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The Road to Mordor by Imager1966 The Road to Mordor by Imager1966
Entry for =angelusmusicus-stock's Middle Earth Contest :)

This piece is based on years worth of games played by myself and my friends from 1988-1994. The game was M.E.R.P - Middle Earth Role Playing. The core group is depicted here.

Background rendered in Bryce 5, Stock photos manipulated in PSP X, Painted by hand in Corel Painter 9.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Stock Credits:

Background:
Castle Mountain by me
Original Render: [link]

Players:

NPC's
Level 60 Red Dragon:
3-D Dragon by ~Shoofly-Stock

Original Render: [link]

Characters (from Left to Right):

"Michen" - Human Warrior w/ +40 Dwarven made Two Handed Broad Sword
Crusader 05 from Crusader Pack: Standing Poses by *Cobweb-stock

Original Stock Pack: [link]

"Kiara Winterthorn" - Half Elven Ranger w/ +30 Mithril Bow and Holy Arrows
(My character :D)
Grey Elf 3 by =angelusmusicus-stock

Original Stock Photo: [link]

"Harp the Bard" - Human Bard/Wizard w/ Magic Staff and Elven made Mithril Chain Cloak
Stormcrow 2 from Stormcrow Pack 1 by *Cobweb-stock

Original Stock Pack: [link]

"Melisande" - Human Sorceress/Cleric w/ Invisibility Scarf specializing in Fire and Ice Spells
Snow Queen 05 from Snow Queen Pack 1 by =lockstock

Original Stock Pack: [link]

"Benbo Bogswater" - Hobbit (he's a great cook) w/ Dwarven made Orc Slayer Daggar
Hobbit 9 by *ImagersStock

Original Stock Photo: [link]

Embelishments

Crystal on Harp's Staff:
Crystal Stock by ~Kansheera-Stock

Original Stock Photo: [link]

Benbo's Sword/Daggar:
Blue Orb Mystic Sword Props by =FantasyStock

Original Stock Photo: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconashes2infinity:
ashes2infinity Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2006
Very cool!
I love the LOTR theme.
Amazing texturing!
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks hon! I appreciate it :D
:hug:
Reply
:iconashes2infinity:
ashes2infinity Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2006
:heart:
for sure!
Reply
:iconsmirnoffalicious:
Smirnoffalicious Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
awesome! im loving the texture in the brush strokes!
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
:aww: Thanks so much!!
Reply
:iconkansheera-stock:
Kansheera-Stock Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
That's awesome :o
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thank you :D And also for the fav and great stock!!
Reply
:iconlockstock:
lockstock Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
OMG yer such a nerd!

LOL, just kidding. This is so cool! Very painterly effect! Good luck on the contest.

nerd. :nerd:
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
LOL!! I preffer "geek" ;) And yes..i still have a Crown Royal bag filled with dice that I take everywhere just in case I go to a party a game breaks out :rofl:
Reply
:iconfantasystock:
FantasyStock Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
Sooo much detail! I love how you added so many elements... :+favlove: That makes it more fun to accessorize. It's a very nice piece! A bit grainy, but that's ok. It's lovely all the way around... Poor adventurers! That dragon's gonna wear them out! (IF they win the fight!) Or maybe the dragon is on their side. That's a nice thought too!
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
Ahh but the grainy is all in the Impasto technique!! :eyes: I'm trying to make photo manips look like PAINTINGS, and not just smeary photo manips...LOL!!!

And actually, if you want to know, the dragon was killed by my character in 3 blows (I love holy arrows...and great dice rolls..LOL!!) :D That game was the greatest :D
Reply
:iconfantasystock:
FantasyStock Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
Oh!!! The blessed roll of a natural 20... Erm... I'm talking AD&D2 rules, so to speak. But yes! I once had a character that killed an ancient white dragon in one blow. She got a back attack from sneaking up on it to multiply the damage, and then she had a seriously magical bow with some insanely magical arrows, and she took the dragon out in one shot! Dead... overkill in fact! I was so damned proud. Everyone at the table was dumbfounded by the time we had calculated all the damage! Perfect shot... (Called shot for the heart.) I love the Bow Master kit in D&D. She was an assassin as well, which gave her the ability for the back attack. The only reason she got a shot at his heart was because he was coiled up... His head was looking the other way. (Kindly DM for allowances!) The only other "best kills" were once when I managed to take out another player's evil PC in one shot. Drow female with a blowgun, a barbed dart, Class E injected poison. Poor dude failed his saving throw. failed the saving throw. He was D.E.A.D.! The other was when one of my characters rolled a natural 20 and managed to kill an arch duke (of one of the nine hells) in one blow. Magic sword, and all that! She was a ranger, and demons were her species enemy, so it was a classic, heroric moment! (Gotta love those high level games!!) She's dead now though. Demon hunting is a bad way to live a long, healthy life. Sorry... I kind of spun off onto RPGs...

At any rate, I like your pic! And I'm glad the character heroically killed the beast like a true, blue, fantasy adventurerer! It deserves it's own tapestry to tell the tale, for bards to sing about the holy arrows and the archer that shot them... Into the ages henceforth! Actually, the grain in the pic, looking at this again, kind of DOES remind me of a tapestry on a castle wall. (Poor adventurerers! The kings always get the glory in the end. Well, at least it's WORTHY of a king's castle halls!) Again, well done!!
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
I love you!! :heart:

Anyone that can tell that kind of RPG story is definately a friend of mine!! :D

In MERP, the system is based on percentiles--2 -10 sided dice of different color, one callled high, the other low--tens and ones.

In this particular game, Kiara the Half Elven Ranger (me :D), managed to climb up the wall of the cave and find a good solid niche to shoot from. By this time Michen and Benbo were hacking away at said dragons knees, Melsande and Harp were throwing spells like crazy!!

The dragon blew fire breath at Michen catching him on fire. At the same time Melisande threw a Wall of Water spell and blew her roll!! The wall of water managed to put out Michen but not before drowning him.

By this time, Harp looks at me and says "DO SOMETHING!!"...LOL!!...while he runs over to give reviving herbs to Michen.

Benbo by this time had broken his weapon and dived into a golden chest to avoid the dragons stomp. Unfortuinately the chest locked when it closed and he was in serous danger of suffocating!!

Finally when it came to my turn I informed the DM my intentions of shooting a holy arrow using my +30 bow. I hit a fairly decent blow to the creatures head and broke his jaw, thankfully saving Harp in the next turn from a deadly bite!!

Melisande then hit the dragon with a wall of fire, pushing it back just enough to give me a clear shot at its head again. My second shot grazed its cheek deeply.

Now in MERP, if you roll a natural 96 or above you get to roll again and keep rolling, adding the number each time, until you roll less than 96. :D On my last shot (and my last holy arrow) I informed the DM I was aiming for his eye. He smirked at me and said go ahead. Heh!! I rolled a 96, then a 98, then a 92. :D

The shot hit him square in the eye killing him instantly :D

Boy was my GM UPSET!!! LMAO!!

I went from Level 4 to Level 6 in one night :D

So yeah... I can totally relate!!

Here's to GREAT RPG'ing!!! :highfive:
Reply
:iconfantasystock:
FantasyStock Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
MAN! You're GM is tough! But I love a good tale like that! I've had GMs like that, the ones that seem almost homicidal toward the characters.

The GM I have now is more interested in role playing than dice rolling, and I like this kind of gaming too. The story becomes paramount... relationships, storyline and sub plots within sub plots within sub plots...! Experience is given out for clever ways out of the mental mazes that our GM takes us through.

But I sometimes wish we would do more dice rolls. He only requires dice when we are fighting, or if we are attempting a feat that seems too hard for the chatacter's proficiency score. So, I can say, "My 12th level thief is going to climb this castlle wall and into the balcony about five stories up." Now, if the wall has footholds and such, the GM is kind enough to let me simply declair that I've done that. No dice rolls required. But if that wall is made with some slick magical ice, then I get to roll my thief ability of climbing walls, which is a percent thing, like you're talking about. (We use all kinds of dice. 4 sided dice are the smallest, and I've seen an actual percentile die that is just one single, 100 sided die!! but we usually use two 10 siders, like your game.)

4th to 6th level in ONE game is awesome!!! :highfive: I sometimes miss that too. So many of my characters that have begun at 1st level got so powerful (46th level over several years of playing one of my characters.) that some of our characters were becoming gods. So then we went into the world of PlaneScape, which is a "world" in AD&D2. With PlaneScape, the game opens into a whole mutiverse, full of various realities and such, which is why conversation and roleplay is so important, but dice becomes quite necessary if a deal starts to go bad, or if a saving throw must be made for poison or something. Some of our playable (non-god) characters are even immune to poisons (downfall: can't get drunk either.) We got to this point with hack and slash style gaming, lots of dice, lots of treasure... But as we got very high levels, and years passed, the GM we had couldn't figure out how to challenge us anymore. So one of the players came to the game once with a PlaneScape box set, and he's been running the game ever since!

So fighting, like we can kill just about anything now. We actively hunt demons and demigods. So he mixes things up with riddles and puzzles for us to figure out in a huge game of intrigue, romance, and espionage between the followers of our gods (former Characters that became gods and had to be sort of retired.) So now our heroics became games of wit...

One glorious tale of cleverness is the time a former player character (now a god) was insanely hating my character at the time (not a god.) So anyway, my PC worked her way to finding this god's daughter, who was only half god. My character made friends with her and shared in a blood ritual that made them sisters. Ever since, that god now had to declair my character as his adopted daughter, and his followers had to stop trying to kill her. She was glorified after her death as "The Great Trickster of the Gods." (Sad, really, she recently died, trying to handle a different god's bow. It was an opposite alignment, sentient bow that instantly hated her. After a generous saving throw allowance from the GM, which I failed, she died. And the worst part was that it was the littlest mistake that killed my super high-level ranger... not in some glorious battle, but with only the touch of a bow!) Some of the players were so moved by that, even the GM had tears in his eyes and offerd me a second saving throw during her demise, which I declined because that's what makes the game good... The chance of the characters actually dying. And... well, she was warned not to touch that bow. I had to accept her fate.) I started playing her niece as a low level character hanging around with a bunch of these almost godly characters. It added a lot to the game, so it balances out.

But misunderstanding puzzles and clues... Misinterpreting signs and visions... Those are the kinds of threats in our games now. We still do battle, but it's mostly storytelling.

Anyway, there have been a few character that have died in battle. And sometimes there's no bringing them back. I've actually cried for a couple of them. And then we hang the dead characters' pictures on the wall of heroes, which isn't filling up as fast since the PlaneScape GM took over. There are, after all, worse ways than death to take a character out of the game.
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2006  Professional General Artist
WOW!! Now thats my kinda role playing!! :D It sounds like you have awesome GM's!! And a Wall of Heros is awesome too!!
Unfortunately I haven't done any serious role playing in many years :( *sigh*. The younger boys I usually hang with are more the hack and slash type GM's than the role playing GM's and they seem to get nervous everytime I tell them I want to play. LOL!! One said to me once: "I can't run a game worthy of a player of your caliber." :D It was a nice compliment but I'd rather have him run a game just so I could blow the dust off my dice and PLAY!!! At this point, I don't even care how the game is run as long as I can play, its been so long *sigh*.

Anyway, if you feel like you want to share your glory :D feel free to send me a note or something.

I can live vicariously through you ;)
Reply
:iconfantasystock:
FantasyStock Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2006
Ohhh... I must warn you, my friend, I can go on and on about this particular topic. (As you've seen!) I'm so sorry for you that you haven't been able to play for so long. I'll send you a note... We can vicariously game all you want! I'll note you.
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2006  Professional General Artist
Hehe..got your note ;) I'll be replying shortly :D and yeah..me too :D
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(1 Reply)
:iconshoofly58:
Shoofly58 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
the brush strokes just make this perfect! :+fav:
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
Why thank you :D I"m glad you like. And thanks also for the fav!! :D
:hug:
Reply
:icontakuminanashi-stock:
takuminanashi-stock Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Freakin' sweet. :XD: Good luck!
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks much!! :D
Reply
:iconflaviacabral:
flaviacabral Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Lovely work as always
Beautiful and perfect! :worship:
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
THanks so much!! :D
Reply
:icondragonzmoon:
dragonzmoon Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
I love the look of the background, the brush strokes are a nice touch! :clap: Another fabulous manip!
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
Thanks hon!! :hug:
Reply
:icondragonzmoon:
dragonzmoon Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006
Anytime Myssah! :hug:
Reply
:iconangelusmusicus-stock:
Wow, that's kewl! Such an awesome pic! Makes me wish for my RP days, haven't done it in such a long time...
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
*sigh* That makes two of us. As much as my boys and girls love to play fantasy games on the computer or the PlayStation its just not the same. I guess I'm too old school :eyes:
Reply
:iconangelusmusicus-stock:
Never!!! I'm seventeen, and I'd still rather do LARP than play on a computor game. I've never seen the appeal of computor games, personally...
Reply
:iconimager1966:
Imager1966 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
WOO HOO!! :w00t: That makes two of us :D
:highfive:
Reply
:iconangelusmusicus-stock:
yey! :w00t: :glomp:
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Submitted on
June 14, 2006
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