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2016-06-02 10:42 pm
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I know, four posts in one week!

I got together with some of my fellow gamers last weekend and we spent a couple of afternoons painting up our Pathfinder figures. It's been a while since I did any painting, so I'm a bit rusty; we had to throw out a lot of paints/glues/etc. Some pics of mine:

This is Nura, freshly undercoated. You can read more of her adventures here. In-game Nura has just hit level 3 and is pretty much broke, having blown most of her money buying spells from kobolds, but this version has a bigger wardrobe budget.

I picked this figure mostly because the clothes were a bit more interesting than what I normally see on female caster figures, which is either "generic robes" or "as little as possible". Perhaps not the most practical for tromping around dungeons, but Nura has magical cleaning spells and strong friends to do the heavy lifting.

Figure cleaned up and undercoated:


Base colours on:


(Looking back at the photo on the Reaper catalogue, apart from being consumed with envy for anybody who can paint that sort of detail on a 30mm figure, I note that I've interpreted her clothes a bit differently, as far as which bits are outer vs under layers etc. Oh well.)

Just after inking her skin:


seriously, the main thing I have learned in my time painting figures is INK ALL THE THINGS THEN INK THEM SOME MORE. I have no patience for painstaking highlighting; the right ink can really bring out details very quickly. At least, as long as the sculptor has done a good job in the first place; if the shape is bad, ink will emphasise that too.

Nura's dress, after highlighting/drybrushing:


...okay, so I'm not completely against highlighting, there's a time and a place for it, and the drape-y dress was a big part of why I bought this figure in the first place so it makes sense to put in some effort here.

The violet-magenta contrast is a bit stronger than I'd normally do for highlighting, but in this case I figure she's wearing something like shot silk. I realised halfway through painting that I didn't have any light blues to highlight the blue portion, so instead I mixed one of the darker ones with yellow for the green highlight you can see here; again, call it shot silk or mageweave or whatever.

Front-on, mostly finished:

And after doing the eyes. Usually I'd ink, then paint the sclera white, then dot the pupils with a felt-tip; this is really fiddly and often requires doing over and over. This time around, the ink gave enough contrast between her eyes and the shaded surrounds that I was able to skip the middle step and go straight to the dotting.


There are a few bits I want to touch up before I varnish, but I'm pretty pleased with how it's coming along so far.
lederhosen: (Default)
2016-03-13 05:52 pm
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Pandemic: Verde's Journal

Contains major spoilers for Pandemic: Legacy, March-May

Journal of Dr. Verde Green (USAMRIID, quarantine specialist), March-May 2016.

March 1: as expected, have been seconded to CDC. Cousin Rosalba in Atlanta tells me that between dealing with outbreaks of Alzuraq, largepox, scarlet fever, and of course COdA ("Black Monk"), they're flat out at the moment. We've been asked to facilitate military/civilian cooperation accordingly.

Read more... )
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2016-01-26 10:35 pm
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Pandemic: Skye's Journal

May contain spoilers for Pandemic: Legacy

Skye's journal

January 3rd 2016

Started work at CDC today. Met some co-workers. Bianca [[personal profile] jesusandrew] runs the sequencing lab, Rosalba [[personal profile] 17catherines] is one of the field doctors, and Jamala [[personal profile] reynardo] knows how to use PubMed and the surveillance reports.

Rosalba asked me if I was interested in field work. Wasn't sure how to answer - I mean, what sort of sucker wants to go meet Ebola up close, seriously? Well, apparently, Rosalba. But Emily from admin tells me it's pretty safe, most of the time it's just sipping cocktails on the beach in Phuket and taking a few temperatures here and there. So I said sure, yeah, why not? Rosalba's going to help me with the paperwork.

Read more... )
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2015-01-17 01:16 am
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Gaming fun

Started running a new Pathfinder game tonight. Currently the group only has 3 players and no healer, but they managed to pick Lawful Evil, Chaotic Neutral, and Neutral Good, so at least we have the alignments covered.

Tonight's session involved: detective work, arm-wrestling, impenetrable nautical jargon, and providing relationship advice to a teenage tengu. "Don't commit petty theft for just anybody, save it for someone special!"

Now to plot the next one...
lederhosen: (Default)
2013-04-16 11:08 am
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Guilty Consciences

After a good spot of tunnel-bashing our heroic D&D adventurers emerge from under a tombstone in Ye Olde Cemetery and are spotted by town guards, who want to know what they're up to. Our response, paraphrased:

"Quick! What should we tell them?"



"We could tell them we were fighting the undead menace that was threatening this town."

"Hey, that's actually true."

"Hooray! We don't need to lie! This time."
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-11-10 06:41 pm
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New Rule

I am not allowed to refer to the pirate in Settlers of Catan as "the little man in the boat". Especially when said game piece is missing. #unfair
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2012-06-13 10:46 pm
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Poorly thought out

Dear Princess CelestiaImmortal God-Emperor of the Imperium,

Today I learned that using cryo-grenades to prevent suicide bombers from detonating in the middle of a crowd is only an effective tactic if the lethal radius of the bomb is noticeably greater than the lethal radius of the cryo-grenade. - Deathwatch Battle-Brother Trippetta

PS - also, it helps if the grenade actually does stop the bomb exploding. Oh well. At least I tried.
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2012-06-07 09:01 pm
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Unexpected crossovers

"Six specialties in a Deathwatch Kill-Team. Six central characters in My Little Pony. Coincidence?"

"...so, the Emperor would be Princess Celestia, obviously."

"And Luna would be Horus... hey, Horus' original chapter was called the Luna Wolves!"

Hmmm. This would probably make an awesome one-shot for a RPG con. Are they ponies dreaming they're Astartes, or Astartes dreaming they're ponies?
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-05-31 08:29 pm
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It's called "High Gothic"

Also from last night's DW game:

"You are summoned to the Librarium."

"Oh, OK."


"The Chief Apothecary would like to see you."

"Where is he?"

"In the Apothecarium."

"You made that word up."

"No I didn't."

"Fine. I'm going to go repair my armour and clean my weapons at the Repairarium."

I suspect we haven't heard the last of the -arium jokes.

(Yes, I did study Latin in school, but it's still funny.)
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2012-05-30 11:12 pm
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Not an auspicious introduction

"My brother was on that mission with you! The one where only you came back!"

"You're going to have to be more specific."

- Battle-Brother "Jinx" Trippetta fails to make a new friend in tonight's Deathwatch game.

I successfully picked the monster-of-the-week (hint: the briefing mentions "ancient ruins"). So far we haven't met any xenos, but the Inquisitor we were working for is in a coma after being poisoned in front of us, the information we were looking for was stolen by Black Templars a week earlier, and we're now being attacked by cultists with explosive vests.

Um, success!
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-05-25 11:07 pm
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A hard email to write (40K Deathwatch)

"Dear GM, I just noticed a weapon that would work really well for my character. Um, so well that I'd like you to check it for game balance in case you think it's broken."


Power fist: costs 30 requisition points, requires Distinguished level Renown, 2d10+17 damage and ignores 9 points of armour.

Breaching augur: costs 18 req points, no Renown requirement, 4d10+15 damage and ignores 7 points of armour, doubles criticals. Also, special weapon ability means you actually roll 5d10 and discard the lowest.

Counting crits, average damage + armour pen = 38 vs 53, which seems impressive, but in practice either of them is enough to one-shot most opponents; it's more the cost and accessibility that seems odd.

OTOH, maybe it's just that the power fist is woefully under-powered/overpriced compared to ranged weapons. For the same cost as a power fist and lower Renown, you can buy a honking big lascannon that does comparable damage to the augur from a comfortable distance.

(It does annoy me a bit that the basic rule book has NO weapon upgrade options for a melee specialist until you've accumulated several missions' worth of reputation.)
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-05-16 11:45 pm
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Marines 1, Genestealers 0, Mystery Antagonists ?

Our Deathwatch team finally finished our mission last night. After clearing out the village of Genestealers (but not finding a Patriarch), we expected to find the city on fire when we got back. But instead the locals staged a victory feast for us!

ALL OF US: Any time now.

GM: [sets up a map of the feasting hall]

ALL OF US: Gosh I wonder why we would need a map for what is CLEARLY just going to be lots of victory speeches.

NPCs: [victory speeches, showering us with praise]

GM: [sets up a couple of dozen miniatures for the locals and Guard troops].


GM: "And then suddenly Genestealers burst through all the doors and attack!" [places figures] "They get a surprise attack."

An epic battle followed. None of us were killed (although Fearless Leader lost an ear, and then got mind-controlled, but fortunately he couldn't manage to hit any of us even while spraying full-auto at point-blank range) and none of the more important NPCs died. Well, except for the Ecclesiarch, but he was a prat anyway and I doubt he'll be missed. Yet again the Rune-Priest pushed his psychic powers; he still hasn't managed the "accidentally summon a Greater Demon" result he keeps angling for, but he did manage a rather impressive accidental rain of blood.

I'd been hoping to strike a blow against the Patriarch, but I couldn't move for fighting off miscellaneous Genestealers. Most of the others were just bouncing off his armour, but eventually the Long Fang lined up a clear shot and emptied a heavy bolter into him, and that was that. Yay us!

Now to call in the Ordo Xenos screening team, and probably the Ordo Hereticus, to look for anything we might have missed - but we're off to the stars again to wrestle with an even more abominable foe: the Deathwatch XP system.
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-05-09 11:05 pm
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Just for a change

Deathwatch game tonight after several weeks' hiatus. For the first time in quite a few sessions, we didn't have any near-TPKs and we actually managed to use tactics and kill large numbers of genestealers without anybody getting seriously hurt. It actually looked like we were going to complete our mission by cleansing the 'stealer infestation... until we discovered that it was a diversion staged by the Forces of Chaos.

I think we're all expecting to find the capital city on fire when we go back. But I've been expecting that every single time we've left it, so I'll be well and truly ready for it when it happens.

(Meanwhile, our apothecary and techmarine are competing for the title of "who can get the crappiest rolls in their field of expertise". But we did at least manage to cure the Rune-Priest of his 'stealer infection before it took over his brain, which is a Good Thing.)

Meanwhile, at work, spent much of the day on a different kind of bug-hunt, tracking down a problem that turned out to be related to non-commutative addition. Not something I see every day!
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-05-04 11:44 pm
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We're Here To Help

From tonight's D&D game:

"The old man tells you his story. He's been away from home for years, but now he knows his time is almost up, and he wants to die in his home village."

"Escort him to the village, then kill him. Gotcha."

"...you know, if we used a trebuchet, we wouldn't even have to walk all the way to the village ourselves."

(Of course, he turned out to be an evil snake-man monstrosity using a magical disguise to lure us into an ambush by his buddies, but we were pretty much expecting something like that from the point where five snakes attacked us in a pack. Once he realised we were onto him, he attacked us, and we clobbered him.)

(Of course, having figured out that the village he wanted us to visit is in fact a nest of evil snake-men, guess where we're going next session?)
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-04-22 04:18 pm
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Backstory: Alessandro, part 2

Continuing on from here.

I got stalled for a while because I ran out of enthusiasm for writing linky bits. I decided to resolve this by not bothering to write the linky bit; if it works for Mary Gentle, it can work for me.

Splat! )
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-04-20 11:05 pm
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Do not meddle in the affairs of orcs, for they is dead 'ard

Well, that was one of the most one-sided D&D games I've played in a long time.

First encounter: an evil half-dragon trying to shake us down for passage. Our bard responded with "Get bent!", my orc Alessandro won initiative and one-shotted him with a massive critical.

Second encounter: Daddy Dragon, who by all rights should've been a seriously difficult fight. Except that Alessandro had brought along a heavy bow with a few dragon-bane arrows, and rolled another obscene critical. It wasn't quite the one-shot of the first fight, but it was still embarrassingly quick. A couple of our pets were hurt (nothing fatal) but I don't think any of the PCs even took damage. Not even the halfling who started the fight by attempting to steal a sleeping dragon's treasure (because that always ends well).
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-04-15 02:34 pm
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from last week's Deathwatch game

"Remember, this is a stealth mission. Space Wolves, please use your quietest battle-cry. Inside voices only."

- Battle-Brother Trippetta, about five minutes before everything went ploin-shaped DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-04-06 09:47 am
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+1 Mythos Knowledge

Also, forgot to mention: my Raven Guard gained his first Insanity point. They grow up so fast!

(turns out making psychic contact with the Tyranid hive-mind is a Bad Thing. Who knew?)
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-04-04 11:36 pm
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Last Stand, Raven Guard style

Standing in the middle of a Genestealer-infested village drawing attention, to buy time for your squaddies to escape: heroic.

Waiting until the Genestealers are almost on top of you, then popping a smoke grenade and vanishing: sensible.

Leaving a melta bomb behind on a short time-delay: SATISFYING.
lederhosen: (Default)
2012-02-08 11:35 pm
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"I haven't seen that happen since Classic Traveller!"

...was the near-simultaneous response from two different people when I mentioned this incident.

[personal profile] lokicarbis showed up to tonight's D&D game after a long absence. The character (Brian) wasn't quite complete so he worked on him as we started playing.

Last session, we went and arrested the wizard who'd been raising dangerous animals in his Secret Valley. This session, the animals were escaping in his absence and killing people (oops), so we had to go take care of a couple of manticores.

We got to a trashed village and found both manticores in the treetops. They were eating their latest victims and hadn't seen us yet...

Alessandro (my character): So, if it's not paying attention, I can sneak up on it and get a sneak at-


Manticore: [showers everybody except Brian with sharp spines]

Everybody except Brian: ...goddamnit, Brian.

Brian: How far can I move? Can I get within 50' of the manticore and still cast a spell? [Answer turned out to be no.]

Me: [since Brian was still filling out his equipment] This would be a good moment to retroactively buy a horse.

Brian: Wait, I get an animal companion. Yes, I'll take a horse. I think I'll name him 'Retcon'.

So Brian rode up to the manticore, hit it with an Entangle, and took an entire volley of spines in the face.

Rey: [roll roll roll] That's 33 hit points damage. How many do you have?

Brian: I haven't rolled that yet. Let me see... 5d8...

Me: ...minus five for low Constitution...

Brian: ...is 22.

So, yes, first time I've seen a character die before rolling hit points.

We managed to kill the manticores without further losses, although it was a close thing. Since the town council were stingy, we only got 1000 GP reward for the manticores, but we looted 9000 GP from Brian's perforated corpse, so that worked out pretty well for the survivors. I think we may have reached the point where more of our wealth comes from dead party members than from killin' and lootin'.