When designing The Spirit Queen's Torment, I was inspired to create a narrative that was exciting to the players, creating interesting locations and unexpected situations. Just as importantly, I wanted the narrative to feel compelling as a story. I hope that players will be captivated by unraveling the mystery of the Spirit Queen and in deciding how the tale should end. Lastly, I wanted to help create the sense of a larger world, with ancient orc kingdoms that once mastered magic, and to give a new voice and perspective to the orcs as allies and heroes.
Ever had an opportunity to reconnect with your younger self?
I have. Hasbro recently asked if I would be interested in designing a bonus Quest Book to accompany the re-launch of HeroQuest. Wow! I had not written a HeroQuest adventure in over 28 years. The memories of my early career came flooding back. I pictured myself sat at my old desk. I thought back to the R&D team and all the great people I used to work with. How things have changed. There were only a few computers in the department and prototypes were put together with black and white photocopies, markers and paste. I tried to recall, how did I used to work back then? What was my design process? What went through my mind when I literally put pen to paper? I thought about it and smiled. Nothings really changed. I begin by imagining how I want the players to feel. I picture a game being played and ask myself, what moment will make this a memory forever. Of course, I was interested in writing a new HeroQuest adventure! This was going to be fun. I get to take the baton from my younger self. I get to work again on a game that is dear to my heart. This was going to be just like the old days. Though I like to think the passing years have given me a few more tricks up my sleeve.
When I was asked to create the druid character, I knew I wanted to start with a succulent. They are hardy, drought-resistant plants, which I thought was a good fit for a strong and battle-ready character. I also wanted to keep a lot of rounded shapes in the overall design to contrast with other characters. I included this with the way her hair wraps around the succulent headpiece, the rounded forms of the braid itself, the curved lines of her body markings, and her soft body shape. I also wanted to keep her clothing simple and something that she could quickly move around in, so I actually based her simple leather top and bottoms on gym clothes (with some fancy leaf adornments).
Initial idea for the warlock to be a halfling is that they are rarely portrayed as scary/intimidating and wanted to play around with that with the warlock archetype. I wanted her to have a bit of a regal demeanor, giving her layers of custom fitted clothing of mixed materials ( treated leather, wispy taffeta and a thick base velvety skirt. The wrap around her upper torso and waist was to give a punch of color as well have an article of clothing that would hold the same spellcaster article of clothing as a cloak but keep the fitted silhouette (also it can be seen from all angles of the 3d figure). The idea of the demonic influence shows itself through the crystallization of the right eye socket and arm. For me crystal growth is a bit creepy/unnerving, a little otherworldly. , it grows and can be invasive, something usually associated with organic materials (fungus, plants, flesh) also that it seems both random and orderly(also I like that it’s translucent and can play around with hight and glow coming from it as well as through it. The black double pupiled eyes on the face and the top of the hand I wanted to get though that it wasn’t a random occurrence but, came from the will of an entity. The color of the crystal/magic is to get across an otherworldly-ness, power, as well as a bit of sickness that comes from being evenly yellow/green. As far as the background I wanted a space that was castle/fortress-like, architectural touches that suggest a lich or other powerful spellcaster, something that may be a target for our warlock.