Frugal GM will be a bit quiet for the month of May

Frugal GM will be a bit quiet for the month of May
Just a quick admin post to let all 12 of my readers know that I'm needing to take an unscheduled hiatus pretty much for the month of May.

Got some high-level time sucks that necessitate me being away from this blog and gaming at least (but highly unlikely more than) until the end of May. Since this is personal type stuff I probably won't explain here, but if you know me in real life and HAVE to know what's going on, shoot me an email or text and I'll fill you in.

It's a mix of good & bad stuff that I just have to deal with. I promise this is a temporary thing.


Get This Awesome Map for Only $1 (Limited Time Offer)

Get This Awesome Map for Only $1 (Limited Time Offer)
Just a quick note that Heroic Maps is selling a cool 20" x 30" battlemap for only $1 in celebration of International Tabletop Day.

I have no clue how long this sale will last, but at a buck you need to jump on this thing. Great for printing off and VTT use!

Click on any of the graphics in this post or use this link.

Get This Awesome Map for Only $1 (Limited Time Offer)
Very Low Rez Preview


Free GM Resource: Les' Wash Recipe

Free GM Resource: Les' Wash Recipe
I'm being quite selfish with this week's Free GM Resource, which is basically just some free information that will cost you a little bit should you try to use it, but the results are well worth the price.

It's selfish because I had completely lost track of this information so when I needed to use it I was back to square one and not having a clue how to use the materials I had acquired.

The free info is how to make some awesome mini/terrain washes. The details can be located at a couple of different places, but if you don't save/print them you can be totally lost when the time comes.....much like I was.

These washes were for sale and then they weren't and then maybe they were, but the links I checked were no good....


You will need:
  • Distilled Water (grocery store)
  • Liquitex Matte Medium
  • Liquitex Flow-Aid Fluid Additive
  • Plastic Squeeze Bottle
  • Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Water-Resistant Artist's Ink
  • Large Plastic Squeeze Filler Bottles
  • Recipe notebook so you can write down custom mixes
  • All recipes use 1 oz bottles. Adjust to whatever size you decide to go with.

  1. Fill 1 filler bottle with Matte Medium, the other with a 10:1 Distilled Water and Flow Aid.
  2. Fill the 1oz Dropper Bottle half way with Matte Medium then fill the rest of the way with the Water/Flow Aid mix leaving a little room for the ink drops so you dont over flow.
  3. Every bottle uses this combination to start with.
  4. Shake inks well before adding them to the mix.

  • Soft Body Black: 20 drops Black
  • Heavy Body Black: 60 drops Black
  • Parchment: 40 Drops Flesh Tint
  • Flesh Wash: 40 Drops Burnt Umber
  • Dark Sepia: 40 Drops Sepia
  • Blue: 40 Drops Rowney Blue
  • Green: 40 Drops Dark Green
  • Purple: 40 Drops Purple Lake
  • Stone - 60 Raw Sienna: 20 Black
  • Ruby - 60 Flame Red: 20 Black
  • Armor Wash - 60 Sepia: 20 Black
  • Sapphire - 60 Rowney Blue: 20 Black
  • Baby Poop - 60 Flame Orange: 20 Black
  • Alagae - 60 Dark Green: 20 Black
  • Sewer Water - 60 Burnt Umber: 20 Black
  • Amethyst - 60 Purple Lake: 20 Black
  • Concrete - 60 Flesh Tint: 20 Black
  • Storm Cloud - 60 Turquoise: 20 Black
If you want to see examples of these colors, check out this page (this is the guy's blog, so poke around for some other awesomeness while you are there).


Free GM Resource: Swords & Wizardry Light

Free GM Resource: Swords & Wizardry Light
This week's Free GM Resource is a companion to another Free GM Resource from back in 2015...over three years ago.

Swords & Wizardry Light is a labor of love from none other that Eric Tenkar (of Tenkar's Tavern fame).

Technically this "freebie" is a PWYW and a bit of a twofer. 1st you have the 4 page Fast-Play Rules and then you have these Character Cards.

The whole ruleset is already "out there" and featured back in March, 2015, but the cool thing about these two products is that they are really stripped down versions of the game, perfect for introducing to newbs or running a real quick one-off.


My "Work-In-Progress" Wizard's Tower

My "Work-In-Progress" Wizard's Tower
Wonky Wizard's Tower with a Crappy RoofFor the last few months I've been collecting supplies to build some towers for terrain pieces. The idea was to make them out of pink insulation foam and to use old booze bottle tubes (they probably have a proper name that escapes me) as the base. I currently work at a liquor store, so these basic supplies are easy enough to get.

While I was collecting supplies I went and built...and rebuilt...a hot wire foam cutter that works pretty decent. I think I'll probably save up to buy a proper cutter only because I think it'll be faster and even more precise than what I have now.

This morning I finally finished my 1st tower and I'm calling it very much a "work-in-progress" build, even though this stage is done. The idea was to have a somewhat "wonky" wizard tower. I think I accomplished that with the tower, although the way I did the build proved difficult to paint & seal properly. It doesn't show up that bad in normal light, but there were a lot of cracks and crevices that still show pink foam. The top of the tower was definitely "wonky" before I started tiling it, but the tiles covered it up too much. The tiles themselves are too think and didn't paint up the way I wanted them to, so it's back to the drawing board on them. I already have another idea to try out. I was going more for wood shingles, so there is a brownish base (unpainted cardstock), greyish/weathered parts, and a light coating of green to represent moss.

The top actually comes off fairly easy and the inside could be used for storage. What I'll probably end up doing is figuring out the new roof and simply replacing this roof with one I like better.

Free GM Resource: Warped Clips YouTube Channel

Free GM Resource: Warped Clips YouTube Channel
It might be germane to note that I don't watch on-air television, I don't have cable, and *gasp* I don't even have Netflix. I do watch a lot of movies, some cartoons, and a lot...I mean a lot...of YouTube.

This week's Free GM Resource is another YouTube channel. This time around it is Warped Clips. What I like about Warped Clips is that most of the builds are things I haven't seen elsewhere and the clips themselves tend to be quite short.

Take this short video on making mini candles for your terrain. The guy pretty much makes actual mini candles and the finished result is simply brilliant.

Warped Clips isn't a big channel, so it has probably skipped most people's radar.....


Free GM Resource: Vulpinize Your Maps!

Free GM Resource: Map Tutorials
This week's Free GM Resource is another one of those "have I used this before?" things that I had to take some extra time to check out. I'm not adverse to re-visiting earlier resources, but I like those re-visits to be deliberate and not too-often.

These Map Tutorials are a series of Blog posts over at the Observations of the Fox, which is Michael Weman's blog.

Personally, I suck at drawing maps so tutorials like these have really helped me out in the past, serving as a base that I can use to work off of as I try to figure out my own style.

Free GM Resource: Vulpinize Your Maps!
Example Graphic
Each post has a graphic outlying the info from the post. It's clearly a scan of a page, but it is useful to save the pics. I only wish they were higher resolution so I could print them out into a booklet for me to reference when I'm trying my hand at drawing (which I don't do often because....well I already stated I suck at drawing).

The Map Tutorials are definitely worth checking out!


Free GM Resource: Village Map Generator

Free GM Resource: Village Map Generator
This week's Free GM Resource is an online Village Map Generator from our old friend over at Inkwell Ideas.

This generator is on a bit of a back page that has probably been forgotten about for some time, bu I think it could be rather useful for some GMs. There are something like 9 options you can force onto the generator, or just hit some random seed.

The only problem I've run into using this Village Map Generator is trying to save the resulting generation. There are some brief instructions on the page, but that was a bit cumbersome and just didn't work for me. I ended up just taking a couple of screen shots and stitch them together in Photoshop. While I was there I screwed around a bit to get rid of the gradient in the background.

Quick randomly-seeded village map

Same map with a tweaked background

These maps might be quite simple, but the real value is the fact you can tweak the settings to get something that can be quite useful....and quick. I think the Village Map Generator from Inkwell Ideas is worth bookmarking.....