Tag Archives: rpg

Tabletop Comeback

25 Mar

Video games are amazing. There’s no denying it. Many of us enjoy following franchises, characters, and developers as new games come out year after year. These games transport us to a new world where we can be anything: an assassin, a hero in a World War, a warrior from a world of fantasy, or even an Italian plumber. Being able to become someone new and do things we would never be able to in real life are part of what makes video games so inviting, addicting, and enjoyable. Even though throwing ourselves into these universes for entertainment can be beyond fun, sometimes it’s good to step back from the virtual world and take part in something physical, alive, and social: I’m talking about board games, of course.


Senet, one of the oldest board games of all time

Board games date back to even before 3500 BC. Nearly as long as we’ve been alive and interactive together as a race, we’ve wanted to play games together and have fun. The first games of mankind were very primal and simple, yet even this far back they still focused on competition and opposing your partner. Forwarding to the 20th and 21st century, board games still (for the most part) take on the idea of opposing teams battling against each other for a common goal of domination. ChessMonopolyRiskBattleship, and Mastermind all require you to out maneuver and out think your opponent. Despite the competition aspect, board games have stayed such a popular medium of entertainment for thousands of years because of how they bring people together. There’s nothing more fun than sitting down with family and friends to share the same experience together in a fun and healthy way. Although the general idea of board games has stayed the same ever since 3500 BC, they continue to evolve, change, and adapt to the new times, making sure that they are always fresh and exciting.

We all remember playing board games with our families when we were very young. Our parents showed us classics like CheckersMouse Trap, and Guess Who? that helped entertain us without the need for a screen or going outside. Those family game nights where we all sat down, laughed, made some food, and had a great time were some of the best times of my life, mainly because they were few and far between.

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Obscure but Awesome

6 Mar

Have you ever played an amazing video game, but no one else seems to have heard of it? There are some great popular games out there, but there are other equally deserving titles that don’t get as much exposure. These gems deserve some attention and some more fan art made for them! I discovered there are  artists out there making art based on these games, but I would love to see more. I’ve asked Mom’s Basement members and other avid gamers about their favorite obscure games and created a gallery below of their picks.

Torin’s Passage

Torin’s Passage is a fantasy/adventure computer game from 1995. Despite being made by Al Lowe, creator of Leisure Suit Larry, this game is a family-friendly game I have fond memories of playing when I was a kid. You embark on a quest to find your captured parents, travelling through unique, nested planets and solving puzzles along the way.

After playing this game as a kid, I always loved the name Torin, and decided if I ever had a son, that’s what I would name him. And I did!

More Torin's Passage by sweet-pea-soup

More Torin’s Passage by sweet-pea-soup

The Lands Below by zazumii-chan

The Lands Below by zazumii-chan


Nier is a SquareEnix game from 2010 that definitely doesn’t have the exposure it deserves. This beautiful, melancholy game features a gorgeous soundtrack, a storyline with twists and turns, and interesting replay value. I can’t tell you more or it would spoil it. Just go play it!

Nier Replicant by semsei

Nier Replicant by semsei

Nier - Kaine by Dice9999

Nier – Kaine by Dice9999

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Battle Party

9 Jan
Fantasy Cover - PulpComicsMgzn by XabzOnFire

Fantasy Cover – PulpComicsMgzn by XabzOnFire

When I was younger, I was never really into classic fantasy. I was strictly a sci-fi girl. But when I started dating my husband, I discovered fantasy could be really awesome. He played D&D, Magic: The Gathering, and played hosts of fantasy-themed video games. He also urged me to read some of the Dragonlance series, which convinced me there was room for both sci-fi and fantasy in my heart.

Though I’ve never played D&D, I’ve played enough other fantasy games to know what makes a good team. And when you’re going out to fight monsters, it’s best to have a party with you!

Penultimate Fantasy by kalessaradan

Penultimate Fantasy by kalessaradan

Final Fantasy Classic by AIBryce

Final Fantasy Classic by AIBryce

Fantasy Fellowship by WillDan

Fantasy Fellowship by WillDan

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6 Jun

I’ve always been drawn to the bad guys. I think part of it has to do with my shy, law-abiding nature. Not that I have fantasies about committing arson or anything, but I always wish I could speak my mind more, or do what I want without worrying about judgement from others. I think I like to live vicariously through them, or in the case of my worldly, brutally honest husband, learn a thing or two about coming out of my shell.

There are plenty of villains and bad boys in games, movies, and comics. There has to be, or things would get dull very quickly. But some are more memorable than others. The following is a gallery of my favorite evil-doers, along with some of yours. :)

Vegeta: Failure by clefchan

First up is my absolute favorite – Vegeta, from Dragon Ball Z. Many people love Vegeta and it’s not hard to see why. He’s a  cruel, blood-thirsty warrior prince, who eventually, thanks to Goku and the gang, becomes an ally, family man, and even a friend – all without losing his fierceness and attitude.

I have quite a few favorite paintings of Vegeta, but I love this digital painting by clefchan. It does a great job of portraying Vegeta as he often is – brooding and frustrated at his failure to surpass Goku in fighting ability.

Read on for more!

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9 May

Concept Art: Landscape by Delun

Whether you’re walking across a creaking rope bridge to a cliff-side hut, perched precariously above sparkling turquoise waters in Myst, or sitting in the cold light in moldering, bloody ruins in Dark Souls, beautifully executed scenery adds a wonderful element to games, and makes them even more absorbing.

I love landscape art, whether in games, paintings, or photography. It’s my favorite eye-candy and bonus points if there are fantasy elements. It doesn’t have to be a serene mountain-scape for me to find it beautiful (although those are my favorite to paint). I love the scenery in Fallout 3- if you stand in a house in Minefield and see the peeling, stained wallpaper, the stagnant, brown water in the bathtub, and the tiny dust mites drifting through the air, you really feel like you’re there. All the fine details combine to create another world.

One can only guess what stories these gorgeous worlds hold,  but it certainly appears the travelers in the painting above  by Delun are on an incredible adventure. Read on for more!

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Manga Drawing Tutorials and Tips

2 May

Thank You For Those Days by Zaphk

I’ve always enjoyed drawing – landscapes, fantasy creatures, even realistic portraits. I also liked drawing cartoon style characters, but I always did them my own way and it was hit or miss. I decided to go back to the basics and learn the right way.

I recently purchased Shojo Wonder Manga Art School. It has character drawing basics, such as face proportions, hair, clothing and fantasy backgrounds, and it also includes how to paint your illustrations with art markers.

The drawing part has been the easiest step. Now that I have the techniques outlined in the book, it hasn’t taken me long to create some line art – this wastelander drawing, for instance.

Wastelander Line Art by Alia Bierwag

To get started on your own drawing, I suggest purchasing a good art book like the one mentioned above. (Psst! Craft stores like Jo-Anns and Michaels often sell these kinds of books, and if you have a coupon, you can get them at a discount. I bought Shojo Wonder Manga for half price with a coupon.)

Another awesome resource for tips and tutorials is DeviantART. Here are a few good ones for the basics: Constructing a Manga FaceFace Side View, Anime Eyes Collection, and Big Guide to Drawing the Body.

I outlined my wastelander drawing with a Prismacolor brush tip pen. The next step was color. This is the part that scared me the most. I’ve used colored pencils, acrylics, and oils, so I’m familiar with blending and color placement, but I struggled to find skin tone shaded markers that matched one another. Don’t be fooled by the color on the outside of the tube, the marker color may be much different. I tested each color next to the others on a scrap of paper right there in the art store. You can also find great deals on slightly used markers on eBay. Prismacolor and Copic are good brands.

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