West Australian illustrator and zine creator Bodie Hartley produces the ‘pick your path’ adventure gamebook series SlowQuest – a hand-drawn and handmade mini zine full of awesome illustrations reminiscent of early Dungeons & Dragons rulebook artwork. His felt-tipped pen drawings are inspired by his keen interest in playing Dungeons & Dragons, and this love for roleplaying games clearly shows in his many unique and quirky characters, his authentic fantasy settings and the playful, humorous spirit present in every project.
From the world of SlowQuest comes the first in a series of illustrated pick your path adventure stories. With each page an adventure unfolds in your hands, taking your decisions into account.
Will you succeed in your quest or will you succumb to the wrath of the dungeon?
Quest I: The Goblin Guard is a brief 36-page black & white gamebook, measuring in at a pocket-friendly size of 94x94mm. This is a true ‘pick your path’ type of adventure, so no dice or character sheets are needed. A longer adventure will soon be available in Quest II, which is currently in production. This second zine will feature a few double page spreads to really highlight the cool illustrations.
I also have a copy of the 16-page Inventories of Adventurers (as seen above). This is an illustrated collection of items owned and carried by legendary adventurers such as Qaasator Illinsense, Lomax the Magic Man, Hazelmere Blizzneedle and Mirri Nightcrown.
Bodie’s future plans include a series of small, themed booklets, featuring illustrations and information about the chosen topic. These are aimed at RPG DMs and players, providing content, ideas and inspiration for use in their own quests and campaigns, or just as a fun read. The first booklet in the series will be a little book of wizards.
You can find plenty of Bodie’s work on his Facebook or Instagram pages, where he regularly posts images of his vibrant colour illustrations, which also include entertaining character descriptions and many fun facts. These pieces are coloured digitally after sketching and inking, with halftone shading then applied to really bring them to life.
Quest I: The Goblin Guard is available from the SlowQuest Etsy store.
** WARNING ** – The Goblin Guard does contain a few confronting images of Goblin genitalia. You have been warned!