Pillars 2.0

I made some pillars a while but then thanks to this video from Black Magic Craft, I decided to do a different style.

I know this Jeremy is way more talented than I am. The guy puts out some beautiful pieces. He builds a lot of stuff. Heck, he’s even got one of those fancy Proxon Cutters. Well, I don’t. I doubt I’ll ever do enough terrain to justify the cost. So I took a slightly different approach with my new pillars.

As is my normal tactic, I chose ease over everything. Just 3 inch tall by 1 inch square XPS blocks. I decided to make the course of stones 1/2 inch. You can do it smaller. Then all the usual painting steps. And be sure to put some weight in the bottom. I’ve grown to like drywall screws with a drop of PVA glue and the tip. Any way here’s the finish product.

And here’s the older simpler pillars. As you can see, better lighting and a better camera help too.

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White Box Wednesday: White Lies 2nd Edition

There are some good things coming out of the whole OGL mess. White Lies 2nd Edition is one of them.

White Lies is a game of espionage action. I have to honest this is one of my favorite genres and one that I haven’t had a chance to play in a very long time. My longest running campaign ever started with the original Top Secret then the Jame Bond RPG and it finally with Danger International.

The first edition of White Lies as fully compatible and a genre reskin of White Box. Then we had the threat of the revocation of the OGL. So White Lies got a complete make over. It still has strong roots in White Box mechanics but much of the game has been redone to better reflect the genre. Instead of classes, you have Divisions (Confiscation, Elimination, Engineering, Infiltration, Investigation, Recon, and Transportation). Instead of Levels, you have Ranks and nice Random Progression method for characters.

Unlike White Box with -1 to +1 Modifier Range, White Lies 2E uses -2 to +5. You don’t use the die roll after that just the ‘modifier”. While damage and the like deviate from the only d6’s model, it’s still what you would expect from a d20 system. But it still keeps things simple. And you know how I like simple.

So what else do we have in the book? Lot’s of random charts to make up your shadow world. And throwing in what’s in the Enemies section, you can have a campaign that’s like James Bond. Or you could go all crazy and have something like Conspiracy X. You’re the GM. It’s up to you. It might be a more difficult to convert other material into White Lies 2E like it was before but it could be done.

I really like this game and it’s going on my to run stack. But based on what I have learned over the years, it takes a special kind of player and group to buy into the genre. Sort of like super hero RPG’s. If you don’t buy into the genre or dislike it then you might not have that much fun or, as some do, ruin everyone else’s fun.

Go ahead and check out White Lies 2e on DrivethruRPG and it’s PWYW.

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The Shadowdark Kickstarter is live!

I don’t often post about Kickstarters. Sure I do post reviews as I get those in my grubby little fingers. But every once in a while one comes along that I just have to rant about.

Back in December, I predicted that Shadowdark would be the one to look out for this year. And the most complete but slightly dated review I did was way back in 2021 of the Beta rules. And yes I do have the Quick Start. If you are link weary then here’s the lowdown. The RPG has solid old school DNA. It’s not a clone of any of the previous editions and it does bill itself as modernized but leans more heavily to the old school side. How much? Well, 3d6 in order. Four basic classes. And the Thief (not Rogue) has a d4 Hit Die. It does use a roll to cast system for Wizards and Priests which is mechanic that I’ve actually grown to like more and more. Most of the modernization comes with streamlining play. Like I said, it’s solidly old school. I could grab any one of the adventures sitting on my shelf and run it on the fly and just any conversion in my head.

Here’s the best way that I can describe Shadowdark. Imagine that Basic D&D, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Index Card RPG, and a couple of random retro-clones got really drunk in a mad scientist’s laboratory. They all wake up hung over the next morning and say, “What have we created?!” That about it.

Some may ask me a couple of things. First, no I have no financial stake in this and wasn’t asked to write it. But there is a very nice Third Party License and I need to get off my butt and get writing. Am I playing it right now? No. But I am using the spells from it in my Deathbringer Campaign. It’s roll to cast too. Oh and Shadowdark uses zoned combat so all you Dungeoncraft fans, it’s time to break out that Ultimate Dungeon Terrain.

I’ve ranted long enough. So just go check out the Kickstarter already. And I have backed it.

Terrain Crate vs Dungeons & Lasers

I picked the Dungeons & Lasers Fantasy Bits a while ago. So I figured it would be a good idea to order some Terrain Crate and do some comparison. I grabbed the Dungeon Essentials set from Terrain Crate.

I just got the Terrain Crate box and I haven’t had a chance to paint them yet. I’m doing this as more of a comparison of scale and detail. So the Terrain Crate stuff is unpainted. I also used a couple of the Dungeon & Lasers bits that WIP’s. So I started painting. It just ain’t done yet. I used the same Reaper mini also to show scale.

Here’s barrels and treasure chests. OK The Terrain Crate are a little smaller and the treasure chest is two pieces. The lid is separate. Detail wise they are about the same.

Now, here’s the coffins. Less detail on Terrain Crate and once again a bit smaller. In this case, the Terrain Crate coffin is one piece and D&L are multiple pieces.

Here’s two thrones. These are much closer in scale. You can’t tell it from the pictures but the D&L one is actually 4 pieces.

Now this one really got me. The D&L books and scrolls are huge in scale compared to a mini. This does make them easier to handle at the gaming table. As you can the Terrain Crate book is more to scale but so much smaller and if you just used it as separate piece at the game table, there’s a good chance that it could get lost.

The Dungeons & Lasers Bits come on sprues. Some of it’s pretty tight to get those nippers in there. So you’ll have to work out any burrs from trimming. They are made from the same gray plastic. While the Terrain Crate are all separate pieces. There are mold lines here and there. But they use two different types of plastic. The doors are a harder, more brittle plastic. Much like the plastic of the D&L set. The other Terrain Crate pieces are a softer, more rubberier type of plastic.

I’m satisfied with both purchases. They are both good bits of scatter terrain for your table. As I get pieces done, I’ll post the results here.

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White Box Wednesday: Gargoyle 74

The OGL dust is setting and games are being updated and even some new ones are coming out. And this give us Gargoyle 74 from Stellagamma Publishing.

Gargoyle 74 is very much a clone of White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game. It’s got the standard four classes and very similar progression. The spell descriptions are much shorter. There a couple that could use a little bit of editing. There’s a lot that is the very, very similar. But I want to highlight some of the positive differences.

Where Gargoyle 74 really shines is the Appendices at the back of the book. There’s race as class but it’s not your standard races. You can see the mark of Stellagamma here. There’s the Antediluvian. Depending on your world, they could elves or if you want to be different play them as Melnibonians. You know like Elric. Then there’s Dwarves. These aren’t what most folks would consider dwarves. Nope. Their skin is copper. Their beards are bronze. And they’re full cogs and gears. Basically, constructs created by the Smith God. It is an interesting take on something that’s become so standard. Finally, there’s the lizard-kin. They fall into that barbarian role. They have natural armor that improves as they level plus they are pretty good at dishing out the damage.

Then we have some handy random charts to generate treasure hoard. I know, we’ve all got more than we can use. I think I like these because their pretty condensed.

Wrapping up the book are a whole collection of d20 random tables. And I know everybody like random tables. There’s a whole group to generate a random dungeon. Then some random plot points. Follow that up with city encounters, what’s in the pocket, what’s in the box, events, and so on. For me, this is the best part of the book. And probably the most useful regardless of which rules set you happen to be using.

Overall, it’s got some good tools and options. It’s a decent addition to your White Box collection. You can find Gargoyle 74 over on DrivethruRPG.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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