Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Stonehell: 4 part Harpy-ony

Session 66 was played on 4/14

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic, Alias the Elf, Cromwell)
- linkmen (Baldash “Dash”)
- Neon (dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 6 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat, Tal)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)

While spending their gains from last delve, Karl and Lex throw an EPIC bash. Karl ends up with a tattoo of Rocky on his left ass cheek, while Lex wakes up in a barn, wearing a saddle, with whip marks on his ass. Karl proudly displays his new tattoo, while Lex sits very quietly and gingerly for the next several days.

Eiric and Brie spend their time examining and identifying the treasure recovered, and hire on some replacement meatshields. The most colorful of the bunch is Baldash “Dash” who wears torn trousers, a leather jacket with a chain on it, and has an orange and teal mohawk.

Returning to the dungeon, the party heads directly for the Dorm, encountering on the way some hobgoblins who want nothing to do with the party. Down in the dorm, the party hears some screechy singing. Lex and Neon love it though. The harpy who’s doing the singing wants to keep one or the other of them, but Eiric declines and she’s left unmolested after talking to the party about what’s been going on.

A-A-Ron checks out the shaft, but doesn’t see anything. Eiric makes a note to research darkvision for him.

A little further along more of the screechy singing can be heard, this time in 3 part harmony. Again Lex and Neon think it’s great, as does Koltic, Dash, Hobart, and Scar. Karl goes in to talk to them. They’re uninterested in dwarf-meat, and want one of the humans, or the elf. And again Eiric and Karl decline to hand anyone over, even as they volunteer. The harpies tell the party more about the gargoyles and the happenings below. The party again decides to leave the harpies alive.

In the next room they find a floating boulder, about 4’ around. Karl decides to push it around, and gets Orpheus to help. They push it out into the hall, and down to the pit. It hits things on the way down, but never makes the big crashing sound they expect/hope for.

Moving around the pit, the party checks out an empty store room, and then heads down the hall toward the Gnoll lair. Karl and A-A-Ron are attacked by giant ticks in the hallway. Neither is seriously hurt.

Kills: 2 giant ticks

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cassie the Gnome Sorceress & Fairy Familiar

Currently on my workbench are Cassie the Sorceress (in bones) and the little creepy fairy familiar (metal). My goals for Cassie and her fairy familiar are to make them both as colorful and vibrant as possible. My usual painting style is more muted, earthy, and dingy look which fits well with people who spend their lives exploring dungeons. This is my effort to push past that, and try something I'm not very good at.

This is how she looks now.

My inspiration was the official paint scheme, in large part because when I'm trying something new, I find it helpful to try to copy, or try to copy a successful example of what I'm attempting.

Without a painting guide though, I have to make up the steps to get there. I started with basing both with my Happy Seppuku Temple Courtyard base stamp, and then giving them my usual warm soapy water wash, then priming the minis with brown liner. For the skin for both the fair and Cassie, I'm using the tanned skin triad. After hitting their skin with thinned Tanned Skin, I went in and did their eyes with Linen White. I also used the tanned flesh over the wings.

The real focus though is that hair and the gem on her staff. I started with clear magenta as the base. To tie that in with the fairy, I used the same color on the gem on the base of its staff.

For the fairy’s hair, I base coated with Nightmare Black, and also used it for the edges of the wings. The interior bits of the wings I started with a coat of Clear Yellow. In spite of the name, it is anything but clear. Pure would be a better descriptor… I then painted her ‘clothing’ with a base coat of Pumpkin Orange. It’s not a color that coats well, but I like it in spite of that.

For Cassie’s coat, I started with Cyan Blue as the base, and then followed that up with a second coat of it. The trim on the sleeves was done with Clear Yellow as the base. To further tie the fairy and Cassie together, I painted the scroll case with Cyan. I’m tempted to paint the rune on the scroll case somewhere on Cassie’s coat.

At this point, I can clearly see that I’m not going to be able to match my inspiration pic, but not why (aside from a general lack of skill). So I asked for help. Over on the Reaper forum, which is both exceedingly encouraging and full of really knowledgeable people, I posted a thread, and boy did I get what I asked for.

This reply from Guindyloo in particular is well worth the read.

In short these are the main suggestions:

  • Starting with a thick coat of brown liner didn’t do me any favors.
  • My brush control needs work. Probably less caffeine would help with that, but that’s not gonna happen.
  • I need to thin my paints more
  • Get a wet pallet for better control with thinning.
  • Practice, practice, practice

So… at this point I think I’m just going to work on finishing up Cassie as best as I can, and then get on to upping my game. A $3 Bones mini isn’t worth stripping down. So this is where we're at now (different angles and lighting).

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Happy Captain Picard (& Free RPG) Day!

It's that most glorious day of the year where we celebrate one of Starfleet's finest: Captain Picard.

I reached out to the captain to find out his thoughts gaming...

I guess he was busy.

Upside, it's also Free RPG Day, so lay in a course for your nearest Friendly Local Gaming Store, and see what's out there!


Friday, June 15, 2018

My Favorite Toy (part 2)

So those few other things I was stamping with the Temple Courtyard base stamp from Happy Seppuku? Two of them were miniatures that PCs in my Wednesday night game have been using as their characters. It was about time they got some attention, and bases to match those of Thorin and Fulhoff. I also based an evil little fairy familiar from Reaper's 14041: Familiars I pack, and Cassie, Gnome Wizard.

I don't actually have any plans for how I want to paint either the fairy or the gnome... and mostly just prepped them because I wasn't feeling up to working on the Dancing Girl's skin tones. I think I'm going to have to clear my try table and focus just on her if I want to actually get her done.

The ogre mercenary is going to probably look something kind of like this (hopefully at least half as nice). He had some annoying mold lines that I had to deal with before assembling or painting him. Hopefully I got them taken care of enough that paint will hide anything I missed.

The Dire Boar is going to be brown. Might do some pinkish on the snout and ears, but I'm mostly going with Pumbaa as my inspirational image for him. Well, Pumbaa with a few extra spikes...

One other miniature I was thinking about working on was another Chainmail mini - the war badger! Unfortunately he's missing his hand. I'm sure I have it *somewhere* but until I find it, it'll have to wait. Too bad, since I was kind of hoping to use him as a summoned animal for my wizard.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

5e: Journey's Six

From: Fulhoff of Clan Balderk
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother & Father,

Sometimes I don’t even know where to begin. Our time in this river town has been eventful… And while I don’t see this excursion as getting us any closer to dealing with the giant situation, it has at least been entertaining.

We split up after breakfast to take care of various activities around town. Journey and I went shopping, although neither of us was very successful in acquiring what we were looking for. Thorin, and the rest of the party went off to learn more about the Hands of Yanda (the all-female thieves’ guild) and any connection they have with the Zhents. To that end, he also sent Bidet out to go do some recon on her own.

In an exciting development, Journey and I witnessed Joda being kidnapped, though to be fair, he was going off with the woman rather willingly. We followed them to a bar, the local hangout of the Hands. Journey was welcomed in and offered a free drink. I was… clearly not welcome. In an even more exciting development, do you remember Kella and Zopin from Nightstone? It turns out she survived the fall, and she’s a part of the Hands. Also, her lover is in town, and wearing one of those ridiculous bat cowls, or so Thorin reports. I wonder if there’s a tower we can shove them both off of?

Journey was given provisional membership in the Hand, and assigned to try to get the Lady in Purple (aka the Lady Italia – she’s got great boots, fyi) to join the hand.

That evening, we pick up our fancy clothing, get dressed, and stash everything else in our bag of holding, then off to the riverboat. Journey bluffed her way aboard as a servant, while Bran bribed the captain to get the rest of us aboard.

Mingling and drinking was the start of the fun. I mostly kept to the dining room, allowing my familiar the opportunity to scurry about. Bran flirted and gambled with the Lady in Purple. Thorin, Rin, and Not-Flint hobnobbed, and tried to figure out where the money was. Journey thought she figured it out, but the hold didn’t actually seem to hold a vault. I’m curious if the pit boss, Paw Ming, had a bag of holding that contained the casino’s coin.

Journey and Rin did manage to rob the captain’s quarters, so in the end it wasn’t a total waste. Apparently one of the sailors was used as a decoy, so suspicion wouldn’t fall on us. I don’t know if that qualifies as robbing the casino though… A good chunk of my share is going to go to charity.

Upon leaving the boat, we caught up with the Lady in Purple, and she admitted her part in the disappearance of the young scions, saying that she was forced into it. I’m… not convinced, not 100%. But Journey brought her to the Hands, and we’re heading into the sewer to go try to find the mastermind behind all this… and his fish-men allies. Still no sign of an aboleth yet. Maybe it was just aboleth poison? Or maybe there are just more layers to dig through. I have the feeling we’re going to find out soon.

Outstanding Rumors/Plot Points
Hand of Yatara - All-female Thieves Guild - Journey has made contact, and performed 1st quest
Golden Goose - Gambling boat - Robbed
House Nustrio - enemy of House Rosilio
Evil Sorcerer Whosith in the sewers
Kella and Zopin and the Bat Cult
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Frost Giant w/ White Dragon Helm
Harthos Zymorvan, retired adventurer with giant slaying greatsword in Silverymoon
Fire Giants attacked Tribor and took a rod from the center of town.
Gua - Hill Giant Matriarch - Grug-Hug Village location generally described

When was the last time we checked in with Hilda?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stonehell: To the Black Pyramid

Session 65 was played on 3/13

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic)
- linkmen ()
- Neon (dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 6 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Scar, GoMat)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3 (Henchman)
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)

Departing the Kobold Kaves, the party passes through the Contested Corridors, Hell’s Antechamber, and down to the Asylum. They wave to some kobolds fetching water as they pass into the Reptile house, heading toward the elevator. It wasn’t there, so they turn around to go back to the stairs in the Asylum, and run into a Mummy with some Heartless. Darryl turns them all.

Taking the stairs down to the Dorm, and following Darryl’s map, the party waves to some gnolls and stops to look into the first new room. 5 marble busts on pedestals are lined up along the back wall. While Karl knocks them over, 3 shadows emerge from the walls in the middle of the party. Lex is swarmed, while Eiric and Brie blast the monsters with magic missiles.

Following the strong wind, they’ve been feeling, they come to a massive shaft heading deep into the ground. They drop a torch down to see how far it goes. The flickering light illuminated several large winged forms that were making their way up toward the party. Eiric leaned over, yells” Suck my flaming balls of death!” and dropped a fireball on them. At least 3 of the creatures were hit by the fireball, and dropped out of the party’s torchlight.

CIrcling around the shaft the party moves onto the next chamber which contains a large black stone pyramid surrounded by columns. As the party looks around the chamber, more shadows attack, but are quickly routed. Climbing up the pyramid, Karl takes a pick-ax to the door, and is blasted by the magical trap laid upon it. Shaking the frost from his beard he cracks the door, and looks down into the pyramid. 2 sarcophagi sit in the otherwise empty black stone chamber. Karl drops in by rope, with Orpheus holding the other end. As Karl’s foot hits the floor, the 2 sarcophagi open and undead spring out, jumping for Karl, Orpheus yanks the rope up, but not before Karl is raked by their claws. He can feel the necromatic energy sucking away his life force. Once safely out of reach, the party debates what to do with the creatures. Darryl tries to turn them, but they just hiss at him. Eiric lobs a few magic missiles at them, but they then move out of direct line of sight from the doorway. Finally, in exasperation, Eiric leans over the door to the small chamber and drops a fireball in. The blast fills the chamber, and then some, burning everyone on the top of the pyramid.

Dropping back into the pyramid, Karl sees the burnt remains crumbling on the floor, and then retrieves the treasure from the sarcophagi. Sadly, the scroll was destroyed, but the magic weapons and other treasures were fine!

Departing with their loot, they’re set upon by the gnolls. From the doorway to their lair, they launched a volley of arrows at the party. Eiric returns fire with magic missiles, while A-A-Ron uses one of his magic screaming arrows. The morale of the gnolls breaks, and they retreat back into their lair, while the party runs for the stairs. They make great time getting out of the dungeon.

Gains: 2 magic weapons, ring of spell turning, bunch of gold.
Kills: 2 Gargoyles, 5 Shadows, 2 Wights