For your delectation, here are a few images of art Baron has generated for Roan. Some—but not all—of them will appear in the rulebook, so this is something of a behind-the-scenes peek as well as an advance glimpse. The images display a wide variety of subjects and show some of the thought Baron has put into supporting the world-building going into the setting and background of Roan.
The air medusa is a creature of the middle and high troposphere. Though generally inoffensive, it can be dangerous if it decides it is being threatened. Airships and aircraft alike usually try to steer clear of these animals, but if an air medusa suddenly emerges from a cloud, that might prove impossible.
Baron drew the air medusa during one of his biweekly Picarto streams.
Speaking of airships and aircraft: Aviation is perhaps Baron’s greatest love. This is only one of several pages of airships, airplanes, autogyros, and other mechanical marvels of the air he’s generated for Roan. Most of them reflect the level of technology—roughly 1920s to 1940s—of the Roan setting, but a few more advanced designs sneaked onto other pages.
The bomber at the top features prominently in the rulebook’s cover art.
Firearms are perhaps Baron’s second-greatest love. Again, this is a single representative of a whole sheaf of pages, in this case dealing with the technological challenges of designing weapons operable and maintainable by creatures without opposable thumbs. It’s fiendishly tricky, but it can be done.
For proof, there’s a young competition shooter nicknamed “Nubs” who was born without hands—only the tiny vestiges of a digit or two on each arm (hence the nickname). Search for that nickname on Youtube; there are quite a few clips of him in action.
Powder Keg’s motto is “There are two kinds of problems in the world: Those that can be solved with explosives, and those that cannot. I am better at solving the first.”
Baron excels at tossing out vivid, well-realized characters at the drop of a hat. For a forthcoming double-page-size image, he needed a set of archetypical pulp-adventure characters appropriate to the Roan setting. They proved so appealing they may well appear somewhere as non-player characters!
Petina Pony is the owner and operator of the pleasure airship Heavenly Bawdy, which travels around Roan as a sort of cruise liner crossed with a riverboat casino—among other things. She also is slightly megalomaniacal and is rubbing her hooves together, pleased to be taking over a few more pages in the rulebook.
So there you have it: A small selection of images by Baron Engel that will appear in the Roan rulebook or have influenced this pulp-adventure world of ponies and other creatures!
—Dave Bryant, Catspaw DTP Services