tisdag 26 augusti 2014

Monster: The Deamon Hamsterdog

The great old wizard Haeglunn experimented on animals to create the most dangerous animal to be known by man. He was feared by the local populance cause of all the misstakes that had escaped his cages and found their way down to the village. Eighteen Sheeps and a cow had lost their lives to these abominations! How long would it take before a human had to put his life on the line?

The village were almost ready to revolt when one of the more dangerous creatures were let loose. Haeglunn were really really bad when it came to locking the doors of the cages! The most dangerous animal known to man slew a lot of people and left no witnesses. The great adventurers arrived to the scene only to find that the great animal were afraid of them and run to the woods.

Ok, the truth is that the real killer had allready run away in hunt for some other prey while the poor creature called the deamon hamsterdog had just escaped and came to the scene of the slaughter only to be found by the heroes! He ran away in fear and got the infamy not deseved. His poor face on a hundred posters offering tons of gold in reward for the innocent head on his neck!

No. Attacks: 1, HP: 2d6, Att: +1 (1d6 horns)

Art of today: Lanterns Light

Sometimes you draw some illustration and they just go sour on you. At a first glance I guess some people think this look good in some way but the truth is that I just think this picture have 29 faults and the fake light is just one of them. ;)

I have posted very little on the blog lately. I have been writing on some adventure for KlossCon and it really just consume all the time I have when not at work. This above picture is actually one of many lunch-break pictures I make. The lunch is often a small drawing session for me and it is both relaxing and fun.

tisdag 19 augusti 2014

Why the dragon in my nose ate the bugger

When I was young I always bealived I were to become the new HR Giger or something, cause you need a little delusions of grandeur to kickstart your life. The truth became that I took a lousy job, as each struggling artist need a lousy one, but then I forgot to draw and paint. I had this gap of no roleplaying and no drawing for almost ten years.

Then two of my friends contacted me and wanted me to draw some illustrations for the swedish RPG "Svärd och Svartkonst" and I jumped on this train with no expectations on my own skill, what this OSR thing really was and if I could deliver anything after this large gap.

I can't say I am great at drawing but I can say I am quite good. The positive response from a lot of you reading this blog at times is proof enough for this conclusion how much I still want to be modest.

Ok, this is the tuesday rant but I need you to bear with me a bit longer.

Back in the days when I did the obligatory swedish military service I met this  sweet strange man, +Jonas Wideen , that later became a friend of mine even if we haven't met for some century. Good thing social media exist so people don't loose all contact with eachother. :)

Anyways, I draw smaller illustrations and are quite happy with that. He on the other hand do this more proffesional drawings with real paint and such.

My plan is to feature a few of his pieces here on Aenglum so we can broaden his audience as some of his art are right down the pocket of OSR I think and if you THE READER want this piece on your wall at home, you should contact either me or Jonas Wideen even better. He is one of those artist that actually live on his art, contradictory to me... as +Erik Tenkar call it; beer money. I just do all this for fun and beer and not profit. ;)

Todays art of Jonas is a fire breathing dragon;

söndag 17 augusti 2014

Daughters on adventure

A good friend of mine has conspired with my wife to have my daughters starting to play an easy form of RPG of his own design. I have no clue what they are up to except that I have in my possession the first draft of the character sheet.

An old school character sheet usually doesn't contain that much but I see they have puched the boundries of what is really needed on a sheet.

If you are intrested in how this plays out, and if you are curious if your own children are ready for an adventure, just give me a shout. I got at this moment no clue what rules he will use, other than that he mentioned some morphed version of mouseguard. Only the future can tell  if he permanently will damage the frail minds of my children, or suceeding in raising the next generation of Roleplayers, but it is worth the risk, isn't it!? ;) 

Oh, glad you asked! My children are at an age of 4 and 6. 

fredag 15 augusti 2014

The swedish RPG "Svärd och Svartkost" is written

When I began with the OSR I was mostly involved with illustrations for the swedish RPG "Svärd och Svartkonst" and now the text is done for this awsome forthcoming book! This is cool news and I am really looking forward to having the finnished book in my hands.

My own Aenglum is originally from this RPG but eventually it ran its own course and is now a freelancing bandit and not to much alike its origins, but still a few bits and pieces are intact.

If you are a swede I can really recomend you follow the link, and if you are not fluent in swedish I say you can go at your own risk. You will find the free Svärd och Svartkonst rulebook over there.

tisdag 5 augusti 2014

H is for Hexcrawl

I was pondering how to implement a good hexcrawl in my campaign. I had a dream about this and this is actually me impementing that dream to reality.

The Thing in my dream was to disturb every genious/grognard/old oaf out there I know or pretend to know. So I thought I run to a couple of people with three questions each and the answers to these, I would publish on the blog, so some other noob can come along later and stumble on some good answers in a big collection.

Or it could just be some fun reading, if it is your cup of tea that is.

The questions are;
  1. How would you define a hexcrawl in your own words if you would keep it short?
  2. What module or article is the one that is influencing you the most regarding a good hex crawl? Do you follow these rules or guidlines?
  3. What is the major rules or thing to think about when designing a good hexcrawl in your opinion?

First of all we have +Greg Gorgonmilk from Gorgonmilk
  1. "A numbered hex map with a corresponding key explaining the contents of each (or each important) hex.
  2. The classic Judges Guild stuff is my model for this sort of thing. (Judges guild booty list)
  3. Less is more. As in less detail is always better than too much. Leave enough undone so the DM has room to improvise."

Our second runner is +Joseph Bloch from Greyhawk Grognard

"I'd define a hexcrawl as an adventure setting that gives the PCs unlimited choices of action; where to go, what to do, how to interact with the NPCs, etc., in such a way that no choices they make can derail the DM's plans for the game. Compare to a plot-driven game, where failure to follow the plot can derail the game completely if the DM is unable or unwilling to improvise.

The single-best reference on how to put together a good sandbox is the West Marches campaign over at Ars Ludi. http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/78/grand-experiments-west-marches/ It should be required reading for anyone interested in doing a hexcrawl.

Good hexcrawls require that the PCs be able to make informed choices. Just shoving them out the door without any sort of rhyme or reason robs them of their agency, since all the choices they make are blind choices. Make their choices at least semi-informed, and have plot threads dangling that the PCs can tug on if they wish.

The PCs should have some (vague) idea of what's out there to be found, and many encounters should be constructed so that they point the PCs to at least one more, should they decide to pursue the lead. "

Third voice is +Rob Conley , a guru of hex-crawling and behind Bat in the attic

"Here is my dollar's worth of answer.
1) How would you define a hexcrawl in your own words if you would keep it short?

Hexcrawl is a format for presenting a setting where a numbered hex grid is overlaid on a map and locales are referred by their hex number. It can pack a lot of easily referenced ocal level detail in a minimum number of works.

A sandbox campaign is traditionally associated with the hexcrawl format. It is a campaign where the referee defines a setting, and defines his NPCs goals, plans and motivations. The PCs are give given an initial set of circumstances and the expectation they do whatever they want to do in accordance to their goals and the limits of their characters.

2) What module or article is the one that is influencing you the most regarding a good hex crawl? Do you follow these rules or guidlines?

Wilderlands of High Fantasy, City State of the Invincible Overlord, and the associated Judges Guild's Wilderness series (Spies of Lightelf, etc).

The downside it is a pretty big place. After surveying what was released in the past, I decided I had to write my own introductory setting, Blackmarsh. You can download it for free from RPGNow. The physical book is only $4.99


3) What is the major rules or thing to think about when designing a good hexcrawl in your opinion?

Hexcrawls and Sandbox can be run using any set of RPGs rules. What you want to look for is good support for the random generation of content, and support for in-game world building for example Traveller's Trading and Starship economics, or AD&D's stronghold building rules.

I strongly advice assembling a nice set of random tables. Generally I find I have about a dozen to two dozen specific ideas. For the rest of it I just randomly roll and explain the results consistently with the rest of the setting.

As for rules.

If you want detail and playability Columbia Game's Harnmaster is probably the best. But it is an investment. If you want a solid D&D like rule system then you can't go wrong with Adventurer Conqueror King by Autarch Games.

Note with Harnmaster you also have the option of ignoring the core rules and going with the world building stuff like Harnmanor. They are all mostly self-contained subsystems.

The Red Tide series by Sine Nomine is also good.http://www.rpgnow.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=3482

While this is tooting my own horn, I think my Scourge of the Demon Wolf is a good example of what an adventure looks like in a sandbox campaign. Plus in the appendices you get a full write up of various locales to use as a springboard for further adventures.


+Eric Hoffman and I are actually play testing a hex crawl we wrote, so I’m going to speak about what we thought was important as we wrote it.

1. How would you define a hex crawl in your own words if you would keep it short?

"Hex crawl: Exploration of a large area, overlaid by a hex grid, where travel is governed by set rules, and where the majority of encounters are random and unexpected."

2. What module or article is the one that is influencing you the most regarding a good hex crawl? Do you follow these rules or guidelines?

"Actually, I find more influence is being pulled from literature, especially Treasure Island and many of R.E. Howard’s stories. There’s a mood, a feeling, that I’m looking for in this hex crawl, and rules themselves aren’t going to supply that.

The hex crawl writer’s choice of creatures, NPCs, locations… even treasure… all need to fit together. These elements help the players tell the characters’ stories, because without a plot thread, the GM has little to no narrative. Your choices of what goes into the hex crawl, not how you run it, will affect the theme and personality of your adventure.

Also, I find that descriptive text before ‘set piece’ encounters is immensely helpful to both players and GM’s. Set the scene, and let the players take it from there. Set piece encounters are locations like tombs and NPC's that exist on the island, but their location can vary. It all depends on the dice rolls as they characters explore."

3. What is the major rules or thing to think about when designing a good hex crawl in your opinion?
"Obviously, freedom of choice is big part of a hex crawl, but I still think the players need to get invested. We chose a simple overlying goal: The discovery and subsequent plundering of the fabled treasure vaults of Zadabad. If that’s not enough, we’ve included personal adventure hooks in the player’s guide that players might choose for their characters, among them being;

1)The island, once being a grand center of worship, contains religious artifacts that must be preserved (or destroyed!)
2) A friend or relative was sold into slavery and is currently somewhere on the island.
3)You are fleeing the law, an assassin, or unforgiving debtors.

Once again, this puts the story into the hands of the players, and the GM can have fun molding the hex crawl to his and his players' desires.

We also included enough room for the GM to put his own stamp on the adventures. We expect the GM to insert the hex crawl (an island in this case) into his current campaign. It should be easy for him to do so.

The island is big enough to require multiple days to travel across, but small enough that it could remain an isolated, mysterious, and largely unknown island in the GM’s campaign world. While we have various factions on and surrounding the island, we’ve included only enough detail to get the ball rolling. Additionally, there is a combination of set pieces and plenty of interesting locations that are unnamed, waiting for a creative judge to drop-in something of his own.

I’d like to close by saying that GMing a hex crawl can be both intimidating and rewarding. Because everything is largely random, the GM won’t know what’s coming. There’s more thinking on your feet required. You may have read the entire adventure and know all the monster stat blocks by heart, but the order of appearance, the sequence of events, will change how various factions, NPCs and monsters react. Killing the Great White Elephant of Tribella ‘before’ meeting Nashta the Holy Man is a much different encounter than meeting the holy man first.

However, these same surprises are also rewarding! Your players will take things in directions you never expected. It’s a very different experience than a scripted adventure, where the goal is set and the sequence of events is important. You’ll live in the moment, and your creativity will be tested repeatedly. What was once a choice that would have derailed an adventure, will be the start of yet another exciting side-trek!"

+Simon Forster, a very good mapper and the man behind ...And the sky full of dust.

"I have had a think: and you know what, I realise that I've never really ran a hexcrawl. I have an overland map with areas labelled, and when the PCs wander into those ares they come across whatever place I've stuck there, but not really a hexcrawl the way others mention it. I did, however, once write up something that I was going to run once, which is sort of like it: http://www.theskyfullofdust.co.uk/in-the-name-of-the-king-4-iv-hex-exploration-tables/"

Other usefull stuff

I got some great links from +Terje Nordin 

To be continoued or edited?

måndag 4 augusti 2014

G is for Goats again

I only say run to Gorgonmilk today and get the Goat-generator (Final!)

I shall have no credit in this as I only drew him a goat-man after being impressed with the draft he ( +Greg Gorgonmilk ) released.and I am still impressed with how it turned out.( +Gavin Norman shall have some credit to I guess. Co-creator of Dolmenwood)

Be sure to check out what theses guys are up to in the future as they are to release even more sweet stuff and "Everything will eventually be compiled into a Dolmenwood Folio PDF, and later find its way into the Dolmenwoodbook."

söndag 3 augusti 2014

D is for more dogs

The last part of the dogs chart was dogs of war. But what other kinds of dogs are there? I was looking through some books and the dogs seem to be missing and getting no love at all. They are mentioned in a couple of places and there seem to be some reference to them but when looking for rules they are all but abscent.

When shopping for dogs, the war dog is the most effective dog for combat and dungeons, but shouldn't be the only choice for players I think.

Speciality Dogs

Step 1 - Make a note of the basic values for a dog

Basic values, the untrained puppy stats
MD (Morale dice (Aenglum)/ Hit dice (other systems)): 1 (1d6)
Life: 4
DV (Defense value (Aenglum)/Armor class): 10
Attack: #1, +0, bite 1t4
Movement: 6 sq (other systems: 12 )
Personality: None
Abilities: Good senses (+2 on smell/listen rolls, harder to surprise)
Order Difficulty: 14 (The difficulty to make a dog do what you want it to do. A roll made with your charisma modifier. The difficulty can be modified depending on some factors.)
Price: 10 Aengels

1. Sled dog
Ability: Can pull sleds, usually in a group of 4-8 dogs.
Order diffculty +4 when ordered to do something it isn't trained to do.
Price: +0 (10Aengels)

2. Untrained pet
Order diifculty: +4
Ability: Lick balls
The untrained pet like to do just about anything that is useless and do not often do what it is told.
Price: -7 (3 Aengels.)

3. Trackers
A dog trained to track scents, but not to attack or fight.
Ability: tracking
Order diffculty +4 when ordered to do something it isn't trained to do.
Price: +3 (13 Aengels)

4. Guard dog
A dog trained in keeping guard but otherwise not to attack or fight.
Ability: Guard
Order diffculty +4 when ordered to do something it isn't trained to do.
Price: +5 (15 Aengels)

5. War dogs
Go to war dogs, in the previous blog article.

fredag 1 augusti 2014

G is for Goatmen

Or Goatmen to +Greg Gorgonmilk. If you haven't seen his latest project The Goat-man you really should run and see it. It is totally inspiring and fun and made me wanna draw him alot of illustrations! The bad thing in the equation is that I have never drawn goatmen before and need to learn this so I maybe maybe can do his project justice!

One thing is certain tho and that is the fact that Aenglum is gonna have goatman in an abundance!

First try

Second try

Third try... a half-goat??

4th goat

You just gotta love goats!

ok this was the first try

Will soon figure out a good way how to draw one of these sweet creatures.