Ghost Lake Preview

Ghost Lake

Here’s a little Gods and Icons preview from Connor Marvin. This and other Unhallowed Places will include sections on using them for both roleplaying and combat settings.

ghost lakeA secluded mountain lake, referred to by locals as “Ghost Lake” due to the number of disappearances, strange lights, and terrifying stories surrounding it, is a day’s hike through rocky mountain terrain. On the surface it appears to be an ordinary lake. Under the lake, however, there is a sunken temple. A spell put on the temple long ago created an invisible bubble surrounding it. Fish still swim through this magic sphere, but once it is entered by air-breathing creatures they fall through to the temple’s grounds and are able to breathe as normal.

The temple compound consists of one central building surrounded by statues. The columns of the central temple have spiraling patterns of snake scales carved in them, and the apex of the temple is surmounted by a stylized pinecone. The statues that surround the temple are carved snakes coiled around each-other into double-helixes, with stone bat-wings emerging from the snakes’ backs near the top. Strings of seaweed float from the lake floor as if in water, and sunlight filters from the surface of the lake forty feet above.

13 Rumors About Ghost Lake

  1. Hell fighter Lord Ikal periodically visits Ghost Lake, and each time, drops in a small, black box.
  2. Those who sleep in the temple enter the dreams of Aurum Rex, king of the metallic dragons.
  3. Dwarf King Thorbal’s banished daughter, Princess Kori, hides in the temple. She’s been changed.
  4. A promise made in the temple must be kept, or one’s very soul is forfeit.
  5. Visiting the temple ensures healthy children.
  6. A ghost dragon guards the lake.
  7. Infernals cannot enter the blue waters. Or leave them.
  8. If you swallow even a drop of the lake water, you will be inhabited by ghosts.
  9. Only the dead can leave the temple.
  10. Black cats surround the lake during full moons, hissing and spitting at the water.
  11. The waters heal broken bones.
  12. Baron Von Vorlatch the vampire necromancer, has cursed the lake.
  13. Dunking yourself in the lake cures all disorders of the mind.

Art by Sparrow Beurer

You can see more of Sparrow Beurer’s art in The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady, on sale now at DriveThruRPG.

Art for Art’s Sake

A little preview of the icon Baron Von Vorlatch for Gods and Icons. The baron rules the barony of Borgostnya for Emperor Roland. He likes the night.

Baron Von Vorlatch 500w

And here’s the new art for The Sun Below Bundle: City on the Edge and Sleeping Lady. Eventually That’s How the Light Gets In will be there as well.

SunBelow2 500w

Gods and Icons Art in Progress

Artist Justin Wyatt (cover artist for The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady) has sent in some sketches for Gods and Icons. I took his rough for the cover and slapped a title and 13th Age Roleplaying Game compatibility license on it. Just to get a feel for what goes where. The final cover will be in color.

Cover Sketch 1

We’ll reuse the art for the three gods above the castle in The Gods Have Spoken: Deities and Domains, as they share the same pantheons.

Of course we’ll want more art, but that’s what Kickstarter stretch goals are for.

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Can I See Myself in your RPG Book?

wordfey - lone fox - StickerAs our hobby grows, I keep running into GMs and players who aren’t the stereotypical gamer of the 1970s. Women, people of color, gays, trans, and even gray-haired oldies.

Which is great! More people to play with, to have fun with, to make friends with.

I have the original white box D&D set, and have been playing since the 70s. When a new player picks up a gaming book, do they see anyone that looks like their family? Images that include them? Or is there that barrier of “this is not for you.”

Well, things are changing. And the lead author on The Gods Have Spoken: Deities and Domains, Vanessa Rose Phin, looks at the new 5E PHB to look at that change. Take a look on her blog. (Vanessa’s also a major contributor to Gods and Icons.)


FlannColorSampleOf course this made me look at Dread Unicorn titles. Purple hermaphrodites are well represented, thank you very much. Numenera takes you out of the stereotypical RPG world in so many ways, art included. Our next titles are more in standard fantasy land, so we’ll see what we can do there to make people feel like this is a game for them.

Some people have told me that if we make an effort to include more kinds of people, we could loose straight white males. Really? I think that’s selling straight white males short. What if my sales are as flat as Star Wars: The Force Awakens?


GenCon 2014: Post Con Reflections

Guest blog by Reece Ambrose, lead artist for The Sun Below: City on the Edge.

GenCon 2014 (my first gaming convention ever) was, simply put, amazing!  At 6’3″ and 220 lbs, I’m typically not considered to be a small person.  But while attending, I found myself dwarfed in so many ways that it truly made the experience a thing of wonder to me.


Me and  Jeff Easley
Me and Jeff Easley
I was stunned by the number of fans who flocked to the heart of Indianapolis (rumored to be the largest crowd so far), to take part in the games and seminars.  And I finally felt a part of the greater gaming community by seeing that the hobby that I’ve been passionate about for the past 34 years isn’t just something my self and my playing circle of close friends gets excited over.


I thinking the greatest part of the trip for me though was meeting people who in my mind hold icon status as greats in their field; Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell, Shanna Germain, Charles and Tammie Ryan.  I have worked with these folks remotely on various projects (The Strange Kickstarter, Cypher Deck, XP Deck, and Core Book), but meeting them face to face and seeing first hand how humble, warm and inviting their personalities were was an amazing treat for me!  I thank them for giving me an industry insiders view of the convention, and letting me participate in running a game of Numenera for them!
Larry Elmore and me
Larry Elmore and me

My luck seemed to run high over the seemingly short time the convention ran, as I came across personal heroes of mine while roaming the vast exhibitor’s floor.  As an artist, getting to meet Larry Elmore, and Jeff Easley, was brilliant!  It is through their work that I was gripped by the love of role-playing so many years ago, I hold that it is a major reason why I decided to become an artist myself.

I also met Margaret Weis, famed co-author of the Dragonlance novels, another great influence in my role-playing life, and the thing that struck me about all of the people I managed to meet was their utter lack of self-importance.  All of these industry giants impressed me as humble individuals who make the RPG industry a place where imaginations can be kindled, and joy filled memories of epic adventures can be had if only we let ourselves be immersed in the fanciful realms that they’ve codified with elegantly designed game systems, beautifully depicted through vivid imagery, or written out in stunning prose.

In the end, I think the whole of my experience was summed up in something said to me in a chance meeting at a bar by Pathfinder creator Jason Bulmahn when I thanked him for the many hours of fun his game had allowed me to enjoy, “You keep playing it and I’ll keep making it!”.  The great experience of GenCon is created by both the greats of the gaming industry who make the game, and the awesome fans who come and experience the convention!
— Reece