Saturday, 27 September 2014

PTS 47 + Reaper Thief + Beastmen

Painting Table Saturday! To the regular followers of this blog, welcome back. For anyone else who has stumbled upon this humble page, greetings! This week a Reaper miniature that I painted for Lewis and some classic Citadel / Games Workshop beastmen that I've collected for the Blackhawk campaign. 

God bless you and have a great week!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Blackhawk + Tower of Xenopus

Traveller: The Ultimate Funnel.
Monday night, game night. A late report on last Monday's session, which is still fresh in my mind.

"In many ways, lethality and the funnel are training wheels for new school players to learn how to ride the super-bitchin', banana-seated bicycle of doom that is old school-style gaming." ~ Adam Muszkiewicz

Although Adam is talking about Lethality vs. Character Generation in regards to the funnel mechanic of Dungeon Crawl Classics, I feel it sums up why playing with a group of experienced players who favour the early editions of RPGs is so much fun.

For example, last Monday Lewis and Greg rolled up a few characters each and joined the party without much fuss or bother and got straight into roleplaying. While they were rolling up characters, the rest of the group had exited the alchemist's laboratory to discover a fresh trail of blood from the northern passage that continued up the stairs and down the hole in the upper room. Warily testing the hole for depth with a rock, they decided not to uncoil their ropes. Heading back to the goblin vault they encounter a wizard and his henchmen (Greg's characters) and a sickly looking albino being attended by two unsavoury rogues (Lewis). 

Caution: Here Things Get Weird.

Narp's Tattoo.
It turns out the albino with the deathly pallor is barely alive. His cronies are restitching a tattooed piece of skin to his back and arguing over the needlework. Thus we are introduced to Narp in his current incarnation. 

The now sizeable party returns to the goblin vault to find the broken trapdoor replaced by two heavy chests. Some heavy lifting results in the way being cleared with Saunders and Helgor coming face to face with a goblin archer. One of Narp's men tries to parley with 'Henry' but the goblins no nothing about 'Henry' and a bloody battle ensues. One goblin escapes and another is interrogated but little information about the city and its inhabitants is discovered. The party loots the vault for equipment and leaves with two fully laden chests of coin and precious gems.

Outside it is raining heavily. Thunder and lightning only make the night more dreadful. They haul their ill-gotten gains into the street and wait in the downpour as they decide their next move. Unsure of whether to make for the Stronghold of the Sisters of Mercy, the Tower of Xenopus or the mysterious Healing Pool that they have recently heard about, a glimmer of moonlight escapes the dark clouds overhead. Sister Magda transforms into a werewolf.

Fortunately Narp speaks Wookie. After some grunts, groans and low howls, Magda bounds off towards the Healing Pool. The party watch her go and head for the Tower.

The party decides to try another house for shelter and discover the lair of some large white apes. Fortunately the noise of the storm, or the size of the party, keeps them from being followed as they bolt back out the door. 

Monster & Treasure Assortment. Never leave home without it.
Wandering the streets, the party encounters a hero named Hiro. Although they are unable to find a common tongue, he appears friendly enough and joins the party. Either that, or nobody is willing to attack Hiro because even given his outlandish appearance, he appears normal compared to certain members of the party.

Finally, they reach the Tower of Xenopus. In the distance Magda's howls have been joined by others, all wolfish. They descend the stairs. The first room is empty, with two doors east and west and a set of double doors to the north. 

After trying to open the western door marked 'THIS DOOR CANNOT BE OPENED', the party make camp. When sufficiently rested, they explore beyond the double doors and find a chest, which attacks them. They make short work of turning it into kindling.

Thus endeth the evening.

I'm enjoying playing with these guys. They are creative and humorous with a healthy dose of reckless abandon when the situation calls for it. I also like that Blair is mapping the dungeon in his own fashion and not asking for me to supply a map or handout as so many younger players would expect! Dave also brings a different boutique beer every week to sample. Could anyone ask for more?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

PTS 46 + Snakemen

Painting Table Saturday! This week I finished some classic snakemen. These are some amazingingly cool miniatures. You may have seen an earlier post where I mention how I based these and repaired some lead rot with drill, wire and green stuff. The red ribbons on the polearm heavily reinforce the weapon and cover the wirework, while adding to the dynamic pose.

These will be a great addition to the amazonian jungles of Blackhawk.

God bless you and have a great week!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Beneath Blackhawk

Monday night, Game Night.
As the party left the relative safety of the woods, the streets of Blackhawk lay before them, bitter and twisted in the dying light. Beyond the outer wall they could see their destination. A crumbling wizards tower.

Treading warily along the battered cobblestones they entered the city. It's ramshackle ruined buildings leaning menacingly overhead. Shapes moved in the shadows, always at the edge of vision, disappearing when eyes looked towards them. A roof tile shattered in a nearby alley. They were not alone.

Feeling vulnerable, the players decided that heading straight for the tower was a bad idea. Instead they had their characters look for a sturdy house in which to take refuge. They soon found one, although the door was locked. Vito was given the task of checking the door and on closer inspection discovered a trap (01)! Pocketing the dagger that would have disemboweled him, he pushed the door open.

Father Jack, Vito, Helgor, Saunders and Nextor.
Inside was a treasure trove, obviously collected from around the city. The room also held a hostage, bound and gagged, dumped amongst the rubble. By her raiment, a Sister of Mercy. Saunders untied her, while Father Jack ministered to her wounds. Magda introduced herself and promptly dug out her beloved pair of warhammers from a pile of weapons and armour. 

Looking for exits, Vito spied a ladder and a trapdoor in the ceiling. Up he went as the others barred the front door with heavy trunks. Poking his head out on the next level, an arrow takes a piece of Vito's ear and sends him rapidly down the ladder, which falls with him.
Red, Friar Nip, Arian, Rutger, Carlsberg, Tui, Magda and Brodo.
Arrows are soon being sent into the too from above as the party desperately take cover and return fire up the opening. A lucky shot brings a goblin screaming down, crashing through a hidden trapdoor in the floor. As an axe head splinters the timber of the front door, the party descends the stairs below the broken goblin, making haste as arrows bite at their heels.

Nextor, Carlsberg, Red and Arian hold the rearguard against the goblins, as the stout hearted company investigate the passage, finding their way into a room, through a door and onto further rooms, doors and passages. Nextor and Red bring an unconscious Arian to Father Jack. Carlsberg follows soon after with a smile on his face.

Goblins! Orcs!
With the goblins no longer giving chase, the party focus on the dangers that lay ahead. They discover an underground laboratory. Two rooms adjoin this lab. A library and a bedroom. Nextor recognises the author of the volumes by his mark. Meanwhile in the bedroom Lucerne the Alchemist is awakened and starts hollering at the intruders of his inner sanctum. The irate gnome leaps from his bed, berating the party who beat a hasty retreat from his tirade.

No doubt they will meet Lucerne again, when he comes looking for his crystal ball!

The Blackhawk Campaign + A New Chapter

Pushing the boat out...
In the middle of a lake, on an old island castle ruin dominated by an eldritch tower, within a dark forest, near the laketown called Shallowater (which lies beneath the mountainous crag of the devastated city of Blackhawk), is a Covenant. A gathering of wizards of various backgrounds dwell there, protected by magics and their servants; cooks, craftsmen, hunters and warriors who would lay down their lives for the Covenant. 

There are rumours whispered in Shallowater that these strange covenfolk are members of the mythic Order of Hermes, an ancient and feared society of magi. Despite this concern, the sick and injured are sent to the misty island for healing. As for other arts practiced on that isle, what spells are cast and powers called upon, they remain a mystery. 

Thus begins a new chapter in The Blackhawk Campaign. The players introduced their characters to the world and gave it some depth, in what we jokingly called a fairy tale description. So who lives in the old wizards tower? A ragtag band of misfits and ne'er do wells by all accounts! Here are some of them:

Father Jack, a disillusioned priest and miracle worker. He is a heavy drinker and excommunicated cleric, who cannot explain why he still has the favour of his God. 

Saunders, the hired muscle with a shady past. An ex-dockhand from a distant city, he has a scrawny shadow named Vito O'Leary. A bit of a geezer, Vito comes from a wealthy crime family but has fallen on hard times and has traded fencing stolen goods for a less comfortable life in exile. This duo do as Father Jack tells them, or at least they appear to.

Nextor, a conjurer that takes the role of Covenant leader, or Dux. Resplendent in the classic robes, hat and staff of his order, he has a commanding presence. 

Helgor and Arian make a weird pair. The former is a dwarven cleric, the later an elven arcane archer. What dark past they share is never spoken of but their bond is unbreakable. 

Carlsberg is a druid, an initiate of the 1st circle. Noble of bearing, he doesn't speak much. When he does, it's usually to his raven or the bard.

Red, an elven bard as able with sword as with spell. Her songs match her beauty. Never far from her side is Tui the Ranger, an expert archer and skilled huntress. 

I began with word that magic rocks could be found in the blackened ruins on top of the mountain, remnants of the comet that destroyed that once-proud city. Without further ado, they packed bags and headed off across the lake and into the dark forest, as the mountain crag is unclimbable. With them went a few of their most trusted Redcoats; Friar Nip, Rutger and Brodo the hobbit. Three arduous days later they emerged from the woods at the edge of Blackhawk City, or at least the remains of it's outer walls.

To be continued...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

PTS 45 + Harald Hammerstorm + Stormtroopers + Beastmen

Harry the Hammer!
Painting Table Saturday! Some online purchases arrived in the post this week. Thanks to Dory from the Immortals gaming club, I now own half a dozen classic Games Workshop beastmen. Also, from Alan, a rare collection of Grenadier Star Wars miniatures has made their way to my table. Produced for the game by West End Games, I'll be treating them with the care they deserve.

For those who remember the days of pre-slotta Citadel Miniatures from Games Workshop. I have half a dozen knights and warriors from this era, including the legendary Harald Hammerstorm, the character on the cover of Warhammer 1st edition. I have now completed three of them!

I've finished a few Marauder Goblin wolf-riders for my good friend Lewis. He's a fan of my painted shields. I've pointed out that these could be the same goblin and wolf, at different stages of their career. Along with some cheeky monkeys, sprayed with a protective matt coat and ready for battle (or bananas).

Baaaa! Beastmen!

Fortunately I have plenty of spare bases.

Ready for cleaning and a touch of white paint.

Three (Pre-Slotta) Citadel Chaos Knights.

Classic Marauder Goblin Riders. Ready for action.

Cheeky Monkeys.