Friday, March 29, 2019

Stonehell: Hard time in the old tombs

Session 91 was played on 3/2

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)

Continuing in the hive, the party stumbles on half a dozen stoned kobolds who offer a cone of incense if the party promises to not tell on them. They also tell them that it’s “magical” incense, and if they decide to light it up in the temple, they’ll get “so high!”

The party then finds a giant rat skull in a bag, and across the hall, the headless skeleton of a giant rat.

Then, amazingly, they come across a pair of dwarves from the architect's expedition mentioned in the exploits of Jorgen from years back. The dwarves are ready to leave Stonehell and get home, but it’s too dangerous for them to go alone. The party says they’ll escort them out on their way back.

Then they find a single mummy, who is quickly cut down before he can touch anyone.

Throughout they’ve been searching many other empty chambers, and they’re starting to get tired, so head back to the dwarves and some of the nearby empty rooms to bed down. Karl, Kili, and Rawin bed with the dwarves. After much ale and singing, everyone passes out. Rawin wakes screaming as one of the dwarves is shoving a dagger into his chest, while Karl has another bringing a mace down onto his head. The fight is brutal but short, and in the end the two dwarves bodies turn into grey leech like monsters with weirdly soft bones.

Later in the night, the watch sees a giant bear wander by. It sniffs down toward the watch, but then moves on. An hour or so later a pair of reptilian hounds rushes Lex and A-A-Ron. Not the wisest decision the creatures ever made, and it was their last one.

As rested as the party felt it was going to be, they head for the exit, and on the stairs end up chased by some giant spiders. Eiric lobs a fireball back at them, but the flames blow back, confined as they are in the narrow passage. Kili and Lex take the worst of it, but the spiders are toast, and the party survives.

Back in town, news that a massive temple has appeared covering a block that had once been homes in a poorer neighborhood. A Black Sun adorns the temple… and awaiting Eiric back at her house is a priest from the temple. On behalf of his master he thanks her for freeing him, and requests that she next visit his realm as a friend in peace. He offers her a pair of coins, the coins that paid his fare across the river as a token of understanding.

Meanwhile Darryl throws a massive party hoping to counter the sudden popularity of the Black Sun. Lex overindulges and ends up in the garden of his order’s enemy having inexpertly trimmed one of the bushes into the shape of a dick.

Gains: 5 pieces of amber
Kills: Doppelgangers, Mummy, Gaunt Hounds,

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Frostgrave Demo

I managed to talk my D&D group into giving Frostgrave a try! I decided to have them play a simple scenario, collecting magical fruit from a long lost garden. I filled a 3x3 board with a bunch of terrain, including lots of GW trees, a small graveyard. Each player got a wizard with a staff, a man at arms, thug, thief, and archer, and an individualized stack of spells. There was an illusionist, necromancer, enchanter, and witch. I had them roll off to pick their wizards, then they each placed a treasure token, then rolled again for picking table edges.

Once everyone was deployed, I added the 5th and final treasure to the center of the board, and set out 8 tree monsters who were defending the magical grove. I used the stats for Medium Constructs for them. Then they rolled for initiative, and jumped right in.

Every round each wizard tried to cast spells, but the dice were against them, I think everyone over the course of the 5 rounds we played took damage from failing to cast. The necromancer was successful in casting Raise Zombie early on, and then casting Summon Imp, but the remarkable string of failures to cast spells I have to attribute to the fact that they were all (but the necromancer) using my dice.

The number of tree monsters did limit somewhat the interactions between players, though the necromancer and witch did get into it, and the illusionist harassed the enchanter with her archer. The tree monsters were semi-effective, with one continually pushing the Witch off the wall it was trying to climb up to claim a treasure, and another that killed both a man at arms and a thief in 2:1 combat in the same turn.

By the end of the game, each team had secured a treasure, 2 were off the board, and 2 were on their way. The center treasure remained unclaimed.

Going forward everyone seems to think that a monthly game/campaign is the way to go. One really wants to play Thaw of the Lich Lord, which seems reasonable to me! I think I’ve got most of the necessary figures to do it.

Now I just need to decide what warband to bring...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Elquin High Elf Adventurer part 1

One of my fellow players asked if I had an alternate mini for their elf wizard character. He’d been using 77068: Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard, but wanted something less… robe-y.

“I sort of feel that Disney's Wizard's Apprentice wizard, Yen Sid, with his robe spoiled it for wizards for evermore."

While I disagree with the sentiment, I’m not gonna argue about how someone envisions their character!

It turns out there are not a lot of wizards who aren’t in robes. But 77092: Elquin, High Elf Adventurer fits the bill…

Of course I haven’t painted him yet, so I asked what colors, and said I’d see what I could do.

“Use these only as guidelines. Gold eyes and dirty blond/orange hair. Skin tone leaning towards very very deeply tanned. As for the rest of his outfit, please choose colors suitable for adventuring, I guess? Anything is awesome. :-D”

I started by boiling him, a step I usually don't bother with, but his staff was severely warped so it needed to be done. Not only did it straighten out the staff, it seems to have firmed it up a bit. Then I washed him in warm soapy water and then glued him to a base. I then cleaned up some of the mold lines before washing him down with brown liner. Then I noticed more mold lines, and went back over him.

His skin is a blend of Rosy Skin and Tanned Shadow. The jacket is Peacock Green, while the cloak is Afterburn Grey, and the trim is Desert Stone. I don't remember what I used for the hair, but whatever it was, I'm not thrilled with it, so I'll probably be going over it again.

At this point the colors are only blocked in to give my friend a chance to comment on my choices so far. So much for a quick and simple paint job, hua?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Stonehell: Flushing out the hive

Session 90 was played on 2/23

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 (Marus, Rawin)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
  Jurda, wizard 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)
  Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)

In town, the party hired several new meatshields, and then heads to the dungeon. At the back of the box canyon, they find the entrance swarming with scarab beetles, and decide to enter a different way. They head round to the tunnel the hobgoblins used, and entered the dungeon on the second level.

Circling around to the grand stairway, they head down toward the 3rd level, but halfway down the stairs Jurda scream as her neck begins to fountain blood. Kili, turning to look also is stabbed. Eiric puts on the magical snake glasses and spies 2 armored and invisible pixies with sharp rapier like blades. She blasts them with Magic Missiles as they were preparing to stab them both again. They fall to the stairs, and everyone else can see them too.

Kili and Jurda are patched up, and the party continues on. Back to the medusa’s lair, they check out the last few rooms. The first is a small pillared hall with an obelisk standing in the middle of the pillars. There’s also a secret door that opens into a teleport chamber.

Next the party explores a seemingly empty room where nearly the entire floor is a trap. Karl, checking out the room triggers the trap, flipping the floor, and dumping himself into a 30’ deep pit. On the reverse of the floor is a sitting room, and AARon figures out the mechanism. Karl pulls himself out as the floor swings around, managing to avoid getting caught on the edge, and squished to death.

The party goes back to the grand foyer with the great magically locked bronze doors, and the stairs down… the party takes the stairs.

Down at the bottom it opens into a large room with a sand garden inhabited by a trio of giant scorpions. They rush the stairs, but are quickly chopped down before their stingers can successfully poison anyone. While the poison sacks are extracted, 4 reptilian dog like creatures sneak up on the party, killing Marus in their initial strike. They cause a few more wounds before being killed.

Heading north, they see the fire trap statue, disarm the first fire trap, but miss the second, and Karl takes the full blast. The party avoids the rest of the triggers. Avoiding the gated passage to the north, the party heads east toward the old cells. Exploring the first set they encounter an ochre jelly, 8 giant rats, 2 wights. The rats were locked up apparently by the wights, and the party opted to free them!

Kills: Giant Scorpions, Gaunt Hounds, Pixies, Ochre Jelly, Wights
Losses: Marus

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Saprolings Speed Paint

The twig blights (though really, at this size, they're more like branch blights) were all given a good hot water and soap scrub, and then primed with Brown Liner.


Then I painted them in successive highlights using Walnut Brown, Nut Brown, and Desert Stone. I then blotted them irregularly with Muddy Olive.


I stuck them on 1" slotta bases (GW style) and numbered each one, then I painted on some wood glue, and flocked them.


I think the numbers on both front and back should work well to keep track of them on the tabletop without being obnoxious.


And that's it. Simple and easy, and they look pretty good! Can't ask for anything more.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Ghouls Speed Paint

How did I miss posting about these?

Back in February I had an unexpected snow day. First one in a decade! So I decided to take advantage of it, and paint up some minis. My DM needed some more ghouls, so out came some mantic ghouls that I had assembled ages and ages ago, primed, and then put away. Along with them a half dozen of Reaper Saproling Warriors aka Twig Blights. Although they’re medium, rather than small, so maybe Branch Blights is more accurate? Awakened Shrubs? I also worked on the 2 large Bones scarecrows, but they were incidental efforts and I still haven’t finished them, so I’m going to ignore them for now.

Today’s all about the ghouls, and tomorrow I’ll post about the blights.

They were already assembled and primed, so the first thing was to paint the undead flesh. I used Vampire Shadow for their sickly skin. It didn't quite match the ghoul I'd painted before, but it was close enough. I sadly didn't always take good notes...


After that I decided that as these were primarily going to be gaming ghouls, and not for a unified force for Kings of War, they'd each get their own clothing color: Red, Green, Blue, Tan, and Dark Brown. I used Rusty Red, Muddy Olive, Rich Indigo, Desert Stone, and Ruddy Flesh. The eyes were all painted with Walnut Brown, as were the spikes sticking out of them.


Then I washed them all with a mix of 4 parts sepia wash and 1 part black wash.


A little bit of highlighting with the base clothing color, then it was time to paint the bases black, and then flock them! Oh, and a bit of watered down rusty red around the mouth.


Oh, and aged pewter on the spikes and the cleaver.


Looking good for such quick work.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mini workbench update

Wednesday’s game was postponed for the week because half the players couldn’t attend, so instead we had a painting night. It’s been a while since I painted anywhere other than in my apartment, so I quickly threw together a traveling paint kit with the paints currently on my paint tray, and grabbed one of the scarecrows, the Oathsworn human thief, and a bag of Bones bugbears and gnolls (in case someone wanted something to slap paint on).

Turns out that the lighting isn’t great, and I didn’t bring my visor, or my good brushes… So I blocked in the colors on the thief, poked at the bones of the scarecrow, and ended up brown lining a whole bunch of bugbears and gnolls, some of which already had some paint on them from when my nieces and nephews tried their hands at painting.

For the thief, I used Tanned Shadow on her face and hands, Redstone Shadow on her hair, XXX Olive for her leather armor, Nut brown for the shoulder armor, backpack, and belt. Walnut Brown for the pants and boots. I tried to get a touch of Dirty Bone in for her eyes. It’s going to need a bunch of cleanup… but she’s ready for the next steps!

As far as the bugbears and gnolls go, I’m going to replace the weapons for the bugbears with the floppy maces from Bones 2. I’m thinking a spear, sword, and maybe a beastman’s flails. For the gnolls, probably something similar. I wonder if I have a pick somewhere… Also, I noticed that several of the shields are poorly glued, so I’m gonna have to fix those too.

Funny thing is, I wasn’t planning on working on these minis, but now that I am, I feel like I should just… do it, and have some fun while I’m at it. I guess I found my March project!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Stonehell: Looting the Medusa's Lair

Session 89 was played on 2/16

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)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)
Lucrecia Thief 2 (Henchman)

Standing over the bodies of the wizard and the ogre, Darryl casts Speak with Dead on the wizard and asks:
Q: Why did you attack us
A: Following my mistress’ orders

Q: Who is your mistress?
A: Lachesis

Q: Where can we find her?
A: Down the hall

The party leaves the bodies in the pillared chamber, and heads back down the hall that Eiric had just send a lightning bolt down, and came upon another dead blind ogre, and behind that, the veiled corpse of Lachesis the medusa. Darryl, wanting more answers, casts Speak with Dead on her.

Q: Who are you?
A: Lachesis

Q: Why did you try to kill us?
A: You were coming to kill me

(No one remembers what was actually asked/answered, and my notes just say “when”)

Searching the bodies, careful to avoid uncovering her head, they took her jewelry and then headed back toward the hall of statues they’d spied earlier. Among the figures was the petrified Yolanda. Sadly, for the moment, the magic to restore her is beyond Eiric’s ability. Beyond the other figures was a spiked trapped door, which Koltic chooses to open. Half a dozen spikes shoot out from the door, several of them striking him. Beyond the door are Lachesis’ suite, including the ogres & Skelmis’ quarters. Much looting was done. The snake in her footlocker was displeased to be disturbed, but it found biting through Karl’s armor difficult. The giant rats (pets? livestock?) were violently poked to death by Kili.

Loaded down with loot, the party hussles from the dungeon back to town.

Eiric and Brie spend the next 2 weeks investigating the various magic items.
Karl buys a building in town and sets up a “Kinda Fancy Hat Shop”
Kili looks for property to open a “Totally not a Payday Lender Loan Shop & Shrine to the 7”
Koltic throws a disappointing party.
Karl throws an epic shindig, but has to get Lex to help him cover the cost overruns.

Gains: Wand of Fear, Ring of Human Control, Skelmis’ Spellbook, Potion of Speed, Scroll of Ward Against Lycanthrops, Crystal Ball, bunch of coins.
Kills: Giant Rattler, Giant Rats,

Monday, March 11, 2019

Captain Marvel

On Friday night (International Women's Day) my bride and I went off to see MCU's newest installment, Captain Marvel.

A Mostly Spoiler Free Review

It was good! It definitely fits in well with the rest of the universe, adding new layers to Fury (Mr. Tough Guy who melts for a cute cat) and... Okay, so I'm not sure that Phil Coulson actually got any real character development, but it was nice to see him as a new SHIELD agent. On top of that we get some familiar faces from GotG.

As for the new faces, well, Captain Marvel herself was fantastic. I loved how tough she was, and yet also snarky funny. Where you could pound on Captain America and he'd just say "I could do this all day", Captain Marvel would say "Is that the best you've got?" while smirking.

As for the supporting cast, her best friend Maria Rambeau (and her daughter) were great. I really appreciated how strong these characters were, and how storng their bond was, and how it didn't feel the need to involve a guy.

Jude Law as the Kree Yon-Rogg was a perfect casting decision. And the rest of their Kree squad? Characterful, and visually interesting. It does make me wonder about Kree biology though...

The movie itself took a little bit to pick up steam, but once it did, it was marvelous.

Oh, and my bride (who is not really into comic book movies) liked it more than Wonder Woman.
When I asked her what it was that she like, these were her top thoughts.

  • Costume "You're a superhero! Suit up!"
  • No love interest
  • Best friend
  • Best friend's daughter

So if you were on the fence, go see it!

Oh, and the tribute to Stan Lee... I was not prepared for that.

Lastly, stay till the very end. Obviously. Do I even need to say that?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Mordheim Ogre Mercenary

This final update hardly deserves it’s own post, but because I don’t want to leave you hanging, here’s where I’m at with my ogre. I touched up the flesh on his arm where I’d just… missed a big spot.

I added a bit of a highlight on his cap using Rich Indigo and Runic Purple with a hint of Linen White. It’s really subtle and could use more but… eh.

The base was dry brushed unevenly with Red Brick Shadow, and increasing amounts of Desert Stone.

I’ve definitely reached the point where he’s good, not great, but I’m just kinda… done. I could do more, but I don’t really want to.

Currently on my work bench are a couple of thief/thug types... we'll see what comes of that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

5e: Fall of the House of Durst

I wasn't able to attend the last session of the first chapter of the Curse of Strahd, but one of my fellow players gave me the bullet points.

  • Hani's wizard had a strange dream while unconscious that the house was smoking and burning
  • The sprite (worse for wear) re-appeared and woke up Hani's wizard, who then managed to sneak away to a shadowy corner of the altar room unnoticed.
  • Tener's dwarf continued to stall Elizabeth, who LOVES to hear herself talk.
  • I snuck upstairs through the trapdoor to the front door and made a big racket with Thaumaturgy to get some of the monsters out of the altar room. I was ignored. But I noticed that things were feeling very spooky and vengeful upstairs.
  • Andrew and I met back in the jail room. Where we ran into the orb of light (the dead sprite). The orb lead us to the altar room, where we lurked and watched still more talking from Elizabeth.
  • In another attempt to stir the pot and troll the Dursts, I used my last spell to disguise myself as THE DEAD NURSEMAID who Mr. Durst knocked up and Elizabeth killed. I made a big entrance and started yelling at them in Infernal about where my baby was. That DID cause a reaction. Mr. Durst AKA the Ghast fell for it and started getting very agitated. Elizabeth did not fall for it, but her head spun around and she started monologuing angrily at me. I also tried to turn undead to thin out the herd a little. That didn't work.
  • While they were yelling at me, the others snuck away from the undead and regrouped in a corner.
  • Elizabeth started yelling that she needed a blood sacrifice from one of us on the creepy altar or no one was leaving.
  • Elizabeth started stretching out and looking generally weird and creepy
  • Weird sulfur smell started filling the room.
  • Someone (I can't remember who) noticed that the Elizabeth-thing was actually blind (which was why my disguise didn't fool her)
  • I started using Thaumaturgy to throw my voice around the room, further distracting Elizabeth - who was controlling all the monsters.
  • Elizabeth looks even creepier. Room smells more like sulfur.
  • None of us can figure out the sacrifice thing. I'm sorry to say we did briefly consider the sprite before snapping out of it.
  • In a Hail Mary move, I throw the dead nurse's locket (which we found upstairs) to the Durst-Ghast. Thank you for not making me roll for that, Diana. Remember that Elizabeth stabbed the nurse AKA Durst's latest girlfriend to death. Durst-Ghast loses it and starts attacking Elizabeth.
  • Elizabeth starts melting into a horrible slime monster as they duke it out.
  • We run like hell.
  • When we get back upstairs to the den, we find that the ghosts of Elizabeth's victims have animated all of Durst's animal trophies, insect collections, and furniture into a huge angry SOMETHING that is dead set on kicking Durst ass.
  • Slime monster Elizabeth erupts through the trapdoor and casts hold person on everyone except Hani.
  • The ghosts continue to tear up the house and incorporate the wreckage into their house-monster.
  • Hani runs to the door - the killer fog is gone and we can see some houses in the (not killer) mist.
  • Hani desperately drags the rest of us out of the house one by one.
  • The Elizabeth slime monster starts crawling up Tener's leg and dissolving it.
  • Going out in a blaze of glory, Tener headbutts Elizabeth (thus having his face melt off while maintaining a sarcastic smirk of defiance)
  • The house monster starts to pound Elizabeth in a battle royale not fit for low level characters.
  • From just outside the front steps, we watch as the house implodes, totally destroying Elizabeth and everything inside it. The sprite orb does make it out - seeming having been the ringleader for the ghost vengeance revolt.
  • The cellar door opens and you climb out, having finally rouge-ed your way out of the basement. WHERE WERE YOU GUYS?!
  • Creepy ravens are in the trees, mocking our terror and general poor-ass condition.
  • A creepy (but strangely extremely helpful) lady appears from amongst the ravens and leads us to a caravan of wagons where we can rest
  • We collapse
  • Apparently somewhere in Barovia Strahd is slow-clapping our hijinks
  • The end

Looking forward to seeing what tonight brings...

Monday, March 4, 2019

Happy GM's Day!

Today is March Fo(u)rth, Game Master's Day, the anniversary of the passing of E. Gary Gygax.

So thank you to my current DM in the Curse of Strahd game! I know what a thankless job DMing can be...


It's also the first day of Read an RPG Book in Public. I'm reading the 4th level DCC module Journey to the Center of Aereth (#91)

February in Review

Between finishing my auditing class, and gearing up for the audit at work, it wasn’t the most productive month for my hobbies.

I made plans with my D&D gamers to play some Frostgrave, but we had to bump the session into March.

In the Curse of Strahd game, my character came super close to death. SUPER CLOSE.Had to miss the most recent session due to working late, which unfortunately was the big fight at the end of the chapter.

My players have moved into the 4th level of Stonehell, and I’m SUPER EXCITED. At first I was a bit bummed that they killed off the medusa accidentally, but there are more nasty things coming… I’m curious to see what they’re going to do with the dropped threads of Ka’Nefer and the Hothouse… Just keep avoiding them, or really go for the quest XP?

I spent a snow day speed painting some ghouls and twig blights/sapprolings, so in that way it was super productive. I also finished up the ogre, and poked a bit as my character mini.

Beyond that there was tons of assembly! It’s enough that at this point I’m waiting for a semi-warm day so I can just spray prime the bunch. I’ve got tons else to work on, and just got the new Tribal minis for Ghost Archipelago, with the wizards box to follow, and Bones 4 arriving probably sometime in March.

Total Minis Painted: 12 (5 ghouls, 6 blights, 1 ogre)

A rather light media month. Not a whole lot of reading or watching…

Bandwidth (An Analog Novel Book 1) by Eliot Peper
Reread the Frostgrave rulebooks in anticipation of getting a game going.

Movies/TV Watched
Supernatural (finished season 11)

I’m kind of at a loose end with my minis. Nothing is super calling out to me to paint. Part of that is the anticipation of Bones 4, and part because I don’t need anything at the moment for game. I’m sure something will come to me. And if it doesn’t, I can always paint up some more goblins or something.