Today I put up the last piece of art from Zel, which was a bit of an emotional experience. Now there’s not going to be any more.
Zel worked with me on a lot of things. Hentacle, Final Straw, Origins of the Specious/Sex, Dice & Gamer Chicks, stock art, even a game I made as a personal present for my friends. He helped me make a comic – something I always wanted to do.
We’re going to use the residual income from his stock art to make a sort of ‘micro scholarship’. I’m still working out all the details. It’ll be used to help out, even if its just in some minor way, an art student somewhere in the world, once per year. Probably helping those more into the illustration, comic, anime, etc style who can sometimes suffer from academic indifference and disrespect.
Sorry for the delay, I’ve been pre-occupied, obviously.
As well as the more full on illustrations in ImagiNation there will be scraps of notes, observations and sketches from the talented and damaged few that are able to brave the changed mainland. This sketch by Rowena Aitken is one of those, capturing the moment that an artist’s painting is energised and comes to life, emerging from the canvas to – hopefully – do their bidding.
You’ll also get diary entries, ‘post-it notes’ and other scraps of observation from island dwellers and explorers as a way of bringing the setting and all its weirdness to life.
Unfortunately, due to recent issues I’ve slipped behind on talking to people about their rewards from the campaign. The character profiles and the entries. I’ll be getting back in touch as soon as I can but if you want to jump the gun and get in touch before I do, please do.
I just finished writing up the section on mental illness – and how it interacts with the creative abilities – so progress is, once again, being made.
I know people have reviewed Vornheim but to my point of view it’s not, particularly, a book that can be reviewed. It’s more like a work of art or an experience. Like being hooked up to a fire hose of creativity or a cut-up.
There’s only something like 65 pages but it’s dense with material, ideas and inspiration. Even the dust jacket is thrown into use as is the cover of the book itself. There isn’t a corner that isn’t used.
It has a contents but I think it’s best experienced as something to dip in and out of for inspiration. It’s weird, strange and just right for the weirder end of the horror-fantasy that fits Lamentations of the Flame Princess in particular.
There’s a lot of ‘city books’ out there, lists of people, places and things and these can be good but the sheer degree of detail can make them practically unusable unless you play in them often enough for everyone to learn the layout of the fictional city.
The old Night City for Cyberpunk 2020 worked for that but Vornheim takes a better approach, in my opinion, being more of a tool kit, an urban fantasy resource. It provides the main locations but only inspiration and ideas for the other aspects. Vornheim creating the ‘feel’ of the city, rather than its geography. Just as Paris or London have a character all of their own, so does Vornheim and even if you don’t use Vornheim itself, a similar approach can work wonders for any other city you care to create.
I think Zak Smith and the D&D With Porn Stars crew are one of the best things to happen in gaming for a while. A fresh approach and a new perspective, paradoxically tied into the Old School movement. Long may they continue to provide us with cool shit to play with and fresh perspectives.