Friday, October 30
It's the last workday before our favorite holiday of the year—Daylight Savings Time! Actually, while we do look forward to an extra hour of sleep, Halloween also happens to take place this weekend and we wanted to show off some of our eerie concept art.
If you're in the mood for more Halloween art, we can’t recommend Jared von Hindman's cartoon's enough; not just his take on The Ghost King, but also his own site's Halloween costume interpretations (viewer discretion advised; look under "specials"). From a few month's back (but themed for the season—and hey, since it also promotes Open Grave), there's Geek's Dream Girl's Are you working with the undead? Plus, for a Halloween-styled treat, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the wand of Orcus from E3. Vicious.
So enjoy Halloween, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day—and if you happen to go garbed this weekend in D&D-inspired wear, we'd love to see your costumes!
Practical Guides in the News
Thursday, October 29
What better place to discuss vampires than the dark, chill Pacific Northwest? We are home to Forks, WA after all, and offer relatively short plane rides further north to Alaska. So on this gloom-cast morning, R&D's Nina Hess appeared on Northwest Cable News to celebrate the release of A Practical Guide to Vampires.
Know a young reader interested in Dungeons & Dragons? Escapist.com's Young Person's Adventure League holds the laudable goal of "introducing young people to the exciting world of adventure games." They recently examined all of the Practical Guides within their Navigator's Notebook, with the following advice for young adventurer's:
"Get a copy of one of the Practical Guides from your bookstore or library and read it. Then drop some hints to your gamemaster about how cool it would be to run an adventure using the information in the book. Show them the diagrams and maps and locations. If it doesn't work, consider becoming a gamemaster yourself!"
Escapist.com maintains itself as "a web page devoted to the betterment of role-playing games and the education of the public and media of their benefits to society." We applaud that motto!
The Season for Costumes
Wednesday, October 28
The clothes make the adventurer, and nowhere is that more true than… Zendikar? Well, at least so begins this column from Magic: the Gathering's Doug Beyer. Zendikar may be the latest set for Magic, but it's a set filled with the distinct flavors of sword-and-sorcery, high adventure, and fantastic settings. Sound familiar? How about this following description:
Zendikar seems almost as though it's trying to kill its own denizens, whether with monsters, natural hazards, or traps laid for the unsuspecting.
Driven by tales of wondrous places of mystic power, bands of explorers venture into the wilds of Zendikar. Many such expeditions fail, overwhelmed by the world's many dangers. But a handful of elite, daring souls accomplish feats of discovery that have earned them riches and renown. Guides, porters, cartographers, sell-swords, lullmages, ruin-sages, and healers form expeditionary parties and team up to scour the world for treasure.
Doug's article takes a visual tour through the fashions of Zendikar's mages, merfolk, and—to further add to the Halloween spirit—vampires. Much of this art can easily serve as inspiration for your own adventurer; DMs should also check out Zendikar's locations, for encounter setting inspirations!