Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cursed Chateau Artwork

Posting's been a fair bit lighter this month than usual. I'm busy with a number of other projects, some related to the old school movement and some not, and they've been keeping me busy. To show you just one of the things that's been holding my attention, here are a few pieces of art from my upcoming adventure, The Cursed Chateau.

As you can see, the artwork is quite varied in style and that's intentional. Tim Hutchings of PlaGMaDA contacted all the artists, many of whom have no connection either to roleplaying games or, more specifically, old school RPGs. The final results probably won't be to everyone's tastes and that's OK with me. There are already plenty of old school products out there that look like they've been trapped in amber since 1978. I wanted to try something a little different and here are some examples:


This piece, by Jeffrey Brown, shows a shadow. I was really quite taken with it, because the shadow has always been a very difficult creature for me to conceptualize and this illustration came very close to capturing what my mind's eye has long seen when I think of the shadow.

Andrew Guenther created a terrifically creepy horde of zombies that looks a little different than "standard" image of these undead.

Don Doe created one of my favorite pieces for the project, a ghostly image of a boy that arises out of a painting.

And what old school-related project would be complete without at least one piece by Erol Otus, in this case a wraith maid?

As The Cursed Chateau gets closer to publication (it's slated for the end of this year), I'll probably post a few more previews of art and text, but, for now, I simply wanted to let you know why I've been a bit more scarce than usual.

18 comments:

  1. Did E.O create that piece especially for the Cursed Chateau? that's very cool! Be great to see Peter Mullen contribute something as well.

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  2. Very nice. I'm looking forward to this.

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  3. the zombies are incredible!

    are you still looking for playtesters?

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  4. Wow! I think those are all wonderful. I immensely approve of using artists who are not already pickled in a given "D&D-like" style -- helps nourish all of our imaginations with a fresh perspective. Extremely well played.

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  5. Good call James. I've long been a proponent of the introduction of diverse art styles in 'old school' adventures. Just because a style doesn't ape the modules of the early 80's doesn't mean it's not appropriate for our hobby. In fact, I feel that an injection of fresh talent - not influenced by any RPG art past or present - would be a great thing.

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  6. Those zombies look like something Vincent Locke might have done as a child. :D

    The ghostly boy looks like it could have been done by William Blake.

    Good stuff!

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  7. It's cool to see those images in small form - they ought to look good in the module, which I await eagerly - but seeing them in person was mind-blowing! Hats off to Tim for organizing the show. How did the idea for doing this arise?

    - Tavis

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  8. I love that pic of the Shadow! Thanks for showing this stuff off!

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  9. Your adventure sounds (and looks) a lot like Robert J. Kuntz's adventure, "The Dark Chateau" - a sort of prequel to Castle Zagyg. Still, I'm intrigued.

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  10. The Erol Otus piece was specifically done for this project.

    As for Peter Mullen, I love his stuff too, but he's got plenty of work these days in other quarters and I'm of the mind to try out some new artists in order to give my projects their own distinctive look.

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  11. Brian,

    I'm good with playtesters for the moment. If I need more, I'll make a post about it.

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  12. I rather like Kuntz's The Dark Chateau and I'm sure it's had some influence over my own work, but the real inspiration for it comes from Moldvay's Castle Amber, right down to its Frenchified naming conventions.

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  13. Very atmospheric stuff. I bet this will be a great adventure.

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  14. Hey all,

    I'm the guy that organized the artwork. For the record, most of the artists in the show play or have played RPGs. All of them make artwork that deals with themes related to gaming, if not gaming itself.

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  15. Nice art, James. Looking good!

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  16. Nice stuff.

    I saw some sort of half-materialized demon in the white parts of the shadow picture before I saw the shadow! ^_^

    Although I think a consistent style of art would be appropriate for a module, I’ve been saying since the C&C playtest days that the lack of art direction in early TSR products was—even if unintentional—just what the games needed. In a game of imagination and fantasy, that’s a feature rather than a bug.

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