Friday, May 22, 2015

An Exceptional Podcast

There is a truism amongst RPGers that listening to another person talk about their game, or their favorite character is an excellent way to clear a room. D&D and other tabletop RPGs are fun if you are doing, NOT if you are watching. It is known.

There are, however, a few shining exceptions to this rule. The Acquisitions Inc. "celebrity" games held at the PAXes are one example, as are some of the RPGs featured on Geek & Sundry. The appeal of these examples, however, relies in large part on the participation of notable members of the geek glitterati.

Well, recently I was directed to another exception to the D&D spectatorship rule. I have started listening to The Adventure Zone podcast, which was created by the McElroy's who also host My Brother, My Brother and Me over on Maximum

In the Adventure Zone, Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy are joined by their father as they dive in to 5th Edition D&D. Most of them have zero to limited experience with D&D, and Griffin is a first time dungeon master. They begin with the Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure before spinning off into a homebrewed plot set in the Forgotten Realms.

I regularly find myself laughing out loud in my car as the podcast plays during my commute, and have even sat for a few moments in the parking lot from time to time, just to hear a little more. The guys are definitely beer and pretzels-type gamers with a solid presence on the radio. The combination of table banter, humorous character choices, good radio presence and a willingness to not worry about genre makes this podcast highly listenable.

As a bonus, the Adventure Zone also solicits the names and ideas of listeners for use in their world. This has given rise to such characters as Magic Bryan, the drow, Johan the sad bard, and Davenport the gnome. I'm currently about 8 episodes in to what is currently a 15 episode run with new 'casts released every 2 weeks. So, if you need a nerding fix that you can enjoy while you work or drive, I highly recommend getting into The Zone.

Episode 1: of The Adventure Zone

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mini Painting Day!

We had our regularly scheduled D&D session this Sunday, but because PCs have just dinged to a new level, and because we have a former member of our game group rejoining, I offered my group the option of either leveling on their own, then playing as usual, or leveling as a group, and then doing a mini painting day. They opted for the latter option, so I set up my painting gear in the dining room, and we spent the afternoon painting.

 S painted up her chain-wielding pit fighter. Excellent do for her very first mini.

N painted this Bones figure to be his gnomish wizard. He had never worked with Bones minis before. I also taught him about the glories of washes for smoothing out rough edges and blending highlights.

For my part, I finished this mummy, which I had previously base coated.

I also painted up this excellent land shark that came with the Bones II set. Heavily textured models sometimes seem to just paint themselves, because the sculpt does all the work for you. I was really pleased with how this little guy turned out.

But my favorite of the day, and I think my favorite mini paint job to-date, was this mimic, who will serve as a figurine for Baux, the mimic trader in my campaign. I was especially pleased that I managed to pick out the skull that is stuck under the mimic's tongue.

Today got me jazzed to put some more time in on the other 300+ minis I have waiting for paint. Hopefully I'll be able to make some more progress moving forward.

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