DM Screen of Ultimate Doom, Pt V: Assembly

The screen was just barely finished in time for Saturday night’s session, but it produced the desired effect.

The screen in action.

The screen in action.

The towers, when used for appropriately climactic rolls, produced the desired effect:  tension and buy-in. The tables gave a solid foundation for reference and the imposing wall pattern was just goddamn cool.

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A Word About Hordes

As shown in our campaign map, the lands to the west of the Skyspine Mountains are referred to as the “Hordelands,” divided into north and south relative to the Silk Roads.

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The Five Duchies of Tarsus

The Five DuchiesThis map was made with the same techniques discussed in our earlier post, and zooms in on the northernmost region of the Free Cities. This time we add in some color an a few civilization icons:  walled cities, holdfasts, roads, and major monasteries. Per standard D&D, monasteries and their monks in this campaign world tend toward the temporal, “Eastern” style and away from the Medieval “western” ideal. Monks are militant and monastic orders are independent. These guys are Shaolin, not Benedictine. As in both ancient civilizations, monasteries hold and administer lands and can be major political powers. Religious orders like the Knights Templar are the archetype in this world.

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DM Screen of Ultimate Doom, Pt IV: Towers

Our walls are done and its time for the tricky part:  our dice-roller towers. The basic structure consists of four walls of foamboard, 11″ tall and 4″ wide. Two of the panels form the back of each tower. To these, I glued a 4″ x 4″ x 3″ block of seafoam, hoping to anchor the tower and build the base of the dice chute.

the back-board

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That Warlock Is a Dick

Posts will fly furiously this weekend as we wrap up the screen project, put up some more maps and campaign background info, and run a session or two. All of the activity will help to assuage my guilt over stealing more content to share here, such as this music video from the proud Canucks over at Blind Ferret Entertainment

These are the same folks who produce the worthy webcomics Looking For Group and Least I Could Do. Their song-parody videos for both comics are well worth a look.

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DM Screen of Ultimate Doom, Pt III: Walls

The house is trashed. We have sworn blood-oaths not to clean until the screen is finished. The desecrated corpses of foamboard panels lie scattered in each room; empty beer cans are piling up. We scan couches and easy chairs for craft knives before we sit. There can, at this crucial juncture, be neither retreat nor compromise. We doggedly continue, until the bitter end…

I’m deep into building the dice towers, so while I wait for glue to dry, here’s the process for walls:

IMG_0510

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Cave Entrance

In a dungeon crawl I was working on, the first encounter would take place outside the entrance. I wanted something to grab the players’ attention with, since it would be their first introduction to the game. Digging through some old styrofoam packaging for a TV, I found a piece with an arch perfectly sized for 28mm scale.

I drew the rough shape of the cave in blue marker on the block of foam. I wanted something that looked like an ancient goblin deity, with the entrance formed by the monster’s mouth. My inspiration was Lo Pan’s stairs from the greatest film ever made.

cavestairsfrombigtrouble

Maybe with just a little less neon…

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