There was a lot of talk this past week about gays. I won't give you any of my thoughts on the subject (this is not the right forum), but when I saw this, I just could not help but chuckle.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Here are a few commissions I did for no one in particular. Yet all of these I sold off at last week's Pathfinder game.
The first model I got in one of the Savage Worlds packs. This tall lady would make an awesome half-orc druid or some type of barbarian amazon. This model was nice with a very simple sculpt. I debated about giving her a shield to make her into a hoplite, but I decided to leave her "au natural". She really came out nice. I wasn't surprised that she went that quickly.
This guy was on my painting table for the longest time. I did not want to paint him in black but I drew an absolute blank as to how to paint him. Then I picked up the Dragonlance Chronicles (I know, I know, I'll talk about it some other time) and then it hit me. I could see this guy as a red robed wizard. I still gave him a black tabard. The result works for me and was exactly how I wanted him. He too disappeared quickly.
This next model I purchased over a year ago at the same time as an identical model I bought and painted for my buddy CA from Boise. I never took a picture of CA's model... But at least I've got this one. Actually I sold her as well. Like every model from Reaper's Pathfinder range she is a joy to paint.
The last model of this batch is a spy from Crocodile games. Like Reaper's Pathfinder I love to paint these models. I painted this guy in simple desert colors. I imagined this guy as an Osirion/Qadiran Rogue, Sorcerer or Wizard. I hope to learn who/what he has since become! I gave it a little highlight on the skirt.
Friday, June 28, 2013
One of the things about moving is that you find a number of things you have in drawers. I found this little gem. I can date it 1980 because of the other drawings in that folder. I'll post more of them in the coming days.
What was I doing in those days? Really simple... I'll let you guess who got real fat. Real quick.
It was DARTH VADER!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
My inbox is abuzz because one guy has posted a "I want to run a PFS game where I will go all-out to kill you." What he calls "Hardcore Mode" where he is flat out trying to kill people. That's not quite my cup of tea at least at the lower levels but at the high level: BRING IT ON. My characters are built to beat the crap out of your NPC/monsters, but I also planned them to survive the return punch. Low-level... meh...
What really got me irked this morning is the littany of players who act all holier-than-thou. "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" and begin putting up a number of posts by Mike Brock, Chris Tulach, Elvis, or their cousin's dog to prove their point. They want robots to run endless, boring adventures where their characters can smash through everything and have everyone in the universe marvel at their greatness.
GMs are people. Every person has different interests. They bring a different baggage to the table. Their own experiences, tastes, skills, talents and abilities. They're not ALL the same.
What will these whiny bitches accomplish?
One less GM willing to run what HE like, less play opportunity for ME, they win, everybody loses.
Yes I call you whiny bitches because that is the EXACT result you will accomplish.
People who offer to GM adventures do so because it is fun for THEM to do so (usually). I've played with enough players in PFS to know that many have yet to take damage in 2-5 levels. My own AC 13 character spent 5 adventures without taking a single point of damage from the bad guys!
If someone wishes to put up a HARDCORE MODE adventure, then he is welcomed to try! If he gets a table of maniac who share his obsession for death & mayhem, let them!
Where my problem is/would be
A GM who does NOT announces that he is running in this Hardcore Mode and who surprises the party would be in bad form. Usually, with a bunch of dead characters in his wake.
As long as everyone knows what they're getting into, then that's fine. You're not a jerk if you are told "I will kill anyone who goes down" AHEAD OF TIME. If you start doing it as a "SURPRISE! I'M PLAYING IN DICK MODE" I would support anyone picking up their stuff and leaving with a "this is not what I signed up for" comment (and a rude gesture including your middle finger).
The Game Contract
This is what I call "the game contract." If everyone sits down knowing this is gonna be as tough as the GM can make it. Then FINE, let people play together if they want. If they all want to have the "Bambi Mode" where the bad guys only tickle them for no damage and the PCs don't attack either. THAT'S ALSO FINE. You will find that most people prefer a middle-of-the-road option. I would not participate in Bambi mode and I'm likely not to take on Hardcore mode either.
But prevent it from happening?
The Positive Experience
I've always been outspoken and a strong proponent of offering people what they want. That's why I love NeoExodus so much. I can change or adapt the adventures to my group as much as I want. My goal is to provide a "positive game experience". And players are not ALL the same. Heck! I have changing moods and sometimes I do want to just kick the door, defeat the monster and steal his stuff. Other times I want to plan and interact with NPCs.
As a GM, make sure everyone leaves with this positive experience and people will love you for it. I don't go out to kill players, it happens. I don't like it. However, at my table you are guaranteed to have a challenge and I think I'm pretty competent in my craft overall.
I make no qualms that I change, tweak, adapt, cheat, or modify adventure for them to be more interesting for me to run. I will fudge dice rolls, make odd math calculations, ignore tactics, change maps (usually making them larger), merge combats, whatever I can to make the player's experience positive and entertaining. In spite of this, I generally run with full tables most of the time, whether it be Call of Cthulhu, NeoExodus, (I don't really GM PFS anymore but) PFS, or any other game system.
Running cons, I've always encouraged my GMs to provide that positive experience to players. That will keep our hobby strong, growing and fresh. Following hardcore guidelines that turn GMs into a computer is one of my main disagreement with Mike Brock and PFS under him. It'll work until the next good thing come along and the good GM jump ship. Where did I see that before... it was in 2009 or so... What was... oh yeah! Many good GMs jumped to Pathfinder from 4e because they felt like they had some freedom to run their game...
Bad GMs get no players. Bad players get no table
A GM that runs adventures with a chip on his shoulder quickly finds himself alone. No one joins his tables. There are local GMs who I never sign up for their games simply because I know they run the Bambi mode and I'll never fail, rarely take damage, and it'll be a nice walk in the park.
Just like a player who is a dick is not invited.
And word get out quick. If "Joe" runs his game oddly, people know. A number of GMs at local cons are not asked or offered to GM for these reasons. The problem is that a GM who doesn't run, doesn't improve...
But what about the Campaign admin?
Really? Do you really think any campaign admin can do ANYTHING about it? No. No they can't. So I bought the scenario, organize my own table with my friends. Do you think any campaign administrator has the time or the interest to come to your house and forbid you from running. If they do they are not doing their job, and I don't know any campaign admin who falls into that category.
Stop panicking and stop your whining. Make characters that the aren't one-trick pony you've been trained to create because it is the best build. And PLAY.
I stand by my original assessment. If the GM announces his intentions and the players KNOWINGLY sign up for it. Then GO FOR IT!
It's unreasonable to think that some type of "OP Police" exists. If everyone agrees that we're ignoring the rule for XYZ, then fine.
Of course if you agreed, don't come crying "the GM did Z, he's not suppose to."
Yeah I know you think you can do that. And you might get away with it too. Okay your death is invalidated by act of campaign staff, the GM gets publicly insulted.
Your character lives... But I know one table you will be invited at again.
Have fun playing with yourself! (Pun intended but the non-double-entendre is also valid).
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Late last year, I believe it was in October, I put up a message saying I was looking to start a NeoExodus home game. In no time at all, I had six willing volunteer wanting to play. And since that time, I have been doing nasty things to them. Very nasty things. I will let them spread the word of all of the things they did - both good, bad and "Oops". There were a few changes to the group, such as Stephen joining in session #2, to William and Jacob later.
This was my first home game, real home game, not based on published or "going to be published" material and I really enjoyed it. I was able to use some of my favorite old-style dungeons from the TSR I-Series modules, tweaked to the Pathfinder RPG.
Without telling you everything that happened, here is the final entry in the campaign journal of "The Mark".
Alone in the dark, Athelia pondered the situation. Obroxus had failed and now she was left with almost nothing. She fumed and raged, smashing what was left after these meddlesome adventurers had left. These vandals had stolen everything they could not destroy. And what was left suffered under the blind woman's rage.
"I am so glad I gave that poisoned wine bottle to those adventurers so they would break free from your control..."
From the anger rose a new sense of dedication, a new purpose. As though her mind had been forged in the flames of her anger and sharpened upon the blade of her hatred. Just then, the solution came to her!
Maybe the imbecile had not failed entirely. Her thoughts half-formed, she rose and walked through the vandalized remains of the home she has shared with Obroxus. Snickering at the destroyed portraits, at the stolen furniture, at the traps that would need to be fixed, she made her way through the deserted mansion. It mattered little to Athelia at this time.
Heading to the basement, she pressed her hand upon a slime-covered wall. The yellowish goo swallowed her hand for a moment before parting revealing a massive alchemical laboratory.
Beakers, glass tubes, rainbow-colored powders, neon smoke escaped from uncorked bottles. She looked on in wonder trying to understand the complex experiments still underway. Finding a journal, Athelia sat on nearby chair and flipped through the pages. Obroxus had detailed his experiments on vellum. It would take her years to re-create the Mark. But she had time.
The mark would force the bearer to obey every one of your commands.
"What? The fool marked these adventurers with five others? Kago wanted Gwen gone forever. Baron von Urtenstein wanted his future wife's brother-in-law and all his people killed. The Demon Art who wanted a vessel upon Exodus. And finally Shafell the gevet needed someone to destroy her mother."
She marveled at the lack of ambition these slaves demonstrated. What if instead of applying that type of power to a group of kids, it was applied to the best and most powerful adventurers on Exodus? She squealed with joy, jumping excitedly. The hatred and anger she felt before was gone. Contempt and admiration both raced through her mind.
Her attention was drawn to a single papyrus protruding from the back. Her eyes filled with horror as she read the runes. She read how Obroxus drew power from the slave's own future selves to make them extremely powerful. Sure, it would cut their lifespan by a decade or more, but she couldn't help but marvel at the revelation.
The poison she gave the slaves severed that connection. She was the one who made it all fail! Obroxus might have made an army of servants using their own power! Horrified and disgusted with herself, she put the journal down on the table and walked to the slime wall.
As the wall closed behind Athelia, a dark-skinned hand peered out of the shadows reaching for the single piece of paper. Then the laboratory was still and quiet again.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Back in May, my friend Bard left Colorado Springs for California. I was sad at seeing a good friend leave.
Then a few days later, his brother Todd - also my good friend - walks up to me as we are about to start playing some Pathfinder in the back of Gamers' Haven. So he comes to me, hands me a box full of the old 2000 ish Chainmail models! Many of these will end up on this blog in the future. These models were from Bard who had no use for them.
To thank him, I offered to paint a mini for him. Todd asked for a cleric.
No problem... I thought. Then I went home and began looking through my collection of models. Nothing really "pure cleric" available. At least in male (I don't remember Todd ever playing a female character).
The only model I could find was a biblical era priest. And to be honest, that model is not the best there is. And I wanted to give him a nice mini. So a plan formed in my head. And I went with it... This model I would paint like a "sun cleric." Bright Yellow robes with red and orange sun rays.
Then I decided to use a few models that were not "quite" clerics or priestly but that could be used for a variety of characters. I took this Egyptian priest. To me, this guy said "Osirion Wizard." As always Crocodile Games models are a joy to paint. This one was no exception. I thought about making a complex pattern on the skirt but decided against it as it would take away from this awesome necklace.
When I gave it to Todd this past Saturday, he exclaimed "Cool, a monk!" Which I must admit I never even thought about, but looking at it now, I can see how he might reach that conclusion. That model would make an awesome monk...
In an effort to make a cleric, I converted one of my medieval slingers into a "Templar" of sort. I removed the sling, added a skull on a leather cord from GW skeleton bitz. Added a few swords on his back to make him look more like an adventurer. The overall result is really good. I thought about keeping that character for myself... In the end, I thought of him as a paladin or some type of "low templar."
Todd seemed very happy with the models, and peace ruled over the land.
Monday, June 24, 2013
For a long time now I have wanted to get my hands on some of GW's Lord of the Rings models. However, I was never willing to part with the amount of money they were asking. However, I managed to get my hands on two hobbits and a few other "random" miniatures. I will be posting them in the coming months.
The details of the sculpts are really astounding. Definitely the most realistic miniatures I ever saw. The minis look like Sean Astin & Elijah Woods. It was pleasure to paint them. For such detailed models, they do paint up really nice and surprisingly easily. I went with the plaid pants on both and gave Froddo a pin-stripped jacket. This makes them look even better.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
How could I forget this? Last week, a book I did some work on over four years ago is now available for download.
As many of you know, I have run "The Masks of Nyarlathotep" three times (twice through and the third time, we stopped one chapter short). So at the time, I was heavily involved in the Yog-Sothoth.com forums and saw that a group of people were working on a companion book for the campaign. They wanted a little bit of everything: extra adventures, additional material, expanding information about locations. For my home game, I had done a fair amount of research on one of these locations. I have yet to go, but I still dream of going to and see Hong Kong one day.
So you can find the PDF for the Companion - and even more details about it - by following this link.
Let me know what you think!
Saturday, June 22, 2013
A while back, my good friend Everett came to me with a miniature he wanted to create stat blocks for. I was intrigued. Between two code builds, I put down a number of stats and came up with a decent creature.
Then my PC force-rebooted itself.
No more stat blocks! So I lost that and I've been too lazy to re-do it since.
Then two weeks ago, he brought me a model to paint. This thing is very big and can be used as an offensive weapon. This creature I base coated black, then did a light gray drybrush. After the dip, I went back and then did a number of dry brushing using gray and white highlights. I rarely do as much drybrushing so it was a fun work.
This other model also painted for Everett. As we walked out of a game day (or was it the NeoExodus homegame? - I can't remember). He handed me one of the Reaper Pathfinder models I like so. These models are usually based on Wayne Reynold's art paint up so easily. I really love that range. Everett doesn't have a firm idea for the character but with a painted model, I feel a Hellknight will make his appearance at a local Pathfinder table...
Friday, June 21, 2013
I have been thinking a lot about NeoExodus Legacies, trying to clear out my backlog of things I need to do for the campaign... And one of the things that gnaw at me are cohorts. I like the idea of having them as an option. I remember our Arcanis (after the Living campaign was done) game where we had 2 cohorts in the party and both added a lot of extra abilities and flavors to the tea.
Then I remembered that I wrote a blog post at the time. Yikes! Already three years ago! You can read my thoughts in this post from 2010. As I re-read it, I really though that it conveyed most of what I wanted to say. And that my thoughts from back then had not changed, they have only been reinforced actually!
I think there are two good example of a cohort: Robin and Samwise Gamgee. Both of these are integral to the story of the main character (Batman/Froddo) but the main character can do their thing on their own. Okay Froddo is a little messed up at the end, but I'll focus on the first 2.5 books.
So... How to make cohort rules that are usable, fun and simple. I'm a fan of simple rules...
So I sat down and looked at the rules I had to compare: Living Greyhawk and Living Arcanis. Both had a usable system so I decided to inspire myself from them. Pathfinder Society has no such rules - which I really find too bad - though I can see why.
So in short:
I have been trying to merge the two together and have a first draft of the NeoExodus Cohort Rules ready to go to D'Anne and Linda for them to tell me how wrong I am. After that, I will make a post asking for feedback by you, my readers. So other than the big PaizoCon special... I have a number of things in the NeoExodus pipe! Its a really exciting time for the campaign.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Here is a model of the mercenary warcaster Ashlynn D'Elyse from the Mercenary Faction. The original model has an odd posture - which still remains. However, I decided to add a banner. You know my weakness for banners. The resulting model really seems like a rebel leader.
Like so many of the Warmachine models I painted recently, I have yet to get to field her. I like her backstory so I just may get to play her one of these days. Though it might be in a few weeks... I'll let you all know as soon as I get a chance!
Monday, June 17, 2013
With the sales I have been doing on EBay, I am proud to show you the last of the Khador I got almost a year ago at Gamers' Haven's Auction. I have a LOT of boxes to ship out today as my former models are on their way to California, Iowa, New York, and Tennessee. Few will remain in Colorado.
The first unit are Winter Guard Riflemen. I painted them to mimic the other Winter Guard unit I did. The two look really cool together as the red really pops and the white highlights really make a nice contrast.
The other unit is a unit of Widowmaker, long-range snipers. I really like the sculpt on that female leader. To break the red, I used some green here and they really contrast nicely with the rest of the army. I know others have used this type of scheme before, but I wanted to use green sparingly to highlight a unit.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
One of our great fans has created a Facebook group for fans of NeoExodus. It's a great place to connect with other aficionados of the setting. I will be posting the occasional update to NeoExodus on there (and here).
Here is a direct link to NeoExodus Facebook Group.
I cannot wait for tomorrow's Free RPG Day. Expose people to the world.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
During last year's Gencon, Privateer Press put out two unique models for our grubby hands. Not being at Gencon - but sending my spies - I was not able to secure directly one of the models. HOWEVER, I went on their website and purchased two. One is a Khador Bombardier and the other is a Circle Wilder. I have yet to assemble and paint up the bombardier...
But I painted the Wilder. This "Druid gone Wilder" mini I plan on using as an unformed character in a coming game. I don't know for what but it'll happen. I just have to need a character. Obviously a drunken human, elf or half-elf... The type of character everyone likes!
I am selling my Circle Oroboros army right on Ebay but I have chosen to hold on to this one, to use either as a prize or an RPG mini. I still have time to decide.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
This installment is a number of Games Workshop Dryads I painted up for my good friend Brian-B. Brian wanted a few conversions to match his summoner's Eidolon I painted for him a while ago. So I did him two "small" version of that thing using the dryads. The first two models are those conversions. One has a greenish skin and the other is more white/ aspen theme.
Next is the rest of the unit (I just realized there are 2 minis not pictured).
This final model is for a yet-to-be-created NeoExodus Dalrean character. I'm not saying what it is for... Not yet, you will have to stay tuned.
Monday, June 10, 2013
With Free RPG Day fast approaching, I have a few recommendations for those of you who are planning to GM the adventure - as I will at Gamers' Haven here in Colorado Springs. Check them out, they will have a LOT of events running on the day, including 2 slots of NeoExodus. These guys are really great, and I strongly recommend them!
To make this simpler, I will use a few "sidebars" to give the information and provide you with some insight.
First off, I want to thank my play-testers: Martin Blake, Neale Davidson, Jon Goldstein, Leonard Logan, and D’Anne Nelson. These people provided me with great feedback, and the adventure was made MUCH better because of their comments and thoughts. These guys are not just players, but they are friends and people who I've been gaming with for years (Lenny was one of the first person I made friend with when I first arrive here in Colorado Springs).
This adventure is also playable with our organized play campaign: NeoExodus Legacies. Get rewarded for playing NeoExodus and through your actions change the world.
Why? Legacies is our Organized Play campaign where players get to directly impact the storyline. A number of the characters in the adventure (such as Harbinger Wexel) do appear in the campaign. For more information on the campaign, go to the NeoExodus Legacies Website.
Where can I get a reward sheet for the NeoExodus Legacies Campaign? You may find the Legacy Record on that link.
Running on Free RPG Day
During Free RPG Day (or any time-constraint environment), describe the PCs’ journey through the jungle over 10 days. To represent the jungle madness, have the PCs make a DC 11 Will save or take 1d6 points of Wisdom damage before moving on to the next encounter.
Wave the rolls for random encounters, describe how the PCs fight some of the local monsters.
Why? Although fun and very old-school, it does not really add to the plot happening in the adventure.
Random Shots/ Mini-FAQ
Where can I get the pregens? You may download the iconics here
Should I be shouting when speaking in Enuka? Please be mindful of other. Speak loudly and project your voice (think of Billy Mays and other TV salesmen who seems to always be shouting, but are really not). Enuka use simple words and sentences. Oh, and they only use exclamation points for punctuation.
What's the DC to climb the pyramid? Let's call it a 15.
This is WAY too hard! Feel free to swap the location and size of rooms G and H to be nice to your players. But I would not recommend it.
Why are the First Ones so evil? There is a reason everyone rose up against the First Ones. They are NOT nice people.
Where can I get more adventures? There are already a number of them available on our website, with more coming.
Is there a place I can report what my table did? Yes, send an email to FirstOnes@NeoExodus.com. What your party did may end up integrated into the storyline for NeoExodus Legacies!
Can I run the full adventure on Free RPG Day? Yes you can, but some of your players may wish to play other events during the day, please "play nice".
How long does the full adventure run for? Depending on the GM's roll, it might take up to 8 hours or so. During the play-test, we got
These images are for your convenience.
Plus you can always ask me: through a comment here, on Facebook, or through email.