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Everything posted by Mengu

  1. George posed for me for a portrait, just sharing it here :)
  2. I was an observer rather than participant this year for the painting competition. I don't really understand the whole Sophie Trophies thing. I'm not yet convinced that they "enhance" the competition in some way. Back when regular ranking was used, it of course was meaningful since it represented placement. But now, when entries can be Reaper or non-Reaper, when popular votes can swing pretty wildly, I'm not really sure why there are Sophie Trophies (other than Reaper has "a few" in stock which I guess can be a legitimate reason). The more interesting part of the results, that I was listening to like a hawk, was the medals. I found it fun to walk around, look at minis, memorize some names for my favorites, root for friends, and listen to the results to find out who got what. I was a little curious about the popularity vote, but not as much as the medals. And I honestly didn't even know what categories the trophies were being given for until the announcements, though that's probably just my laziness, I'm sure it was all in the rules somewhere that I didn't read since I didn't prepare an entry. I must say I did enjoy the medal format. Are some gold medals more awesome than others? Sure. But I can't even begin to compare a scratch built 54 vs a stock 28, when it comes to which one is more awesome. And there comes a point in the quality of paint, where judges are judging more preference than anything else. It's a lot easier to get judges to agree that a paint job deserves a gold, than it is to place it first, second or third. To hand those trophies out, I think it would almost be more entertaining to hand them out as "level up" prizes. This would of course require tracking from year to year which would be a pain. Besides, leveling up is its own prize so not even sure a trophy is needed there. And sorry monkey boy, hope I didn't get you in trouble by asking for your opinion (I did it to Laszlo too). I just like to talk about entries and hear what others think, and hear what they think about what I think, and hear what they think about what I think about what they think (and... I suppose to cut it short I'll call it a conversation). This odd behavior (which presents itself especially when in a friendly competition habitat) is due to a combination of art appreciation, and a search for nuggets of information I can use for my own painting.
  3. Isn't there a Reaper Clark mini somewhere? I want that for my Goliath Battle Cleric.
  4. And here I thought I might be going overboard by keeping an excel sheet, and printing all item stat blocks on card stock for my players whenever they find an item. Thanks for making me feel better about the time I spend on prep work.
  5. I think I painted like 3 minis in 2008. 2 were at ReaperCon. There is hoping I'll do better in 2009.
  6. I say just let the painter put it in whatever category they want to put it in. If I paint up a Karchev model (man in the machine, think warjack with only a human head showing), I could focus on a clean paint job, maybe do some fancy pattern design on the armor, bring the face into focus with some freehand trickery, add some lighting effects coming from the inside of the machine, and enter it in painter category. Or I could take the same model, pick out every rivet, add some authentic lettering, add some battle damage, paint transfer, and oil leaks, and enter it in ordanance category. Or I could have him standing on a pile of trenchers, holding up a light enemy jack hanging upside down by its leg in one hand, and his axe raised up in defiance of his half torn armor converted with a bunch of hydraulic pipes and gears sticking out of it, and enter it in open category. Same model, different takes, different categories. Like Sue said, it just makes the painter think about what category they are painting the model for. This should be no different than painting for any other competition.
  7. I think the popularity contest aspect is unavoidable. In order to pick the best in show, people would check out the cases for Derek, Marike, Jeremie, and maybe a few others, and would be likely to pick one of them, not that they don't deserve it, but because of the name attached to the piece. Rhonda's single entry sitting next to Jeremie's 20 entries might easily get overlooked by many, despite potentially being more deserving of a best in show. Not saying it'll happen this way, but it's possible. I'm a big fan of secrecy when it comes to anonymity of contest entries for most any contest where entries are placed. A name can easily influence a judge (consciously or subconsciously) to push an entry up or down, whenever it's a close call. Having said all that, this format is something completely new (to me, and to ReaperCon). It will have a fairly different atmosphere. I think it would be ok to try non-anonymous entries this year, and see what kind of results we get. If it works well, it can be adopted as a standard. If it doesn't, it can be fixed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  8. Just wanted to touch upon the options debate (new core classes/races vs old core classes/races, etc). For races, in one of our groups, we have 1 tiefling and 2 dragonborns, and in the other group we have 1 eladrin and 1 dragonborn. For classes one group has a warlock, and one group has a warlord. Everyone is excited about the new core options. Do people miss some of the old options? They do. But not too long ago, we ran a one shot game, and our Barbarian fan got to play a 4e barbarian. In another game, I had a guest player also play a barbarian. And in yet another one shot game, someone got to try a Genasi Swordmage. The options build very quickly. I also think DDI is a huge advantage in providing players with options. I'm the only one in our two groups (total of 10 players) with DDI access, but for $60 a year it vastly increases options for 10 people (essentially a value of $6 per person per year). I can easily have someone pickup a level 1-3 bard or druid and play it right now. And thanks to DDI, I'm never going to be in a hurry to buy a D&D book (though I'll still browse through them at the store probably). DDI also makes my life much easier as a DM. It gives me a searchable monster manual in database format of every monster ever published for 4e. And for any tool that reduces my prep time for the game (or gives me more time to focus on the adventure itself rather than statting out combat encounters) I'm willing to pay quite a bit.
  9. A few comments: Really like the painter category. Really like opening it up to different manufacturers. Really like the new multiple entry rules. I honestly wasn't planning on coming to ReaperCon this year because I've scheduled so much vacation elsewhere. Now I'll have to figure out a way to spare some days, or convince them to give me comp time for all the extra hours I've put in in the last 10 months. A few questions: Will entries be anonymous (at least to the judges), or will the judges know whose work they are judging? This can be important, because sometimes judges have expectations from a certain painter, and they might knock off points if the paint quality doesn't meet their expectations, eventhough the piece if submitted by a different painter would score higher marks. What determines the "quality curve"? Obviously you can't have a show where there are no gold medals, and you can't have a show where everyone gets a gold medal. In both cases, you are wasting the value of a medal. I have no experience with MMSI and the like, but unlike contests where entries are placed where judges are merely comparing entries against each other, judges in this format really need to put on some cruel hats especially at the low end of the spectrum where they have to decide between bronze, HM, and nothing. Otherwise, in the extremely friendly environment of ReaperCon, I'd be afraid everyone would end up with at least a bronze medal. Can we see a few samples of what minis would place gold/silver/bronze/HM/nothing so we know what to expect? This is more to satisfy my curiosity than anything else.
  10. I don't think that's the right context to use "power creep", you're just talking about the characters getting more powerful through levels. This became fairly exponential at around level 9 for the spell casting classes in 3.x. I think the progression is more linear in 4.0, so you get used to it more gradually. But I'll concur with you that in previous editions, I enjoyed levels between 3-9 more so than the other levels.
  11. There are already a number of factors that separate the Barbarian from other strikers. The barbarian: 1. Does not dish out as much damage as the rogue or ranger 2. Must rely more on melee and being next to targets, than the rogue, ranger, and warlock 3. Doesn't have as many enemy controlling effects as the rogue or warlock to reduce his chances of being attacked. As for the defender comparison, the barbarian: 1. Would not have as high an AC as a defender who wears heavy armor, even using a secondary stat for AC. 2. Does not have the ability to mark 3. Does not have as many ways to stop enemies from engaging allies. So I think they found a sweet spot where the Barbarian sits right between striker and defender roles, and a bit of AC bonus will not change that, while it will make the Barbarian more fun to play at mid and high levels because he won't be locked down as badly.
  12. Unfortunately, extra hit points (temporary or otherwise), are not a substitute for bad AC. At high levels, if the Barbarian does not invest in some serious armor proficiencies, he tends to be hit very often, which means he tends to spend half the battle blinded, dazed, weakened, slowed, immobilized, stunned, or otherwise under some ongoing effect which prevents him from doing his job as either defender or striker. In certain encounters, this can make playing the barbarian extremely boring. I like everything else about the barbarian. He just needs to have more AC. The best solution is to allow the Barbarian to use his constitution or charisma bonus as an AC bonus while in light armor (instead of intelligence or charisma). Since constitution and charisma are secondary stats, he still won't quite get the AC of a fighter, but he will have a more respectable AC than his current incarnation.
  13. There is no candy for anyone who is not smart. Resource management is extremely important, and unless you make proper use of those resources, you may find yourself running away, or dying, or in some other way failing. Those powers are not kiddie gloves. They are tools of survival. They just also happen to bring a character to focus after a successful use.
  14. I've been running and playing 4e for some time now. For me and my group, it's the best rendition of D&D yet. We love the cinematic aspect of it which allows for looser descriptions of actions, and how everyone gets their per encounter and daily shining moments (coined as "munchkinized" by most). We like the more streamedlined rules, we like how easy it is to create and customize monsters. We also like the tactical aspect of it (pushing minis around). From a roleplaying perspective, it has changed absolutely nothing for us. We did the same roleplaying when we played versions 2, 3, 3.5, and other systems from Rolemaster, to Over the Edge, to Shadowrun. The game system is just supposed to take care of conflict resolution. I feel 4e does this fairly elegantly and for us, it has just the right depth of tactics, cinematics, and heroics to keep us entertained. I've been a fanboy from the start (clearly), and after a few months of play, my perception hasn't changed. I'm a bit nervous about power creep for all the expansions coming out, but historically I have rarely bothered with splat books. I doubt that will change much for me. Besides, I understand the game well enough to block any potential future options that will not fit my campaign.
  15. Sounds like any other person, who is trying to rationalize a decission they have made.
  16. Wasting time on repainting DDM minis? Here's another tomato, catch *splat* Now you can toss me one, because I just repainted a DDM kobold sorcerer's robes purple with blue trim, and used him in my game last friday (red just wasn't going to cut it for my cold themed kobolds).
  17. I'm not Vaitalla, but... In the skin triads you'll notice two of the colors might look colder, and one warmer, or vice versa. This is indeed intentional, and is partly a reflection of what you are talking about. In general black is hardly ever used for mixing shades for primary or secondary colors (or any saturated color really). In the yellow triads, you'll notice the shades go toward orange, in some of the blue triads, the shades go toward purple, etc. Adding complimentary colors to the shade (or the highlight, depending on your perspective) is a fairly common technique. The effect is usually pretty subtle. But here are a few more obvious examples... For instance in this example from Anne, if you look at the face, you'll notice some purples in the shades, and some yellows in the highlights, giving greater contrast to the skin tones. In this example from Marike, if you look at the cloak, the shadows run toward purple, and the highlights go to a turquoise, which is essentially a blue with some yellow and white in it. Also if you look at her skin, it's mostly pinkish, but in the shadows both around the leg and underneath the ribcage, you can clearly tell some complementary greens have been mixed in for shading. There is entirely too much too be said about color theory though. Colors you are using around the area you will be shading, should play a role in your choice of what color to add to your shades too. Adding complementary colors for shading is a good tool, but not an exclusive one. I sometimes do the "adding" in my head. So I might pick a purplish brown to add to my shade for an orangish brown because I know it has some blue in it. But if I don't want to introduce any cold colors to my scheme because I want to keep everything warm, I might reach for a reddish brown for the shade. It's all a matter of conscious choices.
  18. However small the health risk, it's not worth saving a couple of dollars in my book. I try to be extra careful washing my hands after filing the current line of miniatures. I'm not likely to bother with this new line, but as they say, it's not for everyone. Now if Reaper ever makes a plastic line, I'll be all over that.
  19. I saw the preview in the theater before we watched The Dark Knight. It was very cool.
  20. Clerics can still heal considerably better than any other class. Paladins can't really heal more than a couple times a day, and they have a handful of abilities that grant healing or temporary hit points. Warlords are definitely better healers than Paladins, since they get to do it twice per encounter. But their additional healing abilities are still limited, though the inspiring warlord does a better job than the tactical warlord. Clerics, not only can heal twice per encounter but get bonuses to *all* their healing thanks to Healing Lore. A party that relies solely on second wind for in combat healing is up for a real rough time. A healer, whether it be cleric or warlord is very useful for a party. Cleric buffs such as Lance of Faith and Righteous Brand are priceless gems, some of the best at-will powers in the game. They are the tools which make every other character's encounter and daily abilities work more reliably. Temporary hit points from Sacred Flame are essentially pre-healing, that no other at-will power will match. Clerics are incredible healers and buffers, fullfilling their leader role quite sufficiently.
  21. I'm getting both Dragonborns in the AgtG set, as well as the Reaper one. Why not... That giant reptus will be a pain to move around when we're on dungeon maps, or using Dwarven Forge stuff, so I'll swap him out for the plastic. I'll use the metal Reaper reptus at other times.
  22. I don't want to pay $100+ a year just to have access to that stuff either. So what I plan to do is just pay for a month, probably around December, since I tend to have some down time during the holidays, and read/download everything of interest to me. I'd also follow the rumor mill, and if anything good goes up there, I might pay for another month some time in the middle of the year too. That should be plenty of campaign material for me.
  23. You guys are crazy. That's all the feedback I have for you. And for everyone else, even if you are not the least bit interested in warlord (which you should be), or terrain, stop by at GenCon, and just ask for a tour of their town and have them talk you through the fantastic scenarios they play in that town. It'll be well worth your time.
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