Monday, 21 December 2015

Claeridge Pass in production

Thanks to Brian Van Hunsel for the awesome contribution of the city map for Claeridge Pass. Planned as a campaign setting and series of adventures from funnel to higher levels.

If you follow that river flowing to the south, you'll eventually wind up at the Gravic Swamp from Trolls of Mistwood.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Getting on with the DAMN job

I was looking through my old art files on a spare hard drive and thought this might make an interesting post. I started on DAMN in September '13. I'm not sure how I got involved but I had been working with Daniel Bishop and Paul Wolfe on several projects, so I suspect they were somehow instrumental.

Below are a series of progress pieces of the cover taking shape - you may notice that Hugh the Barbarian at one stage was going to appear on the cover but for potential legal reasons I changed to just a savage barbarian to take that place on the screen. For those of you who haven't purchased issue one of DAMN (for shame), it was dedicated to Ray Harryhausen who had recently passed, so I tried to use as many iconic Harryhausen monsters I could - as did Daniel with his adventure.

First draft
 I always loved that cyclops! I wanted something that divided the front and back covers and initially it was going to be that tree. But I scrapped that and went with a different setting altogether after reading the adventure.
 And Harryhausen's medusa - well, I don't think anyone else has come close - mind you, I am a fan or Tony Randall as the medusa in The 7 Faces of Dr Lao.

 Above is where Hugh was going to cameo before we thought better of it lol. I had to have the Jason and the Argonauts skeletons. And Calibos to accompany Medusa.
 BTW the guy getting turned to stone is me - at least I got one cameo in there.

 And there we have it.
As much as I liked the cover my favourite piece from issue 1 of DAMN was the dragon illustration (another 7th Voyage of Sinbad monster).
I had an idea for the cover for issue 2 but I have since incorporated it as you may recognize...

Sunday, 8 November 2015

More Illustrations

More illustrations.

 This adventure has been more than a year in the making and I've called in others to help.
I'll be one happy camper when I get this all together.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Unused Patron Art

By request! :)

Back when I was illustrating Angels, Daemons and Beings Between, there were a few patrons that didn't make the final book. Since Paul Wolfe is publishing the stats for some of these patrons, I thought I might as well post the art. Forgive me, Paul, if I get the name's incorrect.

First off is Myrddin. I thought the write up on this patron was excellent - trying to imagine how to portray this in picture form was difficult to conceptualize. But instead of drawing the patron, I decided based on the culture Paul described I'd make the image of a Myrddin worshiper and a totem pole idol of said patron. Seen below:
 You can access the awesome description and details of Myrddin at the following LINK and it is well worth the read. In fact, it was Paul and Daniel J. Bishop's writing on patrons that got me interested in DCC to begin with.

Another patron I drew, and I'm not sure who the writer was on this one (sorry guys) or the patron's name but he was an entity that lived in a volcano and was appeased by precious gems from its followers - all I know is its name starts with 'T'.

This piece actually inspired me to draw symbols for each patron and I have somewhere a collection of 'holy' symbols or markings for the patrons, in the end they weren't required for the book.

One of the pieces I spend a fair amount of time designing was for Paul's patron A'Kas. Paul knocked this one out of the park for me again. Absolutely loved this patron - perhaps he'll share the details on his blog in future posts. Here is the piece I drew for that:
For old time sake, following are some drafts and roughs of other works for that book.
Hecate pencil concept
Hecate Inks
Hecate Cover Art
King Halgaz Early Draft
King Halgaz Pencils
Four Maidens pencils
Myrddin Pencils
Arm of Vendel (Tivet?)
That T guy again but eyes were disliked lol.
On other news, Curse of Mistwood is coming together - art is building up, writing is being done - I'm excited to see how this one goes.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Mistwood - time has passed

Life in Mistwood has been peaceful since the events of The Trolls of Mistwood. People have begun to feel safe in the village by the Gravic Swamp. But something evil this way comes...

Just a brief update on where I'm at with adventures.

Curse of Mistwood is currently being written by Daniel Bishop and myself. Brian is on board again for maps and I'm doing illustrations as often as I can. I'm actually starting to get that excited feeling about seeing the light in that long long tunnel ahead with this one.
The Freezing of Claeridge Pass is also coming along slowly. I'm dividing my time as best I can between writing this adventure, writing Mistwood and doing my day job. Here are some works in progress in terms of art.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What inspired Feast of the Preserver?

For those of you who have purchased Feast of the Preserver (thanks), you may enjoy this clip from the movie Monster Club (1981).

I watched this movie as a kid and the ghoul story has always stayed close to my heart. The seed for Feast of the Preserver is definitely in this movie. If you can, watch Monster Club, it's an amazing old school piece of schlock horror.

Feast of the Preserver is available from

Friday, 14 August 2015

Behind the scenes: The Trolls of Mistwood

The Trolls of Mistwood was an idea that came to me when I was a player back in 3rd edition. My character, a paladin named Gabrius Helmson, led the party on a rescue mission into a troll cave. The party was high level and we'd kicked a shadow dragon's butt - so we were feeling pretty cocky. So we marched straight down the main tunnel without scouting or investigating the side tunnels. BIG MISTAKE. When the trolls emerged from the tunnels, our only means of retreat was cut off and we were annihilated. Trolls, I decided, should never be underestimated.

The idea of a village under siege by trolls seemed like a killer idea to challenge a party but it didn't have much of a story. But as the adventure was written it evolved into the tragic curse story that drives the adventure. I enjoyed the process so much I planned a sequel before I had even finished the first. If you have purchased The Trolls of Mistwood (thanks) you might notice little hints and hooks that play out in the sequel. Hags, trolls, a curse and a swamp - that's the basis of this adventure and the next.

Now for the art. Sometimes when I get these ideas I start to visualise what I want the cover to appear like and out comes the pencil and paper. Below are some pieces that didn't make the final adventure and some that evolved into the final pieces.

Here is the original pencil drawing of the cover.
It didn't change much as you can see.
The trolls themselves took a bit of time to lock down for how I wanted them to be. I love the look of first edition Dnd trolls but (SPOILERS) the trolls in the adventure aren't your normal trolls and Pathfinder had seemed to go the way of the Weta trolls, so I tried a few different looks that ranged from The Lord of the Rings trolls to naked pube troll (that's what I call him).
I also designed what the hags faces looked like - in the adventure Glyndel, Gillara and Necrosa are only seen in silhouette in the adventure but originally I wanted to show each of their faces to show their character further. Here below are the faces of the Gravic Swamp coven.
Above is Glyndel (as well as some troll concepts urgh). As the youngest and most 'attractive' and nice, I limited her ugliness. Bellow are the vicious Gillara on the left and the bloated Necrosa on the right.
 Since they figure into Curse of Mistwood, I may develop their appearance further - they were originally witches but rapidly evolved into hags for the sake of the story. Their hut on Crone Island was also sketched but never made the adventure.
The swamp itself was also an interesting development, it had to be large enough to necessitate navigating but also include some exciting encounters - below are a series of sketches and details from myself and then Brian as we developed the environs.

My original brief to Brian:
Brian's development:
As you can see - Brian is a true artist! Have a look at what he did with this sketch I gave him of Mistwood:
His version:
And further still:
Well, that's about it for what I'm going to share today - please ask any questions you like. If you enjoy this kind of post, I can certainly share a bunch of ideas and art that didn't make Feast of the Preserver. Cheers for now.

The Trolls of Mistwood is available to purchase at a very affordable price at the link below:
Trolls of Mistwood $6.99 only!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

I don't remember anyone asking for this?

It's interesting when a friend is looking for tokens for Roll20 and comes across my art as a downloadable piece... Oh well?

My halfling paladin

The person who has contributed it may have asked me at some point but I can't remember and it is for free - I just find it interesting where your work can mysteriously appear.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Angels, Daemons and Beings Between and Unseen

My first foray into DCC and RPG illustration was working on the Patron Sourcebook, Angels, Daemons and Beings Between. Not being familiar with DCC, the concept of Patrons was a bit odd but it was explained to me that the book would be like the old Deities and Demigods supplement for AD&D.

Sean Connors, the project leader and Daniel Bishop and Paul Wolfe, the writers. Daniel and Paul have become regular contacts for me and I have learnt a lot from both of them and still collaborate with them whenever possible. Sean is a little more elusive as he has withdrawn largely from the RPG community.

This isn't a post about the success of the book or its shortcomings, I wanted to focus on the job.

My mother was selling her house up the coast and I had just signed onto the contract with Sean when I was called to help my mother pack up the house. I decided to catch the 5 hour train ride over driving so I could draw. And I loved the experience - I pulled the printed descriptions of the Patrons from my bag and began sketching.

I think I drew about four of the final pieces and some of the unused Patrons in the train. When I got back to Sydney, I anxiously waited for Daniel and Paul to send more subjects to draw. In the end I drew 16 of the 18 illustrations in the book. The other two were completed by Daniel. I created the cover out of the sheer love I had for the project.

Anyway, I found this video I put together back in 2013 that looks at some of the art I did for that project.

I'd love to see AD&BB re-released with the additional Patrons that were left on the proverbial cutting room floor. Maybe even expand the pantheon further to include other 3rd Party Patrons... but if wishes were fishes... hang on... I am a Fisher.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Looks good in print!

Very happy with the quality of the printed version - thanks for all of your support!
Come buy your own!!!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Print Copy Arrives!!!

My print copy of Feast of the Preserver came today - much to my delight. It looks great in print! I'll post a video of it when I get the chance.