Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dain DeepAxe

When my fellow Dwarf player in my 5e game saw Fulhoff, he was super impressed, which was nice. And I offered to slap some paint in the mini he'd picked, Dain Deepaxe. Now, like Ivar, this is a quick and dirty tabletop standard paint job.

After washing trimming the base, and using my Happy Seppuku base stamp (I really do love this thing) I base coated with Brown Liner.

And started with the eyes. They're the same green as Fulhoff's. Green, for greed...

Warrior flesh for the skin, and Auburn shadow for the beard and horns.

Muddy Olive for the pack.

Oceanic Blue for the cloth, Armor for the chainmail, helmet, shield, and axe.

He really looks like a prepaint here... terrible... The Sepia Wash doesn't help the look either.

Combination of browns for the various leather things, including Rich Leather, Ruddy Flesh, Tanned Leather, Dragon Red, and even a bit of Heraldic Red for the extreme highlights.

The horns went from brown up through Desert Stone, to Bone, to Linen White. I'm pleased with the effect, even though it took a lot of layers.

The Gold was originally done with New Gold, but it looked wrong, so I went back over it with Dragon Copper, and then gave bits of it a glaze of Armor Wash.

The shield was done with a blend of Armor and Armor Wash for the back. I wanted it to look a very dark metallic. The Copper and Gold pattern was carefully picked out with combination of dry brushing and very careful edging.

And here are the cousins together!

Total Minis Painted This Year: 23

Monday, March 19, 2018

Countdown to Infinity War: Avengers Age of Ultron

As much as getting the Avengers together to showcase really big fun fight scenes is, and it is, what really works is the time spent between those explosions. And much like GotG v.2, the fault lines in their friendships are exposed, and then widened by the Scarlet Witch.

While you don’t have Loki kicking around giving sly smiles, you instead get James Spader hamming it up as Ultron, the evil robot created by Tony and Bruce as they tapped into Loki’s scepter. I really enjoyed him and Paul Bettany going back and forth.

But while Ultron was the bad guy in the movie, the conflict really stems from Tony Stark’s willingness to push buttons and just act without checking in with the rest of the team, while Steve has a moral streak a mile wide, and as the team leader expects to be checked in with before anyone does anything crazy… like let a homicidal AI loose on the world. Or abduct the homicidal AI’s next generation creation, and upload your personal AI assistant into it… Little things like that.

Fun twists and turns!
Natasha (aka Black Widow) has her turn with Bruce in this movie. It’s interesting how she, the consummate spy, morphs the most depending on who she’s with in any given movie, and while Banner might not trust himself with her, I’m not sure that of the two he’s trusting the right person. And I have to admit, I kind of hate that fact. It’s right for the character, but…

Hawkeye, though, he gets to pull the biggest shocker. He’s married… with kids! And brings the team to his farmhouse after they fumble in dealing with Ultron. Seeing the team deal with this surprise was a whole lot of fun. Thor pushing the broken Legos under the chair, Cap chopping wood (cause he needs to be useful), Tony fixing the tractor, and then Fury showing up to rally the troops.

And while Fury is the dad/coach figure of the movie, Hawkeye gets to be the older brother for the new members of the team… and point out the insanity of it all "The city is flying ... we're fighting an army of robots ... and I have a bow and arrow," he says. "None of this makes sense."

And for the end credit scene? Thanos, who we’ll be seeing more of soon…

Next Up: Ant-Man

Friday, March 16, 2018

DCC: Chaos Rising

I'm pretty sure I got this as one of my kickstarter rewards for the DCC 4th Printing... but however this fell tome came to me, it's contains horrors in abundance. Even more than Goodman Games usually packs into one of their releases. In this case, they pulled it off by cramming 5 different adventures into 56 pages. Now, these aren't new adventures, so you've probably seen one or two before, but unless you're a compulsive collector of DCC material, you probably haven't seen them all!

Here's what's included, with a brief description of each.

Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box - Level 1
This adventure is much more of a resource management adventure than you usually get with DCC where much of the adventure is simply getting down to the bottom of a pit and back out again. And the resource? Your blood! What? Did you expect it to be something else? It's literally in the title of the adventure. Come on now.

The Imperishable Sorceress - Level 1
This is an adventure that you can either build up toward, or just drop into a campaign. Crazy old dead sorceress wants to live again in her construct body, but needs the PCs to make it happen. Will she fool them, or will they take her body and treasure?

Glipkerio’s Gambit - Level 2
An adventure in reverse, though the PCs probably aren't going to figure that out right away. It's an inventive way to pull time travel into the game, and also the battle tracker makes actually running it possible.

The Tower Out of Time - Level 2
Arrival of the dino-wizard from the past! Interesting traps and tricks, along with some potentially difficult battles. Love the Behind the Scenes notes in this one. With that was a standard inclusion.

The Jeweler That Dealt in Stardust - Level 3
Here's something you don't often see: heist adventures for D&D/DCC! Add in some fun extradimensional spider things and dangerous magic items, and this is a real winner of an adventure.

The Undulating Corruption - Level 5
Magic is wild, dangerous, and will eventually mess you up real good. But what if there was a way to fix it... what if that way was a A GIANT WORM that's going to eat a city?

The Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Level 5
You know what DCC does really well? It sets up a trap that unwarry PCs will gleefully jump right into. And this little 3 room dungeon is just that sort of trap.

What's Missing?
I wish there was a little discussion about why these 5 adventures in particular were chosen, and where they were all originally published. Aside from that, this is absolutely worth the price for all of the wonderful monsters, tricks, traps, and treasures that may... or may not be safe to claim.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

5e: Crazy Old Giants...

From: Fulhoff of Clan Balderk
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother & Father,

Morok is unconvinced that the goblins need to be dealt with, and the tiefling Journey found out that there may yet be another giant lurking near the city. A "friendly" giant. You can imagine my skepticism, but Thorin was ready to ride... RIDE off to meet it. I kept my feet firmly on the ground where they belong. Also, the tree-hugging elf thought he saw a dragon.

Unfortunately Journey's information was correct. There was a giant nearby, in a tower on a cloud. He even lowered a cloud stair for us to climb up to him. Remember what I said about keeping my feet on the ground? The rest of the party ignored my repeated warnings about giants, and decided to meet with this friendly one. While I'm sure there would have been little I could have done to deal with him personally, I might have been able to save one or two of them if things turned ugly... so up I went.

The giant's tower was like something out of a human child's story, complete with a hat on it. The giant Zathros Zethras was... about as silly. Apparently studying the arcane arts broke his mind... Yes, yes, I know you warned me many times about meddling in realms of knowledge that we dwarves are unsuited for but I hope you will not use an addled giant as one of your arguments!

He spoke of... many things, only some of which was comprehensible. A prophecy, or two, one of which involves us. He knew Thorin's name... and called me the "other one." He also got the humans mixed up, and didn't expect the goblin. Yes, Persy the halfling is still insisting we drag along that goblin. Makes me question his oracular skills...

Zathros also showed us some runes, which I've copied down here.

I skipped giant, and focused on Draconic, so I'm relying on the translations from both the party and the giant.

He also spoke about the breaking of the ordering of giants, the death of their queen, and the loss of their king. How does one lose a giant? One faction is out to try to rebuild the old giant empire of old and is collecting old artifacts to legitimize their acts.

While all absolutely fascinating, half of us returned to the ground, passing the opportunity to ride to Waterdeep on that cloud tower. Once we arrived in the city, Bran (he's the sneaky human) went off to visit a friend, while Thorin and I went back to visit the Glove and Horn and see Halla Hild to deliver the letter from her brother. Only when we were talking to her did we realize that neither of us had the letter.

Later, when everyone else finally arrived, Percy handed over the letter, then we were... how to put this... introduced to an interesting opportunity to help support Waterdeep.

I'm skeptical, but Bran and some of the others seemed for it. Plus she talked of her friend... Big H. Another giant...

While still deciding what to do, we also bumped into another halfling who'd heard about what we'd done with the Zents. News travels quickly! I'd much rather be dealing with halflings than giants. No one else wants to even listen when I say getting involved is a bad idea...

As soon as I know where we're off to, I'll let you know. Let your sister know that Thorin continues to be a self-promoting... dwarf. And that he's well. I know he hasn't bothered to write to her.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fulhoff the Dwarven Wizard

After converting Ivar into Fulhoff, it was time to get painting.

As usual after a good wash with dish soap and a toothbrush scrub, I started with a base coat of Brown Liner.

And then I decided that I really needed to add a rope to the pack.

Sadly, because I was just kind of speed painting, I did not get many WIP pictures.

I can tell you the colors used though!
Skin was Warrior Flesh
Green were Muddy Olive and Viper Green
Browns were Ruddy Flesh, Rich Leather, Tanned Leather, Auburn Shadow, and Redstone Shadow
Beard was Blond Shadow and... Tanned Leather I think
Purple was Imperial Purple
Metal was Armor

Shading was done with Linen White added to the various colors. Shadows were usually done with a bit of Brown Liner.

As I was working, I noticed a really ugly bit of flash/moldline connecting the nose to the mustache, and had to fix that up. Unfortunately that meant scraping off some paint. And that was where I left him after one sitting.

So this is Fulhoff, to a tabletop standard after 2 sittings.

Total Minis Painted This Year: 22

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Stonehell: The Temple-Prison of Ka-Nefer

Session 58 was played on 1/16, and introduces my own sublevel to the dungeon... one that will have some far reaching consequences going forward.

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic, Pargax)
- linkmen (Lomax)
- Neon (dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 6 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Bollox, GoMat)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3
Brie, wizard 2 (Apprentice to Eiric)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 5 (Josh)

After resting and recovering in the Kobold Korners, Trustee Sniv comes to the party's room to announce that his workers have completed their task. The way is now open into the new section of the dungeon!

The party quickly gears up, and heads down to the Reptile House, with the kobold work chief and 2 assistants. Piles of rubble fill the pillared hall. Passing through the path between the piles, the party heads into the shored up passageway that almost immediately comes to a set of stairs dropping down into the dark.

Switching back and forth, following the stairs down, the passage opens into a large chamber. Without a railing, the stairs emerge from the ceiling, curving along the wall, but shattered before reaching the ground 15' below. 3 of the 4 rune covered pillars supporting the ceiling are intact, The 4th is cracked and broken on the floor. Between the pillars, in the center of the room is a massive sarcophagus. Eiric has the kobods weave one of their ropes into a rope ladder, dropping a few coins into their claws for their effort. The kobolds attach the ladder to the bottom step, and the party climbs down. Sitting on the edge of the stairs, the kobolds watch.

A-A-Ron investigates the room all around, working his way toward the sarcophagus. The runes on the pillars, and the writing on the sarcophagus are a mystery to him. Darryl the Dark knows the runes are magical wards against the Blacksun, an ancient deity of undeath. The sarcophagus is covered in the story of the dead within, Ka-Nefer, and warnings to any that would disturb his restless death.

Shifting the lid of the sarcophagus takes Orpheus, Karl, and 2 more hirelings, but they do, and a highly decorated coffin is revealed within. Darryl uses some charcoal to scribe some of the same runes from the pillars onto the coffin, and garlic and stakes are handed out to everyone. The lid is pushed off. Karl uses his pick to destroy the foot of the sarcophagus, and they drag the coffin out, looping it with rope to keep it closed. There is definitely something within, but they aren't ready to dare opening it yet.

Under the coffin was a small round hole, barely as wide as a dwarf. Ribs are set into the wall like a ladder. A-A-Ron drops a torch down, and it falls about 50', sputtering once it hits the stone floor. Bollux and Koltek play rock-paper-blades to see who would go down first. Bollux loses, gets a rope tied around his waist, and starts the climb down. He describes the room that opens up below him as he climbs. 4 large animal headed statues, and a pile of bones... Nothing too threatening... A-A-Ron starts to follow.

Once he sets foot on the floor, and picks up the torch, the bone pile rattles, and then pulls itself up into a 4 armed monster! Bollux wants to bolt, but Eiric tells him to stay there! Grabbing another coil of rope, they stick the grappling hook through Darryl's belt, and drop him down. A-A-Ron manages to avoid getting hit by the falling cleric, who gets yanked hard about half way down. Pointing his finger threateningly at the bone monster, he summons his divine power and... nothing happens. A-A-Ron sends a screaming arrow into the monster's skull. Bollus flails at the creature with his sword, but doesn't even chip a bone. He leaps back and tries to scale the ladder, but the best grabs his leg. It rips him from the ladder, and uses it's other 3 arms to tear him apart. A-A-Ron shoots it again in the skull, now shattered, and then keeps climbing down. Darryl grabs the ladder, and Karl drops into the hole going down. Darryl see's the dwarf coming and climbs down as well.

A-A-Ron dodges and weaves around most of the arms, but gets slammed against the wall. He stabs back with his sword, bones splintering against his 3rd critical hit. Karl, about 10' above the fight, leaps down onto the beast, Hammer of the Honey Badger first, and crashes through it. Bones scatter all over the floor. Looking on silently, the 4 tall animal headed statues do nothing.

After the rest of the party makes it down, including the dogs (Neon long suffering, Hobart goofy) they examine the only door out of the room. Massive, bronze, and completely covered in pictograms. Over this are black runes seemingly burned into the metal, a divine lock to keep something in. Karl shrugs, and tries to push open the door. Black lightning sends him reeling away from the door. Darryl summons his own gods power, and turns the door's magic. The black runes fizzle away under the sustained turning.

A-A-Ron notices that the pillared corridor before them is trapped, Specifically, blades in the pillars, but he can't find a trigger. Karl, sure the pillars are decorative, smashes the first, revealing the blade mechanism, and then smashes that. As he does, beetles begin to come out of the far end of the corridor wall, and chitter loudly as they swarm toward Karl. As he sprays them with Power Thirst the now flaming bugs form onto a skeletal humanoid shape and attack. Orpheus jumps in, and both Karl and Orpheus take some hits before the bugs drop and disperse. The whole party then engages in several minutes of bug stomping.

Karl resumes smashing the pillars until the last set, when Eiric wants to test the mechanism. Karl tells Scar to stick his finger between the pillars. Scar breaks down, falling to the floor, and crying in terror. Karl then turns to GoMat, who reluctantly agrees. Nothing happens. They try using Bollux's mostly intact body, but again, nothing happens. Karl offers the gold and silver arm band he wears, to GoMat if he walks through it. He does, and once past the pillars, the flagstone shifts under his feet, triggering the trap, but as no one was standing near the pillars, the blades scythe out harmlessly. A-A-Ron disables the pressure plate, while Darryl marks up the hallway with the runes he copies from the pillars.

Ahead of them, a large empty room dominated by a glossy black sun covering most of the north wall, and ceiling. Black rays shoot along the walls, and between them, figures carved into the wall cower from it.

Gains: None
Kills: 2 Scarab Defenders, 1 Bone Golem
Losses: Bollux