Visionary Illo: Morning Mage Study

Backer Jed (jedo) also gave me several concepts to work from, and one stood out for it’s ACKS specific imagery: a young mage studying her spellbook at the start of the day. In ACKS, mages prepare their spells by making arcane calculations and measurements, so it was a cool idea that allowed me to envision what this might look like. Jed had lots of great input, which I’ll post below.

A third idea is more of an illustration of how a MU prepares their spells for the day. Based on the latest description from Alex, a magic user has to make copious calculations everyday, based on the position of the stars, planets, ley lines, etc. to know how to adjust their spell so it works for that day.

I was thinking of a fairly peaceful outdoor scene, where in the background some party members seem to be trying to crowbar their way into a tomb/dungeon entrance, but the focus of the image is on a Magic User who is sitting cross-legged on a rock, and has some-sort of device similar to an astrolabe or a sextant, but with other arcane bits on it, and a plumb-line hanging down below.

What if half of the magic user’s open spellbook contained a mandala-like illustration? I would be really into that. You mentioned it could be sketchbook-like - is there anything else you would want in there? I’m thinking of having the book propped against a rock or something so the viewer can see it fairly clearly.

That sounds pretty cool. It would be neat if the mandala also had a little of the time bandits map vibe, or the pirates of the carribean map included in it. I was also thinking of something like the Voynich manuscript, but also I like the idea of scraps of other books pasted into the pages, and sticking out the edges of other pages, like the Grail Diary in Indy 3.


I am not so much into the gandalf type MU, partially because then the scene feels like the scene in the fellowship of the ring where they are trying to get into Moria. Also, it is just so cliched.

I think adventurers are young- those fool hardy enough too go delving for treasure, so the MU should be young too. I like,the idea of them having lots of esoteric tools and charms hanging from their belt, etc. But a female wizard wiith an Indian or Persian style sounds really cool to me.

Also had the thought that the MU has talismans written/tattoed on their arms and any other exposed skin. Sort of taking the style of Henna Tattoos, and mixing it with magical talismans.

Not sure if that would make the figure way to busy though- this is starting to get crazy detailed. :) But maybe some of the Sanskrit in the Mandela is mirrored on her arms.
Ryan: here are a couple of thumbnails that I worked up this evening. I did the one on the right first and really like the pose - I haven't really done a large character illustration from the front yet, so I thought I'd have her looking intensely at her plumb line device - that may be hard to see in the tiny thumb but it's right in front of her.. Then I remembered you wanted this out doors (not in a cave!) so I drew the quick sketch to the left to show a different environment - in the background a couple of distant figures are prying open a sealed door which is flanked by guardian statues.
I wanted to avoid mimicking the other mage-at-work image too closely, is that ok? This pose also helps me to showcase her books more. When I work out the penciling I'll add as much tattooing and magical device clutter as I think I can manage without creating too much noise.

Also, I may try a pose with her body facing slightly more toward the book, but her head and arm still directed towards the viewer. I’m thinking now that would be more interesting in terms of composition


Looks great, and sounds like a winner. I agree that her body should be a little more toward the book, and she may have just twisted toward the viewer as she swung the plumb line around, for a moment when the image occurred.

The main image is not displaying “because it contains errors” (for me, at least). :frowning:

Thanks for the heads-up - I had some trouble w/ WP this morning. I reposted the image, let me know if you have trouble viewing still!

I have to say if I wasn’t already hooked into buying ACK when it’s available to the public, this image would have had me anyway. I love the detail in what is, to many, such a mundane (and hand-waved) part of your typical fantasy RPG.

Again, great ideas and execution, a long way from Pathfinder’s stripper sorceress. I do think these ACKS specific images work best and now I’m wondering that the ideas I sent are too generic.

Sean, I think I’m going to work on your dwarven craftpriestess idea - that’s pretty ACKS-specific and a great visual! feel free to send me more ideas if you like, but I think that one is going to be good.

Cool, I’d be happy what you do with the DCP

Cool, I’d be happy to see what you do with the DCP

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