Half tabletop roleplaying game, Half art jam, War for Rayuba pits artists from all over the world against each other in an epic art war using only their OCs (Original Characters) and their artistic skills. The brain-child of Tom Parkinson-Morgan or Abaddon, creator of the popular webcomic Kill Six Billion Demons, War for Rayuba will have artists meet other opposing artists in the field of battle and they each have to make a comic that shows how they defeat each other’s character. The winning comic will be made canon and will be added to the 1000+ pages in the history of the War for Rayuba.
Artists who want to join the War for Rayuba will have to first choose a side they want to fight for in the massive battle: the nihilistic world enders, The Pyre or the iron-fisted paragons of order, The Bastion. From there, the Captains of each side pick a character and artist from the list of submissions to fight for control over a single space in the massive tile-based battlefield.
Once the warriors are selected, they meet their opponent on the official War for Rayuba Discord, where they introduce each other’s OC and they do battle for the control of the tile. This means both artists must draw how they’ll defeat their opponent in a webcomic. The artists will be given 14-17 days to draw and produce their comic and after they submit a panel of three judges will select the victor.
The judges will select the winning comic according to the two-category criteria of Effort and Entertainment. Effort dictates how well-made a comic is and how much thought and craftsmanship is put into making it. Entertainment is the overall enjoyment that it evokes from it’s readers through it’s pacing, plot and execution.
The judges are a selection of esteemed web artists in their own right but are also passing judgement as in-universe characters using their own OCs. First, there’s Abaddon, the creator of K6BD speaking as the eternal being, The Arbiter. Then there’s Cat Caro, aka StudyofMonsters, judging as Ninn An Ak, a mighty primordial dragon. Finally, Felix Dyson acting as futuristic tech duo, Archie and Artemis.
The winning comic will not only win the tile and any other items in the tile, they will also be made canon and added to the entire official history of War for Rayuba!
Even more interesting though is that the battlefield which is modeled after the fictional land of Rayuba, which is a vast city in the world of K6BD, has many different rules and scenarios that affect the battle depending on which tile is being fought for. For example, if a tile is labeled as a Scar Match, the victor will be able to leave their opponent with a permanent scar which may take the form of gash, a bullet wound or even a curse that will forever mark the character. There are also Death Matches where the losing character will be killed and permanently eliminated from the War from Rayuba. These are all on top of the actual terrain and environment which will net more points if taken into account and worked into a participant’s comic.
There are also special items out in the world to be fought for which can turn the tide of battle for its wielder. There is the Hollowthorn whose wielder will force whomever they defeat to change sides in the war permanently. The Landwaster is a powerful sword that can only be used once, to level a battlefield resulting in instant victory and capturing adjacent tiles. And possibly the infamous weapon, the Coiled Snake Sword, which turns any battle it’s wielded in into a deathmatch and all that entails.
Despite these stakes, the creators and the community, in general, are in it for the creativity and challenge of the ordeal. As the official primer of the War for Rayuba states:
“The war is more like a framework to make art. We can get really deep into strategy sometimes, but ultimately the point is to make good comics, not win a war. All in all, please be nice to each other and approach conversations with good faith”
And boy does the community take the spirit of creativity to heart. The Discord submissions are filled with hundreds maybe even thousands of characters of different shapes, sizes, powers, make, model, species, and everything else in between!
There is a shade that can separate their body parts.
And my favorite, an actual gorilla
And when these characters battle, it feels like an amazing clash of styles, wit, and artistry
The sheer amount of inventiveness and artistry on display in the War for Rayuba’s discord is a beautiful thing to behold. I found myself in awe at just the infinite variety of characters, art styles, and design choices that people have come up with and can come up with. This is expression and creation at its purest form.
Additionally, there’s also a sense of camaraderie here, incited by the creative and collaborative spirit of its participants. Popping into the many channels of the actual battles, I saw people giddy to introduce their character to their opponents and other interested viewers—and that genuine excitement is usually something that’s reciprocated both ways.
What follows as the timer counts down to Judgement Day is less of a grudge match but more of a friendly collaboration. I’ve seen “opponents” encouraging the other to finish their respective comics, “opponents” complimenting each other for their work so far and “opponents” giving tips and advice to each other on how to draw certain aspects of the character.
Even when it comes to judging, which may seem like an intimidating, heart-wrenching process, the air of support and collaboration is at the forefront. When judgement is delivered, it’s less of an imperious evisceration of your artwork but more of a thoughtful and understanding critique with some judges even offering advice on what can be improved in one’s comic.
While the War for Rayuba may be framed as a brutal battle between two embittered sides with conflicting ideologies, the people on the frontlines are actually in it for the pure and genuine fun of creation, imagination, and collaboration.
At the end of the day, this might be only war that instead of tearing people apart, brings people together.
If you are interested in joining the War for Rayuba, the best place to start is it’s Discord server where you’ll find the W4R Primer. There’s also the War for Rayuba Archive which documents everything that has ever happened in the War for Rayuba. Kill 6 Billion Demons is also available to read for free at www.Kill6BillionDemons.com
Isn’t the power of art awesome? For more art and geek culture check out #SigawDarna Takes Flight! Artists Reimagine Classic Komiks Superhero and VALORANT Art Breakdown: What does Yoru’s Concept Art tell us?
Also if you are so compelled, check out the GG Network Discord! We’ll be dropping post updates and videos up there, as well as hang out and play games together! Join us! https://discord.gg/WsZg3y35bk
And while you’re at it leave us a like on the GG Network Facebook Page so we can keep you entertained with more videogames and geek stuff! Take care and stay safe out there!
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