Category Archives: Legacy D&D

Marmalade Dog 21

Marmalade Dog 21 was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 18-20, 2016, at Western University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I had planned to attend today and play in the first slot, but I woke up with a stuffy nose and ear, and a sore throat.

We did not have an official OSR slot this year, like we did last year. I have decided that once we find out when Marmalade Dog is next year that I will step up and coordinate an OSR track. The exception is if it is the same weekend as Gary Con. Last year, the convention was in early February, so I asked if they know yet when it will be next year. The answer is that the university tells them what date they can have, or occasionally what dates they can choose from. So such a variable makes it understandable why it isn’t consistent with the month they have it. I live in southern Kalamazoo County, so am only about 20 minutes away from campus.

Normally the deadline for GM sign up to run games, and get free admission, for each day that they run a session, and a t-shirt, is December 31. I didn’t get signed up to run a game by then. In February, I looked and there were some OSR type games, but three sessions the first, fifth, and seventh, did not have any. So I signed up at the website for the first and fifth session, and was not automatically rejected. I never got an email for confirmation that I wasn’t rejected. So last weekend, I went to the website and checked, and my sign ups were on the list of scheduled games. I then hurried up and got ready.

Session 1: 3:00 pm on Friday. As with last year, no one showed up to my game. If things work out to coordinate an OSR track next year, we’ll have to drum up enough players to commit to a first session game.  I ran the same thing for Session 5 on Saturday.

Session 2: Friday was 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm. +Forest Ray ran a Swords & Wizardry Complete setting, called Muskets & Magic Users. It was S&W with muskets. We were first level adventurers hired by the town to go stop the pirates who raided their town. Non magic users got issued a musket that did 1d12, that fired once per round. Magic users got a wand of magic missile that had 5 first level spells per day and regenerated its charges overnight.

That was a fun little session, and my magic user used Charm Person to make a “friend” of one of the pirates that was on the raiding party that came into the tavern where we were. This made it easier to find the other pirates in the raiding party, secure their boat, and go out to their ship. We managed to take the ship and go clean out the pirate hideout, then go fight the dragon ship of the pirate queen. It was a fun game.

Forest always hands out goodies for his games, and we each got a bag of dice and a button with the name of his game, and the rules system. Forest came down from Lansing and got a hotel to run and play games all three days. In addition to swag, he brought 3 copies of Swords & Wizardry Complete for reference. I didn’t bring mine as I was already lugging three AD&D Player Handbooks, the OSRIC Player Handbook, and a DMG for my earlier session.

Muskets & Magic Users
Muskets & Magic Users

Charles, who played in one of my sessions of Homlett from last year, and was looking forward to my game Saturday night. He said he runs Swords & Wizardry sometimes. He actually lives in my town, but I lost his number. I put it in my cell so I can’t lose it. We also had a couple, Joseph and Priscilla, who played S&W for the first time and had a blast. They were both experienced gamers. He lives in a town about 15 miles south of me, so we are planning to get together IRL for gaming. She lives about a half hour away in the other direction. We had one other player, and I am blanking on the name. I did not think to take a picture of play at the table.

Session 3: 10:00 am on Saturday, I played DCC’s Frozen in Time as a 0-level funnel, by +Mike Carlson.  Mike came down from Lansing for the day. I played this funnel with him last year. Others had played it, but I didn’t remember most of the key details, so it was like a new adventure. I only remembered things as we encountered them. It was a good time. We had a full table with 6 players. Four of us were experienced gamers with DCC experience. The other two were a couple, Seth had RPG experience, and this was Gretchen’s first roleplaying experience. She had a good time. This couple lives about an hour away, in Benton Harbor, so they are having a challenge finding a group. +Clayton Williams from Lansing and +James DeYonke and his friend Dave, from Ann Arbor, one and two hours away, respectively.

DCC at Marmalade Dog 21
DCC at Marmalade Dog 21

Session 4: 3:00 pm, Saturday. +Forest Ray ran Da Orkz Iz Back, a White Star scenario. I meant to bring my White Star books, but didn’t think to set them out, or put in my bag before I went to bed. This was the first time I had played White Star. Mike Carlson joined in, as did Charles, Joseph, and Priscilla from the night before in Muskets and Magic Users.

Forest & Players White Star
Forest & Players White Star
White Star At Marmalade Dog 21
White Star At Marmalade Dog 21

This was a scenario that needed at least one Star Knight and one pilot with the rest mercenaries. I rolled up a very uncharismatic Star Knight, and we had two pilots and two mercenaries. We were hired to investigate the loss of contact with Altair 6, a relatively new colony. There was no contact with the Star Knight Monastery, the city, and the star port. We found that legendary orcs who were thought to be myth were real, and were working with a couple of Void Knights. My Star Knight couldn’t hit the Void Knight with his star sword. The rest of the party gunned down the other Void Knight and one of the pilots picked up his void knight sword and managed to stab the void knight I was fighting. In another combat, I finally managed to hit something with my star sword. I was much better when I was shooting my blaster pistol.

Da Orkz Iz Back
Da Orkz Iz Back

Session 5: 7:00 pm on Saturday. I ran a scenario based on an area of my home campaign that I wanted to flesh out – Ogre Island and the Black Crate. I will write up a separate article on this.

Sunday has two sessions, Session 6 at 11:00 am and  7 at 3:30 pm.

Session 6: Forest ran Mutant University using the Mutant Future system. I had planned to attend that before I woke up with a cold and no energy.

Session 7: did not have any what I thought were obvious OSR games. I was thinking of playing a game of Fate, which I have never played. Maybe next year.

What I learned from this experience.

  • I need to commit to this local con, since it is in my backyard. As long as it does not conflict with Gary Con or other things I want to do, I will go.
    • If it is the same weekend as Gary Con, I can still try to coordinate an OSR track, for any not going to Gary Con.  I can recruit an assistant to handle things of the actual weekend.
  • Last year, after I saw how much time it took me to get ready to run Village of Homlet, I decided it would have been just as easy to come up with my own scenario that I would know like the back of my hand.
    • This idea proved true. I used the opportunity to flesh out an area of my campaign I had been wanting to do for a long time.
  • People will drive from a couple hours away to come for Saturday. A strong OSR presence could attract a lot more people.
    • Advertising on G+ an other outlets could increase the attendance.
    • Keep the line of communication open with other players from the region.
  • If you run a 6 person game, you get one folding table that is just big enough. If you run an 8 person game you get two folding tables.
  • Swag is cool. Perhaps publishers would provide swag, or templates for GM’s to make their own swag.
    • DCC has some cool stuff with bookmarks, buttons, pens, pencils, and more.

D&D Documentary Number 3 – Rebuilding Trust

While at Gary Con, I attended a session titled, D&D Documentary Teaser and Q&A. Pat Kilbane is working on a D&D documentary. It is a third documentary totally unrelated to the other two documentaries now tied up in litigation*.  There is enough about this documentary to impress me, that I decided on the spot to write up a separate article to give it the focus it deserves. In short, I will do what I can to promote it.

My new friend, +Satine Phoenix, is one of the interviewees in the three clips we were shown, and she happened to join in, as she was early for Frank Mentzer’s D&D game in the same room, following this 1 hour session.

I wish I had the foresight to record this. It was a good discussion, and my notes were only on the high points. As more comes along, I will mention it here on my blog.

Satine & Pat after the presentation.
Satine & Pat after the presentation.

The three interviews in the sneak peak were with:

So far, shooting for those on the West coast has been done. Next, while at Gary Con, he is interviewing all the old guard from the beginning to get their perspective. He filmed a session by Tim Kask on the first five years of TSR. I had the honor of asking the last question.

Rather than have yet another Kickstarter for a D&D documentary, when the previous two are tied up in litigation, Pat wants to focus on building trust with the intended audience. His idea is to do small two minute pieces as part of a Patreon to create a track record of delivering smaller bits, until there is enough trust to do some form of fundraiser, such as Kickstarter.

An example of the short videos he envisions is the Gary Con Two-Minute History video, featuring Luke Gygax explaining what Gary Con is.

You can follow Pat’s efforts on the Facebook page, Dorks of Yore.

*Full disclosure, I am in for and most likely out $50 for the second documentary’s Kickstarter, The Great Kingdom. The first film that Kickstarted is Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary, which I missed the Kickstarter altogether. You can find details of the trials and tribulations of these two films with your google-fu. I want to stay positive and show what Pat is doing. As with most of us, I think we just want any film, that is well done, to come out while the old guard is still available.

FINALLY! – But Not Quite

The first three volumes of Original D&D are now back on sale from WotC via D&D Classics/RPGNow/DriveThruRPG.

These are based on the re-prints in the special wooden box collector’s edition that came out a few years ago. Thus they have new covers and the WotC logo instead of the TSR logo. WotC can’t use the TSR logo, since they let the TSR trademark lapse, allowing for the new TSR to be born a few years ago.

The cover artwork is cool. It is also much sharper than the originals, so not quite the same feel. I don’t know why they changed the cover artwork, but not all the interior artwork. It could be due to the arrangements with the cover artists, or just WotC wanting to mix it up a bit to make it their own thing.

It’s better than nothing, and what I have been hoping for for a long time, but I still wait for all the supplemental volumes. I hope those are forthcoming soon!

Is Chainmail part of the possible PDF’s that WotC might offer in PDF? I seem to recall that was available before they pulled the plug several years back. I had already spent too much money getting PDF’s of all of the AD&D manuals that were available then, so missed out when they got pulled.

Much cheaper than trying to get the originals rules in physical form, other than getting the PDF’s and printing them yourself. I’ve collected a few of the original volumes, and it’s not cheap.

EDIT – in 2015 WotC released the PDFs for OD&D and Chainmail in 2016.

UCON – Day 0

+Tim Snider of Savage Afterworld uses the nomenclature of Day 0, Day 1, etc when he writes about his attendance at conventions. So in the spirit of the OSR, I’ll use that idea too!

After only going to UCON on Saturday last year and dealing with a nasty storm trying to get there, when I decided that I would go for the entire con this year, I decided to arrive a day early, just in case. As it happens, the weather and roads were good and Thursday.

I got checked in and got my stuff to my room and somewhat settled in, went out for some supper, and returned to the hotel.

Hotel View

Cool Island in the lake.
Cool Island in the lake.

I soon ran into +Tim Snider, and we caught up on things since last year. He bought me a beer, Bell’s Brown Lager. Nothing like driving nearly two hours away from the local brew pub to have one of their beers. It was good! It was also a tall glass. There were two couches in the carpeted area of the bar/restaurant. The couches faced each other, one back to the bar, the other back to the lobby. I sat across from Tim with my back to the bar. We were talking enjoying our beers when some guy came up and said, “We’re playing a game when I get back”, or words to that effect. Tim and I were speculating, and were right when we decided it must be +Bill Webb. When he got back, we moved to an area in the lobby with a table, a couch, chairs, and ottomans. We rolled 3d6 in order, after that, all we needed where a d20 and a d6. Bill used a big d20 and a big d6, those were the only dice he had. It was a fun little adventure. You can read +Tim Snider’s write up here.

Bill Webb in Action.
Bill Webb in Action.

Joining in the game was +Ryan Thompson of Gamers & Grognards, +Adam Muszkiewicz and his adorable sidekick Stan of Dispatches from Kickassistan. (the next day I met Adam’s collaborator and co-host in the +DSR podcast (Drink Spin Run), +Donn Stroud), +Laura Williams and her husband +Clayton Williams, Bill’s daugher and a few others, whose names I don’t recall. +Pete Schwab and a few others showed up to watch our game. We broke about midnight. I had to get to bed, since I was in a 9am game in Friday.

Near Misses – Thieves

I had an idea for thieves picking pockets from an experience prior to my last game at UCON. The idea coalesced as I was in that dreamy, glad to be sleeping state before I woke up this morning. (I’m off all week; so I got to sleep in today to recover from both low quantity and quality of sleep the last few days.)

As I have mentioned in at least one other article, my Dad was a locksmith and I was drafted to help from the time I was about 13 until I went off to college. Dad gave me my own basic set of lock picks. I thought it would be fun to plop them down at a game, if I ended up running a thief.

I was getting stuff out of my bag, dice, paper, pen, pencil and other things so I wouldn’t have to keep rummaging in my bag during the game and slow things down. I was wearing many layers, including a jacket sort of like a hoody with out the hood. It has packets inside next to each outer pocket.

I put my picks in my pocket, or so I thought. I felt both sides of my hand feel fabric, so I thought it was in my pocket. I had just placed something else in that pocket and realized that I was about to drop it between my jacket and shirt instead of my pocket, so I corrected. I then checked and my picks weren’t there, so just as I was getting ready to bend down to get them, +Laura Rose Williams says, “Here, Larry, you dropped this,” as she hands it to me.

This morning in my dreamlike pre-wake state, this idea hit me, and I can just see a thief picking someone’s pockets and rolling 1 or 2 under what they need. So from now on, I will rule that a thief doing this, gets what they were after, or at least something, and they “pocket” it. Some kind soul will see them drop it and come up and give it to them in full view of all around. The “FUN!” will then ensue.

I did not play a thief as planned, +Laura Rose Williams wanted me to play a wizard along with her, which I did. So I got out my picks after the game to share what I was prepared to use as a prop.

Yes, I Backed Another Kickstarter

I recently wrote that I wouldn’t be backing any other Kickstarters until all the outstanding ones delivered.

That was before I knew that +Peter Regan, of Oubliette Magazine and Square Hex would be offering his latest Kickstarter, the B/X Monster Reference Index.

It is a spiral bound reference with over 500 B/X monsters in a one line format for each. It will come in at 24 pages. For about $6.00 you get one, and less than $5.00 shipping from the UK.

I went in for the pledge level that gets me two of them, with shipping, only about $17.00.

Why two of them? Because I can! Who doesn’t need a backup of one of these?

This is Peter’s 14th Kickstarter! All of them have Funded and been delivered in a timely manner. He obviously has done the work in advance, and is just using Kickstarter to fund. He has a short time frame to get it out the door. He knows his market base and seems to have a laser-like focus to accomplish these projects.

The project already funded today. He keeps any stretch goals within reason, and does good work. This one has a two week time frame to ensure it is delivered before Christmas.

Reading the comments, backers get the PDF and a Spreadsheet, plus the cover will be laminated. Other stretch goals may be a possibility.

 

2015 One Page Dungeon Contest – My Submission

I said that I was going to submit something to the One Page Dungeon Contest (OPDC) this year, and I was beginning to wonder if I would make it happen.

Last weekend, the title I had for the dungeon finally gelled and the idea for it came together much more smoothly than I had hoped.

I wanted it to be about Druids, since I got on a kick and had a few articles about druids a few weeks ago.

Druids and Alignment

Druids and Their Environment

Druids and Undead

I also ordered Roberts Kunt’s module Dark Druids and when it came a week ago, I realized that I didn’t want to read it until I put together my idea for the OPDC.

I had determined that I would consolidate my notes and make this one page dungeon this weekend no matter what. I had to further get it nearly 100% today, since +Roy Snyder’s DCC game picks up after a hiatus of a few weeks, and I made a commitment to be there.

So without further ado, I present my submission to the OPDC – The Dark Druids of Delver’s Deep. I went “old school” on the OPDC and used the one page dungeon template by +Michael Shorten, AKS Chgowiz. He has links to his dungeon and wilderness templates on his old blog.

There are 36 listed submitted dungeons/adventures so far – at the time of this writing, minus my submission.

2015 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal – Cities/Cities As Ruins/Cities As Megadungeons

Initially, I was struggling with the idea of a theme for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge. Last year I just picked a topic that fit the letter for that day and went with it. Then I remembered my half started project to help me deal with cities, ruined cities, and my thoughts that a large city was in many ways equivalent to a megadungeon. Indeed, a ruined city is but the surface level of a megadungeon.

I will be fleshing out general ideas and ideas for tables, and on-the-fly information for navigating a large city or ruin without advance preparation, or with a set base of preparation, like a map and a general idea of where the different quarters are, etc. Planning a ruined city relies on planning one that is inhabited, the only difference is that a ruined city needs a reason for why it is now in ruins.

This project is as much a tool to help me as it is to share my insights with others.

I will reference past articles on some of these topics. Some information I may have previously only collected information and not yet made an article. I wrote at least a rough outline of each article and have them scheduled to post. I have been going back to each one and adding, revising, cross linking, and otherwise trying to improve them. So far, I don’t have as many tables as I initially envisioned, but I do have many lists I will work to develop tables or clean up for a list of ideas on various topics. Since this topic is so much on my mind of late, I am linking to posts that have come up and continue to be published by others. One relatively new blog, Lost Kingdom, has coincidentally, published articles that tie very well into mine, and I link to their articles for more details. Trying to find the time to read all of their past articles is a challenge, but well worth the effort.

Building a city for an RPG, whether a living city, or a fallen, ancient one, requires thinking it through and populating it in a pattern that fits. Not everyone needs this level of detail to guide them in creating their cities. I often just determine that there are so many of this or that business and don’t worry about a map. This project is for improving the level of preparation by creating a sort of checklist to touch on, to help DM’s that aren’t so good at spur of the moment to have some ideas to help with improvising their cities.

I look forward to feedback and ideas to fill in gaps.

There will be new tables for some things, and my detailed slant on how to build cities/ruined cities. Of course, in the A to Z Challenge format, it won’t be a complete system, but will contain points and questions to ponder for anyone developing a city. Some of these ideas will translate into building cities for any genre of RPG.

I will quote myself from my Post-Con Write Up of Marmalade Dog 20 and a relevant conversation I had with Adam Muszkiewicz:

When Adam and I were talking the topic of random tables and drop tables and all the dice tables came up. I mentioned that I am slowly crafting an all the dice type table to help me generate area of an ancient “abandoned” city for houses, building, and other features. Adam pointed me to a display at Roy’s booth for Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad, Winter 2014, Issue #1. Pages 10 and 11 have a neighborhood generator, and pages 12 and 13 have a gang generator. The neighborhood generator has a lot of ideas that I am looking for so I bought it.

I am going to enjoy this!

All my posts on megadungeons, and cities.

I also have a list of those RPG bloggers that used the (GA) tag on the A to Z Sign Up Page. I didn’t have time to look for those that didn’t use a tag, so if you want to be on my list, just let me know your number on the sign up list. My list, 2015 A TO Z CHALLENGE – RPG BLOGGERS, is on the right side of my blog under the A To Z Challenge logo.

[UPDATE] I went to each of the RPG blogs signed up for this year’s challenge, and only a couple of them appear to be participating in the theme reveal, so I wait, as do all of us until perhaps later today, or April 1st, when the posts begin.

[UPDATE 2] Here is a link to the List of Those Signed up for the April, 2014 A to Z blogging challenge.

Quad Ruled Desk Pads

Back in the mid to late 80’s I bought a quad ruled desk pad from an office supply store. That was back when desk pads and pen and paper were still the mainstay of business. I have only one sheet from that desk pad that holds the map to the town for Griswald, the longest running character I have played, who is now, essentially retired from play.

I don’t know what happened to the rest of the pad. I used it for mapping out a Boot Hill area, and such things. I think that pad may have been one of the things I lost in the water leak incident, but I don’t recall.

I have in the last few years tried to find such a pad in stock at an office supply store, but no go. I would have to special order or order online. If you search for quad ruled desk pad you will find them. They run a little under $20 each.

I like using them to map out large cities. I am a visual person and like to be able to see them. In my campaign, there are ten ancient cities of a fallen empire. I have taped together 8.5 x 11 quad ruled graph paper for a rough map of the one closest to the action of the current group of players. Having a bigger single sheet would simplify things and make it easier to fold up and get out of the way.

I also like he idea of using them for a megadungeon. Who doesn’t want to design a megadungeon? I think I started to do so way back in the day, but it is lost material.

This all comes to mind as I ran across Peter Regan’s most recent Kickstarter for a Dungeon Desk Pad, over at Oublette Magazine. It is an interesting idea. I am trying to avoid new Kickstarters for the financial responsibility end of it, but man is this one hard to resist. Personally, I prefer a full-size desk pad of grids, but this idea is interesting. My desk pad pages are 16 inches by 22 inches, slightly smaller than the A2 standard. The Dungeon Desk Pads are 16.53 inches by 11.69 inches, which is the A3 standard. The other issue is that Peter is UK based so overseas shipping adds to costs, etc. So far, I have only backed US-based Kickstarters, mainly because I have not had interest in others that were not based in the US. I know that Peter has a good track record, thus hitting the funding goal, and stretch goals are reasonable and fit with the base project.

I was also intrigued by an article that Peter shared that of Ian Livingstone of Games Workshop [former link: http://unpluggedgames.co.uk/2015/02/13/games-workshop-the-inside-story-part-one/] still has his first dungeon on a desk pad on his desk. You can save this photo and zoom in to be able to read the room descriptions. It would be easy to use this for a quick dungeon for your next session.

Ian Livingstone Deskpad Dungeon
Ian Livingstone Deskpad Dungeon

This motivated me to get the rough map of Helmsdale, Griswald’s town, and share it here. The quick story on this town. My brother, Robert,the DM determined that for Griswald to be a half-elf, it made sense for the human to come from a place near the Elven Kingdom. The hillsmen in his campaign are based on the Scottish clans. They live in a series of hills called Carbaen Moor. Griswald is a Fighter/Cleric/Magic-User and we rolled his age. I believe 45 years old, so the backstory is that the hillsmen had a civil war where the Buchanan Clan Kicked the Stewarts out of their territory and became king. They did not maintain control of the Stewart territory so it became infested with Orcs and worse.

Griswald’s father was a duke, and as far as Griswald knew, he was the true heir to the throne. He later learned that the grandson of the king and the grandsons of the dukes higher in precedence had their own band of outlaws called the Red Arrows. They had red fletchings (feathers) on their arrows. Griswald joined up with them, and through creative use of magic and bluff developed a reputation beyond their actual abilities. Tameus, the true king, decided it was time for war. Through lots of favors owed and other factors and army big enough to challenge the Buchanan’s was raised, and while outnumbered by the Buchanans, magic and Elven cavalry defeated them. After reclaiming the kingdom, there was a massive earthquake that devastated most of the kingdom and the old Stewart lands. Since the orc tribes in the Stewart lands bordering the former Buchanan lands were hurt as bad as the humans, Griswald decided to take back his ancestral lands. With the help of a small force of mercenaries and a PC wizard and his own henchmen – two fighters and three magic users, the orcs where driven out.

The town is in a valley of a ring of hills. It has a ditch 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep. The earthquake reduced the walls. Griswald rebuilt a smaller town with an Elven temple, the price of the Elven troops. This works for Griswald as he is a cleric of the Elven moon diety, Isil-nar. There is also the ducal palace and homes for troops and workers and farmers. Outside the walls is an inn, The Merchant’s Delight. The merchants like Griswald, since he does not tax them as heavily as the orcs. He also built a gatehouse at the only way across the ditch.

The two biggest orc tribes were not hurt by the earthquake, and were consolidating their control over the remnants of the orc tribes Griswald had not yet eliminated. These tribes did not like this upstart half elf moving in, so they moved to invade and take him out. Griswald has a crystal ball so he looked for the leaders of the invaders and took Alim, his highest level magic user henchman to teleport to these troops on the march to take them out. While the two most powerful magic users in town, Griswald 10th fighter/10th cleric/11th magic user and Alim, 10th level magic user were gone, the other orc tribe got past the wall across the valley to the south and surrounded the town. Griswald and Alim mangled the rear guard of the larger force and were gone until morning. This was put on hold for 15 years, until we made it work to finish the scenario. Robert wanted to resolve it so the other players would know what happened, as they are ten or more game years past this point in time.

The orcs surrounding the town set up a catapult and started battering the walls. They also attacked the gatehouse with 50 men that were the troops of Logan, a PC who was killed, but the men stayed with Griswald. The gatehouse was cut off from the rest of town and the 30 or so cavalry on hand tried to get through, but were routed and nearly all of them were killed. The archers on the walls of town made long range shots at the orcs around the gatehouse, and nearly exhausted all the available arrows. The gatehouse fell. The high priest of the temple cast insect plague in the area around the catapult to delay the battering. By the next morning the high priest rested and relearned insect plague and cast it again. Somewhere in here, we had a two year delay of getting together to wrap it up, but we finally finished it.

Finally when the time line in town caught up to them, Griswald and Alim read teleport from their travelling spell books and returned to the palace. Griswald and Alim had hardly any spells or scrolls left, but as a fighter with protection from normal missiles, Griswald could mount the walls and fight off the invaders. Finally enough orcs were killed that their morale broke. I don’t know if I ever got a full count of the number of dead orcs, but the image in my mind is of The Battle of Roake’s Drift from the movie Zulu. Thankfully, it was not The Battle of Islandawana.

On this map each square = 40 feet. I found that the width of the squares is the same as the distance between the lines on a standard 3 x 5 index card. Index cards were handy for measuring ranges in the battle. We used a few miniatures, but was mostly scribbles on the map.

Every time an orc was killed we yelled, “Oh no! They got Grignak!” The inspiration for Grignak comes from Galaxy Quest.

First the map of the “north” of my brother’s campaign. This is one half of a TSR hex mapping paper, with the Willingham cover. The other half is the “south”. Only one player has been off this map. It is 10 mile hexes. This is a photocopy. I did the coloring. Robert used the photocopier to enlarge and zoom in in the following images. These are pictures and not scans. You still get a hint of my brother’s artistic talent here.

The Stewart Lands shows the fiefs of the various Stewart Dukes.

The North
The North
Carbaen Moor
Carbaen Moor
Stewart Lands
Stewart Lands
Griswald's Hex
Griswald’s Hex

Below shows the ring of hills with an opening in the hills to the North West and South. The rectangle in the center is where the town goes.

Detail Griswald's Lands
Detail Griswald’s Lands

The post it note was added to complete the circle for the area of effect of insect plague. That spell is one of the ultimate battlefield spells if you can buy a high priest ten minutes (one turn) to cast it.

This is in pencil on 20+ year old paper with poor lighting.

Helmsdale
Helmsdale
Inner Town
Inner Town
Insect Plague
Insect Plague

I am curious if there are any other desk pad sized maps of towns, dungeons, space ships, etc. That would be an interesting gallery.

Follow Up On Jeff Perren’s GoFundMe Campaign

I wrote about Jeff Perren’s daughter having a campaign [link broken: http://www.gofundme.com/l5d1qg] for a stair lift to move him out of assisted living and into her home back on January 31st.

In less than a week it met and exceeded the $6,000 goal.

There are still donations trickling in. I am sure with taxes, they will need at least 30% beyond the goal, unless they baked that into their estimate.

Good job gang!