Monday, April 13, 2009

The Evil Sorcerer's Workshop

In 1983 I did a series of illustrations for a role-playing game called "The Evil Ruins." It involved a selection of stock characters exploring and finding bad stuff in the ruins of a castle. One thing they find is the workshop of an evil sorcerer or alchemist. I took my inspiration from the famous "Prisons" illustrations of Piranesi in doing this piece. You (or the game player) can see evidence not only of vivisection but of grave-robbing or even human sacrifice. It's just not a nice place. But in the lower left corner, you see a bottle of glowing substance sitting on a table. Your job in the game was to steal this bottle without alerting the evil sorcerer. The game was published by Mayfair Games at the end of 1983. Back then: no personal computers. No cell phones. No Internet except for a privileged few. No handheld computer gadgets. No iPods. No CDs. No DVD's. You played this game on pieces of paper, with dice, calculating by writing with pencils. Some gamers still play this way, I've heard. 

"Evil Sorcerer's Workshop" is ink on Bristol board, 11" x 7", fall 1983.


Mike said...

This art takes me back to old board-game based role-playing games I used to play when I was a kid. Hero's Quest mostly. And more recently Warhammer Quest.
I could never wrap my head around the traditional pencil and paper RPGs.

Tristan Alexander said...

WOW! I love this one. Even though it does have the "Fantasy Game" illustration look, it also has the old, Durer etching look. Very Nice!