Monday, August 3, 2015

Sandstone Outcropping

 So I've been mucking about with the Crayola Air-Dry Clay again.  Coated with Elmer's glue and painted, the final product is similar to resin.  And it smells a whole lot better while you're working with it.  I used a small rock to created the stony texture.  Fractals are nifty.  This particular bit of terrain is probably reaching the limits of my current armature technique, if you can count a pile of wet paper towels as an armature.  Wrapping the paper around something rigid might still keep the clay from cracking.
The beetles are from the first Reaper Bones kickstarter.  The spiders from the same set are a lot better.  I tried  to base the paint scheme on this little cutie:

Festive Tiger Beetle
Cicindela scutellaris

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bait Ball

"In the mouth of a 20' wide alcove south of the altar basin stands an idol or statue of serpentine stone, expertly sculpted to depict a writhing, amorphous agglomeration of fish, eels, octopi, and other marine monsters. This horrid thing is about eight feet high and nearly as broad, the whole forming a globular mass standing about four feet from the altar basin." - Temple of Elemental Evil

Translating from the original High Gygaxian, serpentine is a semi-translucent green stone.  It sort of looks like jade, but is available in much larger quantities.  Gygax being Gygax, the inanimate object is going to try to eat you.
Theodore, Bugbear with Big Stick, posing for scale.

I snuck in a nightcrawler just because.

This one's FIMO soft, a polymer clay made by Staedtler.  The base is Magic Sculpt so that I had somewhere to grip it before baking.  Magic Sculpt has no objection to the temperatures needed to harden polymer clay.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kitten Sphinx

The Lady in Red is confronted by a dessicated guardian by moonlight.  "Come back when we're open..."
So I picked this up from Goodwill for a couple of bucks while She Who Must Be Obeyed was foraging for handbag parts.  It was covered in white texture paint, the occasional brush bristle, and appropriately enough, cat hair.  I gave it a sandstone paintjob in homage to the ruins of the Kitten Kingdom from Epic Battle Fantasy 3, starting with a medium brown and drybrushing 3 subsequently more beige shades with a larger-than-usual brush.  Sealed with Ceramcoat Matte Interior Varnish.

Friday, March 6, 2015


No, that's a bare owl.
The first one was more disturbing.

Number Appearing:  One's enough

Size:  Too big

Armor: Fat, feathers, intense burning rage

Resilience:  Very.  Too angry to recognize lethal injuries.

Intelligence:  Not so much.

Communication:  Violence, mostly.

Disposition: Hangry.

Violence:  Very much so.  All the appendages end in sharp.

Enemies:  More or less everything, but especially wizards.

Aims:  Kill.  Eat.  Hopefully in that order.

Peculiarities:  Interact strangely with wizardry.

Treasure:  Not really.  Maybe a tacky rug if you're careful.

Wizards bend Reality in uncomfortable ways.  Owlbears are Reality telling them to stop.  The enormous eyes can see magic, even in complete darkness.  Especially in sorcerous darkness.  Magic is tasty.  Owlbears devour spells as they devour wizards.  If the wizard is particularly alert and starts casting before the chomping starts, they devour spells before they devour wizards.  The magic makes them stronger, angrier, and harder to kill.  Oddly, they'll get the same rush from devouring scrolls, wands, spellbooks, and potions (oftentimes plus the potion effect).  In the absence of sorcery, they are merely nearly silent nocturnal ambush predators that can out-sprint a horse.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stone Lions

 So I went to the dollar store to buy toys again.  The thing about dollar store toys is that they often weren't schlock before the production team's bean counters got a crack at them.  This tigger appears to be a direct casting of a 3-up wax sculpture intended for a pantograph.  At a guess.  Added a beard and tail tuft before I remembered the camera.
 Covering up that nasty join line at the neck.  Using a foil filler because Magic Sculpt ain't cheap.
 Magic Sculpt mane.  Basically do a pattern of flowing locks, then add the grain.
 Looks a lot more like a lion with the stripes covered.  Folk Art "Wrought Iron" for the base coat.
 Finished painting using the same technique as the stone columns.

"Grr.  Aargh."

Fang and Claw, guardians of the Gate of Sorrows

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wasp Women

Thank you, Roger Corman.

Number Appearing: Too many

Size: More or less human

Armor: Rigid chitin and blurring speed

Resilience: Not so much

Intelligence: Sapient

Communication: Pheromones, mostly.

Disposition: Waspish

Violence: Nets, Man-catchers, paralyzing stinger if they're desperate enough to grapple

Enemies: Mice, of all things

Aims: Feed your still-living brain to their young.

  • Only become sapient if fed a live intelligent humanoid as larvae. Use unintelligent drones as cannon fodder. 
  • Hunt giant spiders because they can. 
  • Strictly diurnal - cold and dark impair them greatly 
  • Not-so-strictly diurnal if someone's got artificial lights they can home in on 
Treasure: Hornet Juice (if you know how to harvest it, acts as potion of speed), Reams of high quality paper, a large pile of inorganic personal effects. Several live victims that may or may not have an angry wasp creature pull a chest-burster maneuver later on.

Monster format cheerfully swiped from "They Stalk the Underworld".

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Animate Structure

Some magic is about sacrifice.  A castle can have a garrison and sit in the middle of a friendly (or at least ethnically loyal) population and change hands regularly.  A wizard's tower can stand alone for centuries.  Because every now and again, some idiot gets an army together and tries to take one.  Their legends discourage future attempts.

This is more of an item ability than a spell.  A wizard with the correct property rights may once (not once a day, once a month or once a millenium, but exactly *once*) activate a magical structure to defend hearth and home.  This takes a bit of time (one full turn, ritual casting, or however your game covers "about as long as it takes to brew a cuppa without a fire going").  The wizard must have legal title to the place, either inherited, elected, or constructed.  The structure fights as an enormous golem, running along on its pillars, columns, or flying buttresses and steamrollering anyone that doesn't get out of the way.  It moves either the length of its footprint or its height, whichever is greater, in a straight line every round.  Everything that doesn't get out of the way is essentially getting hit by a rockslide.  The building is still a building - its ability to take damage is neither lessened or increased.  The structure will fight for one round for every year that the wizard has lived in it, plus a round for every five years that previous owners in the line of succession have not used the ability.  At the end of this time the structure must make a Saving Throw - success means it still stands, if it is able to on the location it ends the duration in.  Failure means it collapses in a pile of masonry, its wizard pilot usually escaping the collapse by one sorcerous stratagem or another.  The duration on this ability means that it is normally only used in defensive circumstances.   But there was this one resurrected Pharaoh...