Once I decided to go with four abilities instead of six for the character sheet, and to use the same nomenclature as Sidekick Quests, I needed to figure out how to get those on the page. Clever, Quick, Smart, Tough. I want to have some nice icons to use, and while the illustrations on Sidekick Quests are nice, they don’t quite fit the tone of the game I want to play.
I checked No Thank You Evil, and those are no good at all. I really don’t like the lazy association of glasses with intelligence, especially for a game with children.
So, it was time to make my own. I went with more nature-based icons and have each ability associated with an animal totem, inspired by the spirit Guides from John Harper’s, Wildlings. I didn’t really go out on a limb with the animal associations, but here they are:
Fox : Clever
Falcon : Quick
Owl : Smart
Bear : Tough
The next step was going through a number of quick drafts, some of which illustrated very clearly that I don’t know what animals really look like. Then a couple of reference photos and search of how others simplified the forms, also keeping inspiration from the style of Wildlings and Viking carvings (which have featured prominently in my work for years).
Once I had something that I was pretty happy with, I took a picture and started drawing the final forms in Clip Studio Paint on my iPad. I drew out the designs, though I debated if I should make them using vectors for more flexibility. In the end, I prefer to use Clip Studio, and while it has pretty robust vector capabilities, it does not have the ability to export into SVG or EPS, only rasterized images.
And here is the final for the ability icons for the kids RPG:
Next, I will be working on the character illustrations for the boy’s PCs (player characters).