Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2021 Minis In Review

 It wasn't the best year as far as making blog posts about the minis I painted, but I still painted a bunch. 




It was actually hard to get a fully accurate count in part because I was so bad at documenting it all, and also because I moved this year and had to pack away everything. I know there are a couple minis in these pics that I actually painted at the end of 2020, and a couple that I didn't pull out that were definitely painted in 2021.

All in all I'm pleased with my progress. Somewhere around 100 minis (I really should update my spreadsheet). Mostly Reaper minis, with some Frostgrave tossed in for variety. Aside from the fact that I have a lot of Reaper minis, I've been focusing on them because Reaper ran a challenge league this past year (and will be again this year) where you can earn points for raffles at the end of each quarter. 

So far this year I've already managed to paint 5 minis! A troop of Stargrave mercs painted up as Rent-A-Space-Cops. 

Still need to finish their bases, but it's starting the year off right!


Monday, January 3, 2022

2021 In Review

Well that was a year, wasn't it? Bit of deja vu all over again. For a little while there it seemed like the pandemic was maybe nearing it's end. Most adults were vaccinated, many were boostered, kids were getting the shot... I went to a wedding, a concert, and even a movie!! It was starting to feel like maybe I could even venture to the game store to play something... But then, right at the end came Omicron. 

Politically things quieted down a bunch. Fewer protests and marches. Some signs of actual justice for those murdered by the police. Not great, and not a systematic change, but hopeful signs. Yet at the same time the democrats seem incapable of doing what's necessary to reinforce democracy. 

On the personal side of things, watching my child grow has been amazing. It's amazing watching him develop, and seeing how he goes from one stage to another. At this time last year he wasn't much more than a meatloaf. Now he's toddling around and getting into everything. 

As with last year, we spent the holiday at home, this time because of a pair of covid exposures. Thankfully everyone is fine, but I'll be a lot happier when they allow the youngest kids to get the vaccine. 


Gaming

There has been a solid amount of D&D this year, both running Stonehell, and playing in Rappan Athuk. And I'm almost completely caught up on my session reports. For Christmas I got myself a stack of Frog God Game books (almost all from a grab bag)

I've also been playing a bit of Torchlight 2 and Rebel Galaxy. 


Miniatures

I painted somewhere in the neighborhood of 100+ minis this past year. Not bad, all things considered! I'll post about that more next post.


Media

I only managed 15 books last year. Gonna try to do better for this year. Plenty of movies and TV shows. The new Star Trek series continue to impress me. The Marvel shows have been solid. Really looking forward to seeing what they both pull off this year.


Goals

Continue to be a good father, husband, and friend. Try to read a little more. Stress a little less. Maybe work on my freehand painting, and do more basing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Clensing the Healer's Halls

Session played on 11/14

Nick the Pike, Fighter  (Me)
Lada, Thief (Robby)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

Restocking on holy water and oil, and shelling out 4,000gp for 2 scrolls of cure disease, the party returns to the worm tunnel. With Lada in tow, Nick leads the party back to the triple locked door. It takes some doing, but he manages to figure out the sequence and get the door open. Through the door was  what looked like a study/lecture room. 4 lecterns stood empty around a large pool of bubbling ick. On the far wall was a bookshelf and cabinet. Skirting around the pool, the cabinet is opened, and some scrolls are found, then the bookshelf is looted. Unfortunately one of the books was coated in contact poison. Thankfully Koltic was able to negate that with a potion.

While all this was going on, the bubbling pool spewed forth a trio of zombies toward those at the bookshelf, and another toward the three amigos guarding the door. Nick tells the amigos to back up and close the door. They do. Unfortunately the door locks behind them, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to open it on this side.

Combat is joined, holy water and melee weapons win the day over one handed plague zombies. Even after a third trio emerges from the goop. Koltic, keeping back to provide support, bumps against a carving of a hand on the wall, and disappears. He returns moments later, slightly crispy and telling of a work room with a ball of lightning that zapped him. He doesn’t want to go back. With the zombies dead, and Koltic back, it was time to reopen the door. Sadly there wasn’t any good way to do it from inside, so out came the tools and magic ax… After a long and loud process, the door was opened. Permanently.

Moving down the other open doorway, down a hall with a stream of goo flowing slowly down it, the party comes to a large circular room with a giant pond of the noxious goop. At the northern side of the room was a large statue of a healer, defaced with smears of goop and a necklace made of hands. The hands looked oddly fresh. While scoping it out, the pond began to bubble, and emerging from it were 4 of the evil chocolate demon babies! Combat was quickly joined. Multiple vials of holy water were thrown, most missed and landed with a ‘blop’ in the thick fluid of the puddle. The combat went as follows
+4 chocolate demon babies, Aroon diseased
-2 Chocolate demon babies
+2 plague zombies
-1 chocolate demon baby
+20 diseased rat zombies
-1 chocolate demon baby, -1 zombie
-10 rats (flaming oil)
+5 giant centipedes, Lada drops, Aroon poisoned
-10 rats (flaming oil), Lada healed, Aroon given antivenom
+5 giant centipedes
-6 centipedes
-1 zombie, -1 centipede
+3 chocolate demon babies, Koltic diseased, pool stopped bubbling
-4 giant centipedes
-3 chocolate demon babies

Everyone was nursing serious wounds as the last of the demons dropped. The stillness of the room was eerie after the chaotic and messy combat that, had it lasted another round or two, would have been the end of the party. They quickly get to exploring the room, discovering that under the pool was a summoning circle! Clearly this is the source of the contagion. Nick tries dumping some holy water into it. It bubbles and fizzes but has no other effect that he can see. After minutes of searching and looking and talking, the pool begins to bubble… With a curse and a prayer, Nick takes the hands off the statue. The bubbling continues to build. Nick asks Koltic to bless the hands, and then he tosses them into the guck.

There is an immediate reaction and the pool begins to contract on itself. The bodies of the demons, zombies and vermin all begin to boil away. In under a minute the pond is gone, as are most traces of what had happened. 6 black sapphires, the eyes of some of the chocolate demon babies remained.

Gains: 6 sapphires, 10 books, 3 scrolls of cure disease, 2 scrolls cure light wounds
Kills: chocolate demon babies, plague zombies, diseased rat zombies, giant centipedes
Losses:

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Rappan Athuk: 3 locks, 3 statues, nope to both

Session played on 10/31

Nick the Pike, Fighter  (Me)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf (NPC)

An ax-master had arrived at the keep. Nick paid to spend time with them. Either Nick is the worst student in history, or the ‘master’ was a fraud. 2 weeks and hundreds of gold pieces wasted. Nick also funds Koltic’s potion making while he’s training.

Nick then spends a pouch full of gold to have the word spread about what a bad teacher they are.

Gathering up his companions, they head out to the worm tunnel. A troop of kobolds is working to create capture ponds to keep the muck from contaminating the area. One kobold, Marty, was suffering from a festering wound on his snout. Nick gave him a healing potion. Once back in the dungeon and past the fountain (with another damned swarm of roaches rushing past) they press on to the west, then up to the north, and to a pair of some sort of tiled medical/surgical suites.

Past those they come to a large chamber with 4 diseased zombies in grubby white robes. Koltic tries to turn them, and one says “Your god can’t help you here!” Crossbow bolts fly, and mostly miss as the zombies close on the party. Holy water does work, as do the party’s weapons (when they hit). Jameth ends up diseased before the zombies are dropped. Notably, they’re all missing their left hands.

The room’s walls are covered in murals of the white robed healers healing a variety of mythic and magical creatures. There’s a door with 3 locks. Nick decides to avoid that till he had one of the thieves available. To the south is a door that leads to a gallery with 3 small gold statues in lit alcoves on the south wall. A unicorn, pegasus, and a gargoyle. Sensing “TRAP” Nick turns right around and closes the door behind him.

Heading back to the main hall they check a side passage which opens into a large hall containing multiple diseased opponents, including giant rats, 2 more plague zombies, and one horribly bloated mutated diseased rodent. Backing up to take advantage of the narrow hall leading to the room, several vials of oil were checked in, burning the giant rats as they attempted to get to the party. Then the cancerous ROUS vomited past the fire onto the party. Jameth was again infected with the rotting disease. Crossbow bolts flew toward the monster then it closed on the party.Jameth still in front took the initial brunt of the attack and went down hard. Koltic dragged him back and healed him. Aroon’s 2-handed sword scores a critical hit, and lops the head from the disgusting beast. Following it slowly were the zombies. Lor’Koth threw his ax at them, missed. The ax hit the far wall… and disappeared. The zombies are cut down as they reach melee range.

Searching the room, the party finds some random treasure, including a magical spork, and a magic dagger.

Gains: couple hungred gold, silver and copper coins, jewelry, daggers, magic dagger, spork +1 + poison detection 1/day
Kills: giant rats, plague zombies, cancer rous
Losses:

Monday, December 20, 2021

Stonehell: Children of Yg's Lower Temple

Session 183 was played on 12/19

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

In the weeks/months since the last session, the 3 Amigos returned to stonehell on their own, rescued their petrified friend Rada, and managed to ambush a small party of Vyrelia before returning to town. Biffin wrapped up his training. Lady Morgana has been studying and trading info with the planar spiders in the lost level, collecting notes on their home and civilization. While the spiders are still somewhat suspicious of her, the fact that she Dimension Doors to them by herself has gained her a certain level of trust.

Lady Morgana, not quite feeling up to taking on the ‘ethereal dragon’ in the lost level, rounds up the 3 Amigos and makes for the unexplored sections of level 5. They entered Stonehell through the Hobgoblin caves. At the disco room a group of goblins taunted the party from the far side of the room. Morgana drew a quick caricature of the lead goblin, then showed it to him. He stopped mid taunt, paused, pointed and laughed. “Eh, you’se guys are okay.” And he waved his companions away. Moving through the disco room, Jameth is burned by one of the lights.

To the elevator, where some skeletons were clustered. Koltic destroyed them. Taking the elevator down to the 3rd level, a plated monkey jumps in as the door opens. Aroon and Jameth land glancing blows against it, and then Borumar nails it with his sword. Morgana makes sure all the magi-tech components are thoroughly destroyed. From the elevator, they make their way around and to the stair shaft.

Down 200’, they arrive in the reptile decorated halls. Borumar attempts to pick the lock on the big fancy door, and fails. Exploring to the south they get screamed at by some mushrooms, find a dozen dead canaries in cages, and one clockwork canary.

Following a musky smell, they disturb a pair of owlbears! Who are Angry! The fight is short, and only Jameth is hurt by either beast. Kicking their way past the huge owl pellets toward the nest Morgana pokes through the nest and discovers an old chest. Inside is a bunch of electrum coins, a scroll, and a potion. Gathering their loot, they return to the big door, and Morgana decides to use her scroll of Knock and memorized knock spell to unlock and unbar the door.

Beyond is a temple-like chamber with a pair of snake legged brazzers flanking a low dias. The snakestin tapestries are crumbling to dust.  Picking the northern door, Borumar pushed as hard as he could but couldn’t get it open. Morgana pulled it open with barely any effort.

Within they find a robe/changing room. Borumar finds a box of ritual items, including a small brass gong. He holds it up and hits it. Morgana looks on in disapproval. SHe pokes through the robes and viper masks, and finds one that is covered in gold and silver scales. They snag that. The door opposite was locked. Borumar easily picks that lock.

Gains: electrum, potion, scroll, silver & gold snake robe, clockwork canary
Kills: Skeletons, plated monkey, owlbears
Losses: 3 sellswords

Friday, December 17, 2021

Review: Kid on Bikes

Have you ever wanted to play Stranger Things? Well, have I got the game for you! Ennie award winner for Best Family Product 2019 Kids on Bikes. 

Amazon.com: Renegade Game Studios Kids on Bikes Core Rulebook Role-Playing  Game for 2 to 6 Players Aged 12 & Up : Renegade Game Studios: Toys & Games

Now, this review is based entirely on a reading of the rule book. I haven't played or run it. 

In under 80 pages the game is a concise little system in a slick graphic novel feeling format. Most of the rules are covered quickly, and about a third of the book (the appendices) is tables to help with world building and to provide some basic templates for characters. 

The game does suffer a bit from being so rules lite. Much is left up to the Game Master to decide with vague suggestions about how they might go about it. Actions  are resolved by rolling the appropriate die against a difficulty number, and then comparing the variance of the rolls against one of the charts in the back of the book. For a rules lite system this gets a bit complicated. I suppose if you play enough you'll memorize the chart, or at least have a good enough feel to wing it, but at least at the start I bet it'll feel clunky. 

One design element that I thought was really interesting was the way it handles the powered/psychic characters. For one thing, the powered character is co-controlled by all the players. Each player is given a couple aspects of the powered character, and when that aspect is important, that's when that player gets to control the powered character. When none of the aspects are particularly important, it's a group decision. 

All in all, this is an interesting game that I'd love to try at some point. It puts a lot of work onto the GM, and I don't necessarily see it having good long term campaign playability (especially as it seems to lack a leveling up/getting better mechanic) but for a short campaign or one shot? It'd be fun.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

November in Review

And here’s Omicron. Needless to say, the pandemic continues. But, I’m boostered, so I’ve got that going for me. And this is super late being posted, cause of the holidays...

Gaming
Stonehell remains on pause, but Nick’s explorations around the side dungeons of Rappan Athuk and his consolidation of power around his broken castle continue. More session reports to come on that.

Additionally I ran a game over thanksgiving for my neiflings, which was fantastic, a bit inspired by Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I’ll be posting about that a little later this month, once I finish writing it up.

Miniatures
Got a nice assortment of minis done for the month. Tried something new, did a teeny tiny bit of OSL, and some more NMM. Overall I’m pleased. 



Media
Star Trek DS9
Babylon 5 (season 2)
8-Bit Christmas
LoveHard
A Very Murray Christmas


Goals
Paint some minis
Play some D&D
Enjoy the holidays!