Saturday, July 23, 2016

Batman Action Figure Repaint

Batman Original

Batman Repainted

So, I didn't end up hating the Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie as much as I expected.  Admittedly though, I've only seen the three hour extended cut, but that's a story for a different post.  This is about the DC Multiverse 6 inch Batman action figure from the film.  I picked up one of these for $10 and while the sculpt was fine, the colors seemed off.  Batman's costume was way too metallic and shiny, so of course I decided to repaint it.  I think that the results were fairly decent.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fiction Friday: Shadows of the Silent Sorcerer (Part 5 - The End)

At last we've reached the final installment of the story. For anyone new to this who would like to catch up before reading the entry, the rest of the story can be found at these links:

Shadows of the Silent Sorcerer
(Part 5)


John R. Lehman

There were many items, no doubt of great value to one who dealt in matters of the arcane, but to Kurach these things were little more than worthless junk.  Great piles of parchment were thrown aside and dozens of liquid filled vials were swept from the table to shatter upon the floor in his furious search for something of obvious value.  Finally, behind a stack of moldy leather-bound tomes, he spied something that quickened his heart.  It was box carved from ivory and edged in gold, no doubt worth a king’s ransom.  Greedily, Kurach seized the box.  His lusting eyes surveyed his newfound prize.  The box appeared to have been carved from a single piece of ivory.  Indeed the creature from whose tusk it was made must have been tremendous.  Around the outside of the box were intricately carved dancing figures, their bodies seeming to writhe with in the ivory.  The thought of the treasure that must lie within such a container made him mind reel.
As his fumbling fingers searched for the catch to open the box, a faint breeze disturbed the lamp flame behind him, causing the shadows in the room to jump and twist like the figures on the box.
Kurach looked up from his prize, but there was nothing there.  Only the wind and the night and the shadows
Returning to his work, he at last felt the hidden catch that sprang the lid of the box and his eyes were bathed in the gleam of the box’s contents, even as the room itself seemed to darken around him.  A grim smile creased his face once more.  The sorcerer was dead, and the treasure was his.  Now it was time for his other prize, the girl.
He snapped the box shut, preparing to leave.  It was then that he noticed that the rooms had indeed darkened.  The lamp still burned, but it’s glow seemed muted as if the shadows were squeezing the light from its flame.
The shadows.
Slowly, he turned to face the corpse of the sorcerer, his eyes searching for what his mind knew was not there.  In his haste and greed he had missed it.  The lamp that sat beside the corpse cast a stark shadow of the stool across the floor, yet the corpse that sat upon that stool cast no shadow at all.  Even to one as slow of wit as Kurach of Khelehm, the utter wrongness of the sight was apparent.
Kurach felt his blood freeze within his veins.  His hand went for the hilt of his blade but never reached it.  His mighty muscles were locked as if by iron bands.  He could not turn to see the upwelling blackness that formed behind him, but he could feel the numbing cold creep up his spine and around the back of his skull.  Cold grasping tentacles of darkness caressed his face, slowly probing gently, almost tenderly into his ears.  They whispered to him, those phantom tentacles, and mocked him.  
“Ahhh,” hissed an icy voice.  “So yet another has come seeking what, treasure, revenge?  Did you come slay me, or just to steal from me?  No matter I suppose.  I was far from my body, but my apprentice sent word to summoned me back.”  The voice paused.  “Look what you have done.  My body is now quite useless to me.  Ruined.  What a needless waste.  I shall need another of course.  Yours might be interesting to try and might be pleasing to my apprentice, but I think it can please her in other ways as well.  She has watched for you from afar for a long while Kurach of Khelehm.  Should she not be rewarded for her loyalty and diligence?”
Despite the cold night air, beads of sweat began to form on Kurach’s brow.  His muscles bulged, straining vainly against the implacable force which held him fast.
“Come,” intoned the voice.  “Come and claim your reward my dear.”
He could see the stairway and from it emerged the girl, now freed from her cage, if indeed she had ever truly been bound there.  She had cast aside her furs and was now quite naked.  The full curves of her body that had once fired Kurach’s blood now held nothing but horror for him.  She crossed the room slowly to stand before him.  One soft had raised and gently stroked his cheek.  Standing on her toes and leaning in she kissed him lightly and smiled.  
Kurach would have screamed if he could have, but he was beyond even that simple act.  His bowels released as the shadowy tendrils pierced his eye socket and slowly worked their way into his brain with blinding agony before death mercifully came, and he knew no more.
Along the cold mountain path an icy wind sprung up bringing with it a light snow.  The sun sank swiftly beyond the rim of the world splashing the sky with crimson fire.  The soft white snowflakes floated earthward pausing to swirl around four bleached skulls.  Four skeletons, lashed to poles stood as silent witnesses to the glory of the passing day, their empty eye sockets capturing the last rays of light before being lost in the lengthening shadows.   

(The End)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Revised Swords & Wizardry Armor Table (For more Conan-like armor)

So one of the issues that I've had with armor in D&D like games has been that I never felt it did a particularly good job of emulating the loincloth or battle harness wearing barbarians.  I like armor in my games to be more Hyborian Age and less Medieval Times.  Of course, I guess I could always just say that they are wearing leather armor, but I've always wanted something a bit different.  So I decided to put together a quick revised armor table.  My goal was to separate armor into 3 parts, Helmets, Gloves and Greaves, and Chest Armor, while still keeping the overall armor protections close so that it's not necessary to adjust the armor class of monsters as well.  Below is what I came up with.  Leather become a bit more powerful when worn with a Helmet and Gloves and Greaves, but this can be handled in the case of thieves by not allowing them to wear helmets but not Gloves and Greaves.  Like I said, I just whipped this together, and I'm sure that someone else has already done this (probably better), but I think that I'll give it a whirl and see how it works out.  If it works out, I'm planning to do the same thing for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

Armor TypeEffect on AC from a base of 9[10]Weight (pounds)Cost
Shield-1 [+1]1015g
Helmet-1 [+1]510g
Gauntlets and Greaves-1 [+1]510g
Battle Harness-1 [+1]55g
Leather Cuirass-2 [+2]1010g
Chain or Scale Hauberk-3 [+3]3065g
Steel Breastplate-4 [+4]4090g

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Weird Adventure Wednesday

This Week's Weird Adventure Idea:

On a bone chilling afternoon you are hailed by a crippled soldier who is resting near an icy lake.  The soldier discloses to you that 4 weeks hike to the south, across The Whispering Wastelands of the Deranged Magician is found The Monumental Menhir of Soul Rending.  Legends say that there is hidden The  Unnerving Book of the Sleepless Adventurer.  But beware, for the soldier tells you that The Degenerate Devourer of Corpses attacks any that dare approach!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Random Table Tuesday (d100 Castles)

For this week's we have a d100 Table of Castle Names (with a few fortresses and keeps thrown in for good measure).  The next time you're drawing a map and you find yourself stuck for a name or an idea for a Castle, try one of these.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Miniatures Monday - Works in Progress and Step-by-step links

Some miniatures in various states of completion

This week for Miniatures Monday, I thought that I would do something a bit different and show some works in progress.  The stage where a miniature is partially painted is one of the most challenging for me.  When the miniature is just being prepped, I generally have an idea in my mind about what it will look like.  Midway through painting though, I often find that nothing seems to look right.  I tend to lose a bit of my initial vision and start to worry that the miniature is going to look bad.  The key here is just to push on.  A few weeks ago, I had been working on a miniature for a friend of mine and had become convinced that the end result were going to be bad.  Nothing seemed to be going as planned, but then I got to the shading and highlighting stage and everything came together resulting in a pretty nice miniature.
For those of you who might be interested in my painting process, I'm including links to a step-by-step series on a Thrud the Barbarian miniature that I did back in 2012.  It takes you from preparation through sealing and shows how the miniature develops throughout the process.

Step 1: Preparation
Step 2: Assembly and Basing
Step 3: Priming
Step 4: Painting
Step 5: Shading
Step 6: Highlighting and Sealing

While my painting skills have improved since 2012, my painting process remains essentially unchanged.

Mutant Crawl Classics Kickstarter: Less Than 42 hours left

+Doug Kovacs Cover

There are less than 42 hour left in the KickStarter for Mutant Crawl Classics.  Just $40 gets you a hardcover edition with some fantastic +Doug Kovacs artwork plus 7 stretch goal adventure modules in PDF form.  There is also a print option for an additional $50 that will get you the stretch goals in printed form.  If you are a fan of games like Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha you owe it to yourself to at least take a look.  The clock is running!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stranger Things (Spoiler Free!)

So admittedly, I only started watching Stranger Things on Netflix because I had heard that the show opened with a scene of kids playing Dungeons & Dragons.  I intended to watch those first few minutes an be done with it because I'm always fascinated with how television and movies portray gaming sessions.  Well, I watched those first few minutes and then a few minutes more, and then I was hooked.  I ended up watching six of the eight 54 minute episodes yesterday, and I expect that I will watch the last two today.  I need to know how it ends.  The I will probably go back and re-watch it at a less frenzied pace.  I can't talk much about the plot without spoiling it, but it centers around the disappearance of one of the D&D players and the efforts of various people in the town to find him.  The missing boy's gaming buddies make up one of the groups that is searching for him, and it becomes somewhat of a real life D&D adventure for them making the show feel like kind of a cross between the Goonies and several Stephen King novels, particularly Firestarter and IT.  The show is set in Indiana in 1983 and there is a wealth of geekery to be seen beyond the story itself.  Gold boxes of old Grenadier miniatures, an old copy of the board game Dungeon!, the classic Kenner Millennium Falcon.  There are also a lot of great 80s songs in the soundtrack.  I recommend that anyone who has Netflix and enjoys gaming, the Goonies, Stephen King, or the 1980s give this show a look.  So, who else is watching, and what do you think?