Thursday, April 15, 2021

Artist Spotlight: Luigi Castellani

Luigi Castellani's work is someone I've used for years. His artwork ranges the entire gambit of fantasy, to sci-fi, cyberpunk, to halflings riding owlbears. I've been a member of his Patreon for years. Each month I get four pieces and each piece comes in three versions. B&W, grayscale, and color. 

I love using his art for my NPC Cards because they have so much personality that they write themselves.

While I focus on fantasy he has a lot of great art featuring other genres. 

Above are a couple examples of  his science fiction art. 

If you're looking for a versatile artist with a healthy back catalog and producing new pieces every month. Here are links to check out and follow Luigi Castellani's creations.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Starting a Campaign: Crawlers of Scorn


It's been over a year since I concluded my last campaign. Time to get into the GM's chair and begin the next chapter in my world building. The focus moves south of Hounds Head and the Komor Forest to a town known as Scorn. The seat of power of Baron Maybray. 

Welcome to Crawlers of Scorn

This campaign starts as an urban setting and I'll see where the party takes it. Streets, alleys, shops, tenements, and more NPCs than I can name. Most shy away from urban crawls, but I love them. I spent years wandering the streets in the City-State of the Invincible Overlord and loved every second. I hope to capture some of that gritty magic and develop an interesting setting where opportunities are not just in a dark tavern.

The system I'm using is Old School Essentials with home rules, of course. The platform leveling is not something I enjoy so I plan to create a more step progression with added bonuses each player can chose from upon leveling. This will allow them some diversity of their abilities so not all 3rd level fighters or thieves look alike. 

This my map of Scorn. I need to find the original copy this one bears the mark of a previous game. Each of the dark shapes are a group of buildings. And if there is space between them there is an alley. And the open areas are the thoroughfares. While I Scorn is a gritty setting, I am not trying to emulate a realistic medieval town, but one that is influenced by history with a lot of dark fantasy spice through in.  

Example of the city blocks broken down into individual buildings. These blocks are what are circled on the larger map.

I'm keeping the party small. Probably four players at this time. I'm using Roll 20. More than four players and a GM it tends to get noisy and I think it's a great number to create diversity without overcrowding

I am using a blog to record sessions. Some entries have links so the players and myself remember and track what has gone on in past sessions.

Here's a couple of examples from a one-on-one campaign I've run with Joe the Lawyer. 

Guildmaster Gordon Quarterton visited the site. Commented on the shoddy work of Snickle's shovel, but liked the idea of it. If Snickle could improve on his design Gordon said he'd be interested in buying a bunch for the guild.

Later that evening Snickle went home to fiddle with a few devices he was working on. A few hours later there was a frantic knock at his door. Carl pleaded with Snickle to let him in. After Carl entered he said the Spears of Sarrath were chasing him. He drank a bit too much and threw up the boots of a Spear.

When the players or myself want to recall what happened with a particular person, place, thing, or event, we can click on the link and there should be a 'play date' for each time they interacted and the result. This helps me as a GM to keep track of events and interactions and I think the players will find the information very useful. 

Soon. I plan on running on Mondays. It'll be good to get back behind the screen once again.