Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Art of Roleplaying Games

So here we are, a year since the last Art of Roleplaying Games show, which proved to be a resounding success. Chris Pramas and I decided it would be fun to do another one - just not during the height of Convention Season. So we chose the relatively quiet month of November.

The Art of Roleplaying Games II got off to a shaky start in part to Chris developing a bulging disk in his cervical spine and needing surgery in September. Despite a very successful surgery and recovery, Chris was AWOL for most of September, recouping at home. Meanwhile, while holding the fort, I had a wicked cold that knocked me down hard (I have no immune system to speak of). To add, my family suffered the loss of my grandfather, and Gabe Marquez announced his plans to leave Krab Jab Studio the following month. My fort-holding was hanging by a thread, to say the least.
Vinod Rams, Red Dragon Codex
The good thing was that most of the artists from last year were open to contributing to this year, with a strong show of local talent. We have our "regulars" - RK Post, Heather Hudson, Terese Nielsen, and Echo Chernik - along with Samuel Araya, Liz Danforth, Anthony S Waters and Drew Tucker from last year. New to Krab Jab is Franz Vohwinkel, Vinod Rams, Pierre Carles, Chuck Lukacs and David Nash. Resident Krab Jabber Mark Tedin rounds out the list.
Heather Hudson, Out of the Closet
From Green Ronin's collection, we have three modified skulls by Jason Soles, and from Harebrained Schemes collection we have the Larry Elmore Shadowrun cover from 1989, and a Shadowrun Returns "Stuffer Shack" concept piece.

The games represented are a variety, from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, to Shadowrun. Star Wars, Battletech, Mage Knight, Dragonlance, Heresy, Earthdawn, Unhallowed Metropolis and Wheel of Time are some of the other names of games, with a few publication pieces from Eldritch Entertainment, Onyx Path, and Pagan Publishing.
Raven Mimura, Combat Mage
But let's say you don't play these games. You don't even know what roleplaying is, what those clunky dice are used for or why there is a need for character sheets. Can you really enjoy a show like this? The answer is yes, and here's why:

Roleplaying games allow people to create fantastical characters and run them through "campaigns". The artwork created for these games are meant to get our own creative, fantastical juices flowing. They paint a picture of the future, of the past, of alien worlds filled with mythical creatures. It's pure fantasy in its basic form, giving the viewer a glimpse of a world that is filled with potential to manipulate and experience. You can't tell me that people who don't game have no fantasy life, no "other place/other time" their imaginations vacation to from time to time.
Samuel Araya, Teloch Vovin
This collection of 32 pieces of art is worth the time to absorb, to enjoy, and for gamers, to reminisce and connect. Even if you don't game (and I don't) its a really great collection of pieces to check out. These are top notch artists - you don't have to be into fantasy to see that.

This show runs through December 5th, 2013. - Julie Baroh

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