Skip to Content

Need input on Fantasy Characters

15 replies [Last post]
Xacharias
Xacharias's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2015
Test Characters
TestCharacters2.jpg

I'm quickly putting together a rough draft for some Fantasy characters for a collaboration on a game with fellow game designer markgrafn here on BGDF.

It's a fantasy theme and I'm trying out a lighthearted style inspired by cartoonist Ben Caldwell.
We've experimented with six classic archetypes for the main hero characters so far. In addition, we need approximately 20 antagonists.

So far we've got:

  1. Orc
  2. Goblin
  3. Ogre/Troll
  4. Werewolf
  5. Undead/Skeleton
  6. Zombie/Ghoul
  7. Vampire
  8. Dragon?
  9. Giant
  10. Lizardmen

Would be great to have some input on both heroes and villains and especially which to include in addition to the above? And also, please let us know if you think this is a commercially viable style or if it should be more "serious"?

Many thanks!

X3M
X3M's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
To my knowledge, an ogre and

To my knowledge, an ogre and a troll are 2 different "species". Yet often the same type of demi giant. Trolls are often a bit more intelligent than ogre's.

Same goes for the ghoul and zombie.
Zombies seek out the living and attack the living.
Ghouls seek out corpses instead. Yet still attack the living. Ghouls are also a bit more intelligent then zombies. Zombies are mindless and move forward towards their goal all the time. Ghouls might go sideways or a step back if needed. A ghoul might even try to escape if the enemy is certainly to strong.

There you have 11 and 12.

Then in addition of opponents:
13 Cyclops
14 Demon or Devil (or both)
15 Naga or Lamia
16 Giant Spider
17 Mermaids (the nasty ones)
18 Harpy
19 Centaur (again the nasty one)
20 Pig men
21 Skeleton
22 Slime

I don't know for sure what you mean with your very last question. The set of hero's or the set of enemies? I don't think you can change much about your set of hero's. But there are plenty of enemies. Just choose the ones that fit in best with your game mechanics.

I hope this helped.

Xacharias
Xacharias's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2015
Thanks a bunch X3M!

First of all, thanks for clarifying the difference between troll and ogre as well as ghoul and zombie. Is there a similar difference between undead and skeletons?

Second, I had to google Naga/Lamia. Didn't know that was the proper term for a "semi-snake-demon-thingy". Good to know and a really nice addition to the villains.

The very last question was just to hear some general input on the art style itself and how it resonates here in the forum. Personally I feel the art in a game like Smallworld really fits the simple mechanics and adds a touch of humor but I know many that prefers more classic fantasy illustrations such as D&D or Talisman for instance.

I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2015
Xacharias wrote:I'm quickly

Xacharias wrote:
I'm quickly putting together a rough draft for some Fantasy characters for a collaboration on a game with fellow game designer markgrafn here on BGDF.

Hoorah! :)

Quote:

Would be great to have some input on both heroes and villains and especially which to include in addition to the above?

Good list to start off with for sure.

Some other ideas that could possibly be added;

Bearmen/WereBear
Demon/Lesser Demon
Ratlings/Ratmen
Elementals (Fire, Earth, Wind, Water)
Titans
Gnomes
Centaurs
Cyclops
Giant Spider
Chimera
Griffin
Minotaur

Giant can be subdivided;
- Frost Giant
- Fire Giant
- Hill Giant
- Mountain Giant

Quote:

And also, please let us know if you think this is a commercially viable style or if it should be more "serious"?

Absolutely commercially viable! I love the look myself, and there are many games out there already (with more coming) that take a more lighthearted "comic" style of art.

Of course, as with all styles you will find detractors, but they are the minority in most cases (even if vocal about it).

Soulfinger
Soulfinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/06/2015
Xacharias wrote:The very last

Xacharias wrote:
The very last question was just to hear some general input on the art style itself and how it resonates here in the forum. Personally I feel the art in a game like Smallworld really fits the simple mechanics and adds a touch of humor but I know many that prefers more classic fantasy illustrations such as D&D or Talisman for instance.

The style is fine, although not terribly distinctive these days. You are a talented artist.

Gary Chalk did the old 2nd edition Talisman illustrations. I think he is a brilliant fantasy artist if you need some inspiration, and it doesn't hurt to check out the Lone Wolf books that he illustrated for Joe Dever.

For old D&D inspiration, check out Will McLean. He did a lot of comics for the early Dragon magazines, as well as the more humorous illustrations in the 1st ed AD&D PHB and DMG. I am nostalgic about the illustrations he did for the original Wizardry CRPG manual. Dave Trampier's old Wormy comic may be something else compatible with your style. Personally, I'm a huge fan of Jim Holloway's work for its dynamic composition and expressive characters.

As far as antagonists go, I'd go for something marginally unique instead of falling back entirely on fantasy trope. For example, Dragon's Lair had its Giddy Goons, Wizardy had Creeping Crud, Fallout's Glowing Ones or Deathclaws, or the meat monster in John Dies at the End. Anymore, I'd rather fight some kappa alongside my orcs. Likewise, it never hurts to slip something atypical, like a Janissary or Cossack, in with your more classic fantasy protagonists.

RGarner71
RGarner71's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2015
This art style is probably

This art style is probably the most effective in today's market due to it's vast appeal. As a father and gamer, I can tell you that it is hard to find a game that actually appeals to almost all age groups. This certainly fits.

As for more creatures, you have some undead, why not throw in some ethereal:

Wisp
Ghost/Spirit
Phantom/Specter (which I've always considered a sort of 'super ghost')
Shadow
Banshee
Angel/Angelic

Xacharias
Xacharias's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2015
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:

Absolutely commercially viable! I love the look myself, and there are many games out there already (with more coming) that take a more lighthearted "comic" style of art.

Of course, as with all styles you will find detractors, but they are the minority in most cases (even if vocal about it).

Really glad to hear that. Cheers for the much motivating feedback! :)

Soulfinger wrote:

The style is fine, although not terribly distinctive these days. You are a talented artist.

Many thanks! And I agree, the art is not that unique. As I am a beginner in this industry, would you say it is better to be unique and stand out or to have a somewhat familiar look n feel to it?

RGarner71 wrote:
This art style is probably the most effective in today's market due to it's vast appeal. As a father and gamer, I can tell you that it is hard to find a game that actually appeals to almost all age groups. This certainly fits.

Thank you so much for the additional suggestion for villains and input and advice concerning the art! Much appreciated. I just feel sorry I didn't find this place sooner. A lot of very helpful and smart people lurking around in these forums. Great to be a part of it!

And Soulfinger, terrific list of illustrators. I will have to check out their work in more detail. Also, I think you have a very good point in adding something unexpected to the mix of typical fantasy creatures. That would certainly spice things up a bit as well as making it stand out in the crowd.

Again, thanks! Will keep you updated on the development moving forward.

BENagy
BENagy's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/25/2013
Not an Artist but...

Everyone else has pitched in quite a few ideas for different "races". But if you want to cut costs, particularly for a rough draft or possibly even to keep mechanical complexity low (for example, having twenty different effects based on two levels of ten mechanics for your core races), try the old Final Fantasy trick: Reskin the same art with new colors, so for example, your skeleton (ex, level 5) has white bones, but your Undead (ex, level 15) has red bones.

If you need any more explanation, please feel free to reach out.

Xacharias
Xacharias's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2015
Good idea!

BENagy wrote:
try the old Final Fantasy trick: Reskin the same art with new colors, so for example, your skeleton (ex, level 5) has white bones, but your Undead (ex, level 15) has red bones.

Thank you BENagy! Even though I really like it when every card is unique this suggestion still has some benefits. Knowing myself though, I'll probably want to change a little more than just the color. Would probably opt for the armor and weapons as well. And the face expression. And pose. And amount of scars.. ;)

Soulfinger
Soulfinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/06/2015
Xacharias wrote:Many thanks!

Xacharias wrote:
Many thanks! And I agree, the art is not that unique. As I am a beginner in this industry, would you say it is better to be unique and stand out or to have a somewhat familiar look n feel to it?

I think it depends on your career goals. Are you an aspiring artist building a portfolio or an aspiring commercial illustrator selling a game? Artists like Frazetta, Brom, or DiTerlizzi have done tons of commercial work, but their signature style is what earned them a following in the long term. On the other hand, Dan Dussault and Charlène Le Scanff did illustration work for two games that I quite enjoyed, but I only know their names after looking them up just now, and I doubt that I'd recognize their work in a different context. Their illustrations helped drive sales though, and I'm sure illustrating a title that sold 10k+ units looks great on a résumé and cements some good professional contacts. The sweet spot is walking the line between fine art and commercial illustration. Mike Mignola, for example, has an identifiable style that just so happens to be commercially viable. Your work looks solid enough that I expect you have a choice in what style you choose and what direction you take with it. I wish you the best.

Masacroso
Masacroso's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
Well... the illustrations are

Well... the illustrations are fine but personally I dont like very much try to hide the violence, suffering or sadistic dimension of conflict... more over when are involved weapons.

In others words: I prefer reflect violence as it is... more if it is for a child. Same as thievery, mercenary job, etc... This is just my personal point of view but I think for public opinion it is fine.

Ofc the draws are very good, and more important, are consistent one with each other.

I dont know what kind of antagonist you want... but you can create ones by yourself, why you need to repeat standard ideas? You can just create your own monsters... someones that hunt in the night, from the air, in dungeons, someone with magic powers, someone with big strength, someone very faster, etc...

Sorry if Im too critic, I dont want to "destroy" in any way the way that other people like to do things but I need to be honest I says what I really think. And I think you can, at least, have with this commentary a different point of view.

Xacharias
Xacharias's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2015
More concepts

Haven't posted in a while. But here's a little update on the characters. As always, any comments, critique and feedback is much appreciated.

I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2015
I've always pictured Orcs

I've always pictured Orcs being smaller than that. :P

I like these. A lot. I have no complaints.

jrc5639
Offline
Joined: 11/19/2013
Fun Monsters

Here are monsters that would be funny if they were not going to kill you. They might fit in your theme.

Omni - Japanese spirit that steals the souls of children. It can only be seen by children and those who are drunk. Since the only people to see them are drunk, well you can imagine how wild the descriptions can be.

Ichneumon - a creature that kill dragons from the inside by getting eaten by them. These are a distant relative of the mongoose. But are vicious. Since they look so unimposing they could be fun, little dragon slayers. Apparent they can control minds including people and adventures.

Chimera - I think you could have some fun with this. Artistically.

I like all you current drawling's. As a non-artist I think they are fantastic.

Zag24
Offline
Joined: 03/02/2014
Your barbarian's blade seems

Your barbarian's blade seems awfully short for a two-handed handle. Otherwise, they look good. I like the style quite a bit.

schattentanz
schattentanz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2014
Xacharias wrote:Haven't

Xacharias wrote:
Haven't posted in a while. But here's a little update on the characters. As always, any comments, critique and feedback is much appreciated.

So, as much as I get it, all of them are "Characters", a.k.a. "the good ones"?
I thought, Trolls and Orcs were supposed to be antagonists?
Also: There is an Orc Warrior and an Orc Archer - then what is that Troll's proffession? Cook?
Also: There is a Warrior, a Barbarian and a Knight amd also a "Hero"? Hu? Does the Knight not qualify as a Hero? Or the Thief? Or the Wizard?

*confusion arises*

Kind regards,
Kai

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut