Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Painted: Grenadier Giant (Verbeeg)

Here's another of the monsters I started off the blog with given its own little showcase. I'm quite fond of this giant sculpted by Grenadier boss man Andrew Chernak in 1984. Chernak had been sculpting for a number of years at this point and though his figs had always had a lot of character, I feel in his post-AD&D-contract Fantasy Lords series, for which this giant was sculpted, shows new-found technical skill. Faces are a real sticking point with me and Chernak not only gets the emotion right but the facial anatomy is bang on in a way few others can claim. The only critical comment I have for this figure is with regard to the underdeveloped upper body, but that's a very common trait amongst figures from this age. Not sure why no barrel-chested giants as it's not like material cost was a factor back in the day.

I have a number of these Chernak giants and was going to use them as hill giants, which is what Grenadier calls them. But I've since gone with the Otherworld hill giant for full-blood Hill Giants (how can one say no to such a figure as that OW hill giant, who looks to have just strode of the page of the Monster Manual), and the Chernak ones are now Verbeegs (see Monster Manual II). This is a brilliant solution in my opinion. The name verbeeg is a crappy one, imo, and I really hope they aren't called verbeeg as in "very big," but once you see the verbeeg is simply a smarter, more human-proportioned giant somewhere between hill giant and ogre in stature, you'll probably agree it fits a great purpose, even if only to the miniatures collector divvying out which miniature to which particular species. But they also have some utility game-wise as I can use them with ogres or hill giants to modulate those encounters as well as by themselves. PCs can also face off against verbeegs earlier in the campaign than hill giants, which is a bigger advantage than it may seem given how many sessions are spent attaining each level. And this way I can have giants running around and then still scare the pants of the party by dropping the full blooded hill giant.

Oh, and I asked last post whether it would be better to use the catalog title or the monster type I plan to use figures for as the post title when the two differ. It seems to me that as I work through the Monster Manual in attempts to paint them all it's more helpful in the long run for me and you if I use the role I'm using the figs for in the game as the title.

Get the flash player here:

Manufacturer: Grenadier
Line: Fantasy Lords, first series
Catalog title: Hill Giant
Catalog #: 119
Base marking: M49 1984
Release date: 1984
Sculptor: Andrew Chernak
Date painted: 2009

Just a very brief word on painting the figure. Normally I prime black or prime black and mist gray or tan. Every now and then I try white again and generally regret it as it's almost always a lot more work. This figure was a rare case where I primed white and everything went right. I did it white to help get a richness to the fleshtones, and I'm very happy with the result. A pretty old school technique was used here starting with a light base (GW Elf Flesh), shading to brown, and glazing (not washing) with GW Flesh Wash. Then ruddy cheeks, nose and knees to really sell it.

Btw, if you want to see another painter's take on this fig check out this version shown on the Old School Miniatures Bulletin blog.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Painted: Ral Partha Orc Warchief

Get the flash player here:
Generally I like the figure but it would be a lot better if it had a neck. While he hasn't shown up in a game yet, this fig will serve as a half-orc (either a pc or a leader for a band of orcs), though Ral Partha intended him to be a full blooded orc. Btw, where I intend to use the fig for a slightly different purpose than intended, as here, do you think it's better to use the catalog title as the post title as I've done here (in order to be easier to find in case someone's looking for pics of this fig) or use the role I've chosen? I ask because I've got several other cases like this coming down the pipe.

Manufacturer: Ral Partha
Line: Personalities
Catalog title: Orc War Chieftain
Catalog #: 01-160
Release date: 198?
Sculptor: Tom Meier
Date painted: 2010

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Portrait of an Adventuring Party

Getting ready for session 6 of my Borderlands & Beyond AD&D 1e campaign today. Here's a portrait of the group as it was in the last session. This time out they will be without a thief, due to an untimely death, but will be plus one fighter. L-R Dynis Pofokes (cleric), Aureo (half-elf cleric), Ott Gravelspit (dwarf fighter), Choderick Argenhelm (paladin), Leofwin (half-elf ranger), Twiss (magic-user), and Dendron (elf thief). All were done by me save Twiss. Have passed the painting bug to one of my players and this is his third fig (all painted in the same couple weeks)!

Adventuring Party

Figures by Ral Partha, Grenadier, Custom Cast, Citadel and Superior.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Unearthed internets: The Mourners

The Mourners is a traveling exhibit of small-scale, alabaster statues of robed mourners from the tomb of Duke of Burgundy Philip the Bold, 1342-1404, that I visited recently at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco. Those in the SF Bay Area or those near Richmond, VA (the last stop on the tour) may want to consider seeing it in person as well, but for everyone else the exhibit is also online at and the online presentation is generous and skillfully done.

In addition to viewing full screen rotating models online you can save hi-res stills of the images. Hopefully the exhibit will remain online after the tour ends (April 15, 2012), but in the meantime I think I’ll take the precaution and save some pics for reference. Can’t say enough how cool it is to be able to do that (and not have it all baked in Flash). There's also quite a bit of contextual material for those interested in delving into the art and the history.

While there is a lot to appreciate about the figures in terms these aspects, the art and the relation to history, this being a game blog I’ll let you explore those at the exhibit site if you’re interested and keep the commentary here along games and miniatures lines—along the lines of, for instance, how they would make a fantastic line of miniatures or at the very least great reference material for cloaks, cowls and drapery in general, and how a tomb with diminutive free standing statues is surely going to wind up in my D&D campaign in one form or another.

As to the first idea,the obvious place to take this is a range of cultists or clerics. Time being what it is, with my list of open projects a scroll reaching the floor and rolling along it some ways, I probably won't be the one to take up that challenge, so if any others want to, by all means. Meanwhile I would settle for the chance to incorporate some aspect of these figures in any one sculpture of my own.

And as for details of how to use the tomb in your game, I won't reveal any details just yet as I flatter myself to think some of my players read this blog but DM's should have a look at the tomb setup on the exhibit site and you shouldn't have to think too hard for a devious trap or puzzle idea to step forward. And if I do put it in the campaign I may come back after the party encounters it.

Btw, the tag "Unearthed Internets" is simply me linking you to something cool that isn't breaking news or part of the blogosphere and giving you a means to see a list of those links. Like nearly all bloggers I'll link you to cool news too but as the name suggests this feature is (mostly) about digging up gems that may have gotten buried, such as forum threads or sites off the beaten path.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Necromunda Redemptionists Pt. 2

Today the second and not last post about those self-righteous psychopaths so close to my heart, the redemptionists. Previously we looked at the figs from the original box set and in this post I bolster the ranks with some useful new recruits.

These first two are converted from Bretonnian grail pilgrims. I used this trick already for my Cawdor gang, and had the foresight to pick up enough pilgrims for the redemptionists as well with even a few leftover for whatever other project might need them. They blend right in with the other redemptionists models, and the robes pinned open at the legs is just the sort of mod you might expect a veteran fighter to employ. The first one here even has some sort of flame motif going on on the scrap of vestments he's got tucked in his belt. This same one had his head swapped for a converted chaos cultist head, while the other one has had a mask added with greenstuff. A little trick you can do with these grail pilgrims is to saw the left arm off from underneath and re-pin it in a position that can accept a gun. A very little green stuff and filing is needed.

Mouseover "notes" for more notes on these.

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And as promised, a group shot. This is the gang as it was the last time I started a fresh campaign. I forgot to snap picks of the scrappy pug-nosed novice on the right, so he's a bit of a sneak peak. He'll have to wait for another day to get his own spin around shots. More group shots to come as well as another wave of these red-robed goons at some point.


You can also view these and all my pics on flickr.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Painted: Dungeon Dwellers Giant Rats & Centipedes

Among the many challenges a DM has starting an AD&D campaign is gathering an assortment of monsters that the adventurers stand a chance against. Enter the giant rat. This creature should be in every miniatures collection from the beginning but even as the party gains level the giant rat will remain essential because what dungeon doesn't have rats in the walls? Whether or not they pose an obstacle to the PCs they need to be there for proper ambiance. I should note though that while rats they die in droves and can be beaten back fairly easily should the party not wish to engage them, they also pose added risk in terms of the disease they often carry. It's worth remembering even the softy monsters are not as soft as they might first appear.

But if you want to up the stakes a little lot higher you need only through in one or two of the second monster here, the giant centipede, which, as everyone should know, is save or die when you're bitten (at +4, but all the same this strikes true fear in the hearts of players). While perhaps not as common as rats, centipedes are a staple of the dungeon and prodding around in dark corners and piles of crap is a sure way to find them, as the party in my current campaign learned early on. The threat of centipedes and their ilk keeps adventurers on their toes, and unlike rats they are "aggressive and rush forth to bite their prey."[1]

Get the flash player here:

Manufacturer: Heritage Miniatures
Line: Dungeon Dwellers
Catalog title: Giant Rats & Giant Centipedes
Catalog #: 1267
Release date: 1979
Painter: Spooktalker
Date painted: 2010

These Dungeon Dwellers figs have a simple, utilitarian quality, but are nontheless a lot more true to life than more detailed offerings of some other companies. They are also 25mm scale, which is rare (the integral bases they are mounted on are 1/2" square). They are fairly collectable and don't come cheap on ebay, but I lucked into a bargain at a local con.

These are actually the fourth set of giant rats added to my collection. The others, Necromunda mutant rats, Warhammer fantasy giant rats, a number of these Reaper ones sculpted by Bob Olley. These last ones wouldn't be too bad in D&D, actually, being just a bit too "heroic," and I may have painted them up for D&D had the Dungeon Dewllers ones not turned up. These smaller Reaper swarms were also a consideration. Note that having four sets of giant rats does nothing to curb my desire for these other Reaper ones by Sandra Garrity or these swarms from Pardulon.

I saved two more of these Dungeon Dweller giant rats to make press molds of so I can make up a couple swarms of rats based on larger bases like those linked to above in the same style as these single figs. That way when the group encounters a large group of rats I can have the swarms represent however many rats I like and break off the single rats to do battle as needed.

As always you can view these and all the rest at the the painted miniatures archive on Flickr.

  • Gygax, Gary (1977) Monster Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Necromunda Redemptionists Pt. 1

I got a couple requests for Necromunda figs from people remembering the Cawdor I shared on my studio site,, on Frothers and on Warseer. I'm flattered and nothing is dearer to my heart than Necromunda, so I dug up some pics I've been meaning to share for quite some time.

These Redemptionists I've got for you today were actually painted before the Cawdor, at least the first wave was, but for whatever reason I've never shown them off in detail on the web. This first batch of eight is the contents of the box set and was painted circa 2003. As happened in the course of my Cawdor gang's career, the redemptionist gang received new, often converted recruits over time as I modeled the kits that I needed for the game. The gang is actually still in progress even now, and around five figs that have languished in WIP land for, what—years now.

This first batch has a rougher finish than my current offerings, but looking them over now I see a lot I like about them. I wasn't afraid to make the skin tones especially jaundiced by way of yellow highlights and blue undertones, the red robes have a nice rich hue and the rough finish lends them a gritty quality.

Get the flash player here:
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Pardon me for no group shot this time. Will have at least one for the next batch of redemptionists. I've also got a first wave of scavvies done, and nearly every other gang sits in a box in the closet awaiting their turn with the brush. I'd also like to share terrain at some point.

Btw you can also view these and all my pics on flickr.

And let me know if you have any feedback for me in terms of how these PictoBuilder pics are working out for you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Painted: Custom Cast Wood Elf

On display today is one of my oldest and one from the box of lead that started my D&D miniatures collection. Actually, this one is from the venerable unofficial Lord of the Rings miniatures line from Custom Cast, Der Kriegspielers Fantastiques if we want to get technical. This figure is representing a half-elf ranger named Leofwin in my current AD&D campaign.

I'm also using a new tool called PictoBrowser to showoff the pics. Please let me know what you think of it and how it compares to the way I did these previously! Personally, I think I prefer seeing a single angle of the figure at a time.

The only downside is that each set of pics I show here requires I make a set on Flickr, which essentially means a set for each figure. While this will clutter up my sets view, I much prefer users view my pics via the collection view or tags view anyway. Sadly, on the other hand the grim reality is Flickr forces the photostream view on viewers by default, which is probably the worst way to view my pics, and I bet few visitors will try any of the other views.

Get the flash player here:

Manufacturer: Custom Cast
Line: Der Kriegspielers Fantastiques
Catalog #: 1045
Title: Elves of the Woodlands with Fair Countenances Elven Bows and Spears (6)
Release date: 197?
Date painted: 2009

Hmm, another consideration of the PictoViewer is that while it's cool to have the figure metadata in an on-demand overlay (hover over "notes") and it's even cooler that if I edit the flickr description the notes are updated here as well since they are pulled in in real-time, if I don't include these details in the html here as well those few people who might be looking for a pic of this figure via Google won't have a chance to see it. It's a bit redundant to show it twice, but what am I going to do.

Anyway, about the figure. I like this elf quite a bit despite it being a little rough around the edges. Great hair(!), pose, and I dig the intregal bow-string. Those ears—would you believe I cut them down considerably with a knife and file? The face also required a little massaging with the file to get it looking right to my eye.

Wouldn't mind having a few more of these elves but for now this is one-off elf best suited to represent an adventurer. The elves I'm using for my encounter group are the Grenadier Elves of the Sylvan Forest variety, although I have three dungeon dweller ones I wouldn't mind expanding to encounter size either.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Painted: Cave fisher

This next fig is a dream for those, like me, who go nuts for canonical monsters, and it's no question one of my favorites from the Grenadier official AD&D line. He debuted in 1981 in Slave Pits of the Undercity and later showed in the Monster Manual II. I have a copy of Slave Pits and wouldn't mind running it some day, but my guess is this guy will see action long before the PCs in my game are strong enough to take on that adventure.

Oh, and I don't scorn me for it—I painted him more or less in the colors of the wind-up toy. No, don't consider the toys' colors canon, but as I was searching for cave fisher pics before starting painting there seemed a lot of potential in this scheme. The blue flecks on the maroon legs are my own invention, however, and a win for me, imo. I also opted for metallic eyes of a greenish hue rather than glowing green (saved the glowing green for the basilisk, who will get his day soon).

Grenadier Cave Fisher Grenadier Cave Fisher Grenadier Cave Fisher Grenadier Cave Fisher

And as always you get a shot to establish the scale:
Grenadier Cave Fisher
Manufacturer: Grenadier
Line: Official AD&D "Solid Gold" line
Set: Dwellers Below
Catalog title: Cave Fisher
Catalog #: 2012D
Release date: 1980
Date painted: 2009

This one is archived with the rest in my gallery on flickr.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Painted: Grenadier Lamia

A Grenadier Solid Gold line Lamia in gold lamé.

Grenadier Lamia Grenadier Lamia Grenadier Lamia Grenadier Lamia Grenadier Lamia Grenadier Lamia
Manufacturer: Grenadier
Line: Official AD&D "Solid Gold" line
Set: Tomb of Spells
Catalog title: Lamia
Catalog #: 5004N
Release date: 1980
Date painted: 2009
Note: This is the second (clothed) version.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Painted: Grenadier Halfing Fighting Man

Another painted AD&D Solid Gold line fig for you.

Halfling Swordsman Halfling Swordsman Halfling Swordsman Manufacturer: Grenadier
Line: Official AD&D "Solid Gold" Line
Set: Halflings
Catalog #: 2002D
Title: Swordsman
Release date: 1980
Sculptor: Andrew Chernak
Painter: Spooktalker
Date painted: 2009

I have only one or two other halflings from this set, but would like to pick up the lot of them at some point. I particularly like the colors I chose for the shield on this one. Them and the rosy cheeks.

Here's a description of a pre-gen character based on this fig I wrote for a one-off adventure called Vault of the Mushmen:
Rory Bywater, halfling fighter, wants to be a hero.
He is the eldest son of the mayor of Suddenberries and has a hundred admirers amongst his young siblings and cousins.
Not to mention his dozen or so lady admirers back home, and the numerous sweethearts he acquires on the road.
He has a cheery smile and deftly navigates between a charming bravado and sincere humility.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogroll Additions

Here are several great blogs that come with my recommendation.

Swords & Dorkery

Swords & Dorkery is a smörgåsbord of old school D&D fare as well as whatever else the author, Mike Monaco, decides to cram in. What drew me in was the fully functional collection—that is one of breadth and quantity enough to field encounters in the manner called for by the traditional style of play—of painted old school D&D figures he showcases here. It's a real inspiration you should check out! I was actually searching for such collections when I found this site (because functionality is of key importance to me as I develop my own collection and I wanted to see how others had addressed this aspect), and I can't stress enough how rare they seem to be even in an internet that is brimming with miniatures and more miniatures.

Clamshells and Sea Horses

This is the oddly-named blog of a skilled miniatures painter with whom I share some common sensibilities. The figures are a great mix, from old school Warhammer chaos dwarfs to Otherworld D&D to Marvel Superheroes to funky oddball stuff.

Ghola Scale

Got a nice mention from Ghola Scale recently and was drawn back to this blog I bookmarked a few months back. Like me this guy aims to show off old figures in their best light, and he's also up to sculpting and casting. His scratch sculpted Ambull, the blog's most recent focus, is really great.

Realm of Lead Addiction

Blog of a miniatures painter of no small talent. All sorts of figures old and new are showcased. He's also just put up a stand alone gallery of his stuff.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Painted: Three Ral Partha Dwarves

Here's a look at the first of many dwarves to be painted for the collection.The first two are some of the oldest Ral Partha figs I have. All of these were sculpted by Tom Meier.
Dwarf of the Anvil
Dwarf of the Anvil Dwarf of the Anvil Dwarf of the Anvil Dwarf of the Anvil
Manufacturer: Ral Partha
Line: Wizards, Warriors and Warlocks
Catalog #: E311
Title: Dwarf of the Anvil, in full chainmail, with mattock, striking overhead
Release date: 1976
Sculptor: Tom Meier
Date painted: 2009

Dwarf of the Blue Mountains
Ral Partha Dwarf of the Blue Mountains Ral PPartha Dwarf of the Blue Mountains Ral Partha Dwarf of the Blue Mountains Manufacturer: Ral Partha
Line: Wizards, Warriors and Warlocks
Catalog #: E313
Title: Dwarf of the Blue Mountains, swinging axe
Release date: 1976
Sculptor: Tom Meier
Date painted: 2009

Dwarf Lord
Ral Partha Dwarf Lord Ral Partha Dwarf Lord Ral Partha Dwarf Lord Ral Partha Dwarf Lord
Manufacturer: Ral Partha
Line: Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night
Catalog #: 01-031 (version 2)
Title: Dwarf Lord
Release date: ?
Sculptor: Tom Meier
Date painted: 2009
Group shots: Ral Partha Dwarves Ral Partha Dwarves

You can see that somewhere between painting the first two and the lord I stopped painting yellow into the highlights (including the metallics) to represent torchlight and match some of the artwork I love from this period. In addition to the torchlight effect it gives the figure a feeling of being aged, and I like both these things. So, not sure why I stopped and it's likely there will be more yellow highlights in the future.

The collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ral Partha Illusionist

A really fine 25mm figure by Tom Meier.

Ral Partha Magic-user
Ral Partha Magic-user
Ral Partha Magic-user
Ral Partha Magic-user
Ral Partha Magic-User (Detail)
Painted in 2010. RalPartha, sculpted by Tom Meier. I don't have the catalog number handy for this one.

The costume on this guy looks to have been inspired by Moebius, and I chose a scheme that would enhance the Moebius connection.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's my chance at Paladin? Gnome illusionist?: AD&D Character Gen Eligibility Statistics, Pt. 2

Following on the heels of the first post in this series of three, let's look at the elegibility statistics for three of the most common rolling methodologies that don't involve rearranging scores or assigning points. This tells us which methods generate the more and less powerful characters, and generally what you can expect from chacter stats. Again, these were all computed by a friend of mine.

Method: 3d6

Percent of stat lines that can be X class
Class% change of eligibility
fighting man58.30
Other useful stats
  • Average sum of attribute scores: 63.00
  • Percent of stat lines with at least one 17, before racial adj: 8.03%
  • Percent of stat lines with at least one 18, before racial adj: 2.73%
  • Percent of stat lines that can be a non-core class: 9.34%

Method: 4d6, drop the lowest

Percent of stat lines that can be X class
Class% change of eligibility
fighting man84.12
Other useful stats
  • Average sum of attribute scores: 73.49
  • Percent of stat lines with at least one 17, before racial adj: 22.53%
  • Percent of stat lines with at least one 18, before racial adj: 9.36%
  • Percent of stat lines that can be a non-core class: 38.89%

Method: 3d6 twelve times, drop the lowest 6, keep in order

Percent of stat lines that can be X class
Class% change of eligibility
fighting man99.72
Other useful stats
  • Average sum of attribute scores: 76.44
  • Percent of stat lines with at least one 17, before racial adj: 15.43%
  • Percent of stat lines with at least one 18, before racial adj: 5.42%
  • Percent of stat lines that can be a non-core class: 57.52%

Obvious conclusions

  • Straight 3d6 is brutal. 1 in 2500 stat lines can be a monk. 1 in 1000 can be a paladin. Fewer than 10% of stat lines can be a non-core.class: assassin, paladin, ranger, druid, monk, illusionist.
  • 4d6 drop the lowest produces more 17s and 18s than 3d6x12.
  • 3d6x12 produces a higher average sum of attribute scores than 4d6.
Please let me know if these spark any further insights, and in the next post my friend asks whether every character that meets the base stat requirements as these charts would have you believe are truly elegible by Gygax's own definition, and this leads to adjustmnets to the tables. Finally, he presents a new method of generating characters.

New to the Blogroll: Eternal Keep and ADD Grognard

Eternal Keep has actually been in the blogroll since the beginning, but I'd nonetheless like to add a few words of context. Eternal Keep is you perfect entry point to the OSR and early edition D&D blogosphere. It aggregates all the big-name blogs as well as fledgling ones like this one, and it's a one-stop-shop for what people are talking about at the moment.

The site is run by ADD Grognard, who runs a great many blogs you can see in his blogger profile, including his self-titled blog, other aggregators like The Call of the Dungeon for OD&D, as well as ones on his own rpg designs, retro sci-fi gaming, and other topics.

It seems to me that the communities that share some of my other gaming interests such as the craft miniatures are really centered around the forum medium, and blogs act as satellites to the big forums. The OSR community, despite having a few large, active forums like Dragonsfoot and the Knights & Knaves Alehouse, seems much more decentralized, and the blogs themselves much more closely knit together. The desire to participate in this community helped in large part set BftD in motion.

That said about forums vs. blogosphere, the Eternal Keep has just stepped into the former medium in the guise of the The Eternal Keep Meeting Place. I haven't joined yet but probably will.

New Regular Feature - New to the Blogroll

Like most of us I follow a good many game blogs (which you can see on my Blogger profile page), but rather than dump them all in the widget all at once I'd like to give each a little context and limelight. To that end I'll add them one by one and mention each in a post—simple!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's my chance at Paladin? Gnome illusionist?: AD&D Character Gen Statistics Wizardry, Pt. 1

When we rolled up characters for my current AD&D 1e campaign, one player rolled the ideal Paladin. 17 chararisma. 17 dex. Everything else you could want. Another player made ranger. A third player was hoping for a gnome illusionist, and though I was rooting for him, the the dice didn't deliver. Then there was some talk along the lines of, "huh, what are the odds?" Well, our would-be gnome illusionist (and real-life math wiz) set off to find the answer, and here, gentle reader, are the cold hard facts. All credit goes to him.

I had the players use a fairly standard system to make characters. They rolled stats in order, rolling 4d6 and keeping the sum of the highest 3. I also let them roll five characters total and keep one to play and one as a backup. This seemed to me middle-of-the-road in terms of how brutal the odds stacked against the characters, and even with the allowance of a pool of characters to choose from, less easy-going than just about any method that lets players arrange stats to their liking afterward.

In this first of three posts, I present the breakdown of what your chance is to be which character, according to a million simulated stat lines and using the method of rolling 4d6, keep the highest three, stats rolled in order. Here are the numbers looking strictly at class.

Class% chance of eligibility

And here is what it looks like listed by class and race. This gives the chance at every possible character.

Character type% chance of eligibility
human thief85.45
half-elf thief85.45
human cleric85.43
half-elf magicuser85.42
human magicuser85.42
half-elf cleric84.44
human fighter84.01
half-elf fighter83.95
gnome thief80.18
gnome fighter79.23
elf magicuser77.75
elf thief76.49
elf fighter75.59
halfling thief67.77
halfling fighter67.04
dwarf fighter58.27
dwarf thief58.24
half-elf assassin27.17
human assassin27.17
gnome assassin25.91
elf assassin25.21
half-orc fighter23.06
half-orc cleric22.46
half-orc thief22.44
dwarf assassin19.25
half-elf druid13.60
human druid13.60
half-orc assassin5.89
human ranger2.94
half-elf ranger2.94
human illusionist2.92
gnome illusionist2.75
human paladin1.40
human monk0.91

Glaringly obvious findings:
  • You have just a 1.4 % chance of being a paladin, and though you are twice as likely to be eligible to be a gnome illusionist, the odds are against you in a big way for either.
  • The monk is the rarest of characters.
  • I can dispell any doubt I had as to whether I was being a softy GM for giving the players five stat lines to choose from.

If you have other thoughts or insights, please share them in the comments!

Stay tuned next week for the next in the series of posts! My friend expands the inquiry to compare various popular methods of character generation presented in the 1e Dungeon Masters Guide.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grenadier Battle Axeman

Grenadier Fighting Man Battle Axeman
Grenadier Fighting Man Battle Axeman
Grenadier Fighting Man Battle Axeman
Grenadier Fighting Man Battle Axeman

Painted2009. Grenadier Battle Axeman, code 2005H, from the Fighting Men box set, part of the official AD&D "Solid Gold" line. Released 1980.

While these early Andrew Chernak figures can be a bit crude in places (long arms and overlarge, crude hands, for instance), even here he shows the promise he'll develop further in the Fantasy Lords and Dragon Lords series. Look at this face, for instance. So many sculptures these days don't understand where to put the eyes and nose.

Grenadier Fighting Man Battle Axeman (Detail)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vault of the Mushmen

I took the plunge with 25mm D&D back in June of 09, and later that fall we made our first foray into the dungeon. The adventure was dubbed "Vault of the Mushmen" and I carry with me quite some affection for said mushmen. Normally I'm fairly canonical about D&D monsters but I made an exception for these guys, who I got in that first box of grimy lead that turned me toward the distant past and 25mm. I'll save the providence and ecology of these particular monsters for when I give them their own showcase (I'm a master of suspense, aren't I). The game is AD&D 1e.

The mushmen spring the trap
The mushmen spring the trap

I cast hold person on the ogre!
I cast hold person on the ogre! I can I do that?

Only a few minutes into the game Nemoc the Red stepped up to the plate with the hold person spell.

The shoop jobs are by a friend of mine, the shadowy overlord of the game club Op-For, to which I owe allegience. The pics are reposts and they were originally shown on the Op-For blog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grenadier Solid Gold Line Thief


Thief miniature painted 2009. From the Thieves box set, code 2008 by Grenadier, part of their official AD&D "Solid Gold" line. Released 1980. This was intended to be an elven thief, but I added a mustache and use him as a human.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grenadier Red Magic-user

Don’t worry, there’ll be more to the blog than pretty pictures, but these are a fun way to prime the pump. Expect more!

Red magic-user
Red magic-user
Red magic-user
Red magic-user

Magic-user painted 2009. From the Sorcerer's Chariot box set, code SS10, by Grenadier, part of the Wizzards and Warriors line. Released between 1976 and 1980.

This fig was a game con fleamarket score—a five-pound box of moldering lead had for $1 a pound. It was that box, in fact, that tipped the scales to 25mm and started a collecting odysse. Others of the figs in that box will see light here as well. It was only after he was painted I realized he was considerably more unusual than the figs that became the Gold Line.

I had an opportunity to play this fig at a local minicon, and if I was to play again as a player (unlikely, but it could happen!) he'd be a go to choice. Starting with a miniature like this can do a lot of work for you in terms of evoking the details of personality.