RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 12

Welcome back dear readers. We’re back to easier topics. I’ve been wracking my brain on the topic, because there are so many great RPG illustrations, BUT I’m going to take some liberties today and go off on a tangent and tell you about an illustration that had great influence in my as a Game Master and teller of stories…

Day 12 – Favorite RPG illustration

My first thought was the D&D Basic Red Box cover by Elmore, and while I love the picture for it’s iconic and sentimental value, it doesn’t say much, it certainly captures a moment, but it doesn’t tell a greater story. Elmore has so many wonderful pieces, such as the Dragonlance Chronicles covers, such as this one, but as I thought more and more there is one image that influenced me even before I knew what RPGs were and it is this…


This was an adventuring party ready for whatever challenge may come, even before I knew what that meant. Iit comes from the Hildebrandt Brothers’ 1982 Atlantis Calendar. I was lucky to be exposed to fantasy literature and art from a young age, to play with the AD&D toys, so I was primed to be a gamer from a young age.  

When I got this calendar it fired up my imagination. My mastery of the English language was still developing so I did not understand the brief descriptions for each painting fully. I would look at that calendar over and over and come up with different stories each time. This calendar, and specifically that piece had a great influence on my concepts of how to organize an adventure into a story and the events that occur along the way. Challenges, allies, failure and triumph.

If you want to see a collection of all the images, you can look here or here.

Honorary mentions go to another Elmore piece, the cover to the Star Frontiers Boxed Set and to the AD&D Player’s Handbook full page illustration, A paladin in hell, both inspired me greatly as a young gamer!



I may need to create a campaign around these images, some planetary romance adventure perhaps…So, what’s your favorite RPG illustration? Let us know below in the comments. Have a great day!

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 11

Hello, again, thanks for reading these posts. I love participating in #RPGaDay2015 since  it is a great excuse and motivator to get back to blogging. Hope you are enjoying these as much as I am enjoying writing them.

This is another one of those categories that are very difficult. Picking favorites is always hard, so I’m going to do a little cheating and do a countdown!

Day 11 – Favorite RPG writer

There are probably far more great RPG creators that I could list here, many I’m probably missing, so I’m going to do a countdown of five to get to my favorite RPG writer:

Number 5 – Owen K C Stephens


In recent years Owen K C Stephens work has been consistently great and fun! His work for Green Ronin and Paizo has been terrific and the stuff he publishes through Rogue Genius Games is among the best third party content for Pathfinder. I also follow him on Facebook and he’s amazingly candid and fun. I’m a fan!

Number 4 – Steve Kenson


What can I say about the guy who’s written my two favorite superhero role playing games? Mutants & Masterminds and Icons! Not only that, before I played those games I used to play Silver Age Sentinels, which he worked on, and True20, also one of his creations, was one of my favorite applications of the d20 OGL. He also gave me the first interview I did here in the blog over five years ago. He’s an all around nice guy and I got to met him at GenCon back in 2011.

Number 3 – Sean K. Reynolds


and talking about nice guys, I’m hard pressed to think of a nice guy. He was so amicable when I took this picture with him back at GenCon. Since I added him on FB, I’ve been lucky enough to interact with him through social media, a treat since I’ve been a fan of his work since Alternity, all through his D&D 3.5 and Paizo work, and his Kickstarters, including his Five Moons RPG. Looking forward to whatever new project he comes out with!

Number 2 – Gary Gygax


How could I not have him in the list? Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson created a hobby that has changed my life. I’ve made more friends thought RPGs than any other endeavour in my life. While his style is not for everyone, and when I got to read them I was a little turned off by some of his Dragon Magazine columns, as an adult I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading his work. I’ve discussed the one time I saw him on a post we all contributed to in his memory, you can read it here.

Number 1 – Bruce Heard


And this one should be no surprise! From all my mentions of Mystara and the Gazetteer series, to my fawning over the Voyage of the Princess Ark, to my interview of Bruce Heard and to my love of Calidar, this number 1 spot should have been obvious! Every month his column was the first thing I read in my copy of Dragon Magazine, he stewarded my favorite series of supplements for any setting, and he happens to be swell guy too. Bruce has been responsible for so many hours of fun in my life, for me and many of my friends, that all I can do is say, thank you!

Well those are the top 5, but there are some honorable mentions as well. Kenneth Hite, because he writes some wonderfully cerebral, amazing games that blur the line between game and literature. Monte Cook because he was such a driving force in the d20 movement, and now is doing so much more. Gareth Skarka, because knowing him, his work and his passion is a pleasure and finally, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman because their writing and the gaming content related to it was so pivotal in my love of fantasy fiction and RPGs.

(See how I weaseled my way out of just picking one favorite?)

So who is your favorite, or favorites? Let us know in the comments. See you all tomorrow!

Day 10 – Favorite RPG publisher

Is it Monday already? And we are ten days into the  #RPGaDay2015 Challenge! Time flies..

We are hitting the really difficult questions, the ones where we have to choose favorites and it involves people you know directly or indirectly. So let’s put on the big boy pants and go for it.

Day 10 – Favorite RPG publisher

When I was younger this would have been easy to answer, for two reasons, I was a D&D fan and TSR had my undivided attention. Of course I brought other games, my shelves are a testament to that, but I always returned to D&D and ultimately TSR.

Another big change has been social media. In the long long ago before the Internet, getting to talk to a game creator only happened through correspondence or convention attendance. There days, through social media and posting in this blog, has allowed me to interact with writers and artists I admire in ways my teenage self would never think possible, so picking a favorite is a little like asking a father to pick his favorite son!

There are lots of candidates… Paizo because I loved that they gave me an option when D&D 4th edition didn’t work for me and how they kept a rule system I enjoyed going, and improved on it. Green Ronin, because they make games I love and they have some genuinely talented and friendly creators on their staff. The list goes on and on… But when I started looking at all the pieces, quality, enjoyability, how their products fire up my imagination, and the quality of people working there, the answer was not difficult. Of all the wonderful and great companies out there, I have to say Kobold Press is my favorite RPG publisher.


Their books are always top notch, from the  writing, to the art, to the mechanics. Even when I don’t run their campaigns the books always have a treasure trove of ideas and mechanics I can use. If you look at the reviews I’ve done here in the blog, you can see how many I did for their products, and that’s not a coincidence, I am a HUGE fan!

So that’s my favorite, but all the other I mentioned and a few I did not, are all great companies, this is truly a great hobby, full of wonderful people.

That’s all for Day 10. What is your favorite RPG publisher? Let me know in the comments…

PS – Oh, and one last thing before I forget! After I wrote my Day 9 entry, favorite media you wish was an RPG, I read Gareth Skarka’s entry for Day 9, I just wished I would have thought about this! His pick was the old Epic Comics Alien Legion. What a series, and he’s right. Go read his post to get the details why. Thanks Gareth for reminding me of that property.

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