Back with Art

I was going to say this in a different order, but decided against it. I returned from the convention yesterday, and while I did enjoy my vacation, in some ways it was exhausting (and a bad mattress did not help). While there I met an artist, Taylor Fischer, who I commissioned to sketch a character that’s been a private joke between my wife and I for a while. I present to you Safety Mermaid.


I should add that her appearance would likely change somewhat, but as far as I’m concerned, she’s a canon character in the Stars & Shadows universe. Safety Mermaid (SM for short, as I haven’t come up with her full original identity) was a minor actress whose superpower spontaneously turned her into a mermaid permanently, including the ability to breath water and the like. While mermaids exist in the setting, they tend not to get along terribly well with humans, so she’s something of an oddity. SM took up some acting for movies, but has primarily focused on Ocean Conservation since her transformation, and also stars in a number of videos for children, which is where she gained her moniker, as she put on a safety vest and hardhat to warn children of the dangers of beaches and the like. She’s odd, and I think I’m going to have her living in the area of Florida, in-world.

Anyway, I did attend PaizoCon, and had the pleasure of trying an early peek at Paizo’s new playtest for Pathfinder‘s second edition. I enjoyed it a lot… and knowing myself, I’m going to shut up because I could go on for hundreds of words into details that most people won’t care about. Suffice to say, I had fun with it. I also had the opportunity to talk to people who do their licensing and their head of art, which gave me some food for thought.

I’ve updated the links to Down with the Queen‘s audiobooks, adding in the iTunes version, and I’ve already gotten back to work on The Avatar’s Flames. I imagine it’ll take me a little while to build up to speed again, but I’m going to do my best!

I hope everyone else had a good couple of weeks!

3 thoughts on “Back with Art

  1. First of all, welcome back! I’ll make it out to PaizoCon myself someday. Someday. *sob*

    Regarding Safety Mermaid… Given what you’ve divulged, any chance of her getting a cameo in a future S&S short, or perhaps one of her own? Also, for some reason, the first thing that went through my mind when I saw that artwork was: “Wow, she needs some kind of safety motto (like Smokey the Bear’s “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”) that she’s contractually obligated to say in her videos.” Reason being? Something about her expression there makes it look like she forgot to say it and has to do another take. I’m not exactly sure why since she doesn’t really look annoyed or anything, I just get an “Are you serious?” vibe from the picture. Nice work, though!

    Regarding PF2, maybe I’m in the minority, but I really wouldn’t mind hearing a few hundred words about those details. :) Particularly your thoughts on changes to magic and/or cosmology in the second edition, some of the stuff that I’ve heard about second hand and through the videos Paizo has released sounds extremely interesting. For example, the stuff regarding Somatic/Verbal/Material component phases for spellcasting, and the way they revised heightening spells into a more flexible method of spell lines. I’d like to hear any specific thoughts or comments you have on it, but is it safe to assume you approve (given that it seems somewhat more similar to the system of spellcasting you used in Ancient Ruins)?

    Anyways, if you have the time and inclination to go on some Pathfinder tangents, there’s at least one person onboard for that journey.

    P.S. Not limited to the subjects of cosmology and the magic system, those are just particular interests of mine. :)


  2. Hehe. I’ll have to come up with something for Safety Mermaid. She’s… odd. The version of her above is based off a much more cautious version of the character from a private game with my wife. That one is rather nervous, and pure fantasy.

    For Pathfinder, I might think about talking about it, likely in a ‘page’ format, or on a particular day of the week. I don’t want to flood the people who’re here to read with hundreds of words of geeking out. That being said, what they’ve said about Pathfinder 2nd Edition sounds a LOT like what I was planning for Senkar (Through the Fire’s world) mechanically, and Ancient Dreams had its magic based on Senkar’s with a few adjustments to make it seem less refined. I approve of a lot of aspects of what I tried, though I remain cautious. Just because the game system works at level 1 doesn’t mean it’ll work across all levels.


  3. I’m trying to imagine that character (fantasy ver.) and “She’s… odd” is pretty much all I can come up with. I bet there were some funny moments in that game, though.

    Regarding the Pathfinder stuff, I’ll give it a look if and when you do decide to talk about it. And yeah, the similarities between your mechanics and the PF 2e mechanics kinda jumped out. So true about it working across all levels vs first level, though. On the one hand, I’m expecting that they’re paying extra attention to that since it’s a problem they’ve acknowledged in the past. On the other hand… balance is hard, particularly with large amounts of content spread over many levels.

    So far, most of what I’ve heard has been pretty encouraging and suggests that the 2nd edition will be a superior vehicle at least in regards to mechanics if not storytelling, so I guess I’m roughly where you are on it.


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