A windfall of source material

I got paid for my Holmes D&D inspired BlueHolme Journeymanne work (which I will release as an art bundle once it ships) and spent some of it on, well, Holmes.

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Tales of Peril

I also did a little work for the Holmes inspired Zine Exciting! Imaginative! Fantastic!

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The biggest windfall of inspiratory source material was an 18 volume set of Grolier’s mid seventies encyclopedia of esoterica, The Supernatural,  which I picked up from a street cendor for twenty bucks. The woodcuts of dragons alone was worth  it!

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I have already laden my game with cults, using the DF15 cultist frequently, along with inspiration from Dark Albion’s  Cults of Chaos, and Dark Naga’s Hastur Cult as seen in the Temple of Forgotten Evil.

I had run a modern day GURPS Horror game in the nineties that featured real cults from the seventies, like the snuff trading, LSD selling Process Church of the Last Judgement. That game ran quite a few years, and included a character who was an albino were-python cab driver, a surgeon discovering the physiological effects of being a zombie, a filthy rich dilletante who later became a vampire, and an FBI agent.

Ah, good times then! Let’s see what is in store for my players now!

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New Stock Art on Drive thru: Half Orcs!

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In addition to the merchant Rushagorn Brodakin, and Darg Wharten who is ugly enough to pass as an orc blood despite being human, This set of eight includes a martial artist, a spellcaster, two warriors, an assassin and two thieves.IMG_20170629_160527

This should be available on my page in a day or so.

My Patrons got it earlier, and you could too at my Patreon!

 

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My work is also featured in a superbundle of awesomeness that benefits Contessa. There is a boatload of Dyson Logos stuff, and about twenty other products. Get it here!

Update: I bought the bundle myself, and have been looking over Fire on the Velvet Horizon. Wow. Scrap Princess’ work is completely opposite mine in style, yet is powerfully evocative and ominous at times. The written descriptions in this peculiar bestiary is thoughtful and strange, if difficult to look at for long, as the typography and art overlays are very retro zine, brutally primative, but strikingly effective.

I make nothing from this, but it will help some folks have a good gaming experience at Gen Con.

Blueholme work nearly done

I have just one more picture to do, something about missile combat. I have been looking at come of the other work by my cohorts, and I must say I am excited for this project to be done.

Erik Tenkar recently sent me an advance copy of Swords &Wizardry Continual Light, and I joined the Swords & Wizardry Light Legion, so as to better work on Beneath the Fallen Tower. (I had also acquiered Monstrosities, Tome of Horrors Complete  and Tome of Horrors 4 for conversions). Oddly enough, the adventure hook I put in that would lead to an encounter with a fire Slorn scaled better with James Spahn’s abreviated stats for a SWCL dragon than with the Fire Lizard I had planned on porting from Tome of Horrors  Complete. Naturally this encounter was one of those our starter characters would have been gravely outmatched by, but no one ever said the world had to be balanced.

Likewise, the necromantically inclined apprentice wizard in the adventure scales perfectly as one of Spahn’s alternate classes.

My work has been published in two otber gaming suplements. Nod 32 ,by John Stater, has a bunch of my Mesopotamian art, along with some Circus folk for Grit & Vigor.

One of my Dungeon Scenes showed up in Christopher Clark’s systemless adventure, Bastion, the Border Village of Namar. It has good use of clip art throughout, and a decent cross section of plots, some of which revolve around a demon cult that uses succubi to lure in members, much like the Saturnal cult withintbe sewers of Northport. The one thing that felt off to me was the way every female character had some kind of attractiveness rating,and none of the male characters had more than the most cursory of physical descriptions.

You can pick that up here.

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Recent Acquisitions and Comissions

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I just got a few new used GURPS books, and freshly printed copies of The Wizard’s Scroll and Crypts and Things Remastered from Drivethrurpg. I always get hardcopy of things with my art in them, it lets me build a portfolio of published work, although you can always get a copy of my book if you are interested. (And use code SURVIVE20 to get20% off)

Some of my recent work, to be seen in John M. Stater’s Nod 31  (A ghost dog, space amazons, Ajax and a giant scorpion fight), and an elven necromantrix and a goblin sage for a yet to be named project by Charlie Mason (originally slated for his Whitebox Quickstart until my art was deemed too Old School for an introductory RPG. He has got some vibrantly colored pieces by Spiral Magus instead, which is far from a bad thing.

I post several things to my Patreon a month, and bundle them for sale once I hit a large enough amount, but my patrons get them for free. If you like buying my art bundles, consider a monthly donation of $1 to get a piece of this. If you want to tell me what to draw, donate $5 or more. It comes out to be cheaper than my usual commission rates.

Out of the suggestion that my art was too Old School in feel, because of this commissionbeginners-boook

You can get a print of this here.

I started working on a project to depict an adventuring party more aesthetically pleasing to a younger set of folks without a history of tabletop rpg experience. Thus was born the Young Adventurers, currently being featured on my Patreon.

I am hoping to do more with them. Let’s see how that unfolds.

Similar themes, different outcomes: or why I should read kickstarters through and not simply buy because of cool Art

The reason I bought into Beneath the Inverted Church was entirely based on preview art that showed up in my G+ feeds. The art in question is some good linework by Scott Buoncristiano, like this piece of his:

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I didn’t bother to read through the Kickstarter, and by the time Erik Tenkar reviewed it, I had forgotten that I had backed it.  I find there to be thematic alignments between BtIC and Zak Sabbath’s wonderful Alice inspired A Red and Pleasant Land.

Both involve characters entering a hostile and evil demiplane subject to the caprices and obsessions of the truly villainous inhabitants, and having to pass into an even more warped reality through mirrors.  If the main enemy in BtiC was any other type of demon than an “Inverted Cupid” the types of horrors encountered would have been more palatable.  As they follow that specific type of evil, it enters into a questionable territory. Not, mind you, and unfamiliar one. Plenty of the flavor text in  ARaPL is just as graphic, with one major point of difference.  The evils of ARaPL are just that, Evil, and at no point are the characters forced to really participate in the Red Queen’s games in order to complete the adventure. They can capitulate, it is true, but it is not required that they do so. They can run, they can kill, and most certainly, they can die, but they needn’t do anything graphically uncomfortable.

That aside, there are a lot of interesting mechanics to the circumstance of travelling through, or opening mirrored portals.  While the Stress mechanic is reminiscent of San points loss in CoC or Fright Checks in GURPS, they unfortunately generate the problem of dictating how a character feels.  You can tell a PC that the image they see through the glass is revolting, but strips a little agency when you tell them that they are disgusted, but cannot turn away, at least without incorporating some type of Saving throw or resistance check.

The looking glass world in BtIC is called the Invert, and like that of ARaPL, is a very hostile place, and also quite alive. Not only are you faced, when gazing at a reflective surface, with loathy images that induce stress, but it can see you. In the case of several locations called mirror doors, there are two types of interactions; the first is to be magically (and forcibly) drawn through the glass, which only allows passage of flesh and a substance called Stained Salt (a super hardened mineral that looks like stained glass), a process that will maim or kill dressed and armored characters, or  to “seduce” the sentient mirror door by showing it something both novel and  indecent.  This goes beyond a “tell me your darkest secret” kind of thing, and quickly drifts into an uncomfortable place that might demand an alignment check from characters dealing with the toll keeping aspect of the mirror world (if not their players walking out on the game). Now, there is an “out” built into the setting; the first encounter the characters have is with an amoral bandit who likes to defile the corpses of his victims in a way that would make Dahmer blush, but is accompanied on his crimes by a merry band of artists who record the atrocities in their sketchbooks.  There are some examples of the content of these images, and a money making opportunity for characters to sell them off so that they can be destroyed by grief stricken relatives of the deceased depicted therin, but primarily in that you can bypass the damned doors by showing them pages from the book, which is still pretty nasty.

The monstrous opponents in BtIC do look amazing, again thanks to Scott Buoncristiano’s artwork, and could easily have crawled out of the Teratic Tome, or the Random Guest Table from a Red and Pleasant Land. (One of my favorite parts of that book!)

By converting the primary opponent from a lust demon into one of violence, one could remove all of the sexual content from this and play through, but the characters without the picture book of mutilated corpses might have to shed their own or each other’s blood to open the doors… There are enough mechanical ideas in this to be interesting, but culling them from the rest of the material is not for the faint of heart.

 

Edit: Instead   of showing the Magical Mirror Doors some novel perversion,  you could instead require characters   to recite new or original poetry to the door, as the Blatant Beast  did to Harold Shea in the Incompleat Enchanter.

On other notes: Two products with my art just hit drivethrough. As usual I don’t get anything from sales unless it is one of my own products, but check these out:

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The Blood & Treasure Keeper’s Screen, by John Stater and The first issue of Charlie Mason’s Whitebox zine, wcThe Wizard’s Scroll

Snatch em now, the art is good!