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Character Portraits for Your Game

PC Portraits Online Archives [1] hosts images from the old PC Portraits feature in Dragon Magazine.

They work for NPCs as well as PCs, and some could even be used in genres other than fantasy (post-apocalyptic, for example).

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9 Comments To "Character Portraits for Your Game"

#1 Comment By Eternalknight On November 27, 2005 @ 2:22 pm

Yep, they have been used quite extensively by my group 🙂

#2 Comment By Frank Filz On November 27, 2005 @ 6:31 pm

I’ve not made that much use of character portraits other than a very rare artistic player. I did use an image I found once for a GURPS Supers character. Oh, and of course Everway…

I think one thing that has kept me away from them is that you can’t easily use both miniatures and stock portraits since they won’t match.

If you used counters, it would be easier to use the same artwork both in large scale on the character sheet and in small scale or heavily cropped on the counter.

Oh, another reason to avoid character portraits – the games I enjoy have complex enough characters that the space a portrait would take on the character sheet is too valuable for game stats.

Frank

#3 Comment By Lilith On November 28, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

Hey, I’ll do somebody’s character portrait. It’s fun! Yay!

#4 Comment By Martin On November 29, 2005 @ 7:32 am

(Frank) Oh, another reason to avoid character portraits – the games I enjoy have complex enough characters that the space a portrait would take on the character sheet is too valuable for game stats.

For my Selgaunt campaign, we used the PCs’ counters as their portraits online — they didn’t appear on the sheet, but we still got good mileage out of them.

Lilith: That’s a very kind offer — I hope a TT reader takes you up on it! 🙂

#5 Comment By Frank On November 29, 2005 @ 9:36 am

Martin – that’s certainly an excellent use of character portraits.

Another way one could use them is on a tent card in front of the player on the table (which of course would also have the character’s name which would help remind some of the more forgetful folks).

Frank

#6 Comment By Martin On November 29, 2005 @ 10:49 am

Frank: That’d be handy for an exceptionally well-prepared convention GM, too.

In most of the con games I’ve played, the players make those little tents before the game starts. Having them pre-made — and with nifty portraits — would be a pretty cool thing to do.

#7 Comment By mcv On November 30, 2005 @ 5:24 am

Nice collection of portraits on that site, but I rarely use character portraits. And if I do, I make them myself. (I have a very nice one somewhere of a windling troubadour I used in Earthdawn.)

#8 Comment By Martin On November 30, 2005 @ 11:00 am

mcv: If you’ve got the time and the talent, drawing your own portraits sounds like the way to go. 🙂

#9 Comment By mcv On December 1, 2005 @ 4:52 pm

Time is the main problem, I’m afraid. I could really use some more of that.