The Eyes of the Stone Thief Are Polychromatic

The Eyes of the Stone Thief, like the eponymous beast, is a monster. It’s on a par with the Ennie-Award winning Trial of Cthulhu campaign, Eternal Lies, and may well be the largest book we’ve ever published. I was intending for it to be monochrome, as Eternal Lies is, but then I saw the beautiful maps, and the idea of full colour grew on me. By this stage, the art, all monochrome, was pretty much in.


So I broached the subject, gingerly, with my colleagues.

I want colour, I said. Surely the artists could just colour the pictures in? You know, get the crayons out and stay within lines? My ten-year-old can do that.

Gareth Hanrahan was all flappy-handed about it on Skype, though full of “Can Do” as always. I interpreted the flappy hands as “No”. Cat Tobin fixed me with a steely glare and said “this book is ready to lay out.” She also pointed out that “colouring in” is not a technical term artists recognise and I should not mention my ten-year-old’s artistic endeavours in this context. Robin D Laws, in a spirit of compromise suggested we do colour plates. Rob Heinsoo laughed with pleasure at the sheer foolishness of it.

Gar approached each artist and asked them to colour one piece each. The colour art in 13th Age uses washes of colour, which mades colouration slightly less problematic. This is what we got.

Rich Longmore

richmaw richmaw colourPat Loboyko


castleonedgecolortestlores Anna Kryczkowska



Juha Makkon

This is working, I thought.

All the artists stepped up and promised to colourize their art for the difference in cost between colour and monochrome, and do it by the end of September.  To keep us on schedule, Chris Huth is doing the layout in colour and using the monochrome pieces as placeholders, to drop in the colour when we have them. This plan was enough to gain acceptance.

I hope the scope, ambition and pure fun of this epic adventure is enough to interest our audience. I have no idea if, commercially, colour is the right choice – the book wil certainly be more expensive. In this case, I’m really doing this just because I want to and because I can, and because it made Rob Heinsoo laugh.


9 Responses to “The Eyes of the Stone Thief Are Polychromatic”

  1. Britt says:

    Oooooooooo! Prettyprettypretypretty! I’ll still only buy one, mind you, but as far as I’m concerned, this was a genius idea. Is there any chance to see a version coloured with crayons by an actual ten-year-old? The article made me kind of curious how it would compare and unfortunately the children I have access to are too young or too old to try…

  2. Robert says:

    Been wanting a megadungeon 13th Age style but I want this book even more now. The canyon image… I would not have guessed there was lava without color. Will definitely order as soon as you put it up or Kickstart.

  3. Stephen Abel says:

    Looks outstanding! Can’t wait for this to be available!

  4. Tim Baker says:

    This really looks great, and I applaud your decision to make this a beautiful product! I, for one, certainly intend to purchase it.

  5. George says:

    The coloured versions are nice, but I must admit the B&W versions were absolutely brilliant. Is there any chance to get the B&Ws in a zip folder along with the PDF? But overall, the artwork shown in this article is very atmospheric. Judging from the preview of the cover I was thinking that the art direction might be heading to different direction from what my group & I prefer – but these certainly won me over. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  6. This looks amazing – really looking forward to seeing the finished book!

  7. Rob Dorgan says:

    I’ll definitely pay for the color version and happily!

  8. Stephen Eade says:

    Is there any news on this? I have a group of players from the play test eager to continue the story. I would like to start with shadows and then progress into this. I guess end of November for a christmas release? The colour looks great.

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