Friday, September 22, 2023

Tomecraft in Practice

What is tomecraft?  I first heard the term years ago as a way of describing the creation of fictional grimoires and books of forbidden knowledge.  It covers the entire process, from coming up with an initial concept, through writing the text and finding or making the artwork to illustrate it, down to the final assembly of the book itself.  In many ways it's the pinnacle of Mythos propmaking.

The most daunting part is the final bookbinding.  Turning the individual pages into signatures, mounting them into a page block, and building the cover is an intimidating undertaking.  I say that from personal experience.  Thankfully, their are artisans like Dennis at Four Key Book Arts willing to share their experience and knowledge.

David Stay was kind enough to bring this video series to my attention.  It starts with the decision to rebind the core Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks into a single massive tome and then goes through the entire process of breaking them down, reassembling the pages into a single block, and binding the whole thing in a beautiful leather cover.

It's a long process spread out over four videos.  If  you have any interest in making even a modest tome I highly recommend taking the time to watch the whole thing.  There's something both relaxing and inspiring about watching an expert at work, and Dennis does an excellent job of describing each step of the job.


Thursday, September 21, 2023


 This monstrous ram skull comes to us from the gifted Karen Main.  


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Bring me the Head of Tuskgutter!

I know the idea of wanted posters in a typical fantasy TTRPG world is a little dodgy, but they're awesome props for players.

Pathfinder's "Kingmaker" Adventure Path is not only a great tabletop campaign but formed the basis of an equally fun video game from Owlcat Games. In many ways, it's a reimagining of the classic hex crawls of old-school D&D. Travel hither and thither, battle the forces of evil, bring civilization to the wilderness, and make lots and lots of money.

I have two versions of a wanted poster from the initial section of the campaign set at Oleg's Trading Post. The first is plain greyscale. Print it out on faux parchment, trim it to size, and you're good to go. The second version is for use with color printers and includes a background parchment texture. Print the "Reward" page, flip it over, and then print the blank parchment image on the back.

I do want to mention the posters should be trimmed according to the faint guide marks in each corner of the page. People handle bog-standard 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper every day. Resizing your handouts and paper props to avoid using standard sheets helps immensely with immersiveness.

To get the full-sized, high-resolution versions of each image, right click, open the link in a new tab, and then right click again to download directly.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Stop, A Head

This delightfully icky mummified head comes to us from the amazing Ugo Serrano. When it comes to dead things he's in a class by himself.* Just look at that wonderfully dusty patina.

*Please note my restraint in avoiding puns like "ahead of the rest".  You're welcome.  Heh.


Monday, September 18, 2023

The White Grimoire

Another glorious example of tomecraft from the talented Alex Libris.  This white grimoire features hand tooled leather covers and custom cut brass hardware.


Friday, September 15, 2023

Alchemical Vials

Fabelrot brings us a set of nifty alchemical vials.  For anyone looking to create something similar, I strongly recommend browsing the bath care section of your local big box store.  The various bath salts make great bottle filler, with a good variety of colors and crystal sizes.


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Runemaster's Necklace

Fire, forge, and steel.  Wyrdcor returns to our pages with his Runemaster's necklace.  Just look at that amazing patina.