Classic Dungeons and Dragons and Old School Gaming

D&D etc.

"Heir to a crumbling summit: to a sea of nettles: to an empire of rust: to rituals' footprints ankle-deep in stone."

-Mervyn Peake

"...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."

-Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Sea of the Dead II

There are islands in the dark sea. Some islands are the foundations of castles of lords of the underworld. Some of these castles are abandoned, and some are the seat of strange power.

The Black Citadel I

The Black Citadel is in the center of the Sea of the Dead. In the highest levels of the Citadel the God of the Underworld holds court and devils and lesser gods vie for power. The base of the Black Citadel is a tangled mass of viaducts, cisterns, colonades, butresses, and crumbling towers. It is here where gods who are no longer worshiped in the World We Know are entombed. These tombs of forgotten gods and the fabled treasure within is what most often draws foolhardy adventures away from the sunlit world and in to the Shadow Realm.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Mist II

When the mists descend the dead dream. These dreams coalesce in the mists and form monsters who stalk the Shadow Realm. Sometimes these monsters are then brought into the World We Know via nightmares.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Mist I

Mists descend upon the Sea of the Dead in the same way that night falls on the World We Know.

Monday, January 21, 2013

People who I wish WotC would hire to do D&D art

There's concept art for 5e Forgotten Realms up.  Some people don't like it.  I think it's way better than the stuff from 4e.  They tried too hard to make the art in the 4e books all the same style, the same world, everything had to adhere dogmatically to the new D&D canon.  comments here mention that the hobbits especially look like they're from Pixar.  I'm fine with that.  What I like about art in the older editions of D&D books is that they let individual artists express different styles: Easley does not look like Elmore does not look like Trampier, but it's all D&D.  This 5e stuff is a tiny baby step back in that direction.  Yeah, the hobbits are Pixar-ish, the humans could easily be from Game of Thrones and some of the monsters could have come from Peter Jackson (that Aboleth is bad ass) and I think that's great. I wish they would take this farther and let people really play with what D&D can look like.

so here's my beginning of a list of people who I wish WotC would hire to do D&D art
(but they probably won't):

Shawn Cheng, Zak S and some other folks

Barnaby Ward

Theo Ellsworth


John Paul Leon

frickin Scrap Princess

This list can and should be added to.  Feel free to make suggestions!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wraithwind I

The unsettling quiet and calm of the dark sea is only rarely broken by Wraithwind. This ill wind may be summoned by a murderer from the World We Know. Filling sails with Wraithwind is the favored method of travel of pirates and smugglers on the dark sea.

The Shadow Realm II

Some say there are many paths to the Shadow Realm, and that in the back of every cavern, cellar, cairn and closet there is a door you may pass through, if only you know the secret word, the secret knock, or have a silver key.

Others say there is but one path and only the dead know the way.

There is a city in the East with a pool in a temple and the priests of that temple claim that by diving in to the pool you may reach the Shadow Realm.

In the forests they whisper that to reach the Shadow Realm you must first travel to the moon.

The Sea of the Dead I

The Living must have a vessel to cross the Sea of the Dead. Any craft intended for our waters will do, from a simple coracle, a flat-bottomed river boat, or a sailing ship. The trick is getting the vessel to the Dark Sea.

Some find wind to fill sails on the dark sea, but this wind is rare and fickle.

The easiest way to move a vessel across the dark sea is to hold a light aloft at the bow. The hands of the sea will slowly pass the craft from one to the other. Light may draw eyes from out of the darkness however.

Holding aloft the holy symbol of the god of the underworld will similarly move able craft through the sea, but it is said He will seek payment for this favor.

The Shadow Realm I

Deep beneath the World We Know there lies the Shadow Realm. In this world below there is a vast sea of human souls. From the near shores to the far reaches of this Sea of the Dead the bone dry waters are countless upraised hands, the pale grey hands of those who have descended in to the shadow.