Back in the early 90s, a few friends and I decided to start what was then labelled an “art group.” This was a digital collective out to create ANSI and ASCII artwork for the computer communication medium of the day: bulletin board systems. A BBS was kind of like a website, but you dialled directly into it (its address being a phone number), and all it could serve you was text, with a hint a color.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Paizo have officially announced the 2nd edition of the immensely popular Pathfinder game. As with the 1st edition, there will be a massive open playtest, and all playtest material (including a massive 400 page fully laid out and illustrated hardcover) will become available on 2nd of August. I, for one, am pretty interested in the direction the game seems to be taking, from what they’ve revealed so far.
The people of Helix are benevolent, wise, and technologically advanced. But the inhospitable wastes, crags, and hills surrounding their domed city are home to any number of strange creatures, like the savage piglin, the strangely erudite goatfolk, and the reclusive sorcerers and sorceresses. Further afield, other clusters of humanity cling onto half-forgotten luxuries and evaporating wealth, on their dying planet, Sonnos. Sonnos, the place that all but the smallest of gods have abandoned.
Don’t look the gift genie in the mouth Other than booze and non-denominational professional pleasure workers, of course. So you’ve returned from your latest adventure, laden to the brink with treasure, loot, and uncountable masterwork weapons from your fallen enemies. Only, you suddenly realize that your grimdark fantasy campaign setting doesn’t have magic item shops! Oh no! If you can’t spend your gold on boring but solid attribute-increasing items, or exchange your +1 longsword for a +2 one, what do you do with all that cash?
My wife Karen loves painting, so I don’t feel so bad when I occasionally ask her to do a painting for me. She works with traditional media, which I can only assume has nothing to do with with me being too cheap to buy a modern tablet and stylus. Here is a selection of paintings she’s done for me over the years. The painting of the satyr and the dryad was originally conceived for a Pathfinder adventure I wrote with a friend of mine, but ultimately never got released, so I repurposed the image for the Sidhe Woods Grove proof of concept app I made.
A couple of years ago I managed to get my hands on a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for a weekend. Now, I’d already heard good things about the Surface for drawing, and the device did not disappoint. Hovering the stylus a few centimeters above the tablet and seeing a reticle indicating its position is awesome. When I was a kid, I would draw a lot. Together with a close friend we’d devise and draw whole comic books, hugely influenced by whatever anime we were watching at the time (nod of the head to Knights of the Zodiac, among others).
A friend sent me this snap yesterday from a scrapbook at their local munch, featuring a selection of entry tickets from a burlesque and fetish cabaret night I used to co-run a long time ago. The nights were a lot of work to put together and advertise, but gosh, they were a lot of fun.
Hoozier Babgottle is a travelling goblin of advanced taste and decorum. With his everchanging assortment of oddities and trinkets, he travels the world in his tiny hot air balloon, made from a sewn-up hog skin and copper bathtub. As per the law of the land, he would of course never sell any weapons. But it’s not his fault if curious adventurers stumble across his small but perfectly formed selection of very personal armaments.
Here’s a map I drew for the starting town of a wildnerness exploration campaign in a homebrew setting called Verdant Reaches. The name of the inn—Axe & Thistle—is of course a nod to the article that inspired the setting, Grand Experiments: West Marches. We played in that setting, with several breaks where we tried out other games, for almost 2 years, with modded 5th edition D&D rules. This worked pretty well to begin with, but started to become troublesome at higher levels due to our version of magic.
Spell chains Think of spell chains as thematically linked spells of increasing power levels. You might assign them spell levels such as 1st, 3rd, and 5th, or whatever suits your game. The spells in this series are largely system-neutral, but should be easily adaptable to any ruleset. This first one is based on word-play, which is objectively the best spell naming convention. I’m sure I read the word “dementalism” somewhere (perhaps an album title?