Island escape

Hi all welcome to a Saturday special where tonight I tried my hand at.. well hand drawing an isometric map now that I have isometric graph paper on hand supplied by worksheetworks.com.

This is just the first iteration of the small little temple/dungeon that I came up with whilst fighting my brain in ignoring the desire to draw a ship in isometric style, which was not working out for me – not at my current experience of this hand-drawn style.

So hope you like the format, scanned in pdf format and I hope to expand a little bit more on it in the future when and if I decide to use it for the party at some stage!

Temple to the serpent

210SaTttS

The temple is located on an island a day or two off the coast of Daye heading due east. The Island itself contains the last readily available fresh water and fruit (which is plentiful) before the gruelling two week journey across the sea and as such as become a stop over point for the Red Fleet.

The island itself has a single large mountain that has a supply of freshwater that trickles down into pools at its base, naturally filtered by the porous rock and minerals that make up the mountain itself. Though citrus fruit and some vegetables can be found across the island in groups those who visit the island rarely sleep or stay on the island after sunset as many sailor or adventurer has gone missing in the darkness beyond the safety of their boats and ships. Those who have explored the island report statues covered in vegetable matter depicting great serpents coiled around a hand that is always found to be reaching upwards from the ground. Ruins and archways litter the island and those who have ventured towards the lowest point of the mountain have reported that there is a great archway there where the stone of it has been carved into giant snakes coiled around bound humans forming a large archway that leads to a large stone building a few hundred feet further into the mountains, carved into the rock itself. No one who has ventured towards the building has returned.

The temple itself seems to be long forgotten, large cracks spread across the floor itself as you enter the first chamber and a large stone snake statue sits against the far wall where a dank breeze can be felt flowing from its back. The statue itself is twenty feet tall where the coils of the snake seem to have had steps carved into it approaching its face where two perfectly white fangs carved from a hard stone have been set into the mottled grey stone of the body.

The snake itself seems to be too heavy and too hard to move or damage and attempts to break the stone or chip away at the snake seem to only damage the weapons or tools of those foolhardy enough to try. The astute investigators or those perceptive and clever enough would notice a slow trickle of green ichor dripping from the white fangs and the ancient stains of blood have tarnished the white stone when viewed from up close.

Beyond the hidden doorway behind the “Subjugation to the serpent” test lies a simple temple that descends deeper into the mountain itself. Many rooms were constructed and the deeper the warmer and more humid the temple becomes, a perfect breeding grounds for the creatures the temple worships. Traps and some treasure can be found within its halls and the constant scrape of scales on stone can be heard for any who dare bare an arm to the snake god and descent into its temples moist depths…


Hope you liked the content tonight – a small glimpse and foreshadowing preview of a temple/dungeon that the party may have to encounter and test their resolve in hopes to earn themselves knowledge and treasure.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of month write up, and as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Future-proofing

Hi all and welcome to Brazen Wolfe Tabletop!

Tonight, being Thursday, is generally reserved to the exciting endeavour of ‘something that adds to the adventure’ whether that is maps, additional content, a new stat-block for a creature, a magical item or some lore or information.

Now tonight I had big plans and as soon as I started to put them in to motion they started to degrade into a pile of dust – but not because of what was mentioned the other night but because of what I found to enact my plan!

So tonight I want to give a bit of a spotlight hour to something I hope to really sink my teeth into, wolf-like or not, over the weekend so that I can have something exciting in the coming weeks to present to you for a future Thursday – hence future proofing.

Now..

Homebrew is both a wondrous and painful thing. You can create the most beautiful creatures, magical items, classes, races, spells, feats, skills.. I think you get the point, the D&D world is yours for the taking and yours to manipulate and adjust how you see fit – but a lot of the time the inexperienced will end up shooting themselves in the foot with something too powerful, or, those who are overly cautious (like myself mind you) will create things that are not powerful enough so that when they are put before the heroic adventurer you get a mild “Meh” from those you hoped to impress.

When it comes to the balance, that’s a tricky story and something for another day but for me sometimes its the format and how you present something that can be the selling point.

The tool practically sells itself in its very own webpage too!

Let me introduce to you The Homebrewery!

(less work for me -albeit the quote feature didn’t like cut and paste so I had to type it all out by hand anyway…)

The Homebrewery makes the creation and sharing of authentic looking Fifth-edition homebrews easy. It uses Markdown with a little CSS magic to make your brews come to life.

https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/

Looking at this tool, and having a small amount of experience with markdown from work the concept is simple yet, amazingly beautiful in what it can accomplish.

The format of the tool is simple, you have a text field on the left and a PDF preview on the right which updates as you type.

The markdown and CSS really do take care of the rest. By spending a few minutes you can get something you really want out of this website and really, it was a bit of fun editing it (but I have always loved these things… so maybe it’s just me)

Now The Homebrewery is not a sponsor – it even feels weird having to clarify that, same as the other tools, websites and platforms I use – but I post them up here because I either make good use out of them or intend to and this website has already gone into my BWT bookmarks folder.

I don’t want to spoil too much but this website, this tool that has been created here was just too good to not share and the creator has already decided that it will remain free for ever – but if you, like me, enjoy it and get value from it why not support a fellow content creator out there, just saying.

So hopefully I can sink a few hours into this over the weekend and in the process I hope I can create some truly professional looking homebrew for you all to enjoy.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow, I can’t say no to a good fight-night post so I anticipate uploading some form of random encounter fun times and on the weekend I hope to, in between helping some people move house, take up the challenge laid before me and write another 30 minute adventure using Candour (as was gloriously nominated last week) for this weeks Challenge – not going to lie its been a struggle to not start mapping out some potential notes for the adventure so I am looking forward to Saturday.

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Mid week musings

Hi all and welcome to another night at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. Tonight I don’t have much planned for new content (as this week is really not producing anything new as such) but tonight being about secondary plot hooks, twists, turns or pivots I want to just touch on something that we may all have experienced on or off the table.

That pivot or shift in direction.

Now when it comes to me painting miniatures it happens all the time, I blame myself firstly and all the awesome influencers and other painters out there who produce simply awesome miniatures and pieces of art that I think to myself “Wow, that’s awesome. I am going to incorporate that in my current project”. This isn’t inherently a bad thing but it can be dangerous to your project as with Warhammer in general the idea of painting these many models is, generally, to have them look like a cohesive force across the unit they are in and then across the army as a whole.

For D&D or other TTRPGs its not so bad as the mid-session pivot may be, let’s use a recent example, that the Family are not actually the ones who are evil, that Katya’s grief at losing her parents was soo great that her un disciplined divine power was simply too much to control and she unknowingly created this mass compulsion (see the spell command) across the village. Now that is a very different outcome to the one we ended up going ahead with but its not a bad thing.

Shifts like this can be moments that really define the uniqueness of the adventure and in hindsight I may have even gone with the “Katya’s power was too great” approach instead of the “Keep the magical maiden safe for our dark master by manipulating and lying to her” one we went with. I think the end result for my party would be the same, there would be a search, a learning, a confrontation of sorts but the ending may have resulted in “The Family” being spared as opposed to being put to the pyre.

Sometimes these pivots are not just limited to a painting and army theme or a single adventure twist but can be for an entire TTRPG System. I have used D&D for just about all of my TTRPGs but I have actually ended up shifting from D&D 5e to utilising Open Legend RPG for an adventure campaign I was running because I felt and saw that Open Legend RPG was more versatile, easier to use and fit the setting a bit easier than D&D. To make my life easier was the first deciding point, the second was to discuss it with my players and after realising that they too were excited for the switch of gaming system then the decision was easy. But that was the clincher, making sure the players were involved in that decision – it’s not going to work shifting from one system to another if no one wants to play in that system so that was the deciding factor, as opposed to the first point that made me explore that as an option.

Regardless of the shift it can be a success story like a different TTRPG system or a potential to learn and explore something for next time, like a change in the potential outcome of a adventure plot or it could… sadly… result in the delay of painting your Skaven army for close to two years, yeah, I really should finish them.

Change is a good thing in our hobby space and if you approach it wisely and understand the potential outcome of these changes before jumping both feet first then they can result in some great hobby.

That’s all for tonight, don’t forget to explore your options out there and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The journey ahead

Hi all and welcome to an end of the month Monday!

Tonight I want to briefly explore what I have planned for next, how Katya interacts with it and also give a glimpse of what waits for the party after their return back to the village of Bracken Hollow and what lies ahead along the path back to Daye.


What’s next

This year I want to further explore what really kick started my imagination when it came to D&D and in particular what really cemented my love for being the dungeon master as opposed to a player. I am not saying that I don’t love having my own Player character and exploring a world already thought of for me, it’s a great experience, a nice break from running the game and you can get some really good tips and hints into what you want to do or include in your next adventure, but for me that sense of wonderment and that want for more after every D&D session is what really drove me down that path more.

So for me I hope to do justice to what I have planned and will have a relatively rapid escalation plan set in motion, each month another milestone for the party and another set of challenges and experiences for them to engage in and at the end of the year I want to have a cohesive multi-staged adventure campaign that you, I and our players can sit down and enjoy.


Bringing the family in

So in January we met the people of Daye, the Red Fleet (a exotic merchant fleet who brought literal boatloads of magical talismans to the town of Daye) and a ancestral spirit that had not been seen before on these lands. We were also introduced to a child protégé, Lizbet, who after being saved by the party and protected by the Red Fleet felt like there could be something.. more to life. So she acted on knowledge that has been passed down to her and requested the party to find one more powerful, more connected to Chauntea than her and bring her back if willing, this girl is our Katya.

Now you can probably see how Katya is involved but the next step is really quite exciting, an adventure that begins with another request from Lizbet. A voyage for Lizbet to explore another culture and follow her deities guiding light into a new land.


Departure

Katya smiled at the villagers around her and prayed with all her being that they would prosper and that their lives would be both richer and easier from here on out now that the shadow from the Manor on the hill, her family home, was no more. A few shed tears, many smiled and waved happily just happy that she could escape and carry on with her life away from her captors.

“Shall we set off then” a cheery voice said from behind her left shoulder, Carline.

“Yes, we best set off before its dark I suppose” Katya said, nodding to the party and Paul who was at the head of the wagon in which she crouched in. Nodding and smiling, a somewhat goofy smile Katya thought, Paul flicked the reigns and the draft horses out front carried on down the road heading towards Daye.

The party had explained that a high priestess there had requested for them to find her and see if she would be interested in joining the priest-hood of Chauntea in Daye where she would be able to learn to talk to the goddess who had apparently chosen her. That was a foreign idea and as she started the ride downhill hill from the village she watched the snow recede as she passed and flowers start to push through the blanket of white at a startling rate.

If what she had been told during the last two days after her family home was mysteriously burnt down it was believed it was due to the strength of her potential connection to Chauntea that had the deities magic slowing out of her soo easily and readily – if she could learn to control it then she would be able to not just melt some ice and grow some flowers but would have the power to help the sick, heal the land and its people as well as a great number of other things.

Leaning back against the travelling pack the Dwarven tavern owners had given her she snuggled in, a touch of sadness washing over her as she look back at the ruins on the hill knowing that it would be a very long time before she saw them again. Not sure whether to be sad or happy about that she began to thumb her way through the book that had been found in what was the library.

Carline started up a happy tune on her lute and the four adventurers travelled close to the wagon and were watching the roads, the woods and the farmland with a dedication that Katya one day hoped she would have.


Thanks for joining me tonight for this little glimpse of what was and will be coming this way in a few days time. As always if you have any comments, questions or ideas about what you have read here don’t put off replying and I am more than happy to have a chat about D&D or table top in general.

Don’t forget to come back again this week to look at more content as I begin the process of wrapping up this Months adventure (although I am one month behind so I may have to update two…) and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Taking time away from the table.

Hello all and welcome to a weekend post where I wanted to talk briefly around my thoughts on that I, and maybe we, spend just that little bit too much time focusing on the tabletop.

Now, coming from someone who writes content for a TTRPG daily, pending when I fail to publish it correctly, who is surrounded by four Warhammer armies worth of models and has too many dice all together this may not be a surprise that I spend a lot of time on table top. I have friends who stay up until the early hours of the night, every night, painting miniatures that are beautiful, simply beautiful. I also have players (old and new) who have requested to have weekly TTRPG sessions instead of the normal fortnightly because they can’t quite get enough of the sweet table top, but I generally try and have a hour or two, outside of work and father & husband roles, that I set aside where I do not think about table top.

The reason is quite simple, I love this hobby and I don’t want to get burnt out on it. Now not every night is a dream when I am typing up content for that evening and sometimes what normally flows out of me like fire from a red dragon is more of a dribble, like a mage learning how to shape water for the first time. These nights probably show with content that is, perhaps not as thorough as what I may be used to but for me this project, the adventure a week (well every day there is parts of an adventure), is something that I put to myself to really hone these dungeon master skills that I have been building for many years and to test myself to see if I could write about my DMing approach.

Now, I don’t think saying to yourself ‘I don’t feel like it tonight’ or ‘I’ve got a block, I can’t think of anything’ is a bad thing, not in the tiniest bit but I want to stress that you should be able to say this to your players and peers too. Going to your party “I just need a break for this week/fortnight/month” isn’t a bad thing and your players will understand, like mine have in the past. They know its a lot of effort and a big commitment to play a TTRPG game and even more so if you are the Game Master as you have to prepare the adventure, create the NPCs, the encounters, the puzzles, traps, maps, twists, turns and what ever else goes into your adventure – they understand if you need time.

For some you may feel like you don’t need to pause, no breaks, no half time, nothing. And this is fine too but I would caution to look for the signs that you need to step away from your fantasy or Sci-fi world for a bit and just take a night off. Watch a movie, read a book, go out to dinner or drinks. Play a game tabletop or electronic (a different tabletop game still counts as time off!).

Lately I have been playing online with an old friend of mine, having a few beers and playing or a few hours to just reset the clock, or, exploring a game that my new PC can actually run (unlike my old PC that couldn’t run it…) and strangely enough, some elements of my table top are being influenced by these games, movies and TV shows that I use as my downtime from table top. For me, its just becoming part of the process.

So, after all that’s said and done – I am off to find some legendary Storm drake and build a castle or sit down with my wife and watch a movie we have been putting off for a few weeks now and who knows, if a future adventure involves the harvesting of raw materials to build a fort then you know what inspired that adventure.

So, don’t forget to look after yourself, watch for the signs of hobby fatigue and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Exhaustion

Welcome to the random day of the weekend where I reflect, expand or digress on the content of the week. Now I touched on it Thursday and the encounter from last night would have had it occur, exhaustion.

Now it’s generally an uncommon status in many games that I have watched, listened to or ran and there is many reasons and excuses for it but exhaustion doesn’t have to be the forgotten step child of status conditions.

Firstly its gradual, its not a disease where you are instantly crippled but it builds over time without adequate rest. As a full time worker, dad and husband I understand how this feels, many of us would.

The effects in summary are:

  • Stage 1 Disadvantage on ability checks,
  • Stage 2 Speed halved,
  • Stage 3 Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws,
  • Stage 4 HP maximum reduced to half,
  • Stage 5 speed reduced to 0,
  • Stage 6 death.

Now stage 3+ is what generally scares players as it affects their combat prowess the most but stage 1 shouldn’t be uncommon. That rough night sleep on your kids floor, yup. Stage 1 exhaustion. Trying to work or function after one or two bad nights gets miserable. Those penalty to ability checks is big. No more diplomacy for you, you unfortunately said the wrong elven phrase and insulted the princess because you were so tired. Feeling sluggish after a hard week of work maybe thats stage 2. Feeling tired to the point of lethargy and it impacting how you move about isn’t just infuriating to you and comical to others it also means you now cant out halflings.. their little legs can now outpace you.

The next few additions or stages of exhaustion are pretty self explanatory but using them to add a element of danger or a challenge to an otherwise mundane adventure or session can give the players a change from mundane combat to something that is truly life threatening to their characters.

Its not just weather, lack of rest and certain activities such as barbarian rage or sleeping in your plate mail can exhaust your characters. Thinking of ways to normalise exhaustion could be the next step in adding that extra something to tour game table.

Well that’s it for tonight, a few thoughts as I look over the weeks content and plan for next week. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of week writeup and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe

Preparation

So something that I am (generally) good at and whether it is tactical gameplay walkthrough through scenarios played out in my mind or study I find that preparation helps my wargaming just as much as it helps my TTRPG sessions.

Some weeks though the cards are stacked against you and they either prevent you from being able to prepare for your next session or your next big match or no matter how many times or how much you prepared you are ill prepared for what lies ahead and you find yourself at a disadvantage.

This being as true for wargaming tabletop as role playing games (or even writing that next blog post or chapter in the story you are working on) doesn’t mean that the way around it is the same.

For wargaming repetition is key. Playing the same ‘list’ repeatedly and learning the ins and outs of a army through repetition can help with those moments your opponent does something unexpected or you’re against a faction you are not familiar with. It wont fully prepare you but knowing what you are against will make a difference.

This is hitting home for me tonight as I prepare an army to face off against a friend and local wargamer tomorrow. Returning to an army I have played for many releases now and have a lot of reps done with, Flesh eater courts.

The same prep and approach can be done for TTRPGs. Once you have used the ruleset enough and had enough sessions the random creative approaches your players spring on you don’t seem as random or you atleast have the understanding and foundation in place for you to to respond and adapt to the new information or change in what was planned.

Even if you have hundreds hours, yup.. hundreds if not close to a thousand hours by now, in the one setting (running d&d adventures and campaigns since advanced dnd), if you don’t spend time to sit down and plan your adventure and do a bit of preparation before the session then you may find yourself struggling with having to wing and adlib every interaction, conversation, puzzle or encounter which can leave yourself and your party feeling underwhelmed.

Hobbies such as what we find ourselves partaking in as part of Brazen Wolfe Tabletop are time consuming to say the least and without that practice and preparation you may quickly become overwhelmed.

So when I look to what I want to experience and experiment with this year before I bring some of those experiments here I will be getting some practice in so I can produce content that is not only valuable but also usable.


Oh yeah, the list!

  • Army Faction: Flesh-eater Courts
  • Subfaction: Blisterskin
  • Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
  • Triumph: Inspired

LEADERS

Abhorrant Archregent (245)*

  • General
  • Command trait: Hellish Orator
  • Spells: Spectral Host

Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Zombie Dragon (430)*

  • Artefacts of Power: Eye of Hysh
  • Spells: Deranged Transformation

Crypt Infernal Courtier (130)*

BATTLELINE

6 x Crypt Flayers (360)*
6 x Crypt Flayers (360)*
20 x Crypt Ghouls (170)*

BEHEMOTH

1 x Royal Terrorgheist (305)*

CORE BATTALIONS

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 2000/2000


This should be a very fast list with large mortal would potential (hopefully) and good rend on the Zombie Dragon. The idea here is high alpha strike potential to take the fight to them without losing too much ground and the objectives.

Well thats thr Saturday night musings, come back tomorrow for some more content and then on Monday I hope to give a battle report on tomorrow night’s game.

And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe

2022 hobby goals

Hi folks, today I wanted to touch on my hobby goal’s.

1st goal is to finish my flesh eater army. I have a bit over 2000 points painted by have several thousand points unpainted.

2nd goal in make note terrain for dungeons and dragons and Warhammer as they are nearly the same scale

My last two goals are maybe more of a stretch. Paint one of my other Warhammer armies to completion and look to writing a few more zines this year and find a artist to illustrate them.

The first two are relatively easy goals since my flesh eater courts colour scheme is easy and terrain is pretty straight forward pending time. The last two are hard for to the time sink, the resources and the decisions I need to make in order to complete those goals.

Either I hope to be able to show off one or more miniatures each weekend of what I painted on the table that week and periodically publish a Zine to be used by aspiring Dungeon Masters to help them learn the ropes.

Well not much of a narrative or action packed update today but tomorrow starts the next week for content so do make sure to come back tomorrow for it.

And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe

A shift in view.

Hello and welcome back to Brazen Wolfe Tabletop.

This year, until I adjust it again I want to focus on the 5 main points for an adventure again but refining it down to a core focus each week. What that means, I hope, is clearer and more concise daily content which adds to the existing catalogue I create here on this blog.

Mondays will be as normal focusing on the plot or story behind the weeks content and drilling down into it.

Tuesdays will be the whos or whats. If there is a something or someone who we want to focus on, normally this was NPC day and for the most part it will continue to be just that.

Wednesdays will be that twist or secondary hook. Most great books or memorable adventure’s I have read or run for my party have that mid adventure spike in the plot/hook. Whether the quest provider is actually the villain or BBEG of the adventure or maybe they learn something new that changes their perspective.

Thursday’s, I’ll admit, became my least favourite of days (mainly due to it being a busy work day). So I will leave thursdays to detailing and adding something more. A refining day if you will. I still hope that this can include maps but having it as an option not a must may relive some pressure I have on that day.

Friday’s or fight-night were for encounters but not every week or TTRPG session has fights. So I will use Friday’s for game mechanics, stat-blocks or things the party need to use their skills and abilities to overcome.

The weekend content may shift slightly too.

Saturdays for me will be a busy day for hobby in the evening with a new season of Warhammer picking up as well as being a day to either post a post-week writeup or some additional content.

Sunday’s will be whichever Saturday didn’t cover, whether it’s a writeup for the week just gone or a battle report for a Warhammer game or two.

I am excited for what this year will bring and hope you can join me once again as we roll the dice to create our own stories.

And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe

Happy new year

Just a quick post to wish all my readers a happy new year, let’s hope this year is better than the last!

I plan on adding a few different varieties of content this year and again, yup again…, Looking at the format. The original adventure a week wasn’t fleshed enough but was time consuming, the write up narrative style was extra time consuming but lost the original intent so I will reel in it back into the intended format and still aim to produce useful and original content daily for use in your tabletop games.

Thanks to my early followers and continuous readers and I hope to see the Brazen Wolfe Tabletop community grow more this year.

This is me signing off with me telling you all to don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe