26 October 2015

Joesky Tax: Gutter Gills

I promised that I would pay my Joesky tax for hyping up the book that I'm illustrating, Mike Evans' Hubris setting for DCC. Without further ado, I present to you a thing with which to play, Gutter Gills, in the vein of Hubris as I see it:

Although their origin is lost to antiquity, gutter gills were recently discovered by weak and squishy humans who couldn't handle the mutagenic choking clouds roiling beneath the equally weak cities they continually build. Instead of becoming monsters from exposure, humans could now venture deep below their settlements, seeking out whatever awful things humans tend to seek out underground and providing a rare treat for the hungrier denizens of the mythic underworld.

A set of gills will turn up unexpectedly in a dusty pawn shop at discount prices; or, just as likely, on the head of a deceased explorer. Kings have found them in the boudoirs of their least trustworthy romantic interests, and beggars have been gifted them by classist aristocrats in passing. Only the need for their function can temper the difficulty of their possession.

A few gutter gills refuse to be removed from their wearers, and will choke the poor humans who attempt to remove them. These ornery gutter gills slowly starve and dehydrate their owners, and will attempt to properly strangle their dying owner near to a place they are likely to be found by another human.

Some gutter gills work out a deal with their wearers - daily sacrifices, that is, which can take a variety of forms: bloodletting, bootblacking, smeared tropical fruit, trips to the brothel, fresh heads to choke, and so on. A gutter gill may behave nicely for a few hours or a few weeks depending on the merits of the sacrifice.

Gutter gills absolutely despise cleaning chemicals, and a good bleaching is one of the only known ways to remove a particularly churlish or lethal specimen. While effective, this requires a good dousing which can often drown the wearer or leave them with nasty chemical scarring.

08 October 2015

Gnarly Gang Generator

All right, I've been writing and playtesting a new setting, Gathox Vertical Slum, which is a science fantasy faction game with brutal and absurdist undercurrents. A significant part of play revolves around gangs - at first with players interacting with them, later forming their own gangs, and finally engaging in turf war between districts.

A lot of folks have been posting some fun bits and pieces about gangs recently, and I wanted to share a gang generator that I've developed. It happens to be stripped of the setting-specific information which I will be publishing with Gathox Vertical Slum, so you can adapt it to a wide variety of games. It comes with the added benefit of being built off of the structures and motivations of actual criminal organizations from the real world. Research for the win! Here we go:

Criminal Organizations

The following is a multi-die procedure for quickly structuring criminal organizations, which are often key players in larger conspiracies. To generate a CrimOrg, roll a d4, d6,d8, 10, d12, and d20 all at once. The results build off of one another and combine to paint a solid picture of the size, nature, purpose, and flavor of the organization.

1d4 - Type of CrimOrg
1 - Neighborhood Gang - While criminal, their origins are based in social play and mischief. Identities rely on ostentatious bluster or threat.
2 - Mafia/ Tong - Larger families, clans, ethnic or business interests. Initiatory membership, typically featuring discipline and a code of conduct.
3* - Symbolic Alliance - Loose horizontal alliances of gangs or chapters who adopt the same or similar symbols. Umbrella divisions as opposed to hierarchy.
4* - Ideological Alliance - Large alliance of smaller ideologically-aligned groups. Often religious or ethnically homogenous. Most likely to make spectacular displays of public violence.

*Note: The following tables will produce a single sub-goup or cell of the larger alliance in question; simply re-roll the d6 through d20 tables to create multiple cells and sub-groups if you wish to flesh out the entire alliance.

1d6 - CrimOrg Structure
1 - Egalitarian, with an elected boss and/or lieutenants.
2 - Cult of Personality, with a strong, charismatic leader.
3 - Might Makes Right, where leadership is challenged and established based on violence.
4 - Hired Guns, with membership bearing employee status.
5 - Inner Circle, where a central committee of leadership steers the group.
6 - Sleeper Cell, with discrete power distribution and the scope of action is limited.

1d8 - Size and Distribution of CrimOrg
1 - 1 boss, 1 lieutenant, 2d3 mooks
2 - 2-boss partnership with 2d4 mooks
3 - 1 boss, 2 lieutenants, 2d6 mooks
4 - 3-boss triumvirate, each with a lieutenant and 1d6 mooks
5 - 1 boss, 3 lieutenants, 3d4 mooks
6 - Frontman and silent senior partner, 3 lieutenants and 2d8 mooks
7 - Headless: 4 lieutenants, each with 1d6 mooks
8 - 1 boss, 2d3 lieutenants, each with 1d8 mooks

1d10 - CrimOrg Naming Scheme
1 - Honorific, two words. Ex.: Shining Force, Rising Tide, Radiant Fist.
2 - Two word opposites. Ex.: Goodly Scoundrels, Holy Bastards, Burning Sharks.
3 - Outlaw name. Ex.: Pistoleros, Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, The Executioners.
4 - ________ Brotherhood/ Sisterhood.
5-6 - Family name of leader. Ex.: The Muenchen Family, The Jodorowsky’s.
7-8 - Geographical name. Ex.: The Scrape Hill Bandits, The Blood River Reavers.
9 - Business front. Ex.: Talon and Feather Mercantile, The Tanner’s Guild.
10 - Leader’s crew. Ex.: Tamara’s Boys, Agathura’s Raiders.

1d12 - CrimOrg Motivations
1 - Social club/ fraternization.
2 - Defense of territory.
3 - Religious fanaticism.
4 - Hated enemy.
5 - Ethnic/ cultural supremacy.
6 - Class warfare.
7 - Control of legitimate businesses.
8 - Black market entrepreneurship.
9 - Mercenary muscle/ contract work.
10 - Protection of a certain class of people.
11 - General mayhem/ targeted terror.
12 - Reactionary/ revolutionary (against status quo).

1d20 - Points of Interest
1 - Boss has a twin as lieutenant; 50% chance their aims are at odds.
2-3 - Drug addiction runs rampant in the lower ranks.
4 - Members are indentured, and fallen members are replaced by siblings or parents.
5-6 - The mooks are planning a mutiny.
7 - The lieutenants are quietly moving against the boss(es), unbeknownst to their mooks.
8 - The boss is planning to kill and replace the lieutenant(s) as soon as possible.
9 - The gang has recently lost a significant amount of territory/business.
10 - The gang is in it’s heyday, having recently acquired a tremendous resource.
11-12 - Upper management is blind to the machinations of outside forces.
13 - The gang has an extensive network of informants, and is unlikely to be taken off-guard.
14 - Fallen members are martyred and idolized, leading to fanaticism amongst the lower ranks.
15 - All trust has broken down, leading to factionalism.
16 - The CrimOrg is currently planning its most risky operation yet.
17 - The gang is old and semi-defunct, save for one up-and-coming young tough.
18-19 - The leadership is held together by romantic interests.
20 - Roll one additional motivation on the d12 table and roll again here.

18 February 2015

Follow-up: Inks for a beastie

Here's the inks, scrunched in between the other work I'm doing, as a follow-up to the previous post.

15 February 2015

Sketch-A-Day: A new rough for Silent Legions

As I slowly climb to the top of the work mountain I've piled for myself, I thought I would post this late night sketch that I'm pleased with. Perhaps I'll do a follow-up with the inks later on. This is for +Kevin Crawford 's Silent Legions game.

14 January 2015

Ink Drawings for Backers of the Dunes

I recently completed 26 ink drawings for the the top tier backers of the Slumbering Ursine Dunes and wanted to share a some of them below. I've posted two Cave Dwarves and two Warbears for your eyeballs. Cheers!

09 January 2015

Sketch-a-day 1/9/14: Small Acrylic Paintings

I took some time last evening when work was done to jump into acrylic painting for the first time. I have a potential show for the First Friday Art Walk in a couple months and I figured I'd start exploring my physical medium options.

 These two landscapes were painted on 5.5" x 8.5" 136 lb. canvas paper with a super-cheap knock-off acrylic set and some beat-up kids' brushes, took about 30-45 minutes apiece, and were a total blast. Hopefully I can crank out some more of these when I get some down time in the next couple of weeks.

This first is roughly from memory from the train ride this past holiday:

This second is an attempt at some land near Augusta:

If you have any solid subject ideas for some natural or not-so-natural mini-paintings in this vein, hit me up. I'd love some input for this experiment!