Create custom fonts for free

Yesterday I stumbled upon an article on Lifehacker that could be of some interest to all GMs out there. The service YourFonts allows you to create your own TrueType font for free. Most people use it to create a TrueType font from their handwriting but why not create a font from that runes you created for your D&D game? 

Example
The process of making a font is quite easy: you download a template as PDF or image file and either print it out and fill it with your handwriting, or you can create the font on your computer using a drawing program. Then you reupload the filled template to YourFonts. Voilá! That’s it!

For more information on this service, check out the original Lifehacker post or the official YourFonts site. Please note that there a lot of tasks in the font generation queue, so it may take some while until you can upload your templates.

Dungeoncraft: New Races for Asecia

The last time I wrote about Asecia I planned to use the FATE rules and I decided against non-human races. But in the end things always turn out differently than planned. My current draft of the Asecia Campaign Setting uses the Savage Worlds rules and I have created two original races: the Tolkyn and the Skarians.

The Tolkyn
The Tolkyn are a race of humanoids that are probably closely related to humankind. The average Tolkyn is a couple inches taller than the average human, has an athletic build, a long slender neck, broad shoulders and muscular arms that are sleightly longer than human arms. All Tolkyn have a dark blue almost black skin and feline eyes. Tolkyn have large pointed ears and usually long hair that ranges from white to dark blue.
When humanity first encountered the Tolkyn had already settled most of southern Asecia. Tolkyn cities could be found from the grasslands south of Cerynia to the Ciazah Desert. Because of the human advances on Tolkyn settlements it came to war. After many battles the Tolkyn retreated to the desert regions. 
In moden Asecia the Tolkyn are the main exporter of meteoric iron and all kinds of products crafted from that rare ore. Most of the Tolkyn live in the Ciazah Confederacy that consists of the five major Tolkyn city states Maranis, Alaraby, Nevehnu, Ciarish and Urechar.

Tolkyn

  • Strong: Tolkyn characters start with a d6 in Strength
  • Low-light vision: The Tolkyn’s feline eyes allow the Tolkyn to see in the dark. A Tolkyn character ignores attack penalties for Dim or Dark lighting.
  • Outsider: Tolkyn are outsiders in a human dominated society. They get -2 on Charisma when dealing with humans.

The Skarians
The Skarians are a race of small (an adult skarian is approx. 1 meter tall) humanoids. They have a greenish-gray skin, large heads with a mouth full of razorsharp teeth and big eyes. Skarians do not have hair. Skarians are strict carnivores and tribal Skarians even eat the flesh of their defeated enemies. Like Tolkyn they have rather large and pointed ears but a close relation between the two species is not confirmed by modern scholars. Skarians are very cunning and have a knack for mechanical things.

When the human settlers arrived in Asecia they soon stumbled upon Skarian tribes. What followed can only be described as a massacre. Several hundred thousand Skarians were wiped out, the rest fled to the deep woods of northern Asecia. A few tribal Skarians still live in those woods until today. They survive by ambushing caravans and small settlements.
Much to the surprise of the human settlers the tribal Skarians were only a subspecies. In the mountains to the east they encountered the Mytagiir Empire, a nation of civilized Skarians that were excellent miners and blacksmiths. The Mytagiir Empire still exists today and it’s a close ally of Cerynia since Imperial times.

Tribal Skarian

  • Bite: Str+d4
  • Small: Members of the skarian race are very short. Substract 1 from you character’s Toughness.
  • Berserk: Tribal Skarians have the ability to go berserk during combat. See the SW rulebook for details.
  • Low-light vision: The big eyes allow the Skarians to see in the dark. A Skarian character ignores attack penalties for Dim or Dark lighting.
  • Outsider: Skarian are outsiders in a human dominated society. They get -2 on Charisma when dealing with humans.

Mytagiir Skarian

  • Bite: Str+d4
  • Small: Members of the skarian race are very short. Substract 1 from you character’s Toughness.
  • Mechanical Apitude: Civilized Skarians start with d6 in Repair and Lockpick.
  • Low-light vision: The big eyes allow the Skarians to see in the dark. A Skarian character ignores attack penalties for Dim or Dark lighting.
  • Outsider: Skarian are outsiders in a human dominated society. They get -2 on Charisma when dealing with humans.

This is my first try at creating custom races for Savage Worlds, so there might be some balance problems. If you have any ideas on how to improve the Tolkyn and Skarians, please let me know.

UPDATE: I added Low-Light Vision and Outsider to the Skarians.

RPG Anthology, blog comments and Creative Commons

With the upcoming RPG Blog Anthology some discussion about copyright and other legal issues on the RPG Bloggers Network was inevitable. Perhaps you already have read the posts on The Bonemaster and The Core Mechanic.

Jonathan from The Core Mechanic included comments from the original posts into the first draft of the RPG Blog Anthology. That is not uncommon for this kind of publication and it was his impression that comments are considered part of the blog post and that the comment’s author has already given the blog author the right to share, modify and republish the post. Others are not so sure and added some “Terms of Service” to their site to make sure they don’t have to ask the permission of the blog’s author when they want to use the comment in future publications.

And perhaps you’ve noticed that I decided to release the content of this blog under a Creative Commons license. Then it struck me! I already have a binding contract with Jonathan in which I gave him a non-exclusive license to publish one of my blog posts in the upcoming RPG Blog Anthology. Does he have to release the anthology under the CC now, too? Or have I broken my agreement with him? At first I was a bit worried, but then I noticed a small word that at once solves everything: non-exclusive. The CC license is non-exclusive, so as the owner of my content I am still allowed to enter any other non-exclusive agreements.

But back to the comments issue. From what I know the US law regarding copyright etc. has already been adapted to the internet age. That’s not the case in many other countries like Germany, where I live. That makes things a bit more difficult. But even without a TOS we can take some things for granted:

  1. the comments are owned by their respective authors
  2. the comment’s author already gave you a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the comment solely for the purpose of displaying on your blog

I thought about adding some legal mumbo-jumbo in addition to the CC license already there, but I decided against it. When I want to use a comment in something like the RPG Blog Anthology I will just ask nicely for the author’s permission. And if I don’t get it or I can’t contact him or her? Then I am obviously out of luck and live will go on…

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