Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ahegao Yahfi


Yahfi’s been dating demons in the Underdark.  Even less safe for work version here. Enjoy.

- Ark

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kinda Sorta More Realistic Yahfi


Where There's Smoke, There's Yahfi


Did a Yahfi doodle in the style of Brett Parson.  I'm thinking of bringing back the Daily Doodle at the start of the new year - maybe with a request line.  Any thoughts?

- Ark

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cartoon Yahfi



Cartoon version of my D&D character.  The crazy drow girl recently befriended (sort of) a red headed dwarf so emulated her hair color.

- Ark

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wormhole Thoughts

The SS Freeman - Earth's first Wormhole Transit Vessel :)
John had some questions about the wormholes in my GURPS Space campaign, The Nazareth Chronicles, so I figured I'd answer him here and babble some on the subject.

Back a couple of years ago, I completed the lifelong dream of creating an accurate (mostly) stellar database for scifi gaming.  Alas, my life's work turned out to be not nearly as fun or useful as I had hoped.  Space is big.  Even with a slew of number-crunching tools and auxiliary programs, I found GMing the thing very taxing and un-fun.  It killed my geographical spontaneity.

Going back to the drawing board, I looked at the hex-based star maps of Traveller and Stars Without Number.  Not for long though.  I just don't like compressing 3d space into two dimensions, even if that two dimensionality is explained as 'hyperspace geography.'

About the same time, I was looking at the Vorkosian Saga supplement for GURPS, as well as the Infinity scifi miniatures wargame.  Both have node-based stellar astrography.  I mulled wormholes over in my mind, did some research, and figured I might be able to come up with something that I could use.  By May of this year I had a pretty good idea for a wormhole-based scifi setting.

Stellar Map for Corvus Belli's Infinity N3 Game
I've discussed the campaign briefly elsewhere, though not as much as I had intended.  What follows is an elaboration on the setting that I hope answers John's questions:

  • The wormhole system in The Nazareth Chronicles is a zero-distance network.  Travel through the wormholes is instantaneous, though travel from one wormhole to another is not.
  • Wormholes are a Precursor Artifact in which two gas giants in different star systems as quantumly entalgified and electro-bosonified with gravoblobicons [insert more techspeak as needed] until they form into either end of a wormhole.  Minimum size of a wormhole seed is a Neptune/Uranus type planet.  Cooking time is half a million years.
  • While the Wormhole mouths must be relatively close to one another when initially created, the nature of stellar orbits around the galactic core ensure than most wormhole entry/exit points are scattered all over the place.  The node map has very little in common with the actual stellar topography.
  • A wormhole has the mass of a gas giant, but has little volume.  Ships and stations can orbit the wormholes, as well as moons and planet-sized objects.
  • Around each wormhole orbits an artificial satellite that acts as an interface for controlling the wormhole.  The term for these satellites is a Triton Core.
  • Wornholes can be put in one of three states; Locked, Closed, or Open.  A Locked wormhole has a closed mouth where nothing can get through.  A Closed wormhole is closed to physical traffic, but allows energy to pass through.  An Open wormhole allows matter to pass, the width of the hole being adjustable.
  • Humanity has never figured out how to Lock a wormhole on purpose, though it has happened.
  • The Triton Core interface satellites can relay communication almost instantaneously with one another, as long as they are within 1,000 Astronomical Units.  Thus, a patch of the Wormhole Network that is left in a non-Locked state acts as it's own Galactic Internet. 

Humanity became aware of the Wormhole Network when the planet Neptune disappeared. Researchers discovered that the mass remained, however, still orbited by a remnant of the moon Triton.  Eventually, they discovered that the core of Triton was a machine that could control the wormhole, and exploration of the galaxy began.

Relics of Past Civilizations
The wormhole network led to thousands and thousands of systems.  While the Precursors were never definitively located, countless ancient destroyed civilizations were found.  Living sapient species were found as well, but even though they apparently scattered themselves across the network, none were at a very high technological level.  Strangely, none had very good records of their history, and few of the species seemed to have any gumption to explore or expand.

After several centuries of colonization, the wormhole network mysteriously shut down.  All nodes went into a Locked state.  Isolated from one another, most of human civilization collapsed or regressed significantly.  Five hundred years later, one planet learned how to open some of the wormholes, though the decryption algorithms took decades to perform with the most powerful computers available.

Currently there are only 25 systems open.  12 of them have enough will and resources to be capable of interstellar trade and cooperation.  They formed a coalition 50 years ago, but much of the goodwill is gone.  And still, no one knows why the wormhole network turned off five centuries ago.

Interstellar Magic Carpet Ride
Given their importance, wormholes and their interfaces are guarded by system governments, coalition forces, or the local thug/pirate king.  But to say that the wormholes are 'controlled' is false, as anyone with a fast enough ship, heavy  enough armor, and a good enough hacker can open a closed wormhole and zip on though past a blockade. Such a maneuver is called anything from 'Threading the Needle' to a 'Suicide Dive.'

Before going through a wormhole, it's standard to wake up everyone on a ship.  Sleeping through a wormhole passage is not recommended.  People report confusing and horrific nightmares in transit.  Some say that a sleeping person's mind connects to every other alternate reality version of themselves that is going through the wormhole at the same time.  The Surgeon General recommends against it, but there are a few cult members that relish the chance to dream in the quantum foam.

I hoped that answered all of John's questions. :)

- Ark

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Nazareth Chronicles Wormhole Map


Above is a wormhole map for our GURPS SPACE game.  I had originally called it Triton Core, arter the mechanism that triggered wormhole jumps.  That proved to be a boring name.  We now call it the Nazareth Chronicles, since their ancient spaceship is called the Nazareth and NPCs have started calling the PCs 'the Nazarenes' instead of just 'hey you guys.'  Please not the ample white dots indicating systems I have not flesh out yet. :)

- Ark

Monday, September 7, 2015

Clumzor's Bambi Study


This is a study of Clumzor’s Bambi from his NSFW comic, The Party.  Clumzor is one of my favorite artists, and Bambi is my favorite character of his.  The top left image is from his comic, while my copy is on the right.  Below should be a gif showing my process.
I once was fortunate enough to catch Clumzor drawing on Picarto and got to talk to him for a bit.  Very nice and helpful guy.  He had some great advice, and two points have stuck with me.  The first was to get off my ass and actually MAKE the comic that I’ve been thinking about.  I’m working on that one. :)  The second was to basically wallow in my favorite artist’s work.
So, I wallowed a bit in Bruce Timm’s stuff, and now here I am wallowing in Clumzor’s art.  It’s great fun.  I love his style.  Thanks for the advice, Clumzor!
- Ark

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bruce Timm Wonder Woman Study


Another Bruce Timm study - this time of Wonder Woman.  Mine is on the right - again. :)

- Ark

Friday, August 28, 2015

Can Do! - A Game of Meeseeks




OMG Morty! - http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/155341/Can-Do--A-Game-of-Meeseeks

- Ark

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Yahfi The Drow Raver Girl Assassin


I've completed coloring Yahfi, my drow raver-girl assassin in our new D&D campaign.  She hangs around the nedeirra, or sweat dances, of Menzoberranzan, reveling in hedonism and murder.  Yahfi is the life of the party, and also the death.  The pic took somewhere over 30 hours to complete.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yahfi Inks


This is my most recent D&D character, Yahfi. The DM decided on an evil campaign in the Underdark of Faerun.  After some research, I discovered that Drows of Menzoberranzan have raves, or ‘sweat dances,’ as they are called.  They typically lead to death, fire, and debauchery.  So how could I not make a Drow Raver/Assassin? :)

I’m very happy with the way my art is headed.  I’m starting to be able to have an idea and execute it.  Odd concept, I know. ;)

- Ark

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Streaming

For a while now, I've been streaming.

It has nothing to do with a urinal, btw.

I've been streaming my drawing sessions over on the Picarto site.  It's a pretty nifty art site where you can watch artists draw, and people like me try to draw as I fend off daily life, family, several demanding cats, and my own inability to concentrate for more than two seconds.

What was I talking about?

Oh yes, streaming.  Come on by My Channel and take a look.  Chat if you like.  I may not notice, being too busy trying to find a moist towelette to remove the Cheetos dust from my fingers.  Or don't say hi and quietly lurk - or just leave.  It' all good.

Oh - there are even writers here streaming their writing sessions!  Imagine writing an RPG supplement in front of an audience.  Um, okay, not that exciting.  But it's something to think about. :)

- Ark

That Way


Friday, June 12, 2015

Expanded Petty Gods Compendium

My Expanded Petty Gods Compendium hardcopy finally arrived!

Not to be confused with the obese gods of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tour bus D&D game circa 1979, the Expanded Petty Gods Compendium is a cornucopia of crazy religious goodness.  Flipping through the pdf is one thing, but when you actually get your hands on the almost 400 page tome (for like, 13 bucks,) the true scope of this thing sets in.  There are gods and monsters and magic items and inspiration spurting out of this thing like a fire hose.  It's like TSR's Deities & Demigods and the OSR Blogosphere had an illegitimate love child.  Well, actually, that's exactly what it is.

At a rough guess, I'd estimate there were about 42,000 of us who submitted write-ups, articles, and art to the book.  Okay, maybe less, but it feels like a lot.  It took three cycles of insane editors to climb on each other's backs and pull this thing together.

Richard LeBlanc finally beat it into submission.  I think he deserves another one of those Three Castle Award things for that monumental task.  So yeah, NTRPGCON, I am unofficially nominating the book for next year!

- Ark