Friday, August 28, 2009

40K: Updated Dark Eldar List

Based on some feedback I've gotten, I have decided to tweak my all-comers list a little bit and throw in a unit I have models for, but have yet to actually put on the table: Reaver Jetbikes.

1 Archon (HQ)
Shadow Field
Combat Drugs
Plasma Grenades
Animus Vitae
Tormentor Helm
6 Incubi Retinue
Torm. Hl. & Punisher (x5); Blaster (x1); Plasma Grenades
1 Raider
Dark Lance

9 Wyches (Elites)
Splinter P. & CCW (x8); Blaster (x1); Plasma Grenades; Wych Weapons
1 Succubus
Agoniser (x1); Splinter Pistol (x1); Plasma Grenades; Wych Weapons
1 Raider
Dark Lance

5 Raider Squad (Troops)
Splinter Rifle (x3); Splinter Cannon (x1); Blaster (x1)
1 Raider
Dark Lance

14 Warriors (Troops)
Splinter Rifle (x10); Splinter Cannon (x2); Blaster (x2)

10 Warriors (Troops)
Splinter Rifle (x8); Dark Lance (x2)

10 Warriors (Troops)
Splinter Rifle (x8); Dark Lance (x2)

3 Reaver Jetbikes (Fast Attack)
Splinter Pistol; Splinter Rifle (x1); Blaster (x2)

3 Ravagers (Heavy Support)
Dark Lance (x1); Disintegrator (x2)

Models in Army: 65
Total Army Cost: 1500

Got an opinion or some advice? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Art: Two More Drawings for Nevermet Press

I'm so disorganized this week. Last Friday, an article went up on Nevermet Press which I provided illustrations for:

I'm hoping to have a new laptop within the next week or two and begin work on a new painting shortly thereafter. Knowing how slow I can be, however, I fear I won't have it finished before the character associated with it gets posted. I guess we'll see.

Friday, August 21, 2009

DnD: Perilous Procession - Collected Links

Here are the links to each of the Perilous Procession articles, for your convenience:
  1. Earn Your Keep
  2. Safe Navigation
  3. Uncover the Thief
  4. Negotiate with Bandits
  5. Gain Entrance
I'm considering designing some Combat Encounters (maps and all) that could result from failed Skill Challenges - if there is any interest in that sort of thing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DnD: Editable Monster Card Template

Here it is! (425 KB .pdf, Mediafire)

The editable Monster Card Template looks like this (fields are highlighted):

Use it, abuse it, and let me know how to improve it (without infringing on copyrights or breaking any laws :-S). Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

DnD: Perilous Procession #5 - Gain Entrance

Wow, here we are at the end of my very first set of skill challenges! For some reason, I thought I had six challenges for this, but it turns out there were only five. So, presented here for your enjoyment, the final chapter of the Perilous Procession:

#5 - Gain Entrance

The PC's have decided to use the caravan as a means of gaining entrance to a fortified city or town they might otherwise not have access to (as opposed to trying to force their way in or sneaking in by some other route). However, the guards have been warned to be on the lookout for a group of adventurers trying to sneak past them and are wary of anyone trying to gain access to the city.

Encounter Level
PC Level + 2

2 (6 successes before 3 failures)

Primary Skills
  • Bluff (Hard DC)
    Do you want to be the one to go before the city council and explain that their harvest festival was ruined because you didn't like the way a couple of farmers were dressed?
    • After first failure, subsequent uses of this skill auto-fail for that PC, -2 for other PCs to use

  • Diplomacy (Easy DC)
    In a perfect world we would all be walking around with three forms of official documentation. I'm willing to bet that you yourself have less than that on your person. What I do have is a desire to see your fair city, boost the local economy and carry abroad tales of an enjoyable visit.

  • Insight (Moderate DC)
    I can tell you really don't enjoy wasting your day standing around out here. How 'bout we buy you a drink when your shift is over?

  • Intimidation (Hard DC)
    I suggest you let us through. Our oxen have been known to get spooked by unwarranted searches and I'd hate for you to get trampled.
    • After first failure, subsequent uses of this skill auto-fail for that PC, -2 for other PCs to use

  • Streetwise (Moderate DC)
    Look, Devlan, is it? I happen to know that you're tight with a close acquaintance of mine. A certain merchant of hard-to-procure items and experiences? Ask him, he'll vouch for me. I might even convince him to give you a deal.

Success - the caravan is allowed inside the city walls
Failure - the caravan (along w/the PC's) is refused entrance, caravan annoyed with PC's
Critical Failure (less than 50% overall success before failure) - the ruse is discovered and the PC's are attacked/captured

Thursday, August 13, 2009

40K: Crates, a Step-by-Step Tutorial

They're simple to make, they work in either a fantasy or (depending on how you paint them up) a sci-fi setting, they can serve as either an objective or simple cover - they're crates!

I've been meaning to get this post up for a while now, but other things kept popping up. I lost my motivation to work on the blank pdf form, however, and decided to use that creative 'downtime' to finish something for once.

Materials used
  • 1" wooden blocks from Michaels
  • 1/4" wide wooden coffee stirrers (I got mine from Kroger's) - approx. 3 per crate
  • white glue (Elmer's)
Tools needed
  • X-acto knife
  • Razor Saw (I have a Zona Razor Saw w/Mitre Box, very handy!)
  • ruler
  • old toothbrush (the most underrated tool in a hobbyist's arsenal)

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 1:
Marking the block with 1/8" lines. Why 1/8"? Well, a 2 x 4 is actually only 3.5" wide - approximately the width of my hand (not counting the thumb). On an average Space Marine - which is what I base all my terrain measurements on - the width of the hand is 1/8". Thus, the width of a 2 x 4 on the 40k scale is 1/8". Additionally, be sure that the lines run continuously around the block, then put perpendicular lines on the top and bottom - rather than having the lines on each face run in its own direction.

Step 2: Use the saw to cut a groove on each of the lines. Trying to get the groove started can be tricky (watch your fingers!), but don't worry if it's not perfect or one of your cuts jumps off the line. Slight imperfections actually make it look more realistic, in my opinion. The toothbrush is perfect for cleaning the sawdust out of the grooves.

Step 3: Measure and mark the coffee stirrer. You won't need the rounded ends for this.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 4:
Cut the stirrer. I found that, instead of trying to cut (across the grain) all the way through the stirrer, it worked better if I scored it deeply (about 1/2 through) then bend and broke the pieces off. The exception to this being the long cut along the grain to split the stirrer into two long 1/8" pieces. This is the step I was most likely to screw up on.

Step 5: If you cut like me, one of the two long pieces will be wider than the other. Take the wider piece and measure out and then score and break off four 1" long pieces.

Step 6: Glue these 1" pieces to the corners of the block. Be sure to place it so that half the with of the segment overhangs (1/16" or the approximate width of the coffee stirrer).

Step 6b

Step 7

Step 8

Step 6b:
This is an 'in process' shot to show my approach to getting the right amount of overhang: set the block up on two other coffee stirrers for the proper depth, then use a couple other blocks to keep the pieces being glued in place.

Step 7: Measure, score and break off four more 1" pieces from the remaining long piece. Glue them to the opposite corners, filling in the overhang.

Steps 8 and 9: Measure, score and cut the horizontal pieces to fit between the vertical ones. For some reason, I kept cutting these short the first time I did this.

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 10: Measure, score and cut two 1" pieces for both the top and bottom of the crate. Glue them into place.

Step 11: The remainder of the procedure should be pretty obvious by now.

You might save time by not cutting grooves into the bottom of the crate. Personally, I put all the grooves in - that way, if one side is uglier than the others, I can simply keep that one faced down. You may also want a couple different symbols or insignia on each side, so that having the crate turned a certain way can serve different purposes for different situations.

I've not painted my crates yet, but I have plans for an up arrow and an Imperial aquilla. I'd love to see what anybody reading this comes up with!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

DnD: Monster Cards - Where'd They Go?

After being banned from the second forum, I started reading up on copyright infringement and the legal ramifications of such and have come to the conclusion that producing the Monster Cards produces a certain amount of risk I am no longer comfortable with.

Instead, I will tweak the editable pdf template into a blank form which allows the user to enter ALL Monster stats and info themselves. I hope to have it up early next week.

This really sucks because I know they're a good idea and I know it's what a hefty percentage of the people who visit this blog come looking for (not that it means much when you average 30-some visits per day).

My apologies if you're disappointed - I hope you'll find something else here that will keep you coming back.

This round goes to The Man.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear Toshiba Customer Service

I was initially very happy with my Toshiba Satellite Laptop, but in two years and five months of ownership, I have become extremely disappointed with it.

I purchased my Satellite P105-S6227 (Model No. PSPADU-01C00S; Serial No. 17080####) in March of 2007 from Circuit City. The laptop worked fine until April 2009 when the Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 completely died. I called Toshiba Customer Service and was told, due to the fact that the 1 year manufacturer’s warranty had expired, that I would have to replace it on my own – ordering via National Parts Depot, an ‘official’ Toshiba parts reseller (Invoice No. 770###; Customer No. 54042#####).

I received and successfully replaced the video card, making sure to update the drivers to the latest version on the Nvidia website. This worked fine until two weeks ago when, on July 24, 2009 (after only 3 months of use), the new video card stopped working. As a Web Programmer, Graphic Designer and Digital Artist who relies heavily on his laptop, this is wholly unacceptable.

Thinking the problem might lie with a corrupt or damaged driver, I attempted to reinstall Windows Vista. Failing that, I used the Toshiba Recovery Wizard to restore the laptop to the factory settings. In both instances, the installation could not finish. When trying to boot normally, I would end up with a Blue Screen error (code 0x00000116) telling me the display drivers were damaged.

Additionally, due to an incomplete Windows installation, I no longer have the ability to boot to Safe Mode. The hard disk, when plugged into an external drive bay, can still be read from as an additional drive (I was unable to install to it in this configuration, unfortunately), so it appears to be functional.

Due to this experience and the inability of anyone (myself or the other talented and experienced Information Services personnel I work with at a small university) to find a solution to this problem, I can not, in good conscience, recommend Toshiba products. Additionally, I now find myself in the awkward position of having to warn my family, friends, co-workers and online acquaintances about the faulty hardware that may be lurking in the Toshiba laptops I once recommended.

The graphics card that lasted only three months cost 267.38 to be shipped to my home. I would appreciate either a new card, a refund for the card purchased in April, or a replacement laptop. Thank you for your consideration.

Paul M. King

Twitter: paul_kingworks

Monday, August 3, 2009

DnD: Portrait of a Villain on Nevermet Press

I'm pleased to announce that my first Portrait of a Villain (Brother Ptolemy) is up on the Nevermet Press website (well, part I is - I get a tad loquacious when I'm really into a project like this). Check it out and give me some feedback!