The Brass Koi: Spelljammer Version

As promised, here’s the spacefaring version of the Brass Koi submarine. I don’t know how many Spelljammer DMs were specifically looking for an amphibious ship, but it does open up a few interesting possibilities. And, in any case, it’s another spelljammer map, which there still aren’t a ton of out there. It’s unfortunate that Spelljammer gets so little support in terms of maps, but I’m trying to do my part.

One thing I wanted to say about this version is that the engines and propeller are only used for underwater propulsion and wouldn’t be necessary for space travel. Now that I think about it, would they be necessary underwater? Could a spelljamming helm drive the ship underwater as well? I’m not sure, but maybe. I’m going with a definite maybe on this one. If you know your Spelljammer physics better than I do, let me know.

Next I’ll be drawing another map from Tir Thelandira. We’ve got 4 left to go, including two which patrons will be deciding on. Which reminds me, if you’re a patron, the vote is open on location #3, so cast a vote and tell me what you’d like to see there. I’ll be drawing the Dhasran colony next, which is a small mining colony that’s producing absurd amounts of gold. It’ll include the colony itself as well as the mines.

Anyway, I think that’s it for now. I hope everybody who was asking for a submarine is happy with the Brass Koi. Let me know what you think!

The Brass Koi

When I first started drawing this map, I was trying to avoid making it look too modern, since most people are probably going to use it in a fantasy setting. Then I saw a picture of a fighter jet and I thought about how cool a canopy like that would look on a submarine, so I drew one in. I still think it’s within the realm of “something a gnomish inventor might build,” but I apologize if I went too far. You’ve gotta admit, though– that canopy is pretty sweet.

I’m giving out the annotated version of the map to everyone so I can explain the various parts of the sub, since not everyone knows how a submarine works. Let’s start with the ballast tanks (5). In order to make the sub dive, you have to make it heavier. You do this by opening the ballast tanks to fill them with water. To ascend, you force the water out with air tanks and pumps (6, 11). This is how you control the depth of the submarine.

If your party has a submarine, they probably need to be able to get out of it underwater. That’s what the lockout chamber (16) is for. You enter from the top, seal it shut, then open the door to the outside. The lockout fills with water, but the rest of the sub doesn’t.

And then there’s the light (3). Gnomish inventors probably aren’t building you a sonar system, so you’re piloting this thing the old-fashioned way. And since it’s dark underwater, you need a lamp. The Koi has a lamp and reflector in the bow so you can avoid crashing into rocks or running over any passing kuo-toa. Or maybe you want to splatter the kuo-toa. It’s up to you, but you need to be able to see them either way.

I hope that helps everyone understand the map a little better. As I said before, I’m going to make a spelljammer version of this map as well. You know, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of an amphibious spelljammer. Anyway, I’ll have that for you tomorrow. Until then!

Submarine (Work-in-Progress)

So, the submarine map has become two submarines, one of which detaches from the other and can sail off on its own. I could explain all the ways in which that might be useful, but, at the end of the day, I did it because I thought it was cool. And I stand by that decision.

Also, the sub does have torpedoes. I don’t think most people will actually want torpedoes, but I’m making versions with and without them. There will be a number of variants of this, including, as I said before, a spelljammer.

Anyway, just wanted to give you a look at where things are. If you’ve got any questions or thoughts about it so far, let me know!

Saltiron Prison – Reduced-Moisture Version

Here’s a drier version of the naughty box for those of you who need to send your party to the hoosegow but aren’t near a coastline. Hopefully everyone enjoys their stay and learns some respect for the authorities. Unlikely, but possible.

The next map is going to be a submarine, but I’m going to make a spelljammer version of it as well. Why a submarine? I’m curious about that too. I’ve been getting asked about doing a fantasy submarine quite a bit over the last few months and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if there’s a new module out there that involves one. If you can think of a reason submarines might be in demand lately, I’d love to hear it. But, in any case, I’m going to draw one.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Hope you like the map!

Saltiron Prison

I really like how this map turned out, so I’m giving away all the patron stuff to everyone. You can download it here.

Prisons have never been a great place to be, but they seem to have been particularly godawful in the days before the concept of “human rights” became a thing. The prison this map is partially based on– the Chateau D’If— held 3500 prisoners at one point. Now, there are differences between that place and this map, but the prison building itself is about the same size. So imagine 3500 people in that space. A guy named Céphas Carrière, who was held there in 1708, wrote about the experience. To summarize, he said it was hell and people were constantly dying, which is about what you’d expect.

Of course, he and everyone else there at the time were horrible criminals who were guilty of… *checks notes* being the wrong religion. I mean, yes, technically they were worshipping the exact same god, but they were doing it wrong and– look, it’s a problem, okay? It had to be done. Maybe. It’s hard to say.

Anyway, next I’m going to make an alternate version of this map that isn’t on an island. I’ll probably have that done later today or tomorrow at the latest. Okay, I’ll be back with that soon!

Classy French Alcatraz (Work-in-Progress)

This map was originally planned to be the Chateau D’If prison in Southern France, but a lack of available floor plans meant I mostly had to make it up. And I’m not going to call it the Chateau D’If unless it’s at least reasonably accurate, so we’ll just call this Classy French Alcatraz for now.

Before I get back to work, let me share a fun fact with you. Here in Ireland, there’s a prison with perhaps the least-appropriate name imaginable: Mountjoy. I don’t know if that means something different in Irish, but in English it means Happy Mountain. I’m not sure if that was accidental or if it was mid-1800s vintage trolling, but, let’s be honest, it’s pretty funny either way.

The Tower of the Moon

The elves of Tir Thelandira don’t know much about arcane magic. The magic that priests and druids can do? They understand that just fine. Basically, god does magic for you*. Simple. But wizard magic is something they don’t understand. And if you don’t understand it, you can’t teach it. And, in a society that can’t teach magic, there’s only one type of mage that can exist: wild mages.

A wild mage named Selaira lives here. She wasn’t the first to be born with an innate gift for magic, but she’s the first to really investigate it, to try to learn how it works. She’s the first to do experiments and write books about her findings. At the moment, she’s teaching other wild mages to better harness their abilities, but she’s starting to suspect that she can teach magic to people without an innate gift. If she figures that out, magic might go from being a rare gift to a widespread ability that affects every part of society.

Considering the major role that magic plays in other elven societies, this is a bit like peanut butter being mere moments away from the discovery of jelly. A very exciting moment in history, to say the least.

Next, I’ll be drawing the Chateau D’If. This is a 16th century island prison just south of France. Part of the book The Count of Monte Cristo takes place there. I’ll be drawing it as best I can with the limited amount of reference material available. Which is to say, I can’t find a proper floor plan, so I’m going to have to make some stuff up. Still, I think it’ll make a great map.

Anyway, I’m gonna get to work on Classy French Alcatraz. Let me know what you think of the map!

*I know this isn’t how everyone interprets it, but that’s how it works in my games.