Archive for Shadowrun

How to Make Tokens for Any Game System

Posted in D&D 3.5 e Content, D&D 3.5e DM Content, D&D 4e Content, D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, The Crafty DM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by boccobsblog

It is hard to match the coolness of gaming with 3D miniatures and terrain, but miniatures can get expensive. A cheaper alternative to miniatures is 2D tokens. Tokens have two major advantages over miniatures: they are much cheaper, and you can create a token to accurately match any creature in your game regardless of system or genre.  Best of all, tokens are very simple to make.

Materials List

Time and patience (seriously)                    Circular paper punch

Photo paper                                                       Chipboard

Glue stick                                                            Wax paper

Digital images

Step one

Select the images that you want to make tokens of. You can find anything you need by simply running a Google image search. I take my images directly from Wizards of the Coast. You have to search around (or click this link), to find them, but all the art from all the 3.0/3.5 books can be found free of charge. (That is one problem I have with 4th edition, most of the art galleries require a DDI subscription)

Step two

Once you have the images that you want, paste them into a Word or Publisher document. I have seen other sites mention fancy token making software and Photoshop programs, but you don’t need any of those. Simply paste your images onto a MS Word document placing them in even lines. By double clicking the image on the page, you can adjust its size, color, etc.

For some large pictures, you may want to crop the portion that you intend to use. Again, you don’t need fancy software, your computer’s Paint program will work just fine. Make sure the image is larger than the token. For example, a tiny, small, or medium token will be a one-inch circle, so make you image 1.25 – 1.5 inches to ensure you don’t lose any part of the image when you cut it.

Also, don’t bother trying to make a fancy border around your picture, they are hard to cut out and take up valuable space.

Step three

Once you have your images arranged on a Word document, you’re ready to print them out. Use a high-grade photo paper. It costs more, but the added quality is worth the cost.

Learn from my mistakes. In the past I have tried several different paper types, sticker paper (don’t cut cleanly, and the image is grainy), various cardstocks (any images will be low quality) to name a few, photo paper is your best bet.

Step four

Once your images are printed out, you’re ready to cut. (Note: the printer ink will likely still be wet on your photo paper, so be careful and allow it an hour to dry before messing with it)

Save yourself a world of trouble and purchase a circle cutter from your local scrapbook store. They come in various sizes, and you will need a 1” punch for tiny, small, and medium, a 2” for large, a 3” for huge, a 4” inch for gargantuan, and a 6” for colossal (but you will use this one so rarely you can skip it and cut out squares if you like).

By using these punches, you will save yourself a great deal of trouble and frustration. I started out with just a 1” punch and tried to cut the larger monster into squares. The end product (regardless of the tools used), was not high quality. The circle punch will give you a perfect cut every time and look amazing.

Marvy or EKsuccess brands work well

Step five

Next, you will need to glue the circle onto a sturdier material. Some sites recommend washers, but that can get costly, take up more room and weigh a ton. Just use chipboard (thin cardboard) that you can get for next to nothing at the scrapbook store where you bought your circle punch. Punch out several chipboard circles. Glue your photo paper images onto the chipboard circles with glue and you’re nearly done.  (Note: don’t try and save time by gluing the photo paper to the chipboard and then trying to punch out the images, the photo paper/chipboard combo will be too thick and you’ll get ragged cuts)

Final step

Place your tokens on a flat, hard surface, cover with a piece of wax paper, and place several heavy books on top. Leave the tokens to dry for several hours.

Gygax Memorial Fund

Posted in D&D 3.5 e Content, D&D 4e Content, Gaming News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by boccobsblog

Last week we ran an article about the new Tomb of Horrors. That discussion got me thinking about Gary, and his massive impact on millions of people. After I posted the article regarding ToH, it dawned on me that I should have mentioned the memorial fund working to honor Gary with a bronze statue in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I would like to take that opportunity now.

The Gygax Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization led by Gary’s widow, Gail Gygax. You can make a donation on the fund’s website or by writing to Gail directly (her address can be found on the fund’s site). So take a moment and check out the site, and be sure to read some of the testimonials of gamers explaining how much D&D has improved their lives.

If you have it to spare, give something to honor the man who gave us all so much.

-Andy

Mapping software

Posted in Product Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by boccobsblog

Campaign Cartographer 3

CC3 from Profantasy software is the height of mapmaking. With time and skill you are able to create maps of the quality found in professional game products. The program uses a system of layers, each adding a new dimension of detail. The program is easy to learn, but much harder to master. If you expect to produce pro-quality maps right of the bat, you may be disappointed. It takes time and effort to learn the small details that take a map from good to great (details that I’m not sure I have fully learned yet).

While there is something of a learning curve to CC3, the people at Profantasy are extremely helpful and have a series of detailed videos posted on Youtube to help you learn. At forty-five dollars, the software is a bit of an investment, but if you want quality and have the time to pursue it, CC3 is for you.

Hexographer

Hexographer is an amazing site for several reasons. While it doesn’t offer the same flexibility as CC3, it is much easier to use while still producing high quality maps. You start by telling the program how big you want your map (in hexes), then you simply select a terrain style (forest, mountains, grasslands, etc) and click the empty hexes. This approach to mapping is very quick and easy to learn. You can speed things up even further by setting a terrain style as the default. For example, if your map is a large archipelago, you can set the default to water and then place land over top of the water.

There are two things I love about this software (above and beyond its ease of use). First, they offer a free demo of several of their programs on their site. These demos allow you to create complete maps and save them to your computer or print them out. Second, the maps are an exact match to the old hex maps popular in second edition. When I saw the example maps on the site for the first, I was pulled back to 1991, because the maps have the feel of the Mystara maps in the Rules Cyclopedia.

The Pro version is thirty dollars for a full license, or ten dollars for one year.

Both of these programs will greatly enhance your games and help you create stunning maps, check them out.

-Andy

Boccob on Twitter

Posted in D&D 3.5e DM Content, Gaming News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2010 by boccobsblog

Boccob is now on Twitter. That’s right, the god of magic has asked me to tell you that you can now follow him on Twitter. While he did not say so in words, Boccob hinted that if you didn’t follow him, he would gate in a Balor to your Fourth of July picnic and order the demon to devour your granny.

-Andy

Week one Kudos and a game poll

Posted in Poll with tags , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2010 by boccobsblog

Boccob is more than pleased with the site traffic we received in the first week. He was so satisfied that he actually slapped me on the back and told me that I was, “less useless than normal”. That is quite the compliment, usually he ends staff meetings by hurling maximized meteor swarms at me while he screams that I’m not half the man Gary Coleman was. Thank you for your support.

In an attempt to continue Boccob’s good mood, I would like to poll the B3 readers so that we can tailor the blog to your preferences.

That said, on which game systems would you like to see content?

-Andy

Greetings from Boccob!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by boccobsblog

I have wanted to sit down and write a blog for some time now, but my duties as the supreme deity of magic were not especially conducive to such frivolities. Recent changes in the cosmological plan, namely Ioun being chosen as the goddess of magic, have freed me up a bit. (For those of you a bit tardy to the party: I was the chief god of magic in the Greyhawk game setting from 1983 until 2008. I was asked to retire prior to the release of 4th edition. You would think with limitless access to every divination spell, and an intelligence score over 50, that I would have seen that coming.)

Though I do miss my old job, retirement suits me. I have plenty of time to practice the arts, take long walks (though I do tire of people on the streets confusing me with Elminster and asking me for my autograph), and this Wednesday I am going to try something called Zumba, it should be interesting.

Boccob’s Blessed Blog is dedicated to all things related to gaming and gamer culture. While this site will emphasize Dungeons & Dragons (especially 3.5e), gamers of all systems will find useful, and sometimes entertaining information. There will be content for World of Darkness, Star Wars, GURPS, Shadowrun, Pathfinder, and Savage Worlds, just to name a few. For the most part, I will leave the articles and daily maintenance of the blog to my minions, but I will drop in from time to time.

Therefore, I hope you will subscribe, and if you like what you see, tell a friend.

– Boccob