Friday, August 24, 2012

ICE Silent Death Spaceship Layouts

Back in the mid to late nineties while I was freelancing for Iron Crown Enterprises, I had the opportunity to draw a series of top down spaceship layouts for their Space Ship miniatures game Silent Death.  It was called Silent Death "because in space, no one can here you scream".  I worked with Don Dennis, the line editor and an assistant art director on the layouts which were initially drawn with ink on vellum and then scanned into Photoshop where I created the grey scale drop shadows underneath them to make them pop a bit on the page.

Frequently, Don would hand me an early miniature casting or prototype and say "draw this" and I would literally just lay that sucker on the copier to enlarge and use the enlarged copy to trace for the layout.  Usually I would sketch it out in pencil first on tracing paper and then go back over it in ink with technical pens on translucent vellum for the final layout.  It was a lot of fun and something a bit different than my usual castles, maps, dungeons and floor plans for Middle Earth Role Playing or Rolemaster books.  The illustrations shown here are just a small sampling of the ones I did for them but I don't have the rest of them in Photoshop format with the drop shadows but I could scan them in at some point (they are still on the original vellum).  I'm not sure which books these came out of or what types of ships these are or even what planet they are from but they are cool to look at nonetheless.  I'll drop Don a line and see if he can ID some of them.






Nebula 3

Copyright notice:  All original artwork on this page is displayed for self promotion purposes only and is copyrighted by the original artist, Daniel Cruger.  This artwork may be downloaded and used for personal use only and may not be reproduced for commercial purposes in any way without the express written consent of the owner.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gen Con Indy 2012

The Dreaded Balloon Dragon of Doom!!!
Beware the breath weapon...
Well I just got back from Gen Con in Indianapolis yesterday and it was a lot of fun as always.  I drove up on Wednesday with my good friend and GM Tony of the Savage Sword of Scadgrad and his kids and we met some other friends there where we had an adjoining room for ease of hotel gaming.  I wandered around in the exhibit hall for a bit on Thursday where I visited the OSR booth and bought a few modules and books and visited a few other favorite company booths.  Then I dropped off some of my old 3.0/3.5 books to sell in the auction and browsed the consignment area where I picked up a few things including Dungeon Module B4 The Lost City and a fairly decent copy of Unearthed Arcana.  I attended Gen Con last year and didn't play in any of the scheduled events (a big reason to go to the Con for me) so this year I vowed to sign up for a few things and/or sit in on a few games with generic tickets. 

I played in an AD&D game on Friday for a while set in the World of Greyhawk with a group of guys.  Four of these guys were there for a reunion of their old D&D group from back when they were kids who had drifted apart over the years after having moved away from each other.  We played a starter adventure available as a free download called Spider Farm by Stuart Marshall from the Knights and Knaves Alehouse.  I played a wizard (we were all 1st level) who obviously had magical darts - really I just rolled three 20s to hit in two rounds during the big fight with the brigands which was crazy lucky.  He also managed to save the day a few times with his one sleep spell and miraculously didn't die.  Afterwards we leveled up and set forth on another adventure to seek the source of the Goblin incursion within the Dreadwood Forest.  We found the dungeon that was their source which was guarded by a large group of giant spiders but unfortunately, we ran out of time before we could make it into the dungeon to where the evil Shadow Goblins had come from to attack the good citizens of the Yeomanry.

Then I sat in on a Runequest Second Edition game on Saturday for a little while with the same guys - I hadn't played Runequest since high school so that was fun too.  It was mostly a jousting tournament which was a blast (my guy got skewered but an NPC I ran afterwards nearly killed one of the player characters due to some extremely lucky dice rolling on my part (01 on my joust attack roll) and extremely unluckly dice rolling on his part (00 on the parry roll).  The healers attending the tourney healed him up afterwards though.

After that I played a Flames of War demo in the miniature game area where it was three guys playing allies in the early desert war (each guy had two platoons of light tanks - 2 with crusaders and one with Stuarts) against three guys with either three panzers (2 guys with two mark IIIs and a mark IV short barrel) and one guy with six Italian light tanks which were pretty much the same as the crusaders (fast but with very little armor or firepower and AT).  The mission was meat grinder so if your tanks got blown up, they just came back on from reserve at a random location so you could keep playing.  Playing light Allied tanks against German armor reminds me of why I like playing the Germans - not surprisingly, the Germans blew up about 30 of our paltry little light tanks and ended up winning the game but it was still a lot of fun.  This was of course made worse because in the desert there is little if any cover for the fragile little tanks to hide behind (really just some hills but mostly wide open desert terrain).

We also got in a game of the Blood Bowl team manager board game, two games of Swords and Wizardry White Box (0e D&D) and a game of Basic Action Super Heroes a.k.a. Bash (pretty much rules light Champions) in the hotel room as well which was also a lot of fun.  All in all it was a blast and a great vacation...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Averlorn Campaign - G2 The Death of Jarl Grugnar and Epilogue

Recap from 9/2/2011

So now that we had secured another way into the second level of the lair of the Frost Giant Jarl we pondered our next move.  It was decided to go in through the dragon’s cave since the giants were not aware that we had killed their two pets and had another way in.  Once in, we made it through the second floor entry hall and into the lair where we encountered two more giants guarding the entrance and managed to kill them before they could sound the alarm.  Once through that room we had another tough fight in the room beyond against four more Frost Giants and once again got beat up pretty badly once we lost the element of surprise and they summoned help. 

So at this point we realized that there were still a large number of Frost Giants defending the lair, and that it would be a tough fight to carve our way through them to get to their leader if we just went in the front door.  So instead, we decided to use stealth to locate the Jarl’s quarters and cut off the head of the snake so to speak rather than attempting another frontal assault which had been so brutal in the past.  One of the Elves cast Invisibility on our assassin Evie and then she drank a Potion of Gaseous form and she turned into an invisible mist and went in to try to locate the King’s quarters.  Being both invisible and in gaseous form she was nearly immune to detection by normal means. 

She explored through the throne room and noted the guards and then went into the areas beyond that and found what looked to be a trophy room of sorts hung with all kinds of stuffed big game animal heads with various items, weapons and armor hanging on the walls and displayed about the room.  Off of that room she noticed on the left that another passage led into what appeared to be the Frost Giant noble’s quarters and it was full of a large number of sleeping or off duty giants (15-20 or so).  She considered briefly trying to sneak through them to see if it connected up with the other passages where we had been before, but thought better of it after remembering her experience of attempting to sneak through the twenty or so giants in the barracks where one of them spotted her invisible form or the faint dagger light from her only light source.  So instead she went through the passage at the end of the cavern which led into the Jarl’s quarters.

And there was Jarl Grugnar and his queen in bed asleep with a giant hell hound below the bed which was uneasy and had possibly detected her presence.  She hastened back to the group and we debated what to do.  Lucias wanted to continue with the frontal assault so that we could thoroughly loot the place despite the large amount of treasure we had already found, but in the end the group decided to use one of the wishes on the ring of three wishes to wish the entire party into the lair of the sleeping giant King Jarl, his Queen and their hell hound pet and cut off the head of the snake without having to take on the rest of the giants which would have taken some time and considerable effort and could have led to more casualties.  In the end it was probably the right call as we were weary of going toe to toe with Frost giants and getting mauled just about every session by them.

So Evie used the Wish of the ring and the group appeared before the trio and it was over very fast.  Jarl Grugnar lie dead in his own bed along with his beloved queen and his faithful pet was no more as well.  At this point we did what we could to loot the place without being detected by the other giants in the noble’s quarters beyond.  We also found an exit passageway which was Jarl’s secret escape route out of the place so we had a way out that didn’t involve going back through the lair and the rift.  Within the Jarl’s quarters in a chest we found the magical tome that we had been hired to acquire by the Surgeon’s Guild along with more treasure.  Once his quarters had been thoroughly looted we stared looting the trophy room and found quite a few magic items but when we took a magical shield off of the wall the Shedu head hung on the wall started screaming “Intruders!!! Alarm!!! Intruders!!!” so we grabbed everything that we could and beat a hasty retreat out of the secret escape passage.

So once back to the ice cave we awaited our dragon ships to come pick us up along with the considerable hoard of wealth and magic items that we had amassed there mostly from the dragon’s hoard and the Jarl’s quarters and trophy room.  We made it back to Medea’s Gate and beyond and looked to our domains during the winter period – Lucias had been named level for a while and had a domain but had yet to start building a keep due to a lack of funds.  That was no longer a problem so he busied himself with clearing the land around the town of Cool Rock Springs and the old Hill Fort of Dunweilding north of Ptoleph of monsters so that he could build his keep and fortify the town.  Quite a few of the others also made it to named level and were granted domains as well and they were busy with affairs of state as well.  The Elves Asclepius and Teth-en-Aire were both granted domains by their Elven peers along with Kaira the cleric and Taleth the Ranger.  Evie the Assassin began working on her underworld syndicate as well.

During this time we were contacted by the nobles of Medea’s Gate to undertake a task for them to help secure their domains from the threat of further Giant raids.  Among the treasure that we found in Jarl’s lair was a map that led to the Hall of the Fire Giant King located in a volcanic mountain range not too far from where the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl was located to the southwest.  The Lords of Medea’s Gate wanted us to assault the Fire Giant Hall as well and discover who or what force was behind the giant’s uprising.  For some reason, Hill Giants, Frost Giants and Fire Giants had all united under a common banner to plague their holdings nearby by raiding human and demi human lands in the area.  This was almost unheard of as most of giant kind is usually more concerned with their own affairs and domains to unite under a common banner of cooperation like this so it was surmised that there must have been some unknown force behind the uprising.  So once everyone’s domains had been seen to, and everything was in order, the group began to provision and prepare for another foray into the mountains to assault G3 The Hall of the Fire Giant King!