Tuesday 29 September 2015

Layout change - 2 columns

I liked the simplicity of a single column but have recently been feeling like the layouts are boring and wasteful. Finally thinking about moving to a 2 column layout. This means:
  • Higher information density
  • Less wasted space
  • Less page flicking
  • Less pages
  • Cheaper to print
This change, according to rough estimate should reduce the overall page count by a 1/3 or more (that's a saving of about 100 pages on current projections)

I can also see the narrower column format porting well to a mobile phone rules app!

Not all layouts are converting well to the new system (but I'll keep investigating)

Other design experiments include: Die icon for random tables, moving the reference number to the left and redesigning it for better visual punctuation, a continuation icon for content that wraps over to the next page (I know I'm over engineering! I'll remove it later), different illustration sizes to add variety.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Adventure layout

Thinking more about the Intro Adventure to be included in the core rulebook.
I have used (and mangled) the awesome Von Bottom’s Hoard to test out some layout concepts.

Big nod to Roger Giner-Sorolla and Kiel Chenier for their thoughts on dungeon maps and their usability at the table.

  • The map will be relied upon by the GM to draw basic architectural description (room dimensions, windows and exits)
  • Larger maps will broken down into smaller sections that enable the visible portion to sit next to room entries on double page spread (inspired by Kiel's painstaking module notes)
  • Quick reference pointers to connecting map sections (will also have an overall map to show how all the segments fit together)
  • Icons will used to indicate battlefield conditions (will also need some GM attention markers!)

Room entries
  • Room entries will be broken into info chunks and marked with an icon to provide at-a-glance clue to what the segment of text is about.
  • Eye icon - Short extract for first impression (including distinguishing visuals, sounds, smell, objects)
  • Magnifying glass icon -Extract for closer inspection (including insight checks and extra senses)
  • Gem icon - Extract for collectible objects.
  • Knight icon - Extract for encounters.
  • Alert triangle - Concealed exits/traps.
  • Mini monster stat blocks where needed.
  • Occasional pics!

Monday 14 September 2015

Monsters layouts

Thinking about the intro module how we might present monsters. A while ago we revisited the earlier monster concepts and updated with new content which I'm sharing here. Not sure if the core rulebook will include a mini-bestiary or be limited to creatures that show up in the demo adventures at this point.

These designs need further development but are moving in the right direction (the main block could do with a bit more visual interest!)

Thursday 10 September 2015

Section heading roughs

Each rule section will have an accompanying illustration. Just putting some ideas down. Coming soon: combat, colossal combat, crafting, downtime, leveling)


Overland travel 





Tuesday 8 September 2015

Three Factoids (1st Scroll)

Legend - "The Blades of the Many"
...And Princess Aken forced her broken body to its feet, leaning on her Heart's Blade for support. The King of Iron scoffed and spat at her. "You are no great hero, just another insect!"

He gestured to the people below the ramparts who had gathered to watch the battle.. All looked on in shocked despair, as it seemed that hope was lost and they would remain under the heel of the God King.

But Aken turned to them, not the despot. "It is true. I am no better than any of you - and I made him bleed!"

With the last of her life, she took her shimmering sword and cast it to the crowd. One blade became many, each shaped by a different wish as it vanished from her heart. Their champion was dead, but she gave them her fangs.

The King of Iron began to shout again, but he was drowned out by the clamor as they rushed forward to claim the swords at their feet. He would kill many before the day had ended, yet he too perished - his divine blood drained by a thousand tiny cuts.

World - "Portia's Scion Fair"
Considered the wealthiest city in all the Twilight Meridian (and likely the entire Outer World) Portia features a surprising amount of children with unspoken heritage. While the cause has not been seriously investigated, these orphans are taken in by the city government and often trained and groomed for positions within Portia's infrastructure once they come of age.

An orphan may list themselves in the "Scion's Fair" anywhere from the age of 12 to 17. Those wishing to enter must complete several tests of athleticism, education and overall health, but otherwise there are no real restrictions. The fair itself is something like a yearly bazaar, where the child will petition for their adoption into one of Portia's prestigious families or organizations. Many of the most successful guild-masters, entrepreneurs, entertainers and mercenary captains were once simple orphans at the Scion Fair, so the practice is taken rather seriously by Portia's elite.

Of course, the hereditary children of such families come to dread each coming fair as another chance that their Matriarch or Patriarch will return with someone that will oust them from their birthright!

Persona - "Merchant & Maker"
Occasionally, at the crossroads (any crossroad will do, truly) you will come across a large black carriage pulled by an arachnid beast of burden and accompanied by disturbingly tall man in sharp dress. His face is smooth and black, like a pebble, though when he speaks it is through two pearly rows of perfect teeth. He is very polite!

His wagon contains an emporium much larger than any wagon should, with rows of things you need and other things you've never seen. His paramour will greet you there, her six arms constantly at work. Her marble like skin is covered in rippling grooves, covered in clothes made of delicate lace. Her voice comes from wherever you aren't looking. She is so very considerate!

Here at the shop of Merchant & Maker, you can purchase whatever you need at whatever price you can afford...

Wednesday 2 September 2015


Adventuring is boring! Why dungeon delve when you can train your growlhund, bake fireberry grenades, spread/debunk rumours about yourself, or shake off the remaining symptoms of that mortifying bloat spell.