i illustrated maps for someone i consider legendary.
Eventually I will get into how 2015 was and what I will be doing in 2016, but first I would like to talk about some maps I illustrated for an adventure written by his majesty Mr. Ed Greenwood. What that means is my main man Schwalberto, as part of his kickstarter campaign, decided to throw some number of heavy pennies per word at Greenwood to write an adventure for the Shadow of the Demon Lord game. My understanding is that Greenwood once licked Schwalb at some convention and now they are effectively blood brothers or something.
Before I get into the adventure and show off some maps, I’d like to talk about the Forgotten Realms. The realms are a terrible place to game these days; your characters are likely to just occupy space in the area and not actually have any effect on the world. This isn’t really Greenwood’s fault so much as the realms have been such an important place at the table top since the early 80s that everything has been done. It is hard to feel like you’re in the world because the realms have been beaten to death, boiled like tapioca pearls to rehydrate, and then beaten again. I know that there isn’t a whole lot of love for the realms in the OSR world because it is too much, there is little left to the imagination. I don’t want to play in the realms because I want to play in uncharted territory (Greenwood if you read this, its me its not you). That being said, I love a few Forgotten Realms things: the infinity engine games, Neverwinter Nights, the Avatar trilogy of books, and Calimshan. As Greenwood is responsible for inspiring these arts & crafts, I tip my hat to him. It was a cool thing I got to do, make these maps. Here is a room down sampled to look like shit on your screen, and watermarked.
These maps were a blast to make, but they took forever. My best buds and my wife tell me that I take the hardest, most complicated route to achieve something that can be done relatively fast and easier, any other way. The gold frame is iridescent gold calligraphy ink, and to get that shit to by shiny I had to make a small photo booth on my desk and take pictures of the frames. I have a nice camera that wouldn’t work to get these pictures; the camera was too nice and balanced the light all wrong and muted it and it was bullshit. So I used my iPhone camera balanced on a purple ruler across the spines of some books. The books had white paper taped to them inside the “booth” and there was foil and the whole affair was vaguely reminiscent of a meth lab or some other addled fuckery.
Rather than doing a whole page of map, I chose to do individual illustrations for each room to appear within the text of the adventure. The maps are black ink, white gel ink, and brown water colors turned greyscale digitally, all on various forms of paper. All in all these maps were a blast to fuck with, and I am extremely grateful to have gotten to make this one my last commission of 2015. The adventure, “Shadowturrets” by Ed Greenwood will be out sometime soon. Here is another down-sampled-to-look-like-shit-on-your-screen room from the adventure. (More text under the image)
other things i did in 2015.
I did a fuck ton of commission work for Shadow of the Demon Lord in 2015. Here is a sampling things (down sampled to look like shit, etc) which you can click to biginate:
2016 will see quite a bit work for me. I’ll be continuing my work with Schwalb but I am also working with Autarch on their newest Adventurer Conqueror King supplement ‘Lairs & Encounters‘ as well as pumping out a map any minute now for Dave McGrogan who wrote Yoon-Suin, The Purple Land.
What a good year 2016 will be.