Thursday, June 23, 2022

Review: Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Finally I was able to watch Doctor Strange 2. Due to the pandemic I've been avoiding going to the movies, and sometimes waiting for stuff to come to streaming is... less than fun. Thankfully this was worth the wait. 

 Warning, this post contains spoilers. 

Okay, I'm not going to recap the movie. Either you've seen it, or you've read about it. 

What in the hell was Strange and/or Wong waiting for to go talk to Wanda. Dudes, powerful emotionally unstable witch, and you all just... ignore her? How'd that turn out? 

Raimi's style definitely shines through, especially with the more horrific bits. Probably one of the most visually frightening of the MCU movies, and certainly one with the most named character deaths... Including Strange... twice. 

I was sad at the lack of Loki/Sylvie.

At the end I find myself wondering how dead Wanda/The Scarlet Witch is. With the destruction of the necronomicron, I mean the Darkhold, maybe she can finally move forward? I kinda felt like a good chunk of WandaVision got kinda ignored. And sure, maybe the Darkhold was corrupting her, but... eh. I wanted more of the Other Other Other Stranges, and less of what they settled on for Wanda. 

Still glad I finally got to see it. I give it a 3.5/5. Would have been better to have taken more from What If... and treated Wanda with more understanding.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Reaper Bones Cultists

There's just something about cults that make them great opponents for the PCs to face off against. It's a great excuse to not only have them facing a human foe, but also ones that have access to powers like their own. Sure, the rank and file members are likely to be less powerful than the PCs, but the leadership? Plus there's always the moral question of are these people actually evil, or corrupted and redeemable? 

Either way, I decided I wanted my cultists in yellow. Initially I tried painting them while on a trip for work, but brought a terrible yellow to work with. Plasma Yellow isn't a great color for D&D cultists. Not even when mixed with Drow Nipple Pink to bring the color down. So I started over, and used a trick that I should have used from the start, and painted them all pink.

Why pink? Because yellow goes over pink amazingly well. I then used brown liner to paint basically everything that wasn't going to be yellow: flesh, books, armor, weapons, etc. For the flesh I mixed a 1:1 ratio of alien flesh and tanned flesh, then did highlights with just alien flesh. I really wanted to accentuate the corruption the King in Yellow has had on them.

The lining of the robes, and the stoles, and the belts I painted a reddish purple. I can't say exactly what color, as I experimented with a bunch of purples, but they included Gothic Crimson, and Royal Purple. The armor was a combo of gunmetal, steel shadow, and blade steel.

The gold details were painted with cursed gold. Then I green stuffed the bases to look like field stone. Interestingly I didn't quite manage to get the styles to match up as you can really see below. 

Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, and Thief. I somehow managed to unintentionally make a full D&D party of cultists!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Reaper Bones Razormouth

The appropriately named Razormouth is a delightful mini to paint. I opted to use it for my Reaper Challenge League Limited Palette figure for May. The RCL's Limited Palette allows a total of 5 colors: a white, black, and 3 other rotating colors that change each month. May's colors were Brown, Blue, and Purple. I picked Blue Liner as my Black, Pure White as my White, Marine Teal as my blue, Wild Violet as my purple, and Russet Brown as my brown. I knew I wanted to make this monster colorful and bright, like a tropical fish. 

After washing and base coating with the Blue Liner, and Immediately blocked in the teal and violet, and used the brown on the spikes and teeth.
Adding the white to all the colors, and began to layer up the colors. I worked the teeth and spines up to a nice bone color, and the scales and flesh up to really bring up the vibrancy of the colors.
For the mouth I mixed in a tiny bit of the brown with the violet, then highlighted with the pure violet. I used the same for the tongue except with the teal. 


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Stonehell: Minotaurs in the Temple of Yg

 Session 185 was played on 1/9.

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Joho, Mystic, 7 (Chris)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter 7 (NPC)

Planning a quick delve, the 3 amigos stay behind to handle some personal business. Biffin, done with his training, rejoins the party. On the way to the dungeon, heading for the hobgoblin caves, the party is ambushed by a large group of goblins. Morgana has no time for them, and roasts 16 of them with a fireball, sending the rest into the hills.

Heading to the Upper Temple of Yg, and then directly to the Lower Temple of Yg, they open the secret door into the viper room. Over a dozen vipers are still alive and angry now that the web and sleep spell have worn off. Morgana drops a wall of ice on them all, and the party steps over the chunks of broken ice and head out the now unblocked door. Continuing their exploration they find a store room and a priests quarters, neither of which have much of note. Heading back north toward the main worship space, they find the doors locked and a quartet of minotaurs guarding the room. Sadly they didn’t see the minotaurs right away, and when Joho shoves the door open, he’s immediately grabbed out of the doorway, and tossed into the ax of a waiting minotaur. Borumar and Morgana go immediately on the attack, while Joho’s mystical fists and feet cause even more pain than the ax did to him. The fight is brutal and bloody for both groups, but in the end it’s Morgana collecting various bits of Minotaur for her research. Little treasure is otherwise recovered.

They quickly use the gate and head home.

Gains: Minotaur bits
Kills: 4 minotaurs

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Stonehell: Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes!

Session 184 was played on 12/25. (Due to COVID, my holiday plans were called off so game was on)

Morgana, Mage 8 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 6 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 4 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)

Continuing in the 5th level of the dungeon in the lower temple of Yg, the party opens the next door and finds giant crystals blocking the path. What they can see beyond is a large chamber with weirdly melted looking walls. The chisel off a sample of crystal and close the door.

Continuing deeper into the temple, they discover a chamber with the skeletons of multiple dead snakes. Across from that room, a larger worship space with a snake skull altar with the statue of a viper rearing up behind it. Investigating closer they find the skull opens, and within a tome bound in snakeskin. Of course, they take it. Unfortunately the door is instantly blocked by a slab of stone that drops from the ceiling, and a moment later the viper statue starts spitting out real vipers. The party isn’t too worried, at first, but as the snakes keep coming panic begins to set in. A quick thinking Morgana gives the party a moment (but only a moment) to breathe with a web spell, followed by a sleep spell, and they all quickly search the room again (after administering several doses of anti-venom), this time Borumar finds a secret door. They all rush through and slam it shut behind them.

The secret room contains only one thing of note, a large ouroboros gate. Borumar decides to try it, seeing as it’s the only way out (unless they want to fight a never ending stream of venomous snakes. Unfortunately for him, the gate repels him, and the 10’ pole and spare torch he’s carrying turn into snakes. Once killed, Morgana turns her attention to the gate again, and figures out the correct passphrase needed to successfully use the gate… which takes the party back up to the upper temple of Yg on level 2.

Feeling worse for wear, they make their way to Kobold Korners. The party helps fund Keeper Nolti’s plan of rebuilding the gatehouse at the entrance of the dungeon to serve as an inn for those traveling to and from the dungeon.

Gains: Cobra Codex
Kills: Vipers

Sunday, June 5, 2022

May '22 in Review

Settling both into the new house and the new job. Discovering that years of NYC apartment living have made me forget how much work a whole house can be, and how many tools you need. On the whole though, I’m glad to be out of NYC.

My Stonehell game has moved temporarily out of the dungeon and over to a manor house that’s currently occupied by demons. Nasty ones. Demons that aren’t afraid to target the party in their home base.

Somewhat productive month. I finished all the minis I’d started last month, along with a couple of kobolds.

Cultist miniature in yellow robe with upraised curved dagger
blue and purple dog fish thing with light blue scales, purple skin, and way too many teeth

For next month, I’m planning on working on a pack turtle conversion on top of some of the usual assortment of Reaper minis.

Star Trek Voyager (season 2)
Star Trek Strange New Worlds
Stranger Things (season 4 vol. 1)
Star Wars Bad Batch

Still haven’t visited the local FLGS (the one that doesn’t display the nazi adjacent flag). I also really need to catch up on my session reports.