Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Gnolls part 2

I wrote this before my test, when I stole just a tiny bit of time to do a bit of painting.



Okay, yes, the test is coming up. But my brain was just not accepting info, so I decided to paint for a bit before walking the dogs in the park. In 40 minutes I applied red to the gums/lips, and their eyes. I then added some tanned leather to the red, then applied it to their skirts, then added a bit of marigold yellow and dry brushed it onto their ruffs.

Using a bit of walnut brown, I cleaned up the eyes, painted their noses, and lips around the red.



Next steps are going to be to paint the stitching on their skirts, maybe highlight the skirts one more time. Paint the armor and weapons. Wash the mouths to bring out the teeth, then likely re-highlight the teeth.

The shaman (not pictured) will take a bit more work because of her staff. Also, her green robe will take a bit more work, because it’s not the same red as the others.




Tuesday, July 16, 2019

June in Review

The first half of July was kinda busy, and I'm only just getting back into the swing of things here at the tower. Good news, I successfully took the first part of the CPA exam. We'll see if I passed it sometime next month. Fingers crossed.

Gaming
Only got in a couple of sessions of Stonehell this past month, and they were all spent in the side delve. Did get to finally bring in the first dragon in the campaign. Only took 100 sessions to get there.

Curse of Strahd is continuing on. We’re in some side dream dungeon that’s the home of some old Barovian god, based on Gary Gygax’s “Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan” Thankfully I never read or played it, so it’s all fresh and new to me. Of course my swashbuckler Zaadia just made out with some water fay, and got charmed to go down into her lair… I’ll find out next week how that’s gonna end up going… I might be rolling up a new character. Which, honestly, would be okay. Character death happens, but I bet my DM wiggles me out of it. Thinking maybe a gnome druid?

Miniatures
I spent a grand total of 45 minutes painting this month. It was spent painting the eyes and mouths of the gnolls.
More about that tomorrow...

Media

Books

CPA Ninja study guide

Movies/TV Watched
Good Omens - SO GOOD!
Fleabag - Also good, but in an entirely different way!

Goals
Finish the gnolls
Start on something for Reapercon.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fuck Trump (part 2)

The response to my post on Sunday “Fuck Trump” about how RPG.net and Ravelry banned posts showing support for Trump was… well, there was only one response. A special little snowflake felt the need to try to comment on it.

Twice.

3 hours apart.

But I’ve got comment moderation turned on because of all the spam bots that would otherwise flood my blog. So poor triggered Brian’s attempts to spew bile failed.

So he emailed me. Because of course he did. He had to be sure that this "libtard" knew that my blog was "marginally interesting" until that post.

Brian Fiscus, I hope you see this.

Fuck you.
Fuck Trump supporters.
Fuck anyone who approves of children being kept in cages.
Fuck white supremacists, neo-nazis, neo-confederates, the KKK, gun nuts, and anyone who supports them.


Now, I'm gonna try to limit my politics here, and get back to the gaming material.



And now for your Joesky Tax

What do the goblins want?
1. Bug Juice, the good stuff...
2. The dwarf's boot laces
3. Something to add to their collection of shiny things
4. A pet
5. Picture books
6. Black leather outfits
7. Colorful wrestling masks
8. Something that goes "BOOM!"
9. A new home
10. A new god
11. A new boss
12. Lunch

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Inspirational Image: Fuck Trump

Both RPG.net and Ravelry have instituted anti-Trump support policies.


I can't think of anything more inspirational than this to share today.

Fuck yeah. Fuck Trump. And fuck anyone who supports this administration.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cover Reveal! Steel Empires Book 5: Steel Shadows

One of my favorite book series (by one of my favorite people) is coming out with Book 5 on August 8th, and yesterday was the cover reveal!




About the Book
The shadows are talking and they won’t take no for an answer. Victory has returned safely to present-day Limani, sure that nothing so strange as time travel can ever happen to her again. Until the shadows begin speaking to her. And it turns out she’s not the only one.

Along with her sire Asaron and daywalker Mikelos, Victory will travel to a realm outside anything she could ever imagine. A previously unknown, ancient enemy threatens to tear apart the fabric of the world, and everything Victory thought she knew about magic will be completely rewritten.

In this unfamiliar world, accompanied by long-lost companions, Victory must find her way home once more. But if the shadows have manipulated her life all along, will she have a home to return to? Or will the darkness consume Limani as well?

About the Artist
Bradley Sharp was born in 1977 in Oxfordshire, UK. From a young age he filled many sketch books, so it only made sense to study Graphic Communication at Nene University, where he received a BA Honors degree in 1997.

But the real world called Sharp away from academics, so he traveled around the globe a couple of times, working as a graphic designer. Now he makes a living by designing magazine spreads, but freelances with vector illustrations, allowing him to create something far-removed from what he does in his nine-to-five job.

Sharp finds vector to be an easy tool and believes anyone can use it. “I’d say my artwork is nothing more than glorified doodling. I like the logical inconsistencies of surrealism and find inspiration from many places such as music or the science fiction genre. Dog Star’s novels lend themselves well to my style. I look forward to working with DSB in the future, and hope fans will like the imagery as much as they enjoy the words.” Find Sharp’s work online at http://www.bradsharp.co.uk.

Pre-Order Your Hardcopy
Barnes & Noble (currently offering 30% off!)
Amazon
From the publisher

About the Author
By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Stonehell: Dragons and Tears

Session 100 was played on 6/8


Koltic, Cleric 6 (Chris)
Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Robin the Bard (0 level human)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 6 (Matt)
Freya, Fighter 3 (Jen)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 5 (Josh)

Having recovered from their encounter with the carrion crawlers, the party returned to the delve, and once again encounter fire beetles! 7 of them this time. There must be a major infestation in the area. The beatles are tough and hungry, and Jurda and Sir Robin the bard are dragged down by them, and only Jurda is able to be healed in time.

After catching their breath, the party heads back down to the windy halls of level 5. The well armored party is amazingly able to surprise a squad of heavily armored troops. Jurda uses her scroll of Sleep and knocks 3 out of 4 of them out. Kili, Koltic, and Freya charge in and slay the last one standing, then kill 2 of the sleeping ones, strip and tie up the last one. They wake him up, and then question him, but he refuses to say anything but his name, Malforth Dovia, since they’ll just kill him anyway.

Kili offers to give him back his armor, weapon, and the coin and gem he had on him, and to lead him out of the dungeon for info. Somehow he’s persuasive enough, and he talks. He reveals he’s a recently hired mercenary for the elemental temple that just started up a new chapter a couple levels down.

True to his word, Malforth is untied, redressed in his armor, and given back his items. They lead him out, through a swarm of giant rats, and walk with him back to town.

In town, they sell of the extra armor, Freya upgrades her equipment and buys a couple of healing potions. She then goes looking for a hireling, and finds… Malforth. He’s okay with potentially going up against his former employer, so she hires him.

As the party is about to head out, a half orc comes up to Kili with A-A-Ron, who introduces Borumar. With that, they head back to the Delve.

As they near the cave entrance they see something circling overhead…

A Dragon!

Kili, Lex, and Lucrecia book it toward the cave. Borumar, Koltic, Freya, Malforth, and Jurda all stay out to watch the majestic creature… as it swooped down toward them. Too late to make it to the cave, the dragon’s acid breath splashed over them. Borumar wasn’t in the direct line, and was only somewhat burnt. He pulled out a cloth of gold tapestry to try to wipe off Freya, but the dragon saw the gold, and swooped back around. Dropping the cloth, he and Koltic ran, leaving the rest to the dragon. The survivors hid in the cave until the dragon had finished it’s meal, collected it’s treasure and flown off. Then they returned to town, a little worse for wear.

Gains: 500gp gem, some gold coins
Kills: 7 fire beatles, 3 veterans, 8 giant rats
Losses: Freya, Jurda, Robin, Malforth

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Stonehell: Tentacles are never good things!

Session 99 was played on 6/1


Koltic, Cleric 5 (Chris)
Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Robin the Bard (0 level human)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 5 (Matt)
Freya, Fighter 1 (Jen)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Lucrecia Thief 4 (Henchman)

While Eiric and Brie spent time doing arcane research, Koltic and Kili got bored, and decided to head back to the side dungeon on their own. Lex and Lucrecia decide to join in on the fun, On the way they encounter a young warrior named Freya also on her way to the dungeon, and the priests allow her to tag along as long as she pulls her weight.

At the entrance to the dungeon the party finds a couple of large fire beetles munching on something. Or maybe someone. The beatles are aggressive, and there doesn’t seem to be any way around them, so they fight, slaying the vermin fairly easily.

In a side cave is a massive rats nest of sticks and bones, and other detritus… and also rats. Kili decides to burn it, rather than trying to fight the rats, which causes a massive amount of smoke, but does kill the rats. Because of the limited air in the cave, and the smoke it takes a while for the nest to burn, so the party waits just outside the cave.

Seeing the smoke in the distance, a group of bandits decides to investigate, and seeing the small party, they attack with their bows. The party takes refuge inside the cave mouth, just out of sight of the bandits. Once the smoke clears, Kili checks out the rats nest, and finds a small trove of copper coins. He stashes them aside as they’re rather heavy.

Taking the stairs down to the second level the party pokes around in the old goblin rooms, now empty. The fire beatle pen is piled up with old junk, but also at the bottom of the pile a hidden locked coffer of gold. Calling this good enough they head back to town, and split their finds.

Kili spends some time praying to Cthulu, while Freya throws a big animal costume party that devolves into a massive furry orgy that interrupts Eiric’s research (adding another day).

Once everyone is recovered from the hangovers, they decide to go back to the caves. Making their way down to the 3rd level, they explore the crypts. The flooded crypt has several large flies buzzing around, and when they smell the party come over to investigate. Sadly “investigate” seems to mean projectile vomiting, followed by biting. Lex gets the worst of it, but the priests promise to cure anything that infects him.

After the flies are dead, Kili tries to figure out how to empty the water. Lucrecia gets bored, and just taps her way over to the sarcophagus. The water was only ankle deep. Sadly for all their effort, it was empty. Circling back around, they take the other stairs back up to level 2, and then to level 1, and come to a closed door. A hobgoblin with burn scars talks to them through the door. Mostly he wants to be left alone now that everyone else is gone.

Back down to level 4, they explore a hallway, then a room with tentacled monster eating 4 human bodies. They miss the second monster on the ceiling. And the tentacles paralyze whoever they hit. Freya is hit first. Kili slams the first monster with a critical hit, but is then hit by the second monster. Lucrecia, then Robin and Koltic are hit. Lex swats tentacles away with both his sword and shield, the last man standing. He falls back as the monster advances. Long seconds that feel like hours tick away as tentacle after tentacle tries to touch one bit of exposed flesh.

3 rounds Lex fended off the tentacles alone, while failing to score a single hit.

Finally he saw an opening, and jammed his sword right through the monster’s maw! A while later, the paralyzed members of the party regained use of their bodies, and they fled the dungeon, slightly richer from the loot off of the monsters’ previous victims.

Gains: 4980gp in various coinage.
Kills: 2 Carrion Crawlers, bunch of giant rats, fire beatles, robber flies
Losses:

Monday, June 3, 2019

Bucket (of dice) List

Way back in august of 2011 I started a blog post, which I never posted. Don't know why I never posted it, cause it's a perfectly good post. Why is it important that I share that I wrote this 8 years ago? Keep reading and find out!


I got the idea for this list Norman of Troll and Flame who got it from John Four of roleplayingtips.com

I don’t know a single DM who has run every module that they want to. Whether it’s the newest thing, or an old gem, they’ve just never gotten the chance. In spite of DMing a lot of D+D, and using a fair number of modules, there is still a lot I want to do yet...

This list is in no particular order, and is not limited to any specific edition or company. If I want to run it, I want to run it! I have however limited myself to modules for D+D or one of it’s clones/neo-clones/simulacrums/bastard children/etc..

B2 Keep on the Boarderlands*
Return to the Keep on the Boarderlands*
Red Hand of Doom
Tome of Horrors
Death Frost Doom
Stonehell
Dyson’s Delve
Vornheim**
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
Castle Amber

I actually thought that this would be a longer list, but since I did limit it to adventures that I haven’t run, rather than adventures that I want to run again... but that’s another post!

*I’d love to run these two back to back with the same group, playing the kids/heirs of the first group.
**Ok, not an adventure exactly, and I don’t own it, but that’s not the point.



Since I wrote this, I now need to update it.

B2 Keep on the Boarderlands*
Return to the Keep on the Boarderlands*
Red Hand of Doom
Tome of Horrors
Death Frost Doom
Stonehell
Dyson’s Delve
Vornheim**

Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
Castle Amber

I've now run 3 off my list, and played in a modified version of B2! But of course there are a few things I want to add to the list.

Ghosts of Saltmarsh
Barrowmaze

Would it be cheating to add a few of my own adventures? Cause I've written a few, and haven't gotten to playtest many of them.

What's your list look like?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

May in Review

Gaming
I introduced a side dungeon (one of several that are out there) and man am I jazzed about running this game. Especially as my players are bloody DITHERING about taking on the mummy lord I introduced MONTHS AGO. Like, it’s nice to see them just taking on the bad guys and nasty monsters, negotiating with the intelligent goblins (rather than just mowing them down), and just acting like the higher level adventurers they are.

Curse of Strahd is cruising along. Feeling a little railroad-y but the effort our DM is putting into it is both impressive and a little boggling. We play for about 3 hours a week, and she ends up doing 12+ hours of prep a week. Wow...I’m horribly behind on session write ups, so I think I’ll do a catchup of some sort, then jump back in.

Miniatures
There hasn’t been a lot of time to work on things, but I snuck a little time to work on my gnolls. They’ve probably got another 2 hours or so of work before they’re done.


Media

Books
CPA Ninja study guide

Movies/TV Watched
The Good Fight (chunk of season 2)
Wine Country
Three Wives 1 Husband
Willow
Avengers
Always Be My Maybe

Goals
CPA...
And maybe finish the gnolls

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Agramon the Pit Fiend Red Paint Sponge

I don’t know why, but I tend to spill/pour out more than I need with red paints. Which is odd, but it seems to be a trend. Back around when Bones 1 was delivered I had a fairly major spill, and decided that rather than just wiping it all up, I’d use it. And what else are you going to use a bunch of red paint on but a demon! Agramon the Pit Fiend was the perfect choice. Over the years I’ve spilled a bunch of different reds, and It’s finally gotten to the point where he’s about almost totally covered.




I think it’s time to finish painting him up…

First up is to base him. This is the look I’m going for with the base.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/813/25987534697_98da278cc3.jpg

Pit Fiends are pretty up there in the demon hierarchy, and powerful, so I figure where ever they go, the ground under them becomes more hellish…

One downside to all the different reds is that it’s VERY uneven. So I’m going to give him a Red Liner coat over it all to smooth out the colors a bit. Going to try to keep it simple as far as the paint scheme goes. Maybe something like this?


https://i.pinimg.com/originals/77/49/63/7749635fa3b3befda76b40b6abd00d31.jpg

I am debating a different colored Fireball though… Blue? Green? We'll see... Maybe just more yellow than red?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Stonehell: Side Delve

Session 97 was played on 5/11

Eiric, wizard 8 (Kat)
   Brie, wizard 5 (Apprentice to Eiric)
   A-A-Ron, Thief 7 (Henchman) (stayed in town)
   Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
   Darryl, Cleric 7 (Henchman)
   Linkman (Hilwik)
   M@A (Vog, Bolden, Buford)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
   Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 5 (Henchman)
   Men at Arms (Rawin, Kildrik, Lamgo)
Koltic, Cleric 5 (Chris)
   Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
   Robin the Bard (0 level human)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 5 (Matt)


Digging through the loot that had long gone dusty, Eiric rediscovered a Scroll of Truth, and wondered if it would work on Rocky… Only one way to find out. So she gathered everyone up, and they headed for the box canyon, wanting to get to Rocky as quickly as possible. At the end of the boxed canyon, the entrance was still swarming with scarab beetles. Rather than go around, Eiric decided to use a fireball on them. It was incredibly effective, killing the vast majority of the bugs, and sending the rest scurrying away.

Down the stairs, and through the demon mouth hall, they made it to Rocky without problem. They chatted a bit, and then got to it. Eiric pulled out the scroll and asked…

Q: How do we find the heart in the riddle to stab it; more specifically what are the exact directions and measurements to get to the heart?

And Rocky answered as he had before…
A: Where the Sect of the Rampant Green went too far, where their shadows burn eternal, where now grows hot and wild and the queen reigns, you'll find the heart.

However, on the scroll appeared these words…
“Under the scorching heat of the Black Sun,
From the Throne upon which Ka’Nefer rules,
There you will find the heart”

Thanking Rocky, they decided to head out, wanting to be fully prepared for their assault on Ka’Nefer’s throne… However, rather than head back to town, they listened to Robin the Bard tell of the dungeon that he’d shown Koltic just the day before. And off they went!

The hike to the cave entrance, under the ruins of some old fortified building was a pleasant one, and the cave was cool. Koltic explained which direction they’d gone before, and the party started off that way, but quickly stopped and took a side passage, and were immediately set upon by some very angry giant ferrets. Karl wanted to keep one, in spite of the nasty bloody bite it gave him. Darryl bashed in the creature’s skull before it could continue to nosh upon Karl’s arm.

Next they came to a set of natural stairs heading down, and so they went… finding shredded giant rat corpses, a messy nest of giant rats (which they exterminated) that included a baby giant rat (that seemed to take an unexpected liking to Karl, and he kept, saving it from Kili who wanted to smash it).

They were jumped by a very hungry ghoul, which didn’t go so well for the well dressed abomination. Made for the first treasure they’d recovered though… and then natural more stairs going down. Karl avoided getting his brains bashed in by a loose rock, then some zombies were destroyed by the overwhelming power of Darryl’s drunken faith. A door set into the wall opened into a worked hallways, and more dead were discovered in alcoves lining the walls. Thankfully most of them stayed dead, and the ghouls that attacked didn’t last long enough to scream. The party noted a set of worked stairs heading up.

In one alcove they discovered a locked box with some treasure, and then a secret door. Koltic opens the door, and there’s a blinding flash of light… and he goes blind. In the chamber beyond was a circular chamber with murals of ships upon a stormy sea, and monsters hidden in the clouds and under the water. The sarcophagus in the center of the chamber emitted a magical glow when Eiric checked it, and then revealed that it was also trapped with the same blinding spell as the door. Since Koltic was already blind, he was the one to open it while everyone else looked away. Within was a sack containing coins and a magic Sleep scroll. Jurda claimed the scroll, and Eiric shrugged as she already has that spell,

Taking the stairs up, they came to a door partly open. Within were half a dozen goblins playing at dice and cooking a giant rat in a stew pot. Karl decided to try to go in alone with beer, and avoid fighting them. Unfortunately Karl doesn’t speak goblin, and a heavily armed and armored dwarf walking in was a little too much for them. The cookpot was tossed at him, splashing him with not quite boiling stew and semi-cooked chunks of rat meat, and then he was jabbed with several rusty blades before Eiric rushed in behind yelling in goblin to stop! Seeing they were vastly outnumbered, they did stop fighting, the pot was recovered, and rations were added to it, and they chatted, discovering that the goblins tribe had recently split, and that there are other humans in the dungeon that they call “elementalists”. One goblin is sent off to go get their boss.

Gains: Scroll of Sleep, jewelry worth 3,800gp, significant quantities of low value coinage
Kills: Zombies, Goblins, Giant Rats
Losses:

Friday, May 24, 2019

New Monster: Terracotta Warrior

Arrows rained down from the walls, and clacked off the figure charging toward the rapidly closing gate. The guards standing by with spears at the ready looked ready to break, but they held as the terracotta warrior reached the gate just before it closed, plowing through the guards standing in the gap.

Pulling the halberd from the body of one guard, the warrior spins it around, cutting deeply into the body of the next. More arrows pelted ineffectively against it, and even a large stone did little more than nudge it to the side as it continued to cleave it’s way through everything sent against it… until it suddenly stopped, and shrank down into a small statue. It was shattered seconds later as several different weapons came crashing down onto it.




Terracotta Warrior

Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4* (+1 per caster level)
Move: 90 (30)
Attacks: 1 polearm
Damage: 1d10
No. Appearing: 1 (1)
Save As: F6
Morale: 12
Treasure Type:
Intelligence: 0
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value:

Monster Type: Construct (Rare)

Terracotta warriors are enchanted statues that serve at a wizards command. When activated via the Terracotta Warrior 3rd level Magic-User spell, the statue grows to 6’ tall, and follows whatever mental commands the wizard makes. Terracotta warriors are usually armed with polearms, but some wizards prefer other weapons. The terracotta warrior is immune to non-magical attacks, or the attacks of creatures with less than 5HD. The terracotta warrior counts as armed with a magical weapon and attacks as a 6HD creature.

Creation of a Terracotta Warrior costs 100gp and takes 2d4 days.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Elquin part 3

With my last post about minis I hated, I talked a bit about Elquin, and how I had to push through till I reached a point where I thought he was starting to look okay. Elquin did finally reach that stage. All it took was highlighting and more highlighting… Unfortunately I didn’t really keep track of how many stages it took to get here.



And after getting to this stage I also cut him off his base and used my Happy Seppuku (now defunct) base stamp to give him something better to stand on.





Another highlight, and then painting the base.









From here… I’m still not super thrilled with the face, but then I rarely am. I think he's done. Or at least as done as I'm gonna get him.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Stonehell: Crypt of Saint Ulther

Session 96 was played on 5/4

Koltic, Cleric 5 (Chris)
Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Robin the Bard (0 Level human)

Koltic, following the return to town spent his time in the bars with his newly hired “bard” who told him of another dungeon, a small tomb of an ancient saint… Everyone else was busy, and Koltic was itching to do something… so off they went.

Near some old ruins, Robin showed him a cave behind some bushes. Within the limestone cave were some old bones, and footprints, both goblin and human. Navigating a tight passage, he emerges into a worked dungeon hall… Picking a door at random, he opened it, finding a dusty old devotional. Beyond was a simple tomb. Daring to open the sarcophagus, a skeletal hand wrapped in chainmail rached out. Koltic turned the skeleton to dust, and retried the suit of mail. Within it was a dagger, the pommel containing a tiny fragment of a saint's bone… a relic!

Of the 2 doors leading out of the tomb, one was sealed with wax, and Koltic decided not to open that one. The other door brought them to the tomb of the saint. The wall decorated with a mural of a bulging eyed man leading a ship to safety in a storm. Something… unnerving seemed to be hidden in the waters. The sarcophagus itself was more decorated than the previous one, but the body within was quieter. The saint had clearly moved on, and no treasure was entombed with his earthly remains.

Deeper into the tomb, they came to a door, barred from within. Goblin voices would be heard, but they didn’t reply to the “hello” that Jurda tried in Orc or common. Heading back around they stopped at another door (not the one sealed with wax) and opened it to reveal a long corridor of interred bodies resting in small niches. Unfortunately they were more restless than the saint. Thankfully Koltic’s turning dusted them before they could do any harm.

Circling back around to the hall, the goblin voices could be heard to the west. Quietly heading that way, Koltic saw a largish room, and within 4 goblins, and a giant ferret. The goblin holding the leash of the ferrit dropped it, and they all drew weapons. The ferret charged, with 3 of the 4 following right behind it. The 4th ran from the room out the back door.

The fight was fast and bloody, with one goblin landing a painful crit on Koltic, but they were cut down efficiently. However 5 more goblins came into the room just as the last of their friends was cut down. Koltic ran back to the devotional with his followers, and slammed the door shut behind him. The goblins seemed unwilling to try to enter on their own…

Grabbing the lid of the tomb, they set it up to half barricade the hallway into the devotional room… and then pull open the door. The goblins hesitate half a second before their hobgoblin master orders them in. The first goblin is dropped as it reaches the tomb lid, while Jurda takes a rusty blade to the leg, and she falls with a scream, the goblin on top of her. Robin skewers it on his rapier, but Jurda is out of the fight. Koltic takes another hard hit, Robin gets scratched, and the hobgoblin shoves his way forward over the dead goblins at his feat. Koltic takes the brunt of the attack, and then drives his mace solidly into the hobgoblin’s face with a meaty and messy swing.

It was enough… the goblins were dead… Calling on his god, he healed Jurda’s wounds, and she returned to consciousness. Next order of business was stripping the nice scale mail from the hobgoblin, and taking his sword, and then getting out of the dungeon. Koltic’s wounds were aching, and Robin needed a change of pants.

Gains: rusty chain mail, nice scale mail, serviceable broadsword (40gp in value total) magic dagger
Kills: Skeletons, Zombie, Goblins, Hobgoblin
Losses:

Friday, May 17, 2019

When you hate what you’re working on...

I’m really not enjoying Elquin (Bones version). He’s coming along, and the progress is enough that I feel like I’ll be close to done with him soonish, but he isn’t fun to work on.



I’ve also been poking at Nella Cailean, and while I was generally happy with how her outfit was coming along, her face… I didn’t even bother taking pictures. I was seriously unhappy with her. I’m not great at painting female faces to begin with (and I’m only okay with male faces), but it just became a mess. My paint got too thick and chalky, and she ended up looking like she’d had a stroke, and a 30 year chain smoking habit, with caked on makeup. So I dumped her head first into a jar of simple green. Gonna have to start over. While I’m at it I might give her a staff… I'm hoping that I can get into a "Painting Female Faces" class at ReaperCon...

So those are my thoughts on 2 specific minis. In general, when working on a mini that I’ve come to hate (and really hate is too strong a word) I have to either junk it and start over like I’m doing with Nella, push through until I get to a spot where I think it’s starting to look okay (Elquin), or just walk away.

And I hate just walking away. I feel bad abandoning a mini I’m working on. Which is weird, because there are some minis I don’t mind walking away from, but those are ones that I don’t have strong feelings about. Like the giants I’ve painted. They’re just… eh. Done enough for tabletop.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bones Gnolls part 1

As with the bugbears I wanted to swap out some of the weapons for the figures I have multiples of. In this case the gnolls had flails. Unfortunately their shield arms aren’t as conversion friendly as the bugbears, so I just left them alone. The goal this time is to keep it simple. One gnoll got a bretonnian polearm, the other a beastman club.




After the conversions, and some minor mold line removal, I slapped on a thinned coat of Brown Liner. When that was dry I mounted them on bases. While smaller than the bugbears, they still don’t fit well on a 1” base, so I went a bit bigger. And because I was out of the 40mm GW bases that I used on the bugbears, I used 45mm Reaper bases, which were the next best option and a couple of other random 40mm bases from... somewhere... Kinda wish I’d swapped them, and put the bugbears on the larger, and the gnolls on the smaller… oh well…



This was the point I stopped and remembered that I’ve painted some of these guys already, and I should probably review what I did, so that they can be at least somewhat consistent.


I can’t believe that was 2 years ago… time flies.

But hey, I took good notes! And also, hey I never based the other gnolls! So let’s get them based too!




Next, out comes the Void Blue, Cloudy Grey, Linen White, Dragon Red, Nut Brown, and Marigold Yellow, Polished Leather, Leather Brown, and my “crappy armor colors” Scorched Metal and Armor. Following the notes from Blacktongue, these guys should paint up pretty quickly.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Stonehell: Disco Fever!

Session 95 was played on 4/20

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman) (stayed in town)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Linkman (Lolmox)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Men at Arms (Rawin)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)

Having found a magical bounty, but still lacking the heart of Ka’Nefer, they decided to head back to town. The party makes it successfully back to the elevator, but find it full of mummies! Darryl’s attempt to turn them failed, both from the dark pressure of the dungeon, and also because the mummies have nowhere to run to! Lex is infected with mummy rot, as does Kili when after the mummies are killed he chops off their heads.

Taking the elevator up, the next challenge they face is the disco room. They pause… and then rush through the flashing lights! Kili and Eiric are both struck by beams, and they stumble out of the room. Kili with his mind expanded (Wisdom +1) while Eiric’s understanding of everything blown open (+1 level!).

Through the hobgoblin caves the party emerges from the dungeon into the light of day, and safely to the road and back to town. Darryl cures Lex’s and Kili’s mummy rot. Eiric studies the magical items and spellbook. While she’s holed up on her estate, she has a visit from one of the rich people in town who wants a poison brewed up, and is willing to pay for it… 800gp later, Eiric delivers a nasty, but non-lethal, poison.

Kili finds his shop robbed, hires 24/7 security. A-A-Ron swears his guild had nothing to do with it. Karl hires a guard for his semi-fancy hat shop.

Gains:
Kills: Mummies
Losses:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Bugbear Shock Troopers

“There’s just 4 of them ahead. 2 armored, 2 not, all mounted.” Scout Korloth reported.

“We can catch them in the brush, take out their mounts, drag them down before they can react.” Sgt. Grug suggested.

“The unarmored ones need to be watched. One might be a spellslinger.” Korloth warned.

“It’s been a while since we had horse meat... “ one of the troopers grinned, practically drooling at the thought.

“We have to bring them to Captain Garr’Nith ‘with all due speed.’ We don’t have time for the horses.” Master Sgt. Gor’eth reminded them.

“Do we have to kill them then?” Grug asked.

The furry hulking form nodded. “Fine. Sweep them off the mounts, try not to startle or kill the horses.”

With surprising grace, the massive bugbears slipped away from their camp toward the little traveled path.




Bugbear Shock Troopers
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 3+2
Move: 90 (30)
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: 2d4+2
No. Appearing: 2d4
Save As: F4
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: (P+Q) B
Intelligence: 9
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 50

Monster Type: Humanoid, Common

Bugbears, who often work as the “muscle” of a goblin tribe, when raised in a more orderly hobgoblin force are better equipped and trained, and can rival (small) ogres in their size. Due to their innate ability to sneak in spite of their size, they’re used by hobgoblin generals to sneak around to the flank or rear of an opposing force, and cause a shocking amount of destruction/disruption.

Bugbear shock troopers are armed with a variety of large weapons that can be used one or two handed that can cleave or crush the average orc or human in a single blow.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Stonehell: Hothouse Antics

Session 94 was played on 4/13

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman) (stayed in town)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Linkman (Lolmox)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Men at Arms (Rawin)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)

After a rest, the party emerges from the proto-matter room, smelling slightly from the pink-grey sludge. They make their way over and around past the were-rat den, and down into the Hothouse. The first door they come to is locked, and they pass it by. The next opens into a moldy ruined library.

Next they come to a partly collapsed wet room, and within are 3 large toads with hypnotic eyes… They’re denied a meal, as those not immediately affected drag out those who begin to limply walk to their death. Deeper into the hothouse, they come to a room with some giant purple mushrooms growing among the various other plants. Small openings appear in the caps, and a loud screaming echoes down the halls.

While Koltic pokes at the screaming mushrooms, the Queen of the Hothouse arrives with her guards who fling a sleeping pot into the room, while the queen attempts to charm the party. Eiric has everyone hold off and tries to talk to the queen. The Queen is still angry at the death of her subjects, but also frustrated that the undead flesh is coming into her territory. She doesn’t know anything about the heart that Rocky speaks off. Eventually Eiric trades her magical snake staff for access to the hothouse, only to look for the heart.

Starting with the fertilizer prep room, they search through the bodies but don’t find anything. Next they go to a metal door that is remarkably clear of rust or plant growth. Karl touches the door, and gets zapped hard. Eiric uses magic to open it. Within is a small study in remarkably good condition. The statue of the old guy in a toga in the corner doesn’t take kindly to the invasion, but against the whole party is quickly destroyed. Eiric recovers a book of arcane formulas, a wand, and several potions.

Gains: spell book, wand of magic missiles, potion of extra healing x2, potion of invisibility, 700gp.
Kills: Iron Statue
Losses:

Monday, May 6, 2019

Bugbears part 3

This is where I left off on my last post. Nearly done, but needing more work... So let's get on with it!



I dry brushed all the metal bits with Warpaints Armor (a dark silvery color), did a little highlighting on the red, weathered the leather with sepia wash, and cleaned up the wood on the various weapons and shields.



Then it was flocking time, starting with coffee grounds for texture so that the flock didn't look super flat on the base. It really makes the base of the mini painfully obvious. It's less a problem when I but the base off, but I didn't bother for these minis.



Then, after the coffee grounds had a day to dry, it was time for the flock.



And then a second application for the spots that didn't cover like I wanted. And here they are all finished. As is the case with table top quality minis, there's more I could do, but I'm ready to move onto the next project... whatever that ends up being.

Total Minis Painted in 2019: 21

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunday Inspirational Image: Ciena Ree

The stories of characters beyond the Skywalkers are really what makes the Star Wars universe come alive, even when (or especially when?) those characters find themselves on the imperial side, like Ciena Ree.


by Aurore Folny

Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the Fourth Be With You

It's a sad day today, having just lost Peter Mayhew. I met him once, at a convention. It was in the dealers room, before the doors opened to the public. He was... sweet. Kind. Happy to be there. A gentle giant. I'm glad to have even briefly crossed paths with him.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Scarecrows

As usual, these fine figures were washed in warm soapy water, and then given a base coat of brown liner. Going for a creepy muted look for these guys, which, honestly, is kinda what I generally paint anyway… I wanted to make them distinguishable on the table, even though they’re exactly the same mini, and the easiest way to do that was to give them different colored jackets and hats. Utilizing the same colors that have been on my painting tray for a couple of months now, I used Muddy Olive, Denim Blue, Tanned Shadow for the straw, Dirty Bone, Walnut and Nut Browns for anything wood, leather, or bone. Brilliant Red for the hat bands and handkerchiefs. Just about everything was given a sepia wash at some point in the process.



They were based on 1.25" washers. They're just a little big for a 1" base. Not sure what skeleton was used to make them, but it wasn't human...





And here they are all based.





They're table top quality, but good enough, and I've got other things to work on!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Bones IV Review

Now that I’ve had a chance to go through just about everything, I have some thoughts on the minis. Gonna go through them by expansion… hang on. This is gonna take a bit.

Chronoscape
My first hands on look at the new Bones Black material for standard sized figures. Overall first impression is WOW!! They managed to get a whole lot of detail in these minis!! Aside from the space-dino minis, these are all older figures from Reaper’s catalog. Thankfully there aren’t many repeats from what I already have in metal, so this set was worth it for me. I was very surprised that just about everything here comes with a blank integrated base. I’m gonna have to think about how I want to deal with this… likely I’ll just cut it off, which is a shame. If there had been some sort of detailing on them, it would have been great.

Favorite Figure: Pudgy short alien dude with attitude
Least Favorite Figure: robot with big guns
Pleasant Surprise: Bulldog options!

Dreadmere
Once again, top notch for the Bones Black material. I already have a significant number of these minis in metal, but with everything else in the set, and the conversion potential, again well worth it. There’s some delightful characters in this themed set, from the turtle and alligator buddies to the various townsfolk. The monsters are creative, and well sculpted. The pack tortoise was a bit of a problem. The pack was miscast/warped. I’m going to attempt to get it into shape, but if not, I’ll have to ask for a replacement bit.

Favorite Figure: Hard to pick, but the brain one is just a great sculpt
Least Favorite Figure: Guards - they’re okay, just kinda cartoonish.
Pleasant Surprise: The herbalist came out way better than I expected.

Darkreach
Another mix of old and new minis, but not a single figure I had in my collection. There’s a nice mix of underdark monsters, fungal creatures, and humanoids, perfect for an underdark campaign. I’m gonna need more of the little rock gnome/goblin dudes. I really like the new dark elf sculpts too. Such crisp detailing.

Favorite Figure: Gloom Stalker and Burrowing Behemoth
Least Favorite Figure: Dark elf queen on the throne? This is a great set and hard to pick a mini I don’t like
Pleasant Surprise: Stone Lurker has a lot more personality than I was expecting!

Lost Valley
Dinosaurs and Cavemen! This was an interesting set that broke with my expectations. First, most noticeable was the Mumluk. He’s twice as big as I was expecting. Based on the graphic, I thought he’d be between 2.5” - 3” tall, in line with the various avatar minis from Bones 3. Instead he’s big enough to be going toe to toe with just about any of Reaper’s dragons.
On the flip side, the long house was smaller than I expected. Still a nice sculpt, but…
Casting /Sculpt quality was a little off on the Raptors. Not terrible, but softer than I was expecting, especially given the quality of everything else so far. They were also a tiny bit bigger than I thought they’d be. Maybe scaled down by 1/3 the detail would look less soft?

Favorite Figure: Jade Fire Tribe
Least Favorite Figure: Mumluk - Probably gonna turn him into a terrain piece.
Pleasant Surprise: the Clubtail is both a solid sculpt and a SOLID mini! You could really hurt someone with it…

Fan Favorites
This hodgepodge of a set suffers from a lack of a theme, and works best as a complement to the other expansions. The flail snail, dark dwarves, demon toads, and beetle all fit in with Darkreach, the mimic bed, undead shark, bog skeletons, Izzy, skeletal ogre, and tidal lurker all fit in with Dreadmere, and the mammoth and penguins in with Lost Valley. Then there’s the portal… which is even better than was promised!

Favorite Figure: Tidal Lurker and Ogre skeleton
Least Favorite: Demon toads. They just don’t do it for me.
Pleasant Surprise: Isobael and her dog.
Unpleasant Surprise: Cavalry… Clearly this is still an area that Bones doesn’t handle super well…

Core Set
Unlike the expansions, the core set was made from traditional Bones material, and after spending all the time I did with Bones Black these feel…. rubbery. They’re also largely not assembled, and since they store better that way, I didn’t glue anything together. I did dry fit a few things to make sure that I had all the bits, but, as compared to the other sets, inventorying this one felt more like a chore.

Favorite Figure: Duelist 161
Least Favorite: Greybeard wizards… 5 old style classic robe and pointy hat type wizards was 4 too many. Old wizard and apprentice plus a coven of 3 witches would have been a better use of those slots.
Pleasant Surprise: The dragonman has a sprue of hands to choose from!

Add Ons

Baba Yaga’s Hut is a SOLID hunk of plastic. I’d planned on and expected it to have removable legs, but apparently that wasn’t to be. Due to issues at the factory, it was determined that the legs needed to be attached. I’m probably going to cut them off. I might still try to make it so I can add them back on later, but it’ll be much more of a project than I was planning on. The giblet will be used elsewhere.

Barge of the Dead
Not as solid as the hut, but BIG and so many parts. I love the ghosts and Charon that comes with it. Not sure when I’ll be able to build and display it. The sucker needs a mantlepiece to sail around.

Fantasy Scenics & Statues
The astrolabe is gonna need some work to assemble. It’s also a little bigger than I was expecting. I wonder if there was a scaling issue with it?
The ruins, well, summoning circle, etc. are all solid bits and will see a lot of use, as will the statues.

Dinosaurs
I got both the tric and the carnosaur and they’re both great. The back plate for the carnosaur is kinda weird, and will need some greenstuff, but that’s totally doable.

Wraiths
The Nine… sorry, what? Six… the Six are out ring shopping, and wearing their sunday best. Fantastic set, and one of the first things I added on. No regrets, only a wish that there were 3 more… plus some mounted versions…

Tree
Love it. Not sure what I’ll do with the spare torture victim. Hope the buzzards will be available separately.

Rulers of Hell
Their wings are thicker than I was expecting, but they’re gonna be great additions to the demonic legions.

King of the Jungle
Solid mini. The bottom of the throne suggests that there should be a base that goes with it… He’ll go well with the Mumlak as a terrain piece.

And that’s my review!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April in Review

Gaming
I am woefully behind on my session write ups, both for 5e and Stonehell, but I’m working on it…

In the 5e game, we’ve managed to survive the first encounter with Strahd and his 3 brides. We’ve met a werewolf, and are about to be swarmed by bandits.

Stonehell keeps chugging along. Things have taken an interesting and unexpected turn in the Hothouse... namely, it isn't burning.

The first session of Frostgrave ended up becoming a rules review and build session.


Miniatures
Bones IV arrived, which sucked up a week of time going through it all. However I did manage to wrap up the bugbears, and Elquin is just about done too. Both need some finishing touches, but other than that? They’re all good to go.

I started working on my first Bones IV mini, the Pathfinder Iconic Estra the Spiritualist. She wasn’t my first choice, but my DM asked for an old witchy figure, and that’s one area I’m kinda lacking in, so…

I think I’m going to work on the gnolls next. Like the bugbears they’re in need of some weapon swaps. Unfortunately their shields are attached to their arms, so more significant conversions are harder.

Beyond that, I’m going to wait for some inspiration to strike… or my DM to ask me for something.


Media

Books
I’ve plowed through Marko Kloos’s Frontlines series. Military sci-fi series that I really enjoyed. Blog post about it coming soon. Eventually.

Movies/TV Watched
Shazam
John Wick 2
Spiderman Into the SpiderVerse
Thor: Ragnarok (rewatch)
Avengers Infinity War (rewatch)
Avengers Endgame
Bright
10th Kingdom (sick day rewatch)


Goals
A lot more time is going to be given over to studying for the next 2 months, so keeping it low key. Catch up on actual play write ups, and put some paint on the gnolls.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Stonehell: Mummies everywhere...

Session 93 was played on 3/23

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman) (stayed in town)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Linkman (Lolmox)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Men at Arms (Rawin)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)

After learning of what Koltic and Kili did, the party discussed what next. Sadly a visit by the priest from the temple of the black sun informed them that Ka’Nefer was not as dead as they’d like, and was now actively pissed. After he left they talked about maybe burning down the temple, but the size of it, and the construction meant that doing so might burn down the whole town. Better to tackle Ka’Nefer in his lair…

So heading into the dungeon, they first go to the main entrance, but it’s still swarming with bugs, so out and around to the hobgoblin caves. They run through the disco room, avoiding any ill effects, They encounter a troop of skeletons, which are quickly dusted, then 6 mummy wardens. Brie, Jurga, Lucrecia and a hireling all run in terror, while Karl, Koltic, Orpheus, and Lex wade in. They collect some jewelry from the corpses, and then collect their members who ran.

Around to the elevator, they run into some kobolds with a pack beetle. They grumble about how unsafe the dungeon has become. The party takes the elevator to the third level, heading for the greenhouse. Just off the elevator, 6 heartless wait for the party. Eiric lightning bolts those that Kili and Darryl fail to turn. Inspecting them after, Eiric realizes these heartless were bugbears…

Eiric wants to see if any of the bugbears were still around, and so search the surrounding area. The discovered only more heartless. The party locks themselves in the slightly stuffy proto-matter chamber. The warded door keeps them safe while they rest.

Gains: 800gp in jewelry
Kills: Heartless, Mummy Wardens
Losses:

Monday, April 29, 2019

Review: Avengers Endgame

This is a spoiler free review!



It did not go like I thought it was going to go. It did tie up a lot of loose ends, and paved the way for the next Phase of the MCU. Having 5 years go by made for some really interesting storytelling, and I wonder how some of the MCU shows are going to handle it.

I kinda hate that we're not going to get to see those 5 years play out with the Defenders. 

There was a bit of ugly crying, shocking deaths, and good laughs.

I'm excited to see where they're going to go from here. I'm curious how they're going to handle certain movies that are supposed to be coming up in light of the events of Endgame.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday Inspirational Image: Seize the Day






Seize the Day was a calendar program made by in 1994 by Buena Vista software. It features graphics that at the time, were revolutionary because of the way they handled color cycling. These images were static bitmaps, but by changing color values, they appear animated. What is also impressive about these images is that they had full day night cycles built in, rendered also through color cycling.

A few years ago, a html5 version was made. A copy was uncovered online and there is a way to use the program through DOSbox. As well, one of the original programmers for the project, Iam Gilman, has thought of the idea of remaking it, open sourced, for modern machines.