I've been working for the last five years at a "block" of 3 Baldur's Gate themed Magic the Gathering card sets (called Baldur's Gate, Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal).
The cards are made using the Magic Set Editor 2 software.
This project is absolutely just for fun, and there is no commercial intention or profit behind it.
Again, zero money involved for anyone.
Hopefully, this should mean that the holders to the rights of Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms, Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition won't object to this project.
This also obviously means, since I'm not making any money off of it myself, that it would be impossible for me to commission, paying, aaaaaaall the illustrations needed for the project.
The project is supposed to cap between 720 and 810 cards.
I am currently at 566 completed cards (and counting).
However...I NEED YOUR HELP!
When I say the cards are completed, I mean that their game design (up to and including flavor text) is done... but not necessarily the artwork.
I have collected many artworks in these five years (with the artists' permission), but being Baldur's Gate a very niche subject, some artworks are harder to find.
So, I hope to rally the BG community to support me in this titanic task.I'm asking you, if you're willing to help, to either find for me or draw yourselves several BG-themed artworks.
Here are the standard requirements for the illustrations:
I've found that some of the most wonderful Baldur's Gate illustrations are done in black and white.
Alas, the MtG standards demand that they should be in color.
Alternatively, if you are good at coloring, you might (with the artist's permission) color somebody else's artwork (in fact, there's at least one I absolutely want to be colored);
Similarly, a lot of fanart just has one or more characters standing in a vacuum.
A MtG card needs them to have at least a basic background.
Just like the above... if you like a background-less Bg-themed picture and you would like to provide a background for it, feel free to do it (after you've obtained the original artist's permission).
3) SIZE AND PROPORTIONS
MtG cards (usually) have a specific box size for the art.
As far as I know, the current standard is 2 1/16" (52mm) wide x 1 1/2" (38mm) tall.
However, there is some leeway with this, as the software permits me to very easily shrink, zoom in, cut out a particular, and perform other similar basic editing operations.
A larger image is absolutely fine (however, details might end up cropped and ugly, if the original is much, much larger... and very detailed). A smaller image would create problems.
What this means for the artists is basically that the artwork has to have a horizontal disposition
, rather than a vertical one.
This also means that none of the "portraits" available for BG and similar games can be used.
4) ART TECHNIQUE
Most techniques are well accepted.
However, drawn by hand, painted, or done digitally, it should still look like an MtG illustration.
Ultimately, this excludes 3D modeling and photomanipulation
(yes, I know the latter is all the rage around here).
5) ART STYLE
While this is hard to quantify, and while the artwork of MtG has changed sensibly several times between 1993 and 2019, the general suggestion is that it should be an artwork that wouldn't look out of place on a modern MtG card.
Since there is no better explanation for this... let's just say that I will be the final judge for the artwork (this also means that I will necessarily have to choose one, if two artworks for the same subject are provided).
Dont' be discouraged by this, though. I'm not going to be harsh about it. I don't expect a fanart to be as astonishing as an illustration from a professional MtG artist (although I won't complain, if it is
If you compare your artwork to MtG illustrations, and you think it's sufficiently similar... it probably will be for me too.
Also, there can be absolutely no manga/anime style
. The closest we can get to it is the style in the artworks of the Chinese themed "Global Series: Jiang Yanggu and Mu Yanling" set (and yes, I know anime aren't made in China... usually).
Oh, and it goes without saying that the artwork needs to be SFW and PG-13.
Since we're portraying the Baldur's Gate universe, it's obvious that any artwork with integrated aspects of such setting will be preferred.
Basic Example: a fireball is ok, a fireball angrily shot by Edwin Odesseiron is much better.
Another example: a rogue/thief character is ok, a rogue/thief in Athkatla slums (with one or more recognizable landmarks in the background) wielding Neb's Nasty Cutter is much better.
Companions and other notable BG characters either being the focus of the artwork or in the background will always be chosen over generic fantasy characters.
That being said... "Gorion's Ward", "CharName", "the Bhaalspawn", can be whatever you want (and in fact, will be represented differently in different cards), provided that he/she is a member of one of the playable fantasy races present in the game (and dressed/equipped accordingly to the setting).
I can't do anything with any illustration, if I don't have the artist's permission.
If you're the author of the piece, a written permission here or via private message is sufficient.
If you're not the author of the piece, I'd ask you to obtain their permission. Missing that, please provide me with a link to any webpage where I can contact them. Missing that, I'd like to have at least the artist's full name / pseudonym (with the hope that I could find a way to contact them... somehow).
Here's a list of some of the currently required illustrations, which I will keep updating (you most definitely will find SPOILERS in it):Please note: where I didn't write additional details, it means that I need the artwork for the character's (or object, or place) own card, and therefore all I ask is that the artwork makes the character (or object, or place) justice and that you refer to the character's official portrait, where present.
- Abazigal in his (semi-)human form;
- Abdel Adrian, young (this should be the default illustration of CharName's card... and while I know that most BG fans hate Abdel Adrian and I am not planning to refer to him by name, I'd still prefer to use his fairly standard looks - he's supposedly one of the BG portraits, the brown-haired, armored, young human male - to represent a character that could be... well... potentially anything);
- Adjatha, the Drinker (the weapon);
- Amelyssan, square off (main party staring down Amelyssan before their final confrontation in the actual ToB);
- Amkethran (the city);
- Am-Si (the kidnapper wearing all red in Tirdir's quest);
- Amulet of Power;
- Anomen, reciting the Radiant Order's oath upon his investiture;
- Arkanis Gath (the Shadow Thief, not Arkanis the dwarf from Obe's training);
- Aurumach Rilmani / Ferrumach Rilmani (from the lower levels in Watcher's Keep, possibly by the same artist);
- Balthazar's monks;
- Barghest (not the monster, but rather the half-orc general from SoD);
- Bigby's Hand (the spell);
- Big Metal Unit;
- Blade Barrier (the spell);
- Blue Dragon Plate armor;
- Boots of Speed;
- Bugbear Chief;
- Carsa (the crazy mage lady with a jar at the Firewine Bridge);
- Cernd, angry (him getting very angry and threatening the servant Glut, during his personal quest);
- Challenge: the Ravager (main party fighting Bhaal's-ultimate-power-in-the-form-of-the-Ravager during ToB's fifth challenge, in the pocket plane);
- Challenge of Doubts (main party fighting Charname's-doubts/innocence-in-the-form-of-the-Slayer during ToB's third challenge, in the pocket plane);
- Challenge of Possibilities (main party fighting alternate-evil-CharName-who-lived-Sarevok's-life, together with Tamoko, Angelo and Semaj, during ToB's third challenge, in the pocket plane);
- Challenge of Retribution (a large number of monsters/enemies spawning during ToB's first challenge, in the pocket plane);
- Chromatic Demon (from Watcher's Keep);
- City of Caverns;
- Cloak of Balduran;
- Coran, killing wyverns;
- Deck of Many Things (the one you use to play against the Cambion);
- Doomsayer (monster near the Lighthouse);
- Draconis in his (semi-)human form;
- Edwin, spell disrupted (either his spell fizzling out or him getting angry about it, or both);
- Edwin's amulet;
- Ellesime's clone (the escaped clone in Irenicus' dungeon);
- Energy Blades (the spell);
- Fireshield (the spell, blue and/or red);
- Fire Storm (the spell);
- Firkraag in his human form (lord Jierdan Firkraag);
- Fll'Yissetat, the green dragon with the geas in Abazigal's lair;
- Fortnite gnome (Quaid, the "confused" gnome with a broken cart in the Wild Forest, who ends up being an illusion... and a Total Recall reference);
- Garrick, singing (him encouraging the party during battle);
- Gloves of Healing;
- Golden Pantaloons / Silver Pantaloons / Bronze Pantalettes (all by the same artist, preferably);
- Grimwarder Soldier / Grimwarder Archer (by the same artist, preferably);
- Gromnir's guard (one of the Bhaalspawn fighting alongside him, but not one of the wizards);
- Haste (the spell, preferably cast by Aerie);
- Haer'Dalis, deferent (him showing deference towards CharName);
- Heart Crew (the party of female monsters at the end of Watcher's Keep);
- Helm of Balduran;
- Helm of Opposite Alignment;
- History of the Fateful Coin (something representing the myth... maybe just a coin standing edge on);
- Hive Mother (beholder type);
- Illasera, square off (either CharName alone or with his/her party, staring down Illasera in the woods, at the beginning of ToB);
- Imprisonment (the spell);
- Infravision (either the spell, or a non-human/non-halfling character using it... go crazy);
- Invisibility (the spell, preferably any of the main party's wizards casting it on Minsc);
- Iron Crisis (weapons breaking in the middle of combat OR Jan mocking Sarevok about it);
- Jaheira, defeating a monster;
- Jan, resurrected (him being resurrected, preferably with Keldorn in the background);
- Kagain, grumpy (him getting angry at some "moron");
- Kalah's "illusion world" (in the circus);
- Keldorn, nostalgic (him talking to CharName and getting nostalgic about the "good old days");
- Khalid, scared by CharName (him talking to CharName and visibly afraid);
- Kuo-Toa warrior;
- Lilarcor (the talking weapon);
- Machine of Lum the Mad;
- Mehnir (ancient, humming stones in SoD);
- Meilum, the fighter by the Firewine Bridge (defiant AND/OR drawing his blade);
- Melf's Acid Arrow (the spell);
- Melf's Minute Meteors (the spell, preferably cast by Neera);
- Melissan, civilian (the first, "good", aspect of Melissan in Saradush);
- Minsc, shouting (proudly);
- Monk (the battered and broken monk who's trapped in Abazigal's lair);
- Morentherene, the green dragon in Siege of Dragonspear;
- Nalia, in an open space;
- Neera, cowering;
- Neera, inner fire (her with flames surging from her OR playing a flute that accidentally shoots fire everywhere);
- Neera's staff;
- Noober, w/ villagers throwing rocks at him;
- Obe's training (a "level 1" CharName squaring off against illusionary goblins and kobolds, during Obe's training; optional: the temporary party members from Obe's training);
- Old well (in SoD);
- Oracle (the spell... go crazy);
- Otiluke's Resilient Sphere (the spell);
- Petrified adventurers (the five statue guys in Durlag's Tower);
- Portalbendarwinden, aura check (him "reading the future" of Charname by checking his/her aura);
- Prism, working at his sculpture (the giant face of Ellesime);
- Prismatic Spray (the spell);
- Rats (from the storehouse);
- Restoration (the spell);
- Safana, flirtatious (her looking particularly flirtatious... so basically just her, but I still need a second illustration of her);
- Saladrex, the red dragon from Watcher's Keep;
- Saradush (the city);
- Sarevok's minion (any of the minor ones, but not the mages);
- Secret Word (the spell... go crazy);
- Sendai / Sendai's statue (by the same artist, preferably);
- Sewer Walls (the ones under Baldur's Gate, with corpses stored in them);
- Shadow Fiend;
- Shapechange (the spell);
- Shield of Balduran;
- Silver Dragon Scale armor;
- Slay Living (the spell);
- Skinner / Skin Dancer (by the same artist, preferably);
- Skull of Death (the helmet);
- Skull Trap (the spell);
- Sphere of Chaos (the spell);
- Spider web (preferably with Viconia in the picture);
- Spike Trap (the thief's ability, preferably with Imoen);
- Suneer (Irenicus's mage underling in Sundanessellar);
- Sword of Balduran;
- Tazok's letter (Tazok in his camp tent, writing a letter OR CharName standing over Tranzig's dead body and reading said letter);
- Thaxll'ssillyia, the Shadow Dragon;
- Throne of Bhaal (the actual stage at the end of the game, not the pocket plane);
- Twisted Rune door (the door "into nothingness" in the Bridge Districts, that teleports you to the Twisted Rune hideout);
- Ulgoth's Beard (the town);
- Valygar, distrustful (him being distrustful of a magic user);
- Valygar, stoic (him looking very aloof and stoic, talking to Imoen);
- Viconia, broken weapon (her surprised and angry at her weapon breaking during battle);
- Viconia, from the ground (her clawing her way to the surface, after being buried alive);
- Viconia, sneak attack (her being attacked from behind by the farmer, in her backstory);
- White Dragon Scale armor;
- Winski Perorate, dying;
- Winter wolf;
- Wish (the spell... go crazy);
- Xzar, mad (him looking especially crazy... so basically just him, but I still need a second illustration of him);
- Yaga-Shura, eating heart (him eating the heart of a human in the middle of the Calim desert OR him writing in his journal about it);
- Yeslick, calm (him in a meditative and non-violent mood);
- Yoshimo, enemy (in a dark / gritty / defiant / sad mood, weapon drawn against the "camera" or against CharName);
- Yoshimo, disgusted (him being disgusted by... someone... I forgot where I took the quote from).
I do realize I'm asking a lot.
And believe me, I've worked a lot on this myself, for the past five years.
But, if there's enough interest, and I very much hope so, I'm sure the community as a whole can make it.