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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hump Day Hildebrandt

Most gamers and fantasy enthusiasts are familiar with the Greg and Tim Hildebrandt because of their work on the Lord of the Rings calendars.  Many other great works have been done by them (both together and individually) as well.  One of these is the piece that Greg says really put them on the map, it's from a movie that you might be somewhat familiar with.

“My brother Tim and I created the first ‘Lord of the Rings‘ calendar in 1976 and that brought us international fame — but when the ‘Star Wars‘ poster hit in 1977, it really blew us up,” the 71-year-old said. “The attention to that piece has never let up.”

I am presenting you with a look at the "rare virgin" art of the Star Wars movie poster.  This is the art that the Hildebrandt's presented to George Lucas.  He had them add something to the poster before he was happy with it.  Take a look and see if you can tell what is missing from the version you should be more familiar with.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dragon Kings Updates and Crowd Participation

These images are two possibilities for the cover of the main "Dragons Kings" setting book.  At present, the black outline seems to be the winner, and I agree with that judgement.  This was posted to the "Dragon Kings" pages on G+ and Facebook on Friday and voting commenced.  This morning A new vote was posted, along with a little inside look at part of a map by none other than +Alyssa Faden.  The font used on said map can be voted on here.  Alyssa's involvement was announced on the Dragon Kings Project website on July 9th.  Three other notable folks were added to the roster of this massive undertaking as well.  Namely award winning composer Frank Klepacki, veteran game designer Thomas Reid and former Queensryche guitarist Mike Stone. 

In addition the first two game systems supported by the "rules PDFs" have been announced.  These being Savage Worlds and Pathfinder.  It is worth noting that Reid will be heading up the Pathfinder Rules PDF.  But as this is an OSR blog, I'm sure that you're wondering if any retro-clones or other old school games will be supported.  While I don't have confirmation right now, it does look as if someone might be working on a clone variation.

If you aren't familiar with this project and all that it entails click the here below and be transported to Khitus!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump-day Hildebrandt

There are two reasons that I chose to use the Hildebrandt's for my art feature on Gamers & Grognards.  First, their early are is some of the best "old school" and early rpg era fantasy and sci-fi art around (in my opinion.)  Second, the Middle Earth era art of these wonderful men was a VERY big influence on my early roleplaying.  When I was three years old my dad would show me his 70's era Hildebrandt Brothers "Lord of the Rings" calendars, which I think had a great deal to to with my love of fantasy as a genre and Middle Earth as a setting.  This carried on later in life and I consistently went to these images for campaign fodder in my earl career as a GM/Judge.  Therefore, for our first piece of art for "Hump-Day Hildebrandt" I give you one of my favorite all time fantasy paintings, and the painting that defined what any great demon should be (to me) "The Balrog":

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Return, Lightning and Friday Funnies

Well, I've been back from Michicon and my vacation since Thursday, unfortunately, lightning struck the power lines near my home Friday and I have been nearly internet-less, save for work since.  That said, I will get a re-cap of my Michicon experience up soon.  You may have noticed the lack of Friday Funnies.  I have noticed that only my hard core readers seem to be going for these, so I am currently doing away with them, as it was relatively lame anyhow.  I will, however, have a new art installment in line with Old School gaming up every Wednesday, starting this week featuring the art of one or both Hildebrandt Brothers.  Sorry about the lame post, I just wanted to share the reason for the lack of blogging recently!

I leave you all with a real photo of a Grue:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Michicon Update: Location, Food and Full Schedule

It is may pleasure to present you with more complete information regarding this weekend's upcoming convention, Michicon 41.  First off, there is a full schedule posted at this time, outside of the RPG events which I posted yesterday.  It can be viewed in full here.  The location of the event is Oakland University 2200 N Squirrel Rd, Rochester, MI 48309-4402, in the Oakland Center.  Here is a map of the Center and locations for games, vendors, etc.

There will also be food available (some of the time.)

So, if you're anywhere close, come on down!  It looks to be a great time this year!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Michicon 2013 Schedule, Now With More Summer Classics

Without further Ado, I give you the complete RPG circuit for this Year's Michicon!



  • Severing Ties, Pathfinder, John Olijnyk 
  • Sons of the Dragon, Feng Shui Champions, William Geiger 
  • A Beginning Test, Thunderhead RPG, Donald Jones 
  • A Frightfully Cheerful Role Playing Game, Ghotbusters RPG, Matt Onica 
  • Before the Dawn, Part 1: The Bloodcove Disguise, Pathfinder, DJ. Mitchell 
  • Operation Fishhook; CovertOps, Jim Stryker 
  • The Great TARDIS Robbery, Savage Worlds, Alan Meranda 


  • Feast of Sigils, Pathfinder, Dylan Wilson 
  • Before the Dawn, Part 2: Rescue at Aslant Ridge, Pathfinder, DJ. Mitchell 
  • Dinosaurs, Magic, and Nazis, Oh My!, Hollow Earth, Mark Rosenberger 
  • The Tower out of Time, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Adam Muszkiewicz 
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Dare?, Deadlands Noir, Alan Meranda 



  • The Green Market, Pathfinder, Jeremy Hallum 
  • Wild Card, Pathfinder, DJ Mitchell 
  • Tomb of Horrors, Swords & Wizardry, Ryan Thompson 
  • A Frightfully Cheerful Role Playing Game, Ghotbusters RPG, Matt Onica 
  • First Steps, Part 1: In Service to Lore, Pathfinder, Alex McGuire 
  • A Beginning Test, Thunderhead RPG, Donald Jones 
  • Magic the Scattering, Dungeons & Dragons, Kathi Milliken 
  • Problems In Transit, Legends of Arcanis, Melinda Reid 

  • The Refuge of Time, Pathfinder, Dylan Wilson 
  • Wild Card, Pathfinder, DJ Mitchell 
  • Walking on Eggshells, Legends of Arcanis, Devin Redd 
  • The Ghost Tower of Inverness, Savage Worlds, John Jamieson 
  • First Steps, Part 2: To Delve the Dungeon Deep, Pathfinder, Alex McGuire 
  • Moving Pictures for Exhibition, Hollow Earth, Mark Rosenberger 
  • Christmas in July, Dungeons & Dragons, Kathi Milliken 
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Dare?, Deadlands Noir, Alan Meranda 


  • Veteran's Vault, Pathfinder, Kaitie Mitchell 
  • Wild Card, Pathfinder, DJ Mitchell 
  • The City of Basalt, Bare Bones D&D, Jim Stryker 
  • Once Upon a Time in Metra, Legends of Arcanis, Melinda Reid 
  • First Steps, Part 3: A Vision of Betrayal, Pathfinder, Alex McGuire 
  • Warhammer RPG, Phillip Kraft 
  • To Catch A Fallen Star, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Adam Muszkiewicz 
  • Evil on the Edge of Dark Justice, Realms of Cthulhu, Alan Meranda 
Now, you may remember that I tried to kick off something I called "The Summer Classic" a little while ago.  This incorporating classic modules or classic play, or for that matter anything relatively "Old School."  Well as it happens There are a few events that turned out to fit the bill.  Friday we have Adam of Dispatches From Kickassistan running a DCC session.  The Ghostbusters game might also be a consideration, and I'm glad to see this West End classic back in a con!  Saturday morning I will be running Tomb of Horrors using Swords & Wizardry complete as my engine of choice, and also there will be more Ghostbusters.  In the afternoon there is a "Ghost Tower of Inverness" Savage Worlds converstion that I just might be playing in.  Finally, for the last session, old schoolers can look forward to another DCC romp with Adam!  I am definitely looking forward to this.  Last year there were only three events in the old school RPG style, and two were mine!  This year it looks like we're doing much better.  If you are so inclined and want to help out the blog, I have made up a 1st Annual Summer Classic button that can be purchased here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tim Brown Interview With Fanboy Comics About "Dragon Kings" Project

Fanboy Comics has done an interview on the up and coming Dragon Kings campaign setting.  You may have heard about Dragon Kings, the new Gaming/Music/Art project from Dark Sun creator Timothy Browm.  If not, read up, I can wait. OK,  so, it strikes me as cool for a variety of reasons.  First off, it is system agnostic.  Second, some level of story will be told by a combination of art, much by Brom, and progressive rock.  Now, I am a huge prog and uber-prog fan.  Much of my inspiration comes from listening to Hawkwind, early Mike Oldfield, early Queen, RUSH, ELP, Rick Wakefield and more.  That said, this sounds really cool to me.  Third, the project will have multiple systems supported.  Currently there will definitely be a Pathfinder version, possibly a Savage Worlds version and now I have it on a good source that  certain OSR personality may be doing work on a Swords & Wizardry version.  So, the OSR can possibly look forward to this setting.

Dragon Kings cover art by Brom

If you want more info than what is on the website, you can read the entire aforementioned interview here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Treasure Trove of D&D Ads Part the 3rd: The Sears Catalog

Behold a time when RPG's were available in the Sear's Holiday Catalog (which I used to make check marks in to show relatives what I wanted for Christmas.)