Small Dungeon Maps Vol. 2 Kickstarter is Live

Small Dungeon Maps Vol. 2 Kickstarter is Live
Well, I guess this is the week to pimp Kickstarters....

I got notification this morning that Jean Francois Senay had launched his newest digital map Kickstarter, called Small Dungeon Maps 2. I've backed a couple of his earlier Kickstarters and thought they were totally worth it, especially since the biggest backer level is less than $30 and that is only because there are physical prints made & sent out.

Personally I would rather just have the digital copies that I could print out locally to get however many copies I want/need quickly and at the quality level I desire.

I did a review of the 1st set of Small Dungeons that was made. Bottom line, for me, is if you run a game online, these unique maps should hold a lot of value. I've continued becoming a backer because the maps are good, fulfillment is relatively quick, and I think I've always gotten my money's worth.

Be sure to check the Kickstarter out.


Fat Dragon Games DRAGONLOCK 3: Dangerous Lairs Kicksterter is now Live

Fat Dragon Games DRAGONLOCK 3: Dangerous Lairs Kicksterter is now Live
Today is the launch of the DRAGONLOCK 3: Dangerous Lairs Kickstarter from Fat Dragon Games (FDG).

Now I've always been a fanboy of Fat Dragon Games ever since I 1st met Tom Tullis, FDG's main man. I won't go into the story but it is safe to say I have purchased most everything FDG has produced that fits my game table.

As far as paper modeling goes, I don't think you can do much better than Fat Dragon Games, but if you have the appropriate resources their 3D printed dungeons pieces and parts are pretty damned cool.

I spent this morning on a huge post about the various terrain options and how 3D printed models from FDG fit into the scheme of things, but the bottom line is if you want a high-quality high-end terrain for you table that doesn't rely so much on your artistic abilities or on your ability to cough up huge sums of cash, 3D printing is the way to go. Fat Dragon Games has done a great job producing on their Kickstarters ($5 says all the base 3D files were rendered before the Kickstarter went live) and you can get some great models at a good price if you take part in the DRAGONLOCK 3: Dangerous Lairs Kickstarter.

I'm in for Hero Level 2:

  • Tower of Terror
  • Dungeon Delve Part 2
  • Realm of the Mountain King
  • Dungeon Delve Part 1
  • Mountain Adventures Terrain Set
  • Wilderness Encounters terrain Set
  • Trees
  • Streams


Free FM Resource: A Threefor of HackMaster Basic

Free FM Resource: A Threefor of HackMaster Basic
This week I really want to show some extra love for my main RPG of choice: HackMaster.

I've featured a few freebies for this game before, most notably this post on the free release of HackMaster Basic. I played HackMaster Basic for a couple of years before we moved on to the "advanced" game, which is just referred to as HackMaster.

While the freebie HackMaster Basic is really all you need (rule-book wise), there is also a HackMaster Basic Quickstart Rules which covers a truncated character creation process. If you want/need even more help the quickstart character creation, the 1d8 Blog has a character creator that takes the simplified process (HackMaster Basic Quickstart Rules) from the simplified game (HackMaster Basic) and makes it even easier by only requiring a couple of mouse clicks.

I still prefer to roll up PCs the old-fashioned way, but sometimes you need/want something quick & dirty......

Technically this post is a twofer since we've already covered HackMaster Basic, but mentioning that again makes this a threefor. I have no clue if threefor is a thing, but I'm going to run with it....


Free GM Resource: Fat Dragon Games Mapper

Free GM Resource: Fat Dragon Games Mapper
Any long-time readers know I have some mad love for Fat Dragon Games (FDG), so I try to keep tabs on what is going....like the Dragonlock 3 Kickstarter coming soon:

Until then those of us lucky enough to have some of the other FDG terrain can make use of this cool freebie, which is basically a down & dirty mapping program using FDG tilesets. This isn't a mapper for your home game so much as a planner for making maps using already owned tilesets.

1st off, you'll need to be a member of the FDG Forums and then head on over to the last page of the "Mapper for FDG" thread, which as of the timing of this post is here.

Download the mapper from the Dropbox link (while I could technically just link straight to the file, that is kind of an ass-hat thing to do and would only work as long as the current file is....well current), or wherever the current version is linked to on that forum thread.


Free GM Resource: FileZigZag

Free GM Resource: FileZigZag
This week's Free GM Resource is a generic utility that I think might help some GMs with their game prep. Since I already have what feels like a bazillion computer tools at my disposal it isn't normal for me to be unable to utilize just about any file type I comes across, but every once in a while I have something in one format that I cannot use.

Enter FileZigZag, a free online tool that converts one file type to another. At first glance this converter tool looks like it only does a few types on conversion, but this is misleading because the homepage only lists the "most popular" converters.

Pop on over to the list of available conversions and odds are if you have file type "A" that really needs to be type "B", FileZigZag can help get it there.

If you beg, borrow, and/or steal material for use at your home game, you need this tool in your arsenal.


Free GM Resource: Black Magic Craft YouTube Channel

Free GM Resource: Black Magic Craft YouTube Channel
I really hope my 12 regular readers aren't getting tired of YouTube Channels being posted as the week's Free GM Resource.

Personally, I don't watch TV. Well I do, but I don't watch broadcast television. I cut the cable cord years ago and while I do have a homemade HDTV antenna (I used to be a radio operator in a past life, was easy enough to make) so I could watch on-air TV....I just don't.

My TV gets used for three things, Movies (DVDs, Blu-Rays, and Netflix), video games, and YouTube. I like YouTube for the same reason I like link-hopping on the interwebs: you'll never know what you'll find.

Case in point: Black Magic Craft. Never heard of this channel until today. My guess is you haven't either....

I'll try to get the last few YouTube channels added to the +12 Links of Helpfulness this week.


Frugal GM Review: Dice Cheat Sheet

Frugal GM Review: Dice Cheat Sheet
I really wasn't planning on doing any more reviews until I get some RPG projects off of my plate, but there is something that just stuck with me for this Dice Cheat Sheet.

This is probably one of the dumbest DriveThruRPG items I have ever seen, but it is also one of the most brilliant.

I don't know how many GMs that read this blog have tried teaching new gamers how to play RPGs, but having "been there/done that" far too many times trying to demo games for a certain RPG company, one of the things that really trips new players up is the dice vernacular.

An example of what could be done with this cheat sheet
Example colored in
Sure, all of us probably know exactly what you mean when asked to roll 2d4 or 3d6, but new players don't. In my experience most players forget about this simple learning curve. When Kenzer & Company added a dice section to their new version of HackMaster Basic, it actually ticked off a fair number of established players.

I've only seen one "better" example of explaining dice to newer players and that was a Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Introductory Boxed set. Actually I'm not convinced it was better than this Dice Cheat Sheet, but it was good. That box set came with a specific set of dice, with every die a different color. On the bottom of each PC sheet was a row of dice. The idea was instead of asking the player to roll a d20 you could just say, "Roll the orange one".

This Dice Cheat Sheet, which is a free download, consists of black & white (actually grey-scale) graphic showing every base die type. What a GM can do, based on the available dice, is color-code a set for each player so he could say, "roll the red one", BUT.....and I think is better, the GM could change up who has what cheat sheet/colored dice so players more quickly learn the shapes because not all of them have the same set up.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Dice Cheat Sheet
I really like the Dice Cheat Sheet because it is a well thought-out design that really required a bit of a paradigm shift. Of course anything that can help get new players into the fold is going to be all-right by me. I highly suggest you pick up this freebie and have it as a nice tool in your arsenal.


Free GM Resource: Web Content from the Farland Setting for D&D

Free GM Resource: Web Content from the Farland Setting for D&D
This week's Free GM Resource is a bunch of files/aids/"stuff" supporting the World of Farland, which is basically a 5th edition D&D game world/setting.

I know some people will be put off by even the mere mention of 5th Edition, but please bear with me here......there is some 3.5 and 4th edition support as well....

.....and a lot of these files are more neutral anyway, so the edition isn't so important anyway.

Since I'm highlighting Farland files I should try to explain the Farland setting, and the best way to do that is to lift a couple of sentences from the homepage: "Farland is a world that has been conquered by evil. It has been sundered into seven kingdoms, each ruled by an evil lord who personifies one of the seven deadly sins."

That is enough of a hook for me!

While there are links for the Player's Guide and the GM Guide on DriveThruRPG, there are a lot of goodies on the DM and Player Tools page:

  • Adventures
  • Articles
  • Miscellaneous Tools
  • NPCs
  • Riddles and Traps
Personally I think the tools page is worth checking out for the 30+ NPCs alone, but there is a ton more to be had. If you like what you see you might want to shell out the $9.94 for both the Player's Guide and the GM Guide (the total for the two separate purchases).