Monday, March 26, 2012

The Microdungeon 10

The Microdungeon 10 experiment is completed. Today I (finally) mailed 9 microdungeons to the folks who requested to them.

I've also thrown in a few extra goodies: a print of The Wizard's Tower, a couple of Moo cards, and a sticker with dungeon art on them.

So what was the point of this exercise? With shipping and materials, I only made a few bucks on it. On the other hand, I created 10 new dungeons I wouldn't have created before and found owners for them. This is a huge win for me! With dozens of homeless dungeons sitting in little boxes on my desk, a piece of art I can send off to someone makes me happy. Homeless dungeons make me sad.

The only downside was how long it took. Even though each dungeon is quick, it took me a month to complete them all. This is because I do most of my sketching in the 45 minutes between dropping my daughter off at school and starting work every day. And that time is subject to disruption from work emergencies, family duties, errands, dental appointments, other art assignments and a host of other obstructions. The next time I do something like this, I'll carve out a block of time to work on it so I can get it done in a more timely fashion.

That said, thanks for taking part everyone. I hope you enjoy your new dungeons!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

We Played Metamorphosis Alpha

Metamorphosis Alpha! MA is the legendary first ever Science Fiction RPG that I've longed to play since I first heard of it in about 1985. Now James Ward, the original writer, is offering Metamorphosis Alpha through Lulu. It's a fabulous bargain.
Clyde-Bob is a human with a bricked iPhone and a mutant slave. Plunge Bob is also human. Quazzar is a winged horse with two brains. Chump is a huge mutated rabbit with armored plates and telekentic powers. They are off to the world of the gods to bring back an artifact and thus enter full adulthood as members of the tribe.

In the frozen mud plain in the center of the Great Habitation Complex beneath the 120' tall pile of shopping cards, Clyde-Bob convinces the lord of the talking chameleon crow people to become his vassal (in exchange for certain favors and shiny objects) and sets up a potentially lucrative scrap metal mining operation. He then convinces a working domestic robot to become his personal chef.

Plunge-Bob and Quazzar flee the crows by flying down the giant radioactive slag aqueduct and penetrate the lost medical facility beyond. There they defeat the security lockdown console, decipher the mutagenic purge chamber, and transform Plunge-Bob into a genetically perfect specific of humanity.

Chump investigates the complex of endless apartment units, narrowly defeats the massive metal-skinned badger, and finds a functioning laser rifle for her new toy.
The tribesfolk return to the scrapheap, but are dismayed to discover that the teleport device that brought them hence has failed, and needs complex repairs!

Metamorphosis Alph is rife with weirdness and coolness in equal amounts. Every character had ample opportunity to be killed horribly, but they all pulled through and garnered great rewards in the process. At one point I explained calmly to Clyde-Bob that if his attempt to convince the crow people to parlay with him failed, he would certainly be torn apart by the flock. He decided to take the chance.

The ability of humans to gain mutants as followers is very strange. I'm reasonably sure that John Ward did not intend the first roll of the game to happen when the humans turn to the mutant PCs and attempt to take them as followers so they can ride into battle on their backs. I can totally see shying away from this aspect of the game and limiting it in play, but we decided to take it on and embrace it fully.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Random Dungeon Generator that is a Dungeon

Paul Hughes has this awesome project on Kickstarter: Random Dungeon Generator as a Dungeon.
It's a 36" x 24" poster that is also a walkthrough of the random dungeon generation rules in the classic Dungeon Master's Guide. I already happy to own Paul's poster of the wandering monster tables, and it is pure awesome, I assure you. This is the kind of amazingly cool thing that can exist today because of people like Paul, who have an awesome vision and are able to take hold of the tools to make it happen. I can't wait for this project to ship!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Clockwork City of Forbidden Gods

Gombaz, the Clockwork City of Forbidden Gods wanders the world of Lemmeth from North to South, but always heading West. It always keeps the wandering moon of Gelumiel directly overhead, such that when the petty lords of the plains see it rise above the horizon, the gather their goods to their cellars and sharpen their spears. The only blessing is that this accursed city never stays in one place for long.

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You are the Medici

I mean that in a good way! Amazing article today today in Rhizome, Medici is the crowd. It's about Kickstarter acting as an alternative to the Art World for artists to fund their work and get it out there. It's pretty cool. It reminds me a lot of the indie game movement and the OSR. We've done an amazing job of bypassing the limitations of traditional structures to create a community that creates and enjoys amazing creative stuff every day. Speaking of which, I've completed the final of the Microdungeon 10 and I'll be posting it as soon as I get a bit of time. Then I'll be bundling up everyone's dungeons and mailing them off. Thank you, everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interdimensional Mansion of Science

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crumbling Factory of the Owlbear

How close is the Owlbear to completion?
What do they plan to use it for when it's done?
Is the sphere of annihilation they're using for a power core actually stable?
And will the Kingdom of Aarnd really strike preemptively to prevent its coming online?

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Monday, March 5, 2012

The Obsidian Labyrinth Show in West Seattle

I've kept it quiet because up until the last moment I wasn't sure it was going to happen, but my art is now hanging in the West Seattle Cupcake Royale!

Cupcake Royale

Getting these hung was an epic four-hour death march in which everything went wrong, and I made my retired mother-in-law stand on a chair and hold paintings up for half the time. Let us never speak of it again.

Artist's Statement

Based on the success of the Microdungeon 10, I've put up a custom microdungeon request sheet. Cost is $10. The constraints are based on the show. Sorry, but you have to go to the venue to get the rules. Please no cheating!


The space at West Seattle is pretty small, so there are only 9 micros included in the show, but they are 9 of my favorites.

Three Large Maps

No plans for a party for this one, but if there is an Art Walk in the neighborhood, I'll try to be around for it.

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Clockwork Tower of Death

Time Wizardry is considered a highly arcane study, even among Wizards. Due to its difficulty, years can pass without results. However, rare successes have yielded some of the most powerful spells ever discovered.
The study of time magic overlaps with many other areas of study. The confluence of time, death magaic, and clockwork is a neglected, but fruitful area of study, though not without its dangers.

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Where did that come from?

Hey, my Flickr traffic spiked to about 200 times its normal yesterday, and I started selling copies of How to Host a Dungeon like crazy. But the referrer logs are uninformative. Anyone know what happened?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tentacle Spaceship of Science

When I had my wife proofread the Microdungeon 10 post, she immediately requested "Tentacle Spaceship of Science." That's not really fair, but where one's spouse is concerned, one has to be prepared to overlook minor discrepancies.

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