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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knights of The Dragon: Dungeon Master's Screen WIP

So, a friend of mine commissioned me a few months ago to do a two panel screen to be used as a dungeon's master screen for an ongoing RPG campaign. In between working on other projects I have been tinkering around a lot with some concepts and am starting to get antsy since he wants this before Thanksgiving weekend (which is only a few weeks away).

This concept has been a hassle since the is so much in it and one of the biggest issues was that the right side and left side actions were competing for focus, and everything kept pointing out of the corners and leading the viewer's eyes out of the chaos of the piece.

Here is the description of the piece I was given.

We would be looking for at least 2 full-color panels of a 4-panel screen, 8.5" X 11" (we will likely put city/county maps on the outermost panels, although depending upon what your feedback, that might change).
These two panels will be 'busy'.
On the left hand panel, a band of six torch-bearing & weapon wielding youthful adventurers (the typical generic lot:  halfling rogue, half-orc barbarian, dwarven fighter, elven ranger, human cleric, gnome sorcerer; or some variation on that theme) descend a flight of stone stairs into a crypt.  Pulling themselves up through the stone floor of the crypt to confront them are zombies and skeletons (in some cases all you can see are their heads & hands, others are emerged to the torso, others are pulling their trailing foot free).
On the opposing panel, a late-middle aged human cleric of St. Cuthbert in full plate & towering, light-emitting mitre; and a chainmail-wearing paladin in his prime, also of St. Cuthbert; square off against a greater mummy, at least 4 lesser mummies, and a horde of zombies & skeletons.

So the size of a two panel piece is 11x17 inches. After a lot of tinkering I looked at this as a book jacket piece, where the front and back would have to make sense if seen at the same time.

The issue that I am running into now is there is no room for the type and there aren't really any monsters left in the piece at all. It's been nothing short of frustrating, and it seems that no matter what I do something is wrong.   I had to chop out a lot of what was originally asked for because I couldn't fit everything in and have it not be something you automatically wanted to avert your eyes from.

Of the sketches, this is the closest to something workable I have.

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