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Return to Dyson’s Delve – From top to bottom!

We return to the maps of Dyson’s Delve with maps of the very top and bottom of the mini mega dungeon.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - The SurfaceDyson’s Delve 2019 – The Surface

The upper ruins are only hinted at in the original Dyson’s Delve – the assumption in the adventure is that the party sneaks in using the hillside cave, dodging the goblin-infested tower on the hill. Here we finally have a map of this area. The ground level is all that remains of an old watch tower. The upper levels have fallen away and most of the stone was carted away by farmers ages past for use in fences and foundations.

A number of stone pillars remain to the south of the tower – the origins of these are unknown but all but one of them are single piece blocks of stone. The centremost of these is made of three pieces of stone precision cut so they rest together without even a hairline gap between them.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - Level 11Dyson’s Delve 2019 – Level 11

At the very deepest depths of the Delve, level 11 brings back the troglodytes we met back on the temple level – the same troglodytes who serve the dragon living on level 10, and guarding the way to his lair. There are a few other creatures on the level as well, and of course the mandatory tentacular beasts living within the lake, ready to eat unwary adventurers.

The lake itself is probably part of the Darkling Depths – linking in turn to the Heart of Darkling series of maps.

For the entire set of Dyson’s Delve 2019 maps:

I’m still in the process of compiling the new version of Dyson’s Delve in a digest-format PDF using all the new maps. It should be released next week to all patrons of my Patreon Campaign.

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Nephilim Légende : Sur Agartha et sa route, brille le soleil d’août

Alors qu’en ce début d’août la chaleur caniculaire écrase de son poids la ville hébétée où le jour point à peine, vous entendez soudain à votre porte un étrange carillon aux résonances profondes : Ta Da Ta … Ta Dam !!  « Par Zarathoustra, quel hominidé vient m’extirper de la torpeur matinale ? »
Soudain la musique reprend crescendo !! Vous sortez de votre grotte !
Et là, vous attend un incroyable spectacle : descendant du ciel, il emplit votre vision de son volume imposant. C’est un objet de forme cubique ! un gigantesque monolithe bleu incrusté d’or (Et non pas noir comme certains histrions, prophètes amateurs, ont voulu nous le faire accroire au siècle dernier) qui apparaît devant vos yeux éblouis.
De lui se dégage la sapience des éons passés et à venir, le Graal des années 90 de nouveau vôtre, promesse de nombreuses heures de jeu, grâce à la magie d’une impressionnante levée de fonds chez les esprits éveillés qui a réuni plus de deux mille aficionados et nostalgiques. 
C’est la cinquième édition de Nephilim et elle pèse lourd du poids des quatre précédentes et de tous les principaux suppléments qui sont repris et adaptés au nouveau système. La plupart des suppléments des premières versions, introuvables, reprennent vie entre nos mains, avec un texte et un background entièrement remanié. La légendaire campagne du souffle du dragon, entièrement réécrite, s’offre le luxe d’un nouveau scénario introductif en trois volets : la nouvelle Ys.  Sans oublier du matériel original, une campagne, des scénarios à foison.
La qualité de la maquette, de l’impression, l’omniprésence de la couleur et des dorés, tout ceci rappelle au lecteur qu’il tient entre ses mains un objet rare au format luxueux, digne de ce fameux jeu légendaire.
Le système marque un retour aux fondamentaux, le D100 sous une forme simple et efficace. Quintessence des réflexions autour de l’antique mécanisme issue de l’ancestral jeu de Chaosium, il permet de gérer simplement la confrontation de tout niveau de puissance sans passer par des conversions complexes ou des tables abstruses.
Tout se base sur des niveaux, à multiplier par 10% pour obtenir un score à atteindre avec un jet de 1d100, le résultat des dizaines donnant l’ampleur de la réussite ou de l’échec, les scores dépassant 100% offrant un bonus de marge de réussite, permettant d’assurer le succès face à un adversaire plus faible mais potentiellement chanceux. La simplicité mène à l’illumination et l’illumination est la voie qui mène à l’Agartha. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Les actions se font en fonction du vécu des incarnations précédentes ou du simulacre, la magie élémentaire du pentacle des Nephilim pouvant s’y rajouter pour obtenir des résultats surhumains … au détriment de la discrétion. 
En effet depuis les années 90 le monde occulte a été bouleversé et cette cinquième version en prend compte : l’Apocalypse et le grand plan des Templiers ont déchiré le voile qui dissimulait les Nephilim, la société de l’information et de la surveillance omniprésente contraint les êtres magiques à cacher leurs métamorphoses. Toutes utilisations de ces dernières via le Ka élément, pour profitables qu’elles soient, déclenchent un effet Rosenkreutz au risque d’alerter les Arcanes Mineurs qui sont à l’affut de tout signe ou indice mystique.
Tous les grands concepts du jeu ont été revus, rénovés et réadaptés au système, proposant aux maîtres et joueurs un jeu complet et cohérent, des centaines d’heures de jeu dans un splendide écrin. Gageons que le XXI siècle sera mystique ou ne sera pas.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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Nephilim Légende : Sur Agartha et sa route, brille le soleil du mois d’août

Alors qu’en ce début d’août la chaleur caniculaire écrase de son poids la ville hébétée où le jour point à peine, vous entendez soudain à votre porte un étrange carillon aux résonances profondes : Ta Da Ta … Ta Dam !!  « Par Zarathoustra, quel hominidé vient m’extirper de la torpeur matinale ? »
Soudain la musique reprend crescendo !! Vous sortez de votre grotte !
Et là, vous attend un incroyable spectacle : descendant du ciel, il emplit votre vision de son volume imposant. C’est un objet de forme cubique ! un gigantesque monolithe bleu incrusté d’or (Et non pas noir comme certains histrions, prophètes amateurs, ont voulu nous le faire accroire au siècle dernier) qui apparaît devant vos yeux éblouis.
De lui se dégage la sapience des éons passés et à venir, le Graal des années 90 de nouveau vôtre, promesse de nombreuses heures de jeu, grâce à la magie d’une impressionnante levée de fonds chez les esprits éveillés qui a réuni plus de deux mille aficionados et nostalgiques. 
C’est la cinquième édition de Nephilim et elle pèse lourd du poids des quatre précédentes et de tous les principaux suppléments qui sont repris et adaptés au nouveau système. La plupart des suppléments des premières versions, introuvables, reprennent vie entre nos mains, avec un texte et un background entièrement remanié. La légendaire campagne du souffle du dragon, entièrement réécrite, s’offre le luxe d’un nouveau scénario introductif en trois volets : la nouvelle Ys.  Sans oublier du matériel original, une campagne, des scénarios à foison.
La qualité de la maquette, de l’impression, l’omniprésence de la couleur et des dorés, tout ceci rappelle au lecteur qu’il tient entre ses mains un objet rare au format luxueux, digne de ce fameux jeu légendaire.
Le système marque un retour aux fondamentaux, le D100 sous une forme simple et efficace. Quintessence des réflexions autour de l’antique mécanisme issue de l’ancestral jeu de Chaosium, il permet de gérer simplement la confrontation de tout niveau de puissance sans passer par des conversions complexes ou des tables abstruses.
Tout se base sur des niveaux, à multiplier par 10% pour obtenir un score à atteindre avec un jet de 1d100, le résultat des dizaines donnant l’ampleur de la réussite ou de l’échec, les scores dépassant 100% offrant un bonus de marge de réussite, permettant d’assurer le succès face à un adversaire plus faible mais potentiellement chanceux. La simplicité mène à l’illumination et l’illumination est la voie qui mène à l’Agartha. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Les actions se font en fonction du vécu des incarnations précédentes ou du simulacre, la magie élémentaire du pentacle des Nephilim pouvant s’y rajouter pour obtenir des résultats surhumains … au détriment de la discrétion. 
En effet depuis les années 90 le monde occulte a été bouleversé et cette cinquième version en prend compte : l’Apocalypse et le grand plan des Templiers ont déchiré le voile qui dissimulait les Nephilim, la société de l’information et de la surveillance omniprésente contraint les êtres magiques à cacher leurs métamorphoses. Toutes utilisations de ces dernières via le Ka élément, pour profitables qu’elles soient, déclenchent un effet Rosenkreutz au risque d’alerter les Arcanes Mineurs qui sont à l’affut de tout signe ou indice mystique.
Tous les grands concepts du jeu ont été revus, rénovés et réadaptés au système, proposant aux maîtres et joueurs un jeu complet et cohérent, des centaines d’heures de jeu dans un splendide écrin. Gageons que le XXI siècle sera mystique ou ne sera pas.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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Return to Dyson’s Delve!

It’s been almost nine years since Dyson’s Delve was released piecemeal on this blog. I labeled it my “mini mega dungeon” – an eleven level dungeon where each level’s map fit nicely within my small graph paper pad (nothing over 17 x 17 squares in total area).

There were a few places where I stretched the standard adventure design parameters a bit (while treasure is within the bounds of the treasure type tables of the game, they are significantly weighted towards the rich end of play in order to provide the XP needed for a party to level up at a rate of roughly 1 character level per 2 dungeon levels completed).

Over those nine years my cartography has seen a slight improvement and I’ve been redrawing the various levels of the Delve this year and posting them here two at a time.

Towards the end of this month, I’ll be posting the last three levels of the Delve’s new maps, as well as a never-before-posted map of the surface area where the delve is located.

What I’m doing right now though is collecting all those maps and redoing the layout of the adventure into a coherent whole to be reissued as this month’s Patreon-Exclusive release. Aside from the new surface area there will be a minimum of changes from the original adventure. I’m adding some development notes, and I’m working on a two-page appendix for running it using the most current edition of D&D – but the heart of this is still an 11-level B/X D&D dungeon adventure designed to take characters from level 1 to 6.

All patrons of the Patreon Campaign will receive a free PDF of this exclusive reissue – and it will remain exclusive to patrons for roughly a year before it becomes a commercial release.

dysons-delve-promo

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Avalon, Les 7 Royaumes

Avalon est un univers de Fantasy entièrement créé par Camille, rôliste de 15 ans, aidé par son père, rôliste lui aussi.
En s’inspirant d’auteurs qu’il apprécie comme Tolkien, Lovecraft ou Moorcock, ce jeune auteur nous propose un livre-univers original présentant de manière complète et détaillée le monde d’Avalon.
La souscription, démarrée le 11 juin 2019, court jusqu’au 11 juillet 2019 et visait un objectif minimum de 360€, déjà atteint. La livraison est prévue pour juillet 2019. Les différentes contreparties proposées sont :
 

  • PAGE (3€) : soutien financier au projet
  • CHEVALIER (8€) : livre de base (PDF)
  • PRINCE-GUERRIER (12€) : livre de base (papier + PDF)
  • ROI-SORCIER (20€) : livre de base (papier + PDF) + tous les bonus débloqués pendant la campagne.

 
Pour suivre la souscription, cliquez sur le lien suivant :
Avalon, Les 7 Royaumes sur Ulule

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)

Release the Kraken on Control!

Release-The-Kraken

The second map chosen by our patrons this month to be re-released under the free commercial use license is Control – a map based on a joke that I drew as part of Mapvember in 2016. This re-release brings the original map up to 1200 dpi and pure black and white.


This tomb on the edge of the desert of the gods is the resting place of four Huecuvas of unusual intelligence for their ilk, as well as a few guardian mites that served them in life and still serve them now.

In life the four Huecuvas were warlocks dedicated to four spirit nagas, all children of the same night hag who rode their father (a paladin of great will) relentlessly through the years. While treated as typical huecuvas in most respects, they retain a typical human intelligence in death and still can cast two level 1 and one level 2 spell per day.

The huecuvas are entombed in their private tombs in the leftmost chamber. They generally remain somnolent unless something disturbs the complex or their tombs, although they occasionally wander the complex when awakened by foul dreams and premonitions.

ControlControl

The chamber on the far right of the complex contains four pools each radiating a different colour of energy with swirling currents within the waters tracing out the shapes outlined on the map to those who inspect them closely. The circular rooms have lowered central areas filled with dirt and excrement from the mites (as well as the buried corpses of those mites that have died from the many diseases carried by the huecuvas). These night soil pits are watered occasionally from the magical pools and grow a number of edible mushrooms as well as a few less savoury fungal creatures.

Unlike most mites, the twenty or so living in the complex do not have their usual tiny complexes of secret tunnels and trap doors and thus operate pretty much in the open as caretakers and defenders of the complex – watching for invaders from the small arrow slits looking down onto the approaching path.

(Mites and Huecuvas are both from the AD&D1e Fiend Folio – if they don’t exist in the game system of your choice, treat Huecuvas pretty much as ghouls that can only be struck by magic & silver and carry disease instead of paralysis, and mites as 2′ tall extra-timid goblins with knives and sharp teeth.)


kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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4/5 – Fragged Empire (Fragged Empire)

Univers très riche, original et foisonnant, mais règles écrites avec les pieds.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : le jeu de rôle, l’univers, et le reste…)
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Hex Selections – Patreon Exclusive

As announced in March, I’ve started releasing something exclusively to the patrons who support the Dodecahedron through my Patreon Campaign.

This month it is a selection of hand-drawn hex sheets that I put together. The primary launch point was wanting to have some 4′ x 3′ hex posters printed up to run The Fantasy Trip games on. Business Depot / Staples does these wonderfully affordable “Engineering Prints” at up to 4×3 on light 22lb paper in B&W for $3 per page (this varies from place to place, I pay $2.93 per page, and I’ve seen it as high as $4 per page).

So I sat down and drew up a full massive page of these hexes. Turns out, even with 1.5 inch hexes, it takes a LOT of hexes to fill a poster that size! As soon as I posted a photo of a piece of this poster, the requests started to pour in for copies of the “source file” that I used.

So I’ve packaged up the poster design (with and without central dots), along with a bunch of pieces extracted from it (sets of 4 megahexes that print nicely on a letter-sized page, and a mix of ledger and letter sized pages with 1.5 inch hexes as well as ones where I’ve scaled down the original poster to make pages of half inch hexes and so on).

If you want a copy and are a supporter on Patreon, just head over to this Patreon post where you can download it. If you aren’t a supporter on Patreon, it costs as little as $1 a month and is what keeps the constant flow of free maps going on this blog.

 

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Bottomless Tombs – Part 2

While a number of the old shaft tombs of the Etturan Dynasty have been found and explored, there is one that remains a well-kept secret amongst sages, masters of dark arts, and the few adventurers who have been there. Possibly the original shaft tomb of the dynasty, or perhaps a strange discovery that became the inspiration for the ones to come – the Bottomless Tombs seem to have earned their name.

The Bottomless Tombs - Level 2The Bottomless Tombs – Level 2

Seventy feet beneath the cluster of tombs at the entrance to this seemingly bottomless shaft are a second series of tombs. These are notable in that both sets of doors into the shaft are on the same level and same orientation (an open archway in the centre of both the east and west walls of the shaft), and that the lower set of portals are linked by a stone bridge that spans the shaft.

The central part of the so called bottomless tombs is a 15 foot x 15 foot shaft that seems to go down forever. Determining the actual depth has proven to be beyond the abilities of scrying and simple engineering, and areas of both permanent magical darkness as well as areas of anti-magic (as well as a host of hostile inhabitants) make exploring the depths of the shaft an unwelcoming idea.

You can explore the upper reaches of the Bottomless Tombs here: The Bottomless Tombs – Level 1

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Fantasy Trip Colour Playmats

I finally got the opportunity to open up the massive Fantasy Trip box from Steve Jackson Games and pull out the playmats I drew for them. I’ve seen a bunch of shots of them in play with minis on them but it is hard to get the scale across.

The one on the left is 2 feet by 2 feet, and the blue one is two feet by 18 inches.

They are huge, floppy, colourful toys. Having them in hand now is incredibly cool.

But don’t despair if you didn’t get them in the Kickstarter last year, they are BACK!
The Fantasy Trip playmatsThe Fantasy Trip playmats

They’ve been brought back as add-ons in the Decks of Destiny Kickstarter going on now.

But there’s more. They’ve been joined by another original map design by Steve Jackson that I had the pleasure of drawing before handing the colouring off to Phil Reed.

Another 24″ x 24″ mat, this one is a hexagonal labyrinthine arena available in two different colour palettes.

Labyrinth PlaymatsLabyrinth Playmats

At first I preferred the “B” colour job, but honestly, A is incredibly weird and vibrant and just excellent – and it stands out from the existing playmats (and just about anything else you could put on the table with it).

Want cool Dyson mats with 1.5″ hexes? Head over to the Decks of Destiny Kickstarter to get them!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Beneath Rose Point Manor

The cellars of Rose Point Manor still show the damage from the fire that destroyed the original manor house. The stone stairs and sections of the walls are scorched and cracked from the heat. The extended subterranean structures beyond are untouched, but long ignored.

Beneath Rose Point ManorBeneath Rose Point Manor

The pair of iron doors that lead to the catacombs are both rusted and long unused – the first is in exceptionally bad shape having held the fire back on the night that most of the line of Heare was lost. The locks are seized and will take significant oiling and care to make them work again.

The basement contains the usual things you expect to find in such a place – odds and ends from the manor above, a rack of wine, a few pieces of old furniture, and some supplies for potential repairs. Other spaces of note are a small side room set up as a sort of memorial shrine to the bloodline of Heare concealed behind a bookcase, and the manor’s cistern.

The lower catacombs were used as a family crypt and a secret chamber beyond the rough catacomb tunnels is decorated with carvings of deeds and people from the long line of Heare.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Rose Point Manor

At the end of Rose Lane is Rose Point Manor – home of the last of the elven line of Heare and their three servants. Keeping with the name, the manor house has a number of rose bushes around it and the window shutters are painted in a rose motif.

The original manor was a much grander affair, but burned down nearly 200 years ago. The new manor was built over the same foundations, and if you were to find your way into the basement, the stairs down are still cracked and charred from that night when most of the line of Heare was lost.

Rose Point ManorRose Point Manor

The new manor is almost entirely made of stone – even the elegantly painted window shutters are made of thin slate, and much of the furniture is made of iron and steel. The elven lord of the house, Krennheon Heare, is somber and keeps much to themself, spending most of their time in study and contemplation of the arcane and the past greatness of their lineage. Occasionally guests are admitted to the manor to discuss matters of history or arcane legend – usually in the sitting room with the bay windows at the front of the structure, and occasionally back to the dining room where ancient brandies are shared over even more ancient tales.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Neoclassical Geek Revival – Dyson Logos Edition

TL;DR: The Dyson Logos edition of NGR is available to people who didn’t back the kickstarter now on OneBookShelf

The book has arrived!

Last July I announced that I was illustrating an edition of Zzarchov Kowolski’s Neoclassical Geek Revival RPG as part of his Kickstarter campaign.

Last week I received a copy of the finished work – a 151 page 6″ x 9″ hardcover book containing all the rules needed to play in our weekly NGR campaign, with some 80-90 art assets that I drew throughout the book.

I’m in my second NGR campaign right now run by Zzarchov – our first campaign was set in colonial Xanthandu as we exploited the natives in our efforts to secure the Eye of Set in a race against another weekly group that was doing the same thing. The current one has a bunch of iron age tribes working to unite into a kingdom… with two player groups again in competition to do so before the other does.

Neoclassical Geek Revival is described as iterative series of house rules to classic RPGs to the extent that none of the original mechanics or rules survive. There are some great mechanics in NGR that I would quickly drag over to any game I was designing – there’s an escalating “chance” mechanic where you start each session not rolling dice, just “taking 10” on every test. But if that’s not enough (or if you take damage to your “luck”), then you can move from taking 10 to rolling 3d6… or to rolling a d20. The problem is that you can never come back down – there’s no way to get back to taking 10 – once you start taking chances, things start getting swingy.

Character types / classes are really interesting (you get three pieces of “pie” for a character – if you put all 3 in one class, you get all 6 of that classes abilities, but you can put 2 slices in a class for 3 of the abilities, or a single slice for 1 ability, making for interesting “multiclass” combinations from the moment the game starts), and character creation is done in play (do your stats, probably your pie, and figure out actual skills and equipment as the game progresses – meaning that a new character joining an existing group is still REALLY useful, as they happen to have the exact skills you need when a situation comes up).

 

 

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken – Cliffstable on Kerstal

Release-The-Kraken

Lets set the time machine for 2014 and grab an old city map for the first commercial re-release of 2019. Welcome to Cliffstable on Kerstal –  a small city that has gradually grown up where the Brown Goblin River meets the Kerstal.

The original name of the settlement goes back to when a single horse breeder maintained a stable on the raised cliff area in the south-eastern shore. Travellers and traders would come by the Cliff Stables to acquire excellent and affordable horses. While there is still a small horse trade in the region, the city is more of an agricultural and trading community in the current era.

Cliffstable on KerstalCliffstable on Kerstal

There are two open-air markets in the city – Hillside Market in the north within the walls of the city proper (which often has a very festival-type atmosphere and sells all sorts of handcrafts, foods and treats) and Citadel Market on the cliff itself which deals more in livestock, grains, and larger trade goods.

This map was the result of waiting for two different medical appointments in one day. It was drawn in one of my little (4″ x 6″) dollar store mapping books using a Sakura Micron 005 pen. It’s very very small.

Cliffstable in Progress

Because of the small size of the original, the lines in the finished piece are a bit rough when you zoom in on the map.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
Logo

The Seven Spires

Raised by a talented Wizard-Noble of old Phalorm, the Seven Spires is a small ornate castle made of seven overlapping towers set on the edge of the Neverwinter woods.

The Seven SpiresThe Seven Spires

The small castle was used officially as a research space for the wizard-noble, but also served as an escape from court politics in the young war-based nation of Phalorm, and as a watch point over the growing orc menace in the region. Being fairly close to the settlement of Neverwinter, ties were maintained with that growing settlement and information about the movement of the orcs was exchanged.

The Seven Spires were unfortunately built on a dirt plain where bedrock was too deep to dig down to. In time this means the spires are doomed to slow collapse as the weight of the towers presses down and outwards on the foundations.

Whether or not Phalorm survives the orc hordes it was meant to defy (it doesn’t, the orcs destroy it less than a century after it was founded), there is only so much time before the years will do the orcs’ work for them and the towers begin to collapse upon themselves. Less than 900 years later, the seven spires will look more like a jagged collection of broken teeth than the castle as shown here.

With full credit to Mike Schley for the original Cragmaw Castle map upon which this is based. I love that map and found it really inspirational.

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Arcane Waters

This small “dungeon” is home to a circle of elementalists who focus on water magics (who call themselves the Blue Warlocks). Excavated and expanded upon from a small cave that linked to an underground river, it now serves as workshops, training and teaching space, and as the repository of a small library of elemental lore.

The Arcane WatersThe Arcane Waters

As the name suggests, the waters here are magical in their own right – the Blue Warlocks use these waters to both enhance their magics and potions, as well as in the research into new spells and items. One of the original Blue Warlocks linked the source of the river to the elemental plane of water as well as a trickle of energy from the positive energy plane.

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This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

 

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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9 years of maps!

In May the Dodecahedron will be a decade old… and that has me in “holy crap, flashbacks!” mode. So I thought I should pull up a self-indulgent look-and-see of how my cartography has changed over the last nine years.

I’m posting two maps from each year, one in June and one in December of that year, and focusing on dungeon maps primarily to keep the comparisons “fair”. That map at the top of 2009 was one of the very first I ever posted to the blog. It is painfully low-resolution and it turns out I can’t find the original anywhere, and don’t have any higher resolution scans of it around. I might even redraw it at some point.

Much of the end of 2009 and 2010 was spent on my “Geomorph Mapping Project” to draw at least 100 interlocking geomorphs. We closed out 2010 with Dyson’s Delve, my mini-mega-dungeon. In 2009 and 2010 I still use “pencil thin” walls – as you can see in the geomorphs and the Dyson’s Delve map. This is something I moved rapidly away from as I developed my style, and have only started sort of coming back to (using thick sharpie markers for walls) in the last year.

These two maps from 2011 showcase my work as it locks into a definite style – avoiding single-stroke walls, adding more detail, and obviously a lot more comfortable with my work. The thick black walls and heavy hatching have become very clear by this point and many of the maps from this year are among my favourites of my older work.

2012 was a bit of a rough spell for me. When I started posting to the blog I was off work on disability for nerve damage. When my workplace disability ran out and I was transferring over to the provincial disability program, I went through several months on the lowest tier of social support, and this kept me from both the internet and from doing much drawing. The maps in 2012 are much sparser and less defined than in 2011, and are a lot less frequent on the blog. But that all changed in December of 2012 with the release of Dyson’s Delves…

2013 sees my maps pick up in quality and quantity again. The feel of the 2011 maps returns, with more time spent per map and a lot of effort put into presentation and structure. This is the year where I start transitioning away from generic black gel pens for my maps and towards using archival felt-tipped pens (Mistubishi Uni Pins and Sakura Microns mostly). More and more of my maps are now being drawn with a grid base – not usually shown on the map proper, but most of the maps in this era through to the end of 2015 are drawn on graph paper, making them easier to use with traditional VTTs and similar.

2014 and 2015 exemplify the style I had developed up to this point. I stabilize to a regular release schedule of maps twice a week. The style is consistent and easy to read. The winter of 2014 includes the release of the Dyson Megadelve, a massive megadungeon project that spans over 30 maps of caverns, dungeons, mines, and the ruins of a dwarven city.

2015 sees the lines for walls gradually getting darker and heavier, making the maps that little bit easier to read.

2015 sees another big stylistic transition in my maps. First I move away from drawing on graph paper, instead drawing on white paper with a sheet of graph paper behind it as a guide.  The black lines of my walls thicken yet again, and for a large number of maps I move away from a photoshopped grid to a hand-drawn one.

The hand-drawn grid goes through several styles and iterations over the next few years. Some are better than others, and quite frankly some are disappointing when I look back on them now. Towards the end of the year I also transition from releasing maps as grayscale 300dpi JPG files to black and white 1200 dpi PNGs.

My work this year included a lot of larger commercial projects in addition to my blog maps – and again my style grows and changes. I get into more fine details and in the fall of 2018 I started doing more work digitally after drawing the map in my traditional manner – I often add a bit of shade to the crosshatched areas now, and a fine shadow to help make the walls feel a bit more raised.

 

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on White Crag Fortress

Release-The-Kraken

As our “release the Kraken” map this month, I’ve combined two linked releases from 2015 and put them together into a single map. Welcome back to White Crag Fortress.


No more than a generation ago did Hender, Warlord of the Two Realms, build the white fortress at the end of Merman’s Bluff. A small and fiercely held chunk of white granite looking over the dark and choppy seas where once the local fisherfolk made deals with the merpeople of the Octopus Kingdom.

The fortress has never fallen, but has changed hands with the winds of politics and the changing fortunes of those who have tried to hold it. The current “castellan” of the fortress is a netherman (half-goblin) who uses it as part of his claim upon the title of Warlord – although none (even those who traded him the fortress) will acknowledge it. From White Crag Fortress he taxes the local farmers and fishermen lightly, but maintains an army of half-breed mercenaries that earns everyone’s distrust.

White Crag FortressWhite Crag Fortress

White Crag Fortress is two discrete constructions – the Bailey Fort and the Spire. The Bailey Fort is separated from the mainland by a ditch dug into the spur of stone it is built into, with a permanent wooden bridge across leading into the main gatehouses. The Bailey Fort is a fairly large multi-story affair with a fairly large central courtyard. Should the fortress ever be owned by someone of wealth and means, this courtyard would likely be covered with a wooden structure turning it into another great hall with additional stories above it.

The Spire looks out over the sea from the tip of Merman’s Bluff. Still made of the same white granite, it is a cramped and construction, restrained by the limited amount of land to work from. It is connected to the Bailey Fort via a stone bridge as well as a small tongue of rocky land that keeps the last part of the bluff from being a complete island.

keep-on-keeping-on

If one were to look directly down from the watch tower on the north side of the Bailey Fort, there is a cave leading into Merman’s Bluff with a small stone wharf connected to it. This postern gate to White Crag Fortress is intended to be well guarded, although the original door has been removed after it got stuck too often from rusting hinges and lock as well as swollen oak from the constant battering from the sea. In time it should be replaced by a properly oiled and tarred door, but for the time being the gateway remains open.

The main level of the structures wind up under the structures of the Bailey Fort leading eventually to a trap door opening into the fort proper. These structures are used as storage, guard rooms, and an escape route in case of emergency.

under-the-fortress

There is also a passage that leads up under the Spire, however it lacks an accessway into that structure (at one point there was such an access point, but a team of mechanical assassins used it to gain access to the spire and it was blocked off afterwards). This section contains a secret chamber that in turn has a trap door down to the lower chambers which are used as a secret dungeon for prisoners as well as an underwater escape route for those with the access and the means to travel underwater.

The tunnel leading underwater from these lowest passages proceeds 130 feet further from Merman’s Bluff and into a small cave 20 feet under water.

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This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Eff Your Dungeon

Sometimes you just need a dungeon that tells every other dungeon how you feel about them. Or a substitute level in a larger adventure when the original level was just a massive pain in the ass (I’m looking RIGHT AT YOU, “the Nightmare Maze of Jigresh”).

Fuck Your DungeonFuck Your Dungeon

Or perhaps you have learned that your DM is about to run you through the Tomb of Horrors, again, with extra horrors and less treasure.

In that case, I would probably wear the T-Shirt to the session, or perhaps drink from the mug. I’ve stuck this design on a variety of products through Redbubble. (Note that because of RedBubble’s rules regarding the F-word, there’s an adult filter to get through to see the products on the site.)

While you are there, there are also a bunch of other designs I’ve posted to the site over the last year to check out.

This dungeon design was triggered by a recent Twitter thread where Gil Ramirez was reminiscing on the classic “Dungeon of FU” I posted almost three years ago.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Flipping through the Art & Arcana book

Want my copy of this book mailed to you for free? Scroll down to the bottom of the post and find out how!

I’m not usually the kind of gamer who buys art books and history books for our hobby. But this Art & Arcana book showed up in the mail and… gosh… it is pretty.

And when I opened the book at random, it thudded open straight to the Caves of Chaos. It is almost like the book KNEW what would hook me in.

If you are into the old school parts of D&D, this book is full of great bits and pieces of lore and history. Hand drawn maps from the old-timers in the hobby…

The cover studies for the original Chainmail rules…

And multiple comparative studies of monsters through the ages and editions like the beholder here (titled, horribly, “Evilutions”).

It even has the classic OD&D character sheet – in case you really needed a copy. 😉

But it is just crammed with amazing art. So many nostalgic feelings well up as I flip through this book. I still am not a fan of AD&D1e rules wise… but 1e books are just so tied up in youthful memories of delving through the arcane rules and material…

And weirdness. There’s a whole section for Erol Otus.

And this lovely spread of international old school.

A chapter touches on the classic video game translations of D&D…

More evilutions

More beholders

And I’m going to close out this quick flip-through with this very recent and freaking awesome two-page illustration of the lovely and deadly Zuggtmoy.


Want me to send you my copy of this heavy tome of cool stuff? It can be yours! Just head over to Twitter and retweet this tweet, along with a link to your favourite map from this blog. One retweeter will be chosen at random on Tuesday and I’ll wrap this sucker up and mail it to them!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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