Thursday, September 22, 2016

Frostgrave Frost Giants part 2

I'm almost finished with my giants. Good timing too, since they're going to be on the table on Saturday.

At this point they really just need a tiny bit of detailing (sword hilts, teeth/bone decorations, and ties/straps) and they're done! 

Part 1 here

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Black Libram of Nartarus

The Black Libram of Nartarus is a DM's supplement for Castles and Crusades focusing on the dark art of necromancy.

Structurally this 35 page softcover is divided into 5 sections. The first is 2 pages long, and discusses the necromancer as a quasi-class. It's an interesting mechanical feature where to gain necromatic powers on top of whatever spell casting class powers you'd normally get, you spent XP. Why it isn't an additional XP cost to each level? Maybe so you aren't locked into it at every level? It's as clear as mud, which they literally point out...

There are also 3 additional powers that aren't locked by level to gain a bonus on saves vs undead, the ability to control undead (clerics only), and the chance to necrotize their flesh for an AC boost. All 3 powers, and upper level spell casting levels, come with charisma/reaction penalties.

The second chapter is spells. These spells are alphabetical, ranging in levels from 1 to 9. And then there are 2 more selections of spells from 2 specific spell books. Each of these are also listed alphabetically, but separate from the others. I really don't know why all the spells weren't put into one big list, and then the specific spell books listing out the spells they contain. Or even having the spells marked to show which books they're included in.

There's no index of spells by level. Also the 4th spell is missing it's name and level.

Sacrificial magics are covered in the third chapter, which takes up all of a single page. Nifty way to boost a spell caster's power by killing people or animals. There's also a bit about willing sacrifices, and a mention of innocent sacrifices, but those aren't covered. A reprint of the cover image takes up about a third of the page, and examples another third, so this is a pretty thin chapter.

New magic items are detailed in the fourth chapter, which is slightly longer than the third, and contains 9 new magic items. Nothing particularly noteworthy here.

The final chapter covers artifacts and relics. Actually, it only covers one, the titular Black Libram of Nartarus. As an example of a powerful book of necromancy, it works, and probably deserves the page it gets. As to whether it deserves it's own "chapter" is another question entirely.

Chapter 6 is monsters, and aside from the spells, this is the longest chapter in the book. Not hard to do, since the previous 3 chapters were about a page each.

Wait... weren't there only 5 chapters? Well, that's what we were told in the introduction... yet, here were are at 6. This chapter proves some aquatic versions of some standard undead, shadow animals, and a few old standbys like barrow wights, crypt things, and demilich. I do rather like the goat and the red jester though. Bright spots in an otherwise uninspiring and amateurish book.

As for the art... The poor cover image is repeated inside as I said before. What I didn't mention, is that it's used TWICE inside the book. The image on the back cover is also repeated in the book. There are 21 other images, mostly monsters. None of them are particularly noteworthy, and give the impression of having been chosen from either prior works or from a collection of fantasy art off of RPG Now. Of the 6 women depicted, all are in some sort of bra/halter top, and 3 are victims, 2 are monster (including a floating vampire thing biting into some adventurer's belly armor?) and one is some sort of spell caster.

This book has issues. Beyond the incredibly poor editing, bland at best artwork choices it's also a specifically NPC-centric class book. It doesn't outright proscribe their use by PCs, but...but I really don't get the point. And if you're going to do it anyway, at least do it well, and The Black Libram of Nartarus just fails all around.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Terrain: Library Bookshelves

My first attempt at bookshelves for the library scenario looked like this.

Not even done, and I can see it's not a great plan... It'll be a lot of work to make it look okay.

It needed to be simpler. So back to it. I have lots of these bits cut out...

Add a little hot glue...

And a spot of paint...

Not bad... a little unstable, and maybe too tall? Either way, they need something, so after a trip to the hardware store for some washers, I have this:

I need to put some paint on the washers, but they're much more stable now. I offset the washers so that the bookshelves could be placed back to back, making a spot wide enough for a mini to easily stand on. I'll need to trim the bottoms a little bit to make that actually work, but...

I think this is going to work!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reaper's BaseBoss!!

Reaper minis is at it again with another kickstarter! Don't worry, it isn't for a metric shit ton of Bones minis... this time it's for a metric shit ton of bases!

And, because reaper is awesome, they're doing a contest where they're giving away A Massive F**k Ton Of Round & Oval Bases to 10 winners! It's insanely easy to enter too...

What Can I Do With All Of My Bases?

Man, we can't think of everything but if you have an idea, email it to Here are just a few things you could do with all of your bases

Tile your bathroom
Bring back Pog
Play base Blind Man's Bluff
Use them as poker chips
Cover your neighbors car with them
Mount the most awesome figure you have ever painted on the most incredible base ever produced
Make an engagement ring and get married
Create assorted jewelry and hit a game con
Build a road
Fill your friends swimming pool
Trade them with friends
Perfect gift for that favorite mother-in-law
Anyway, you get the idea and all we need is your support!!

This was one of my entries:

Adding a little base to some overly acidic coffee.

So go! Pledge! Enter!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

7th Blogiversary

7 years... Who'd have thought it? I certainly didn't when I started writing. And given the number of blogs I've seen come and go over that time, I'm beating the odds.

So what does 7 years look like?
1733 posts
1,049,890 page views (at the time of writing)

All in all not bad...

What's to come? Who knows. With everything that happens in life, I'm trying to give up on making predictions. I'm bad at them. However, I still have lots of terrain to finish, a mountain of miniatures to paint, and my ongoing Stonehell game, so I don't think I'll be lacking content.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Terrain: Grand Temple

So those stairs I was working on? They're for this!

But you've seen that already...

I decided it needed something more. So the other night I pulled out my foam core and knife and cut to cutting...

Here you can see the stairs where they were designed to be used.

I'm undecided what minis will go up there are statues, but my frostgrave buddies are gonna bring a bunch of minis of different scales so we can try to replicate the forced perspective that the ancients pulled off so well.

I also need to figure out what I'm gonna do for the rest of the temple. Maybe a ruined version for the other side?

And since I haven't done an update in a while:
Square Mausoleum Building, 6" per side with a door in each wall. - DONE
Ruined Wizards Tower - Brainstorming
Side buildings allowing access to the upper wizards tower. - Brainstorming
6 Statues - DONE
12" square ruin. - In progress
Haunted Houses - Six small stone monks huts with no roof. - DONE
A Well or Fountain. - I have an idea...
Four 2" diameter discs to act as teleport points. - Ready to paint
6 Columns or ruined columns. - DONE
Underground Library - Prototype stage
Plus enough scatter terrain to cover the board - In progress

It's taking a while, but it's coming along!