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Painting of a Mushroom house

One of the things about being an artist is that you are always working on different techniques. This painting was a study on values and a few of the new features on Krita. 

Mushroom House or Pub clip art
Mushroom house painting by Kevin C Mason

Though this image does not look complex its too over 20 different layers. The concept of the painting also changed over time. It started with a drawing of a forest. From there it seemed to have a mind of its own where I turned the trunk of a tree into a giant mushroom. Then I started to think that maybe a Gnome or a halfling would be living in it so I added the door. 

While I was thinking about painting the door I decided to put a sign on the side of the mushroom. The only word I could think of was PUB. It could have been that I was also wanting a beer myself. 

You can purchase the license to use this image in your board game or RPG game by clicking on the link below. 

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How to promote your game at a Board Game party

If you are reading this you must also love this holiday that sprung up out of freaking nowhere. For most game companies this is a time to strut your stuff and get promoting. Getting invited to somebody else's board game party is great! 

Here is how to promote your game that you have been working on! 

DON'T!!!! 

What??!?!?!?! Yep, you heard me. This is not the time or place to be promoting your game. Why? Because it's a bad idea! 

When you are invited to a game before you pack up your prototype or that best selling game you have been promoting all this time think if that is why you were invited. If the person who invited you asked you to bring your game fine. Ignore this advice because it does not apply to you. Otherwise, read on so you don't become "That Guy". It's super easy to get caught up in the promotion of your creative projects. However, there is a time and a place for everything. A gaming party is not one of them. You will have plenty of time to promote/Test your game in the future 

In our area, there is a guy who is always trying to promote his reskinned version of "Werewolf". Though the game itself is not bad it really is just another version of the party game. The problem is that every time someone brings up a new game to play this guy is the loudest and most aggressive. IF he gets his way the rest of the night is going to be spent playing this game. Where he spends a lot of time setting up and taking notes (Good Game Dev .... but this is Not his party) If not everyone wants to play "Again" he will take those people who wanted to play away from the party or leave the party early. Basically, he is not there to be social just promote his game. Either way, I'm not going to buy his game when it comes out. My experience with this guy has left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not the only one. 

IF you must promote your game the key is being humble. In the group that I play with they all know that I'm a game designer. When going to a party I do let others know that I'm going to be bringing my prototype and they are welcome to play. And that is it. Most of the time I get asked if I have my new game and everyone is happy if I say yes.

What is valuable is taking the time and playing other games. Take the time to have fun and get to know everyone else at the party. Be a gracious loser and a humble winner. Be clever and be social.  The connections that you are going to be making during that time is invaluable. Remember you are not on the sales floor. You are there to build those connections. Later on, when your Kickstarter comes up those connections are more than likely to Back/Share/Promote your project. 

Here is a great way to think of it. "Do I sound like that guy/gal who sells multi-Level-Marketing?"  IF yes ... shut up. 

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Games and websites we love

Like many geeks, I like many things. I love Games, Video games, Board games, nd RPGs. My media appreciation extends beyond just Scifi. So I wanted to take a moment and share some Link Love to those things that matter to me .. and an explanation of why. So to be clear none of the links that will follow are paid links. So if you tell these people "Kevin's Sent me" they will most likely say "Who?" 

Also, many of these categories overlap a bit 

 

RPGS

Let's start off with my favorite category RPGS. This category is dear to my heart as I am always working on trying to be a better game master. 

 

Cypher System / Numenerea 

This is one of my latest loves to enter my life. Cypher system is by Monte Cook and is absolutely fantastic. The simple but elegant rule system that focuses on the story vs just rolling stats. It's also big on having the player having a larger part of the narrative. I'm currently working on converting my homebrew called Starfall to the Cypher system. Expect me to post a few Youtube episodes on this topic.

I also would love to get my hands on Invisible sun at some point 

 I think what else is a big deal for me when it comes to this systems is that the people who are involved at Monte Cook Games all seem to be just good people at the core. It inspires me as a game creator myself to be a great person and be able to make some Awesome games too. Some day I plan to shake Monte Cook & Shanna Germain's  hand and thank him for the inspiration not just for the Games but for being awesome humans. 

Wish List 

  • Invisible sun (Signed by Monte ... I hear he has been asked to sign some crazy things)
  • Predation hardback (Signed by Shanna) 
  • Cypher Deck
  • Expanded Worlds 

https://www.montecookgames.com/

 

TORG

Yes, this was a blast from the past. This system made a lot of people hurt their heads trying to figure out the "Everlaws". The idea of having our reality being superimposed by others is a very interesting one. I loved how the characters could be a mix of a Cyberpunk and a pizza delivery boy from the 80's and a wizard from the dark ages all in the same group. This was my first attempt at running a game for the players as an experience vs "Here is a dungeon". 

My Tips fro running Torg is to keep the players in the dark. They don't need to know the Everlaws. They also don't need to start off as anything other than core Earthers. 

Sadly West End Games is no longer producing Torg, However, it would be easy to convert part of that to "The Strange" from Monte Cook Games.

Wishlist: As I had to leave my collection back in the states 

  • Torg Box set 
  • Core earth sourcebook 
  • Orrish sourcebook 
  • Nippon Tech 
  • Practical Grimoire  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_End_Games

 

Shadowrun 

IF there is every a reason to go buy a bucket of D6s its Shadowrun. I love this game. I started running Shadowrun because the players in my group always argued the rules and did not spend a lot of effort in the story, Becuase the players did not know the rules to Shadowrun they had to focus on the story. This is perhaps the game I have run the most. Even today with 5th ed I can quickly put together a Run with almost no notice. (I also have a ton of Pre-Made PCs ready to go) 

At some point ask me about the Aztec dancers on the light rail after running Shadowrun in Sacramento 

http://www.shadowruntabletop.com/

 

Eclipse Phase

 You think Torg messed with people's Heads ... Eclipse phase will do even more. This game always starts a deep conversation about humanity often leaving the dice on the table. The idea of swapping bodies and Genders on a whim is something that makes interesting conversations at my table. You want a killer sci-fi game .. HERE YOU GO! 

Wishlist 

ALL OF IT! 

http://eclipsephase.com/

 

Podcasts. 

I used to be a podcaster back in the day (Wow that sounds strange). Back during the time were we knew for sure that we were going to upset big radio. These days I'm working mostly with Youtube videos, but I have been known to be a guest on more than one RPG Podcasts. 

These days I'm a podcast junkie. I'm always listening to podcasts. if you follow me on twitter I'm always tweeting about a few podcasts that I love. 

 

Steamrollers Adventure Podcast 

I love this show!!!! I got hooked within the first episode. The characters are fantastic and the story crafter took more than a few levels in worldbuilding. What is even cooler for me they use Role Vs Roll in the show!! HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT!! Jackmonkey games is the official sponsor for Season 2 by the way. I liked the show sooooo much the Role Vs Roll card  "Dapper D" was inspired and dedicated to them 

If you are going to start listening to the podcast do yourself a favor and start with the first episode! 

http://riggstories.com/the-podcast/

 

 

Boardgames 

It seems that you can't really call yourself a geek and not love boardgames (Not always but most of the time) And I am not one of the acceptions. I love boardgames. To be honest, Imp is the board game champion in the house (She is ruthless) 

Here is a collection of the games we Love to play 

 

Killer Bunnies 

This a fun game with a simple strategy ... Get Carrots and hope you have one bunny at the end of the game. The reason why we love this game is because our house rule is that you are allowed to cheat, Steal, Convince, Bribe and threaten the other players to get your way. However, if you get caught cheating you loose all your bunnies. You also have to tell everyone at the end of the game how you cheated. 

The reason why we love this game is because our house rule is that you are allowed to cheat, Steal, Convince, Bribe and threaten the other players to get your way. However, if you get caught cheating you loose all your bunnies. You also have to tell everyone at the end of the game how you cheated. Sounds like a nasty game but it's actually a lot of fun when everyone knows they are going to be cheating. 

http://killerbunnies.com/game/index.html/

 

The Captian is Dead 

This is our only Co-op Game we have in the house at the moment. What I enjoy about the game is the discussion about what to do next. That and out of the 20 times We have played we have only won the game 3 times. I was lucky to discover this game on Kickstarter and I must say we have been very happy with it. 

 

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Worldbuilding your art

G'Dar Species for Startfall RPG  Often when I have an idea that I want to flesh out I open up GIMP (Open source version of photoshop) and get to work just getting out my Ideas.  In a Roleplaying game, this is useful because sometimes the Gamemaster will have ideas of what something looks like but the players have no idea. Even though I am a gamemaster and good with descriptions I do tend to run out of words when I'm trying to describe something that is unique. 

With the G'dar I wanted to make sure this race of very intelligent creatures had a unique look to them. The challenge was that I had already used the term "Looks like a very tall Grey Alien from Roswell" in the game. So the various players already had a general idea of what that might be in their head. So I was not able to deviate too far from that after all who wants to have another Star Trek series Klingon vs The Klingons in the Movies and Next Generations. So I had better make it close. 

This is where the world building comes in. 

You have to put in a few things into consideration while you are working on the world building for the species 

  • G'dar are not as physically active as Humans
  • Most of their language is telepathic they use verbal language to augment their conversations  
  • G'Dar are very perceptive and can notice things that most people take for granted 
  • They proudly are members of "Clusters" a kind of not so Secret society or club
  • Gender is a strange concept to them 
  • They have lost their homeworld long before the crash and have integrated with other cultures maintaining their idea of identity through clusters 

So with that in mind, I had elongated the neck and removed the nose entirely. Not even having nostrils. Their small mouth is because it's primarily used to eat. Communication with the mouth so it's not as large. Also because most of the communication is done through telepathy they don't need to be as expressive as other species. So I removed the Eyebrows. 

How do you tell them apart? Well as a G'Dar it's easy they have a different Psi signature. However, The idea of having unique markings on their forehead similar to face paint would help distinguish who they are, and what cluster they belong to. 

I chose the color of the skin to be as different from the "Grey" as I could. I happen to like the idea of teal and muted blue as a skin colour. 

Their clothing would depend on where they were living. In the Image above this one is part of the Confederate Space Marines and therefore would wear an appropriate uniform. Though in public or off duty would wear robes also proudly showing off their cluster. 

 

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Youtube Vlog #2 Jackmonkey updates and Working on Invoke

I just wanted to keep working on the youtube video blog. This was a simple update having to do with Jackmonkey games as a whole and how I'm working on Invoke. 

You can Check out our Youtube Channel 

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Role VS Roll for character Creation

There are many ways to use Role Vs Roll other than the way listed in the box. Just recently I have been using the cards to help me create NPCs. Here is my process. Let me know what you use. I used to use the Shadowrun first edition "20 Questions" to help flesh out NPCs .. however, I did find that the list of questions was very specific to Shadowrun. What I like about using Role VS Roll cards in this way is that it is random and you will not be asking the same question to every NPC. 

 

  1. Create the basic NPC 
  2. While thinking of the back story Draw three to five Role VS Roll cards 
  3. Try to think of that character as PC for a short period of time and try to think how you would play those cards. 
  4. Write down the result as a reflection of the Characters personality 

 

 

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Game Illustration

Looking for an artist for your game? Have a tight budget? Maybe we can help. We have some very affordable prices with very clear and easy to understand contact. We have opened up an RPG and Board game clipart gallery for you to choose from. The artwork ranges from Free art that only took me a few minutes to create to artwork that I have been working on for months for a fee. All paid downloads will have a PDF with the license. We do however ask for attribution for all of our works. 

 

 Artwork for Game Designers

Contact us  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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