Thursday, January 17, 2013


Hey everyone!

Check out my new blog titled THIS IS OTIS! This blog features my character Otis I have shared with you guys before, as well as my other artwork.

Head on over and tell me what you think.  Also, if you have any suggestions for Otis please share them!

Monday, November 26, 2012

What's in your haversack?

Hey guys,
Its been a while since I made a What's in your haversack post, so I thought it was time for a new one. It is always good to remember that your character, whether in game or in writing is not always prepared for everything. You can't just run around every day with a huge pack on your back full to bursting, its just not feasible or practical. There WILL be time when they aren't prepared, or better said, there SHOULD always be a time when the character is not prepared.

So, that being said, let us take a look at Lenz Gelstalter and his haversack.

Lenz Gelstalter is a middle aged dwarf who has spent his life hidden in the underground of Wuldrorth. picked up some alchemy and arcane knowledge during his life on the streets by taking odd jobs for the Lenz various wizards and other magical types around Wulrorth.  He doesn't have the extensive schooling of wizards but he has a natural feel for magic and mechanics, able to create small, intricate machines and potent magical potions.

One day he is approached by a small urchin boy, who delivers a summons from an upper class merchant. The merchants wants a private showing of Lenz's work. On his way to the summons Lenz is ambushed by a rival and forced to flee into the tunnels, leading to the surface.

In Lenz's haversack we find the following:

  • Mechanical pieces, including a mechanical bird, spider, and hand. 
  • Small, spare parts, including cogs, gears, nuts and bolts. 
  • Flask of spirits (hidden in boot, actually)
  • Identification papers
  • Summons from Merchant Lord Trask
  • 10 gold, 7 silver, 9 copper
  • Home keys
  • Pipe and Tobacco  
  • 1 half finished and chewed cigar
  • flint and steel bars

Friday, November 16, 2012


Hey Folks,

I know I have not been posting at all recently, but life has really got in my way. I hope to remedy that but I can make no promises.

I would like however to share a new project I am working on. I have recently been experimenting with Shadow Puppets.  One day recently I came across an article ( I cannot for the life of me find it again), about old school Cambodian shadow puppet theater and was immediately captivated. Being the proud father of a very active and observant 17 month old little girl, I immediately thought of how I could use something like that to entertain her. I also started thinking about the shadow puppets we all used to make on the wall by tipping the lamp on its side and sticking up bunny ears with our fingers ("Don't you break my lamp, young man!" moms invariably call out in warning).

While I could have easily just done this and my daughter would have no doubt been entertained, this just doesn't tickle my artistic fancy the way pulling out some cardstock paper, pencils and an exacto knife do. So I came up with some homemade puppets and put on a little show for her. She was enthralled and squealed with joy numerous times. I was so happy and so inspired that I made a (not so) short list of puppets I wanted to make for her. This list turned into a menagerie of puppets and shadow scenery.

Even though I was now at a loss of where I could store this growing zoo of beasties and peoples I couldn't stop. I was one a role. Am on a roll still. I can't stop coming up with ideas for puppets and making more.

My wife comes out one day and tells me that she has seen similar stuff on Etsy and I could probably sell some on the side if I wanted.  I thought this was a great idea, and have been busy over the last few days make new puppets, taking pictures and setting up my new Etsy account. Well, that is completed and thought that since this is my Blog, I would share it here, regardless of it not being gaming related. Though if anyone has some gaming related puppets they would like to see, please feel free to let me know, I would love to hear them.

So, with out any further to do check out UMBRATA, Shadow Theater and other art. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Airship Nightingale

The Airship Nightingale
Captain: Ian Kharos
Luxury Dining Ship

The Nightingale is small luxury airship built for the enjoyment of the nobility. The frame of the Nightingale is made from a very light metal that has the beautiful green patina of brass. The entire length of the ship is no more than thirty feet long with two decks. 

The Gas Cell is one large gas envelope set above the rest of the ship and is held to the ship by a large arm made from the same metal as the rest of the frame. The envelope is made from a heavy fabric the color of aged parchment and is held to the ship by thick mooring ropes tied fore, middle and aft. 

The shorter lower deck is a galley where fine meals are made by the ships halfling cook Simonette Marbury. Mrs. Marbury is a wonderful cook, particularly renowned for her tarts and sweetmeats, which she serves to her patrons after every meal. 

The main deck is covered in warm hardwoods and delicate brass-green filigrees. However, as beautiful as these are, the main focus of the main compartment is its massive oak dining table and six surrounding chairs. The legs of the table and chairs are detailed carvings of clouds and tiny intricate birds. The birds when examined closely are Nightingales, in homage of the ship, or perhaps giving it its name. The tall ladder backed chairs have a similar pattern embroidered into their cushions in lush reds and golds. 

Completing the main deck of the ship is the prow. The prow of the ship is completely surrounded by plush couches and pillows which allow the courtly nobles a comfortable seat on which to enjoy the beautiful view of the sky, or even the land far below for those who have a head for heights. This beautiful view is afforded by the large bay windows which surround the entire main deck. 

Captain Ian Kharos is a good looking man of average height and athletic build. Dark brown hair and eyes with an olive complexion. Captain Kharos always dresses in a pristine captains uniform with its deep blues and crisp whites. He always looks impeccable for his patrons. He also always stands at the captains wheel at the stern of the main deck. The 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meet Otis

Since I got a few requests to show some of my other artwork, I would like to introduce a comic character I created last year. Here is Otis. 
Hello Otis

Viking Otis
Zombie Otis
I would love to hear some ideas for new Otis costumes or poses. So let me know what you would like to see and I will try to make Otis a new segment. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Orrin Osbert
Not only am I a DM and avid game enthusiast, I am also an artist.  Above is the image of an old long running character of mine named Orrin Osbert that I drew some time ago. Orrin was a young fighter out to prove himself to his father who thought him a rogue (of the classical sense) and a dandy. Just thought I would share some of my artwork.

Question: Would any one be interested in seeing some of my other artwork?  It is not all game inspired, but some is, and some inspired some of my game design concepts.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Outside my comfort zone

Recently I was lucky enough to be able to play in a one shot game with a friend acting as Dungeons Master and some new people as other PCs. There were five of us all told.  My self, the DM, one other who was familiar with the game, and two newbies. Since the newbs were unfamiliar with Role Playing Games in general, the other player, Tom, and I decided we would take the more complicated and somewhat challenging characters to play. Specifically, The Magic User, The Cleric, and The Paladin.  I played the Magic User, a typical wizard character running around in robes and brandishing his staff.  Tom played a mace wielding Cleric who boosted the party with healing. The Paladin was played by both myself and Tom cooperatively in order to bring in another warrior in to the group.  

In my previous games I tended to stick the ranged fighting characters like the Ranger (in 3e and 3.5) and Sorcerers/Wizards (2e and Castles and Crusades). I like to play characters that I need to actually Role Play, rather than Roll Play.  I need to think what would my character decide to do in a real situation like this.  Would I stick in the background and lob volley after volley or spell after spell, or would I risk running up into the thick of battle. I believe that playing these types just play to my strengths and to my way of thinking. I am a scientific and logical thinker. I like to play characters who, while having depth and personality, think the same way. 

I am not a religious person. Never have been. In real life I do not follow any religion. So playing a religious character is needless to say, out of the norm. I do not understand religion simply because it is not a strictly logical or scientific thought process. So when I realized I would be playing a religious character I was a little apprehensive. I could have easily said I didn't want to play that character, but I knew how I think a religious character would act in a fantasy world such as the one we were playing. 

 The mage I was playing was similar to my normal characters.  He is a strong team player, trying to make sure the other characters are on equal footing, and looking forward to the magical knowledge he could learn. 

Where my normal characters tend to lean toward chaotic good, I thought I would play the Paladin as a stuffy and righteously indignant person who had nothing but contempt for the thief and mage. The Paladin is a lawful good character. Strict in his observance of his creed. At one point he even turned against the party when they tried to loot the sarcophagus of a deceased man whose tomb a necromancer had desecrated. 

I discovered that I really enjoyed playing a Paladin.  Since Paladins are followers of a strict code of conduct, their behavior is easy to dictate. I could focus on their personality rather than their decisions. While I do not think I would continue playing religious characters on a regular basis, I have found a new class I like.