Posted in: Art, Dungeons and Dragons, My Creations, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 3: Image

Day 3: Image

I elected to go with the suggestion of “Image” for today’s entry for several reasons. Graphics, artwork and photography go a long way in helping our imagination with role-playing games. It didn’t need to be a complete illustrated story, but show just enough to get the imagination going. The old saying is, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but I will say that a good cover usually attracts my attention before a dull one will. For the longest time I had no desire to read The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun because the cover image confused me. The bulk of images used for other modules made sense and attracted me towards the book and gave me a little taste of what I might find inside. But Tharizdun… well I just wasn’t attracted to it and that was due to the cover image.

When we create a character for any system, we usually have an image in our minds-eye of what our character looks like. We can write down a description or bring it up during a role-playing session, but sometimes we just have to have an image of that character. I’ve never had the computer skills to photoshop a image of my characters, but I did attempt to hand draw some of them. Recently I found my old three-ringed binder that I used to store my RPG characters going all the way back to the late 80’s. I started scanning in some of these characters for future blog entries.

One of the AD&D 1e character sheets also included my crude drawings of the character and possible “logos” that could have been used for his in-game persona. Lornic Mynsor was a Half-Elf Fighter/Thief that also went by the name “Stealthblade”. (Hey, I was a teenager, don’t judge) I don’t recall any of the adventures I played him in (it seems like a lifetime ago) but it appeared that we were running with some house rules. There is a Perception attribute that the DM was using. I believe I drew the image and logos while I was waiting for my turn in the game. Here are the images and the character sheet.

Final Thoughts:

The suggestions for today were not bad ones. I was just more excited to post my geeky artwork from a long time ago. A topic on “Tactic” could have easily talked about the Starship Tactical Combat Simulator by FASA. “Risk” could have covered some of the risks that players have to think about as they make their way through the adventure. And “Support” could have been a post about how some companies support (or don’t provide support) for the game that they have published and how the gaming community adds their support as well.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Art, Horror Hosts

My Letter on Creature Features

Creature Features Artwork
Host Vincent Van Dahl holding the home made artwork from my kids.

I’ve talked about my enjoyment of the show Creature Features before. It is a program presented by a “horror host” that shows a… not so high brow movie (i.e. affordable to programs on a shoestring budget). But sometimes these are the best movies. They are cheesy and rare. Sometimes watching a “horror host” show like Svengoolie, Elvira Mistress of the Dark or Creature Features is the only way to see some of these weird and wonderful films. Yea some are bad enough that I probably wouldn’t give them a second viewing, but that’s what the hosts do. They make a bad film entertaining.

Creature Features has this segment where they read viewer mail. Some fans have sent them packages with gifts, others have provided artwork or letters with criticism/kudos. On Father’s Day, my kids created a home made Father’s Day card with the cast of Creature Features as the main part of the card. I had to scan the card and send it into the show. On Saturday, July 17th while airing the movie “The Titan Find” (an 80’s copycat of Aliens) the cast read the letter and showed off the artwork I had scanned. My kids were tickled pink that their work (and their names) were aired on the show. I even had a few friends buzz me that they had seen the segment.

For those of you who don’t know, every new episode of Creature Features is broadcast live on their YouTube Channel every Saturday night. You can also watch past episodes that they have done from the past 4-5 years. In most breaks from the movie, host Vincent Van Dahl is interviewing a special guest. They also post the “Letters to” segment as a separate video later in the week. Here is the segment with just the letters. My letter is the last letter in the video.

Posted in: Art, Conventions

The things you find in boxes

Carl Stark cartoon by Howard Tayler

So I’ve been trying to get all of my stuff out of cardboard boxes. While cardboard boxes are good for short term storage or getting pizza delivered in (mmmm… pizza) they are not good for long term storage of items you want to keep safe. One of the goals that I have set for myself is to get everything that is still in a cardboard box out of said box. Sometimes I even feel like Indiana Jones uncovering the hidden ark. From there I can decide if I want to trash it, donate it, trade it or keep it. When I uncovered this bad boy in his protective sleeve (now scanned and posted above), I knew I wanted to keep it.

Over thirteen years ago I went through a period of insanity where I was a Con-Chair for a local fan-run convention. A Con-Chair is basically the president of the committee (a Con-Com) that puts together the convention. One of our primary guests at this convention was an artist named Howard Tayler. Howard is one of those fellow geeks that when you see what he’s done, you have to be inspired. Twenty straight years of publishing the web-comic Schlock Mercenary without missing a date. He has also designed role-playing games, written short stories and participated in a weekly podcast which has won a Hugo award.

Howard made a caricature of me at the convention. I was in “Con-Chair” mode with my body in an injured Captain Pike wheelchair. Like Pike, I could beep ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but I also had the option to ‘delegate’. I thought it was hilarious. I have fond memories of those conventions and seeing this image reminded me of some of them. Now that I have an office, I will be framing this and putting it up on the wall. Thanks Howard.

Now I wonder what I will find next? I’m motivated to get more boxes emptied.