Sunday, February 18, 2007

Painting Essentials 101

I've been crazy busy with Real Life intrusions on my gaming activities recently, so I haven't been able to post much.

I would like to let people know, though, that Reaper just put up a really useful article on getting set up to paint miniatures. I really recommend checking it out:

I am definitely going to Reaper Con this year, by hook or by crook. Maybe I'll do blog reports from down there when I go. I've also invited my friend Matt Clark from Reaper to come up here sometime and give me pointers in my basement on painting and we'll post some of that activity too.

I really look forward to when all the IRL stuff cools down a bit, sometime after April 28th, and I can get back to stuff that really matters.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Painted Horgar

The original Horgar sculpt I did, now painted and ready to make my PCs lives miserable.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Updated Wish List

I've updated my wish list of monsters I wish someone made, perhaps even WOTC.

Wish List

This list is only monsters and extra-planer folk like Gods, Devils, and Demons.

There is a seperate wish list for personalities.

Check it out, and if you're a sculptor looking for a commission on a one of a kind, let me know. I don't know how long I can wait for WOTC or Reaper to decide these are good enough suggestions to actually get them on my shelf before I die.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Monster: Nagpa

I'm constantly flipping through old D&D books looking for monster descriptions which might correspond to miniatures I have, whether the miniature is intended to be a D&D monster or not.

I'd purchased some minis at a hobby store in Davenport, Iowa, last year which were made by Crocodile Games This is a company that has a game called Wargods of Aegyptus, and they've got some amazing miniatures in that line. I'm planning on using their Basti figs as Catfolk and really expanding that race of creatures as Bast worshippers in my world. I know she is Sharess in the Realms, but no god minds expanding their worshipper base and the catfolk seem perfect for this.

At any rate, I was flipping through the Mystara Monstrous Compendium and saw the entry for the Nagpa on page 82. The illustration looks like the creatures from Dark Crystal, but I thought I could find a way to incorporate the Nekharu miniatures I got in Davenport into my campaign by using them as an altered version of Nagpas.

I left the creature entry essentially the same, but rather than having them created as a curse by non-specific "certain immortals" I tied them directly to the Mulhorandi pantheon which is based on Egyptian mythology. All the stats and most of the entry are the same, though priests who become nagpas don't have staves, they have daggers and skulls which have been enchanted to function as "rings of spell storing."

This is what I came up with:

Nagpas are, or rather were, Mulhorandi mages or priests of the god Set, a particularly nasty evil god in the Mulhorandi pantehon. They are cursed with this disfigurement for causing a great offense to Set, or for failing him in some spectacular way. This punishment is somewhat similar to what happens to drow priestesses who fail Lolth’s test and are transformed into driders.

After the transformation, nagpas are banished from Mulhorand territories and transported by magic to some far flung desert region, usually Anarauch, to wander the length and breadth of Faerun in search of powerful artifacts with which they might placate the angry god and be granted a lifting of the curse. The nagpa tend to be solitary in their search, believing that combining efforts will lessen their individual chance to be granted the boon of returning to their former selves. When nagpa do come together, it is often in order to combine efforts to research magic which might reverse the curse placed upon them all without having to return to Set and beg this gift from him. Every nagpa is aware that any petition which does not result in lifting the curse results in a horrible death.

So far as anyone knows, the Nagpa Curse cannot be removed by any spell less powerful than a wish, but they labor in hope of finding something that will help them. Nagpas will most often be discovered deep in ruined temples below the sands of the desert and will always have extremely large collections of powerful magic items. Their wizard laboratories will always be decorated as though a temple to Set, and they will have tried to curry favor with their god by attempting to spread his worship wherever they go, even though they secretly hate him for placing the curse upon them. This conflict tends to render their service to Set somewhat ineffectively, though they can have fanatical followers. Sometimes these followers detect the heresy of the nagpa’s resentment and they will revolt, killing the nagpa if they can as an offering to Set.

Extremely rare occasions may find a solitary nagpa traveling overland with a rare and powerful artifact on its way back to Mulhorand and a temple of Set.

Fortunately for the nagpa, and unfortunately for those who would plot against them, these creatures instinctively know if they are being ridiculed or plotted against anywhere within a 100-mile radius. It is believed that this is part of their curse. They can track such gossipers as long as the speakers remain in range. A nagpa's ears suffer a burning sensation that grows hotter as the nagpa gets closer to the individual who spoke about the race. Items such as amulets of non-detection protect speakers from the cursed detection of the nagpas. They are determined that none should mock them or work against them. When a detractor is found, he or she is immediately killed by the nagpa. It then wanders away, consumed with feelings of guilt, remorse, relief, and joy.

Similarly, chanting or being in the presence of those who are chanting to the worship and glory of Set has a cooling, calming, and sustaining effect on the nagpa. For each hour of such chanting the nagpa regains 1d3 hit points per chanter and the worship of Set itself nourishes them as though they had eaten a full meal. So long as they worship, or cause others to worship Set, they have no need for food or water. In fact, attempts to eat or drink normally cause 1d6 points of damage as though they were poisoned.

Ecology: These cursed creatures cannot eat, sleep, laugh, reproduce, or take part in any other activity enjoyed by living humans until the curse is lifted. Some evil mages use the skin of nagpas as parchment for scrolls of certain powerful necromantic spells.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Desperate to buy these items....

Well, I'm working on my Faiths and Avatars shelf and kicking myself over and over again for deciding not to buy these boxed sets when they came out. I remember going to the hobby store daily on my lunch breaks in Iowa City and holding each of them in my hands and deciding they were too expensive...and now I'd pay several times what the shelf price was back in 1991 for them.

If you have any of these Ral Partha Planescape boxed sets, please let me know if you put them up on eBay. And please don't put them up with a PayPal only designation. I stopped using PayPal when eBay bought the company and started imposing their Safe Harbor rules on every transaction whether it was on eBay or not. I won't go back to PayPal even to buy these boxed sets...but you'll get your money order within a few days of the auction ending.

It drives me nuts that WOTC has all these products dealing with their various pantheons and their mythoi specific priesthoods in their various campaign worlds and they don't regularly include at least one Avatar and one mythoi specific priest in each set.

Nothing would make me happier than to have a company like Reaper take the descriptions and make the avatars but call them something else, or do a special series of 72mm miniatures that could easily be used for the avatars. How about a 72mm bald dwarf with two axes called Bangitin? Nobody could sue you for that and WOTC doesn't seem interested in making them because there's no place on a battle mat for a god's avatar.

I love that the miniatures game is getting a larger number of minis in my collection than there would be without it, but I hate that "collectibility" makes building up armies so much more expensive than the miniature is actually worth. I also hate that what works great for an RP module seldom fits in the warband structure the miniatures game demands.

I hate hate hate that WOTC made Ral Partha destroy the molds and all the unsold stock when they terminated the official relationship with them, and hate even more that they aren't at least trying to make a mini for each of the Ral Partha miniatures they made sure nobody could get their hands on anymore.

Ok, I'm done ranting now, so please, if you have these Planescape minis sitting around in your basement...please consider helping them gate into my basement.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Unhallowed hasn't hit the shelves yet, but....

I'm already salivating over the release this summer of Night Below. Clearly, I have a problem.

I read in one preview that Unhallowed and Night Below would both focus primarily on Ravenloft. I think that must be a mistake, because way too many people will immediately associate Night Below with the classic 2E boxed campaign set to think that Night Below means horror instead of Underdark critters.

I really want more Underdark nasties, not castle and dungeon creepers. I like my monsters on the wild side, and not just domesticated storm troopers of a mad wizard.

Maybe we'll finally get that Rust Monster or an official aboleth.

I keep waiting for them to tie booster sets with the release of a module, and may be Night Below is a move in that direction. I know they did something a little bit like that with the Red Hand module, but something like tying a whole set of miniatures to the monsters in a module or series of modules would be a way to make everyone happy. I'd gladly convert a 3E module to 2E if I knew that nearly all of the monsters in that module were available as miniatures.

My two cents.

Product Release Info


Monday, February 05, 2007

Matt Clark's Mastery of Painting

I just checked the Reaper Miniatures site today for updates and saw that my friend Matt is featured in this week's post with his expert painting on two miniatures.

Check it out, the Reapervisionquick time tool that allows you to rotate the miniature 360 degrees lets you see all the amazing detail that this talented painter can put into his work.

He makes me feel like a pre schooler with the box of 6 jumbo crayons by comparison.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Devils: Gelugon

I admit that ever since I started playing D&D I've had a real fascination with Devils and Demons. That didn't make me want to kill myself or kill anybody else, and the only reason anyone I knew was "bothered about Dungeons & Dragons" was because I would talk their ear off about it.

As I go through the Monstrous Manual I'm making, I linger long on the Baatezu (which prior to 2E were devils).

Please enjoy my minis of the Gelugon, or Ice Devil.

Vreesar is a named Ice Devil from the Villain's Lorebook supplement. I've made this figure a named personality because it is the OOP Ral Partha Ice Devil and I'm very unlikely to ever get another one. I like the paint job on it. I painted it with the Snow Shadow Master Series paint by Reaper, because it very nearly matched the shade of light blue used on the WOTC Ice Devils. I tried using the Reaper blue ink to do the shading, but it bled and I ended up using it as a wash instead. It came out this amazing electric ice blue. So, I went with it on all my ice devils.These are the version of the Gelugon done by Reaper Mini. The product name is Mantis Demon and it is sculpted by Bob Olley. It is a little smaller than either the WOTC or the Ral Partha versions, but adds a lovely variety to the species and they are easy to get hold of so you can build up a pretty massive army of them pouring out of Stygia. I painted them the same way as Vreesar. The eyes are a shade of bright green from Reaper, I forget which, and then washed in the green ink.And here they are all together for reference. I've got 3 of the WOTC minis, but I'm not sure I'm going to experiemnt with adding the ink wash to them.

What I really wish I had were 20 or 30 pit fiends, but with them going for $25 a pop or better on eBay, I've got to find another source for the pit fiend personalities and armies I'd like to build. You can't find the Ral Partha pit fiend anywhere anymore, it is too highly sought after and worth over $90 per mini now.

The only Reaper pitfiend is the perosonality one I am using for Bel, and if Bel is a pit fiend of tremendous size, I can't really buy more of them for that purpose. Maybe I can talk Reaper into a smaller set of pit fiend minons for their big guy.

Are you listening, Matt?

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