Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Power Creep: Oh My Beloved Dwarves

One of my graduate students is writing his major research paper on nostalgia in the aesthetic of Dungeons and Dragons. The premise is that pictures aren't simple images, but rather they reveal ideology. Given that my last value-laden post didn't go so well (wink) I thought I would present this figure we use in the analysis and get your thoughts and impressions. We are still in the draft stage and I realize the image is rough, but I wanted to ask: What do these images say to you?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Case of Fire, Break Glass

Ok, so there's a fire in your house/apartment. Everyone has managed to escape harm. You are the last person out the door and you only have time to grab one of your beloved RPGs or modules. Everything else is going down in flames.

What do you grab?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One Page Dungeon: The Reclusive Redoubt of the Bullywugs

In anticipation of rebooting our Red Box/LL group on Monday, I've been creating a couple new one page dungeons. I've also been shamelessly drawing inspiriation from my friend Cr0m and his game set in the savage lands around the Black Peaks more on that later).

Being a fan of the original D&D cartoon, I've always been a huge fan of bullywugs. For whatever reason they haven't made it into my game. I'm going to rectify that :)

So here's a one page dungeon titled "The Reclusive Redoubt of the Bullywugs; or, The forgotten Sanctuary of Seeker" whichever you prefer.

A note. When I present statistical information, I do tweak the movement rates. I put a number in terms of 5 foot squares. I do this because we play with mini-lite rules. If you notice any obvious errors etc, then please let me know in the comments.

Since it's Sunday, go Cowboys!

The Reclusive Redoubt of the Bullywugs

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Don't Give A Damn About Red Box 2010


By nature, I have a slow boiling point.

I realize how hum-drum edition wars can be, but I just can't hold it in any longer.

I've owned the 4E rulebooks and I've played it enough, even in a Gencon tournament, to know that I really can't stand it.

This is not Gygax's D&D. Hell it isn't even your older brother's D&D. Mearls et al. can try to make it look like D&D they can try to make it quack like D&D but, as an old football coach told me, "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken feathers." It is what it is...and it isn't D&D. I really have no idea how Mearls can sleep at night.

I can't stand the renaming of goblins and trolls and such just so they can IP, trademark, and/or copyright everything.

I don't recognize the monsters, I don't recognize the game, I don't recognize the aesthetic. My D&D is medieval fantasy, not fantastical.

Are these splatbooks, editions every couple years, and the fragmenting of the fanbase ultimately good for D&D? Hell no. D&D should be classic like monopoly, or scrabble. It has the same name-power as these classic games and yet we as D&D fans can't talk to each other anymore because of the direction Mearls and Slavicek have taken the game. We need to start asking the same question as those vested in baseball interests, "Is this good for D&D?". Looks like even Goodman Games has bailed on 4E.

All I'm trying to say here is that the whole thing is a damn shame. It's my game too, and I really dislike what has been done to it and the shameless use of classic art recently to sell their lame excuse for D&D.

It's not my D&D and I won't teach it to my kids.

...wait. That doesn't go far enough.

If the last version of D&D on earth was a 2010 Red Box, and that Red Box was on fire, and all I had was a full bladder, I wouldn't even piss on it to put the fire out. I'd just start over.

There. I'm done.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

If I had a Tour Bus, It Would Look Like This...

Isn't this cool?

I wonder if they rent it out for birthday parties?

In all seriousness though, it's a shame they are just whoring the old school aesthetic.

Look here for more images.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Galixina (1980): Science Fantasy RPG Waiting-to-happen

Tonight I rewatched Galixina from 1980. Have any of you viewed this film?

It's heinous in every way, but it has charm.

I admit I really don't like all this science fantasy stuff going around at the moment. I think it could make for some interesting gaming but is just isn't my bag, baby. Just gimme straight-up medieval fantasy D&D. I'm a prude, sue me.

Despite my own personal feelings, I'm kind of surprized that those interested in science fantasy haven't pillaged this film for coolness.

The intergalactic police, the android Galixina, Ordric from Mordric, the list can go on - so I will.

I dig the Cult of Harley-David-Son and the cleric who exclaims, "Harley-David-Son, Our Lord and Master, Please protect Us, Arruuum! Arruum!" or who can forget "THE BLUE STAR. AHHH-AHHH!" The what? "The BLUE STAR" AHHH-AHHH! LOL Definitely a minor artifact.

Full of bad acting, hokey religions, and good blasters, Galixina (played by Playmate Dorothy Stratten) deserves a look for those doing Science Fantasy gaming.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My First Hirst Arts Dungeon

[Mental note: I want to kill blogger. Grr! I've had this post freak out on my a couple times - FYI]

Hi All,

Here are some pictures of my first fieldstone dungeon. My build is based on approaches and ideas gleaned from two sources: Caveman on the HA boards and the build over at the Grognardia blog. My approach here is not to create whole dungeons but rather to have a rolling dungeon that can build two to five rooms at any given time. In terms of aesthetics, I didn't want a "clean" dungeon. I wanted an antiqued, dirty look with moss between stones, the odd blood splatter, and other marks that show something or someone was lived there.

I used excalibur and the three colour approach advocated by Bruce. However, I washed the entire dungeon in a thin coat of Army Painter Quickshade to both weather it and seal it at the same time. I then lightly drybrushed medium gray over all the pieces and dullcoted. I've tried take pictures using both the mircroscope and the telescope (so to speak) to show how some of the specialty pieces fit together.

I'll prpbably post more on the construction of this build but if you have specific questions feel free to let fly in the comments.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Miniatures: Otherworld Skeletons

As you know, I've been painting Otherworld goblinoids with reference to the AD&D Monster Manual. To take the odd break I've also painted the first set of Otherworld Skeletons and the occasional PC. Here are some pictures of the second set of OW Skellies. For my skeletons I prefer a straight-out-the-ground-fresh look rather than a bone white. My frame of reference here are Harryhausen's Skeletons from the climactic movie scene in Jason and the Argonauts (see below). I have additional undead in the next blog post.

Miniatures: OW and GW Undead II and PCs

Here are some additional undead and PCs.

I painted up a set of old GW armoured skeletons. Some weeks ago a commentor asked for a comparative shot with an Otherworld skeleton and here it is (sorry it took so long, life has been kicking us in the butt lately). I would say the size is relatively the same. My only fault with the OW skeletons is that they are a wee bit thin. Great for the display case but one would have to be careful if you gamed with them. I also included two Citadel knights and an old Ral Partha cleric I picked up at Gencon. Damn I love that RP miniature. I ordered that one specifically after I noticed it on The Chainmail Bikini blog. These are painted in generic fashion to fit whatever the players want.

Stay tuned over the weekend as I post my first complete Hirst Arts Dungeon! I'm pretty excited to show you the fruits of my labour.