[Art Directing] An experiment!

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This idea actually came across when one of the artists created something entirely new for one of our creatures. Most of the creature was faithful to the description, but there was some rather creative ideas that I just couldn’t ignore. They were just too cool and got me thinking.

How about letting each of the artists design a monster of their own? They would have (almost) total freedom. The writers would then stat up the monsters, creating a bunch of entirely new monsters for Forgotten Foes.

Of course, when I say almost, it is not because I wanted any control over these creatures, but because a need for a change might… appear.

And it did.

One of the monsters, a really cool and original demon, had some rather strange… features that might not go over well with most customers or even the compatibility license from Paizo.com.

The artists are free to decline doing a monster of their own, but so far, all of my wonderful artists has accepted the challenge, and even a few has already delivered some seriously cool sketches that will (without a doubt) be turned into some seriously cool finished illustrations.

This is a reversed way of thinking, but why not use the creative energies from the artists? I’m almost certain that Mark and Stefen, the freelance writers on this project, will have a lot of fun statting these guys up. I know I would!

Just to give you a little preview of these new monsters. This is a demon with some serious animalistic features, especially in the face and the hairy body. I like demons and often use them in my games. I can’t wait to see what the writers do with this one!

[Art Directing] The Grimlock!

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I finally got around to writing the first real art direction post, just had to wrap my head around which monster to choose for the very first post. As you can clearly see from the illustrations and title (obviously) I went with the Grimlock, one of the first pieces that were finished. I went with this very piece because it really sums up the artwork in this book, or so I believe.

And what do I mean by that?

Well, I mean that most of the pieces are quite dynamic, detailed, but still quite simple, and yes, most of the illustrations are monsters only, meaning no backgrounds. If I had had a bigger budget for the artwork, the first thing I would have added was some environmental backgrounds, but sadly, I’m working with a severely limited budget. There is also another way that this illustration sums up the overall feeling of the artwork; it is monsters that we know, and yet, not quite like we are used to seeing them.

The artwork for the Grimlock was created by Mario Zuccarello (www.zuccarelloartworks.com). Mario used the following description when illustrating the Grimlock; “The muscular humanoid stares at you with dark, eyeless sockets.”

First Impression

This sketch really captured the savage feeling of the grimlock. It may not be looking directly at you (like the description says), but it is certainly charging you or someone in your party, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to spare your life! This evil humanoid is a fierce opponent; it is both strong and healthy and then it wields a simple, yet lethal battleaxe. You could certainly take this creature, but not without getting a few scratches or perhaps loosing an eye. Imagine an entire tribe charging you head-on like this, and your chances may not be so great. Scared? Well, you ought to be!

The only comment I had for the artist was; “The battleaxe (in D&D terms) is just a one-handed weapon.”

Final Impression

I could have asked the artist to change the pose of the creature, so that it looks directly at the reader, but does it really matter? I didn’t think so, and aside from the size of the battleaxe, I found (and still find) this a very strong piece. It really captures the feeling that I want the reader to get when first meeting the Grimlock.

So what do you think? Does it look anything like you ever imagined a Grimlock? Does it need to be even more savage? More subterranean? More fierce and evil-looking?

The Mor Aldenn Glossary!

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The Mor Aldenn Glossary is now available from RPGNow.com!

It collects information from all the published sources, as well as both chapters of the Wizard’s Path online serial. Furthermore, the glossary collects information from some of my own personal notes, so there’s even a few things there that you wont find anywhere else… at least for now!

The Glossary is available as a free download until the 18th November, after which the Glossary will cost a few dollars. So make sure to grab it right now!

You can find it here;

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=65188&filters=0_0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=2779

Please note that this Glossary is mostly intended for the GMs, so if you are a player, beware when reading the Glossary!