Saturday, May 18, 2024

Miniatures: Chainmail Felldrakes

I've been wanting to paint more of my non-Reaper minis, and I have a good sized collection of old Chainmail minis kicking around. They're generally fun, if a little on the flat side. Not all of them were bought new, and I had in my collection these 3. The green one I painted sometime around 2001-2002. The tan one I have no memory of where it came from or who painted it. It wasn't me, I know that. The unpainted one was probably bought sometime around 2004-06 when I picked up a bunch of Chainmail minis on discount.

 

As I'd already painted a trio of drakes, I wanted these three to be visually consistent with them, so all three minis got primed, and then painted with Pine, Wilderness, and Naga Greens for the main bodies. I added in just a bit of Candlelight Yellow for the final highlights. I used Runic purple for the crests, and Skeleton Bone for the teeth, horns, claws and spikes.

The bases were covered with a mixed gravel that was based with brown liner, then brought up with Russet Brown and dry brushed with Cairn Stone.

And here they all are together!

Friday, May 17, 2024

Stonehell: Death of King Deepeyes

Session 234 was played on 11/5/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

The party rested as well as they could, locked in a guardpost within the Hermitage, but they knew it was a temporary rest at best, though they got longer than they expected. A couple hours passed before the door to the hall rattled. There’s another pause, and then the Draugrdwergs began to break it down. Morgana made sure everyone was as far away from the door as possible, and then as soon as there was an opening large enough, she cast Ice Storm, slaying the 5 trying to bust the door down.

Unfortunately the spell was witnessed, a 6th Draugrdwerg was just up the hall beyond the spell’s reach. He ran, and a moment later a shadowy voice echoed down the hall taunting the party. This was followed by an ebony bolt of shadow that zapped down the hall, chilling Morgana, but not taking her down. In return she used her wand and tossed a fireball down the hall. The party charges in after the fireball, but more Draugrdwergs rush in from behind the party. Morgana Ice Storms the ones behind, freezing 2 and leaving the remaining 2 badly injured. Blotto finishes them off. Morgana uses a major illusion spell to make it look like the party has been slaughtered in the hall, and rushes up to join the fight against the Draugrdwerg King.

The fighters are going blade to hammer against the grey dwarves, but the king is making it difficult to make progress. Borumar, bowless, uses his scroll of Fireball. The King shoots Blotto, who takes it personally. Morgana uses the last of her Ice Storms to blast the King and remaining Draugrdwerg guards.

A grim silence settles on scene as the ashen skin of the dwarves fades, and their normal skin tones return… too late for these poor souls. Blotto, listening to the whispers from the crown, puts it on. Koltic tries to cast Remove Curse, but Blotto isn’t having any of it, and demands the cleric stop. Morgana tells Koltic to pause, and she begins the ritual to teleport home. A few moments into the ritual, a pair of shadow hounds charge into the room. Blotto shoots one with the crown, destroying it, while Kotic smashes the skull of other with his mace.

Gains: Gloom Crown, various coins and gems, magic hammers
Kills: Draugrdwergs, Shadow Hounds, King Olan Deepeyes
Losses:

Monday, May 13, 2024

Stonehell: Shadowflame in the Hermitage

Session 233 was played on 10/29/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

After passing out some healing potions, bandaging wounds, and double checking their supplies, they emerged back into the hall, and continued on toward where they thought the King was. Passing a cistern, they come to a room with a locked portal in the floor. A series of ropes and gears controls a lift that would descend through the portal down to… the next level? The mechanism is rusty. They make note of it, and continue on.

Coming to a T-instersection, with the hall branching to the north, they start to head down the hall when a portcullis drops at the intersection, splitting the party in half! Aroon, Lor’Koth, Bloto, and Borumar are split to the north, while Nick, Morgana, and Koltic are to the south. Then a sliding door opens and a troop of Draugrdwergs and shadow hounds attack the party to the north. The shadow hounds’ breath attack is more powerful than the hellhounds previously encountered. Between the hounds and the 4 Draugrdwergs, the fight goes hard, and Aroon, Jameth, Blotto & Koltic (caught in the shadowflame of the 2 hounds through the portcullis) drop before the party manages to kill the attackers.

Potions are forced down the throats of the fallen, and Koltic is revived enough to use his magic staff to heal the rest. The party heads into the room the Draugrdwergs came from, to catch their breath (again) when another hidden sliding door opens from an adjacent room and more Draugrdwergs and a pair of clankers attack the weakened tired party. Luckily the party’s adrenaline was still pumping and they weren’t surprised, and Morgana got off an Ice Storm while all but took care of the Draugrdwergs. Blotto finished on off by getting his fishing polearm through the nose of one, and ripping out a chunk of brain. Borumar’s daggers are remarkably effective as getting in between the clankers joins, and breaking their inner workings.

Hurting worse than before, Morgana uses a scroll of Hold Portal on the door to the adjoining room, and the door to the hall is hammered closed with pitons. Everyone collapses down to rest.

Gains:
Kills: Draugrdwergs, Clankers, Shadow Hounds
Losses:

Friday, May 10, 2024

Stonehell: Clanking around the Hermitage

Session 232 was played on 10/22/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Exploration of the hermitage, and the running battles through the halls continue. Borumar sneaks ahead to scout the way, encountering a pair of Draugrdwergs, and runs back to the party. They give chase yelling as they go, causing more to emerge from behind hidden doors, but more concerning was the mining clanker that practically filled the hall by itself.

The battle shifted back up the hall, as the party did it’s best to avoid the heavy claw and drill of the clanker and the strength draining bolts and hammers of the Draugrdwergs. Blotto took a solid blow from the clanker, and decided to pee on it in return. Not the most effective strategy, but Morgana’s Magic Missiles helped to clear out some of the extra foes piling in on the party. Borumar somehow manages to disrupt the enchantment on his bow, and it refuses to produce any more force arrows.

The clanker is eventually disabled, after having one arm removed, and Blotto shoving his polearm into the head and jamming it back and forth till it stopped moving.

Needing a moment to catch their breath, they pile into one of the hidden rooms, and close the door behind them.

Gains:
Kills: Draugrdwergs, Clanker
Losses:

Monday, May 6, 2024

Stonhehell: Deeper into the Hermitage

Session 231 was played on 10/15/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

The party investigates past the entry hall, finding the side passages to the now burned guard posts, then heads south, deeper into the hermitage. It’s a running battle as Draugrdwergs continue into the hall as the party moves. Several domiciles spill out combatants, and then a tougher foe, a priest and a pair of hellhounds. In spite of their demonic powers, the hellhounds and priest fail to hurt the party before they’re chopped down.

Deeper still, another domicile reveals another 4 Draugrdwergs. 3 are cut down, and one is badly injured and captured. He isn’t very forthcoming, but between the cursing and insults, he reveals that their king with the magic hammer that they ask about is ready for them to the northeast, and they should make their peace. Lor’Koth kills him, and they prepare to meet with the Draugrdwerg King.

Gains:
Kills: Draugrdwergs, Draugrdwerg priest, hellhounds
Losses:

Friday, May 3, 2024

Stonehell: Hermitage Back Door

 Session 230 was played on 10/12/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Karl, Dwarf 9 (Julia)

After resting up, the party heads back into the sewers. Morgana collects the day-old slime stirge corpse for research purposes. Avoiding the door into the Hermitage, they circle around and end up in a large open room with 4 ten foot deep pits around a 20’ tall amorphous (but vaguely female) statue with 4 pseudopods sticking out of it. Investigating the pits, there’s a faint shimmering above each, right at floor level. 3 of the pits are empty, but the 4th has weird 2’ tall slime babies. Blotto and Karl pee on the statue.

Continuing north they come to another door into the Hermitage. Between Morgana and Borumar, they unlock the door. Beyond is a large entry hall lit very faintly by blue gem lanterns. The lamps seem to provide more shadow than light, so Blotto tossed in a coin with Continual Light cast on it. The coin briefly illuminates the room, flares for a brief moment, and then the light fades. The blue gem lanterns on the other hand get slightly brighter. And in that time Blotto is hit by a crossbow bolt.

The light flare did show Blotto where the arrow slits in the wall were so he rushes in to the north side and tosses a troll larynx through it, then grabs for 2 of the lanterns. He’s hit again. Morgana expertly shoots a fireball through the arrowslit in the south wall. Karl rushes in and as the arrow slit is too small for his hammer, shoves a loaf of dwarf bread through, hitting a Draugrdwerg solidly in the nose. Morgana yells “Marshmallow!” and Karl ducks. Blotto is confused, but Karl grabs him just as the fireball explodes behind the northern arrowslits.

Gains:
Kills: 4 Draugrdwergs
Losses:

Thursday, May 2, 2024

April ‘24 In Review

Another hectic busy month, with a vacation right in the middle of it that just didn’t feel entirely worth it having to come back to a pile of things that needed to be done asap. The most time intensive of those I only just finished. I'll be glad when the audit is over mid-May. Then I can maybe take that day off for myself. 

On the home front we got a new roof installed. Hopefully between the basement repairs and the new roof this will be the end of the various leaks I've had to deal with.


Gaming


Got in a single session of Necessary Evil, and a couple of Stonehell/Rappan Athuk. The party just wiped out most of a Bugbear outpost, and then encountered an ancient magic using red dragon. We managed to not get eaten, and fled her territory, continuing on our way toward that temple that we need to clean out.


Miniatures


A slower month, but I’m still pleased with what I’ve got done. The sci-fi troopers I mentioned last month I haven’t touched since, and they’re all so close to done, but… instead I worked on the remaining Chainmail drakes, and a mummy lord and lady, and a rat. I also slapped together a piece of line of sight blocking terrain from some scrap bits of plastic I had kicking around. 


Media
Resident Alien
Star Trek Discovery
Ghosts


Goals for May
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal (gonna happen some month…)
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.
Take a day off and make some terrain

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Stonehell: Body Dump Interrupted

Session 229 was played on 10/1/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Exploring deeper in the sewers the party finds and destroys the stirge nest, and then comes to a room with 4 floating orbs that spin lazily around the room. They’re purple and not entirely solid, showing a little wobble as they orbit the center of the room. Everyone decides its best not to mess with the orbs, and they continue on.

As they open the next door, they see half a dozen grey dwarves with weirdly black veins that shift under their skin far too much, as they’re about to dispose of a body in a sack into the flowing sewage.
“Sorry, wrong door” Blotto explains as he tries to close the door. The grey dwarves are having none of it, and yank the door back open. They were not counting on Morgana summoning a water (sewage) elemental behind them. 6 are quickly slain. The bodies are checked, including the one in the big sack. It contains a very emaciated minotaur. Lopping a head from one of the dwarves, they take it, and the minotaur body back to the minotaur guard.

From the guard’s post, they head to a small side room, fireballing the nest of spiders within, quickly clean it out, and then Morgana uses Hallucinatory Terrain to hide the room, and the party stops to rest. While they rest, a couple of spiders check out what was their nest, but are deterred by the spell.

Gains:
Kills: 6 Draugrdwerg, 4 spiders
Losses:

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stonehell: Dipping their toes in the sewer

Session 227 was played on 9/24/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Agreement in hand, the party leaves the Fire Beetle Bar, and heads through the Blood Horn Gang’s territory up into the lost rooms and toward the sewers. Morgana used her map scroll to fill in the area. They poked about the weird floating rocks room, the stone dome room, and then headed up past the sewer gate, getting the attention of another Blood Horn who was on lookout.

Once into the sewers they were almost immediately set upon by 7 weird stirges. Not only were they harder to kill, they were also… gooey. Both Morgana and Blotto get bitten but the monsters were killed before they could do too much damage.

Gains:
Kills: 7 Slime Stirges
Losses:

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Stonehell: Hiring Mercenaries

Session 227 was played on 9/17/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Gathering in the manor, the party reviews their maps, and plans their next excursion. Heading in through the front door, they swing by Rocky and ask the following:
Q How to get into the Hermitage?
A: 4 Ways, The Front Door, the Sewers, and from Below
Q: How to raise and train rust monsters?
A: Carefully
Q: What traps await in the sewers?
A: Traps that aren’t there, Gems that Wander, and a Drink that will take you far away.

 Into the Quiet Halls, they shoo a fire beetle away, and Koltic sends a half dozen shuffling zombies back into their eternal rest. Taking the teleporter down to the Vrilyan halls, they escort Yagrick back to the casino, and then return to the Fire Beetle Bar.

Talking to the dower Crope, he suggests that if they’re serious about assaulting the Hermitage, that they should talk to the minotaurs to get passage through their territory. Crope makes an introduction and during the initial discussion Morgana manages to catch the ear of the 15 dwarven traders who stopped into the bar rather than hang out with the Vrilya, and they misunderstand what’s going on, thinking Morgana and the minotaurs are planning on taking out their caravan.

Borumar soothes the situation out while Morgana gets the Blood Horn tribe to not only allow passage, but to make an assault on the front gate (as a diversion) in 48 hours. It costs her 6,000gp, plus a 300gp bonus for every confirmed dwarf casualty. Crope serves as witness and the contract is signed.

Gains:
Kills: 7 zombies
Losses: 6,000gp to the Blood Horn tribe (paid in advance)

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Stonehell: Insert Training Montage Here

Session 226 was played on 9/10/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Downtime! A grand tournament in town meant a number of weapons masters and even grand masters were available for lessons. Over the course of 8 weeks everyone manages to level up their skills, except for Nick, who failed training both with a spear master and an ax master.

Blotto works diligently at training the rust monsters, but their limited intellect made the process slow. So far he’s succeeded at training them to wait to eat, and gotten one to wear the makeshift saddle without too much complaint.

Over the 2 months Yagrik gets increasingly nervous about being above ground, and everyone agrees that it’s about time they return to Stonehell, and get him back to work.

Gains: Cloak of Displacement
Kills:
Losses:

Friday, April 5, 2024

Happy First Contact Day!

 

 

Not only is today the day we will make contact with Vulcans, but it's also the day after the premiere of Star Trek Discovery's 5th and final season. While I'm sad to see Disco end, I'm really looking forward to what this season will bring. 



Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Stonehell: A little help from a friend

Session 225 was played on 8/7/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Thanks to Koltic’s magic, the tattoo’s are quickly healed, and the next morning the party explores more around the settlement, making their way toward the slums near the Majusek Sulcus. After satisfying their curiosity they depart the Tanna T’Liev and make their way to the casino. Most of the party sticks to the bar, rather than try any of the games. Morgana meets with the Yagrik to discuss some magic plans. She convinces him to take a vacation to help her with some research and item creation. Yagrik is thrilled to have the opportunity to do something new. Fortunate Dran insists that Yagrik not share any of the magics used to protect the Casino, and that he’ll return promptly. Morgana agrees to make sure he’s returned safely.

Heading home, she and Yagrik quickly get to work making a cloak of displacement, and after a little over a month, and a lot of gold spent on materials, they’re successful!

Gains: Cloak of Displacement
Kills:
Losses:

Sunday, March 31, 2024

March '24 in Review

Some months are much more up and down than others. This one was full of wild swings, and to be honest I’m happy it’s over.

I lost my Alicemonster on the 24th. She was the best beast and I miss her terribly. 

A beautiful tricolor corgi sitting behind a DM screen, with a bunch of minis and dice in front of her


It wasn’t all bad, but the bad certainly tainted the good. I got the taxes done, with a small refund. I got some solid work done on some minis, played some D&D, and even went out with a friend to see Dune 2, eat some great BBQ and play some pool.

Gaming
Back in Rappan, and since it's been many months since we played on that side of things it took a few sessions to catch up on things. Amusingly we're heading away from Rappan to go raze a temple that has fallen to some sort of demonic force.

Miniatures
Definitely a month of random minis. I wrapped up 3 drakes from the chainmail game, an old carrion crawler, a board game demon, a 3d printed robot, a bones 1 mage, and started working on some heresy minis sci-fi troopers and a GW Tau Ethereal. 



Media
Ted lasso
Ghosts
Resident Alien
Dune 2
Star Trek Voyager
Delicious in Dungeon

Goals for April
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal (gonna happen some month…)
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.
Take a day off and make some terrain


Monday, March 25, 2024

Stonehell: Those are permanent you know!

Session 224 was played on 8/2/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

After collecting their wayward goblin who talked his way out of a beating at the furry hands of the bugbear guards, they head back to Tanna T’Liev. Having gotten the lowdown on the3 houses that jointly run the settlement, Morgana picks the one most known for their wizards. Getting an audience took a little doing, but not as much as Morgana was expecting.

In the end the bargain was simple. Morgana would turn over Beard bane, the troll king’s ax, and pledge to serve the house. Oh, and they’ll need to get magical tattoos as well. Lor’Koth declines the tattoo. Word of their talk with Crope also has come to the head wizard, and she also wants the Gloom Crown from the dwarven hermitage. Morgana agrees.

Gains: magical tattoos
Kills:
Losses: Beard bane


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Stonehell: To the Fire Beetle Bar

Session 223 was played on 7/23/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

The party packs and and heads directly down deep into Stonehell, with no encounters along the way all the way to the elevators that take them down to level 6. The Vrilya guardians thankfully don’t recognize the party, but they have doubled their rates for entry to 200gp per person. An expensive pass given that they pass through the Vrilyan territory and right out the other side to the Fire Beetle Bar.

Getting themselves a table, they look around at the various patrons. The order a round for themselves, mostly getting the Fire Beetle Ale, but Blotto tries the Morlock Grog, while Morgana goes for the blandest wine she’s ever tasted. Feeling bored, Blotto tries to sneak into the upstairs and pee on the owner’s bed, but is caught by a bugbear guard before he gets too far.

While Blotto was getting himself caught, Morgana chats with Crope the barkeep, who tells her that if she wants to be able to pass through the Vrilyan controlled territory they need the patronage of one of the great houses… or one of his counterfeit tokens, which are good but not foolproof.

Gains:
Kills:
Losses:

Monday, March 4, 2024

Stonehell: Getting Sidetracked

Session 222 was played on 7/16/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Downtime! Morgana spends a month working on plate mail +3 for Koltic (successfully). Blotto spends the month trying to teach the rust monsters to serve as mounts, and gets the local kobolds to make tack for them. He also consults with a exobiologist who’s super excited to have access to a pair of (potentially) breedable examples to learn from. Blotto names the female Esmeralda. The 3 amigos don’t find a weapons master to work with so putter about town.

On the way to the dungeon a flock of hippogryphs attacks the party. Morgana fireballs them as they swoop down, taking out 10 instantly. One avoided the fireball, and races for Koltic, but he hits it with Hold Monster, and it hits the ground hard. They rope it up, heal it, and being it back to town and deliver it to the local lord.

Heading back to the manor, a visitor is waiting for Morgana… a mummy lord who wants her to craft boots of traveling for him. Morgana considers it.

Heading, again to the dungeon, they’re stopped at the gatehouse by 4 gargoyles perched on the roof. The kobolds are refusing to come out, or even open the door initially. The party calms the kobolds, and goes up to the roof. Blotto goes first, as they figure goblin probably isn’t especially appetizing to gargoyles, and they’ll pause before ripping into him. They’re right, and that gives the party a chance to negotiate with them. It’s settled that the gargoyles will refrain from eating any kobolds, and will wait for them to indicate who is a valid meal.

Into the dungeon, they go straight to Rocky and ask him about how to get to level 6 without dealing with the Vrylia. Rocky tells them that there is a way, but isn’t big on specifics beyond the phrase “scintillating orbs”.

The party heads back home. Morgana works on the boots, and knocks them out a little faster than expected.

Gains:
Kills: 10 Hippogryphs
Losses:

Friday, March 1, 2024

Feb ‘23 In Review

I look forward to a month where there isn't any illness to report. This month was a head cold followed up with an eye infection. Thankfully the rest of the family remained largely healthy. It was also another busy month at work, but it looks like things will get a little less hectic next month. On top of that, it was the lunar new year, so family obligations… Needless to say there has been less time to do the painting and blogging that I had planned.

Gaming
I rarely talk about playing video games because I rarely do. However, one night early this month I was in a foul mood, and while I’d planned on painting, I knew that was a bad idea, so I loaded up my Epic Games library to see what I had that I could just click and kill some monsters. I thought about booting up my old XBox and playing some Halo, but I didn’t want to wake the toddler. I settled on Torchlight 2, a slightly cartoonish Diablo clone. It’s a relatively simple game with little that you need to remember either control or plot wise. I’ve continued to squeeze in some play time pretty regularly though the first half of the month, which is better than mindlessly scrolling Instagram or Facebook, but not as good as getting some writing or painting done.

Stonehell is reaching a pause point, and my player Rob is getting ready to take over the DM’s chair and run more Rappan Athuk. I’m looking forward to that.  


Miniatures
The focus this month was Frostgrave Barbarians, and some Chainmail drakes (which I didn't finish). I also squeezed in the last of my Bones Pathfinder goblins, and a kobold sorcerer. 



Media
The Brothers Sun
Echo
The Marvels
Ted lasso
Ghosts
Resident Alien

Goals for March
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal (gonna happen some month…)
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.
Take a day off and make some terrain
Finish taxes


Monday, February 19, 2024

Stonehell: Lost Level: Rust Monster? Or Rust Friend?

Session 221 was played on 7/9/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Continuing along in the dungeon, the party finds a mostly empty store room, but searches through it anyway. Nick finds a slashing blade trap the hard way. Sadly nothing of value could be found among the trash and debris.

Moving on, they come to a door that’s barely holding together, and on the far side of it, a pair of fat content rust monsters. Being creatures of very little brain, confronted with a party largely covered in their favorite food, they amble toward them, feathery feelers waving excitedly. The plate armored members of the party back away and shoot at the beasts, causing both to run back into the room away from the party. Morgana collects random non-magical steel from the party and tosses a bunch to the rust monsters, who cautiously nibble at it.

Morgana removes any iron and steel from her person, and heads into the room to investigate the creatures while they’re feeding. They’re unconcerned about her, and ignore her. She goes back and collects more steel, and brings it to the rust monsters. A couple of repeat trips, and the rust monsters are beyond full, and feeling docile around Morgana. She convinces the rest of the party to help her capture and bring the monsters home. It takes some wrangling, but she gets the teleport ritual circle completed, and everyone gets close enough without needing to get too close to the monsters.

Back at the manor, the plate armored party members flee the teleport room, while Morgana and Borumar wrangle the monsters into a wooden stall in the stable.

Gains: 2 rust monsters
Kills:
Losses:

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

DGS Freeblades Snake Sorceress & Thief

As 2024 is my year of trying to paint as many non-reaper minis as reaper minis (at least) I picked out these 2 to work on. I bought both at ReaperCon not because I have any interest in the Freeblades game (who needs another game that I'm never gonna get to play) but because I liked the sculpts.


However, as much as I liked them, they gave me issues. I think this is in part because I was using some old Stynylrez primer to start them, and the bottle of yellow seems to have gone bad. The reddish brown that I switched to worked, but then fought me as I went along. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I'm so used to using either black primer or Brown/Blue/Grey Liner (all dark colors). 

The thief and snake sorceress both gave me problems with their skin tones. I started with tanned flesh and worked up with Rosy skin, and they looked ghastly. Literally. Somehow their skin ended up looking grey. Since I was using auburn shadow as the base for both their hair, I gave their skin a glaze of it, which helped but still looked wrong. I then used that same glaze and mixed a drop into the rosy skin. Finally I had something that didn't look dead, and I could work with.

For the thief I painted her jerkin with carbon grey then washed it with black wash, followed by a highlight of carbon grey. I used the same color for the sorceress' pants. The thief's cloak was Orchid Purple largely to give it some color. One of the problems with painting thieves is that they're going to tend toward lots of dark muddy colors to help them blend in to shadows, but that can be really boring to look at. I try to compromise with using dark colors, but still having them be colors other than brown and grey.

The snake sorceress’ top and snake were painted with a base of wilderness green, brought up with viper Green for highlights. I decided to use bronze for her bracers and greaves, gold for the necklace and belt. Originally it was all going to be gold, but I didn't like the way it looked, and painted over it.

All in all these were fun minis to paint, and they'll look even better when I get around to basing them.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Stonehell: Lost Level - You're not fooling anyone

Session 220 was played on 7/2/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

After spending some downtime around town, the party gears up and sets out for the caves leading to the lost level. On the way they scare off a mountain lion that had gotten too close to town, then Koltic dispatched a troop of 10 skeletons in the swamp.

Once in the lost level they make their way back over to the mostly unexplored central area where Morgana fries a mimic that did its best to look like a comfortable bed. The lack of dust was the giveaway.

In a too hot kitchen an angry fire elemental did its best to cook the party, but Morgana summoned a water elemental to deal with it. The fire elemental was SUPER upset at this development, and climbed up the chimney to escape. Once the fireplace had cooled enough, the elemental's treasure was collected, and the party checked their map to decide where next.

Gains: couple thousand coins in silver and gold, Potion of Greater Healing, Potion of Treasure Finding.
Kills: 10 skeletons, Mimic, Fire Elemental (defeated)
Losses:

Monday, February 5, 2024

Stonehell: Teleport Traps and Friendly Giants

Session 219 was played on 6/4/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter (Lanse)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

Still in the lost level, the party next comes across a Chimera in an adjoining circular room. Blotto bravely leaps upon the dragon head of the beast, keeping it from breathing fire on the party, while Morgana tries to Polymorph it, but it resists her magic. The dragon head shakes Blotto around and manages to get him into its mouth, biting hard. Neither Blotto nor the dragon head enjoyed it. The fighters pile into the monster, and Morgana Magic Missiles it, dropping it before it can eat Blotto. The scorpion tale is taken as a prize.

The next chamber contains a lone hellhound, that Morgana Ice Storms to death. They’re then caught in a teleport trap that sends them… somewhere in the dungeon… They think they’re still in Stonehell anyway… Morgana makes use of the scroll of mapping, but no one recognizes anything that shows up. While carefully looking around, a stone giant wanders by and seems generally amused. Unfortunately they don’t share a language and the giant wanders off. Morgana begins her ritual to teleport the party home, and as she nears the end the giant comes back with a few friends to watch the ritual.

Gains: chimera tail
Kills: Chimera, Hellhound
Losses:

Friday, February 2, 2024

Stonehell: Lost Level Investigations

Session 218 was played on 5/28/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

The party decides to head to the lost level, and gets attacked by giant bees that had built their hive nearby. Morgana dispatched them easily before they could get into melee.

From the bubble fountain, they head toward the ogre troop, and get ambushed by a displacer beast that quickly realizes has picked off more than it could chew, and it ran away.

The ogres were busy arguing about some aspect of their performance, and so the party snuck by without getting stuck resolving the dispute or needing to see yet another production. Continuing to explore they come to a hydra fairly quickly. Borumar’s bow and Morgana’s lightning spells make quick, if loud work of it. All the noise caused the ogres to investigate, and they happily take the hydra’s corpse for dinner.

Turning to the north, the party continues on, and ends up in a fight with 4 skilled human fighters, but they’re outnumbered and out classed. After 2 drop, the remaining fighters call for parlay. They surrender, tell what they know of the dungeon, and depart heading toward the exit as directed by Morgana.

As the fighters had picked a defensible spot, the party opts to make camp and rest.

Gains:
Kills: 2 myrmidons, giant killer bees
Losses:

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Jan ‘23 In Review

Oh how I miss nap time… It’s increasingly difficult to get hobby and game time, not at all helped by work being slammed, and having to put in extra hours to make sure things are wrapped up for the year end. Also cutting into the month was a short cruise out to Bermuda. The weather for most of it wasn’t great, but having an extended period of time without internet, without a toddler or dog, trapped on a boat with next to nothing to do but read, eat, and catch some evening shows was AMAZING!

This lack of... progress? Time to devote to the things I like has made me consider making myself a schedule so that even if I only get 30-60 minutes to do stuff in the evening, I have something planned, rather than just wasting it scrolling mindlessly on my phone. I think I'm gonna give that a try for February, and see how it goes. 


Gaming
Between the holidays, the cruise, and just generally being wiped out, there were a whole 2 sessions of game this month, one of Stonehell, and one of the Necessary Evil campaign I’m playing in.


Miniatures
As with gaming, it was a slow month for minis. I was entirely focused on other things, especially work, so I only worked on a few minis, and in an attempt to hit my non-Reaper backlog, I focused on old Chainmail minis and DGS games minis, and painted up a snake sorceress and a thief as well as an old dire badger. But because it’s almost impossible to not paint some reaper stuff, I also knocked out a Bones kobold fighter and a komodo dragon. Not shown are the pair of barrels and a small broken shrine stone that also were quickly knocked out.

I still need to do all their bases.

Next up I'm going to be working on an old carrion crawler and some Frostgrave Barbarians.


Media
The Brothers Sun
Rebel Moon Pt. 1
No Hard Feelings
Echo

Goals for Feb
Play scenario 3 for Hope Eternal
Try to get at least 2 session reports written per week.


Saturday, January 27, 2024

#Dungeon23 #DoomGate #TheShip October Wrap Up

Long long ago in another dimension, a brain eater ship's drive failed and sent it wildly off course, tearing through dimensional barriers and coming to rest within a mountain. The few survivors attempted to repair what they could, but realized they were stranded, with no means of rescue. They sealed themselves in stasis pods, and hoped for the best. 

The best didn't arrive, but the second best did. A primitive race found the ship, its first exposure to alien life. They couldn't realize, or even conceptualize, that it wasn't just an extra solar alien, but from a craft from an entirely different dimension. Not that it would have stopped them from experimenting with it. 

Due to the extended time the ship's crew was in stasis, the primitives were able to board and begin stripping the ship before any of the set defenses kicked in. 

The ships drive ring was removed, and became the Doom Gate, ending the world and ushering in a new age of magic and monsters. In the meantime the crew slowly emerged, and has continued their efforts to repair their ship, or at least the communications array to call for rescue.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Stonehell: The Last (of) Song

Session 217 was played on 5/25/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)


Needing funds to repair the manor, and knowing the majority of the coinage was left behind (even if it was more silver and electrum than gold) the party heads back to Song’s lair, making it to the double doors of the lower temple of Yg, where they find the doors locked and barred. Borumar and Morgana clear that up, and head into the crystal cave beyond.


There’s no sign of Song…


The party begins to search around the cave, and Borumar discovers another of the pit traps of acid the hard way. As the party is spread out, Song, hiding in an opening up near the ceiling, breathes acid down upon the party with surprise! Morgana takes the worst of it but chucks a fireball up to the dragon in return. The party’s crossbows follow the fireball, and a couple lucky hits finish off the black dragon.


Healing spells and potions are shared around as needed, and the lair is looted of the remaining treasure.


On the way out they get word from some passing kobolds that a clan of medusa have taken up residence in the troll hall. Bypassing them, they head for the surface and home, pausing only briefly to fireball a swarm of robber flys that was flying toward the party.


Gains: The rest of Song’s treasure

Kills: Black Dragon, Robber Flys

Losses:

Saturday, January 20, 2024

#Dungeon23 #DoomGate #AlienCaves September Wrap Up

September brings us to the lower levels of the Alien terraformed caves. The danger increases as herds of fungal garden tenders wander the caves, taking anything that isn't terraformed and adding them to the local fertilizer pile. Weird crystals can be harvested from the gardens and sold to the dwarves or to surface jewelers. 

Beyond the fungal gardens and their tending herds are the hulking brutes that prowl the narrow connecting passages. Other dangers include the lurking tentacled beasts, bipedal walking creatures with triradial heads, and even mounds of shambling flesh eating terrain!

But the worst danger comes from the mighty worm that is tunnling through the caves and will release the terraformers into the wider world when it breaks through to an underground river...


Monday, January 15, 2024

Stonehell: Dragon Hunting

Session 216 was played on 5/17/23

Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Blotto, Goblin Fighter
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)
Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)

After several weeks spent around town, everyone was ready to get back to adventuring. They geared up and headed toward Stonehell. On the way a band of bandits prepared to attack, but once they got a good look at the party, thought better of it, and everyone walked away unharmed.

Ready to tackle Song, they head down to level 5, avoiding any encounters. Morgana uses her circlet to spy ahead. Song lay upon their treasure asleep. Borumar with his bow, and Morgana with her magic creep to within line of sight through the cracked crystals of the dragon, and attack. Borumar’s bow shot lands true, and Morgana’s Lightning bolt shatters crystal and dragonscale. Song screams in pain, and leaps from its treasure into the water at the far end of the cave with a huge splash.

The fighters slowly press into the cave, and blotto stumbled into an acid-filled pit trap. After washing him off, the party sets a watch over the water, and then begins to shovel the treasure into their bags, focusing as much on the gold as possible.

Heading for the exit, loaded down with loot, they’re set upon by an Ochre jelly. Everyone runs, and Morgana roasts it with a fireball. They also destroy a grey ooze, and a displacer beast that thought Marthek was extra tasty. The displacer beast is quickly skinned, and the hide taken for Morgana to play with.

The trip back to town, once out of the dungeon was uneventful. However upon returning to her manor, Morgana finds it partly smashed. Song wasn’t going to go quietly.

Gains: The best parts of Song’s treasure
Kills: grey ooze, ochre jelly, displacer beast
Losses:

Saturday, January 13, 2024

#Dungeon23 #DoomGate #AlienCaves August Wrap Up

The natural caves under #TheFacility are blessedly free of demonic beings, but only because the alien life emerging there is, as far as the demons are concerned, soulless, and thus of no interest. That doesn't mean it's without danger. Weird lifeforms are being created, molded, mutated, and evolved by a set of mobile terraforming devices. 


In addition to the creatures, the very air in the caves is mildly toxic, and long term exposure is harmful to native creatures. 


Not all is danger though. The terraformed alien life has bumped up against the outer edge of a dwarven settlement down in the lower caves, and hints of their existence can be found in the upper caves.

I did find it interesting how much larger the caves ended up being as compared to my average dungeon room. No idea why that is, but it definitely didn't feel like a proper cavern area unless it was at least 50% bigger than the average dungeon room. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

Rappan Athuk/Stonehell: Downtime

Session was played on 5/7/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Downtime activities took up the entirety of this session.
Aroon and Jameth study with a sword master
Borumar studies with a bow master
Lorkoth with a hammer expert
Morgana works on 2 rings of fire resistance
Borumar has a purple worm dagger crafted with a poison reservoir
Koltic researches “resist acid” and makes some healing potions 



Not much to write about for such an eventless session, but they can't all be full of action.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Rappan Athuk: Skeletons and Ogres

Session was played on 4/30/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

From beyond the now open black door, hiding in the shadows of the dusty old armor behind the black bars, 2 black skeletons emerged and attacked the party. Jameth, Koltic, and Marthek were all terrified of them, but the party fought the evil monsters, dropping one, when 2 more joined the fray, and then were brought down.

Past the bars, the passage extended a bit, and narrowed as it went. Voices were heard, and an invisible Borumar snuck forward to check it out, clearly not deterred by what happened the last time he tried that. He spied some ogres sitting around a fire pit in a large cave roasting a humanoid. The party planned a trap to lure the ogres into the tunnel and deal with them while Borumar remained invisible in the cave with them. The ogres were unimpressed with Jameth’s attempts to get them to follow him. His second attempt resulted in him getting grabbed by a too smart ogre that was lurking near the open doorway. He’s dragged back to the firepit, and the party decides to just charge in and rescue him.

The fight was tough, especially when 4 more ogres joined in from the adjoining cave. Marthek drops, Koltic plays golf with the head of one of the ogres that got knocked down, Borumar gets knocked down and squashed by a dead ogre falling on him. The ogres break after half their number drop, and run off. The party quickly loots the chamber while Morgana sets up her ritual circle to bring the badly bruised party home.

Gains: random coinage and mundane loot, plus a map to a not frog god temple
Kills: Black Skeletons x4, Ogres x4
Losses:

Saturday, January 6, 2024

#Dungeon23 #DoomGate #The Facility July Wrap Up

The lower level of The Facility is an important one, as it contains access to both the Terraformed Caves and the Doom Gate itself. In addition to these important points, there's a mix of monsters to encounter, both demons and aliens. 


As this was the hub of the research on the alien tech from the crashed ship, there's lots of artifacts to be discovered, but also evidence of how things started to go wrong. Bricked up chambers full of human remains mutated by the alien tech, and lots of evidence of violent death can be found throughout these chambers.


The Doom Gate itself is currently closed and powered down, but the alien tech that powered it is still running, and actively working on converting the caves below into habitable environment for it's native life... a terraforming project that will soon expand out of the caves and onto the surface. 

And as for the gate itself? Well, a minor demon lord has found it, and is making plans to open it from the hell side. Probably should find a way to stop them.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Rappan Athuk: Inhospitable Innkeeper, Fungal Plantation, and Black Doors

Session was played on 4/23/23

Nick, Fighter 7 (Me)
Morgana, Magic User (Rob)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief (Josh)
Koltic, Cleric 7 (NPC)
Aroon, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Jameth, Fighter 5 (NPC)
Lor’Koth, Dwarf 5 (NPC)
Lt. Marthek, Fighter (NPC)

Borumar, invisible and paralyzed lay at the cracked open door… While the rest of the party waited back at the room for him to return. After about 5 minutes, Nick and LorKoth sneak down the corridor to see what’s up, and Nick steps on Borumar. Figuring out what he was stepping on, he hoists the thief up, and passes him to LorKoth to bring him to Koltic. Nick then charges in through the door, gets a bottle of poison smashed right into his helm, but avoids getting any onto his face. With his magic spear, he skewers the roachkin to the back wall. It stretches disturbingly forward and bites at the arms holding the spear. Nick jiggles the spear around, trying to shake off the bug when Jameth charges in, stabbing the skewered bug until it stops moving. They behead it, just to be on the safe side.

Searching the room they find the roachkin’s stash of coin, jewelry and magic.

As that was anything but a restful evening, the party decides to spend another night recovering. The magic items are identified, and the zombie horses are harnessed to the carriage and the party continues on toward Rappan taking the southern route.

Hours later they come to a strange garden, full of glowing fungus in a large cavern with several winding paths through it to different exits from the cavern. Floating moss balls wandered the around mushrooms… tending them? Urging the zombie horses on, they kept to the path, and spied several fungus infested humanoids tending to the garden. Thankfully both the fungal zombies and the floating orbs ignored the party and the carriage.

Past the plantation, the tunnel continued on, dark and silent but for the sound the party made as they traveled. Another stretch of hours later they came to water… a moat with slow moving water stretched in front of them, and on the far side were some steps leading up to a pair of big black doors and a wall of black metal bars… with darkness beyond.

Crossing the moat wasn’t difficult, and the party examined the doors. 3 golden runes were on the black doors. A demon, a circle, and a square. Looking beyond the bars the party could see suits of old armor with the faint glow of residual magic. While the party tried to figure out how to get through the doors, Borumar just touched the runes, and found they could slide around on the door. He dragged one over the other, the circle over the square, and then over the demon. The large black door sank down into the steps, leaving the way open.

The zombie horses turned around and started to leave with the carriage.

Gains: Ring of Fire Resistance, Wand of Magic Missiles, Potion of Invisibility, 2,400gp and some jewelry.
Kills:  Roachkin innkeeper
Losses:

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

2023 in Miniatures

 Another productive year, and again largely thanks to the Reaper Challenge league. 


It's kinda hard to count how many "minis" I painted, depending on how you define mini vs terrain. If w divide it up by things that were 3D printed vs from a miniature company, I painted 113 minis, plus a bunch of terrain. If you want to count things like the tent and the scatter terrain statues and stuff, then closer to 100. Either way, it's still a respectable amount of minis

There wasn't a whole lot of sci-fi represented this year. In fact it was probably outnumbered by the normal animals I painted this year. Chances are 2024 will probably be similar, unless I really buckle down and get some more Stargrave minis knocked out.

Also underrepresented this year were undead. Only 2 skeletons painted (only one shown, the other joined the ranks of the Ed Sculpt legion at ReaperCon), which is less than the 3 from last year, and the 7 from the year before. I guess the massive amount of undead from 2020 has kept me off that bandwagon. 

I've already blogged about most of the terrain, so I'm not going to focus too much on that, but I will say that I plan on making more of the alien jungle scatter terrain. I want to have a really nice looking set to play in.  

It's really too early to guess what the year will bring, but of the 5 minis currently on my painting desk, only 1 is from Reaper. While I have a LOT of Reaper minis, I do have a sizable pile of non-Reaper minis, and I've been very focused on Reaper minis with the Reaper Challenge League the last few years, and find myself wanting to work on stuff that isn't Reaper for a bit.

I will say that I've got a couple of specific plans/goals/things I want to work on:
BFG Tau fleet
Frostgrave & Stargrave figures
LotR Sauron
Baba Yaga's Hut

We'll see what I actually tackle this year.