Welcome to the New Ysgarth Site

Posted by admin on Oct 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Welcome to the new homepage for the Ysgarth Roleplaying Game project. Ysgarth was originally published in 1979 and has gone through many editions since then. It was a groundbreaking RPG which was the first to feature custom designed character attributes and a point-based skill system, establishing mechanics which have become standard in roleplaying games published since it was released.

Ysgarth is particularly known for its rich and detailed background world, which has developed through more than thirty years of play by multiple campaigns covering a span of over 100 years of game world history.

We are now working on the revised 8th Edition of Ysgarth for release in 2012. It will include mechanics and background in a single volume and will be available in both e-book and printed formats under the Hanged Man Games imprint.


Tolemeias Map Project

Posted by admin on Oct 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Through the various editions of Ysgarth there have been a number of efforts made to map the City of Tolemeias. The original map dates back to 1978. It was a gigantic document some 8ft x 8ft in size with every block and neighborhood marked out in detail and sub-maps of most major buildings. This map was too large and too detailed to ever use in print. With the technology of the time there was no way to reduce it in size and preserve the details, so it became the source for subsequent remappings of the city. Much of this map has since been damaged by exposure to moisture so even if it were to be scanned it wouldn’t be much use anymore.

Its first successor was a much less detailed hand-drawn map of the city produced for the 1982 edition of the Ysgarth rules. The original was 36in x 36in. It looked fairly good, but had limited detail and a rough, hand-drawn look to it. The original hand drawn version has been damaged by water and acidic adhesives used to assemble the sections, so it is of limited usefulness. To the left you can see what one of the surviving sections looks like today.

The next version of the map was done for the 6th edition rules and was done as a computer graphic in around 1988. It was a relatively primitive graphic done with an old program called SuperPaint, and not at terribly high resolution. It shows city blocks and some details of important landmarks, but the original file was corrupted and all we have left is a printout of it at 12in x 12in which is in rather poor shape and a lower resolution version of the original file which looks just awful. Of the two the scan of the old printout is probably the more useful. You can see it to the right.

So with such poor quality surviving maps the goal for the future is to design a new map preserving the information from the earlier maps, but looking much better and with more features including lots of detail and color and a historic look and feel. Our starting point for this is the scanned version of the 1988 map which we’re using as a template on which to build the new map. For the look of the new map we’re referencing the extraordinary 18th century Tassin maps of French towns – see the sample to the left. The new Tolemeias map will have the detail of the 1988 map with the look of the Tassin maps and be in full color with some detailed insets of buildings and other areas of interest. The final version should be an 11x17in fold-out map which would be tipped into the rules.

I’ve already begun work on the new map design. In the graphic to the right you can see a small section of the 1988 map with parts of it overlaid with new graphics based on the Tassin maps. As you can imagine this is a pretty time consuming project because each little building or wall graphic has to be customized to fit the dimensions of the new map and then fitted in relatively seamlessly. It involves a combination of preserving