Sunday, 18 November 2012

Against the Cult of the Reptile God.

My quest for the perfect starting point for an Old School campaign is still underway, stymied somewhat by too much time at work & other less important distractions. I did however manage to pick up that rarest of things a low level AD&D module the titular Against the Cult of the Reptile God.

I must admit this one has up to now slipped under my radar, but at £2 on eBay seemed worth a punt and on receiving & reading it my optimism seems well founded.

First up are the nefarious goings on of a cult in a small rural settlement which should give plenty of opportunity for investigative roleplaying so the PCs can get to the bottom of things & then a short trek through marshland to confront the Reptile God in its lair- a two level dungeon.
For my money the adventure is a tough ask for low level characters but help is available through the agency of a higher level NPC, my personal taste would be to reduce the difficulty level a little and let the players take the glory for themselves, down the line this should allow for a little more prestige in the eyes of the townsfolk rather than just looking like hangers on the coat tails of the local big cheese.

Now how to convince a bunch of jaded forty somethings to give up their limited spare time to commit to a couple of weekend sessions to play this through.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Arkham Horror Bureau.

Another work in progress that hopefully will get finished now the long dark of Greenwich Mean Time has descended on hallowed Albion.

The beauty of this project is its low cost, the only cash outlay has been for lacquer & brass work. The mahogany comes from a stack of old office furniture that had been thrown out at the outward bound centre up the road. Hope Cthulhu appreciates my efforts in saving the planet.

Inquisitor Miniatures. Xenos & Bad Guys.

A follow up to my earlier post, this time two alien races & the lurking evil that is the Genestealers:

The Kroot. One of the more interesting Xenos in the 40K milieu.

Eldar Ranger
Fantastic sculpt of the Needlegun. Moorcock & Hawkwind would be proud.

Genestealer Cultist scratch built using tech priest body & right arm with hybrid conversion kit.


Genestealer Hybrid, again converted figure using GW bits.
When I painted this miniature I was the proud owner of a pair of urban camo trousers just like these.

Really must break out some terrain & game with these again, time as ever is my enemy. Tempus fugit, sic vitae.

Inquisitor Miniatures from the "Evil" Empire.

I know that Games Workshop get constantly trashed on world wide web and probably elsewhere for that matter; but if it weren't for them I'd never have got into tabletop gaming or roleplaying at all. Over the years I've owned a large amount of their products and for the most part enjoyed gaming with them, particularly those that are now consigned to the limbo of the Specialist games range; Necromunda, Gorka Morka, Mordheim et al. The last of these that I bought into in a big way was Inquisitor, a skirmish game set in the Warhammer 40K universe. What particularly drew me in were the large scale miniatures produced for the game, on reflection I seem to remember spending more time assembling & painting the miniatures rather than gaming with them and to be honest I'm rather glad of the fact because I don't think they would have stood up to much rough handling.
Here they are in their Baroque glory:

Slick Devlin, my least favourite of the miniatures just not fond of that loincloth.
Daemon Huntress.
Space Marine, great miniature but really top heavy.

Inquisitor Eisenhorn, my favourite of the lot.

And finally a pair of servo skulls.
Theres a few more of these somewhere in the house which I'll drag out & post later on. This has got me thinking about investing in some of Fantasy Flight Games 40K roleplaying stuff but given my already limited free time buying into another rpg I won't have time to run may not be the best use of money.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Another Cthulhu Sunday.

A decent day spent in the company of Messrs Bryant & Johnson, or at least their alter egos detectives Proctor & Esterhazy of the Shanghai Municipal Police.

This time the intrepid duo are prevailed upon to act in the interests of a senior member of the Chinese underworld which by chance dovetails with a current official case, the grisly murder of a local condiment magnate.
Things initially proceed smoothly for the pair with their investigations leading them to the tramp steamer which a murderous foreign gang & their supernatural allies are using as a base of operations. At this point instead of handing the affair over to the correct authorities Proctor & Esterhazy wing it using local gang muscle and despite a favourable outcome manage to alienate their official employers, certainly to the detriment of any further advancement in the police force.

This is the first time I've run this particular scenario & to be brutally honest it showed. Things started off with the social interaction & investigation part of the session running smoothly enough. Where it did fall apart was the grand finale, the ship. This really was an absolute balls up on my part, making as I did  several cardinal errors. Firstly I assumed that the players would pursue a certain course of action when tackling the ship despite having made other options available for them. Secondly the ship that I chose had a poor layout for a tense denouement , one that led to an unfortunate stalemate that I hadn't anticipated. Thirdly I tried to wing it when things started to unravel & made a complete fuck up of it mainly because I had failed to prepare sufficient contingency plans, probably the most serious failing of all.
In many ways the day was a useful exercise, at some point in the future I hope to publish my Call of Cthulhu Shanghai scenarios in some form and ironing out these wrinkles is an important part of realising this dream. On the other hand I do want my players to enjoy themselves and not waste a day helping me sort out some crappy self inflicted problems.
Despite the slight balls toward the end I think we had a good day, plenty of off game chat, cups of tea & a decent lunch so not a complete disaster after all

Monday, 27 August 2012

An Entertaining Dead-end.

There is a very good reason I sometimes struggle to finish projects in a reasonable length of time and it is because I am too easily distracted by bright, shiny & sinister things. The latest of these trinkets is from Smart Max's Smog range:

Fair enough, its an entertaining enough miniature in 1/35th scale and nicely moulded; theres even a set of miniatures rules to go with the range. Thats where the bad news starts, most of the miniatures are £30 plus so its a major outlay of cash to get even a small collection to the table. Worst still judging by the smell when the resin is drilled or filed the cheap so & so's have cut the resin with diesel, which I am led to believe is one way to make it go further. I don't know about you but paying out £30 for a resin sculpt one would expect to get the best materials available, not material cut with shitty petro chemicals that do God knows what to the life expectancy of the miniature.
Its a crying shame because doing the painting to this point has been really challenging, particularly trying to achieve the Steuben glass effect on top of the cabinet. Sadly it was only when I drilled the curtain section & the base to pin them together that the diesel fraud became apparent. Hence the loss of enthusiasm for the project.
Sorry Smart Max but you've shot yourselves in the foot big time.

Nick Lunds Cave Goblin Chariot.

Not sure what use a chariot is in the subterranean environment but Citadel Miniatures produced this and I a callow youth of 17 bought it and graced it with this paint job.

I think it was originally drawn by two giant wolves but these were rejected in favour of the boars show. They are earlier Citadel miniatures originally ridden by night goblins.
When I rediscovered this piece a couple of weeks back I did contemplate stripping and repainting it; but  it has a certain nostalgia value for me as a step in the right direction miniature painting wise. If you look closely there are tentative efforts at dry brushing, washing & shading; not great by any standards but an improvement over many of my previous efforts.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Pantagruel the Giant.

Citadel C28 Giant restoration completed.

There's still a few rough spots to knock off that I missed last night but  he is essentially finished. The club is a replacement for the original which looked a bit on the short side. If you're wondering about the name apparently Pantagruel was a common medieval name for giants.

I also received in the post this week a blister pack of Ral Partha AD&D Ettercaps, not quite how I remember them from the Fiend Folio, like a lot of monsters they were somewhat changed for AD&D second edition.

Never the less they're sufficiently unpleasant looking to lurk in the shadowy places of the D&D world that is the retro dungeon.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Citadel Miniatures C28 Giant.

Another of my recent cupboard finds, from the same box as the Hydra. This figure was probably bought about the same time but I think he came from a local toy shop that had brief dalliance with roleplaying stuff when it was all the rage, what I do remember is that he cost a whopping £3.95 which equated to about 3 hours work mucking out cows at the time.
I did get round to painting him, though neatly is about as far as I'll permit so it seemed about time to give him a re-vamp. Very early stages yet but I'm quite pleased with the 'lived in' complexion.

I know the above pictures are a bit blurred, but I quite like the angry at being papped look.

More to follow as work progresses.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Citadel Miniatures The original C27 Hydra.

Found this miniature when we moved house a couple of years back, he was in a box that had somehow lost itself behind a cupboard and was accompanied by a couple of Citadel Giants, half a dozen Chronicle Ogres and a solitary Chronicle Kobold.

Either my brother or I must have bought it around 1984 or 85 when we were at the height of our D&Ding but like so many of our miniatures remained unpainted and as far as I recall unused in any of our gaming sessions. Brings back a lot of memories of the days when we used to cycle ten miles into town to buy miniatures from the local model shop which was the only outlet for such things in our part of the world ( barring the odd school holidays trip to Games Workshop in Birmingham). We did occasionally mail order stuff but often the lack of catalogues precluded that avenue, I think thats why we ended up with such a random collection of miniatures back then.

The original catalogue entry in the Citadel Compendium, this was acquired sometime after the miniature. Already the love of Chaos is creeping into Citadels products.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Introducing the Stand-ins.

Its been quite some time since my last post here; still waiting for moulds to be made for my dungeon components, but patience they tell me is a virtue.

In the meantime I've been collecting a few more denizens for the deep, dark places of the world. I was hoping at this point to be able to reveal an ensemble cast of beautifully painted Otherworld Miniatures but financial constraints have required me to improvise with the following:

Dunlendings, who will serve as Bandits or Hirelings as required.

Orc Warg riders, stand ins for a variety of mounted goblinoids.

Deadmen of Dunharrow, a little too animated for zombies perhaps but they will serve.

Dunharrow King, Skeleton Warrior perhaps.

Grima Wormtongue, definite evil henchman material.

Guardians of Dol Guldur. Death Knights?

Barrow Wight, need I say more.

All of the above are GW Lord of the Rings figures and were either abandoned projects or poorly painted figures bought really cheap on Ebay, cleaned up and re-painted. The best of it is they dovetail nicely with the existing Darksword, Ral Partha & Denizen figures that have so far been the mainstay of the retro dungeon project.
I've still to finish a bunch of the good guys for use as P.C's but more of that soon I hope.