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Rialacha Teach Mhorgunna

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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At last that's what they say …

So … if that's true … and if we except as an average of the number of letter in any given word as five. The definition of letter is as follows:

noun
1.
a character representing one or more of the sounds used in speech; any of the symbols of an alphabet.

A synonym for letter is “character.”

A definition for character is

1*:* a graphic symbol (as a*hieroglyph*or alphabet letter) used in writing or printing

2:* one of the persons of a drama or novel

Therefore, logically a picture is worth 5 thousand characters.

… ok …

Sorry I know I went along way around for that one. What I want you to to think about is getting inspired by fantasy art. We all do this … We roll up a character and want a portrait or token and we go online and google dwarves or what ever. We go through a ton of pictures and pick out the perfect one.
But have you ever reversed the process? Have you ever found an image and said, “Wow this would be a cool character”? I have three NPCs that were created in this way running in my current campaign.

Uncle Goggle Rocksplitter came about because I came across this picture.

woodwosetd.gif

Isn't this a great picture? It's so full of character. I immediately thought … Dwarf going through midlife crisis. He has given up the family mines to follow his bliss … being a Druid. So now he is running around in leaves and has become the black sleep of the family … a social embarrassment. Because of the stare I added that Goggle lost an eye and replaced it with round stone. He is known for his rock hard stare.

The second one came from the same picture. I wanted a companion for UG. I liked the idea of a bear. So I added Ursula. They make an odd but humorous couple. This Mutt and Jeff pair are able to chat back and forth. Ursula seems more refined than the rough and blustery Rocksplitter. She in fact seems a more anthropomorphic bear that one in reality. She walks around upright instead of on all fours. The bear uses cups and other nicities. The characters have been pretty excepting of this odd pair, enjoying their antics. One player did say soming about how they cuddle at nights as:

“It must be a Druid thing.”

What they have not yet discovered is that Ursula is in reality … a cursed escaped elf from the Fey Wyld. Oosilva Greenleaf, besides being a third level druid and mage is a reverse werebear. She only can take on her true form during the days and nights of the full moon. Goggle has taken her under his protection and this has developed into a relationship. I added this pair originally in a my past campaign. Ursula was the one to tell a character she was pregnant. She could just tell. It was funny that she wanted the child to be named after her. In this campaign, they drove the wagon to Phandelver. Goggle is Gundrin's uncle and so is a driving force driving the search for Cragmore Castle and his nephew.

The third character is from Red Brand Hideout in LmoP. Nothing new … you can pick up from the barracks, the goblin, Droop. Now I missed out on the whole fourth edition/ pathfinder experience. But I have to say I love the way Pathfinder depicts goblins. So I decided if the party took in Droop, I would find a Pathfinder goblin image for him. As I started to peruse … I found this one.

26ae0e367c637c79da7d7418c55ed4c3.jpg

Now as I saw Droop was an bullied member of the goblinoid band. Just look how you meet him. The bugbears are tormenting him as entertainment. Viewed as subservient role, I imagined Droop as a six year with low self esteem. This picture gave me his current tag line.

“Everybody loves kobolds!”

Once they got back to the Stonehill Inn, Droop cut the velvet curtains to make his costume. Will the Cleric had to make restitution. Dealing with Mrs. Stonehill brought the players to tears, laughing at the antics.

And all this from a single picture. So be open to inspiration. Don't be afraid to reverse your normal creative process. Look at something, ask what is going on. Make it your own and remember …

A picture is worth five thousand characters.

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Updated March 30th, 2017 at 19:51 by mhorgunn

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