Tag Archive: role playing game


When Cthulhu Met Ani

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Original Painting Red Eye of the Beholder 3×5 is an acrylic painting on Masonite board. It is protected in a matte varnish.

The beholder is one of the great monsters in Dungeons and Dragons. It is inspired by the horror writings of H. P. Lovecraft. It is an alien creature that is a floating orb with many eyes that shoot beams of deadly magic. In this painting it wears a suit.

Buy it here.

Painting: Silent Departure

One of my goals for the near future is to be an artist for fantasy games. The big two right now are Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. This week I decided to make a painting based on of my new guilty pleasure Magic cards, Silent Departure.

Here is the original art.

The card is a ho-hum bounce card sorcery. Two things I like about the card is the low mana cost of 1 blue. I also like the flashback ability too. Mostly I use bounce cards to remove blockers or to bone a big monster so I don’t mind the slowness of sorcery speed. Also I have a red-blue aggro deck where low cost instants and sorceries flourish.

I made a painting of this based on my own style using my new love, watercolors. I haven’t seen the Innistrad Block style guide so I looked at the other cards to get a feel of what a silent departure card might look like.

I used the flavor text as a key on where to take the art. “The same magic that lets geists pass through our realm can also force them out of it.” Geists are what they call spirits in Innistrad so I looked at all the spirit cards and noticed that they all have a see through quality and that they are mostly just white light. I also noticed that all the geist’s hair floats as if underwater.

The Innistrad set has a colonial America feel and I tried to work that into the art. For my final touch I went back to ages past visuals for bounce spells in Magic. The art for those had monsters being stretched to symbolize that they weren’t being killed but just sent back to where they came from. This was my result.

I like it. The hair could look a little more underwater. I’m not sure if it is MTG quality but I will keep learning and practicing until I sell art to a game.

-Marcus Coltrin

Recently some of my fellow students and myself started a gaming club from scratch. These guys wanted to learn to play Dungeons and Dragons so I am teaching them.

I am saving my major creative energy for other projects now; instead of creating a world from scratch I borrowed the Ravnica: The City of Guilds setting of Magic: The Gathering.

I played this game every week for about a year and the characters are very familiar to me.

The main feature I like about Ravnica is that the city is run by ten guilds that all have very well defined goals. The obvious choice of guild for the party to be aligned with is the Boros Legion. They act as law enforcement in the city.

Captain Eggy  gives their orders. Eggy is a tribute to my friend Neil. Neil was my first longtime dungeon master that died of cancer a while ago. Captain Eggy was one of his characters.

Last week the player characters were called on to quell a zombie uprising.After they defeated the vile undead they found that the undead were being animated by a glowing gem called the necroshard. Now it is up to the PCs to find out who put it there and why. Typically zombies are the soldier of choice for the Golgari Swarm. But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

One thing that is great about Ravnica with so many guilds it is easy to add many layers of intrigue.

Hat’s Games hosted the Annual Free Role Playing Game Day today. They greeted all with a nice bag of Swag as they entered the doors. My bag had this die in it.

The die is a commemorative six-sided die that had this logo where the one pip would normally go. The bag also had some cards to some, game some cards to another game and two rpg adventures. Burgers were available, the game designer John Wick was there and brought a crock pot full of refried beans as well as his effervescent personality.

At the event several people ran their favorite role playing games and guests were welcome to join.

One of the adventures in the bag was Dungeons and Dragons Domain of Dread: Histaven. I played this adventure first hand and felt it had some good encounters but I had to leave before we finished it.

When I got home I read the adventure and felt it had a great story once I found out what was really going on between the villains of the adventure and the horrifying secrets of domains of dread.

There is a great description of the domain and the town of Histaven that is very simple and could be run as a one-shot but also with plenty of room and a obscure enough win condition that it could be turned into a mini campaign with the main villain reoccurring in a kind of Groundhog Day kind of way.

The other adventure was an introductory adventure for Black Crusade rpg called Broken Chains. I haven’t read, read it yet but it comes with 4 pre-generated characters and and a brief description of the rules so you can play without needing Black Crusade’s rulebook and can just jump right in.

This will be excellent because I like to try different games and Broken Chains will be a great thing to play at the break point in my Dungeons and Dragons story arcs.

In summary Free Role Playing Game day is lots of fun with friends and a great way for the gaming industry to turn us on to new things.

Here is the finished painting for the contest.

It’s Cthulhu! There are no winners yet although I had a lot of guesses for wooly mammoth. Four prizes are available. Enter today.

This painting is available for purchase here.

Some cards I made for the Magical Fire Element swap and the Green Fairy swap.

Contest: Who is that?

First the good stuff. If you can tell me who or what is going to be revealed in the foreground of the painting I am showing in this post you will win. The first people to post the correct response on my blog, facebook page, facebook fan page, or twitter will receive a no-prize that I will give them. Is the prize real? Yes. Will it be amazing? Maybe not, but it will be cool. There is no deadline to this contest so you can wait until I reveal the picture and then post if you like and be eligible to win the prize.

There will be one winner for each the media sites I mentioned. People that live in my house are not eligible to win.

This painting was started with a crude sketch and then the darkest areas were filled with black paint.

After that more colors are added to make sure the composition of the painting will be sound. It is better to know these things before spending hours on fine details.

Once the composition is confirmed to be acceptable paint is used to define the base shapes that detail will be added on to.

Next some background detail is added. Now the painting is ready for the fine detail step.

One day I was looking for a map that showed the different realms in Dungeons and Dragons and I came across this image.

Look how fantastic that is! I immediately fell in love with the work and forgot what I was searching for but I saw the top left and that is when I fell in love with Head Injury Theater.

I love how is art looks child like and at the same time you can tell he’s had some training. His career began quite by accident. He was at the Opera Don Giovanni and had trouble understanding the plot so he decided to make a drawing of the characters to help him figure it out.

His opera singer wife scanned the photo and posted on her Opera Singer Forum and within 48 hours he was having offers to put it on T-Shirts and such. It snowballed from there and he now makes are for various board games and role playing games, including Dungeons and Dragons.

Here are some of his best works.

Here is a paining I made influenced by Jared’s style.

Available for purchase here.

I hope you enjoy his art as much as I do.

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