Mini Monday #15: Painting Yochlol

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re painting Yochlol from Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game.

Mini Monday Logo

We’ve already painted a few minis from this great game, and we’ll be painting loads more in the weeks to come. Yochlol is a pretty simple model, but it’s also perfect for highlighting a few techniques that we’ll come back to in the next few projects. Today is all about washes! (No, not handwashing, though you should be doing that too.)

Step 1: Clean and Basecoat

I base coated Yochlol white. I used to love black as a base coat, but white is nice and bright and, in this case, it’s a perfect base for step 2…

Step 2: Mellow Yellow

I painted the entire model yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow), except for Yochlol’s eye.

Painting Yochlol 1
Custard Monster!

Step 3: Flesh Wash

Paint the entire mini with Flesh Wash.

Painting Yochlol 2: Flesh Wash
A little definition goes a long way.

Flesh Wash isn’t available from GW anymore, but Coat d’Arms still sell the original Citadel Flesh Wash, now called Ink Wash: Flesh. It’s a terrible wash for skin tones, but I discovered a bunch of great uses that make this is a great paint to add to your collection. Yochlol is our first test subject.

Flesh Wash pools in the recesses of the mini and gives a nice contrast with the yellow. If too much wash pools in one spot, just use a dry brush to mop up the excess. When you’re happy, leave the mini to dry.

Step 4: Details

Paint the eye white. When that’s dry, add a little blue to your white and paint a line along the top edge of the eye. This provides a slight shadow. Paint the whole pupil and iris black. When that’s dry, paint the iris orange, being careful to paint within the “lines” or edges of the iris you painted black before. Lastly, paint the base to fit the rest of your collection.

Painting Yochlol 3: Detail
Here’s Looking at You.

Step 5: Varnish

Varnish with gloss varnish. Two coats works best. The gloss gives Yochlol a wet, slimy look. You can use a matt varnish on the base to create some variety.

That’s it, you’re done!

Painting Yochlol 4: Finished
Done!

Yochlol is a quick and easy model to paint, which also makes it perfect for trying out new things. This was the first time I’d found a good use for Flesh Wash, and the techniques I used on the eye were a first for me too. Overall, I’m very happy with the results.

Home Alone? Here’s a Free Solo Adventure!

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Use the coupon code “HAPPYSOLO”

 

Stay safe out there everyone!



Mini Monday #14: Jump into Miniature Painting

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I share why you should take the plunge and jump into miniature painting.

Mini Monday Logo

Many of you already know that I got back into miniature painting after 20 or so years away from the game. In all this time, and the four or so years I’ve been back, my Space Marines have gone unfinished, all because I was too intimidated to paint their Angels Encarmine chapter symbols. Here’s how I took the plunge.

Jump Into Miniature Painting

Blood Angels fans might know about their sister chapter of the Second Founding, the Angels Encarmine. Their chapter symbol is a blood drop between bat wings. Drawing symmetrical bat wings is hard enough, but try painting them freehand on a 10mm wide shoulder guard! There are no transfers for this. I didn’t want them to look cheesy, so I left my minis unfinished.

Now, these were some of the first minis I ever painted. They don’t look great, but I didn’t want to scrap them or strip them. Why I thought badly painted chapter symbols would make a difference, I don’t know, but ego is a powerful thing.

Skilling Up

Knowing how to paint freehand is half the battle.

I had already tried making a template, which worked well for the company symbol — a single yellow-gold blood drop for my 2nd Company. Miniac, a prolific mini painter on YouTube, recently posted a great video on freehanding, which showcased templating along with a load of other freehanding tricks. That got me onto using electrical tape to make templates, and I was halfway there.

But the template didn’t always work. Most of the time it left me with a big black blotch. What did work was painting in the detail with red on the red shoulder guard, hiding the black. Think of it like deleting parts of the image to get what you want. This worked phenomenally well, and turned out to be pretty easy.

But That’s Not the Point

The point is, you have to try, otherwise you’ll never learn. These Space Marines aren’t about to win any prizes, but this has given me a bunch of ideas for improving, and I can move on (finally).

Angels Encarmine First Attempt
Yes, I’m posting embarrassing photos of my poor painting skills, but that’s not the point…

The other thing is motivation. I’m very interested in what motivates me. I realized it would be awesome to do “painted” Adeptus Astartes that looked like they’d been worked over by a Renaissance artist.  Maybe the Angels Encarmine decorate their armor with elaborate images in veneration of the Emperor or as a reminder of past battles. It sounds like a cool bit of lore to me.

So now I’m not just freehanding chapter symbols, but scrolls and oaths of moment, and have plans for much more intricate work. I have a vision, a plan, and all I need to do was jump.

So jump into miniature painting.

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Gargoyle Mini Monday Mug
Paintbrushes, water, or regular old caffeine. Whatever it holds, it does so in style.

If you enjoy these posts, please share, leave a comment, or buy a funky gargoyle mug or gargoyle sticker.



Hand-Drawn OSR Maps Bring Retro Feels

I love maps. Maps tell a story words can’t. Maps are an invitation to explore, and something to show off.

My first RPG map ever was painstakingly copied from the Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play book, and was an underground lair much like two of our recent releases. I still remember the note nailed to the door of the hideout: “Observe the laws of Asylum: Knock and wait.” Good times!

 

One of my favourite maps is the huge poster map of the Old World from Warhammer. The map was included in the massive 300th edition of White Dwarf, and has the titular dwarf illustrated on the back. Yes, I know, I’m a huge Warhammer FRP fan, it’s true.

The cover of White Dwarf 300. Colossal is true! We won’t show you the actual map, because of copyright, but you’ll find pictures if you Google it.

Kim Frandsen has been producing hand-drawn OSR maps for us, and here are the first nine of them. Each pack contains several versions of the same map, and all are covered under our stock art license, so you can use them in publications as well as in your home campaigns.

You can find all our Elite Design Elements, including the above OSR maps, on Drive Thru RPG, and all our maps and map tiles are also on Drive Thru. (All our Elite Design Elements can be used in commercial products, while our other maps are only intended for personal use. You know how it is.)

Map Tiles

We’ve done a bunch of Print on Demand map tiles, like our Maze Tiles and Sea Tiles.

Raft on Sea Tiles
Ah yes, early product photos.

Maze Tiles Detail 1

We’ve also done clix-sized sewer tiles, which are still some of my favourite POD products we’ve ever done, besides the Madness Cards.

Hero Gridz Sewer

Got a request for a map? Bang it out in the comments below and we’ll see what we can do. There are plenty more maps on the way, so check back often.



Madness Cards for D&D Fifth Edition

As sanity slips away, draw Madness Cards to decide your character’s mental affliction.

‘In a mad world, only the mad are sane!’
— Akira Kurosawa

Madness Box Cover
Madness Box Cover

A pack of Madness Cards contains 60 cards; two copies of 30 unique afflictions, each with a short term, long term, and indefinite madness, including afflictions from Arcanaphobia to Zoophobia, compatible with the Fifth Edition OGL.

Check It Out

You can see our in-depth look at the Madness Cards on YouTube:

The free printable rules leaflet is available on Drive Thru RPG. It goes into the differences between the cards and the madness rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. It’s not a big difference, really, and we’ve tried to keep these as intuitive as possible.

Madness Cards Set
So many cards.

The cards themselves are pre-cut, poker-sized, with rounded corners, and they come in a handy card box.

Our Design Philosophy

Madness Cards were designed to be intuitive, with all the rules you need printed on each card. Nobody wants to page through reams of text at the table, so having everything on a poker-sized cards makes things easy. We included two copies of each card so that the DM and afflicted character’s player could each have a copy.

We wanted a connection between the various madnesses, so here each card’s content is grouped by affliction, such as Vampirism, Claustrophobic, or Delusions of Grandeur. Each level of madness affects your character in different ways, with short term madness mostly affecting combat and indefinite madness affecting how you roleplay your character.

 

Most of the rules text is brand new, so you can give up on that stuffy old table in the DMG.

South African Limited Print Run

If you’re in South Africa and are interested in a pack or two, let me know by contacting us through our Contact Page. We’re looking to do a limited print run of the cards locally, to defer some of the high import costs involved in getting the cards from the US.

 



Coercion — Valkyrie: Ragnarok

This is the second bit of fiction in the Valkyrie: Ragnarok and Valkyrie: Saga settings, and sits at the start of Valkyrie: Ragnarok. I hope you enjoy it. For the full story, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

Because of adult content, the following is not recommended for readers under the age of 12.

Bors ran his rough fingers over her skin, lightly tracing every scar.
“You’re pretty, for a Get.”
“You’re pleased, master?”
“You’ll do, half breed.”
“Thank you, master.
“You’re trained?”
“Yes master, by the queens of the Lotus Courts.”
“Really, a Savonin plaything? I thought they drowned their bastards? Or were you a curiosity?” Bors asked, running his hand down her long legs.
“I don’t know, master.”
“Probably. And yet you’re here. Far from Savonin. Far from Angor.” Bors ran his hand along her arm, then grabbed her wrist, hard. He pulled her hand closer, until it was between their faces. “A plain decoration,” he said, indicating the burnished orange bangle on her wrist. “But not Savonin, or Angorian. Not from Avernos either, at least not the lands the light touches. Dwarven.”
“If you say so, master.”
Bors shook her, hard, his expression dangerous. “You know it is. My spies have been watching you. You wear your hair loose to hide it, but you’re a half breed Get, plain enough. The child of a human slave and her elvish slave master, a child of a Savonin heathen lust ritual, more likely than not. Yet, you’re alive and far from the lands that spawned you. You’re an interesting one, for sure, but everyone has their story. Not easily do the miserly dwarves give up their tokens, even of copper. What’s your story, wench?”
“My story is whatever you want it to be, Master.” She said, as she tried to pull out of his iron grip.
“No games.” Bors’ demeanor changed again, and he smiled, revealing his brown, stained teeth. “A Get like you has a hard enough time as it is. Uncle Bors can help. I’ve got many brothers. Friends, really. Help us and we’ll help you. The undercity of Bastion would be a hard place for one, such as yourself, if you were found out.”
“Master can have what he paid for.”
Bors swung himself over her, pinning her to the musty sleeping pallet with his naked body. “I want answers. My silver not good enough for that?”
“Off me, or I’ll scream.” She’d dropped the coquettish act.
“Oh, your man’s been dealt with. So hard to get good help these days, hey?” Bors’ voice turned cold. “Now, tell me the truth, or you’ll end up in the Depths. Can you speak the elven tongue?”
“Yes.”
“And Dwarven?”
“No. I know nothing of…”
Bors slammed the back of his hand through her face. “Tell me again.”
“I know it.” She said, as blood welled up inside her mouth.

You’ll get more of the story if you’re a subscriber to our newsletter.



Adventurer’s Guide to Fey Magic

The Adventurer’s Guide to Fey Magic is an introductory guide featuring advice, treasure, charms, and other rewards for your journeys into the Feywild. Written by David N. Ross, the PDF clocks in at 26 pages, with the OGL and credits taking a page of that, together.

From the Back Cover

The homes of the fey — in the Feywild or in enchanted regions of the mortal world — offer power and danger for local heroes and intrepid interlopers alike. Many seek their fortunes there for good reason. Any adventurer might quest for the otherworldly power of the fey courts, or even aspire to become an archfey, in the right circumstances.

Part 1 of the guide helps adventurers orient themselves among the fey.

Part 2 provides a variety of unique fey rewards for adventurers to seek out.

The Adventurer’s Guide to Fey Magic is available on the DMs Guild.

The Adventure Begins

David, who has many writing credits, particularly for Paizo, came to me with an idea for a series of books on the Fey and Feywild of Faerûn, and the ball got rolling.

Now, we’d like you to join us as we plan for the next book in the series. What would you like to see David and I unpack with book 2? Let us know, in the comments below.

Magic Life Lessons and Mini Monday

I’ve decided to put our two blog series on hold for now, so that we can focus on producing more exciting RPG content. If you enjoyed Magic Life Lessons or Mini Monday, please leave a comment on one of the posts in the series and let us know. Your feedback means a great deal to us.

With MLL and MM out of the way, we’ll be able to focus on our free fiction. The first release, First Contact, is on the blog.



Mini Monday #13: Level Up Your Painting in 2020

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’m playing it lazy and sharing an excellent video from Midwinter Minis that will help you level up your painting in 2020. I’ll also add in a few of my own tips.

Mini Monday Gargoyle

Guy and Penny from Midwinter Minis share great painting and scenery making tips on their YouTube channel. They’re one of the top mini painting channels, in my opinion, and their 23 Free ways to get better at painting models video (below), is worth checking out.

Rodney’s Tips

Here are a few of my own tips:

1. Paint with a Pal

Painting with others is a great way to learn, make time for painting, and keep motivated. Kim Frandsen (writer of Heaven & Hell) and I chat over Google Hangouts while we paint. We talk about the industry and all sorts of things, and we share our progress live or by sending photos of our work. Kim used to work at a games shop, where he also had to paint minis, so I’ve learned loads from him.

2. Finish Models, Keep Painting

Mini Monday is all about keeping motivated and getting through that pile of plastic. After 20 years, I got back into painting and found it to be a great (and even cheap) way to clear my mind and relax. But why had I given it up for so long? I loved the hobby, and even made it into a career, but I’d started collecting prepainted minis and my grey plastic ones were collecting dust. I realize now that the pile of unfinished models was intimidating.

Now I pick my battles and get models done, and that keeps me motivated.

3. Batch Painting

Batch painting really sped up my painting. By painting squads or groups of similar miniatures, I can turn each step of the painting process into a production line. That way, the minis are ready for the table at the same time and I don’t have to switch tools or paints often. You can literally do your whole army like this, as Brent from Goobertown Hobbies did with his 100 goblins (another YouTube video).

level up your painting
I painted four drow together, before finding four more that needed the brush. Doh!

May 2020 be a great year for you as you level up your painting!



December RPG Blog Carnival Roundup

2020 is almost upon us, it’s our birthday, and it’s time for the December RPG Blog Carnival Roundup!

2020

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival was all about the players and their characters. The theme was “Adventurer, take this… ,” and we hoped it would inspire you to join in the fun and post an article on the subject.

rpg blog carnival logo

Mayhem in Space

Moebius Adventures posted some great adventure seeds for Aliens & Asteroids, including a “Big Red Button” and a seemingly simple mission to an uninhabited planet. Of course, all kinds of things will probably go wrong for the party, thanks to your wily GM, but that’s roleplaying.

These seeds could easily be adapted to any Space exploration game and are sure to inspire you.

Read Adventurer, Take This…, on Moebius Adventures.

The Mystery Wagon

Codex Anathema has been diving into the artificer this month, and brought us a fantasy version of the Mystery Machine in the Mystery Wagon. Not only is it a great way to avoid wasting time shopping for gear, but post includes a handy new artificer infusion for resizing the wagon.

Read Adventurer, Take This…, on Codex Anathema.

Custom Mini’s for Your PCs

Our very own Mini Monday cooked up an idea for making your own traveling wargaming and roleplaying set, using LEGO minifig heads. This is a great way to let your players build their own highly portable character figure.

Read Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming, on Rising Phoenix Games.

Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming
LEGO Minifig heads make great travel wargaming miniatures.

Gaming Addiction

Roleplaying, like other gaming, can be addictive. Be aware of the signs of a gaming addiction and seek help if you need it. Our own Magic Life Lessons takes a look at gaming addictions and how you might go about cutting back from unhealthy gaming habits.

Read Magic Life Lessons #11: Gaming Addiction, on Rising Phoenix Games.

That’s a Wrap!

That’s it for the RPG Blog Carnival roundup, for December, and for 2019! We hope you enjoyed this month, and the year, and that 2020 — the “Year of the Icosahedron” — is a great one for you and your gaming group.

See you in 2020!



The Phoenix is 9, Get 50% Off Heaven and Hell

It’s our birthday, and we’ll give away discounts if we want to! All subscribers, old and new, will get 50% off Heaven and Hell from our store, with an exclusive discount code going out at midnight (Hawaii time). Subscribe to our newsletter now to get your voucher.

Rising Phoenix is 9 - 50% off Heaven and Hell
Image credit: Pineapple Supply Co

Heaven & Hell: Aasimar & Tiefling Ancestries

Heaven & Hell Cover

Heaven & Hell: Aasimar & Tiefling Ancestries presents two popular races, fully compatible with the second edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. It includes everything you need to create an aasimar & tiefling character:

  • Aasimar and tiefling heritages, including the lawbringer archon and gobmaw barghest heritages
  • Ancestry feats for both ancestries, for 1st, 5th, 9th, and 13th level
  • 50 random ancestry features for each ancestry
  • Ancestry equipment
  • Rules for combining these ancestries with any other ancestry in the game. An aasimar gnome or a dwarven tiefling are now all possible.

Buy the book from our store and we’ll send you a redeemable link to add the book to your Drive Thru RPG account. Our store accepts PayPal.

Rising Phoenix is 9!

Rising Phoenix Games was born on New Year’s Eve, 2010. Since then we’ve been making content for Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2, Dungeons & Dragons, and stand-alone games. Recently we’ve been exploring the depths with our Undersea Sourcebooks, which you’ll see more of in 2020.

We’ll also be releasing free fantasy fiction through our newsletter in 2020, which will be a longer form of the fiction we release on the blog. It’s just one more reason for you to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the first piece of Valkyrie: Ragnarok fiction, First Contact, here.

Thank you for celebrating this special day with us, and may you have an amazing 2020! There’s a lot to look forward to, and we hope you’ll join us for the adventure.

Get 50% Off Heaven and Hell



Magic Life Lesson #11: Gaming Addiction

Magical Life Lessons are short snippets of wisdom learned from playing Magic: the Gathering. It may be a game, but here you’ll find insights learned from slinging cards that you can apply to the game of life.

Let’s get serious for a bit. Gaming addiction is a real thing, and as we swing into the holiday season we’ve got a chance to sit back and take stock of things.

Magic Life Lesson #11: Gaming Addiction

I’ll throw my own definition of gaming addiction your way, but if you’re looking for a more formal definition, from the pros, check out GameQuitters.com’s excellent article on the signs, symptoms, and causes of gaming addiction.

To me, any addiction negatively impacts your life. If you’re lying, stealing, losing sleep, or neglecting work, then you’re probably addicted.

I often struggle to stop playing MTG Arena, saying things like “Just one more game” or “one more win.” That has caused me to lose sleep, which has a knock-on effect on everything else.

How to Combat a Gaming Addiction

I’m no medical professional, so, as a “life gamer,” I can only offer advice based on my own best judgment. Here’s what I’m doing to break my addiction.

Moment of Craving - Gaming AddictionSet Limits

I play every three days, so I can nab those quests. The goal is to end when I’ve cleared the quests, or at bedtime.

Set Priorities

Because I work as a freelancer and for myself, I do a lot of work in the evening. Keeping work as a priority, to do first, has always helped me from blowing the whole evening on Magic: the Gathering. Often, MTG Arena never goes on and I go to bed with a sense of accomplishment.

Be Accountable to Someone

Let other people know you’re playing, and encourage them to pull the plug if you can’t. If they’re someone you trust, let them know about your struggles.

Be warned. Tensions can flare, because you don’t want to stop. Remember why you’ve got a cut off time. Stop while you’re ahead and while the game is still fun, and you’ll remember the old saying “Everything in moderation.”

Looking For Help?

If your concerned, you can take this short survey on GameQuitters.com. They’ve got a host of other resources too.

RPG Blog Carnival

This week’s Magical Life Lesson is brought to you by the RPG Blog Carnival, which is all about the players this month. Roleplaying can be addictive too. Be aware of the signs of a gaming addiction and seek help if you need it.

Our Christmas Sale

Our Christmas sale is now on. Use the coupon code “NOEL2019” at checkout to get 30% off your purchase from our store.