HeroForge have been going for a good few years now, offering a service where people can create and customise tabletop figures for their various roleplay games. You can then order the printed figure to use at home. The rise in popularity of virtual tabletops over lockdown has since led them to make improvements to export portraits and other illustrations. There’s a subscription model that unlocks extra features and save slots to build up a gallery – the site can be found at www.heroforge.com
The boy has been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the website for some time as he creates new characters, and this baton has been taken up as we’ve developed the DDC campaign. Lady B used the portrait features to create graphics for the stream – and indeed for one of the “Well That Just Happened” designs available on the store – https://amzn.eu/d/eJDoAZM – if you’re interested
So, I eventually caved and had a look this week – and decided to start with making an illustration for Karkanna Amberhammer ahead of the session coming up this weekend. For those not following, Karkanna is Thorin’s elder sister, who disappeared towards the end of the Last War and reappeared by way of a message sent to him in Windhaven. The message said to return as their father wasn’t well – and included their father’s heirloom axe. Everything in the game for the last few months has been the group making their way back to the Hold on the Brelish border.
What the group have been able to put together from hints and encounters is that Karkanna appeared back at the Hold, accompanied by strangers, and was welcomed quietly home. The next evening, as the moon rose, Karkanna transformed into a werewolf, and the strangers revealed as duergar and dolgaunts. Strange creatures appeared and overran the Hold, scattering many of the Clan to the hills.
The Silver Flame made contact with Thorin while they travelled, to see what contact he’d had, but decided that he hadn’t been corrupted and let him go on his way. Their first attempt at entering the Hold then led to them fleeing in disarray after fighting dolgrims and dolgaunts before encountering mind flayers and a beholder. During that time, they overheard conversations suggesting that Karkanna had fled or gone rogue – and so when they had a clue as to her location, they decided to find her. The session ended with their arriving at a ruined shrine and finding her waiting for them at the door.
Where this goes next? Who knows – I can’t wait to find out.
The second portrait I created was that of Coal – partner to Caeluma – who ran with the group for a good while before settling back in Windhaven to look after Odif and set up a youth centre with his profits from their adventuring. We had a whole arc of his coming to terms with his past as a war machine and the losses endured, so the dangers facing the group as they protected their young charge made total sense for the character to back out of active rotation.
When I posted this in the group chat the other night, I was immediately asked if he had become some form of criminal mastermind, which wasn’t really what I was going for – but there’s definitely elements of his rogue background along with the steampunk background to suggest a more elevated status than they’d enjoyed before. I had the concept of a gentleman thief in mind while assembling the options. The mimic of course is one of the many that share the DDC’s home, so it made sense to allude to it. In response to the question, someone else said “He’d say he didn’t know what you were talking about, boss”
The tokens are also very customisable – for curiosity’s sake because I mentioned them earlier, here’s what I generated based off these portraits:
I’ve had fun with these – so I’ll likely look to generate a rogues gallery this way of significant characters in the games I run as a creative outlet.