A few years ago, I bought a copy of the Pathfinder alpha book. It was a printed, published book of a kind of "work in progress" game, meant to be tried and picked apart by fans and rules lawyers. It was actually a pretty impressive book as it was, but it was made very clear by the publisher that it was intended to be replaced by the real thing sometime later.
This was an unusual approach to game publishing, to say the least. But it worked. Really well. Soon people were picking up thousands and thousands of copies of the play test book, and no one seemed to care that it was going to be completely overridden by the fully tested and filled out version of the game only a year later.
My gaming group was very happy with the alpha Pathfinder. So much so, that we had completely stopped playing anything else by the time the full book was even half way finished. Which is a good thing, because when Paizo asked me if I wanted to be in the full book, I said hell yes.
The art director first asked me if I could do character work that was a little more "Graphic". You see, they needed someone to do the prestige class images, and Wayne Reynolds had done all the art for the basic classes, and whoever they found to do the new work, it couldn't be so different that it visually clashed with Waynes art. And his work is completely different from my usual stuff, probably more so at that time then today. But because I wanted to be in the book, and found it an interesting challenge to slant my work more in that direction, I said yes and got to work almost immediately.
I really wasn't sure I could do it at first, but as soon as the sketches started to take shape, I became more and more confident that it would work. The style of drawing, of pulling out shapes and rendering them cleanly, in an almost comic book style, was a fun and unexpected evolution for my abilities, and something I still benefit from today on every image I create today. And as the original sketches were so much fun, I will be posting them all here, one at a time over the coming days.
Here first is the Duelist, a strong, agile musketeer style class.