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Latest DungeonBash/Dungeon Crawl

July 27th, 2014 No comments

I’ve taken to using the words ‘Dungeon Crawl’ when listing my game in convention schedules to make it very clear that it’s a dungeon crawl.  The name DungeonBash is great but it doesn’t say much about what the game is.  I’m trying all kinds of things to get people interested in playing the game.

I ran the game yesterday at Conclave of Gamers.  This is a new con that expanded from a board game focus into more types of games.  I thought I would pull a double here – help the con by having another game and see what the response was with a different crowd.

I ran it twice and neither time had what I would call a full table.  The first game had 3 out of 4 players (someone played 2 of the characters) and the other game was full during registration but only 1 (maybe 2) of them showed up.  The last seat was filled by someone who seemed to be guilted into playing and I’m not sure how much he enjoyed it.

This is the exact reason why I was testing the waters again.  I have yet to run the game at a convention and fill the table with enthusiastic players.  Even the last game at GengisCon had 3 players and 1 who seemed more interested in me than the game.  The 3 players were a family so 2 were kids.  Not what I wanted but I ran the game for them.

I’ve come to the decision that not enough people want to play.  The game is optimized for 4 people so not getting that many puts a burden on the other players.  Getting less than 3 is no fun at all.  I haven’t canceled those games since 2 people showed up to play but its been tempting.

I changed up the rules for this convention and I’m considering more changes for the future.  Not that I have any plans at all to run it but it’s nice to take the experience and use it to improve the game.

  • Pre-built dungeon – I did this already.  Building the dungeon on the fly takes too long during a convention.  If I’m ever asked to run it for a group and we have time I can go the ‘build as we go’ route.
  • Fewer rooms – When they’re searching for 3 items having 9 or 10 rooms is too many.  Combat is random and takes too long for them to get into all the rooms.  Next time there will be 6, at most 7, rooms.  Items x 2.
  • Different monster charts – I didn’t like how the current monsters fit into the new format.  I’ll change up the encounters to be more suited to the play style.  That means not using some of the minis and duplicate encounters on the chart.  I’m good with that.  I think I can mix it up enough to make it work.
  • Faster multiple encounter progression – The progression feels slow and doesn’t add to the tension of the game.  This is an easy one since I can pick from the existing cards to do the progression.  I already did some of that in the last game.

In a way it means making the game smaller.  Having a big dungeon layout is great and attracts attention.  It doesn’t attract players.  So a big part of the modular dungeon pieces I made won’t get used.  Sad but more effective.

I didn’t sign up to run the game at the next upcoming convention.  I knew I could get in if I had success at this one.  I didn’t have success.  I won’t be signing up for the next convention.

It’s a waste to pack it up (after fixing bits that need fixing) after all the work that went into it.  I’m very sad that the minis painted by my friends will get packed up with the game.  At this point I don’t see a way to not pack it up.  It won’t go out of style so putting it away for a couple of years isn’t going to move it off the charts.

What’s most disappointing to me is that I get a lot of “That’s so cool!  I want to play!” and then when they get the chance they don’t.  Or people sign up and don’t show up.  I like running the game and I’m proud of what I built and that my friends helped out making it awesome.  Then I sit at a table with empty chairs all around and it’s hard not to take it personally after a few conventions.

Anyway.  Here’s a picture of the layout I built on the fly at the last convention.  I decided to use the space available to me to make a nice big dungeon.

Conclave 2014 - Big Layout

Categories: Dungeon Crawl, Minis, Terrain Tags:

Dungeon Crawl

April 20th, 2014 No comments

I’ve been lax about posting pictures from the dungeon crawl in action.  Back in February.  But hey!  Here they are now.

I asked players to take pictures during the game since I’ve found that I tend to be too busy to take enough pictures.  They did so I have pictures!  Here’s some of the better ones.Small battle

Small battle, different angle

More of the dungeon and more monsters

Larger battle and dungeon

And so it begins

DungeonBash is active again

July 28th, 2013 No comments

Well, it will be soon.  I’m working on it!

Unfinished Minis

These are most of the unfinished minis.  OK.  Some of them.  I’ve got friends helping paint the monster and they have or are painting about 3/4 of them.  Props to Michelle B and Lyn S to doing this.

Painted Minis 01

Michelle painted most of these.  I did paint the player characters!

I’ve got a few 1 inch dungeon sections left to finish painting and one piece to repair from the last time I ran the game.  Nothing some epoxy won’t fix.

The most difficult part for me is getting all the new lists together.  There’s very few spells that are appropriate for a non role playing game.  Everything has to deal with combat.  I’m scouring the books looking for those spells.

I’ve got a nice deadline for play testing now.  One of the gamers here has been after me to run this for his group and we’ve settled on next Sunday.  I won’t have the final versions of anything since this is playtesting and we’ll be using empty bases for some of the monsters but that’s all part of the process.

I’ll try to get some pictures of the new game in progress.  Depending on how much time we have I hope to run a full game (2 hours) and then spend some time running encounters to see how they balance.

Yes!  Once I get it all worked out and after I’ve run it at the convention I’ll post all the rules.  I’ll even post the list of miniatures I used for the monsters for those who don’t want to hunt for them.  This is a fan derived work for DungeonBash (a copyrighted game) but I have permission to post it as such.  I’ve mangled the original game enough that I don’t think I have any problem meeting the guideline for a derivative work.

Categories: Dungeon Crawl, Minis Tags:

A brief update

February 3rd, 2013 No comments

I’ve got almost all the navy Dystopian Wars ships painted.  I’m waiting on a replacement part for the carrier and in the meantime I’ve failed my roll against temptation for painting the airships that I have.  It’s not many and the sky fortress seems to have some good tactical value against Russians.  The gaming group has a lot of Russian fleets.  I’ll be posting pictures in batches in the near future.

This is the current state of my table.  I finally found the missing dungeon crawl minis that my friend Michelle is going to be painting for me.  We’ve done a barter and this means there’s a chance that they’ll get painted.  I’m only sending her the nasties and not even all of those.  Barter does have its limits.  We haven’t done the final negotiations.  I didn’t post a picture of the ones that are ready to be painted.

On a final note I’m getting the Hirst Arts kits to make the old WizWar boards.  I bought the wizard minis and I’m looking forward to doing a straightforward build again.  The painting seems to be tedious but I’m thinking it will be a good chance to try my airbrush.  There’s also some fun accessories to make.

A quick status shows that I still have 6 1/2 armies to paint (the CoA one I’ve been painting counts as 1/2 done to me), the dungeon crawl and now WizWar.  Yeah.  Plenty to keep me busy.

Ships – Fini!

December 13th, 2012 No comments

Gee, once I figured it out these painted up rather quick.  The trick seems to be KISS.  Good painting skills are still essential since brush control is important due to the amount of detail that doesn’t get painted.  It makes sense, really.

Step 1 – Base coat and metal

I put a white base coat over everything.  Go with thin coats so the detail doesn’t get clogged up.  Then I painted everything that would be metal.  And after that I touched up the white to clean up where the paint went awry.

Step 2 – Brown wash

The deck and the metal was given a brown wash.  The deck got touched up a bit where it dried spotty.  The brown wash also took care of lining those areas that needed it.  The last steps were using the brown wash in the details to make them stand out more and touching up the white.  Again.

Step 3 – Blue shadows

I wanted to do a cool blue-toned white.  That’s why the first attempts had blue hulls.  I achieved the same type of effect by using a pale blue in the shadows.  And I touched up the white.

Step 4 – Element 270 (Sturginium)

The fluff has the magic rock as a glowing blue-green.  I wasn’t going to do OSL on these so I put a dot of the color in the bottom of the smokestacks.

Categories: Dungeon Crawl, Minis Tags: ,

I’ve been such a slacker

June 18th, 2012 3 comments

I know there’s a bunch of stuff I need to do for this blog.  Most of it centers around terrain.

So far the list is:

  • Create instructions and pictures for making my modular dungon
  • Write the dungeon crawl convention/single play rules.  (I received permission from the original designer to make a ‘fan based’ version.)
  • Write the dungeon crawl convention/single play PVP rules.  Yep.  Two sets of adventurers.
  • Write a whole lotta tutorials on faux stone painting.  I have 10 on my list.  I’m waiting on some smooth floor tiles from Naloomi’s Workshop since they’re the best thing I’ve found for the tutorials.
  • Other stuff I’ve probably forgotten.

Bear with me and I’ll get these done.  Eventually.

Let me know if there’s anything else you’ve seen me make for terrain and you’re interested in knowing how.

I built stuff

May 8th, 2012 3 comments

Yes, I built stuff.  And I painted stuff last weekend too.

I have a gothic arena that I started back in 2009, I think.  It may have been 2010.  Whatever.  It was a while ago and it has been sitting, rather forlorn, in a box.  I needed to feel productive so I pulled it out to paint.  I also have some additional pieces for my modular dungeon that I built almost a year ago and never painted.

While I was painting I found some of the arena pieces weren’t as well constructed as I would have liked and some had been damaged in the moves.  Tonight I dug out the bins of appropriate bricks and built not only the replacements but a couple of new ones.  I’m mixing the basic and advanced arenas so eventually I need to figure out what’s left to build.  I think I have all the basic pieces.

Here’s proof I built.

It takes a heck of a lot more glue than you would think to build this stuff.  I probably should have thrown that out before taking the picture.

I do a lot of building on my homemade magnet board.  That’s a steel baking pan sitting on a piece of countertop.  (I used to be able to buy the sink cutouts – fantastic for solid surfaces).  The pieces of wood have magnets glued into holes – you can see one of them upside down in the upper right.  I can’t remember where I found the instructions to do that.  I do remember the time it took to align the radial arm saw to as close to a perfect 90 degree cut as possible.  That took a while but it’s worth it.

I also build using my Lego as braces and alignment blocks.  To be honest mine are Brix Blocks, the Sears equivalent to Lego.  I’ve had them since I was a kid and I’m still playing with them.

I’ll let these dry for a few days and then probably put paint on them this weekend when I do the touchups on the pieces I already base coated.  And the touchups on the pieces I touched up when I painted last weekend.  At some point I do move beyond the base coat.  Really.

I may be slightly active again

April 1st, 2012 No comments

Don’t get your hopes up too much.  It’s all very much in the beginning phases of doing stuff again.

So far I have a local game store asking about Saturday paint lessons/sessions/clinics/etc.  I had to break away from the teaching I had been doing for a few reasons but oddly enough I enjoy it when I have eager (and teachable) students.  By ‘teachable’ I mean ‘willing to learn’.  I’ve just contacted them to let them know that this might be possible so we’ll see where it goes.

I also thought some terrain building classes might be fun.  The problem with terrain is that it generally takes at least 2 sessions due to setting and drying time.  My immediate thoughts were small Hirst Arts projects and the pipe cleaner trees I made in the past.  Useful and not too difficult.

On top of all that I’m making my very first attempts to sculpt minis.  There’s a reason for this but I won’t get into that now.  My first challenge is making the metal wire armatures.  “Twist the wire like this” doesn’t sound that hard but for me it is.  Metal hates me and getting both a smooth twist and a twist that’s the correct size in the correct place is not as easy as the pictures make it out to be.  I shall be twisting and cursing at more than a few pieces of wire while I get this right.

Until I can make consistent armatures I’m not even thinking of putting putty on anything.  I did take the time to find the sculpting tools I made when I still had access to the workshop.  It looks like between those and my standard sculpting tools I have enough to make a good start.  There’s someone on etsy who makes similar tools so I can get different ones if I need them.

Lastly if I have a good relationship with this store and their customers there’s a chance I could set up a regular time to run my dungeon crawl.  After I finish revising the rules, revising the encounters, and painting all the necessary minis.  I even have an idea for a PVP version but would need someone to help me run it.

Yes, Rastl may be back!

Rastl is on hiatus

January 26th, 2012 No comments

I make terrain and paint minis to play games.  They’re toys.

I’m not currently playing any games so I don’t have a reason to make terrain or paint minis.

I may eventually pick up the project of the modular dungeon again but for now it’s packed away along with all the other projects.  If so I’ll post about it here of course.

Running Games at Conventions

October 8th, 2011 1 comment

My game club has a discussion going right now about running games at the local conventions.  We haven’t really done so the last couple of times.

I had to cancel my games at the last one due to work pressures.  I was the only club member running games and mine isn’t a game the club actually plays but I put it as a club game since I’m a member and wanted our name in the program.

Because of this I really had to think about why I run games at conventions.  Canceling was a hard decision.

I don’t play games at the conventions.  I just prefer not to do so.  I don’t know or meet many people there.  Since those are the two main reasons to go to a convention it seems a bit of a waste to go just to run games and then leave.

In the balance I think I would much rather run my games at local stores.  I can support the stores and run games when I want to.  I’ve also got much more of a chance of getting to know people since I know where they hang out.

The game club has a harder decision since it has to do with relying on the members to put in the effort.   I don’t see myself running games for the club again.  I don’t know that I’ll run them at the conventions at all.

Discuss your thoughts on running games and where you like to run them.

Categories: Dungeon Crawl Tags: