Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scenes from Superville.

So what's going on in the city today?

The Mayor and his staff was menaced by Machine Overlord and his Mechanical Minions, but thankfully high tech lawman Tex Mech arrived to defend our civic institutions.
Y'all surrender nice n' peaceable or I reckon I'll blast ya into scrap.
A bank heist was foiled by Galatia, Mighty Maid of Marble.
She'll rock your world, you miscreants.
The sinister Professor Portal nearly overwhelmed two patrol officers, were it not for the timely arrival of the Emerald Shadow.
He knows what evil lurks beyond that wretched shell.
There was a running battle between The Comet and Mean Streak across town.
Stop! Or I'll run the opposite direction and punch you in the face after circumnavigating the earth.
The White Knight rescued a damsel in distress from a bunch of punks.
I'm afraid you fellows are going to need a lesson in good manners.
And then ran into Gravedigger and The Unstoppable Dreadnought on a senseless rampage in a fast food establishment when he went on his lunch break.
And while I explain to these two why it's rude to cut in line, please prepare me a Number 7 combo to go.
Captain Futura held forth on her recent defeat of Shock Tower to eager members of the press.
Film at 11!
Two friends who took a wrong turn on the way to the comic book store were rescued from a mugging by the elusive Alley Cat.
Best. Rescue. Ever.
Finally, Agent O'Connor and her team of investigators thought that they'd cornered The Crimson Thorn, unaware that The Deadly Mantis and The Silent Specter had laid an ambush.
Drop my weapons? Oh, something's gonna drop, all right.
 Thankfully, prompt intervention by the Elementelles turned the tables on the craven criminals.
Burn & Bash & Swirl & Splash
Just a perfectly normal day around here.

Mighty Minis

Since I was nerdy enough to show off my brand new miniature filing system on my last post, I figured I ought to do a few posts featuring the contents of my spiffy little plastic boxes. This week:


When I was working on getting some minis ready for this year's Helgacon, my eyes and wallet wandered over to Reaper Miniatures, where both were ensnared by several cool superheroes and villains from their Chronoscope line. So I wound up acquiring about two teams worth of heroes.

The Superlative Seven. Evildoers beware!
The Elementelles, freelance female furies for freedom!
 And of course, what good are heroes without a grisly rogues gallery of villains to battle?

Thirteen monstrous menaces.
But then I thought that our favorite comic book adventures don't just feature super powered folks. That was a little tougher to pull together, until recently I discovered these plastic figures from Wargames Factory. They're meant to be zombie apocalypse survivors (male & female), but with a little bit of finagling with my bits box and modeling putty, I got a nice range of modern era normal folks to fill out a superheroic adventure.

And so I have brave officers of the law.
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?
Federal Agents or Plainclothes Detectives.
Secret AGENT man. Secret AGENT man.
I also had some Reaper Bones tech troopers who make a dandy SWAT team.
Advanced Special Weapons & Tactics, to be precise.
On the other side of the judge's gavel I got cheap street thugs.
Thugs, or training equipment for rookie supers?
An armed gang or a supervillain's minions.
All right guys, lets go do crimes!
And a deadly squad of robots (also from Reaper).
3 Laws? We are programmed to not need no steenkin' 3 Laws.
And standing haplessly in the middle of it all, assorted civilians.
These are the people in your neighborhood.
I got plans for these guys. Those of you out there in the Helgacon cosmos, look forward to their appearance there next year.

Stay tuned, true believers! Excelsior!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Critter Condos

Being a nerd with OCD, nothing thrills me more than getting my toys nicely organized. I just finished whipping my miniatures collection into partial shape, and so I thought I'd blog about it, as one does.


I've found that these bead organizers are great for storing and transporting minis. I favor this style manufactured by Darice which can be picked up at Michaels or whatever your local craft store might be for about US$2.50, with an additional 99 cents for a bit of foam to line the bottoms of the chambers. You get about16 small cells and 1 large one, which as you can see here with my Fantasy Heroes & Henchmen set holds a decent selection. 
They're cheap, very nicely modular, and with a little extra foam padding and some rubber bands I've found they stand up to air travel in a carry on suitcase quite nicely. And they fit pretty well in a lot of places at just 10.75 X 7 X 1.5 inches. Being able to travel with minis is a big deal for me now that most of my gaming is in remote locations.

Now all I need is to figure out a good storage case for larger stuff. It's a bit more of a challenge. For lack of a better oxymoron, these miniatures are too big.

Have fun, will travel!

P.S.: It is also as I predicted/feared: I've gone past collecting individual miniatures to collecting entire genres of miniatures. Ah well, at least I got someplace to put 'em now...


Thursday, July 31, 2014

A monk battles a kobold using the dragon's claw technique!

Turn your sound up for the proper effect.

Hikeeba!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Most Excellent Curative for the Baleful Affliction of Lycanthropy.


The following is a cure for lycanthropy discovered in the town archives of the alpine village of Strangledorf.

Ingredients:
Mountainroot Morel – A greyish morel that grows deep in damp mountain caves at a depth of at least 50 ft down from the surface.

Crimson Tail – Extravagantly poisonous weed with bright red, goldenrod-like tufts. Look for a lot of insect, bird, and small animal carcasses around a plant of that description. Handle with extreme care. Try not to stand downwind from the plant in late summer.

Madman’s Rose – Small purplish flowers with yellow spirals on the petals. Juice is hallucinogenic if touched or ingested fresh.

Golden Ear Mushroom – Relatively benign wood ear type mushroom that grows on fallen logs in deep forests. Popular among druids, who guard their sources carefully.

Greenishghul – Sickly looking whitish green shrub. Local lore says it seems to attract the undead to the places it grows. Bring a cleric, or at least a club with some silver nails driven thru it.

Hermit’s Quill – White tufted plant with sharp thorns. Plant’s juices are a deep, blackish purple that stains anything and everything permanently. Don't wear clothing you're particularly attached to while harvesting.

Wolfsbane – A purple flower that can cause paralysis and potentially death if picked carelessly.
Seriously... Stay away from this stuff.

Preparation:
Place ingredients in a spotless copper kettle along with 1 gallon of dire wolf blood, 1 gallon of fine wine, and 1 gallon of holy water.

Bring to boil, then simmer until it's reduced to 1 pint of thick, black liquid. Strain and place contents in glass beaker and suspend in sun for 7 days.

Cast “Bless” on the liquid, swallow a silver piece, then drink complete contents whilst holding breath. May the heavens have mercy upon you.

Lapidary

Bling a ding ding
So… apropos to the almost geological pace at which I write for this here blog, I thought I'd de-cloak and share some tables I recently put together to help me when I'm keying up dungeons and gemstones pop up in a treasure stash. I like to give treasure a bit more character than its simple GP value, but I like to stick to Labyrinth Lord's tables and I didn't have a good specific randomizer, so I made one.

These are distilled from some gemstone posts Jeff Rients made a few years back that I stumbled on while whiling away a dull afternoon at work by hitting his "random post" button. He, in turn, I believe, distilled them from Gygax in the 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. So there you are. (Here are Mr. Rients original posts, which have some very handy visuals:Ornamental Stones, Semi-Precious Stones, Fancy Stones, Precious Stones, Gem Stones, Jewels)

I reorganized the sources a bit, spread them out over the different value levels on the treasure tables I use, and added some tables to embellish and give the gems more character if desired. These are calibrated for Labyrinth Lord, and are included under the good ol' OGL.

If you can make use of 'em, cool. Enjoy.

Precious Stone Modifiers - Roll 1d10
01: Chipped, subtract 1d8 gp value
02: Small, subtract 1d4 gp value
03-05: Normal
06: Large, add 1d4X10 gp to value
07: Carved, Roll 1d4
    01: Good Luck Symbol, add 1d4 gp value
    02: Bad Luck Symbol, subtract 1d4 gp value
    03: Coat of Arms or Crest, add 1d6 gp value
    04: Plant, person, or animal design, add 1d8 gp value
    05: Carved into shape of plant, person, or animal add 2d10 gp value
08: Shot with silver, add 1d4X10 gp value
09: Shot with gold, add 1d8X10 gp value
10: Roll Twice/Again

Gemstone Modifiers - Roll 1d20. Gems with modifiers 16-20 will be known by a specific name (The Star of Jarnia, The Sultan's Lament, The Nightingale's Heart, The First Blue, etc. etc.) 
01: Cursed: -2 to all saving throws while owned. Subtract 1d10X100 gp value if curse becomes known.
02: Coveted: Whoever claims it will be unable to part with it unless save vs. spell is made. Roll up a sentient monster of appropriate level who wants the gem and will seek it out.
03: Bad History: Thought to be cursed. Isn’t. Subtract 1d6X10 gp from value
04: Chipped, subtract 1d8X10 gp value
05: Flawed, subtract 1d6x10 gp value
06: Small, subtract 1d4X10 gp value
07-11: Normal
12: Large, add 1d4X100 gp value
13: Tinged: Roll 1d6: Add 1d6X100 gp value
    1: Red, 2: Gold, 3: Green, 4: Blue, 5: Violet, 6: Magenta
14: Flawless, add 1d6X100 value
15: Exceptionally Clear & Bright Color, add 1d8x100 gp value
16: Roll Twice/Again
17: Star in heart of gem add 1d10x100 value
18: Discernable shape, plant or animal at heart of gem, add 1d12X100 gpvalue
19: Fist Sized, X2 value
20: Sentient - Roll intelligence and language table, languages known, Alignment, Psyche, and Detection Powers, as per Sentient Swords. X10 value to those of same alignment. X5 to different align.

10 Gold Piece Value Decorative Stones - Roll 1d10, 1 on d10 roll on precious stone modifiers table
    01 Azurite - Banded blue opaque stone or green flecked blue stone
    02 Hematite - Metallic grey magnetic stone
    03 Obsidian - Opaque black or grey stone
    04 Smoky Quartz - Grey tinged quartz
    05 Rock Crystal - Clear crystal
    06 Morion - Dark grey or black smoky quartz
    07 Banded Agate - Red, brown, yellow, and white striped translucent stone
    08 Eye Agate - Blue, grey, brown, and white striped translucent stone
    09 Moss Agate - Moss green, white, and dark green striped tranlsucent stone
    10 Onyx - Black stone with occasional white stripes.

25 Gold Piece Value Ornamental Stones - Roll 1d10, 1 on d8 roll on precious stone modifiers table
    01 Lapis Lazuli - Deep blue stone with speckles or gold flecks
    02 Malachite - Banded green stone
    03 Bloodstone - Mossy Green stone with red flecks
    04 Jasper - Red orange stone with speckles or brown stripes
    05 Blue Quartz - Swirls of deep blue and white translucent stone
    06 Sard - Deep brown red translucent stone
    07 Sardonyx - Layered combinatin of sard and onyx, blood red & white
    08 Rose Quartz - Translucent pink quartz
    09 Chalcedony - Bluish white or violet and white striped translucent stone
    10 Turquoise - Pale blue stone

50 Gold Piece Value Semi-Precious Stone - Roll 1d6, 1 on d6 roll on precious stone modifiers table
    01 Carnelian - Reddish orange translucent stone.
    02 Cairngorn - Gold tinged smoky quartz
    03 Tiger Eye - Brown and gold striped translucent stone
    04 Hawk Eye - Blue and white striped translucent stone
    05 Moonstone - Milky white with bluish tinging translucent stone
    06 Rhodochrosite - Translucent magenta stone

75 Gold Piece Value Precious Stones - Roll 1d6, 1 on d4 roll on precious stone modifiers table
    01 Zircon - Greenish blue gemstone
    02 Hyacinth - Yellow zircon gemstone
    03 Amber - Orange yellow transparent fossilized sap. (1 on d6 = Trapped insect (100 gp value))
    04 Jade - Milky green semi-translucent stone
    05 Coral - Pink to deep red
    06 Jet - Matte black fossilized wood.

100 Gold Piece Value Gemstones - Roll 1d4, 1 on d12 roll on gemstone modifiers table
    01 Chrysoberyl - Whitish yellow green gemstone
    02 Pearl - Round, iridescent sphere, ranges from white to green to pink
    03 Garnet - Deep red gemstone
    04 Spinel - Purple to red gemstone

250 Gold Piece Value Gemstones - Roll 1d4, 1 on d10 roll on gemstone modifiers table
    01 Amethyst - Pale purple gemstone
    02 Alexandrite - Purple, green, or brown gemstone, changes color in different light
    03 Black Pearl - Lustrous black iridescent sphere
    04 Violet Garnet - Pinkish purple gemstone

500 Gold Piece Value Gemstones - Roll 1d4, 1 on d8 roll on gemstone modifiers table
    01 Aquamarine - Pale blue or blue green gemstone
    02 Peridot - Grass green gemstone
    03 Blue Spinel - Rich cobalt blue gemstone
    04 Topaz - Brown, pink, or green gemstone

750 Gold Piece Value Gemstones - Roll 1d8, 1 on d6 roll on gemstone modifiers table
    01 Mystic Topaz - Rainbow colored topaz, magically treated.
    03 Opal - White opalescent stone
    03 Fire Opal - Fiery orange red gemstones
    04 Black Opal - Dark opalescent stone
    05 Emerald - Pale, Bluish green gemstone
    06 Black Sapphire - Inky black gemstone
    07 Jacinth - Deep red gemstone
    08 Dragon Pearl - Gold iridescent sphere

1000 Gold Piece Value Gemstones - Roll 1d6, 1 on d4 roll on gemstone modifiers table
(Note: "Sovereign" stands in for the real world equivalent of "Oriental" which might not apply in your campaign world.)
    01 Sovereign Amethyst - Rich purple gemstone
    02 Sovereign Topaz - Rich gold colored gemstone
    03 Sapphire - Blue to pale blue gemstone
    04 Diamond - White Gemstone
    05 Ruby - Pinkish Red Gemstone
    06 Sovereign Emerald - Rich green gemstone

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Whatever your destination might be, have a holly jolly one.
And many happy returns!