Saturday, December 31, 2022

Dungeon23 Part 0: Ready to Begin

I keep a few notebooks and journals on hand for when ideas hit so I can start collecting all of the information together in one spot.  Plus, it allows me to easily carry one in my lunch bag at work so I can add to it if the mood strikes. When I read about the #Dungeon23 challenge a few days ago I thought it was a perfect opportunity to break one of these journals out to use for storing my ideas on the megadungeon I would create in the process.  I had four of them available, so I looked through them and decided to use this Navy Blue digest-sized dotted journal for my work.

Even though I was intrigued by the idea of the challenge, I was having a little issue with getting started.  Back in the day, we used to just roll with it and go on, but I haven't made a dungeon in years because I haven't played face to face in a LONG time.  I have done some play-by-post gaming but nothing "live".  I do have some notes on a campaign world, Toldara, that I've been working on so this will be a chance to incorporate some of that stuff into the challenge, but I was still mentally "locked up" until a few days ago.  

It dawned on me what I was doing wrong in this instance.  I wasn't breaking up the information into bite-size portions, but I was trying to figure out everything all at once.  The ideas started flowing pretty freely once I broke down the information.  This doesn't mean that I will complete the challenge.  I may get 2 months end and run out of steam.  I hope not but I do intend to complete the challenge.  In addition, I'm not strictly sticking to only a megadungeon during my posts.  I'm going to post about the surrounding area and other places of interest.  I may do one large dungeon and several smaller ones.  I honestly don't know yet, but I did make this cheesy, hand-drawn title page for my journal.

Good luck to everyone participating in the #Dungeon23 challenge.  I look forward to seeing what develops in your posts as well as mine.

Friday, December 30, 2022

[Fan Film Friday] Puppet Master: Revival

I don't recall seeing many Puppet Master fan films but this one is good.  They seem to respect the lore while adding to it AND the effects are much better than most of the fan films that feature small puppets or beings of some sort.  The puppets in this fan film are even done smoother than several of the official films.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Maintenance & Plans

Just a quick update about some blog maintenance and plans for the coming year.

I deleted my other blogs because they were dead in the water.  I went through a divorce years ago around the time they were started, and I struggled with getting up and going.  The time for a separate blog on those subjects has come and gone.  If there is anything that comes up that would be worth posting, I will just post it here.

I plan on continuing on with my usual D&D posts, Miniature Monday posts, and Fan Film Friday posts as well.  In addition, I plan on posting once a month leading up to the 50th anniversary of D&D as well as attempting the #Dungeon23 challenge.  I'm not sticking to just a megadungeon for my posts, though.  I'm going to try to use this as an opportunity to consolidate and flesh out the scattered notes for my campaign world a bit better.  There will be overworld stuff, town locations, dungeons, etc.  The point being trying to have 365 posts about campaign world information in one form or another.  

Monday, December 26, 2022

[Miniature Monday] Bone Guardian


Bone Guardians are a custom monster for my homebrew campaign world of Toldara.  The basic concept is a "boss monster" type of creature that can basically blend in with a normal group of skeletons and then the characters will discover this one is much tougher.  My original Delving Deeper stats for the Bone Guardian can be found in a previous post from October of 2021.  I have an updated version of the Bone Guardian but I'm waiting on artwork before I make a new post.

I wasn't happy with this miniature when I finished painting it.  I let it sit for a day or two while I looked online for a different miniature to use for the Bone Guardian.  I decided to go ahead and put a wash on it, and I could always use it for something else if I found a better fit.  The wash made it really pop because there is a real look of decay and age to the miniature now.  I'm still fairly new at painting miniatures and I still have plenty to learn but it's getting easier to figure things out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Mini Hooks for Fantasy Campaigns III

 Continuing on...

20. A recently reclaimed tome believed to be of great magical power whose pages turn blank if you read the words aloud.

21. A local mage's animal companion has been seen around town for the last several days but there has been no sign of his owner.

22. A Constable from a nearby town shows up with a "Wanted" poster and the picture looks remarkably like the constable in the PC's town.

23. A woman one of the PC's has never seen before shows up with an escort from the city guard at a PC's house looking for her brother that she claims is him.

24. A small group of the King's Guards shows up looking for "volunteers" of a certain age and the PC's fit the bill.

25. An old friend of one of the PC's tracks them down, visibly nervous and agitated they explain about needing help from the local ruffians.

26. As the local population awakes and begins its' day, the citizens find an Ogre asleep by the local well or in the middle of town square.

27. While doing research in the local archives, a local scholar has discovered information on the remnants of a lost civilization that was rumored to possess magical knowledge that has not only been lost in the modern age but is more powerful than the current spell knowledge. A local businessman is looking for a group of explorers to hire to investigate the ruins and bring back such knowledge.

28.  With the arrival of the latest New Moon, a constellation has disappeared from the night sky.

29.  During the last week the statues in the town square have been in different spots each morning. It was believed to be the result of some local pranksters until this morning.  The statues were not only in different spots in the town square but in different poses.

30. The PCs have been hired to escort a caravan with several sealed boxes and locked chests. Upon arrival at their destination, their contact does an inventory to discover that the contents of all the containers have been removed and they are now filled with rocks, sand, and hay. His guards have closed in and he is demanding answers from the PCs.

Monday, December 19, 2022

[Miniature Monday] Yuan-Ti

I always dug the look of the Yuan-Ti and wanted to include them somewhere in my campaign world.  I did use them as depicted in any modules that they might have appeared in, but I wanted to do something else with them.  I never did come up with anything else for them, but I kept that that in the back of my brain all these years. 

When I decided to start working on my campaign world of Toldara I knew I had to include them.  The main design goal of Toldara was to include stuff inspired by things I enjoy as well as a greatest hits compilation of ideas from my older campaigns.  During a time of holiday shut down I was watching some older movies from my collection that I knew what I had to do with the Yuan-Ti.

I had the Cult of Grax representing one of the forces from one of my old campaigns.  I definitely planned to include them in Toldara.  While watching the 1982 Conan film and seeing Thulsa Doom, the cultists, and the snakes brought all this stuff together.  The Cult of Grax would be a snake cult, their symbol would be a globe with a snake coiled around it, they would have custom Clerics, and this hybrid snake & man figure would represent an especially devoted Graxian Cultist rewarded with dark powers by their dark lord. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

[Fan Film Friday[ Slasherverse Trailer

If you've ever wanted to watch a cinematic universe shared between Freddy, Ghost Face, Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers then check out the trailer below and stick around for the 5 short films.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Mini Hooks for Fantasy Campaigns II

 Continuing on with mini hooks to use as ideas in your fantasy games...

11. A young child has returned to town with a few small gems he found in a hollow tree trunk in the woods outside of town.

12. The local witch living close to town has appeared in the town square warning of bad omens for the times ahead.

13. An eerie wolf's howling can be heard at night ever since a caravan of entertainers recently set up camp outside of town.

14. During a lull in the town's holiday celebration, a woman comes through the crowd with the local constable and points toward the PC's while proclaiming loudly "That's them!".

15. Small bands of soldiers have been turning up in town with no explanation for their arrival.

16. One of the Priests runs from the local temple screaming "We must renounce this faith!".

17. A bump has risen from the ground in the town square and has slowly gotten bigger over the last week.

18. A very large feather from what must be a gigantic bird has floated down and landed right on the entrance to the city.

19. Several townsfolk claim their fortunes have been read by one of the vagabonds performing in town and have turned out to be true.  One of the PC's is the most recent person to visit them and have their fortune read.

20. A recently reclaimed tome believed to be of great magical power whose pages turn blank if you read the words aloud.

More to come...

Monday, December 12, 2022

[Miniature Monday] Fixing Bent Weapons


If you've done enough browsing for miniatures, you're bound to have come across one with a bent sword, spear, axe, or some other item.  I bought a few that were slightly bent but I was able to fix them with a tiny clamp placed on the item for a few days.  That wasn't an inconvenience at the time because I had other miniatures I was in the process of completing.  I did, however, decide to find a better method for the next time I bought a bent miniature.

On another trip to one of the local gaming stores, I was browsing through their selection of miniatures and found two packages with three kobolds in each package.  The only problem was that one of them had a bent sword (see the picture on the left) and those two packages were the only kobolds in stock.  I decided to buy them all so I wouldn't have to wait for more to arrive or worry about trying to match colors if I didn't paint them all at once.

I did try the clamp trick on the sword when I got home.  I let is set overnight but that didn't work.  I visited some forums and other sites to find a simple trick to fix the bent sword.  I put a coffee cup with water in the microwave and warmed it up for one minute.  Then I dipped the sword into the hot water somewhere between 20-30 seconds.  I tested the sword to find it pretty flexible, so I positioned the sword into a straight position (see the picture on the right) and held it under cold tap water for 20-30 seconds.  I placed the miniature in my painting area to see if the sword would remain straight.  That was a month ago and the sword has remained in place.  As you can see, I still haven't painted the miniature, but its time is coming soon.  Just like books, there's never enough time to read them all.

I only have experience with the Reaper Bones miniatures and other lines made from similar material.  I haven't even tried to paint a metal miniature yet, but I do have a few I bought for a trial run.  I don't even know how they paint in comparison but that's an experience for a later time.  

Friday, December 9, 2022

[Fan Film Friday] Prelude to Axanar

I was under the impression that Paramount didn't allow the Star Trek: Axanar fan film to continue after they raised so much money on crowdfunding.  Apparently, I missed the announcement that Axanar is coming soon. To see what Axanar has to offer, watch the Prelude to Axanar fan film.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Mini Hooks for Fantasy Campaigns I

I like to keep a list of random hooks that may lead to adventure ideas in my fantasy campaigns so I thought I would share some of them here.  Maybe they will help some others come up with ideas to expand on these or ideas of their own. 

1. Strange lights have appeared in the nearby hills outside the city the last 3 nights.  These lights have showed up at the same time and last for one hour.

2. The cat population on the city streets has become noticeably higher in the last week.

3. The local crypt has been violated. The all evidence points to something breaking out of the crypt rather than breaking into the crypt.

4. A local group of youths have returned from a hunt with an abnormally large egg.

5. Graffiti from a long dead cult has appeared overnight on a local temple or church.

6. A local youth known for exaggeration has returned to town frightened.  He babbles on about an army of monsters passing in the nearby woods.

7. A small group of Orcs has surrendered themselves at the gate seeking asylum.

8. A caravan has entered the town rambling about a magical flying disc of silver that sat down nearby in the woods.

9. Mounds left behind by a large burrowing creature have started popping up close to town.

10. A local Priest has started acting strangely and appears unkept after studying a newly reclaimed lost tome of knowledge recently turned in to the local temple by a group of explorers.

More to come...

Monday, December 5, 2022

[Miniature Monday] Dungeon Door


I've always wanted to try painting some scenery such as doors, tables, altars, etc. for use in my games.  I commonly see this type of scenery at one of the game stores but it's usually a set of several pieces.  I've avoided picking any of those up because the price and contents are both a larger commitment than I wanted to make on a trial run experiment.  I left without purchasing any scenery.

On the next visit I was browsing through the miniatures, and I found a package with two doors.  I don't remember exactly how much it cost but the price was right, and two doors is a small commitment.  I bought the package of doors, and I painted them when I got home that day.  It went really well, and I like the results.  I'm definitely buying more scenery such as some tables, an altar, and some bookshelves to start.  

Friday, December 2, 2022

[Fan Film Friday] Dylan's New Nightmare

If you're a fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street movies, a new fan film is coming that might catch your interest.  Dylan's New Nightmare is a fan-made sequel to Wes Craven's New Nightmare.  The film is set 25 years after the original and features Dave Mcrae (as Freddy) and Miko Hughes (Dylan Porter) in the cast.  Dave is probably the best choice for a new Freddy that I've seen so far and Miko returns to the role of Dylan 25 years later.  Keep your eye on this one.  It looks good!