Kids RPG Journal – #57 Monster Bestiary

I’ve spent the last few nights cranking out more of the monster doodles to get them ready for the harrowlands site and future game-play. It seems I can get two or three done in a night when I have time to sit for a while, I’d guess each one takes me about an hour to sketch, ink, and color.

monster doodles: ankou, banshee, barrow wight, draug, fekst, ghoul, mummy, orco, red cap, revenant, valraven, vampyr, white maiden, wraith
monster doodles: ankou, banshee, barrow wight, draug, fekst, ghoul, mummy, orco, red cap, revenant, valraven, vampyr, white maiden, wraith

So far, I have fourteen monsters drawn out. I made my way through all of the walkers (undead), and am into the wargs (bestial and trollish monsters). I’d guess I have another 40-50 to go before I get through the current catalog of monsters. I probably won’t try to do those all at once, but space them out with other content and get a few done every week.

  • Hungry dead: ghoul, vampyr, barrow wight
  • Lonely dead: draug, mummy, wraith
  • Grieving dead: ankou, banshee, revenant
  • Cold ones: fekst, white maiden, valraven
  • Teeming: orco, red cap

As I complete each drawing, I am uploading a portrait and thumbnail to the site. When all of the monsters are completed, I’ll convert the existing pages to show a thumbnail of each one next to their description. 

harrowlands monster listings

Having the illustrations completed will make it a lot easier for me to work on making the custom moves, mannerisms, and precautions for each monster. This will allow me to have a whole library of monsters ready to go for any game. Creating my own monster manual has been a fantasy of mine since I was a kid, so I have the added benefit of making 9-year-old Matt very happy.

Kids RPG Journal – #49 Monster Color Process

I haven’t had much opportunity to work on making new art for the kids game recently, but I wanted to get some monsters onto the Harrowlands site, so I decided to finally color in some of last year’s Inktober beasties. I didn’t get real far with Inktober because the day job started melting down and I was working way too many hours to participate.

Not all was bad, however, because the work burnout made me stumble upon the specifics of doing the Kids RPG Journal and slowly making the Harrowlands game for the boys. I likely wouldn’t have gone down this particular path if I had more time and was not dissatisfied back then.

I’ve taken to paying just a little more attention to how I’m coloring in my monsters and other game resources recently, as some of the previous items were coming out a bit muddy. I think it was a combination of the muted palette and the Drippy Deek brushes which are a little bit darker and less chromatic than some other brushes.

One thing I had not been doing, but started up again, was putting a background color under my artwork. Working on top of white is fine, particularly in the watercolor painter mindset, which is how I approach my work on the game, but painting over a base color gives it some much needed pop without going back to the more outlandish color palettes I was using before.

hungry dead monsters from Inktober, colored in with an older brighter palette

I found I had already colored in a couple of them with the previous palette and was working on a third, but I just was not feeling it. I went back and started over again and can say I’m pretty happy with the results.

monster ghoul with just the base color

For the ghoul, I started with a lighter yellow background color which tied the colors in nicely and I felt I could do a little bit more with the wash brushes.

Final colored version of the ghoul

The end result came up much better than what I was going with on the first try.

vampyr with just base color

For the vampyr, I chose a muted blue green to accentuate the undead nature. It gives a nice base, particularly under the skin tones that makes the “otherness” really come through.

vampyr in full color

All in all, I’ll probably go back and color in all of the previous Inktober pieces. For now,

Mummy

mummy

The mummy is a dusty old walker originally hailing from the hot lands of the far south. Opposite of the ghoul and other abandoned dead, the mummy is unable to make the journey to the underworld because it is bound to our world by elaborate funerary rites, either intentionally or by accident.

Sometimes less is more when saying goodbye, particularly when removing and pickling parts. These rites must be undone if the dead is to find peace.

Wraith

wraith

The wraith has spent so much of its life twisting every thought and every discussion back to itself that it failed to notice its own death. Its form has become as warped and wracked as the shriveled black heart inside, obsessing about losing their skill, power, or beauty.

Not only do they do this creepy backwards walking crawling thing, but their very touch, and I dare say five minutes conversation, will drain one of vigor and will to live.

Draug

draug

The Draug is what you get when the biggest jerk in town finally eats grave-dirt. These people were so vile in life that it corrupted the body so much it refuses to die and turns into a big, bloated, blue-skinned monster.

They are vengeful wights seeking to do harm and guard wealth they hoarded in life. Unfortunately, being nasty has given their corpses some pretty sweet powers, such as ability to walk through walls, light fetch fire, the evil eye, and shape shifting.

Ghoul

ghoul

The ghoul is the walking corpse of a person abandoned in the wild who likes to consume both the living and the dead. These leathery, eyeless husks seek revenge on those who abandoned them through snacking. They cannot end their eternal buffet until they receive proper burial rituals.

Vampire

vampire

 

The vampire is an extremely bitey Walker who uses seduction and mesmerism to drink the blood of those whom it knew in life. Quite the flirt, these creatures can draw in victims through longing, guilt and the allure of eternal death, though they’re constantly leaving grave dirt on the floor and have dank carrion breath.

Barrow Wight

barrow wight

The barrow wight can be found in old tombs or lonely moors trying to warm themselves with fetch fire. While they are one of the hungry dead, instead of flesh and blood, these wights seek the warmth of human touch.

Do not take pity, for they are deadly and the merest touch will chill you to the bone, much like the winter nights when someone—you know who you are—tries to slide their icy rump under the covers and stick it right on you.

On Ghouls

On Ghouls comic

This is the first in a series of comic pages I’m developing for a project that I hope to have out later this year. I’ll post these as they are completed.

Transcript:

This is a Ghoul.

Created from corpses abandoned in the wild or on battlefields, it lacks the rituals of burial to move on.

It seeks human flesh to fill the emptiness of undeath; particularly from those it knew in life. Woe be to any who wronged the Ghoul before its lonely death, for they are sure to be its first snack.

However, this misguided desire for final rest makes the ghoul particularly susceptible to items associated with burial rite, such as church bells and consecrated earth.