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.
After a month’s hiatus, we return with a new Using Skills! Last time we discussed sticky fingers and grabby hands with Sleight of Hand. This time we talk of Stealth, possibly the most used and certainly most useful skill for most characters in Dungeons and Dragons.
The foot-pad ambles slowly across the cobblestone street in the dark of midnight, feet not making a sound as she slips past the searching watchmen. The hunter nocks an arrow, aiming with her short bow from the brambles and bushes waiting for this one perfect shot at the great wolf as it pads slowly into view. The acrobat steps off the precipice and silently begins to fall downward towards the unwary thug in the alleyway, his daggers held high for the killing strike. Stealth is the cornerstone of surprise, which is the cornerstone of victory.
Last week we discussed using the skill Religion in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. Today we’re getting a grip on that skill of nimble fingers, sleight of hand. This will be a short one, as it’s pretty straight forward and a DM hardly needs inspiration in cultivating the use of it.
Using Skills – Sleight of Hand
The juggler stepped through the crowded market area, ignoring every jostle and bump as she kept five balls in the air -as well as nicking a bauble surreptitiously off of a market stall. The courtier made her rounds through the ballroom, greeting diplomats and nobles one after the other with a friendly pat or a hug; none would realize until much later that their pockets were much lighter. The guard captain once again frisked the urchin he had caught stealing in the wharf district, but could not for the life of him figure out what happened to the coins he swore he saw the vagrant grab. Sleight of hand is the go to skill for the sticky fingered.
So I fell off the planet for a bit around the holidays. Things got busy and I mentally checked out and was unable to really produce anything of worth or note. A new year is in front of us, however, and I am getting back upon the horse.
Today we’ll be discussing the skill Religion. I want to thank you for sticking with me through this series. I’ve rather enjoyed writing it and seeing the discussion it creates. We’re nearing the end of the skill list, and with that I need to think of another excuse to post weekly to my blog.
Using Skills – Religion
The ranger motions for the traveling band to stay back as he examines the half-hidden stone marker among the brambles near the woods path, recognizing it as a symbol for a infernal cult that haunts the wilds of the area. A cleric studies an ancient apocryphal text of his church, recognizing some of the iconography as still in use today. The diplomat nods casually to the grand looking priest that meets her at the entrance of the temple, but bows reverently to the old woman in plain robes that stands beside him – knowing her to be the true head of the religious order. Religion is a skill for those who want to be proficient in divine knowledge.
Thank you for joining us for the next part in the Using Skills series. Last week we covered Performance, and this week we’ll be covering Persuasion. Enjoy!
Using Skills – Persuasion
The duke walks among the guests of his fete, speaking to each in turn with a good-natured comment or a knowing wink. The street urchin appeals to the good graces of the guardsman who holds him aloft by the scruff of his shirt. The knight makes an impassioned plea to the chamberlain of the city, trying to convince him that the dangers in the forest are a danger to the city as well. Persuasion is the ability used by those who wish to influence others with their personality and grace.
So I may have missed a couple of updates here for a couple of weeks. Holidays keep me busy and tired because of my real (lame) job, and so my blog suffers. Nevertheless, late though it is, I have for you the next part of our Using Skills series. Last time on this series we covered Perception, which I recommend you go back and read. This time clear your throat and tune those strings, it’s…
Using Skills – Performance
The old warrior, far past his battle years though those long near-forgotten days still marked him with scars upon his arms and face, leaned forward in his customary chair by the fire. His audience, a small group of disparate children, crowded around him. The light of the fire cast shadows that danced behind them on the oaken beams of the great hall. He stared past the children to these fey shapes and as he leaned in, they did the same – ready to cling on to his every word. His voice, it was said, had the power to summon up the spirits of warriors and dragons from days gone by; to transport you to primeval glades and crystalline caverns; to unveil the very fabric of the magical universe. Finally his old voice, gravelly and low, spoke out the first incantation that brought all of this to life: “Once upon a time…”
Thank you for joining us for this week’s edition of Using Skills, covering perception. Last time in this series we took a look at Nature. Last week we had taken a break and instead presented to you a new version of the Automaton race. Check it out!
Using Skills – Perception
As her party circumvents a dank old tunnel, the sorceress taking up the rear finds that an odd shape on the ceiling above catches her eye. From his hidden spot on the balcony above the ancient chamber, the thief gazes around trying to find anything out of the ordinary in the chamber below. As he makes his way through a large crowd, the knight notices a small dirty hand make its way to his belt pouch. Perception is the boon of any adventurer that wants to survive in the dark and hidden places of the world.