Monthly Archives: November 2016

Evil Fairy, Familiar: Figure 265 of 266 or, Just 1 Figure Remaining!

Chris Palmer

     Over the Thanksgiving weekend I finished up the last of the Familiars set; the Evil Fairy.  This set now joins the list of completed sets over on the right.   I am in a bit of disbelief that there is just one more figure left to go in this project!
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a white-primed 7/8" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the figure’s clothing, hair and wings all with Black.  I then drybrushed the hair with Citadel “The Fang”, the wings with Folk Art “Cloudy Day”, and the clothing with Americana “Neutral Grey”.

      Next, I painted the skin with Folk Art “Milkshake”, and then painted the shaft of the spear with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  After that, I painted the little pennant on the spear, the gem on the spear’s end, and some spots on the wings with Ceramcoat “Opaque Red”.   I then painted the wraps at the end of the spear, the fairy’s bracelet, and the backpack with Americana “Raw Umber”; and the spearpoint, and the blanket roll  with Americana “Zinc”.

      I let everything dry for a while, and then I gave the skin, spear, backpack and blanket roll all a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash using a wet brush.   When the wash was dry, I painted the eyes, an then highlighted the skin with the base “Milkshake”.  I then added a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White” to the “Milkshake” and did some lighter skin highlights.

     I toughed up the highlighting on the hair and clothes, and then highlighted the red parts with the base “Opaque Red”.  I added a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin” to the “Opaque Red”, and did some lighter red highlights.  I then highlighted the spearpoint, and the blanket roll with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”, and highlighted the wraps at the bottom of the spear, the bracelet, and the backpack with Folk Art “Teddy Bear Fur”.   Lastly, I painted the base with Ceramcoat “Walnut”. 
     I let the figure dry all day, and before I went to bed I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”. The next morning I flocked the base, and later that afternoon I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.
    I’m happy with how the figure turned out. There isn’t much to it, so it was a quick figure to get done.    Now on to the last one!
Figure 265 of 266: Complete
1 figures remaining!

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Frostgrave Campaign Game 10 – Knabe’s Report

Don Hogge
Here’s my write up from our tenth campaign game – albeit a little late getting it published.  Been busy making bookcase and books.

Other write ups can be found here:

Kodak’s Report

Elsa the Elementalist’s Account:  Another Day in Frostgrave

Keinegnad

“I want the job” said the gruff looking dwarf standing in front of my table.  I looked up from the meal I was enjoying with my young apprentice Vogel in the local tavern.  The dwarf standing in front of me looked like he had just finished a long, arduous journey.   His clothing was damp and his boots were caked with mud.  But his armor appeared to be well maintained. 

Knabe’s new Captain

As I assessed the one interrupting my dinner, I could detect the magic emanating from what appeared to be a warhammer wrapped in oil skin slung across his back as well as from several items in his pack.  This caught my attention and told me he had been around for awhile.  And he probably knew his trade well to have survived and gained such quality kit.

I invited him to sit.  “You look a little parched Master Dwarf” and yelled for the barkeep to bring more ale.
“Now what is this about a job?” I asked.
“Word about has it that you are looking to hire a weapons master to train and help lead your warband.  I’ve traveled a far piece to get here – I’d like the job.”
“Well, I have been contemplating obtaining someone to augment my band….someone with the requisite skills to increase their fighting skills and overall ability to survive encounters with the creatures of Felstad and other warbands.  What qualifications, or references, can you provide?”, I replied as I packed my pipe for an after dinner smoke. 
“Well, my most recent experience was with an outfit out of…….” The dwarf droned on about his skills, foes he had conquered, and how many skirmishes he had survived.  The list was quite extensive, as was his thirst.  He downed numerous pints of ale.  I wondered to myself, why would a dwarf of his skill and experience want to join a small warband rather than a military unit – but was hestitant to offend him.  That question could wait until a later day.  I was impressed with the dwarf, as was Vogel who hung on every word.  And with the warband down one member, I was considering the services of someone to assist with leading and training my warband in martial matters.  Then I could focus more fully on my magical studies.  I have several grimoires I have yet to open, plus many spells that need additional focus.  Plus I would have more time for the continued training of my apprentice.

I decided to hire him as the Captain of my warband.  I hoped he would work out well.  At least he had one fan – Vogel.

I looked up, “Master dwarf, I’d like to obtain your services.  We can settle on the particulars later tonight.  For now I assume you’d like to meet the rest of my band.  Vogel here will show you to our base.”
The dwarf drained his mug, stood up and offered his hand, “I accept, pending our final discussion.”
“By the way, what’s your name?” I inquired.
“My name is Keinegnad but I am called Keine”, the dwarf replied.  With that, he and Vogel departed the tavern.

I smiled as I contemplated the meaning of the name.  Yes indeed, he would do nicely……

With the addition of a Captain to my warband, I suddenly had a lot of extra time to devote to magical studies.  This enabled Vogel and myself to improve our casting of several spells: Reveal Secret, Fleet Feet, and Bone dart.  We also decided to dabble into the dark arts and learned how to cast a spell to call an Imp from the demonic planes.  While not entirely comfortable learning this spell, it may come in handy to harass or slow an opposing warband (Knabe chuckles at the thought of Kodak being chased around by an Imp). 

Remembering how some of his band had been mind controlled during past trips into the ruins, Knabe was able to find an old retired Sigilist who transcribed a Scroll of Dispel for a modest price.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Knabe likes the new temple

A few weeks after hiring Keine, Knabe began preparations for another foray into the frozen city.  Attempts were made to Brew Potions and to scry for clues to hidden treasure (Reveal Secret) but to no avail.  Right from the start, it seems fate was conspiring against him.  At least Knabe and Vogel were able to call forth their Familiars.

A view from Knabe’s end of the table

The chosen day was a bit more chilly than usual and a slight mist hovered over the ground.  As Knabe and his party moved through the outer edges of town, one could hear a slight moaning sound as the wind blew through the upper ruins.  It raised the hair on the back of Knabe’s neck.  He wondered if this was a portent of something unpleasant today.


A view of the center of the table
A view from the far end of the table
The Doctor and his warband

 Finding a likely spot to use as a starting base, Knabe arranged his band into three groups.  He then scanned around in the early morning light to see what was nearby.  Once more he could detect the magical traces of his old nemesis Kodak as well as the tingling that he had come to associate with the Doctor.  Their presence in the ruins today might make things a bit difficult.

Knabe’s nemesis – Kodak

Right off the bat, Knabe spots a chest nestled inside an old stone arch – and he noticed some of Kodak’s henchmen moving towards it.  He skillfully draws it closer, and out of their reach, using Telekinesis.  He directs Daggit and Faenger (both Treasure Hunters) in that direction (Treasure Hunters) along with The Fox (warhound).  Keinegnad and Bobo (Bear) follow behind them
Vogel attempts to cast Leap on Uhlmann (Owl Master) but in his haste ends up burning himself instead.  Fleck (Snow Leopard) swiftly moves through the ruins and leaps through the window of an old building.

Knabe’s warband

Fritz (Marksman) moves into a covered position and looks across the snow covered ruins.  He spots what looks to the The Doctor’s apprentice, River, moving across an open area.  He takes careful aim and drops her with a well placed bolt.  He barely has time to say “Did you see that shot?” before he too is knocked cold by one of the Doctor’s Marksmen.

Fritz adds another notch to his crossbow – River (Apprentice) falls prey to his marksmanship….just before he is knocked out

Other members of the warband move forward, trying to stay in cover.  Bobo climbs a small cliff and looks up at the top of a ruined tower.  Detecting Kodak at the top of the tower, he casts Leap on Bobo, placing him a few inches away from his old rival.  Kodak’s hair stands straight up as he sees Bobo appear in front of him.  He quickly grabbed something off the floor and dove over the edge.

Faenger picks up a treasure and immediately hears the spine tingling roar of a White Ape.  The Fox bravely engages the ape to allow Faenger time to drag the treasure out of danger.  One treasure chest had to be left behind as two Ice Trolls could now be seen on the other side of a pile of rubble.  Daggit wisely ducks down out of sight.

My treasure hunter and some of Kodak’s henchmen ponder whether to risk trying for the treasure

The owl was circling around the top of the ruined tower and spotted Kodak feverishly trying to maintain his precarious hand hold.  Screeching loudly, the Owl dives down, claws and beak at the ready, to peck at the old wizard.  Between the clawing and biting, and the powerful flapping of his wings, the Owl knocks Kodak’s from his perch and watches as he falls a good distance to the ground (8 inches and takes 12 damage on top of the 4 from the Owl).  Kodak lands like a sack of rotten potatoes.  Amazingly, Kodak is still moving and manages to hobble away.  That old wizard has some stamina (shows the value of pumping up your health stat).

The owl dives on Kodak

Over by Fritz’s body, an Ice Troll appeared out of the mist.  Pilum (Ranger) fights him off, and takes a step back just as a wall of Fog appeared between himself and the troll.  Confused, the troll heads towards the Doctor’s warband.  Pilum is then set upon by two giant rats that appear out the rubble.  But out of nowhere, he is set upon by two giant rats.  They are quickly dispatched.

Another wandering monster appears near Pilum and Vogel (and Vogel’s honey badger familiar)
A strategically placed Wall of Fog

Uhlmann picks up a bag of treasure and turns to flee as he notices Kodak’s minions bearing down on him.  He doesn’t even get one step before he is dropped cold by Kodak’s Marksman and his bag is stolen by Kodak’s Thief.  Witnessed by Knabe, he immediately prepares to cast Bone Dart.  But he must have rushed the casting process for he failed miserably, not once but twice as he used his Fate Stone without success.

Vogel sees Kodak’s mangy mutt madly rushing towards him.  He casts Bone Dart but the dog jinks out of the way.  If magic fails, there’s always cold steel.  Vogel’s training sessions with Keinegnad pays off as he takes the dog down in hand to hand with a single deft strike to the head (pun intended).

Vogel takes out Kodak’s mutt

Over by the ruined tower, Keinegnad sees reinforcements heading his way.  No problem, swollen with confidence, he attacks Kodak’s Treasure Hunter.  Even with his many years of experience, and much better weapons and armor, Keinegnad is knocked backwards and is severely wounded.  Even his lucky runic rock (Fate Stone) failed to protect him.  What evil sorcery could this be?  Even with his injuries, Keinegnad throws himself into the rubble to support Bobo.  Inside the tower, Bobo has managed to charge Kodak’s other Treasure Hunter who is encumbered carrying a large chest.  Bellowing out his battle growl, and swinging a huge left claw, he fells Kodak’s woman with one swipe.  He hears the sounds of several people climbing through the rubble and turns to face the new threat.

Bobo triumphant and Keiengnad moving in to assist
The White Ape takes out Daggit

 Having only recovered one of the two treasures, Daggit sees Faenger’s exit is in jeopardy from the White Ape.  He quickly assesses his chances against the ape – and charges into contact anyway.  Seeing Daggit engage the Whte Ape, Faenger struggles with going to his assistance, or getting the treasure to safety.  “Thanks Dags”, he yells as he make good his escape.  Daggit manages to hang on just long enough to allow Faenger to get away before the ape slams him to the icey ground and he loses consciousness. 

Fleck leaps through a window

Meanwhile, having entered a nearby ruined building, Fleck spots one the Doctor’s treasure hunters dropping to the floor after climbing through a window.  With a snarl, he pounces on him.  A viscuous fight ensues drawing in Legio (Ranger) and another of the Doctor’s minions.  While Legio manages to hold his own for several rounds of combat, however Fleck is pummeled to the ground.  The Doctor’s man grabs a bag of treasure and attempts to flee.  Legio is unable to interfere as his hands were full with another of the Doctor’s men.  He does hear some cussing as Pilum squeezes through a window in the backroom – just in time to hear Knabe’s recall signal.  Legio gives the Doctor’s henchman a quick salute with his sword and exites out the back with Pilum covering his withdrawal.

Hearing the triumphant roar of the ape, Knabe knows it is time to leave.  Between the Doctor on his left, Kodak to his front, and the unusual number of creatures roaming around, things are getting a bit too hot for comfort.  He casts one more wall of Fog and then signals the for warband’s recall.  Feeling tired, Knabe turns to leave – a very disappointing excursion.

At the end of the day, all Knabe had to show for his warband’s troubles was one measly treasure chest.  It did contain 120 gold coins and a Raise Zombie grimoire.  At least the grimoire could be sold for a nice profit.  The grimoire reminded Knabe that he had received a map supposedly showing the location of the forgotten Felstad library.  The library was rumored to contained a treasure trove of information about old spells and forbidden incantations.

Epilogue
Two Ice Trolls, Giant Ape, another Ice Troll, two Giant rats, Large Construct, and an Ice Toad all appeared with within 12 inches of my warband.  Fortunately, some of them followed after Kodak’s warband.  While Knabe and Kodak ended up with the majority of the random monsters in their area, I liked the automatic generation concept.  Definitely made things more interesting.

Knabe and Vogel managed to cast eight spells but they were almost all utility spells.  The one successful casting of Bone Dart failed to caused any damage.

My expensive Captain did not impress on his first outing….maybe next time.

Well, back to making more books and then some more books for the Library scenario next weekend.

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Quick and Easy Gem Painting

Chris Palmer

   Over on the Reaper Forum, I received a comment on the gems I did on Monday’s Storm Giant figure; so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on how I paint them.  I picked this method up somewhere along the way; I’m not quite sure where now.

      No matter what color you’re using, I begin by painting the gem a solid mid-tone.

 I then do a crescent moon shape at the top with a dark tone, and then the same at the bottom with a light tone of the base color

 Next, I add a White highlight dot at the 11 o’clock position on the top, and a large White highlight oval shaped dot at the bottom 5 o’clock position.

      Lastly, I cover the gem with a gloss varnish.  While it doesn’t look particularly good blown up this big, the effect usually looks very good on the small gems you find on figures.

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Combat Patrol(TM): Cowboys

Buck

HAWK Zeb Cooke ran a cowboy game at last Friday’s club meeting using Combat Patrol™.  Players controlled posses, gangs, units, etc. vying for control of the town and possession of gold, cattle, and a saucy bar wench.  (I may have made up that last bit.)

By all accounts the rules worked just fine for the cowboy period without modification.  All Zeb had to do was build unit records with different weapons on them to reflect the technology of the day.

The little cards in the foreground represent cattle.  Zeb had printed cows on the tent-folded cards.

There was a rules misunderstanding regarding shotguns that made them overly powerful in the game.  They were doubling the rate of fire on double barreled shotguns, but the base rules, written for WWII, assumed the rate of fire for pump-action shotguns.  Doubling the rate of fire from the base rules made them nuclear weapons.

In the post-game kibitzing on the drive home, Duncan and I talked about whether the normal command radius should apply to cowboy games.  As I think on it, I think for units, like cavalry and infantry, they should still use the command radius.  For groups that would be essentially main characters in a movie, you could suspect the command radius or make it very, very generous.  I think in a cowboy game you want guys running all over the table causing mischief.

We had a couple of new gamers who had not played Combat Patrol™.  I was playing in another game at the time, but I heard that they both enjoyed the game and picked it up quickly.

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Flint and Feather Indians

Buck

I purchased three bags of Pulp Figures Indians at Historicon in a pre-order deal.  These are meant to be for the Flint and Feather rules by Howard Whitehouse.  The game takes place between warring bands of Indians before the arrival of Europeans.  These have been 75% done for three months, awaiting me to prioritize them high enough in the queue to finish them.

There were 15 poses in all.  A couple seemed to be so close as to be duplicates — but not quite.

I haven’t played Flint and Feather yet.  I understand it is much like Battle Troll or Outlaws of Sherwood, also by Howard Whitehouse.  Those are very fun games with just a handful of figures, so I’m sure that Flint and Feather is similar and equally enjoyable.  I plan to use these Indians for games against early settlers armed with arquebuses and pikes.

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Completed Some Warlord 28mm Poles

Buck

I often have figures on the table that are partially painted.  Then in one good painting day, I’ll finish a bunch, leading to a feat or famine feeling to this blog.  Yesterday afternoon I managed to finish some 28mm WWII Poles from Warlord that have been partially painted for about a month.  I had hoped to finish them in time to use them in my Combat Patrol™ games at Fall In, but I didn’t get them done in time.

These figures are from the Polish headquarters set.  This set includes a light mortar, two anti-tank rifles, a light machine-gun, a medic, and a couple of officer figures.

In previous posts I have shown my Polish armored train from Sarissa Precision.  I was looking for a Bofors anti-aircraft gun to mount on top of it.  Warlord makes one for the BEF, but not for the Poles.  When I ordered the gun, Warlord generously included a sprue of Polish heads.  I swapped the heads to create this Polish anti-aircraft gun.

I haven’t finished the base yet, and I still need to paint the tires.  The gun comes off the ground most and will fit on the armored train.  I can use it in games as either ground mounted or mounted on the train.

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Making Nice-Looking Game Markers

Buck

Resultant game markers

Resultant game markers

Conventions are meant to foster the free exchange of ideas.  Greg, one of the guys in our gaming group, saw at Fall In 2016 that the folks in Canada who play a lot of This is Not a Test made nice game markers.  He told me about it, and when I returned from the convention, I ordered the bottle cap covers and hole punch from Amazon.

Clear plastic bottle cap covers

Clear plastic bottle cap covers

Apparently girls are making jewelry from bottle caps.  I understand that people even sell bottle caps that were never on a bottle but have pretty designs.  To protect the paint on the top of the bottle cap, someone started producing these self-adhesive, clear, slightly bevelled bottle cap covers.  They are made form a very soft rubber and come in sheets.

Another view of clear plastic bottle cap covers

Another view of clear plastic bottle cap covers

I made some markers in Power Point and printed them on card stock.  Then I used a one-inch hole punch to cut them out nicely.  I peeled the clear bottle caps from the plastic sheet and stuck them to the markers.  The result looks pretty nice.  Be careful when remove the covers from the plastic; if you touch the sticky side, you will leave finger prints.

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Yephima, Female Cloud Giant: Figure 264 of 266, or, Just 2 Figures Left

Chris Palmer

     Over the weekend I finished up Yephima, Female Cloud Giant, from the Storm Giants set.  So, she is listed in the Reaper online store as a Cloud Giant,  but in the Kickstarter she was part of the Storm Giant set; so I debated which direction to go with her, and decided to go with the Storm Giant look.  Next, I looked up the description of Storm Giants in my old D & D Monster Manual, and found out they can have violet skin and can have blue-black hair.  Sounded like a nice painting challenge!
   With that information under my belt, I got to work.
  I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking the figure in water with a bit of dish soap added, giving a gentle scrub with an old soft toothbrush, then rinsing and drying.   I then glued the figure to a1.5" black primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue. The washer was large enough that I didn’t feel it was necessary to take my usual step of gluing the washer to a tongue depressor for ease of handling.

      I began by giving the entire figure a wash with heavily thinned Reaper “Blue Liner” using a wet brush.  This was to help bring out the details so I could see them better.  When the Liner was dry, I painted all her skin with Crafter’s Acrylic “African Violet”; and after that, I painted her hair with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.

     Next, I painted her loincloth with Americana “Dove Grey”, and then painted the handle of her mace with Folk Art “Teddy Bear Brown”.  I then paint the parts I planned to make regular metal using Americana “Zinc”, and the parts I planned to make gold with Accent “Golden Harvest”.  While I let those colors dry, I painted her shoulder protectors, and parts of the wrist guards, with Accent “Real Umber”.

       I then went back and repainted all the parts I had painted with the “Zinc”, this time using Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”. I then I repainted all the parts I had painted with the “Golden Harvest, this time sing Ceramcoat "Bronze”.    Then, after everything had a while to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash using Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash using a wet brush.

          After the “Nuln Oil” wash was dry, I painted her eyes, giving her pupils using the “Gunmetal Grey”, (The Monster Manual mentioned “silver-grey eyes”. ); and I painted her lips using a mix of Black and Crafter’s Acrylic “Purple Passion”.    I then highlighted all her skin using a mix of the base “African Violet”, and Apple Barrel “Apple Lavender”.  After that, I highlighted her hair using Ceramcoat “Denim Blue”, and did lighter highlights with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”.

          Next, I highlighted  the wood of her mace, first with Americana “Sable Brown”, and then with Americana Khaki Tan".  I then turned to her loincloth, highlighting that with first, the base “Dove Grey”, and then with plain White.

     I then highlighted her shoulder protectors with Folk Art “Dark Brown”.  It was then time for the metallic highlights, so I first worked on the parts I had painted with the “Gunmetal Grey”, highlighting them with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.  I then did the parts I had painted “Bronze”, highlighting them first with Ceramcoat 14K Gold, and then Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.
    At that point I decided I really wasn’t happy with the splotchy way the “Nuln Oil” shading had turned out on her loin cloths, so I went back over the shadow areas with a thin wet brush and some Reaper “Grey Liner”.  I then painted the gems in her mace handle and her crown sing Americana “True Blue” as the base, and then did shadows with the Navy Blue", and highlights with some of the “True Blue” mixed with some “Cool Blue”, with final spot highlights with White.  Lastly I painted her base with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.
      I let the figure dry all day, and before I went to bed I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”. The next morning I detailed the base, and later that afternoon I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  When the “Dullcote” was dry, I went back over her gems with some Americana “DuraClear Gloss” Varnish.

     Well, the purple skin and silver-grey eyes take some getting use to, but otherwise I’m quite happy how she turned out.  I tried to give the base a rocky scrubby look reminiscent of the mountain regions these giants live in.

As a note, I will not be posting a figure on Thanksgiving as there will be general feasting going on. 🙂 So tune in next Monday for the next to last figure.

Figure 264 of 266: Complete

2 figures remaining.

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Frostgrave Campaign: Game 10

Chris Palmer    This past Saturday we got together for our monthly Frostgrave Campaign game.  We had 7 of our 8 regular participants, and the teenage daughter of one of our players (who had played in one of the campaign games once before) who was home on Thanksgiving break; to give us a full house of 8 wizards.   So I set up the big 12’ x 3’ table.  We decided not to do any scenario this time, but instead have just a straight-up game, with one exception; all treasures would automatically generate wandering monsters.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, but with 24+ monsters entering the table, things got a bit hairy really fast.
     For a report on the previous game, see: Game 9
 

A view of the table before the game began.  Kodak and his party entered on the bottom right just below where the photo cuts off.

      Treasures were all set as per normal, and then we sat by level order, with the lowest level wizard selecting their starting place, and the rest of us working up the table from there.  With this seating arrangement, Kodak once again found himself across from his nemesis, Knabe, the Druid (Witch).  To Kodak’s right was the Sigilist, and diagonally across the table was the Doctor (Chronomancer).
      As the old Elven Illusionist and his party worked  their way deeper into the ruins, they stopped for a moment to rest, and Kodak took the opportunity to attempted to cast Illusionary Soldier.  The fates did not favor him with a successful outcome and he grumbled under his breath.  He wondered if the unusually large full moon in the sky early that morning had played some roll in his failure.  He looked over at his Apprentice, Leighlynndana, expectantly, and she too tried the spell only to have similar miserable results.  In the back of his mind Kodak also worried if the full moon would have an effect on the number of monsters that would be stirring in the city this day.

The Wizard phase of the first turn.  Kodak has Teleported to the top of the tower, as Connisyn Marcus, crossing the old fence on he hill, heads for the ground floor of the tower.  Danlin has taken up position, by the cemetery wall and Sister Zandkara is moving along the base of the cliff face, just beyond Connisyn.

     The Illusionist also took the opportunity of their pause to divide his group into separate commands.  With him he took Sister Zandkara, the Templar; Danlin ,the Marksman; and Connisyn Marcus, the Treasure Hunter.  He assigned to his Apprentice, Leighlynndana: Weiss, the Ranger; the new Treasure Hunter, Hanwell Sincolar; and the Thief, Linesse.    Left under their own initiative were: Bash, the Man-at-Arms; Edel, the Ranger;  Cadwalleter, the Thief; and Odullorf, the War-hound.
     As Kodak scanned their surroundings, he saw a large ruined tower not to far away.  It looked like it would be a good place to start looking for treasure; so he Teleported up into what once had been the attic to look around.  Before he left, he told Connisyn to check the lower floors, Sister Zandkara to go around and check the grand staircase leading up to the small hill where the tower was situated, and he instructed Danlin to find a good position to fire from and then keep his eyes open for trouble.  The thought of monsters and the full moon still ever present in the back of the old Illusionist’s mind.

Kodak finds a golden statue of a dog and a few gems in the ruins of the tower’s attic.

     Leighlynndana and her group made her way off to the left of the tower to investigate a large rubbled building located in the tower’s shadow.  The thief, Linesse spotted a treasure chest laying on the rubble; but she also could hear the sounds of gruff Dwarven voices so she immediately knew that some of the wizard Knabe’s men must be in the area.  She called out to Leighlynndana, who ran up and cast Fast Act on her in hopes that she could get a jump on claiming the treasure out from under the other wizard’s soldiers.

     As the Ranger, Weiss, stood there watching the Apprentice cast the spell on the Thief, her Elven nose twitched as a dank smell hit it.   Being an Elf, she was first to become aware of the danger, and before she could alert the others, Leighlyndana, being half-elf, had picked up the scent as well, and in a hushed shout called out “Snow Troll!”.  Sure enough, as she quickly looked around, she saw Weiss pointing off to their left, and there she saw not one, but two, Snow Trolls picking their way through the rubble. (The player to pick up the first treasure on the table rolled 20, then 17: 2 Snow Trolls!. Then the roll for random location placed them right on the edge of the table to the left of my set up position.)

    Leigh’s mind raced.  One was trouble enough but two of these monsters was more than her and her group’s skills could handle.  She looked over at the treasure chest so tantalizingly close on the pile of rubble, debated for a moment whether to send the Thief for it, then thought better of it.   Linesse was good; but even with her skills, making her way back over the rubble lugging that chest would slow her down too much.  "Fall Back to the hill!“, the Apprentice shouted to her group, as she herself made her way back the way she had come, around a large ourcropping with a ruined brown arhcway on it; as she knew she was too far to safely make it up the cliff face of the hill before the trolls would reach her.
    As the group scrambled to get to safety, their progress was momentary halted as they all froze at hearing the blood curdling call of a White Ape ring out close by… (Yes, another monster; a White Ape, entering the table a foot down from the Trolls.)

Caught between a ruin and a hard place. As the Snow Trolls move forward,  Linesse finds herself so tantalizing close to the treasure on the ruins, and another treasure is just a few yards away, by the steps leading up the hill.  However discretion is the better part of valor, and all three soldiers are about to bid a hasty retreat up the cliff face, as ordered by Leighlynndana (who has moved off to the right, and is just visible behind the brown rock archway on the outcropping jutting from the cliff), in hope that the beasts will all be drawn off by Knabe’s men who are just off camera on the left.

     Meanwhile, Kodak’s search of the old tower’s attic was rewarded with finding a small golden statue of a dog, and a few small gems.  He bundled them up, and knowing how terribly exposed he was up their on top of the tower, he made his way to start climbing down the side of the old structure; figuring he could teleport off the side once he was behind the cover of the tower’s walls.  As Kodak lowered himself over the edge of the towers roof, he could see the events unfolding below him.                Before he could react though,  the Druid’s pet Owl came zooming around the tower, and seeing Kodak precariously hanging there, dove in for an attack.  Hampered by the bundle he carried, and clinging to the wall, the old Elf could do very little to defend himself from the evil bird.  The Owl pecked at his hands until they bled (4 points of damage), and the Illusionist cursed as his hands grew too painful and weak to hold on any longer. (Winner of combat pushes opponent an inch away.)

Battle above the battle.  Kodak has a loosing encounter with the Druid’s Owl, high up on the tower’s wall.

       Down the Illusionist fell, as he braced for the impact of his body on the ground.  He slammed into the paving stones below, and the wizard could feel the pain shoot through every bone in his body, surely some were broken; and the wind was knocked completely out of him. (8” fall = 12 more pts of damage on top of the 4 the Owl had done in its attack out of his starting total of 20.) The old Elf lay there for a moment fighting to stay conscious as lights and colors flashed in his eyes.
      Kodak rolled over and tried to get up.  He saw Linesse standing nearby and he called to her, as he gestured to the bundle containing the dog statue. “"Take it!” he ordered. The Thief ran up and grabbed the treasure and in a flash had turned and headed away.  As best he could, the Old Illusionist got up and followed after her, limping along on a shattered leg. He knew he had to get someplace safe to cast a Heal spell on himself.

Kodak and Linesse make their way down the cliff face, as Danlin the Marksman has just climbed up to take a firing position by the fence.   Some of the others in the party keep an eye on the trolls (to the left), and sweep around the front of the tower (on the right)

     By this time Connisyn the Treasure Hunter had picked her way through the rubble into the tower’s ground floor.  She had found a chest and picked it up; but as she turned she saw the tall shadow of BoBo, the Druid’s Bear, loom into view.   She braced herself for the attack, and as the Bear lunged, she delivered a cutting blow to her ursine opponent.
    Outside the tower by the fence, Danlin, the Marksman, stood, as he spotted the Druid’s Owlmaster lugging a chest up the main staircase leading up the hill to the tower; and taking careful aim, dropped him with a single bolt.  The Marksman called out to Cadwalleter, the Thief, and point to the fallen body and the chest next to it.
    As this was happening, Hanwell, the Treasure Hunter ran around the front of the tower to place himself between the Druid’s men and his group’s Treasure recovery attempts.  He frowned when he saw the Druid’s new Captain come around the tower from the other side, but never one to back down from a fight, he faced the stocky little dwarf, and held his sword high.  The Druid’s Captain raced towards Hanwell with a wry smile on his face; but his over confidence was his undoing as the Treasure Hunter quickly got the upper hand and struck the Captain with a mighty blow (Rolled a 20!), sending him reeling backwards.

The Trolls pursue further onto the hill, as a skeleton appears down below.

     Kodak, half climbing half falling, got himself down the cliff face and looking around to make sure the coast was clear; began to cast a Heal spell on himself.  He could feel the bones mending themselves in his body, which was a very strange pin-prickly sensation.  Linesse was nearby, dragging her chest, and called out to the wizard.  Kodak turned to her as the pinpricks in his bones faded, and saw her pointing to an animated skeleton warrior who lumbered towards them.
     Back up on the hill, the trolls had picked up their scent and were still following the group.  Weiss managed to hit one with an arrow, severely damaging it.   Cadwalleter had run over and picked up the treasure chest from the grasp of the motionless Owlmaster, and then quickly dragged it over the cliff face besides the staircase to get out of view of any missle troops.   For a moment he thought he was out of harms way, but the Druid’s evil Owl came circling around, and spotting him, dove in.  It pecked and bit at him mercilessly, and he called out for help.  Leighlynndana ran over and jumped off the cliff, her staff at the ready, to help.

Cadwalleter and Leighlynndana battle the pesky Owl over possession of a treasure by the stairs at the front of the tower..

    Back up on the hill, Connisyn still battled the bear. But one mighty blow of his big dinner-plate sized claw caught her on the shoulder, and sent her crashing into the side wall of the tower where the remains of an old rotted wood staircase still clung precariously to the masonry.  She collapsed on to the floor in a pile of broken wood, and rubbled stone. The treasure lay there unguarded.   The  Druid’s Captain dodged past  Hanwell, and made his way into the ground floor of the tower where Connisyn and the Druid’s Bear had battled.  The Treasure Hunter turned and followed, and seeing Sister Zandkara approaching nearby, called out to her to follow him as well. He could see that Bash was already heading into the ground floor from another direction as well.
   Back below the hilltop, Kodak ran over to where Linesse was making her way with the treasure towards an old cemetery. He stood next to her, but placed himself so he stood between the oncoming Skeleton and the Thief.  Keeping one eye on the approaching threat, he cast Invisibility on the Linesse.  As the girl faded from view along with her bundle, the wizard turned with his staff to meet the undead foe.  With one smash of his staff he crushed it to a pile of bones.

A big battle appears to be developing in the ground floor of the tower as figures from both Kodak’s and Knabe’s warbands pour in.  Unfortunately, the recall was sounded for both warbands before anyone could get their hands on the treasure that Connisyn (in the backroom with the bear), has dropped after being mauled.

        The Trolls now spotted Kodak standing there by the old cemetery, and began to climb down the cliff face towards him.  Off to the left, Edel was ready with his bow and fired at the one Weiss had already hit, killing it.  Still injured from the Owl attack and his fall, the last thing Kodak needed was to fight a Troll.  He could also see a Large Construct, and an Ice Toad wandering the ruins not too far away.  So, once again he Teleported, this time to get a safe distance away from the surviving Snow Troll snd the other threats.   His worries about the full moon and the monsters was all too confirmed.        The old wizard decided it was perhaps time to give the recall signal.  And almost at the same time, he could see the Druid’s recall sign in the sky as well.  It was time to head back to the Inn.

After the battle. Two treasures recovered and Connisyn Marcus is Badly Wounded.  The dead Snow Troll lies in the background.

     Back at the Inn later that night, Kodak looked at the two treasures his party had recovered.  The gold dog statue and gems might bring about 60 Gold Coins, and the chest Cadwalleter recovered had only a paltry 40 Gold Coins in it.  (Talk about miserable treasure rolls…First treasure roll a 1, followed by a 6. Second roll a 2 followed by another 2!)  It was a bad day for magic too, (Cursed full moon!) as he and Leigh had only managed to cast 6 spells successfully.  He comforted himself in knowing that at least no one had died on this trip; Connisyn was Badly Wounded, but he knew of a bear attack curing potion he could buy for 80 GC that would have her recovered from her wounds in no time.
    Even with the Heal spell he had done on himself, and one Leigh had done when they got back to the Inn, the old Elf still ached.  He dreaded the stiffness he would feel in the morning.   Kodak, fingered a few of the gold coins laid out on the table; meager reward he thought, and considered the fact that he had been doing this for almost a year now.  How long was long enough, he pondered. How many more of these explorations could his old body stand?

Epilogue:  Wow, 8 players with 3 treasures each, meant 24 rolls on the Random Bestiary table; and some of those (as with the Snow Trolls) resulted in two of a kind entering.  Our table is 3" x 12", which means there is 30’ of table edge; so when a wandering beastie appears, we roll a D30 die and the monster enters in the middle of that foot of table. For some reason it seemed that many of them ended up coming in right in the area where I was located, though the Sigliist beside me and Knabe the Druid across from me also had their share of beastly grief as well.
     The game also ended earlier than usual, with the Elementalist Vaaron’s last figure leaving the table on the Apprentice phace of turn 6.  Knabe and I both wished we had had a couple turns more to have a chance to resolve the battle on the ground floor of the tower, as it looked like it was shaping up to be quite a scrum!

For Elsa the Elementalist’s Account of the battle see: Another Day in Frostgrave

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Building a 28mm Ruined Bookcase

Chris Palmer   Following up on the post I did earlier this week on making bookcases for our upcoming Frostgrave Library scenario game, I cobbled together a ruined bookcase as a kind of prototype to see how easy it would be to make a few of these.  After all, it is supposed to be a library that has sat unattended for a thousand years, so there is going to be a little bit of a mess here and there.

     I began by taking a pair of pliers to a couple tongue-depressor style craft sticks; breaking and snapping them into small pieces.  I then glued these into a bookshelf looking configuration onto a black-primed 3"x1’5" metal base.
     My next steps was to make some books.  While I didn’t have the patience to make a full bookshelf’s worth of books, I thought it would be easy enough to make about a half dozen to give the impression of books being scattered about. To make the books, I simply cut little rectangles of balsa, and then cut slightly larger double-sized rectangles of  thin cardboard that I carefully folded over each little balsa piece and glued on like a cover.

   

    After everything was dry, I stained the wood bookcase pieces, and then painted the books.  I didn’t take a lot of care in painting everything, as I wanted it to look a bit of a sloppy mess.  After I painted everything, I slopped some Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash here and there, and when that was dry, I went over the piece with a light white drybrush to give it a bit of a frosty look.

     I’m very happy with how it turned out, and it was simple enough that once I finish my main bookcases, I make make a couple more.

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