There seems to be infinite potential for group tokens within LARP. Every group/sub group/collective likes to have some way to identify themselves, it's all good for me. This is the symbol of the Mage Guild, a group of people from different factions who all use the same kind of 'magic' in game. The colour is added with fine liner pens after the engrave, this stops the colours from bleeding together along the wood grains.
Saturday, 14 June 2014
Friday, 13 June 2014
A lot of my friends wargame and are always telling me about the awesome laser cut scenery that is available, because I don't wargame I don't have the time to make these things so it's nice to finally be able to help them with something.
Here is a pattern for a basic movement tray. I looked into making some parametric design script but actually it's just easier to change the sizes in inkscape directly. It's a simple 2 layer, 2mm mdf, construction with the second layer forming a 3mm lip around the tray which stops the edges units from falling off the tray (svg here)
Thursday, 12 June 2014
When I made my first Carcassonne Set for Project 52 I left the back of the tiles intentionally blank. Doubling up the engraving makes a hefty dent in the price tag and I figured nobody would ever want it. Well I was wrong, after a few requests I have now got round to adding engraved backs to the tiles. They look absolutely stunning.
While I still can't bring myself to release these files into the wild yet (160 hours of drawing was just too many to give away) they are now available in the store with/without engraved backs depending on your budget.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Once players have explored the Vale and brought their resources (5kg sandbags) back to camp the bags are 'poured' into the 'Infernal Machine' which is a game mechanic where a referee switches a heavy sandbag full of ore for a small metal ingot of the appropriate metal. At the first event players were left to waft bags in the general direction of the machine so I thought this would make a really nice addition to the existing machine.
The principle of operation is simple, open the chute at the bottom and pretend to pour resources into the machine. The gauge should slowly rise to 100% and it should ding a bell when it gets there to let you know the machine is full. Stay at 100% until the chute is closed, at which point the gauge should return back to 0%.
I started prototyping the 'ding' mechanism, if I couldn't get that to work then there was no point continue. A screw on a spring is pulled back by an arm on a gear, once the spring slips off the arm it swings back against the bell and makes a single ding.
The second essential mechanism is the gauge. After a quick search of possible options I settled on a quick return mechanism, this has the desirable feature that 0->100% takes two thirds of the rotation but 100%->0% only needs the remaining third, so the machine is faster to return to zero.
Finally the start/stop cam. Because I wanted the gauge to stop at 100% I added a cam that presses a microswitch at 100%. There is a second switch on the chute to determine if the drawer is open or closed, when the chute is closed the cam starts to rotate again until the cam microswitch is released again, the gauge will be back at 0%.
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
The Vale LARP game is played at Huntley Wood, which is essentially 170 acres of former quarry. Scattered across the quarry are a half a dozen resource spawn points. The idea is to camp on these points and collect the resources as they spawn, while avoiding the opposing side who are trying to do the same. I figured that an exploration map like this would be extremely useful.
The base plate has a map of the site engraved upon it, a raised lip all around the edge turns this into a sand tray. With a bit of sprinkling and shaking you can cover up the entire map leaving only the starting location exposed. As people explore round the site they can brush the sand away exposing the map. This way everybody knows the areas that haven't been searched for resource nodes. Once the nodes are discovered tokens are added to the map to show exactly where they are.
This map was pretty useful for our teams success at the weekend just gone. People were also using it to discuss ambushes and attack plans once the sand was cleared off 90% of the board. It also explains why I didn't want to show it to you guys until after the event, don't want those sneaky Dukes people stealing my ideas.
Monday, 9 June 2014
Large LRP systems like the Vale tend to put a lot of effort into back stories, creating entire worlds with cultures and styles for the players to build upon. Time also gets spent on creating maps so that each individual event can form part of a larger campaign, the success of the players at each weekend usually has some influence on who controls which sections of the map.
The Vale is slightly different to other games because there are only 2 nations and they fight each other, this means when it came to making their world map they wanted 2, one for each side. I had plans to vary them slightly but due to a cut failure and then a machine failure the only real difference is in assembly. They came out pretty well though.