First, I’d like to announce that Sara Otterstaetter and Grace D. Palmer have graciously signed on to provide illustrations for House of Cards. Feel free to peruse their portfolios at the respective links above.
Second, this news ties into an initiative I’ve been silently brewing for a while. There’s been a lot of energy spent this summer discussing issues of women in the world of gaming: how they’re portrayed, how they’re treated, how included they are in our hobby. While there are many aspects of this debate for which I have no real stake, it’s important nonetheless simply as an issue of human decency and courtesy to make moves, however small, to improve the situation of women, even in a tiny corner of modern society (i.e., the pen-and-paper RPG community).
It’s what we can affect that matters, really, and as someone who’s producing a game, I can make decisions over how I want that game to be produced. In this particular case, I have deliberately opted to seek out the assistance of talented women at all levels as a small but practical means of approaching the topic. Many of you who have been following this game’s development have no doubt done so because you crossed paths with Parenthesis Press’ fantastic PR director, freelance social media consultant Sarah Hope Fitch. Besides Ms. Otterstaetter and Ms. Palmer, discussions with several other wonderful female illustrators are ongoing. Wherever possible, I want House of Cards to be a product of listening to and acknowledging women in gaming, as an example if nothing else.