Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June in Review

The Pandemic continues… and the Delta Variant is way less exciting than the Loki Variant. If anyone is curious, I still wear my mask anytime I’m indoors and not in my own home. I recommend that you follow the WHO guidelines on that, even if you're vaccinated.

The heat has also arrived, and that’s not fun, but it is summer, so I can’t complain too much.  

Nick the Pike continues his explorations of Rappan Athuk (or the area around it).I’m currently caught up on session reports for that.

I’ve also run some more Stonehell. I need to write up a bit on how we’re sharing our worlds, and also fine tune a few details. I did a thing that wasn’t in response to something that’s going on on his side of the campaign, but kinda feels like it is, and I want to make sure we’re on the same page. Co-DMing is a little different. You have to give up some control, which isn’t the easiest thing for a DM to do.  

I still haven’t gotten to play any Stargrave yet… and barely touched the minis. I made some space gnolls, and started to paint them up. Trying to refrain from just assembling a bunch of stuff and leaving it unpainted. I’ve also been working on a bunch of other sci-fi minis, but more on that below. One thing that I’ll be doing this week is printing off the solo rules and finding some time to squeeze in a game.  

Another rather productive month. I painted up a couple of bigger things, including Reaper’s Mystic Circle, a large ape, carnosaur, and a “watcher in the dark” that looks remarkably like the Cacodemon from Doom. But more on those in a couple of upcoming posts.

Next month I’ve got a fun assortment of sci-fi minis to work on, and I’m gonna finish those gnolls I started.

Star Trek DS9 season 5.
Various netflix comedy specials
Star Trek Lower Decks, halfway through season 1, again.

Goals - keeping it simple again this month.
Play at least 1 game of Stargrave
Paint some minis
Play some D&D

Monday, June 28, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Owning Castle Calaelen

 Session played on 6/13

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Lada the Thief (Robby)
Gimbal, Magic User 1 (Scott)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
6 Kobolds

After the party makes a circuit of the 2nd floor, checking all the doors, they’re back around to the door with the blood runes scribbled on them. There’s some chanting coming from within, and the smell of rancid smoke…

Kicking the door open, they see a once beautiful temple of healing desecrated with blood and filth. On the altar is the body of a human, and standing near the door are a pair of skeletons. Behind the altar, with the foul book they were told of… is a short fat goblin in an ill fitting black robe.  

She pauses her chanting, and Nick exclaims with disbelief “it’s just a goblin?” Her eyes harden, and she finishes her spell, the body jerking and begins to rise. Darryl destroys the skeletons, and Nick charges in lancing the necromancer goblin with his spear. Biffin follows in landing a killing blow with his sword. Darryl destroyed the zombie before it could cause any mischief. The room was searched, the crude idol to Orcus destroyed, and the book safely packed away.

Further exploration revealed some goblin sleeping areas, the necromancer’s chamber (full of skulls), and some treasure.

With only the basement (dungeon?) left to explore, they headed down, finding a guard room before a series of cells. Only one was occupied by a trader named Mortimer who was the last surviving member of a caravan.

Back to the first level and the locked chamber, Nick and Biffin use a crowbar to snap the chain, and push their way in. The magical shock hurt, but was brief. Within was a study, the contents of which included a signet ring and the deed to the castle (Nick grabbed those) and a set of magic scrolls (Gimble grabbed them).

Heading back to the courtyard, the door to the smithy was open, and within the goblins were slaughtered. Probably the gnoll leader… They douse the fire, and head out.

Camping along the riverbank, waiting for the barge to bring them back to Zelkor’s, Nick is awoken in the middle of the night, wrapped in magical darkness, and a voice asking what his intentions are with the castle.

“To restore it to some semblance of civilization.”

The creature, from the tower, wanted a promise that it’s tower would be left alone, and the inhabitants would be unmolested.

Nick agreed, but asked to know who, and what he was making the agreement with. The magical darkness fell, and in the dying light of the campfire he viewed a 6’ tall humanoid raven. It identified itself as “Afrit”

Nick informed Afrit that he’d be away from the castle for a bit, but if something happened to let him know. They worked out a plan to have the kobolds check the ruined cottage for the signet ring regularly, and if the ring was found, they’d get Nick and he’d come running. Afrit took the ring, and flew off into the night.

Back in ‘town’ the necromancer offered 200gp for the book. Nick passed on the offer.

They also heard some rumors of another set of ruins to the north across the river. A keep with a dwarven tomb… but a warning about the frogs…

Gains: gold and silver, necromantic tome, magic (arcane and divine) scrolls, deed to castle calaelen
Kills: skeletons, zombie, goblin necromancer.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Clearing Castle Calaelen

 I missed 2 sessions and don’t have write ups for them. In short, the party headed out to investigate the castle ruins they’d heard about in town. They arrived at the ruined castle, fought some gnolls, and goblins, and did some exploring. In the process, half of the dozen kobolds that had joined the party had been killed.

Session played on 6/6

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Lada the Thief (Robby)
Gimbal, Magic User 1 (Scott)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
6 Kobolds

In the mostly intact keep of the castle, the party explores the main level. In the old dining room, they find and are attacked by 6 goblins (not knowing how outnumbered they were). 5 are killed, one is captured, interrogated, and released to warn his fellows to flee if they want to live. In another room, a pile of crockery was set to explode, injuring most of the party.

A section of smaller rooms had the odd characteristic of having been stripped of everything, including even the nails and door hardware. That it had been done by tool made Nick feel a little less worried about rust monsters.

On the east side of the keep they find an iron door with a chain and lock holding it closed. The door zaps Lada when he tries to unlock it. Some stairs down into the basement (dungeon?) are left unexplored, but a faint ‘dirty dog’ smell is noted. Having finished the main level of the keep, the party decides to finish exploring the outbuildings and towers in the bailey.

The western tower is mostly collapsed, but still has a locked door. Lada pops it open. Beyond the rubble they find a training room with fighting dummies and 5 gnollish bedrolls. “How many gnolls did we kill?”

The eastern tower is boarded up, and in goblin is written “No Go. We Let Haz.” Lada climbs up and looks through a window. He gets a brief look at a large eye before everything within the tower goes BLACK. Lada climbs down, and the party agrees to not bother with that right now.

The castle cistern was sadly polluted with (goblin? gnoll?) excriment. At least the spring feeding it was still clean. One of the kobolds volunteered to dig through the muck, and found a gem. He was allowed to keep it.

The ponies were corralled back into their stalls, rats scarred away from the feed, and a small stash of silver found.

The goblin smith, who seemed super into his task, wasn't interested in fighting, just wanted metal to work with. The party left him to his work, though he did tell the party that the creature in the tower is a black big bird.

Returning to the keep, the party went to the ladder up to the second level. Unfortunately some goblins above weren’t interested in visitors, and tried to drop a wardrobe on Nick. They missed. Nick scrambled up the ladder before the dresser could be dropped down. Nick grabs the goblin nearest the trap door, and lifts him up (thank goodness the goblins weren’t well fed) abd told the other 2 to stop. They did, not wanting to die.Trading some info for their lives, they tell of “Jedra the Priestess” who is on this level, and her magic book.

Exploring around, the party checks the door to the west from the tower. Within was a giant spider… Biffin got bit, but the spider was quickly killed, and Biffin seemed okay. In the canoe hanging from the ceiling was a cocoon.  Nick “noped” right out, and Biffin checked it out… releasing a swarm of baby giant spiders.

To the north was a pair of doors. The door to the west was covered in blood written runes, including a crude sigil of Orcus.

Gains: Bit of cash
Kills: giant spider, some goblins

Friday, June 18, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Spiders and Wolves

 Session played on 5/23

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Lada the Thief (Robby)
Gimbal, Magic User 1 (Scott)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword

“The Emissary?” Nick yells after the kobold who spilled the beans. Trying to catch him was a fools errand, so Nick cornered one of the other high ranking kobolds and demanded answers.

Meanwhile Borumar was getting shitfaced on ogre and spider flesh and kobold moonshine.

The kobold tells Nick that the ogre had promised to take care of a minor spider problem for a local druid named Druzilla, and that they were expecting her emissary to arrive in the morning… “You helped with the ogre, won’t you help with this? At least talk to the Emessary for us?” he pleads.

“I’m too drunk for this… Fine, yes, I’ll talk to them for you.”

Late the next morning the kobolds had put together something of a conference table and a few chairs in the clearing outside the lair. Padding into the clearing came a pack of big wolves, lead by a massive black wolf.

“Who are you?” it growled.

“We’re here to speak for the kobolds.”

“Where’s Vog?”

“There’s been a change in management. Vog is dead.”

“Vog lied, and these kobolds bear the responsibility. The world is out of balance.”

“How can they restore balance?”

“The spiders. They multiply and spread. They must be dealt with before they overwhelm the land.”

Nick gives the kobolds cowering behind him a dirty look. “This isn’t something we’ll be able to do in the next week… we’ll need some time.”

“4 moons.”

“That… that should work.”

“You accept the responsibility?”

“We do.”

The wolf barks, and a pair of wolves drag  a barrel into the clearing. 4 other wolves drag the bodies of 4 spiders. “Their venom acts quickly, but not instantly. You have 4 moons.” The wolves quickly depart.

Checking the sealed barrel they find a scared little girl who had been part of a caravan that was attacked by spiders. Her older brother sealed her in when the spiders attacked to try to save her.

Conscripting a dozen kobolds to carry the spiders, the party heads back to Zelkor’s Ferry. The spiders are dropped off with Edrick to make antivenom. The girl is dropped off with someone who knew her family. The kobolds aren’t exactly welcome, but gold goes a long way toward making someone acceptable.

Gains: Quest: Kill the spider colony

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Ogre Sized Problems...

 Session played on 5/9

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Lada the Thief (Robby)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (Scott)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Cory, Sellsword

Nick takes the party back to the keep, looking for more leads on restoring his lost strength. The somewhat weasely Beni at the “temple” in the keep suggests that maybe Abbott Gresso at the cloister to the north might be able to help, but he worships the toad demon… And speaking of toads (Beni looks at the small aquarium to the side) it’s due to be the wild time for the toads soon. In fact it’s past due.

Beni also shares the following rumors:

  • the Kobolds have been annoying the people on the roads much more than they usually do
  • There is a magical sword of light entombed near the entrance to Rappan Athuk, per a madman who says it’s guarded by a wizard and their minions.
  • Keeluth the Bull Ogre has been a problem lately as well
  • “Ian the All-Seeing” (crazy dude) lives in a nearby cave in the woods.
  • There’s a flooded passage in Rappan Athuk that’s ruled by fish people
  • Beware the Hand in the Mouth of Doom

Nick buys some healing potions, spends some cash in the tavern and then books passage back to Zelkor’s Ferry.

After returning to Zelkor’s, they head back to the Mouth of Doom, but are blocked along the road by some bandits. Nick offers some cash to pay them off, but the bandits are feeling cocky. It didn’t go well for them. Sadly Cory caught a stray arrow, and no one got to him to save him in time. The bandit leaders was knocked out and the other bandits surrendered instantly. Nick ordered them to drop their weapons and cash, and flee. He then strips the leader naked, collects the weapons and tiny amount of cash, and they press on.

Detouring from the Mouth, the party heads toward the Kobold camp (might as well deal with that issue). Outside the camp they’re ambushed by some spiders. Biffin gets bit, but Darryl administers some antivenom. Kobolds watched the fight, then came to talk to the party after. They coordinate the trap to spring on the Ogre. The party will wait at the edge of a nearby clearing, and the kobolds will get the ogre to charge across it to fight the party. They ask that the party tries not to kill any kobolds. Except the winged on.

Nick offers them any of the weapons taken from the bandits, but they’re too big. They ask for any food the party has. Apparently the ogre has been eating all the food. The party hands over most of their rations, then heads off to the clearing, spreading out with their ranged weapons and flaming oil.

After a short wait, the party can head them coming. A small horde of kobolds, with the ogre in the middle charge in, and along with them 6… bushes? Porcupines!! Focusing fire on the ogre (except Darryl who casts hold person on the flying kobolds, who crashes hard) the arrows do some damage. Then the oil does it’s job. Then the ogre and porcupines are on them. Darryl gets hit by the spines of the angry rodents as they rush past the party’s line.

Nick and Biffin trade blows with the ogre while the kobolds ineffectively send sling stones flying wildly. The ogre whistles and the porcupines turn around and charge back. Everyone but Nick and Biffin climb the trees to avoid the quills. Thankfully the creatures swerve to avoid the ogre, and in doing so miss the fighters.

The ogre grabs Biffin’s sword right out of his hand, then lands a solid blow to his face. Lada, from a tree branch up above, lets loose an arrow right into the ogres eye. It groans, wobbles, and drops. The hail of sling stones stops almost immediately, and then a cheer fills the clearing as the kobolds begin to celebrate! Followed quickly by them swarming in to butcher the ogre’s body.

The cheering and celebratory mood takes the party and the kobolds back to their lair. The feast is impressive, and the spoils of victory are presented to the party. A small pile of jewelry is impressive enough, but the real treasure was a glowing spear!

Late into the night one of the kobolds just happens to mention to Nick that he’s really glad they’re spending the night, and will be around tomorrow to talk to “The Emissary.”

Gains: magic spear, assorted jewelry
Kills: Ogre, winged kobold
Losses: Cory

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Captain Picard Day 2021

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is, and always will be, my captain. And today is the day that we celebrate it. Because he’s a role model.

While my captain may be getting a bit older (though he barely looks it) I'm very much looking forward to what's still to come. The first season of Star Trek Picard was good (not great) but I have some high hopes for season 2 coming... soon-ish.

Star Trek: Picard season 2 release date, cast and everything we know |  Tom's Guide


Monday, June 7, 2021

Reaper Minis Asanis, Mercury Fliers

I started working on Asanis back in March, but didn't get very far.

 In fact, all I got done was priming her, and trying out one of the new paints on her blade... but then, I decided to get back to her. Didn't seem fair to leave her just primed like that. 

She's one of Reaper's new Bones USA minis, and I have to say the quality is good! The material feels a little brittle. I'd be far more hesitant to just chuck her across the room than I would with say the Bones imps.


Unfortunately I was REALLY bad about taking WiP pics. I can tell you what I used for colors... generally. 

The blade is Hot Blue and Sparkling Snow.

The blue of her "outfit" is Mercury Fliers Blue.

The grey of almost everything else is Cloudy Grey

Her skin is Tanned Flesh, and her hair, buckles, and habaki is an unnamed sample yellowish orange. 

The green of the decide on her hip is Jungle Moss and Viper Green

 She still needs a proper base, but otherwise another one done! Though looking at the back, the power-pack/backpack could use a little more defining...

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Reaper Imps

Painting the imps was a last minute beer fueled decision. But one that turned out okay!


 I started with the usual warm soapy water wash, glued them to bases, and added sand. Then I primed with grey liner. 

 And because I ended up using these for the Reaper Challenge League, the red one was going to be my limited palette entry. This months colors were red, brown, and yellow. 

For the other 2 I went with a blue and a green. Above is them with just the base colors on.

And here they are with all the highlights and details painted in. 

They're tiny, and a little goofy, but I'm pleased with my results from what ended up being a single sitting.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Happy Pride!


Rainbow colored D&D dice drawn by Dyson Logos

Wishing all my readers a Happy Pride!


And anyone with a problem with that can go be eaten by a grue. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

May in Review

The Pandemic continues… but I’m fully immunized, and life feels a little less stressful. The new apartment is working out really well, and I got myself a new standing desk, which is great both for work, blogging (which I need to do more of), and even painting.

Nick the Pike continues his explorations of Rappan Athuk (or the area around it). I need to write up a couple of session reports, which I plan on doing this week.

I also ran a game of Stonehell. I think we’ll switch off DMing going forward. I’m feeling like I’ve got the brain power to actually run again… but maybe not every week.

Haven’t gotten to play any Stargrave yet… and barely touched the minis. I made some space gnolls, but need to paint them up. Trying to refrain from just assembling a bunch of stuff and leaving it unpainted.

Making decent progress with my painting, both in terms of simply getting minis painted, and also the quality of what I get painted. Not including the Stargrave minis mentioned above. 

 I’m really pleased with this cyber ninja.

And these imps were fun to paint! 

And this is what I’ve got planned for June. 

Star Trek DS9 finished season 4, almost done with season 5.
Matrix 1, 2, 3

Goals - keeping it simple this month.
Play at least 1 game of Stargrave
Paint some minis
Play some D&D