When you want an image to use for your character portrait, you have two choices:
- Spend years mastering the art of sci-fi / fantasy illustration. Perhaps attend art school. Hone your craft until you can fully realize your character on paper just as you imagine them.
- Use Google Image Search and swipe something that looks roughly like how you want your character to look.
For whatever reason, most players take the lazy way and opt for #2, despite the fact that there is a 90% chance they are going to look like a brooding androgynous goth / punk elf holding the wrong weapon.
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WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
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Too Warm a Welcome”
Honestly, if Legolas WAS female, I don’t think he’d be that hot. The chicks seem to dig him as a guy, though.
I can honestly say the characters in my group were more prone to follow method #1. Yep. Really.
Well, ok, one of them was and another wasn’t half bad. A few others tried, but found #2 to work better.
Great series. Hope you continue it.
Brilliant! I have seen this scene so many times…
Regarding the illustration issue: I was actually going for route number one with my Forgotten Realms Cleric of Mystra. I had brought in a sheet of paper and my charcoal pencils and had sketched out my character when we decided that we weren’t going to play the campaign again. Whoops?
Guess I can always save that character for another campaign.
Way to dodge the “issues” with accidental slash!
The URL attached to your name in the comments has a typo. Instead of http://www.batrock.net/anime/ you have http://www.batrock.anime/ It’s been that way for a while.
Just FYI, in case you’re like me and you worry about that sort of thing. :)
Thank you, Shamus. Now it’s just Batrock.net to accomodate the new bifurcated nature of my site.
and what about having the guy from the matrix play Elrond. Elrond wasn’t tough enough already?
But why didn’t the characters just steal stuff from the kitchens at Rivendell and make weapons? We made Molotov cocktails using flasks of oil and rags. I can’t believe the DM let us do that…
i can say only 1 thing… LOL!
Ha! I kept calling the male elf in our shackled city campaign a chick too. The way I see it, Dwarves don’t understand the lack of beards.
sadly I have little choice but to opt for number two as I have no artictic skill whatsoever … I’ve tried and tried and the best I can do is a word by word description.
Again, I’m laughing out loud. Too bad DM didn’t go for Count Doo-Doo. I might just save that one for my next character…
That last panel is really a classic…
This comic is absolutely fall on the floor funny. I am truly glad that I didn’t read this bit until after my employees had left.
Shamus, you are freaking brilliant! Any DM can relate to this. God I miss my old group….
“Elrond Hubbard” made me laugh :D
There’s actually an option 3:
Open up a paint program and whip up an Order of the Stick style stick figure sketch! It’s not as easy as it initially looks, but it’s a whole lot easier than some might think. Half an hour of doodling and you have something that, while silly, is at least wearing the right color cloak. Plus, when someone says it looks pretty rough, you can honestly tell them that it’s meant to be like that.
ha ha, awesome.
i just got a sent a link to this by one of my gaming groups. i’m enjoying it immensely.
in one of my groups, we had a pretty decent stab at #1, but that’s because two of us are professional gaming illustrators. i only got around to sketching my first character… after that i couldn’t be bothered. (it felt like i was letting too much of my work spill into my leisure, y’know?) :)
anyway, great stuff. i’m looking forward to reading the rest of it.
Third option: spend 20 to 100 dollars to hire someone that went to art school to draw your character for you.
Elrod…heh. That’s my principal’s name.
Oh my god! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is my favorite!
omg! XD That’s just too hilarious!
Re-reading parts of this again for the many-teenth time. I just remembered that the friend who sent me the link in the first place used to have characters with the most absurd names. I remember a Fuzzy Navel and a Curly Brackets, for starters… and yes, the DM allowed the names.
Leggo of my ass. I’m gonna cry. :-D
There’s a 4th option that a guy in our group does for his RPGA Living Greyhawk characters. He takes option #2 but puts his own face into the picture; he’s a wizard with photoshop. Although, his oozemaster portrait got creepier & creepier with every level (he started melting & dripping).
We had a few great ones in my original campaign:
Codine the Barbituate
Brokema and Stubma Lefto
I read this on a public computer in my Uni Library, literally crying with laughter whilst trying desperately to hide my guffaws.
This strip is AWWWWWESOME. You should publish it.
…oh boy, I just nearly choked on my food while reading this, it’s that hilarious.
This comic so reminds me of some of my more chaotic gameing sessions…
Keep up the great work!
Oh lord, you guys have got D&D down pat! This is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Kudos!
OMG – I haven’t laughed this hard in ages – this was soooo funny I was in tears – Shamus rocks!
Of course Legolas is hot! If you can’t tell already, I’m a chick…and oh my gosh, that Aragorn…WHY did they make him sound GAY?? That is way not cool! (I am a huge Aragorn lover…may I just say that Viggo Mortensen is hot with a capital “HAW”) But hey – this is freaking hilarious! LOL! ROFL! LMAO!!!
Seriously, this is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a very long time. It had me in tears be the time I reached ‘Leggo my ass’. Thank you and keep up the great work.
instead of charecter portriets i just use the most acurite Lego figures to depict my charecters. it works quite well for my lack of artistic talent. if i tried i could do rough Oots style drawings buts that as good as it could get for me.
She’s a guy? Oh, wait, I get it. You’re trying to mess with me like when someone told me about how those Hanson girls are all actually guys. I mean, maybe the oldest, but … nah.
Seriously, though, it took me half the first movie to figure out she was a he. I still don’t quite believe it.
I have a passion for drawing, I kind of draw since I can hold a pencil in my hand, that means like 16 years, I’ve been to an art scool (for a while) and stil. my male charas are so damn often mistaken for a girl… but atleast the clothing, and wepons are the right ones :P
“Because you’re going to be saying that to me a lot” hahaha lolz man!
But Legolas is seriously hot, Aragorn is just making a point. And hiting on her..him.
PD: Aragorn’s expressions are priceless…xD
hehe LOTR!!! just stared reading through these and they are very funny I have to say!
Should be “Count Do-Do,” because that kinda rhymes with Frodo.
“Lego Lass! What do your elf eyes see?”
“It’s Lego LAD!”
I just started dying of laughter when I read this. Nice parody.:D
Yeah google images. Or you could just take a picture of yourself and learn photoshop. I mean it’s not that hard to cut your face off your lame ass nerdy body and put it onto the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger and put an ax in his hands. Then just blend the neck so your pasty white face looks like it belongs on his over tanned body and BAM! Warrior. Of course you are still gonna need armor right? Well get some glitter and glue it to the page BAM! Mythril chain mail. I am a freaking genius.
You may be a freaking genius… But damn. If you play a character, you think that character wear your face? That is cheap. And what if you play an opposite sex? Or some other race? I would have never used my neandertan face to imagine my elven sorceress… Neither my mates would. Or I would never like my alchemist, if he would have been simply a copy of me… An RPG character should resemble a whole new person, who is only partially you. Born from you, but living apart. Like a child. Not a clone. This is a basic lesson that is so easily forgotten. A shame really.
OMG LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT WHEN I (aragorn) IS BEING GAY :DDDD
Option No. 3:
OotS-Style, the way I did it.
Hey, there is a 3rd option: [shameless plug] hire a professional yet affordable artist to create a custom portrait for you. [/shameless plug]
Jeez, I’m in tears here! “Leggo of my ass, you’re going to be saying that to me alot!” ROFL
Elrond is much better looking than Legolas.
I make stick figures, Order of the Stick style, for my character portraits :)
This one had me laughing out loud every second line – my wife upstairs wondered what was wrong…
I had a REALLY hard time not busting out laughing at the look on Legolas’s face when he says “My character is a man.”
That look says ‘what in the hell is wrong with you man?!’
I lost it at “She’s hawt with a capital ‘HAW'”. Brilliant stuff!!
I read this and literally could not stop laughing. Thanks, you made my day.
I choked so badly at this page…
One guy in our group went for method #3: get me to draw his character. The only thing was… Well, he never said I shouldn’t draw him whipping a kobold in fishnet tights and a leather bikini.
Funny thing, Tolkien would totally flip out if someone were to imply Legolas was not manly enough.
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