September 2012 Archives

Magic User


The original version of this sorceress image dates back to 2005. I reworked it recently and I'm much happier with it now. And yes, apparently hair products are readily available in this otherwise grim & gritty fantasy world.

Sketchbook Archive - Kobold


Here's another sketch.

I'm going to be revisiting some classic monsters in the coming months, and what's more classic than the kobold?

This is an excerpt from Kinkaid's Kobold Compendium, the famed reference work notable for it's in depth observations on kobold culture and cuisine. Note the architectural detail. It's a good example of Classical Kobold, which differs significantly from Contemporary Kobold.

Undying Overlord

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Armor Category:
2 [17]
Monster Type:
Health Dice:
Malevolent Order
120' (30')
No. Appearing:
Attacks & Damage:
† Claws (2)1d6 -- † Bite 1d6 + Thrall Rot
Special Attacks & Abilities:
Force of Will: (Save: Spells) Undying overlord can impose its will and issue one simple command per turn.
Thrall Rot: (Save: Toxin) Any injury inflicted by an undying overlord that breaks skin has a 35% chance of causing thrall rot, which attacks the nervous system leaving the victim susceptible to suggestion.
Ice Ray: (Save ½ - Ray) An icy ray of cold projects from the undying overlord's fingertips. 1d8 + 2 rounds paralysis.
Treasure & Possessions: None

AC [Desc] 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
To Hit 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
AC [Asc] 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Blast or Breath Toxin or Disease Ray or Gaze Magical Device Spells
6 - 8 10 9

Dessicated flesh and brittle bones tempered in the fires of eternal hate, an undying overlord haunts the ruins of a place it ruled in life. Once the high priest of a temple or iron-fisted ruler of a city now fallen to ruin and desolation, it is now completely bound to its morbid dominion and can never leave. Whether this is due to the intensity of the overlord's connection to its desolate home or a curse placed upon it by long-forgotten enemies is unknown.

The foul magic that animates an overlord slowly gnaws away at its physical form, leaving it at risk of disintegration. To stave off this process, it must bathe regularly in essential oils and embalming fluid. In an otherwise stale ruin, the appearance of an overlord is often presaged by the sickly sweet scent of these emollients.

Behavior & Tactics
There is no typical undying overlord – each one is an individual. Some delight in direct combat with adventurers to alleviate boredom or inflict pain, while others are desirous of secrecy will not reveal themselves unless left with no choice.

Strict geographic constraints do little to prevent it from exerting influence outside its realm. To do this, an undying overlord relies upon indirect tactics and psychic control. An undying overlord will draw visitors to its ruined realm with rumors of vast wealth or forbidden secrets and then attempt to dominate their will through temptation, corruption, or possession.

It is not unknown for the leading officials in nearby cities to be unwittingly controlled by an overlord or for the very existence of the ruin in which it dwells to be expunged from official records, even if it is mere miles away.

Should an overlord turn to ash, those ashes will blow away in a gust of wind, even in a completely airless chamber.

Sketchbook Archive, Vol. 1

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Concept1.jpg Concept2.jpg

A couple of sketches from the archives. The top sketch is recent, the lower one is six, maybe seven years old, though I still like it. These may be developed into monster entries in the future.

Descent into the Depths of the Ozarks


As I work on the next few monster entries, I thought I would post some photos of an actual subterranean environment I took on a recent trip to Arkansas. These photos were taken at Blanchard Springs Caverns which are located in the Ozark National Forest two and a half hours north of Little Rock in the curiously named town of Fifty-Six.

If you happen to be in the region, I highly recommend making a side trip to see these incredible caverns. The pictures simply don't do them justice.

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