Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bones III: 1 week warning...

Exactly one week from the moment this post goes live, Bones III is due to launch.

Are you excited yet?

Friday, June 26, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 4: Advanced Base-ics

While my work on actual minis was minimal, it was still a fairly productive week. Mostly because I've been working on the base for Ebonwrath. I've never done a swamp base before, so this has been a learning experience. And because I know myself, I've been alternating between a test base and the "real base" as I decide on what I want to do.

For example, I decided on a CD as the base for the dragon, since none of my other bases would fit all 4 feet. No problem there... but what to texture it with? Well knowing I want a swamp base, it's mostly going to be mud/water. I decided to try using plaster...

This was my test base...

CD with tape around the edge, and cork and sticks glued in place.

With some paint...

I didn't have any water effects, so I tried using gloss coat. It looked ok, but the second coat crackled. So I went to Michaels and picked up some Scene-A-Rama realistic water. I haven't used it yet... We'll see how it turns out. But this is why I have a test base to try it on!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Walk in the Swamp: 5e WNW

Session 14 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 5/29

The party consisted of the following:
Veidt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 4 [John - Absent, but kindly substituted by Erindale)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 4 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 4 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 4 (Erik - Absent, but kindly substituted by Hanna)
Riia, Human Ranger 4 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 4 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 4 (Allison)

From left to right: Riia, Bach, Kethra, and Nessendra

Leaving Anura behind, the party headed south into the swamp in the general direction of the isle of the dead. In spite of having 2 rangers in the party they made good time, all the while Riia pointing out that she's "not this kind of ranger" but rather a "city ranger" as she stabs every tree, vine, and shrub along the path.

Hours later Kethra grabs Riia from behind, pinning her arms. This catches about half the party by surprise. The other half of the party had spotted the dryad peeking out from behind the tree. Guy once again offers to engage with the dryads, but Nessendra takes on that chaste duty. She tells the dryad that they're on their way to the isle of the dead to retrieve something for Anura. The dryad and her sisters are suitably impressed that the party would do this, and offer them something to assist in their task. They scurry off, and return with a golden mace that seems none the worse for wear given that it's been in the swamp for goodness knows how long.

No one bothers to ask why a grove of dryads has a mace of disruption.

They also offer to assist with the one human who seems mentally deranged, but that offer is turned down while Riia tries to scream insults through Kethra's hand.

Guy, as ever, offers to lay with the dryads, and they're very excited about him being fertilizer, but Nessendra categorically nixes that idea, and shoos the party along.

While the rest of the day's hike is hot, muggy, muddy, and full of bugs, it is otherwise uneventful. The night was not so peaceful. While Guy and Anya were on watch, a pack of swamp drakes (the same sort of creatures Bach faced in the arena) were spotted just as it crept up to the edge of camp. With a lot of yelling, battle was joined!

The fight was quick and bloody as the drakes teamed up against their opponents, but the party responded in kind, and when the last of the drakes turned to run it was cut down mercilessly.

Moving their camp away from the slain drakes, the party resumed their rest, leaving Guy and Anya, then Kethra and Nessendra to listen to the things in the dark consume the corpses.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Inspirational Image: Dr. Indiana Jones

Yesterday I visited the National Geographic Museum, and their exhibit on Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, covering all of the movies (yes, even the crystal skull) and the real life events and locations from the movies. I took a few pictures to share with you.

The level of detail on all the props was just fantastic! If you're in the area, it's definitely worth stopping by.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 3

I've pretty much finished up the NOVA Corp Sgt. He doesn't exactly match the troopers I painted about 2 years ago, but he's close enough for government (or in this case mercenary) work.

I really do need to take better pics though...

Ebonwrath nears completion. I still need to do something with the claws, teeth, and spines. I'm considering just keeping it simple with all 3 and doing the bone triad on them. Plus, it really needs a base.

I am pleased with how the wings are looking.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: Steel Victory

tldr: 4.5 stars - fascinating mixed genre world, very RPG-able, and spurs some DMing advice at the end.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reviewer e-copy of this book from the author, who is both a friend and one of the players in my Friday night D&D game.

One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.

It's very difficult to pigeonhole this book into a single genre. It's a post apocalyptic story, set in a city at the edge of the american wasteland after some nuclear war (WWIII?).

It's an alternate history, not just because of this war, but also because the Roman Empire never fell, and in the old world its primary opponent seems to be the British Empire, and the city that's the focus of the story is like an independent Greek city-state that serves as a neutral buffer zone between their respective new world colonies.

It's paranormal-fantasy because... well, elves, were-creatures, wizards, and vampires. Thankfully no one sparkles and the relationships mostly tend away from high school level drama, and more toward mature adult.

There's a lot going on in the too short 215 pages including an invasion by one of the empires that happens to coincide with a flareup of humanist activity within the city and the problems that causes. It's a rather on-point topic at the moment, but handled pretty well by the author.

The difficulty in assigning Steel Victory to a specific genre is never once an issue while reading it. You'll find yourself far too engaged in wanting to know what happens next to bother worrying about it!

My only issue with Steel Victory is that the author lets you look behind the DM's screen a couple of times, wanting you to know that there is a reason for this, that, or the other thing. It's something I recognize, since I've done it myself at the table. Feeling the need to prove that I know what I'm doing and not just making it up as I go along (even worse when that's exactly what I'm doing). Learning to have confidence in your ability to manage your table, to trust your players/readers to have faith in you takes some work.

But remember, you already have buy in. They sat at your table, they bought your book. They want to have a good time, and they're willing to go along for the ride, even if they can't see the background work that goes into it!