Sunday, 23 November 2014

A new cleric in an old style

Tonight I got to try Dungeon Crawl Classics (the game system, not the OGL modules) for the first time and I have to say I was super impressed.

To be perfectly honest I'm not generally a big fan of "retro" game systems because along with the nostalgia I can remember all the headaches with old school game mechanics.  But having said that Dungeon Crawl Classics does a great job of using a current modern framework for their game but just dropping a lot of extraneous nonsense that bogs the game down.

For tonight's game I was playing a cleric and I had the perfect figure from Otherworld miniatures to fit the mood of the game.  The figure has a retro aesthetic but is sculpted and cast to the standards we expect from our miniatures today.

Zenithar had a very bi-polar night.  He made a few important rolls and came through on a couple of big occasions for the party but he also bombed quite a few easy checks and had severely incurred the displeasure of his Deity before the session was over.

Lots of fun and I think I'd really like to play again!


Zoe's World - Medusa

Zoe's back with another superheroine.

This is a great figure for her because it looks like it could be all kinds of different things; a sneaky ninja, a spider-girl type, or someone just starting to fly.  We've  got one more figure to paint and then Zoe will be ready for her first game of Supersystem!

This is another re-purposed Heroclix model.  At the time I got this figure she probably would have been considered a B-lister that I could count on people not to recognise but with the direction the Marvel Universe is going in she is now a fairly prominent character; Medusa Queen Of The Inhumans.  The funny thing is without knowing who the character was Zoe ended up almost painting her in Medusa's actual colour scheme.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

An Owlbear for all seasons

As I mentioned the last time I painted an Owlbear miniature; I really like Owlbear miniatures.  It's one of those classic D&D monsters I feel like I could always paint another one of but it seems unlikely I'd ever need a bunch of them for an encounter.

Painting my Ice Gamin (and another fig still on my painting table) got me thinking about doing a few more winter themed models for fantasy gaming in general.  So thinking along those lines I decided to paint a Polar Owlbear.

This is another Reaper Bones model and I have to say in this case the Bones material held a high level of detail and was super easy to paint.  My only complaint about the model, and this would also be true of the original pewter version, is that I really don't like the pose.  It's very dynamic which is good but something about the way it's posed makes me frequently confuse which limbs are which.

I figure there are Snowy Owls and Polar Bears so why not a winter take on the classic Owlbear?


Friday, 21 November 2014

Thatchertown - The Campaign Begins!

I'll be kicking off both my first D&D Next game and taking my first stab at actually running a game on in just a couple of weeks now.

I'm planning on using this game (and another I'm running) to create and develop a campaign area that can be dropped into any (hopefully any) fantasy RPG world.  Eventually all of this information will be collected together into a PDF but I thought I'd put the first piece of setting information up here and see what everyone thinks of it.


                        Thatchertown – The adventure begins!

Thatchertown is a small settlement set deep into a nameless valley in the north lands.  The town of approximately 4500 is divided into quarters, it is bisected north-south by the old trade road and west-east by the ‘Five Points River’ which feeds into an underground lake located somewhere in the nearby mountain range.
The town was originally founded 15 years ago by Niles Thatcher and ‘The Company Of The Star’ upon their retirement from full-time adventuring.
The culture of the town is routed heavily in trade and barter is accepted as readily as coin for most purchases.  The average home in Thatchertown is two-storeys frequently with the ground floor functioning as some sort of business endeavour while the family living in the house lives on the second floor.
Thatchertown is very much a frontier town without any formal ties to nearby law and order and the domain in which it lies may or may not even be aware of it’s presence.  The town is none the less policed by a private militia in the employ of Niles Thatcher, who nominally report to the mayor of the town.
Upon first arrival in town there are three locations most adventurers will take immediate note of:
The Nightstar
The Nightstar is the local Inn and Public House.  It is owned and operated by Red Sheila the daughter of former Company Of The Star member Philos The Red.  The Nightstar is a three storey structure with the ground-floor being a tap-room/common area, the second floor houses 12 rooms for rent, and the third floor is the offices and private quarters of Red Sheila herself.
Chapel Of The Ancient Oak
The Chapel Of The Ancient Oak is less a proper name and more a description of the centre of all religious activity in town.  Elias Greenleaf (another member of the Company Of The Star) runs open religious services for all who wish to attend in the hollow yet somehow still living trunk of an impossibly ancient oak.   Elias is a Druid by profession but offers services and healing to all regardless of religious denomination.
The Longhouse

In the centre of town sits on of the town’s few one-storey buildings; The Longhouse.  The Longhouse is a massive building which serves as a combination town-hall/courthouse/mayor’s residence.  The current mayor of Thatchertown is Logar Whiteplume.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Is it snowing yet?

Back in the day when I first started playing D&D and reading Fighting Fantasy novels one of the things I really enjoyed was the 'newness' of the monsters.  Although there were orcs and goblins and skeletons and so forth it seemed like every adventure there would be a new creature I'd never heard of that really helped fire the imagination.  As I get set for D&D Next I wanted to add in some creatures that my players won't feel like they've already seen a thousand times.

For our first adventure I wanted some cold weather themed baddies and the Rasputina crew for Malifaux had some models that fit the bill.

These are the Ice Gamin.  Basically artificial magical ice constructs in Malifaux, they will be getting some re-purposing and a slightly new background for our D&D game.  I'm looking forward to listing the rules I'm creating for these after my players have played their way through the encounter.

I also decided to paint the Ice Golem while I was at it (similar colour scheme) so I have it when I circle back to Malifaux but I have no intention of it appearing in a D&D game.

Next up; a little background on the area our campaign will be kicking off in!


Friday, 14 November 2014

Zoe's World - Beastborg

Zoe stayed home from school today and had to be off her feet so she had a chance to wrap up another painting project.

Zoe decided to paint the Reaper Bones robo-gorilla (sorry, I don't know the actual name).  Originally she was intending for this to be her first painting contest entry but she lost the painting bug before the contest and didn't really get it back until today.

"Beastborg" was one of those great examples of when someone tells you they have a plan and even though you can't see it while it's taking shape it turns out EXACTLY the way the hobbyist intended when it's all done.  While at a local comic store Zoe spotted GWs Moot Green paint and asked me if we could buy it for her gorilla, obviously we started off by discussing the fact that gorillas aren't green, then I mentioned that I already have 10-15 other shades of green but she was really insistent that she wanted this particular green for her gorilla.
Lately Zoe and I have been watching the Teen Titans animated series together and when she started painting Beastborg she asked me if I thought the green she picked was a good match for Beastboy's skin colour on the show.  As soon as she asked me that I realised she knew exactly what she wanted to do over 2 months ago when we first saw that paint in the shop.

Also, as per the artist's request please find below "The Zoe Collection" as it sits so far this year.

Wish I was as on-top of my creative process as she is......


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Strange Aeons: Threshold vs Serpent-Men!

My painting has been pretty varied over the past year but over the last couple of months the only game I have played with any consistency is Strange Aeons.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game Strange Aeons is basically a Cthulhu skirmish miniatures game where one player controls, grows an develops a team of investigators known as Threshold Agents, the other player plays an ever changing roster of monsters and horrors from beyond time and space.

For today's game my team of Threshold Agents was raiding a tomb wherein a cult of Serpent-men were holding a dark ritual and concealing an ancient spellbook.

My team snuck up to the inner chamber of the crypt and with a few lucky rolls were able to almost immediately neutralise the high-priest of the serpent-men.

Everything seemed to be going my way until reinforcements began pouring in.  A surprise attack took out Diana Skully before she even realised what was happening as she was struck down by a magical bolt from one of the newly arrived cultists.  Nigel Bottomtooth was next to fall to a Serpent-man in close combat.  The agents intrepid leader Rick O'Connell held out on his own for two more turns and even took out another Serpent-man on his own before the weakness brought on by serpent poison made him easy prey for a final attack.

The Threshold Agents will return to fight another day!


Monday, 10 November 2014

Something sinister in a small package

Today's figure is from the Reaper Bones line and it will be one of the baddies in my upcoming D&D Next game.

For such a small figure it really has a lot going on and that's one of the things that really drew me to it.  For starters the figure is a bit on the small side, about the same size as a Reaper Halfling or Gnome.  In addition the figure clearly has fleshy hands but either has a skull-face or is wearing some sort of skull-mask.  Finally the robe lends it a somewhat cultish or mystical look.  All-in-all a really characterful figure that should make a great encounter in my upcoming game.

I'll be running this game on so I'm hoping once the adventure has concluded I can share all the resources used (stats, maps, images, etc) here in case any of the rest of you find them useful.

Off to paint some more figs!


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cry Havoc and let slip the Raccoon of war!

I'll be devoting myself full-stop to producing miniatures for a D&D Next game I'll be running in December but before I kick that off I wanted to show off  a Heroclix re-paint that I'm not sure I really need for anything but I'm still incredibly excited to have...Rocket Raccoon!

I enjoyed a few movies that came out this year but Guardians Of The Galaxy stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Great action, great comedy and memorable characters.  I wanted to get the full team to actually play Heroclix with, and I have (minus Groot...not a single Groot model in all my packs) and I lucked into a few extras that will be great for other gaming as well.

Rocket is great to have because in addition to superhero gaming he should also work well when I circle back around to Gamma World early next year.

Starting tomorrow....back to where it all started for me 30 years ago....Dungeons & Dragons!