Archive for Art

The Airship of Fools: The Gun Kingdoms Volume II

Posted in Steampunk with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2013 by Kullervo


Check out the Kickstarter campaign to fund Scott Taylor’s new fantasy/steampunk novel, The Airship of Fools:

In 2012, David Deitrick and I started a journey together into the realms of the Gun Kingdoms. That first volume was on the beginning, and now we are asking backers here on Kickstarter to give us another chance to continue our tale.

The Gun Kingdoms is a chaotic time tucked inside the 13th Age of the Nameless Realms where elementally devoid Samaya rule feudal nations that via for power amid a world where their former masters, the Enlightened have been hunted to the brink of extinction.

Our series revolves around Captain Kaleb Cross, freebooter and rogue captain of an experimental vessel left over from the great war between the Samaya and the Enlightened. His crew are his family, and among this rag-tag band of adventures is Skylla, a half-Enlightened slave who has worked her way up to being Kaleb’s second in command.

After our first volume, David and I knew what was next, and this painting became our inspiration. ‘The Consultant’ as it is called, shows our intrepid hero, Kaleb, ready for action as an airship drifts behind him. What better way to show fantastic steampunk action than with airships, and a pulp adventure that follows a crew in search of legendary craft and the treasures they hold.

The top-level backer’s reward is pretty sweet: you can get the original David R. Deitrick painting that inspired the novel! But if that’s too rich for your blood, there are also levels that give you a new original sketch from the book, or a print of the painting. And of course, you can get the novel…

New D&D Monster: Foul Hound

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by Kullervo

Foul Hound

No. Enc.: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 180’ (60’)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: 2 (tentacle lash)
Damage: 1d6 plus disease (see below)
Save: F2
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None
XP: 135

Foul Hounds are large wolves with eyes of baleful green flame and clusters of long, ropy black tentacles emerging from their mouths. They serve evil druids and priests of nature as a boon from the dark gods, and are rarely found in the wild.

The tentacles of a Foul Hound drip with disease, and an adventurer hit by one must save versus poison or be smitten with a horrible fever and die within 2d10 days. The victim may be cured by a cure disease spell, but while sick, takes a -2 penalty to hit rolls and heals from all damage at half the normal rate.

Foul Hounds are also known for their eerie, terrifying howls. An adventurer who hears a Foul Hound’s howl for the first time must save against paralysis or be frozen with madness and fear for 1d6 rounds.

Illustration by David Deitrick

New D&D Monster: Albino Alligator

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by Kullervo

No. Enc.: 1d6 (2d8)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Swim: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d8
Save: F1
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None
XP: 29

These blind, subterranean alligators navigate by echolocation, but their subsonic screams cause extreme distraction, irritability and confusion. This effect is magnified when multiple Albino Alligators are present. Every round that a creature is within 10’ of an Albino Alligator, it must save against spells or be affected for that round as if under the influence of a confuse spell. For every Albino Alligator beyond the first one that is within 10’ of a creature, that creature must make its saving throw at a -1 modifier.

Illustration by David Deitrick

New D&D Monster: Blight Hulk

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by Kullervo

Blight Hulk

No. Enc.: 1 (1d3)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4+2
Attacks: 2 (slam)
Damage: 1d8/1d8
Save: F4
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XI
XP: 205

AA looming, 10’ mass of corpses stitched together by black, pustulent vines and roots, a Blight Hulk is a true monstrosity. Apart from its size, a Blight Hulk is immediately distinguishable by its gaping, slack maw lined with teeth of thorns and jagged bone. A Blight Hulk is utterly mindless except for an all-consuming urge to consume and destroy.

Blight Hulks are completely blind and deaf, and can only sense the presence of other creatures within 10’ by the vibrations they create. However, if attached with a missile weapon, a Blight Hulk will charge in the direction of the attack until it finds a target or is attacked from a different direction.

If a Blight Hulk hits a creature smaller than it with both slam attacks, it will shove the target down its gullet, where the target will be jabbed with rows of poisoned spines (automatic 1d6 damage per turn until the target or the Blight Hulk is dead, plus the target must save versus poison or die in 1d4 turns).

Like ordinary Blightlings, Blight Hulks are undead (and thus immune to charm, hold person and sleep) but are generally immune to turning by a cleric, except by clerics that specifically serve deities of nature or nature itself.

Illustration by David Deitrick

New D&D Monster: Giant Mutant Slime Eel

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by Kullervo

Giant Mutant Slime Eel

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement (Swim:) 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 6+1
Attacks: 2 (bite, acid slime)
Damage: 2d8/2d6
Save: F4
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VII
XP: 680

When exposed to vile magic for a long period of time, a single Slime Eel may begin to devour its own kind, grow to an enormous size and even develop an evil cunning intelligence. Such Mutant Slime Eels can grow up to 20’ in length and 5’ in diameter, their rasplike mouths grow razor-sharp, flexible chitinous plates develop in segments along their bodies, and their feeding feelers grow longer and gain prehensile dexterity. Only their simple, primitive eye and their sickly pinkish color remain the same.

An active Mutant Slime Eel generates slime that fills the water for 10’ except that the mutant slime eel’s slime is fully acidic, doing 1d6 damage per round to every creature exposed to the slime. The Mutant Slime Eel’s slime also erodes weapons and armor: each turn roll 1d6 for every non-magical weapon or piece of armor exposed to the slime. On a roll of 1, the item is dissolved.

A Mutant Slime Eel can spit its slime as a missile weapon (40’ range), doing 2d6 damage and potentially dissolving weapons and armor as above.

Illustration by David Deitrick

New D&D Monster: Slime Eel

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by Kullervo

Slime Eel

No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement (Swim): 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d6
Save: F1
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None
XP: 38

Slime eels are disgusting aquatic creatures, 8’ in length and lacking bones or a separate jaw. Their heads are merely a blunt end to their fat, pinkish, wormlike bodies with a single primitive eye and a disc-shaped rasping mouth surrounded by blubbery feelers. Their boneless bodies can squeeze through surprisingly tight spaces.

Sluggish except when feeding, slime eels burrow into the mud and rocks of subterranean river bottoms when no prey is available and go into torpor for months until they sense suitable food, at which time they can quickly enter a feeding frenzy. Adventurers caught in a mass of feeding slime eels run the risk of being knocked prone (roll 1d6 each round; characters are knocked prone on a roll of 1).

When active, a slime eel exudes a slick, viscous ooze that clouds the water within 10’ of the slime eel, imposing a -2 to-hit penalty against any attacker who relies on sight to hit. The slime also works as an anticoagulant; consequently, any wound inflicted by a slime eel will continue to do 1 point of damage every round that the wounded creature remains in the slime. Canny adventurers may try to coat their weapons with a defeated slime eel’s slime. Slime harvested from a dead slime eel retains its potency for up to an hour; each dose of the slime is good for one use when applied to a weapon and will cause a wound inflicted by that weapon to bleed for an extra point of damage on the next round. 1d3 doses may be harvested from each defeated eel.

Illustration by David Deitrick

Megadungeon Progress: Mostly Mapping

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by Kullervo

Yesterday I wrote up some more monsters for my as-yet-unnamed megadungeon, and I started working on a flowchart for the major dungeon levels.

One issue that has come up is how to insulate the big thematic levels from each other. I don’t want just, a door leading from the vampire’s Cathedral of Blood into the yeti’s Frozen Tunnels, so I think I need to fill the dungeon out with some more “mundane” dungeon areas. At the same time, I don’t want the whole thing to be generic-thematic-generic-thematic-etc., so I am working on ways to (1) mix it up a bit, seeing where I can butt thematic areas together and where multiple subtly different generic areas an flow back and forth between each other and provide for meaningful choices between major thematic areas, and (2) make the “generic” areas more flavorful. By the latter, I am thinking about ways that the features or the inhabitants of an area can give flavor and interest to a sublevel that does not necessarily have eye-poppingly unique architecture. I’m sprinkling in a few hidden tombs, a few petty troll kingdoms, a forgotten dwarf battlefield, stuff like that. Ways to pepper up the otherwise banal 20′ rooms.

I’m also leaving a lot of areas intentionally empty, not only to give room for DMs to key it themselves, but also to lend some mystery to the exploration: not every room needs to have a monster, a treasure and a feature, and big dark empty spaces can add that sense of menace and wonder that is essential to a great dungeon.

Finally, I’m trying to sort out the maps themselves. I have been waffling between richly drawn 3/4 view fully-drawn pictures and simple, overhead renderings on a grid. I might actually do both, and have a master map (which I will draw) for each level that’s the basic dungeon grid, and 3/4 drawings of the interesting rooms (which someone else will draw) to go in the keyed sections.

Next Illustration!

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by Kullervo

The picture for the Blightling Priest is up now, too. From this point on I am going to wait to put up stats for a monster until I’ve got the illustration for it, so I won’t have to do posts-about-posts anymore.

D&D Monsters: Now With Illustrations!

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by Kullervo

I managed to rope my old man into illustrating these monsters as I stat them up. You may know his work if you were a gamer in the 1980’s (Jeff Rients does, at least), when it seemed like his art was everywhere.

He’s done one drawing so far, the Blightling, and I couldn’t be more pleased:

I’ll be adding his illustrations to my monsters as he does them. All the more reason to follow along!

New D&D Monster: The Blightling Priest

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2011 by Kullervo

Blightling Priest

No. Enc.: 1 plus 1d6 Blightlings (3 plus 3d6 Blightlings)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: 1 (sacrificial dagger)
Damage: 1d6 plus poison (see below)
Save: C3
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XXI
XP: 88

Blightling Priests are the monstrous leaders of the Blightlings, responsible for feeding the hunger of the loathsome forest gods that the Blightlings serve as well as for perpetuating the Blightling race and the corruption that they spread to wilderness areas. Blightling Priests stand slightly taller than ordinary Blightlings, they dress in voluminous black robes, and they carry long, twisted cold-iron sacrificial daggers that drip with an eerie green poison (save versus poison or die in 1d4 turns).

Blightling Priests are granted magical powers by their gods, and as a result can cast hold person, cause fear and cause light wounds once per day each as a 3rd-level cleric.

Like ordinary Blightlings, Blightling Priests are undead (and thus immune to charm, hold person and sleep) but are generally immune to turning by a cleric, except by clerics that specifically serve deities of nature or nature itself.

Illustration by David Deitrick