(L-R) Fereya Heavyhammer, Tablun Heaveryhammer, and Harzak Skagsilad
These three are NPCs from our Rise of Tiamat campaign. They came in search of Chulain the Unerring, an exile from Citadel Adbar. The Heavyhammers are Iron Guardsmen and Harzak is a cleric of Clangeddin.
They also fulfilled my long desire to put a dwarf in a Shako hat!
I recently fulfilled my second guest appearance as GM in our Serenity RPG. The first was an out-of-the-book ghost ship with reavers that went very well. This time I wanted to try a homebrew session based on old kung fu movies. The setting was the Five Moons, a system with a very strange method of settling political disputes – a fighting tournament!
To set the scene, an NPC from my last session showed up: Tao Jones, the punky Captain of a firefly class ship, The Tumbleweed.
Next the crew arrived at Xiangyin to pick up the itinerant kung fu Champion, Dog Brother #1.
After an attack by a rival kung fu gang, they ferried DB1 to the Five Moons, getting quite close to the old philosopher on the journey. Once at their destination, DB1 fell ill and one of the players was forced to enter the tournament in his stead while the rest of the crew deciphered the mystery of his apparent poisoning. The other four champions included (l-r) Double Monkey, Silicon Dragon, The Electric Ghost, and the Symphony of Fists.
Eventually it was discovered that DB1 arranged his own death in order to put an end to the tournament and return power to democratic debate instead of arcane fighting tournaments.
I was very happy with the session and learned a lot. I should point out however, some of the elements were not entirely original. Tao Jones’ outfit comes from a Star Wars: Edge of Empire rpg image. Dog Brother #1’s name comes from an Iron Fist comic book, and Silicon Dragon and Electric Ghost’s names are similarly derived.
Last year I ran my first session as an adult, guest-GMing for my Serenity RPG.
This session was taken out of a book of Serenity adventures, with a little modding from me. First, the story-hook involved rescuing a derelict Firefly with only three survivors.
Captain Tao Jones, an old friend of one of the crew’s.
And then the shy ‘Ace’ …
…and overly forward ‘King.’
These three had a lead on a lost Independence war-era fuel tanker ship, the St. Germi. To find it, the crew had to barter for knowledge at a remote Alliance navigation satellite with a crazed exiled officer, Honest Mur:
The crew bartered their deepest secrets to ‘Honest Mur’ in exchange for nav records that led them to the St. Germi. There, Mur’s crazed warnings of ‘coyotes’ came to terrible fruition when the crew came into contact with the new inhabitants of the St. Germi: reavers!
The set-up was a lot of fun, as was the late act betrayal of Ace and King. King had immediately turned off all the characters, but Ace’s shy ways had a few of them on his side. More the fun when they stabbed the crew in the backs and attempted to take off in a shuttle. The crew managed to blow the shuttle out of the stars and make off with a fortune in fuel.
L-R (San Pan, Torankusu, Sun Wukong)
IN THE ‘VERSE
When some invaluable gold orbs were stolen from the moon of Zeta by the terrorist Red Ribbon Army, Zeta’s powerful Capsule Corporation decided to send a retrieval party out on its newest ship, The Grand Tour. The party was meant to include the teenaged heirs Torankusu and Goten, but the impulsiveness of delinquent daughter San Pan meant that the ship left without any of the adults, and instead of Goten included the young martial arts wunderkind Sun Wukong. Rather than return, the three youths decide to take the quest on themselves, flying out to the Border Moons and making their way with martial arts and moxy.
Not everyone’s a fan of Dragonball GT (Grand Tour, natch), but you can’t beat Akira Toriyama’s character designs. I changed very little in terms of clothes and colour schemes.
The Motley Crew series started out with my desire to draw Elgyn’s mercenaries from the far underrated Alien: Resurrection. It progressed to drawing other Whedon-related science fiction characters in a style that lets them fit into the ‘Verse as established in Firefly/Serenity and has since expanded to any motley science fiction crew. My only remaining rule: the original property should not be ‘uniformed.’ (That makes them less than motley)
My first D&D character was the Elfquest-derived, poorly-named, elven warrior Wolfblade. Much later, I revived him as a character in the background of Antequeroth Elmstepper and always intended to play him but never got around to it again. In this guise, he was renamed Aethryndel o’ the Wolvenblade, a knight of Elvendeep. The Wolvenblade was a magical heirloom – a bladed rod that could transform into any type of sword. The idea was that Aethryndel was not a master of any one type of swordsmanship, but instead was a fluid and adaptable warrior who could take advantage of his weapon’s versatility to fight with a claymore one moment, and a rapier the next.
This version was fun to draw, as my imagined Elvendeep uses more Renaissance fashions and armour than your typical fantasy. Doing reflective armour in paint, however, proved harder than I first thought.
L-R, Antequeroth Elmstepper, Jinnai Halfmoor, Jak Mathom.
Many years ago I roleplayed in a mIRC chatroom called #blkdragon*inn. It was a glorious time. Freed from the set narratives of D&D campaigns and the mechanics of dice, I spent years honing character voices and interacting in the “space between adventures”. It was freeform, communal storytelling at its best.
These are three of my characters – although I mainly played Jinnai – a half-Pango bounty hunter. His close friend Antequeroth Elmstepper, or ‘Teq, was a fashion-conscious Elven ranger. They were joined by ‘Teq’s apprentice, Jak Madden (later Mathom) a halfling rogue training for a war. Jak was also a tabletop character I played later (post-war).
Blkdragon*inn had a mailing list that was a prime place for amateurish stories in which your characters took centre stage. My “Sagitarriad” stories mainly consisted of Jinnai and ‘Teq competing at marksmanship while having deep and utterly wanky conversations. They weren’t good, but they were a whetstone in which I honed my limited skills.
I’ve only recently felt good enough to draw them, and so now I can include this group shot on my site!
Spent the last month drawing dwarves. Just couldn’t stop!