Wednesday, March 22, 2017

[Kickstarter] Mapforge

MapForge – battlemap creation software for tabletop RPGs project video thumbnail
Mapforge is an exciting new map creation tool that is currently in its final 3 days of funding over at kickstarter.   While nearly all the map creation tools I've encountered thus far are private use only Mapforge will have a commercial license for releases.

My goofing around with the prototype video:

Mapforge will be available for both PC and Mac (and I'm hoping either an eventual Linux release or easy WINE set-up).  There will be purchasable add-ons both in the commercial and private sectors of the hobby with the commercial generally looking to cost about $14.00 more than the private sector versions.

No word yet if you can upload your own tiles (I'd like to be able to use the lovely tiles +Frank Turfler makes for his patreon)

Friday, March 10, 2017


Not something I normally do but:

My son has been getting really big into the 3.75" style action figures since Christmas when his aunt picked him up a set "Army of One" figures (See far right).  Since than he has primarily gotten Lenard's the Corps (far left), along with a few True Heroes Sentinel 1 (middle right).  Today he received a Kong Skull Island Sam Jackson with Skull Crawler figure (middle left).

Out of all them the Lanard figures have the best articulation with swivel arms, elbow twist and bend, waist swivel, and t-legs with knew bend.  The Kong Skull Island figures are repainted Lenard The Corps figures with custom mold heads that - to various degrees - resemble the actor.  In fact Sam Jackson and the Corps figure next to him share the same body.  The biggest problem with the Corps are the "fodder" toys.  These are the Corps and Kong skull island who can only move their arms are the shoulder and the legs at the waist.  They look cool and are well sculpted but as a toy ... they don't work as more than a quick death or setting decoration.

The problem here is in the heads.  The typical Corps figure has a slightly larger than average head lending to the action cartoon style of the figures. With the Sam Jackson head being more proportional to a human head  it gives the illusion that the Kong Skull Island toys are slightly smaller. 

The True Heroes toys are more closely designed to classic 6" action figures like first run Toy Biz Marvel/DC superheroes, or Kenner's old Super Friends.  They have basic up and down arms, elbow bend, t-legs and bending knees.  Outside of that they're paint jobs aren't as well defined as the Corps figures, but are slightly more sturdy ... they feel heavier.  Were True Heroes comes through is in the vehicles which aren't pictured here.  They're better built, larger, and have a lot more variety than the Lanard.  My suggestion - and what I have been doing for my son - is to buy Corps figures and True Heroes vehicles.  Outside of the above the biggest disappointment with the True Heroes is the price.  Two figures for around $7.00 is pretty good, but Lanard's the Corps give you 3 figures for the same price and feature the better articulation, etc.

Finally the "Army of One" figures and/or their Navy "Seal Team" reprints are a collection of the worst aspects of both the Lanard "fodder" figures and the True Heroes figures.  The "Army of One" figures are pre arranged and you can usually move either just the arms or just the legs.  The ball joint elbows or hinge elbows of The Corps and the True Heroes is missing here, making the characters very, very limited in what you can do for them.  My son usually uses these guys as "the fallen" when he plays.  Further the painting is horrible on the figures, if you look closely you can see the makers flesh-tone painted over a beard that should have been there with no regard, and spots of overly thick paint or too little paint can be seen all over the toy.  The sad thing is that these guys cost a prime amount, almost as much as a GI Joe two-pack but features none of the reason or fun as to why to buy.

Lanard's Corps and Kong figures are exclusives to Wal-Mart in the United States (and I think K-Mart in Canada). While True Heroes is the house brand of Toys r' Us (get "TRU" Heroes).  Army of One I have only found on amazon and at super markets so take that as you will.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Lost Locations - The Anicent Ship

With Pyramid of the Lost King coming in at 103 pages currently and expected to grow to about 105 after all the artwork is in you would think nothing would have had to be cut.  After all, at 103 pages what the hell could be left for me to add.  Surprisingly at least 4 more locations that were dropped for various reasons.  Today we look at one of those: The Ancient Ship


As you can see with the image the ship was going to be three levels and feature over 20 areas, and would have been occupied by Gnoll Exiles, Ghosts, Mechanical Constructs, and Flammable Oil Oozes (who could still attack for 10 rounds after being set on fire and do their damage plus 1d6 fire damage when on fire).  It was a fun experiment and gave a lot of environmental hints as to the type of world Usarm once was before the Collapse (or Cataclysm).

In the end, it was dropped for 2 reasons.  The main reason was the idea for it occurred to me late in second generation production when PotLK went from being 40 pages to the 103-page monster it is now and I was already 7 months behind schedule. Writing out another 5 to the 10-page area would have been another few days to a week’s worth of work and I frankly could afford to waste that much time all things considered.  The second reason was the map.  At that point I was out of funds for the project from the Kickstarter and things were very tight in my personal life (truthfully they still are) so I couldn’t afford to contract Glynn for another map and at this point had decided against the “Adventurer Maps” I had been toying with for these added locations.

I still want to explore the Ancient Ship and may one day maybe as a separate adventure or an add-in to PotLK … I don’t yet as much in regards to GLG and my creative endeavors are currently in flux.