By Adrian Burton
Emperor Edition: Gempukku was a fun little project. From an art department stand point it was a small project as it only contained two new pieces per clan. Our initial premise was to have whoever did the Experienced Personality do the Holding as well. It didn’t work for every single one unfortunately.
Hida Yamadera – A soul of getting their own experienced personality is a chance to let them come into their own. With Yamadera we wanted him with the new sword he picked up and a touch of his corruption madness mixed with his berserker frothiness.
Yasuki Peddler – Mix Traveling peddler with Of Mice and Men characters and you have the recipe for this. Envisioned were two brothers, the brains and the brawn, working the business.
Doji Dainagon – Stylish and courtly presence. Dainagon has a bit of a following. We had hoped to get Rebekah Norris back for the art but she was unavailable so Edwin David stepped in for us. He did a great job at capturing the vision that Dainagon is a brain and a beauty in the court, armed with her words and her charm.
The Daidoji Marketplace – A bustling downtown market outside Shiro Daidoji. Alayna put in one or two of her prior characters for fun, can you find them? Peaceful and orderly was the goal for this market.
Togoshi Korimi – A close up of the lovely and mysterious Korimi. Steve will never forgive me for making him follow Mario with an experienced 2 of her. Simple and beautiful. He was stoked to show some good close up of tattooed skin in this piece.
Tattoo’s and Trinkets – It only seemed logical to show Korimi getting inked in this piece. We’ve long held the idea that as far as Korimi is concerned her tattoos are her clothes, which makes her very modest indeed by a Togashi’s standard. The tattoo artist is also in theory slated for his own character card as we and story liked him so much. More on that eventually.
Jade’s Roar – We had long figured David Horne would rock at drawing animals. Little did we know we could get National Geographic quality of lions from him. We wanted them with subtle jade green eyes to show a link to their master but other than that we really let him have free reign on this and we love the results.
The Quartermaster’s Depot – We wanted the place where the Lion store tons of weapons for their forces. Taking a small nod from Raiders of the Last arc we wanted it big. It was key to us to show both scale and what was in the boxes.
Moshi Madoka – Traditional, cunning, and not to be trifled with. We though of her as a scholar with some major spiritual power to back her up. Moshi have long tended to be represented like Yoritomo and we’ve been trying to move away from that. Madoka represents the conservative and powerful nature of the Moshi family.
Buried Treasures – That slightly seedy bar where those with an adventurous spirit go and dig up information, be it maps or rumors. We envisioned this as a bar with strong sake and a very smart barkeep.
Kunji – The literal fire bird, for well, the nicknamed fire birds. Kunji is a favorite of ours with its artistic pyromania. Sergio was given Kunji’s prior art and told to make him more fiery and glorious. We think he more than succeeded.
The Mystical Merchant – The nod for inspiration of the character really has to go to James Hong and the characters he plays, also his voice. Our description to Sergio for this was basically ” This is the guy who sells mystical trinkets that no sane person should ever actually want because it inevitably gets them into trouble.”
Shosuro Hawado – In her prior version we wanted to show a bit of her humanity. This card was an occasion to go back to being a ruthless creepy killing machine as she pops out of a wall to gank a guy in the chest before fading away.
The Merchant’s District – The market where you go to get nearly anything, for a price. The city background was a point we really wanted to show, a city rising up behind them. Often scope and scale of the cities in Rokugan fail to translate as well as we like. It’s been a goal to show off how vast cities are more often.
Daigotsu Negishi – I saw Negishi as a bit of a weird fellow, nearly unkillable due to his corruption. Armor, hair, body all unkempt just him and his knife carrying out his orders. Arrows hang from his body he just doesn’t care he just keeps coming at you.
Purveyor of Questionable Goods – If you can’t get it from the Crane, the Yasuki can’t find it and the Scorpion wont even sell it, you can go to the Spider. We didn’t even want to see the fellow, he is not a man you want to see often.
Shinjo Byung – We wanted her to age correctly, but a life on horseback and outdoors can be a hard one. We didn’t want her aging as a super model, but as a warrior who is out everyday, practicing her art into an elderly matron.
Ide Caravan – A protected wagon train full of merchants set up on a stop along their route. We haven’t see a lot of the Ide in Emperor Edition so it was nice to get a small glimpse of them.
We hope you enjoy these, they were fun to get assembled and we’re proud of them and feel they add some fun pieces to the ever growing world of Rokugan.