Thursday, May 31, 2007


In going through my inventory/monstrous manual files I discovered something interesting. I looked at the illustration for the 1st Ed. Horned Devil (Malebranche) and realized that the sculpt for the 3E WOTC DDM Earth Element Gargoyle is nearly identical. It is also very similar to the 2E artwork for this creature.

In the original Monster Manual, the Horned Devil is listed on page 22, and is subtitled "Malebranche". In the Outer Planes Monstrous Compendium (MC8), a creature with similar abilities is called a Cornugon. The Cornugon is reprinted in the first Planescape Monstrous Compendium, on page 21. In the 3rd edition Monster Manual, the Cornugon appears on page 52. In the v.3.5 revision of the Monster Manual, the same creature is now listed as "Horned Devil (Cornugon)". This poses no great continuity problem except that the 3rd Edition Monster Manual II lists "Malebranche" as a completely separate type of devil (page 69) which lacks the magical abilities of the Horned Devil/Cornugon, and relies on brute force for its power. (thanks to Echohawk at Enworld for his research efforts)

As far as minatures go, the issue was settled by WOTC when they released the Horned Devil in the likeness of the previous Cornugon artwork. In all subsequent materials, Malebranche seems to have beome its own unique fiend. I don't know if the Earth Element Gargoyle was originally meant to be a rendering of the 1E artwork for the Malebranche or not, but if it is only a coincidence it is a happy one for me. I'm very pleased to have a miniature, by happy accident or design that resembles that artwork so closely. I like very much the artwork from the 3EMM2 for the Malebranche, though it looks like it is on steroids. The Fiendish Codex version is really magnificent--and it would be great if they released a miniature of this concept art. If WOTC does, then I'll just have to have Greater and Lesser Malebranches in my world.

You can get a side by side comparison of various official D&D devils (artwork by edition, including miniatures) here.

Even more information about WOTC devils can be found here. This is a great article on the WOTC website discussing design & development of the devils.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Night Below Minis Leaked!

On another mini messageboard someone posted that there was an auction on eBay of a complete set of minis from Night Below, which isn't set for release until July. The auction included pics of a set checklist and minis.

The auction has since been pulled (and if the person selling them was a WOTC employee, they've probably been fired) but I repost the image here in the interest of newsworthiness (not trademark infringement.)

Lazarus Rising

Since I got back from Reapercon, I've been down with a horrible sinus infection. I went in to the doctor on Friday with a mild cough that I wanted to make sure didn't progress to pneumonia or bronchitis...having been down that road before, I thought an ounce of prevention and all that.

He told me the cough was from irritation due to draining sinuses, and that I was more congested than he'd seen in a long time. He put me on Musinex and antibiotics and a prescription cough syrup and immediately upon taking these medications, my mild but irritating cough turned into me being sicker than I've been since the pneumonia incident.

Today is the first day (after a night spent in fervent prayer for release from this trial) that I feel about as well as I did when I went into the doctor's. Maybe a little better.

I've asked my players if they want to get together this Saturday for a session, since due to my schedule I may not be able to play again until end of July. The break in the sinus dam couldn't have happened any sooner, because if they say yes it will mean massive cleaning of the dungeon room and prepping (since they left the module when last we played).

As part of that, I've set my figure photography studio back and up and am doing inventory in my Monstrous Manuals as I go. I also went out and bought a cheap ($20) bookshelf yesterday and shifted my book and box set collection to it, opening up several more shelves for miniatures. I'll need it when the Reaper minis I've put on my wish list and the new Night Below set come.

I also shifted all the dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and half-orcs from their spaces in among the "monsters" to the shelf dedicated to potential minis for PCs. This also opened up a lot of room.

Anyway...feeling better, and looking forward to playing again...someday.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Reapercon Pics

This is a picture of Ed and Dave Pugh, the real Reaper Brothers. Getting to know them was probably the best part of going to Texas for the Con.

I was having too much fun to photograph stuff, but here is a nice link to someone else who did manage to take pictures of lots of things:

shakandara's PhotoBucket

The official Reaper page has lots more pics: Click here for more pics!

And I also found these pics from another attendee: Sergeant Crunch's Pics

And, here are Dave Bennet's Pics

Here are some of the highlights of my trip:

1) Meeting Ed and Dave Pugh. They are really awesome people, with massive amounts of first hand history of the gaming industry stored in their heads. Sitting around talking with them was probably my favorite thing about being at Reapercon.

2) Playtesting Reich of the Dead (Nazi zombification experiments gone horribly, horribly wrong!) with Dave Bennett and Dave Pugh. This game is going to be a really fun and easy to play tabletop game when they get it up and running. The bombed out Reichstag and painted zombies by Dave Bennett were amazing. I was pretty frustrated to have survived every zombie attack I was in, only to be machined gunned by one of my fellow living human soldiers so that he could get away clean with the vaccination syrum, though. Such is life in zombie-town, I guess.

3) Meeting all of the sculptors and painters, and concept artists. Strange but really cool to hang out and get to know the people who created the art that now fills my D&D room. Not to mention watching them actually sculpting and painting right in front of me. I learned a lot, even without taking any of the classes. The Guest List was very impressive, most of the giants in the industry were there and all were open, friendly, and very approachable. I especially had a great time getting to know Michael Brower, Patrick Keith, Sandra Garrity, Bobby Jackson, Derek Schubert, Jason Wiebe, Bob Ridolfi, Julie Guthrie, and Werner Klocke. Jennifer Haley was a treat to meet as well.

4) Checking out the new Reaper plastic line samples. They were painted extremely well (though paled by comparison to the museum quality painting being done upstairs by the real expert painters!).

5) Taking the tour of the Reaper factory, learning how the molds are cut, the figures cast, the products packaged and readied for shipping. The Reaper staff were first rate and incredibly friendly--Thanks especially to Brian Stiltz for his friendly manner and knowledge of all things Warlord.

6) Spending some time sorting out Darkspawn continuity. I spent a lot of time doing this, poring through Warlord materials and compiling everything in one neat place. Couldn't have been more helpful to do that in a room with lots of other people who have put in time, energy, and deeply talented thought in creating Warlord materials.

7) And of course, hanging out with my friend Matt Clark and his family (who put me up while I was there).

The time flew by waaaay too quickly, there was so much to do and so many people to meet. I can't wait to go back next year.

Now that I'm home and inspired (with a really large cache of sculpting supplies to go with the accumulated inspiration), I'm going to really start spending more time in the basement. I'll have to, in order to make room for the long list of additions to my Reaper Wish List, now that I've been down there to see every single product in person...I need them on my shelves!

I can't give away too many things, but I can tell you to be sure to check out the new Reaper releases in will be amazed by some of the offerings that are planned. I've seen the greens! I know what's coming and I can't wait....demons with four arms, fishy leviathons with tentacled heads...and so much more!

For my Players, no marathon session this weekend, but maybe next?

More links:


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Reaper is coolio

I'm at Reaper con and having a blast, but am taking a moment to demonstrate how blogger works for my friend Audie.

I have uploaded this image.



Monday, May 14, 2007


Reaper Con 2007 starts in just under two days. Unfortunately, I won't be getting there until Saturday, but I'm very excited just the same.

While I'm in Texas I'll try to do a daily post of what happened to me at the convention, including reviews of the new line of pre-painted plastic minis and all interaction with the sculptors and painters.

Can't wait!

For more information, check out:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What if Apophis came to the Forgotten Realms?

Well, two obsessions finally overlap.

Phoenix-Icons, a UK company, is releasing a series of 28mm miniatures based on the Stargate SG-1 television show. Beware, my players, because there may just be a gate on Toril that is about to go active.