Showing posts from June, 2011

Weekly Creature Feature: Lethenex and more on Maedsid

Wow, it's been a while since I last did the weekly creature feature! This time, I've got a new critter that will be making an appearance in my Sea of O'Sr Adventure the Isles of Maedsid. Maedsid will have a both very earthly Celtic/Dark Ages/IronAge/Bronze Age component to it and a more unearthly feel to it. The Isles of Maedsid were ages ago untethered from the fabric of the material plane. Over time, this has caused some dimensional degredation and the Isles have experienced ecroachment of entities from beyond the material plane. The Lethenex is one such creature. I plan on using many non-standard creatures in Isle of Maedsid. In fact, I'm going to try and use only monsters of my own devising so that the adventure has its own consistency and feel. Some of the critters that I expect to be making an appearance are the Alitae , the Arepyiai , the Six Mouthed Goo Monster , the Black Dog , and the Dead Man's Chest amongst others. As with all of my weekly crea

Isle of Maedsid Update

I tell you, writing an adventure sure is more challenging for me than illustrating one or doing maps but I'm greatly enjoying the challenge. I've not decided upon a target level range for this adventure but tend to think this is less important than developing an interesting adventure. I've mentioned that I intend this to be part of a series or "adventure path" of linked adventure. I'm thinking of more of a loose collection of possibly interrelated sites and events than a structured narative. I've got some great images in my head for some cover art I want to do. I've been really wanting to do some paining so I'm thinking of doing the covers as acrylic paintings. We'll see how it works out. Well, short update now time to get back to keying the burial mound!

Reflections (nongaming related)

Wow, hard to believe we've been here in Italy for four years now. It's been a FANTASTIC time. No matter what, Italy has become part of our lives forever. Looking back on my career both for my day job and art related, these past four years have been the most professionally rewarding as well as the most growth and development. I've become a seasoned and well respected IT security professional and have been honored to become the Lead IT security specialist for the US Army in Italy and the Balkans. Artistically, I've grown quite a bit and matured in my style. It has been a lot of fun (and a great honor) to get to work on various OSR projects. Personnally, it has been amazing to watch my kids grow and our little family grow closer together and have some amazing experiences. My wife Daisey posted this great photo retrospective of life in OUR little corner of Italy in her blog here . All the way around, I'm one of the luckiest guys around and I am thankful every d

Happy Solstice

I hope that everyone is enjoying the sunshine! It has been a nice (if a bit on the warm side) day here in the Veneto. I have been working on Isle of Maedsid adventure today. Seems somewhat fitting seeing as how it is the solstice and it is druidic themed adventure. I've been doing a bit of research to give a bit of verisimilitude. I will probably keep most of it out of the adventure and put it in the Campaign setting for my world building project but put just enough in the adventure to flavor it. Check out this Wikipedia entry for Maeshowe for a bit of what I'm getting inspired by. Think: druidic cult that worships a fertility god that uses death/resurection mystery cult themes mixed with some transhumanism, with some Lovecraftian cosmic horror/strange geometry thrown in the mix of a diemnsionally distorting island with a bit of a feel of Arthurian Avalon. Anyway, go soak up the sun!

Isle of Maedsid Maps

So here's the keyed maps for Maedsid. I haven't really done much in the way of mapmaking so this was a good exercise for me and fun to boot. I just sort of let things unfold organically (i.e. by the seat of my pants). I like the results though. Now, I need to flesh out the actual keys. I'm also working on some art to go along with it. This is my first time really trying to do something of this scope but I really like the process behind it. Being an artist though, that can be dangerous... It's easy to get lost in the process and never generate a finished output. But I'm determined to see one project through to the end before the close of 2011! Maedsid Isles Barrow Mound/Ritual Complex Main sub level Sub Level A Sub Level B

Happy (Late) Father's Day!!

To all the Dads out there, I hope you had a great Father's Day. I sure did. Spending the weekend in Tuscany was an awesome adventure for Team Bingham. The kids loved going to play in the sea, even if it was a bit windy. I really enjoyed the walled city of Lucca . I MUST go back for the Lucca Comics and Games convention in August. It quite simply has become one of my favorite cities (along with Venice and Barcelona). I'll highly recommend it to my guests when they visit (especially if they want to go to Pisa - which sadly is a rather large disappointment). We also went to the town of Vinci. Leonardo's home town is tucked away in the Tuscan hills surrounded by vinyards and olive groves. Beautiful! And the Chianti isn't bad either. It was fun picking up a few bottles from Vinci. I spent my downtime reading the collected works of H.P. Lovecraft and trying to work on Isles of Maedsid. I thought I was done with the maps, but hell, reading about fourth dimensiona

Isles of Maedsid Progress

So, I've actually finished the maps for the burial mound (I'll post them later today hopefully). I've got them numbered and now writing up the room/encounter descriptions. I wanted to write a little of what I have in mind for the adventure. As I mentioned, this will essentially be part of two adventure paths. First, it'll be part of the Sea of O'SR adventure path as well as the Shadow of the Umbra Palace Saga. Maedsid is a grouping of three islets that have been used over the centuries buy a druidic sect as a ritualistic isle for the life of their "Summer King" - a temporal ritualistic leader that oversees the prosperity of the Moinar people (a bronze age/iron age like people loosely based on the ancient Celts/Picts/Brittons) and an earthly representative of the god Daegraed, the Lord of the Dawn. The main purpose of the isles over their history is for the members of the druidic heirarchy to elect, coronate, sanctify, sacrifice and inter into the ear

On Old School Adventure Paths

Right now, it seems the vogue for Old School type adventures is the Hex Crawl or similar, non-linear adventure type. I totally am down with that, but I was wondering, is there room for an “adventure path” series of linked adventures? I know there are a few such as the Sea of O’SR project , and the continuation of the 1e AD&D Giants series by R.C. Pinnell. I’m working on Isle of Maedsid, which I see as actually belonging to TWO “Adventure Paths”. The first being the Sea of O’SR and the second, being part of a series that I’ve been mulling over for about the past six years or so that I call the Shadow of the Umbra Palace Saga. Maedsid, and much of the other adventures such as Warrens of Polstrus Lev, Sinister Sightings at Dustchappel Downs, and Basalt Keep of Wilven the Yellow are designed to be able to be used as standalone adventures or as part of a wider (perhaps a bit non-linear) story arc. I’m really interested in exploring higher, non-euclidean geometries/dimensions, tran

Where the Hell have I been?!?!

Mostly at my drawing table finish up some artwork for Weird Adventures . It has been an absolute BLAST bringing to visual life some small corners of Trey Causey's awesome setting. Now with that wrapped up for the time being, I'm going to focus on some of my own projects as the clock ticks down to GENCON. Mostly, I'm going to prep some original art of sale (matted and mounted and ready for framing - if that's your thing!). Also, I've got to key the map for Isle of Maedsid and write it up. After that, on back to the Warrens of Polstrus Lev and Basalt Keep of Wilven the Yellow and in the future, Sinister Sightings at Dustchapel Downs as well as Shadow of the Umbra Palace!

Creative Compulsive Interviews

My wife and collaborator Daisey has started a fantastic new series of interviews with fellow artists of all stripes over on her blog. Her first interview is with a High School classmate who does custom car work. It is great to see the creative process through a completely different medium. Go check out the interview here . Stay tuned for future installments with some of our many artistic friends and acquaintances from around the world. It's a fascinating journey and well worth the read!

Charlie Parker Beats the Devil

I don't want to steal Trey's thunder but I've been doing a lot of art for several projects and not a lot of sharing. So here's a piece I did for Weird Adventures . This is another gaming product that I'm so looking forward to. I it just me or has 2011 been a crazy good year for those of us interested in the Old School stuff?

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Looks Awesome!

OK, so I just downloaded and did a cursory glance through the PDF. I have to say the game that the PDF presents has one hell of an old school feel and I dig the vibe. I haven't delved much into the rules yet but wanted to give my first impression. There are some great homage pieces to some 1st Edition AD&D artwork and several 1st edition artists are represented inside as well as some of the newer old school ;) guys like Peter Mullen and Stefan Poag. I'm really looking forward to this one tremendously. I have to say that this looks like it will restore my faith in Goodman Games. I wasn't too fond of their direction after 4e came out, but this looks like a return to what they were good at. If you haven't checked out the Beta Playtest rules, you can download them here . I'll read through the rules and give some of my impressions later.

Commenting Problems

I've been having some problems commenting on other's posts with blogger lately. This has been somewhat of a frustration as there are several blog posts that I'd like to be able to comment on but can't. Ah well, hopefulyy this will get fixed soon. On another note, I'm working on more art for Weird Adventures. This has been an incredibly cool project. At some point I need to get my act together and update my online portfolio as the art there is now around two years old and I think my work has grown quite a bit since. I'll post some previews of what I've been working on soon.

BREAKING NEWS: DCC Beta Starts Wednesday!!! ;)

OK, yeah, so not exactly a news flash. However it is pretty cool. Although I'm still kinda miffed at Joe Goodman for not giving me any freelance work after I submitted my portfolio to him five years ago. Just kidding, he actually was very nice and very constructive in his criticism. I've acted upon his criticism and think I'm better for it and might just submit my portfolio to him again and see what happens... In the meantime, I've been working on some stuff for Trey Causey's Weird Adventures. Check out some of the kick ass art he's commissioned from some other OSR artists here . I'm super excited about this setting and have been rereading my Goon comics and been itching to watch "O Brother Where Art Thou?" to keep the mood going. It's exciting stuff! I've also finished the one level dungeon map for Isle of Maedsid. I will have to scan it in and key the dungeon and the island up. I'll post the map up soon.

Transhumanist ideas in Fantasy

Slowly, ever so slowly am I working on Polstrus Lev and Basalt Keep. Part of the problem is I tend to get distracted by reading other people's stuff and it sparks more ideas and makes me revise what I'm working on to incorporate some cool ideas that have been sparked by the material I've been influenced by. Lately, I've been rather taken by the whole Eclipse Phase setting. I'll admit to not really keeping up with the Sci-Fi side of geekdom so Transhumanism and other such concepts were not really on my radar as I'm more of a fantasy guy. However, why limit myself by drinking from one well when there is a whole ocean of cool geekdom out there right? I've really been thinking of my projects in terms of a weird/dark fantasy with Cthulhueque overtones. I've been reading up on theoretical physics and non-Euclidian geometery to fuel some ideas. I'm also now thinking about incorporating some transhumanist themes as well. I was really struck by the i