March 2014 Dragon Kings Project Update

The Dragon Kings World Book is completely written and in the final stages of editing, then off to the printer! Mike, Mark, Frank and I are just about done with all the CD tracks, as well, having put the final touches to the intro and a couple of key songs in the studio just this week.

Also, great news, Dragon Kings is going to be part of the CORE RPG from Lester Smith. Check it out at www.corerpg.com

Here’s Thomas Baxa’s great rendition of the Penmai, as well as a new creature from the Bestiary, the Regelth, or Stone Worm:

Penmai

Regelth (Stone Worm)

In the deepest deserts, nothing can survive upon the dunes exposed to the relentless sun. The rulers of these forsaken places take refuge beneath the surface and flow through the desolation as easily as fish through water.

Regelthi, or stone worms as most call them, are creatures of living rock. They are two meters wide and up to 20 meters long, and their weight surpasses two tons (the largest being four tons). Despite a lack of teeth, they eat and digest stone, preferring crystals and hard rock, though they do rarely surface through sand on the trail of certain foods. Wherever they burrow beneath the dunes, they leave behind caverns and dark spaces. An adventurer in such a place may think he’s found a refuge from the surface world, but the denizens here cannot abide intruders and attack with all haste.

Stone worms are mineral eaters, churning up and excreting enormous wealth in their wakes. Plunderers seek the results of the digestion: the red tear stones. Regelthi can eat more than half a ton of crystals per day and they produce a lot of silt and around 10 kilograms of red tears mixed with this grey silt. Red tears are particularly coveted gems, affordable only to the richest Khitans.

The regelth appears very slow but it was one treacherous attack. It sucks the unwary into his mouth by massive amounts of suction. They don’t prefer meat into their diet, but victims dissolve very fast in a system designed to break down rock and stone. Its hide may also look soft and wet but is in fact tough, impermeable skin. If the creature is killed, very few craftsmen or armorsmiths can transform the hide into something useful.

Regelsh warrens can reach deep beneath the desert, sometimes as far as a mile directly into the ground. They extend for many miles in all directions without any rhyme or reason to their design (as they are often dug in the search for food); getting lost in them is easy to do for any non-regelthi. Caverns dug out near the surface often are unstable, and desert denizens often fall into them and become trapped; such creatures, desperate for escape, can present particularly savage encounters among the dark warrens.

Thanks again, Dragon Kings fans, for making all this possible!

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
9 March

World Book update and new creature art

Exciting news! The final World Book chapters are in editorial now and we’re preparing the lay out the book for printing. That keeps us on pace for our April release date. Alyssa’s final maps are almost ready, too!

Thomas Reid is hard at work on the Pathfinder PDF Rules Supplement, the base from which we’ll create stats for our other supported games, as well.

Robert’s going to be doing some playtesting of the New Dune Marauders adventure coming up soon at Genghis Con in Colorado – have fun Robert!

Here are some more sample pieces of art of two Dragon Kings creatures:

Cold Skin

Thakal

If you are keeping watch on these updates and haven’t pledged but still want to, please visit the Dragon Kings official website:

http://www.dragonkingsproject.com

Thanks!

– Dragon Kings Team

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
4 February

New Music Clip: Fly By The Night Sky

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
21 January

The Dragon Kings World Book

The Dragon Kings World Book is in the final stages of production before we get it off to the printer. Chapters are being massaged into perfection by the editor, Steven Schend. I’ve got some new art to share for the interior from Thomas Denmark; here’s a new piece from him. Also, I’ve been corresponding with Alyssa Faden, too, and she’s coloring the latest portions of the main map that look completely awesome!

We will be mastering the Time to Die and Fly By the Night Sky tracks this week. Mike is finishing prep work on some of the final tracks, too.

Dragon Kings World Book update

Excerpt from the Wastelands chapter … *Chroma’ano the Blood-Borne*

In his day, the Dragon King Chroma’ano watched over a broad swath of the southern wild lands like a shepherd watches over his flock. Where the shadows of his broad wings fell, the dew glistened upon rich meadows made brilliant yellow with wildflowers and flowing grain. Makadan and Attite clans dispersed across the fertile lands, growing fat on rich farms, easily clearing the forests of foul creatures, leaving behind abundant game, wild berries, and splendid orchards. Chroma’ano loved his people, and they love him in return, singing his praises at all the harvest and moon festivals.

Six primary villages emerged where people gathered to trade and exchange ideas. In one of these a simple herdsman and his wife welcomed a girl who grew into such a beauty that it was said the clouds never dared come between her and the sunshine. Eloisa was her name, and as she matured her loveliness was surpassed by an inner beauty that gladdened the hearts of everyone who knew her for many miles around. She was the pride of her village, an unselfish, caring young woman who drew suitors from distant cities and nations.

If you have any questions about this update, please comment here! Haven’t backed the project yet? Visit the website to pledge and comment on these updates. Thanks!

– Timothy Brown, Dragon Kings Creator

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
12 January

End of the year update!

The holidays loom large! I hope you all have your Dragon Kings Trees up (begging the question, how does one decorate a Dragon Kings Tree?).

Work progresses on the project. The World Book chapters are being gathered, tweaked, and edited as we speak (special thanks to Steven Schend, whose editorial talents are really bringing the manuscript together). Take a look at some of the draft segments below from the Bestiary and Races and Realms chapters.

Artists are plugging away, too, creating monsters and characters. All of the Dragon Kings-level pledgers are working with me on their character image ideas and I’m sharing those with the artists. Also, I’m working with all the Loremaster-level pledgers to get their written contributions into the World Book, as well. I’m excited about all their imaginative concepts, and they will all make Dragon Kings an even more compelling setting!

We put guitar and drum tracks to the Among the Peaceful/The Dragon Kings tracks earlier this week (we filmed some of this studio work and will make that video available soon), while Mike Stone is finishing his guitar and vocal tracks for Time to Die and Fly By the Night Sky. We’re pushing hard to get all the tracks together for some special music industry promotion beginning in early February.

That’s it for now. New art and music clips to share soon!

 

From the Bestiary chapter …

Swafa

Khitus’s smaller, swifter personal mount of choice carried its peoples out of the southern plains and across the face of the world. Swafa have ancient origins, bred specifically for riding from wild ostrich-like savannah lizards, but that breeding is, at best, only half complete; swafa retain much of their wild savagery.

They are quick on their hind feet, racing along on long, bounding strides that eat up the desert, where their broad, padded toes gain perfect traction. They are less effective on pavement, stone, or packed surfaces, where their speed suffers unless they are shoed; blacksmiths must protect themselves with heavy gloves and masks and then still drug the beasts just to have a fighting chance to accomplish their ends. Left to their own devices, swafa chirp when they run, a high-pitched throaty whistle timed to their strides that helps them identify each other in the wild; most riders split their tongues with razor sharp blades to silence them permanently.

Swafa are not particularly fearsome beasts. They can defend themselves with their fore claws, to an extent, and can bite to ward off attackers. They never engage their hind legs or tails in combat, relying instinctively on their speed for defense and escape. When startled, they spit foam and saliva in a drowning spray that can blind or otherwise deter an enemy to further facilitate escape.

A swafa’s back narrows from the hips through the shoulders, and is not exactly ideal for mounting a saddle. The boney ridge of its spine offers no comfortable position; bareback swafa riding is nearly impossible. A proper swafa saddle must be drilled into the hips and spine and attached with bolts and thick leather straps. The process requires the animal be drugged to unconsciousness, and some never survive the process. The saddle, or at least its mounting pieces, becomes permanently affixed to the beast. A new saddle can be swapped out for repair or improvement, as necessary.

Swafa naturally flock to one another. In the wilderness, their swift-moving flocks must be tracked and culled to capture wild ones for domestication (though many swafa are bred and raised domestically, as well, though these must be ‘broken’ and trained in the same manner as one captured out on the dunes). Even when being ridden, the swafa’s flocking instinct kicks in, and savvy riders know how to take best advantage of it. Swafa cavalry ride more closely packed, as a result, than any other mounted troops on Khitus; that tight formation makes them the heaviest, densest cavalry on the battlefield.

Swafa also roost. Once they have established a home base and properly marked it with their spit and feces, they return to it again and again for rest and perceived protection. Provided the animal is not completely lost after a long journey, it will eventually make its way back to its roost, even it that takes several days or weeks. They have the reputation of being a safe resource, since they are seldome permanently lost. Swafa are carnivores and will eat each other, favoring the old and the wounded, an instinct that can disrupt an ongoing battle. A rider must exert his mastery over his mount when it naturally lunges for the fresh meat of a wounded comrade.

 

From the Races and Realms chapter:

Ormas

Ormas is a city on the brink of revolution. A decadent human culture has pushed its people far too much and now amongst murder, violence, robbery, vice and all manner of excess the city struggles like a drowning man in quicksand. Ormas is a grand example of humankind’s in-humanity to itself and shows why a people should never let a marauder become a leader with promises of change. Khanik Thyn offered people a small glimmer of hope that things might change in the city, a city built on the back of suffering and with the blood of thousands of innocent slaves. One ruled by a fair but greedy ruler, Khanik whipped the people up into a storm of hatred that raged through the brown stone streets, consuming several city wards and killing nearly a thousand people in one bloody rampage-fuelled night. Promising (with several of his co-conspirators) a new era for the people of Ormas, the brutal warlord clove the head from his closest ally and imprisoned the others as traitors to his new rule. He placed himself in the seat of power and rules with an iron fist, closed so tightly that the people are pushed near to their breaking point. Whatever catalyst sets them off, it will come at great cost to Khanik and his followers as the people of Ormas have endured his spiteful reign for years as he turned the city into a haven for marauders. The Black Cloaks are Khanik’s secret police and they are attempting to curb the activities of a mysterious rebel group in the city, known as the Spear of Freedom. It’s said that the leader of the Spear is a woman who lost her husband to Khanik’s betrayal and now she does everything in her power to make his tenure as their ruler a miserable one. Her hand is open to brave warriors who might assist her cause.

 

Poster: Raddu. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
25 December

Missed the Kickstarter? You can now pledge on our site!

With the success of the Kickstarter having passed our initial goal of $29,000 by a landslide and hitting $41,217 (thank you backers!).

If you didn’t get a chance to pledge via the Kickstarter page, you can now do so right here on the Dragon Kings website:

Dragon Kings Pledge
We will be continuing open funding until January 1st.

Thanks for your pledge! Let us know if you have any questions.

– The Dragon Kings Team

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
20 November

More Crowdfunding, Add-Ons, and a Retailer Level!

As we’re in our final week, there’s lots of news!

More Crowdfunding:

Good news Dragon Kings fans, after the Kickstarter period is over we’ll be continuing crowdfunding on our website until January 1st.

All money collected during the Kickstarter and our home site campaign will be combined for purposes of the stretch goals. This means we’ll most certainly hit the 13th Age stretch goal and likely more! Pledge early for the best deals, because when the official Kickstarter campaign is over all future pledges will be subject to shipping charges for physical products.

Add-Ons:

You’ve asked for them, so here are all physical items available for add-ons. Just increase your pledge (check out shipping charges below) and after the Kickstarter we’ll send out a survey so you can tell us what you ordered.

  • World Book (Print), $39.99
  • Game Screen with New Dune Marauders Adventure (Print), $12.99
  • Gazetteer(Print), $19.99
  • CD (Physical), $12.99
  • Poster Map (Print), $7.99
  • Cover Poster(Print), $7.99
  • Dice Set, $9.99
  • Savage Worlds Rules Supplement (Print), $12.99
  • Pathfinder Rules Supplement (Print), $12.99

Add any of these ‘add-on’ items for the prices listed to any pledge level that already receives physical items for no additional postage charge! To add these ‘add-ons’ to any other pledge level, please also include $9.99 for US postage, $19.99 for Canadian postage, or $29.99 for other International postage (regardless of the number of add-ons added; this postage not subject to the International Backer Rebate)

Newly added RETAILER PLEDGE LEVEL:

  • 4x Dragon Kings World Books, (MSRP $39.99ea)
  • 4x Dragon Kings Game Screen with New Dune Marauders Adventure, (MSRP $12.99ea)
  • 2x The Gazetteer (print), (MSRP $19.99ea)
  • 2x CDs, (MSRP $12.99ea)
  • 4x Poster Maps (print), (MSRP $7.99ea)
  • 2x Cover Posters (print), (MSRP $7.99ea)
  • 2x Dragon Kings Dice Set, (MSRP $9.99ea)
  • 2x Savage Worlds PDF Rules Supplement (print) (MSRP $12.99ea)
  • 2x Pathfinder PDF Rules Supplement (print) (MSRP $12.99ea)
  • Total: $397.76

Retailer Pledge Level Price: $238

Plus shipping: Domestic US Shipping $20.00 (included)
Canada Shipping: Add $40
Other International Shipping: Add $60.00

Thanks for all of your interest and support throughout the Kickstarter! We’re grateful to have you as a fan.

Click the link below to pledge, include add-ons or upgrade your pledge level.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1084491323/dragon-kings

Poster: Raddu. Category: Uncategorized.
Read More
7 November

Interview with Tom Baxa, Artist on Dragon Kings

We chat with Tom Baxa this week, an avid artist on the Dragon Kings team. Tom has produced some fantastic work on numerous projects, including an illustrator for Dark Sun, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, World of Warcraft tcg, Shadowrun, and many more. He also has done concepts in design Film + Video Games for Van Helsing, Alien vs. Predator, Nox, and Command & Conquer.

See what Tom has to say about his work on Dragon Kings below!

Dragon Kings: Share with us a little bit about your history and what you do for a career.

Tom Baxa: I’ve been a fantasy illustrator for over 25 years working primarily in the role playing game industry. I’ve worked on countless projects including Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, World of Warcraft tcg, Vampire the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and more. I’ve also done concept design for miniatures, video games and a few films. I’m currently focusing on some personal projects that include my being a writer as well as an artist.

Dragon Kings: What interested you most in participating on the Dragon Kings project?

Tom Baxa: Well, as most folks interested in DKs probably know, I was the primary black and white interior artist on the original Dark Sun saga for Dungeons and Dragons. Brom did the covers (and some interiors) and I did the ink drawings inside for most of the run. So when Tim Brown got in touch with me about DKs, I was pretty stoked, mainly because it gave me a chance to revisit a universe that I really enjoyed working on in the past.

Dragon Kings: What other projects are you working on now besides Dragon Kings?

Tom Baxa: I always have my hands in something, but I’m most focused on developing my own properties with a lot of verve right now. I’m creating a new branch of the BaxaArt brand called BaxaArt Academy which emphasizes art instruction and sharing art ideas and information. I’m also at the beginning stages of an illustrated horror novel (can’t say much yet).

Dragon Kings: How did making Dark Sun art affect your art for Dragon Kings?

Tom Baxa: Well after talking with Tim Brown and getting a little sense of what he has in store for Dragon Kings (it’s going to be great guys!), I understood that he wanted to carry much of the flavor of his original creation of Dark Sun into this new universe.

I did two creature paintings for DKs, so there wasn’t a ton of context from Dark Sun in them, per se, but did want things to feel desolate and gritty like the bleak desert environment prevalent in Dark Sun. I’m sure there will be more carry over as the project progresses.

Dragon Kings: Who has inspired you to keep producing art for these kinds of projects?

Tom Baxa: I’ll always have a passion for fantasy art settings and I love doing fantasy art, so it’s not hard to get me on board such a great project like Dragon Kings. I’m most inspired by other artists; and when I see a game developer that has come up with a cool universe in which the artists can play – that’s cool – I want to be a part of that.

I’m also very excited about the possibilities that crowd funding sites, like Kickstarter, are opening up for creatives like Tim and myself. I used Kickstarter to fund the printing of my art book “Blood Rituals: The Art of Tom Baxa” way back in 2010 before it was all the rage. I saw its potential then, and I see that potential growing as more people get involved with it.

Dragon Kings: You created some Magic: the Gathering cards. Tell us about those.


Krikis_COLOR_72Tom Baxa:
Magic is a great game and Wizards of the Coast has brilliantly nurtured its gaming fan base. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me as a working illustrator to do imaginative and dark fantasy art, and get worldwide exposure.

Some of the player favorites I’ve done art for include: Lobotomy, Relentless Rats, Festering Goblin, Blighting, Maelstrom Wanderer and more.

Dragon Kings: If you could create a new Dragon Kings creature or race right now, what would that be, visually speaking?

Tom Baxa: A crusty salt ghoul that feeds only on other undead. They live under the sand and salt flats and their bodies are dead flesh infused with chunks of salt minerals and grains of sand. They can be summoned and bound by a complex magic ritual and commanded to seek out and kill those pesky undead roaming the night.

Dragon Kings: Where can budding artists go to learn more about your work and how to become an artist?

Tom Baxa: Funny you should ask, I’m about to release an ebook called “Get Work as a Fantasy Artist” packed with all kinds of great tips and insider information on how to break into the fantasy illustration market and launch a career as a fantasy artist. Anyone interested should stay tuned to www.BaxaArtAcademy.com for news about the release later this month (November 2013).

As always, my primary website www.BaxaArt.com is the main hub for everything I’ve got going on including art galleries, news about me and my new product releases, art for sale, my fiction, by blog, you name it.

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
Read More
4 November

Interview with Brom, artist on Dragon Kings

We chat with Brom this week, an artist on the Dragon Kings team. Brom has produced some fantastic work on numerous projects, including illustrating on Dark Sun, Deadlands, and Magic: The Gathering. He also has worked on several video games, movies, and is an avid writer.

See what Brom has to say about his work on Dragon Kings below!

Dragon Kings: Please share with us a little bit about your history and what you do for a career.

Brom: Got my start at TSR with Dragon Kings spiritual sister, Dark Sun. Been working in games, books, video games, and film ever since. Currently creating my own line of illustrated horror novels.

Dragon Kings: What interested you most in participating on the Dragon Kings project?

Brom: A chance to revisit material similar to my earlier works.

Dragon Kings: What do you think of the music for Dragon Kings so far? Does music inspire your art?

Brom: I think the music really sets the tone, it’s like a soundtrack to the game. I draw lots of inspiration from music. Anything that drives emotion tends to seep into the work.

Dragon Kings: What or who inspires you to create such great work that’s been released so far?

Brom: I tend to find inspiration everywhere. I think that is part of what artist do. They take in what’s around them and hopefully channel it into a unique vision.

Dragon Kings: Are you a fan of Role-playing games? What is your favorite RPG, or general favorite game of all-time?

Brom: It’s been hard for me to find time to play RPG’s, as I’m always too obsessed with creating art. When I was younger I really enjoyed miniature games such as Space Hulk and Ogre.

Dragon Kings: Did you ever play D&D in the Dark Sun setting?

Brom: A couple of times. It was always a treat when some of the game designers would host a campaign and invite us artists to play.

Dragon Kings: Tell us about the inspiration for the Dragonlord cover image.

Brom: The composition is one I drew about twenty years ago and always wanted to paint. So when the chance arose I jumped at it. It was almost like collaborating with myself from twenty years ago.

If you are interested in Brom’s work, visit his website at: http://www.bromart.com

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
Read More
28 October

Multi-media Dragon Kings Project Surpasses Kickstarter Funding Goal, Advances All Stretch Goals

LAS VEGAS, NV – October 24, 2013 – The Dragon Kings design team announced that it has raised enough money on Kickstarter to fund the entire multi-media project.

“Our base funding goal is met, ant that’s very exciting,” says project creator Timothy Brown. “That means this project will become a reality. We will make the World Book, the Gazetteer Book, and the Dragon Kings concept-album CD and they will all be available in April of this coming year.”

The team also announced that the first stretch goal, the ‘Black Fortress Falls’ 3-song Trilogy, is already achieved because of separate interest in the project. That means all subsequent stretch goals are advanced one position, making the 13th Age PDF Rules Supplement the next stretch goal to be achieved.

“We’re thrilled to be attracting interest in the project from so many different directions,” continues Brown. “We can’t make an official announcement just yet, but suffice to say that the project’s music has attracted separate interest that pre-funds its creation going forward. That let us advance the other more game-related stretch goals so they will be easier to achieve.”

13th Age will be published by Pelgrane Press in August 2013. According to co-designer Jonathan Tweet, “Our goal with 13th Age is to recapture the free-wheeling style of old-school gaming by creating a game with more soul and fewer technical details.” Learn more at www.pelgranepress.com.

The Dragon Kings game book will be rules agnostic. Free Pathfinder and Savage Worlds PDF rules supplement will be available upon the game’s release, giving all that game system’s rules and stats to play Dragon Kings with those systems. The 13th Age PDF rules supplement is now the next stretch goal for the Dragon Kings Kickstarter that continues through November 14, 2012.

About Dragon Kings

Dragon Kings is Timothy Brown’s ‘spiritual successor’ to his award-winning Dark Sun role-playing universe, co-designed with author Troy Denning and artist Gerald Brom for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. Dragon Kings is a new fantasy game world conceived and presented in fiction, art, and music simultaneously. The project will be crowd sourced and eventually expand beyond role-playing and music into comics, video, and computer games. The product launch envisions a hardbound game book, an art-intensive album-sized world gazetteer and lyrics booklet, and a full-length progressive rock CD.

To learn more about Dragon Kings, visit http://www.dragonkingsproject.com.

Also join these communities to become involved and watch for the latest updates:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dragonkingsproject
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thedragonkings
Google+: http://gplus.to/dragonkingsproject
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/dragonkingsproject

Poster: Dragon Warrior. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
Read More
24 October