Here are the in-process pictures of my painting efforts for my Hero Forge Miniature of Griswald, my representation of my favorite AD&D character, from my brother Robert’s AD&D campaign.
While I was at it, I also painted my miniatures that I have had from back in the day and not yet painted.
I began with washing them with warm soapy water and gently scrubbed the non-painted ones with an old toothbrush.
After letting them air dry a few hours, I painted them with a coat of white Testors acrylic as a primer. I know there is a special primer, but my hand is not the steadiest for this detail work, and my eyes don’t see those small details so well. I finally have the patience to do a good job, but my hands aren’t as steady and my eyes aren’t as goo up close. Well, I have been nearsighted since junior high, and now have bifocals, but I have to take of my glasses to see anything closer than about 6-8 inches, like the back of my hand or when I am shaving. So I am curious to see how well this turns out. So we’ll call it an experiment. I don’t think I’ll have people seeking me out to do their miniatures, unless their eyes are in worse shape than mine.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to paint and let dry and repeat to get each part painted. I focused on the big parts, the cloaks. I let them dry overnight after each step. So instead of one article showing all the progress and the final result. I will break this up into multiple postings.
It takes up my work space to spread out my game materials. I have to use that space because I can close the door to keep my son’s cats out. The last thing I need is cats breaking or hiding these.
So here are the before and after priming pictures. Yes, those are blue shop towels under them. Much thicker than regular paper towels and I can wipe off excess paint from the rush without it soaking through.
Here are the after painting the cloaks & boots pictures. Yes, I know, that black is really dark, but it is a work in progress. It is only paint after all, and I can just start over if I goof it up or don’t like the end result. I had to take off my glasses so I could see the details when I had to hold them close. Do I get extra XP because I didn’t get paint on my glasses?
I tried using my camera for better pictures to show the burrs on my new Game Science dice, but it is a cheap camera and better suited to taking pictures of people and larger objects.
The burrs turned “white” and did not come off in big pieces, so what I ended up with were flecks that barely showed up. I did not have a dark background to place them against.
Below shows the transition in brief.
I have had this X-Acto knife for a couple of years, but only now took it out of the package.
I had to buy silver Sharpies. This was not a fine point, so ink was both in the groove of each number and on the face of the die. As soon as I filled in the number, I used a napkin to rub the face and only the ink inside the numbers was left.
I have about five reams of paper that is printed on one side, from moving to working at home. I use it for taking notes when I am on the phone or when working on a data issue for a client. I folded over about ten sheets of paper and slowly shaved off the burrs. The burr on the d24 was huge. A large piece of it broke off and I heard it bounce off something, so I don’t know where it went. NOTE: An old catalog or phone book or magazine also works well for a surface for using an X-acto knife.
I like the final results, and it makes these dice usable. Without coloring them in, I had to pick them up to attempt to read them. Certain rolls, you don’t want to pick up without others verifying. Older eyes make reading un-inked dice quite the challenge. I used to be able to do the fine work, like inking these dice with my glasses on, but now I have to take them off to see clearly such close up work. Let that inform your purchases and products going forward.
Everyone knows about Rule 0 – “The DM/GM makes the rulings.” Or some variant to that effect. Briefly, this means that the DM uses the rules that fit the spirit of the game(s) he or she run. This can include adding new rules, ignoring or changing existing rules. It especially involves borrowing ideas for rules from other DMs.
What many don’t talk about is what I call Rule (-1). It is so simple and involves the whole idea of playing games. “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
This concept applies to any game, boardgames, RPG’s, card games, sports, computer games, etc.
This concept also applies to life. Perhaps the best example is sex. If you don’t like it, you’re doing it wrong.
We don’t eat foods we don’t like. Why should we do anything else we don’t like?
Some might point out holes in this concept of applying to all of life. Exercise – you may not like exercise, but you have to pay the price to get the degree of health and fitness you like. If you like being overweight, good for you. If you like being fit and trim, good for you. But neither should get into a war about which is better. There is an RPG, Hero’s Journey, that mirrors ” every hero’s transformation from minion to master.” That is a way to make things fun!
We may not like going to work, but we like the things money can buy, like food, clothing, shelter, and GAMES! We like our stuff, so the things we don’t like should be seen as journeys, challenges, etc. to overcome, like adventurers in a tomb or dungeon seeking treasure. The goal is the loot and experience points, even if you risk your favorite character dying to do it. I read an article a couple of years ago, that talked about people new to the workforce only working enough to support them and the things they wanted to do.
So if edition wars and railing against X because it isn’t Y is your thing, do you really have fun with that? Does putting others down bring you joy? Well, then you’re doing it wrong. Everyone knows that having fun at the expense of others in a mean and hurtful way is wrong. So take your toys and go home.
You don’t want to game with women? Well, then good luck getting a girlfriend or wife. If you already have a girlfriend or wife, good luck keeping them.
The whole essence of RPGs is true of life, we need to get along to succeed. How many hours have you played an RPG solo, i.e. no GM? It isn’t too much fun, other than as a different type of diversion once in a while, or if you are in a strange situation that it is your only option.
RPGs are about bringing people together to PLAY. I have played with people that are of the total opposite political spectrum to me, who have different ideas about ethics, politics, religion, etc. Since I don’t post about those things here, those people may not have any clue what I believe. Such discussions don’t go at the gaming table, if the goal is for everyone at the table to truly have fun. If you can’t game with people who are vastly different from you in ideas and opinions, then find a way to do that without being an ass about it. I know people on all aspects of the political divide, and just like any other topic, some of each general leaning can be total jerks to people who disagree with their position.
The specific definitions of how that fun plays out will depend on the group. A group of teenage boys is going to have fun in ways we may not approve of. That’s why we need teenage girls involved in RPGs, so that those hormone laden fools learn how to interact with females at a young age. Fathers should step up to DM/GM to show his sons how to treat a woman with respect. Or to make sure the boys in the game treat his daughter(s) with respect. Mothers should also DM/GM to keep her boys in line and support her daughters.
The OSR is partly about perpetuating our hobby to the next generation. With all the weirdos we hear about on the news, it is unfortunately asking for trouble for a group of teenagers to come to your house to game, if there are no children of your own, or other adults present. Finding a venue at the local library, or a place at school after hours, or going to one of the kid’s homes when their parents are there would be the smart course of action. (Can you tell I’ve been to multiple mandatory work seminars about how not to get sued?)
Players that talk over everyone else, and who try to be rules lawyers need special handling. Depending on their age, they may just need to have it explained to them. If they are 18+, then you should be able to talk to them without an emotional meltdown. However, age does not equate to maturity. If the person is emotionally fragile, I would suggest that RPGs where you pretend to be someone else is not always the best way for someone to deal with severe mental or emotional issues. The group should do their best to help someone with no social skills to fit in. If you have to talk about health and hygiene so others can stand to sit next to that player, then have that talk. Such a person obviously needs social interaction, and they will enjoy it more as they build their social interaction skill set. If all the players are not having fun, then there is a problem. This requires that all players stand up for themselves in a positive way. The DM/GM has a part to play her in making sure each player has their moment to shine, their share of speaking and interacting with the game world.
DMs/GMs should not be dictators that force the players to do what they don’t want to do. They should not totally ignore players’ suggestions for interpreting situations. At least acknowledge their input and move on. A good referee clearly describes things so that players make informed decisions. The referee who is a self centered, self righteous, egotistical, control freak, will have a hard time finding a consistent group of players for more than a few sessions. The DM’s fun should be had in watching how the players go off in unexpected directions, and misinterpret things, not in making them follow some elaborate script. If you have a novel to write, write the novel; don’t force your players to act out a script, when they want a world to explore. If you can’t find a way to have fun without alienating players, perhaps you should not be a DM; or go online and clearly advertise for online players that want your style of running a game.
I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, and on March 16, I ran across this article on Beer, Pretzels, and 20-Sided Dice. It is another way of saying what I am saying. Cameron sums it up nicely, “To my mind, the key is to have fun. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, find a different group or run a campaign yourself.”
Just yesterday, Tower of the Archmage, had this article, Playing With Adults, about the challenges of interpersonal interaction at the game table, and how cooperation is key. Dealing with the threats to maintaining a regular game is like facing the boss monster. It is so worth it when it’s over.
Game play options on the internet, like G+ and Roll20, for example, make it easier for those of us that can’t seem to find a local group. Also it can help us find more opportunities to game, if we have the time to put into gaming more frequently. There are more choices than one could hope to ever experience.
Similar things have been said by others in recent years. Editions don’t matter. The point is, find the rules and the group that work for you and enjoy it!
So go out there, find the RPG of your choice, and have FUN!
I saw mention of it on a post on the FB page, David A. Trampier Fan Club.
I jumped over to Wikipedia and confirmed it.
Wow. One year.
So many enjoyed his art. For me, his images are iconic and when I see them I am instantly transported to thinking of all his various RPG art and all the books and modules, and of course, Wormy, and The Dragon.
I wish I could make it to GaryCon. Such remembrances make me nostalgic. I thought it would work out this year. Now, my goal is for next year. I met several from back in the original TSR days at GenCon last year, but I always wanted to go to GenCon when it was in Lake Geneva. I hope GaryCon doesn’t get too big by then. There are a lot of the original creators and movers and shakers still around that I want to meet. Perhaps even get a chance to play.
In February, I ran Village of Hommlet at Marmalade Dog 20. I was very much over prepared. The map in my original module is very faint, and the blue of the ink is the kind that does not copy well. I purchased the PDF from DriveThruRPG, but the map did not print very clearly. So I got a couple sheets of tracing paper and traced it. I then ran by Kinko’s and made copies to regular paper and taped them together. The map did not feature very much in play, but since I put so much time into it, I wanted to preserve it, in case I ever need it. I am sure I will run Hommlet again someday.
Note on this process. Make sure the ink side of the tracing paper is facing down when you go to make copies. I didn’t realize the error of my ways until I got to the con and the map didn’t line up right. One page was correct and the other was not. I had to find a back lit window by the doors to trace the other side of the paper so that it was legible. I then ran by Kinko’s and made a correct copy of that part of the map for the last two days of the con. I later grabbed my colored pencils and colored my map.
So I made a trip to the craft store and bought some clear contact paper. I cut some off a bit longer than the map.
After getting the backing off, I spread the contact paper on my table sticky side up.
I then laid the map ink side down. I cut out the corners of the contact paper and folded it over to wrap around the back of map. I used the scraps to cover the seam where I stitched the paper map together into one.
Rather than try to cut a piece of contact paper to fit, I used packing tape to cover the bare paper on the back of the map. (I know some might cringe at this. However, this is copy paper. It is NOT acid free paper, so using packing tape plus keeping it out of the light, will make it last longer. Unless I get a light table and acid free paper to trace a new map, I can’t make it last any longer. This is just a tool, even faded it will still work, and that might add a bit of character to it.)
Now, other than sitting in a spill, someone being deliberately destructive, or a disaster, I have a map that I can write on with dry erase markers and use for years to come.
I just click send on the email to apply for the RPGBloggers site. The similar site with an automated sign up, the RPG Blog Alliance, of which my blog already belongs, is shutting down at the end of April.
Yahoo stopped supporting RSS feeds of Yahoo Groups a couple years ago, and Google dropped support for it’s feed reader. RSS seemed to serve a need, until things like social media sites like FB and G+ made management think that the established ways were not good enough. Instead of the format of RSS where you can pick and choose and easily filter, you have social sites that have their own rules for how you see what you want to see, and then they keep changing the rules, so you never know that you aren’t seeing something you want to see, and are flooded with things you wonder where they came from.
I’ve had spammers manage to inject crap into my RSS feed, and it was a pain to figure out how to fix it so that I could retain that feature on my blog.
I have heard that it takes a long time to get a response to an application. I know about the controversies surrounding the site a few years back when there was a big blow up among different RPG bloggers about a topic not directly related to RPGs, and the handlers of the site changed.
It may not make a difference to my blog’s traffic, but I had a goal of applying for a couple of years now, I figured that since the RPG Blog Alliance (RPGBA) is going to fade into the aether, I figured that would apply to RPGBloggers, with 49 days until RPGBA shuts down. Call it a little race to see if I get approved on the one site, before the other shuts down. I’ll post an update once either I get approved, or May arrives, whichever happens first.
If May arrives, and I’m not approved, I will post an update if I ever do get approved.
I came home from running some errands to find this announcement in my email. This Kickstarter was funded at just over ten times its initial goal, and all of its stretch goals were funded.
Hello, Grimtooth backers! Just wanted to give you a quick status update on one fun part of the project: the DCC/Grimtooth crossover adventure module. Jobe Bittman has finished the manuscript and Doug Kovacs has finished the cover art. Here is a preview of the current cover design! We are still playing with the typesetting so the final font details may change a bit, but I thought you might enjoy seeing Grimtina in action!
If art and typesetting is the only fiddly bits they have, it won’t be long now. Estimated delivery is July, 2015, and unless something totally out of the blue happens, there is no reason to think that this won’t ship on time.