So, ever since I received this month's issue of the Herald I've been obsessed with the fully armored guy with the flags on his back at the bottom of the back cover. Any chance you could tell us who was the artist and any teaser fluff you can toss our way about the character? Is there any chance he's a Dragon samurai as his helm might suggest? Is my hope that he is to be a bit of a player in the coming arc futile? Inquiring minds must know!
I think you are talking about the cover of the Imperial Histories. It is no specific clan, I had more of an imperial idea when I had it done. The artist is one of my favorites Aurelien Hubert. It is some great work. He is a brilliant artists.
It looks like the new imperial herald card 'govern the land' has 3D models, is that right? (perhaps a closer look?)
A lot of the artists do use some 3D modeling in their work, some are better at masking that than others. Steve Argyle for example uses 3D models constantly in his work but you rarely notice. Glen in Govern the Land used them and he masked them but maybe not enough to get past everyone’s notice.
Seems that I'm in the minority on this, but I feel that the recent Stronghold art had too much atmospheric fog and not enough actual... stronghold. Will the future art be similar, or are we going to see more detailed buildings?
We do hear the concern and have worked to address it. Noah’s style is sweeping and grand but at card size some of it suffers a bit for it’s scale. We’ve taken steps to be more aware of that in future strongholds and Noah is aware as well.
I was browsing for some of my favorite L5R artists when I noticed his "return of the shogun" art work. There is a distinct lack of tattoo in the game of sincerity art vs his original. I'm curious why you choose this for 'game of sincerity' rather than like an awesome scorpion yojimbo/courtier seductress dipstick or an event like 'glory to the shogun'. Additionally why you think she shouldn't have a red dragon tattoo. Surely such a tattoo exists, and dragon/scorpion relations are usually good.
That project was done a while before we came onboard and in spite of it being Steve’s art he wasn’t consulted on it best I know. I’m as confused as you are to be honest. I think the tattoo was way cool.
I really like Wen Juinn's art, but I've been unable to find his website or his full art pieces. Would it be possible to upload a few more of his pieces, like the new art for A Time for Mortal Men, as well as provide us his website (or at least his full name)?
have you considered recruiting a collage intern or something to update the L5R blog? You seem busy. (I promise there are ones that would kill for a non-paid internship to examine and post art for a big name like L5R, and it would count as school art intern credit for schools like "University of Advancing Technology")
Not really. It would mean granting someone access to the art and the tumblr and I’m not totally comfortable with the idea just yet.
What would happen if a "soul of" personality became Experienced? For instance, Doji Tatsuki uses the same art as Doji Ayano. Would a Doji Tatsuki XP use the art from Doji Ayano XP, or would she get a new design?
They inspire the art. In general I tell the artist that the Soul of person is the parent/grandparent/spiritual ancestor and to have them look similar but to other wise design them as they like. Drew Baker just did one like that a few months ago.
So how do you go about picking experienced personalities art? Unlike new personalities, they can't change too much from their original concept or fans won't believe they are supposed to be the same person. What is the process, or do you try (if possible) to get the same artist to do the experienced? Inspired by the announcement of a 'pick a person to gain experience'. (in heart I'm asking if a Mario Wibisono work like Tsuruchi Kosoko would result in another Mario Wibisono)
So I don’t pick who GET’s an experience, though I have recommended ones. Design sends me X Experienced. I check to see if the original artist is free. I like keeping people between pieces as artists like to develop characters just like a role player likes to keep playing his favorite Barbarian. It often works out. If it doesn’t I try to get a higher profile or really solid up and coming artist to tackle the piece. Exp personalities deserve top notch and I strife to ensure that. We try to keep the core concept of the character in place, if they have a pipe we keep the pipe, if they have a distinctive piece of armor we try to keep that. So in your example, yes Mario would EXP a character likely if one of his was chosen to receive a new card, this exact scenario has actually already occurred behind the scenes.
Is it possible to get custom made deck-backers to be used in tournaments? My friend says they have to be approved official deckbackers according to the tournament rules with L5R art or something like that.
As far as how to get custom made backers you need to order them in bulk for the cost to not be fairly obnoxious so it is possible but not really practical on a small scale for custom orders.. As for the other question that’s more a floor rules question which I’m not well versed in.
What's your take on using real life places in card art? The question occurred to me today when I saw the art for The Governor's Estate and realized that it is pretty much an exact copy of Himeji Castle.
We have a lot of real life imagery in our gallery to help inspired the artists. We prefer they not copy but rather model on, or use as reference. But it’s fairly hard to prevent as it would require a lot of extra time that we don’t always have to find the source image. Some artists it’s pretty obvious they use photo reference and don’t do much of a paint over even, that we can discourage as it’s fairly easy to notice and we’ve dropped artists for it.
Can you talk about helmets? Like I noticed Crab and scorpion samurai helmets sometimes have pincers and unicorn sometimes have what could be a unicorn horn. The "elemental destruction" girl is torching some poor bastard, and I feel like I should be able to tell the clan from the helmet.
Helmets are fairly free style, the rules tend to be more about their color and size over style. For example Lion and Phoenix tend to have larger more traditional looking helms. Mantis rarely have helmets but they have antenna sometimes. Unicorn, Scorpion, Dragon use their totem animals more often in their designs. Crab go with no helmet or big heavy plated ones. Crane are elaborate and try not to get in the way too much.
I am curious what your guidelines are for magic effects. Some folks seem fairly down to earth with no apparent magic, even when they are casting magic. Others are not shugenja but feature arcs of lightning, flaming katana, or other clearly magical effects with unapparent source. While some of this is obviously artistic license, I'm curious what the general guidelines are, both for purposes of building the world and role-playing in it, as well as to get an idea of how design sees it.
So in general I try to make magic pretty flashy if it’s a battle action, it’s viable, and its element is apparent. If it’s an open or limited spell, I trying to be more subtle with the descriptions. But on the whole I like seeing the power, since I don’t write the flavor text, the visual as 100% of the way I convey what is going on. As far as the RPG goes, if I recall it’s fairly hard to conceal a spell unless you are a Soshi or powerful enough to make some raises. The Kami that Shugenja summon are not quiet about it typically. I also try to include a scroll in many spells now since in the rpg most Shugenja cast directly from a scroll.
Yo, I was wondering if we can expect to see the new stronghold artist update the art on any of the clan holdings, similar how to the start of CE introduced clan holdings by the same artist as most of the CE strongholds? The art style is very different from any previous clan holding art, so it would make them stand out as 'alternate art' clan holdings.
There are no plans to have Noah do the clan holdings. Urbach’s work on the CE ones are really solid and will likely stay around for a long while.
You mentioned each clan getting a Mario Wibisono piece. Is this in addition to the ones previously done? I know the Mantis one was reprinted, so will there be another Wibisono piece coming for Mantis or did they currently hit their quota?
New art as of our tenure as AD. Even unaligned got one. They are all completed actually as of a week ago.
Tonbo Niji: Why you don´t support the minor clans in form of secundary characters in the draws? Like a Shugenja Tonbo talking to a Dragon courtier. I´m a fan of the Minors and I think they form a huge (little) part in the "world" of Rokugan.
I do try to toss in the minor clans from time to time, but it’s a good idea to include them more, I’ll add that to the list of stuff I use for brain storming.
The Naleesh art we've seen has been beautiful, but I can't be the only one wondering - does she really ride with bare legs? That seems like it would hurt a LOT. It's a little disappointing that such a badass character looks so impractical in all the art. Is there an explanation for the randomly bare legs, or does the artist just not understand Unicorn cavalry characters?
She’s a reborn kami who’s children literally were horses, has ridden all her life, and has the Ancestral Pantyhose on. No I see you’re point. I think the sense of total inhibition while riding was part of the idea he was trying to convey, but you’re right it would be rather odd/unusual.
Hey, could you tell us kolat supporters about the lady with the coin at the bottom of the Emperor Release dates announcement?
She is a Mario Wibisono. I felt that the Yasuki were always these shady looking guys in hats, with very little in the way of shady looking women, plus I had made a commitment to get every clan a Mario piece so she was the fusing of those ideas. All I can say is Crab dishonor should love her as far as abilities.
Why does Hida Kisada and Daigotsu Kanpeki looks so different in the guidance compared to their card artwork?
Different artists doing the same character at the same time. The Guidance’s and many of the Champions were well past the sketch phase when we first started and due to the transition some continuity was lost.
With the new Emperor Edition gameplay themes emphasizing the various families of the Clans in a greater way, what are the various ways you try to mirror this in the art? For instance, I feel like I've seen family mons in the artwork more often over the past couple sets.
So I love mons and I try to get them put in as often as possible, they add a lot to the world vibe. Weapons we try to encourage Crab and Unicorn weapons that are a touch larger than others, were Crane and Phoenix we push for lighter more decorated gear. Yasuki merchants I try to place in locals of business, backrooms or with money near them. Kitsu often are in ceremony, temples or accompanied by ancestors. Spider and Unicorn commanders are often surrounded by their men. Hida are scarred from war, Hiruma and thick trees often tie up for the scout feel.
Recently I've been really enjoying the art produced by some of your new artists Tony Foti (whom you've already covered), Jason Juta (like what he's done with Rising Sun Blade and Nightingale Blade) and Alayna Lemmer. Can we expect to see more from them in the future (not just continued use, but increased volume of art per set) and is there any chance they'll ever attend some of the cons/tourneys for fans to meet and appreciate?
Those are some solid artists and we use them the best we can. But yes you should see work from those three on a fairly regular basis as for more those are artists I give as many as they like usually which is in the 2 or 3 per side typically. Tony has been a bit busy with other projects the last few months. As for attending events, I know Alayna was at Gen Con this year. Con attendance isn’t a topic that comes up a lot with our artists we tend to be so busy with getting the work done. I hope they go though, Cons are amazing.
What's the deeper connection between the cards Disgraceful Conduct, Economic Manipulation, and Bayushi Toshimo? Are those really mantis?
Scorpion cleaning up a Kolat branch of Mantis that a Master Coin wanted out of the way. Who’s the boss? I dunno. Both probably got what they wanted out of it.
I made all of that up, I didn’t write the descriptions. But if I had thats what I’d be going for. It may have been Jorge’s idea he is a player and often comes up with creative ideas like that and loves Scorpion.
Having just gotten my Herald, I have to say, I am loving the Clan Champions' art, and it's nice to see Drew Baker got to put Daizu back there behind Kisada Jr. But what about the ominous temple-looking structure on the third to last page?