Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Deadzone: Revisiting the Plague

I saw a Facebook post in the Deadzone Fanatics group that finally go me inspired to work on my Plague again.  Originally I had painted a few 3Z minis using flesh tones as I didn't want to go a purple as they are usually shown.  Then I saw the post that changed my mind.  The author used contrast paints to give them a much more understated shade and I decided to try doing something similar.

Fleshy zombie on the left, grape zombie on the right.

The base paint is a light grey from Vallejo (not sure the shade at the moment) which I then went over with GW shade Druchii Violet, then a quick drybrush with the light grey to finish it off.  Visually I really like this a lot more than what I'd originally tried and it seems more understated than some of the other purples that I've seen done.

I've already got another three that I've finished, and another three in process.  As for the fleshy ones, I might actually leave them that way and maybe even paint a couple more in a similar fashion.  They look alright for modern/sci-fi zombies so I'm thinking I might keep them around just for that.

As for the rest of the Plague that I have, I want to break out the set of 3rd gen troopers I have and start putting them together.  Between those and my zombies, I've easily got enough points to put together a decent force which I'll be able to push around for a solo game... just gotta throw together some more terrain for it first.  Until next time...

Monday, November 9, 2020

Random Workbench Update: Well Would You Look At That...

Over the weekend I managed to get two of the three shelves installed, with the location for the holes marked for the last one.  I'm really happy with how it's looking and it is definitely helping to open up my work space.

The next step is going to be... three more shelves!  Originally I'd planned on putting three 6' shelves over my painting space, but instead I opted for three 3' shelves along a wall next to it instead.  That particular wall has a window in the middle of it so I'm going to put three 4' shelves on that other side of the window.  Overall more real estate for placing things and I think it is going to look nicer than the original plan as well.

That wasn't all I managed to get accomplished over the weekend though.  I also made another mini for one of our companions in the long running 5e Out of the Abyss campaign we are still playing.  Yep, you read that right.  I made this mini.  Introducing Globby!

Globby with my old gnome character Kremermesh Mommanpople for scale

Globby (aka Glabbagool) is a sentient gelatinous cube that we encountered, and we befriended him... her... it... by telling it stories.  We thought he had gone off to explore the wide world of the Underdark but he happened to show up in Gracklstugh.

Globby is made from some clear plastic sheets cut into 2" x 2" squares and then hot glued together.  To give him the oozy look, I went over him with more hot glue, pulling the gun down to the base to give it the appropriate drippy look.  And what's even cooler?

Not the clearest picture but you get the idea...

That's right!  He glows in the dark!  Completely unnecessary but when I saw the glow in the dark glue sticks, I just had to do it!

As for what's next... I haven't decided yet.  I need to get the last shelf up, then I want to dive back into my pile of unpainted minis to see what speaks to me next.  Plus I'm thinking about seal some of my older minis that are going up onto the shelf just for good measure, in which case I might have to set up the light box and take some pictures of them.  Until next time...

Friday, November 6, 2020

Random Update: Bringing Them Out Into The Light Of Day

After all of these years of painting miniatures, I had an epiphany; Why are they all just sitting in a box?

Since I paint my minis for gaming, I've always tried to keep them stashed away in their carry cases and the like to protect them.  It's great to have access to something like this for gaming on the go, but realistically I just don't get out to game that much.  That doesn't mean they should all be stashed away out of sight.  These are bits of plastic and metal that I've invested time and energy into, so it's time to show them to the world!  Or at least anyone that wonders into my office. 😁

All of which means its time to buy some shelves!

In this case, I just want some to put my finished minis on display so I'm going to buy a couple of basic, black shelves with matching brackets to put them on the wall in my office.  I'm going to keep the above my paint/work station so it will be out of the way but close enough to eye level to enjoy the view when you come in the room.  This will also open up my painting space since I will be able to put the minis up on the shelves as I finish them.

Picking these up either later today or tomorrow and then hanging them over the weekend so I can get my space better organized.  Can't wait to get it done!  Until next time...

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Audio Noise: There's A Chance You'll Get Hooked By This One

Lately I've been digging around to try to find more podcasts to listen to.  Typically I look for actual plays, but I happened to stumble across this one and decided to take a chance...

Focus: enhancing your 5e D&D experience

Audio Quality: four and a half fleshed out character concepts

Content Quality: five fiendish DM plans

Average Length: 40 minutes to an hour

Release Schedule: weekly

I must admit that I don't usually listen to informational podcasts like this one but I'm really glad that I found it.  The chemistry between the hosts Travis and Jordan is really good, and makes this podcast an easy listen.  They are both enthusiastic about the topic and have a lot of experience that they bring to the table.  They also go the extra mile to tie things in with historical references as well which is absolutely fascinating.  As an example, I'd never heard of Jeanne de Clisson and the bloody path she carved through the English Channel but man does she sounds terrifying!

The only thing that I have found slightly off in the 30+ episodes that I've listened to in the past week (yes, it really is that good) is a slight leveling problem on their audio.  They changed their format in episode  23 to go to a weekly format but the bumpers were a noticeably louder than the podcast itself for a few episodes.  Just made it a little jarring between segments initially but they seemed to have fixed it pretty quickly.

Overall this is a really well put together, informative, and insightful podcast about 5e, and if you are into Dungeons and Dragons I definitely recommend giving it a listen.  Until next time...

Monday, November 2, 2020

5e Dungeons and Dragons: The History of Saltmarsh

I'd planned on working on my minis this week but life didn't play out that way.  Later this week I'll be getting some shelves so I can clear up my painting space which will be amazing!  Until then, I've been keeping myself busy prepping for a modified Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign.  U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh was one of the first adventures I ever played and I get to try my hand at running it soon.  For those of you not familiar with them, Ghosts of Saltmarsh is a 5e campaign built around the original U series of adventures from the old Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

Overall, I like how they fleshed some of the background with the new campaign but there were things that I wanted different, hence my own spin on the history of Saltmarsh...

History of Saltmarsh

Roughly a hundred years ago, during the reign of King Veryl Rudge, Keoland waged war along its northern border as the King sought to expand his territory.  Not all agreed with this aggressive expansion and some of the coastal families moved further south.  Finding fertile fishing grounds beyond the Dread Wood, they founded the towns of Seaton and Saltmarsh along the northern coast of the Bay of Javan.

Seaton quickly established trade connections with some of the more organized factions of the Sea Princes and developed into a trading hub, while Saltmarsh became known for its bountiful fishing along the mouth of the Gleaming River.  Both towns grew and prospered in their own way, but It was not long until they fell under the greedy eyes of some of the Sea Princes.

As part of their trading, Seaton was able to arrange for some protection from the Sea Princes but Saltmarsh did not enjoy such luxury.  The initial raids were small, but once word spread of the vulnerability of the town compared to Seaton, it was not long until they became the target of one of the most ruthless Princes, Prince Dugir of Scourgehold.  It began as a blockade of the town, but once the forces of Dugir saw that Keoland was quick to ignore their southern holdings, the true pillaging began.

These were dark days for Saltmarsh and the constant raids quickly took their toll.  The town would have become a mere footnote in history if not for the actions of two of the major fishing families in the region, the Primmwaters and the Owelands.  Together they ran the blockade of Saltmarsh and then began striking back at the forces of Dugir himself.  Calling themselves the Kingfishers, they drove the pirates out of Saltmarsh and broke the blockade.  The final blow came when Amarion Primmwater and Rupert Oweland led an attack against one of the lieutenants of Dugir, Arem the Doomcrier, killing him and sinking the flagship of the blockading fleet.

After their victory, Primmwater and Oweland were divided about what should happen to the Kingfishers.  Oweland favored disbanding the group and petitioning the Crown to provide more support while Primmwater wanted to transition them to into a private town guard, focused on protecting the town of Saltmarsh without the help of the Crown.  In the end, the two compromised.  Oweland reached out to the regional commander in Seaton and stepped away from the Kingfishers while Primmwater took command of the group until Keoland was able to provide what he felt was sufficient protection.

Since then, the Primmwater and Oweland families became well established and have been instrumental in Saltmarsh growing into the town that it is today.  While the Oweland family continued to focus on fishing, the Primmwaters expanded into trade and sent ships along the west coast of the Azure Sea.  Both families have prospered over the generations since, expanding their fleets and influence within the town and the region, and both have remained a guiding force for the growth of Saltmarsh.

Though other mercantile families have sought to expand into Saltmarsh, it was not until within the past ten years that the town council decided to allow it.  The Solmor family, an established merchant family from Seaton, quickly established themselves locally and the head of the local family, Petra Solmor, was invited to join the council as well.  Working together, Saltmarsh has continued to grow under the guidance of the three families.  Today, the council is composed of Eda Oweland, Garin Primmwater, and Anders Solmor.

Eda is the granddaughter of Rupert Oweland, and her family owns or contracts most of the fishing ships operating out of Saltmarsh.  She works together with the Fishmongers Guild to establish competitive rates for their goods.  The Guild also maintains a large smokehouse, letting them expand their markets farther, and they are said to be working on creating magical methods of preserving fresh fish as well.

Garin is the grandson of Amarion Primmwater, and while his family still maintains a small interest in fishing, he has largely shifted his focus to transporting goods in the region.  Though Saltmarsh is mainly known for its fishing trade, it is a closer port to Restenford and Burle to the north, and it is less regulated than Seaton.  In addition to his family’s legal activities, it is commonly known that the Kingfishers were never disbanded and have become a well-established smuggling ring operating in the Bay of Javan and beyond.

Anders is the son of the recently deceased Petra Solmor.  Just over a year ago, Petra developed a mysterious wasting illness and soon passed away.  Rather than send another family member to handle trade in Saltmarsh, it was decided that Anders should take control of the Solmor interests in town.  Raised and educated in Seaton, he has a different outlook on things than Eda and Garin are accustomed to, but he does have useful insights that still make him an asset to the council.

In addition to the council itself, there are also two prominent townsfolk who act as advisors.  Eliander Fiske is the Captain of the town guard and a decorated veteran of the Royal Army.  With the safety of Saltmarsh as his main concern, he keeps an eye open for any trouble that might be stirring up in the region.  Eliander also still has strong ties to the Royal military and has been able to have a small contingent of marines stationed in town in case of emergency.  Trained as soldiers and sailors, these fighting men can be assigned to trade ships if the Sea Princes start to become aggressive again.

The final advisor is Jemis Copperlocks, head of the Copperlocks mine located to the east of Saltmarsh.  Though some of the locals complain that she has no business with the council, the Crown feels otherwise which is why she attached by a royal decree.  Even so, she typically sits as a bystander if the town business does not interfere with her operation.

In addition to this, I'm also fleshing out various locations around town and expanding the initial adventure in the haunted house.  I'm the first to admit that this might be a bit much but I'm trying to make sure I have a solid picture of the setting so I can convey it to the players.  I have some thoughts for an overarching plot for the campaign which departs from the one laid out in Ghosts, but that all depends on what the players want.  Heck, they might just hop on a boat and sail away for all I know but at least this gives a solid foundation to build on.  Until next time...