Monday, 25 June 2012

What's on the workbench? : 01

This is just a teaser... A sneak-peak if you will... At what I've been assembling and prepping today, as I type this the spray undercoat is drying...

Some of these things are to be ready for Saturday when I run my Pathfinder campaign...

But I won't say which... It'll spoil the surprise... And I've more to do over the next couple of days...


Monsters and Creatures for Pathfinder RPG : 01

These are the first pictures of some of the creatures I have been putting together and painting to use in my Pathfinder RPG campaign.

This post is more than likely the first in a series... Hence the numbered title....

The first session that the whole party were together, they had to go out on a boar hunt in order to pay for rooms and have a meal for the night. There was no complacency after the party witnessed Grek almost taken down by a single gore attack from the first boar they encountered that evening.

I used some of the older Citadel plastic boars and just glued them onto 30mm round bases, a little greenstuff to fill the gap in the neck and a quick paint-job and we have...

The Elves Bracken and Caladrel had the misfortune of walking into a trap laid by spiders as they sought shelter in a cave. I wanted spiders of "small" size, the Pathfinder Bestiary had Spider Swarms (Diminutive) and Giant Spiders (Medium), so I used the young template found at the back of the bestiary upon the Giant Spider to make a smaller breed.

For the miniatures, I used some of the Giant Spiders from the old Warhammer Quest boxed set that I had sitting around gathering dust. Mounted on 30mm bases and painted up, they fulfilled the role quite nicely.

Arabella the Gnome Barbarian had a traumatic time when she was trapped underground after a cave-in, she travelled for a long time in the dark caverns underground looking for an exit. The culmination of her lonely adventure, when she ran into a small band of Mites within a forgotten dungeon and fought her way back to daylight.

The miniatures are simply classic Citadel Snotlings painted a blue-grey and mounted on 30mm bases.
(I wish I could find 20mm round lipped bases to mount my small creatures, but I've had no luck finding any.)

The adventurers have been involved in many encounters with Goblins that are attacking merchants along the main roads, worryingly within the bounds of the kingdom.

The miniatures I have painted here are from the now obsolete Gorkamorka line from Gamesworkshop, they were actually Snotlings from the Rebel Grot gang. And as before, mounted on 30mm bases and a quick lick of paint.

During the campaign I have used a variety of miniatures, stand ins and pre-painted minaitures (which I'll get to in a future post).
Thus far for Goblins I've used the ones above and handfuls of volunteers from my Warhammer Night Goblin army, I'm not quite satisfied with the look of them and I'm working on more.

I have a lot more miniatures to convert and paint to represent monsters/creatures that are choking up my work queue right now, when I get around to them I'll post them up.

So until I pull my finger out and get some more work done, that's all from me...

Take care,


Thursday, 21 June 2012

D&D Next : Playtest... First thoughts...

My gaming group and I have now had chance to play several sessions using the D&D:Next playtest pack, we had more players than space available so we switched character roles and had other players observing and lending a hand rules checking when they couldn't take part.

This isn't going to be an in depth review of any sort, more my own personal thoughts and musings on my experiences taking part.

I know it's a very early stage and many of the things I mention here may change a lot between now and publication of the finished rules, so I'll try to keep this short and write it as a list for clarity, because if you hadn't noticed before... I tend to ramble on.

1. Critical Hits:

Natural 20 is an auto critical hit, no roll to confirm and you cause the maximum possible damage with the weapon you are using.

- From what little knowledge of the 4th edition I possess I believe this carried over from there.
- I like it a lot, rolling a 20 is exciting and failing those confirm rolls was a real downer to everyone at the table.
- Getting maximum damage for the weapon is good too, it stops the now more frequent critical hits being too overpowered.

2. Healing:

PC's can heal their own characters with rest and a healers kit that has a set number of uses. A short rest (10 mins or so) allows the use of the healers kit and you roll some or all your hit dice (which get temporarily expended this way) to heal back the amount rolled plus your Constitution modifier. A Long rest (8 hours) you regain all hit points and all the hit dice you expended.

- I like how the short rest works, it comes across as a character pulling on their inner reserves of strength and tending to minor wounds that were slightly hindering them allowing them to get back into the fray a lot quicker.
- However I don't like the long rest as much, getting back your hit dice is great, but fully healing from going to sleep? I feel like it breaks the in game "reality" somewhat. Maybe if you healed back you Constitution, or your level plus Constitution modifier. just to make healing time a little more of a factor in the game.

3. No Resistance Traits?:

No Fortitude, Reflex or Will saves.... In instances where these traits would previously be used come down to a DC10+whatever the relevant ability modifier check...

-I am a little undecided on this at the moment, it works quite well but I'd like to get some more experience during play to make a more concrete comment. I suppose it does cut down on paperwork for one thing, no need to work out new resistance traits when you have abilities and modifiers that can be relevant to any situation you find yourself in.

4. Character Creation:

The characters included in the pack were pre-generated so what I'm about to write is guesswork from comparing all the sheets and discussion around the table. Each character sheet still has the same six abilities we know from previous editions, but there looks to be a new way of handling skills and powers/feats?

Below the general abilities, appearance and such, there are four spaces. Race, Class, Background and Theme. each has a block of descriptive text and a short list of skills/bonuses listed below it that your character can use or sometimes modify specific skill checks your character can make.

- I do really like this aspect, if these features are going to be modular you should be able to make some quite unique characters (although I believe some of them may probably be restricted by some classes).
As an example of what I'm gibbering about:
You could put together two different fighters by using the Background:Commoner and the Theme:Slayer for one and the Background:Soldier and Theme:Guardian for the second, meaning two unique and interesting characters for what seems very little work.
- I'm intrigued to find out what other features like these Backgrounds and Themes will be available later.

5. Advantage and Disadvantage:

There is a segment in the DM's section of the playtest pack about assigning DC's to actions the player's attempt and a rough chart of examples to draw from. The DM may decide that the player involved has an advantage or disadvantage in the situation and amend the difficulty of the roll.

- I really liked this section of the playtest rules. Along with the little parts about ignoring the dice and the fact the game is not as focused on the use of miniatures. It feels like the game is being brought back toward narrative play and that is the style I prefer to play and run. I love a story I can get my imagination really involved in, miniatures sometimes detract from that atmosphere. The advantage/disadvantage rule encourages players to roleplay more and interact with their surroundings in the game world.

That's about all can recall I wanted to write about at this moment in time...

So I'm going to slink back into the shadows for a while....

At least until i want to waffle on about something else.

Take care everybody,


(The Dungeons & Dragons logo is the property of Wizards of the Coast and is used without permission. No copyright challenge is intended and it will be taken down if requested)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Pathfinder RPG : our adventuring party... So far...

I just wanted to share some of the miniatures that my friends and I put together for my Pathfinder campaign here:Beyond the Wardwall.

So... Let's Begin.

Teresa "Tessy" Stoutfoot
(played by my 10 year old daughter Dagan-Ellora)

Tessy is quite a forceful and hotheaded Halfling Fighter who has on occasion led the party fearlessly from the front line.

(miniature conversion and painting by me.)

The Miniature: (all Citadel parts and some Greenstuff)
- Main body: Gorkamorka Snotling (o.o.p. citadel)
- Head: Lord of the Rings Elf
- Hair plume: 40k Ork range?
- Hands and axe handles: originally joined together as a Warhammer High Elf spearman's hands and polearm

The clothing and armour was all sculpted from Greenstuff.

Arabella Bloodwillow (played by Jessica)

Arabella is a complicated little Gnome Barbarian, quirky and mischievous around her friends, earning money as a carpenter's apprentice. In battle using minor magics to confuse enemies and turning completely psychotic (surely it's the mask!) when her friends are in danger. Along with Tessy she makes up the front line of the party.

(miniature conversion and painting by Jessica)

The Miniature:
- Blood Glutton Gnome Fighter (Reaper Miniatures)
- Night Goblin Fanatic ball and chain (Citadel Miniatures)
- Hair sculpted from Greenstuff (original miniature is bald)

Bracken Fernelle (played by t'other 'alf Micki)

Bracken now a full Druid has been sent by the elders of the druid commune he lived among, to deliver a most desperate message to the king. By his side stalks the fierce Mountain Tiger Sorell, together a force to be reckoned with, whether using bow or magic, tooth or claw.

(miniature conversion by me, painting by Micki)

The Miniature: (Dark Sword Miniatures and Reaper Miniatures)
- Male Wood Elf archer (Dark Sword)
- Tiger: Jungle Girl and Sabretooth Tiger (Reaper)

I lengthened the hair of the elf as my missus asked and I also sculpted the bases to fit the 30mm lipped rounds, because the miniatures came on awkwardly shaped integral bases.

Tornik Lorekeep (played by Wayne)

Tornik the Dwarf is a travelling adventurer, historian and storyteller (Bard), he is working to collate as much lost history and knowledge he can find within and possibly without the kingdoms walls.

(miniature conversion and painting by me)

The Miniature: (all Citadel parts)
- the main miniature is one of the single piece Dwarf champion models from the Skull pass boxed set
- book and hand from the Empire wizards sprue
- pickaxe and a lantern from the Dwarf miners sprue
- various scrolls, pouches, rope and various other bits and bobs... from all over the place?

Grek Shale (played by Gregory)

Grek is a Half-Orc/Half Dwarf Fighter, he was given over as a ward to a Dwarven temple and has spent his time training and striving to prove himself an able member of Dwarven society. On the battlefield he can be seen running around trying to lend a shield or well placed hammer wherever it is needed most.

(miniature conversion by me, painting by Gregory)

The Miniature: (Citadel and scratch-built parts)
- Lord of the Rings Uruk Hai figure
- o.o.p. chaos warrior shield
- hammer mostly scratch-built from wire and a hammer head on top from...? I can't remember...

Drungen Stonehelm (played by David)

Drungen is a Cleric and is on a pilgrimage to visit every pub, tavern and alehouse in the land. He has taken Grek along with him as his ward to keep an eye on him (it's quite possible that he is Grek's father, in fact the letter left with the waif said as much).

In battle he lends a hand fighting or healing wherever it is needed, all through the holy power of ale.

(miniature conversion and painting by David)

The Miniature: (Hasslefree and some Citadel)
- The dwarf is Brian the Blessed (Hasslefree Miniatures)
- tankard from Dwarf miner sprue
- Barrel from Ogre sprue?

Caladrel (played by Craig)

Caladrel believes he has learned all that is available in his coastal home town about the art of Summoning. He has taken to the road to see monsters and creatures surviving out in the wilds in their natural habitats instead of just reading about them in dusty old tomes, so that he may use that knowledge to increase his summoning skills.

He and his serpentine Eidolon Astrad have supported the other party members up close and afar several times now quite successfully.

(miniature conversions and painting by Jessica)

The Miniatures: (Citadel and Scratch-built)
- Legolas from the lord of the rings range with different hair and clothing sculpted on.
- Astrad is mostly Greenstuff and a Tyranid Warrior head

The party as it looks right now... missing a handful of members...

As you can see the party looks quite sizable right there...

But there are still a few more members to build and paint miniatures for. (Yes... Our games do get rather crowded...)

First of all there's Hodor, Drungen's Pack Pony (shown in group shot) that carries all the sacred ale.
(converted and half painted by me... I really need to finish him)

Kemella Morcam A Half-Elf rogue who won't tell anyone where she is from, not even the GM (played by my 13 year old daughter Ellaouise.)

Tidinium Flib A curious travelling Human Alchemist searching for new and interesting ingredients and recipes to concoct (played by James)

Lady Carmorel Carter, Evilbane A Human Paladin recently released from her mentor ready to live by her sacred code (played by Carl)

And if we get to that point...

Gotrun Heldefast A Dwarf Ranger with bad tidings from the north (played by myself if somebody else takes the reins for a spell...)

Well that's it for now...

Take care.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Deathwatch Dark Angel

Sometimes I just barrel ahead and don't think about the miniatures I work on, so unfortunately I don't think to get progress shots.

This was just such an occasion... (Although, he's not really complete, I want to get some more highlights and washes/glazes on before I'm satisfied.)

This was to be my character in the same Deathwatch campaign that I mentioned earlier in the blog in the Deathwatch Ultramarine post.

Regarding the incomplete paintjob.
I wanted to make the all too smooth robes look like a rough material, so I tried something new. I scrubbed dried paint on an old tattered brush, up and down the robes, unlike drybrushing which flicks across the raised detail picking up the edges. I built this up in layers of brown and bone, it's still to finish but I like the texture I'm getting so far.

The rest of the painting has been more standard smooth transition or edge highlight, i wanted the texture of the armour and cloth to contrast, rough and smooth.

Not a great deal of conversion work on this miniature, the parts are:

- Heavy Bolter: Devastator sprue
- Purity Seals: dunno... forgotten... Space Marine command squad sprue?
- Pretty much everything else from the Dark Angel veterans sprue

The only converting was the replacement of the original shoulder pad moulded onto the Heavy Bolter right arm, just some careful cutting away and a bit of plastic glue.
The ceremonial blade was cut from a Dark Angel backpack and added to the top of the devastator ammo drum backpack.
Oh, and the purity seals on the weapon replaced a skull or an aquila I think.

The base was simply an off-cut from a citadel movement tray I had lying around. It already had squares marked on it, so I thought it would make a nice paved base, so it was cut to fit a 30mm round lipped base and had a touch of rubble added to it to kep it simple.

Ultramarine too...

Also whilst I'm at it...

My beautiful, smart, witty and ever patient (I think that's enough grovelling) other half painted the Ultramarine I converted for her and asked me if I'd posted a picture of that up too.

I said I'd get around to it...

A few weeks ago...

So here it is, I think it turned out really nicely in the end.

I've got a few more articles I'm just writing up to post, so until then take care.