Friday, 31 October 2014

RPG Mapping in Sketchup Pt 1 - Unhiding the 3rd Dimension

As you know I got commissioned by Joe Wetzel for his Dungeonmorphs 2 Cities and Villages dice project on kickstarter, which requires me to make lots of geomorphs with buildings on them.

After a while you look at your collected sketches and think OMG all my buildings look the same.

Sketching out the idea process - not sure if any of these will be in the final product
This is caused mostly by the constraints of designing so   In search of inspiration I decided to experiment with roof shapes and turning them into 3D buildings using sketchup.  Enjoy...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My post apocalyptic future needs... Motorcycle chariots

In the 80s we had our fair share of visions of a post apocalypse future, my favourite being Mad Max, which had motorcycle gangs but sadly none of them had motorcycle chariots...

Is this not a sport fit for the "Ayatollah of RockandRolla"?

There's a cool article on Viral-Nova with more photos and a video of ex pro wrestler Buff Bagwell's attempt at a chopper chariot.  Googling also found this neat Fallout 3 concept art

Fallout 3 "Chariot" ConceptArt
and dakkadakka member wyrmalla's recreation for miniature wargaming.

Wyrmalla's mini wargaming version of a Fallout 3 Chariot vehicle

Monday, 27 October 2014

Citymorph Dice Kickstarter from Inkwell Ideas

Who woulda thunk it?  Citymorphs has spawned a kickstarter!!

Roll your own Cities!!
Inkwell Ideas head honcho Joe Wetzel has gathered together a few of the RPG communities morphing cartographers, myself included, and is kickstarting a version of his popular Dungeonmorph Dice but this time with city designs.

The aim is to produce a set of 5 dice with which you'll can quickly "roll up" your own city map.  There's pledge levels for all sizes of pockets with PDF/Font versions available from $5 and a set of dice for only $20.  They're pretty substantial at 1 inch square (so have dictatorial thunk of authority when they hit the table).  Unlike a lot of custom dice which might just predict the weather, random direction or what body part you've hit, these also function as regular dice and are pretty unique. 

The first set is a mix of City/Village designs,  but the project has far higher aspirations and includes stretch goals to create further sets with designs for Ruins, City Walls and Harbours.  The more money Joe can raise, the more designs he can get into production and the more variety you can create.  With plenty of stretch goals to unlock on the way like free bonus dice and dice trays available, it's a win win situation! 

Pull them out in your group and hear your friends gasp in amazement as they lust after your cool new dice, buy them for your roleplaying partner as a gift, they'll love you all the more for it.   

So if you're interested go to the Dungeonmorphs 2 kickstarter page and become a backer.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Vikings Have Landed - Codex Nordica Thane Unboxed

In some bizarre twist of history the vikings have once again sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and delivered my Codex Nordica Kickstarter Thane bundle.  There's a lot of stuff to digest but at the moment I am a happy Di Sma Undr Jordi (see page 35).

Map of the Nine Realms, Wooden Rune Tiles & Box, Kings Table Boardgame, Nordica Tankard
Codex Nordica Hardback, Odins Fury and Hel Rising Nordica Adventures,
My bonus Items (Players Handbook, Curse of the Khan, Malady of Kings and Heart of Glass Adventures)
There's also an unboxing vid on You Tube.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Rick and Morty - Packed full of Sci-Fi Tropes

I guess sometimes I can be accused of sleeping under a rock when it comes to the latest US TV shows, but I bet I'm not the only one.  Which is why I just have to share the love for Adult Swim's Rick and Morty.

An example of what happens in just about every episode.

Created by voice actor and director Justin Roiland, who some might recognise as the voice of Adventure Time's "Lemongrab",  and Dan Harmon, creator of the hit sit com "Community".  Rick and Morty is an adult sci-fi cartoon series following the mind bending, dimension hopping adventures of sociopathic alcoholic scientist Rick and his 14 year old grandson Morty.   

A show of two halves, each episode finds Rick and Morty on some wild adventure whilst his family (unemployed ad exec dad Jerry, horse surgeon mom Beth and unpopular sister Summer) are often left to deal with the unintended consequences of one of Rick's devices.

Bizarre ideas are the meat and potatoes of this show and no trope is safe.  Season 1 has seen cyborg dog revolution, a contagious love virus / preying mantis / Cronenberg monster apocalypse, inception dream walking, alien abduction, a Rick and Morty multiverse, sex robots and alien child rearing to name just a few.

Meanwhile Jerry and Beth struggle to keep their marriage alive, as Dan Harmon puts it, "the nature of their relationship is that it's always 1 minute from ending" and Summer stives to improve her social position from "not super hot/super popular" high school girl whilst being the result of the "unwanted pregnancy" that keeps her parents together.

The language and visuals are as adult and bizarre as they can be and dialogue is often delivered at a breakneck pace in order to cram as much action in as humanly possible.  The casting is spot on from regular voice performers Justin Roiland (Rick/Morty), Chris Parnell (Jerry), Spencer Grammer (Summer), Sarah Chalke (Beth) to the great vocal cameos delivered by Alfred Molina, Dana Carvey, David Cross, Rich Fulcher, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, John Oliver and Cree Summer.

Rick & Morty 3D Billboard courtesy of Dailybillboard
 The show is a definite must see and has been picked up for a second series scheduled to air in early 2015 along with a spin-off comic book.  The "point and click" style game "Rick and Morty's Rushed Licensed Adventure" is also available to play on the adultswim website.

With all this richness it should only be a matter of time before someone writes a Fiasco playset based on this universe and it's one setting that most definitely has to go "gonzo"... every single time.