Monday, April 24, 2017

Alternate Red Box Cover

An interesting bit of Dungeons & Dragons art history just popped up. An anecdote by Frank Mentzer about the creation of the famous mass market version of the Red Box. Apparently the original composition Larry Elmore designed for it showed much more of what a D&D game is really like with a party coordinating to take on a red dragon.

The original sketch is up for sale if you want to jump into the bidding war. Link below.

Frank Mentzer said:
Initial cover concepts were similar to the previous edition, portraying a group of adventurers with a dragon. That was almost used, but it bothered Gary. After the color images were ready to be finalized in oils, after a lot of plans were made, Gary changed course. He asked Larry to focus the action on just one fighter and one dragon...


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Beastie of the Week: Colonel Redcap the Battle Gnome

Colonel Redcap
Battle Gnome

HD 6 hp
AC 6[13]
Atk 1 armored fist (1d4)
Move 9
Save 12
CL/XP 1/30; battle tactics, strategic planning, invisibility & mirror image
S 9, D 14, C 13, I 15, W 17, Ch 12 (18 to other gnomes)

During the great Gnome-Goblin war of 576 many gnomes took on the mantle of battle hardened soldiers. Even though war is against their generally peaceful and family-loving culture.

One legendary gnome soldier was Finnigus O'Maliggan, or Colonel Redcap as he came to be known. Colonel Redcap was a grisly war veteran who rose to the ranks of commander of a legion of gnome soldiers. He was instrumental in the victory over the goblins at the crucial battle of green river valley which many consider to be the turning point of the war in the gnome's favor. Colonel Redcap has a number of unusual special abilities that make him a valuable ally and dangerous foe.

Invisibility & Mirror image: Colonel Redcap can simultaneously cast invisibility and mirror image so that his invisible real self can move to a safe location, while his mirror image dashes off in a different direction to deceive opponents. Oddly, fellow gnomes can still see the 'invisible' colonel.

Battle tactics: any gnomes within sight of Colonel Redcap will have +1 to all attacks and Save rolls.

Strategic planning: if given time before an operation Colonel Redcap can endow his co-conspirators with +1AC and +1 to Save rolls for 1d4 hours after the planning session.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This Bot Generates a Fantasy World Every Hour

Uncharted Atlas is a bot that continually generates new fantasy worlds and posts them on their Twitter feed. These look like the kinds of maps you would see on the end papers of a cheap fantasy novel. Even the inking style looks like fantasy maps from the 1970's.


Tramp Tuesday

I haven't done a Dave Trampier Tuesday in a while, well I stumbled across this image while looking up some Star Frontiers reference and was surprised to find this full color cover by Trampier!

This Saturday is Dave's 63rd birthday. It's been just over 3 years since his passing. He's still my favorite artist from that era of TSR.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Beastie of the Week: Bugbear, Battlerager

Bugbear, Battlerager
HD 5+1
AC 16
Atk 1 bite (2d4) or weapon (1d8+1)
Move 9
Save 12
CL/XP 5/120
Special: Surprise opponents, 50% chance, battlerage
Battlerager bugbears appear very similar to normal bugbears: large, hairy, goblin-like and stand 7-8ft in height. Despite their size they almost always getting the chance to surprise even alert opponents with a roll of 1-3 on a d6 (50%).

If wounded in combat they will go into a rage and gain +2 to hit and will become resistance to any spells like charm or sleep gaining +3 on any Save rolls. This rage does take its toll and the creature will collapse and fall into a near comatose state for 2-5 hours after combat.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Raiders! Print Edition and Combo Package Available on DriveThruRPG

The proof copies of Raiders! along with Freebooters arrived yesterday. The book looks good and has been approved for public sale.

The combination package of Print + PDF at a $5 discount is also available.

I've been thinking quite a bit about the difference in process between Lulu and DriveThruRPG. You can certainly get your print books up and available faster on Lulu, but if you don't proof it first you run a high risk, though you can preview the cover online which helps. DriveThruRPG reduces that risk since they require you get a proof first, but it seems like they're turnaround is a bit slower.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Freebooters Available in Print Edition and Combo Package on DriveThruRPG

Received proof copies of Freebooters today and everything looks in order. A little drift on the spine text, but that is normal for these little print on demand books, text still lands fully on the spine.

So the print edition is now publicly available, and the combination package of Print + PDF at a $5 discount is also available.

Comparing the quality to the Lulu prints they look identical, other than a slight variation on the color of the cover - again typical of POD, this might be even closer to the LBB cover color they are intended to emulate. Interior printing is sharp, and the black toner ink is rich and unbroken.