Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Ravenloft Campaign: part 1

~ The Ravenloft Campaign ~
 
Book One: "The Gathering of Eight" part 1
 
The Year of Slumber
~ 735 ~
 
 
"Ogre Battle"
 He ran, ran as he hadnʼt ran in years. Broad sticks splintered beneath his heavy boots, driven deep into gritty soil. Branches whipped his face; scrub scraped at his calves above his boots, raising welts that remained all but invisible against skin red enough to suggest an agonizing sunburn. Or at least it would have, had he been human.
The creature`s eyes darted frantically left and right, seeking any possible escape, and its huge pudgy claws snagged on overhanging boughs and left a rain of dismembered leaves falling in his wake. He crashed directly through the trees where he could, snapping branches and saplings without slowing, darting around the larger trunks where even his prodigious strength proved insufficient to clear his path. And still he heard the sounds of pursuit, drawing ever nearer.
The trees were not tightly packed here, and those who followed him could fit between and flit around far more easily than he. Damn it all, he hadnʼt even wanted this! Heʼd killed neither man nor woman in almost three years... save when forced to defend himself. Not since heʼd turned fugitive, forsaking the worship of Gruumsh. Since heʼd given up serving the self styled Warlord of Barovia.
Since heʼd abandoned his tribe, in search of something better... something he still hadnʼt found... something that perhaps didn’t even exist: he had been a hunted beast.
He had been on the hunt that morning, seeking a deer or perhaps an unguarded sheep or cow on which to feast. That`s when the day started to go so wrong.
He travelled mostly at night - even before The Warlord`s campaign of terror, an Ogre near any of Barovia`s communities or highways could expect a welcome carried on the fletching of arrows or the crack of musket  fire - but heʼd thought himself far enough from civilisation that he could risk a daylight excursion.
But no such luck! He never learned why they were there - perhaps some nobleman just wanted a change of scenery, or maybe this misfortune was the vengeance of  The Warlord himself, but even as he darted across a length of back road that should have been empty, he stumbled directly into the path of a small procession. A heavy carriage and-four was trundling up the path, surrounded by no fewer than a dozen mounted knights. The carriage was wood painted black, and emblazoned with the ensign of a golden gauntlet.
Knights who were, perhaps understandably, unwilling to wait and find out just precisely why an Ogre twice their own height had appeared in their liege’s way. Crossbows rose like spines on a porcupine, and the Ogre hurled his spear with enough force to gouge stone. Alas, the weapon was balanced primarily for thrusting, not throwing, and the creature was so startled at the sudden confrontation that he failed to compensate. The weapon hurtled past the lead knight to embed itself in the wood of the carriage with a deafening crunch and a resounding, sonorous thrum.
Horses reared in panic, the vehicle lurched, and knights stumbled. A dozen bolts flew, but the Ogre was already running. Only three found their mark, and one of those failed even to penetrate the gigantean creature`s thick hide.
Ignoring two shafts protruding obscenely from his flesh, save for a slight limp that he couldn’t help, he sprinted off into the scattered copses of trees; and at least half the knights had followed. Even when the terrain grew rough and uneven, too loose and riddled with roots for their horses.. still they pursued. Their heavy armour didnʼt seem to slow them, or at least not enough to be a major deterrent.
Even now, after all he had been through and all he deliberately left behind, he balked at fleeing from humans. He told himself it was the only way to walk in the footsteps of the enlightened: to abandon the blood and violence that were sacrament and Ogre tradition; he told himself too, that with at least six-to-one odds, the knights were a threat even to him.
He told himself, and he almost believed... until the trees grew thick up ahead,  that he could run no further, and he realized that a part of him was glad. The Ogre spun, putting his back to the thickening copse: a narrow forest trail.. little more than a track, separated the trees on either side. A split rail fence further obstructed anyone from reaching him at a full tilt. Even if it couldn`t keep this enemy from coming up behind, the stony ground would at least make sufficient noise to warn of their approach. He drew his axe. It was a hideous thing, all jagged metal and rusty iron teeth, designed less for battle than for butchery.
He didn’t have to wait long. The first of the knights crashed from the sparser foliage in a tangle of leaves and steel. He hauled himself to a stop, staring at the Ogre through a blank and empty visor. The others soon appeared behind him, until six of his pursuers... no... eight, now silently faced him. Unable to aim their crossbows effectively through the trees, they switched to swords. Their shields bore the same gold gauntlet standard as the carriage they guarded.
Suddenly one of them spoke.
 
“Tell us your name, creature!” He wasnʼt sure which of the knights had spoken from behind those narrow visors; but he was surprised that any of them thought him worth speaking to at all. “Tell us, so we may tell our lord who attacked him.”
He could have argued. He could have pointed out that they shot at him as soon as he appeared on the road, and that it was they who pursued him when all he was trying to do was leave. But somehow, he was pretty sure that even if they gave him the time to explain, they wouldnʼt believe a word of it.
“Davro.” His voice was deep enough to rustle the leaves, to squirm in the stomachs of all who heard it. Though he knew it would only enrage them further, he still had his pride. Neither lying nor keeping silent ever so much as crossed his mind.
 
“My name is Davro.”
And indeed, even within their shells of steel, he saw them stiffen. Most had probably taken arms against The Warlord... and even those who hadn`t had certainly heard of the monster, clad in black-and-bone armour. Perhaps they had heard as well, the names of his lieutenants.
 “Then this isnʼt merely for our own lord,” that same knight announced in a hiss, “but for all Barovia!”
 

They came in a deafening clangour, a brass orchestra in full discordant cadence; and Davro tensed to meet them. The first died instantly, as the lead most man in any group to attack an Ogre always died: caught unprepared by Davrosʼ massive size, and the sheer strength of his blows. Shield and armour crumpled as easily as flesh and bone.

Blood splattered and vanished, slurped greedily away by the dry and thirsty earth, and the heavy body became a missile, knocking another of the knights from his feet. Then the rest were upon him, and the world became a blur of wood and steel. For a time, Davroʼs inhuman reach held them at bay, but with each prodigious swing he left a gap in his defences, and each time a soldier managed to dart ever nearer. Men and women (the knights included both to judge by their grunts and screams) fell beneath that hideous great axe.. mangled and bleeding. But other blades licked past his defences, etching shallow wounds in his ruddy skin. None were lethal... nor even especially incapacitating: but the burning sting and the fatigue of blood loss were beginning, albeit slowly, to demand his attention.

Three of the knights yet stood, and at least one of those who had fallen (his armour crinkled around his left arm and leg like paper) might still prove dangerous. The humans probably couldn’t tell just how many wounds the Orge had suffered, since the blood didn’t show as clearly against his skin as it would theirs, but Davro knew this couldnʼt continue much longer. In the end they would wear him down through sheer attrition.

So Davro did the unthinkable. With a sweep of one mighty arm, he hurled his huge axe between the two nearest knights. It roared past them, coming nowhere near to cutting either, and imbedded itself in the dirt beyond. But it also drew their eyes, if only for an instant; the twisting of their helms was all the evidence the Ogre required. And in that instant, Davro lunged, with his arms spread wide!


Both knights toppled beneath his enormous bulk. He landed deliberately on one elbow, crushing a helm into the earth and snapping the neck beneath it. Unencumbered by armour of his own, Davro was back on his feet before the other soldier could rise, or the one still standing could reach them. He crouched, lifting the fallen form from the earth... then swung the knight about by the feet, slamming the helpless man into the nearest tree. Once again, armour folded... crumpling the body beneath it!

That left only one, or at least, only one standing. Facing those odds, even wounded, Davro didnʼt need to retrieve his weapon. Steel screeched, bone snapped, and the Ogre stood alone.

Only then did he kneel beside his axe, allowing his head to droop, panting and gasping for breath. He gazed down at himself and scowled at his injuries, causing his muscles to ripple and quiver for a moment. A quick glance around revealed no medicinal herbs - at least none of those that Lady Scarlett Sylmarian `the hag witch` had taught him about: so he settled for tearing bits of cloth from the dead knights’ undergarments for makeshift bandages. And then, for long moments, Davro leaned against one of the larger trees, and pondered.

He should just go. Continue on his way, keep looking for a place of his own. Get away from those who would hurt him, or force him to hurt them. He had no good reason for seeking further trouble.

  Hils starts the campaign off with a small introduction piece, to set the tone and flavour of what`s to come:

 
But Davro was still an Ogre, with an Ogreʼs pride. Some things, he could not... would not let go. And if pride wasn’t a good reason to seek trouble, then damn it, it was a sufficient one!

Davro straightened, narrowed his eyes upon the tracks he and the knights had left in the grit, and began making his way back toward the road. It was slow, arduous, painful work, trudging back through the various copses and thickets. Every step pulled at his wounds, setting some to bleeding again despite the bandages wrapped excruciatingly tight around them.

Every bough seemed determined to slap at his face or poke at his shoulders while he kept his deep set eyes fixed on the trail. All in all, that wasn’t the problem. The carriage and the remaining guards were long gone by the time he finally reached the road. But he knew which way they would been headed, so that wasn’t the problem, either.

No, the problem was the village to which that road led. Not a large community by any stretch, consisting of only a few score inhabitants at most. Its local economy was clearly based around the general store, the tavern, and the inn: the local inhabitants obviously intended to take advantage of what few passersby found themselves travelling through the area.


Because that village sat on the only crossroads within miles, where the single thoroughfare became four... and while Davro knew the carriage hadn’t traversed its path, he didn`t have the first clue which of the three remaining directions the driver might have chosen.


For hours he crouched in the nearby hills, watching the people skitter about like insects.. and he seethed silently within at the indignation of his immediate plight. He knew that time was getting away from him, but somehow, he didnʼt think he could just stop a random traveller on the road and ask for advice. Doubtless they would just run screaming, and then the whole village would be out hunting him, bows and scythes, harquebus and blunderbuss and… suddenly Davro smiled to himself: and all at once, he knew what he must do. In the west, unconcerned with the Ogreʼs growing impatience, the lackadaisical sun finally began to set.


It might not have been a part of the villageʼs lifeblood, like the store or the tavern, but still it was one of the communityʼs most well kept buildings. The wood was whitewashed and free of rot; no gaps marred the expanse of shingles on the peaked roof, by which rain or sleet or pigeons might gain ingress. Davro recognized none of the icons carved on the doors or shutters. He knew only that, as he expected (and hoped) of a seemingly peaceful populace, The Warlord`s sigil was not displayed among them.
Only a select portion of the citizenry had filed into that church, ready to give thanks for the day just passed, or offer prayers for the day to come, or whatever it was humans asked of the gods when not in the midst of slaughtering in their names. Davro didnʼt much care. He knew only that inside those hallowed walls, the people were contained, and for the most part unarmed.
Once he felt it had grown dark enough for him to dart across the expanse of roads and gardens without being spotted, he rose from hiding. Offering a quick whispered prayer, asking the forgiveness of any deity who might currently be gazing upon this insignificant church, he broke into a long-legged sprint, head down, arms and legs pumping. A high-pitched screech suggested that he hadnʼt gone entirely undetected, but as it was followed by the sound of slamming shutters, he felt reasonably secure that nobody was yet preparing to raise an alarm.
Davro hit the door hard and ducked under the frame, scraping his skull shallowly across the wood. Without pause he slammed it shut behind, sticking a foot out to hold the portal against any attempt to open it from outside. The air was thick with incense and the echoes of a poetic sermon that had halted in mid-verse. Enormously wide eyes stared at him from several dozen faces, the parishioners twisting awkwardly upon their kneeling cushions to see who, or what, had interrupted them.
They wore what Davro assumed to be their best outfits - that is to say, those that weren’t entirely worn and speckled with dirt, and if there was a priest among them, leading them in prayer, the Ogre couldn’t pick him out.
Better get this going before they start screaming and panicking on me.
“All right!” he called out, remembering only at the last instant to speak in the common tongue.  “Iʼm not here to hurt anyone. So long as nobody tries to leave, and you answer my questions, everybody gets to walk out of here with all their limbs.”
“You canʼt do this!” One of the congregation, because there was always one, damn it, stood and turned to face him. Her face was pale, her lip quivering, but her jaw was set and she carried herself like someone who had seen battle before. He was suddenly quite glad that he had made a point of catching them unarmed.
“I canʼt?” he asked, his tone bland.
“No! This is the house of the gods, you monster! You....”
Davro reached out with both hands, clutched her about the shoulders and heaved her up into the rafters at the very peak of the sloped ceiling. There she clung, dangling above their heads; the room had again gone silent, save for her faint whimpering.
“The next one,” Davro told them, “is coming down as hard as they go up.”
“What…” The voice drifted from the assembly, cracked, cleared its throat, tried again. “What do you want?”
“An ensign. Gold gauntlet on black. His carriage just passed through earlier today. Who is he, and where did he go?” Then, after a moment of deathly silence, “You know, this place looks really flammable…”
“Baronet Urborin of Baratown,” someone cried out. “He oversees some of the land nearby. Donʼt know for sure which way he took when he left, but if he was heading home, it was probably the east road.”
“See? That wasnʼt so bad, was it?” Davro turned, reaching for the latch.
“Wait! What about her?”
The Ogre didnʼt even turn to look. “Iʼm sure one of you owns a ladder.” And then he was through the door and sprinting once again, determined to be well and truly gone before the villagers could gather their wits, flee the church, and organize any sort of pursuit.
Through the night he made his way. All notion of rest banished from his thoughts. When the waning moon and stars shone bright enough to reveal a thin, pale moon light, he ran.. as surefooted as if he travelled through the height of day. When the moon lay hidden under any veil of shadow, he crept, picking his path carefully. Yet refusing to be halted even for a moment. Davro had no idea how far it might be to Baratown, and he knew that if the baronet reached the gates and the safety of his community, heʼd lose his only chance.
He had to reach the carriage in time; he had to… and praise be, either to the gods or to his own unyielding endurance and ground-eating loping pace, he was sure he would. The Baratok mountains loomed ever closer, and the Ogre moved steadily onwards along the Svalich forest lands, like a behemoth through the night.
They too, were travelling well into the night, possibly to avoid the “vicious Ogre” they had encountered earlier. Or perhaps simply determined to make it home swiftly, now that over half their guards had vanished. The carriage-and-four travelled at a slow but steady pace, rattling and clattering over ruts in the road.
 
Two of the remaining knights rode alongside, one to either side of the vehicle, while the other pair had moved far ahead, scouting through the dark of night for any further danger.
Davro burst from the dense forest beside the road with a fearsome roar. The nearest of the horses reared in panic, and the Ogre took the opportunity to shove the beast as he thundered past it, toppling it over backward atop its own rider. He lowered his shoulder and struck the carriage at a dead run; wood splintered, wheels left the road, and the entire contraption came down on its side, hurling the driver from his perch and the far side knight from his saddle. Horses neighed and whinnied as they tried to extract themselves from the entangled mess of harness and leather. The Ogre calmly set each horse back on its feet, making sure... in turn... that none of them was injured in any way. When he was satisfied he turned his attention, once more, to the main concern.
Again the wood creaked, threatening to give way, as Davro leapt atop the fallen carriage, staring down through the open windows. Flung about within, lay a young couple - both bedecked in silks and satins, both with the arrogant mien of the nobility.. now washed away in a torrent of snivelling, nose-running terror - cringed back as far as the cramped confines would allow. Davro could smell the acrid tang of sweat and urine both, and chortled at the thought of these peacocks` ruined outfits.. that probably cost more than the carriage itself.
He had only moments before the last of the guards arrived, but still, he reached out.. s-l-o-w-l-y.. and deliberately, exulting in the terror as two pairs of eyes followed his every move…
Until, finally, his fist closed around the haft of the spear he had hurled, all unwittingly, into the heavy wood of the carriage that morning. It came free with an ear scraping squeak of steel on splintered wood.
“This is my favourite spear,” he rumbled at them, holding it up so they might see. “My Dad gave me this spear.”
Pathetic whimpers and terrified eyes looked up at him from inside the vehicle.
“And Iʼll be damned and buggered if Iʼm going to let a poop of bloody, over pampered humans make off with it!”
Just like that, his task accomplished and his pride assuaged, Davro was gone, leaving Baronet Urborinʼs last two knights to calm their liege and lady... and pick up the pieces.
 
 
End of Part 1. Next part coming in a few days from now, as we plan to write much smaller articles, but also more frequently too; rather than our usual 20 and 30 page pieces.
 
I hope you enjoyed the first part of our Ravenloft quasi historical campaign. I know we all did here, and the first game session was amazingly good fun to play and host.
 
Hilary xx
 
 
Afterwards:
 
Posty just pulled up the drive, and delivered a nice hefty parcel. Originally planned as a Christmas Present to each other (actually, an essential purchase for the new campaign). i.e. the 3 main 5th edition core rule books: "The Players Handbook," "The Dungeon Masters Guide" & "The Monster Manual."
 
Only trouble is.., and yes, we all came to the same conclusion and ultimate agreement (at the same time) that this really needs to be an early present, as the information contained within these core books is essential and absolutely vital to running our campaign to maximum efficiency. So this one never made it to the December pile of presents, normally placed underneath the lounge Christmas Tree.
 

Up to now we have been using the 5th edition Starter Box Set, which is absolutely fantastic, but to play the kind of games we play, we are thinking that we really need the full kit-and-caboodle.
1000 pages of new reading material to savour and enjoy mmmm
 



 


25 comments:

  1. Love it, I still laugh at the twist... hahaha, did not expect it all to be about that bloody spear hahahaa. Nice Dungeon Mastering that. I still laugh as he picked the horses up one at a time and carefully set them back on the hoof. Excellent attention to small detail that. I shall have to look to my laurels next session when its my turn to DM the game.

    Glad you put the Boldavia year as well as the historical year. I suddenly realised had no idea what calendar year Ravenloft is currently set in, so nice addition (and save) there too.

    Heck, maybe we might all vote you just to continue DM-ing this one for us all love. You have a fine eye and knack for this gothic theme.

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  2. um... that's Barovia isn't it - not Boldavia hahahaahahaha.

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  3. I really like the default time setting you've chosen for this, it’s sort of pathfinding the way for us while staying highly symbiant with Stevie`s Liberty or Death "Last of the Mohicans" era miniatures, thus allowing.. yeah.. horses and carriages, mohawks and muskets, banners and drums, fifes and redcoats, alongside swords and armour, spears and bows. Quite masterly time setting Hil, and harkens back to early 2nd edition Ravenloft and their real world 18th/19th century optional module D&D setting.

    I`m looking forward to lots more of Davro in future games. Just love the Shrek feel you give him. Sounds like it might almost be too Wald Disney, but the extra layer of gore and macabre easily keeps that from being the case (as the actual live game session proved): making him one of the better NPC characters I`ve seen in a game for a long time. Nice work Hil.

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  4. Hey, thanks you guys. But I`m sure you will each have just as much fun when it comes to your turns at DM this game, and will do just as well and much better besides. That's the good thing about multi DM run campaigns (as long as you all trust one another to stay in keeping) the game never gets dull or becomes too samey.

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  5. In a word, excellent! A great start to what promises to be a very entertaining campaign, Hil. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    @Steve. Crikey, mate, that's an impressive haul of books you've just received. I have no doubt you'll put them to good use. Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you Bryan. It was such fun (especially the live game session this was taken from). The whole idea came from two things that inspired me to play the adventure. The first was a Queen song (Ogre Battle) from their first album:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p-5CgWP7Iw

      The second thing was a short `fan based` story which simply did it for me. Second I read it I just knew I wanted to incorporate the idea into a table top pen and paper (+ miniatures) game session.

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  6. You`re not wrong Bryan mate. These were a much considered choice we made (over a few weeks of discussion): do we want to invest in 5th edition rules when we already have Ravenloft in 2nd edition - we said to one another... and we HAD 3rd edition too before I gave away to my daughter Felicity and her fella Jack(so I have ready access to it if I needed it), but I dunno.. SOME-thing about 5th ed pulled me to it with a deep passion. Perhaps the simplification of 5th ed back to the early days of the hobby... combined with modern artwork, modern game reasoning, and 40 years of play testing to `get it right` this time round. What ever it was pulled us all to it, it was a good call. All of us have now poured over the yummy new hardcover books and all agree, these are three huge treasured tomes of loveliness.

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  7. Bryan, like Jez is doing, you really should paint a suitable D&D figure that inspires you and which you could believe in as your alter ego (like your Vampifan). Either a figure from your existing collection that you wont ever use for anything else, or *gasp* buy a cheap Reaperbones one or something. Send it to the guys and the mini will live and breathe in the campaign. I guarantee, myself, to try my hardest to keep him safe as an NPC in the game. Should he even not make it.. or at the eventual end of the whole campaign, he will be sent back to you in the post, from posterity - on your shelf. Go on go on, you know you want to.

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    1. Oh my gosh! First of all, I'm honoured you'd want to include a mini me in your campaign. Secondly, thank you for offering to look after him (or her, as I quite often played female PCs in AD&D). The thing is, I played quite a few heroes and it's hard to think of who I'd like to use as my alter ego. Let me put my thinking hat on and get back to you, okay? Oh, and if I do send you a suitable figure, it won't break my heart if he suffers an untimely end. I understand these things can happen and one shouldn't take it personally. It's just a game after all.

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    2. *smiles softly* I will wait for you to choose one then. Or, if you trust me, I will make/convert one for you myself (if I can have the e-x-a-c-t specs you`d like for him/her to have). I will be happy to have this character stick close by in the game, and I will keep a close eye out for this Player NPC.. like I would by own kin. If you want me to do it, I will try hard have it finished this very week as is, because I think I know a perfect spot to add a new character into the game for our second session, planned for the table in a few days time.

      Let me know either way, as we need to get moving on this idea, as the campaign is up and running and I`d dearly love to get this idea implemented (Jez will be telling ME soon, as well.. nag nag nag lol).

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  8. Great intro guys, nice story, lovely twist at the end, compelling writing.

    Top class stuff!!

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  9. Very entertaining, with a nice twist I wasn't expecting. And good use of the Star Wars miniatures as the knights.
    And you'll be pleased to hear that I think I've found my 'alter ego' - just need to see him 'in the flesh', which will be at Warfare on 18th. That way, the money i would have spent on shipping costs, I can buy MORE figure with. Go me!!

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  10. Yaaaaay!! That is wonderful. I`ll also see you there Jez.

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  11. you spotted Palpatine`s Royal Guard then lol, well done. I`m dear curious now to see who you have chosen to represent`you` in all this :)

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  12. I shall keep my eyes peeled for you, Tarot, but no doubt we'll pass each other like ships in the night, as whilst I have a fair idea what you look like, I am still a man of mystery. Who does sort of look like Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show...just look for big eyebrows and a sour expression.
    And you'll just have to wait and see, Steve. I have a feeling he may not be travelling alone...

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    1. in the same way that you will be looking for your alter ego, I too will be scouring the stands for a good female tiefling wizard type, to represent me. I love this race and really want to play one - ever since seeing the character "Strix" in Perkins Chris live play Raveloft campaign (check it out below, its really good, very long/many, many episodes):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1ZbgywIF6Y

      I`ll be the one endlessly sucking smoothies absentmindedly through a straw, usually oblivious to what and who is around me, other than what I am focussing on at the time.

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    2. I meant Chris Perkins, but the words came out back to front there for some reason.

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  13. {{And good use of the Star Wars miniatures as the knights.}}

    Being older, it always strikes me how quickly (in the great scheme of things) everything changes. No more is this so poignantly displayed, than within the hobby itself. Way back (probably a few more years and it will be talked about as retro) Wizards of the Coast (in cahoots with Hasbro I think) came up with the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System Boardgames and their various add on expansions. The miniatures contained in each box came unpainted: but only a cursory sweep showed these to be e-x-a-c-t-l-y the same miniatures Wizards had bought out some years earlier in what, at the time, had been called The Dungeons and Dragons Collectable Miniatures Skirmish Game. These earlier sculpts had all come prepainted. Sadly, the later Adventure System ones weren't.

    The original Prepainted Collectable Miniatures were very successful for Wizards at the time, and so they extended the range and moved into Star Wars. Timing was excellent for them as the new `prequels` were hot off the cinematic press, as it were: and every `big screen` in the world seemed to be airing "The Phantom Menace." Wizard`s Star Wars minis all came prepaintd as well, and many gamers enjoyed these even more than their slightly older D&D cousins.

    But the beauty of it all was, they were all utterly interchangeable and usable with one other during table top games. Now, with the Adventure System Boardgames.. ok we had to paint these ourselves (we tried to make them look as close to the prepainted ones as possible, rather than make them look better, yet stand out like sore thumbs against the rest) , but by combining: the boardgames ones, and the original prepainted D&D minis, and the Star Wars ones; it means any serious collector of these lovely pieces, potentially, has an absolutely massive array of 28mm monsters, heroes, and NPCs in his or her gaming arsenal.

    For me, using the Imperial Royal Guard to represent my Ravenloft Red Cloaked Knights seemed a natural progression, as they looked to cool and appropriate. I find that I use a lot of the Star Wars minis this way, more and more lately.

    Even now, If I ever come across any of the original D&D prepainted ones we tend to go hobby lust crazy, and try hard to lap them up to absorb into our slowly growing collection.

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  14. Exactly. Whilst no-one has everything they want/need hobby-wise (Steve may claim he does, but like Columbo, they'll always be "just one more thing..."), those of us who've been collecting for a while probably have the majority of the figures we need for any 'new' project we can think of. As shipping costs rise, rather than forking out for that 'must have' figure, always check what you've already got first. Nine times out of ten, you've already got what you need. If not, then spend the money.

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  15. I like the Columbo reference.

    Yes poor Stevie, he tries so hard `not` to keep buying new stuff, but sometimes those pesky odds are just stacked against him. Like that oh so cool Peasant wagon over on "Anything But a 1" only £3 - oh my what an amazing price. Then there`s those elusive missing pieces he really wants for his HeroClix: Storm, and Scarlet Witch (you know, the one from the new Captian America "Civil War," I think its the black knee socks that got him hehe). Then there`s Tarot with her long search for the perfect tiefling mage.. or rather, ANY tiefling mage I think at this stage in her searching lol.

    But yea, like you say. Is any collection truly complete. Can it even be for us? In even evolving table top and pen and pencil games where new ideas constantly spring up fresh needs, there will always be that oh so wanted miniature or terrain piece. “I want a Golem Monster for my Frankenstein Lab” so we look to finding a suitable stitched together monstrosity (thanks to you, you actually ticked that one off the list for me when you sent me that rare HorrorClix mini): or “I want to play a game that involves pumpkins and pumpkin patches!” As you say, look around first and check to see if you don`t already have something that can be converted. And IF not, then maybe it is time to search the net.. or head out to the game events and see what your meanderings can turn up.

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  16. Ok, you guys really have convinced me, yet again. I just went searching for 28mm tiefling minis on line, and sure, plenty show up if you search deep enough. Maybe not all ideal (wring class, too skimpily attired, wrong pose, bla bla) but they`re out there alright. So I get excited at this, what seemed to me, highly convertible tiefling rogue – and only $2.42. I signed up to the site, went through all the normal formula and discovered the postage was an additional $40 to Ireland. WHAT the *.... I thought!!! So deflated, I stood in front of the glass cabinets (I often do that holding a mug of hot tea and stare at all the miniature wonders contained within.. the cabinet, not the mug of tea) and I suddenly found myself stating right at an old Mage Knight figures (saved and `stolen` by me, looong ago from my brother`s old collection). I tilted my head and stared. Yesssss, she would do nicely. Check her out:

    http://www.trollandtoad.com/p132559.html

    I think I will do a small article on this project. As I turn her from an elf Nage Knight BattleMage into a cool D&D Ravenloft Tiefling Warlock/Sorcerer.

    You really can`t beat do-it-yourself can you *winks*

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  17. *two hours later*

    woohooo!!!!

    She's done. I`m really pleased how she turned out.

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  18. What you gonna call her in the game?

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  19. Nothing too original I`m afraid, but a combination of respect for the original figure I converted her from, combined with my favourite tiefling player character from Chris Perkins you tube live D&D adventure.

    Morvana Stormbringer (nickname: “Strix”): Female Sorcerer.

    Morvana is a heavy hitter with any adventure group she is part of. Having multiple attack options, her full arsenal of offensive magics and weapon attacks makes her an obvious choice for front line combat: although she is extremely useful holding back at the rear and supporting her comrades with a deadly array of magic missiles and augmentative `enhancer` magics.

    She is tough and resilient (her basic magical healing skill is a bonus boon she does not forget to use when she needs to).

    Used to being treated with hostility, open suspicion, and occasionally even verbal or physical aggression by others not of her kind, she trusts very few people. But once her trust is earned, she is completely loyal and faithful to her friends. Her tall womanly presence makes her an imposing, taciturn figure, as she glides along happily with silent easy elegance and grace.

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