Wednesday, 29 September 2010
These are ancient guardians of temples dedicated to snake gods, though the secrets of their construction has since spread. Over 20 feet long, capable of climbing and burrrowing and having no need to worry about breathing, a Bronze Serpent can take on most intruders. Its best strategy is to trap its opponent in its coils and bite it with its electrified fangs. Opponents in metal armor or carrying a large amount of metallic objects don't fare well against its attacks.
I'm a sucker for anything with electrical attacks.
Sorry about being late this week. We were busy with other duties and both of us were having trouble with coming up with a drawing we liked.
Special thanks to Joe for helping me out with the background on this one. I swear it just wouldn't come out right.
Golems and other constructed mechanical warriors are commonly employed by those smart and wealthy enough to build them. Constructs follow orders unquestioningly and are difficult to kill, making them excellend guards. A Runic Guardian is an inventive variation on perhaps the most typical type of construct, the Shield Guardian. Its creator covers its torso and limbs with spells in the form of carved runes, which can be activated later by the Guardian to fight off attackers or defend its charge. What spells are inscribed on the Guardian is up to the creator.
I like constructs in general, but the Runic Guardian is one of my favourites. I tried for a more painterly look in photoshop, which I think I'd like to try again. at least it has a background this time!
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Aboleths are a strange race of giant aquatic creatures. Bearing similarities to whales, eels and even cephalopods, they are among the oldest creatures in existence, but by no means the most primitive. Despite their appearance, they live in sophisticated societies, building huge, alien undersea cities in the deepest oceans. Despite their sophistication, the Aboleths are generally hostile to other younger races (such as humans), and their propensity to dabble in dark magics is good cause to leave them well alone if possible.
Aboleths, like Beholders, have been a Dungeons & Dragons staple since its very first edition. Most pictures show them as three-eyed catfish creatures, so to make it a little more interesting I tried to develop the head and face a little. I feel, again, like I should have made more effort with the background on this one (especially as it'd be interesting to think about what kind of cities these things build), but anatomically I'm pretty happy with it.
Living in lakes, rivers and ponds, the frog-like Nixies are primarily cautious creatures. But as members of the fey family, they aren't entirely harmless. It's quite common for them to use their charming abilities to make bigger, stronger creatures take on certain tasks for them. They can also bestow the ability to breathe underwater on their newfound 'friends' to allow them to continue working underwater, at the fey's home. They aren't evil creatures, but they don't follow the rules of good either, so it's best not to cross them lest you end up forgotten at the bottom of their watery home.
Nixies can work pretty well as both allies and enemies, I'd think. Their neutral alignment means you can sculpt an individual nixie's personality into pretty much anything, they could be friendly and helpful, scared and dangerous, or bitter and vengeful. Granted a good GM would make characters with interesting personalities anyway, but a neutral creature is easier to skew into something good or evil. Sometimes making an evil angel, a good demon or a law-abiding gnoll can get a bit corny.
Monday, 13 September 2010
A Necronaut is a terrifying sight. Summoned as servants by Demons of the outer planes, they are formed from thousands of undead souls bound together in a colossal, clambering ziggurat of death from which long, bony arms protrude and hoist them on their destructive journeys. Necronauts are employed as a demonstration of brute necromantic might, requiring a huge amount of dead to summon and inhuman will to control.
A lot of undead creatures are just dead versions of living things - human skeleton, orc zombie, etcetera etcetera. What I really like are the more inventive necromantic creations that only things like Demons can pull off. This was fun to draw - I feel like I could have made it look a little corpsier but I just got to a point where I liked the way it looked.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Rising from the depths of cursed water, the Drowned are the unfortunate creatures that met a certain aquatic demise. They are commonly found near ports or beaches, and anybody that approaches this undead creature will soon find that their lungs are filling up with water. They always have about them a cold cloying aura, their death, which will cause living creatures to drown on land.
Undead are a bit difficult as creatures. Not because they're hard to draw, but because they tend to be a lot of the same. Mostly corpses or skeletons of some kind, so you have to find monsters that have something interesting about them if you want to draw them.
Like for example a monster that's basically Samara from The Ring.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
The Efreeti are a specific kind of genie; their natural home is the Elemental Plane of Fire, which is ruled by their king in the City of Brass. Most of their magical abilities involve fire and smoke in some way, both with the intent to ham and misdirect. They tower above the average human and can heat up their bodies to burn anybody that touches them. Like other genies, an Efreeti will grant wishes to an non-genie, but the Efreeti are an evil race, so they won't give these wishes willingly. And if they do they'll probably find a way to skew it in their favour.
I really wanted to make the Efreeti more interesting than the illustration in the Monster Manual. The one there is a corpulent red guy with stubby little horns, which is fine, but I just wanted something a little different.
Sorry about the lateness.
Monday, 6 September 2010
When traversing the elemental plane of fire, there are numerous dangers that face the adventurer. Rasts are by no means the greatest threat to travellers bold enough to explore this unwelcoming dimension, but to the ill-prepared they can prove deadly enough. Rasts are creatures of little more than animal intelligence, floating about in packs and hunting whatever they can find. It is a well-known fact that Rasts have an almost vampiric fondness for blood.
Rasts are one of the sillier-looking monsters in the first monster manual - kind of like the little head spider thing from John Carpenter's The Thing - I went with more of a blood-crazed jellyfish look in mind.