Friday, July 4, 2014

Review And Commentary On Skirmisher Publishing's Vintage Clipart: Ships & Boats Volume 1 For Your Old School Rpg Campaigns

Grab It Right
Back when I was a kid wandering through the various craft and hobby stores one of the first things that I stumbled upon as a DM was clip art. With a simple photocopy I could show my players what their PC's were looking at and what wonders they were encountering. Who was trying to slice off their heads. Now Skirmisher Publishing has put together a collection of clip art that can be printed out and used however you'd like.
This collection reminds me of those old vintage books of great clip art that can not only show your players your vision of the adventure but be a source of new adventures to come.
It does exactly what it says on the Drivethrurpg blurb:
This book contains more than 20 vintage clipart images from a number of sources and which were originally or subsequently published between 1880 and 1926. All have been scanned at 600 dpi and are provided individually as or grayscale JPEGs and/or as black-and-white TIFFs, and one has been provided as a full-color JPEG (25 image files total). The purchaser of this collection is granted the non-exclusive rights to use these images in any commercial or personal projects they choose subject to the conditions of the included license. 

An eye toward variety has been taken in compiling this collection, and it contains an assortment of styles and themes, including various combinations of complementary images that could be used in conjunction with each other. Several images suitable for use as full-page or cover illustrations have also been included, as have several suitable as text decorations or for rounding out pages. Specific sorts of vessel depicted in this collection include Viking longships, Chinese junks, Egyptian riverboats, Greek and Carthaginian galleys, Crusader warships, a fantastic galleon, and a number of smaller craft like dugouts, dinghies, and canoes. 

This download includes both a low-resolution screen-friendly preview PDF that displays just one version of each of the images and a high-resolution printer-friendly catalog of all the included image variations.

I've got an Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg campaign coming up and all of the various cultures that happen to be shown in this product represent some particular aspect of a Hyperborean culture's water craft. This makes creating a particular impression or player hand out for adventures rather easy.
There are ton of uses for this book for a post apocalyptic campaign as well. Need a set of raider for that village that the wizard has been threatening. Thumb through and their in there. Need a  Neo trader's Chinese Junk and that's there too. Need a particular style of Human Purists who model themselves after the Crusaders and use their style of ships? Those are in there too.
The use for any old school fantasy game that has a Greek style culture is right there as well. These vintage art pieces echo a particular style that reminds me of some of the covers of Edgar Rice Burroughs original edition artwork.
All in all the collection isn't that expansive at all but it does a good job covering a particular subject and does a nice solid job hitting some of the best cultural high notes and does it very well. All in all I liked what I've seen in this series and this pdf makes a very nice addition to the DM's arsenal of tricks to pull from for OSR style games. Grab and download this one while you can.  

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