The Mage Tower

An inhabited mage tower is an arcane stronghold, a center of arcane learning and esoteric knowledge that may or may not benefit civilization.

The homes of wizards may be just as dangerous as any ruin, and usually more subversive. The monsters are hidden or hiding in plain sight, and the traps are just as lethal as anything found in a dank dungeon.

Anyone meddling in the business of wizards should beware. Continue reading “The Mage Tower”

The Cabin in the Woods

A cabin in the woods can be many things: from a forester dwelling to a monstrous conspiracy with international branches.

A cabin in the woods can double as a hill giant steading, depending on the scale of the map. Continue reading “The Cabin in the Woods”

The Rise to Power: Create a Dragon Age Inspired RPG Campaign in Three Acts

One of my favorite computer games, or stories really, is BioWare’s Dragon Age II. This may not come as a surprise to readers of this blog, the series means a lot to me, but Dragon Age II may be an odd choice.

Dragon Age II got a fair share of criticism upon release, and some of it was undoubtedly justified. Any fan of the series has heard it all before: repeated areas, an empty city, the ninjas of Kirkwall, and so on

However, that is not the point of this post. I have two goals for this post. First, between a fine-tuned three-act structure, great companions, cut-throat factions, and city adventures, Dragon Age II is a superb framework for a new city-based fantasy roleplaying game campaign.

Second, educate me on how story structure works and what we can learn using Dragon Age II as an example.

Let’s break up the three acts (and the game makes this really easy) into eleven basic story beats. This will, of course, include spoilers for the game. Continue reading “The Rise to Power: Create a Dragon Age Inspired RPG Campaign in Three Acts”

The Small Keep

Small keeps are built along roads and borders to protect noble domains and the farmlands from raiders and the horrors of the wilderness. Ever so often, these keeps fall on the wrong hands as wars are long, borders shifts, and once-powerful realms collapse. Then new residents move into these keeps: undead, bands of brigands, exiled heretic templars, necromancers, and their like.

These maps were created with Profantasy’s Campaign Cartographer, as I need more maps for my Roll20 game. The map should work for virtual tabletops.

Continue reading “The Small Keep”

The Isolated Village Church

Desolate villages and their abandoned churches is a hotspot for adventure, dark secrets, and untold horrors. The Desolate Village Church is a dungeon map, like the Derelict Temple, as part of my ongoing attempt to figure out how dungeon maps work with Profantasy’s Campaign Cartographer, as I need more maps for my Roll20 game. The map should work for virtual tabletops, and again I am using the Jon Roberts art style. Continue reading “The Isolated Village Church”