Monday, August 23, 2010

Pallas Cat

I am fascinated with the Pallas cat.  If you notice, the pupil of their eyes are round, not slit-like other cats.


Since it is Monday, here is a random beheading.

Fast Zombies, Slow Zombies

I have always had a rather clear idea of how I wanted undead in my games and what their origin would be. This ties fairly closely with Clerics, religion and has a bit of Dante's Inferno in it as well:

The Dead - Dead which are both faithful and buried on consecrated ground will never rise from the dead. If the consecrated ground is somehow marred or tainted, this is no longer true. The dead which are not buried on consecrated ground are vulnerable.  The dead of the sinful are likewise vulnerable, although consecrated ground makes it significantly less likely they would rise.  The sinful who are not buried on consecrated ground are very vulnerable, and this chance goes up the more horrible their crimes.  Lastly, those murdered or slay themselves are also vulnerable.

So, clerics, priest and their acolytes definitely make it a priority to firstly consecrate holy ground and bury their dead therein. Otherwise bad things can happen, especially if you have some real bastards among your population.  Site of mass battles are especially vulnerable considering the amount of violence was wrought and the likelihood of lost or forgotten bodies - or simply mass graves or otherwise desecrated remains.  All a prime site of dead rising.

Consecrated ground, just like consecrated water, can harm undead.  Most will not cross consecrated soil, but some of the exceedingly powerful undead can make a save vs Death to do so.  Consecrated ground, even a handful, will harm undead if they touch it, 1hp per round.  A Cleric's weapon can likewise be consecrated by himself to deal 1 extra point of damage to undead. Consecrated holy water is even more potent (as holy water rules).   Consecrated relics are more potent still, especially in the hands of the person who consecrated it (turn undead rules).

Now for the actual undead:

Zombies / Skeletons - Skeletons and Zombies are more or less identical, but in different stages of decay.  Zombies are Skeletons are the unwilling undead.  That is, not particularly evil individual that have been made unto walking undead to serve a higher (evil) will.  The bodies are unwilling, and so are forced into action that is not of their nature - and so their awkward and lumbering movements appear forced and strained.  These undead are soulless vessels however will obey their master's will without question. (ie, slow zombies)

All undead after this point forward are the sinful dead and considerable more dangerous.   Unlike the unwilling dead above, they do not hold back, and move quickly with deliberate determination (ie, fast zombies).  These undead do have souls; often twisted, evil and malicious.

Ghoul - Ghouls are the remains of carnal malefactors.  Those who went to extremes of lust or gluttony and now seek out the most perverse pleasures or to eat the most decrepit of things (with peoples on top of their list). They usually appear as they died - a corpse in the beginning stages of decay, smelling of rot, dirt stained with perhaps a seeping wound or noose around the neck. 

Wight - Wights are the remains of the extremely avaricious or miserly (including many previous holy-men). Wights are distorted versions of their previous lives.  They often have overly large hands, tongues or skin that is sloughing off of their body.  All Wights drag around huge sack of what which they desire - usually heavy coins but sometimes other things such as small children.  Wights attack viciously those who have more of what they desire (wealth, belongings, youth, beauty and so forth).  They will ignore those who appear to have nothing that they want.

Shadow - Shadows are those that found no joy in life or god.  They exist two dimensionally and are horribly wrathful beings who spite everyone and everything. They are humanoid shaped but are of the darkest black, and move very quickly.  Shadows can be exceptionally malicious - carving out meticulous and deceitful plans who harm the living in any way possible.

Ghast - Ghasts are dead murders or those who took delight in unchecked violence.  They appear as slightly dessicated dead that move with frightening speed and determination.  Ghast will fly into a berserk rage in combat, leaping unto victims and ripping them apart with nails and teeth. Ghast have an innate cleverness but lack the comprehension for elaborate plans or motives.  They are mostly driven to murder and violence with little thought to anything else.

Wraith - Wraiths are nearly insubstantial, and are the undead apparitions of those who killed themselves.  They have given their bodies away through suicide and so linger in a mournful state that barely exists.  Their presence brings forth despair and lonely emotions of all those in the area, and they consume anything joyous or vivacious around them leaving nothing left.  Wraiths eventually drive the living near by insane, but are difficult to thwart in their near-invisibility state and lack of need to do conflict.

Mummy - Mummies are the remains of exploiters of their fellow people.  This most often includes tyrannical rulers or others that were in positions of abusive power over others.  They usually remain in the state which their body was placed.  Maggots, vermin, insects or excrement form where ever they step - which represents the words they speak. Mummies seek power and exploitation and often control skeletons and zombies.

Vampire - Vampires are those which fed on the sorrow of others; opportunistic dealers of vice or sorrow. and deceivers who brutally harmed others for their own gain.  these often include barrators, nobles, or authority figures which took advantage of others with no regard for their being.  Vampires are very much the blood-sucking undead of lore, but also have dark hands which drip of sticky tar - this represents the sticky fingers and dark secrets which they fed upon. Vampires can occasionally hide their undead nature with ample clothing.

Ghost - Ghost are the worst of thieves or those who engaged in deceitful skulduggery. They have no substance and can not act upon anything.  Ghosts loose their very identity, which occasionally gets lost onto the living.  Ghosts, nearly invisible can wreck much havoc before being driven away if their personality is lost unto a living person.

Spectre- Spectres are falsifiers and frauds who have betrayed their core beliefs; either their liege, faith or those who trusted them. These undead are dessicated corpses burned black from cold, all except their head which remains perfectly preserved.  Spectres deal in whispers, lies, and falsifying items. Spectres take joy in breaking the faith or trust in others, and relish in the chaotic aftermath.  Spectres can occasionally hide their undead nature with ample clothing.

Lich - Liches are sorcerers, astrologers, and false prophets of malefic intent.  Many have there have their heads twisted around on their bodies backward, so that they found it necessary to walk backward because they could not see ahead of them. Liches continue to decay, even in their undeath until they become dust. Some decrepit Magic-Users intentionally place themselves in this state to gain more power, for it is said to be the only true way to learn black magic.

Orcus - Orcus is a unique being, an undead blight. Others may exist like him, but they are unknown. Orcus, the lord of the dead, was once a mortal who personally affronted the great Deity in an unknown but apparently most dire manner.  Because of his unknown crime, he was deemed to languish in a state of perpetual and horrific torment.  Orcus appears as a crushed and mutilated body, like a piece of half-eaten food that is constantly being chewed up, some-what reconstituted and chewed up again.  His pitiable wails and other unwholesome noises drive any sane being away from him.  All animals flee from him. Any vulnerable dead who hear this noise, rise and then flee.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Birthright Maps

Plain
For the past 10 years or so I have been playing in pbem/pbp Birthright D&D games and it continues to be one of my favorite settings.  This setting does not quite seem to die, and it indeed has its own subculture - especially in Europe for whatever reason.  Probably because it is as close as D&D will get to Europe without being H├órn.

With Provinces
I am currently playing in Empire's Twilight and Dawn of the Second Golden Age. They mostly have European players and honestly I think they keep inviting me because it is much easier to have a player be your villains instead of having to role-play one yourself.  Europeans, not to be overly stereotypical, are all pussies.  They are quite content to be the honorable Duke who is very slow to anger, but once you rouse it, he pretty much hates you the rest of the game yet rarely does anything about it.  To them, it is very much a game of wordplay, small slights, and a gradual build-up to confrontation.  Some call this maturity in RPing, I call it boring.

With Provinces & Text
To me.. well, its more of one atrocity after another, and half-assed attempts in blaming someone else for the horrible amounts of destruction and chaos that I bring to Cerilia.  My regents usually last 1d4-1 turns before they perish, but let me tell you that is one Blaze of Glory - cities of fire, holdings reduced to ash, peasants nailed to the trees, and a whole lot of dead armies.  The Europeans just hate that, let me tell you. But they know I will do it, and continue to invite me anyhow, so what does that say about them, eh?  I think they just secretly like to beat the shit out of a stupid American - but I don't mind since I usually get to take a few out with me when I go.

Anyhow, it is all in good fun and I can assure I am exaggerating on the race baiting and chaos.  The thing that strikes me the most is the setting is usually starts exactly the same.  Same realm, same regents (usually), same tensions, same dichotomy between war and peace.  Yet every game is quite different in actual play.  Imagine Star Wars if you had different actors and the script was malleable.   Al Pachino as Han Solo (which he almost did incidentally).. well that would change the story quite a bit now wouldn't it.  He would freaking go out like Scarface before he even left Mos Eisley.

I babble.. back to maps.  After looking at the same maps for 10 years, I decided to work up a few, enjoy. Click for larger.  The Europeans made me put the distance in metric in the last map - commies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FEAST!

Otter’s post at Huge Pile spoke of having to spend gold to gain experience, which it very much in line with the type of feel I would like for my games.  I have a tavern map in fact that is probably the most-used map that I have for all of my gaming. 

 So here is some feast-fluff:

BEST FOOD/DRINK AVAILABLE, D20

Description of average meal followed by max cost. City/village size should adjust this roll appropriately.

1.       Pond water and skimmed algae.  Pile of unidentifiable ocher paste.  1c
2.       Pies made out of deer waste and yeast. Wilting celery with celery paste. Milky water. 2c
3.       Goat hooves marinated in brine.  Boiled water. Wheat stalks with beeswax.   3c
4.       Beet gelatin on flatbread.  Soaked pine-cones with melon drippings.  Clean water.   5c
5.       Small, whole fishes cooked with onions and raisins.  Water with mint.  Hard grainy bread.  8c
6.       Cored pears baked with an egg. Oil and pepper soup with live fish swimming within.  Root grog. 1s
7.       Salted corn husks filled with leeks with apricots.  Hard and dark baked bread.  Saltwater grog. 2s
8.       Green and Banian bean soaking in buttered milk. Grape leaves and oil, salted and spiced. Mustard rum.                3s
9.       Pine kernels mixed with minced eggs and cabbage. Soup with chicken feathers, carrots and broth. Coriander and dill laced ale.      4s
10.   Ginger, dates and pine nuts with cooked groats.  Stew with spiced potatoes, goat broth and corn. Ale, mead or grog.      5s
11.   Lamb cutlets in liebstoeckl, baked with cumin.  Fresh green beans with mussels and hazelnuts.   Ale, mead, wine or grog.      8s
12.   Peasant half with corned biscuits.  Vinegar egg-yolks with apples.  Fine stew with chicken, mixed vegetables and spices.  Ale, mead, wine, rum, brandy or grog.                   1g
13.   Crab with honeyed-potatoes. Rue with flatbread and thyme.  Peppered chowder with shrimp and vigaments. Hard cheese as desired. Ale, mead, beer, wine, rum, brandy or grog.                2g
14.  Mutton filled-grape rolls with lard and anise seed.  Mashed beans with lentils, sweet peas, chickpeas with a slide of oil and olives. Stout Ale, mead, beer, wine, port, rum, brandy or grog. 3g
15.   Skewered hare with pomegranates. Dried figs with sugar.  Beechnuts and cabbage.  Fine cheese with white bread. Stout Ale, mead, beer, wine, port, rum, brandy, barleywine or grog.       5g
16.   Whole grilled piglet or Kobold tail stuffed with salt, vinegar and grass peas.  Fine cheese melted over flat bread with tomatoes and garlic.  Sturgeon soup with sardines and white wine base.  Stout Ale, metheglin mead, beer, wine, port, rum, cider, gin, brandy, barleywine .            20g
17.   Buttered beef rack with ewe cheese and salted plantains.  Giant Ant soup in sweet oil and bay leaves. Svirneblin cake with raisins. Fruit brandy, metheglin mead, beer, wine, port, rum, cider, gin, or barleywine .             100g
18.   Baked song-birds or Stirges perched on the snout of a swordfish.  Marinated eels in goose yokes and pine nuts (eel numbs the tongue). Herbed bisque of tuna and mulliten.  Fruit brandy, absinthe, mead, beer, wine, port, rum, cider, gin, or barleywine .             250g
19.   Basilisk or Gryphon rack spiced with the finest of herbs, served in a tame mimic.  Black pudding pudding sweetened with black sugar and cinnamon.  Dragon-turtle soup with sliced shreakers and shallots.  Fruit brandy, absinthe, sparkling wine,  Grig milk, port, rum, cider, Violet Fungus liquor, or barleywine .                 2,500g
20.   Phoenix stuffed with persimmons that mews when eaten – heated under an enslaved fire mephit. Owlbear digits and gold-leafed Bulette fins marinated in sweetened figs and Sylph tears. Mermaid larvae soup, trussed with Naga milk and Couatl oil.  Fruit brandy, absinthe, sparkling wine, distilled broken dreams, palm wine, port, Grig milk, cider, Bailigin (purple worm vomit), or barleywine  - in cups that walk to the drinker.       5,000g+

BEST REVELING COMPANION(S) AVAILABLE D20
Charisma modified may adjust this if applicable

1.       A mostly dead leper who lost his lower jaw.  He only emits pitiable moans.
2.       A vagrant  old man who will agree to revel if you promise to dig him a grave
3.       A one-armed gnome who enjoys pulling out your arm-hair at awkward times
4.       Orphans who continually beg for food and shoes
5.       A yellow stripped cat with human-like eyes that draws woman with its pristine coat
6.       A runt of an Ogre that is fond of throwing people out of windows
7.       Sausage vendor with nothing better to do, always carries a sausage in one hand
8.       Lost foreign diplomat who does not speak the local language, assumes you are the leader of the people
9.       An animated stool which follows you around
10.   Group of sailors who keep calling you ‘lumb nips’
11.   A parrot which speaks curses and returns occasionally with money and discrete articles of clothing
12.   A disguised kobold who somehow came into riches and looks to you on how to properly spend it
13.   Bunta, beautiful barbarian woman who attempts to slay any other female who gets too close to you
14.  Cult of albino Elves in pure white robes out for a night on the town – they apparently know many hidden where the finest mild altering drugs are sold
15.   A Halfling riding a large basset hound who serves drinks with a ladle and a bucket
16.   Noble with a heavy purse, wishing merely to hear your tales which later becomes a best selling novel
17.   Three dwarf-lords with a trove of treasure wanting an exotic drinking companion for the evening
18.   Infatuated theater troupe who sings a theme song where ever you go
19.   School of Magical Arts for young ladies from ages 16 to 24 whose tyrannical school mistress recently perished while on a study abroad trip
20.   Throgginor the Great Debaucher, high priest of missing nights – on the greatest holy day for his religion of the millennium.


ORDINARY EVENTS D20
As applicable

1.      You get lost in your revelry and find a new wondrous location in the city
2.      In your revelry you board the wrong ship/ wagon/ coach/ inn room
3.      Accidentally buy stolen goods (50% of being noticed with them)
4.      Stray cat or dog follows you and occasionally begs for food
5.      New romance with local dalliance
6.      Foolish behavior marks you with the local arbiters who track your movements
7.      1d6 new enemies
8.      1d6 new loyal friends
9.      New habit; beverage, drug or gambling
10.  New retaining or hireling
11.  Friends make utter fool of you while you are passed out
12.  Massive bar fight! 3d20 participate in a melee with non lethal weapons.  6d100g in damage is incurred
13.  Minor bar fight! 1d6 participants in a melee with non lethal weapons.  1d100g in damages
14.  Gambling binge, roll a 1d6.  If you roll a 1, gain 1d1000g. Otherwise loose 1d1000g.
15.  Beaten and robbed, loose any obvious gold and jewels on your person
16.  New Tattoo, random location and type
17.  Romantic misunderstanding, gain a new (unwanted) romance
18.  Criminal misunderstanding, you are now in jail for a minor offense (1d4 weeks or 1d100g)
19.  Class misunderstanding, you are now in jail for insulting a noble (1d4 weeks or 1d100g)
20.  No ordinary hangover, you gain -2 to all rolls for 1d4 days

ODD EVENTS D20
Should the DM wish things to indeed be eventful..

1.       Man flees the outhouse screaming of a monster living therein (a very upset Dryad who has awoken from her hibernation )
2.       Food is served from a municipal jar with imbues a sense of insight and focus you have never felt. Guests form a symposium who drink and speak of philosophy and grand questions.  A new government or spiritual movement is formed that night with you as the leader.
3.       Colored powder is tossed  from reveler to reveler – traditionally thought to ward infertility away.  Most all revelers are coated head to toe in yellows, purples, blues and so forth.
4.       Local revelers engage in constant eye-gazing, fixating one person for an hour or more staring into their eyes without talking. You are unable to lie after this for 1d4 weeks.
5.       Establishment owner dies clutching his chest.  Looking straight at you, he wills the establishment to you with his last breath – while his entire family looks on in horror.
6.       You see yourself walk into the establishment, order a drink and speak to some travelers.  When you approach ‘you’ their face quickly changes in a sickly fluid manner into another person’s face.  (doppelganger)
7.       You and your friends awaken on a ship of cat-people who enslave you dance and juggle at their hidden and bizarre tent-city
8.       Local priest enter the establishment and declare it a holy day of hedonism and demand an immediate mass-orgy.  Priests sprinkle flowers on participants.  (PCs can flee)
9.       You find a finger bone in your rum.  If you search out the source, you find the ancient cask which was recently opened and if searched, a full skeleton inside.  A rum-soaked map is jammed down the skeleton’s throat. The map is of a hidden isle to the far south east.
10.   A patrol of baboons enter the establishment in a berserk flurry.  They grab throw a rock at your head that is inscribed with a time and place.  The baboons then flee.
11.   You awaken on a giant turtle who calmly floats in a pond. On the far side of the pond is a massive ruin of stone buildings mashed between two huge standing boulders.  You can find your way home in 1d6 days but are only able to find your way back if you map it meticulously.
12.   A moose walk into the establishment and eats from your plate.  It is in no rush to leave.  It will let you use it as a mount, although it never runs faster than a canter.
13.   It begins to rain with a thick mist.  When the mist clears the establishment is in another city far, far away.
14.   A Halfing slices your hamstring with a deadly sharp dagger (1d6 dmg, ½ move for 1 week) and says, “Whoas-hit! Wrong Human!” and he scampers off, “Sorry!”.
15.   A black pudding has awoken and attacks through various cracks and crevasses from the floor boards of the establishment.  At first small animals are wrenched through areas of the floor, then people.
16.   You awaken in a field surrounded by mushrooms and large toads. A smallish toad lifts a flower by the stem and croaks loudly, and all of the toads bow to you.  Every now and then when you camp in the wilderness you find regurgitated fish and berries by your pillow.
17.   A Bard screams loudly after drinking the mead and begins to peel away his flesh.  In 1d4 rounds he turns into a zombie and mindlessly attacks patrons.  Anyone damaged likewise turns into a zombie and is likewise contagious.
18.   A man in a hood enters the establishment, calmly walks behind someone and slits their throat, slaying them.  No one appears to notice except you. You notice his hands are like tiger-paws.
19.   You happen to look under the tables at the establishment and see a very large slug under each table.  If you harm or disturb one, everyone in the establishment enters into an insane and berserk fury.
20.   You awaken on a flying Pegasus, nude, with someone’s severed head in one hand and banner of unknown origin in the other.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Free Adventure Sunday - Thunderdelve Mines

I put this together for a buddy as an interlude adventure in Night's Dark Terror.  Their is a part in B10 with Dwarven miners and a cave, but it is rather mundane, so this was written to replace it.  Simply put, this interlude is loosely modeled from Disney's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - only with the chance for catastrophic collisions, big nasty spiders leaping on people, and goblins throwing javelins from adjacent carts ala Temple of Doom.

So, enter Thunderdelve Mines.  I admit it is a bit campy, but with the length of good solid campigning in B10, I do not see that as a bad thing.  Side note, I stole the name from an (unremarkable) model I owned as a kid, Thunderdelve Mountain.

Download here, 200k pdf.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Land of Rabbits

In the western most reaches of the Lodoga lay the Durns of Laskemma, a charmed land of pleasant vales and blue-green pines.  Despite its natural beauty, therein lay one of the greatest perils of the west, the Kammarissa, and the raging battles therein.  It is here where no men dwell and the animals rise up with unwholesome demeanor.

The Durns of Laskemma were long ago settled by a man rejected by hell who called himself Kammarissa.  It was he who built a great mill call Voane, to grind mundane things such as corn, grain and even money into strange and unfathomable vile things in contempt of the world.  Kammarissa had indiscernible goals and the great mill ran for decades ceaselessly by using the wildlife to power the mill while he sang.  Kammarissa was an eternally malign above all else, and it is here that he played the ten thousand verses of spite that enabled men to betray one another. He played his vile music while the mill ran, most of which was lost to the winds thankfully. The animals which powered the mill however listened and learned - and so many gained unwholesome comprehensions beyond thier peers breed elsewhere.


Kammarissa is still thought to be in the Durns, and it is well known that many of the descendants of the animals he enslaved exist still in prolific numbers. They collectively call themselves the Laskemma, the first name they have known. The rollings hills of the Durns are the home to the Bode Warrens. A group of burrows which are dug by the Usu, semi-intelligent and large rabbits which migrate from warren to warren.  They are semi-intelligent, like all creatures in the Durns, and form tight-knit bands for mutual protection. Usu females called does are the prime commodity among their race, and their go to great lengths to protect or gain new ones.

Within the patches of forests dwell the Meerswetch, or pig-coneys, which vie with the Usu in brutal and vicious battles over territory.  The Meerswetch warrens are almost always in the pined woodlands, and these are static hole-dwellings rather than the migratory ones of the Usu.  As such they are better built with deadfalls, snares and other fortifications to deter intruders.  The Meerswetch jealously guard the Voane in the deep reaches of the ancient woods, and treat it as a holy site.  They desire things unknown to them as to feed through the Voane, and so they will often stalk interlopers in hopes of stealing unknown objects - or perhaps to feed the interlopers themselves through the mill.

Tormenting both races are long-billed and multi-colored birds who dwell in the deep waters of the few lakes.  It is they who cruelly and indiscriminately punish  any who are so foolish as to be out of their burrows alone or be caught near the water's edge unprotected.  Very few sources of fresh water exist in the Durns and those that do exist are likewise home to the great birds.  Collecting water is perhaps one of the most dangerous but nessesary tasks in the Durns.

All of the races in the Durns operate with an intuitive and very clever intelligence.  They can use rudimentary tools, but prefer their natural capabilities.  They can speak with one another, but no man has ever learned what language they know.  Most of the inhabitants are spiteful and vindictive creatures.  By in large, they are extremely territorial, superstitious, and xenophobic.  Their are some exceptions, but these are rare and usually short lived.


All of these races take their dead to a cork-screw hole in the ground that is a mile across and drills so deep into the earth that one can not see the bottom.  It is here, a place unnamed, that Kammarissa himself is thought to dwell.  All things which die in the Durns are dropped in to the deeps to a fate unknown.

The Durns are widely avoided by all civilized races.  Intruders are beset by one or more of the prime races therein, and ceaselessly assaulted until they perish or flee.  Indeed many of the battles from inside the Durns spill over into neighboring lands, causing great strife.  It appears that the animosity of the races is at least contained within the Durns, and has not spread to other areas. 

- - - -

When I was just out of High school I worked at a local software store and house-watched for one of my neighbors, who happened to be Roy Thomas.  Besides being an absurdly brilliant individual, his house was eclectic to say the least.  Every wall had scores of original art work from the silver age on up, a library of thousands upon thousands of book, and many many pets.

Indoors lived 6-7 birds, Toucans which tried to maul me at every opportunity, and wicked parrots as well.  All ill-tempered and loyal only to their dark master. In fact I think he liked them vicious.  The backyard was a landscape of two burrows, a trench around them both, with areas filled with water.  One barrow was for rabbits, the other for guinea pigs.  Geese patrolled outside of this area with a few ducks too.  All of whom absolutely loathed one another.

I watched his house for a few weeks while Roy and his wife went on his many road trips.  I had to bribe the Toucans with grapes to even get in the door and the parrots I simply had to keep caged for my own safety.  The outdoor animals were quite curious of me at first - but when they got comfortable they when about their own routine - all out war.  The rabbits and guinea pigs were the main aggressors.  They would group up in large numbers and attack stragglers of the other side; the young, old and weak being the primary targets.  Occasionally they would form small groups, running into the other's burrows and dragging out a lone victim, and proceed to chew the hell out of them.  The high pitched squeal is something I will never forget, and this noise called for aid from their kin.  Soon it broke out into an all-out melee, rabbits and guinea pigs running about all over the place in a brutal free for all.  Sometimes one would be unfortunate enough to be dragged outside of the burrows and past the trenches, and that is where the geese would lay into them with unrelenting beaks that apparently never let go. The ducks were smart enough to stay the hell away from all of this and usually sat in the middle of the small ponds.  As the only source of drinking water, they viciously protected it and would not hesitate to drag a bunny by the ear to a watery grave.

In all Roy must have had 25 or 30 of each rabbits and guinea pigs.  They did breed but the population size stayed the same for the few years that I lived near him.  Many perished in the great burrow wars but oddly enough I never saw a body.  Even the ones that I knew drowned in the water were apparently retrieved and placed.. somewhere.  Maybe eaten, maybe placed in some dark and deep burrow for the lost, who knows.

He will ~jack~ you up unless you have grapes
This was all rather traumatic for a kid who previously had the most loving pets possible.  I admit I would be lying if I did not think it was also morbidly fascinating. More so because Roy would go onto his back porch in the morning, sit in a lounge chair and drink his coffee while reading some Lovecraftian book that no one ever heard of.  All the while this bloody and vicious war was occurring as a trifle for his unnoticed pleasure.

Obviously Roys's personal little ecosystem is a trove of ideas to plunder.  Considering how strange real-life is in this case, I feel that no fantasy write up can really do it justice.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Paper Art

This is a small project I made with some left over Plexiglas and colored construction paper.  Although image is small, the original is 18x24 (larger image here). The Plexi is 3/8 and I ended up using 6 pieces, each with a cave cut out.  This was then stacked to give it some depth.  Unfortunately photos are static so you can't feel the depth, but I asure you it is the shiz-nile.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Cutting the paper was maybe an hour.  Laying and cleaning the Plexi, maybe 20 minutes.  The real problem was the frame - I had to build my own since 6 sheets of Plexi is something like 30 pounds.  Building the frame took far more time and effort than anything else, so, I probably will not be doing too many more of these.

Next time (if their is a next time), instead of construction paper, it would be much easier to cut vinyl, although would be worried of an overly plastic feel.  Also I think it would be better to not clean the Plexi, and even slightly dust it to really give the feeling of depth.  Several people have looked at the peice and did not even notice it was in solid Plexi at all, but thought it simply free-floating paper.

Anyhow, if I happen to get renewed interest I think it would be good to try a dungeon map with 4-5 levels stacked, but with enough viewable area to see all of the layers as they lower and lower.  Tricky perhaps, but something that would look excellent if it was decent executed.