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 www.worldanvil.com or My world Voltera There.

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

Link Here: https://ko-fi.com/craftydm

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.