Sunday, May 24, 2015

I got into a fight with Dwarven Forge's Stefan Pokorny at Gary Con VII... - DS


Resin prototypes of the new Dwarven Forge City set at Stefan Pokorny's Theatrical D&D game, Gary Con VII, March 2015.

Stefan Pokorny's Dwarven Forge is the manufacturer of scenery tiles for use in fantasy miniatures rpgs and games.  Their original business model was producing pre-painted resin terrain.  They are very nice looking, well painted finished scenery, but they were a bit pricey.  The resin scenics were something I wanted "in theory," if I made way more money than I do. 

In an effort to reach a larger market, the company remade their line of dungeon tiles in a new durable, and less expensive, plastic material known as dwarvenite.  I prefer to call it fancy plastic.  The new sets would also now be available pre-painted, or not, which had the advantage of making them a bit cheaper, or conveniently completed, depending on whether time or money was the issue with the purchaser.

Dwarven Forge made this venture into a Kickstarter.  The first set was basic dungeon tiles.  They offered a base set as well as several add on sets like different tiles and dungeon decor (treasure chests barrels, tables & etc.)  The Kickstarter was quite successful and they broke $1.9...million!

Their second Kickstarter was for cavern tile sets.  Once again there was a base set and several add-ons.  As is popular in KS projects, they again had "stretch goals", both free and not, that were opened up as the amount of pledges increased.  DF's Caverns Kickstarter broke $2 million.

A battle in the sewers.  The pieces are resin prototypes of the sewer set from the recent City Builder Kickstarter campaign.

The significant thing about the dungeon and cavern releases was that the choices were relatively easy.   Decide how many base sets you wanted (aka how big of a single map you want to be able to create,)  get the add-ons that will enhance it, and you're done.  There were choices, but to me the only real one was how big do you want your map to be before you have to recycle tiles.

Now that brings me to the recent villainy of one Stefan Porkorny.


Stefan Pokorny:  Dungeon Master.  Didn't Rona Jaffe and Jack Chick warn our mothers about guys like this?

The latest Dwarven Forge Kickstarter is the city builder system.  This ambitious project has far more offerings than the other two.  They include: modular buildings, city streets, sewers, and city walls and battlements.  That's not including all the multitude of optional add-ons available for each of the four sets!  Unlike the previous releases, which I felt were very focused...there are too many choices.

Gary Con VII.  Lake Geneva WI.

Emily and I left for Gary Con on Wednesday March 25.  The convention is a wonderful gathering celebrating the life of Gary Gygax.  It has a very old school gaming vibe.  We participated in some really fun events, of which I will not go into at this time.  One significant game we were signed up for was Stefan Pokorny's Theatrical D&D on Friday evening. I would be meeting the Dwarven Forge man himself.

While at the Con I sent emails out to my (jealous?) buddies letting them know what we were up to, games we participated in, treasures we found in the vender room etc.  I received this email response (edited for a general audience) from Troy regarding the plethora of ever expanding options in the DF Kickstarter...

F***...now there's going to be a Ruins add-on...Make sure you punch Stephan for me now.  I'll be happy to keep it under $1,200 now, but they haven't posted the Add-ons yet.

Have fun at the Con!  Wish I were there!

-T

It's sort of an in joke with Troy that whenever I am going to see someone who he knows, I say something like, "I'll punch [whoever] in the head and say, 'Troy S- sends his regards!' "  You know.  To get him into trouble for something he has no control over.

So for the first time, instead of receiving Troy's groan of "oh no" as his response,  which I enjoy, I have been given the green light.  





Commence Operation: Punch Pokorny in the Head





Troy...this one is for you.





"Troy S- sends his regards!"  *punch to the head*



"Tell Troy 'thanks' for his Kickstarter pledge!"  *whammo!*



Stefan and Dave agree that AD&D is awesome, and sending regards and thank yous can be painful.


I really have to thank Stefan for playing along with the photos, and a fun evening at his Theatrical D&D event at Gary Con. 

Map artwork by Stefan Pokorny for Luke Gygax's "Okkorim" fantasy setting.  The map appeared in print in Gygax Magazine issue #2.


The evening's session was an old school AD&D 1st edition game set in his own campaign setting of Valoria.  The group he hosted got to playtest [part of ?] a Dwarven Forge module, Tapestry of Deceit, that will be coming out in the future. 
Old school fans might remember classic TSR artist Jeff Dee.  (also co-creator of the original (and my favorite) super hero game, Villains & Vigilantes.) 
DF is going to be getting into the publishing business and putting out a world setting and a line of modules that you can use the various tile sets with.  He had several pieces of art on display at the game to give us an idea what might be used in future adventure modules and supplements.


Art by Stefan Pokorny.  A beautiful  island map made for his campaign setting of Valoria.

Mike S., Ken, Bart, Scott, Dave, Stefan, chaotic neutral blue-hat guy, Emily, and David C. at the Theatrical  AD&D game, Gary Con VII, 2015.


It was fun to game with my wife, other party members Mike and Sally S.(not pictured), David C,  Ken and Bart (part of the team who ended up winning GCVII D&D Open,) Scott (who paints minis),  and Blue-hat dude (chaotic neutral fighter whose name I cannot recall.)


Thanks again to Stefan for dm-ing, and the gang for a fun night!

Note:  No gamers were hurt in the production of this post.



Critical Links!
Gygax magazine.  Has the feel of the classic Dragon magazine.
http://gygaxmagazine.com/

Dwarven Forge fantasy scenery:
http://www.dwarvenforge.com/

Jeff Dee's game company:
https://www.facebook.com/monkeyhousegames

Gary Con.  If you knew about it you's have already gone.
https://www.garycon.com/




Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meet the NPC Allies - Reaper Miniatures Oswald the Overladen and Village Rioter (aka Cinart the Torch Bearer.) DB

For the Rise of the Runelords Pathfinder game, the players talked it over and decided it might be helpful to hire some non-player character allies to assist us in our quest.  Two likely lads from Sandpoint were chosen to join the party;  Oswald the Packbearer, and Cinart as a torch bearer.


Lighting can be a problem when searching in underground caves or delves.  To that end we hired Cinart as a torchbearer.  Although not a fighter by trade, he would be accompanying the party on underground expeditions, and other places we might need someone to handle a torch or lantern.  He carries a spiked mace just in case the battle makes it through the fighters.  His duties are going to put him in more frequent dangerous situations than Oswald, and we're hoping he can handle it.
77140: Townsfolk: Village Rioter by Bobby Jackson
Modded as a Torch Bearer


77140: Townsfolk: Village Rioter by Bobby Jackson
 Even though I really liked Bobby Jackson's original sculpt, I needed to modify him to make him a torchbearer rather than part of a mob heading out to chase Frankenstein's monster around.   I switched his head with a bearded extra head from a box of Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors.  The pitchfork arm was removed and replaced with a mace arm from a plastic set of Fireforge Games medieval Foot Sergeants.  I think the figure has a rough and ready look.

Both the Gripping Beast and Fireforge Games plastic miniature sets have a lot of extra weapons, arms and heads included.  Great stuff for mashup and modded figures.

Oswald is carrying a lot of stuff.


77141: Townsfolk: Oswald the Overladen by Bobby Jackson

Emily liked the name Oswald (Reaper's name for the mini) so we thought we'd keep it as the character's name.  His story is that Gilly met him while she was working at the Sandpoint seamstress' shop.  Oswald is a youngish lad who would make deliveries, repair things, and do other odd jobs the business required.  The lure of adventure and good pay prompted him to join the party.  As a pack bearer, he will be carrying items and supplies so the more active (aka combat) party members are not encumbered.  His other duties would include camp maintenance and cooking.

I liked painting Oswald. He carrying a LOT of gear.  He has a chest, pack, book, shield, sacks, a bow with quiver, a chicken and more! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Diablo 3: Whimsydale



Last night we took a temporary break from our non-electronic gaming to revisit Diablo 3. Rest assured, we will return to our regular board/card/miniature/RPG gaming next week. Magnus recently suggested a game of Diablo 3, which prompted us to break out our old Blizzard accounts and fire up the computers.

We managed to level up from ~51 to ~65 and completed the Reaper of Souls Act V by defeating Malthael.

Alas, the most frightening encounter we had looked something like this:




What we saw and did on the other side of that strange gate was not natural.




Like so many of Lovecraft's protagonists, going through that gate to this other dimension had a profound effect on us and our sanity. Whimsydale changed us forever.

I didn't sleep last night...and I doubt I will tonight. We know the true meaning of diabolical.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

28mm German Infantry WIP - GF



I picked up these 28mm Germans from Village Games when they were clearing out their WW2 stuff a few years back. They've been sitting neglected for far too long. Some detail work and basing to finish up on, but these guys are getting closer to being finished.

Our gaming group has played a fair amount of Flames of War in 15mm, but not much in 28mm. We did try Bolt Action once and I'd like to give the rules another try. I've heard good things about Chain of Command as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Imperial Assault - Story Mission #1: Aftermath




Imperial Assault is a strategy board game of tactical combat and missions for two to five players, offering two distinct games of battle and adventure in the Star Wars™ universe!

Imperial Assault puts you in the midst of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire after the destruction of the Death Star over Yavin 4. Imperial Assault offers two separate game experiences. The campaign game pits the limitless troops and resources of the Galactic Empire against a crack team of elite Rebel operatives as they strive to break the Empire’s hold on the galaxy, while the skirmish game invites you and a friend to muster strike teams and battle head-to-head over conflicting objectives.

Last night we played the first mission in the campaign: Aftermath! Jim took on the role of the Rebels while I was in charge of the Empire. The heroes selected were

     · Diala Passil - Haunted Exile
     · Gideon Argus - Valiant Commander
     · Jyn Odan - The Smuggler
     · Gaarkhan - Fierce Warrior (Wookie)

    The game mechanics are an evolution of the Descent system, which were based on the Doom board game. In Imperial Assault, players take turns activating a hero (Rebels) or deployment card (Empire). This back-and-forth keeps you engaged with the game even when it's not your turn. Combat uses a variety of colorful dice. To attacking you simply roll the dice based on the ranged or melee weapon to determine the results. The defender rolls a defense die to see if they're able to dodge or reduce the amount of damage taken.

    Each character has special abilities which can be triggered using either "surges" from the dice or by spending endurance points. Stormtroopers, for example, are allowed to re-roll an attack die if they are adjacent to another trooper, while the Imperial Officer is able to order nearby friendly models to move out of turn.


    The Rebels ended up destroying all four Imperial transmission terminals and won the game. This gave them additional credits to spend on items/upgrades before the next mission.





    Saturday, March 21, 2015

    Reaper Bones Bookcase and metal "Tierce" rogue - DS

    Bookcase and Tierce #03265
    I bought Tierce as it reminded me of a friend's hooded rogue character:  Pepper Von Bennetstein.  I really like the figure, but it is a bit sleight compared to a lot of Reaper's line.  I glued it on a 25mm circular base and that added enough height to fit in with scale creep-ed heroically proportioned minis that are so popular.  I think it would fit well with Red Box Games line of more realistic figures.

    Tierce was sculpted by Jeff Grace.  It's a very classic rogue and fun to paint.  I think I may try another one with a weapon swap.

    The bookcase is part of the my Reaper Bones II order, and is the first mini completed out of that particular mountain.  It was part of the "Dungeon Dressing" add-on pack.

    As a reminder:  Don't forget to wash your plastic minis (and really all minis.)  I used Foundry Spearshaft colours for the wood on the bookcase.  Foundry paint, for the most part, is the best paint I own for basecoats...especially as I do not prime any minis before painting.  I had problems with painting the books though.  Whatever flux they use to get them out of the molds resisted the normal ease of applying paint.  Then I recalled that in my excitement to start, I forgot to soap it up.

    Come to think of it, I forgot to soap up and wash Tierce too, but that proved far less problematic.

    Remember kids, wash those minis with soap and water before you paint!

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Legends of the Old West - JR, GF



    LEGENDS OF THE OLD WEST is a tabletop miniatures game which allows you to bring to life the deeds of the brave lawmen and gunfighters of the most famous period in America's history.

    This 136-page book lays out rules for gunfights (and bar fights and knife fights) using miniatures to represent the famous gunslingers of the old American West. Beyond the rules for combat, the book is really an invitation to start a light RPG compaign, evaluating each member of your potential gang and assigning a dollar value to keep him on retainer. So use your old railroad buildings to stage a gunfight or created an entire economic campaign pitting the ranchers against the sod-busters. All the tools are in this book.

    Like all Games Workshop books, there is plenty of eye candy and tips on painting and scenery.

    LotOW is based on Warhammer and Lord of the Rings tabletop battle game with Necromunda and Mordheim mixed in.

    We played two games last night, both using the High Noon scenario. Jim brought his posse of Lawmen and I pulled out my Outlaws. Not much finesse, just straight forward shootin' and fightin'!

    The first game was played in town and the second took place in the wilderness. The Outlaws came out on top in both, partially due to their special "Life is Cheap" rule. Sometimes crime does pay!


















    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Pathfinder RPG Session 09: Thistletop (3)

    After the melee finished, the party recovers and searches the areas where the Thistletop goblins emerged from.

    The continuation of the Pathfinder RPG path Rise of the Runelords!  As always ahead be *spoilers*


    Gilly the halfling rogue leads the way using her size and stealth abilities to scout.

    A room full of rancid meat and other foodstuffs is discovered.  To Gilly's horror there appear to be some humans, probably unfortunate travelers are present in this grisly pantry.  Tuihirdock says he will bury the unfortunates later if he is able.

    The courtyard of the fort had several goblin dogs in it.  Rather than engage them in hand to hand, the party ascends the stairs of a guard tower to fire arrows at the vicious creatures rather than risk being bit.  The goblins own bows and arrows were used to dispatch their minions.

    Entering the courtyard.

    There is a side door in the corner that is boarded up.  Snorts are heard and the door is kicked when it is approached.  The goblins have trapped a horse!  Tuihirdock ushers everyone out of the area and gets to work on releasing the panicky animal.

    Using a crowbar, he pries the nails and boards off the door.  Eventually he is able to open the door and narrowly misses being trampled.  The horse is quite scared when released and trots around the courtyard nervously.

    Eventually the horse calms down and is given some of Gilly's carrots.  In another room off the courtyard a prisoner is discovered.  Brother Malcolm, a priest of Desna, was waylay-ed and thrown into the makeshift jail. He is given food and drink and recovers.  Malcolm agrees to go along with the group.

    A room is found with a stairwell going down.

    At the bottom of the stairs is a room with another door.  Gilly hears someone moving around inside.  Tuihirdock suggests a charge on the occupant to maximize surprise.

    A human woman, potentially a mage, is sitting at a table that is covered with scrolls and books.  Before she can react, the warriors have engaged her and Gilly has fired her bow.

    Shock and awe.  The mage falls before she has a chance cast her vile magicks.  A number of books and scrolls are found.  Chance Arcane finds several spell scrolls that may be useful.  Evidently "Lira" was doing some sort of other research.  The group makes a note of this for later investigation, but decides to press on as, -during the search of the room...

    ...A secret door is found in the wall.  A stairwell leads down.

    Moving down the stairs to the lower level.

    A room is found.  The goblin fort was built on ruins of some sort.  This room had ancient statues in alcoves in the walls. 

    After searching the room, the party moves through a door on the far side...

    A trap is sprung on Rolf! A portcullis falls down from the ceiling trapping Rolf away from the rest of the party.  Halberd like blades come out of the wall and slash him.

    Tuihirdock tries an old school bend bars/lift gate.  He rolls a nat 20 and succeeds!  Rolf is released as the gate is held just as the floor beneath him gives way to a pit trap.  Gilly neutralizes the trap, so it will not triggered again.



    Opening the door at the end of the hallway they find Nualia Tobyn, orchestrator of the attack on Sandpoint!  She and her outsider ally are prepared for the adventurers.
    The room has a unnerving red coloring to it.  Foul magic is present.
    Nualia and allies...  Her left arm is mutated in some strange way.

    Despite wounds and fatigue the adventurers take the battle to Nualia.  She has had time to prepare her defenses and has used some magic to augment her abilities.  The Yith hound lets out a horrific howl.  Cinart and Oswal (not in the room) are startled and panicked by this dark scream.

    The Yith hound goes down!  Chance Arcane sends in volleys of magic missles with his wand, and Gilly uses a wand of shocking grasp to great effect.  Nualia is wearing metal armor which makes her easier to hit.

    Brother Malcolm lends his healing powers to his wounded allies.

    Cinart and Oswald were waiting in the hall when they see Nualia's mercenaries coming to her aid.  It's the bugbear Bruzthalamuz and a fighting man named Oren.

    Cinart runs and Oswald does his best to parry off the blows of his attackers.  Although wounded he manages to get away.  Chance Arcane sends a volley of magic missles into the bugbear to over the retreat of the henchmen.

    Nualia has fallen!  The party has retreated into her room to await the attack by her mercenaries.

    The bugbear charges into the room and is greeted by the weapons and magic of the party!

    The bugbear is slain.

    Oren the mercenary, seeing no hope in resisting surrenders.  He is bound, secured, and questioned. 
    Although most of the enemies in the complex appear to have been defeated, there is one very ominous door across from Nualia's chambers that remains unexplored.  The party is wounded, and much of their magicks and resources have been spent.   There will have to be a rest before they can continue clearing Thistletop.

    Some questions do remain to be solved.  What ritual did Nualia have planned?  What is the nature of this structure...the goblins may have built the fort above, but these hallways are quite old.  What was Lira researching?  It could have something to do with the structure or Nualia's ritual.  And lastly what fearsome beast is located behind the last door?

    More soon!   The finale of the Assault on Thistletop!