Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tower Items

Back in February, I posted about updating the portraits for my homemade board game Tower. To the left you can see each character's original starting items. In design terms, these items were thought of after the initial Tower set had been made as a way to balance out the characters...give cool items to weaker ones, and relatively innocuous items to the stronger ones. From a artistic perspective, I enjoy looking back at older artwork of mine and re-thinking how I'd tackle it now. Item art is also one of those things I really enjoy as a reader. It informs me all about the world and what the overall aesthetic is for that place.(Knolled item images are really cool. Hannah Christenson does it very well: examples 1, 2, 3

So this week, here are all 15 new Tower item paintings with info on each:

Ambidextrous Potion
Quiver Dare, the Gnomish Acrobat gets this 3 use potion which allows him to use two weapons at once and gain all the benefits from each.

Amulet of Power
Luthor Givem'ell needed a little something so as a Battle Mage he could have a more aggressive attack than the other magic users. This 3 use amulet allows him to cast two spells in the same turn.

Animal Companion
Solae Pathfinder, the Elven Ranger, starts the game with an animal companion who can take a weaker second attack for her after she fails to kill a monster. Her companion can only be used four times.

Bag of Holding
Fike the Mox, the human barbarian gets a useful item that allows him to store 2 items which can not be stolen by another player or dropped if attacked by a monster.

The Drow Assassin Demtremi O'Ballas starts the game with five sets of caltrops (spikes left on the floor to wound your enemies) which can be placed on stratigic spaces to prevent other heroes from reaching the main gate with their winning treasure amount

Cloak of Darkness
Lucas Taver, the Elven Thief needed something which made him better at stealing from other players than the other heroes, so he starts the game with a cloak that hides him more easily.

Prayer of Equality
This item of Packus Shortbeard, the Dwarven Cleric, has spawned many an argument at the Petersen gaming table. It's used to redistribute everyone's treasure amongst all the players, and not by gold amount, but by the count of cards.

Holy Relic
Madalyne Chevalier, a Human Paladin starts the game with this item which gives her an all-game bonus to defend against all monsters

Hypnotic Harp
For Annice Quinn, the Human Bard, this starting item allows her twice per game to remove one type of monster from the game on her current board level. The monsters hear the tune and shuffle out of the Tower.

Ninja Rope
Rien Draak, the Gnomish Ninja, gets an item which allows him to escape from a combat situation without any penalty hit from the monster.

Pipe Weed
Dalton Mattock the Dwarven Armorer already has 3 wounds he can suffer before he dies (compared to everyone elses 2) but this starting item allows him to relax, heal, and gain back a wound twice per game.

Rune of Determination
Fisher Spaskey, the Dwarven Berzerker, and one of the most powerful characters in the game, has this small item which allows him to avoid any trapped rooms (though still giving him the option of facing the most powerful 'trap' monster in the game)

Seed Pods
These 3 use pods explode into a massive snare of vines upon impact and tangle any monster in a room allowing Tyne Mossbrook to snag the treasure without ever having to enter combat.

Spirit Scimitar
Pax Teahille, the Halfling Preist needed some offensive help, so she gets this spectral blade which has a few uses each at different combat levels.

Summon Monster
J'han Silverthatch, the Elven Mage, has the option to re-enter a cleared room and summon another monster from that level. It gives him a chance of gaining another useful treasure card.

This was purely an exercise in enjoying revamping old artwork. I still have no firm plans to rework the rest of Tower or release it. But if ever I do, I'll have this current artwork to use or base new designs from.

2014 Appearances:
San Diego Comic Con: July 23-27
Boston Comic Con: August 8-10
NY Comic Con: Oct. 9-12

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