Busy Day [admin crap, LotFP]

Went through and updated the House Rules page, Occultism, the Savage, and a few other posts. Currently updating Physic to match my current offline rules, and reconciling firearms and Seamanship with my notes as well. Forgot how damn much some of this stuff has changed. Currently queuing posts for the next couple of days.

…also, I dropped the silverware drawer on one of my fingers and it’s pouring rain. So painkillers may be involved.

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I made a bookcase today.

Salvaged a broken, but good-quality bookcase (made with actual wood and quarter-round molding, I might add) from the side of the road last month. Bleached it to neutralize any mold/acids in the wood, cleaned it up, sanded off the ruined old finish, and cut/stained new shelves. Cost me about $8 in materials to restore her. Letting it dry overnight before I seal it with polyurethane and put books/models on it. So, got a ~$60-100 bookcase now for about ten bucks and six or seven hour’s labour. Most of which was literally letting paint dry.

Yup, it's a bookcase

Yup, it’s a bookcase

yet another quick update.

Nothing super big going on for the last two days, just a lot of micro-progress. Still, I’m trying to publish at least once every two days right now, so here ya go.

As far as the ongoing cleanup goes, I sorted out the last of my terrain and materials into boxes, cleaning out and consolidating my three unsorted boxes of minis into one coherent whole. Still need another three to four plastic shoeboxes to finish storing everything (I need to sort the Mars Attacks suburbs and generic post-apoc terrain into its own box and clear out the big shoebox currently full of modular Necromunda and Russian industrial terrain so I can put my Space Hulk set into it). Bases are sorted for now as well, but I need to replace or repair the current Plamo case they’re in – the hinges on the lid shattered from UV degradation.

Less impressive-looking than perhaps it is. Top to bottom: Bases, Fantasy, Post-apoc, Warzone, Light Vehicles and Mecha. Gundams to the left, IG and moderns to the right.

Less impressive-looking than perhaps it is. Top to bottom: Bases, Fantasy, Post-apoc, Warzone, Light Vehicles and Mecha. Gundams to the left, IG and moderns to the right.

On the modeling front, I cleaned up, converted, and posed a Stalker, Wasp, and two RRPGT Valkyries, and did a photoshoot for my long-delayed review of the Destroid Tomahawk (which I need to finish now so that I can start on a Secret Project [tm]).

no soup for you

Finally, I’ve gotten the last bits of wood I need to do the paint shelf and finish restoring a bookcase I salvaged last month, so tomorrow’s gonna be a carpentry day.

About to be a couple of far more-impressive things.

About to be a couple of far more-impressive things.

Then I’m having guests for dinner. Should be a lot of fun.

Happy Valentine’s, Mr. President! (also character portrait ideas)

 

Yeah, I know, I’ve not been all that good about posting anyway. Still, heading out of town for the holiday weekend and I won’t really be able to post for a few days. As apology, have a couple PC portraits from the Late Medieval period (no gunners this time, but look at that crossbowyer’s sexy cranequin :3). Warning: Some gore after the break, because Herodias/Salome.

(this) Death comes silently, dumbasses

Mors silentum est, stultatae..

Mine is the most expensive hat. There are none more expensive. Also, my shoes imply that my penis is large.

Mine is the most expensive hat. There are none more expensive. Also, my shoes imply that my penis is large.

(more…)

Star Trek Ate My Blog Posts

ST:O ate me. Or rather, my new Romulan got me. Decided to do a non-Andorian pirate for a change, ran all the way though the mission tree in a week and called in over a dozen bugs (including 4 in the same mission).  Coliseum, man, the damned thing hasn’t been working since it dropped..

Not a bug, according to the GM

Not a bug, according to the GM

she'll cut you

She’ll cut you.

(yes, the Orion actually came in that outfit, and it was so ridiculous that I screencapped her. She’s in actual armor now..)

screenshot_2014-01-31-23-45-36

A Trill, three Andorian renegades, and a Jem’Hadar walk into a bar…

Does anyone else find it ironic that a huge chunk of the initial mission tree for Feddies and Romulans involves stopping the Tal Shi’ar from using Borg tech in their ships… and then a major goal of the endgame is to install those very Borg-tech modifications on your own ship?

Entirely legitimate armaments that in no way pose a threat to the entire Quadrant

Entirely legitimate armaments that in no way pose a threat to the entire Quadrant

Anyway, I’ve been busy being sick, fucking around on my assorted Elves In Space, and practicing my Carolignian script; Also, the British Library has been doing a bang-up job of actually digitizing their rare book collection. Beowulf is finally online, not to mention the Cutherbert – as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m working on copying both, and they’ve already eaten a few evenings on their own.

Home Again &c.

Back from my sister’s place. Acquired much miniature conversion fodder and Pokemon Y.
I now own 6 of the 11 total mini types created for Crimson Skies (too bad they still ignored 3 of the original 14 planes, but hey..), as well as a surprise bounty of 1990’s-era Star Trek Micro Machines – which used the same molds as many of the modern Star Trek Attack Wing and Clix models. It’s on. I’ve also got kitbashing materials for the DS9 Tech Manual/Star Fleet Tech Manual/Wolf 359 & Unification ship variants, not to mention the “Phoenix” variant of the Nebula-class. All I’m missing for the Feddies is a Miranda, an Enterprise Class/Constitution Refit (depending on what side of that particular divide you fall), and an Olympic – I imagine pretty much everything from First Contact is going to be pretty commonly available in the Clix sets.

Then it’s Klink time…

My Romulan fleet is actually in pretty good shape. Right now I’m also using several “modern” ships to proxy for stuff in ACTA Star Fleet. For example, the Romulan “Science Vessel” is a pretty decent Hawk, the “Old” BoP from Enterprise is an excellent Snipe or War Eagle (with the larger BoP then standing in for the King Eagle), and the KBoPs make great zipperhead Frigates for either side.

Anyway, I’m gonna go clean up and sleep. Tomorrow’s a busy day, but hopefully I’ll be able to get some photos together or something.

Gloria in Excelsis

Bouguereau_RosesSQEnjoy the High Feast of the Incarnation, all. I’m going to be out of town until the New Year, so it’s unlikely I’ll be posting in the interim.

Folio project progress

Finished the first part of the Folio, adding and cleaning up all the spells from the original contest and some other stuff. Did you know that Lamentations has nearly 80 first-level spells, not counting my own?
Now I’m teaching myself to use InDesign to see if I can print it up in signatures or I’m going to have to do this the hard way again. I’ve reformatted the pages, going through on another editing pass before I start adding in all the Open Content stuff from the R&M .pdf.
Folio 2
Finally starting to look good.

Now back to cleaning my library and working on my next post (it’s pontificating about Treasure and RPG philosophy!).

Artistic Inspiration: Early Fantasy Illustrations 1

Had guests over, and the hand’s still not at 100%, so I’m going to be lazy and post a few turn-of-the-century illustrations from fairytale and fantasy books.

Welcome to my wandering monster tables. These are the >friendly< ones.

Welcome to my wandering monster tables. These are the >friendly< ones.

Can't find the source for this one - too many Walkers. Nonetheless, it's out of copyright and quite a nice wizard.

Can’t find the source for this one – too many Walkers. Nonetheless, it’s out of copyright and quite a nice wizard.

This is why gods should never have fucking stats.

This is why gods should never have fucking stats.

Okay, I Lied (A Little) (also I updated stuff)

Just got back from Seattle. Hurt myself a bit during the trip, so posting tomorrow may be delayed depending on how I feel when the painkillers wear off. On the other hand, it was surprisingly profitable, both in connections, and in picking up the deposit check from my old apartment.

I picked up a foam sword with a really nice 1862-pattern Cutlass hilt. Going to see if I can’t get it cleaned up and resculpted a bit by Hallowe’en, and make a scabbard/blade for it. Hell, I might have an actual costume sword again for the first time in ages.

Apparently my Alpha Strike book came in, so it’s time to pick it up and run some large-scale stress tests with my brother. More on that as events warrant.

I also went through and cleaned up my Resin Casting tutorial posts, adding Step markers to part 2 and removing some naughty words. Now they’re SFW!  (Yeah, I did it because my boss’s daughter is going to go through them shortly, don’t judge me.)

Out of town

I’m up in Seattle taking care of some business. Back posting on Tuesday.

I leave you with a bit of poetry.

What is the distance between two crowns?
(We pray it to pass without strife).
As broad it can be, as five-score of years
Or as thin as the blade of a knife.

Progress!

I’ve spent all day taking and cleaning up photos for a resin casting tutorial, walking about town with my wife, and prepping the folio project. Nothing to post today, really; in atonement for wasting your time, I present a Trollhoffer Melvin for your amusement.1304015065955

Literary Inspiration: Book of the Dead, Aztec Myths

I’ve got a few hours to touch base before I have to swing back up Seattle way. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the bus (three bloody hours each way for an hour-and-a-quarter drive..), which means I’ve also been spending a lot of time reading. In this case, a shitload of occult anthropology and ancient linguistic works; there’s a reason I play the system I do..
So, I find that a lot of people get way too Jungian when they’re building their pantheons, neglecting just how fucking weird we as a species have gotten in the past. Here’s some examples of ways to weird up your creepy native cultists all proper-like.

For starters, I found a couple of excerpts from Budge’s 1895 translation of the Egyptian Books of the Dead (available here) that were too deliciously pulpy not to pass on.

..The Night-Watchers of Set. Yea, the Night-Watchers of the Crocodile, whose faces are hidden, who dwell in the divine Temple of the King of the North in the apparel of the gods on the sixth day of festival, whose snares.. are like unto Eternity. – Book of the Dead, V.II, Ch LXV, On Coming Forth By Day from the Nu Papyrus

Tell me that isn’t setting off the fires in your head right now. Elsewhere (Ch. LXXI) they consistently refer to “the God of One Face”, which is a hell of a title. Excerpt deliberately partially redacted, as I try to avoid using magical incantations – especially to obvious demons – in my daily life. For some reason.

....the God of One Face is with me… ye seven beings, who support the scales on the night of the judgement.. who cut off heads, who hack necks to pieces, who take possession of hearts by violence and rend the places where the heart is fixed, who make slaughterings in the Lake of Fire.. -op. cit., Ch. LXXI, Papyrus of Nebseni

There’s your demonic titles right there.

Meanwhile, the Aztecs are getting up to their own pantheonic Weirdness; the information here is taken from a book that’s rather badly out of date at this point, “A Primer of Mayan Heiroglyphics” by Daniel G. Brinton. Still, even what’s wrong is a fertile ground to play in. Just, preface all this with “Brinton says that..”. Anyway..
• Aztec Dwarves were the degenerate remains of the previous age of the Earth, having survived the apocalypse in defiance of the gods. Indeed, their very degeneracy brought the Apocalypse. Would explain the dour demeanour and throwing themselves into their crafts, certainly. Holding on to the dying arts of a dead world, lurking underground to avoid the prying eyes of the New Gods, not enslaved to the current god of Death. Adventurers are tired of an eternity of cowering, unafraid (or only a little) of walking under the eyes of the Sun. Some were said to have come, in the last, to the form of flowers.

• Some divine titles and charges (note that these are far, far more interesting than the shit that made it into Deities and Demigods) :
“The Virgin Fire” – Infants
“The Virgin of the Butchered Kill” – Hunting
“The Divine Snare” – goddess of killing by ropes and traps.
“He who tends the cooking fire” – Fisherman’s deity
“The intoxicating Mead” – Drinking, but not boning. So no Dionysis here.
“She who vomits precious stones” – Patron of gemcrafters in amethyst and jade
“The infinite jewels” – Medicine (consider the importance of gems in Western “medicine” until the ~1700s and it’s not that much of a leap..)
“He whose teeth are Six Lances” – War
“The Archer” – War, plague
“Dangerous one” and “The Terror” – War demigods
“Fire is his Face” – Burning things in war
“He who works in Fire” – Destruction by fire in a more general sense
“The Bearer of 8,000 lances” – war

..not that the Maya had a fixation or anything.

More to come later. Gotta head out to the bus now.

All excerpts are from texts in the public domain, your personal cultural heritage. Defend it.

Mecha Artist dump

In keeping with my tradition of putting stuff here for my own use, here are some of my favorite mecha artist’s pages. I may come back through later and add in stores, this was just me tossing something up there.
Pixiv:
Captain 06 – Battletech and Nuetech, with a side in realistic military and flying lolis without pants.
T-TA – Mech redesigns, mostly of Nuetech, and a little fanart
Mecha Fighter – Renders, multiangle. Good sculpting reference.
S. Shimizu – Largely conventional 3/4 lineart, but a wide range of subjects and decent references

Deviantart
Alex Iglesias – AKA Flyingdebris. Doug Chaffee’s replacement for covers.
Anthony Scroggins – AKA Shimmeringsword
Dave White– Mecha Master
Kristian Borg – digital art of BT
Eric Ou – Tanks and other fun things
Mike Jackson – Sourcebook artist with a side in covers and card art
Justin Nelson Bad shading, good fundamentals. Did the Re-Re-Reseen primitives.

The biggest condemnation of the way Battletech handles autocannon..

is that 2 class-2 autocannon weigh as much as a class-10.

Wanted Poster

Friartuck

This should be slowpoke.jpg

Yes, I go to 4chan

Pithitude

Worked my ass off all day, had an awesome idea, needs playtesting and hammering into shape.

I updated the tools and free RPG pages.

Now I’m going to sleep.

Pax.

In leiu of an actual intro post…

I’m answering the list from Brendan; this should tell you a lot about me right now. Note that I’m currently “between games” – we’ll see how long it goes before I can actually hammer out another play group. This represents how I would run a D&D-based game right now, or have run one in the past; other systems are their own post…

  1. Ability scores generation method?
    Depends on the game and my mood. I prefer 3d6 down the line, with one extra roll that can replace any of the others. Attribute adjustment follows Holmes Basic – strip 2 from another, specified stat to get 1 in Prime Requisite. I’ve also used good old 6x4d6 drop 1 a la carte and 3d6 down the line.
  1. How are death and dying handled?
    Usually with tantrums. Seriously, though, PCs die. It happens. Now if only it’d happen to one of my players (no shit, no fudging, only one player in one game I’ve run in the last 5 years has died.)0 HP = croaked. Below that: also maimed, party may need to recover bits to get a proper raise in. If the character is abandoned around most monsters, they’re very likely to be eaten. Coups de Grace, execution, terminal diseases, all Save or Die effects, and sacrifice bring the character to 0 automatically.
    I also use a modified System Shock: the character goes unconscious if they fail, for 1d6 rounds if the attack is less than half their hitpoints, or Turns if more.
  1. What about raising the dead?
    If it ever f*ing happened, the PCs could either choose a slow, sure, expensive method (based loosely on their cash – you can owe the Church a favor for a major discount), or a fast and messy, cheap version with a chance of the character coming back.. wrong. Or a very cheap Reincarnation from the local Druid – even for eaten or dismembered characters. Hope you roll well.
  1. How are replacement PCs handled?
    (sound of the transporters cycling up, twin vertical glows spread apart as the PC appears in a shower of golden sparkles.)
  1. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
    I’ve used individual since day 1, probably not gonna change it. Usually use 1D10, counting down.
  1. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
    Yes.
    Fumbles: you roll another immediate D20, and I adjucate based on circumstances. Bad rolls, your weapon saves vs. Crushing Blow; good rolls, you save or stumble/drop your weapon. Mediocre rolls, you’ll usually wind up disarmed, no save.
    Crits: Roll 1D20, I come up with something. can range from disarming your opponent, to double damage, to their armor taking a save or being destroyed, or knocking them unconscious.
    And what’s sauce for the goose.. well, PCs need to buy new armor occasionally, right?
    I should probably make a table for this shit.
  1. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
    Peircers not a problem, no called shots to the head, less likely to get cinematically knocked the f*ck out by a crit.
  1. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
    Yup. You can also rob them, be robbed, or say incredibly stupid things to an NPC and get shanked.
  1. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
    I started out playing very, very deadly – by-the-book Holmes.
    When I started 3x, I actually gave a damn about CR, but rapidly discovered how much of a pain in the arse it was to “balance” all your encounters – and how little drama the characters felt in the ensuing combats.
    Now? It’s possible to kill almost anything. But not necessarily with the resources the PCs will have. Translation: Run the hell away.
  1. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
    Yes.
    Rare, deadly, horrible. I treat them more like traps – generally there will be clues that a ‘drainer is about, and the PCs will have a chance to avoid them. Unless they’re the Hounds of Tindalos (future post, that).
  1. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
    Yes.
    Sometimes, a passed save means you’re dead – dragonfire sucks. They tend to be rare, though; I prefer lasting, nasty effects for my poisons and curses – cause casualties, not kills..
  1. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
    Encumbrance
    Formerly: I tracked it fanatically as a player. As a DM.. not so much.
    Currently: Going to try the LotFP system, since it looks like it isn’t impossible to use on the fly. Edit: Works like a frickin’ charm. Using forever.
    Resources
    You better damned well go into one of my dungeons with enough torches, spikes, rope, and ammo, because I track them. Your light will almost certainly run out before your food, though, and when all else fails there’s “orc”/Long Pig.
  1. What’s required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
    You need some down time, at least OOC. I usually pass out XP at the end of an adventure, and observe the rolls/help with selections after the main session or at the beginning of the next.
    No Training. It’s silly.
    Arcane casters with a lab/library (they can begin establishing one before Name level) get an automatic spell of any level they can cast on levelling. Casters without name a spell and roll chance-to-learn. Spellbooks are moderately common treasures, however, counting as a “treasure map” in most hoard rolls. They can contain rare spells (I.E. not in the PHB), and often have rather nasty defenses – poison needles in the locks, trick bindings, Sigils and Runes, and monster-attracting scents, to name a few.
    Divine casters have sharply restricted spell lists (for now. Working on new rules, to be seen in a future post), and cast more dynamically.
  1. What do I get experience for?
    (Flexible amounts) Clever problem-solving, making significant sacrifices, doing class-appropriate things, making me laugh.
    (Fixed amounts) Getting treasure, tithing magic items beyond the amount required by your class, killing things. I’m seriously considering adding in Carousing rules, simply because they look funny.
  1. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
    Description (first tier), dice rolling (when actively searching for certain types of traps, or when about to set one off for certain races and type of trap), saving throws (once tripped), kobolds on sticks.
  1. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
    Yes.
    Morale is the usual 2D6 system, with modifiers for treatment, charisma, and pay.
    I also use Reaction Tables, religiously, modified by the Charisma of the FIRST party member to speak/act, or the average of the party’s CHA if the mobs have surprise.
  1. How do I identify magic items?
    Take them to a Sage, play with them, cast Identify or Legend Lore if you’re rich and impatient, have a Bard in the party…
  1. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
    You can. They tend to be rare, extremely expensive, and hard to fence: potions can have side effects, and are usually only available from people on the weird side of society (all those fumes from the Henbane..). Holy Water is easy for Lawful-ish, Good-ish characters, but harder for others, and known sacrilegious acts will generally completely fuck you out of support from any allied religions.
  1. Can I create magic items? When and how?
    Yes.
    When you create a lab and start spending money on it.
    How? Retain a Sage, fire off a Legend Lore, get the Bard to give some advice.. basically, make up a recipe and try it out. Research makes it more likely that the thing will work: days spent working and better/weirder ingredients help too. On a day you work on a magic item, you can’t cast any spells, from dawn to dawn, and your memory is emptied. Potions can be made in batches, provided the ingredients are sufficient.
    Clerics must fast, sacrifice, and pray: those who have served their deity well may be rewarded for diligence and patience. Ritual purity doesn’t hurt. This can take days, and may not work at all. In both cases, making a weapon is harder than making a potion or scroll.
  1. What about splitting the party?
    You can. Do you really want to?

Again, these represent the current state of play, not how I’ve rolled in the past