Designs and Markets

There has been a shift in how Amazon handles designs for their merch initiative, and it has been a joy to realise just how wide a reach this potentially gives me in terms of markets. It isn’t just the UK and the US, but countries in mainland Europe in the form of France and Germany, and Japan.

The new markets can be selected, but I need of course to translate my copy to the appropriate language for each market. French is fine, but my German and Japanese are non-existent. Fortunately Lady M made a quiet suggestion to use a site that she has been taking advantage of at work: www.deepl.com

It is, at its heart, a translation website and I have to say so far I’ve been quietly impressed at how easy it has been to use. Well worth adding to your toolbox, I’d say.

For A Few Designs More

Work was work, and so this evening I’ve worked on some old graphics to bring them up to scale to use on tshirts on Amazon UK. I’m considering putting a few up for other countries at some point, but as far as I know the majority of our DDC audience is UK-based and this is hardly a superstar blog.

Still, you might enjoy these:

Family Tree: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B093S2ZJFL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_KF9RA0TSVTH25XB53CJ5

Gothic Butterfly: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B093RBRRD2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_QFYWSQXZEXF88NM0RC7Q

Reflection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B093G9VG5T/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_93EN37ATGWZ619G5F5A5

Fractal Fishpond: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B092TB3BZG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_JFXBHQBHGCTD92WNJXXN

Hope there’s something there for people to enjoy. If nothing else it’s a good way to relax for me.

All A Blur

The interview this morning was okay and yet still the hour sped past at an incredible speed. I wasn’t stumped by anything, but who knows how it went? I certainly won’t for a few days.

And I think I did some work today as well, but my stress headache seems to have blotted it out, so I’ll see what’s there in the morning when I go back.

On a lighter note, I’ve made some new tshirt designs and posted them. We now have designs for each character in the DDC, as well as some hoodies:

Thorin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B092P5Z9Q3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_4964T38WRB2GXRW4W0Y3

Valenia: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B093N1251L/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_DV3K2KKXS6CQ3QWX12QG

Kerne: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0927DSVWQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_6SVNRSHTHR84J8NXDYTN

Caeluma’s Family: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08W91PDTT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_Y3JRQEYC91GWYJDHKSW8

So, if you fancy treating yourself to support the channel or your favourite character, you now have even more options 🙂

DDC Merch?

It started as a joke, but to paraphrase Dr Frankenstein… it’s alive! Or Live on Amazon anyway: the first bit of merchandise related to the DDC Dungeons and Dragons group is available to buy from Amazon in the UK right now:

Grave Robbing: The DDC film poster Raglan Baseball Tee

Grave Robbing: The DDC film poster Tshirt

So, that’s a thing that’s happened… More designs are in development, and it looks like I’ll have to stick a bunch of links together in due course.

Didn’t see this coming…

Art Stuff

I noticed today that I’ve been bumped up a tier in Amazon Merch which increases the number of designs I can sell from 10 to 25. I’ve been focused on Raglan tshirt designs there for the clarity they give my line art pieces so most things will go up in that format, and then a few as more general tshirts.

To find my things, search for Ludd Clothing as a brand. The latest piece as of the time of writing is based off a sketchpad piece I’ve had bubbling away recently, and myr s asked specifically to see it appear on a shirt. What better way to celebrate!

Well, by adding more things to the RedBubble site (see the site menu above for that link at any time)

The Unexpected AMA

We did a thing this weekend, quite unexpectedly, when Lady B messaged the polycule to ask if we’d be willing to gather on Discord and be part of an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on her Facebook stream.

As followers and supporters of her series of streams about her experiences of transition, we of course agreed. A couple of hours and some muffled stubbing of toes later, we were gathered round our respective devices for what was intended to be a quick half hour that turned into an hour and a half of us spinning off on tangents and laughing a lot.

I’ll add a link below to the streams recording – but I must add that the first five to ten minutes is completely silent due to a technical hitch known as “flicking the wrong switch” in Lady B’s kit.

Nevertheless, it was fun, and a good chance to talk a bit about who we are and how we relate, and our thoughts on being the oddballs that we are. So, enjoy the stream.

Cheering From The Sidelines

Lady M has been busy this week – just one way I can tell she’s on the heal at last. She’s been laying the groundwork for a little while for a project that is very close to her heart. It’s called Today’s Women In Tomorrow’s Technology, and as of this week the blog and twitter components have gone live.

At the heart of her project is a desire to inspire, guide, mentor and bring new and existing women together working in the Technology industry. She’s already gathering attention and support – and I think that in part it is a case of the right idea, at the right time, that is capturing people’s imaginations.

She’s asked me to write a guest spot on there in the near future – but don’t let that put you off. Go take a look, and engage if you like the ideas or want to be part of a wider discussion.

Maps and Mapping for Roll20

I’ve been using the pyromancers.com website to handmake the maps I’ve been using in the Wartorn Roll20 campaigns over the last year or so, but it’s not the only resource I’ve been making use of.

There’s a few more websites that have recently caught my eye, and I’ll probably start dipping in to using them from time to time. A few of the maps that my group have yet to encounter have been made up using graphics from these sites, so I’ve tested them for ease of importing the resulting graphics in to Roll20. So far, each has been useful in different ways.

simple map of connected roomsThe first – ANAMap – is a map generator that allows me to make old-school line drawing maps and export them as PNG graphics, which are fully supported by Roll20.

When you start up, you are presented with a blank sheet of graph paper-style unreal estate and a series of tools on the left hand side that allow you to carve your nascent dungeon with a few simple clicks. Each square on the “graph paper” is cleared as you click on it, and refilled if you click back on it again, making editing and changing your mind a simple task as you go along. The palette is simple, and the icons are rudimentary, but if you’re looking to generate something quickly with a clean set of lines, this is probably what I’d prefer to direct you towards at the moment. As an added bonus, the site does remember where you got up to, and so you will see your most recent edit when you go back.

You can save and reload maps as you need to revisit them, which is a nice touch and making the grid disappear is a matter of clicking on the Draft button. The Dark theme reverses the palette to make a neon dark blue and glowing walls effect, so that might prove useful if you want to do some mirror-world or dreamscape representations of maps.

Randomly Generated series of tiles that create a series of connected rooms and tunnelsThe other site I’ve started using has been more for inspiration or throwing together very quick locations, and I think I’m only really starting to scratch the surface. Dave’s Mapper uses tiled templates to randomly generate areas. It too allows you to export maps as PNG format graphics and these can be resized as required when you import them into Roll20.

There are all sorts of filters available to choose the style and design of the tiles used, and whether the maps are close edged to make a contained location, or open-edged (for generating a location within wider streets or tunnels, for example). By default though, the maps tend to resemble the example here, reminiscent of classic hand-drawn dungeons in original D&D products back in the days of yore. I really like it, and I might use it for generating treasure maps for handouts to players, using them as a template for a map put together with the pyromancers site instead.

Hopefully, one or more of these resources will be helpful to you too, let me know in the comments, or feel free to suggest other map making resources that you treasure.

One Of My Players Made A Thing

I’m all for encouraging people to write, after all I make things up for a living and like to share the misery. One of the players in my Monday night game has started an in-character diary blog, so I said I’d ramp up her anxiety levels and share it with you all here.

Her Blog is called RPG Storytelling – and I’ll add it to the list of links on the right in a bit – the specific bits about her experience in our campaign start here

Have fun!

Sunday Hooligans Group

As I might have mentioned before, I’m running two Dungeons and Dragons groups at the moment – with varying degrees of wanting to pull my own hair out as we get stuck in. The ever-pulchritudinous Lady M has stepped into the breach to try and document the adventures getting started over there in her blog, so pop over and show her some love if you’ve got a spare moment.

We’re basically running through an adaptation of material found in the classic Temple of Elemental Evil series, fused with extra material and the whimsy of my caffeine-addled brain. My personal favourite moment of the last few weeks was the adventurers being so panicked by the sight and sound of a swarm of bats that they preferred to run headlong into a room with an angry giant adder. Of such moments are low level adventuring gold crafted…