Thursday, May 31, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

I wish I could say I was blown away by Solo, but after Infinity War, Black Panther, and The Last Jedi… I wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a solid movie and a hell of a lot of fun. Getting to see Han in his younger days, seeing him get off of Correlia, rescue Chewie, and meet Lando and get the Falcon? Wonderful. Add in a little bit of early rebellion, The Crimson Dawn (spin off of the Black Sun?), and the Kessel Run? Delightful.

Spoilers Below!!

What it never really managed to do for me was make me curious. We know he’s going to make it, get the falcon, lose the girl, and best Lando, etc., so there wasn’t a whole lot of suspense. It was more like revisiting a movie I hadn’t seen in a long time. It felt familiar, comfortable, and in some ways more like a Traveller adventure than a Star Wars one. Not that that’s a bad thing per se, but a “may the force be with you” wouldn’t have been out of place.

Oh, and speaking of Lando? Donald Glover totally nailed the part. I want a Lando movie. I also want to know more about L3-37 and how she came to be so… woke. Seeing Lando and her flirt was a lot of fun. I’m disappointed that she didn’t survive, but love how she was integrated into the Falcon.

As far as the “disappointing” opening weekend? Don’t believe it. I think this is a movie that’s got some legs. And with a few weeks before Incredibles 2, Jurassic World 2, and more than a month till Ant Man and Wasp, I think Solo is going to solidly bring people to the theater. It certainly doesn’t spell the end of Star Wars.

If there’s another Solo film, or better, a Lando film, I’ll be in the theater again, ready to blast off into a galaxy far far away.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

5e: To Kryptgarden Woods

Mother + Father,

I want to start out by assuring you that I was not involved with the pie event, and I do not know what has gotten into Thorin. My dear cousin has decided that he needs a squire, mostly to assist him in donning his new plate armor.

He hired an elf-girl named Bidet.

This is going as well as you'd expect.

As we'd finished our business in Waterdeep, we again set out to follow-up on another lead, heading toward the Kryptgarden Forest. It was a ways away, and we passed through several small towns and villages along the way. Mostly these were uneventful stops, and the roads were mostly clear. We did witness a robbery in progress, and decided to ride to the rescue. As compared to orcs and giants, the bandits were a rather welcome opportunity to flex our muscles without too much worry.

There were 2 incidents of note about the encounter. My dear cousin is not well suited for the cavalry. He not only managed to fall off of his horse, but became so ensnared in the various straps and stirrups that he ended up at the feet of one of the bandits, practically helpless, with his own shield trapped under him. Thankfully his armor is as thick as his head. The other was Joda, our monk, using a sun bolt attack on the bandit captain. While it didn't kill him, it did blast him to his knees, and he instantly surrendered. (When you roll a pair of 20s on your attack with advantage).

One of the little villages we passed through had a friend of the yeti bat keep from Goldenfields, so we stopped in to say hello. I think the old woman is starting to go a bit off. She gave us a magic ring that will supposedly summon a Halfling to help us. Maybe the next time we find ourselves facing a giant pie? Or needing to bake one?

Then the real excitement... staying at a Zhentarim run inn. Bran noted the innkeeper was acting weird, and taking notes about the party during the night, and so snuck into his room, tossed a great cat into the innkeeper's lap, and stole his treasure chest. Not wanting to actually kill the innkeeper, he dismissed the cat before it finished mauling him. But we got away with the chest, and, seemingly, without suspicion. Within the chest was a collapsible druidic staff, a magical gem, and the notebook the Zhent was keeping. We'll be forwarding the notebook on to those who'll be able to most make use of it.

Westbridge and The Kryptgarden Woods are now before us.

I still don't know why he hired the elf...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Stonehell: Don't Touch!

Session 63 was played on 2/27

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic, Noxic)
- linkmen (Lomax)
- 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, Volstagg, GoMat)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3 (Henchman)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 5 (Josh)
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)

As the party and the mummies all paused in their attacks, Darryl attempted to heal some of the injuries the party had suffered, only to find that most of them were suffering from Mummy Rot, and his healing was hardly effective.

They decided to grab the loot from the killed mummies, and get back to the surface. Running back down into the treasure room, Karl feels the pull of all the gold around him, and as the rest of the party heads down the stairs, he grabs for some coins… The wooden coins painted with gold paint, clatter, and the piles form up into 4 humanoid figures about the same height as Karl, and pummel him for daring to touch the treasure. Rather than face them himself, Karl runs. Sadly his stubby legs couldn’t get him away from the coin monsters, and they got another round of hits on him.

Orpheus, guarding the rear of the party that was making its way down the stairs as quickly as they could, runs back up, grabs Karl, and with his much longer legs, hussles the bloody dwarf down into the sub-crypt. The monsters only follow that far before turning to return back to the treasury.

Back up the stairs, and through the chamber of the Black Sun they squeeze past without any notable effects. As they make their way back around, they avoid any other encounters till arriving at the stairs out. The other adventuring party that rescued Brie before was entering. There was a tense moment, but it went without violence.

Back in town, Darryl spends the week curing everyone infected with Mummy Rot.

Gains: 3 sets of mummy priest regalia (6,000gp)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Reaper's Dancing Girl/Genie

Of all the various monsters in my collection, I don't have anything to represent a genie. And of the various minis out there that are sold as Jinn/Genies, I'm not super thrilled with any of them. So in my last Reaper order I added in one of the Dancing Girl minis, picturing her something more like Jeannie, rather than one of the more authentic portrayals of Jinn. The other reason I picked this particular sculpt is that I'll be getting another one in Bones with Bones 4, and I want to take that one and make her lower half smoke coming out of a lamp.

I still need to sculpt an appropriate lamp for both of them...

For now though, just need to get her painted. I was very inspired by the painted version on the webstore.

I decided to do something very similar. After washing her, and attaching her to a Reaper base, I added some ground cover, and then primed her with Reaper's brush on primer. I used Viper Green for the skirt and top, and Imperial Purple as the base for the scarves. Deciding that was too dark, I went back over it mixing in Breast Cancer Awareness Pink with the purple, and like that color better.

Her skin was based with Ebony Flesh, and I worked it up layer by layer with increasing amounts of Rich Leather. Her cheeks and lips have a bit of Old West Rose mixed in, and then I hit her elbows and nose with the same color. Her eyes and eye shadow are the same purple mix as the veils. I'm not entirely thrilled with the pupil placement, so I think I'm going to try to fix that next time I sit down.

My plan going forward is to bring up the skin color using the dark skin triad, with rich leather, maybe including some polished leather for the very brightest highlights? The skin tone I'm attempting to match is pretty much that of Lupita Nyong'o. We'll see if I can make it happen.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Stonehell: Into the Sub-Crypts

Session 62 was played on 2/13

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic, Noxic)
- linkmen (Lomax)
- 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, Volstagg, GoMat)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3 (Henchman)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 5 (Josh)
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)

Darryl once again summons the power of his death-god to turn the Heartless, and half their number flee back down the stairs. Noxic again freezes up at the sight of the monsters, whole Karl, Lex, A-A-Ron, and Orpheus charge into the remaining enemies, and with a pair of hits on each, they dropped lifeless to the floor.

Noxic shakes off his fear, and the party forms up and heads down the stairs and into the crypt of Ka-Nefar. On the stairs, they encountered the formerly fleeing Heartless, and for once, Darryl’s death-god failed to answer his call. Lex and Lomux are both struck, and feel their strength sapped from their muscles before the monsters are cut down.

The party makes its way down through the false tomb, through the trapped hall, into the Hall of the Blacksun. Taking a deep breath, they charge through the door toward the stairs, each feeling the cold spike of pain as they pass out of the chamber. GoMat stumbles as he feels his strength drain away, while Neon’s walk became slightly stilted. Heading down the stairs they returned to the site of the trap. The smear of troll blood was now dry on the walls, but the stones blocking the 2 passages were still in place. The secret door was still there… and it was open.

After a long passage the stairs open up into a large, multi-winged, musty smelling chamber. Niches in the wall show thick layers of recently disturbed dust, fragments of bone, and flakes of ancient dried fabric. A-A-Ron also discovered another secret door… Opening it revealed more stairs, this time heading up. Slowly, and as quietly as they could manage, they climbed. At the top of the stairs was a door.

Beyond the door? Treasure! Thousands of coins were piled in the 4 corners of the small room, with a narrow path between them. In among the piles sparkled blades in jeweled scabbards, goblets, lanterns, scrolls, and other metalwork treasures. At the far end of the room was a door.

“Don’t touch *anything* understand?” Eiric warns the rest of the party. Amazingly, nobody touches anything as they carefully make their way to the door. Beyond was a throne room of sorts. 8 alcoves were set into the walls of the large chamber. 3 on the long walls, and one on the short ones. The nearer held a great black statue, one hand holding aloft a black disk. In the far alcove, an empty throne. In the 6 other alcoves, ancient mummies adorned in priestly vestments of gold. Neon and Lex both lost it at the sight of the mummies, and froze up completely as the slowly stood up from their thrones.

Darryl, quaking at the sight, called upon his god, causing one to settle back into his throne. Meanwhile Karl attacks the statue, while the rest of the party splits to deal with the 2 closest mummies. Scar and Volstag are both struck, while Koltic takes the Magic Hammar from Lex and joins the fight. A-A-Ron is dropped, And Darryl uses his magic to revive the thief. Eiric uses magic missle to finish off one, while Darryl uses his magic to force 2 more back to their thrones. Karl, Orpheus, and Koltic manage to down 2 more, leaving the room at a calm pause…

Kills: Heartless, Mummies,

Image Source: Elena Valero

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

5e: Cocksure Ogres Take Giant Sized Fall

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

Mother & Father,

Once we realized that not only did the giants take hostages, but they were planning on eating them if we didn't give them food, we knew we had to not only get the hostages back, but we had to stop them from moving on and raiding anywhere else. We devised a plan while the town started gathering food and beer. We limited the food we sent by filling some bags with dirt, and others with a mix of food and dirt, and then we poisoned the beer.

A bugbear negotiator came to the gates, and we set a time and place for the exchange. Just out of bow shot from the town, and the reach of the giant's boulders. The exchange went smoother than we expected, and we raced the hostages back to the city. It didn't take long for the poisoned beer to have its effect. The goblins suffered the worst of it, while the bugbears and ogres were looking somewhat unsteady as they tried to rally the unresponsive goblins to their feet. The giants were looking angry, and soon enough, they charged the wall... but we were ready.

Because they were so far away there was the seemingly endless waiting... our barbarian friend Rin was especially frustrated with the delay, and to ease his frustration I enchanted flight... on the treant he'd been hanging out with!

If you have never seen a flying tree (and I can't imagine any reason you would have) there is not a more unnatural sight. Add a barbarian clinging to the roots/feet of the tree, and it gets even more surreal. The tree and barbarian flew to the oncoming line, as the rest of us unleshed our weapons. Arrows flew from the guards, and magic from those who had it.

The ogres, armed with goblin launching catapults strapped to their backs, didn't let the fact that the goblins were dead stop them from using them, and while most missed, the sight of our monk catching one out of the air, and spiking it off the wall was another of the more memorable moments. That was followed close behind by Thorin repelling off the wall, and falling the last bit, then being rushed by one of the ogres. Don't worry, Thorin didn't even take a scratch from the ogre's clumsy assault, and in return he gutted the monster.

As the fight moved off the wall, one of the other visitors to the town was a whirling dervish with his glave. At one point he attacked one of the ogres from behind, shoving his weapon completely through to the otherside. The guts spilled out of both ends, and he then whipped it around, and he and Rin took out another in a display of gore that would have been more appropriate in a slaughterhouse.

My own magics were more supportive this battle, but the lightning did bring one of the giants to his knees. For as much as I was worried those weeks ago, I should have trusted in the Great Digger's path.

After we disposed of the bodies, and made sure that all the goblins were in fact dead, we spent the next day in town celebrating. Several new leads opened up in our adventure... dare I call it a quest at this point? At this point we've already arrived in Waterdeep, and am dispatching this off to you before we follow up on those leads. More soon I'm sure.

Thorin asks me to send his regards, and to pass on that he is well to his parents. I tried to remind him to send his own letter, but he is as he ever has been.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Flesh Golem & Harpy

These two minis were painted concurrently with Blightfang, and so used the same pallet of colors. Apparently my answer to “Painting Green Skin Is Hard and Looks Wrong” is to paint an orc-ton of green skinned things (though no actual orcs). Blightfang was easier, because leaf shaped scales are supposed to be green.

I originally went with Imperial Purple for the Harpy’s wings, but switched them over to Burgundy Wine when I pulled that color out for Blightfang. The Creature got to keep his Imperial Purple pants.

The eyes were painted with Linen White, with Walnut Brown for the iris. The creature’s teeth and nails were painted with Dirty Bone. I went back and forth on how to deal with the scars & stitches, and started by using Old West Rose mixed with the dragon green.

For the Harpy’s feathers I went with Rick Leather as the base, but for her claws I went with a drybrush of the Redstone Shadow and Walnut brown blend that I mixed in my well pallet.

Then it was time to get to the basing...

I still need to do the final cleanup of the base and clear coating them, but otherwise they're done!

Total Minis Painted in 2018: 35

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Stonehell: Heartless are Scary!

Session 61 was played on 2/6

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic)
- linkmen (Lomax)
- 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, Volstagg)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3

Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)
Noxic, GoMat

Turning away from the Danse Macabre doors, the party turns toward the next set of unquiet crypts, and are immediately set upon by crypt shades and shadows. Then waves of zombies and more crypt shades emerge as the party fights its way to Mal’s chamber… which isn’t occupied, and looks like it’s been recently ransacked.

The party returns to the back door of Kobold Korners, and does a room by room sweep looking for more undead. Down by the stairs to the Hobgoblin Redoubt, they see not only the kobold watch stationed there, but also Brie! Everyone is thrilled to be reunited, and the party heads back down to talk with Trustee Sniv.

Resting for a few hours, the party gears up, and heads to the Reptile House. Encountering another group of Heartless, GoMat runs again, Darryl turns 2, they kill one, and capture the last by roping it up. Eiric asks Darryl to try to speak to it. Not expecting the spell to work, Darryl casts Speak With Dead. The heartless’ blank eyes blink, and then look to Darryl, and he asks his 3 questions. The heartless responds with an echoing dry raspy voice:
Darryl: Who made you?
Heartless: Ka-Nafer
D: Where is he?
H: Come find me…
D: What are you?
H: Your doom!
Darryl tells the rest of the party that he doesn’t think the spell worked as intended, and that he doesn’t think he was talking to the heartless in front of him.

They destroy the Heartless, and move to the recently excavated passage down into the sublevel. The flicker of blue flames from below heralds their next encounter...

Gains: Brie, GoMat, Noxic
Kills: Crypt Shades, Shadows, Zombies, Heartless
Losses: GoMat (again)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

5e: Giant craving for a midnight snack

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

Mother & Father,

Chronicling the Battle of Goldenfields has taken longer than the fighting did…

We were feeling incredibly sure of ourselves as a wave of goblins appeared at the treeline. Swinging my hammer, I sent a bolt of lightning through their ranks, the flash and crack of which clearly demoralized them. My perhaps overpowered assault was followed up by a barrage of ranged attacks that cut through the goblin ranks… which then revealed the ogres and bugbears driving them forward. I called upon another lightning bolt, as did the resident wizard Naxine, lining up our shots to cause the maximum amount of damage. The trees based at the bugbears who hacked ineffectively at them, and a few more goblins took pot shots before running away.

By this point my ears were ringing, and I could barely see for the spots in my eyes, so much of the next few seconds was lost to me, but I did see one ogre fall (felt it too) and watched the other run. And that’s when we heard the bell tolling from the abbey.

The locals fighting with us took off toward the ringing, and we were steps behind. I chugged down a healing potion on the way, still smarting from the bugbear’s javelin. As we neared the abbey, we heard more sounds of combat, but coming from the nearby wall. Shifting direction we arrived to find a pair of hill giants standing on the wall, along with some ogres and bugbears scrambling up the inside. I blasted one, and then Journey cast the spell of the battle! She summoned a (small) Sleet Storm that instantly slowed the giants and ogres, even causing them to slip and fall! Unfortunately none fell off the wall… but it kept them from running and hiding.

This battle was even more chaotic than the last, as the sleet storm heavily obscured what exactly was going on on the wall. Thankfully giants are fairly sizable targets, even prone, and so we were able to pepper them with attack after attack. The few guards still around were mostly useless, terrorized at the slaughter they’d suffered through, but Kevin… Kevin stood his ground atop the wall blasted by a sleet storm, face to face with a giant! It was his simple guardsman’s blade that killed the first giant. His mettle was tested that night, and in his chest beats a heart of iron.

The other giant named Glob, cold, wet, injured, and demoralized by the death of his friend begged for mercy. We granted it. Taking him from the wall, we questioned him. Apparently the whole raid was set up by Gua, the matriarch of his tribe who demanded food and loot. The goblins lead them to Goldenfields, and the bugbears are the brains of the operation designed the raid... and not only took food, but also hostages. Women and children. And that was on top of the casualties they cause in their raid...

Monday, May 14, 2018

Halloween Knight

Reaper's Halloween Knight was 2016's convention exclusive miniature, and is a great sculpt!

I actually finished painting him a while ago, but never got around to taking any pictures and sharing how I painted him. Aside from the head, this is was a relatively simple mini to paint. I keep calling it a tabletop quality mini, with a really nice head. I used the same colors to paint the gourd as I used to paint the robes of the King in Yellow, except that I added a bit of green into the grooves of the pumpkin.

The bulk of the armor was painted with shadowed steel, then washed with BloodHowl's Armor wash. I then brought it up with blade steel, and highlighted with honed steel.

The details were picked out with Dragon Gold (I think)

The cloak was painted with Imperial Purple brought up with increasing amounts of Linen White and Nightmare Black for the shadows. The inside of the cloak was painted with Muddy Olive, with linen white for the barest of highlights, and a touch of Imperial Purple for the shadows. It's not as clean or smooth as I'd like. Definitely need to work on that.

I don't remember what browns I used for the inside of the shield, but Nightmare black was used for the face of it.

Eventually I want to put him on a base, but that's going to wait till I decide on how I want to base him. I kinda want to theme it around a bunch of halloween figures and haven't settled on what yet. It'll probably involve pumpkins.

Total Minis Painted in 2018: 33

Friday, May 11, 2018

Blightfang (part 1)

Dragons aren’t so big and scary. Certainly not after I completed my 3 Dragon Challenge. And having a bunch of them bagged up, unpainted, unassembled… unloved? Just felt wrong. Especially since I’ve been giving giants such attention lately. So, digging through my box of Bones dragons, I decided to tackle Blightfang. Seemed only fair as he was a main antagonist in my first 5e campaign.

After the usual hot soapy bath and scrub with a toothbrush, I realized the first thing I needed to do was figure out a base for him. What size? Thankfully, I have lots of options. Mostly for giggles I tried him on a 3” base. He fit… but only just, and looked ridiculous. Both 4” and 5” looked much better, but given my limited shelf space, I decided to be a little conservative and go with the 4” base.

Next I had to decide what to assemble, and what to leave off to make painting a little easier. The rear leg and tail didn’t get in the way. Neither did the head or neck. The front leg and wings though, they’d be a problem, so they didn’t get glued on. The base for the rear feet… didn’t really fit. The legs didn’t want to squish together. I tried. Rather than try to force it, I decided to build up the base with cork. I added in a bunch of gravel and coffee grounds to the base to blend it all together.

Blightfang himself was base coated with Green liner, while the base got the airbrush primer I got at Reapercon. I then mixed a bland of Green Liner with (what else?) Dragon Green, and then just a pure Dragon Green layer. The chest plates were painted with Vallejo’s Red Leather, and the back fin/spines and wing membranes were painted with Walnut Brown, and then a blend of Burgundy Wine and Walnut Brown.

I then dug out my old pot of GW’s Leviathan Purple Wash, which turned out to be both mostly empty and fairly sludgy, and added in a whole lot of Reaper’s flow improver. Once I got it back to a useable state, I basically bathed Blightfang in it, except for the wing and back fin.

After touching up some of the spots where the liner rubbed off, I went back over him with Dragon Green, and then successively lighter layers of blended Dragon Green with more and more Sun Yellow.

Returning my attention to the base, I decided to wash the ground cover with a 1:1 Walnut Brown:Flow Improver mix, and to paint the rocks with the Redstone Triad.

I then realized I'd mostly ignored the head... so...

Bringing up the color of the fin and wings, I used Red Leather mixed with Burgundy Wine… and was really unhappy with it. For one thing, it was too dark, though with successive layers I knew I could bring it up, but the real issue was that there wasn’t any POP! It wasn’t eye catching. It needed something more, so I thought about what might work, and settled on red. Specifically I was thinking of the vibrant red of a maple leaf in autumn. So, out came Heraldic Red.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stonehell: Going from bad...

Session 60 was played on 1/30

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic, Noxic)
- linkmen (Lomax)
- 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, Volstagg)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3
Brie, wizard 3 (Apprentice to Eiric)

After a week of rest in town the party restocks on supplies, and heads back down into the dungeon. Taking the stairs, they’re immediately meet by a kobold delegation who take the party not to Kobold Korners, but down to the edge of the Hobgoblin Redoubt. Trustee Sniv is both releaved to finally see them, and pissed off for the mess they made of things. He tells them all about the changes they’ve missed in the last week, namely the proliferation of undead that are spreading through the dungeon, including having taken over the Korners. The party says they’ll deal with it, and head off to visit the Quiet Halls, and try to see what’s up with Mal.

They head up from the Hobgoblin halls to the Korners, planning on taking the back way to the Quiet Halls, and almost immediately run into some of the undead that Trustee Sniv mentioned. Desicated zombie like corpses with holes in their chests where their hearts should be… holes that burn with blue fire. Brie, Noxic, and GoMat are so overcome with terror at the sight of them that they run blindly away from the party.

Darryl’s faith makes both falter, and then flee. The party decides to press on, and hope that Brie and the hirelings can make it out on their own. Exploring through the rest of the Korners, they encounter more lesser undead, but nothing more impressive for many rooms. They make their way to the Quiet Halls, near the stairs down to the Reptile House. 3 ornately armored bandage wrapped figures appear from the stairs. Scar the Useless and Lomox freeze up in terror. Darryl’s faith again prevails, and 2 of the mummies hurry back down the stairs. The third is cut down by Karl and Orpheus.

Scar and Lomox shake off their fear, apologize, and the party moves north toward Mal’s chamber. The first set of crypts along the way is more active than it has been since they first visited, but their usual strategy and Darryl’s faith keeps the effort mostly painless…

The party arrives at the grand entrance hall… and listening, the shuffle of unquiet dead seems to whisper their doom…

Gains: Sniv’s Lockbox, Mummy Warden decorative items,
Kills: Mummy Warden, Zombies, Skeletons, Crypt Shades
Losses: Brie? Noxic? GoMat?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Happiest Place on Faerun

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

Mother & Father,

The road to Goldenfields was remarkably free of incident, and well maintained, and we spotted the great walls of the city long before we arrived at its gate. The architecture is something to behold, as the walls loom 60’ off the ground, with regularly spaced watch towers that stand even taller. Even more impressive is that these walls go on for miles. Even the gates themselves were massively oversized.

Thankfully the guards were the usual size, and after a quick rummage through our things (where the confiscated the poop-potions we’d taken from the orcs) we witnessed a severe looking woman in simple garb arguing with a rather put out looking half-orc who has clearly spent too much time drinking, and not enough time working with his troops. We were told by the guards that he was Strog Thunderblade, the city’s castellan. The woman arguing with him was Ze Ling, an adept from the city’s cloister who has strong opinions on… everything. They parted ways while our gear was being rifled though.

After we entered the city, just past the gate, was a small market area where a bubbly Halfling druid was giving out blessings and seeds. I left a small donation, and collected some barley and hops seeds. One of these days I’m going to get back into craft brewing.

Yes, I know what you’re going to say… but everyone needs a hobby. And I only had one cask explode on me. And I am still sorry about grandmother’s gas lamp.

There is something off about Goldenfields. It is unlike any other city I’ve seen. The massive walls encircle not just the city, but wide open expanses of fields and orchards. Very neat, tidy, and bright fields. The air is fragrant with the smell of growing things, flowers, and some manure. The people seem… overly content with their lives. They are all comfortable and completely secure. There was even a tree-shepherd playing with the children of the city.

We stopped along the way to ask directions of a shepherd, and Journey was actually flirting with him. I think it was the nicest I’d ever seen her be to anyone in the short time I’ve known her. His (distracted) directions were clearer than the ones we received from the guards “Oh, you’ll take a left at the red barn, bippity bop bop bop, then hang a right at the fork, bip bip bip.” It’s a strange dialect they speak here.

The urbanized area is almost entirely large long log houses, each individually carved and painted with a variety of woodland and agrarian motifs. We found our way to the inn, and were welcomed by the Yeti proprietor Muros. Telling our tale, we discovered that his parents were among those killed by giants in Nightstone. Always awful to have to deliver that news. Worse when you aren’t expecting to be doing it.

Naxine the scribe, who also stays at the inn, collected the various artifacts we’d gathered to examine, and promised to tell us what she discovers. She does tell us that the giant king has 3 daughters. Not sure if that’s important, but worth noting anyway.

Bran seems interested in finding out what Ze Ling was arguing with the castellan about, so we set off for the cloister, and meet with the abbot, and then Ze. We tell them of the issues with the giants ordaining being sundered, and they tell us of a recent assault by some hill giants. Ze pushes again for the abbot’s support in arguing for more guards on the walls, and our news sways him to her side. Now to convince the castellan.

A 3 mile hike later (I told you this was a big walled community) we arrived at the brewery (where they don’t serve the beer) and find Strog Thunderfart, who is as lazy as our first impression suggested. Thankfully he was a little tipsy, and the idea of letting someone else do the work, while he gets the credit appealed to him. And as Ze was a pain in his daily life, pointing her in another direction to have her HELP him… Well, we were back to the cloister for services, and to share the good news. After dinner, we returned to the inn, and as this is a completely agrarian city, everyone was to bed not terribly long after sunset.

Unfortunately our rest was interrupted by screams. A raiding party had apparently scaled the walls. We came to some ogres, bugbears, and goblins, and went to it, aided by some of the others from the inn. Naxine was especially helpful by sending a lightning bolt into the massed enemies, killing several outright. She then blasted an ogre with magic missiles, and made Thorin fly.

Dwarves were never meant to fly.

I focused on taking out a particularly nasty bugbear, who hit back with a javelin hard! Going to have to get my mail patched before leaving town. The tree-shepherd woke several of the trees around the clearing where the fight was happening, and they clobbered the ogres with their branches, keeping them away from more squishy targets.

As the last of them was put down, we heard more approaching…

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fulhoff the Dwarf Wizard

One of the limitations of old school Rules Cyclopedia D&D is the way it treats demi-humans. It’s both restrictive, and tough, with a clear human-bias. Elves can’t be clerics, just fighter/magic-users. Dwarves are stocky fighters with infravision. It’s interesting from the “being creative within these tight restrictive guidelines” but sometimes you want to push out beyond that.

For example, my wizard in my 5e game is a battle ax swinging, chainmail shirt wearing, dwarf with impulse control issues. Kinda hard to pull that off as a PC in RC D&D.

However… as an NPC/monster? Totally doable! It’s basically just a handwavium deal!

Fulhoff, Dwarf Wizard, level 4
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4d4+8**** (18hp)
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: War Hammer or Spell
Damage: 1d8+2 or per spell
Save As: W4
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: C (plus spellbook)
Intelligence: 16
Alignment: Lawful
XP Value: 425

Fulhoff is smart, but foolhardy, and just as likely to charge into battle with his hammer as he is to use his magic. He's come close to death a few times already, and is beginning to learn a little more self control.

Spells Known
Cantrip: Zap
1: Thunderwave, Witchbolt, Charm Person, Shield
2: Invisibility, Mirror Image

Monday, May 7, 2018

Peacock Prince

I was inspired to pull this guy out of the box of unpainted Bones because of a mini on the Reaper forum.

Cyr painted up this archer with a beautiful cloak of peacock feathers, and while I wasn’t quite ready to tackle that level of detail, the colors called to me, and this guy happens to have a peacock on his shield… so!

After the usual wash and scrub in soapy water, and gluing him to a base, I base coated him with Brown Liner. Thankfully his integrated base was good enough that I didn’t feel the need to hack it off and replace it with something better. Keeping it mostly simple, the armor was blocked in with Shadowed Steel, and the shield got Dragon Bronze. I used Warrior flesh for the face with just a hint of Old West Rose for the cheeks and lower lip, and the Rich Leather up to Blond Shadow for the hair.

The cloak was painted with Viper Green blending into Oceanic Blue with green liner mixed in for the shadows, and pure white to bright up the highlights. I was aiming for a color shifting type effect. I think I got the idea across, but clearly it needs more work. I used the same colors for the peacock on the shield, and the Viper Green for the various gems.

I then brought up the armor with Blade Steel, and added some golden accents with Dragon Bronze, and then hit the really shiny parts with Mithral.

While it pales in comparison to Cyr's archer, I'm still pleased with him. Now just need to practice painting feathers...

Total Minis Painted in 2018: 32