The following post was published 11/February/2009 in the now more less abandoned Usenet Newsgroup rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad. I wanted to re-post this because it’s an interesting read (and some day, I think, Google might decided that Google Groups archive is no longer a worthwhile enterprise). Obviously I added some of the crypt pictures for better visualization (and did some formatting on the text).
I’ve mentioned in other threads that some of the vampires in KoT come from a supplement White Wolf printed for Mind’s Eye Theatre.
Since I co-authored that supplement (and was responsible for creating the specific vampires for it), LSJ was nice enough to let me provide the guidelines to be given to the artists making the art for those 20-odd vampires that got made into VTES cards. The general length and content matched some samples LSJ had given me of notes for previous vamps, so this should give some idea of the sort of notes artists typically receive.
Let me caveat this by saying I had no idea which artists would get which vampires, and I don’t know how much time any of them had or if any had to be rushed by a substitute artist under extreme time pressures or any of that. And of course the artists could embellish or ignore the notes given as they chose; they were very much just meant as guidelines, not absolutes.
Side note: Jack Tredegar was in the supplement intended to be Smiling Jack using a fake name and simply lying to people (badly) that he was a neonate Ventrue.
Here’s the notes that were given:
- Lynne Thompson — Lynne dresses in bright colors and keeps her hair long and streaked with highlights that she keeps back with a headband. She wears pastel-tinted glasses and bangly wristbands, and generally looks like she could fit in at either a modern rave or Woodstock with equal comfort, mixing and matching elements of each style freely.
- Slag — Slag is man in his late 30’s, wearing a dress shirt with the necktie loosened and the collar open and is completely rumpled. He carries a reporter’s notepad with him wherever he goes and constantly takes notes in it. He still looks very much the 1970’s newspaperman that he was in life, except that his features are hideously deformed (as are all members of his vampiric clan.)
- Jack Tredegar — Jack is a Caucasian vampire who looks about 40 years old and stands about 5′ 10″ tall. He wears his black hair and beard long and barely kept in check, and while he smiles a lot this makes him more menacing rather than less. He is wearing a pale suit that clearly does not fit him, still shows recent bullet holes and that clearly makes him uncomfortable. (He is normally dressed in biker gear, but is pretending – badly – to be something he isn’t while using this identity. This same vampire is called Smiling Jack and appears on a library card of the same name (last appearing in Third Edition).
- Paul Calderone is a scruffy guy in his late 20’s with unkempt dark curly hair and in desperate need of a shave. Average height and heavy-set, with tattooed arms and chest visible beneath a wife-beater T-shirt.
- Alex Wilkins — Alex wears a ‘popped collar’ shirt and a backwards baseball cap (because he thinks it helps him fit in better at college), and generally comes across as eager-to-please and wide-eyed and naive. He’s clean-shaven and is definitely still in his late teens.
- Rathmere — Rathmere is a sandy-haired man in his late 20’s. He is very, very angry and hasn’t cracked a smile in years. His hair and mustache are short but a bit shaggy, and his body is very hirsute. He usually scowls like he is looking for what to hit next. Wears a flak vest and a couple of obvious pistol holsters.
- Lise — Lise is a blond in her mid-20’s, and her clothes look like she stepped off the set from a ’50’s biker chicks’ exploitation film – tight pants and decorative leather jacket over a striped shirt. Scowls a lot and looks like she expects to be respected from the get-go – or else.
- Keller Thiel — Keller looks like a parody of a stereotypical art critic – tall and thin, wearing a black turtleneck, black sunglasses, black beret and black Van Dyke goatee. His hand strokes his chin constantly as he judges everything around him for its ‘artistic value’.
- Arthur Denholm is a very stern, solemn-looking man in his 50’s. He has a long face that is starting to droop with the wrinkles of age. He dresses conservatively. Dark hair that has gone white at the temples. Likes to stand above people so he can glare down at them from above, especially where he can be backlit ominously.
- Andre LeRous — Andre is a serious-looking man in his early twenties. Dark hair kept short, but with an exaggerated long ‘beatnik’ goatee. Wire-rimmed glasses, and a dark jacket over a white turtleneck. His brow shows wrinkles from being furrowed in either concentration or confusion (or a mix of the two.) Carries a script in his hands.
- Tyler McGill — Tyler is stocky from soft living but still in his 30’s. His attire shows his old-boy-network old-money upbringing. He’s a fixture at the most exclusive country clubs. and is rarely seen without a cigar or brandy snifter in his hands, and frequently both. Light hair, and he projects an air of cameraderie and fraternity.
- Sheva Carr — Sheva is a petite woman with flaming red hair, cut short in a classic ‘flapper’ style from the 20’s. She looks youthful and is dressed in a dark sleeveless dress. She prefers to stand off to one side and scrutinize things rather than be the center of attention. Often looks like she is smirking at a private joke.
- Lindsay Yates — She’s a short woman in her 30’s, with straight dark hair. She projects an air of a ‘coy young thing’ with fluttering lashes and naivete, but it’s all a deliberate act. Dresses very proper as befitting a woman of high society.
- MacAlister Marshall — Bald on the crown of his head and in his 50’s, with a droopy mustache the same silvery grey color as what is left of his hair. Wears a cloak with a somewhat ridiculous collar and a gaudy closure. Very dark-rimmed eyes that almost look like he’s put makeup on to enhance the effect.
- Emily Carson — Late 30’s. Grew up as a rancher’s daughter, and she wears older, long ruffled dresses that look like she stepped off the set of a classic TV Western, even when she is in a modern corporate setting. Long blonde curly hair pulled back in a loose ponytail, and a very determined demeanor.
- Beth Malcolm — Beth is in her 40’s, tall and with striking features. She keeps the hood of an expensive silky cloak up around her head and shoulders to discourage casual observers from determining her identity. The clasp at her throat is clearly a quite expensive piece of jewelery.
- Joseph DiGiaccomo — Olive skin and classically Italian features. Keeps his black hair perfectly slicked back. Brooding expression, sitting behind an antique wooden desk wearing a perfectly tailored suit.
- Victor Donaldson — A tall man in his mid 30’s. Dark wavy hair down around his shoulders and close-cropped beard and mustache. Has a very determined, authoritative look on his face and wears an expensive suit. Clasps his hands behind his back and paces a lot.
- Pedrag Hasek — Looks to be in his late 40’s or early 50’s with thinning hair, and a rapidly receding hairline. Wears the traditional shirt and collar of a Catholic priest and works rosary beads in his hands. Unattractive and heavy-set.
- Graham Gottesman — Very muscular, broad-shouldered and tall. Pale blond hair cut very short, as is his beard and mustache. Blue eyes. Wears a white suit and a panama hat. Despite this, he looks like he’d be more comfortable wielding an oversized sword on the prow of a viking ship.
- Benjamin Rose — By appearances, he in his 70s, at least. Extremely skinny, and stooped over unnaturally with a bent spine. Wears loud clothes that would fit in a Florida retirement home on the shuffleboard court. His face is grotesquely ugly, half-hidden behind long white hair that cascades in ragged strands in front of his face and down his shoulders. His fingers have an extra set of joints to them, lengthening them unnaturally.
- Zane — Zane is in his late 30’s, and started out as a literal snake-oil salesman, which still shows. His grin is completely insincere. He looks very much like he is about to sell you a used car, only without the garish bad suits (he knows to dress better than that.)
— John F.