Sunday, 5 April 2020

Review - Back To The Sea

Today I'm taking a look at the one-shot adventure Back To The Sea by Inky.Ginge

Back To The Sea is a one-shot adventure for 3rd-4th level adventurers with a very atmospheric horror theme so in a lot of ways it falls right into my wheelhouse.  In many ways the quickest summary I can probably give of the adventure is that it is probably the exact adventure a group that is playing Sinister Secret Of Saltmarsh for the first time thinks they're actually playing.  The group is hired to investigate an area just off the coast that superstitious locals believe to be haunted.  Once the group 'arrives' at the main encounter location they find themselves investigating and plagued by supernatural occurrences.

Back To The Sea is an extremely short adventure that most groups will probably be able to complete in a single session of play.  Although the adventure itself is short I have to say that the author did not compromise on full rich descriptions of encounters, NPC actions, and descriptions of key features.  I found the adventure to feel extremely thematic and immersive.  In addition to how well written the adventure is it comes with 3 amazing looking maps as separate files that can be used as DMs reference but can also be blown up into encounter maps to be used for tabletop gaming.  Even after running the adventure these maps will be super useful for dropping in as a small house or cottage in other games and settings.

This is the kind of adventure that is difficult to describe in real detail without ruining the surprises inside but if you and your group want an incredibly well written  ghost story with terrific cartography I highly recommend Back To The Sea.

Back To The Sea is currently available for $5.95 from DMsGuild at https://www.dmsguild.com/product/297621/Back-To-The-Sea?term=back+to+the+sea

-Jay

A short detour back to Saltmarsh

Hello all!

I've done a fairly good job lately of focusing on finishing miniatures I actually need for games I'm really going to play, which is super odd for me.  Having said that I've had a bit of a wish list in my head of models I either don't need at all, or at least won't need anytime soon.

A while back I was playing in a Saltmarsh game that due to the greatest obstacles any D&D game can face (scheduling and the real world) has been on indefinite hiatus.  In spite of that I've never abandoned the idea that at some point Garkas (my character) and I will get to return to Saltmarsh.

Previously I had painted my PC model; Garkas, as well as a pseudo-dragon and 2 NPC sailors.  Our last session had ended with us freeing both the pseudo-dragon as well as the sea-elf NPC Oceanus.  I had wanted to do up a miniature for Oceanus for some time but was struggling to find an unarmoured elf model with a spear and crossbow (ideally in plastic).  I've mentioned this a few times in the past while looking for other character models but it is often difficult to find models which are heavily armed but lightly armoured.  While browsing WizKids site I found a half-elf monk who basically looked right with the exception of the fact that he had no weapons.  I dug out my trusty Frostgrave sprues, nicked a crossbow and a spear and; voila!  Oceanus!


I'm super happy with how this figure turned out.  The pose looked really cool to me and he looks ready to fight without being in an overly dramatic stance.  It's also another case of adding a PC/NPC model that feels like he'll get re-used multiple times over the coming years.  Having finished Oceanus I'm now thinking about circling back and re-doing my sailor models once I finish my last few Animal Adventures baddies today.

Oceanus and all his bits and pieces came from my Friendly Local Game Store!

-Jay

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Rats!

I can now officially say I'm past the half-way point of getting models done for Zoe's Animal Adventures game!

Her PC and 3 NPCs were all finished by my the time I published my last post and that just left me with 11 models worth of baddies to paint.

I needed a half-dozen rats as they are among the principal antagonists of the early Animal Adventure modules.


These particular rats came from a box set that was a dual purpose Malifaux/Through The Breech scenario pack entitled 'Brotherhood Of The Rat'.  These guys are getting done first but 4 of the remaining 6 figures from that box should feature in an upcoming game for me as well.

Obviously I went really basic on the paint jobs on these guys but I think they're certainly adequate and should provide some suitably scummy opposition for Zoe's heroic dog adventuring party.

Somehow I've gone from getting to play virtually no D&D since the start of the year to having two different games scheduled for this coming week...but more on that shortly.

And please remember these figures along with everything else you need to go adventuring from the comfort of your own home are all available from your Friendly Local Game Store!

-Jay

Monday, 30 March 2020

A few smaller critters for Animal Adventures

The march towards Zoe and I playing Raiders Of The Lost Bark for Animal Adventures continues!

I got the last 2 PC/NPC doggies done the other day.  Tedric and Hartley are smaller (much smaller) dogs being a chihuahua and a french bulldog.


I went pretty basic with the paint jobs on these two but I'm still very happy with how they turned out.  Tedric in particular in my opinion definitely leans more to the fantastic side, largely be virtue of the look of the knife being carried in his mouth.  Until we actually play (hopefully this weekend?) this will be the last of the actual dogs for a while.

Having finished the dogs the next step was to get started on some rats which are the main antagonists of the adventure.



These two small rats are actually small add-ons on the Frostgrave Wizards 2 sprues.  It was nice to have a few rats to get started on.  I'm expecting to get a few more rats and rat swarms from my FLGS this Wednesday and then I should be able to get the last of the models done we need for our game.

-Jay

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Up On A Soapbox - Let's put one in the win column!

Hi all!

A couple of months ago I got up on my soapbox to complain about late/delayed/false deliver of crowd-funded gaming products http://worlds-in-conflict.blogspot.com/2020/01/up-on-soapbox-thank-you-for-your.html, today I want to share a quick note about a product that arrived looking awesome, and much sooner than I would have anticipated.

Generally I have been very reluctant to back crowdfunds for single RPG books as the shipping cost to Canada tends to be prohibitive.  Having said that a while back I stumbled on a Kickstarter for a Cthulhu-themed D&D 5e one-shot that I thought would be really appealing to some of my players titled "What Happened To Evy Ashwood?"

On a complete whim I decided to back the project, and then I got my survey right as all everything started going crazy with the global pandemic so I figured that although I would certainly fill it out I'd be waiting weeks or even months to receive my book.  I completed my survey last week, my book arrived today!  I haven't had a chance to read through the adventure yet, but the book is physically gorgeous and contains both a 40 page one-shot adventure, and 24 additional pages of mythos inspired items and critters.

A full review will be forth-coming but I wanted to speak up and celebrate a small publisher REALLY exceeding my expectations and delivering a great looking product promptly.

Thanks Midnight Tower!  I am definitely excited to back whatever you have coming next!

-Jay



Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Getting ready for some Animal Adventures!

After years (holy crap, has it really been years?) of saying we're going to play a full-on D&D game Zoe and I are actually doing it.

With the release of the Animal Adventures lines from Steamforged Games along with some free published adventures on Steamforged's website we're almost ready to rock. 

Zoe has painted her first character.  I'm painting the baddies as well as the other 3 featured player character models in the first adventure.  I've also printed the module and am mounting the encounter maps on foam-core to use with miniatures once we get rolling.

First up I finally finished painting Cerysse the Cleric.


Cerysse was one of the miniatures from the first Dungeons & Doggies set that launched this universe.  I really liked this St Bernard model and I think one of the things about it that really appealed to me is that Cerysse wouldn't look out of place in a non-animal based game as a pack animal for a more conventional group of adventurers.

Zoe painted Cornelius the Wizard.


Cornelius is basically the poster-dog for the Dungeons & Doggies line and features prominently in a ton of the line's art.  Zoe seemed drawn to the cool hat and friendly face.

While we were getting some painting in Zoe also knocked out a wolf that we've had sitting around primed for a while.


Can't remember if this is a Reaper or WizKids model (it was already based and primed) but I'm sure it was part of a familiar pack.

I've got 2 more dogs to do as well as some villainous animal characters and then we're off to adventure!

-Jay

These models as well as the their villainous opponents and loyal friends are available from your Friendly Local Game Store.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Get out and support your friendly local game store

Hi all!

I'm going to climb back up on my soapbox but with what I hope is more positive, and frankly more of an ask.

As we face the current challenge of the day and many of us find ourselves self-isolating local small businesses are struggling as we all stay away from outside contact and the greater public at large.

Your individual health and safety should of course be your main priority but for those of you who are planning a hobby purchase to keep yourselves occupied can I ask for a small favour?  Please make your purchase from your friendly local game store.  Ordering online through a mass product provider is easy but your FLGS really counts on your business and provides you with a hub for your gaming community.  Not only do I REALLY appreciate my FLGS but I (like many of you) am really looking forward to what it will continue providing me with once everything goes back to normal.

I want to be crystal clear; I do not own, work in, or supply any game store, I am merely a grateful customer who wants to see our hobby community hubs come out the other side of our current struggles as strong and positive as they were before all this began.

And now without any further rambling on my part I would like to share a quick, unpaid, promo for MY Friendly Local Game Store.  And if you live anywhere in Canada they can be your Friendly Local Game Store too.  Please check out their website and if there's a purchase in your future please send it their way.

Strategies Games & Hobbies www.strategiesgames.ca in Vancouver has been serving the gaming needs of the greater Vancouver area with 5 star service and an excellent product selection for years.  They have some of the most knowledgeable and friendly staff I have encountered in my 35+ years in gaming.
In response to the current situation they are supplementing their business offering with expanded mail order service (many more items than listed on their website, call or email them for additional info), and curbside pickup for customers local to the Vancouver area.
I'm asking as a longtime friend, customer and supporter that you check them out.  I'll be amazed if after an interaction or two they don't become your first choice for your board/card/miniature/family gaming purchases.

Thanks all, and to anyone who follows me regularly I don't ask this frequently but please reshare this post wherever you can.

-Jay