Sunday, February 26, 2017

Miniatures Monday

This week, Miniatures Monday continues the theme of large humanoids with big bellies.  Here are a couple of photos of a rather angry looking Cyclops.  It's not a particularly large Cyclops, but that spiked club could really do some damage.  The figure is from Reaper Miniatures and is 02953: Cyclops.  You can get your own for only $5.99 U.S.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Miniatures Monday

Miniatures Monday returns with three photos of a Half-Ogre Adventurer.  I made some recent touchups to this guy, but overall I'm pretty happy with how he turned out.  On a figure of this size, eyes become even more important to the final result, so I'm glad that I fixed them on this guy.  The figure is from Reaper, 02966: Gorevane, Half Ogre Fighter, and it's still available at their online store for $8.99.  An interesting thing about this figure is that it came in two parts, but the second part was just the sword on his back, making the main figure a somewhat unusually large cast.
Fearsome From the Front

That's an interesting way to carry a sword...

I wouldn't want to get in his way.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Weird Adventure Wednesday


This week's weird adventure idea:

On a cloudy evening you are greeted by a swaggering but obese bravo in a busy tavern.  The bravo tells you that 7 days journey to the northeast, within The Profane Crater of Demented Sleep can be found The Forbidden Tentacle Tunnels of Eternal Slaughter.  It is reputed that there can be found The Skull-adorned Chaos Flute of Blood.  The bravo informs you that he knows of a buyer who will pay 7,500 gold coins for that enchanted item.  But beware, for the bravo warns you that The Enchanted Skull of Perversion is said to guard that place!

If you enjoy Weird Adventure Idea Wednesday, be sure to check out these other free resources:
1,001 More Weird and Wacky Adventure Ideas

The picture above was inspired by a photograph taken by a friend of mine in Switzerland.  The photo is far more impressive than my hand drawn version, but it doesn't have as many tentacles. :-)

R.I.P. Captain Apollo


Actor Richard Hatch, known for playing Captain Apollo on the 1970s science fiction television show Battlestar Galactica has died at the age of 71.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Miniatures Monday


This week, we have twin barbarians posing before looting an ancient temple.  I liked this miniature so much that I painted it twice.  The figure is from Reaper Miniatures and is #03216 Brom the Barbarian, and you can get one of your own for only $4.99!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Kickstarter: Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom 2 - Only 32 hours left!


So there are only around 32 hours left to get in on the second Kickstarter from Starhat Miniatures.  I backed the first Kickstarter and I can honestly say that I loved these miniatures by +Darcy Perry .  And who doesn't want a St. Andre Troll?  Also if it reaches $7000NZ, there is a Star Princess miniature...

Want to read a review of the first Kickstarter?  Then go here.

Want to read a review of 3 of the miniatures from the new Kickstarter?  Then go here.

Seriously, what are you waiting for? :-)


Monday, January 30, 2017

Miniatures Monday


A pair of Grenadier giants from the 1980s guarding a doorway.  I got these probably about five years apart, The Cyclops around 1980 and the hill giant around 1985.  The Cyclops was always one of my favorites.  I mean, who wouldn't like a guy who wears a loincloth and carries around a sack full of skulls to chuck at his enemies? :-). I had a little trouble with the photo focus on these.  I need to work on that.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

(Preview Review) Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom 2 Kickstarter



Want to know about what to expect from +Darcy Perry 's new Kickstarter Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom 2?  Well, we've got a hands on review with 3 of the miniatures!

On 15 January I finally got around to posting my review of the first Delvers Lost in the Dungeons of Doom Kickstarter.  Tow days later the second Kickstarter Launched!  Today, I received three preview miniatures in the mail to review.  So, I'm going to review these guys, but don't forget, if you like them get over to Kickstarter and pledge before the campaign ends!   

Full disclosure, these miniatures were provided to me to review free of charge.  I have no involvement in the Kickstarter, nor with Starhat Miniatures.  The opinions in this review are mine alone.  I'd also like to apologize for the quality of the photos, as I had a hard time getting the lighting right for photographing unpainted miniatures.  Now that we have all of that out of the way, let's get started!


Just like the previous releases, these miniatures are SOLID.  They have great heft in your hand and wonderful bases to prevent tipping.  This is what I've come to expect from Starhat Miniatures, so while it's not unexpected, it's something that I really appreciate.



The first miniature that we are going to look at is Vok Whightkicker.  He's a goblin mage with a toad familiar.  His staff is topped with a human skull, so don't mess around with Vok.  He's got some groovy feathers in his hat too for added style.  I really like the position of the toad, as it looks like he's whispering secrets to old Vok.  Let's turn him around and see the other side.



Here we see a belt pouch and a dagger with a skull pommel.  I'm a sucker for skulls.  We can also see the feather in Vok's cap a bit better.
Next up we have Ailgavart the Ensorceller.  


This guy looks like he may have started his career as an assassin, but turned to magic later.  His eyepatch is adorned with an image of an eye and perhaps it acts as a means of magical sight.  His staff is no mere conjurer's staff, but rather looks as if it could double as a small pole-axe topped with a magical orb.  The fingers of his left hand appear to be making the motions of a spell, or maybe it's a wizard gang sign.  "Wizards only, fools!"  Either way, it's awesome.


From the back, we can see that he's carrying a quiver of arrows and a short bow.  No doubt so that he can continue to rain damage upon his foes while his spells recharge.
And finally, we have Saetog the Sorcerer. 


Saetog's got a fireball in his right hand ready to fling at his foes, while in his left, he wields a pretty mean looking staff.  I haven't decided what's on top of the staff, but I'm thinking that it's got lenses in it for focusing various spells.  He's also got a scroll tube attached to his belt, where he no doubt keeps his backup spells.

To me, these miniatures have a wonderfully old school and whimsical feel to them, but with more modern sculpting.  I loved the old Grenadier gold box sets from the late 1970s because those miniatures evoked a sense of wonder in me, and that's the same sense that I get from these.  These aren't the boring same-old same-old, but rather represent one sculptor's unique vision.  They have tons of character about them and feel like great sculpts of the types of character you might have expected to see at an RPG table in the late 70s where somebody was playing a goblin wizard, just because it sounded cool!

As of today, there are still 7 days left in the Kickstarter, so I would really suggest heading over and taking a look!  I'm really looking forward to Kroag when this set ships.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Generating Ability Scores in B/X D&D, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, etc. (How I like to do it these days)


I've used many methods to generate ability scores in my games over the years.  We started, of course, with 3d6 in order, letting the fates decide what type of characters we would play.  We quickly moved to 3d6, arrange them as we wished, in order to give ourselves the ability to make character whose stats better matched the classes that we wanted to play.  We tried the approach of rolling up 6 characters apiece with 3d6 in order and then choosing the one that we liked the best.  Later, we moved on to 4d6 drop the lowest.  We even experimented with 2d6 + 6 in our real power gaming days.
These days though, I like to use a slightly different approach.  I have players roll up two characters with 3d6 in order, and then allow them to swap one score from one of the characters with any one score of the other character.  This allows them the opportunity to get the prime requite that they want for at least one of their characters, while still allowing fate to play a role.  The caveat here is that they must equip both characters, and choose one to be their starting character and the other to be their replacement character should the first die under unfortunate circumstances (as characters are wont to do at first level).

Example:

Character 1:

STR: 11
INT:   9
WIS:  9
DEX: 11
CON: 10
CHR:  17

Character 2:

STR: 10
INT:   8
WIS:  12
DEX: 11
CON: 14
CHR:  9

The 17 in the first character's charisma is a prime target for moving, so lets say that we swap that with the strength score of the second character, ending up with one character who would make a good fighter and another who would make a good torchbearer. :-)

Torchbearer:

STR: 11
INT:   9
WIS:  9
DEX: 11
CON: 10
CHR:  10

Fighter:

STR: 17
INT:   8
WIS:  12
DEX: 11
CON: 14
CHR:  9

I think that this presents an interesting dilemma for the player.  Do you go with your best character first, or do you test the dungeon with your lesser character, expecting him or her to die and allowing you to trade up?  We've had many instances where a player took their best character first and sadly wound up playing the other after the first encounter.  We've also had at least one instance where the player took an obviously inferior character as their first, and through incredible luck they ended up surviving and never getting around to using the character with better stats.
So what about everyone else?  Do you have a method of character generation that you prefer which you think is a bit off the wall but works for you?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Frazetta for the Win


Better late than never.  I finally got around to hanging my 2017 Frazetta calendar! :-)  I actually didn't realize that they'd started doing these again.  Twelve months of Frazetta!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Miniatures Monday


Well, Miniatures Monday is a bit later than usual today, but that's because I only just finished this one last night and didn't have time to photograph it.  The miniature is Thrud the Barbarian for those who aren't familiar with Carl Critchlow's work.  This figure came from the Carl Critchlow special set for Zombicide Black Plague.  I really like the sculpt, but am sad that it's plastic rather than metal.  Speaking of metal, long time followers may recall that this isn't the first Thrud minature that I've painted.  Way back when (2012), I did a step by step series on painting one of the old U.K. metal versions.  You can see the result of that endeavor in the final post of that series here.  I think that this one turned out a bit better than the first, but I had a bit of trouble getting the lighting right.  :-)

If you like the miniature, you can get your own from Amazon here.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Robert E. Howard at 111


On this day, in 1906, Robert E. Howard, arguably the father of sword and sorcery fiction, was born in Peaster Texas.  It still amazes me that even though he died at the age of 30, he had such a profound effect on the fantasy genre, and on roleplaying games.  I drink a toast to his shade and to the dream of what he might have accomplished had he lived longer.  May the fame that eluded him in life follow him into the next, and may all of those slain by the bloody hand of Conan stand as his honor guard in hell.