Legacy of the Crystal Shard Tracking Sheets

The new season of the Legacy of the Crystal Shard is ready to launch. If you’re coordinating for your local game store, you’ve probably already received your packet of materials for the season. This season, much like the last, provided a custom d20 and a full color player handout map.LotCS-dice

During the Murder in Baldur’s Gate season, I noticed less than a fourth of the players were interested in their maps. On the first day maps were handed out to players I found many players left their maps behind on the table. I collected them back up so they wouldn’t be wasted, but I resolved to do something about it the following season.

While examining the old maps, I realized the back sides were completely blank and I knew I could make use of that! In the early seasons of Encounters, tracking sheets were made for players to keep track of objectives, experience points, treasure, and game notes.  I could print player trackers on the backs of the maps and players would have more incentive to keep them.

The old trackers were not very conservative with space, and they tracked all kinds of things that wouldn’t necessarily apply now. Plus, our store runs a mix of Next and D&D 4e tables, so I needed a single tracker useful for any table. With that in mind, I created a new, simplified tracker. Then I did a test print on the back of a Baldur’s Gate map.

Legacy of the Crystal Shard Tracker

It worked!
Well, sort of… The coated paper printed very well, but the heat of the laser printer made the paper curl intensely. I had to immediately flatten the paper. If you decide to print on the back of your maps, make sure to watch and flatten any curling before the paper cools if you’re using a laser printer. I suspect inkjets won’t have the curling issue, but the glossy coat may cause inkjet printing to smear the lovely maps as they slide out and stack up. Between the two, I’d rather deal with curling.

I’ve shared the tracker I created at the link below. If you’re a player or a store Encounters Coordinator, you can print it on the back of your maps, or on regular paper.

Legacy of the Crystal Shard – Player Tracking Sheet

Paper Zone Markers

Listening to Thursday Knights Podcast I’ve heard them mention their paper zone markers. Essentially these are small paper triangles folded in half so they stand up. Place four of them to mark a zone. The text on the triangle can show what the zone’s effect is. This is really great if you consistently use zones and need to remind everyone where they’re in effect and what they do.

Thursday Knights posted the instructions up on their webpage along with a download for the Photoshop template to make your own customized zone markers. The template is really amazing and I plan on using it.

Now, the zone markers are amazing but they also rely on having Photoshop. This made me think about who could access this template. Photoshop is a great tool, but not everyone has it. The template is also so specialized I don’t think that it’ll work if you convert it to another program, like Gimp for example.

I had an idea so I carefully pieced together my own template. Not nearly as beautiful as Thursday Knight’s template, it makes up for it in its accessibility. This pdf should be customizable by just about anyone that has a pdf reader on their computer. Free pdf readers are abundant, so anyone can use this template. Simply click inside the top triangle of each column and type your own text. Print on colored paper to make the zone marker more noticeable, or print on white cardstock and add color with markers or highlighters.

EDIT: I’ve updated the template to fix some errors I’ve since discovered.

Click Here to Download PDF!

The Lost Crown of Neverwinter Session 10: Paper or Plastic?

Here there be Spoilers: Players wanting to be surprised when they play Encounters should steer away now and come back later!

In the upcoming Session 10: Kraken Tunnels, I noticed the encounter has kraken tentacles and slimes. If you use minis, you’re kinda limited on what kind of mini to use to represent those tentacles. Of course there’s tokens and I don’t know what the availability of tentacle tokens are but even so I imagine they’re not that plentiful. So I came up with two sets of tentacle minis!

Plastic

I made my own set of amazing tentacle miniatures. Not only was it easy, but anyone could do it! Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of my construction process. Nonetheless, here’s a quick guide on how I hacked together these wiggly miniatures.

  1. Find and purchase a plastic or rubber octopus toy.  I found this exact same octopus toy while I was in Seattle (I’m probably going to buy another from this online store so I can have two sets). The spread of the tentacles without too much webbing proved perfect for making miniatures. Plus, every tentacle on this toy is shaped differently, so the result is 8 unique tentacle minis!
  2. Use a craft knife to carefully sever each tentacle. Note: You must account for the way the tentacle will stand on the base. Some cuts needed to be cut at sharp angles so the tentacles wouldn’t touch the table once they were mounted. You can experiment: cut close to the body and you’ll have lots of length to experiment with angles. Cut an angle, stand the tentacle and evaluate, cut again if needed until you have something that looks great.
  3. Save the head: You can mount the head on a large base for a complete set. (Head is not pictured)
  4. Purchase mini bases or washers to mount your tentacles on.
  5. Clue tentacles to their bases using a hot glue gun. You may need to experiment with glues if you’re using a different octopus than the one I linked. I tried three kinds of glue for the Large Pacific Octopus toy and they all failed miserably. The rubbery toy doesn’t hold well to just being glued flat, it needs something to secure it all the way around the base. Hot glue looks less neat than what I was hoping for but it’s still holding strong. Still, the dried hot glue has a neat effect you can see in my picture. I plan on painting the bases with some green to give it a slimey effect.

Paper

image

I put together these paper miniatures for any Encounters DM that would like to use them. They’re a lot faster and cheaper than the plastic toy tentacles. They also have the added bonus of two extra tentacles on the sheet (in case you need to scale up your encounter) and two slime minis!  Simply print, cut, and fold to use these at your table.

Download the PDF here!

Lair Assault Tools!

Here there be Spoilers: Players wanting to be surprised when they play Lair Assault should steer away now!

Dungeon Masters that are gearing up to run some Lair Assault: Forge of the Dawn Titan might find these little standees useful.

The Lair hands out very few items, but those items have a pretty significant bonus: 5 fire resistance and +5 bonus to saving throws for ongoing fire damage. These standees will help remind players and DMs to include these bonuses during play.

Included on the sheet is one gem for the jeweled statue and three cloaks for the robes in the three closets. Simply print, cut, and fold to use these at your table.

Download the PDF here!

Dragon Chow

About a week ago, while crazed with insomnia at about 2:00 in the morning, I made this ad for @GeekyLyndsay and her awesome Dragon Chow dice bags.  If you’re curious about the inspiration for the picture: I kept thinking about Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”. This is my brain; this is my brain without sleep.

In all seriousness: @GeekyLyndsay is awesome, you should buy stuff from her.