Saturday 28 February 2015

Blue Maps are Twice as Good

A recent online discussion got me thinking about nostalgia, and the power that holds for me.

When I see an awesome fantasy map, I get this visceral bolt of pleasure that just makes me want to squeal like a seven year-old, opening Keep on the Borderlands for the very first time.

The sensation is twice as strong when the map is blue.  Go figure.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Anaglyphic Isometric Map

A little while ago +The Gorgonmilk mentioned the idea of anaglyphic isometric maps. How fun would that be?

I immediately leaped to Amazon to buy myself a ten-pack of cheap anaglyphic glasses.  This morning, they arrived in the mail.

Here's a prototype - there's only one "plane" (except for room 24 if you look carefully), so it's not much of a feat, but I am now quite excited about what's next.  Quite excited.

(Click to enlarge.)

Sunday 22 February 2015

The Unmended Way

At the apex of a mountain pass, high in the Strielwall Peaks, stands a ruined fortress. Once a Seree garrison, it is now occupied by a peaceful band of giants and the assortment of people devoted to them.

Inside, the giants work to perfect a ritual of tea making, a task they see as essential to the well-being of the lowlanders.

Also, they abduct people.

Here's the portion of the Big Freaking Map that shows the view southward from the split peak. (The distance is based on what I wrote in How far can you see on a hex map?)

So, some liner notes!

This release is somewhat autobiographical (at least metaphorically), which it seems can happen to me when I'm listening to powerful music while writing. My first clue was a weird tickle in the back of my throat; I figured if I could get through explaining it to my wife without cracking, it was my imagination and I was in the clear. Nope, she saw right through it instantly.

Also, Splitpeak House is not a self-contained "adventure", for two reasons. First of all, it works best as a doorway to Tealwood which I plan to develop more, although you can of course replace Tealwood with anything you like.

Secondly, there's no obvious threat to be overcome, unless you play the giants as villains (as would be the case if you reduce the threat implied by the Sidhe).

There's a weird project afoot, and it looks bad, but in a sandbox campaign the giants could become extremely useful allies. Not only is the skill they impart a vital survival skill in Tealwood, but (more mundanely) because of its location: the giants are guarding a mountain pass along a useful route, and have a reason to feed and shelter passers-through.

I hope you find it useful!

EDIT: Here's the map art. As always, it's CC-BY-NC.