Monday, October 5, 2015

Of Miniatures and Pluck Foam

Lately I have been working on keeping my painted and yet-to-be-painted miniatures safe by working on getting them into the pluck foam trays I bought to fill up the giant army carrier I have.  Yes, the big one, with the handle and wheels.  Looks like an oversize suitcase.

I really underestimated how difficult this would be.  I had dreams of a finely organized minis collection (yeah.... right....) all in their place, and room for paints and supplies.  Little did I realize I would accumulate so many, and still have so many to put together.  I will have to buy more pluck foam trays (like twice as many as I have right now) to fit them all.  It also turns out that I am so determined on getting as many in as possible, that when I leave just one strip of foam between minis, I wind up sweating from the effort of not tearing each strip in two on accident.  Leaves me exhausted.

I will say, however, that it's the absolute best way to protect minis during travel.  Just ask the box of unpainted disasters I tried to protect during my last move.  Many suffer from humpty dumpty syndrome... Meaning I have to put them together all over again!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Appalachian Fantasy

What, you might ask, is that?  Well, consider the tales of Silver John by Manly Wade Wellman, which had horrific elements as well, and the Alvin Maker stories by Orson Scott Card.  A few other authors have dabbled with these elements as well, and I'm always up for suggestions as to what to read next (so, good readers, suggest away in the comments).  These are stories of country folk against supernatural circumstances, with plenty of flavorful color about the characters and setting and language.  What I like about them is the reminder that life was once harder in many ways yet simpler in comparison to our modern world.

I was introduced to Silver John in a Wellman novel, and I cannot remember the title at the moment, that I borrowed from Rodman Public Library in Alliance, OH when I was 15 or so.  I loved it instantly.  It had a creepy air about it, and the writing evoked wonderment and fear at the same time.  Silver John is an amazing literary creation.  I even worked up a class for OSR games based on him, called the Silver Minstrel.  Perhaps one day I'll post it here, but it violates all kinds of copyright laws as it's written now and you can never be too careful!  The way Silver John fights off evil supernatural forces and folkloric nasties in the stories is inspiring to say the least.  He doesn't resort to awful levels of violence, and often thinks his way out of problems, knowing that if he takes the problem head-on, he is doomed to failure.  In the stories, most of the beings he faces have an Achilles heel of some sort, and a few times it is music from John's silver-stringed guitar.  

I have wanted to construct a fantasy America that incorporates Wellman's and Card's work for use as a setting for old-school games, but I have lacked the gumption lately to try it.  I also feel that I would need to really become more familiar with American and European folklore from the early to post-colonial periods, as well as history.  It feels like a big bridge to cross.  Magic would also have to be altered.  Outright attack spells would really have no place, and I would definitely re-title existing spell selections to enhance the flavor and feel of magic with a new skin.  Priestly characters would also be a concern, and what real-world religions, if any, to include as an option for the class.

The idea has been nagging at me for at least five years, so perhaps I'll write a post or two to start, and see how they turn out.  How's that sound? 

I'm On The Hobby's Periphery and I'm Happy With That

I have not actively played a role playing game for years.  At least five years, perhaps longer.  But I am happy with this.  I have been able to write setting material for people to enjoy, develop monsters and tweak rules, and just enjoy all the great blog articles out there.  The only downside is I don't get to wipe out parties of player characters with my creations.  I will start up again, perhaps when I move to Michigan at some point in the next couple of years.  There's a fine hobby shop in Livonia, RIW Hobbies, who have crazy amounts of miniatures for a lot of the more popular minis games out there.  Miniatures have become my favorite thing about this hobby of ours.  I'm not an active wargamer, either.  I just love miniatures, and love to paint them.  I've been slacking lately, but I just picked up a bunch of tombstones from Renedra for an undead legion I am slowly cobbling together, for use on their bases.

I'm starting to get back in the swing of posting again, since writing game material seems to chill me out and help me deal with the pain from Crohn's disease.  In fact, if I have surgery, updates during that time would be nearly daily, since I would be down for the count for a while.  I want to get back to creating nasty creatures to destroy PCs' hopes and dreams, but that is taking a back seat to healing and trying to keep this damn disease under control while I maintain my work life at all costs, since I have tons of child support to pay.  It's hard because I have now failed to respond to the three best biologic medicines on the market.  I've even tried supplementing with turmeric extract and a multitude of other things.  Perhaps we will try immune suppressants next.  To try to understand what it's like to have Crohn's disease, just imagine that you are allergic to most things that you eat, and that it brings on nearly immediate cramps and burning pain in your gut, much like some of the worst food poisoning you have ever had.  Then imagine what it's like to have to take six to fourteen dumps a day, most of which are watery disasters.  Gross, right?  Well, that's life with Crohn's.  I just deal with it.  Of course, eventually, I won't be able to deal with it and unless it improves, I'm going to wind up with a colostomy bag of some sort.  But these are all bridges to cross at a later date.

Until those bridges need crossed, I will do my best to keep the flow of posts here going off and on, and will attempt to bring you more party-killing monsters, and most definitely more information about the world I have created.  This world may even become a backdrop for some wargame activity!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Campaign Seeds...

What if the Holy City told of in Revelation is something physical that comes to earth and exists here after the End?  What if it has a subterranean part!?  What if that's the place bad things are kept imprisoned?!

What about a real-world Neverending Story?  What if there is a dimension where mankind's fictional literary creations really live?  Nightmarish and gonzo....  Entire fictional worlds would exist as different layers of the plane.

What if the Ghost Hunters were actually dead.... as in GHOSTS.  But had no clue.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Apologies for the Silence

My apologies for the blog being dark as long as it has.  I've been dealing with a lot.  Between Crohn's disease, seeing my kids as often as I can, my band (which is a true test of endurance for someone who has Crohn's), and visiting my girlfriend in a northwest suburb of Detroit (and I live an hour south of Cleveland, so do the math), I've been run a bit short on time and gumption.  But I am not ready to declare it dead.  It will just be spottily updated.  So keep your eyes peeled for more weirdness.  Did I mention I haven't roleplayed since the time I introduced my children to it?  Life has become a long slog punctuated by moments of great joy, but it's mostly a slog.  I'm just trying to make it through.  Oh yeah, and fuck Crohn's disease.  It sucks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Have Internet Again! PCs Lives Are In Danger Once More...

A book I found nearly unreadable for some reason.  But the title rules!
Well, dear readers, I have made my return to the interwebs.  I trust that you all have fared well.  I have moved for the last time for a while, I hope.  I am back in the same school district with my children again, and hope to perhaps see them a little bit more.  I have also not stopped writing game material.  Expect the rest of those monsters, as well as setting material.  So far, I've decided that Antediluvia shall include dinosaurs in more than "lost world" encounter areas.  They shall be part of the regular, everyday world.

Also, I honestly feel as if I've been cheating on role-playing games as a partner.  I've been spending lots - and I mean lots - of time painting miniatures and putting them together and generally salivating over them in general.  I've even gone so far as to research what wargames exist for fantasy miniatures that are not Warhammer.  As much as I love Citadel Miniatures, I'm not a huge fan of the "monster rulebook syndrome" that Warhammer seems to have.  It's not a system thing, just a rulebook thing for me.  Just as the OSR called my name with its simplicity, I am searching for the same ideas for fantasy wargaming.  Here's the only problem - I am the only one I know who plays hobby games that likes miniatures games (and that kind of comes with being the only one with enough will and skill to paint minis).  I may have to go to the game shop 40 minutes away to try to set up a game!  

Anyhow, just wanted to let y'all know I'm back.  I haven't committed myself to regular posts, but consider this blog dark no longer.