Thursday, June 21, 2018

Chainmail Dire Boar

The Dire Boar from WotC’s Chainmail game is a fairly simple mini, and I opted to keep my paint scheme simple as well. I’d primed him years ago with spray primer, and then never got around to painting him, and while most of the primer had held up, it needed touching up. I gave him a scrub to remove any dust and flaking paint in hot soapy water.

Once dry I re-primed with Brown Liner, I generously sloshed on Muddy Brown with Redstone Shadow. This also went all over the base.

I followed that up with another coat this time adding Rich Leather to the mix.Then I added Tanned Leather and gave it a gentler dry brush. I used Old West Rose mixed with the brown for the snout and around the bottom of the eyes. The teeth and horns (spikes?) were painted with Tanned Leather and a little bit of Linen White and then lightened up further near the tips with linen white. Then I gave him a clear coat to finish it off.

The base was then flocked with a combo of different materials, the same as I used with Blightfang, including a forest floor mix and basic flock. And with that? He’s done and ready for the tabletop.

Total Minis Painted in 2018: 36

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

5e: Over Inflated Sewer Guppy

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

Mother and Father:

Please forgive the water stains and smudged ink. I’m afraid it couldn’t be helped at the moment for reasons that will become clear.

The sewers of Yartar, while still relatively new, are solidly constructed. I’m rather impressed at the complexity of their waterworks, given that while it’s a city, it isn’t a metropolis like Waterdeep. Clearly they city elders realized the value of building something to last. While not quite up to the best of Dwarven construction, it’s still impressive, and for anyone from the clan who might make their way out this direction, worth a look.

We were not there for sightseeing, unfortunately. With Rin, Thorin, and Journey bringing the Lady Italia to the lady-thieves, we went in with 2 other members of the Grey Hand, another warlock and an alchemist.

While well built, the sewers were slick with slime, and we had to be very careful moving along the narrow walkways. Bran’s limited vision was mitigated by spending a bit to send his raven flapping around. He described what it saw, and the first thing that caught our attention was a doorway not too far from where we were, so we shuffled our way over. After passing through a short hallway we came to a room with a half dissolved body, numerous hand wheels and levers, and 4 slimes. They were obnoxiously resistant to most of our magical attacks, but succumbed readily to being bludgeoned to death. Our Grey Hand Alchemist assistant figured out how to use the mechanics to lower the water in the sewer, so we did… probably by sending it all out into the river.

Then we heard… something from out in the hallway, and glassy eyed fish-things gargled at us. Wanting to get out of the stinky sewer as quickly as possible, I charged out, lined the two of them up, and blasted them with a lightning bolt. Sadly it didn’t immediately slay either of them, and then they attacked. The first one failed to get me, but the second one tossed a disgusting net over me. Joda used the Giant’s fan to blow one away, and then the rest of the party charged out. They were carrying little besides their weapons, and knowing that sometimes creatures swallow their treasure, I gutted one, which the alchemist found disgusting oddly enough…  But no treasure.


Sending the raven back out to scout when the water level dropped discovered 3 more fishmen looking annoyed in what had been a full pool. We went over to them, ready to blast them apart when Bran revealed that he could talk to them. While I didn’t understand a word said, Bran didn’t look or sound thrilled with the answers he was getting, so I charmed the talker. Bran translated his more helpful responses. O’O’Sooth is their god, and an aboleth, who has been making people from the surface into fish people, but not like *these* fish people. Oh, and those Bat-clowns the “Howling Hatred” are involved too. They also warned us about the walls on the way into their god’s lair.


While they were talking one of the fish-things went on ahead. So… no surprise. Not that there was a great chance of that anyway. So, leaving the fish friends behind (the one would stay charmed for a while longer yet) we went deeper into the lair of the aboleth.

To set the scene… The aboleth’s main chamber was a massive hemisphere half full of dark water. The flat wall was to our backs. Spanning across the middle was a bridge, leading to a great iron door on the far wall. In the center of the bridge was a circular platform with 4 wheels mounted to short pillars. Circling halfway around the outerwall were 2 stone walkways.Sitting at the end of each was a glassy eyed merrow next to a wheel set into the wall.  

I was first down the ladder into the chamber, and on my way down spotted the Glyph. With a frustrated wave I dispelled the ward, and we continued down…

There is something particularly slimy and cold about an aboleth speaking directly into your brain. It welcomed us in, and invited us to join it in a more civilized setting. THe far door opened, and 2 fish-men came out, walked to the disk, and bowed us toward the door. We cautiously made our way and looked through the iron door. A table and chairs were neatly arranged, along with several small piles of folded clothing, and a small mound of treasure. We declined to enter the small chamber with the large iron door.

“Very well, I’ll have you as slaves instead.” and the Merrow turned the wheels. Water came gushing into the chamber, and we all ran for the center disk. Bran got their first, injuring one of the fishmen. Joda arrived next, grabbing Bran, and thunder-stepped over to one of the Merrow. The blast killed one and injured the other fish-men. Our other warlock ran up, injured the remaining fishman, and I was right behind to finish him off with poison spray. We grabbed the wheels, and started turning as the water was quickly approaching my neck.


From out of the water, tentacles came out slapping me, the warlock and the alchemist who’d followed behind. I felt something… slither in me… but knew I didn’t have time to deal with it.

Joda and Bran attack the Merrow,  and his glassy eyes clear. Sadly it was a stunning blow, and the creature was unable to do anything. The alchemist ran to toward the other merrow, while the warlock and I blasted at the aboleth. With the Great Digger’s lack of give-a-damn I empowered my witch bolt, and landed a solid hit on the overgrown sewer-guppy. It laughed at us… and then swatted down Joda. He hit the wall hard… I swear I heard his skull cracking against the wall echo in the chamber.

Bran tried to swim away, and got slapped by the aboleth’s tail. Thankfully the merrow went at the aboleth, though with little success. Across the way the alchemist tried to snap the other merrow out of his charm, and only succeeded in getting it angry, and he took a painful bite from it. The warlock shot it, and that damage was enough to wake it up, which allowed the alchemist to turn off the water. The merrow jumped in and joined the fight against the guppy. The guppy then attacked, and dropped the warlock right next to me. Bran joined in and shot the Aboleth again and again, smoky black arrows sinking into the monster’s hide.


From the now draining waters we felt more than heard the rumble of something large and heavy being shifted. The alchemist began to dash around the room, trying to reach Joda, I stood next to the fallen Warlock, continuing to pump the Great Digger’s rage into this self important sewer guppy, knowing there was nothing I could do to save either Joda or the warlock, or possibly even myself… As the waters were nearly gone from the chamberI could see the escape passage now open, and the aboleth thrashing away from the merrow who were harassing it.
I was going to be sick. It was going to get away. With a mad cackle I poured every last bit of energy I could into the abomination as Bran fired off more arrows and the merrow jabbed their harpoons… and it spasmed, flailed in the muck, twitching toward escape… and died.

The alchemist cried out. Joda was dead. The warlock breathed next to me. He would recover. Then I *was* sick. Things have been a little blurry since. I’m oozing something that burns if my skin dries, so I’m sitting writing this on the muddy bank of the river, praying that there is someone who can cure me… praying more that they can do something for Joda. And if not, I pray his soul finds rest.

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.