Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sci-Fi Minis - The Ugly Truth

I've been mulling how I am going to do Sci-Fi miniatures for a while. Here are the issues I have run into:

1) If I make unique aliens, it will be impossible to find pre-made miniatures for them.

2) If I make my own figure flats for them, I am looking at an AWFUL amount of drawing. I am not overly keen on the idea, even if I make a photoshop file where I can mix and match outfits and hairstyles, etc like City of Heroes.

3) I could base my aliens on the minis I can buy but NO ONE FREAKIN' MAKES THEM ANYMORE!

If you were lucky enough to get a large collection of Star Wars minis when WotC had the license, you are golden. I didn't get into them fast enough. And there is such a desire for them that minis online (if you can find them) are going for some high prices.

There are some sci-fi looking wargame minis but they are also darn expensive and generally every alien is covered in heavy armor. There isn't much chance of getting non-military, free-booter alien figs.

It is still possible to get some human sci-fi figs. In fact, Reaper is extending its Chronoscope line and it has a lot of figures I could use. However, not much in the way of alien life forms (unless I paint up the skins in Orion green and Andorian blue).

That may leave me with adapting D&D/ Pathfinder minis into sci-fi races. I am not certain how well that is going to look.

But if there are any mini-makers out there: YOU HAVE AN UNTAPPED MARKET!

If anyone out there has overcome this issue with some creativity, please share!

And yes, I have considered legos but I think I want something that looks a little less silly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pathfinder - Your Marketing Is Out Of Hand

I've been a member of the North West Pathfinder Society for a couple years now as it is about the only regular gaming group I could find nearby. Things were great, but the people at Paizo are squeezing me out. Let me explain.

1) Pathfinder Society Scenarios: Every year they put out a new season of adventures, which is great. Except that the new season is generally centered on the new expansion book, which costs about $40. I have neither the cash nor the desire to dig myself into the never ending rules additions, and that means I cannot prep and run anything from the new seasons.

2) Maps: It's a small complaint since I can hand draw the maps on my blank flip mats, but many adventures use Paizo flip mats that have been discontinued. Why would you use a single map in 4 different adventures and then discontinue it?

3) Pathfinder Pawn Sets: I own the first 4 sets. I figured they were a great value at $40 a box for about a hundred flats. Plus it's nice having the exact monster needed for a Scenario... except the scenarios often call for one or two more flats than what comes with the boxed set. Did they really do that just to make me shell out for a second box?

It's a shame. I do enjoy the setting of the Pathfinder Society and many of the adventures are nice and compact. But It's getting to a point where I feel like I am being played: like I am being forced into making purchases rather than enticed to.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Workin' On Art! New tokens a comin'.

I've decided to make some of my own figure flats for sci-fi. It's also giving me more practice inking with photoshop (god my inking is bad when I do it by hand). I am getting a little quicker but they still take time.

I decided to start with robots. First up - a Warbot!

I start with a pencil drawing, then ink in photoshop using stroke paths. I actually use two different brushes on the same path: a standard size 20 line and then a size 40 brush line to add line weight. 

Then I take a page from Drawing with Jazza for shading. I use a layer set to multiply and color in grey tones where I want shadows.

Lastly, I through a color layer under everything. The nice thing about throwing the color under the shading is that it is easier to swap out the colors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Even more FREE STUFF! A Fillable NPC Card PDF!

It was requested, and now it is delivered. Very special thanks goes out to Savage Matt Leonard for diddly-doing the dealy-boops with the PDF editing. We had to make some compromises but in the end I think we came up with something cool.

As always, it's best to print on cardstock. Just trim and fold the cards in half (front and back). Glue the halves together and you got yourself an NPC card.

These cards are 3x5 so they won't fit into a card sleeve. But the increased size allows you to fit in all of those character details you don't want to look up. If it doesn't fit, then shame on you for power gaming :).

Click the pic to get the schtick.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

FREE STUFF! My Eye of Kilquato Tools!

I've gotten word back from Jodi Black at Pinnacle. I am clear to release a PDF that contains all of my tools used for the Eye of Kilquato. Well, all except for my Status Tokens.

Get the file right here.

Edit: I update the file. They are supposed to be crocodile Cultists, I guess.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Post Game Report: The Eye of Kilquato

I ran the Eye of Kilquato last night for my game group. This is the second time ever that they have played a Savage Worlds game and the first time I got to use many of my new tools.

So first up, I downloaded The Eye of Kilquato as well as the Map and the Paper minis from the Pinnacle website.

My tools involved:

  • a redraw of the map (Pinnacle's version was hard on my eyes)
  • NPC Cards
  • Vehicle Cards for the Boats
  • Status Effect Tokens (I made my own but there are sheets available from the Pinnacle Website)
  • Taking the trifold figures and making bi-fold pawns
  • Tent cards for character sheets

So how did the tools work out?
  • Map - It was fine but only used in the last parts of the game. The rest was all accomplished with Theater of the Mind.
  • NPC Cards - They helped a lot, but added to the cluttered mess of my GM station. 

  • Vehicle Cards - These barely saw use since the combat was less about sinking each others boats than picking off whoever was on deck.
  • Status Effect Tokens - Wow, these were a hit! They helped keep track of Shaken, Wounds, who was taking an Aim action, etc. 

  • Pawns - This was the chief source of the mess at my GM station. There are a lot of figures for this game, and you will likely use less than half of them. I should have kept them sorted from each other to make pulling them out and locating the right ones easier.

  • Tent Card Character Sheets - This also went over like gangbusters! The character portraits not only helped them get into character (Kator was awesome), but the portraits on the outside of the tents got the players treating each other as their characters.

Issues that I had with the adventure:

  • It's supposed to have crocodiles but the Pinnacle tri-folds say alligators
  • Spoilerz!: There are two eyes of Kilquato, but while the first one doesn't match the description at all, it is also considered a real one. I'm guessing this is in case the adventure runs long at a Con, it gives you an early ending spot as an option. It should be explained for anyone who is new to running con games.
But despite these little quibbles, everyone had a lot of fun. My next outing will involve them picking a setting and having a Session 0 (aka group character creation).

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

DrivethruRPG's Deal of the Day 7/21/2016

Tomorrow my Street Map will be DrivethruRPG's Deal of the day. The price will drop from $5 to $2 for a limited time.

And who couldn't uses a 24x30, 1" square-gridded street map?