Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homage du Jour

The Avremier 0e project started as an homage. In numerous ways, the booklets have honored the earliest days of the game. That trend is not likely to change anytime soon. The latest tribute is to the late, great Dave Trampier - specifically, his AD&D Monster Manual rendition of the rakshasa.

In the course of my research, I was reminded that the rakshasa did not always have the backward hands we all know and love today. That seems to have come from a Dragon Magazine #84 article. The accompanying illustration also may be the first non-tiger rakshasa I'd ever seen.

Starting with the 2e Monstrous Manual, these traits were included with the standard rakshasa description. Still, just about every piece of rakshasa art I've ever seen has the thing with a tiger's head. The rakshasa of Avremier are different - this one in particular.

  • Nycaniculus: The rabbit-headed rakshasa of Black Rabbit Manse – the ruling seat of Duskfell Glebe. White-eyed, he often pretends to be blind. Has a talent for manipulating luck, and known to be something of a gambler. Dressed in severe black garb similar to traditional clergy. Lord of the Duskfell Glebe al-mi’raj. Known as the Black Rabbit or the Black Hare.
Upon deciding to render a portrait of the villain, I was reminded fondly of Tramp's iconic version. My sketch, with DAT's for comparison, is pasted below.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Going Fourth

Mid-year is nigh and another Avremier 0e supplement is in the can. Three out of five. Not gonna lie - it feels good, and a bit overwhelming. This project is more than halfway done and still going strong.

What's next? Eldritch Avremier.

This whole thing started as an homage to the original books - including the supplements. Avremier (Supplement 0) was a direct homage to Greyhawk in every possible way. Dhavon (Supplement I) was something of an homage to Blackmoor. Mauvolg is essentially more of the same - because it was important to the project. Next up, by way of logical progression, is Eldritch Avremier. For the purpose of this project, Eldritch Avremier deals with the nature and use of arcane magic in the setting - the Arcanaflow. Divine magic will be covered in the final volume. Eldritch Avremier will also introduce the Vastness - other planes and their structure in the well as some of their denizens (monsters). And, as might be expected, there will be artifact items.

The cover mockup of Eldritch Avremier references the color range of an arcane spellcaster's personal aura - the means by which the caster perceives and interacts with the force of magic known as the Arcanaflow. In total, the Arcanaflow "system" of magic for Avremier is complex and versatile. The current challenge is deciding how much to present in this small booklet so that is it usable in gameplay, but not too overwhelming as a starting point. But, that's *my* problem.

Eldritch Avremier will be a departure from the three existing volumes. It will be dealing less with the Avremier setting and more with what lies behind-the-scenes. The final volume, Deities, Deminities & Personalities, will be structured much the same way.

What about the rest of the campaign setting - you ask? What about those nifty-sounding regions beyond the human lands? When will we get to learn about Parateva, Undomni, Mara Imperium, Nekari, Chongoku, and the rest? They sound neat! Well, I can promise they are all coming. In what format remains to be determined. The intent is to bring the entirety of Avremier to those who want it.

The first five booklets started as a project for myself. With each supplement published, demand and interest have grown. It has expanded nearly beyond my limited resources at the time of this writing. Plans are being made for publishing Avremier (and more) in 2018 - and beyond. For now, I give you Supplements 0, I, and II. By this time next year, you shall have Supplements III and IV. Then, we shall truly celebrate!