Tag Archives: Terrible Character Portraits

Review: Story Games Portrait Cards

Story Game Character Portraits
I’ve written before about Jeff Preston’s 108 Terrible Character Portraits, and about the print-on-demand service at The Game Crafter. It’s surprising that I didn’t think before of putting the two together. Luckily, though, it didn’t, because I’d have been disappointed to find that someone got there first. Continue reading Review: Story Games Portrait Cards

“We Calls Her that to be Polite”

Today, in honor of Gary Gygax’s birthday, I return to my Dungeons & Dragons-based character sketches. This entry is the first based on a character I’ve actually already used in a game: the sea hag pirate, Cap’n No-Beard.

Cap'n No-BeardNo-Beard is based on a fairly simple concept of synergy between monster types. On the one hand, the sea hag, with her debilitating gaze attack. On the other, the eyeless grimlocks, who will be her crew. Perhaps not the best sailors in the world, but a terror in midnight raids. Continue reading “We Calls Her that to be Polite”

The Stock Market

To look reasonably professional, a character description for RPGs needs a portrait (there are exceptions, such as minor characters imbedded in a larger work, but I want to mostly work on these things one at a time). That means sourcing artwork. I can’t draw, and I’m not interested in commissioning art for a noncommercial project, so stock art it is.

Terrible Character Portrait 'Zombie 3'As it happens, there’s a wide selection of stock art available, targeted at the indie RPG market. I’m going to be starting with Jeff Preston’s 108 Terrible Character Portraits, which is a collection that combines two virtues: skillful artwork, and being already been paid for. The whole thing was a Kickstarter campaign originally titled 60 Terrible Character Portraits For Creative Commons Release. As the inflation in the title suggests, the Kickstarter campaign greatly exceeded its goal, producing proportionately more artwork as it did so.

Being aimed at the commercial reuse market, it comes with nearly the most minimal of licenses, the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This says you have to credit the creator, provide a link to the license, and that’s basically it.

I heartily approve of the whole project. Should I discover another similar effort in the future, I’ll have to pay it forward.