Category Archives: Artwork

Æthercoil update: DM’s Guild

My new year’s resolution is to get back into artwork, and especially artwork that’s good enough to be presentable in any project. As I said earlier, I had a bad case of burnout throughout most of 2015 and I’m just coming out of the other end of that. I have some projects that I can work on getting the rust off my drawing arm, including an RPG project, a possible Sword Coast Legends module that is played with a scene book alongside, (The module will have scenes where you need to read parts of the book, when the storyline moves to a cut scene that the module creator can’t implement quite yet) and Æthercoil, my own campaign setting for 5th edition. The main question would be which of the three I should focus on first, because I certainly don’t have the time to do all three at once.

dms guild logoEnter the Dungeon Master’s Guild. I’ve mentioned its launch earlier this weekend. The DM’s Guild is an extension of Drive Thru RPG, but where the Forgotten Realms IP is open to people who want to have their own campaigns, modules, character options, and—this has come into play this week—additional monsters that didn’t get included in the Monster Manual.

That got me to come to my decision on where to get back into my art: The origins for Æthercoil started when I put the telegraph and the train into the Sword Coast. I later started to dabble with other inventions (such as radio, electricity, airships, and other creations in the early age of invention) in a setting that still have an Old School Renaissance feel to it. I intend to have this be put into an original setting, but with the DM’s guild and the expressed permission for me to make ‘an alternate timeline’ to the Forgotten Realms, that made me decide to open up Æthercoil in a beta setting, using the Forgotten Realms as a base.

I’ll be creating a series of documents for the DM’s Guild, which I’ll call “Æthercoil Forgotten Realms.” Consider this to be a beta form of Æthercoil. The first document will be an extensive depiction of many inventions and what they’d look like in the Forgotten Realms. The second one will be chock full of additional player races, classes, backgrounds, and other twists. People who like to play anthro animal characters will like this document. A Third will have additional monsters, I’m especially adding dinosaurs and Kaiju. This might be considered optional for the Realms, but it’ll be a vital part of the finalized version of Æthercoil with an original setting. The fourth and last document will be a couple conversions of a couple modules to give them an Æthercoil feel, along with various other campaign hooks and scenarios that might be of interest.

Once I get all four documents out and people playtest them and send me some needed feedback about it, I’ll do the Compile. That’s when I take these four documents, with all the feedback, and transplant them from the Forgotten Realms to its own campaign world. A world I talked about earlier in this campaign. This will be the official Æthercoil 1.0 which I’ll publish to the general public.

I’m working on the first document right now, which will be where most of my artwork will focus on. Expect to see updates both here and on DeviantART, where I’ll put some artwork as a preview.

My New Year’s Resolution

I knew that the time will come where I get over being burned out this year.  I know that, by this time last year, I was trying to stay with the “Ballad of Johnny Briz” comic strip, and even set a goal of 50 strips during 2015.  What I wasn’t aware of, or what I was trying to deny, is that I was staring Artist Burnout in the face.  It’s a long story but I can say that it was by the major flack I got.  No, not the more supportive critiques on my art style, whatever it’s anatomy, facial structure, how I make hands and feet, and others things that I can use to improve on.  I don’t mind that; all I’ll ask is specifics and civility and we’ll get along just fine.  It was the ones that turn away from my artwork or story and start denigrating me as a person.  I won’t list them here, but that would make anyone not want to post anything on a web site or, in my case, even sit down in front of a piece of poster board and draw something, anything.

Some would call it an excuse for me not to “work hard,” but I’m just acknowledging reality; sometimes all the time spent with nose to grindstone just leaves you without a nose, where the work was just work and not the fun and joy and life enrichment artwork–especially a web comic–should be.  Hence the Sabattical I took through 2015.  I needed to step away from everything so I can rekindle the spark, figuring out what’s really important in my life, find a way to work that I can actually enjoy, and evnetualy get back into making artwork.

Such as is my New Years Resolution: To get back into art.  I’m not talking Web Comics yet, but that’s in the future.  I just want to get back into reguilar drawing, and I’ve started a bit early with Darcy Amberguil here, who’s current design looks a bit like Aleena, that classic Cleric:  (Source:  therpgpundit.blogspot.com/2014… ) .  This is a grayscale sketch, which is a start, and I used a pose from Feystock (Link: Jedi – Stock Pose Reference 35 ), thank you so much.

My only problem would be me returning to the proverbial ‘scene of the crime’ and returning to DeviantART.  I’d really like to go somewhere else, where I don’t have to fear of getting my head chewed out every time I poke it in here.  But in the end, there’s too many friends in there for me to just leave this place like I could do with Twitter and Tumblr.  Or for that matter Facebook.  Also, I’m more familiar with the interface in this site in spite of its occasional change.  On top of that, I’m still a subscriber, so if I’m paying for this, I might as well use this.  I just need to be a bit more vigilant with the Banhammer.

So what’s in the future for me hereon DA with my New Year’s Resolution (and yes, I can see you place bets on how soon I’ll break it, I know who you are :) )?  Well, I have two projects coming that will help me get back into artwork:  One is a RPG Maker MV which I’m using to learn how to code a game, something I’d always wanted to do.  You’ll see more artwork on it here, and more info about it on my web site (foxfirestudios.net). The second one is a campaign world I’ve been working with called Æthercoil, which I’ve also talked about on my blog, but I’ll probably chose to get back into serious pieces here.

2015 proved better than I expected, especially in the later months when I was getting my life back together–most of them in Dungeons & Dragons, but hey, whatever keeps me a part of the Human Race–and I hope that 2016 will be an improvement.

And that I can actually keep comments open here in my DA page.