Christmas update

Despite having some kind of rotavirus/stomach flu ye olde flux & emesis* pass from my daughter, to my wife, to me in succession, we all managed to be healthy on Christmas Day, which was great. We alternate between my side and my wife’s side each year, and this year was with my side, so the first of the games I made went to my niece.  She is “that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books” (to use H.G. Wells memorable phrase). Actually she has long been interesting all things fantastic and fantasy-oriented, but I was afraid I may have gotten to her a bit to late, as she is just now approaching her teen years and, I feared, was ready to put away childish things. I turns out, not so much. (more…)

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Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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A couple of updates

I added my revised rules for the Heritage dungeon crawls to the Rules page, and the rules & maps for the dungeons to the mythology page.

If I should make any new maps, I will, based on my experiences, do the originals on 8×10″ panels to be assembled later!  Actually I have some ideas about creating sections that can be assembled in multiple configurations, like the old D&D “Dungeon Geomorphs.”

Oh, and the most awesome thing to report is that my 4-year old decided to make her own “D&D map”:

She saved a piece of cardboard (“Daddy, if you don’t recycle this I can make a D&D map”) and needed a little help painting it (“What color does black and red and yellow make? What color does green and blue and red make?”), and admitted “I don’t know how to play D&D” when she was done, but I’m encouraging her to make it up as she goes.  She said the unpainted square on the upper left is the start, so she has some idea it is like a board game, and put one of her toys on it.  We’ll see.  It will be nice if she has something to do with all of the dice she’s stolen from me!

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 2:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Finally finished the “gift” games!

As I mentioned last time, the boards were all finally in a finished state:

But noone can actually scan a board that big, so, although it killed me to do it…

Cut into scannable chunks, scanned, reassembled as the pdfs I put on Scribd, printed, touched up, laminated.

Happily I was able to salvage the originals into a usable form too, as I’d hoped.  I covered each section with clear shelf paper and then reassembled them with more shelf paper so that fold like game boards.  Unfortunately I’d cut one so assymetrically that it looks really bad folded up but all are serviceable. Edge on:

3/4 opened:Completely opened up:

And completely folded up again:

So anyway here is what a completed gift game is looking like:

That is the “Hall of the Frost Giant.”  Map, booklet (general rules and the specifics for this dungeon), two laminated sheets of tables, and two record sheets, each usable to keep track for at least two adventures, and case for the figures (they’re on the map in this shot).  The monsters are in the large oval feating hall room and the adventurers are in the hall to the left.

Focus!

And lastly here is a shot of the figures in their boxes:

And the figures for the other three games:

Now that I’m ready to wrap them up, I’m a little excited that I can get back to painting figures for myself again….

Published in: Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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Scribd

I stumbled upon scribd.com a couple of months ago. It has all kinds of RPG related stuff, and I uploaded a few things (link is to one) I did for GURPS about 10 years ago, adapting the Voodoo magic system to cover Medieval folklore about magic, as well as modern occultism, but in the intervening years they’ve actually had a bona fide occultist do a whole book (“Authentic thaumaturgy”). Anyway for a while Scribd.com had some obviously illegally shared .pdfs of stuff from Jugdes Guild, TSR, and other publishers, and it looks like it is all gone now. (Apparently someone uploaded D&D 4e books too and Wizards of the Coast sued their pants off; can’t find the news article now but the uploader was fined thousands and thousands of dollars). There still seems to be some stuff that really ought to be taken down but I think they’ll get to it eventually.

Anyway I was shocked to check in again and see my crummy GURPS documents have been read hundreds of times and downloaded over 100 times. That’s sort of cool. I spent way too much time reading up on grimoires and demonology for that stuff, so I’m glad someone finds it useful.

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 3:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mythology maps progress

Been super busy lately getting ready to insulate my attic (there’s a lot of prep work, and the access hatch is about exactly as wide as my ass, so not a lot of fun getting in & out of there with tools).

Anyway I managed to at least draw the three maps for the mythology themed dungeons, below:DSC03175The tomb of the forgotten pharaoh.  Very heavily influenced by other Egyptian map, and more authentic in that it is smaller and follows the plan of a real royal tomb.

DSC03176The lair of the frost giant.  That’s a trophy room in the lower left corner, with heads of various animals (and adventurers!) on plaques on the wall, and the big room with a giant table is the throne room/feasting hall.

DSC03177The ruins of Minos.  There is a labyrinth in the upper right and large round chamber is collapsed section where the Hydra will lurk.

All need to have traps and numbers added to some squares (I’ll write much smaller on these), and will also get some marginalia (hieroglyphs/runes/Greek writing, encounter and treasure tables, and so on).  I still need to find out how expensive getting these puppies photocopied will be too… all that will have to wait until I finish with the insulation project though.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 2:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mythology maps

All the figures for the mythology sets are done.  I decide to do just one of each and the fourth gift set will be a modified Caverns of Doom.  The figures for that will be larger 28mm plastics from a few different sets I’ll detail later.  The Caverns retread will basically use the same map as original CoD but the mytohlogy maps are giving me a little more trouble.  I decide to make them all a little smaller than CoD, but after drawing them I realized my halls were all very short compared to CoD/CoS, and I’m tihnking that could have adverse effects on the mechanics, because a party would move through a given hall much faster than is possible in the original games and that probably means fewer wandering monsters.  So I’ve redrawn them.  I’ll also need to hammer out how the monsters will work.  No more pics yet but some of theo ther pages are being slowly updated.  I had no idea how many pages and pictures were on my old web site, and I’m more motivated now to post other things I’ve made over the years.

Published in: Uncategorized on September 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Work progresses on the mythology project

I’ve got about 1/2 of the mythological figures painted, although I haven’t sealed any of them yet.  I’ll try to get some pics up.  They have been pretty easy to paint, because they are not as three-dimensional as lead/tin figures would be (plastics are generally made in rigid metal molds, while metal figures usually are cast in rubber molds, so it is possible to have more complex shapes).  They’ve been glued to steel washers so their bases are more uniform and so they have a bit more heft and stability.  Being soft plastic, I’ll need to seal them with something that will keep some flexibility, like white “tacky” glue, and maybe top coat that with matte medium.

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tombs completed

I went ahead and sprayed the Tombs map with a sealer that may have done the trick.  Then I added the margin decorations (some pictures of the minis used in CoS and now ToP) as well as the treasure and encounter tables, and laminated the whole thing.  I was a little hesitant to laminate the Tomb tables until I playtest them a bit but I can always put revised tables on top and relaminate the area.

Anyway here is a pic of the finished product:

Tomb of the Pharaoh map

And here are some crummy pics of the monsters I’ll use.  I really need to figure out a better way to photograph miniatures.

BatsThe bats (made from plastic Halloween toy rings mounted on wire and glued to washers) — these are the equivalent of CoD rats, but they fly.

tombmonsters1The ghost, liche, ghast, & ghoul.  The Ghast is a Heritage Dungeon Dwellers wight; the rest are old Grenadier from the Tomb of Spells box.

tombmonsters2

The zombie, high priest, skeleton archer, royal mummy, and mummy.

The zombie and mummy are Tomb of Spells again. The high priest is a Grenadier wizard (sculpted by Julie Guthrie). The archer is Grenadier, maybe from the war mammoth or chariot box.  The royal mummy is actually a “MageKnight” plastic figure, rebased and painted.  The zombie is in the process of being repainted now, since he looked way to healthy to be undead.

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Guess I’m a blogger now

Ok, here’s the first post on my blog.

I decided to start this to track some of my hobby projects.  My regular D&D group sort of imploded when my brother, the DM, realized he was too busy with work to run the game for a while, and I started to think about some options of my own, and returned, after some 25+ years, to a pair of games sold by Heritage Models back in 1980-1981 called “Crypt of the Sorcerer” and “The Caverns of Doom.”  So, as I find time I’ll begin to document what I’ve done.  Coming soon: a redrawn and scaled-up Caverns map, a vastly expanded Crypt, and the new monsters, treasures, and characters I’ve been play-testing.  After that, I’ll track a more ambitious project — creating three additional games with themes of Norse, Greek, & Egyptian mythology on new maps with plastic figures, which will ultimately become Christmas presents for some of my nephews and one niece.

First I’ll need to figure out more about how to use Word Press, though…

Published in: on August 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm  Comments (6)  
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