Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tooling around with D&D 5e

Since my daughter Katie has started playing some D&D5e with some of her friends, that got me curious about it.   I wouldn't buy it when it first came out, since it was like $45 for the PHB, and we were deep in Adventurer, Conqueror, King at the time.

Now, you can get the PHB for less than $30 on Amazon, so I am giving it a look.

At first glance it seems most like 3rd edition,  uniform advancement, stat bonuses, multi-classing ascending AC and so forth are all very 3rd edition.

But, I am starting to notice some really cool things about 5th edition.

1)  AC inflation.    A few dragons and supernaturals (demons, devils, celestials etc,) have an AC over 20, but they are rare.    Also, the "to hit" bonuses are very, very narrow.   First level characters (and even commoners) have a +2 to hit, plus STR bonus, but 20th level characters only have a +6 to hit.

So, for example, an Ancient Red Dragon has an AC 22 (near the highest I could find), a common Guard has +3 to hit.   So, even a guard doesn't need a natural 20 to hit one of the toughest thing to hit.

With AC and to-hit flattened out, in actual combat  low-level monsters are still dangerous in large numbers.

Conversely, say you have a 20th level fighter with 20 strength, that's +6 to hit plus +5 more from Strength.  A guard has AC 16, so you don't even automatically hit him (you'd need a 5 or better).

I think that this is simply amazing and what I've been looking for in D&D for a long time.

2)  Spells:  casters can use Cantrips at will, and most casting classes have a cantrip that does some damage, so wizards can make some sort of magic attack all the time.   I mean that's why you want to play a wizard.
The other thing is that they've, in a way, nerfed most "Save or Die" type spells.   For example, the dreaded "Hold Person" requires that you maintain concentration.  Polymorph is the same.   Flesh to Stone requires several saves be failed before permanent stoning.   Even invisibility requires concentration.   Other spells, like Phantasmal Force, Phantasmal Killer, and Color Spray are actually much better described and mechanically clear cut.

It's a lot to chew over, but I am actually very pleasantly surprised by its general goodness.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Back to Painting

 Here's a new batch of "Trench Fighter" WWI US soldiers
 I've dipped Puma Man at last
A Texas Ranger official Savage Worlds figure

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I kind of miss painting

I've done all my pulps, and we seem to have all we need.   I miss painting.  It's very relaxing.    Need to get something.   Hmmm.   I could tidy up some bases and some of the overtly splotchy dip spots I guess.  I do have that townhouse model to put together. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Terrible Buildings

I finally went through my old train box and fished out the usable buildings.  I washed them down and glued them together.   Some were mine when I was a boy (mid 70's), some were my older brother's (mid 60's).    They are all pretty bad.   They are cheap, old and in bad shape.

 Group 1:  a poorly assembled freight station, signal tower and factory.

Group 2:  a beaten-up savings and loan and a cheap motel.  The motel looks far worse in person than it does in the picture.  It was of pink plastic and my 12 year old self painted it yellow with poster paint, which is all thick and gloppy.  It also is poorly aligned in its assembly.

Group 3, small passenger station and platform.   This one isn't too bad, other than being 40 years old and deteriorated.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dipping the Wild West

This weekend I went back and did the Dip and Spray to all my Wild West miniatures.  Below are some samples

First, some mounted men,  I actually did dip these in the paint can, since there's so much area to cover with the horse and all.

Next, here are some Indians,  the Indians took to the dip procedure best of all the Wild West crew, you can really see it with the muscles on the guy to the right:
Next, some of the cowboys:
Next some of the Frontiersmen, including my ace Hatchet-swinging guy from Bushwhack Canyon:

And finally,  the Rojo Brothers and Pedro the Space Mexican

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pictures, after dip and spray

These are some of the best examples, but the shading effects and detail look even better in person.

First, 3 of the American Soldier Types

Light is a little bright, but you can see the shading on the middle guy pretty well.

Second:  the famous guys

Some of the best:  Bogart's coat looks even better in person, so does Teddy Roosevelt's face.   You can really see the details on Doc Savage even in the picture

Third:  some trouble makers:

The Nazi scum on the left is cut off, but you can see some of the shading effect.  The brawler in the middle is really good, and the mercenary with the dynamite on the right, really has his details and shading pop out.