Monthly Archives: November 2012

NaBloPoMo #29

(Posted 11:27 PM PST 2012/11/29)

Wow! It seems I’ve only just started the month, and it’s nearly gone! Amazing!

So, after being delayed by a request to help with some seasonal house decorating that got put off, I got a late start on the skelies, but they got finished at about 9:30 this evening. Tomorrow, they get their spritz of Purity Shield (matte varnish) and Saturday, I take them in for judging. I’m happy with the results, even though seeing other entries that have been dropped off, I don’t think I’ll win. I know of one contestant who has dropped out once he saw the models from the other contestants. That it’s open to professional painters can be disheartening. However, I think I’ve done a unique job, adding rust and verdigris to the models to create a very interesting look.

That’s pretty much consumed my day. A game called Endless Space (I’ve mentioned it before as inspiring a couple of ideas I’m wanting to add into StarSea) was available for free today on Steam, so I grabbed it, and I hope in the playing I’ll get some more ideas I can use in StarSea.

The rest of this weekend is likely going to be spotty on the posts. However, I’m hoping I have developed a habit of posting enough that I can be more regular with writing here.

Tomorrow, the penultimate NaBloPoMo 2012 entry!

NaBloPoMo #28

(Posted 11:07 PM PST 2012/11/28)

Ugh, What a day. The FLGS got broken into a second time at some ugly early time in the morning. When I got up and checked my Facebook, the owner had shot me a message asking me if I could paint the plywood covering the holes for a big event the weekend. So, I spent the day painting a hole in the wall, pretty mich literally. No painting done, no thinking on the StarSea, no work on eBay. As well, I’m now having some computer fits, so I’m going to just call it a might. I’m beat and frustrated right now, and don’t really want to do much else.

Tomorrow.

NaBloPoMo #27

(Posted 11:00 PM PST 2012/11/27)

Not much to report on the StarSea front. Spent a good chunk of the day painting minis. Got the colors blocked completely and did the brown wash. They look pretty good at this point, so all that’s left is some details (belts and armor straps) and highlights, and they should be about done. Then I’ll see what I can do about making a movement tray. And they’ll be done.

My next big, important project is getting some books on eBay. I have a pretty big stack of stuff that’s left over from a couple of attempts at getting rid of stuff at the FLGS’s Used Game Sales. I’v got a couple of cameras I’m going to add in, as well as some climbing gear and a couple of other things. I need to get some additional photos shot and I’ll have everything in my first run ready. I’ll post a link to my items here, in case anyone I know is interested.

Slow night, I know. While I’ll be glad that NaBloPoMo is over, I’m going to try to keep up with more regular posts. I’ve rather enjoyed it, and I’ve profited from pushing myself to write about my new setting. Hopefully, I can keep the updates coming.

Until tomorrow…

NaBloPoMo #26

(Posted 10:55 PM PST 2012/11/26)

Not much thinking on the StarSea. Probably won’t for a while. However, I am beginning to think I need to start structuring my thoughts into an outline or something, so I can see what I need to fill in or create. I have an outliner program, but I’m not sure I want to use it. However, I don’t think a database will work either. I have a pack of 3×5 cards, and a little file to hold them in, so maybe I should do that…

One thought I did have while reading Savage Worlds was the ramifications of some of the ideas I want to incorporate. For example, if I include magical tanks, eventually magical anti-tank weapons come into being. These are the sorts of things I need a database for… 🙂

I worked on my minis again until my back couldn’t take it, but that was longer than yesterday. I found I had to “re-prime” the skeletons. I basically created a white wash and went over them again, which delayed me a little. I found I put too much ballast around one of the skeleton’s foot, and I now can’t pry them up. So one has a buried foot. I managed to get the “steel” and “bronze” blocked in. Tomorrow, I wash everything in blacks and browns, and then it’s the details. I think I’m going to include a turquoise wash on the “bronze” and an orange wash one the “steel” to age things a little. I want the equipment to look old. And if I get the time, I still need to build a movement tray.

Well, that’s all for today. Bis Morgans!

NaBloPoMo #25

(Posted 9:13 PM PST 2012/11/25)

So, last night’s game ended up doing something I hadn’t intended it to, which was provide a gateway into Epic Level play. It was intended to simply be a battle for the kids that turned out having a much more epic feel. Hordes of minions who could keep the players having to rethink their tactics and movements as well as some brutes to keep the others slowed down. While the characters didn’t take a lot of damage, there was a “time bomb” element that kept them on edge. The game went well, and I’m pleased we’re moving forward. There was one element I wanted to revisit (a departed ally), but I think it’s really unnecessary for the plot to move on. I’ve been thinking about this visit for quite a while, but I think it just needs to hit the cutting room floor.

I spent a few hours mini painting, until my back couldn’t handle the pain any more. I really need a better work space. So, outside of that (which I’ve known for quite a while), I learned that the ivory paint I grabbed in an emergency may ruin the project. It has an enamel finish (even though it didn’t say it was enamel on the bottle) so the paints I’m trying to put on top of it is not adhering as well as I’d like. It’s pretty resistance to washes, but it is taking the thinned GW paints I’m using well enough. I repainted all of the bones in white, and gave the bases a base color. I also managed to block in a couple of colors (browns and reds). Tomorrow, I plan on doing the washes over the whites and getting my blacks, “steels,” and “golds” blocked in.

Im closing down early to do some other stuff with what’s left of my night. Mañana.

NaBloPoMo #24

(Posted 5:56 PM PST 2012/11/24)

Sorry, we’re now looking at Sagittarius as the current Sun Sign as of yesterday. My mistake.

Not really got anything new to mention, as I’ve been at my friends’ place since last night. I simply have some free time and thought I’d post while I can.

I was poking around on Steam and found a cute little game that’s inspired some ideas about the space of the StarSea. It’s called Planets Under Attack. Some of the imagery in the game appeals to me. Gives me a few ideas, as do some of the other games available on Steam.

That’s pretty much it. See ya tomorrow.

NaBloPoMo #23

(Posted 11:32 PM PST 2012/11/23)

Welcome to Capricorn (Astrologically speaking).

So, I managed to get my skeletons primed, but I’m a little skeptical about how successful I was with it. I always paint arms separate from the rest of the body, so I can get the details under the arms or behind the shields (or bolters) without too much effort. Same with these skeletons. I primed the bodies and base as one assembly, but as I started on the arms (which includes the standard), I ran out of white primer, which I’m using to speed painting up. Rather than go to the game store and buy more, I found some other paint. It is listed as “Ivory” on the can, so I used it. It flowed strangely, in some places barely covering the plastic, in other places pooling, and in some instances bubbling. By the time I decided enough was enough, I got decent coverage and very little loss of detail. However, I won’t be home this weekend until Sunday, so I won’t know how workable this paint is until then. At this point, I’m too late in the month for it to matter; I have to have the minis painted by next Saturday at 9PM.

Otherwise, I have my current campaign stuff on my mind for now. We’ll see if I manage to get anything posted tomorrow, as I’ll be running at this time in the evening. Maybe I’ll get something posted before the game. Two weeks ago, I got caught in a browser barf that resulted in me posting twice in about 20 hours. This week I don’t think I’ll have that problem, so we’ll see.

Laters.

NaBloPoMo #22

(Posted 11:59 PM PST 2012/11/22)

Happy Thanksgiving! (Assuming you’re from the US.)

I did do a tiny bit of thinking about the Ur last night just before bed, considering a couple of reptilian options, both snakes and dragons, but I’m not especially enthusiastic about either idea. I think I’ll percolate the idea a bit more.

We had a brief power outage around 1PM, which was spent finishing the cleaning of my skeletons. After the Big Dinner, I spent the evening assembling (and Assembling, finally watching the Avengers that I got for my birthday in September) the figures and just now got the ballast glued down. I want to do another coat of thinned glue to keep the ballast down before I prime them tomorrow before I leave for the weekend.

I didn’t complete the work I’d wanted to do on the game, but I expect to be up for another couple of hours, which will include the majority of that work.

Tomorrow is my night with the Small family, so my post will likely be as late as this one, and probably a little less coherent.

Hoping your Big Dinner was a good one. 🙂

NaBloPoMo #21

(Posted 11:45 PM PST 2012/11/21)

Wow.

I’ve managed a daily post for three weeks now. After all the limping along when I started, I’m surprised and pleased with myself. Holding my own feet to the fire and forcing myself to write has really worked.

I haven’t given the StarSea much thought today. Things got bollixed up with my scheduling for the day (which is sadly not atypical). Not that it matters, as thinking about the StarSea wasn’t going to be on the agenda anyway. I have my current game to fine tune for this weekend (I run every two weeks), and the FLGS is having a mini painting contest I’m entering, and I need to get the minis painted by the first of December, so I was planning on focusing on those two things rather than the StarSea. Things got bollixed, so I worked on none of them. Tomorrow I should be able to focus a little better.

For the mini painting contest, which is focused on troop boxes, I’m doing a unit of Vampire Counts skeletons (see here). Cheap and easy, and should I win, I get $100 in store credit. If I don’t. I’ll put them up on eBay or use them for D&D. I’m not planning on using any metallic colors in my paints, in order to keep the metals looking old and dirty. I haven’t completed the mold line clean up, but I only have two left, and assembly, and the paints should be pretty quick and dirty, and I’ll still get a pretty decent paint job. I also want to build a movement tray, but I can live without that, if I have to.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Tomorrow should be a progress report on both the campaign stuff, as well as the mini work. Hopefully, I’ll be able to say the details for the game are done and the skeletons are assembled.

NaBloPoMo #20

(Posted 11:15 PM PST 2012/11/20)

So, I’m going to cheat a little bit. I wrote a couple of responses to comments or messages on Facebook.

First was Darryl, who had missed my posts that described some of the basics of the setting:

Have you by chance checked out the “Oceans Unmoving” story from Sluggy Freelance? Not for the specifics (you had a finite amount of time and if you ran out of time you froze up), but for the general setting. A giant ocean with no shores as the DOWN direction where gravity orientates, floating islands in the sky that are home to people of all stripes, and flying ships to ferry goods and wage war. Nothing lives in the Ocean and it’s the only way out of timeless space in the story, but with a little tweeking it could be a great fit for the StarSea.

If you wanted to go with that idea, you could have the Ancients building a giant Dysen-sphere (sp?) and live on the inside. After a few million years the Sphere collided with a gas torres and started a rudimentary atmosphere. The Ancients projected that they would run out of room on the interior of the Sphere so they brought in water, suns (probably multiple minor suns or even fusion furnaces in stable orbits), and started terra-forming the surface into a breathable and habitual living space. They made “helpers” (the ones you said might look like elves) to guide the process along and then gave them places to live (the floating islands in the sky) and left them to do the grunt work for a few billion years. During that time the Ancients could have fallen into barbarism and had no way to rebuild their civilization, or they could be ready to emerge from the underworld (to the inhabitants anyway) to occupy the world they made.

I replied:

I thought about Dyson Spheres and Ringworlds initially, but I found they weren’t fantastic enough, or didn’t fit what I want to do.

The “StarSea” isn’t an ocean; it’s an outer space-like environment. The name “StarSea” is taken from the idea that space is like a “sea of stars.” In fact, at this point, I’m not even sure there are stars as we know them (massive fusion power plants). While I use words like “technology” and “biology,” there will be little in the way of true science. Space ships will get from world to world via some sort of very fast, (literally) magical drive that moves at super speeds in space but slow down in atmospheres. The space between worlds is breathable. There may very well be dragons and undead.

There might be different descendants of the Ancients, that might be hidden on some unexplored world. But I won’t be using an Underdark sort of space, because the worlds are not connected, except through the StarSea.

Friend Eric wrote:

Perhaps one way you might use your elder race is to have them move the world, tweak its position as it were, into a place that is not natural. You know, something like in orbit between two gas giants (which is highly unstable), yet it somehow works. This leaves you with sufficient evidence for your religious groups (The great God Boa is the only being who could have balanced us so. The very cosmos shows us his grand design), and gives you a good reason for a lot of objects sitting around (like the ones managing the complex orbits) drawing energy, and making for some interesting discoveries by your more scientific groups.

The idea being that whatever they leave behind is in its nature open to multiple explanations (some more obvious than others), and is divisive.

I mean, what’s the use of a religious war if you don’t have a good reason to fight?

I replied:

I’m going to be ignoring a lot of science. For example, the worlds in the StarSea don’t necessarily orbit stars. Stars may just be sources of light floating in the Empyrean, or they might orbit the world in question. Or Day and Night just might happen with no apparent source of light or dark. There may be no gas giants, but rather just small, dense worlds. And I’m not even sure those worlds are round right now, although there is a good chance they will be, because I don’t want to go too unfamiliar. So, I’m going pretty big on the whole “how did the Ancients shape the StarSea” idea. To the point that normal physics don’t really even apply. This is not a setting Neil Tyson DeGrasse would approve of. :-)But this makes it easy for me as a GM; I don’t have to track what effects the gravity on World X is, and what it’s effects are on the PCs, or orbits of planets around the star.

I also don’t want the Ancients even believed to be gods. Gods are gods, beings that are largely unknown, so that the knightly order of the Divinities are in conflict with the other two knightly orders because of their faith. Now, artifacts of the Ancients might be mistaken for works of the gods, but I’m not sure I even like that idea. I just thought of a setting that’s out there that’s more Sci Fi than Fantasy called “Fading Suns.” In it, there is a race called the Anunnaki, and they are responsible for star travel, by having created stargates. They also left other artifacts laying around, but most are incomprehensible. However, they are not seen as being the Pancreator, or even agents thereof, and I want to keep that distinction.

One of the things I’m thinking of is that the Ancients (who I think I’m going to name “the Ür”) are entities for a place like the D&D Far Realms, like the mind flayers. Or maybe a different species of critter that would be even more like octopods.

Of course, these are just ideas right now, and I’m not sure I’m going in any of these directions. It’s something I want to think more about before I setting on anything.

More thoughts tomorrow.