JP On Gaming

Friday, January 20, 2017

Many updates: Important stuff!

Rhym Campaign Setting

Irene is completing the work on the cover for Rhym, she has a few touch-ups to do. But that's basically it.

I created an animated gif that shows the stages of development of the cover... I really like it! Now JD and I need to finish the writing of the book.

Tyrants of Saggakar

I am working on a number of adventures right now, but none are proceeding as fast as I want them to go. *sad face*

That said, I currently have three adventures I am working on and am waiting from material from Jen and Randy. So there are many things in the works.

Conventions

Also, with convention season about to start, with four conventions in the next three months, I have a lot of work to do. I will be going to Conglomeration in Louisville, KY in April and am trying to fit in Lexicon in Lexington, KY in May.

Which mean I have to come up with some new material. New adventures. I am stuck on the blurbs.

Conglomeration will have the first public games for Rhym. JD (the author) will be running something and I will run something else. I started working on my Rhym adventure, and it will have a nautical theme! Yarrr Mateys!

The good news in all this? I think my writer's funk is lifting and I am gonna create a lot of fun stuff in a short time! WOOOOT

JP

[Commission] Samurai and Shugenja

This little group came to me a while ago, but was finished only recently. I don't quite remember why I got them initially, most likely a random ebay win on a minimal bet. These guys include two courtiers, two bushis and a two shugenja. I painted these models after the clans in Legend of the Five Rings.

The courtiers are one Crane (in blue and white) and a Dragon (in green and gold).

The bushi are one Crab (in black and blue) and a Unicorn (in purple and gold).

The shugenja are one Lion (in brown and tan) and one Phoenix (in orange and yellow.)

You may already know, but these guys from the core of my Frostgrave warband! With the crane serving as my wizard and the lion as my apprentice. The crab is my templar and the unicorn my knight.

JP

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Meet the Iconics: Lady Hanalyr of Therland

Continuing my series on the Iconics for Rhym.

Lady Hanalyr

Female Therlander (human) paladin noble

From the Kingdom of Therland

Fourth daughter of a landless knight, Hanalyr accepted from a young age that duty and responsibility were the price to pay for the many blessings she received in life. She trained to become a knight of Therland. Her training complete, she left her home to travel the world, fighting for good and justice.

Rhym Concepts Hanalyr has the Regional Affinity feat which allows you to make an instant iconic character from that region as it give you training in a region's iconic weapon, skill, and tools.

Unleashed Characters

The following three characters come from the Unleashed box. I found that box in the bargain bin at DiceHead during Post-Apocalypticon 2015. I have had these guys painted back a year ago and just found the pictures in my backlog... I think I initially planned on making one post for each, but I'll just drop them all in one go...

I have not played the

The first guy is a Trollblood named Gullin. The job I did on him left him a little too shiny... But I like the color...

This second one is called Zocha, she is a member of the Tharn for Circle Oroboros. She would make a good leader model for either bloodweavers or bloodtrackers. I painted her with a classic scheme.

This character is the one that puzzles me the most. Why would you want to have a croc-man with a gun? It's like giving Chewbacca a gun! Oh wait... bad example... It's like giving the Thing from the Fantastic Four a gun. Yeah, that's better. Why would you want to us the gun as anything but a club??? I don't know why. Well maybe there is something about that in the game that justifies or clarifies this...

This trog fellow is a pretty interesting model. I was really tempted to used that model for Bloodclaw, the iconic drakonian druid for my Tyrants of Saggakar setting. I eventually decided against it. Still I like how this guy looks.

JP

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

[Commission] A Shoggoth! Terror of... well everything

This piece came with the Reaper Bones. This terrifying monster has so many uses in games... it is definitely a personal favorite. Nothing scares me as much as the piping of a tekeli-li!

JP

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

[Troll Tuesday] The Impaler

Another troll from the new starter set. This guy will join the other two ones I painted back in 2015. I pretty much used a scheme that's very similar so I could field all three together if I chose to.

JP

Meet the Iconics: Fahran the Tiefling

This series of entries will introduce the six unique characters we will roll out for the Rhym campaign setting. We are still playing with some elements of the characters so the final details are still nebulous and open.

Fahran

Male tiefling cleric brute

From the Tarani Empire

As a boy, Fahran quickly understood that he could not do everything by himself, so he joined a gang. He served many minor nobles as a goon, extorking and shaking down his clients. This let him to get noticed by the clergy of the Iron Lord and he joined the Order of Saint Iskandar. He loves being a priest as it grants him many priviledge. He favors the legalistic aspect of his faith, as others are more receptive to its message.

Fahran serves the Order of Saint Iksandar, a warrior order dedicated to the expansion of their order and the subjugation of other nations.

Rhym Concepts Fahran is a thug, a new background.

Monday, January 16, 2017

[Frostgrave Campaign] Thaw of the Lich Lord Day 6

Day 6 of our Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign... This time we heard of a magical mansion known as the House of Longreach which held a number of treasures. Not just us, but another force in the city, one "Lich Lord" also sought the treasure. Well neither Kitty nor Mr Gentil had heard of this fellow, but the promise of treasure was enough to get us to run and seek treasure!

This was the first game of the campaign played with just two of us, as ActionMan chose not to join. It would be a very interesting matchup between two illusionists whose top spell is invisibility.

The setup for this one is rather special: the section where we entered represented the ruins of a gigantic house with a number of portals (represented by Warhammer Quest portals). Every time we crossed one of the portal, we had to make a roll and see where the portal would lead. This was proven to be quite dangerous as it not only moved us at random locations, but we took a significant amount of damage, before finally making our way to the treasure room.

The treasure room had two treasures each guarded by a pair of frost wraiths. For this one, I pulled out the old hero quest board, added terrain to it and this is what we had. Made for a fun change of pace as we moved around the map trying to reach the treasure room.

Now this game was pretty destructive to both our warbands... After three rounds, the main board was pretty much abandoned to the random monsters and the Death cultists as Kitty and I ran for the treasure room. We were set for a showdown.

This is the scene of the showdown: I moved on the right with a barbarian, a knight, a templar, and a thug. Kitty moved on the left with a thug and her wizard. During the next monster phase, the cultist I was fighting would beat up my thug, nearly take out my barbarian, and be reinforced by two more cultists! In the end, I took one treasure and Kitty the other before escaping while invisible.

This was a quick but very challenging game that required a lot of tactical movement and mixed with random movement.

I got the special treasure, but both of us managed to get out with three treasures. There were minimal casualties on either side. I had three models left while Kitty had two. We defeated all of the cultists and their zombie troll.

Tough and fun.

JP

[Cryx Monday] Mechanithralls

More from the random lot. These mechanithralls seem to be bigger and tougher versions of the scrap thralls I posted a while ago.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How I would fix it: Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016

The Doctor Who Xmas special came and went and... well... after a number of fairly uninspired ones, as in: I watch them once then never have to spend time looking at them again, we were offered "Doctor Who meets Superman".

While I won't go into anything spoiler-ific the previous statement has not yet told you.

The basic plot could have been interesting, if the Doctor OR Superman had been left to handle it by themselves. Instead, we got a half-and-half mix of both, an awkward situation lasting way too long. Not unlike when someone farts in an elevator and there is only one other person. Except the smell lingers and lingers and won't go away.

This is typical of the Moffat-era of Doctor Who: we are given to interesting plots that un-mistakenly end up with a "meh" of indifference.

The cast of characters

(to show how much I didn't pay attention, here are the name I know them by):

"Superman": A kids who swallows a gem. What kind of stupid, dumbass eight-year old kid just swallows a quarter-sized gem? Then the guy becomes a (further) complete(r) loser by become... a nanny. Talk about a creepy job! A male nanny is something I simply would not consider for my kids, ever. In the history of mankind. E-V-E-R. NOPE. Superman is a nanny! At that point I was pretty much done with it. The worse about it? Knowing Moffat, we will be treated to a return of this guy. And it won't be a cool welcome, like when Russel T Davies brought back Rose, Sarah Jane, or Torchwood back to fight the daleks, and all contribute to the plot in a realistic and significant ways.

"Lois Lane": The lady did a great job keeping a straight face with the stupid crap that happened around her. She had to drink a lot to become that jaded, proving that she is a good actress.

"The Fat bald dude": Now wtf was he doing there? He just added to the general confusion of the situation, not really adding much and robbing us of a scene where the Doctor opened up about his feelings about River Song. A waste of space who knew things he never should've known according to HIS timeline. After all, he ended up in a robot at the end of "The Husbands of River Song".

"The Villains": These guys had decent plan, one that would work well in Torchwood. These guys had no chance ever facing Superman or the Doctor, much less the two by themselves: a wasted "Body Snatchers" opportunity for a weak plot hook.

The Doctor: Peter Capaldi does what he can with such terrible material.

How I would fix it?

I really, really, spent time wondering whether it was worth it or not. It's not really worth it. Yet, since this post is call "How I'd fix it", I do have to make an effort.

Here is what I would've done:

The intro scene remains effectively the same: the Doctor making his thingamajig, dumbass kid swallows gem, Doctor freaks out and tells kid to wait for him here.

Then we see the kid as a man, hopefully with a less loser job than nanny: perhaps he's a handiman of her building or a concierge. Not overly glamorous, but something that gives him access to the girl, but from afar. I could even see him use his powers to make sure she needs to keep calling him: clogged sinks, scolding water, freezing water, etc. Since she is busy with her job, she gets him to do a bunch of things for her. The rest of the people complain about the crummy service of the building.

We quickly catch up with him as Superman: saving kittens, stopping fires, etc. Lois sees him as a bad guy who is a renegade. She's not in love with him, she believes he's an alien who is part of an alien invasion (this would nod to "Love and Monsters", maybe she is the sister/cousin/friend of someone therein). She drives around town trying to find Superman to see where he has his "lair".

She has Clark install a series of cameras and other sensor on the roof to detect where he comes and goes. She tells him how much he hates aliens and wants to save mankind from them (this is a Xmas special so she must be "redeemable").

At her job, she is sent to meet with the new local scientific wonder: pretty much like the episode. We get the official story of how the company will help the world by [blah blah blah]. While there, she sees something odd and hides herself in one of the many conveniently-located closets and waits for everyone to leave. Once everyone leaves, she witnesses the scene with the two men where one becomes a brain implant.

Then, Superman shows up and speaks to them (but she can't hear what they are saying). Superman is responding to the pre-brain change distress call. They have a quick chat but then seeing nothing is wrong, Superman leaves. The woman is now convinced that Superman is part of the alien plot.

She runs home to tell Clark everything she found, but he is not there, so she sits at her computer desk looking for Superman. The cameras and sensors capture the Tardis appearing on the roof and the Doctor looking around. She watches as the Doctor spots the camera, approaches it. After a moment, he points the sonic screwdriver at the lense and asks "Are you watching this? Of course you are! I have returned! Come get me I'm here on the roof! Come on my little Superman!"

The woman is pretty freaked so she walks around for a moment, going crazy, biting her nails looking for something she does not find (assume a gun). The Doctor keeps teasing her to come upstairs.

* * *

We go back in time to the Doctor stepping into the Tardis at the start of the intro scene. He plays with the Tardis' dials and ends up on a planet where he goes to meet with some "elves" (remember, this is a Xmas special) who build things. Walking around a fantastical super sci-fi workshop, he meets "the Boss" who is Santa Claus, but we only see him from being and never fully. There is a big screen with a list of name and the word "naughty" at the top of it.

The Doctor recaps the situation. On a computer, he adds the Doctor's name to a "naughty list" that makes him target for bounty hunters of all types to hunt him. He tells the Doctor must give to get what he wants. The Doctor rants and raves about it. Then snaps his fingers and tells "The Boss" to wait and he runs back to the Tardis.

* * *

We come back to the present. The Doctor sees Superman flying into the building. "Ah! So he's done it." He turns to the security camera again. "Come! Come! I know you are there."

The door opens and out comes Lois. Seeing her, the Doctor goes "See, you got yourself a better disguise! No one knows your Clark Kent is Superman!" The Doctor talks to Lois as if she were Superman, effectively telling her Superman's story. Lois says very little. As the Doctor lets her know that he is an alien and that Superman is a human who was changed by an alien and not part of an alien conspiracy.

The aliens show up. "You thought you would escape us, Miss Lane. Fortunately we have security systems that showed us your visit." Using alien guns, they threaten to turn the Doctor and Lois into alien bodies. The Doctor full of bravado jests with the alien that he is no longer the sole protector of the Earth. During that time, he keeps winking at Lois as if saying "change into Superman". Opening their head, the aliens divulge their plan to drop a spaceship on NYC and that there is nothing they can do.

Aliens stand around as a bright star is seen in the sky. The aliens say [muhahaha megalomaniac rant about taking over the world]. As the aliens look up, the Doctor jumps into the Tardis. Lois follows without the Doctor seeing her.

One of the alien brute calls to the leader. "We may have a problem, you need to come see this." And the aliens run out of the roof, leaving the tenants looking up and pointing to the sky. Some might make a comment about how "These people in London are really sparing to expenses"

* * *

The leader looks back down not seeing anyone. "You cannot stop us now, our plan will succeed muhahaha soon Earth will belong to us!" Into a communication device, he says "bring anyone you find to me, there is no way they could've gone anywhere. They may be hiding." The alien brutes appear on the roof, pushing the tenants. "Where is the old man and the woman," he asks without answer. The tenants have no idea what they are talking about.

The Tardis reappears on the falling ship. As he gets to the cockpit, he begins to play with the controls, hoping to stop the descent. "I thought this would fly like the Titanic." Then we can see things are not going well. Lois enters the cockpit, shocked at the sight before her. The Doctor keeps talking to himself talking about how "Alas poor Adric, now I understand this final flight of yours." He asks her to do a few things "press that, pull this, will you?" before realizing that she is there. "Shouldn't you be out there stopping this rock from flattening New York?"

Seeing her blank face, he understands his mistake.

In the background, the Earth getting bigger and bigger with the ship obviously going to New York. The Doctor freaks out.

* * *

The aliens crowd into Lois' apartment before the screens an alien is at the keyboard. "All the data recorded on here has many backups. And you told our entire plan to the world!" The aliens begin arguing. The camera showing the roof is getting brighter and brighter. "Let's get out of here!" the leader says and they all teleport away (the device could resemble Jack Harkness's teleport gauntlet).

The screen itself get blindingly white.

* * *

The Doctor is sitting at the controls, Lois grasps the chair. In the front windows, the roof with the tenants stand cowering, slowly they begin pointing to the ship and cheering. The Doctor straightens himself. "That's what I'd call a Christmas miracle!"

Lois looks outside. "Yes, indeed. A Xmas miracle!" The Doctor notices that she is not looking at him.

The scene changes to Clark Kent holding up the ship flying just above the cheering tenants.

* * *

Later, Superman comes back to the roof, having disposed of the ship. Lois jumps into his arms. "I was so wrong. You are not an alien menace, you are the protector of mankind." Superman laughs. "Oh! Yes! I came for... Oh yeah! I need to give you something of value..." Superman kisses Lois. "Oh! I guess there is no point now." The Doctor reminds them to be careful. Lois tells the Doctor that they will spend their time hunting these aliens to make sure they don't cause any further problems.

The Doctor jumps back into the Tardis.

* * *

In the Boss's office, the Doctor says that he doesn't need the crystal anymore, that Earth already has one. The Doctor then leaves the office. On a screen before the Boss, he deletes "The Doctor" from the naughty list and gives a big Ho ho ho.


Not great? I did say I would NOT have the Doctor meet Superman... But I think the story I presented here would have been significantly better and more interesting.

Space 1889: End of a campaign

Back in the day, I bought a book called "Space 1889". At the time, I knew nothing of Steampunk or John Carter. The cover intrigued me so I picked it up and read it. It was so interesting and opened a new genre for me, one I hadn't considered before. I don't know what I really liked most about it, but it drew my eye. At a time where most RPGs were either D&D, D&D clones or Marvel Super Heroes, this was new, unique and strange.

For years, I kept referring to that book as a source of inspiration, a change-of-pace type reading.

Then at the end of last year, I joined an on-line group playing using the Savage Worlds version of the game. Two things I like together...

My character, the Vicomtesse de Vaucluse was a young French heiress whose family was closely tied to the Second Empire. She was something of a scientist, with a great love of history and science. Round that with a few skills required by the GM and I was on my way to Mars. Further inspiration for the character was a mix of Doctor Quinn Medecine Woman and Marie Currie.

Joining a group of crown agent (while herself fiercely professing her allegiance to France and not to England), she managed a number adventure over the one year I played. We dealt with a rebellion, a mind-controlling device, explored a lost monastery and faced a Cthulhoid horror, and stopped an ether flyer from crashing into Syrtis Major.

However, I found myself strapped for time and unable to give the game as much as it needed. Plus I was both very annoyed and frustrated by the final plot (it had gone on for many weeks). Plus other internal pressures meant I had to make a choice so I opted out.

I always find it bittersweet having to drop out of a game with a group that's together and working pretty well. The life of a responsible adult often sucks.

JP

Friday, January 13, 2017

Treasures and objectives

Here are a number of treasure/ objectives we use for Frostgrave. The following are a collection of chests, and barrels for a variety of sources: Privateer Press, DwarvenForge, and Oathsworn.

These serve a variety of purposes in the game, in addition to looking quite good.

JP

Thursday, January 12, 2017

[Troll Thursday] Starter Box Bouncer

Continuing my starter troll starter box.

This guy had a weak chain: the plastic holding the ball had bend and was whitened. So I chopped off the chain and placed the ball directly on his hand.

Painting this guy was very much in-line with the rest of the trolls.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cryx Monday: Reaper and Slayer

Two jacks from the Random Mega-log



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Skorne Cyclops

I recently won a random auction on Ebay for a starter box of Skorne. I was particularly interested in painting the titan.

For these guys, I chose to use the typical dark red and brass theme, with the blue cloth to provide a contrast. I don't really know much about these guys as previous Skorne opponents favored larger beasts.

JP