Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Manifestations in Miniature

Whoo hoo! I've officially made more posts than I did in the entire year of 2015!

Sometimes I pick up mini's, especially lovely cheap Reaper Bones, 'cos they're interesting. That's pretty much what happened with all of today's offerings.

First off, a trio of Egyptian deities, or demigods, or whatever you might want to call 'em. Maybe they're animated idols, maybe they're summoned godly avatars, or maybe they're ancient astronauts stopping off for snacks and a chance to use the restroom. Either way they were cool and I collected 'em all like Von Daniken's Pokemons.

Your mummy would know.

Then another sweet translucent, this one in purple. Some kinda spell summoned attack beast or supernatural construct. He only needed some light surface treatment and some highlighting on the teeth and claws, otherwise the translucent plastic provides most of the wow factor. Watch out for this guy if you're gonna wander the foggy moors around your ancestral manor at night. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Piscine peril from the primordial pond.

I call these guys Primordials, 'cos they look like my favorite prehistoric terror fish, the Dunkleosteus. I think they'll be good for really deep caves untouched by strange eons with a little bit of flooding and some cyclopean architecture.
Inka dunka doo!

Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Elemental!

No, not him.
I'm talking about some of the best Bones for your buck. Reaper's large elemental figures. The colored translucents are particularly choice.

As I've said before, their pricing is excellent for a cash poor gamer with delusions of tabletop grandeur like myself. When I needed to make a splash with last year's arch-villain in my Helgacon Thousand Year Sandglass game, nothing says "Boss of the Boss Fight" like a brace of fire elementals at your back. (Admittedly, the way the the game played out it wasn't one of my best, but damn if those beasties didn't make 'em sweat when I first put 'em on the table.)

The Burning Lich and his blazing buddies.

I just wish they'd get around to doing an Air Elemental so I could get the complete set. 

That would be simply Splendid!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Cloudy with a chance of yetis.

We're getting this where I live tonight.
Hope we don't get any of these.
Better plug in my wand of fireballs, I guess....

Big bullies and little bullies

Lets start at the bottom. Since my Dungeon Kit idea is kind of an intro adventure, I figured I'd include one of the basics as the sort of substrate of monsters in the compact adventures I'm keying up.

Behold, my kobolds!
I did a couple things a little differently with these little guys. Firstly, I made 'em green, just 'cos why not? (They kinda remind me of miniature (miniature miniature?) versions of the classic green, pig faced orcs from the 80's D&D cartoon.)

Honestly, your bog standard Warhammer/Warcraft tinged greenies kinda bore me, so if I'm using orcs and goblins at all (which I tend to prefer not to, again 'cos they're so overused) I tend to paint 'em in different shades than green. Kobolds have a much wider range of interpretation, from rat like scaly dog twerps to stunted little cousins thrice removed to dragons. So I figured for once I'd go green.

Secondly, since I like using minis in play, I decided to base them in groups, to spare myself wrangling a million little individual figs on the tabletop. Since these guys are half a HD to begin with and prefer to attack in droves, it seemed like a logical choice. We'll see how it goes in game.

Due to forgetting that I already owned a pack of Reaper's "Kobold Leaders" I got a nice brace of "big" bodyguards for my kobold sorcerer boss, plus a spare sorcerer in the bits box for undetermined future use.

Moving up the totem pole of dungeon goons, and also 'cos I wanted to work on something non-dinky, we've got some big bruisers.
Mountain Troll, Ettin, and Ogre
Ogres are kinda the intro to man-like monsters that the party needs to use pack tactics on to take down. I've got a few of Warhammer's pretty awesome ogre figs for that purpose, but this guy's part of my recent post-holiday Reaper wave. The ettin's from a couple of years ago, and saw his debut on the table at a seafaring Thousand Year Sandglass game I ran at Helgacon 9. (In a tribute to the classic Popeye cartoon he was backing up an evil pirate captain who also had a giant pet vulture.) Finally, the very Peter Jackson-esque troll who I got as heavy support for a villian that I wound up using other goons for. I think if I was gonna stat him up for Labyrinth Lord he'd either be an armored up hill giant or a runty stone giant.

Anyway, that's the large and small of it...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Insanity Cards

I would be remiss (one might even say, crazy) if I forgot to mention my friend and longtime dungeon pal Paul is running a crowd sale at The Game Crafter for his innovative Insanity Cards.

The more folks who buy in, the cheaper it'll be for all of us who've bought a copy. So check it out, and try to ignore the hamsters talking to you from under the floorboards. They're cheapskates, and wouldn't know a good gaming product if they had it crammed in their grubby little cheek pouches.

Henchmen and Hounds

One feature of old school type gaming that I enjoy is henchmen. While admittedly they're more mouths to feed, both literally and metaphorically with treasure and XP, having a couple extra hands down in the dungeons can be a really good thing. Especially since there are a LOT of mouths to feed down there and it might be the difference between whether you or your hired help get volunteered for that job.

The best ones develop their own personalities and become just as much a fixture of the campaign as the player characters. (I still fondly remember Melchior (with his missing fingers and his justified pathological fear of wolves) Strang the Unlucky, or good ol' Frog from when I played in Paul's ongoing campaign back in the day.)

Meta game wise, they're a great source of backup characters if your primary character fails their save vs. the big Trapper Keeper in the sky and you don't want to wait to get back into the action until the party extricates themselves and treks all the way back to the tavern to find a new sucker adventuring companion. This is why I always recommend henchies get a full cut of the in-game loot, even if they're only drawing 1/2 exp. It makes an easier transition than the party just deciding all of a sudden the former flunky suddenly gets a pay raise.

So I decided to have some hireling figs on tap with my dungeon kit, just to have 'em.They can also do duty as town guards or bandits if need be. I dunno why I decided to make them kinda like starter Pokémon (water, fire, and leaf types) but the rock/paper/scissors aspect of that may come into play somehow. Who knows?

These guys come in 3 packs so they're a good way to fill out your roster on the cheap. You can also get 'em with spears, bows, and x-bows if you wanna get fancy. I didn't, so sword guys are good enough for me. 

I've also got a faithful porter, for those non-combatant, stuff carrying jobs where you might not want to bring a pack mule or pony down into the depths. Reaper's got a pretty decent peasant with pitchfork and torch. With a little modification to the fork, like maybe turning it into a spear or quarterstaff, they could make a good torch bearer.

Good ol' Yothrick the Downtrodden.

Now another form of dungeon helper I've seen before is someone often has the bright idea of bringing dogs into the scary, monster and trap infested underground. I'm a bit more ambivalent about this. Just like henchmans, dogs are really under the control of the DM, but are a bit more unpredictable since they're animals and unless you've got a druid with the right spells along it might be hard to get 'em to understand or do what you want. 

It pays to remember that they're just dogs, not remote control robots who can bite monsters. They'll spook at really unnatural things like undead or aberrations. They bark, which at the right time could be a vital warning of danger but at the wrong time would be like having your own pet shrieker following you around. Plus if you bring 'em along just to set off traps you probably ought to scratch "Lawful" or "Good" even "Human" off your character sheet if it somehow got on there.

Still, I figured it'd be worth picking up a couple of doggos for either extra help on a delving crew, or even better as K-9 units for any town guard entanglements the party might find themselves in. It's always worth remembering, if the DM allows you to have it, then they get to use it too.
Big puppers. These guys are pony sized in 35mm scale. In fantasy world dog curbs you.