My Pathfinder game is coming along nicely. The PCs are living and working in Osirion, the Ancient Egypt analog of the Inner Sea. They're doing a lot of tomb raiding, and I'm getting working my font wonkery out by fancying up the messages they find on the walls and in the messages they get sent.
RPGs are more a performance art than anything else. A session is dull unless you're involved, and it happens in the moment. And because I want a larger audience for my work, I'm sharing these pieces of ephemera with my readers. And because my blog posts seem to get more hits when I post a lot of images.
I won't say they're beautiful props. But I am enjoying the creation process.
First, a sad note from someone trapped in a tomb, from Goodman Games' quite wonderful Malice of the Medusa. I used GIMPshop's oilify tool to make the ink spread a little. It looks older, and is difficult to read. My players were able to puzzle it out, and I think the difficulty made them a) irritated but b) more invested in the narrative, because they had to work on it.
The 1st edition adventure Pharaoh is one of the most entertaining I have yet run. For some background, check out the wikipedia entry.
Pharaoh is a long-cherished treasure in my collection, one of the reasons that I decided to run a campaign based primarily in Osirion. After some twenty years, I finally got to run the adventure, and it was delightful. There's also a lot of text to be 'read aloud' to the players, which easily converted into documents to be fonted up.
Instead of just placing the words onto a sandstone background, I also
copied the text into a hieroglyphic format, faded it so it wouldn't
overwhelm the English text (I love layers). This allows me to have my
cake, readable text, and still have Egyptian Hieroglyphics. I did this
for the majority of the Pharaoh documents.
Of course, anyone who read this knew it wasn't true.
The unrobbable tomf of Amun-Ra was no ordinary trapped tomb, let me tell you. There was a lot of backstory, which is part of the reason there was so much text. Lucky for the adventurers, the individuals involved were obsessive chroniclers.
The players never did get the High Priests's name "Munafik" right. But that didn't bother me, and they never managed to ask him.
And in case you didn't think the builders of Amun-Ra's tomb were jerks. Here they reach out to the party members from 4,000 years ago and thumb their noses at them. I love those guys.
Here we start a series of documents that are the Pharaoh Amun-Ra's
personal chronicle. I really liked this; it gave the villain of the
piece a motivation, and made the guy who built the trap-proof tomb a
heart. He's not a particularly good person, but he's
understandable, rather than just eeeevil. I've altered it a bit here
and there to fit into my campaign. I would have liked to put this on
one, long scroll, but I didn't have the printing technology available.
Still, these were a load of fun to make.
Later, I again turned to Goodman Games, this time plundering their In Search Of Adventure for an adventure of an avatar of the Scorpion Queen. The adventure doesn't contain a lot of flavor, so I made it up myself. Dire warnings and all that. The top is a little muddled because of the darkness of the sandstone and the hieroglyphic text. But the reading wasn't essential, so I let them struggle a bit.
The picture is a Sandwalker from Kobold Quarterly #7 (which is quite worth picking up). Great picture, which I mucked with to make it look more like a carving with a hint of color. The real illustration is much more detailed and pants-shittingly terrifying.