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I am putting the final touches on a saltmarsh campaign set in the Razor
Coast setting and it occurred to me that there were probably a number of people here who had run or played one or the other. Since this is my first time with the 5e system (though I have at least played all the others and it strikes me as very similar to AD&D with some improvements) I would like to see if there are mistakes I can avoid...
The group looka like it will be 7 if everyone shows up, three of them in their mid teens and I want to make sure they have fun while getting a taste of adventures that are not all hack and slash.
My reason for them to be there together at the adventure start is that they have recently completed their training/ finished their apprenticeship/ or finished with the service and this is the graduating task they have been given basically: comlete the secrets of sinister saltmarsh if you want the right to practice your trade in the name of your guild. I am hoping to avoid the first 2-3 sessions of 'I hate you all' and 'I'm better then you' garbage that seems to happen so often with the classic met in a tavern opening.
The planned adventure path will use the saltmarsh modules but I also want to work in
The sunless Citidel
The temple of Posidon (an old ADnD module that I personally love even though it's a killer from stage 1)
2 or 3 other dungeon crawls from old dragon magazines
I also want them to have access to the Razor coast adventures as optional adventures (I've started a table of swap outs that allow me to replace sections of saltmarsh if they take that option.
Finally, I have ship minis and I want to use them! So I am planning some naval encounters that they can run into
With all of this I am I am planning a slow progression allowing greater numbers in people to make the adventures a little easier but requiring more of them rather than increasing the cr of the encounters in the dungeon. As some of these adventures are killers I'm really not worried about the characters feeling unthreatened but some of the players are new and I don't want to clobber them Tomb of Horrors style (when I played temple of Posidon the first time we went in with 8 8th level characters and cam out with 3...) but I may need to explain the slow progression.
Two things I want to implement are:
a change to feats and multiclassing; I want to allow it but only if they find someone in game to teach it to them.
Race limitations.all the basic races are fine but race discrimination is a chunk of the plot and things will go very bad very quickly if one of the players is an aquatic race...
So with that said does anyone have recommendations for:
Dungeoncrawlers - I would love to throw in a few classic crawlers with classic monsters. I also have all my dwarven forge goodies I want to use!
Ship combat dos and donts particularly around cannon and boarding actions and piracy
Pointers for dealing with teens, they're good kids but can be rambunctious and distractable
An I trying too much on them? Ist possible for them to be embroiled in multiple plotlines and it could confuse them.
So with that, anyone want to lend an ear and make suggestions?
Another old mini that I painted at the same time as the Taer. Initially I just primed him white and called it good, but since I was painting the Taer, I figured he'd be a good one to paint along side them since he would have a similar color scheme. He was also equally a pain the %&^$#@ elf to photograph, didn't matter if I was using a neutral background or my dungeon tiles. he would inevitably be washed out and or blurry. while trying to experiment I got a decent picture of him on top of my trash can out side.
This guy is very much based on his art in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One. Drawn by one of my favorite D&D artists Tony Diterlizzi.
Hmm blown up it's still a little blurry now. I don't get it, the S8 is supposed to have an awesome camera, but it seemed like I was getting better pictures with my wife's old Ipad. I really thought I had finally gotten a picture of him that actually worked. Might try and fix this later as well.
I have been busy painting these past months, but I have not been taking pictures and posting much, and these guys are to blame for that.
I started them up many many years ago, but never could come up with a good paint scheme. My Monstrous Manual didn't have any pictures let alone a decent description, and the older pictures were all line art or black & white. Finally earlier this year I took a look at them again and was able to find 3rd ed pictures and descriptions and while very different than the old school versions it at least gave me a starting point. I could have just done them up in any ld color and been happy, but no color scheme really stood out to me, so "traditional" it is. their fur ended up not being as white as I would have liked and it doesn't help that it's hard to tell if something is supposed to be furred or bare blue skin, but Ithink it's more or less ok now.
Now the reason I haven't posted was because for a while now I have just not been able to take miniature photos I'm at all happy with and these guys were the worst for it since they are mostly blue and white so it was hard to get a picture where their eyes (which I spent quite a bit of time on) even remotely stood out. Even now I'm not completely happy with the pictures, but like the minis I guess I just have to learn when it's just good enough.
So without any further ado
This one got panted black with grey dry brushing for a while, but it just didn't seem like enough.
This one was the worst to photograph as his rock kept casting shadows on his face. i like how the rock turned out at least.
This one spent the last decade solid grey.
I wish I could have done more to make the eyes stand out, but my hand is not very steady so it either works or it doesn't.
The team together. Ready to fight off adventurers and keep them from invading their snowy mountaintop dungeon complex
Really turned down the settings on this picture because even the previous pictures look too washed out now that I've got them cropped down.
Comments? Critiques? Photography advice? Business ventures for for young Taer seeking promising careers with advancement opportunities?
Edit: Gah! Blown up the first 3 photos look even worse now. I may retake them and replace them at some point, if I can ever pin down whats going wrong. in the last photo I turned off the auto settings on my phone and set them manually, but it was all guess work since literally none of the buttons and symbols mean anything to me.
Under the Repaint & Rebuild column, we have the Ral Partha Frost Giant, 11-436. A classic version of the Frost Giant for Ral Partha's AD&D line back in the day.
Amusingly, I was rather proud of this paint job back in the day.
I cut the base out of thick clear plastic and then edged it with a rotary tool. Mixed snow, sand painted white and such to cover the large integral base and painted him up.
However, on his way to an early days Finger Lakes Paint Day, he and a few other minis got unceremoniously dropped on the floor in their container. They weren't individually contained. They were just pulled from the shelf, loosely wrapped in paper towels to keep them bouncing off each other and taken in to show off. However, I didn't get out the door before my elbow bumped something and wham, down they went.
The Frost Giant comes apart at the waist and the shield comes off. Naturally he came apart at the waist and in my heart sunk condition I shelved the whole box and didn't touch it again until recently.
So, I dipped him, cleaned him and re-based him yesterday at paint day.
With one distinct difference in the base ...
The ice sheet of his old base is now the ice sheet sitting on top of water on top of his new base.
The base is one of the 2-inch tile squares I use a lot with a 1-inch plastic tile holding up the old base:
I used Golden Heavy Gel with no coloring as the water between the top and the bottom bases after painting the lower base with an aqua/sea blue I mixed from Warpaint Hydra Blue and Reaper Ultramarine Blue.
I added a skull floating/hanging in the ice/water near the front of the base to add SKULLZ for my buddy @ub3r_n3rd because ... SKULLZ!! I painted that up on a stick beforehand and used part of the stick to help plant the skull in the gel after I had "cooked" it to set a bit.
Speaking of cooking it. I improvised a low-heat method to "bake" the mini all day after assembly:
All lights are energy efficient but still generate a lot of heat using the metal shades and the direct contact of the bulb under him.
Last night when the gel had contracted a lot, I added more gel to fill the gaps back to the edges of the tile.
Here's a close up of the skull.
I also sprayed the giant later last night after masking off the base. I am back in the office today to do a little work and paint. So he's back on the lamps "baking" the gel.
Ice ... I am going to use the crackle effect I got from Ub3r to create a cragged, icy appearance on the plastic base and bring it level with the integral base to a degree. The plastic base will be painted an icy blue to show through the cracks. Gloves and Sleeves ... I painted his hands as gloves last time to avoid messing with full blue skin. However, this time I plan to add more blue to him. Whether the blue will be in the form of bare hands or bare arms I am unsure. More Water ... as the latest gel contracts I will likely have to add more gel to get it level again towards the edges. I expect should give me some nice edges within the water to look through. Shield ... gonna put some more effort into the shield this time and paint a device on it. Part of the reason I left it off.
Stay tuned and Enjoy!
This is the Sea Ghost from AD&D module U1: the sinister secret of saltmarsh. It will hopefully be used in my group's upcoming D&D pirates campaign set in 1600's Jamaica.
Its layers will be separable, with each surface being a sort of game board for each deck of the ship, from forecastle/poop, to main deck, to cargo deck, to bilge. I'm going to try to pin the layers together so they don't just fall apart by using the mast and rudder to keep the layers aligned when they are stacked.
It is made of 3/4" polystyrene insulation sheets, cut, stacked, and sanded down with a belt sander. In the end it will have paint and probably balsa wood details.
That's the Barnabas Frost mini that I posted in the show-off forum standing on the deck in a few of the photos.
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