Tuesday, November 10, 2015

City on the Hill

I love city maps, and I spend a lot of time downloading maps I find online, often at the cartographersguild.com. This one was posted recently by Narolas and would make a wonderful addition to any campaign.
There are a lot of things to appreciate about this map, the city sitting on a hill with a large fortress on the top, the ruined wall running through it hinting at an ancient history and hidden secrets buried beneath the city, the little villages surrounding it begging for clandestine meetings at the small inns after a desperate midnight summons and a ride through the dark countryside.

Monday, November 2, 2015


I think that art is important to set the tone of a game, one of the reasons I struggle with Pathfinder is the ridicules art. Every time I see the barbarian in the main book with a sword made of 300lbs of iron I laugh a little. Conversely the classic black and white line art of 1E and 2E really hits the spot for me. I also think 5E did a great job of presenting more realistic art after the excesses of 3e and 4e.

In my original draft I used art pilfered from the B/X books and adventures of that era. I needed art as a place holder and to let my original play-testers know the style of play I was emulating. Obviously I have the financial sense to know that paying a competent artist to illustrate my vanity RPG is an unwise decision, but I also know a consistent art style is hard to achieve with public domain art.

I have limited artistic talent so I have gone the simple route of creating my own art using black and white silhouettes. This is time consuming as I use public domain pieces and slowly turn them into silhouettes in a often slow process. This is my latest piece, I am not entirely happy with the flail, and may change it to a mace, hammer, or sword.

My intention is this is not a werewolf, but a primal wolf creature, probably the terrible offspring of a titan and a she-wolf. I like the size of the wolf creature and the implied resolve of the crusading cleric bent on ridding the earth of this primal menace.