This post is primarily about some fun character 2D artwork I have done over recent times – but perhaps a little exposition on why might be nice context. I love our 13th Age tabletop RPG campaign so so much, but something happened to my character which created a big rift between him and the party. So after some dramatic interactions I retired Thrail to the hands of the GM as an NPC (and a cool NPC he is making already). What this meant was I needed a new character to join the party which I was keen to make something fun and in some way easy for the party to trust and hopefully help get past the awkwardness of introducing a new hero. I first created a Gnome Wizard, Voxov the Mirrormancer – he was looking pretty fun as at the time we were fighting for control of the Eye of the Archmage. This spectacular room lined with complex arrangements of mirrors could be tuned to look through space and time and was being fought over by multiple factions after the loss of the Archmage himself. Anyhow, I thought having a mirrormancer could be a neat way to bind things together but before Voxov could join in the party had lost control of the Eye altogether – well it had been taken over by NPC Thrail.

Undaunted I decided on a different take, looking at a character that intersected with the interests of the party and ideally the individuals within it. I created a gnome barbarian instead, opting for much simpler mechanics to give me more brain-time at the table to foster inter-character banter and relationships as it was clear that a lack of this was one of the reasons Thrail left in the first place. So I crafted little Qwyn and bound her well and truly to one of the party’s main objectives – she is an Allyrian scout for the Mind Wardens in their fight against the Elder Brain and the illithids as well as her best friend being an actual intellect devourer. I love her already (after a few sessions) and just finished her pic.

So check out these 2D illustrations done in Photoshop with my WACOM intuos Pro (I wish I had a Cintiq). The first is Voxov the Mirrormancer where I tried to get it light and merry with the emphasis on reflections, light and gnomishness. The Second features Qwyn and Snug where again I wanted gnomishness to be strong but also the gnarliness of brains. I played with getting some geometry into the design elements as that might be the aesthetic which the Allyrians bring while also blending the natural colours of a scout with the purples of the intellect devourer. I was trying to go for a nice painted style but keeping the forms quite stylised and cartoony. Keeping the colours and shading simple to match that aesthetic while still mixing things together and including as many little details as possible. I used the Dave Greco main brush for most of the work, adding layers as I went then flattening it down in bursts too. I really like the character designs as well as my illustrations of them, they took me too many hours to do but I enjoyed noodling away on them even while watching TV. I might do one of Winter next as a Storm Druid in the same style should be fun – oh and maybe see if I can integrate Qwyn and Snug into the Blunt Force chibi pic too.

While we are here, this is what the Heroforge versions of the characters would look like, I would need to add things like legs to the brain etc, but they look pretty sweet and I might not be able to resist… Looking at how cool the screenshots are from Heroforge it might be fun to try colouring them to create a party very quickly – that is an experiment worth trying as the other people in the party could create their characters then I can bring things all together in photoshop – cool.