Saturday, December 31, 2022

Everything I painted this Year

 28mm Historical

28mm Fantasy

20mm Sci-fi

15mm Historical

10mm Historical

6mm Sci-fi

1/1200 Sci-fi

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Dwarrowdeep #11

In the month of Guardian, after the spring equinox, more migrants arrived from Orzammar, drawn by news of the thaig's success. Among them was Dave, formerly a petty thief in Dust Town, who now joined our heroes on their venture (see PC profiles here).

The latest venture took Bertil, Boggart, Dave, and Zunn back to the Foundry district, where scouts have found what they believed to be the resting place of King Khertil, who had the title of Paragon, but was more commonly called 'the Paranoid' behind his back. Records recovered from the halls had indicated that the king was a skilled craftsman and inventor, but in his later years had become paranoid and fearful of his tomb being plundered. As such, he gave orders for him and his family to be buried in a tomb protected by various traps - unfortunately, the records did not speak of what these traps were, or how they might be overcomed. The scouts had reported pooling of water outside the door of the tomb, and fearing that the water may damage the treasures within, Lord Khundra had ordered our heroes to enter the tomb and recover the famed weapon and armour of King Khertil.

The party was able to find the stone doors of the tomb following the directions given by the scouts, but when they arrived they could not find a means to open the door. While the party searched the surrounding areas for a means to open the doors, they were attacked by darkspawn, which they repelled. Finally, Zunn was able to unlock the doors by means of a magnet he had found in a forge in an earlier venture, and the party entered the tomb before more darkspawn arrived.

Inside, the party found themselves in a large hall, in the middle of which stood a statue of King Khertil. The King wore armour, but his hands were empty. Behind the statue were a set of double doors that were locked. On the left and right were corridors that led deeper into the tomb complex.

Our heroes examined the statue, and found that the arms of the statue pivoted at the shoulder joints. The hands were made open, as if to receive a weapon and a shield. Surmising that the proper item had to be placed in the hands to open the doors, our heroes proceeded down the passage to the right to see if they might find the items.

The corridor led to an antechamber, in which the party found jars of sweet-smelling oils upon stone benches. Proceeding to the room beyond they found themselves in another hall, this one containing several sarcophagi. on the wall above one ornate sarcophagus they saw a golden shield. The inscriptions upon the sarcophagus indicated that the sarcophagus held the remains of Khertil's queen.

When our heroes lifted the shield from the bracket that held it, there was a grinding sound as the door to the hall became locked, and the ceiling began to descend. Our heroes desperately sought a means to stop the lowering ceiling, but to no avail. Finally, Dave the dwarf threw off the lid to one of the sarcophagi, and leapt inside. The others quickly followed his example. The ceiling continued to descend, but as they came to the level of the sarcophagi, the stone blocks that made up the ceiling directly above the sarcophagi separated and stopped short of the sarcophagi, while the other parts went past the sarcophagi and crushed the lids that our heroes had thrown off. After a few minutes, the ceiling began to lift, and our heroes quickly made their escape.

They returned to the first hall, and took the passage to the left. The corridor led to a small chamber, which was bare except for a pedestal, upon which stood a stone bowl. An inscription on the pedestal read: Those who are loyal to the king will drink to his honour.

Zunn, ever confident, filled the bowl with wine he had brought, lifted it, and drank, but nothing happened. When he returned the bowl to the pedestal, however, it began to fill with mead. Zunn once more lifted the bowl, and drank the mead. As he once more returned the bowl to its place, he saw the outline of a door on the wall to his left - it was a hidden door.

Passing through the secret door, our heroes came upon a set of stone doors that opened into a mead hall with a stone throne at the far end. Upon the seat of the throne was a magnificent golden axe. Wary once more of traps, our heroes tied a rope around the shaft of the axe, exited the room, and then tried to drag it out. But the door slammed shut, breaking the rope, and the sound of stone shifting could be heard behind the doors. When the sound stopped and the doors could be open again, our heroes found the axe once more upon the throne, with the rope still tied to the shaft.

Our heroes reattached the rope, and this time they jammed the stone doors with a spear that Zunn had with him. Once more they dragged the axe off the throne, and once more the doors tried to close by themselves, but were prevented from doing so by the spear. As the axe clattered along the stone floor, the stones on the walls on the sides peeled off and took the forms of warriors, who moved to grab the axe. But our heroes were faster, and just as the axe cleared the threshold of the hall, the spear broke and the doors closed before the guardians.

Returning tot he first hall, our heroes placed the axe and shield in the hands of the statue. The arms of the statue shifted to the weight of the axe and shield, and when they had settled a click was heard, and the doors behind the statue were unlocked.

Passing through the doors, our heroes found themselves in a cavern divided by a chasm 40 feet wide, A narrow stone bridge with no parapet spanned the chasm.

Wary of more traps, but unable to discern any, the party decided that Boggart would tie a rope around his waist and try to dash across the bridge. As he did so, he found that the bridge rotated upon itself, and he was thrown off, and would have fallen to his death if not for the rope he tied around himself.

Now aware of the danger, Boggart was able to make his way across the bridge more slowly, and tie the rope to the other end, which the rest of the party then used to keep their balance as they also crossed over.

Beyond the bridge our party came upon another set of doors. Wary of more traps, Bertil remained behind as the others opened the doors and entered the burial chamber of King Khertil. A pair of large cisterns in the form of stone urns stood on either side of the door. In the far end of the chamber was a platform that rose six feet above the floor, and upon the platform laid a sarcophagus and two stone chests.

As our heroes crossed the chamber to climb onto the platform, Boggart noticed the presence of what he thought was fine sand on the floor.

The party opened one of the treasure chest, and found within it various trinkets and devices, the purpose of which were not immediately obvious. Simultaneously, the doors to the chamber slammed shut, and our heroes heard a gurgling sound as water began to overflow from the cistern onto the floor.

As the water level began to rise our heroes sought to find a means to stop the water flowing, including opening the king's sarcophagus, but found nothing besides his remains, clad in golden armour. Outside, Bertil likewise could find no means to open the doors. In panic, Dave the dwarf jumped off the platform onto the floor, hoping to reach the doors, but found his soles stuck to the ground, and had to be pulled to safety by the others. The water continued to rise, but mercifully when it reached the level of the platform it began to recede.

When the water had ebbed, the doors unlocked, and our heroes made their way back with their packs laden with the treasures they have recovered.

Prepping and Running the Game

This adventure was based loosely on another one of Nerzugal's scenarios. As there was no Warrior PCs in the session, I thought a trap-based, Indiana Jones style dungeon was a suitable challenge to my players.

Once again I prepped for the session on the day itself, and I used an older edition of Tome of Adventure Design to design the traps, adapting them to the features in the maps which I use.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Gaslands Gates

I can't remember exactly how it happened, but recently Adrian expressed an interest in Gaslands, and I passed him the rules and the sprue of bits from Northstar, and now he has decided to build a war rig.

I decided I would make some terrain for the game, and so I made a few race gates using materials I had lying around.

Specifically, I used the plastic frame from these mini-whiteboards I bought; these were the cheapest and easiest way to get the ultra-thin steel sheets I wanted to line the plastic trays for my figures with magnetised bases. I broke the frames apart to get at the sheet; the cardboard lining was easy to recycle, but I had no idea what to do with the plastic frames then, and thought it would be wasteful to throw them away.

Fortunately, they were easy to re-purpose as building materials for the gates. I cut them into size, glued them to some resin bases I had, and sprayed them with a coat of black and then grey paint.

The signages were printed on paper, glued to PVC sheets, and then hot-glued to the frame. I based their design on the infamous Electronic Road Pricing gantries.

There are still some frames left over, and I think I might make some crash barriers with them later.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Dwarrowdeep #10

In the month of Wintermarch Bertil's teacher Elorn, the augur of Red Lion Hold, came to the thaig to seek his aid. Along with Boggart and Zunn (see PC profiles here), they traveled to a hovel where Elron sometimes sued for his rituals, a half a day's distance away.

Here, Elorn explained that Owyn, the thane of the hold, had begun behaving erratically a few months ago, become more suspicious and paranoid. He had accused several of his men of treachery, and threatened them with exile. His behavior was causing concern among the people of the hold, and Elorn feared that if word spread to the neighbouring holds, this may be perceived as a weakness and prompt an attack on the hold.

Through his rituals, Elorn had learned that Owyn's mind had been influenced by a demon in his dreams, and that to rid him of the demon, someone would have to travel into the Fade to destroy the demon. He proposed to send Bertil and his companions into the Fade by means of a ritual, while he would watch over them and return them to the realm of the waking if there were signs of trouble. Our heroes agreed to undertake the mission, and after imbibing a potion Elorn had prepared, they immediately fell asleep...

And woke up to find themselves in a cell inside a cave, without their equipment. Through the bars of their cells they could see that there were many other cells along the sides of the corridor outside their cell, but they could not see the faces of the people inside those cells. In the distance they could hear the sobbing of a man.

Boggart broke the party out of the cell, and they followed the sound of the sobbing to a cell, within which they found a disheveled Owyn cowering in the corner. There were bars over the cell, but there was no door. The party called out to Owyn, but he did not reply. Instead, a disembodied voice taunted them for attempting to save him. The bars over the other cells melted away, and they grey, faceless prisoners within moved towards our heroes (who suddenly found themselves with their equipment on them) and attacked them.

Our heroes made short work of the attackers, but when they had despatched the last of them, they were blinded by a bright light which caused them to shield their eyes...

When they opened their eyes, they found themselves inside a small room. On one wall of the room was a portal that led to a hill in springtime; on the opposite wall was a portal that led to Red Lion Hold, but in the midst of winter. In three of the corners of the room were pedestals, upon which laid a stone miniature of a bear, a hawk, and an otter.

Our heroes each took one of the miniature, and stepped through the portal that led to the hill in springtime... and found themselves transformed into the animals whose miniature they took! They realised that despite their animal form, they could still communicate with each other telepathically. They explored the hill, and found a pond at its top, inside which was a catfish who wore a pendant with an emerald figurine around its neck. In the side of the hill there was a hole, inside which was a snake that similarly wore a figurine around its neck. Finally, in a burrow at the base of a tree was a fox that also wore an emerald figurine around its neck.

By each of themselves our heroes were not able to catch the animals, whose figurines they surmised were what they needed to proceed to the other portal, but by co-operation, they were able to one by one catch the creatures, and recover the figurines. With the emerald figurines in their jaws, our heroes stepped back into the portal, and found themselves restored to their forms.

They now passed through the other portal, to find themselves before Red Lion hold, which was under attack from another Avvar hold. A bereskarn, a Blight-tainted bear, was charging towards the gate, and in its path was a young Owyn, who stood frozen in fear. Our heroes sprang to Owyn's rescue, and after a hard fight slew the beast. They then turned to encourage Owyn, but as their backs were turned the bereskarn rose again, and attacked them from behind. Caught unaware, our heroes thought themselves doomed...

But they awoke to find themselves once more in Elorn's hovel. Learning that they had failed in their quest, Elorn began to question them, eager to find out with whom the fault laid. Zunn, in panic, pointed to Bertil. Elorn grew stern, and said that with the demon now forewarned, they could not hope to save Owyn through the Fade, but to preserve the hold they would have to kill Owyn so another strong warrior could take over the hold, and as Bertil was the cause of the failure, the task fell upon him.

Bertil baulked at the idea, and said that Elorn had taught him to use his gift to heal people and not harm them, and so the Elorn before them could not be the real Elorn.

At this Elorn began to laugh, as his form shifted to that of a demon, and the hovel transformed into a hellscape of darkness and lava. Although weakened from their earlier battle, our heroes were able to destroy the demon, and as the last blow of their weapons fell, they found themselves once more in Elorn's hovel, but this time for real.

Prepping and Running the Game

The premise for this session was based on the one-shot adventure Descent into Dream from Nerzugal's Dungeon Master Toolkit 2, which is a treasure trove of adventures, puzzles, and bestiary, and what's more, available as a 'pay what you want pdf' now. The scene where the PCs were turned into animals came from a puzzle in Nerzugal's Game Master Toolkit, which again is available as 'pay what you want'. Both are excellent products, and I just learned that the 3rd and 4th instalments are also on sale now, and I will be buying them.

For this session I tried the GMing advice of not prepping too early, and only started prepping on the same day as the session. It was in some way liberating to put together an adventure using ideas from pdfs of adventures and random tables I already own, if a little stressful.