Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scroll Rack for Frostgrave's Library

   After making a bunch of bookshelves for our upcoming Frostgrave Library scenario game, I thought I'd also try my hand at a scroll rack.
   I used a style similar to the bookshelves I've been making; but instead of using two large flat pieces glued to each side of a foursome of wood cubes, I used just one central large flat piece, and glued the siding around the edges of it.  I then glued all the crosshatched slanted pieces on to each side.
    The scrolls were made from some off-white paper I had, cut into short 2 inch by .75 inch sections and rolled around a toothpick and glued along the loose edge.  I then cut them into little scroll sized segments and glued them into place.

The Vashta Nerada of Frostgrave

     As many of my readers will know, I have been busy these past few weeks building bookcases for our upcoming Frostgrave Campaign game where we will be playing the Library scenario from the core rulebook.  With discussion of what we wanted to do for our game, the conversation naturally turned to two other famous libraries in geek fandom: the spirit infested library from Ghostbusters, and the Vashta Nerada infested one from the Dr Who double episodes, "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead".
     So after talking about someone making a pile of symmetrically stacked books, and having an angry wraith librarian going around telling the combatants, "Shhh!", the idea was put forth to include the famous "piranhas of the air": the Vashta Nerada.
      These microscopic organisms, in high concentrations, appear as shadows; and use this appearance as a way to hide and sneak up on their prey.   So I pondered how to make "shadows" as a game figure, and I hit upon the idea of lightly spraying thin plastic cut from a blister pack with black spray paint.
      So I cut out a couple of rough rhombus shapes to look something like the shadow cast by a bookshelf.  I then sprayed one side lightly with flat black spray paint just enough so that you could still see through them.
This Man-at-Arms has heard the stories of the lost libraries of Frostgrave, and is a bit worried about stepping into the shadow of this bookcase (as he should be!).
      The plan is to use them as some of the randomly appearing beasts in the game; and  in talking about it, we may use the Wraith stats from the rulebook for their move and combat abilities.
While the Man-at-Arms suspects the shadow on the right is being cast by the bookcase, he's a bit concerned as to what exactly is casting the shadow on the left. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Frostgrave Campaign: Game 10

   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
For Knabe the Druid's account of the battle, see: Knabe's Report

Friday, November 18, 2016

Building a 28mm Ruined Bookcase

  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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Building 28mm Bookshelves

     Our group is doing the Frostgrave Library scenario in December, and our plan is to turn the entire 3'x12' table into the library.  We plan to cover almost the entire table with Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles.  Also, each of us is trying to build at least 3' of bookcases to help fill the table up with terrain.
    Some of our group is using foamcore blanks with printed paper fronts on them, and I decided to do something similar but instead using an easy to assemble wood body to make my bookshelves instead of foamcore.
     I began by buying some .75" wood cubes, and some 2" x 3" wood cut-outs.   I glued a cube to each corner of one of the cut-outs with Aleene's Tacky glue.
   I then glued the other cut-out onto the other side of the blocks, and after making sure everything was squared up, put some rubber-bands on to hold everything in palce while the glue dried.
      Next, I cut some 1" thin bass wood strips to go around the outside, and glued those in place along the edges.  Again, I rubber-banded everything to hold it all in place.
      When that was dry, I painted the exterior parts with Americana Gel Stains "Walnut".
      Next, I took some bookshelf printouts that one of the guys in our group had done up. (Just search Google Image for "Bookshelf Wallpaper".)  And I cut a sheet down to make two panels to fit on each side of the bookcase.  I then glued these onto the bare fronts of each side of the bookcase.
    And here is the end result.  I think the trompe l'oeil  effect is really good on these, and in mass on the table they will look quite convincing.

     Now, just 2 feet 9 inches of bookcases left to go! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall-In Saturday Evening and Sunday HAWKs' Room Games

  Here are a few shots of some of the games in the HAWKs room Saturday evening and Sunday morning at Fall-In.


Buck Surdu, Dave Wood, and I ran a large 12 player WWII game using Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII rules, called "Battle of Lvov, 1939"






Jim McWilliams' ran another SAGA game.



Don Hogge's "Patrolling the Village - France 1944" game using Battleground rules.



Greg Priebe's "Star Wars: ForceGrave" game using modified Frostgrave rules.



Sunday morning the HAWKs ran three games.

Dave Wood's "Look, Sarge, We are Taking a Japanese Airfield" game using Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII rules.


Duncan Adams' "Clash of Steel" game using Charted Seas 2 rules.


Eric Schlegel's "The Ruins of Castle Anthrax" game using Blood & Swash rules.


A big thank you goes out to all the gamers who came out and played in our games!  See you all at Cold Wars!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fall-In Saturday Morning and Afternoon HAWKs' Room Games

   Here are a few photos of some of the games that were run in the HAWKs room on Saturday morning and afternoon at Fall-In.


Buck Surdu's "Skirmish in Poland" WWII game using Combat Patrol rules.




Michael Byrne's "The Russians Have What?" game using Force on Force rules.



Kevin Fischer's "German Ambush" game using Rifles to the Front rules.


Dave Wood's "A Skirmish During the First Zulu War" game using Combat Patrol rules.



Rob Dean's and Ross Macfarlane's "Detroit, 31 July 1763" game using With MacDuff to the Frontier rules



Duncan Adams' "Monthyon; First Shots on the Marne, September 5th 1914" game using Look, Sarge, No Charts: 1914 rules.



Geoff Graff's "Plastic Pirates Pilfer Parrots" kids' game using Plastic Pirates rules.


David Schlegel's "Goblins Gone Wild" game using GASLIGHT rules.


Friday's photos can be seen here: Friday Fall-In