Forgotten Adventures, the busy and popular cartography team, was Geek Native’s Patreon’s RPG Publisher Spotlight winner last month. Why post an interview with them now?
Simple; we’re late. Blame the Covid/holiday season double-whammy. The silver lining is you get both. You can still find out about the 45,000 free, licensed assets the publisher offers, and you can find out what the plans for the future are.
We’ll likely see Dungeonfog integration, and we discover that dragons and rubble are the requests the team gets the most often.
Who are Forgotten Adventures?
Forgotten Adventures is currently a team of 6 different artists and creators. Stryx is our founder. He started FA on his own back in 2018 drawing maps, map assets, and top-down tokens.
He stumbled upon Grace half a year later and brought her in to help with tokens after realizing their art styles were eerily similar. We sought out and gained three new artists at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021: Joe, Levi, and Mutt. Joe and Levi draw map assets with Stryx, and Mutt has joined Grace as the other half of our token team. Khazrym has always been here, doing behind the scenes things like social media, Dungeondraft conversions, and keeping Stryx sane.
Where did the name come from?
The original plan for Forgotten Adventures was to make short written adventures that came with maps. The plan changed very quickly to map assets and tokens, but the name stuck. Now it’s a bit of a joke, because the adventures really are forgotten and nowhere to be found.
What do you think you’re best known for?
We’re going to guess we’re probably the most known for our map assets. Even now, a few years into the TTRPG add-ons game, there are not a huge number of people just doing map assets. We are also one of the few creators out there doing top-down orthographic tokens.
We started drawing these things because we didn’t see a lot of them available when we started out, and it’s interesting to us that there’s still not a huge number of people making them. But clearly there’s some interest, considering the size of our user base.
Oh, we might also be known for giving away almost all of our content for free.
What do you want to be best known for?
We like being known for our assets and tokens, so we’re pretty content with that. But we also want to be known for having a friendly and open community and providing an extensive free library to TTRPG players. TTRPGs are inherently social; most of them are designed to be played with a group of friends.
We think it’s incredibly important to keep that key fact at the forefront of our work. We have a pretty active Discord server that we maintain for our community. People hang out there for general chatting, mapmaking and sharing, and giving us feedback or suggestions on our work. We share works in progress and ask for opinions and the like in our feedback channel. I don’t think we’d be able to keep up our work momentum without the support of our community.
Also, two of our artists were discovered through our Discord channel! We also release most of our art for free. It was one of the core tenets that the company started with, and it’s very important to us to continue doing. TTRPGs are games, and no one should have to break the bank to have fun playing games with their friends.
How did you settle on your style? What is your creative process for your art?
The goals of the style were to create a balance between readability, and detail. Something not photo-realistic, but also not cartoony. There are some great assets out there in both of those categories, and we found that we were looking for something more in between. Readability is the key factor in everything we draw though. Maps and tokens serve a specific and important role as visual aids in games, so they need to be clear and maintain that focus. They’ve also got to do it zoomed out to 25%, which is what most combat encounters seem to be viewed at.
As for deciding what to draw? We still feel like we’re trying to cover the basics most of the time. But other than working through our to-do lists and getting sidetracked by our muses, we also ask our community what they’re interested in seeing from us next.
Which third-party RPG product makes you most proud to see Forgotten Adventures material being used in it?
We love seeing people use our stuff! Map assets are designed as building blocks for other people to make things out of, so every time we see someone sharing the things they’ve made with our work is a win for us. We have multiple community library channels on our Discord where people can share what they’ve made and see what others have created too. We’re not going to pick favorites though. You don’t ask parents who their favorite kid is, do you?
Which requests do you get the most often?
Dragons and rubble, hands down. These are both things we are working on, but they’re both big projects, so it’s hard to say when we’ll ever be done with them. We’re trying to work on some generic rubble right now, and it seems to be making people very happy. As for dragons, we’ve got wyrmlings done! But there are a lot of dragons left and they only get bigger from here!
We don’t believe in doing things by halves apparently so the ancient dragons are going to be quite large tokens. Ancient dragons clock in at around 80ft in length and wingspan, so those tokens are going to be about 16 squares in size!
What’s coming next from Forgotten Adventures? (upcoming projects that are different from what we’re currently doing?
For the most part, we are just going to be doing more of what we’re already doing: more tokens and assets. There’s always more things to draw, and expanding our library is our number one priority.
That said, we have two upcoming announcements. The first is that Dungeonfog integration looks like it’s going to be ready mid-January. We announced our intention to work with the Dungeonfog crew last spring, and they’ve been hard at work even since. The second is an FA backed project involving battlemaps that’s been in the works and under wraps for a while now. Last spring we announced that we were going to stop doing battlemaps, and this project is what’s intended to step into that void.
We also have some side projects that we would love to see realized some day. We mentioned some of them to our community a year ago at this point, but most are still far off. We really want to make a custom token-maker that allows you to build and colour your own medium sized humanoid token. A portrait maker has also been proposed. We’ve also considered branching out into overland map assets, but that would definitely require bringing on another artist.
The only other things that may be of note are that Levi really wants a Critical Roll ad, and Stryx may or may not be working on achieving lichdom.
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