Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Return to Colony 87

The wondrous Axiom, of Magpie and Old Lead, has launched his second kickestarter aptly titled: Return to Colony 87.  The goal of this kickstarter is to produce a set of six old school styled science fiction figures, suitable for Rogue Trader, Inq28, or other similar scifi skirmish games.

Samples painted by "Asslessman"
If you are into the whole Oldhammer/Rogue Trader/Inq28 scene, you have probably seen the prior kickstarers figures, so here is your chance to get this next set (or indeed the first set).

And with the Pound at such a low lately, this is an excellent time to get in for overseas buyers as well.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Weekend Basics - Future Wash

This weekend was ostensibly a long one here, and it seemed longer since my wife was out of town, leaving the kids and the house in my dubious hands. Amidst the various chaos of the weekend, I did manage to get three so hours for work on miniatures, and I finished the base paint for the 63 figures my Steel legion platoon, and followed that up by a wash.

Shown here are the three components of my wash, which are GW Black wash from a bottle I got in 1997 (!), craft store matte varnish, and Future floor finish, which is the best smelling of all hobby products. My mix ends up somewhere pretty close to what people get from a dip, although I brush it on (and have been doing this for far longer than I have been reading about dipping).  I quite like the end effect, but mixing it each time is a bit of a pain, and it is highly glossy even with the matte varnish mixed in, so it needs a spray varnish to dull it down again at the end.  When the old GW black wash runs out, I will probably switch to a contemporary GW wash, which will have the advantage of being "out of the bottle" ready.

Still to come for these guys: a bit of touch up, some greenery for the bases, and then dullcote and we are done... probably about 1.5 years in total, although not too many hours all together.  I also have a few more of these guys on my workbench (Heavy mortar, Commissar, sniper, Heavy Stubber team), and will then need to cast about for my next large project. (Game mat? WHFB Chaos?)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Moon Elves

More of an ethnic group of Elves proper than their own race, Moon elves are characterized by long ears, pallid flesh, and ash blond or white hair. Most are thin and wasting, and yet tall, giving them a gaunt appearance. It is surmised that the name "Moon Elves" came from their physical appearance, rather than any connection to the moon, although due to their lack of pigmentation, the Moon elf is slightly more likely to be active during the dusk and night hours, as the midday sun, particularly near the equator, rapidly burns their fair skin. Many Moon elves wear large floppy hats or hoods during the day, and enveloping clothing to protect their fragile skin.

The important distinguishing feature of a Moon elf is not their appearance though, but rather their singular inability to see magic or magical effects. How this came to be is unknown, although various stories involving curses from the Titans, or blessings of Remoos are told around campfires late at night. More erudite theories involve magical creation, lack of a soul, and other darker speculations, but in reality no one knows. Rumors often connect the Moon elves to vampires, werewolves, necromancers, and other creatures of the night. What is known though, is that a Moon elf can not see things that are created by magic, nor the act of magic, nor magical illusions. While they can not see it, they are able to take advantage of its benefits, such as eating magical food, or receiving healing, and can certainly be struck dead by magical effects.

While for most Moon elves the inability to see magic is a handicap, there are a few that profit from this disability, by serving as guards, scouts, and in other positions where having someone see through a magical illusion is useful. In small numbers their inability becomes its own ability.

Given their obvious and characteristic physical appearance, Moon elves are easily distinguished from humans and other elves, even at a distance. They are often discriminated against when not in the City, due to the unsavory rumors which surround them, and while individuals may come to know a Moon elf like any other person, the uneducated, particularly in remote places fear and hate them. In some of the more remote areas of the world, there are even some who believe that Moon elves are themselves a source of magic, and they are often killed and eaten when caught by barbarian tribes.

Race Rules
In the Deepest Sea, Moon elves are limited in the classes they may take. They are unable to be magic users of any type, and can not cast magic as higher level members of other classes, nor may they read scrolls. On the other hand, they have a +1 against any harmful magical effects, and as mentioned above are not able to see illusions or other magical effects.

Like Elves, Moon Elves do not have infravision, instead they have keen vision, which accounts for their ability to spot hidden and secret doors. Moon Elves are able to see much further and more clearly than humans, particularly at night.

Like dwarves, Moon Elves do not have an experience cap, although their lust for adventure may serve as a cap, in that they are likely to die of it. More experienced elves have a tendency to want to return to the capitol city and live off of their stories, at least for a while. In addition, with every level gained above 3, elves have a 1/6 chance of becoming addicted to adventuring, meaning that they are not able to retire, even when they seek to do so. Unlike humans, or other races, PC elves are not likely to create strongholds, as they begin to get "itchy feet" and must go back to the dungeon or the frontier.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New and Old

Not much going on hobby-wise due to being very busy at work (and then working again at home at night) but I did finish reading the D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual, provided as usual by the local library.  Over all it was fun, although it would have been nice if there was more information about treasures, number appearing, and so on, and I found it an odd choice to list the average results before the underlying hit dice (although this is apparently a 5th edition wide convention, as I saw it in the Player's guide as well).

I also thought it was interesting to compare the rules for a Hydra from the Rules Compendium to this book... you can see that in the 5th Edition book the rules/picture/information on the Hydra cover a full page, and in the Rules Compendium they are much more succinct.  The rules are broadly similar though, which is nice for people who want to convert monsters or dungeons from one system to another.

Monday, February 1, 2016

El Eternauta - The Eternaut

This weekend I finished the new English translation of the classic Argentine comic "El Eternauta". Written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld in 1957, this is a classic story of extraterrestrial invasion. This work features lavish art by Francisco Solano Lopez, whose thick black lines and photo realistic drawings of contemporary Buenos Aires really help to lend the correct atmosphere to the story.
Juan Salvo - The Eternaut
 The story opens with the Eternaut, Juan Salvo of Buenos Aires coming upon the author, and after some time relating to him the story of how he and his friends are engaged in a simple late night game of truco, when a light snow begins to fall on Buenos Aires... killing all life it touches. From there things devolve, as Salvo and his friends must deal with the literal and figurative fallout of the snow, and the other alien activity that they encounter. As much of the story takes place while the men are wearing protective suits, the small glimpses of their faces and the body language are pressed into service to show some of the emotion that you might get from full facial expression.
Click to enlarge for a sample of the art and text. 

Military Action
You really should read this book if you enjoy golden age sci-fi.  Honestly it is surprising that it took so long to get an official English translation, but at least it is this lavish one!