Monday, March 23, 2015

A little more time off.

As you may have figured by now, I am taking some additional time away from the blog.

When I return there may also be a new writer joining the blog - CaptCorajus. I have offered him the opportunity to write occasionally. We often have different enough views on things or varied ideas, and that should lead to some good back and forth discussions.

Game on!

Monday, March 16, 2015

This Blogger is Temporarily Out of Order

I am taking a day or two off from the blog and expect to return before the weekend. Meanwhile please enjoy this picture from one of the earliest fantasy adventure movies.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Model Railroad Level Dwarven Forge Obsession

I admit it, I am addicted to most things Dwarven Forge. I have been this way since first encountering it while working at a distributor of collectibles in the late nineties and early two-thousands. Back then, and for some time afterward, I could not afford more than an occasional purchase and often had to chip in with other buyers to get portions of sets. The recent three Kickstarter campaigns have not helped ease this affliction and affection for adventure terrain.

My collection is much smaller than most of the regulars on the Dwarven Forge forums, many of whom buy 3 or more sets of every resin offering released by Stefan and crew. It also lacks some of the resin sets, Woodland and Lava, come immediately to mind. Still, over time my collection has grown.

Even with a fairly large collection available for use, I still enjoy mixing mediums. I routinely employ a battle mat along with the DF pieces, and have used many other props and non-DF terrain in combination.

I am considering purchasing some city terrain from Fat Dragon Games to flesh out scenes, limiting the DF City Builder items to the foreground immediate use area, while the card stock terrain sets the background imagery. Just like model railroad layouts, the viewer can be convinced of the depth of setting with less expensive materials in the distance while their vision is focused on where the action is happening.

My reasons for thinking of not getting very deep into the Dwarven Forge City Builder sets includes space and cost, and my three existing resin sets of DF MBS accompanied by accessories. Here are a couple of photos taken by a friend, of a past setup of mine.

 You can see the rest of the adventure layout pictures at this link.

Meanwhile, I'll be watching the current Dwarven Forge Kickstarter with interest, and will definitely be thinking about drooling over the new DF sewers.

Is there a 12 step program for Dwarven Forge terrain addicts?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Prop Dusting - Toobs Horses

Finding horse miniatures to compliment the fantasy miniatures can be somewhat difficult at times. One solution is to look in children's toy stores for the Toob collections. They have tubes of animals, dinosaurs, etc. I was fortunate enough to find one just of various breeds of horses that work well with the 25mm miniatures.


Figures shown to illustrate how well these horses match the 25mm scale. Undead included because it is International Be Kind To The Un-Living Week (somewhere, maybe).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dwarven Forge City Builder Kickstarter

Here we are, a handful of days into their third Kickstarter and Dwarven Forge is closing in on the one million dollar mark. If my guess is right, the funding should surpass that number on the coming weekend.

At the time I write this on Wednesday evening, there are 1725 backers and over $885,000 in the pool.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Follow-up on XP in Escrow

Here's the thing, as a DM, I wouldn't give full experience for the Lich and Death Knights in the latest example. They would have an xp value as challenges when the situation is overcome unless actually engaged, and creative solutions (or funny ones) would earn a bonus. Regardless, the 5E advancement is off-the-charts too rapid.

I seem to recall Mike Mearls or one of his team at Wizards of the Coast, mentioning alternate charts that would be in the DMG. They have since stated that quite a bit had to be cut from the book before release, and I can only surmise the alternate charts were cut.

I imagine working out an experience advancement table wouldn't be that hard to do, it's the getting the pacing right that is the tougher part. And if I really wanted to as DM, I could just tell the players when to level. I much prefer tables, probably for the sense of reward I get from it as player and DM.

When I return to running Ptolus, I expect to have put together an advancement table more to my liking, that gives everyone time to explore the setting before being too powerful for almost everything.

Keeping the change simple is important. Considerations include changing just the advancement table; reducing the experience awarded for combat; figuring out a way to convert to xp for treasure with drastic reductions in creature xp value, etc. I'm currently leaning toward just the first option. This is something the players will be consulted with for input and ideas.

More time is still needed DMing the game before I feel ready to offer up additional house rules.