Monday, December 24, 2012

ICE Rolemaster Standard System, 3rd edition, and 4th edition Stone Rune Trade Dress Illustrations

While doing freelance layout illustrations and artwork for Iron Crown Enterprises in the mid to late 1990's I was tasked with drawing various trade dress illustrations for the new Rolemaster Standard System line.  One of the assistant art directors took notice of the stone borders I did for the MERP Moria module previously, and decided to use a similar style of "trade dress" for the new Rolemaster line of rule books at the time in order to help promote the new product line.  Following this description are scans of the original trade dress illustrations for the various types of magic found in Rolemaster derived from Spell Law, followed by runes for the various Rolemaster skills, racial types and character class abilities.  They were drawn with ink on vellum and done after the initial prototype drawing style was accepted by ICE for the entire series of illustrations completed for the books.

The first three runes below are my interpretation of the Essence Rune, the Mentalism Rune and the Channeling Rune from the original Spell Law book.  The runes that follow were originally envisioned as spell casting runes for the various other classes and sub-classes of spell casters and magical spells found in the tome.

Rolemaster Standard System, 3rd / 4th Ed. Spell Runes

Following this series of books, I was tasked with creating a series of runes to be used as trade dress for the various skills and racial abilities of the Rolemaster Standard System Core Rules.  The following rune drawings were generated in the process of creating the books and primarily depicted character classes, races and even a few abilities and skill class types.

Rolemaster Standard System, 3rd / 4th Ed. Skill, Class and Racial Runes

Following this series of drawings were a few various and miscellaneous runes done to fill in the gaps in the remaining product line as needed after the initial set of drawings were completed.





Copyright notice:  All original artwork on this page is displayed for self promotion purposes only and is copyrighted by the original artist, Daniel Cruger.  This artwork may be downloaded and used for personal use only and may not be reproduced for commercial purposes in any way without the express written consent of the owner.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Averlorn Campaign - Dungeon Module B2 The Minotaur and Owl Bear's Lairs, the Gnolls and the Shrine of Evil Chaos!

Recap from 1/21/2012 and beyond...

After finally defeating the last of the Bugbears, the group turned its attention to the enchanted labyrinth we had explored previously with the confusion spell on it.  After some time we eventually found the Minotaur’s cave at the end of the Labyrinth and it was quickly defeated mostly due to the casting of multiple magic missiles in quick succession by the three wizards in the party as the others engaged it in melee.  We found some great magic items in its lair which were divvied up amongst the group.  Following our foray into the enchanted Minotaur’s maze, we returned to the Owlbear’s lair and awakened the beast in order to defeat it and steal its treasure.  It was a much tougher encounter than we had anticipated as the ferocious creature managed to bear hug and rend one of our fighters hurting him badly but eventually, the beast was defeated.  At this point we turned our attention to the other side of the complex again and entered the Gnoll’s lair.  After several tough combats we eventually took out the Gnolls and their leader and relieved them of their treasure.

Within the Gnoll Chieftain’s quarters we found a fireplace with a chimney above that lead to the surface, and which was wide enough to gain access to or egress from the place by someone able to make the climb.  We also found a secret door in the Gnoll Chieftan’s room that led to a corridor where we found a pair of Boots of Elvenkind on the body of a dead thief that had succumbed to his wounds in the little used hallway long ago.  The hallway led into a little used storage room where we were surprised by and fought a Gelatinous Cube!  At first we didn't see it and of course were surprised, but it was eventually defeated after a close call with one of the group that was nearly consumed by its quivering yet transparent body.  Within its gelatinous body we found a magic wand and some other items and a few coins.  Beyond the storage room was a series of tunnels that contained several doors.  Our Monk Amul even managed to find a staircase that led upwards at the end of the hallway but we didn't explore the area any further afterwards.  After these adventures we returned to the keep to rest for a while and eventually returned to the Caves of Chaos for more exploration.

We decided to enter the last cave within the box canyon of the complex that we had not yet explored.  The cave mouth in the center of the box canyon was surrounded by a number of twisted and misshapen trees giving the whole place a less than wholesome feel and an eerie and unnatural quiet ensued giving one the impression that even nature was afraid of this place.  As we entered the cave mouth, it led into a 10’ hallway that spilled into a larger 20’ wide hallway in which all of the sounds we made seemed to be amplified due to the slick glassy surface of the worn down smooth stone floor.  This made it very difficult to hear anything but the noises that we made as we walked down the corridor.  We continued exploring the complex and made it to a corner of the corridor that had two doors on either wall of the outside of the corner.  The one on the right led to a set of stairs down, so we decided to mark it on the map but leave it unexplored for now.  We surmised that it may have led to the stairs leading up that we found beyond the Gnoll’s lair since that area was on a lower elevation on the hillside than this area. 

Oddly enough, while we were checking out the doors, we were surprised in the noisy hallway by a large group of zombies due to the excess amount of noise we were making since it was hard to hear anything else but ourselves.  As the battle ensued, our clerics failed to turn the foul undead creatures with their holy symbols and things were looking grim for the group as our fighters were taking a beating.  Just as it looked like we were about to turn the tide of the combat, the other door opened up and we were confronted by a group of four evil clerics and a fierce melee ensued on both sides of the group.  One of them cast a command spell on one of the fighters and told him to “die” though he only dropped to the floor for a round.

We were hemmed in at this point and things were looking grim for the group, but one of the spellcasters made good use of a Protection from Undead scroll that we had acquired elsewhere in the complex, and read it aloud to save the day as we managed to defeat the vile undead creatures.  At the same time, Lorinar cast stinking cloud on the group of clerics in the room just after the door opened and they were immediately incapacitated by the gas and were gagging and vomiting on the floor of the room.  We used a rope and grapple hook to retrieve them from the cloud filled room and relieved them of their belongings and their lives.  They had a number of odd looking amulets on them which we found out later were in fact evil and we also took their robes which we thought might be useful later.

Having had a full adventuring day we decided to return to the keep to rest and recover from our exploits.  On the following day, we returned but decided not to walk right into the front door of the evil cave complex where we had fought the zombies and clerics previously and announce our presence to our enemies.  Instead, we decided to enter the complex by a different route that might attract less attention.  So this time, our Monk Amul shimmied down the chimney to the Gnoll Chieftan’s quarters below and the group followed down the rope he had used.  We started exploring the area beyond the secret door and store room and Amul scouted ahead a bit to determine if the stair at the end of the hallway connected to the area with the undead and clerics and he determined that it did.

Rather than ascend to that level, or explore a couple of other passages that branched off from the main passage, we decided to open another door that was in the hallway instead.  The door was bolted shut so after prying it open, we descended a set of stairs beyond into an old dusty crypt chamber below to search for loot.  Within were a number of coffins and sarcophagi which we proceeded to search.  When we opened up one of the sarcophagi an ancient and evil creature within sprang to life and attacked the group – it was a level draining Wight!  A fierce and tense melee ensued in which our Paladin was hit by the malevolent and evil being and was drained of a life energy level before we finally managed to slay the horrific creature.  Within a secret compartment hidden in its resting place we found a magical sword and a magical scroll.  After this combat we returned to the keep to rest and recoup.  At this time we discovered that the keep was bristling with activity and that the entire area was on alert for an attack from a large group of marauding humanoids that had been spotted nearby and that had attacked a few farmsteads!