Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

From the depths of a soggy Southern Christmas morning, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. 

Thank you for sharing my journey. Regular updates will resume shortly. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Music of the night

My local radio station has betrayed me.

It was formerly a "hard rock" station, and now it has adjusted its format about 15 degrees to starboard and has taken "Man up!" as its tagline. What this has meant is swapping out the hard, driving, heavy songs I so cherish for the guitar-heavy rock ballads and teen masturbatory fantasies from 30 years ago.

I'm getting a lot less Avenged Sevenfold and way more Def Leppard.

I'm sorry, but I need my metal.

I need music that is going to attack me. Lead guitar lashing out like a multi-limbed creature in a knife fight to the death. Bass slinking around the stage, building up a miasmic atmosphere that threatens to engulf the audience. And percussion crashing like the battle of Ragnarok threatening to shatter the mountains on the horizon as it spills into view. Other instruments to taste,as they say, either nailing the audience to its seats or whipping them into a Eryinic frenzy.

I need a song that is going to stalk me like a warrior woman clad for battle. And as she lands her fatal blow, the last thing my mind perceives is the sweet, bitter taste of her apocalipstick.

Rant mode off. We now return you to your regularly scheduled gaming content.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

My alter ego joins the fray in IHMN

Red Airship, artist unknown, according to io9

First I saw that Craig and Charles had period alter egos, and then, somewhere along the way, Craig published their stats. (This was over on the Lead Adventure Forum.)

Then, in a series of exchanges, Craig addressed me as both Sir and Captain, even giving me the nickname "Jackanapes."

A character began taking shape in my head. One who is pretty much me, or the me I'd be in my Brass & Blood setting. 

This creative cogitation also led to the birth of a singular vehicle that is a character and a setting in its own right. 

Thus I present to you, me. Sort-of me. Steampunk me, I suppose. 

Allow me to introduce Sir Christopher L. "Jackanapes" Sheets, captain of the Fretful Porpentine. 

The Fretful Porpentine and its captain, 
Sir Christopher L. "Jackanapes" Sheets

The Fretful Porpentine is the first aethercarrier, a gargantuan experimental airbase on a flying platform held aloft by a combination of multiple dirigibles, rampant steamtech, cutting-edge Tesla-based arc technology, Martian lighter-than-air materials and, if rumors are to be believed, some few necessary forms of ritual magick.

In addition to its methods of staying aloft and navigating the skies, the Porpentine has mounted beneath it two cyclopean temporal drive screws, allowing it to alter its position relative to the current history or timeline dominant in the realspace around it. Members of the Watch report that the Porpentine has long been circling above London and is chronally anchored in or around the year 1898. 

It is unknown who commissioned the Porpentine, or when. Its current captain, Sir Christopher Leopold* "Jackanapes" Sheets, is mum on the subject. 

While he continues to answer to the title of captain, Sheets has, since seeing the premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado" in 1885, taken to signing official documents and communiques with the title "Lord High Everything Else." 

While Sheets is the source of the neologism "aethercarrier" to describe the Porpentine, he has expressed regret that the description "quadrigible," which he also coined, never became part of the common parlance.

To comprehend the true size of the Porpentine, consider this: Sheets has boasted that he commands the only known craft that has its own horizon. 

The Fretful Porpentine began as a simple refit-and-repair dock for the various airship crews lucky enough to learn of its existence. The cantina aboard became a popular feature with aircrews and sky pirates, who then let valuable secrets, information and rumors flow out as the rum flowed in.

The cantina does have a name, though few know or notice it. There are no signs on the building’s exterior. Inside, a small plaque is screwed to a supporting post over near the kitchen. It bears the single sentence, “You Meet in a Tavern.”

Since its early days, the Porpentine's features and fittings have grown into a worthy port of call, boasting all the functions of a small town. It provides neutral ground for those visiting it, and it is not uncommon to see sworn enemies drinking and singing together within the confines of the cantina. 

Sheets says his hardest task is finding a suitable command crew, as the unique systems of the Porpentine require, at a minimum, a set of psychically linked quadruplets to handle her navigational demands and a chief engineer capable of repairing technologies not yet invented. 

Sheets claims, by training and heritage, to be an initiate of several mystical and priestly orders. He is, at least, a veteran of several esoteric encounters aboard the Porpentine, though whether his success has been due to some praeternatural skill or sheer luck is a matter of some debate.

Captain Sir Christopher L. "Jackanapes" Sheets
Pluck 5+, FV +0, SV +0, Sp 0, Armor 8, Cost 70
Talents/Powers: Erudite Wit, Inspirational, Leadership +2, Intervention, Bless Person, Bless Weapon
Basic Kit: Faraday Coat, English All-Electric Truncheon, Arc Pistol, Breath Preserver, Monocular Targeting Array

* It should be noted that Sheets' middle name is in a constant state of flux. Usually he reports it as Lee, but it has also been recorded as Leopold, Leonidas, Llewellyn, Ludwig, Lehrer, Latson, Lane, Laurent, Lake, LeFebvre, Loeb, Lyzbet, Lechkov and once, unbelievably, Lickspittle.

*          *          *

I find it a measure of my vanity that the character based on me costs as much as Craig and Charles' characters put together. In my defense, those gentlemen have actual experience with weapons and can shoot and fight just as well as their stats say. I can also shoot and fight just as well as these stats indicate, which is not at all. Thus all the skills designed to keep him alive!

I've already found a miniature to represent the good captain.

It's Isaias Cortez from Anvil Industries, and he's part of their sci-fi Afterlife line. A few modifications ("stick some gears on it") and it'll be right as rain. That ocular implant around his left eye is going to become an eyepatch (the good captain's monocular targeting array sits in his eye socket, under his patch, which he flips up when he's in combat. It's been linked directly to his optic nerve through a horrible surgical process which he prefers not to discuss, thank you very much.)

Some of this figure's cybertech on the back of his head will get smoothed or painted over. And that big gun in his right hand is going to become a just-for-looks grappling gun. Or maybe not just for looks. Of course, new gear would alter the good captain's cost. Hmmmm. Are there rules in IHMN for grappling guns? We did hash out those net gun rules that Craig said he'd likely put into Gothic ...

Anyway, that coat, the boots, the beard -- they're exactly the look I was hoping for.

I'll be mining this rich vein for a while, although I've left details of what's on the Porpentine intentionally vague so others may develop it as they wish. I've done some preliminary work on the command crew, but they've got to percolate for a few more weeks at least before I share them.

Next up is most likely the Plague Doctor, like I promised last time, The good news is that he's gained a couple of ancillary characters, so I may be writing up a whole Plague Doctor crew.

Copies of the character document, with a proper grid for stats and without all the introductory and concludary hoo-haa, are available on Google Docs or on Dropbox.

Back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My pathetic plea

<This is repeated from a Facebook post I made, in the hopes that one or the other will make its way to someone who can make my twisted heart's desire an actuality.>

Do you see this thing of beauty? It's a key fob for the Hotel Cortez, the building at the heart of the new season of American Horror Story. (Screen captured from the "First Look" two-minute video.)

"AHS: Hotel" debuts at 10 p.m. Oct. 7.  SOMEONE MAKE ME ONE OF THESE KEY FOBS!

Oh, but it is a picture of Art Deco loveliness, and that it will be associated with a hotel that is itself the villain of a season of horror stories (ruled over by no less than the Countess, portrayed by Our Mother of Monsters, the Lady Gaga herself), I find myself positively engorged with desire for this nasty little piece of hardware.

You jewelry crafters/makers out there, hear me? I NEED THIS.

Surely one of you loves me and will make them available, nicht wahr? Oh puh-leeeze ...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dice junkies

I know we're all addicted to dice and can never have enough. Although I certainly lean toward steampunk gaming most of the time, I do still play the occasional sci-fi game. And for that, I need sci-fi dice. 

I backed a Kickstarter from a company called AKO Dice, and after a rigorous production period ensuring the dice are true, the rewards came in and they are gorgeous

Rather than pips, the number rolled is indicated by lines of varying direction and length. 

I chose the brushed aluminum, gold tone, purple and black with silver, plus the glow-in-the-dark with black stripes pair. (There was supposed to be a black with glowing stripes, but it didn't hold up its quality in production, apparently.) 

I think they have a definite Space Agency, Galactic Authority, System-spanning bureaucratic multicorps feel to them, sort of just as pure pulp is moving into the blockbuster feel of '70s and '80s sci-fi. 

So back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon (with my shiny new sci-fi dice!)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

This post is entirely optional

Especially if you follow me on Facebook, as you'll have heard a few of these tidbits already.


You know how people ask you who's your captain, and people answer either Kirk or Picard, or perhaps Sisko or Janeway.

I always answer Bashford. Unless the person who asked the question is also into steampunk or dieselpunk, I regularly get stared at.

Capt. Constance Bashford, right, with, as she puts it, a "big part" of the crew
of Airship the Peregrine, Cas Hofstee and Emma McMurphy. 

But she's my captain, and I'm sticking to it. Capt. Constance Bashford of Airship the Peregrine commands my loyalty and service. Were I not a married gentleman, she might also command a small piece of my heart, but sorry cap'n, this old jackanapes is taken.

It's been like heartburn to know that she was visiting DragonCon, a mere 90 minutes or so up the road from me, over the holiday weekend, but that I would be stuck here working. So close, and yet so far.

(As many wonderful people as I've gotten to know online, I love it that it was the Captain who first reached out to me when she saw I'd written about her RAFM mini on this very blog. The conversation continues to this day. For example, I'm always glad to have her making sure I'm all right, as evidenced by this tweet.)

Here's a photo she shared on her FB page today from DragonCon in Atlanta..

Capt. Constance and Derek Brown, of the band Abney Park (and others) and main squeeze
of Kate Lambert (whom you might know as Kato, who's a judge on GSN's "Steampunk'd."

The captain's calendar is coming out, and I hope you were lucky enough to get your orders in. I hope to have mine in my grubby mitts in a week or so, but here are a couple of photos Sean leaked to us upon their arrival:

She's something, ain't she? She's got an Etsy shop that's taking a short hiatus as she visits the U.S. from her home in the Netherlands.


Speaking of beautiful, multi-hyphenated women at work in the fields of our beloved genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror, I finally got to exchange personal messages with actress-model-artist-entrepreneuer Jen Page, whom many of you may have first encountered in The Gamers' movie "Dorkness Rising," in which she was the female Luster.

Jen created the chilling Cthulhuesque mermaid image above and held a contest for signed 4x6 prints of it. And I won one! (Kermit clap!)

This animated GIF should show Kermit clapping.
If it doesn't, use your imagination.

Getting to exchange messages with someone whose work (and work ethic) I so admire is as big a prize as the print itself. Go check out her mermaid and other imagery at her Etsy store, Damselfin.


And here's what I consider my personal best from Facebook this week:

1.) This, um, emotional entry about how thankful I am for each one of you, and the magic you have wrought in my topsy-turvy life through your prayers, your time and attention. If you want to read it, here's the link.

2.) This photo, of the T-shirt I won from teevillain, with both Carol Anne from "Poltergeist" pressing against the TV and Samara (or Sadako, if you're more familiar with the original "Ringu") coming out of it. The Samara part glows in the dark, but that's really hard to take a picture of.

3.) And this post:

I am especially fond of words in English that we normally think of as nouns but can also be verbs. Like leverage. Or silence. Or fist.
Posted by Christopher Sheets on Friday, September 4, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

He Who Laughs

Today I bring to you another company list for "In Her Majesty's Name."

If you follow Craig's main IHMN blog, you'll have seen his list for a certain Dark Knight and his retinue. Every hero needs a nemesis, and the bat-winged one certainly has one in the guise of a psychotic killer clown.

Lovely sketch by Leonardo Paciarotti I found using Google's image search.

A few weeks ago I showed you the mini of a Victorian Villain sculpted by Vermis over on the Lead Adventure Forum. With two alternate heads, he can be the classic Man Who Grins or echo more recent manifestations of the Joker after having his face removed and reattached. 

A very crisp painted version of He Who Laughs (as I call him) that Vindice shared in a thread on LAF.

Also found on the LAF, this painted version of the Man Who Grins shows the alternate head.

(There's a thread following the development of what are hoped to be the next two figures, a "Dark Knight Returns"-style bat fellow and Spring-Heeled Jack.)

This was the original Victorian Vigilante figure from Vermis. Again, Vindice's paint job, and photo lifted from one of the response threads about the minis.

And where would the clown prince of crime be without his Harley? I had to stat up a version of her, seen through my particular screampunk lens. One of the Ronin figures from Malifaux is often given a Harley paint job, as is Lady Taelor (since she wields a big ole hammer).

From GMort's Chaotica, painting attributed to a "Matt,"
which could be Matt Slade, but I don't know for sure.
To fill out the company, I've gone with generic "Family" followers to account for the various thugs, hangers-on and crazy folks that Harley's puddin' uses in his schemes. Shades of Manson, as well. It is intentional.

Ditto on this paint job. GMort gave away a prize, and the winner chose the ME2 Viktorias from Malifaux and had his friend Matt paint them. We have  now exhausted my knowledge on their provenance.

So here are links to a pdf of the company list for the man I call He Who Laughs, the Smiler, and Mr. Sardonicus. I hope you enjoy. One is in Google Drive, the other in Dropbox.

Next up, I'll bring you my twisted (more like tangled) take on the Plague Doctor. I've already started writing.

So back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

My own tormented artifact

You're all familiar with the work of Dmitri Arbacauskas, right?

If not, head over to his site at Tormented Artifacts. I'll wait.

He's a master craftsman with leather, and his sense of humor tends toward the morbid and bizarre. Check out the humorous broadsides he prints that include propaganda from the "League of Extraordinary Bastards."

Here's an example for those of you who ignored my earlier advice:

He's a Facebook friend of mine now, though ours has been a relationship confined to digital space thus far. I've been a fan of his work for a long time, but we first corresponded when he got rather, um, snarky that I, not him, won some zombie clown figures from Mad Clown Miniatures. (I think that was the contest. Right, Dmitri?) I felt so bad that I told him I'd get him to craft me the Plague Doctor mask I need later this year.

In the mode of daytime TV shows, here's one he prepared earlier:

Follow your nose. It always knows.

Dmitri is at Galacticon 4 in Seattle this weekend, and look what happened. I don't think he'll mind me lifting this from his Facebook feed:

For those of you suffering head trauma, that's the gorgeous Dmitri flanked by the equally gorgeous Claudia Christian of "Babylon 5" fame. My jealousy knows no bounds. She will always be Ivanova, the right hand of vengeance, to me. God sent her.

Well, Dmitri is moving house right now and has shut down custom orders through his shop for a brief time. When he announced that, I decided to slip in under the wire and place an order for something he calls an "exorcist's hand wrap."

The one thing I asked is that, instead of the Thelemite magical symbol he showed on the catalog piece, I wanted the Yellow Sign on mine. I'm indifferent to Crowley but an ardent subject of the King in Yellow. My madness protects me.

It arrived super-quickly and, let me tell you, I was blown away. Knowing he's an honorable and upright artist, I expected the piece to be well made. What I did not predict was the superior quality of the components and the exquisite attention to detail. The photos on Dmitri's web site, though accurate, do not do this piece justice. There's no way my wonky pics are going to show you how wonderful this is, but trust me, it is great. I intend to get another one very, very soon. I'm thinking of getting the runic version of the Elder Sign on it.

Ignore my sexy Medic Alert bracelet below the hand wrap.

Tell me, have you seen the Yellow Sign?

There it is, right there. That's the Yellow Sign. Now you've seen it. So I can stop asking.

I don't know what this glyph under the buckles is, but I like it. Looks like an eye, looks like a globe.
Who knows? Dmitri, I guess, but I haven't bothered to ask.

I especially love that the handwrap leaves my fingers free for typing but does a great job of hiding the hideous wounds and scars that criss-cross the back of my left hand.

This is great quality leather. It smells SO GOOD. It's supple yet strong, and Dmitri's design work and edging really stand out. The hardware is of top quality. These are not the kind of notions you pick up at the corner craft store. These top-quality rivets, buckles and rings possess genuine heft and hardiness.

This is not a piece of a costume. This is an article of clothing. I've worn it every day since receiving it to get it broken in, and it already fits my hand almost exactly, curve for curve, and is nearly to the point where it seems weightless, that I don't feel it at all.

Based on this evidence, I can only say that Dmitri is a master fleshcrafter of the highest order, and I'm honored to own this product of his labor, and even more honored to call him my friend.

Thanks again, Dmitri, and you'll see another order from me cross your transom shortly.

OK, that's it for today. Back to the boards, everybody, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Penny Dreadful: the Summing Up

Hello me droogies, I'm back with real horrorshow content about a real horror show.

OK, I'm crap at imitating Alex's speech patterns from "A Clockwork Orange." But I do have what I hope is the final version of the Season 2 stats for the "Penny Dreadful" company for IHMN.

This is what, the fourth iteration of these stats? I think we're done tinkering until next season rolls around, when I plan to do a whole new list. I daresay our characters will be much changed and will warrant a good rethink. The producers have also said they've going to introduce another literary character to the show. I wonder who that will be. Any guesses?

The few changes I made this time are based on the finale, so while I'm not intentionally spoiling any details, I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone who's not yet seen it. Maybe steer clear until you've watched it.

I felt we had to up Brona/Lily's FV given how she tosses John around. I also armed her with the same "Terrible Blow" he has, which is equivalent to a walker's steam claw.

I also bumped Mr. Kyle's shooting value to +1 given how he came through with that little derringer in some rather adverse circumstances.

And last but not least is the Tome of the Scorpion, my name for the book Vanessa inherits from her teacher, the Cut-Wife. It's a relic, akin to the regalia Akhenaton hunts. It would make a great prize for a scenario, but it is so powerful I would severely limit its availability. As it is, I've tried to mimic its effects from the show while still making it playable.

So here are links to the PDF, one in Google Drive, and one in Dropbox.

I'll also put a copy in the Files section of the Facebook group.

That's it for now, folks. Back to the boards, and your good and faithful narrator will see you across the table soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tonight the part of Peter Cushing will be played ...

... by Vampifan!

Peter Cushing, not Vampifan

Well, I hate that it happened this way, but a week after the close of my giveaway, I still have not heard from the winner of the "Lost World" prize. I feel I have done my due diligence and made a good faith effort to contact him.

Therefore I'm vacating his win and rolling down to the next name on the random drawing list, which was Vampifan's.

I've already informed Bryan via personal message of his win, and I've contacted Andrew at Antediluvian with Bryan's shipping info so he can send the two dinos he so generously added to the prize.

Maybe I'll be fortunate enough to run another giveaway in a couple of years. Hmmmm. Maybe for our fifth anniversary?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

We have winners!

Ladies and gentlebeings, we have winners, and I'm happy to say that each winner was able to receive his or her first choice from among the prizes.

The winners are:

· MARS: Finn Morgan

· Lost World: Michael Morales

· Old Blighty: myincubliss

If these goodly readers will comment below and tell me how to best get in touch with them, I can begin making shipping arrangements.

And, of course, the big winner was me, because I got to share with you the joy I feel in sharing this hobby and this blog with you. You are all wonderful people, and some of you have become my dear friends over the years.

Additionally, I was floored by the generosity of Andrew Taylor at Antediluvian Miniatures. When I was messaging with him on Facebook about the great quality of the minis I'd ordered for the Lost World prize, he volunteered to add in the Megalosaurus and the Iguanadon models for the winner. Thank you again, Andrew.

I don't know about you, but I hope that says something about the reputation of this blog (and its writer.) It feels, to me, that it really acknowledges that we've reached the next level and can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best gaming blogs out there. "Dispatches from the Rim" is a niche publication for sure, covering steampunk skirmish wargaming, the occasional zombie infestation, and whatever else bright and shiny attracts my attention, but now I feel our quality can compare favorably with the blogs out there that inspire me ... like Vampifan's World of the Unded, like Hendybadger's Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher, and even ones that came along after I started, like Gordon's "I have wrought my simple plan." I am so proud to be among their company.

The contest brought in new readers and, while we didn't break the 100 mark for public followers, we got darn close. 97! Woo hoo!

I also got to find out more about the international reach of the blog. Most of my readers are in the U.S. and U.K., with a strong contingent in New Zealand and a pocket in Poland, but it was really nice to here more from Europe, with new readers in France, Belgium and Sweden.

Thank you all for enjoying this ride with me, for the many compliments about the blog's content, for the birthday wishes and for granting me your time and attention in this oh-so-busy world when you could be doing other things.

OK, that's it for now. Back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's "Dispatches"' birthday, but the presents are for you!

Thanks to the generosity of Andrew Taylor and Antediluvian Miniatures, the "Lost World" prize has been augmented by an Iguanadon and a Megalosaurus. While the explorers will ship from my place in the States, the dinosaurs will ship from Antediluvian central in the UK.

July 8 is the third blogiversary of "Dispatches from the Rim," and I've decided to do a giveaway to celebrate. It's also a celebration of my upcoming birthday (next Wednesday) and a milestone that I overlooked about a month back -- "Dispatches" passed 50,000 pageviews!

There are going to be there different prizes, each geared toward different areas on which we steampunk skirmish wargamers tend to focus.

A boxed set of Games Workshop Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii. They can be assembled as either rangers (hoods) or as vanguard (helmets).

I know plenty of us are planning to use these figures as some faction on Mars. Here's a chance to get a jump start.

A set of the three new Lost World explorers from Antediluvian Miniatures. Who doesn't want Peter Cushing, Doug McClure and a fur bikini-clad Raquel Welch fighting dinosaurs in the Earth's interior?

A set of five Victorian firefighters from Brigade Games. Set to defend Trumpton or wherever you decide, these firemen bear a certain unkempt dignity. Are they putting out fires or setting them? Up to you!

So, how do you get in on this giveaway? Simply comment on this post and tell me which order you would rank them as your favorites, or which you would want most. You don't have to be a public follower of this blog, but it would make me very happy if you were. We're nearing 100, and it would be cool if this were the event that pushed us over.

On July 15th, my birthday, I'll randomly select three commenters and award the prizes as best I can in order of their preferences.

All the minis are brand new, unpainted plastic or white metal.

When you comment, don't forget to tell me the order in which you would prefer the prizes. All you have to put is "Lost World. Blighty. Mars." for example.

Feel free to share this around on your own blogs, Facebook pages and groups, or other social media. The more, the merrier.

OK, back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's Father's Day today, so to all you fathers out there, happy birthday!

The title is a paraphrase of the great Ralph Kiner.

My father is a great man. Whenever I hear those Old Testament Bible verses about there being "giants in the earth," I think of my dad. Not because he's descended from the Nephilim, necessarily, but because that's the kind of stride his life has had across the landscape of my own.

So I decided to write up some stats for him for "In Her Majesty's Name."

Why? My dad's not a gamer -- he'll neither understand nor be able to appreciate what I've done here. It'll just join the other million, million things I've done during my life that he'll have to shrug at and go, "OK, if that's your thing ..."

I've left the era particularly vague. If you wanted to run him as a Victorian character, as I certainly do, he'll work, but you could just as easily drop him into his actual modern era using the stats and description I've written. My web fu doesn't feel particularly strong right now, but offhand I think the figure I might use for him as a Victorian mechanic/tinkerer would be Capt. Arland Strangewayes from the Cygnar faction of Warmachine. (Although then you'd need to up his Armor from jack/lined coat.)

The human field mechanik in the unit set might work as well, although Dad's not bald. He just has a mustache.

If you want to use him as a modern survivor, the nearest analogue as far as the kit he's carrying would be Raoul from Zombicide. Here's his picture. Just make him older and give him a mustache, but no beard, and that's a pretty close image for how my dad might face the zombie apocalypse.

Here's a Google Docs link to the pdf: My Dad

And in Dropbox: My Dad

So Happy Father's Dad, although I doubt you'll see this, unless one of your granddaughters points it out to you. Love you much!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker"

A while back I stumbled across this great thread in the Workbench section of the Lead Adventure Forum.

A group was rounding up orders for, or gauging interest in, a Victorian version of a certain nemesis of a caped nocturnal vigilante.

Well I was in for it immediately. The sculptor, who goes by Vermis but is, I believe, named Warren, was even doing alternate heads -- one based on Conrad Veidt, the star of the German Expressionist silent film "The Man Who Laughs," from the Victor Hugo novel (and a big inspiration for Bob Finger's original design of The Joker), and the other with the skinned and reattached face we've seen in recent comics.

There had apparently been an earlier drive to craft the Gentleman Vigilante himself. I opted not to purchase one of these, but they do look good.

So I had to get two of Mr. Grins, and they arrived at my secret base in the heart of a dormant volcano yesterday. And they are every bit as wonderful as anticipated.

Here's a pic of my two minis in the metal. These are really clean casts. There was one tiny piece of flash attached to one of the top hats, but I took care of that with a judiciously applied fingernail. The only mold line of any significance runs along the underside of the figure's right arm, but a file should get rid of that with minimal effort.

I don't exactly have a plan to slot him into the world of "Brass & Blood" yet, but it'll come to me, no doubt. I mean, every setting can use a psychopath disfigured by a Glasgow smile, right?

And the vigilante haunting Victorian smokestacks and alleyways to stop him is already in my collection.

Monday, June 1, 2015

This week's "Penny Dreadful"

Having now seen episode 5 of Penny Deadful season 2, "Above the Vaulted Sky," I don't think I'd amend anything in my company list based on any of this week's revelations.

(Unless there were a roll to put Barry White music behind everyone's actions. Almost everybody got to break off a little sumpn-sumpn.)

The only thing I might add would be giving Madame Kali/Evelyn Poole the Curse spell from IHMN Gothic, based on how she's got Sir Malcolm ensorcelled. It's a 12-point spell, which would push her total to 83 points. Given Madame Kali's age and apparent level of power in the show, I'm OK with that.

If you wanted, you could swap Curse in for the Chameleon Skin spell, which I gave her for consistency's sake with the other Nightcomers, but we've never seen her use that particular talent. That exchange would leave her as a 71-point character.

If you need them again, here are links to the company list: Google Drive or Dropbox.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dreadful developments

As fans of the ever-expanding world of "In Her Majesty's Name" await the release of IHMN Gothic, we craft what we can from the delectable morsels of the work that Craig and Charles have released on the official blog.

One of the hottest properties in the Gothic genre right now is Showtime's "Penny Dreadful."

I loved the first season, and the second season is proving to be quite the roller-coaster ride.

So I have taken upon myself the task of converting the main cast into IHMN stats.

Please note that I have not tried to build them as a starting company with the traditional 250-point cost. I have tried to include or replicate their abilities as seen or hinted at on the show, taking some liberties here and there to improve their survivability in-game.

F'rinstance, I have given several of the characters magneto-static bodices, where other characters have no armor at all. This is almost entirely at my whim. In addition, I have given Victor a Faraday coat because it makes sense, despite the lack of arc weapons on the show.

I've included the math in adding up the character costs below each entry, so you can check behind me or more easily make changes for your own games.

There are two main changes I can see people wishing to make. One is upping the steampunk quotient, which I have tried to address in part in the optional armaments at the end of the list.

The other is dropping the points cost of some characters to something more "livable." Here are some suggestions to that end:

· Drop Sir Malcolm's Hunter skill and Hunting Rifle.
· Raise Malcolm's Pluck and lower his SV.
· Drop Ethan's Lightning Draw.
· Lower his hybrid form's FV.
· Drop Ethan's Bless Person power.
· Drop John Clare's Strongarm talent.
· Drop Dorian's Erudite Wit talent.

Again, these are things I included to be true to the characters from the show or to enhance their viability on the tabletop.

Here's a link to the list as a pdf on Dropbox and another on Google Drive.

Let me know how you like them! Back to the boards, everybody, and I'll see you across the table soon.