Showing posts from March, 2011

Question: Original RPG Art for Sale

I'm pretty excited about Stefan Poag's Etsy shop for his original artwork. I'm going to peruse his shop and pick up a couple of pieces. As an artist myself, I LOVE having original art by other artists. I have a couple of RPG pieces by Kent Burles and a few others. I find myself wondering if others would be interested in purchasing some of my originals that were used in RPG products? If so, does it matter if they are matted or just the original on the paper? I do have an Etsy account but nothing uploaded (since I tend to be more of a buyer than a seller). I'd be interested in hearing if 1) You like to purchase original RPG art 2) How you like the presentation 3) If I should bother tyring to sell some of my originals. My inent is not to make tons of cash, rather, I'd like to see some of these pieces go to folks who would appreciate them rather than have them sitting in my archives. Let me know what you think!

More Art Commission pieces

Here's the latest I just finished for Small Niche Games. Daisey is colorizing some work for another commission and it looks fantastic! She has an amazing sense of color and I'm excited to get those out. Soon, soon!!!

Recent Art Commission

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been pretty busy with art commissions lately and it hasn't left me much time for blogging. However, I just wanted to give a sample of what I've been working on. Here's two pictures I've just finnished for Small Niche Games. A marine ombie and a Mutant demonic Mage. Happy gaming!

OSR project and Illustration updates

Slow blogging week for me, but that doesn't mean I'm not actively enaged in OSR goodness! I've been doing several illustrations for Joe Browning at Expeditious Retreat Press and Peter Spahn of Small Niche Games. I'm putting the finishing touches on a couple of cover pieces. Daisey has once again outdone herself on the coloring. I'm trilled with how they came out. The Small Niche Games pics are turning out nicely as well. After that? Well, I've got a couple of pictures I need to get on for ckutalik at the Hill Cantons blog and a GENCON tournament module for XRP. Yeah, so I'm staying busy. I can't wait to share some of the color work. Man, it has been a busy year on the art front. You'd almost think I was a full time artist ;). As to my other projects? Well, they are delayed due to the extreme amount of artwork I've been doing but not forgotten. I've been reading up on Higher Spatial dimensions in Clifford A. Pickover's book

Initial thoughts on OpenQuest and Stars Without Number

I just received my hardcopy of Stars Without Number the other day. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading through that and OpenQuest. I have to say, these two games go a long way to scratching an itch I’ve had for a while. Stars Without Number is a great looking game. I can’t really say enough about it. I’m not much of a Sci-Fi gamer. I’m not sure why because I like Sfi-Fi pretty well but I’ll admit that it isn’t my goto genre. Overall though, it does a GREAT job of reframing the early D&D rules and reworking them for a Sci-Fi genre. Upon a cursory read through, I could think of so many things that could be done with this system. Right of the bat, I found myself wanting to recreate Asimov’s Foundation. I think it would also be interesting to do up a space horror setting with this system. I’m thinking of Alien or Event Horizon. Yeah, or something like Cthulhu weirdness in space. At any rate, it is a top notch game so go check it out. There is absolutely NO reason i

Japan Relief and Free Swords and Wizardry Module

Mythmere has announced a great idea for Japan relief . He's released the Last Priest of Sobek as a free adventure as long as you donate at least a dollar to disaster relief in Japan. The module is an Egyptian themed affair written by Alphonso Warden and art by me and maps by Matt Mythmere Finch. I'm happy to be involved with this worthy effort even on a small scale. So, why not drop by and read Matt's post, donate what you can, and pick up a great adventure to use in your old school games!

The Act of Creation: My Process for Illustrations

As an artist, I'm fascinated with the creation process. The actual process of creating art is much more important and fulfilling to me than the end result. Not that the end result is unimportant, but once I've created a piece of work, it is usually no longer "mine" as most of the time I'm working on something for someone else. But the process of creating is an incredibly intimate, seductive process for me. I tend to get very engrossed in what I'm doing to the point that the outside world doesn't exist, just me and the process. At any rate, I thought that it might be cool to share with you all a bit of that process. I don't think I can define much of the experience as it is more mental than just the physical act of creation, but I'll do my best. I don't have a studio, I'm very much a dining room table creator. It's a good space and I figure that even if I had a studio, I'd probably be using this space a lot for my work.

Happy St. Pattrick's Day and National Unity Day for Italy!

I've not posted much this week due to being busy with work and art commissions (yay!). I'll have quite a bit of new art hitting the streets this year and I'm extremely happy about that. I'm just about ready to wrap up some art for Peter Spahn at Small Niche Games and Joe & Suzi at Expeditious Retreat Press. After that I have a couple of more commissions and then I'll get back to work on my projects. I just picked up a cool book about explaining the higher dimensions and how creeatures from these dimensions would interact with our world. I fully plan on mining this stuff for Basalt Keep of Wilven the Yellow as well as my OSR "Adventure Path" that I've been pecking away at for quite some time. Well, time to get back to the drawing board!

I've found the secret of adding more time to my day!

Really I'm kidding but if anyone knows, please pass it along! Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to get done. Add the stuff that you want to do and well… So my art commissions continue apace and I’m pretty excited about them. It seems that the opportunities out there for projects that I’d love to work on keep expanding exponentially. That is an incredibly good thing and it shows that the DIY hobbyist gamers and the OSR are kicking some major butt to get some incredibly great stuff out there. If only I could 1) add about four more productive hours to my day and 2) find the energy to sustain myself to actually be productive for those extra hours. I tell you, what a difference from a few short years ago. There were very few projects and I’d go for long periods without doing any art. Now, I’m at my drawing board almost every day (and that’s after a full 9 hours+ at my day job and family time). Good stuff, keep it coming. S

Happy Pi Day!

I hope everyone is having a happy Pi day! I'm hoping for French Silk Pie. Or apple. Or, well, I like Pie. Hey wait a minute, you mean Pi day and not PIE day? WTF?!?! Oh well, Hot Elf Chick hopes have a great day anyway ;)! Oh yeah, while you're at it, check out some of my wife's latest children's book illustrations on her blog Creative Compulsive .

Grognardia bandwagon: Re-imagining Iconic D&D Monsters the Dark Elf

James M over at Grognardia asked the old school bloggers out there to tell the world about their versions of iconic D&D monsters. I've never really liked the dark elf as presented in Dungeons and Dragons. If anything they were 1) far too numerous and 2) should not be attractive by any human standard 3) just not creepy and evil enough 4) and why the hell would an underground dwelling creature have black skin? For me, the dark elves should be really creepy. You know, like in the old fairy tales where they kidnap youngsters and make houses out their bones? I don't want my dark elves to be sympathetic at all. Their motives defy human comprehension, they eat flesh of humans/humanoids, they have strange powers, speak no language comprehendible by man, etc. For me, dark elves do indeed dwell underground. They only come about at night because direct sunlight will kill them. They have pale, almost translucent skin (usually covered in much and offal) and a stringy pale yel

I am not a Hot Elf Chick. I am THE Hot Elf Chick

I’m not really a hot elf chick but apparently I play one on the Internet ;). Yesterday’s silliness was all in good fun and I think it brought some much needed levity to the scene. It was a bit cheeky, but well, that’s OK. It’s good not to take ourselves so serious. After all, we are talking about games aren’t we? I wanted to follow up on a comment Tim Shorts made on my I Like Pie post. Tim suggested that I develop a random comment table for people to use to respond to content posts. If you haven’t read my I Like Pie post (and I can’t possibly imagine why you wouldn’t read it), the gist of it is that most people say they prefer content blog posts over opinion posts. However, opinion posts tend to generate far more content. Perhaps this is due to the fact that people don’t feel comfortable about just posting a comment of “Very cool”. Well, I for one like these short posts as it lets me know that my blog is not just an echo chamber or an editorial. So, in that vein, I’ve come

Hot Elf Chicks Seek Gamer Guys for a Good Time

You read that right! Hot elf chicks seek gamer guys for good times and great adventures! YOU can live out your wildest fantasies! YOU can storm the mad wizard’s tower and win the girl! YOU can slay the dragon and take the gold! YOU can become a king among men and be the envy of the peasantry! How?!?! Hehehe, a little bit of tongue in cheek there. In all seriousness, for those tuning in, welcome to Ostensible Cat, a blog associated with the OSR (for my regular readers bear with me – or blame it on James at the Underdark Gazette for giving me the idea). What is the OSR you ask? Well, it is a loosely affiliated or group of self identified gamers that choose to play role playing games in the Old School manner. OSR has a few different meanings for the acronym (Old School Renaissance, Old School Revival, Old School Revolution, etc). Essentially it all boils down to the same thing: a bunch of gamers that are enthusiasts of older editions of pen and paper role playing games (

I like pie!

Cyclopeatron made an interesting blog post which I tend to agree with. Most conent posts don't get responses but opinion posts do. I've noticed the trend in my own blogging as well. There is some incredibly interesting content being generated out there in OSR blog land. I think folks tend to react more to opinion pieces because no one really wants to 1) either say your stuff sucks on a blog post or 2) only say "that's cool man". I tell you what, I cherish the "that's cool man posts", it at tleast let's me know folks are paying attention. As to the your stuff sucks, well those are OK too as long as they tell me why they think my stuff sucks so I know how to try and improve it. At any rate, I like pie. It even tastes better when I had to kill an orc to get it ;).

The Nameless City

Matt "Mythmere" Finch has announced on his blog the release of The Nameless City by Alphonso Warden for Swords and Wizardry. I'm pretty excited about this and not only because I did the artwork. Alphonso does a great job of capturing a creepy Lovecraftian feel in his works. I've collaborated with Alphonso on many modules before and I think they've all been top notch. So, if you want a real good pulp horror treat, stop by Lulu and pick up a copy.

200th Blog post and Two Weekly Creature Features!

Wow, two hundred posts. I did not mark the occasion when I reached 100 posts, but I feel that I should do so now. Why? Not because anything I've done, but because of the folks out there that continue to inspire me with their creativity and insight. There are several posts out there in blogland (and on message boards) about the history of the OSR, if the OSR is a movement, is the OSR dead, is the OSR viable, is the OSR crap, etc. Well, I don't know about all of that. I'm just happy that hobbyist gamers are continuing to put out some great stuff. I will say that while I'm deeply appreciative of the pioneers that came before; however, I also do not subscribe to the notion that I should be eternally beholden to what these folks did and worship the ground they walk on. They laid a fine groundwork and folks continue to build upon that groundwork to make new and interesting stuff. In the end, this is all about fun and thanks to the folks out there that are interested

Some Quick Thoughts on the Commercialization of the OSR

Several floks have already posted there thought on this, but I felt as a contributor to the OSR, I'd chip in a bit. Mythmere has posted some great thoughts on the history of the OSR along with some thoughts on the commercialization of the OSR. You can read the posts here , here , and here . Rob Conley and Stefan Poag have also offered up their thoughts. Pretty interesting stuff. I know that there are some folks that aruge pretty passionately for OSR contributors only putting out free stuff while others just as passionately argue for for profit projects. I suspect that most of thefolks that have worked on the for profit projects have also done quite a bit of free projects. Free is good for the obvious monetary reasons. Mythmere also states that he believes that since no one in the not for profit section of the OSR is making any money at doing this, the folks involved are acting as a quality control filter. Thus ensuring only high quality work will be released. Seems lik

A word of thanks

Preachers and Porn stars, mathematicians and metalheads, old grognards and young enthusiasts, conservative and liberal, punkers and potheads, fathers, sons, daughters, mothers, nerds, movie stars, basement dwellers, soldiers on the front lines, folks in the american heartland, people all over the world, rich, poor, inbetween, thin, obese, strange, inobtrusive, lawyers, cops, prisoners, dreamers, and on and on and on. The dice keep rolling. Thank you Gary.

Yay me! I Actually Won Something!

I've been a fan of James Raggi's work for quite sometime. I think he has taken the OSR in some interesting directions. Love or hate his work (or him), you have to admit that he has had an impact on the OSR and Hobbyist Game Development. For my part, I like the fact that he is bringing us to strange new vistas. Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG and modules such as Death, Frost, Doom are incredibly flavorful and evocative. I've secretly wanted to contribute to the LotFP canon for quite some (although I thought it'd be for artwork - but I bungled that one - much to my dismay). So, it was quite on a lark that I decided to contribute to the Magic Item contest. You can read my contribution here . So in the end, my secret desire has come true and I'm happy that I get to contribute in some way to Mr. Raggi's work.

I seek friends in non-Euclidian Spaces

I've often see it mentioned in conjunction with Cthulhu mythos writing, but I must admit, that I have a shameful lack of knowledge of non-Euclidian geometry. I have to admit, just the mention of non-Euclidian space is very evocative and tends to twist my brain into a hyperbolic manifold. I've never been particularly good at understanding the complexities of the higher mathematics, but I must admit that I am quite fascinated by them, even if they completely elude my mental gasp. Oh, how I wish that the abstractions of such concepts would coalesce in my brain. But alas, I think I'm too unfocused for such feats of logic. Ah well... At any rate, I've been wondering just what the heck it would mean to interact with a non-Euclidian space. It is a very slippery concept in my brain. I'm a very visual person, so unless I can somehow visualize a concept, I'm essentially blind. I did a bit of roaming around the Interwebs trying to find some visual representations

Gaming with Young Kids: Adventure Design Notes for the Warrens Polstrus Lev

So I'm about halfway done keying up the first level of Polstrus Lev. This is proving to be a bit more challenging for me as I'm making this adventure specifically with my six year old son in mind. So I'm wanting to downplay the combats and really play up the traps, tricks, and puzzles. I'm also intending this to be a bit more forgiving so the younger gamers don't get discuoraged when they spring a trap and die. I want to encourage critical thinking and learning from mistakes so the traps will be less deadly and more of, well, um traplike (detaining/restraining/delaying) in nature. Also, I am planting clues for situation that arise later in the dungeon. I'm thinking about watching Goonies again as that really is the sort of feel I want for the Warrens of Polstrus Lev. We've played several games of Dungeon! and that is great fun. My intent with Polstrus Lev is to now bridge the gap between RPGs and board games like Dungeon! There is enough danger to

Social Misfits?

I've read quite a few blog posts and message board posts lately where the topic was someone overhearing some sort of derisive comment about folks who play D&D. I guess that I'm somewhat fortunate that I'm an IT professional and most of the folks in my career field have some hobby that would probably construed as a bit odd by other folks. I play D&D and collect comic books and listen to loud punk rock music. I'm pretty open about it. Well, I don't necessarily broadcast it to the entire world, but I don't hide it either. We have quite a few friends and host social gatherings at my home quite often. Unfortunately, there aren't many D&D gamers in my social circle and the potential gamers and I just can't seem to jive our schedules due to work and family. Perhaps it's because I work in IT, or perhaps it is because I have some published artwork, or perhaps it's because I'm also quite open about being an aging punk rocker, that I&