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James V West
Family man, artist, Master of the Universe
Family man, artist, Master of the Universe

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Black Pudding #3 in print and across the ocean and ready for action! Once again +Peter Regan has pulled out all the stops to put the super duper shine on this ragged little zine. Luchadors, gothic wizards, and golem monsters await!

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Regrets, I've had mine.

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More musing about my Dead Wizards playtest.

One of my players commented that the rules have a lot in common with story games. That's a fair point. I was, after all, an early advocate for and creator of games that directly affected the story games movement. But I have no particular interest in game theory, other than as a spectator. Perhaps stubbornly, I just like to make games that feel fun for me to play. This is one of those games. It has one foot planted firmly in the OSR (the core mechanics are directly inspired by OD&D) and the other firmly planted in the narrative games paradigm (the game's goal is to spin a yarn, not gain levels and find treasure).

Second session tonight!

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Here's a goblin class I wrote a little while back. I posted a draft of this already, but here's a quasi-final version with finished art. For fun!

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I love the artwork of Sean Aaberg. It's right down that sweet spot alley of funky, weird, cool, fantastic, and punk that I love. It's got a classic old school pen and ink vibe. Of course I'm mainly referring to Sean's amazing work illustrating the demons and devils in the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion.

When I see Sean's work I'm reminded of my years enjoying the zine culture of the 90s, particularly the zines of D.B. "The King" Velveeda (who was famously sued by Kraft and lost... bastards). This scene touches on a lot of topics and generally flies solo without worrying about ratings and parental advisories. In other words, if you decide to go looking at D.B.'s massive catalog of goodies you'll find tons of highly NSFW images.

But back to Sean Aaberg. I don't know anything about this guy personally, other than he's a kustom kulture and punk kind of guy. But his work speaks for itself. His images of the infernal powers of the classic D&D era make me want to run a campaign that is all wrapped up in demons and devils!
3 Photos - View album

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"Hand drawn" is a weird phrase. What does it mean? I know what it is supposed to mean, and I think nobody is confused by it. A hand drawn picture was drawn by hand on paper or some other analog media.

But most drawings that I know of were hand drawn. It's just that the hand was using a digital tool for a lot of them.

I understand the usage of the phrase, I just find it a little unfortunate. I have a lot of digital art and I promise you it was all drawn by hand.

I'm not suggesting we change the phrase, just bitching about it's implications a little bit. Because the sentiment you can pick up from it is that anything drawn digitally was not really drawn. We link the act of drawing to the act of using our hands... a tactile action in analog reality. Like... if there's no ink stain on your finger then you didn't really ink a drawing. While that might be true in the literal sense of using actual ink, it's not true in the spirit of what is meant by "inking".


Are there any cons this weekend?

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The sandy streets of Kanebok grew marginally quieter in the late evening. In a street commons under a long pavilion our heroes met for the first time, coming together to sleep on the stony ground. But a snow white gothy witch with a terrifying ghost baby is bound to draw some attention...

The first episode of Dead Wizards playtest #3 was short and scary. We spent the first hour of the game session discussing the rules, which was quite helpful to me. Player suggestions lead to some last minute tweaks that I felt were positive.

The characters:

A plant-loving cliff-hugger.

A spirits-imbibing mustachioed wanderer.

An androgynous bronze seeker.

A pale morose witch.

We gamed the second hour. The city is inspired by African, Persian, and Indian influences. It is not based on any one of them but carries a lot of bits and bobs from each. The people, especially the poor and travelers, tend to sleep in large open areas outside, in groups and piles and other assortments. Beds are extremely rare and largely misunderstood. Anyway, the party of four are all strangers to Kanebok (it's part of the game rules... the PC group comes from somewhere else... the city is the mecca or hub to which they travel and where the yarn begins). None of the PCs "blended in" nicely. But in a city of brown and bronze people the white gothy witch really turned some heads.

The party was forced out of the commons by a large crowd of xenophobes. And hey... who can blame them when a ghost baby appears?

A small witch girl called Zaola (pictured here) then beckons, summoning them down a dark alley. Naturally, being RPG players, they follow. Pretty soon it seems obvious that magic is afoot. But the party ends up in the strange little witch's strange little apartment.

That's all we had time for. The only dice rolls that took place were several Magic rolls to test the senses of the party and their ability to resist the curse of the ghost baby's dreadful presence.

More after the next session.

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Starting doing some Dead Wizards art. Playtest attempt #3 begins tonight. The gods of Kanebok are watching...
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