Rhombus sees some strange figures (six of them) at Alanian’s door. They let themselves in and close the door behind. Rhombus goes up to the door, it is locked. Continue reading Alanian of Cerinos (Pathfinder)
Among the plethora of phenomenal artists at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 was one of my personal favorites, Larry Elmore. Larry has done several key pieces over the years, such as the covers for the Dragonlance novels, much of the cover artwork for EverQuest, and so many additional pieces of fantasy art that they are impossible to mention or number. He is also quite a friendly gentleman.
My family and I cornered Larry at the booth he shared with Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, and Laura Hickman. My wife and I had been huge fans of Larry for years (too many to count). We had shown our 13 year old some of his work, specifically the Dragonlance art, and she was very interested. While my wife and I looked through the prints that Larry had brought with him, my daughter proceeded to interrogate him about his work.
Larry was happy to talk to my daughter. They discussed his work at length. My wife and I continued looking through his prints and saw one of his book. I remembered that Larry had put together a Kickstarter campaign for one of his books earlier in the year. Specifically, SnarfQuest was funded in January.
If you enjoy fantasy art, you have probably seen the work of Larry Elmore. Many of his prints will have his name on them, but a lot of his commissioned art does not. Check on the credits page of your favorite works of fantasy fiction, he will be listed if he is the artist. Also, check out his website at www.larryelmore.com and look through some of his beautiful artwork.
Here is my 13 year old’s summary of her conversation with Larry:
“One of the few people we were able to interview at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 was Larry Elmore. Larry Elmore is known for doing a lot of art work for Dungeons and Dragons and the cover art for DragonLance. He also did the basic art work for Everquest, and then the Everquest group made his art work computerized for the game. He has several books that contain his art work like, Reflections of Myth, Masters of Dragonlance Art, and The Complete Elmore.
Do you prefer drawing dragons or humans?
I do not really do a lot of dragons, so I do not really have the chance of drawing dragons.
Do you prefer an item to draw?
No, not really.
Did you like doing the art work for Dragonlance?
I actually made a few rough drafts for Tracy (Hickman), to help them sell to the board. So I was on there from the start.
(End of Questions)
If you want to find more about Larry go to his website at, (linked above)”
I have been a big fan of Margaret Weis since I first read “Dragons of Autumn Twilight”. I cannot remember clearly if I picked up the book when it was first printed in November of 1984 (before I turned 11), but I do know I read it within the first few years of its release. Continue reading Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 – Margaret Weis
If you haven’t yet taken a look at the Dungeons & Dragons 5E Miniatures, you should. Not expensive quality, but definitely worth bringing to your gaming table. Here is what we picked up at our local gaming store last week.
With the release of 5th edition, the worlds oldest fantasy RPG entered a new era. Along with this era, a new series of miniatures have arrived. These new miniatures are made by WizKids/Neca and come prepainted in booster packs of 4 figures (including one large figure) for about $16. The quality of some of the previous miniature series had me originally hesitant to purchase this set, but I caved and purchased a pair of boosters. I am glad I did. Continue reading Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures – Icons of the Realms – Tyranny of Dragons
Traveling from Giamond to Sea of Shards.
Our party emerges from the tunnels into the desert area. We proceed north thanks to several party members knowing survival. We know the camp we seek is that direction. After awhile, a voice welcomes us. We aren’t surprised, Quaben recognizes the voice as belonging to a friendly genie like creature. He guides us north, the next day we reach the camp we sought.
In the camp there are dozens of people. Many of the people speak common, wearing the brand from Greed.
Our party discovers that the crystals covering the whole desert are what we have been looking for. We fill our bags with the crystals to take back to potentially make weapons.
We then have a discussion about the abilities of our donkey (ATSD).
This week in Pathfinder…
The party continues their efforts to find weapons to use against their diabolical opponents. They cannot openly confront them, the sheer size of the enemy army would destroy our brave adventurers. But, perhaps, there is a way to begin their revolution on a smaller scale.
With information from the village of Gi’Mon, the party has followed a series of lava tubes and tunnels passing far below the Hellspine Mountains and the cities of Acad and Kenedox. However, this path is not without peril, as the party discovers the glory of nearly invisible gelatinous cubes. After a brief struggle, and a moderate amount of frustration (poor Amon, never even got to act), the party survived and continued on their journey.
What strange creatures will they find in the Sea of Shards? What dangers await? Will the party continue to walk blindly forward, missing perception checks, and die to kobold traps?
Find out, this week, in Pathfinder!
Are you ready to get your game on?
Come join us at Aethercon! The following games are being run at Aethercon and were written by Curtis Baum.
The following modules are GMed by Curtis Baum:
Friday – 3 PM East – Cult of Life Book One: Trial of Faith
A new religion has surfaced in the village of Shursune. Is this religion as benign as it appears or do they serve a darker purpose?
This will be published by Rcane Publications and be available shortly after Athercon. Be among the first to play this new module.
Friday – 9 PM East – Thief in the Night – Bridgefort Saga 1
A recent string of thefts has the city of Bridgefort baffled. They think the party may be involved. Can the party find the real culprit and put and end to this crime spree?
This module is published by Adventure A Week.
Saturday – 11 AM East – Cult of Life Book Two: Trial of Blood
The party is hot on the heals of a dangerous enemy known as Lord Ravenbrook. They chase him to Ravenbrook City and must work through the area and find a way to get into his mansion, learning the dark history of Baron along the way.
This module will be published by Rcane Publications, shortly after Aethercon. Be among the first to play this new adventure.
Saturday – 5 PM East – The Right to Arm Bugbears – Bridgefort Saga 2
The rumors of a massive army being formed are reaching citizens of Bridgefort. They have a map to several locations where ancient relics may have been lost. Can the party stop these humanoids from acquiring even more power for their army? Can the army even be stopped?
This module is published by Adventure A Week.
Saturday – 11 PM East – The Puppetmaster
Villagers claim they have seen a strange doll out chopping wood in the forest. Merchants are talking about being robbed by puppets. What is the source for these odd events? Is a maniacal craftsman in the forest trying to destroy the village?
This module will be published by D3 Adventures.
Sunday – 5 PM East – Battle for Bridgefort – Bridgefort Saga 3
The humanoid army marches on the city of Bridgefort. The party is among the few defenders that can hold them from destroying the city. Is the party up to the task? Can they finally defeat the mastermind behind the growing army?
This module is published by Adventure A Week.
Additionally, Christi Baum will be GMing:
Saturday – 11 AM East – The Witch’s Challenge
A strange plague has suddenly swept through a small village. The citizens are helpless and many have already died. A visiting witch thinks she can solve the problem, but it requires an amulet buried ages ago. Can the witch be trusted? Will the party be able to cure the plague before the village is destroyed?
And Thomas Stephens will be GMing:
Saturday – 11 PM East – System Crash: Ragnarok
A recent bank robbery has been botched. A new AI is on the loose turning systems against civilians and security forces. What caused it? Can it be stopped?
This module is published by D3 Adventures. It is exclusively free at Aethercon!
“AetherCon is a free online RPG convention emphasizing a sense of community. RPGs such as Pathfinder, Shadowrun and Call of Cthulhu will be run with many more games available. Free browser based RPG programs, Roll 20 and Infrno, will be used to run the games. Along with the games AetherCon will have panels and Q&A sessions with industry professionals such as Jim Pinto (Post World Games), G. Earnest Gygax (Gygax Magazine), Mike Mason (Chaosium), Ken Hite (Pelgrane Press), Wes Schnieder (Paizo) and many more. AetherCon will also have a lot of great vendors, such as Paizo and CGL just to name a few, available to sell you some great merchandise and an artist hall in which you can buy original art work and learn art techniques from the artists as well. Plus every Friday, leading up to AetherCon, download exclusive, free wallpapers from these artists as well. You also could win a chance at having one of your favorite PCs immortalized by one the artists on a future exclusive AetherCon wallpaper just by playing! The more you play, the better your chances of winning! AetherCon kicks off on November 15 and runs through November 17 of 2013.”
Check out www.aethercon.com for details.
Greetings fans of fantasy and fiction!
At Salt Lake Comic Con, I got the opportunity to chat with this incredible couple who have been involved in gaming, writing, and game design for over 30 years. I was able to learn some interesting information about them, what motivated them early in this field (including why they accepted the job at TSR and moved to Wisconsin), and where they are heading now. What an incredible couple!
“Unemployed in Greenland” – direct quote, Tracy said it.
Aside from the initial greeting as being one of their biggest fans, which I am sure they hear thousands of times a year. I proudly presented my original Ravenloft module (1983, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons). As they tracked down their pens to sign my prized possession (and a lovely picture of the two of them) I begin interrogating them about how they got involved in the business.
First, despite what you may suspect, it was Laura who started the addiction to gaming. She was several hours late picking up Tracy when she got side tracked with a gaming group. She then introduced Tracy to gaming and the passion began. This was during the rough times where gaming had first started and was receiving a lot of negative press. I started gaming in this era (though I was 8 or 9 then) and can still remember some of the accusations and insults thrown at gamers. This was during the early 1980s.
When Tracy and Laura first got started professionally in gaming, they were living in Logan, Utah. If you are not familiar with it, don’t feel bad. It is the home of Utah State University and is on the far north side of the state, about 70 miles almost due north of Salt Lake City. Tracy had been working as a movie theater manager for a time until he became, and I quote, “unemployed in Greenland.”
The Hickman family was struggling. They had been unemployed for several months and had children to feed, cloth, and take care of (they married in 1977). Tracy and Laura sent a few module submissions (Pharoah and Rahasia) to TSR (makers of Dungeons and Dragons) in hopes of making money to buy shoes for their children. TSR offered them a job in Wisconsin.
Tracy’s dad, who was living in Flagstaff at the time, begged them not to go. He offered them a place to stay and a job in Flagstaff. Tracy and Laura however decided to take the plunge and headed to Wisconsin.
Between Then and Now
Tracy and Laura worked on several projects since that time. Tracy is well known for his work on the Dragonlance setting (novels and modules). He worked extensively with Margaret Weis on that series as well as several others (Darksword, etc).
He and Laura also worked on novels together. One of the most recent trilogies is “The Annals of Drakis” (published between 2010 and 2012). They have also been evolving their story telling and marketing to the digital age, including the “Dragon’s Bard” where material was downloaded via subscription and a final physical book was received when the subscription was over.
2013 and Beyond
In March of 2013, Tracy Hickman joined Richard Garriott’s (Lord British) team for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsake Virtues. This project, as of September 8, 2013, has raised over $2.4 Million with over 24,000 backers to date. The PC game will be playable solo or multiplayer and is expected to have initial content available in October of 2014 (www.shroudoftheavatar.com).
Tracy and Laura have been busy on their own projects. Thursday night, September 5th, they launched a Kickstarter for their newest game. Sojourner Tales is “The storytelling board game that turns your e-reading device into a portal to Imagination and Adventure!” (quoted from the Kickstarter page, listed below). Tracy took a few minutes and used his Kindle to show my daughters (ages 12 and 8) how to play. The game is fascinating with dice, cards, and events changed by the Kindle. It specifically mentions that a print version of the adventures will be available, but the e-book version makes the game faster and easier. (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/trhickman/tracy-and-laura-hickmans-sojourner-tales-board-gam?ref=live)
I very much enjoyed spending time with these two wonderful people. I also cannot wait to see them virtually at Aethercon where they will be answering questions and running the game as a demo. (www.aethercon.com)
Game Mastering 101 – Planning Adventures – Part One
Over the course of gaming for over 30 years, I have been asked many times how I plan out adventures. As a veteran, it has become so natural that I have not thought about the process I use much until I was asked by a few friends recently for advice. It occurred to me how daunting the task must look and really got me to thinking.
The first person I recall asking me was about 15 years ago. At the time he was working on computer gaming and wanted to develop a system for these games. I have had people ask me several times since, and I decided it was time to put my thoughts down on video and paper.
Therefore, over the course of the next several weeks, I will be recording my process as I make an adventure. This adventure, in its entirety, will be available on my websites. The videos are on my twitch account (http://www.twitch.tv/lordrcane).
This week we looked at the basics of forming an adventure. The basics are formed by answering a few questions to get a feel for what lies ahead. When I work on my adventures, this first step helps me outline what comes ahead. I answer 7 questions: What level? Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
This is what I brainstormed while doing this video:
What level? 8
Villain +2 Devil
Lt +0 Devil, Devils, Cult
Encounters -2 Imps, Bugbears, Hydra
City, Forest, Temple
City: Farmlands, Warehouse, Mansion
Forest: Clearing, Tree Village, Cave
Temple: Road, Entrance, Temple, Altar
When? Seasons, Indoors/Outdoors, Light?
What? Tempting Villagers
How? City finding funds, tempting with cash
There is more to come and I plan on doing one of these a week. Talk to you soon!