Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seven Dwarves In Magic Realm Ruins Expansion

As long as Dwarf HQ and Dwarf 1 are played on their faster T3* attack side, the seven dwarves should have no difficulty finishing off the axe Goblins.  Things are a little more dangerous against the spear and greatsword goblins.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Potions For Magic Realm Expansion

Some ideas for potions and one-use items for a Magic Realm expansion.

Skeleton King: Magic Realm Ruins Expansion

The Skeleton King and retinue are not as dangerous as some of the other opponents in the Magic Realm.  However the Skeleton King casts curses on his opponents, and two of the skeletons still have relatively sharp weapons.  The fastest characters, with move times of 2, can run from these opponents, but until the attackless speed 3 skeleton changes tactics, he prevents any characters with a move time of 3 or greater from fleeing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Goblin King And Retinue: Magic Realm Expansion

With apologies to Liz Danforth, whose micro game art I have always loved, here is a mockup of the Goblin King and his Retinue, with Liz Danforth's artwork from TFT's Death Test repurposed for the occasion, including two archers, three axemen and one Goblin Shaman.

The Goblin King would be a special Treasure within Treasures site or treasure lair.  Among his possessions, a magical Dwarven Hammer or Throwing Axe (haven't yet settled on which it will be).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Magic Realm: Treasures Boots and Gloves

Here are some ideas for new Magic Realm Treasures.  They are variations on the Treasures currently in the game (in that they are boots and gloves representing move and fight chits) but they have interesting twists.  The Spiked Gauntlet is a handy treasure for those magical characters who do not begin the game with a weapon.  It is one of two Gloves cards that are not of negligible weight.
The Bravura Boots are worth 5 Fame (that may be a little high) since they are quite flashy.  The Galumphing Shoes are loud, so they come with a penalty to hide attempts, as well as a notoriety penalty (people laugh at you as you galumph past them).  The Iron Gauntlets are medium weight and can be employed in conjunction with the Throwing Hammer (which I have not yet introduced) to increase the throwing hammer's harm.

The Antique Vintage is a valuable cask of wine that allows you to roll 1 die on meeting tables for the day, if you activate it at the start of your turn, plus helps avoid battles during the combat round.

Bottle of the Four Winds is a readied Hurricane Winds spell that can be used during your turn or during combat and works just like the spell of the same name.

Magic Realm: Precipice

This is a potential replacement for the Deep Woods tile, which would be removed from the Mountain tiles and placed in the Forests tiles in my dream expansion for Magic Realm.

The artwork, again, is sufficient evidence of my lack of artistic ability.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Magic Realm: Swamps

Obviously, I'd prefer that Richard Hamblen be involved in a re-print of Magic Realm, along with his stamp of approval on any expansions.  While we wait for some kind of news on that front, I've decided to play around with some expansion ideas of my own.
These are my rough sketches of some Swamp tiles.  They have five clearings, instead of the three normally found in Woods tiles, since my thinking is that it should be more difficult to navigate and take longer to pass through swamps.
It's tempting to add some hidden paths or secret passages to the Swamps, particularly in an attempt to recreate the Dead Marshes from LOTR, but neither the original Magic Realm valley nor wood tiles contained any, so I'm hesitant to do so here.  Maybe on the Wretched Swamp tile only, connecting 1-3 and 3-5?

Pathfinder Minis: Uncovering The Gems

Strangely, no-one at Paizo bothered to ask me why I was cancelling my Pathfinder Miniatures subscription.  I had a similar experience, years ago, with my former Bank: the teller closed the accounts without bothering to find out what had prompted my decision to leave.  I guess it costs less to find new clients than satisfy current ones.

Having decided (at least for this Pathfinder Mini Set) to purchase individual figures rather than a complete case, I have performed a second review of the Reign of Winter figures and have revised my buy list.

I had originally concluded that 24 of the 44 Reign Of Winter figures were on my "suitability" list.  Since I'm now buying singles rather than a complete set, my absolute must-haves represent a somewhat smaller collection than those on the suitability list.  Here are, in my mind, the real gems of the Reign Of Winter set.

Queen Elvanna, with her Ice staff, crown and raven familiar, is a definite buy.  As is Feiya, below.
And if you're going to buy Feiya, you may as well purchase her fox familiar, Daji.  Not the best sculpt, mind you.
There are several decent animal sculpts in this set, including the Raven, Falcon and Owl, all shown below.

There are many excellent human figures in the Reign Of Winter set  that will make excellent player-character proxies.  You very rarely find interesting and heavily garbed axemen, like Ratibor below, so he is a worthwhile addition.

And here is the Falconer, with a falcon on his shoulder.  I really like the number of animals and animal familiars that have been included in the Reign Of Winter set.
I've seen several Pathfinder players complaining that there are "too many" human female figures in the Pathfinder miniatures range.  Considering how many human male figures have been sculpted in other miniature ranges, you'd think people would be a little more open to redressing prior inequities. 

Greta, Nadya and Nazenha, pictured below are three of those offending female figures.

Monsters are strongly represented in the Reign Of Winter miniatures set, but many are of low utility since they are fairly specific to the Pathfinder universe or are already represented by figures in my current collection.  The Faun is a welcome addition as I don't think I have any Satyrs from other miniature lines.

Of the 44 miniatures in the Reign Of Winter set, I can definitely justify the purchase of the above 12.  Based on past individual figure prices, I'm guessing they will total roughly $80, plus shipping.  I would have normally dropped around $400 for a complete case (Paizo's prices have since dropped and a case will now cost $340 including shipping).

Magic Realm: Hills

If ever evidence was required of my utter lack of artistic ability, these sketches will no doubt be suitable, final and absolute proof of same.

While I wait (impatiently) for Stronghold Games, Richard Hamblen, or whomever it is that intends to re-publish and expand Avalon Hill's Magic Realm, I'm having fun imagining what I might do if I put serious effort into an expanded game.

I've got four ideas for additional tiles:  Hills (above), Swamps, Forests and Ruins.  Hills and Swamps would be for travel and human and minor monster encounters.  Forests and Ruins would be for Monsters and Treasure sites.

The Hills tiles (Gorge, Ravine, Abyss, Defile and Crossroads) are similar to Valley tiles, but have some difficult terrain in the form of a Hill in one of the two travelling directions.  The Crossroads tile  serves as an alternative character starting point, if one does not want to start at the Inn, the normal starting location.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Old School Illustrations: In The Labyrinth

Here's the final set of illustrations from The Fantasy Trip core booklets.  These ones are from In The Labyrinth, the setting and game masters booklet.  Robert Phillips once again provides the illustrations.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kingdom Death: Monster

Speaking of artistic embellishments, there was no lack in the Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter that concluded many moons ago. 

In addition to a multitude of nightmarish monsters and desperate human survivors, the game creator included pinup versions of the available armor selections and heroes as optional rewards during the kickstarter campaign.  The above miniatures are pinup versions of the Survivor and Twilight Knight characters respectively.

If you missed the kickstarter campaign, you can buy a boxed set of 8 pinups featured in the KD:M lineup for $100.  That works out to $12.50 per miniature (the pinup miniatures were $15 each during the kickstarter, and were quoted as $25 retail, so this a heck of a deal).
It was such a good deal, that I bought a set, which arrived in the mail today, even though I pledged for many of the same miniatures during the kickstarter.  I also purchased and received the Experiment Of Death collection, which was the KD:M creator's earlier attempt to produce the miniatures line in PVC plastic.
Experiment Of Death is accompanied by another Twilight Knight pinup, which gives me a chance to improve my painting skills, if I flub the first attempt to paint that miniature. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Old School Illustrations: Advanced Wizard

I recently posted several illustrations from Metagaming's Advanced Melee rulebook. 

There were two other main resource books for The Fantasy Trip game system: Advanced Wizard and In The Labyrinth.  Like the art in Advanced Melee, the Advanced Wizard illustrations were exclusively produced by Robert Phillips. 

Arguably, the illustrations found in Advanced Wizard were the weakest of the three resource books, thematically and otherwise, because there were no illustrations of Wizards (surprising, considering the title of the resource book), nothing connecting the subjects to any identifiable milieu, and a complete absence of hot fantasy chicks.  We are instead treated to battles with sabre-toothed tigers, does that make up for the lack of the former two?
Various humanoid antagonists make appearances in Advanced Wizard, beating their chests, reaching into crevices, and otherwise posing menacingly.

Many of the best main sourcebook TFT illustrations appeared in the gamemaster's resource, In The Labyrinth.  But it seems odd that for a gamebook, wholly devoted to the development of Wizards, there are no images of Wizards.  Instead we are provided with  illustrations better suited to Advanced Melee and In The Labyrinth, like Conan-esque characters battling Lizardmen and Archers facing off against Giant Lizards.
Robert Phillips' illustrations tend towards minimal environment connecting the subject of the piece to the scene.  Take for example the two illustrations below, one of an adventurer discovering an exit from the labyrinth, and another of a guard protecting the entrance to one.  There's nothing in the background to connect the adventurer or guard to anything more than a generic fantasy world.
And there's nothing in the text of Advanced Wizard to tie any of these illustrations to the purpose of the resource book.  Though the illustrations fit into the broader Fantasy Trip aesthetic, I have to wonder how the editor and publisher justified the inclusion of this particular artwork in this gamebook.