Map Packs

We’ve been adding Map Packs to our DrivethruRPG store!

Map Packs feature poster-sized PDFs, which come in plain, gridded and hexed versions. There are VTT versions of everything, alongside handy “home print” files which are sliced up into A4 or US Letter chunks for easy printing at home.

Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

The latest one, just released today, is Buildings Pack 1, which features maps for a variety of halls, a shop and a mysterious house in a quarry. It’s Pay What You Want with a suggested price of $3.99.

Chasm Run is also Pay What You Want, and is a set of four really big maps that join together to form a long gully – perfect for a chase or prolonged battle.

Ruins Pack 1 is $3.99 and contains a bunch of really useful maps! A large ruined fortification, a set of ruins covered in webs, the same one without webs, and a bonus mini ruined house with a cellar.


Handiwork at DrivethruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/10726/Handiwork-Games

New Dice Trays are in stock now!

We’ve just added some lovely new dice trays to our webshop. Check out the new ones here.

These are designed to work seamlessly with our neoprene battle mats. Check it out:

Autumn battle mat with a mars tray
Snow dice tray with a winter battle mat


(Miniatures shown from our friends at Red Box Games, Northumbrian Tin Soldier, Footsore Miniatures, Bad Squiddo, and Knucklebones Miniatures, and Warhead Studio. Viking Dice from The Dice Dudes)

Maps and Minis in the Hermit’s Sanctuary

Jon: As part of The Hermit’s Sanctuary, the free introductory scenario for BEOWULF, we wanted to include a bunch of battle maps. It’s worth mentioning here at the outset that BEOWULF doesn’t rely on battle maps. Theatre of the Mind works just as well. Like in any 5e game, they’re purely optional.

But we love a good map hereabouts, and painting miniatures is something that’s been a very useful diversion in these times of lockdown.

I’ve been running a Patreon for almost 2 years now, supplying painted battle maps for people’s games. I also made a load of them for our recent collaboration with Onyx Path Publishing on the Scarred Lands Creature Collection. And so it seemed like a good idea to include some with The Hermit’s Sanctuary.

I specialise in really big maps, mostly because… I can! Digital delivery and virtual tabletops make these really accessible. But I also like to print them out and use them in the traditional way with miniatures. Today I’m taking a look at how that’s all shaped up.

So here’s the map of the Sanctuary itself.

For my games, I went to town and picked up a bunch of animal minis from Warbases. They’re just across the Firth of Forth from Handiwork HQ, so it’s nice to shop local! They do a great line in farm animals, so I’ve added some geese, Jacob sheep. I already had a couple of pigs for a BEOWULF Hero concept I’m working on – a seer who has oracular pigs as her followers. Must get on with that! As you can see, I’m no master painter, and I gave these a very quick paint job, but they’re a nice addition to the table.

For the main NPCs in the scenario, I needed some quite particular figures. These ended up coming from a wide range of sources.

The Housekeeper is a personal favourite, from Gripping Beast. She’s a cracking miniature.

The Builder is a really lovely figure from Perry Miniatures. He’s one of their First Crusade Pilgrims, which makes him a bit out of period, but civilian clothes don’t change tooooo much in this era, so I think it works. 

The Provisioner is from Gripping Beast – he’s the attendant in their Saxon bishop set, who is perfect for that NPC.

The Hermit himself is a monk from Perry Miniatures. He’s not a perfect fit for the NPC description, but it’s a nice model.

The Boy was the trickiest match to find. I couldn’t find any early medieval children figures that fitted the bill. It was wonderful that an old friend Matt who runs Knucklebones Miniatures volunteered to sculpt me one. If you fancy getting your own, I’m sure Matt will send you one for a reasonable payment!

While avoiding spoilers, the Sanctuary map might feature two or three times in the scenario, depending on how it plays out, and the details of the scenery add quite a few options to the potential second and third usages.

Next up is a map for the Battle at the Standing Stone, which may or may not occur in the adventure, depending on the actions of your Hero. This is a nice big open map, set on the moors of the Hermit’s island home. Again, no spoilers, but I can imagine some running around on this one… Our Monster here is robustly played by a Red Box Games troll.

In this playthrough, we’re using the regenerated character Alys (who I always considered something like an early medieval, welsh Hermione Grainger).


We’re using a Footsore Miniatures Shield Maiden for her figure. Footsore also provided one of the followers. I highly recommend their work. Their new range of Anglo-Saxons is gorgeous.

For additional followers, Victrix Vikings and Anglo Saxons and Anglo-danes are perfect. There’s also a character model from Bad Squiddo in there, who I highly recommend! (I expect we’ll use her model for a Hero at some point in my games)

There’s an additional variant map included for another optional battle, which I haven’t set up, since I didn’t need it for this play-through, but it’s worth mentioning – it’s a flexible map that could easily see use in other games.

The Walled Graveyard map created a lot of nerves for the player in this run through! Can’t say any more than that! Physically, this is the smallest map, and I don’t know if that added to their worries?

The Ruin is a personal favourite location. It’s based on a ruined broch, not that the characters in the scenario know this. There’s one of the very few lowland brochs close to Handiwork HQ, in the form of Tappoch Broch, and we’ve very much taken it to heart, making dice trays featuring it! The broch ruin is another map that might come in handy for other adventures, It’s a nice big one!

In this image you can see the Inspiration Pool at work – you get a printable one, along with some tokens, as part of the Hermit’s Sanctuary. There will be neoprene mats and really gorgeous metal tokens available as part of the BEOWULF kickstarter.

The map of… this location, let’s call it, is filled with spoilers, so there’s not much to say. I just hope that your Hero ends up seeing this one when they’re well prepared! The stones here are from Warhead Studio.

This is probably the most useful map to use in play, even if you’re doing theatre of the mind. Printing it on A4/US Letter and using counters might come in handy, as one of the potential climactic battles is something of a mini-game to itself. This is a common feature of scenarios in BEOWULF – the battle against the big Monster always has some kind of cool twist to make it really memorable.

We have our own range of miniatures being designed right now by our dear friends at Cold War Miniatures, and the initial range includes all the pre-generated characters from the Hermit Sanctuary. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the renders!

We’re very close to having pre-production examples on hand – the last piece of character art is heading over to be sculpted today! We showed him in progress earlier in the week – here’s the more or less finished art. He’s a doomed hero archetype, searching for an enemy worthy enough to gift him a heroic death.


The Hermit’s Sanctuary is available absolutely free here. It includes all the maps in this article, as PDF posters, jpeg versions for VTT, and sliced up easy-to-print versions.

There’s a Tabletop Simulator package for it here.

You can find out more about BEOWULF here.

The dice shown are from The Dice Dudes

The dice trays are from us! Get one here.

BEOWULF designer diary – Two-Weapon Fighting?!

Work in progress on a two-weapon fighting Hero

Hello, Jacob back to talk about BEOWULF: Age of Heroes today with a discussion about “dual-wielding” (two-weapon fighting) and the design process.

Now Jon is well known for HATING dual wielding. (editor: it is true, I hate dual wielding and I cannot lie) So it was a bit shocking when he raised it as something worth including. After I collected myself off the floor, I took a careful look at things. One of our goals with BEOWULF (and all the work we do) is to make sure things fit within the milieu of the poem. Not every feature of 5e fits BEOWULF. Lots do, some need some tweaking, some need some rescaling, some just don’t belong at all. But we also want to be as inclusive as possible. If you want to take one of our adventures and run a group of four dragonborn sorcerers against our mystery and our Monster then we want you to have fun. So that means that we often consider aspects of 5e that aren’t exclusively prohibited to be ‘out there’ for use, even if we don’t ever make use of them in our pre-generated characters or examples.

And that’s where dual wielding had been living. We hadn’t specifically forbidden it, but we hadn’t encouraged it. We also like to think that, by careful curation of the weapons and armour lists, that we can represent that dual wielding was a dangerously aggressive technique not well-suited to the time period. After all, when I think of practical two-weapon fighting, it’s in the context of rapier and dagger or katana and wakizashi, neither of which fits into BEOWULF.

But Jon’s point was that there was something to that ‘northern courage’ that Tolkien was so enamoured of in the source materials that fit with doing something so bold and reckless. At the same time, we’re also tweaking the equipment lists to make sure that we represent the poem and the setting properly. Helmets and shields are important in the literature of the day, and relatively little attention is given to the other armour. So we’re resolved to make them important. We’ve now given additional properties to shields and helmets, such that a shield can provide up to a +3 for armour class and a helmet up to a +2. That means a Hero can jump up from beside the fire in only their weaponshirt and don a helm and shield and have an AC equal to 16 plus their Dexterity modifier.

It also means that choosing to give up that shield in order to wield a second weapon is even more of a trade-off. After all, you could be giving up 3 points of Armour Class (plus all the neat interactions with other weapons and feats that shields in BEOWULF provide)! For the base version of two-weapon fighting, giving up that shield can really hurt. But what about our bold and reckless Hero?

Feats to the rescue! We already had a couple of feats provided that allowed a Hero to do a bit of Barbarian-like berserking and that seemed a perfect place to add in dangerous and deadly two-weapon fighting. So you can wield any weapon in either hand, as long as it’s not heavy or two-handed. And you get advantage on your attack rolls but attackers had advantage on attack rolls against you. So now you can go berserk with two bearded axes or two swords or a fransiska and a long-seax or other exciting combinations. You’ll do lots of damage, but you’ll be in lots of danger at the same time.

I hope you enjoyed that deep dive into some of the mechanical considerations behind BEOWULF: Age of Heroes. We’re working steadily away on it, and will have more news in the coming months. Stay safe and enjoy all the adventures that gaming can bring you!

The Hermit’s Sanctuary, the introductory adventure to BEOWULF is available FREE here.

And BEOWULF: Age of Heroes is coming to Kickstarter soon!

Check out some fine BEOWULF accessories at our store now. We’ll be talking more about those, and those to come, later in the week!

BEOWULF!

This week we’re going to be talking more BEOWULF! We’ve got a designer diary by Jacob, some chat about maps and minis (which are entirely optional, by the way!) from Jon, and we’ll be taking a look at some of the cool things we’re making, and have made for BEOWULF: Age of Heroes, including miniatures!

Currently, the studio is crammed full of the giant poster maps that come with The Hermit’s Sanctuary, the free scenario for BEOWULF, available now: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/306721/BEOWULF-The-Hermits-Sanctuary

And hey, check out this awesome twitter thread about The Hermit’s Sanctuary: https://twitter.com/ACassDarkly/status/1245873071988359168

Credits!
Miniatures from Footsore Miniatures, Gripping Beast, Perry Miniatures, Knucklebones Miniatures, with rocks from Warhead Studios. The dice are from Triple Ace Games (their very tasty Viking Dice).

You can grab a BEOWULF dice tray from our web shop right now.

The Hermit’s Sanctuary Poem

Beowulf, is of course, a poem. And it wouldn’t be right to publish an adventure without a poem of its own! We were delighted to be able to work with Dave Oliver of Rattlebox Theatre, who performs all kinds of amazing puppetry and spoken word performances.

Here’s the poem that Dave composed for The Hermit’s Sanctuary. There will be more poems to be found in the core setting book of BEOWULF: Age of Heroes from Dave and others.

Hwaet!

A far flung isle

Mist mantled, Rune deep.

Surrounded by the whales way

A speck of footfall- firmly set

Upon a blue bright shield

A stone boss boldly sits

Battle-battered by billow maidens

Ancient bearer of grave and grove.

Home of bristle backed boar

Racked by wild winds keening.

Gulls wheeling screech, its scops;

Baleful beaked eagles unlock their wordhoard.

Bitter brine- not balming beer

Is lapped by that wyrd- wrought isle!

Once a holy held place

A blessing not bane to honest kin.

In hearth of deep dwelled slaughter,

Its leavings glut the grey cloaked wolf

Gorges the black ravens bent beak

Feast giver for Woden’s greedy birds.

Moon bleached, snow skinned

Shield breaker, blood drinker

A pale scabbard for a sword host

Of battle- bold warriors!

Hardened hearth-troop wreak their craft

Battle lights sing but do not sever

Blood embers swing –harmless their hewing

No war sweat stricken from war needles striking.

Forge fired, handiwork of smiths

Have no power present there.

Wyrd unravelled, blades bite dulled

Fates weave woe in warp and weft. 

About The Hermit’s Sanctuary

The Hermit’s Sanctuary is a free, full-length, introductory adventure for the forthcoming BEOWULF: AGE OF HEROES for 5e!

Designed for one player and one GM, BEOWULF provides unique rules and support for single-player games in the Age of Heroes. Take to the Whale Road as a monster-slaying hero! Voyage to the island of the hermit, and investigate the cause of its woes!

Complete with pre-generated characters, maps, printable accessories, and more, The Hermit’s Sanctuary is entirely free.

Download the adventure for free at DrivethruRPG.

Hermit’s Sanctuary now on Tabletop Simulator!

Thanks to our friend Bill, you can now play The Hermit’s Sanctuary using Tabletop Simulator! Which is rather handy if you’re stuck indoors!

Download the free scenario: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/306721/BEOWULF-The-Hermits-Sanctuary

And here’s what you need for Tabletop Simulator: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2030201409


Tabletop Simulator itself is here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/286160
Content is still being added, and it’s playable now.

Of course, the scenario works fine without Tabletop Simulator too!

The Hermit’s Sanctuary for BEOWULF 5e: out now!

We’re delighted to bring you The Hermit’s Sanctuary
a FREE, full-length, introductory adventure for the forthcoming BEOWULF: AGE OF HEROES for 5e!
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/306721/BEOWULF-The-Hermits-Sanctuary

Designed for one player and one GM, BEOWULF provides unique rules and support for single player games. Take to the Whale Road as a monster-slaying hero! Voyage to the island of the hermit, and investigate the cause of its woes!

Lavishly illustrated in full colour, The Hermit’s Sanctuary includes:

  • a complete, 52-page adventure for one GM and one Player
  • optional poster-sized PDF battle maps for all locations
  • optional VTT-friendly battle maps for Virtual Tabletops
  • 4 pre-generated characters
  • printable accessories: inspiration tokens and inspiration pool
  • blank character sheet
  • rules reminder sheet
  • handy adventure flowcharts


About BEOWULF: AGE OF HEROES

One of the oldest recorded stories in Western Europe, the poem Beowulf is an epic tale of hero against monster. And then the monster’s mother. And then a dragon.

BEOWULF is a setting and rules set for 5th Edition, designed for duet play – one GM and one player. Set in the world of Anglo-Saxon myth, no deep knowledge of history is required – the themes are eternal and instantly recognisable, adventures occur in the story-world of the Saxons, and we’ve done all the historical reading for you!

BEOWULF presents a host of new and specially adapted rules to create epic and thematic adventures for your lone hero and his or her companions. 

BEOWULF features a unique new set of subclasses: The Hero, with subclasses for each ability score. It has BEOWULF specific backgrounds, and unique rules for sea voyages, inspiration, alignment, followers, a new condition and more!

Explore mythic, migration-era Europe and beyond, solve mysteries, and do battle with dreadful monsters.

With writing and rules design from hand-picked 5e and folklore geniuses, and with art from Jon Hodgson and friends, BEOWULF will be a thing of epic wonder. It will arrive on Kickstarter soon!

www.handiwork.games/beowulf