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They say life is 'nasty, brutish, and short' and this is truer for nobody than the peasants. Maybe you were born into poverty, maybe you achieved it, or maybe it was thrust upon you; whatever your personal circumstances, you've had entirely quite enough of being poor, overlooked, and kicked around. It's time to seek your fortune in the big, bad world. There are many ways to make a ducat, but few of them are open to folk such as you in this day and age. You could be a merchant-venturer - if you had the money to buy goods, a caravan or ship, and a trade route that wasn't locked down by the established merchant guilds and houses. You could join the Army and seek honour on the battlefield; if there were any wars to fight, in this unprecedented age of peace and prosperity. Even banditry is beyond your reach, thanks to the thieves guilds and highway bands that lock you out if you don't already have an "in," or enough money to buy one. But there is one way for a down on their luck peasant with guts and a good sword to achieve fortune and fame; down in the deeps of the world, in the ruins of yesteryear, lays the gold of long-gone civilizations. It won't be easy; dark things dwell in dark places, and few who go down in the deeps come back whole... if they come back at all. The village of Keppelshire is a quiet, backwards hamlet in a quiet, backwards barony on the northern borders of the kingdom of Generia. The old King's Road runs within a few miles of the village; once upon a time, this was a major source of revenue, but a particularly nasty group of bandits succeeded in frightening away the merchant traffic to safer and more lucrative routes, and the village has been slowly fading away since. Nearly a century ago, the Imperium withdrew from its more isolated provinces and abandoned the border tower known locally as Goblinwatch. Nearly forty years ago, a group of bandits occupied the tower and threatened the region until they were brutally exterminated by a wandering band of adventurers. Twenty years ago, reports of haunting and demon possession in the ruins lead a roving monk to exorcise the ruins in a night of flashing lights and terrifying sounds that have convinced the locals to stay away from Goblinwatch - although everything of value had been picked clean roughly five minutes after the Imperial legions left, and surely by the time the adventurers were done mopping up the bandits. Even so, two weeks ago a rowdy band of freebooters came through Keppelshire, boasting about the treasure they were going to pull out of Goblinwatch. The locals watched with amusement as the rich kids went up the hill full of vim and vigor; but they never came back down... Two days ago, a courier passed through Keppelshire. One of the missing adventurers had been some relation to a Lord High Mucky Muck down in Arl's Grange, and he's looking for his relative. Last night, you and some similarly distressed compatriots were drinking in the tavern and the subject of gold in the dark earth came up. If Goblinwatch is empty, then what happened to the rich kids? And more importantly, were they right about the treasure the fortress holds? You woke up this morning and climbed the hill. It's a rough, rocky climb up an old road that hasn't been maintained or used regularly in a hundred years, and a low mist clings to the tumbled stones of Goblinwatch tower. The walls are gaping open, torn by the ravages of time, and you can tell nothing more than mice and birds have disturbed its empty chambers in over a decade. The upper levels probably aren't even strong enough to bear your weight. In the center of the courtyard is an old well. Local legend says it had gone dry even before the garrison had abandoned the keep; they used to fetch water from a stream down the hill. The bandits who'd occupied the ruins would throw their prisoners down into the blackness if their ransom wasn't paid, and so it gained the sobriquet "the Murder Hole." Somebody's recently hammered a piton between the courtyard flagstones and attached a sturdy hawser to it; the rope dangles down into the blackness of the Murder Hole, beckoning you onward. Adventure awaits, and there's only one thing for you to do; get rich or die trying! ---- Hail to thee, adventurer! I am recruiting for a play by post game here on the forums. The setting is intended to be an old-school Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy; a world of monsters and treasure, where death lurks in narrow, dark passageways and brave heroes grapple for gold in the deep. I'm approaching this with two concepts; one, the story is what happens at the table. That is, while I provide a setting and framework, there is no overarching plot except the one you, the players, build. I intend to make this world entirely open, built with the players' feedback. Your actions determine the story. Second, I'm attempting to make this - from the players' perspective - system neutral. There will be a resolution framework available to solve conflicts, but I'd like to keep it as invisible as possible, in order to help maximize immersion in the story. That is; rather than build a character and send a sheet of stats to me, you'll give me your character's concept and I'll hang a mechanical framework on them as best I can. I'm hoping that, by keeping things 'behind the curtain' like this it'll help both speed up play and increase enjoyment in the game. What I need from you: A character! You should describe your character with emphasis on their background (skills that might come into play) and those abilities that would come into play in this fantasy world. Don't worry about being too specific; your background should be enough to tell me that you're able to pick locks or decipher runic script without having to list every single ability in some sort of fantastical CV. The World is a classic high adventure fantasy setting; magic is commonplace enough to be found in shops and in daily use, without being as commonplace as modern technology (think more Forgotten Realms or Ptolus than Eberron!), but it's still rare and expensive enough that a peasant isn't likely to get their hands on it, or see it from closer than a great distance - and thus, it's something to be prized and striven for. There are many fantastic races that live (mostly) peacefully with each other, including elves, halflings, and dwarves of various nations, but again their kind is rare and seldom seen. Dwarves, especially, are masters of technology; their steamwagons and dragonships are known to ply to far away lands and return laden with strange and mysterious artifacts from distant civilizations. This is very much a world under development, and it needs your input to be fully realized. I hope you'll come and play!
This WIP is to show how I make my fantasy maps. I'm currently working on the world map for the PBP game hosted here "Boldly into Darkness Go" Run by Last Knight. It has been a few years since i've attempted this sort of project so I will be showing my practice work also. That said, the materials I'm useing are as follows Hunt Drawing Nib #104 with handle Hunt #102 Nib Hunt #103 Maping Nib Speedball B-5 1/2 Ball Tip Nib With Handle Speedball C-3 Nib Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay Black India Ink Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Ink in silver & Blue Artist's Loft 140lb Watercolor paper 9"x12" Windsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors Grumbacher Acadamy Watercolors I prefer dip pens over regular pens for this type of project as they require you to slow down and to be certain of your strokes. Every couple of strokes (depending on the nib used) I have to refill the nib with ink. Some of these nibs can give me a finer line than I can get with even a technical pen. These pics are from my practice last night. I haven't used my dip pens in years so I have to get reaquainted with them. This is only one page but i have taken closeups of each section of practice on the page. Keep in mind the lettering I was attempting was not calligraphy, just letters like I would write them now. Pictures: These are some of the Pen & Nibs I'm using The inks and watercolors I'm using... Here is an overview of what I had practiced last night. I only worked on this for an hour, not icluding cleanup time. My first attempts at mountains. I still have some work to do on these as I am not thrilled with how these came out. These were done with 3 different sized nibs to see how each would work. These are the town/ capitol markings with some names below. I wanted to see how small I could actually make these. The tallest one in the middle is about 1/2" tall. As you can see I'm still working out how I want these too look but they are coming along. Here are some of the smaller mountains. These are closer to the size I'll be using. There are also some forst attempts at trees to demarcate forests. The mounds on the bottom are rolling hills used to show areas that aren't fully mountains but aren't flat pains either. So that's where I'm at right now.