Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

Monday, October 14, 2019

A walk down memory lane... thru a Motte and Bailey Castle.

The Shell Keep
Overview of the keep
Ah, memories.

My dad has been a gamer since he was a child. His collection of books, resources and material is unsurpassed. When I was in high school, I needed to write a report on the Middle Ages. Obviously, he wanted to help. What I didn't expect was, he told me to bring my whole class.

A horde of kids came in to our house for a lesson on the Middle Ages. Hand on, armor, swords, models, books, and history. On whim.
Gate and decking work.

He was always like that. When I was a toddler, I recall a massive Motte and Bailey castle in our living room. And some times part of the dining room and kitchen. It was a huge undertaking.

I have no idea where that castle went, perhaps it was broken in our many moves from the projects in Lockport to the Eastside of Buffalo and finally to Tonawanda.

It wasn't the only castle he had, it was one of dozens.
Side view
These pictures are of a castle in the classic motte and bailey design that I loved so much. I'm not sure when dad started building this, perhaps Dad doesn't know when he started building this, but here it is. Sometime in 2018 or 2019, perhaps.

This one is 4 by 3 feet. It's tiny compared to some of the work he has done.
Inner gate detail. 
This is my favorite view of the Keep. Dad always painted details on his gates, in classic blue, yellow and red. I am not sure of the historical details of those colors, but these remind me of Dad.
Inner ward
This shell keep has 3 inner buildings, with multiple floors. Since this is used for a wargame, the rooves, floors and ceilings come off.
Opposite side view.
This is a work in progress, so the exterior details are missing. There will be trees, stones, grass and perhaps water features in the finished work.
Rooves
Again, the windows and doors have those colors.
Rooves and floors removed.
The interior is incredible. 
Second floor in place. 
In this view, you can see the doorways leading to the interior spaces. When he builds these things, he scales them 15 or 25 mm. I suspect this one is 25 mm.
Other buildings, rooves removed. 
The scale is important because wargamers use a particular basing for the figures. He needs to be able to fit those bases inside the structures.
Possibly a kitchen area.
Not every part of the keep is for military purposes. This is a cooking area.
Main gate, roof removed. 
I love the way he plans areas to be removed for the game action. This is the main gate.
Walkway of the parapet removed. Latrine area. 
And bathrooms in the walls. Waste would fall into the moat, for an extra deterrent. 
The Bailey. 
The exterior area has a couple of buildings, with thatched and wooden rooves.
Interior with rooves. 
The Keep has stone or tile rooves, not show in this image. The smaller building have blue slate. That is my favorite color. 
The Keep
I love the circular pattern of the keep's ward.
Bailey gate. 
And finally, our journey ends at the outer gate.
If you want to see more like this be sure to check out my dad on Facebook and on the web.

Classical Hack on Facebook

Classical Hack on the web







Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Inspiration for Writing: History of Rome by Mike Duncan

Oh, how I miss classes. This summer, I have been inspired by Mike Duncan's History of Rome podcast. The original show ran from 2007 to 2012. How did I miss that?

In any event, Mr. Duncan's excellent show has been very inspirational for me. I've been listening to two shows a day, once while writing and once before bed. I can't wait to catch up and start listening to his new podcast, Revolutions.

You can also check out Mr. Duncan's great book, The Storm before the Storm on Amazon.com.

Add your inspirational podcasts down in the comments. Lord knows, I don't want to miss any more great shows.




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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Map Inspiration at the Burchfield Penney

I found the greatest art installation at the Burchfield Penney. It is a giant iron book, engraved with images and maps.

Click the images to enlarge.






Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Heart of the City, A Hearth

The heart of any city is the first home, a place around the hearth. I wish I could call this idea a five minute map, but it took me far longer.



This is a neolithic like structure. Starting in the approximate center is the hearth, edged by two ironwood tripods for cooking and swinging spit. Just to the north is the ladder that provides access and egress for smoke from the hearth. Unshown is the roof, which is a flat square platform mounted on 4 posts. From the crossbeams out, the roof is tilted down to provide a channel for the smoke and heat. Sometimes a woven reed curtain is hung from the ceiling to direct the path of smoke.

On the southern and eastern walls are two large tunnels in which the inhabitants use bone tools to mine flint, very much like the builders of Stonehenge. The Pueblo homes that this structure is also based on had special vents to allow the fire to allow air in. In this case, the tunnels are connected to other natural spaces to provide draw for the fire. In front of each tunnel is a low wing wall, colored with black, indigo and red patterns typical to this tribe.

Along the western wall is a large deck for sleeping. It is about 12 inches from the floor and is sloped into the center of the room like the beds at Fort Niagara. This allows people awoken by threats to stand up quickly without the effects of syncope. Although four bedrolls are shown, perhaps as many as a 8-10 people could sleep comfortably, family style.

On the north wall is a nook for cooking supplies and the niche doubles as an altar for the tribe's parton gods and goddesses. Due to the nature of the structure, all valuables in the niche are in plain sight.

The walls are coated in a concoction of chalk and mud to make a brighter living space.

Scale: One Square equals 2.5 feet. The total structure is 40 feet across and 60 feet below ground.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Research Game - Stave Churches

In my prior post, I began work on a building I could not identify. It turns out that this structure is a stave church from 11-1200 A.D.

I wasn't able to identify it specifically, nor was I able to place it the category of stave church. For some reason, I picture stave churches as having gracefully sloping walls and roofs, like so:

So, I am off to do some research. I have to say my dad, Philip J. Viverito, instilled a quest for knowledge in me. Using the internet, I was able to found some remarkable resources for this project in rather short order. I cannot image how my dad did it back in the 1970's and 80's with only books to work from.

One of the more impressive items I found was a short video filmed in 2000 at Uvdal Stave Church, Nore and Uvdal, Norway.

Not only is the church beautiful, the video itself is excellent. The film was put together by Erik Meyn, and the music was composed and performed by Ulf Meyn. The original publisher was Numedalsnett AS.

Although there is no speaking, this is a wonderful educational resource.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Feelies

I was seriously into gaming, I made feelies.


This was made in 1988 or so. It references the Castle Amber module, The Order of Light from Gemstone III, and Louise Cooper’s the Time Master Series, plus the city of Charn from my home brewed campaign.
The punchline to many of these references was that the characters AND players were aware of all of these references as works of fiction. The characters had copies of the Time Master Series and Averoigne stories. Each character has ring of wishes to enter the stories themselves.
When I was in high school, this seemed like a great hook.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

For future reference – US Census Microdata

The other day, took the kids to the Niagara Aquarium.
On our way home, desperate for bathroom, we stopped at the Tuscarora Reservation. Inside, there is a tiny museum with awesome maps. 

Snapping pictures of them does no justice. They are gorgeous prints. I found out that they are from the 1892 Census.

Looking around online, I found this website with the actual images. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series website is not just information on the US Census, it is data on individuals. What an excellent historical document.
I am pretty sure they didn’t think of someone pulling maps from the public documents, but what a wonderful resource for history and art.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Half Baked Idea - The Demon Core

In my last post, I mention a device called the demon core. I know what it looks like, I know that it seethes with power. It is wildly dangerous. Aside from that I know nothing.
There was a real device called the demon core. It was 3.5 inch, subcritical mass of plutonium used for testing. In this capacity, it killed two scientists.
Nasty stuff. I may have to revisit this item and flesh it out for use in my campaign.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Serpent Bay – Five Minute Vinette

A user request from Google Plus – post-apocalyptic maps. I am horrible with colored pencils and I have never tried a post-apocalyptic map. What I ended up with was a sketched vinette.


“They brought the demon core, blood hexes and shells. They pushed us to the sea. In the woods we moved like eidolons hunting, as the skies sizzled with hot brass and steel rain. The sea frothed blue and white; the gnashing of frustrated and frenzied selkies.
“Desperation rose within us, fanned by orisons, curses and automatic fire.


“You tell ’em, we held those bastards at Serpent Bay.”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Beautiful Maps Of Dyson Dodecahedron

Dyson is a wonderful mapper of all things RPG. His maps have a flare and beauty all their own.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mapping Continued

Michael Turney on Google Plus has shared a wonderful and brief tutorial on mapping. He uses a series of textures in his poster style tutorial.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Random Wizard

Anyone who has DM’ed a campaign has partnered the characters with a random wizard to save their bacon if things go south.
I had no idea that Random Wizards existed in real life, but here’s one. His latest post brings back classic D&D modules with news on the latest offerings from RPGnow.