Today is Tuesday, which means: maps! Lots of stuff today folks, so check them out.
Our new public map today is a free-to-use updated version of an older map I did for Inktober. This is a set of tombs in a canyon, somewhere in an arid rocky waste. Notably, this map lacks a grid, which isn’t common among my work.
It’s Tuesday, which means release day. I’ve got a couple of maps and illustrations for you today. These are all older images I may have shared on social media before, but they have been cleaned up and (in the case of the maps at least) added to, tweaked, or detailed further. Think of them as director’s cuts!
Today I want to share with you a map I’m releasing as free-for-use under a Creative commons license, meaning anyone can use it for creative or commercial endeavors (as long as you attribute it thank you very much).
Good morning and welcome to the second edition of our monthly Saturday Morning Brief, in which we review the preceding month’s releases and preview the next one.
The number of releases for the month of April have me pretty excited. Productivity is currently my main over-arching goal before I open myself up to commissions, so I am happy to be at a level that is more than I set as my personal minimum. The releases for the past month were:
Today I released a set of initiative tents on the patreon as an early access opportunity for patrons of the adept level.
Still feeling a bit froggy, I decided to whip up some quick condition markers that you can hang over an initiative tent to help keep track of conditions with a visual reminded. I’m releasing these now to everyone, so use them with your favorite initiative tents! Or you could become a patron to access the ones I made a month before they are made public.
I printed them on parchment paper, and I’m thinking about cutting the bottom corners so that the bottom becomes a point, making them look like little banners (you can see an example of that below).
It’s been twenty days since the 9th Key Press patreon was launched, and since then we’ve collected seven patrons and have beat two funding goals – which might seem fairly humble but to be honest I expected growth to be a bit slower than that.
So first I’d just like to say thank you to those seven patrons, who all have generously opted for the Adept tier. I was worried about not getting a single a patron for awhile, so they have definitely given me warm and fuzzy feelings.
Since today’s patreon update marks the probable end of April’s content (barring any sudden side projects that materialize), I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the Patreon launch and ask a series of survey questions in order to re-calibrate and try to match expectations.
In coordination with that post, I have also put some elements here on our website ready for use by anyone immediately. Currently there are six animal/creature illustrations and one map. You can check them out here on our Free-to-Use archive gallery.
My reason for doing so is pretty simple: I’d like to do something to help out independent tRPG designers. There are a lot of talented writers and designers out there without the funds to hire illustrators or map makers so my hope is to, in some small way, provide some resources that a fledgling designer can use to help out their initial works.
I hope someone gets some use out of these images, and if you do please let us know with a message, email, or tweet so we can spread the word.
So you might notice a few major changes around here.
As of now, this website is no longer Role-Play Craft, and is now 9th Key Press!
Why the change? Mostly because I wanted to transition away from my intermittent amateur content and move into more professional independent and free-lance efforts. I’ve added dungeon maps to my repertoire fairly recently and these have given me the confidence to attempt to do something that I consider very important: to work for myself.
Me and my wife are launching 9th Key Press as an independent RPG content producer. Our first step is a Patreon (you can check it out here). This website will serve as a place to showcase our free content, especially the items we provide as early-access on Patreon to be later shown on here.
As producers we hope to create a variety of products centered around RPGs. Supplements similar to what I use to do under the Role-Play Craft moniker, but also maps and art. Things like printable miniatures as well, and one or two page worksheets to help Dungeon Masters develop their campaigns.
One of the things I want to put a lot of effort into is to create an archive of maps and illustrations provided for free under the Creative Commons license to help independent creators, especially new ones, to get their feet without having to spend a lot on commissioning maps and art for their early projects. I’ll be working out the details in a few weeks, so stay tuned. A lot of those free-for-use items will be provided first through patreon as early access content.
So this is a map I did early on in my mapping efforts, during Inktober. It was the second day’s map, if I remember correctly, and for some reason I decided to do tiny tiny tiny brickwork. It took forever, it pained my hand, but I loved how it looked. It really helped to obfuscate my amateurish skills at that time.
Here it is for your enjoyment and personal use!
Our Patreon currently has several pieces of free content that haven’t yet made the transition over here, so even if you’re not interested in funding our patreon you should still hop over there to grab the free stuff and follow us for more.
As for the content that used to be hosted on here, most of it has been archived away to either be cannibalized or re-written with more mindfulness and professionalism (and edited by my very talented wife). We’ve kept the Using Skills posts up because frankly they’ve proven to be the most popular posts I’ve ever done as Role-play Craft. I still think they need a lot of work, but you can find them under their own category in the menu.
Until next time, thank you for checking us out and for those who have been here since the old days, thank you so much for continuing to check out my work through periods of silence.
Using Skills is a series of posts that delves into and discusses each skill in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. This index is meant to make this series easier to navigate for anyone wishing to look up a particular skill.
And now we finally come to the last part of our ongoing series on the skills of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Last time we covered Stealth, and for this final discussion we’ll be going over that friend of rangers and barbarians: survival.
Using Skills – Survival
The bent blades of grass. The occasional broken dead twig from the surrounding autumn forest trees. A slight smell still on the air; of horse sweat and steel.
“Less than an hour,” the tracker said, brushing dead grass out of the way of the muddy hoof-print. “Riding east hard, though they’ll need to be turning south-east to get around the river.”
Survival is the skill of thriving outside the confines of civilization.