Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Listener Submitted Art!

 I'm so grateful when listeners send in their art.  This one is of Aradine, post hanging.  Honestly, this is exactly how I imagine her, too.  Thanks very much to Simon JH Williams for this!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Some New Phone Filter Art

 I started out with a watercolour painting (that isn't very good) and used a phone app to bring out the nuances for this one.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Getting Crafty pt II

 Decided to go a little off script and try to make some furnishings using leftover styrofoam, foamcore and other stuff around the house.  I had some hits and some misses.  Here's what I made:

1. First I cut some shapes using a boxcutter and glued on a foamcore base so it would sit flat.  Then I applied the black paint & Mod Podge combo.  For pillars, I tore off chunks to simulate ruin.  For the doors, I carved in bricks and a door design with a dull pencil.  For the rest, I didn't do anything, because the porous quality of the foam looked good already. I stuck screws in the tall pieces to keep them bottom heavy before I stuck on the base.

2. Next, I painted everything grey.  I wanted a good amount of paint on these because I knew from Youtube videos that spray propellant 'eats' styrofoam (but the paint protects it).

3. After that, I made a light green wash to simulate moss/gunk and dabbed it on here and there.

4.  Next came the highlights/drybrush.  I didn't have white - which would have been better, so I used beige and yellow.  Not ideal, but OK.  I find it hard to 'load' the right amount on the brush at this stage.

5. Almost done now.  The 2nd last step is a blackwash.  I had to give it 2 coats to get the right look.

6. Last step: Clearcoat spray.  I found 1 coat was enough this time.

Verdict: Pretty good.  I'm happy with most pieces.  I am glad I put the screws in to weight them down, though I do think that they still feel too light.  A breeze could knock it all over. If the floor tiles are only 98% flat, they make the whole setup move around on the table... not great.  In the end.  It all looks good enough, but is it useful?

That's why, if I did it all again (and I might), I would at least do the floor tiles a different way.

I had one of these bathroom tiles left over from a reno.  They are nice and heavy.  3"x6" exactly, too!  And...perfectly flat.  

You could mount the foamcore on top, but I also had some of this...

So I sculpted the grout on the tile with a Q tip with the end cut off.  The stuff is not very easy to work with, but eventually I got this result. (You can see I tried it on foamcore too.)

Final result:

This is my favorite piece.  But I only have one.

Not everything worked well though.  I did one more experiment and it failed, overall.  I tried to make some 'Dirt' tiles.  I used paint, spraypaint, glue (which pulled up the foamcore and made it too concave to sit flat) and ... actual dirt.  Overall, it came out ugly and, I think, unusable. Maybe if I mount it to wood or something really stiff, it might be salvageable... or maybe it was just a learning experience.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Trying Something New: Casting Call Club -- Update

 About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I posted a pair of small roles to  I got nada.  Nothing.  Zero by way of auditions or interaction and so I chalked it up to a good try, but ultimately a waste of effort.

Instead, I put out the call on Twitter and got 20 DMs on the first day.  Much more than I had expected.  And then... I got 2 auditions on CCC.  

Nice to have so many talented people to choose from, but I hate to turn down anyone who has an interest in the show.  Man, what timing!

If you are reading this and you are one of those people - or if you're reading this and you've thought about getting in touch to do a voice - well, I just wanted to say that if you are patient, I will try my best to involve everyone who wants to be a part of the show.  Honestly, it is very flattering that so many people are interested & I want you to know I appreciate that interest: I will make a place in the show for you.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Map: Convent of the Sisters of Hope

 Here's the map I used for the episodes that take place in the convent.  Once again, I used for most of the design.

Shownotes for Episode 34

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

2nd half of part 1                      “Heart: Absolution”

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Final Scene (7 days ago…)      Kevin MacLeod “Unnatural Situation” -

Some  FX:                      

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Gettin' Crafty

 I waste a lot of time cruising Youtube.  At some point I started to check out videos on 'Dungeon Crafting' - you know, making battlemats and scenery out of foam and painting it.  I had zero intention of making any.  I just thought it was wildly creative and interesting.

At some point I came across the Professor Dungeon Master's Guide to Making Dungeon Tiles.  I realized I literally had everything on hand to at least improvise making some.  So I gave it a shot.  The extremely weird thing is that I don't own a single miniature.  Not one.  I just wanted to see if I could do it.  

Turns out that, more or less, I can.  And if I can, I bet you can.  So if you've thought about it, I'd say give it a go.  Here's the steps I took and what I learned along the way.

1 Cut the Foam.  For some reason Prof DM suggests 6" x 6".  I cut a variety of 6x6, 3x6 and 2x6.  You need to use a ruler to draw out the grid in pencil first, but it turns out that you don't need to draw the flagstones; just get a kind of dull pencil and carve them.  Dig in.  You want noticeable grooves. My first pair were done with a light touch and are the 2 worst ones.  Also, I should have made the tiles double thick here - something I ended up doing later later.  Do it now so you can cut them at the same time.  It'll save headaches later on.

2. Mix black paint and Mod Podge.  Coat everything.  Don't skip this step... this is what makes them durable.

3. Paint it again with a light tan.  Some of mine I did one streaky single coat (like in the photo) and some with 2 coats.  The ones with 2 coats turned out much better.  At this point you will feel like it looks terrible.  That's OK.

4. Paint some stones grey, some brown, some... I dunno... another brown.  Vary it up.

5. Make a blackwash.  Put in a single drop of dishsoap.  Too much soap and you'll get suds.  Suds are bad.

6. Give it 2 coats of clearcoat spray. Let it dry a full day between coats.

That's it.  It is an easy but time consuming process.  There's a lot of 'waiting for stuff to dry' time, and actually grooving out the tiles is a pain in the ass, but it's the kind of think you do while you are wasting time on Youtube.

These turned out well enough that I actually ordered a set of minis - just one of each basic character class - so I could one day use them at a live game.  It's kind of gratifying when you see it finished.

I ended up doing some experiments and learned a couple of other tricks - comment below if you'd be interested in seeing more and I will share what I learned.

Monday, April 5, 2021

More Roguish Musings

 Still thinking about thieves a lot - mostly because I play one in my weekly B/X game.  

A few months back, there was a healthy conversation going on in the podosphere about how gameplay should be, when done 'right'.  The idea was that players should spend more time describing characters' actions and less time rolling dice.

So, "I enter the room and look around for anything special.  Do I see anything? Want me to roll perception?" is bad, and "I carefully check behind the bookcase and under the table.  Then I look for discoloured stones on the floor and in the wall" is good.    

Listening to these thoughts, I wholeheartedly agreed.  But then.... I played an actual game and, you know, that kind of description - especially for a thief who is likely to listen at doors, check for traps at least sometimes, and generally do their job - gets very repetitive.  Worse, it gets to be tiresome for the other players.  When you sense that the other players are patiently waiting for you, naturally, you figure out what is causing the frustration and stop.  I found that my character started to act less like himself, and not more, when I zoomed the camera in too much.  Interesting, huh?  

These days, gameplay wins over detail.  I occasionally add details for flavor, but I often don't.  If you're in a dungeon crawl, there's really no other good way.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Character Inventory at the End of Ep 33


Court clothing (dress), Gyrios’ old painted-over metal shield, kitchen knife.


Leather boots, layered tunic and leggings, goblin belt pouch (empty) waterskin, silver dagger, shoulderbag (quill, inkpot, hooded lantern, tinderbox, 3 flasks oil, ‘angel’ recipe notes, snakeskin book, goblin language book, Dermund’s spellbook, her spellbook), 6xFirebeetle Glands, Silver necklace with sapphire worth 500gp. A spool of strong thread with both a needle and a fish hook. Owl of Thressendia. Mithridaticum Elixir (1 vial/1dose).


Chainmail, flail, backpack (Aradine’s remaining Molotov cocktail), Kagan’s old half-helm, waterskin, good quality beltpouch(2 flasks of oil), good traveling boots, 1 gold holy-symbol-coin, silver shield with engraving, backpack (16 candles, leather sack, silver chain worth 50gp, silver candelabra worth 40gp, flask of cheap whiskey, a flint & steel, whetstone),  boots, belt pouch


Prison frock, waterskin, short sword, dagger, short bow and quiver (6 arrows), thieves tools, goblin belt pouch (empty), 50’ rope, Bracers of Defense AC 6. (9 gp, 363sp and 195 cp). 6 expertly made, white-fletched arrows.


Plate mail, battleaxe, belt pouch (54gp, 36sp, 88cp), elven waterskin. A whetstone. A leather sack.

Shownotes for Episode 33 (including April Fool's False Episode)

Theme                                      Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

“Day 28”                                  'It's In The Fog' by Darren Curtis

Part 2                                        Tense Cinematic Instrumental Ambient Music by Argsound


Combat                                    RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”

Post Combat                            Hiraeth - Scott Buckley

April Fool’s Episode               The Lounge - Bensound ”

Some  FX: