One of my first art direction tasks at Paizo was ordering the cover of Dungeon #98. That cover
featured one of the villains of the Adventure Path, Triel Eldurast. I then went on to order the art for my first installment of this massive adventure -- Flood Season. Ten adventures later, the whole thing is wrapped up, but I couldn’t help but think about how we could have done it better. I always wanted more art, and to show the great art that we had much larger.
When we started planning for the compilation book, I was really elated. We decided early on that it was going to be an expanded version of the campaign, with a completely new adventure and expanded content in many of the other adventures. We came up with a crazy plan to add a bunch of new art, and decided very early on in the planning process to have enough pages to show the art very large.
Working with many of the same artists we had on the original Adventure Path was great. Chris West turned in another exceptional set of maps. Attila Adorjany did a fantastic job on Drakthar’s Way. Chris Stevens created all of our new full-page chapter openers, and turned in just absolutely stunning work. Jeff Carlisle went above and beyond in creating a dozen or so new head sketches of NPCs important to the campaign.
The new page design was aided by wonderful work from CGI artist Jonathan Hill. The chains that form the border of the pages get progressively more and more corroded and broken, as the chaos level in the city gets higher and higher. This was a really fun thing to add to the book. I really enjoy doing work that asks the audience to participate a little. Finding a (somewhat) hidden design element is a great way to encourage that.
The production of the book was a challenge. We had a compressed deadline for the book, made more difficult by the choice to redesign so much of the interior, as well as writing, developing, and editing
all the new content. We had a rough guess at the amount of space the adventure would take up, but as in any large project, surprises crop up. Erik Mona, James Jacobs, James Sutter, and I worked some very long hours on the book (I stopped counting at 160 hours for myself), but in the end, all the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it.
Since Erik and James provided cool little sneak peeks at the book, I’ve decided to show you a few things that aren’t in the book.
First up is a few of the sketches we got from Chris Stevens. You can see his wonderful pencil technique here, and see how well it translates into a color illustration as well.
As my final bonus, I’m presenting a map done by Christopher West that didn’t make it into the book. This is the complete Fiery Sanctum dungeon, showing the intricate connections between the different areas. We never had room the first time around to present this version, so now we have a chance to show it off.
-- Sean Glenn