Monday, July 16, 2018

#30Days30Miniatures - Day 23

Another couple miniatures completed for the #30Days30Miniatures challenge! A Reaper Bones skeletal/lich lord and a Reaper (pewter) Mouseling Bard. These mark my 33rd and 34th offerings to date. I didn't plan to wrap up both of these tonight, but I was a lot closer than I expected, so I thought "why not?" 

The Mouseling Bard was super, super easy to paint, especially since it didn't have any eyes to worry about!

I made the last minute decision to add some orange to the edges of the bard's shirt. Glad I did, as it added a fun little tone to what was originally a drab shirt. And what bard could be wearing a drab shirt!?

The skeletal lich lord dude was a fun paint as well. He's the main villain who will face off against my barbarian painted last week, at least that's the plan. Lots of red with this one, even on the end of the mace, as I tried to give it a bit of a glowing look. 

Another fun cloak to paint.

Let's see what you've got! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Eastern Forest Campaign - Sky ov Crimson Flame - Session 1

As Will would say, you can't get any more METAL than playing Dungeon Crawl Classics at The Games Keep in West Chester, PA. I'd like to further offer that there is no adventure more absolutely gonzo-metal as Sky ov Crimson Flame by Thorin Thompson. In fact, if you don't own this adventure, and you have an unquenchable thirst to totally jack with your players' psyches from start to finish, you need to purchase this adventure.

To quote one of our players, Ryan, when the troupe came across yet another horrific possibility:

"I don't even want to find out what that is." 

If your players are making statements like that, you as a Judge are winning. You are winning hard. Sky ov Crimson Flame lets you win all day. 


Before I start talking about our game, I need to share my three favorite things from this module:

  1. The Meat! This is a 60 page adventure that also acts as a sourcebook for the Eastern Forest. You get an action packed adventure that'll take at least two sessions to properly flesh  out, as well as a mini-campaign setting with six additional locations to visit in a true hex-crawl fashion
  2. The Art! Stefan Poag, Jordyn Boci, and Nicolo Maioli really knock this out the park. Love Stefan's flying baby-headed bats. Jordyn's cartography is top notch and super evocative. Just wonderful. 
  3. The Handouts! I love when you get to hand players actual items and artifacts to the game. Thorin does a great job giving judges a lot of stuff to share with their tables. From a love letter connecting one of the PC's to the adventure, to grand scenes of horror, there's a lot here.

This is really the closest I've come to writing a review in a long while, but I felt obligated. This adventure is just so, so good. If you love Evil Dead and all its incarnations, this is the adventure for you. If you love horror adventures, this is the adventure for you. If you love Dungeon Crawl Classics, this is the adventure for you.

Pretty much, this is the adventure for you. 

Cast of Characters

To help connect my players with their characters, I allowed everyone who survived last session to level up their chosen 0-level characters to 1st level. Cody and Evie were both short of characters, so I let them play their choice of character class. We spent the first 30-45 minutes working through character creation, class descriptions, and magic selection. 

  • Turd Fergeson, Cleric of Amon-Tor, played by Ryan
  • Perrin, Dwarf, played by Cody
  • Txunamy, Elf, played by Evie
  • Steve James, Wizard, played by Will
  • Tonya, Warrior, played by Robert
  • Lars, Dwarf, played by Rob

I've only been in a handful of games with one dwarf, so having two was a real treat. Our party was fairly combat heavy too, given the pair of dwarves and a warrior. No thieves, which was a shame. 

I should note that we had a pair of 0-levels in the game following the unfortunate demise of Evie's Elf:

  • Buena the Mendicant
  • Bartholomew the Locksmith 

I'm going to let Evie pick one of the Crawl! Zine classes for her next character. She's decided to level up Buena as a Bard. 

Campaign Background 

  • The adventure begins in the village of Reed, located at the edge of the Eastern Forest.
  • In my ever-growing DCC uber-setting, the Eastern Forest is located to the east of the Shudder Mountains, southeast of Frost Fang Mountain, and northeast of the Sunken City and Great City. 
  • The entire party is a mix of Earth-natives from the last session (Turd Fergeson, Tonya, and Lars) and fantasy world natives (Perrin and Txunamy).
  • Steve James is sort of in a class of his own, as he is the grandfather of Will's former character Steve James III, and is a wizard of some renown in the land. All of Steve James' magic is fish-related. As Rob stated earlier to describe Steve James spellcasting style, "I think what we've learned so far is that there is a fish for every problem." 
  • Only two weeks had passed in-game between the inaugural session and this adventure. For those earth natives, they learned the ins and outs of their new classes by montage. 
  • Perrin the Dwarf is the lover of Belesa, one of the villagers who had gone missing, thus prompting the adventure. 

Adventure Overview

  • Upon learning of the stolen villagers of Reed, Steve James the Wizard teams up with Perrin the Dwarf to journey east to the Ancient Keep. The party is accompanied by a quartet of commoners driving a wagon heavily laden with supplies.
  • En route to the Ancient Keep, the party is beset upon by crazy, raving villagers. One of these villagers, Biff, was friends with Txunamy. The Elf was horrified when her dear friend was slain, but there was no apparent way to save him. 
  • Approaching the Ancient Keep, the party found a pair of crucified villagers being devoured by fat bats. When attacked by the flying creatures, the party saw that they were not bats, but instead they were human heads with bat wings capable of going super-stabby with their dangling spinal cords. Eww!
  • After crossing the stone bridge to the Ancient Keep, the party took the path to the right of the keep to sneak into the structure from the side.
  • The party's two dwarves found a hidden entrance to the side of the keep's basement. In this crypt the party recovered the powerful enchanted long sword "Silvallum." This lawful blade rejected the party's chaotic and neutral adventurers, but found Perrin's strong and courageous dwarven hand as its new home. 
  • Moving on, the party found the keep's ancient library. Not the best room for Perrin or Txunamy. While searching a box, Turd Fergeson found the face of Belesa, and when Perrin saw it he went mad! 
  • Txunamy found an ancient scroll, but after opening it the words turned the poor elf into a desiccated mummy. 
  • I should note that Evie's second character, Buena the Mendicant, tried handling the scroll as well. After she described handling the scroll with her toes, I made her reenact the scene with her actual feet. It was amusing.

  • Peaking into the bedchamber below the Keep, the party saw a weird shuffling mass of flesh that was the size of a man. Nope. Tonya pushed one of the book shelves in front of the door, cutting it off from the library. 
  • The party also initially "noped" the balcony that led outside from the library, even though there was access to another level by scaling the side of the building. 
  • Wanting to explore a bit more, the party headed into the lowest level of the keep, coming across a series of prison cells. It was here that they found the tongueless  locksmith Bartholomew. Bartholomew didn't remember much of his capture, but after Turd Fergeson healed his mouth, he was able to share a few details.
  • Eventually the party decided to battle the shambling flesh husk in the Keep's bed chamber. Between the cleaving might of Tonya and Perrin (along with a little fish magic from Steve James) the fight was fairly one sided. 

Open Story Points
  • Weary of Amon-Tor not answering his prayers, the Cleric Turd Fergeson seemed ready to give up his faith for another deity... or perhaps another profession?
  • Turd Fergeson had possession of Belesa's face and scalp, but after careful examination, prayer, and meditation, knew that the soul of Belesa still existed somewhere on the Prime Material Plane. Perhaps there was still a way to save Perrin's lost love? 

Character Crematorium 
  • Txunamy the Elf, slain by reading the wrong scroll, instantly becoming mummified. 
What's Next?

We shall be continuing Sky ov Crimson Flame! 

#30Days30Miniatures - Day 22

For the record, as of today I've finished 32 miniatures. BOO YAH!

Just a light painting day today for #30Days30Miniatures. I had a Road Crew event for Dungeon Crawl Classics at the Games Keep in West Chester, PA, and needed some time to prep for my event. So after making breakfast this morning, I sat down with the intention of just wrapping up a single miniature.

Since my Reaper Mouseling Pirate was so close to completion, that's the direction I went with. Just needed to do a bit of dry brushing and then detailing of his features. Unfortunately his peg leg seems so low to the ground that I didn't want to detail any of it. I may go in there at some point with a different brush and make it more obvious later. 

But for now, this is what I got!

Show me what YOU got!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

#30Days30Miniatures - Day 21

Behold Thoraxis! Mightiest of barbarian warriors! Greatest swordsman who has ever set foot in the city of Felstad, bravest pirate who has ever sailed the Ghost Archipelago, and finest hero of Tristram.

When I saw this Reaper Bones miniature at Phantom Games last week, I just had to have it. For a couple years now I've been playing Diablo 3 on Xbox with my three kiddos. My character is Thoraxis the Barbarian. This miniature may not look quite like the one in the video game, but close enough. 

So much fun to paint!

The gallows is also a Reaper Bones piece of terrain. Super easy to paint, and just a great piece for the table. 

Overall a very successful painting experience this morning. I hope yours has been as well!

Friday, July 13, 2018

#30Days30Miniatures - Day 20

After last night's rather somber #30Days30Miniatures post, tonight I decided to just stick to a simple Reaper Bones donkey. 

No joke... I painted a donkey. 

Not the most exciting miniatures I've ever painted, but I figure that he'd have his use at the table. I really like all the gear he has on his back too! That's a lot of swag for a cute little guy to be carrying around.


Aside from the donkey, I also did a bit of work on my Reaper Bones barbarian and gallows. I almost did something with my Reaper mouseling pirate, but decided to hold off. Dinner was ready.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

#30Days30Miniatures - Day 19

My worst day of homesickness since our move hit me today. This Saturday will mark a month since we showed up on the other side of Pennsylvania. For the first couple of weeks we were so busy getting things unpacked, that it just felt like some kind of weird vacation. It didn't feel like we were going to be here permanently. It was just like being at one of the Disney resorts. It was Old Key West, and we were here on an extended vacation.

I think this week it hit me that I wasn't going home. 

So I painted.

I really didn't feel like finishing anything tonight. I had to work late (I always have to work late now), and the wife, kids, and grandparents went to a local park to watch a band play. I wasn't done with work emails until close to 8pm, and the family wasn't expected for a bit longer. 

I started with a pair of undead zombie wolves. I figured that they were close to being finished, so I could wrap them up fairly quickly with another few purple and magenta layers & washes, before doing a white dry brushing over the top. They turned out well, and I think they'll be great adversaries in the frozen wastes of Frostgrave.

But I still wanted to keep painting.

I painted a lich king, some mouselings, a donkey, a Skaven assassin, a pair of wizards. 

I thought a lot, during the few hours I had by myself. About my old house, my friends still back on the other side of the state, the stories we didn't get to tell. 

Our Friday friends & family Chained Coffin campaign that we weren't able to finish kept popping into my head. 

I thought about all my favorite people and places in the world, now so far away. Phantom Games for our Sunday gaming with DCCRPG Pittsburgh. 

The Norwin Game Knights... the club that our family built from the ground up over four and a half years. 

Our living room & dining room, crammed with so many friends that we could barely move. 

I thought about all the people and places that were a little bit of a drive away, but could reach so easily. 4, 6, and 8 hour drives are now 5 hours longer. 

I thought about spending hours painting in December as we mulled over the impending decision about whether to stay in Pittsburgh or move. 

That was my night. 

It's been many of the nights since I've been sitting quietly painting these last couple of weeks. Maybe by the end I'll have figured out some kind of lesson in all of this. Some kind of awesome, "zen truth." The key to the universe. 

Or maybe I'll just have finished a lot of miniatures.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#30Days30Miniatures - Day 18

It's only taken me a year, but today, Day 18 of #30Days30Miniatures, I've completed Evie's all-bunny Frostgrave warband. Back on Evie's 11th birthday last July, I surprised her with a bunch of blister packs full of super high quality Dark Sword Miniatures. The only challenge was that I'd need to paint them, and at the time I was just getting back into painting after nearly nine years away from the hobby. 

I wrapped up three of them last summer, and another one around Christmas. But over the past eighteen days, I've completed the last five with Evie's rabbit thief. 

I kept the thief pretty dark, with a lot of different shades of grey and a brown ink wash. Save for the metal paints (bronze, silver, and gold) there's no other color save for some purple/pink eyes. 

I'm going to have to go look on Dark Sword Miniatures' website to see if there are any other rabbits out there to work on. Overall I really enjoyed painting these ones. Frankly I'm super spoiled on the level of detail. 

Gotta love that cloak!

The ever-dangerous Judge Evie told me that I needed to have these miniatures completed by her 12th birthday, so I was happy to comply. Now I get to watch her kick my butt on the Frostgrave table. She thinks that she'll be battling my all-mouseling warband, but I have a secret weapon being delivered all the way from the UK...

... snake-men!

Who else paints bunnies?