Free GM Resource: Quassi's Bell Tower YouTube Channel

Free GM Resource: Quassi's Bell Tower YouTube Channel
You'd think with all of the crafting video I've been putting up lately that I've been waist-deep in my own crafting projects...but not so much. With the holidays coming up, work, and working way too slowly on my game room, I've made 0% progress on the tabletop crafting.*

As you can undoubtedly tell, this week's Free GM Resource is another Crafting YouTube channel: Quassi's Bell Tower.

The channel is about a year old at this point and while there aren't a ton of videos, the content is stuff I really hadn't seen elsewhere. What I really like, though, more than anything is the ability to see the crafting process through yet another set of eyes. While there are a lot of guys making similar(ish) props and tiles, being able to see how different people approach a build is quite useful. Ultimately when I/you start crafting we'll have to develop our own styles, but being able to pick up tips and approaches is really beneficial.

Check out Quassi's Bell Tower YouTube Channel.

*About a month ago I did actually build my own hot wire foam cutter station, but despite my best efforts I'm not all that happy with the end results. Great for rough cuts though and it was a fun exercise since almost all of it was made from bits and bobs from a reclaimed building materials place.


Free Monster Ecology: The Carnivorous Caterpillar

Free Monster Ecology: The Carnivorous Caterpillar
So yesterday I published what I think was a bit of an odd Tweak & Toss, because it seems a bit....well sometimes our real-life adventures don't quite add up or seem to be what we expect....and I'll leave it at that.

In conjunction with The Eaters of the Dead Tweak & Toss I did a write-up for a rather benign creature, just something interesting to inhabit a little corner of your game world.

The Ecology of the Carnivorous CaterpillarThe Ecology of the Carnivorous Caterpillar is available for free off of DriveThruRPG and also on my Patreon page. Clicking on either graphic or using this link will take you to DTRPG, while this is the Patreon link.


New Frugal GM Tweak & Toss: Eaters of the Dead

New Frugal GM Tweak & Toss: Eaters of the Dead
With all of the unexpected curves that life like to throw at, well everyone, it has been far too long since I've out out a Tweak & Toss OSR Adventure Seed.

FGM044a: Eaters of the Dead is a short little adventure seed that has the party trying to investigate something that the villagers cannot. It could be a rather trivial thing, or not....just depends on how the GM wants to take things.

This download drops on Tuesaday, November 7th and I'm writing this post in advance, so if there are any problems it might take me a couple of hours to figure it out, but figure it out I will.

Eaters of the Dead Tweak & Toss

These kind of items hit my Patreon page earlier than they get released on DriveThruRPG. Patrons also have access to better/larger maps used for my Tweak & Tosses....

Like usual, you can click on either graphic in this post or use this link to go to the appropriate download page.


Free GM Resource: Reddit D&D Maps Page

Free GM Resource: Reddit D&D Maps Page
As far as I can tell I'm not re-hashing this Free GM Resource, which is odd because I have a graphic that I evidently created last year, but I cannot find the post...

Anyway, I was surprised to find a Reddit D&D Maps page. Now I'm not a big Reddit fanboy and have only popped on once or twice in the last, well ever actually, so while this might be old hat for some of my readers, I'm willing to bet that it is news for plenty more.

I'm a big fan of the search function which you can limit to the D&D maps page....


Free Map #72: Another Lake!

Free Map #72: Another Lake!
I posted another freebie map on my Patreon page and pretty much forgot to post it yesterday.

For someone who doesn't swim (much) and really doesn't fish or boat I have to say I love the water. The home I'm living in was chosen mostly because the back of my property line is the center-line of a year-round creek (quite uncommon here).

When I'm making maps I start with an interesting water feature and work backwards from there. I had a particular area in mind for a Tweak & Toss adventure seed and I got about 1/2 way through making the map when I realized that I really wasn't going to be able to add the features I wanted, so I scrapped that map and started over again. On these style of maps I'd rather have it turn out the way I want even if it takes a fair bit of time.

Free Lakeside Village Map on Patreon
Anyway, this map was close enough to a specific paper size that I went ahead and cropped it to an inch under tabloid size so the finished map would have a 1/2" border all around. This map is more than just a lake, it is a small village by a lake. Some of the village is in the marshy wetlands around the lake and there is just one road in/out of town. Another road just winds up to a center-point of the lake.

My Patrons' map is the same size but a better resolution (higher PDF production settings) and is layered, so certain features can be toggled off if desired. As a last-minute thing I reduced the resolution of my base file from 300 DPI to 100 DPI, but I tripled the size and saved it as a .PNG file so the GM could slice it up as desired for a VTT.

Like usual, click on either graphic to go to the map's download page, or use this link.


Free GM Resource: FastStone Photo Resizer

Free GM Resource: FastStone Photo Resizer
This week's Free GM Resource (I am aware I missed last week) is another great tool that has absolutely NOTHING to do with gaming, but has been quite useful for me in game prep.

FastStone Photo Resizer is a free program that doesn't have any adware/spyware/limited features for use.

Yes, on the surface this program resizes photos....and it would be worthwhile if that is all that it did. Why would a GM need to resize "photos"....or more appropriately graphics? Well if you are running a Virtual Table Top (VTT) game, FastStone Photo Resizer can take all of your 300 DPI graphics and reduce them to something more appropriate, like 100DPI.

Now the cool thing about this program.....well, there are quite a few cool things, but as far as resizing goes, you create an input list of files to tweak. This means you don't have to have all the original files in one directory. You can not only resize your graphics, but you can rename them AND change the file types (.JPG to .PNG, etc). You can have the new graphics be dumped into a folder of your choosing and/or have the old files over-written (which I wouldn't recommend).

You can also use FastStone Photo Resizer to simply rename a batch of files, which is quite useful as well. What I like to do is get everything I need for one encounter together in one place, not a folder, but an input list, tweak as needed, and then have the encounter in a new folder with appropriate names.

FastStone Photo Resizer is really worth a download!


Free GM Resource: Trello

Free GM Resource: Trello
This week's Free GM Resource is a project-management tool I thought I had shared well over a year ago, but I guess not since I can't find a reference to it anywhere here.

Trello is a pretty simple online tool that lets you organize "Boards" (projects) with "Cards" (tasks). There are some cool plug-ins, but you are a bit limited as to the number of plug-ins you use in the free version.

The paid version, Trello Gold, is $5 a month ($3.75 if you pay for a year in advance) and lets you add 3 plug-ins (called Power Ups) and upload HUGE attachments.

For most GMs I think a single Power Up per board will suffice, and 10MB attachments will work out fine. Here is a nice overview of Trello from Lifehacker.com


Free GM Resource: Faerun Map

Free GM Resource: Faerun Map
This week's Free GM Resource might be a bit limited in usefulness, but as the Frugal GM is sick, he's also a bit limited in usefulness.

Actually I love this idea and really want to see what it would take to replicate this with another fantasy map. Real-world maps have several options out there, but I couldn't find anything with a quick search.....I have stated I'm currently a bit limited....

Anyway, Faerun Map is a cool interactive map of Faerun, which is really the main setting for most of 2nd Edition AD&D. It is cool to be able to zoom in on an area and get some information about the locale. What I really liked, and maybe this is just my ├╝ber-dorkiness rearing it's ugly head, is the citations each entry has. Too cool.

If anybody knows how to be able to make these maps for my own gaming campaigns, please share the details. Until then I'll just drool of this Faerun Map.