeons and Dragons with my group I first developed my VTT chops on Roll20 but got frustrated and fell in love with an up-and-coming VTT platform Shard tabletop. They took a more intuitive approach to VTT play and soon found myself backing their fantastic team when it came to Kickstarter if you want to check them out at the link below.

I like how Shard Tabletop organizes things for the dungeon master and have been so inspired by the VTT and the great support of the team I have packaged and published my first package of maps, a desert-themed encounter map pack, and my first one-shot adventure for sale on their marketplace.

Granted it has not made me rich but I have got to say I cut my teeth now as a creator. I soon had a group of cool creators from Dungeon Forge reach out to me and asked me to make a map for their Kickstarter “Tortles of the River Valley” the kickstart successfully funded and hit a couple of stretch goals resulting in some really cool 3D printed miniatures and a published adventure booklet featuring my map and digital versions available for download for VTT play. 

I am pleased to say that I am still working with the Dungeon Forge team on an upcoming Kickstarter I will write about in a later blog. 

My adventures as a Dungeon Master, mapmaker, and creator continue to expand I have started some commission work with Another game creator Trolllord games, and have done my First YouTube interview with a fellow creator AKA: Wizthrift that interview is linked below if you care to check it out.

All in all my journey into retirement and doing things I love has not made me rich but kept me busy and happy. They have made me see that becoming a creator for something I love is in fact doable. One would say I may not be blessed by the RPG gaming gods but they are starting to notice. Until a later post do what you love and Happy Gaming…

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Map Making For Dungeons and Dragons Or your Table Top RPG

 Since I first started playing Dungeons and Dragons and all sorts of other Table Top RPG's way back in 1977 Making maps has been part of the fun and the passion of the game. Creating your own worlds and environment for you and your friends and players to explore and adventure in. Making the maps was fun but in the early day limited to me to only pencil and paper long into the 1980s and early 1990s.

I got my first digital mapping software "Campaign Cartographer" by Pro Fantasy Software back in 2011 this Software Just expanded my worlds exponentially and my desire to create maps for my games. Here is an example of one I created. This map details a Section of the Kingdom of Ageron in my D&D5e Campaign world "Voltera" Campaign Cartographer is basically a very powerful CAD program the more time you spend with it the more you can really come up with some Fantastic maps.

Drawbacks I would say to Campaign Cartographer I would say are its steep learning curve and its price range has not come down in nearly a decade and you could easily pay several hundred dollars if you were to buy all the assets and expansions. This map was created though with just the basic Campaign Cartographer Software and Assets and is Just a snippet of a larger world I created with the program. that is one of the powerful features of Campaign Cartographer is that you can get detailed images of small portions of your map and if your computer is powerful enough make real detailed massive maps for professional print and publication. In addition, it being around for over a decade it more than likely has a lot of how-to tutorials on youtube and the internet.

Another Program I use I just recently stumbled upon Dungeondraft is a great program that is still in Beta Testing but can be purchased for just $20 is great for dungeon masters and gamers on a budget. I found this program very intuitive program, having features geared to those who play online like Roll20 and use a Digital Tabletop arrangement for their games. Since the Covid-19 pandemic I have found myself getting my group together online to keep our campaign moving this Software is excellent for the price and searching the internet I see dozens of creators making assets for it so I think it will go far. The Learning curve is minimal compared to Campaign Cartographer one could easily whip up maps in about 15 minutes. Below is an example of one I made as a 15-minute challenge:

This map again is made with just the basic assets of Dungeondraft and so here are two tools that I use as a dungeon master for my map creation there are many more out there for you and me to discover I just hope you find this small article Inspiration to go out and create your own adventures or maybe try a role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons or some other. Adventure of the mind and enjoyment await you.

If you want to find out more about My D&D5e Campaign world check out or My world Voltera There.

As part of my exploration of maps and Mapmaking, I have taken to to make many of my maps available to those interested in using them for VTT play like on Shard Tabletop, Roll20, Etc.

Link Here:

Monday, September 7, 2020

Taking a test flight...

I seized the opportunity to try Worldspinner’s character portrait workshop it’s in beta 1 phase now and looks very promising. Currently you can only make portraits for Humans but more is promised in beta 2 release.

In my initial impressions there are some diverse combinations you can get the drawbacks I’m finding at the moment are that some of the equipment or gear options don’t generate any images and that the program occasionally reboots sometimes at an inconvenient time like when I come across a cool portrait I want to save. Yet the program is promising and as expected beta programs you can expect some glitches. 

Anyway I’m holding out for further review to see where this gos. Here are a few portraits generated via the app on my IPhone 7.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Crafting from Inspirations

I had the privilege to be invited to a friendly crafting competition put on by Joseph Levin of Encounter Terrain. Many crafters from around the world would compete from their homes and submit photos of their finished products to be judged after 2 weeks.  Below is some of the images of my submission.

I sought inspration from a few places the first of these was a DM Scotty McFarland and his You Tube channel The DM's craft. He has many how to videos on crafting terrain and I adopted one of his to achieve the texture of this tree trunk home I made.

I got further inspiration from the "Girls, Guts, Glory" D&D podcast I have been a fan of and listening to. Dungeon Master Kelly Lynn D'Angelo had an Non Player Character named Heddy who I thought was really neat, I was so inspired I decided to incorperate him into my home brew world and campaign "Voltera" so with these nuggets I set out to make "Heddy the Saytr's home.

Using a Pringles can, some XPS foam, a little wire and plastic and a whole lot of hot glue and Imagination my submission was done about 3 days before the due date. Making a long story shorter when Judging came down my craft was voted the "Crafters Choice" award by my fellow competitors. A bit humbled but happy and proud at the same time I got allot of positive nods and even some appreciation from the Ladies at the "Girls, Guts, Glory Podcast" 

I hope to put up some step by step instructions of how I made it perhaps in my next Blog and if i can conquer the learning curve maybe even tackle a YouTube video. Let me know what ypu think.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New beginning

Welcome to the Crafty_DM Blog. Soon you will be able to see what sort of Game Crafts and articles I plan to share with you all in the coming new year. This is where I plan to share allot of my game works including my current D&D5e campaign and other gaming interest. You can check out my "Voltera" campaign at my world anvil page link below:

Voltera homebrew world (D&D5e Campaign)