Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Inspirational Image: 3D Printed Armor

Cosplay armor has usually been either incredibly expensive, bulky, and/or unconvincing to the barest of scrutiny, but advances in 3D printing have made some amazing things possible!

This is the way that I imagine that magical armors would look.

Friday, April 21, 2017

What to bring?

I'm getting ready to make a big move to a smaller space, from my nice colonial house into a small city apartment. This means that a lot of stuff is getting sorted through and packed up/recycled/junked/given away... It's never an easy process, especially after you've been in one location for nearly a decade.

A big part of this process has been dealing with my gaming stuff, both the minis and the RPGs. Since I can't bring everything, I’ve had to go through everything. This took a lot of time and effort that I felt like I could have spent doing more productive things, like actually packing, but it was unfortunately a necessary step to actually be able to pack the things I wanted to pack.



Given the limited space, I had to be fairly brutal about what I was bringing, so if I haven’t even thought about touching it in the last year or so, I didn’t even consider bringing it. For example, the 40K and Warhammer Fantasy stuff. None of the Star Trek models I’ve gotten over the last couple of years to go with the giant DS9 model I’ve had for about as long as I’ve had the house and still haven’t built. Then there’s the terrain… Even the stuff I’ve built recently takes up a lot of space, so it’s staying too. Same for the Hirst Arts stuff. Not only is it space intensive, it’s also messy. I’m also leaving behind my bin of prepainted minis since I’d rather have minis I painted myself, and my big glass display case.

What I am bringing with me is my Bones minis, all the minis I’ve painted up for Frostgrave, a selection of assorted random fantasy and sci-fi (both painted and not). I’m also bringing a box of bases and basing material, and of course paint. Lots of paint, really, and the tools that go with it. I’ll be adding to that the Bones 3 shipment, due any time now, and the Base Boss kickstarter, also due anytime now… Honestly, I could probably bring half these minis and not run out of things to paint for a couple of years. This just gives me a lot of options.

As far as my RPG collection goes, the shelves of printed out PDFs in binders all neatly organized have all been tossed into the recycling bin. It just doesn’t seem worth it to pack them up. All my 2e, 3.x, 4E books are packed up, along with all the Alternity, Star Trek, and most of the Star Wars RPG books. All boxed sets are packed up too.

Picking what to bring was a little easier. The Rules Cyclopedia was a must, as were the DCC core book, and the 5e core books. I also decided to bring the WEG Star Wars core book. It’s a great system! I also decided to bring Tales from the Floating Vagabond and Starships and Spacemen 2e. As I’m giving myself a paper box worth of space, I had some room to play, so Creature Companion and Stonehell were easy picks, as were A Red and Pleasant Land, Vornheim, Lusus Naturae, Petty Gods, World of the Lost, Slumbering Ursine Dunes, The Doom-Cave of the Crystal Headed Children, and SLUGS! I’m also bringing a stack of DCC adventure modules.

It’s an impressive stack that fits shockingly well into a relatively small space. And even with all that in the box, there’s still room for my Frostgrave books and Rogue Stars, not to mention my dice and tape measures and stuff.

All in all, I’m finding the experience to be only a little painful. We’ll see how I’m feeling once I’m actually moved! But I think it’ll be fine. I will certainly not be lacking for games to play or minis to paint! Now I just need to find some regular gamers to game with!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ill Met in Lankhmar

After picking up and reviewing Through Ningauble's Cave, the first DCC sourcebook for Lankhmar, I decided that I really needed to actually read some of Fritz Leiber's tales, and as I owned Ill Met in Lankhmar, I did. And it was good stuff!

Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar series established the sword-swinging, maiden-rescuing, chivalrous, high adventure that has been the mainstay of the fantasy genre ever since. White Wolf presents the entire seven-novelette Lankhmar series in four volumes.The two greatest heroes ever are back, proving why Fritz Leiber is a literary legend. Join Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser as they take you on unforgettable adventures. Includes Swords and Deviltry and Swords Against Death.

Now it's been over a year since I actually finished reading this volume, but what really sticks with me are the characters of Fafhrd, the Grey Mouser, and Lankhmar. All three are amazingly familiar to me, in large part because they are such archetypes that have been copied and tweaked over the decades since Leiber coined the term "Sword and Sorcery." Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are vibrant characters full of skill, luck, and flaws, and astonishingly human. They make stupid choices, keep secrets, and have each others' backs all while adventuring their was in and around Lankhmar itself.

And speaking of Lankhmar itself, what a city! Sprawling, congested, twisting streets barely concealing the crime and corruption that infests it. It's either insanely decadent and crushingly poor, depending on what section of the city you're in. The streets are evocatively (and usually aptly) named, and the locations are straight out of a D&D game. One story, The Bazaar of the Bizarre features a marketplace that feels like it was inspired by the poem Goblin Market and served as the template for the troll market in Hellboy 2!

At the same time, because this is one of the cornerstones of modern fantasy, it sometimes feels overly familiar. Yet reading the original prose is most definitely worth it. Of course what brings me back to it now is the fact that Goodman Games is running a kickstarter for the big release of the Lankhmar box set for DCC. Might be worth checking out if you're a fan of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Stonehell: Blood, Bad Gas, and Lizards

Session 32 was played on 4/7.

Wilhelm, drunk Dwarf 5 (Julia)
-Helmut, war dog
-Xerxes, Human Fighter 2 (Henchman)
-Yolanda, Human Fighter 2 (Henchman)
Orphious, Human Fighter 1 (Henchman)
-3 torch bearers (Z, A.A.Ron, JJ)
-6 men at arms (U, CC, DD, EE, FF, GG, HH, Aye-Aye)
Eiric, wizard 2 (Kat)
Bisimwa, Human Fighter 1 (Jordan)
Prior Varial (NPC)

Stayed in town
Leroy, human fighter 3 (Mike)
Unnamed, Elf 1 (Nicole)
Sarin the Ugly, Human Fighter 2 (Josh)
Menchi, Human Cleric 1 (Laural)
Karlaih, Human Thief 5 (Mollie)
Tink, a pretentious Elf (but I repeat myself) and former barkeep (Hanna)
Shelly, a vegetarian recovering alcoholic halfling Thief 3 (Nadia)
Frank, halfling 1 (Emily)
Yaqen, elf 1 (Shaun)

Over drinks, Wilhelm discussed what to do next with his friends; either returning again to Stonehll, or following up on what was going on at the jewelers. Eventually it was decided that hitting the jewelers would wait till they had someone a little more experienced with the more subtle ways of B&E, so off to the city square to recruit some more meatshields. FF, GG,HH the Dwarf, Aye-Aye the Elf, and JJ the torch bearer joined up for the usual forking over of gold.

Once in the dungeon, they headed right for Rocky, but spied a group of Ghost Beggars coming out of Rocky’s room. They backed carefully away from the party avoiding a confrontation. They then entered the Quiet Halls and moved directly south toward the Kobold Korners. The way is barred however… literally. And chained.

Wilhelm borrowed Orpheus’ magic hammer and smashed the lock. It was loud, and as they moved along to the next room, the barracks of kobolds were ready for something… but not the party. While they weren’t happy to have something come in through the back door, that it was Wilhelm and crew did relax them some. Not enough to let them pass, however. One ran off to get… Trustee Sniv? Reinforcements? Who knows, as the party turned around and reentered the Quiet Halls.

Taking the stairs just before the entrance to the Kobold Korners, the party descended to the second level of Stonehell. With a variety of options, they picked a corridor at random and came upon a low stone plinth with the shattered remains of a stone snake on it’s flat surface. This tickled something at the back of Wilhelm's memory, and he flipped through his various maps, and realized how close they were to the elevator! Opting to fill in the map, they headed back to the stairs, and then down a different hall.

The hall split and the party continued to the right, which opened into a large chamber with a chain hanging from the ceiling. A fairly fresh leg of a humanoid dangled from a hook on the end of the chain. Wilhelm noticed the pit trap under the meat right away, and safely triggered it. The glistening spikes were the only thing in the pit

With no other apparent exits, the party returned to the split, and went down the left hand path. This slightly smaller room had a large wooden table running down it’s length covered in gold and silver coins. It was quickly discovered that they were glued to the table. As the party debated what to do, there was a yell from the rear of the group still in the hallway! 4 big lizards had decided that the party was worth snacking on! With most of the heavy hitters in the room, it fell to Yolanda to rally the henchman, but it was a bloody fight. U and CC were dropped by the lizards almost instantly. Orpheus smashes one of the drakes in the skull with a well placed crit with his magic hammer, but FF ends up in the jaws of another, desperately trying not to be swallowed. Wilhelm starts pushing his way forward, but it’s almost 4 rounds before he arrives, and none too soon, as the hirelings were taking heavy damage. In the end FF was beyond recovery, and CC lost her arm at the elbow. 2 of the lizards were skinned.

Resting for a minute, Wilhelm assigned a few hirelings to work to get the coins off the table, while the rest of the party continued on. The short hall off the table room Eiric found a slicing blade trap, which was easily disabled. Beyond was a large room with 4 big toads happily eating away at the fist sized beetles covering the ceiling. Wilhelm decided that they’d be easy picking, and the party attacked! Unfortunately for them, the toads, and their long tongues were hardier than expected, and poisonous! Aye-Aye and DD both were poisoned, and badly hurt. DD’s arm was shattered, and Aye-Aye had some suspected internal bleeding.

Since the party was down 2, with 3 others injured, Wilhelm sent them back to town with a fat purse.

Of the 2 exits from the room, one had a spike with a skull on it blocking the way. The skull had some carving on it, but no one could read it. The other passage turned after a relatively short distance offering 2 different doors. The closest was checked and no traps were found, and no one responded to the knocking. The door was a little stiff, but Wilhelm shoved it open, and a great gust of noxious air blew out. Taking the brunt of it, Wilhelm keeled over, along with GG, Z, A-A-Ron, Xerxes, Orpheus, the Prior, and Helmut. Everyone else coughed and gagged at the smell, but didn’t pass out.

Checking over those unconscious, Wilhelm, Xerxes, the Prior, A-A-Ron, and Helmut all suffered from respiratory arrest and never regained consciousness!

The remaining party all turned to Eiric for direction. She looked back at them and said “I didn’t ask for this!” No one cared. She ordered the bodies looted, and then they ran for it! Luckily the only thing they encountered on the way out was a great bloody smear and Aye-Aye’s lifeless head and shredded neck stump.

Gains: 300gp
Kills: 4 giant toads, 4 draco lizards
Losses: 100gp, Wilhelm, Xerxes, Prior Varial, A-A-Ron, Helmut, DD, CC, Aye-Aye, FF, and U