Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Heroforge Custom Miniatures Review - DS

I was very excited about Heroforge when I first read about it on the web.  For those who don't know is a website that allows people to design their own custom miniatures.  Using the browser and 3d paper doll like function, you dress and equip your character using the variety of options available.  The figures are made using a 3d printer process.  There are a number of genres including, modern, fantasy, old west, and sci-fi.  You select the category of item or feature, click on it and it appears on your miniature.  There is some scaling for body size, from halfling to half-orc, and build and muscularity of characters as well as adjustment to face for expressions.

I have always been looking for the ultimate miniature for my AD&D paladin character I played in the 80s and 90s.  He had 2 henchmen, and I decided to make them too.  I have other versions of my characters from pre-existing miniatures lines (provided by Reaper, Red Box Games and Games Workshop), but I wanted to bring them to life with the Heroforge.

Freiderick the Halbardier, Saladian the Just, and Thomas (the Archer.)
When I initially saw finished Heroforge figures, and was reading web reviews of the products, they came in two plastic material options.  One was fine detail, and the other was strong plastic.  The fine detail miniatures had very crisp detail but had a fuzzy look from the 3d printing process.  It reminded me of a bad spray primer job when the paint mist dries a little bit when going through the air and leaves a layer of particles on the surface of the figure.  Although the detail on these figures looked great, the texture was a bit off putting for painting.  The fine figures were also brittle, and a one foot drop to a hard surface could take off weapons or an arm.

The other material option they had was strong plastic.  It was less expensive.  This material was much more sturdy and could survive incidental drop, but it lacked crisp detail.  I saw some example of them painted and was not overly impressed.

So, I played around with the creator, but never ordered anything

The characters on the outside are the regular Plastic materials and the black one in the center is the Premium Plastic.

I infrequently checked the website to see what new weapon, clothing, and other options they added.  One that particularly got my notice was they had changed materials.  They had a "premium plastic" version, that is a black plastic that vaguely resembles hard model plastic.  I ordered one premium model of my character (center of pictures above.)  It was free of the fuzzy texture and seems very sturdy (aka like a hard plastic GW model.)  I was very happy with how it turned out, and they were priced $29.99.

The regular "plastic" came in at $19.99.  The models come primed.  I ordered my character's 2 henchmen in that material to see what it was like.  I was quite pleased with how they came out.  The detail is not as high as the premium plastic, but I have no complaints.

Size comparison.  Converted GW Rohan Sgt, Heroforge, Reaper Hellknight Captain.
GW Imp Advisor, Reaper General Drake, My Heroforge Archer, GW Espern Locarno

Red Box Games, Heroforge, Hasslefree

The size of the miniatures is a bit of a guess.  There are sliders for height, weight, build, (and muscularity), and all these add to the bulk of the figure.  With all the sliders there is no measurement other than looking at the size change on your screen.  With height -you don't really have an idea of what size it's actually going to turn out.  Also the base is shorter than a typical slotta base so that's going to take a few mm off the total height.  I mostly use regular slotta bases on all my minis.  If the figure is not set up for a slotta base, and I don't feel like clipping/ razor work to convert it, I will glue them to a Renedra flat base if it will turn out roughly the same as slotta base height.

Slotta Base, Heroforge, Renedra flat base

I am planning on making a Warhammer 40k character using the Heroforge site.  I will push his height up a bit on the scale (from where their default height starts,) so he isn't too small.  The size I made my three fantasy rpg characters is a bit bigger than Red Box and Hasslefree figures (my favorite scale.)  In retrospect I might take a little off of what height I made them if I had had a better idea of how they would turn out.

In closing I have to give Heroforge a big thumbs up.  The $19.99 models lived up to my expectations.  The $29.99 were better, but I think I am going to go for numbers rather than the additional quality (except for special characters.)   

My advice to anyone buying one for the first time:  Play around with all the features and poses.  Explore the items and clothes and the scaling of body measurements.  There is a considerable amount of content to explore to create your own character.

Now I have to get these guys painted up!.  :)

Dave of the Dale Wardens Verdict:
Thumbs up to Heroforge Miniatures.  Well done sir!

Monday, July 30, 2018

AD&D Los Roth Greyhawk Campaign Session 1 - DS & EE and CL

Emily and I met Carlos at the Gary Con 7 FM pre-party.  I found him to be a very interesting fellow with a passion for D&D, and especially the Greyhawk setting.  He is an engaging story teller and writer.   We played in a couple of his private games at GC 9, and signed up for 3 of his event games at GC 10.  He's a very competent referee, and has a following, as there are players who sign up for multiple convention sessions of his (myself and Emily included.)

He has recently started publishing his own fantasy rpg modules under the name casl Entertainment, His first four Greyhawk inspired offerings are out now (of which I have played all) and available on rpg now

We were traveling and met him and Amanda in Cleveland for the first game session of what will probably be a mostly online game.

The Party was called to meet Leander Delgath in Dyvers...

Campaign: Greyhawk – Age of Glory

DM:  Carlos

Amanda-   Tarissa,  Oeridian Human Druid
Dave-        Baran Kaldir,   Oeridian / Suel Human Paladin of Trithereon
Emily-       Mari,   Oeridian Human Ranger
Jeremy-     Jenmar Blodgett,   Stout Halfling Druid

Player Characters assembled in the Free City of Dyvers, ostensibly to fight the infamous Slave Lords, by Leader “Dread” Delgath. When they arrive at his tower, however, the mage is not present. Instead, they are met by awizard named Skye the Lioness. She informs the Players that a larger, more powerful coalition of adventurers were assembled by Delgath two years ago to destroy the fiendish flesh-warper, Markessa. On two successive missions,they failed to kill her within one of her strongholds. They subsequently returned to the tower to find a slaughter. Guards were slain and the wizard abducted, most likely by Markessa herself as a warning of the dangers inherent in crossing her. Skye admits to the Players that she served Delgath as a spy, and that she was truly loyal to a wizard in another far-off land. She was placed within his organization to collect information about Dyvers and the goings-on within the region. Her master is evidently not of a wicked mien, however, and so after she informed him of Delgath's abduction, he ordered her to remain in Dyvers and continue his good work.

Skye's plan is, that while she continues to send out groups of adventurers to deal with the major agents of the Slave Lords, she is quietly assembling a few smaller groups of adventurers. While the Slavers and their allies have their attention fully fixed on these worthies, these less-experienced groups have the opportunity to strike out at the known operations of the Slave
Lords, while they are at their least-vigilant. In particular, she wants the group to follow a caravan hauling captured six Halflings along the Att River's banks. Their destination is a slave camp run by perhaps 20 gnolls. The camp is to be liberated at all costs. When it is, they will meet with a
contact of Skye's that will give them further instructions. Finally, they will not have to go alone: Skye has already recruited a mysterious cloaked woman (who has, evidently, taken a vow of silence) who she completely vouches for as trustworthy. This woman will meet with them on their journey and join their group. The adventurers for the exception of Tarissa accept Skye's proposal unconditionally. Skye offers to compensate the Druid for her labors monetarily and assures her that any loot the party find in the course of their journey is theirs to keep, satisfying her. The group collects 50gp of spending money to equip themselves and set off for the harbor market in Dyvers.

At the harbor market, the group rents a mule name Zarah with which to haul needed supplies. A contract is signed with her Baklunish owner, in which the party will pay 10sp a day for her services and 15gp if she is slain. They then buy a hammer, nails, a saw, and two axes from a woodsman merchant at the market, who advises them that the river (the Att) that flows into the Nyr Dyv is often flooded at this time of year. The woodsman challenges Jenmar to a game of darts in order to win a discount, which the Halfling wins easily. The woodsman is as good as his word and gives them one of their axes for free. He also gives Jenmar a Halfling smoking pipe and Halfling Smoking Weed. Finally, they buy some flasks of oil from a stall belonging to a flamboyant half-orc named Smiling Olav. Jenmar considers hiring him as a bodyguard, but Mari persuades him that he's not to be trusted. In the end, they buy a copious amount of iron rations (from Olav and are on their way. At this point, the party plans to build rafts when they reach the slave camp, on which they can float the captured folk within the prison back to safety in Dyvers (this is the reason for the tools and the iron rations).