Creating Impressive Dungeon Maps in Minutes

Example of resultI promise you, reading this tutorial takes longer than creating a nice map with it once you have figured out how it works. The first day I downloaded the scripts, I was able to make a very nice map in five minutes, and I do mean that clock minutes. The tutorial is simply meant to give you a step-by-step flow for your first try; after that you’ll find it right quick.

This tutorial uses GIMP 2.6, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, which comes in versions compatible with a plethora of OS versions for Mac, Windows and Linux. Figuring out how to install and configure it on your particular system goes beyond the reach of this article, but the official site offers a lot of of support, and there are a multitude of other help sites set up by the community of users.

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Game Convention Blurbs

On his blog, Ryan Macklin — game writer, podcaster, and producer — has some very good thoughts about how to write a good game “blurb”  for advertising at a convention and, I would add, for weekly games too.

I’m not going to repeat his ideas here, I’d rather you read it from him, but I also want to point quickly to some thoughts I jotted down here some time ago on running a con game, including writing game blurbs.

Having recently prepared the convention for Dragonflight for the fourth year in a row, I can tell you that most GMs don’t put enough effort into their game pitch.  It’s often unclear, too long and verbose, or merely grabbed from an online review (like those from RPG Geek and Board Game Geek).  When you scroll through the list of games, it doesn’t make your eye and brain stop on the description.

Despite what Ryan describes, I get most of my convention players from people who liked the game description (and friends, of course.)  I always make sure my game blurb doesn’t look like “second verse, same as the first!”

Non-gaming game fodder: Environmental Graffiti

JetLev-Flyer

Environmental Graffiti (“Seriously Awesome Environmental News”) is a blog I subscribe to for its interesting take on environmental news.  But it finally dawned on me that it also makes a fantastic source of visuals and setting ideas for role-playing games.  Seriously, browse a few articles — all of them are lavishly illustrated — and see if that doesn’t give you a bunch of ideas for adventures, settings, or characters.

For example, the photo above makes me want to play Blue Planet again!

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