Free GM Resource: Norman B Leventhal Map Center at the Boston public Library

Free GM Resource: Norman B Leventhal Map Center at the Boston public Library
Today's Free GM Resource, if you already haven't figured it out, is another collection of old maps. This time it's the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Pubic Library.

Navigation to the maps is a bit clunky, but there are a few really cool collections within the map center that are worth checking out.

Lately I've been receiving links to online map collections and I'll keep posting them, but no more than once a month so that the Free GM Resources doesn't turn into map porn central.


Frugal GM Review: Anglo-Centric Placename Generator

Frugal GM Review: Anglo-Centric Placename Generator
This week I once again let DriveThruRPG "spin the wheel" as it were, to find me something interesting to review. Obviously I have to find something I think is interesting, and when the Anglo-Celtic Placename Generator showed up in the short list of "personalized suggestion" I was more than happy to grab it.

When running a game a bit on the fly like I was, place names sometimes needed to be created on the run and I don't always do a good job. Any help in that department is probably worth the $1.50 this Anglo-Celtic Placename Generator costs.

The PDF is a locked-down file that is eight pages and comes in at 2.83 MB. The file is A5 sized (5.83" x 8.27") which makes for a nice little printout on a folded US Letter paper. I'm thankful for the fact that the PDF is bookmarked, which is something I probably wouldn't expect with only six pages of content (the other two pages are the cover and a credits page).

What I'm used to seeing with shorter list products or single-purpose table generators like this is basically just a list of items/tables. Maybe a paragraph to show the order for tables. Hell, my d30 tables don't come with much in the way of explanation. This product devotes two pages to explaining the tables and their constraints/exceptions. I really found these two pages helpful because the format of the tables might be too confusing on their own.

The bulk of the naming convention is Element 1 + Element 2.....pretty simple stuff. With not quite 100 entries in each element you'll get some good variation. To spice things up a bit there are also Prefixes and Suffixes, as well as Interfixes. I've never heard of an interfix before and some of these entries have some additional "rules" to get the resulting place name to make sense.

On some level it seems rather complicated, but it really isn't. I plan on entering all these tables into a table generator so I can make up a bunch of names on the fly. I'm sure I'll have some fun trying to code the generator, but thankfully everything is quite well explained.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Anglo-Centric Placename Generator
Something tells me that a lot of effort went into creating the Anglo-Celtic Placename Generator, mostly on the research end, but also in the explanations and the layout. Sequestered Industries didn't skimp on the little touches that make a PDF more user-friendly and overall I think there is a lot of value for only $1.50. Based on this purchase I'd definitely be willing to check out their other generators.

I think these smaller/cheaper PDF products really do add a lot of bang-for-your-buck to RPG games.


Fat Dragon Games has a Cool Kickstarter Funding Now for 3D Printed Terrain

Fat Dragon Games has a Cool Kickstarter Funding Now for 3D Printed Terrain
First off, I know some people are going to balk a bit because this post isn't about something cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but frugal has two definitions and I go by the economical meaning, not the cheap one.

A quick search of this blog's Table of Contents shows I've posted about Fat Dragon Games eight times now (including this post). That is a lot, but I've always considered FDG products to be darn-right economical and I've purchased a lot of product over the years.....something to the tune of 3.5 GB of PDFs.

I've also had the pleasure to run into Tom Tullis, FDG's main man, several times over the years at cons. You'll just have to take my word that he's always been a nice guy, that was great to work with (briefly) on some special projects that never came to fruition (when I was working with another game company). A bit of a shame really, but it did make me a bit more eager to pick up more FDG product, especially during a Kickstarter Campaign.

This time around, Tom has another Kickstarter for another one of FDG's Dragonlock sets. This campaign is called Dragonlock 2. Basically Dragonlock 2 is a set of 3D printer files, focused on streets & buildings, where the Dragonlock 1 set was focused on caverns and dungeons. If I had the extra $70 I'd toss in for that as well, an I already own a couple pieces from that set (i.e. $70 is still a better deal that buying it set-by-set off of sites like DTRPG).

Luckily for me I had some extra spending money from unexpected overtime earlier this month.

I'm going to have to assume that the majority of readers here don't have a 3D printer......yet. It's on my wish-list and I hope to have one within the year. I don't think the prices have come down much, but the quality and availability of relatively affordable printers has increased. While I already have what feels like a bazillion paper models, some as PDF and some already printed out, I'm more excited by the prospect of 3D printing my terrain instead of the paper models or casting it.

For me the 3D printed stuff gives the sturdiness of what I'd make with my Hirst Arts molds, with the light weight and cost of my paper models. There is the initial hump of getting a 3D printer, but my gut tells me that if I added up the cost of all the molds and equipment I needed (or at least felt I needed) for casting and compared them to the start-up costs for 3D printing, at worst it'd be a wash. I'm confident that the 3D printer would come out ahead in the long run and also.....hey, I'd have a 3D printer that I could use for other stuff. I can't use my casting molds for anything else.

At any rate, I think there is some great value here and I wanted to make sure those that might be interested in something like this got the word.


Free GM Resource: Basic & Expert Dungeon Master Tools

Free GM Resource: Basic & Expert Dungeon Master Tools
This week's Free GM Resource is a bit of random generation love for the Basic & Expert D&D rules from the aptly named Basic & Expert Dungeon Master Tools website.

There are a few tools available here:
* Dungeon Turn Tracker
* Die Roller
* PC Generator
* Wandering Monster Encounter Generator
* Dungeon Stocker

The results are about as random as random gets, so you probably will need to make some tweaks on the fly. For example, the 1st room in a 1st level dungeon I generated had a single Dwarf in it and something like 16,000 gold pieces as treasure.

The website has been around since a year ago last July and I for one liked looking at the change log to see what has been teased out of the site since it went live. All these tools were coded by Tony Bravo, but since I don't see an email or G+ link, I'm not certain who Tony is so I could offer a link for folks to extend their thanks.

Undoubtedly one of my 12 regular readers knows and can point us in the right direction.


Frugal GM Review: Hill Cantons Compendium II

Frugal GM Review: Hill Cantons Compendium II
Ever since my trip to North Texas RPG earlier this summer I've been wanting to pick up something from Hydra Cooperative to review, not knowing I had already reviewed one of their adventures.

A week or two ago I noticed the Hill Cantons Compendium II was not only PWYW, but also had a softcover B&W book available. While the PDF is PWYW I do believe there is a minimum price to get the softcover.....the printing and shipping doesn't pay for itself!

This review will kind of cover both items. They are far more similar than they are different, as one would expect. This supplement seems to be geared more for old-school Basic D&D, but really it is filled with tweaks that can be further tweaked for any OSR game.


Free GM Resource: A Plethora of Free Icons

Free GM Resource: A Plethora of Free Icons
This week's Free GM Resource, like all the others, may not be for everyone.

You've heard the old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words." right? Well when reading the adventure that was Saturday's Frugal GM Review I noticed that a few icons were regularly used to show the GM entries for monsters, treasure, and traps.

I thought the idea was brilliant and luckily there was an attribution for the icons to game-icons.net. Holy crap there are a lot of icons there...2279 when I first checked it out. All these icons are licensed with a Creative Commons BY license.

Now downloading the whole lot might be a bit much, especially since it'd be harder to appropriately attribute who created which icon, but I think overall this is a great little resource that many GMs could use when writing adventures, making maps, etc.

The download graphic used in the header was created by Delapouite.

Late Night Edit: Evidently I messed up the link to the actual fricken icons by adding a "s" where it didn't belong. Today was a long day at work so I couldn't just fix this as easily as I'd have liked. Thanks to Alfredo Sendín for the head's-up.


Frugal GM Review: The Cursed Fountain

Frugal GM Review: The Cursed Fountain
This week I let DTRPG guide me by the hand to select an adventure to review as this week's Frugal GM Review. Sometimes I get a bit of a kick out of seeing the "Personalized Suggestions", especially when they suggest items I've written.

Meh, it happens.

This week, though I found a little gem of an adventure for Swords & Wizardry called "The Cursed Fountain". This short, 13 page PDF is part of the "Dungeons of Dazegoneby" line from Creation's Edge Games and intended for 4-6 PCs of 1st through 3rd level. The PDF is locked down as one would expect, but I don't see that being an issue for this product as it doesn't impede usage. It also isn't bookmarked, but this PDF is really one of those items you print up for use.  If you wanted to print this up I'd suggest just printing pages 2-12 of the PDF, ignoring the cover and the obligatory Open Game License.


Free GM Resource: 2016 Gongfarmer's Almanac Compilation

Free GM Resource: 2016 Gongfarmer's Almanac Compilation
Last year I shared a cool Free GM Resource that was the Gongfarmers Almanac. I'm kind of double-dipping here, but this week's resource is not just one almanac hosted on some Google Drive, but a whole year of almanac available over at DTRPG.

The 2016 Gongfarmer's Almanac is a compilation of eight issues all rolled up into one file filled with 468 pages of goodness. Designed as a 1/2 US Letter page, I'm thinking of printing the whole thing out as a giant booklet.

The bookmarking is a bit half-assed because it jumps from Volume 1 to Volume 7, but it is free and has a bunch of cool articles.