Monster tokens

On the way to visualizing one of the big battle scenes in the Tale that Refuses to Be Written, I’ve a need for more monsters than time and money permit to be in 28mm miniature form. Plan B: tokens. I made a handful of NPC tokens using many layers of cardstock glued together. Those have a nice feel, but were resource and time intensive. For monsters, I settled on making 1″ discs out of polymer clay and baking them. Here’s the first batch of 80 fresh out of the oven.

PIC_0950 Continue reading “Monster tokens”


Sometimes things start to click

I’d say practice has been going well tonight. As it happens, one of the simplest designs turns out to be the answer to this first mountain range. Continue reading “Sometimes things start to click”

A shout out to people who can actually draw

I’m not there yet. Practice, practice, practice. I’m sure some others find it far easier, and others even harder. From over here, mountains are harder than they look. Along the way, I’ve doodled a few more attempts, somehow ended up with a character concept sketch, and tried out the pencils in the new sketchpad. Maybe if I try keeping my progress in one place instead of scattered about on random scraps I’ll see progress more clearly. Continue reading “A shout out to people who can actually draw”

First try at mountains for maps

Huzzah. After getting deeply into the weeds, I finally pulled back for perspective and got back on track. For my first foray into mountains, pretty much all I need is a single range that fits the bill. It turns out that all the reading and exploring through Google Earth was actually useful to me because I’ve added an inland salt sea, and I know how I want the range shaped.  Continue reading “First try at mountains for maps”

Don’t anger the innkeeper

Terrain as storytelling

Last time I looked at all these photos of mountains, I was especially struck by their sheer size. That’s a lot of food for thought because I’m coming at the subject from a few perspectives at the same time.

As an aspiring storyteller, no size is too big, but I should be aware of how their massive forms and the difficulties they present affect movement rates and travel times. My cleverly crafted tale of intrepid adventurers might work on many levels, but it’ll lose points if it sounds like they’ll just zip right over to that mountain over yonder and be back in time for dinner.  Continue reading “Don’t anger the innkeeper”

Imagination boosting with Google Earth…

…and what I’ve learned along the way

Since I’m looping back full circle to map-making for top-down world building, it’s time to consider where I place the mountain ranges of Iaon. I could just take a quick tour of drawing mountains for maps videos and cut to the chase, but that would be so unlike me. I’ve been a suburban flatlander most of my life. Mountains are relatively new to me. So if someone says “mountain,” to me, I’m likely to imagine some stereotypical postcard mountain and call it good. Continue reading “Imagination boosting with Google Earth…”

Tangled webs woven, and all that

Last time I checked in, it was to post that line art to SVG tutorial. A few folks seemed to like that one. I hope it helps. I’m also glad to have it handy as my own reference so I don’t have to try re-inventing the wheel next time I need to do that. The tutorial was part and parcel of the larger creative project I was working on, an illustration of So’Thazrael. For aesthetic reasons, I wanted to try carving the image into wood.

One thing led to another, as they do with me. I acquired a few more tools. I located a source of free wood. And, apartment dweller that I am, I managed to talk my way into some shop space. The catch is that it needs some issues taken care of to make it a suitable woodworking shop. Luck has been with me, and it seems that even the finances of getting a decent shop set up aren’t out of reach. Maybe. Continue reading “Tangled webs woven, and all that”