Painting – A bunch of Kobolds

Salamander shall kindle,
Writhe nymph of the wave,
In air sylph shall dwindle,
And Kobold shall slave.
Who doth ignore
The primal Four,
Nor knows aright
Their use and might,
O’er spirits will he
Ne’er master be.
— ”Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This dozen of Kobolds are Reaper Bones figures. Years ago I bought two packs of six, giving me four figures each of three poses. I’ve painted them in D&D/Pathfinder style, going with a red draconic ancestry. They are nice figures with a reasonable level of detail, but they are small – only 20mm high and this made them quite awkward to paint well. Apart from cleaning up the base from the sprue they’d been on, no trimming or filing was required.

Initially I decided to do a red base coat and had trouble with paint staying on a few of them unless it was reasonably thick, or I did a second coat. I’d read of different problems with painting bones figures, but hadn’t had this problem before. Thankfully, nothing went wrong after some repainting. I stuck with simple colours, mostly green and blue for jackets, kilts, etc and so on. I was finding detail a nuisance because of the small size of the figures, so I haven’t been as fussy as I normally would with a larger figure. (For example, I’m not going back to dot pupils in their eyes.) Even so, I’m happy with the way they look.

I like the pavement sculpted base a lot, and since they were all square and flat based (without filing or trimming required) I’m not re-basing them.

I’ve almost finished a reaper bones “great worm”. The painting is pretty much done, but I’m waiting on some 50 and 75mm bases to arrive in the mail so I can mount and finish it properly. I would have completed it this weekend, but when I dropped in on my local Games Workshop store on Friday (enjoying a day off work) I learned that they don’t stock bases and would have to order them in. I chose not to order, and instead went online and arranged for to get four times as many bases at about twice the price (including postage and currency conversion). I hadn’t been to a GW shop for years and I don’t plan on going back.

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FalsKrag Session 4 – No toll for you!

We were short one player for this session, which was a pity because the group got a lot done over a very interesting evening. There was some enterprising ideas to deal with both the pit in the well and the toll gate. The toll gate became two combats (before and after breaching the doorway) with the second being drawn out – both in the number of rounds it lasted and the large area fought over – against fifteen small humanoids (including two spell-casters) armed with light crossbows, daggers, darts and some alchemical weapons. They also started seriously looking around the next level and got into a fair number of undead. There’s also the suggestion that other people died here recently.

I’ve prepared a heap of rumours (and possible interactions) for the players to hear/encounter when they return to town. Mostly, I’ve forgotten to actually hand them out in sessions. The encounter with Nargan is a ‘rumour’ that I actually drew after the session. It particularly suits that town visit because they had stuff they wanted to sell to an alchemist. I’ve put rumour cards aside now, to remind me for the next time we game.

 

(14th Goodmonth. Under FalsHold.)

The group decides to leave the dungeon. Lanliss talks about breaking the bricked up doorways at the toll gate, and ways to get past the pit in the well tunnels. At the toll gate they are charged 30 silver and a special. Seldrel offers a glowing candle! The price to enter seems to increase slowly, and the exit price is double the entry. Back at Falsford, Seldrel sights a large shrine to Aedrie Faenya (Elven goddess of air, avians and weather) and gets a priestess to cast remove curse on him. Lanliss and the dwarves go in search of a good carpenter and blacksmith. They order two longer than standard collapsible planks and discuss some portable barriers that can block the arrow slits in the side “doors” at the toll gate, and a long, wide plank on posts to block the gap above the pipe. They arrange to collect them the next morning. Hardaz buys a few miners picks. They restock on minor items and find an inn to stay at.

15th – They collect their orders and head out to Falshold. There is no sign of goblins and they move to the well. With Lanliss and the dwarves in the lead, they assemble a plank and drop it across the pit location. An eye ray has no effect, and they move in as fast as is possible – striking against the tiny humanoids with the heavy crossbow. Two dire rats attack from a side passage, and more humanoids with spears from the other side. The narrow space makes attacking and defending difficult, but thankfully the tiny rat-people do minor damage with their spears and go down with a single blow. Six of the creatures are killed and others appear to have fled along tunnels that Merxif later determines to exit near the southern wall of the hold . The crossbow and some copper coins are recovered. There is no sign of the beholder-kin. After some minor healing they all proceed down to the keep basement. Here more dire rats attack, but Seldrel’s magic puts all three to sleep.

Party enters from the west, at base of image. Central chamber occupied by the fey.

They assemble the main frame and open the secret door. An alarm sounds as they approach and the iron plate begins to slide aside. They place barriers over the side arrow slits as a voice calls out an entry fee of 20 silver. Surprised sounds begin to be heard as they block the gap over the pipe. Both dwarves begin to hack at the bricked up doorway to one side, while the others hold the barriers in place. After a minute, Seldrel hears chanting and a swarm of cockroaches begins to enter the room around the barriers and from out of cracks in the stone. Weapons seem to have no effect and Hardaz becomes momentarily nauseous. They all begin to retreat back along the hall to the secret door, swinging flaming torches. Bacon throws his last 2 necklace globes and the fireballs seriously damage the swarm. All retreat up the stairs to the entry hall. The swarm doesn’t follow, and they take time to heal. On return the swarm is gone. They replace the barrier and break a large enough hole in the north side to enter. The group steadily invades the chamber, taking crossbow fire from the small blue fey. A sleep spell is resisted by the party, but a colour spray knocks out Lanliss. Minor wounds are taken from the defenders, as they are steadily brought down. Only one fey is able to escape through a narrow tunnel. The cluster of small rooms are looted. Treasure includes coins (lots of silver), gems, many potions and scrolls, and a complete alchemist lab. The group takes time to break the bricks around the pipe to allow an easier way through. Merxip traces the escape tunnel and emerges near the SE tower. Collecting all the loot, they again return to Falsford.

Small, blue and ugly…

In town, a young man, Nargan, approaches. He says that his uncle is an alchemist and can brew remedies that may be useful to adventurers exploring Falshold. They meet with Rodar who buys the alchemists gear they have returned with. He promises them a discount on any purchases if they return.

16th – Return to the hold. Six dire rats are feeding on the bodies at the toll gate. All are killed and the group proceeds down the stairs and around the sigil on the floor. This time they head west along a long passage. The first room to the side has a table, some chairs and animated skeletons. They move in and fight, recalling what weapons were most effective last time. A hollow behind one wall is detected by Lanliss, but he can’t find how to open it. Breaking the wall reveals a pouch of coins and gems. The next room has two zombies. As Lanliss and the dwarves move in to attack, two ghouls rush out from a further room. Seldrel, still back in the main passage hears a creaking noise and sees their torches dim. He hears a voice say “Hello… have you seen da bloomun. Oh, sorry…”. The torches are restored to their normal radiance and the ghouls destroyed. The two rooms contain torn clothing, blood spatters and part of a humanoid that has obviously been eaten. Masterwork chainmail, some weapons and a wand are recovered.

 

 

FalsKrag Session 3 – The narrow well.

This game session included all six players which was good and was mostly spent on catching with up the players who’d missed sessions, game talk and non-game chatter. There was also buying and selling equipment, which takes a while when everyone discusses available funds, what they really want and what they can actually afford. Masterwork weapons for the two main combat characters used up most of their funds.

We use Paizo Gamemastery Critical and Fumble cards in combats. On a confirmed critical, you have the choice of: do the normal additional damage, take a critical card and apply its effects, or hold a critical card (and discard later to turn a fumble into a miss). Fumbles automatically draw a card. Most of my players will hold a critical card if they can, but don’t usually take a card for its effects. Fumbles are generally amusing, because they are typically minor penalties and the monsters fumble as often (or more so) than the PC’s do. This session was not typical. No-one on either side of the table confirmed a critical, but we had four fumbles (three players and one dire rat). The curse on Seldrel was a spell fumble, and the worst of all in the session since a -4 penalty to all rolls at 1st level is really tough and it requires a 3rd level Remove Curse to get rid of. Even so, the player who drew it was good-natured about it and willing to continue play.

 

(11th Goodmonth. FalsHold basement.)

The group decides to leave the Hold. After recovering the furniture from the secret room, at the toll gate they are asked for 18sp and a “special”. There is some discussion on what the fey consider special, and a glowing stone is offered and accepted. (A stone with a light spell on it). Their mule is missing. Outside the keep, Winter is able to find and follow some tracks towards the SE ruined tower where they locate a nervous mule. All gear (bit, bridle, saddle bags, are gone.) Three of the twiggy plant humanoids attack the group, but are quickly defeated. They load the mule with chairs and the desk and elect to head to Falsridge. On the way Lanliss starts to feel ill. Merxif believes he has filth fever from the bite of a rat the day before. It’s getting dark as they arrive at the larger town. They find an Inn and sell the mule to the inn-keeper to help cover costs.

12th – The party spends the day looking around town. They get a good price on the furniture, buy a wand of CLW from the Temple of Rao. By selling the jewellery and things of value obtained they are able to purchase a MW Dwarven war axe (Hardaz) and MW mighty composite longbow (Winter). They enjoy reasonable meals and stay another night at the inn. With Merxif’s aid, Lanliss overcomes his disease.

13th – The group leaves early, heading for Falsford to locate their friends. The days travel is uneventful and they are met at the gate of Falsford by Sharra. She leads them outside town and close to the lake where they have a camp. The six friends spent the first night at an inn in town, but with very little funds between them decided it was cheaper to make camp outside after buying basic gear and rations. Half of the group have the skills to scavenge food and the weather is good for camping. Usko has considered heading to his family’s home in the Yatils to the north, but the rest of them would have too great a distance to travel home. For now, they will stay near Falsford to see if they can get work escorting merchants. If nothing comes up within a few days they will travel to Falsridge. The larger town may offer more chance of employment, and they can leave messages at the gate for the group. The party offer them 10 gold each to buy tents and help if other costs arise.

14th – On the old road up to the mountain they are attacked by a solitary wolf. The gatehouse of the hold is empty and two of the group note movement to the south east. They approach the well as Seldrel recalls the tunnel off the main shaft. Suddenly a brownish sphere with a large eye and small waving stalks on top rises out of the well and looks towards Hardaz, who pelts off back towards the gatehouse. The orb drops back down the well and Seldrel comments that he thought beholders were meant to be much bigger than 8” across. By the time Hardaz has conquered his fear, the group has decided that the small beholder-kin isn’t too dangerous and they have rope secured at the top of the well. Bacon climbs down and into the side shaft. An eye ray strikes him for no effect. He misses with a crossbow shot and moves forward as the eyeball retreats. Lanliss climbs down and enters the tunnel. Bacon looks around a corner, noting that the tunnel narrows even more, and the sides look smooth and slippery. He also realises that the floor hides a pit trap. Lanliss ties another rope to Bacon who tries to get across the pit. In the limited space Bacon’s weight drops the pit lid and he falls, but is caught by Lanliss before hitting the spikes at the bottom. He is pulled up and hit by a crossbow bolt. In the darkness he can now see a crossroad of tunnels and a wider chamber with tiny two ratmen (about a foot tall) busy reloading a heavy crossbow. He shoots at them and misses. He realises that he can load and fire faster than the rat-men and by waving his cloak around the corner draws another shot and again fires back.

The tunnel forward (2’ wide, 3’ high) so restricts actions that Bacon can’t clear the pit. They elect to retreat, instead going down the main well shaft into a large spherical chamber with two feet of water. There is a rounded hole in one wall, bounded by a brass ring with some mysterious markings. Both Merxip and Seldrel are lowered to look at the ring. They determine only that it is magical. While Seldrel is being lifted out an eye ray misses him. They leave the well.

Back down in the hold basement, they defeat a dire rat and pay 15 silver for the toll. There are odd noises and in an adjacent room they sight and defeat two more giant ants. Unfortunately, the ants have not uncovered anything valuable as they have moved northwards through the rooms and sorted through rubble. The party heads down stairs. At the base of the stairs and the entrance to a large room is a magical sigil engraved in the floor. Seldrel recognises the symbol of Meyaheine, a good human demigoddess of protection and justice. All carefully step around it and search the room that is scattered with damaged equipment, chewed bones and body parts. Some gold coins are found amid what appears to be most of a medium humanoid who was torn apart at least a week ago. Iron-bound wooden doors are a change from the empty doorways of the levels above. Moving south along a passage to an empty chamber, both dwarves note a secret door. Lanliss believes its safe and pushes it open. A large room is scattered with pieces of bone and four animated human skeletons turn towards him. Most of group push into the chamber and quickly destroyed them. During the combat, Seldrel drastically miscasts a simple spell and inflicts himself with a curse of frustration. Lanliss suggests heading back to town to counter the curse.

Painted figures for February

I completed these four a couple of weeks ago, but only gave them a spray varnish last weekend. Then today I finally got around to some photography.

From left to right I have: a Reaper Bones #77171 Stone Golem, a Ral Partha SW74 Wookie, a pair of Citadel Snotlings and an “UnReal” tree. The wookiee (counting the base) stands 35mm high – so you have an idea of scale.

The Golem was a recent purchase. I was planning to paint it up as an Ice Golem, but the figure is larger than I was expecting and now he’ll be used as a statue or golem as required.

The Wookie is from the West End Games Star Wars “Rebel Characters” set produced in 1989. He’s been sitting around for a while (like the other 13 figures) waiting to be painted and I thought he’d be fairly quick/easy to do since the bulk of the figure is one colour. I experimented with some lighter dry-brushing in places on his fur. I didn’t get the effect I really wanted – distinct lighter patches on the face, arms and legs. It looks slightly better in the image than in RL, unless you have a good light on it. I don’t feel like going back to it again, so it’ll do.

The snotlings were originally extra bits (for decoration) on a sprue of either dark elves, beast man or another chaos force – I really don’t remember. When a group of us were regularly playing Warhammer Quest, one of the guys choose to play a “Snotling Pair” character – a player created character than I had turned up on the ‘net. I dug out these two and glued them onto a base together. They’ve been around since (I think) 2011 and I undercoated them early 2016. They really should have been finished a long time ago, even though them may never be used for anything again!

I work for a company that sells artificial plants and hedging. I’ve been collecting some of the small bits that fall off panels with the aim of making plant miniatures. This is the second – ideal for Gamma World, or just any time I want a tree. It’s a lot nicer than dropping a token on the board and saying “that’s a tree”. It took a little bit of work – a short bit of plastic tubing to give it a solid trunk that I could fit into a hole in the base, then some silicon roots and a bit of paint. The green leaves are the original plastic. I could happily mass produce a few of these – a dozen would be great. If I trim the lowest layer of “branches” I probably can fit the piece straight into a base.

As well as finishing these, I have spent a fair bit of time recently on my dozen kobolds. They should be finished in the next few days. I’ll need them for my FalsKrag D&D Campaign at some point in the next few months!