Spotlight: The Second Greatest Damn Art Resource Ever...

So, it's been a little while. I have quite a bit to tell you.

Sneak Peak style? Lots of work, lots of WFRP, and two weeks in Japan. I shall tell you all more soon!

However, in the mean time, I have another Art Spotlight recently discovered, in the same vein as the last one.

May I present Lidrael's Gallery!

Check it out, weep over the artworks, and let me know what it inspires you to create.

Good gaming, everyone!

Artist Spotlight: Benjamin Ee, TheBoyofCheese

Here goes another Artist Spotlight! This one goes out to one of the most talented character artists I've ever seen:

All hail, The Boy of Cheese!

I met Ben (not me, nor the other Ben... I know a lot of Bens, ok?!) through QANTM Melbourne when I was studying there, and even before I knew of his ridiculously awesome artwork, I knew of his ridiculously awesome personality. Ben has alwasy stood as one of those weirdly calming presences through QANTM, seemlessly able to disolve disputes with a hug or a quick flick of his wit.

And then I saw his artwork, and... Well... My words suck in comparison, so I'll just show you.

Yeah, that's right... These are the people I know O.O

Check out his work on his deviantArt page, or purchase some prints from his online store.

I hope it inspires you as it does me!

Artist Spotlight: Leesha Hannigan, DoubleJumper

Well, I promised I would do more art shout-outs, so here is the first of the new batch. 

Living in Melbourne, and studying at Qantm, I met some absolutely amazing artists, but by far I've never seen one with the same range as Leesha Hannigan. From stunningly realistic environments, to adorable isometric houses, and Disney-quality characters... Needless to say, when Leesha told me her intention to join Impossible Worlds, I nearly fell out of my chair.

Enough of my rambling - here is the art itself! (Note, the last one is a painting of a nude model, but I would class it SFW. If you have an issue with it, then, grow up... Seriously.)

Damn... All I have to say.

Check out the rest of Leesha's work on her blog, DoubleJump!

Article Spotlight: The Monstrous Vignette in 8 Quick Steps

(Let me just first say sorry for not posting last weeks "Things-To-Do". Assignments got on top of me, but I will be posting 2 submissions for it this week to make up for the delay.)

Once again, I have found a pocket of awesome on the waves of the maelstromic-Internet. This time, it is something I have never even considered, but after reading about it, can't stop wanting to try!

Have you ever wanted to shovel some insight about your Party's enemies onto the players without it feeling like an info dump or a meta-game? Well, Leonine Roar has an article titled "The Monstrous Vignette in 8 Quick Steps" that will be perfect for you!

Basically, in literature, a vignette is a scene portrayed not form the main character's view in which information that the main character is not aware of is transferred to the audience. Therefore, in an RPG, it would constitute the players taking the roles of NPCs, or perhaps even villains, and playing from their perspective for a scene/encounter or two...

This idea is sheer brilliance in my opinion. Imagine this: the PCs set down to sleep in a tavern at the end of a massive adventure. They believe they are safe, and have just averted certain doom for the city/town they are in. However, whilst their asleep, their dreams tell them something different...

You hand the players new, simplified character sheets with a short bio on them and you explain that they are transported into the minds of their enemies. They have a goal: kill or destroy something the PCs have recently encountered and had near fond memories of. Once they accomplish this grisly task, have them catch a glimpse of the BBEG, and then fade back into their real selves.

Obviously, this could be handled badly; the PCs could meta-game and refuse to carry out the mission, or they could use this knowledge gained to meta-game after the fact. To avoid this, state clearly that their performance as the enemy will directly relate to XP gained during that session. Therefore, the stuff they do as the enemy will gain them XP for their main characters.

Please read the article I have linked to, and try it out for yourself! I sure know I am planning one or two of these in my up-coming campaign :)

Keep rolling those dice, and I hope to speak to you again soon!

Article Spotlight: The Adventure Funnel

I spend a lot of my time looking through the vast stores the Internet has to offer searching for GM gold. Often times I find naught but crappy pages telling me to subscribe to DnD Insider so that I can read their new online Dungeon and/or Dragon magazines which have fled so far from useful that it makes me laugh...

And yet, sometimes I do find my gold. Today is one such day.

Have you, as a GM, ever had no freaking clue as to what your players were going to do during the next session... Which is later that night? Then, by damn, have I the article for you.

The blog "I Waste the Buddha With My Crossbow" posted this article, titled "The Adventure Funnel", all the way back in 2006, but I am just seeing it now. Basically, it send you through a formula for devising really quick quest lines. You still need creativity and imagination, but with this simple tool, you will find that cardboard-box-loving old friend in no time.

The method of simple enough:

  1. Think of a Goal. What should the players be trying to do? Something like "Kill the local witch" or "Find the hidden treasure" works perfectly.
  2. Next, think of the Obstacles. What is preventing the players from doing this something? Just jot down anything that comes to mind that may (or may not) make sense. "Bandits", "wolves", "a flood", "a broken down bridge", "an annoying bird". I find in this section that a random adjective + a noun works well, as it will get your imagination fired.
  3. Finally, explain why you wrote down in the last step with Details. Which bandits? Why are there so many wolves here? What caused the flood? Who broke the bridge? What the hell is up with this drastically annoying bird? Etc. Don't over do it, just get enough down that you don't have to stare blankly at your players when they ask you questions about their new feathered friend.
And that is basically it. Easy as hell, and damn effective.

Keep rolling those dice, and I hope to speak to you again soon!