Friday, December 30, 2011

Oriental Adventures Minis for Trade

As mentioned in my last post, I'm going through my miniatures collection looking for things that need to be culled or repainted. I've got several pieces up on the chopping block and I thought I'd see if there was anyone would like to become their new proud owner. I'd be interested in swapping these lots for items of equal or lesser value (or greater weirdness). If you've got something you'd like to get rid of and these look interesting to you, please comment here or email me at poleandrope (AT) gmail (Dot) com. I'm especially looking for plastic or metal miniatures, either of common monsters or truly strange ones. I'll leave these guys up for a week and make a decision on who to swap with after everyone's had a chance to make an offer.

The first lot is a collection of Ral Partha minis hailing from the days when Oriental Adventures and ninja films were all the rage. Some are missing weapons and all have been poorly painted. Since my purpose is to clear out the dead wood in my collection, I'm swapping this as a lot rather than individual sets. However, I'm open to negotiations if you want a few pieces and somebody else wants the others.

Oriental Adventures Lot (Ral Partha Bushido Miniatures and Grenadier Fantasy Lords First Series)

Ral Partha 53-909 Kappa

Ral Partha 53-904 Budoka and Yakuza

Grenadier Fantasy Lords First Series152 Ninja Hit Squad (all missing weapons)

Ral Patha 53-908 Oni

Ral Partha 53-911 Dai-Bakemono & 53-912 Dai-Oni (Dai-Oni missing naginata)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Ware the Chaos Giant!

The end of the year saw me engaged in a little miniatures inventory, refurbishing, and preparations for painting in 2012. As part of this process, I came across the box that once contained my only membership in Grenadier's Dragon Lords Giants Club: The Chaos Giant. Although the giant himself is long gone, I still own the obelisk and the guy about to be smooshed under the Chaos titan's foot.

I almost threw the box away as it's in pretty poor condition, but decided to retain it for nostalgia's sake. On a whim, I pulled up the foam padding at the box's bottom and was astonished to find that the insert that came packaged with the box was under there. Since that's the kind of thing well old schoolers apparently jones for, I've scanned it and posted the images below. Click to embiggen. I think it's pretty safe to assume that there's now going to be a Helwaste somewhere in my campaign world.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lord of the Rings Miniatures Terrain Question

To those readers who are/were either fans of Games Workshops' Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game or just followed the GW production schedule in general, a question:

Did GW ever produce this statue as a stand-alone piece or was it always part of their Lord of the Rings Terrain Pack? I could have sworn that I once saw it for sale as a single piece, but all my searching seems to indicate that this was just something I cooked up in a fever dream rather than an actual sighting on the Web. I know for certain that I'm not thinking of a Thomarillion production (although those are quite cool, too), but this particular sculpting based on the statue that appears in the films.

I re-watched the trilogy over the holiday and absolutely love all the little background scenery Jackson sprinkles throughout the films. It does a wonderful job of imparting a sense of history to Middle-Earth and that's something I always shoot for in my own games--successfully or not.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wildwyck County Map

If you don't follow my spottily updated Secret Antiquities blog, you might not be aware that I'm doing a series for Fight On! magazine that introduces a 1920s historical horror setting for use with GORE and other percentile-based rule systems. The premier article covered the history of Wildwyck County and provides an introduction to the area that will be elaborated on in further detail as the series progresses. Due to what I assume was space restrictions, the black and white map of Wildwyck County that Ravi created was not included with the first article in my Wildwyck series in issue #13 of Fight On! The back cover of the magazine does feature Ravi's aged version of the map in glorious sepia-tone, but I thought that readers might like a clean black and white version for reference and playablility as the series develops. You can download the high-quality version of the map here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What the Heck am I?

Anybody recognize me? I'm a mystery miniature from Mike's youth (as you can tell by my hideous paint job). I have scratched on my base "© 82" and the initial "P" but no other identifying marks. Heck, I don't even look like anything in the Monster Manual. Can someone identify my maker and what the hell I'm supposed to be. I don't seem to be on DnD Lead and that place has everything.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Old School Art from DCC RPG

Goodman Games has been releasing a series of sneak previews featuring the work of various old school artists that appear in the forthcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Even if you have no interest in the game itself, perhaps names such as Jeff Easley, Jim Holloway, Diesel LaForce, Russ Nicholson, and the late and sorely missed Jim Roslof can entice you to stop by the website and see what these fine artists have done lately.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lulu Coupons All Holiday Long is offering 12 separate coupons through the holiday season. Some may be useful, others maybe not, but if you'd like to check them out each day and see if there's an offer that appeals to you, you can point your browser to  Daily Deals & Holiday Specials. Today is Free Ground Shipping (in the US, I believe) with the code 17DEC. I'm hoping the new issue of Fight On! is released today as planned so I can take advantage of that coupon myself.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Open Letter to Paizo

Dear Paizo,

Greetings! It’s been a long time since we last communicated and we’ve both gone through many changes since then. You’ve left the shadow of Wizards of the Coast to pursue your own efforts to produce enjoyable game products for one of the more fickle recreational audiences imaginable, while I’ve gone back to the roots of this hobby and rediscovered my love for the simpler, and often times rougher, systems of the past. We’ve both been quite successful in our endeavors and this has put some distance between us. I nevertheless understand you’re doing well.

I’m writing you today to bridge that distance. The occasion for this is that I recently purchased one of your products. I admit that I’ve not be a supporter of your efforts financially in the past. Previously, I purchased your Classic Monsters Revisited after reading a positive review of that book (and I concur with that review), and some months ago I purchased your Pathfinder Core Rules thanks to a large discount and a gift card from the now-defunct Borders Books. I’ve paged through one or two of your Adventure Paths, but these were loaners, not purchases.

My impression from these books was that your designers are obviously very passionate about the game and world you’ve created. Your artists do a wonderful job of breathing life into this setting (even if I do find the occasional rendering of a barbarian with a sword the size of her own body more laughable than cool) and more often than not I find an illustration that really leaps out and says “Don’t you wish your character encountered/did this?” So, although I’m far from a rabid fan, I do appreciate your hard work even if Pathfinder itself is a bit bloated for my tastes.

Make no mistake—it is bloated. You did a good job cleaning things up from its predecessor, but when my preferred game systems have rule books that number between 64 and 128 pp., it’s a little difficult to get excited when confronted with a rulebook the size of my local telephone directory. As interesting as I’ve found Pathfinder and the adventures you’ve produced for it, rules of that length are simply a deal-breaker for me.

That brings us to my recent purchase: the Pathfinder Beginner Box. Like Classic Monsters Revisited, I heard a few surprised murmurs amongst my colleagues regarding this product recently. And, finding myself confronted by the box at my local Barnes & Noble with a gift card in my wallet, I decided to pays my money and takes my chances. After exchanging $38.00 and change (tax included), I took the box home. Hours later, I opened it.

Perhaps the greatest compliment of my own I can give you is this: I’d play this game. Hell, I’d even run this game! After even a brief overview of the set I could see that you fine folks at Paizo really, really get it. This product is obviously created by gamers with a love of gaming. Folks who at least had some familiarity with old TSR boxed sets, even if they weren’t the gateway into this hobby for all of you. Having seen the Dungeon & Dragons 4E “Red Box,” I can say that the Beginner Box is a vast improvement in comparison.

My immediate impression was that of the old Holmes’ basic set. While the Pathfinder Beginner Box (a name of which I approve of) is not a complete rules set, neither is it “crippleware.” Obviously, it serves your business model to steer newcomers to the game towards the more complete and pricier Core Books, but you’ve nevertheless packed enough material into the Beginner Box to not only allow gamers to extract a sizeable amount of enjoyment from the set, but, for the mad homebrewer or those who prefer a “rules lite” game, you’ve provided a solid skeleton for these types to build their own worlds upon. You deserve both accolades and respect for that. A truly, excellent, excellent job.

A suggestion: If you were to release an Expert or Intermediate Box in a year’s time or so, one that covered levels 6-10 and introduced 3-4 new classes along with new monsters and spell, I think you’d have another hit on your hands. I for one would gladly purchase such a product, as would some of my compatriots amongst us older gamers. You’ve certainly generated some goodwill with the Beginner Box and, given its “Pathfinder lite” rules, may even win some converts from those of us who enjoy simpler and smaller game systems—ascending Armor Class notwithstanding.

Paizo, you stand at this moment the king of the roleplaying heap. You’ve wrested the title from your former masters simply by understanding your audience and respecting them while still turning a profit. The Beginner Box is another step in the right direction and your exalted position in the eyes of both the gaming community at large and the industry is yours to lose. As a friend and a fellow gamer, I offer you this heartfelt advice:

Do not fuck it up.


Michael Curtis

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wanted: Boot Hill (3rd Edition)

I'm looking to get my hands on a physical copy of TSR's Boot Hill (3rd edition, 1990 TSR7005). I own an older edition, but I've had some odd ideas lately and a 3rd edition copy that I could peruse at my leisure would be very useful. I'm looking to trade swag for it and it need not be in pristine condition. If you've got a copy taking up space and have no need for it, maybe we can come to an agreement. I've some gaming stuff cluttering up my shelves and  other odd swag I'd be willing to part with. Drop me an email at the addy listed to the right or leave a comment and we'll see what we can do, pardner.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Holiday Savings (30% of!) on Stonehell Dungeon and Others keeps the discounts coming this holiday season. Until the end of day tomorrow, you can save 30% on all orders with the code WINTERSAVE305 at checkout. And although you can’t combine the offers, if you don’t get your order in by Wednesday, remember that you can save 25% off the price of any book with the code BYMYBOOK305 until December 14th. ‘Tis truly a great time to be stockingup on OSR books!