Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DnD 5th Edition: Starter Set Artwork

There's not much to be said for the contents of the DnD 5th Edition Starter Set, since WOTC has yet to reveal those details, although we know it will contain a 32 page player manual and 64 page referee manual. 

We also know what the cover will look like.  Thoughts on the cover?  It does not stray far from the Basic Set covers that have come before, but does it capture the essence of Dungeons and Dragons? 

While it fails to satisfy my standards for Dungeons and Dragons art, I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

Here are Basic Dungeons and Dragons Set covers, from the preceding versions, which I display in reverse order of publication.



Monday, May 19, 2014

Fixing My Catan Board

I almost backed the Settlers of Catan Board Kickstarter.  In the end I decided to wait for the board's retail release.  The economics of the kickstarter project seemed too optimistic, considering the amazon and kickstarter fees and shipping costs.

I finally bought a 6-player board from one of my favorite retailers, The Sentry Box in Calgary, while we were there visiting  friends.  The catan board is great, but it is a uniform blue color, where the interior hexes should be tan to match the resource tiles.

To fix this, I picked up some spray paint, taped the edges, laid down some spray paint, and ended up with the board, below.  The blank catan tile on the right was used for color matching, as we had a challenging time finding the right tan color to match the original catan tile components.

I think we did pretty good at matching the color, and now we've got a nice portable catan board for game nights.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Modern Microgames: Dark City Games

If you like the old Metagaming and other microgames, or The Fantasy Trip, you should check out Dark City Games, which produces pre-programmed adventures for a Melee / Wizard / TFT retroclone called Legends of the Ancient World.  I've already purchased seven of the Dark City adventures, and the rest look fantastic.  Here are the adventures I've already purchased.
And the ones below are on my to-buy list.  Check out Dark City Games!

Microgame Collection

I finally got around to unpacking my Microgame collection this evening.  It has been tucked away in three boxes in the basement since our move back in August, and I'd forgotten about several titles that had recently been added to the collection, including "A Fistful Of Turkeys."

There are a few titles left to acquire, but that exercise is not terribly urgent.  One of those has no placeholder at the moment: 20th Maine.  It is not the most expensive one to purchase, but several have sold on eBay without me paying attention to the listings.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nash the Slash: Rest In Peace

Saddened to hear of the passing of Nash the Slash. I'm sure he's in American heaven right now, playing his electric violin and partying hard.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Demon: Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper is a new Demon for a Magic Realm expansion. 

His vulnerability is one step up from Tremendous: that is, he cannot be killed except perhaps by a lucky missile attack, a poisoned or magical blade, or perhaps a lucky lightning or fiery blast attack.  The Exorcize spell will kill him, but he is immune to Transform and Absorb Essence.

Miniatures Painting: Paint Brush Kickstarter

I make no apologies for pledging towards this Painting Brush Kickstarter.  It's being run by Games and Gears, who I understand are a reputable brush and hobby accessory company. 

Having suffered through various attempts at painting miniatures using Citadel and other substandard paint brushes, I've finally decided to buy some decent paint brushes to see what sort of impact better brushes have on my painting results.

I've also pledged for some of the synthetic brushes and the paint brush stand that are being offering as add-ons.

If you are dissatisfied with your current paint brushes and are thinking of stepping up your painting game, you might want to check this Kickstarter out.

Divining Rod: Extra Search Treasure For Magic Realm

Magic Realm already has an extra search item among the Treasures available to loot or buy:  The Magic Spectacles.  With an expansion to the game, it is worth adding a second extra search Treasure.

What could be more appropriate than a Divining Rod as a second extra search Treasure?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Enchanted Crossroads For Magic Realm

I posted the Crossroads earlier.  Here is the Crossroads tile again, this time with both the enchanted side and the regular side.  When enchanted, clearing 3 supplies Purple magic, clearings 1 and 6 supply Gold magic, and clearings 2, 4 and 5 supply grey magic.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Magic Realm: Hills

Here's an example of a Hills tile for an expansion to Magic Realm: the Defile.

Depending on the direction of travel through the Hill, you may be forced to travel over hilly terrain, rather than travelling around or through a valley, thus the Hill clearing in one of the two directions.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Magic Realm: Dismal Swamp

In addition to Hill, Forest and Ruin tiles, I envision a set of five Swamp tiles for an expansion to the Magic Realm game.  The Swamp tiles would be for travel and would also contain some monsters typically found in swamps (Snakes, Ogres and the like).  It would also be the location of the Hut, the abode of the Hags.

Here's an example of a swamp tile (the Dismal Swamp).

The swamp texture is okay but could be better.

And here is a draft of a Barrows tile.  It's a work in progess, as I'm not happy with the lack of secret passages or hidden paths, but not sure where to place one.

Magic Realm: Crossroads

I've never been terribly happy about the Borderlands tile being the first tile placed when constructing the Magic Realm map.

The title, Borderland suggests it should be on the edge of the map, not the centre, being the "borderland".

Having read the Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany, i'm less unhappy with the central role of the Borderland in Magic Realm map construction, since the Borderland can also function as the border between the world of man and the magical world, all of which are parts of the world explored in the Magic Realm.

Still, I've always pined for a Crossroads tile, to take the place of the Borderland as the initial tile placement.

Above is one potential Crossroads configuration.  An adventurer beginning on the Crossroads tile can set off in any direction, although some directions are more challenging routes and exhausting than others.

Enchanted Hidden Forest

I failed to publish the enchanted side of the Hidden Forest when I posted yesterday.  Here is the enchanted side.  Gold and Purple magic are available to all clearings except clearing 2 (only Purple magic is available to that clearing).  When the Hidden Forest is enchanted, clearings 3, 4 and 5 are only accessible via a secret path between clearings 3 and 6.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hidden Forest: The Enchanted Forests Of The Magic Realm

In the basic Magic Realm game, the Deep Woods is considered to be one of the Mountain tiles.  For My Enchanted Forest expansion for Magic Realm, the Deep Woods becomes the Deep Forest, and four other Forest Tiles are added to the game. 
Above is the Hidden Forest, which can only be accessed through a cave system or by traversing a range of mountains.  I'd say it was a perfect place for an Elfin Castle or Homely House.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wasteland: A Ruins Expansion Tile For Magic Realm

I'm reasonably satisfied with the way the Wasteland Tile came out.  There are no desert tiles in the original Magic Realm game, and this tile would be accompanied by four other tiles, including the Ruins, Barrows, Heath and Midden.  The Ruins tile from the original Magic Realm would be moved to this set, and another Caves tile would be developed to take its place with the others.
Each Ruins of Arcadia tile has a single underground clearing.

These five Ruins tiles would, collectively, be the "Ruins of Arcadia" expansion set.  The other three sets would be the "Enchanted Woods", and Hills and Swamps expansions that I have not yet come up with names for.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Magic Realm: Hill Tiles

A took a couple of minutes and re-did the Hills tiles for my dream Magic Realm expansion.  I hope this set is a little easier to understand than my previous effort.  The Crossroad was given an extra clearing, number 6.  The Knight who blocks the bridge, the Tree and the Gibbets will appear in any clearing 1 of the Hills Tiles, while the tournament encampment and the cottage will appear in clearing 2.