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. 

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.

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.

The Brothers Sun
Rebel Moon Pt. 1
No Hard Feelings

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


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

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

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

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.