Modern RPG/OSR Artists

Nick J

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i wish I could put my finger on what rubs me the wrong way about Wayne Reynolds stuff? The compositions are fine -- lots of dynamism, the action is clear, but goddamn, I hate it.
 

TristramEvans

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i wish I could put my finger on what rubs me the wrong way about Wayne Reynolds stuff? The compositions are fine -- lots of dynamism, the action is clear, but goddamn, I hate it.
Perhaps it's that his people are extremely stylized, to the point of comparisons to manga/anime, and over-designed costuming that removes any sense of realism?
 

Nick J

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Perhaps it's that his people are extremely stylized, to the point of comparisons to manga/anime, and over-designed costuming that removes any sense of realism?
Maybe something like that, but my favorite artist of all time is probably Russ Nicholson, and his stuff is very baroque and heavily stylized. It must be the over-proliferation of buckles?
 

TristramEvans

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Maybe something like that, but my favorite artist of all time is probably Russ Nicholson, and his stuff is very baroque and heavily stylized.
Though very styalized, I'd immediately say that Nicholson's characters have "weight", imbued with an actual sense of them existing within their environment. Compare this...



To this...



where everyone seems to be floating around, completely disconnected from their environment, as if every piece in the picture is a separate element, only interacting by way of associated proximity.

But perhaps it is pointless to over-analyze taste. There are plenty of technically proficient artists and musicians that simply don't do it for me.

It must be the over-proliferation of buckles?
lol, that too. One might almost have thought the 3E rulebooks were sponsored by a belt-making company.
 

Ladybird

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Maybe something like that, but my favorite artist of all time is probably Russ Nicholson, and his stuff is very baroque and heavily stylized. It must be the over-proliferation of buckles?
Different styles, though.

I love Wayne Reynold's art - especially Seoni... - but it reminds me very much of videogamey "fuck physics" movement, or posing for the camera more than actually looking like you're fighting. I happen to like that sort of thing, in moderation, but I can see why it wouldn't do it for other people.
 

raniE

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yes the game was based on his book, Tales from the Loop
Kind of, yeah. The art existed and got famous before the art book, and the book was published by Free League who later published the rpg. But that's a quibble, and they possibly didn't decide to do an rpg of it until it sold really well, so you are probably right anyway.

Anyway, image tax. Talking about Stålenhag, time for another Swedish artist, Ronja Melin. Working mainly on rpgs that as far as I know remain untranslated into English, Järn and Hjältarnas Tid (Iron and Time of Heroes, roughly)


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Séadna

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What's Järn and Hjältarnas Tid about? Fantasy obviously, but what's the "twist" if there is one?
 

The Butcher

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Though very styalized, I'd immediately say that Nicholson's characters have "weight", imbued with an actual sense of them existing within their environment. Compare this...



To this...



where everyone seems to be floating around, completely disconnected from their environment, as if every piece in the picture is a separate element, only interacting by way of associated proximity.

But perhaps it is pointless to over-analyze taste. There are plenty of technically proficient artists and musicians that simply don't do it for me.



lol, that too. One might almost have thought the 3E rulebooks were sponsored by a belt-making company.
Russ is a goddamn rock star. And humble to boot — I was praising his work on Google+ once and he popped up months later to post something to the effect of "thanks for the kind words." Internally I was like are you fucking kidding me? You're a legend!

And Wayne is amazing — check his historical (Osprey) work here and here.
 

raniE

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Järn is "roleplaying in a mythical past". It's a d100 variant originally based on BRP primarily because most older Swedish rpgs were BRP based and because percentiles are pretty easy to teach to newbies. However the stats have been mostly removed, leaving only skills and some of what would have been derived characteristics in BRP (although the stats from which they would have been derived don't exist) so I can't really call it BRP anymore. The five basic pillars of Järn are listed as Drama inside and outside of the clan, Adventures in the magnificent wilderness, Spirit world and physical world, Wilderness/Barbarism vs Civilization (the PCs will mostly be on the side of the wilderness here), and Fate.

The game is aimed at two audiences, those who just want new rules for an existing fantasy campaign, or those who want to actually play with all the setting stuff. Ignoring the first group, the setting stuff is pretty much dark ages, or what we in Sweden would call viking age. The word "fornnördiskt" is used, which could be roughly translated to Old Nerdse (it's a pun on Old Norse and Nerd). Basically, it's about using all that stuff we learned about the viking age back in school, but without demands for historical correctness. More saga, less history. If you've played the PC game Banner Saga and/or its sequel, it is a lot like that.

The characters will belong to a clan of some people ( a bunch of example peoples are given, like the fjord-people, the wolf-people, the steppe-people, the mountain-people, trolls, giants, ex-gods exiled from their old home etc). Close to them is the Kingdom, a kind of analogue to both the classical Roman Empire, and the Holy Roman Empire. Also a bunch of other tribes, but mainly a lot of wilderness,

If you start from scratch, the group gets together to create their characters and their clan. If you're familiar with Mutant Year Zero the concept is similar. Create a small society where everyone knows everyone, put in a bunch of relationships and hooks, create characters and hook them into this web. Different from that is the players also create a lot of the wilderness around their village.

Magic is spirit-based and super-freeform. The shaman/spiritweaver/what-have-you deals with a spirit to get a promise of some aid, either now or later. What form the aid takes is set between the player and the GM if the attempt is successful.



Hjältarnas Tid is, as I understand it, pretty much the same basic rules but more standard "adventure fantasy", no clan-building rules and somewhat aimed at kids, or at least younger players. I don't own that game (although I plan to remedy this soon), so I can't comment too much on it.
 

raniE

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Russ is a goddamn rock star. And humble to boot — I was praising his work on Google+ once and he popped up months later to post something to the effect of "thanks for the kind words." Internally I was like are you fucking kidding me? You're a legend!

And Wayne is amazing — check his historical (Osprey) work here and here.
That's Wayne Reynolds? Why doesn't he do more stuff like that for fantasy? That looks so much better than his work for Pathfinder for instance.
 

The Butcher

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That's Wayne Reynolds? Why doesn't he do more stuff like that for fantasy? That looks so much better than his work for Pathfinder for instance.
Probably because the Pathfinder gravy train has him fully booked for the next decade or so. But I too would love to see him bring that sort of grit to a fantasy game! (I'd just let him work with his Pathfinder palette. Can we please kill the grit = muted colors bullshit?)
 

Séadna

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If you've played the PC game Banner Saga and/or its sequel, it is a lot like that
Well that's enough for me! I can read Norwegian decently and can figure out Swedish usually from that + google translate, so I'm off for a purchase.
 

raniE

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That is gorgeous. Those folks look awesome.
All the Swedish RPG stuff that gets translated into English is at best around half of the RPG products being made here. I wish more of them could be presented to an international audience. On the other hand, I don't want them losing their essential Swedishness and focusing only on the American market either.
 

raniE

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Probably because the Pathfinder gravy train has him fully booked for the next decade or so. But I too would love to see him bring that sort of grit to a fantasy game! (I'd just let him work with his Pathfinder palette. Can we please kill the grit = muted colors bullshit?)
Oh yeah. People have always liked bright colors. And stuff didn't look like crap in the past either. Craftsmen really knew what they were doing and could do amazing things with the tools they had. No more dung ages.
 

raniE

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Well that's enough for me! I can read Norwegian decently and can figure out Swedish usually from that + google translate, so I'm off for a purchase.
If Norway and Sweden weren't different countries, you'd be hard pressed to call them separate languages rather than strong dialects, so you will probably be fine. Although Krister Sundelin, the author, does like wordplay and such, so beware there might be some of that (although I think he's toned it down, there was more of that stuff in his products from fifteen-twenty years ago).
 
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