Thursday, March 17, 2011

Screencasts from The Savage Troll: Maptool Servers, Chat, and Dice Rolls

We continue MapTool Month with a series of screen casts showing MapTool Functionality. Maptool is a free, open source product and project written in Java which functions as a virtual table top.  This 10 minute video demonstrates how to start a server, how players connect to the server, chat commands, and dice rolling during a game.

Related Links:
MapTool Screen Cast 1
MapTool Screen Cast 2 Download

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lose Your Sanity While Supporting Japan

Arc Dream Publishing has lowered the price of the Unspeakable Oath #18 to five dollars. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Red Cross' Japan Disaster Relief Fund.

The Savage Troll reviewed The Unspeakable Oath, and we found the quarterly packed full with information and ideas, to spice up your existing Cthulhu game or as a great source for campaign ideas for new adventures in Lovecraftian horror. The contributors' love of the Mythos shows on every content-loaded page.

For $5, there’s hardly a better deal for Chtulhu fans, so support a good cause and grab some great Cthulhu swag by purchasing TUO #18.

Other products supporting the relief effort include: Dork Covenant, Action Planet BundleRonin: Oriental Adventures, and many others. To see a complete of list discount games supporting the disaster relief, see DriveThruRPG's Japan Disaster Relief Page.

As always, thanks for your donations and thanks for your support.

Staff of The Savage Troll

Related Links:
The Unspeakable Oath Home Page
The Savage Troll's Review of TOU #18
Arc Dream Publishing
Interview with Shane Ivey

Monday, March 14, 2011

Screencasts from The Savage Troll: MapTool Introduction

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, what's a screencast worth?

We continue MapTool Month with a series of screen casts showing MapTool Functionality. Maptool is a free, open source product and project written in Java which functions as a virtual table top.

In this screencast we discuss launching MapTool, adding maps, Fog of War, PC and NPC tokens, and movement. You can view the video on YouTube or do a right click save from this link.

Since this is our first venture into screencasting any constructive advice and criticism is appreciated. Well, either appreciated or callously disregarded. We are trolls after all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Tsunami Relief Donations

A ferocious tsunami caused by Japan's biggest recorded earthquake slammed into that country's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people. (read details here).

Matt M McElroy and Chuck Childers setup a donation site to let gamers contribute to the cause. Please join the Savage Trolls and donate to the Red Cross to help in relief efforts in Japan.

Please post, tweet, and share the donation link with other gamers.

Staff of The Savage Troll.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: e-Adventure Tiles: Encounters No. 1 and 2

Product: e-Adventure Tiles: Encounters No. 1 and No. 2
From: SkeletonKey Games
Price: $3.49 Each
Artist: Ed Bourelle

Encounters 1 contains 6 tiles for the Necromancer’s Throne Room, 3 tiles for the Swamp Temple Ruin, and a single tile for a Warded Supply Cache.

Encounters 2 has 3 tiles for a Swamp Ruin (which is very similar to the Swamp Temple Ruin), a 4 tile town residence, and a 3 tile ice prison.

The graphics are detailed with lots of eye candy for the players.   For a face-to-face game, the tiles can be quickly separated by following the convenient scissor guides.

For Virtual Table Top players, however, the product isn't as easy to use.  The irregular placement of the tiles on the page makes it difficult to group them for a mass trimming via an image editor like GIMP.  Likewise, with the scissor guides you’ll need to do a little extra work before importing them into a VTT like Maptool. (see below):

 Encounters No. 1
Necromancer's Throne Room

Swamp Temple Ruin
Warded Supply Cache

Encounters No. 2
Town Residence
Swamp Ruin
Arcane Ice Prison

To use these maps in a VTT, follow the instructions as you would with the Savage Mojo maps (details); the primary difference is, because the images are all different sizes, you can’t crop all the images at once.

For this set, I used GIMP and imported the images onto different layers.

I copied a region with the rectangular Select tool, placed the images in the copy buffer with Edit->Copy Visible, then created each image as a separate PNG file with File->Create->From Clipboard (I decided on PNG rather than JPG as I want some transparency on the images).   I used the scissor guides from the PNG file as a guide before deleting the white spaces and dotted lines.

Use Image->Autocrop Image to make sure the canvas size is at the image edge; otherwise, you might miss something during cropping.

Edited by J A Day

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MapTool Month Redux

We tried. We really, really tried to pack all our MapTool articles in 28 short days.

Sadly, we failed.

On the upside we're continuing our MapTool emphasis for another month. That's right: March is MapTool Month Redux on The Savage Troll!

Articles this month include:
Our final interview with the MapTool Gang of 3.  We discuss the direction for version 1.4 Fantasy map creation using Jonathan Roberts' map tiles and Devin Night's top-down tokens Resource libraries “Vision and Light: A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Setup Your Own Savage Setting with MapTool.”

Thanks to everyone who helped make February our best month ever for The Savage Troll. We're doing our best to make sure March is even better!

In February we offered discounts on five products from DriveThruRPG. In March we're actually going to give stuff away. That's right: free stuff!  Woot!

Here are the rules: The first five blog followers to comment on this post in March gets a freebie from DriveThruRPG. To be eligible for the prize, you must first be a blog follower. To become a blog follower click the 'Follow' button in the sidebar.

Once a comment is received, we'll contact you about picking one of five gifts to download from

Good luck everyone and thanks again for your support.

Staff of The Savage Troll