Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Delving into The Barrow

"They moved in the dark...Sharpened bone spears dipped in shit and poison, curved swords and wicked implements of pain and war, fierce masks of horn and brass, short horn bows pulled with fire-sharpened arrows..."

Sounds like a description of a small horde of orcs tracking a group of adventurers through a dungeon, doesn't it?
That's an excerpt from a novel I picked up recently called The Barrow. I'd read a couple reviews of the book that compared it, in some ways, to a D&D dungeon crawl. Several of those reviews didn't mean that as a compliment, or see that as a good thing.
Now, I know that dungeon crawls don't always translate to great fiction! I've (tried) to read some of the more questionable Wizards of the Coast fiction, trust me. So I know that trying to depict the dungeon crawl in fiction can come to very bad ends, from a fiction standpoint.
At any rate, as I dug further into the lore of The Barrow, I discovered the author, Mark Smylie, is also a visual artist. And when I saw his work, I realized he contributed greatly to one of the campaign setting books I own: Midgard. Here's an example of his work:

I wonder what sort of author he makes. I'll let you know when I read the novel! The illo above is from a comic series that Smylie created a while back. I haven't read those...

Anyway, as I usually do, I started wondering about his created world's viability as an RPG setting. You know, because I'm an insane person that can't seem to separate his fantasy novel reading from his RPG obsession. Nevermind that I haven't read the damn novel yet! Oy vey, my mind...
Well, sure enough, when I went to the website for The Barrow, I discovered that an RPG already exists! And, a second edition is in the works.
Sheesh, I don't have enough time at the moment to go deeper into this rabbit hole. But I intend to write more here as I read the novel and explore Smylie's world.
Note: go here if you want to read an excerpt from the novel.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Welcome to April! (could this be NSFW?)

I don't want to be another fool (see what I did there?) to screech in awestruck wonder that it's "already April 2015"! But come on, where is the time going this year, eh?!
Ah, spring! What red-blooded male doesn't start having images of fair maidens dancing in his head at this time, I ask you? Thus, the illo above, by a fine artist named David Palumbo that I just personally discovered. I find the image to be a mash-up of classical portraiture and modern art. What do you think? What pops into my mind is...this looks like something Rembrandt might have painted if he knew about cyberpunk.
I usually try to avoid serving too much "cheesecake" on this here blog, but then again, could the illo above actually be considered cheesecake? I find it tasteful, with a bit of eroticism thrown in. How about you? I guess it might be a bit NSFW.
Anyway, give Mr. Palumbo's site a peruse when you get a moment. Be warned, there are nekkid ladies in some spots, so his site I suppose should DEFINITELY be considered NSFW.
Well, my prudish musings are at an end! Enjoy!