Friday, July 31, 2009

Tower Under Ice

Here's an illustration I just finished for an upcoming S&W module!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Thor's Day

Marvel's Mighty Thor!



Jack Kirby's Thor!



John Buscema's Thor!



Walt Simonson's Thor! (I always felt that he should have a beard)

Bookmark Character Sheets



I bought my copy of Holmes D&D a few years ago, and inside were these two pads of paper with character sheets on them. They're only about the size of bookmarks. I thought this was a great idea!

Does anybody know if this is an official TSR product or an innovation by a creative DM?

Holmes Edition and Various House Rules



I bought the Holmes edition of D&D some years ago, and I've got to say that I'm really impressed with it! It was only supposed to be an introduction to gear up towards AD&D but I've often wondered what would've happened if Holmes had edited some supplemental material for it.

Well, it seems a few Holmes fans have done just that!

First there's Meepo's Holmes Companion. It's only four pages long, but it takes your characters up to level 9!

Then there's Holmes Blue Book Companion by R.C. "Thorkhammer" Pinnell. It's about 12 pages and takes characters to level 14 and also adds the character classes of Barbarian, Ranger, and Paladin.

Finally there's Steven J. Ege's The Gray Book, which is about 146 pages. Leaning heavily towards what AD&D became.

These are all pretty valuable tools, if you're looking at using Holmes as your ruleset.

Thanks to Greyharp for posting this on the OD&D 74 forum!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Own Personal Demons!



A Glabrezu and two Dretches! This is an illustration I just finished!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swords & Wizardry Monster Book

In spite of the rant against Lulu, the Monster Book is awesome! There are a lot of creative monsters in this thing, guaranteeing some great gaming in the future! I don't want to pat myself on the back or anything but one of my monsters (Inner Child) was included, as well as a couple of illustrations!

I'm really happy with the finished product and look forward to more gaming goodness from Swords & Wizardry!

Here's a couple of dinosaur illustrations of mine that were featured!



Lulu: Boon To The Old-School Renaissance Or Detriment?



This Saturday, I received a notice in my mail that I owed my mail carrier $5.45 for shipping on an item. I've been expecting The Swords & Wizardry Monster Book in the mail, but I had already paid for the shipping. I went down to the Post Office and they told me that the book was shipped to my old address, so I would have to pay for the shipping again. I tried really hard to contain my rage, and politely paid again to receive my rightful property.

When I originally ordered this item from Lulu, I'd thought I had changed my shipping address. It turns out I just changed the billing address. I noticed on the invoice that my old address was listed as the shipping. I changed it in the system but the invoice remained the same. So I sent an e-mail to Lulu and waited for 2 days with no reply other than the robot e-mail of complaint received. I sent another email, and the next day I received notice that the item had shipped. Well that's no good! So I sent a second e-mail, they got back to me and said they can't change the shipping address, even right after the order was placed.

This has greatly increased my disillusionment with this company! On one hand they do a good job with the product, and right now it's the only ship afloat for the old-school gaming community. On the other hand they have horrible customer service and charge exorbitant shipping fees. I'm grateful for being able to buy these great OE gaming products, but I'll be happy when the old-school can start publishing their own stuff, and leave Lulu behind.

End of rant.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hideous Control Now!

I just had to do this!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ray Bradbury Saturday! A Medicine For Melancholy (or: The Sovereign Remedy Revealed)



Ray Bradbury reminds me of Saturdays. Saturdays are carefree, filled with fun, excitement and magic. That's how I feel about Ray Bradbury's work. Plus he grew up in central Illinois, which is my old stomping grounds so right away I can identify with the backdrop for much of his work.

I've decided to take every Saturday to examine either a short story or a book of his and give it some of my thoughts. It's kind of my homage to my favorite author who's career has spanned 5 decades.

(1959) A MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY (OR: THE SOVEREIGN REMEDY REVEALED )




The story is set in London, England in 1762. Dr. Gimp is fussing over a sick young lady, Camillia Wilkes, who is suffering from a mysterious ailment. She's been wasting away for weeks, and none of the remedies the doctor has prescribed seems to be working.

She's weak and frustrated by all the poking and prodding, and after she's been seen by six physicians, she's given up.

Then her brother Jamie comes up with an idea. He suggests that the family move Camillia's bed outside the house, in hopes that the many people who pass by might have an idea how to treat her ailment.

The first person to pass by was a doctor, who only states that she looks sick. Mr. Wilkes, who is tired of doctors, quickly ushers him away.

The second person, a gypsy, offers several potion ideas to the family. But she walks away as they are writing down the remedies and they didn't quite get every thing written down.

The third person, a girl of about seventeen years of age, seems to know her ailment and how to take care of it runs off seemingly distraught. Camillia is convinced that the girl knows the cure but her family loses sight of her.

Suddenly, there's a crowd all around Camillia's bed. Everyone is throwing out ideas on how to cure her, but it's such an unruly crowd and her family is afraid she'll be crushed. Jamie decides that they will have everyone queue up, and they will be charged a small fee to give their ideas on her ailment.

After the crowd died down, a dustman appears (sort of a garbageman). He says the family that since it's Saint Bosco's Eve, and a full moon, Camillia should sleep outside. If she does, she will be cured the next day.

They decide that it's the last choice, and try it. While Camillia is trying to sleep, she hears lute music and a handsome man appears from the shadows. He tells her that he was sent by a friend to make her well, and he tells her what her symptoms are and she's surprised how accurate his description is. She asks what is wrong with her and he says "The name of the ailment is Camillia Wilkes."

She asks his name and he says "Bosco." She asks if that's the same as St. Bosco, and he says that she'll think him a saint the next morning. Then she sees his face and recognizes him as the dustman.

She asks what the cure is, and he replies "...the cure is this."

The next day her family finds her healthy, happy and energetic. And they dance and rejoice in her new found health.


Bradbury leaves the cure a mystery, it's all up to your imagination. I'm not sure if this is the correct St. Bosco, because from my research I show he lived in the mid to late 1800's (a hundred years after this story was to take place). So it might be a made up saint.

Overall it's a nice short story that has an almost an understated magic, Hans Christian Andersen feel to it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Sword

Finally, a band that plays the kind of music I want to hear! The Sword sing about Vikings, battles and Robert E. Howard influences abound! They're not some lame Nu metal, this is classic 70's style Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin influenced rock!

With song titles like Freya, Winter's Wolves, The Frost-Giant's Daughter, How Heavy This Axe, Maiden, Mother & Crone, and The Black River. They definitely wear their literary influences on their sleeves!

Check out the video for Freya!



And check out this awesome illustration by Vance Kelly!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together!

THIS!



AND THIS!!!

ACEOs!

What is an ACEO you ask?

It stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. It's basically artist trading cards. It's been a while since I've done one, but today I decided to start it up again with a character I created a couple of years ago.

MAIDEN AMERICA!



Here's an early drawing of her.



And here's some Monster cards that I did:

LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT



THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON



DOCTOR JECKYL AND MISTER HYDE



FRANKENSTEIN



THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA



THE WOLFMAN

Picts

Here are a couple of miniature lines I've been looking at for Pictish warriors.

Foundry's Pygmy warriors, I don't know why I didn't think of this before. They definitely fill the height requirement!







And then there's Old Glory's line of Maori warriors.



Just some more ideas, nothing set in stone yet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Thor's Day

I've decided to start a new tradition on my blog. As some of you may know, I'm of Skandinavian descent. In fact my last name, Thorson is derived from one of the greatest heroes in mythology. Since Thursday is actually derived from Torsdad (meaning Thor's Day), I decided I would recognize every Thursday! After all, it's my day! ;)

Wargaming in Conan's Hyborean Age (Getting started pt. 3)

A couple of miniatures company that really stand out for me, is Crusader Miniatures and West Wind Productions. Crusader's Dark Ages line will fit in perfect for my Conan Campaign.

Dark Ages Irish will fit the bill for my Cimmerians:







Here's some Westwind Picts that I'll be using for Cimmerians as well:





Here's some of Crusader's El Cid line which will fit in nicely for the Zingarans:





Crusader also has a great line of Saxons (Aesir), Vikings (Vanir) Normans (Nemedians?), and Byzantines (Koth?). Either way, whether you are a fan of historicals or fantasy miniatures these are both great companies to consider.

Plus I decided on using Song of Blades and Heroes for my rules set. Ganesha Games' fantasy rules are a great, slimmed down fantasy skirmish game, and it would be perfect. I've already read the rules and am preparing to create my own Hyborian rules for the system. Maybe when I'm finished, I'll post it on the blog or even create a PDF.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wargaming in Conan's Hyborean Age (Getting started)

I'm getting pretty excited about this project, and I'm starting to go through some old wargaming miniatures of mine. I've been working on some Celts lately, they're turning out well. But I think I should definitely get some Picts, thanks to Reis at Geek Orthodox, for the suggestion!

I've decided to go with Wargames Factory's Numidians, for a Shemitish army.
I own some of WF's Celts and Romans, and they're pretty sice figures. The Numidians are pretty basic, so they'll be pretty easy to convert. Hopefully they'll come out with some mounted troops as well.

If you haven't seen Wargames Factory miniatures before, feast your eyes on these!




Friday, July 10, 2009

Wargaming in Conan's Hyborean Age



I've been wanting to wargame in Conan's world for years, I don't know why I've never gotten around to doing it. I think historical miniatures will work perfectly, I just need to figure out what figures would best represent each nation.

Here's my list so far:

1. Aquilonia - Late Roman
2. Stygia - New Kingdom Egyptian
3. Shem - Assyrian
4. Hyrkania - Mongols
5. Vanaheim and Asgard - Viking
6. Cimmerian - Celtic
7. Vendhya - Indian
8. Picts - Aztec or Native American
9. Corinthia - Ancient Greek or Macedonian
10. Argos - Early Roman
11. Zembabwei, Kush, Punt - Zulu or Lost Tribes of Africa
12. Zamora, Iranistan- Bedouin
13. Turan - Ottoman Empire
14. Khitai - Han Chinese
15. Meru - Tibetan
16. Zingara - Franks or Saxons

If anyone has some better matches, please let me know. I am also trying to decide what rule set to use. Warhammer Ancients is a decent ruleset, Armati and Battle Lust are also a consideration. Broadsword Adventures intrigues me but it's more of a skirmish game. And I'm also interested in Broadsword (which is an off-shoot of Lin Carter and Scott Bizar's rules "Royal Armies Of The Hyborean Age".