Map of the Week #2

The Royal Tomb

Royal TombAD

Free for non-commercial use!

The second map released today is the Royal Tomb. The Tomb is a single level dungeon with 12 distinct areas. In include a couple secret passages and the location of a few traps. It is ready for adventure. What dangers lurk within? You decide, with 2 full color maps. One for the player, and one for the game master. Ready for customization with any image editor, just add some details and get ready for some adventure with this free map!

For the full sized maps click HERE. Just right click the desired image and click “save image as..”

Map of the Week #1

The Woodsman’s Cottage

WoodsmansCottagePLAYERThe first map in my series of free maps is the Woodman’s Cottage. A small home nestled in the woods, and easy to drop into any forested region in your campaign.

As the home of an NPC it could serve as a source of a plot hook or the site of a mystery to uncover. Perhaps the cottage is abandoned, its occupant dead or missing. The choice is yours with this map. I hope you enjoy it, and look forward to releasing more maps like this in the future.

For the full sized map click HERE. Just right click the image and click “save image as..”

The Fae

The Fae, Faeries, The Fair folk

Little Thumb 2In Veyrn most make very little distinction between the fae and other spirits. In some places they are considered superstitious nonsense or dangerous threats. Modern depictions of these beings have diluted them in film and television, and they are often seen as lighthearted, silly or just a bit mischievous. The original stories were a bit darker, and the tales were heavily influenced by the arrival and conversion of the native peoples to Christianity.

The Seven RavensThose fae that currently inhabit the world were descended from powerful beings that once sought to conquer and rule the world. Most see them as just stories, but to the people of Falta they are a frightening reality. While not every fae bears malicious intent, all of them are potentially dangerous and known to react violently for even a slight insult. This has caused the people of Falta to become fearful of the unknown, and every ill both natural and unnatural is often attributed to these beings. Homes are often decorated in iron, a substance known to keep them at bay, and occasional offerings are left for them, to placate them and entice them away from their homes.

Perhaps the biggest impact the fae have had on the world of Veyrn was the introduction of beings such as they elves and goblins. These two races once served as loyal generals and foot soldiers in the strange faerie armies. After their failed attempt to conquer the world, they remained behind and are now for good or ill, a part of the world.

wood-3072434_1920To the south of the nation of Falta, rests the forest of Dormach. This massive forest is a dark and foreboding place, rumored to be inhabited by strange faerie creatures. It is also the home of the Feituwatha, a race of elves who were unwilling to turn from their old ways and abandon their ancient masters. They work in secret forging bonds with the fae who remained and trying to find away back to the strange realm the elves know only as The Grey. This twilight realm is said to exist between the borders of our world and the world of dreams, much like the fae themselves. It is a strange mercurial realm bound to whims of its masters. In times past great conflict existed between the Feituwatha and the druids of Falta. It ended after much bloodshed, and a pact was made, stopping all aggression between the two people. Unfortunately, the powers of the druids have begun to fade, and conflicts with other nations only serve to embolden the Feituwatha. Some say these elves seek to return to The Grey, others insist they wish to hand the world over to them as an offering or proof of loyalty. Only the Feituwatha know for certain.

Changing the way we think about Alignments

On one of the groups I belong to their was recently a discussion on alignment. In the discussion the OP was trying to use alignment to justify various factions in his world going to war with one another. It was an interesting discussion, and felt it a good subject for my thoughts on the subject.

What are they?

Most of you are likely aware of what alignment is in regard to gaming and rpgs. For those new to tabletop gaming alignments are a set of moral guidelines or outlook to aid in roleplaying the character. Examples include Lawful Good, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Neutral. They represent the players views in regards to law and chaos, and good and evil. Some like them, some hate them. I don’t personally put much stock in them as I find them to be poor motivators for good roleplaying. Many of them are reduced to types of stereotypical behavior, and not (in my opinion used how they should be.)

How some use Alignment

Many players new and old alike fall into the trap of restricting their characters behavior based on their alignment. Or on the flip side, giving them no restrictions and using alignment as an excuse to do whatever they please (looking at you Chaotic Neutral).  You can often find phrases such as “my character wouldn’t do that because of her alignment..” or “Your alignment is good, you can’t murder a peasant.” There are some reasons for this, and I would agree a good character wouldn’t commit heinous acts, such as murder. I find however that it is often used as a way to permit or deny player actions, because these actions are against their alignment. Alignment here being used as a tool to decide what a character may or may not do.

Changing the way we think about Alignment

What I propose, and what I hope others do as well, is to look at alignment from a slightly different perspective. Rather than look at it as a way to judge what a character will or will not do, look at it as how they will do it. One should look at the goal of their character not their alignment for determining their actions. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s a subtle difference, but to me an important one.

For Example:

Consider the following scenario:

A local lord of a city has recently enacted some laws, which increase taxes on the poor or in some way limit the freedoms of those living under their rule. First examine the situation and determine what your character wants to do about it. Perhaps you decide that limiting the freedoms, or financially punishing the poor is unacceptable and that something needs to be done about it. Your character’s backstory and personality will likely factor into this decision, but the specifics of what your going to do shouldn’t be decided at this point. Keep your goal vague, and flexible before you bring alignment into it.

Now we look to alignment to determine the course of action. Say your character is Lawful Neutral, meaning your more interested in law and order over concern for good or evil. You might decide that these new laws will lead to undue strife or chaos if not revoked. Using your alignment as a compass you decide the best course of action is to speak with the Lord and his aides, going through proper channels to have the laws changed or revoke. You wouldn’t break the law or encourage other to do so, but would acknowledge the harmful effect they can have on the stability of their society. If you fail with the lord you may takes steps to ask a duke or prince any higher in station to legally intercede on behalf of the people.

Now we’ll look at the exact same situation, this time from the perspective of a character who is Chaotic Good. This alignment favors doing what is right, without much regard for law and order. This character might try to organize the people into a protest or if that fails organize a revolt to other throw the unjust laws of the local Lord. They might try to use the system first as with the above example, but are just as likely to take matters into their own hands to correct the perceived injustice.

Conclusion

 Alignment doesn’t need to be a straitjacket or a means to enforce behaviors onto your characters. See it as a tool for roleplaying, a way to show how your character acts and not just a rigid code of behavior. Use it to breath life into you the personalities we bring to the table both as players and game masters. Try to think more of how and less of why. Alignment should be a means to an end, not the entirety of determining our actions.

Who Wants Free Maps?

Introducing Free Map Monday

Catherdral2As I’ve noted on Facebook we’re going to be releasing free maps on a weekly basis. These maps will be free to use as you see fit for non commercial purposes. They will be released every Monday, and ready to drop into your campaigns or adventures. The first one will be released this Monday (3/19).

To keep up to date on these releases you can check this website or follow Triple Moon Games on Facebook. Let us know what you think, or what kind of maps you would like to see featured. The goal is to create maps that can be used in most any game, but are open to featuring more niche maps as well. Your feedback will help us to improve the quality and variety of these releases, so speak up, and you will be heard.

But Wait!, There’s More!

In addition to these free maps, my plan is to release a quarterly collection of these maps. This won’t just be a compilation, but will include added content. Each map included in the collection will include plot hooks and suggestions for using them in your own campaigns. You can use this ideas as is, or modify them to suit your needs. More details on this as I work out the details.