October 15

The Spire


I have started creating a new system-neutral (basically, no gaming statistics, just descriptions of stuff) entitled the Spire, and using my Patreon site to produce it, as I need the extra income it can produce to help support my family. As I soon to be made redundant, that’s become even more necessary. Otherwise I’d just post stuff up here and then make a book and sell it; but times are hard and all that.

Here’s the first map:

side view map of the spire
The Spire

That’s the side view of the Spire itself. It’s a spike coming out of the ground, a mile high, with 12 dungeon levels within. Some, as you can see, stand alone; the rest are connected by one or more passages. Below the ground the foundations of the structure have roots that cut through the earth, popping up into the surrounding town and countryside. There’s a church built by pilgrims who founded the town, and a strange black tree that is actually the tip of one of the roots. Think science-fantasy/weird fantasy sort of vibe; perhaps a touch of whimsy. I have notes and an idea of how this will turn out, but it could all change.

Each post on my Patreon site is going to a 2-page spread (for the most part), with a map and accompanying text. If I can afford it, I’m hoping to get some illustrations in there too. If I can’t, I’ll try to draw something myself, which may be turn out rubbish; but you never know, I might surprise myself and everyone else. Then, once I have finished, I’ll turn it into a book. If I can pull this off, then it’ll be grand. If not, it’s be at least interesting enough that some people might find it worth having. If nothing else, there’ll be plenty of maps, and I can at least draw maps.

Not sure if I’m selling this.

Basically, this is a new project that I want to get right, and if you want to come along and join the ride, please do, your support would be welcome, and any comments and suggestions along the way will also be valuable.

Head over there now, and the first post is available for everyone, so you don’t even have to sign up to see that one.

Ta ta for now.


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October 9

Recent Maps

I haven’t been drawing huge amounts of maps lately, due to other things getting in the way, or having my boy to look after and play with. But, I have finally started drawing maps in the graph book I got last Christmas; here are some of those maps (the rubbish ones I’ll keep to myself I think). Scanner and book don’t work together quite as well, hence the blue folded tint on Dungeon #1.

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August 9

The One Ring: The Falrock

map of the falrock
The Falrock

Yesterday was the second session of the new campaign. Drew the map above to go along with the adventure (based on the map on the Theft of the Moon adventure). Felt I needed a more visual map that my usual top-down standard map. Plus I needed to get better at drawing isometric maps, since it is an area I am not that skilled in.

The session was mostly skill- and role-playing based, no combat, despite that being a strong contender for the session. Instead, the players opted for a more stealthy approach and through a mixture of good planning and use of skills & traits, managed to successfully pull off their plan without being caught. Now the companions are heading back with the artefact, travelling through the night on a cold, wet autumn day, to put some distance between them and the thieves. We’ll see if they manage to get back safely next week.

I’m liking the system so far. Simple, easy to remember, didn’t really need to look anything up. Once the plan was made, the use of traits helped speed the action along, and I think everyone was getting into it, even if some of the characters didn’t actually do a lot. In fact, it was mostly the two hobbits doing all the work, and everyone watching to see what would happen if it all went wrong; which it didn’t.

If you’re interested in following along with the story, I’m using my Obsidian Portal site to its full advantage this time, and hoping to keep it updated and useful throughout the game.

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August 2

The One Ring: the Fellowship Begins



Yesterday we started our new campaign, using The One Ring game, beginning with a fan-made introductory adventure, Theft of the MoonWe’ve got six players now, and spent the previous week’s session creating the characters.

For this (as yet unnamed) Fellowship, we have:

  • Alberic, a Woodman of Wilderland
  • Dafydd Ap Alfred, a Barding of Dale
  • Gilthannas, an Elf of Mirkwood
  • Vieg, a Dwarf of the Lonely Mountain
  • Popo and Wilibald Took, twin brothers, Hobbits of the Shire

I’ve started another Obsidian Portal site for the campaign, and that’s where I’ll be posting the adventure logs and keeping the campaign updated; not here, as that was just duplicating everything and I can then use this blog/site for other stuff. I’ll be posting ‘behind the scenes’ stuff here from the new campaign, thoughts and stuff on how it went, prep, new maps I’ll be drawing for the game, and whatever else takes my fancy. My own adventures for the game will also pop up here.

We’re using Roll20 as usual to play, all set up with excellent macros and APIs thanks to this guide (anyone interesting in a VTT game for this should check that guide out, it is excellent). It looks good so far, and everything seems to work OK, which is a bonus. I’ve spent a lot of time setting it all up, knowing that it will save me loads of time in the future when it comes to preparing for the next session.

Last night was a mostly role-play and skill test session, getting used to the new rules and a different way of playing than we’ve been used to. Seemed to go OK; there was laughter, role-playing, fun had by all. Next week should see some combat, so that we can get used to those rules too. That’s going to be different that we are used to as well, since it’s a different system and a different approach. Makes map drawing for it different too… how many times do I want to use the word different ?!


Last night was fun. I enjoyed running the game, even if it was a little bit awkward here and there as we got used to the rules and the new roles and characters. I’m excited again for running the game, which is refreshing. Helps that I’m going to be running mostly published stuff to start with, mixed in with some of my own, as that takes some of the pressure off, which makes it more fun to do the prep. Plus, I’m a couple of adventures a head, so I should have a good few weeks of play before I have to worry about getting anything else ready.

Hope this lasts a while and that people enjoy reading the play reports (as I know some people do), and I hope to that some good maps come out of this. There’s already a few that come to mind.

In Other News

My second Book of LairsUrban Encounters is basically finished. Just need to sort out one thing, check it looks OK, and then PDF it ready to share and publish. The third one I’ve already started doing some preliminary work on, to get it ready to start. That one is going to be dungeon themed, with a total of 24 dungeons (square, four entrances each) that can be randomly joined together. That’ll be more generic fantasy too, since I want it to appeal to a larger audience. Maybe the one after that will be something altogether different. We’ll have wait and see. Hopefully the dungeon one will kick off this month, but we’ll see how that goes.

Right, that’s it. I really should be working. Ta ta for now.


July 23

Against the Giants: Homeward Bound

title for campaign
Against the Giants: The End

Our intrepid band of adventurers, escorting the failed expedition of scholars and their hired help, spend a week trekking through the jungle. It’s hot work, but uneventful. Nothing bothers them. Predators avoid such a large party; intelligent ones take one look at their armour and weapons and decide the risk is too great.

On the 5th of Fireseek, 595 CY at the start of the new year, they arrive at Port Sanguine, a small trading port catering to merchants and traders. They bid farewell to the scholars, and also to Eshan, who is happy to have made it back to some sort of civilisation after everyone else who escaped the Stockade perished. As for the Heroes, they spend a few days cleaning themselves up, booking passage on a ship to Keoland, and spending some downtime before they set sail.

On the morning of the 9th, they board the Fond Farewell, and set sail, homeward bound…

End of Campaign

And that’s it. After over 4 years and 214 sessions, the Against the Giants campaign comes to an end. Interest was starting to wane, the characters had reached a peak in most of their abilities, and everyone wanted to try something different. And to be honest, keeping it fresh and coming up with new ideas and adventures to keep everyone challenged was getting more and more difficult. I think it’s amazing that we got this far.

Next up, we start playing The One Ring, and see where that takes us. Stay tuned.


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