The big two artists in this set are Lane and Jose Arias, as well as a few from Smithhy and cat-meff. A smattering of others come here and there, and I'm sure to give credit on the side of each card. Of course, this is still just placeholder art, nothing official, but far, far closer to the feel and themes I wanted.
|Click to enlarge, of course.|
Steadfast Clan remains the same; I wanted to give them a Native American feel (in fact that should be one of Blue's big themes), with the simple declaration of their resolve. The Steadfast Clan, being Blue, is big on Resolve/Defense/Water/WhateverYouCallIt, but is also willing to fight for their home.
I bumped up The Collector's Water attribute, because of the rules modifications, The Collector's special text is no longer as powerful as it once was. The balance must be weighed between the regular way of playing (all or none) and the house rule for scoring. As for the art, my original thought was for The Collector to be a collector of souls, but this worked really well, too.
The Dustchildren artwork is just cool; I can't claim I imagined anything like it.
The original picture for Android 8 was Data from Star Trek, which was pretty much what I wanted (except I hoped to find a less copyrighted, less photographed take). What it is now is even better. I didn't just make the quote reminiscent of Pinocchio, the image is Pinocchio, just a sci-fi-ish version.
For Twister and Tames, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get across an alien race that represents wind and earth, respectively, without just showing a tornado and an animal, like I had for my first round of placeholder art. But these most definitely work, and I like how they're both massive, but have opposite dispositions.
Twister has been boosted a little in its Water attribute, to make it average. I think that a player aiming to convert Twister might have a strategy involving discarding a card, so it might not be as bad a result for the other player every time.
Scatterbrains seems like an obvious choice, given the subject. I had in my head a double-headed alien, but anything with lots of brain cases works, doesn't it? Scatterbrains also got an extra Reason attribute point, again to make it average. Splitting its Crusade between two opponents is cool, but not really worth it if the card can't handle the split.
The Unimaginable was always a Lovecraftian horror from the get-go. The placeholder was just Cthulhu itself, but now Lovecraft has been moved to the flavor text, and The Unimaginable is a more original monster. Each Color gets one card that is seemingly the opposite of what it stands for, and for Blue, The Unimaginable is it. The Unimaginable got a boost to its Sword attribute, to balance for the change in rules, just like I did with The Collector.
Guardians was tough; I almost didn't use that artwork because it was tough to crop it just right. But I'm glad I got both the guard and the child, and if you can't quite see it I turn the flavor text into a conversation instead of just a single quote.
Thunderheads was always meant to be a fire-and-brimstone preacher (well, plural... a lot are plural but the best image was singular), and the dark smoky shadow works perfect here. I decreased Thunderheads' Sword attribute, in an attempt to balance for the broad red text. Red text is tricky at times, because there's a variable in how many Crusaders the player might have out in the Field of Play. Too few, and the card is overpowered, too many, and the effect is too costly.
Meek is based off the Bible quote Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth". Here, Meek is a creature that starts off weak (or meek), but can become extremely powerful.
Flesh is Green's "opposite" card, light on Reason and big on murder. I like the joke that a card called "Flesh" has a picture of skeletons on it.
I had many, many options for The Winged; since practically half the fantasy creatures ever conceived have wings. The first placeholder was an angel, and although that was cool, I felt such a token symbol of good wasn't "Red" enough. Now here is a more common image for fantasy. However, the lore is that dragons are extremely intelligent, but since it's Red, Reason is a bad attribute. So instead I made it more of a taunting kind of card. "Infinite", of course, is the name of the Green faction, Red's big enemy.
Naomi was tough to pick for; of course I had to pick a woman as artwork, considering the name, but it was tough picking between this, the Steadfast Clan girl (above), and others. I think I went with this because of the sun-ray-type background. Her image is also not too sad, not too tough, but calm, like she has a trick up her sleeve. Like Thunderheads, Naomi had to be rebalanced for the red text effect, so here I decreased her Fire attribute, which of course ought to work fine, considering she's Blue.
Each color also gets a "Servants" card: your basic card that's adequate in all four categories. Servants of the Noise is Red's. I think it captures the spirit of Red well enough: a brutal sense of humor.
The original art for Learning to Walk was a baby deer. Of course that's not quite what Yellow is about, but I wanted to keep that same sort of idea, something weak in the knees (mostly because whatever my original idea about what Learning to Walk should be has been forgotten). When I decided on this one, I thought it worked, though I contemplated a Frankenstein quote to go with it (nothing worked well). This works; perhaps it's best to have as few non-original quotes as possible, unless they're perfect.
For Starving, Cacophonous, and The Hidden, I felt silence was best. Starving has silent gratitude, and The Hidden is silent because, well, it's trying to maintain cover (even if it's out in the open, seemingly). For Cacophonous, I struggled with something to write there, before deciding that the picture says it all. Writing "Raaaaaawr" or something equally lame would just detract from the image, which is awesome by itself. It's one of those pictures you can hear just by looking at it.
As for The Optomites, well, you'd be surprised how tough it is to find a sci-fi alien that's smiling!
I think Witch Doctor and Abductors speak for themselves, and aren't a far cry from their original art.
Servants of the Infinite was a tough choice for that artwork. I think it's amazing, so I wasn't sure if I wanted it for this or for For Hire (which I'll get artwork for later). For Hire, however, is more along the lines of hiring a lawyer or debater or philosopher than hiring a mechanic. This works better here, I think.
Last (of course), but not least, Slowpokes is a turtle. Of course it's a turtle. I had that in mind from the beginning, I think, and I'm glad I found such a badass turtle warrior for it. At least I didn't use the pokemon!