Danse Macabre – dancing skeleton in graveyard

The “Danse Macabre” is an artistic genre from the late middle ages. It usually depicts skeletons or skeletal figures dancing, and is meant to symbolise the universality of death. I was really inspired by the danse macabre for this illustration of an undead skeleton dancing on top of it’s own grave.

If you are as fond of the undead as I am, check out some of my undead-themed dungeon maps, perfect for horror-fantasy adventures!

Holy water sprinkler – variant morningstar

The holy water sprinkler is a mace-like weapon that can be used to sprinkle holy water when fighting undead monsters like zombies, vampires and ghouls.

In real medieval times there existed a mace-like weapon called the “holy water sprinkler” because of it’s resemblance to the aspergillum used in the Catholic Mass. It was of course just a club, but I wanted to pursue the concept a bit further (although I’m sure I’m not the first one to think of this).

This fantasy version of the holy water sprinkler has a hollow mace head with a screw-on lid. It can be loaded with a vial of holy water that breaks on impact, splashing (or rather sprinkling) holy water on the target.

One vial contains enough water for three strikes, however it will deal a little less extra damage for each hit as the water is dispersed (1d8/1d6/1d4). Base damage for the weapon is the same as a mace (1d6 in B/X). Reload time is three rounds.

This is obviously the perfect weapon for anyone on the hunt for the undead. It even comes complete with a zombie-dispatching brain-spike on the top!

For more weapons, check out my complete illustration of the weapons of D&D B/X.

Stay awhile: more stuff for roleplaying games:

The Old-School Armory – weapon illustrations

For some reason I’ve never outgrown weapon illustrations in roleplaying games. As a youngling I usually flipped right to the equipment chapter when picking up a new game, fantasizing about gearing up for adventure.

Some of the early versions of D&D (as well as some of it’s modern clones) sadly lack weapon illustrations. Therefore I took it upon me to hand-draw a chart for dungeon masters to print and hand out to their players.

I hope you will enjoy this onepager, illustrating all the weapons in the equipment list of D&D B/X, released in 1981. Of course it should serve as inspiration for any quasi-medieval fantasy roleplaying game. I myself intend to use it for Old-School Essentials which is an amazing B/X close.

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Fighter with mace “flänsklubba” and shield

I wasn’t going to write anything about this drawing, but I had to, as the word “flänsklubba” (the old Swedish word for this type of mace) doesn’t return any decent results on Google. There are two Swedish words for this type of weapon, actually, and they’re both really cool:

  • Flänsklubba translates into “flanged club”
  • “Hjälmkrossare” translates into “helmet crusher”

In any case, I don’t draw a lot of characters, but it’s something I would like to get better at, so I just recently started practising it. This fellow is supposed to be some type of grizzled mercenary veteran. You could use him as a hireling or NPC in your games. I hope you enjoy the drawing!