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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Vine Horror


Though named a Vine Horror, this creature is a sentient mass of algae that lumps itself together into a vaguely humanoid form. It has two main abilities: one to is animate vines (or similar plants) that will strange its opponents; the other ability is its extreme malleability. As mentioned, since the creature is made up of algae, it has no bone or bone-like structure. Because of this, a vine horror can effortlessly force its slimy body through a space as small as an inch without.

Many plant creatures are either mindless consumers or sentient protectors of nature. While it can be fiercely territorial over its patch of swamp, it doesn't care about it on any spiritual level. Because its body is so gooey and saturated with water, the Vine Horror doesn't care about fire and is able to protect itself from most weapons.

The Vine Horror is capable of speech, albeit the somewhat esoteric Sylvan, and is capable of reason. Debate is discouraged, however.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Uldra

The Uldra are a race of short Fey creatures common in colder climates. Although fierce by necessity in a harsh environment, the Uldra are highly concerned by ecology and the wildlife with whom their share their territory. The other notable trait of the Uldra is their love of decorative hats - with an especially high regard for height and pointiness. Since the Uldra are naturally resistant to the cold, their clothing is primitive (and in Summer is rarely worn at all), but it is rare indeed to see one not wearing a hat.

Hope y'all are having a splendid Christmas this year, gang - Blanca and I have accordingly illustrated choices from the always-chilly Frostburn book. Actually, hearing about the snowstorms in the US I'd imagine quite a lot of people could do with seeing less of Old Man Winter right about now.

 As you might imagine, the above drawing is a result of me being away from my usual art stuff (CS6, wacom tablet) and for once manning up and using real implements. It's a shame I can't colour it here (well I could but it would take too long) but it was fun to make. As a mostly digital artist you forget about how permanent marks can be when you're making a finished piece. I saved my butt in a couple of places with white-out (rescuer of many a drawing).

Anyway, I don't think the feel of it is a million miles from my digital stuff, which is what I was aiming for. Consistency is professional, innit!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Urskan


Dag nabbit, Phillip Pullman, it's your fault fantasy is required to have at least one armored bear in it now. Well I ain't gonna draw no bears in armor (plenty of those) and they're supposedly good at making armor so... Also more people need to draw bear men the way bears actually look when they stand up: weird and skinny. They're like buff weasels.

Urskans are D&D's required warrior bear-in-armor race. I'm showing them here standing up, which is a pose they're comfortable with, but you'll  be more likely to encounter them on all fours. They have a thumb that's just opposable enough to wield tools, but not opposable enough to make a common habit out of it. In battle, they're more likely to use steel-clawed gauntlets than an actual weapon. Like the Salamanders, Urskans are excellent smiths. But where Salamanders get their skill from mastery of fire, Urskans get it from sheer brute strength, which probably makes them better for making big crude things rather than dainty little things.

Also, they wear half-plate. Seems a little strange since half-plate is described as plates of armor attached to chainmail and leather. Making those little loops for chainmail is delicate, intensive work. Just imagine one of these guys squinting down as they try to bend a tiny ring. You'd think they'd just go for straight-up plate. Maybe it's to avoid breaking the ice sheets they walk on.

Another thing I love about doing stuff for this blog is an excuse to look up trades as well as monsters. Armoring's pretty cool and despite what this image might imply, you don't really need that much heat, just a lot of hammering. You might need some extra heat it you're trying to hammer a one inch thick piece of plate though.


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Tengu, Human-Headed

Aaaaaand here's the other kind of Tengu you can fight.

Many monsters have stats given for more powerful versions (to scale with the level of your PCs) - most of them are simple HD addition but for some the book gives a distinct second form, sometimes with new abilities. For the Tengu you can either face a CR1 Bird-Headed Tengu or a CR6 Human-Headed Tengu (both variations exist in Japanese folklore). Interestingly, the human-headed variety is much smaller, relying less on strength and more on craftiness and spells.

I love Tengu in mythology (particularly the red-faced interpretation). It's a commonly recurring motif in a lot of Japanese media, not least with KOF's Mr Karate and that one episode of Great Detective Conan where they go the the hot springs, both of which informed my picture. I find the traditional face very pleasing in a sculptural way.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Tengu, Crow-Headed

Beware of strange sounds on the misty mountains.

The tengu and the kenku both have the same mythological origin: the karasu tengu, or crow-headed tengu, mountain-dwelling, anthropomorphic bird swordsmen. Kenku is another acceptable term for tengu. It's a well-known creature of Japanse folklore, alongside kitsune, kappa and tanuki. It's said that the tengu would sometimes take on human pupils and teach them their own unorthodox fighting techniques. The tengu from Oriental Adventures is closest to its roots than the kenku, the latter essentiall being avian kobolds.

Tengu are nimble fighters, relying more on speed than strength. The setting may be Japan-inspired, but just because you teach samurai that doesn't mean you have to be obsessed with honor. Tengu use a combination of ambush techniques, illusions, intimidation and the buffeting of their wings to keep their opponent off balance. Despite this, they're not opposed to a good old fashioned duel.

I love doing creatures inspire by non-Western mythology because it really gives you an excuse to look up some new things. Japanese ukiyo-e and prints are absolutely beautiful and the fairy tales and folklore is really sweet. I've been on a pretty big fairy tale and folklore binge lately. This image of the tengu is partially inspired by this one, a painting by Katsushika Hokusai.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Salamander


Salamanders are serpentine creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire. Like a lot of fiery creatures, they're the sort of monster that you don't want to touch unless you've got your fire resistance spells up. Or like blisters. They can also transfer heat through their weapons so there's that too.

They're not especially strong creatures, though they're quite intelligent and difficult to damage unless you've got some magic weapons (which you should probably have if you were doing the planar travel shenanigans). They make pretty good guardians if you need your temple guarded by something that can probably subsit on coal and wood. They also have a tendency to get summoned by people who want them some finely crafted metalworks, since these guys are also very skilled blacksmiths.

There are different levels of salamander too. You've got your average salamander, which is pretty dangerous. There's also smaller guys called flamebrothers, which tend to get pushed around by their larger bretheren. Then you have salamander nobles, which can get pretty big, are master smiths and have all sorts of nasty fire-based spells that include summoning Huge fire elementals.

Bring some oven gloves and some cold spells is what I'm saying.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Shrieking Terror

Shrieking Terrors are bizarre hybrids between the many-headed Hydra and the bat-like Vargouille. Their simple, starfish-shaped bodies support a head at the end of each arm with only a pair of leathery wings to hoist the creature aloft for movement. The heads themselves posses many of the same capabilities as an ordinary Vargouille, including a poisonous bite attack and the horrible "Vargouille's Kiss" - a perversely tender gesture by which the Shrieking Terror marks its victim with a curse that causes them to rapidly undergo a monstrous transformation into a Vargouille themselves!

Foes of the Shrieking Terror attack it with caution - its body restores itself quickly in the manner of a hydra, and each head, if severed, will quickly regrow twofold.

Apologies to those who aren't as keen on the more graphic style - it's a little quicker for me to work in and I wanted to catch up so Blanca and I are in sync again (Blanca's currently technically a week ahead!).  I've been reading a book I was bought recently containing Miyazaki's watercolour sketches for Nausicaä (both the movie and the comic), and I guess this is inspired by the tapestries at the start of the movie, the ones depicting the war and the God Warrior in this nice primitive style. I actually quite like the picture of the Shrieking Terror in the MM3, so check it out!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Rot Reaver

Rot Reavers are brawny, hunched, simian creatures, their green skin calloused with years of caked-on gore. They subsist by consuming the flesh of others - but unlike most normal carnivores they savour the taste of the rancid, festering meat of the undead.

Brandishing a pair of magical cleavers (around which their enormous twin tongues wrap, to further relish the flavour of the blood), they swing like demonic butchers, hungrily and recklessly. Recipents of a Rot Reaver's attack beware: the wound will magically fester, and should its victim die the body will be brought back into unlife under the Rot Reaver's control, to either serve or feed it!

I love how wonderfully horrible the Rot Reaver is. I'm a firm believer that there's a certain point at which excessive violence and gore reaches a sort of critical mass and crosses over from "juvenile obsession" into an outright art form. That point, as we all know, is Peter Jackson's Braindead.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Retriever


Though classified as a demon, the Retriever only fits that category loosely, in that its a thing created by demons for the purpose of hunting down and bringing back certain targets that the boss demon doesn't feel like chasing. This may be other demons, troublesome mortals or those who are trying to skip out of their end of the Faustian pact.

Retriever demon also comes with eyebeams which can be set to heat, electricity, frost or petrify. Available now for the tender heart of a newborn babe.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Quell

The longstanding traditional enemy of all undead are the clerics and priests of good-aligned deities. Clerics of gods such as Pelor and Heironeous are blessed with the ability to cast heal spells - which, being comprised of positive energy, actually deal damage when cast against undead. In addition, they can channel a wave of positive energy to "turn" nearby undead in an attempt to destroy them utterly. These abilities make clerics an excellent addition to any band of adventurers, not least when the quest at hand will involve numerous necromantic encounters.

A Quell is physically a very weak undead creature, just CR3. Barely corporeal, its matter flows around it like cloth, surrounded by a swarm of  floating runes of blasphemy and breaking. What marks it out is its loathing for deities and their followers - a loathing that manifests in an ability to completely cut off divine spellcasters from using divine magics against it. By itself, a Quell poses little threat; added to a group of sturdier undead it can effectively shut down a party's main means of survival for long enough for its brethren to do the necessary damage. For this reason, Quells are eagerly sought out by necromancers seeking to bolster their forces.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Quasit


Quasits are among the weaker of the demons. They're small, measuring about a foot long, though still kinda strong, have a poisonous bite and can turn into some potentially dangerous animals. Quasits are the Abyss' equivalent to imps, which are similarly intelligent shapeshifting winged tiny devils. However, unlike an imp, which probably has ambitions of power, a quasit is more likely to cause mayhem and will ally itself with someone that can accomplish that.

A quasit can be bound into the service of evil spellcasters. A valuable tool for any malevolent mage as imps can speak with other members and lords of the Abyss to get some information back.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Phase Spider

The Phase Spider is a creature with a unique hunting style. Eschewing any kind of web-spinning, it has instead evolved a startling ability enabling it to quickly and ferociously ambush foes: as a move action it can "phase" out of material existence, becoming briefly ethereal and intangible to the senses of its prey on the Material Plane. The spider locates its prey in secret, then shifts into the ether, where it can position itself to suddenly shift back into existence (appearing, to the surprise of its prey, to appear out of thin air!) to bite and poison its target, before retreating in ethereal form to wait for the venom to do its work.

The Phase Spider's large size (about as tall as a man, ten or so feet in diameter) makes humans perfect prey.

The "phase" effect I've gone for might seem a little confusing without being animated - it's sort of based on Anti-Mage's blink animation from Dota 2, I imagine the body glowing then "peeling away" into nothing, and reforming the same way. I haven't done an animated entry in a while so if you guys want maybe I'll give it a go sometime!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Prismasaurus


The Prismasaurus is one of those creatures that sounds funny at first. It may be a big dinosaur, taller than a man at the shoulder, but it's still a big dumb animal with a rainbow on its back. Then you're blinded, set on fire, driven insane and sent into another dimension. It's less funny after that.

The Prismasaurus is an epic-level creature, which means that it's the kind of thing you need a +5 vorpal sword to hope to penetrate its ridiculous diamond-hard skin. Its back has a crystalline ridge that reflects all light back as a rainbow of the prismatic spray variety. This rainbow is also blinding, helps neutralize spells and surrounds in a confusing swirl of colours and light that make it difficult to take aim. Fortunately, this only affects creatures within a certain range of it, so maybe you should exchange the vorpal sword for a really really strong ballista.

Or dig a hole that it can fall into and starve to death. Bam, level 1 party defeats CR 28 creature with shovels, a lot of time and some camouflaging twigs.

The actual illustration of the Prismasaurus in the Epic Level Handbook is a little bit ehhhh in my opinion. The idea of a rainbow dinosaur is pretty ludicrous to begin with, but the illustration in the book is a bit dull. It's literally a brown iguanodontian dinosaur with a little streak of color going down its back. The miniature of this creature actually looks better than the illustration, though it keeps quite close to the drawing, if only by putting some emphasis on the colour of its back.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Ocean Strider


The Ocean Strider is a sea-bound guardian. They appear as 20-foot tall humanoids with rubbery orca-like skins that walk on the surface of the water. The very sight of this black and white colossus walking towards your boat, wreathed in fog and flanked by dire sharks, whales and giant quid is enough to strike fear into the scurviest of sea dogs.

It's a little unclear whether the protection they give their spot of the ocean is altruistic or fierce territoriality. What are you doing on my property, and all that business. Any creature that doesn't belong is that part of the ocean is quickly seen to. So any boats that have the misfortune of being there can expect some kind of encounter with these guys. Fortunately, the promise to keep fishing to a minimum, avoid dumping, and getting out as soon as possible is all they ask. But if you try to fight them or sail by, you can look forward to terrible weather, attacks by elementals, having your ship sunk and your crew eaten by sea creatures. Also they reeeeally don't like anyone who wants to plunder the ocean depths.

I really like orcas. They're one of the more striking sea-mammals, thanks to their monochromatic markings. I also really like fey, the balance between nature protector and tricky little jerk. So obviously I really like this creature.

However, the stat block is kinda confusing. So they're Huge sized creatures, yes? Then why do they only have 19 STR? I know that Ocean Strider's are fey, which are always more about trickiness than brute strength, but this is a fey that's half killer whale and it likes to sink ships. For reference, an orca as statted out in the books has 27 STR. The description says they normally wear mithril armor, but that's not taken into account in the AC. They wield Gargatuan weapons, but I don't think the numbers are quite right (doesn't a Gargantuan falchion deal 4d6, not 2d8 damage?). And their CR is 18, but they seem a little too weak for that. I guess they get a couple of CR points for the extra damage they can do with their summoning spells and the fact that if they get you in the water, that's probably gonna be it for you. I don't know if I'm just misunderstanding the stat block though. I still like this creature though.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Ormyrr

The Ormyrr are, in many ways, a noble race; they have merely been dealt something of an ignoble genetic hand. Descended from slug-like creatures living in the silt deposits of rivers, they have nonetheless risen to form societies comparable in intelligence with those of humans, although the individuals are giant - averaging around 30 feet long in adulthood.

The chief failing among the Ormyrr is their utter dearth of any magical adeptitude. Whether by chance or intent, the Ormyrr are genetically incapable of producing mages or magic-sensitive offspring. In a colourful world of wizards and magical monsters this has bestowed the Ormyrr with a jealous fascination with all things magical - they hoard enchanted items for use as currency and commonly attack the owners of any they find. Some say the ultimate goal of the Ormyrr is to finally breed a sorcerer.

In an odd counterbalance to their jealousy the Ormyrr are fastidiously law-abiding creatures. Many have escaped death at their hands by appealing to their deep-seated sense of right and wrong.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Needlefolk


The Needlefolk are a race of sentient plants. They're not especially intelligent, but have good problem-solving skills and ambush tactics. However, they do not form societies. They live as individuals, walking around the forest finding sustenance in decaying animals, sunlight and pools of water (lacking a root system, they must drink water through a facial orifice). One of the few times you're likely to see groups of them is when groups of them are growing from their seeds. Since Needlefolk tend to stay in small territories, their seeds are spread in a small area.

The only other time you're likely to see large groups of them is when they're stalking their most hated enemy: elves. No one's entirely sure where this incredible hatred come from, but Needlefolk feel such a passionate loathing that they've even developed the bizarre ability to sense elven blood from 1,500 feet away. Even if it's a large troupe of elves, a single Needlefolk will stalk them, seething, until a big enough number of Needlefolks have been drawn to the elves to warrant an attack. They're smart enough to put aside hatred in the name of strategy and survival.

Needlefolk have no magical abilities, but can shoot the thorns from their body into one target. The thorns sting like the dickens. You'll be quite safe duing winter months though. Since they're decidous plants, Needlefolk shed their leaves in auturm and sleep through the cold.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Nimblewright

Most golems are, by and large, not constructions of great finesse. The materials usually available to the artificer - wood, stone, metal - lend themselves to sturdy, simple designs, which perfectly suit the usual role of constructs as gatekeepers and bodyguards; difficult to damage, and with considerable stopping power. As with all magical engineering, however, there is always somebody willing to take matters a step further.

Thus, we have the Nimblewright. The Nimblewright is unique among constructs in a number of ways. It is humanoid and of medium size, built more for agility than physical presence, and notably capable of impersonating a humanoid creature in appearance with a few add-ons and a spell or two. More than this, the thing that truly distinguishes the Nimblewright is its intelligence: golems are normally nonintelligent machines, capable only of understanding a few simple commands from their controller. The Nimblewright is animated by an elemental spirit of water, imbuing it with human intelligence and a unique personality, allowing for intuitive thinking in any situation. For this reason, Nimblewrights are often used as assassins and spies.

Robot form is sort of inspired by the aesthetics of that robot girl from the more recent Tekken games, she has some great moves where she sort of casually pops her head off. I'd love to revisit this and animate a transformation, I imagine it'd be horrifying in a Ghost-in-the-Shell way to see it happen. Blanca says the robot form looks like Samus. :(

Blanca's been working this weekend, so her post will be up later in the week!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Mummy



Happy belated Halloween, peeps. Have a mummy.

I'm sure you guys have come across one of these fellas at some point or another, and begun to crumble to dust as a result of their curse. Well, that's all your fault because what were you doing disturbing the dead.

Mummies are interesting, but sadly very varied in design, tending to stick to the Egyptian archetype. A mummy is a dead body that's had some sort of treatment to it to preserve it, so instead of rotting away into goo, it becomes withered and dessicated. The word 'mummy' comes from 'mummia', the combination of ingredients used in the embalming process. This sort of thing usually comes attached to belief that the soul can return to the body, and that it should be kept as nice as possible. Lots of other cultures practices mummification: Incas, the people of the Canary Islands, the Philippines, Buddhists... The Buddhists are the most interesting ones I think, since it's self-mummification.

Some Buddhist monks believed they knew when they were going to die. When they felt their time was coming, they changed their diet to a set of vegetation that they thought would help preserve them post-death. They were then walled alive, where they eventually starved-slash-died of dehydration, trying to do so in the lotus position. The body would be exhumed after a set amount of time, and if it was in good condition, it would become a sacred relic. Some of these mummies were cast in gold (hint: use levitating gold-clad mummies in your game). Self-mummification is now banned.

Mummification is still practiced today, though not as commonly. There's embalming, which is like mummification-lite, a way of keeping the body nice for a long period of time. There's also Summum (which is kinda exclusive). If you look up mummies, they're not hugely impressive for the whole preservation brouhaha; they all look black and shrunken, so what's the big deal. But then you look at Rosalia Rombaldo, which was a little girl who was mummified by her father in 1920, who despite a looking a little waxy and yellow, looks remarkably fresh for someone who's been dead for almost a century.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Morhg

The Morhg is a horrifying creature even among the undead. Born from the bodies of mass murderers, Morghs unusually do not keep any semblance of the form they held in life; appearing rather as a hideously long, flesh-coloured, worm-like creature. They then in turn infest dead bodies they encounter as vile puppets of meat.

Happy belated Halloween! For this, the most spooky of holidays, Blanca and I have illustrated some particularly terrifying monsters. The Morhg is one of those monsters that catches your eye with sheer disgust when you first see it - something about this horrible parasitic slug that reminds you of the creatures from Shivers, or those horrible primordial worm monsters in Peter Jackson's King Kong. The inspiration here is partially from the conceptually wonderful Rasklapanje enemies in Resident Evil 6, with a pinch of the long-headed ReDeads from LoZ: Wind Waker. Eurgh!


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Leviathan

The Leviathan is not so much a creature as a force of nature. Resembling a whale of colossal size, the beast rarely leaves survivors of the creatures it encounters, mindlessly gulping down gallons upon gallons of water and indiscriminately consuming any matter floating therein. Some speculate the Leviathan to be merely a mercifully rare breed of monster, encountered occasionally by hapless sailors - other stories paint it as a single, legendary beast, of the same magnitude of the Tarrasque. In any case, unless you happen to be a warrior of epic level or have some kind of armada backing you up, the Leviathan is one of those creatures where by the time you encounter it it's probably far too late.

Feel bad that Blanca managed a non-digital offering this week when I stayed safe and photoshopped it up. My excuses are that I'm still trying to stick with this style of rendering (something I've been bad at in the past) and I just need to get it done quickly so I can get on with other stuff.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Lodestone Marauder

The Lodestone Marauder is yet another creature from a wizard's lab that was made for a certain purpose, then got loose. This particular creature has magnetic powers and an insatiable hunger for metal and meat. Pretty good for letting lose in the battlefield and having in chow down on the soldiers, including their armor and weapons. And if somebody is being a bit too effective at swinging their axe, well it can just turn on the magnetism and the weapon gets stuck on their spikes.

The wild ones tend to live underground. There's lots of tasty ore down there and relative safety. The drow and other deep-dwelling creatures sometimes make an attempt at taming one of these fellas, but I imagine their feeding habits can get pretty expensive.

My computer's been busted for the better part of a week. It's been pretty miserable, since you get used to having a machine to do all your art on and forget how traditional means work. But Joe kept pushing me to do the traditional way and I was all like "ehhhhhhh" and he was all like "do it" and I was all like "ehhhhhhhhh, fine" and now I'm pretty happy with the final results. Collage made from painted and non-painted tin foil.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Kelpie


The Kelpie is one of those dangerous creatures of murky water. Like the nixie and kappa, they're creatures based on actual myth, a warning to others to avoid certain trecharous ponds, rivers and swamps. This creature is from Celtic mythology and, unlike the other two spirits, is wholly malicious. Its normal form is that of a pale horse, dirty with pond scum. It charms people with magic or with an attrative humanoid form to go into the water with it, then drowns them. They might even pose as someone pretending to drown, taking advantage of the good will of others.

A favourite creature of mine, not just of D&D, but of mythology in general. I read a story about a Scottish that put a bridle on a kelpie, which bound it to his will, and forced it to build a castle for him. When it was done, he let the kelpie go. Which was a dumb idea, because the second it was let go, the kelpie cursed him his land to have bad luck. There's a campaign in that story.

D&D doesn't give the creature a bestow curse spell, but it can drive people crazy with feelings of overwhelming sadness, so that's kind of a curse.

Balhannoth

The ambassador shifted uneasily from one foot to the other as the crooked smile worn by His Eminence, the Drow Underking Xun-yl, continued to widen. He inwardly reassured himself - he was on a diplomatic mission (although who knew if the dark elves would respect such civilities?). And, besides, he was flanked by a squad of the finest mage-warriors the Bright Isles could muster; all of them prepared with high-level magics of brightness and blinding to repel all but the most stalwart of Drow. So why did something feel so... wrong? "It is our... custom, that the diplomats of men shall not leave our lands with blood in their veins," spoke the Underking with a sneer. The ambassador stiffened nervously with shock. "You shall harm no-one this day, elf! We of the Bright Isles are well versed in the ways of the light that you fear. Raise your weapons against us and you will suffer our magics!" To the ambassador's horror, the Drow's smile did not lessen. "You say you know our fears, human? You say we fear the light?" The Underking, almost without effort, lifted a finger in signal to the shadows beside him. "There are things in the darkness far more worthy of our fear. And yours." A stony rumble announced the ground beneath the ambassador's feet splitting open like a trapdoor into a pitch-black chamber below. "They are ancient, and care little for magic." But the ambassador was already falling, and he screamed at what he saw.

Composition is clustered as hell. Look at all the hoots I give!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lumi

The Lumi are a race of beings hailing from the plane of positive energy who are roughly humanoid but for their strange,  luminescent flesh and their heads, which float necklessly above their bodies.  As a society they are essentially good-aligned, but Lumi law is distinguished by its almost religious reverence of Truth, often above all other virtues. To the Lumi, all falsehood (irrespective of scale or consequence) is crime. The Lumi tell no stories, except history. They study magic, but abhor spells of illusion and deception.

The bloody extent of this custom is known to humans - the two races have had amicable contact and trade but in the past humans have been tried and even executed for acts of harmless deceit. Lumi make good if straightforward soldiers (being incapable of things like ambush tactics) and will often join a party of adventurers, but they are easily and instantly offended. Caution is advised.

Necks are kinda hard for me to draw, so the Lumi's anatomy gives me a bit of a break. That said, this took ages for some reason. Right now I'm trying to make things as simple as possible without making them look lazy, or unfinished. Whilst I think the body deisgn/pose of this is a little yawnsworthy, an important part of Lumi anatomy is their glow, which I'm pleased with.

Jahi


The Jahi is a manifestation of unfulfilled desires of the dead. They concentrate and eventually give rise to a ghostly serpent, which silently seeks out someone to use as its puppet and force them to indulge in all sorts of hedonistic pleasure, and draw others into an orgiastic celebration of excess. To the naked eye, it looks like the person is uncouth and unmodest, though strangely alluring. But those who look closer notice the creature.

This creature is actually based on a demoness of Zoroastrianism. She is a servant Ahriman, the evil side, and seeks out to destroy good with filth and sexuality. She possesses and tempts women and makes them lascivious, and mensturation is a sign of her defilement of them.

My applause to the writers of D&D for taking this creature in an interesting direction. Instead of making the Jahi yet another succubus-like sexy demon lady, they went for something amazingly weird: a multi-headed snake that drains Charisma and controls a host. This is an great monster to have as a bad guy. Though it's Tiny, its challenge rating is a whopping 16. Its touch attack is especially dangerous dealing 1d3 damage and 1d4 Charisma damage (with an extra 5 points of damage to your hp per Charisma taken). Also a neat creature that will probably fight to keep the host it's so carefully been grooming and will probably cut its losses to seek another better host if discovered.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Ixitxachitl


Yet another monster with those names I either constantly have looked up or be ready to copy paste. Looked up if it was based on or inspired by some mesoamerican monster, but it doesn't seem to be.

These dudes are manta rays with a bad disposition. And that's pretty much the beginning and end of it. When I first saw them I was hoping they were gonna be some kind of aboleth-like creature but they are literally intelligent four-foot long manta rays. The Demon Lord Demogorgon just gathered a bunch of these little fellas up and gave them smarts and a superiority complex. They're not even stingrays (no poison), they're just kinda slippery and mean. I've attempted to give them something a little more to their look so they have tell-tale signs of demonic influence. Some of them are called Vampiric Ixitxachitl, which aren't undead, just a subspecies that can feed off your life energy.

They should make for an interesting early-level enemy for your underwater campaign, instead of relying on kuo-toa and sahuagins. Plus your players may not think too much of the innocent little ray that's lying in the sand. Then come the negative levels.

Bhut

Especially in areas of intense magical activity, corpses rarely stay dead for long. The Bhut is a result of a creature dying violently and suddenly, far from home. One of the more lively forms of undead, a Bhut is actually a formless spirit with the ability to inhabit dead bodies. Whilst it takes to its adopted form with some vigor it is not known for its finesse, and takes some creative decisions with the flesh of its host. Appearing as a horrible cloud of gristle, blood and bone, the Bhut aggressively attacks any who approach it.


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hippogriff



The Hippogriff is a classic fantasy creature, half eagle and half horse. Not as classic as the griffin. Actually the first time I heard of a hippogriff was in The Prisoner of Azkaban and not really sure if they were for real or not. Seems a bit like the griffin's dorkier cousin. Their eggs are valuable though and they make decent mounts.

Haven't animate anything in a while and I wanted to try out Photoshop's animation function. It's frustratingly basic, but at least I can use its brushes. I animated the basic hippogriff in Flash, then painted it and the background in Photoshop and comped it in After Effects. Finally made myself figure out scrolling backgrounds (with some help).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pit Fiend


The Pit Fiend stands twice as tall as an adult human, wreathed in flames and using its wide wings like a grotesque cape. Pit Fiends are the princes of the diabolic realm of the Nine Hells of Baator, chief movers and shakers among the Baatezu. Endowed with monstrous strength and agility, as well as magical power, they are intelligent fighters and tacticians, more than capable of wiping out an entire party of adventurers solo. Luckily for the inhabitants of the material plane, the eternal conflicts of Baator keep the majority of these devils occupied.

Pit Fiend! Simple look, I guess influenced by things like Firebrand and that little blue Devil guy from that NES game that's in Brawl, and also by Chernabog. Mostly influenced by me trying to add tons of details like armour and chains and stuff and then thinking "god this looks terrible" and then removing it. Woo hoo! Art!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Giant Banded Lizard


The Giant Banded Lizard is not a creature of legendary intellect. It doesn't plot; it has no minions; it doesn't hoard treasure; it has no magical abilities. That's because it's literally a big stripey desert lizard of huge size. But it'll still rip your shizzle because this here's a CR 7 creature with a nasty poison attack.

I like to think that those two guys in the bottom have been sent on a quest by the cooking lady so she can make some really lovely striped omelettes. Thems will be some good omelettes.

This monster's from Sandstorm, one of my favourite settings, as I've mentioned before. The monster section can be a little bit disappointing, since it can get a bit samey. Dried up undead monster with dehydrating attack, monster with sand attack, some sandworms, such and such... But there are some other quite interesting beasties there which I shall do in the future.

Tarrasque

He Who Sleeps Beneath The Earth; the Great Hungerer; the Tarrasque. He lies dormant, but one day will wake. We await his return, when he will sow such perfect desolation that the worlds will be wiped clean and the land formed anew. We watch for His coming, as we lower our eyes towards his sleeping-place in the heart of the earth. Be vigilant, brothers and sisters; he comes.

I remember when I first picked up a Monster Manual my immediate urge was to scour the thing for the most powerful creature therein. I asked my (more knowledgeable) friend (who had lent me the book) who swiftly pointed me in the direction of the Tarrasque. I was suitably impressed - a legendary, 50-foot bipedal godzilla-esque creature which can't actually die and whose shell rendered it almost invulnerable to both weapons and magic. In fact, it can be said that the Tarrasque has only two good points - it sleeps underground for a very long time in between feeding sessions (or "natural disasters" depending on where you live) and there is mercifully only one of them. Needless to say, neither of these are much comfort if you are unlucky enough to experience it first-hand.

I think my interpretation here might seem a little extreme to some people, as the Tarrasque's appearance is very iconic. I just didn't want to draw the same godzilla/king bowser hybrid that most other artists use. Three principal things strike me about the Tarrasque's described appearance - it is bipedal, it has a shell that can bounce spells back at their users, and it has horns. It is also, curiously, described as "bird-like" in gait. The shell here is based off various pillbugs as well as the amazing Pangolin - this seems to be an element that some artists neglect in the Tarrasque's appearance, and since being practically unkillable is one of the creature's main traits I made a bigger deal out of it.

The beak, eyes and the curled-up pose are sort of a nod towards the Cthulhu mythos, which matches the creature's MO of sleeping for long periods of time. I also like the idea that some misguided apocalyptic cult is aware of the Tarrasque and worships it (despite the creature having only animalian intelligence).

I'm actually genuinely interested in what people think of the redesign here so feel free to let me know what you guys think in the comments.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Ogre Mage

Ogres are a kind of small giant which share common traits of stupidity and choleric temper with most of their brethren. An Ogre Mage is actually a distinct species altogether, of a much greater order of strength and intelligence and with an uncommonly innate adeptitude for magic spells. Rather than the rigorous and constant ritual training required by humans to reach even the lowest level of sorcery, Ogre Magi have access to high-level magic such as flight and transformation as hereditary abilities. Perhaps, as with many races, they were bred long ago by ancient wizards toying with forms of magical life? Their short black horns certainly suggest some level of demonic lineage.

The Ogre Mage's presence in the first 3.5 Monster Manual always intrigued me a little. There are many races capable of taking class levels in, say, sorcerer - in fact, many creature descriptions include an example of a "classed" monster. The Ogre Mage's name is fairly unique in the D&D lexicon - it isn't just an Ogre with a class, but a race of its own.

One thing you can get with very high-level spellcasters is they have ways to turn their spells into spell-like-abilities - the former needing meditation/preparation, the latter simply being something you can spontaneously do - the idea behind this being that once you've cast a certain spell a hundred times it becomes second nature. I like creatures like Ogre Magi who have spell-like-abilities because it's like they have some kind of savage, animalian magic that they can do reliably at a young age, whereas humans have to put on airs and study for decades to get anywhere.

tried to experiment with some Zangief scars and body piercings. some pretty fascinating reference photos out there, folks.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Fire Mephit


Lady, you need to get yourself a new job. Or hire some adventurers.

Despite their devilish aspect, Fire Mephits aren't evil hell-creatures. They're mischevious creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire that you'll maybe be able to reason with. All the Elemental Planes (and some Quasielemental planes) have mephits in them, with their own set of abilities.

Just realized that I drew this guy as the wrong size category. Let's just say he's a young mephit. Or that this is a really big pie.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Rogue Eidolon

A Rogue Eidolon usually begins as a statue or idol to a deity in a temple or place of power. Whether by the intent of its deity or merely an unintended result of proximity to divine rituals, the statue is imbued with or accrues a spark of divine power from the god it was built to venerate.

In some rare cases, however, this strange power causes them to spontaneously experience a degree of sentience. The result is often catastrophic. The shock of awakening sends the unprepared golem utterly insane, spelling death for its unsuspecting worshippers. Should a Rogue Eidolon escape, there is no telling what it might do, as its movements are frantic and random - it will attack any and all creatures it finds in a mad rage.

Not only does a Rogue Eidolon have all the benefits of being a construct (huge strength, immunity from many forms of damage) but its corrupted divine power gives it some terrifying abilities - its touch sends men mad (and we're not talking 1d4 rounds here, we're talking a permanent Confusion spell that can only be removed with a Wish) and, horribly, it weeps a sort of blood from the divine symbols on its body, which it can regurgitate in a spray at foes. This blood also has a maddening effect that causes its victims to attack their allies.

Those of you who've read the entry for Rogue Eidolons probably realise that I've been a little liberal in my interpretation of the text - technically they only count evil gods as patrons. However, I really like the Rogue Eidolon with an emphasis on Rogue - as in, something that starts out good but "goes rogue". The idea of an evil statue coming alive and doing bad things seems pretty straightforward. But what if the same was possible of a statue dedicated to someone like Pelor? I really like the idea that divine power - even the divine power that comes directly from a good-aligned god - can at some point become perverted, corrupting. It makes the idea of the Rogue Eidolon seem like a really nasty aberration that needs to be stamped out.

The illustration above is actually of a Rogue Eidolon of Pelor who's the villain in a campaign I'm writing. Not only is he murderously crazy, but his Evil Plan actually involves trying to kill Pelor, who he (understandably?) resents.

Trying to develop my style of digital painting some more. Particularly inspired by the art style of Dota 2, which I've been playing a bunch.

Please view the full-size version!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Elysian Thrush


Itty bitty little bird; big song.

The Blessed Fields of Elysium are Ultimate Heaven. It's more good, peaceful and euphoric than Celestia (which while good, is still somewhat grounded). The more time you spend in the Fields, the more you risk never wanting to leave due to sheer bliss. You'll eventually forget all about your past life and simply stay there forever.

Some of the creatures, like the Elysian Thrush magnify this feeling further. In the Fields you'll forget who you were and why you'd ever want to go back home, but if you listen to the Thrush, your happiness could prove fatal. Their song is so enrapturing that you'll plonk yourself down on the nearest soft patch of grass and listen. Until you die of thirst and hunger. Granted, you have to listen to the singing for at least 12 hours for the effect to take place, but I imagine the Fields are just chock full of these guys and it'd be hard to find a spot that doesn't have them.

Aside from the song, they're perfectly harmless, ordinary birds. Just hope somebody with an okay Will save spooks it away before you die.

Monday, 27 August 2012

GOD MONTH: Moradin, the Soul Forger

Dwarven legend reveres Moradin not only as a ruler, but as a creator. Tales tell that he fashioned the first Dwarves from jewels and precious metals, explaining both the Dwarven passion for minerals and their propensity for forging.

So God Month is officially over now! I'm sure you're pleased to note that we were mostly on-schedule for the whole thing (unlike last year's Dragon Month which, uh, dragged on a bit) which hopefully bodes well for the future. I'm going to be returning as a regular contributor to the blog again, anyway. I've really enjoyed doing these illustrations for the last few weeks!

Picking a religion is a fun part of character creation for me, and Blanca always spends a long time designing pantheons of gods whenever she's writing a campaign setting. Deities - particularly of the polytheistic, Romanesque, soap-opera superheroes variety (where they're all trying to murder each other or having babies with mortals) reflect interestingly on the humans who invent or revere them. I think both of us have tried to illustrate our picks in a way that maybe gives you an idea of how that god might be represented by its worshippers, which I think is an important thing to consider when planning a campaign or playing the role of a character.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

GOD MONTH: Ehlonna of the Forests


Ehlonna is one of D&D's many nature gods, representing peace, fertility and goodness in nature. She rivals Obad-Hai (representing primal energy and balance in nature) and fights against Kannan (representing brutality and destruction in nature). Of all the nature deities, she's the one most sympathetic to those seeking to farm and hunt in it, though she always works to prevent the wild from being completely tamed. Ehlonna isn't an elven goddess, but she's very often worshipped by them and has allies among the pantheon of elven gods. She rules over the good animals, fey and plants of the forest, and her most faithful servants and heralds are unicorns.

This image marks the end of God Month. I was originally going to put Elhonna first, but I decided to put her last to end God Month with a colorful, trippy bang. Obvious Arcimboldo influences in this image, though not as clever and refined as he is. Originally she was just going to be a unicorn-headed figure with a cloak of leaves and flowers and a rose halo, but a lot of my original plans had animal heads (still there with Azul) and the halo thing felt like I was just repearing Pelor.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

GOD MONTH: Vecna, Master of Secrets

Whether they originate in good intentions or ill, ours is a world riddled with secrets. Great or small, of tawdry inconsequence or unspeakable importance, secrets are and have always been a source of power for those wise enough to see them; this is the chief tenet of Vecna-worship. In reality an insanely old and unfathomly powerful lich, Vecna is a terrifying entity, bent on the simple, terrible goal of destroying all other gods in order to rule the universe.

Vecna is my favourite villain deity. As described in the lore (and also in the stats - should you care to peruse them in Deities and Demigods), he's not actually as powerful as some of the more fundamental deities like Pelor and Nerull, as essentially he's just an uppity lich. But there's something about his insidious Neutral Evil alignment and wily obsession with secrets that makes me think that while he may at times seem like a small, angry dog yipping at the heels of the big gods, he probably does have a legitimate plan of action to succeed in his objective of serial deicide. What form will it take? Well, he's certainly not telling you anytime soon.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

GOD MONTH: The Raven Queen


The Raven Queen is the goddess of Death and Fate, and rules over Winter. Unlike a good amount of gods, she started out mortal and gained her deific powers through cunning and deals. She was originally a consort to Nerull, an evil death god, who she eventually destroyed, claiming his powers for herself. She doesn't rule over the dead, but only governs the act of dying. She gained power over Fate and Winter as rewards for aiding other gods in fighting deities who went rogue. She's cold and distant, having few friend or enemies. Her only enemy is Orcus, a demon lord of the undead, who wants to claim her powers for himself. The Raven Queen's original name and identity are lost in the sea of time.

Normally we stick to 3.5 here, since that's the edition we count as "ours", but I was already aware of the Raven Queen and when picking out gods for this month I got a really cool idea for her. It was eventually developed into this. She seems to be the 4th edition replacement for Wee Jas as the impartial but scary death goddess.

I like non-evil death gods. It's really easy in death-fearing, Judeo-Christian world to assign death gods to a Satan-like role. But it's more intersting when they're not evil; they're there as guardians, because death is inevitable and someone needs to make sure its administered with balance and fairness. Take the joyful Death of the Endless, or Hades of Greek mythology. Hades seem to get screwed over in modern adaptations, often being put in a scheming, evil, demonic role (see Disney's Hercules or the 2010 Clash of the Titans). In the myths I've read, he was always a scary dude, but one of the nicer, calmer gods of the pantheon (relatively, of course).

Sunday, 12 August 2012

GOD MONTH: Gruumsh, the One-Eyed God

Gruumsh, battle-father, man-killer, orc-blesser. He will see no weakness, only survival. He will see no surrender, only conquest. One-eyed, always-watching. 

Long have the orcs given him war-praise, and long has he blessed us with bounty upon bounty of blood, like rivers, thick with bodies. 

Spear-stabber, elf-breaker; he wars with elf-god Corellon Larethian, coward-lord, who stole his eye for fear of his strength! For this crime all elves will suffer.

Another Gygax original, Gruumsh is one of a couple of common orc deities put forward in the PHB.

I love orcs. So simple-minded, so vicious, so oddly noble. An uncaring and vicious society, sure, but it's worked out fine for them, often making them the most numerous race in many fantasy settings. Reading about orc lifestyle it was fun to think of what kind of iconography would actually be used in orc deity worship to inspire faith and reverence. I went for a simple, angular design with lots of angry colours, but there's a bit of a stained-glass feeling in there too.

Gruumsh actually lives on Acheron, a hellish dimension whose upper levels actually consist of countless giant metal cube-planets all waging war with each other. I thought about trying to incorporate this into the design but after Boccob I didn't want to make you all think I'm some kind of geometric one-trick pony.

GOD MONTH: Azul, Lord of Rain


Azul rules over rain in the desert. He's a favourite deity of travellers not out of any true love or reverence, but out of necessity. This is a fickle god, happy to withhold his bounty until he's given a blood sacrifice (by drowning), and cause terrible droughts when offended. His temples are built on springs and oases, which are ferociously guarded by his priests.

This god exists outside the usual D&D patheon, belonging instead of the group of optional gods used in the Sandstorm setting. Even though I haven't illustrated any creatures from Sandstorm for this blog, it's probably my favourite setting; I really love deserts. There's just something about long stretches of arid, lifeless, deadly nothing with small settlements trying to survive that I find incredibly interesting.

And out of all the gods listed for Sandstorm, I think Azul is the most fascinating. I like the idea of a god whose domains include Water and Plant, and who farmers and travellers rely so heavily on, should be such a petty, selfish god who demands the life of something (usually an animal, but will take a sentient creature) in exchange for his life-sustaining services. Using ironic sacrifice. I'm not sure whether he has a rivalry with Solanil and Tem-Et-Tu (goddesses of oases and rivers, respectively), or whether they're also afraid of offending him because if he stops raining, their own domains would dry up.

It's always something I like in mythology. A god that's worshipping it isn't so much as admiring it as much as it is begging it not to hurt you.

Monday, 6 August 2012

GOD MONTH: Boccob, the Uncaring


Perhaps, long ago, when the archmage Boccob was still a man, there still existed some corner of his heart which was not dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the harnessing of the endless primal energies of magic. Perhaps he knew uncertainty, as men know. Perhaps he knew fear. Perhaps love.

Now, Boccob is beyond all these. No man can say how he ascended to divinity; many foolish wizards have attempted to follow in his footsteps, but none have succeeded. Alone in his endless Library of Lore, he ponders in infinite silence the mysteries of magic and of the multiverse. He answers no prayers, he does not engage in petty squabbles, as the other gods do. And yet, his followers - wizards, and students of the arcane arts - revere him with utmost respect as a paragon of knowledge, an example of greatness to be aspired to.

Hello again! It's been a while, hasn't it? I'm back to join in the fun on god month, to celebrate the 2nd year anniversary (wow!) of Dungeons and Drawings. So you'll be getting double the usual amount of uploads for the next few weeks. Lucky you guys!

Pretty much from the get-go with D&D, Boccob was my favourite deity. Something about this person who'd become utterly unhinged from the human element of the world really got me thinking - I initially imagined him as little more than a chaotic mass of letter-forms or shapes. I was a tiny bit disappointed by the "official" look - a slightly generic-looking white-haired old wizard - but Boccob was an invention of Gygax himself so I thought I'd try to involve some of it in my version. I tried to get a sense of this old guy whose body is frail and decaying but whose abstract, conceptual mind is breaking free. The shapes are mostly based on the Platonic Solids, the most basic and perfect 3-dimensional forms (not to mention the shapes which are used for most modern dice!).

Sunday, 5 August 2012

GOD MONTH: Fharlanghn, the Dweller on the Horizon


Fharlanghn rules over roads, freedom and those who travel the world. He offers safety, luck and favourable weather to those who pray to him. He's brother to Celestian, the Far Wanderer, who rules over stars, space and those who travel beyond the world. Fharlanghn is one of the few gods (maybe the only one) who mostly lives in the Prime Material Plane. While most other gods make their home in other dimensions, Fharlanghn, by virtue of being the god of travel, has no home. Not sure why he prefers the non-spiritual world over other dimensions. He sometimes goes across other dimensions, but very rarely, and he almost never sets foot on the Elemental Plane of Air or any of the outmost dimensions, which would fall more under his brother's domain.

As a travelling god, he has no temples; only small shrines near roads. His mortal servants follow his example and never stay in the same place for long. Since he has no set home, his dead worshipper's souls don't go away. Instead, they stay on their home plane, and continue to aid travellers. Many people worship him, especially adventurers or any others who make their living from travelling.

I went for a primitive look for Fharlanghn, the god with possibly the most annoying name to spell and pronounce. Even though he isn't a major god, it feels like he would be very ancient, and would be worshipped before settled civilization became a thing.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dark Creeper


Dark Creepers are a race of small sneaky subterranean creatures. They're very good at ambushing and have a natural knack for finding weak spots in their enemies and exploiting them. They absolutely despise light, natural or otherwise. While it doesn't deal damage or kill them, it still causes them a great deal of pain. They cover themselves from head to toe in tunics, capes, wraps, turbans..., so that the only thing you can see of them are their noses, hooves and eyebrows.

Despite their name and light-hating ways, they're not evil creatures (but they're not good either). They prefer to be left to themselves and will run from most conflicts. Just don't bring a lamp or torch, because they'll tear you to shreds if them see you using such an item.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Conflagration Ooze


Conflagration oozes are one of those things where people aren't sure whether they're a magical creation, a natural accident or some kind of mean joke. The fire inside the ooze is an especially painful toxin. Physical contact with the ooze causes the toxin to burn and seep though the skin and causes both fire and Constitution damage. Most oozes are mindless creatures, but this particular ooze (essentially roiling flame barely kept contained by a thin membrane) has malevolent intelligence behind it.

They're as smart as humans, and show strategy when hunting, immobilizing victims with their spell-like abilities before consuming them. Some of them are even imbued with hellish power (called Infernal Conflagrations Oozes), which albeit not more intelligent, are much more deadly.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Behir


Behir are huge serpentine creatures that live in warm rocky hills. They have a dozen small limbs, though most of the time they have them tucked against their body and slither along the ground like a snake. They're very dragonlike (right down to a lightning-based breath weapon), but actually loathe dragons with a ferocious passion. The alignment and type of the dragon does not come into consideration; hatred makes all things equal. Should the dragon prove too powerful for the Behir to kill, it will immediately leave it territory for a more dragon-free environment. Even though it has a breath weapon, it's only used in combat against multiple opponents or big enemies; it's much more likely to simply bite and swallow an adventurer.

Tried out something a bit different with the image this time. I feel I don't do it enough on this blog.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Aoa


The Aoa are a phenomenon that occurs when rifts for the Positive and Negative Energy Planes touch. Some planar scholars theorize that they're energy-neutral version of energons. They float along in the Astral and Ethereal planes, but can sometimes be found near planar rifts, absorbing magical energy. In fact, they do little more than float, and are only motivated into movement by the presence of strong magical auras. Which is unfortunate for people travelling through its home planes, since that requires precisely that sort of magic. If you try to attack them by magic, there's a very good chance that the spell will be reflected back on the caster.

Aoa appear in two forms: Sphere and Droplet versions. The former is the parental form, and the latter is the small blob that breaks off when it reflects enough magic.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bogun


Bogun are the homunculi of the druidic world. Where a wizard uses clay and alchemical ingredients to construct a homunculus, the bogun is created using woodland refuse including leaves, feathers, sticks, mud, animal skeletons, insect carapaces, slime... meaning that each bogun vary wildly in their physical appearance according to the materials used. Creation of both things require some blood of its master before being infused with life.

It's not a creature meant for combat, but can carry out small tasks for its master (fetch that, watch this...). It does have a weak poison that can cause some pretty bad rashes and cramps, so that's useful for annoying low-level adventurers intruding in a sacred grove.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Eyeball Beholderkin


Beholders are (except for some rare occasions) solitary creatures. They're solitary because they're vain and spiteful creatures. They believe that they, as an individual, represent absolute physical and intellectual perfection, and can't stand the presence of other hideous, horribly imperfect creatures. They especially loathe other beholders, since the presence of another of their species is an insult to themselves.

They also really really hate beholderkin. Beholderkin are mutanted versions of this first species. Not sure how they came about, so I'm going to say wizards is probably most likely.

Eyeball beholderkin are the least threatening and weakest of the bunch. Where an actual beholder in a 8-foot creature of hate sporting a mass of eyestalks capable of party-ending magic, the eyeball beholderkin is an 8-inch nothing menacing you with cantrips (and a level one spell). They get used as familiars by wizards. They're on the same level as cats, toads and weasels in that sense.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Brain Mole


Amazingly psychic moles aren't another entry in the silly things wizards make tag (not to my knowledge, at least), but it's darn close. These little fellas must be quite annoying for early-level psionic adventurers, draining your precious power points and giving you psychic-only diseases.

Psionics (psychic magic) is one of those sets of rules I never bothered learning with D&D. The game is already complicated and varied enough as it is without throwing another form of casting in the game. All I really know about it is what I read about in this monster's entry, and the various complaints of loud people in forums claiming that they're broken.

Any psionic stories from you guys?

Friday, 22 June 2012

Zelekhut


There are numerous extradimensional creatures, Inevitables, from that deal with those that break the Law. Not little things, like thievery or such, but the Laws of Justice, Promise, Death, Space and Time. Zelekhuts are the ones who pursue those who broke Justice by escaping punishment. These gold and white robots chase after that person and capture them. If said fleeing miscreant happens to be executed by him arm spiked chains or any other reason, well, that's just too bad. Zelekhuts are also the weakest of the Inevitables, so it only gets stronger from here.

I tried to be alter the design into something a bit weirder. In Mechanus (where these things come from), I don't imagine they have the empathy to give their Terminator the somewhat comforting features of a humanoid creature. There's also no reason to have them look like a horse, but work with me here. So I tried to make the Zelekhut more aberrant, like something you really, really wouldn't want chasing after you.

Also replaced the wings with jet engines going on the sides. Because you don't need no stinkin' wings in Mechanus. Jets! If you're gonna catch criminals, you do it with a eyeless, hand-footed, cage-bodied golden centaur with JETS.

In other news, a viewer was so enamoured with my partner's Grisgol that they went and did a spectacular figurine out of it.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Myconid


Myconids are the mushroom-people. Something quite well suited for your Mario-themed D&D game I suppose. They live to about 24 years of age, getting larger and stronger with each passing year until the ruler of a circle of myconids is about 12 feet tall. They do a good many things via spores, the main three being communication (initating a telepathing link with someone), alarm and reproduction. Older myconids can use their spores to pacify and cause hallucinations --essentially drugging the target-- and to briefly reanimate dead bodies as vaguely fungoid puppets. Eventually the eldest mushroom-man is able to produce potions, which I like to think is actually some organically generated goo rather than something from a cauldron.

So I guess if you do want to use these guys for your Mario-themed D&D game, having an older myconid around can really give it more horrifying angle.

I like mushrooms. They're a delicious piece of not-plant. I also like how weird they look; there are some that you could look at and be astounded to find that they are, in fact, a mushroom. All of the myconids in this image take inspiration from different kinds of mushroom, varying in crazy looks and deliciousness.