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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is a doozy!

Well, it has been awhile since I last posted, and I apologize for that audience of 0. I have been busy of late (mostly distracted) and have neglected this here blog.

Some things that I've been up to recently are:
  • Making OotS inspired Avatars of epic characters played during my D&D sessions with friends
  • Building foam-core dungeon terrain (I love me some verisimilitude!)
  • Re-purposing and customizing miniatures for my collection
  • Building my all knew 4E campaign - a Mega-Dungeon tentatively titled "The City of Fallen Sigil

First off, the OotS avatars. I recently decided to jump back into the mighty (and strange) world of forums and joined up with the Giant in the Playground forums after having lurked there off and on over the past few years. I decided I needed to fit in, gave into peer pressure, and decided to give a shot at creating my own OotS avatar for some of my favorite characters in various campaigns with my gaming group. These avatars run the gamut from my creations to theirs. Regardless, it was a lot of fun using the free Inkscape program and this handy, dandy tutorial from David Shaw. There is a slight learning curve with the program, but after you make your first avatar you'll be just fine!

(A picture of my World's Largest Dungeon Crew - from left to right: Gaius the Vampire, Lenny, Monkeybeard, Heathen, cursed Lucien, and Sloth the worst Rogue ever with our evil, evil DM up top!)

Secondly, I have been working on actual terrain for my dungeons when I DM. This terrain is really simple, made from foam-core board, superglue, exacto knives, and patience. (I have glued my fingers together a few times now...) They are not the prettiest things ever but they work and are hands-down better than just lines drawn on a battle map. These are designed to be fairly universal and work in conjunction standard gaming mat use. 

Above is an example shot of some of the walls and terrain I've created with some minis throw in for scale. I was completely happy with this until I was linked to the Heroscapers community where they excel at making some of the most beautiful custom terrain I've ever seen. This is a fantastic community that is very welcoming and even took the time to explain what the hell Heroscape was to me. There is a lot of good ideas for terrain for any table-top miniatures-based system. I know that once I get some money I am going to be implementing (read: stealing) a lot of these ideas for my table. Until then... foam-board terrain will do just fine!

I've also recently been working on re-purposing and customizing minis for my game table. I have a fair share of official D&D minis and wanted more, but they are oh so expensive (and out of print! Damn you WotC!!) I did some snooping around on the 'net and found a fantastic site called Troll and Toad for the frugal gamer. I picked up a bunch of Mage Knight minis that happened to be about the same size on the cheap (something like $0.15/apiece.) This was a steal, shipped quickly, and only required me to carefully snap off the minis from their too-large bases and glue them onto D&D-sized bases. 

Wooden bases for the conversion. The one of the left is 1"x1" and the one of the right is 1.75"x1.75". All that is required is to color them black with either paint or a sharpie (the paint takes the longest of the two methods but looks sharp, while the sharpie is quick and easy and looks just fine, this is the method I use) and then superglue the converted mini onto it. Below are some shots of the converted Mage Knight minis, enjoy!

 (D&D Minis beside the converted MK minis)

 (A D&D Dwarf mini next to a converted MK Dwarf mini for comparison)

(A large D&D Ogre mini and a large converted MK mini for comparison)

And lastly, I have been working hard on a new 4E campaign that is going to be a mega-dungeon, while pushing the envelop on what actually defines a mega-dungeon. There isn't going to be a lot of actual dungeoneering in this, but the concept remains the same. This is my first real attempt (other than making a few 5 Room Dungeons of my own) at D&D 4E encounter design and I have to say, damn it is easy. The encounter XP budgets and treasure parcels really help spread things out and speed up campaign design. It took me about 15 minutes to figure out the encounter budget for the first level of play and assign the right thematic monsters. It's been a fun and fantastic experience, the only real hold up is determining where these encounter will take place in the first "dungeon" that covers the first five levels of play. The tentative title for this campaign is "The City of Fallen Sigil."

I have another campaign that I've been working on off and on for the past year or two that was originally for 3.5 edition, then I converted what I had over to Pathfinder, and am now considering switching it over to 4th edition. The only real conversion will be skills and trap DCs and the encounter structures, the fluff can actually remain the exact same. I don't know though, I think I'll keep going with PF and maybe do both. It's a pretty cool campaign idea, if I say so myself, and is tentatively titled "Secret Invasion." I won't go into any details about it just yet, but I will say it's a doozy filled with betrayal and intrigue.

That's all I've got for now, but if anyone has any questions about anything in this post or previous ones, just ask in the comments below! I'll try to post more frequently, hopefully later this week. Until next time...


Edit: I meant to add, RIP Save Versus Death and Fourthcore! Sersa V, I wish you nothing but the best and want to thank you for creating an awesome take on the current edition of my favorite game. Take care, and if you ever need anything, Blob has your back!