Friday, April 16, 2010


These are some places my name has appeared in the D&D community! There's been a few others, and I'll keep posting, but it's this kind of thing that keeps me motivated to strive to be a professional illustrator one day! Thanks for all of your support everyone!

1. & 2. Some words about this site and also some work I did for a D&D t-shirt.

3. My artwork used on the official D&D community page.

4. A shout out for the banner I did for the "Dungeon Master Guys" podcast on

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Minotaur Problem

Someone on twitter the other day accused me of having a Minotaur problem. Maybe they're right.

In a semi-unbiased way, the Minotaur race from Player's Handbook 3 has become a favorite because of the ability to make a character with bonuses in EITHER constitution or wisdom. I like this very much because I'm a fan of primal heroes, and I can customize my minotaur to whichever class I want to play. In short, they make good Barbarians, or good Seekers, as pictured above. Not many classes can do both!

What's your favorite thing about minotaurs?

Arena Battle!

Last night I was hanging out with a couple of members of my Friday D&D Group, and we were talking about our characters a little, when a crazy idea came to us: Let's fight each other.

My goal was to crush my friend's Bullywug Swordmage with my Minotaur. We did a one-on-one, no holds barred fight to the death in a large room. We decided on some rules beforehand, like the allowance of action points and daily powers, etc.

Within the first round I used both of my daily powers and bloodied Jeremiah the Bullfrog. After that he used his Agus of Shielding and no matter what attacks I was landing, I was usually doing around 2 points of damage. In a surprise comeback, Jeremiah almost defeated Fisteron, and were it not for the Minotaur Ferocity racial power, the win would have gone to the Bullywug.

All in all, it was a hilarious fight. I thought I'd share it with you because, to me, RPGs are all about fun, and this was dang fun. I can see how it could cause some contention with players who don't get along, or sensitive characters, but I strongly suggest doing things like this in between sessions to let players explore their characters' weaknesses and strengths.

We might do this more in our group, 1-on-1 or in teams. We might even start making characters specifically for arena fighting. Maybe instead of just fighting we could incorporate skill check competitions or races. American Gladiators anyone?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dwarf Shaman!

This originally started out as a doodle, but I liked it so much I thought I had better color it.

This is that Dwarf Shaman I will be using for @Canageek's Play-by-Post Game.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My First Experience DMing D&D Encounters. (posted two weeks late.)

I'll start out by saying that Encounters, overall, was a good experience. There were a few issues along the way, but the level of fun wasn't compromised.

Last week I got the "Halaster's Lost Apprentice" campaign guide and the poster maps from my local comic book store. The guide itself looked good, aside from the D&D logo covering up most of the monster illustration on the front cover, (as an artist, that bugged me.) There were two poster maps, both of which were folded. This didn't bother me until I got home and spread them out. It was like the creases in the map had been ironed in. I set out some minis on the first map area to see how it looked, and my poor halfling mini's starting position was on a small mountain of poster fold. So I put my core handbooks use with their other ability besides containing information: being heavy and flat. I unfolded both maps flattened them with the books for a couple days. I understand the convenience of sending the posters folded, but rolling them is the way to go for a nice visual experience.

As far as reading the campaign guide goes, I would strongly suggest a couple of things. The first is to pay attention to the advice on page 7 of "Halaster's Lost Apprentice" where it talks about adjusting the encounters. If you are playing with a group larger than five, or a fairly experienced group of power gamers, or both for that matter, they will FLY through the encounter. The enemies are designed for 5 level 1 characters and they are also on the easy side (so far) so people with little RPG experience can get in on the game with the pregenerated characters. I DMed one table and the session went almost two and a half hours, the other table was done with the fight in a little less than two hours. One reason is that they had 6 experienced players.

The other reason is that I follow Wizards_DnD on Twitter. Yesterday they tweeted some additional affects and ideas for the game, and while not all of them were implemented, it helped rein in some of the power gamers in the group who would otherwise destroy all the opposition without taking a scratch.

I'd also suggest that you separate "buddies" on the table as much as possible, so the story can take place without having to say "listen up" too many times. We had a couple of easily resolvable issues in that department.

The actual session was really fun. We had a good mix of pregenerated characters and homemade characters. I had to fudge the story a little when the entire party approached Fayne and her hirelings in the first three seconds of their experience in the Yawning Portal Tavern, but when does a little fudging NOT happen as a DM? The party ran outside and half of them fell off the bridge by either getting smacked by the dwarf squire or just falling of their own volition.

Probably the most negative part of the whole session was giving out renown points. Some people felt pretty jipped. Because I knew the point system ahead of time, I would have made a Wilden Seeker with a PHB3 feat on the Character Builder, and I would have done everything I could to deal more than 15 points of damage. The renown points I would have received as a player would have been 12, enough to receive my first reward. On the other hand, say you're new to the game and you use the pregenerated human paladin named Alvenor, and you don't deal more than 15 points of damage. You are looking at a solid 3 Renown points at the end of the first encounter. There were some mad people. Next time we will probably have two more Wilden Seekers in the group with no experience. Yay. Maybe Wizards of the Coast should think about the effects of some of the renown point accomplishments.

The campaign guide instructed me to go to the organizer after the game to "collect my reward." He had no idea what this was alluding to, and we both wondered if this "reward" was different than the standard DM Rewards program. It seems like it, because the instruction to "collect your reward" is under the section "At the end of your first session" in the campaign guide. This is still a mystery to me.

Anyway. It was a little bit of a hassle to get everyone in the groove, but the actual game was a great success. People had fun, and the comic book store got a lot of business. Looking forward to next Wednesday!

Friday, April 2, 2010

One Dang-Good Session!

Tonight's game of Dungeons & Dragons was one dang-good session. For starters it was really nice to get to play a character tonight, with my friend, Josh, taking the Dungeon Master's seat.
I chose to make a Minotaur Character, and I was insanely pleased with the results. Fisteron Shacklehand was his name, (please hold your applause until the end...) and being a brawling fighter was his game. I made him especially to grab the faces of baddies and hold them still. I even illustrated the concept here.

Two of the other guys at the table decided to play Bullywugs, which I have to admit, I thought that was going to be lame. I was so wrong. Jeremiah made a cleric that looked like a Bullfrog, and he even named him Jeremiah in tribute to the song my 3 Dog Night. ("Jeremiah was a bullfrog!") Chris made a Bullywug Monk that looked more like a black and blue tree frog, and that was just hilarious by itself. Chris was very clear that "Sammy", as he named him, was totally naked, but that no one should care, because he's a frog. I drew "the Bullywug Brothers here.

We also had a "pirate" on our little team, who managed to drink himself to a stupor and then almost get beat up by his own teammates within 24 hours of meeting the rest of the party.

We also had a human ranger and a shifter warden who lent themselves well to the team. I won't go into agonizing detail, but there was a lot of face grabbing and horn stabbing tonight. Oh yeah!

Between sliding down and fireman's pole and dragging a warforged guard all over the place, I would have to say it was one of the best games I've been able to play in. The roleplaying was great, the combat was fun, and most everyone really liked their characters. This is the kind of session I hope people have every time I DM.