Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Article: The "I's" Have It

Over at Wizards is a short but nostalgic article by Shannon Applecline that follows the history of TSR's I-series of modules starting from Dwellers of the Forbidden City and on. Check it out!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Castle Greyhawk: Trading Places

Welcome fans to another installment of Castle Greyhawk! This week is page ten in the second chapter of our ongoing Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Follow the link above to get the full play by play from Scott Casper. Alternatively you can view the page HERE, courtesy of Maldin's Greyhawk.

Artist's Commentary: Well things have taken an interesting turn haven't they? This page was a challenging effort. drawing a somersault is something I've never quite tried to do like this. I'm not ashamed to say I had to reference pictures to get the right motion. Scott has been wonderful at having the characters wander around this fort so much so I could probably draw you a map of the place from memory.

Now, what will our protagonists do next?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Longcloaks of Krestible

Here is a small write-up from my old Greyhawk notes on an original organization that I recently dug up for one of my Sea Princes campaigns. They were so cruel I couldn't resist bringing them back for some new players to deal with.

The Long Cloaks of Krestible are a mobile band of bounty hunters hailing from the northwestern realm of Perrenland. They are predominantly worshippers of Trithereon the Summoner, god of retribution whose relentless pursuit of criminals is emulated to a brutishly efficient degree. They are led by a high priest of Trithereon named Kythis Hadren and his lieutenant, a hardy rider name Henrik Turm. The Long Cloaks are noted for their skill in horse riding and mounted combat, both with melee weapons and crossbows. The Long Cloaks are a gruff, fearsome looking band of men (no women have made it into their ranks so far) that are often mistaken for lawless bandits. They are most recognized for their distinctive heavy cloaks made from the hide of various monsters found in the surrounding Yatil Mountains back home.

The Long Cloaks are hired by wealthy nobilities to track down heinous criminals who seek to evade justice by hiding beyond their reach in far-flung lands or behind other figures of authority. They are true vigilantes whose stern purpose and fervent dogma leads them to believe their divine mission puts them above the laws of all nations and most other religions. The Long Cloaks relish the hunt, sometimes taking on new missions while in the middle of tracking a bounty. They also enjoy interrogation and intimidation, treading the line of local law to get their way with people and governments.

Among the tools that the Long Cloaks use in their work are parchment wanted posters that are distributed in cities to aid in their search. They are not above bribing individuals for information seeing this as a suitable compensation compared to the alternative which is bodily harm. Despite their eagerness to use violence, and the fact they know most quarries will fight back, they prefer to take bounties alive. Paradoxically while they believe in personal freedom, hating slavery for instance, the Long Cloaks claim the worst criminals deserve to have this right revoked by the gods until acquitted by their own clerics or those paying the bounty. For this reason, Long Cloak crossbows are normally coated with a variety of poisons to slow down or immobilize targets long before going in with restraints. The Long Cloaks often go afield with hunting animals as well, favoring dogs and falcons like their patron deity. Lastly, the Long Cloaks are not above using divinatory magic in their chases. Though such appeals to their god at the start of a mission can be cryptic, simpler, more accurate auguries have been known to be used to follow up on their own investigative talents.

The Long Cloaks of Krestible claim to work on the side of law and justice, but their abrasive style and methods will often lead them to butt heads with players characters whose interests rival or oppose their own. In this manner they can make good PC foils for a cross-country or urban based storyline.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Few Minor Greyhawk Things

Howdy readers, it's a quiet night so I'm posting a few Greyhawkish items that caught my eye this week. Let's check it out...

First off, if you haven't seen Anna Meyer's zoomerific Flanaess map test run you should now. A map this ginormous needs an online version like this to handle it all at once. Hey I think I can see Kester from here!

Next up is a Deviant Art page from a couple years ago that I came across by chance during a pic search. Someone made plushies of Iggwilv and Graz'zt! All I can say is that's dedication!

Over at Wizards they are promoting a reprint set of OD&D:

"On November 19th, the deluxe reprint version of Original Dungeons & Dragons releases, which includes seven booklets (the first three rules booklets and four supplements) and dice within an engraved and illustrated wooden storage case."

Talk about a luxury buy. Thanks, but no thanks Wizards. Once again, I'm not that nostalgic for Gygax stuff. More next time!

Update 05/23/2021: Changed a link to a more recent zoomable map by Anna. The Deviant art page is closed so, link removed. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Castle Greyhawk: High Action

Welcome back to another action packed Castle Greyhawk! Today I'm pushing page nine in the second chapter of our quite thrilling Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Follow the link above to get the full play by play from Scott Casper. Alternatively you can view the first page HERE, courtesy of Maldin's Greyhawk.

Artist's Commentary: Well now, this Gronan fella is starting to become a pain in Robilar's plans. Terik got rudely introduced to him as well. The bandit fort has been an excellent setting so far, and the battle for it lends well to this action-filled chapter. Raised drawbridges, rampart archers and so on...what can Scott dream up next?
I've also been enjoying doing a true sword fight. I don't think the kobold fights in chapter one were much of a challenge for the heroes, but the skilled fighters in Gronan vs. Robilar has been a great exercise in figure drawing. More to come!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Repost: Great Mysteries of Greyhawk, the Invoked Devastation

Over at Unfrozen Caveman Dice Chucker, I came across this quite interesting blog post a month ago and meant to share it sooner. Could have the Invoked Devastation that destroyed half of the Baklunish Empire been a self-inflicted cataclysm rather than a Suloise Empire first-strike? Later canon and Magi of Power notwithstanding, check it out and decide for yourself.

Update 05/23/2021: Unfortunately it seems this post no longer exists, and I did not quote any parts of his theory. Now I feel dismayed!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Castle Greyhawk: Have Fun Storming the Castle

Welcome back to Castle Greyhawk! I'm way behind on promoting page eight in the second chapter of our wildly fun Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Follow the link above to get some important story dialogue by wordsmith, Scott Casper. Alternatively you can view the first page HERE, courtesy of Maldin's Greyhawk.

Artist's Commentary: The action has certainly gone to a new level. I am liking the angles and expressive motion of the characters. Gronan vs. Robilar does not disappoint! I've only drawn him a few times, but I'm starting to like Terik a lot too. It's also good to see Tenser back in adventure mode too. I can't wait to see what new spells he's added to his book since last we saw him. Stay tuned for more!