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Bones 6 Enthusiasm and Commentary


Chaoswolf

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4 hours ago, JG/RR said:

No Siri, the dual function of the wall was never mentioned before today, as a matter of fact I had to clear it with Ron to post about it here since the Hakir stuff had only been teased up to this point. 

 

I'm glad you could share that with us.  I'm excited to see how the whole set looks together. 

 

Purely speculation, but I wonder if any of the Khamsin Herdsmen or Rangers will make it to Bonesium this time.  Those, with the terrain, could make for a nice little skirmish. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, YronimosW said:

Why would it be a historically accurate Egypt?  I don't think there's any reason to believe it's a Chronoscope/Mtyhos Egyptian theme.

 

I'm pretty sure it's aimed at Reaper's fantasy line, and it's not like the rest of the terrain and figures in Reaper's fantasy lineup portrays a historically accurate Europe.  Even the previous "alt culture" expansions like the Greco-Roman expansion were fairly broad-strokes in their treatment of sculpture, architecture, and mythology. 

 

And even if it is for the Chronoscope/Mythos setting, the Hakir expansion isn't bound by the rules of history, but the still by rules of pulp sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and adventure.

 

As for why any real-world culture would use a skull/undead theme, we do it all the time:
 

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Just check in with the Aztec cultures, for examples:

 

aztectemplerelief01_02_raw.jpgbronze_aztec_8223__51764_grande.jpeg

 

Or modern Mexican:

 

calaveras.jpgday-of-the-dead-568012_960_720_grande.jp

 

Or 18th and 19th century USA:

 

5816529584_78990af6bf.jpg0265a7f50d4e68bdd70fe31e0312e9d4--plaque

 

To modern counter-culture:

 

mayhem-band-63ab0d73-671c-4bab-b457-fecad4c80adf9fea1d4a6e0b15c1f6e4a659628f4cb6

 

To medieval Roman Catholic cathedrals:

 

2546610228_8cb0c76f00_n.jpg2796489303_1894b7ab7a.jpg

 

 

To European architecture and art during and after the Plague:

 

58b22a982ee983d3c965aab4658c04eb.jpg68eea6e55a9348ed3a65b8b2eef298ae.jpg

 

...and no doubt lots more.

 

In spite of the wide variety of possible meanings, the skull and similar imagery seem to be nearly universal in its presence in various cultures - BUT, to be fair, as near as I can tell, the skull and similar death imagery is suspiciously almost non-existent in Egyptian art - suspicious, because really, we're talking about thousands of years of a vast culture that surely changed over time, saw fads and fashions come and go, would surely have been influenced by the cultures around it, and influencing those cultures in turn.  I can't imagine that for thousands of years, the Egyptian culture consistently idealized their death symbolism behind youthful and beautiful death-masks, with only the barest hints of desert scavengers helping to prepare them for an eternal youth and vitality without change managed to somehow persist for thousands of years without interruption. 

 

Is there a trove of Egyptian skull art and imagery stashed away somewhere because it doesn't fit the properly-accepted stereotype of what it meant to be an ancient Egyptian?  (In truth, it seems that Egyptologists do not like to have their neat conclusions about this culture challenged!  And to be fair, much of the challenge comes from some real crackpot ideas, with a history of junk science baggage for Egyptology to try to defend its respectability from....)  Or, has some trove of more "morbid" death symbolism been lost to the ravages of a more historical censorship?  (It wouldn't be the only example of something like that happening in Egyptian history - for example, Queen Hatshepsut was apparently virtually obliterated from Egyptian history by her stepson Thetmus III for political reasons, and more interestingly, Akhenetan seems to have tried to reinvent Egyptian culture around a new religion by obliterating the temples and records of the old faith, only to have his new religion in turn obliterated on his death and the old faith revived, while Horemheb seems to have attempted to obliterate records of an unpopular period of Egyptian history in which a solar cult had been suppressed in favor of a form of monotheism. 

 

Or, perhaps, Egyptian culture truly did "stagnate" into relative stability without death and skull symbolism creeping in from the outside world for thousands of years, to interrupt the seemingly consistent Ancient Egyptian religious and cultural "obsession" with eternal youth and vitality without change that the funerary art otherwise seems to suggest!

 

 

 

In these various contexts, this morbid imagery has had various meanings:

  • Skulls on palisades and walls have served as eloquent warnings that even the illiterate can easily understand:  "Go away - to enter here is death!
  • Skulls on cathedrals and temples have served as a reminder of our our mortality, the memento mori:  "Your time in this world is limited, be careful of how you spend that time, because even now Death is by your side, and tomorrow might take you away."
  • Skulls in Buddhism can represent the emptiness without fleshly distraction or turmoil of life.  "Your life is a source of constant distraction from an ideal peace and unity with the cosmos - that peace can be achieved, if you can learn to abandon those distractions."
  • Skulls and death in Hinduism and other cultures can represent just a part of the cycle of an eternal life.  "We must die in this life, before we can be reborn into the next, and better, part of our eternal life."
  • The Death card in Tarot suggests a similar concept:  far from the menace of literal death, the Death card would symbolize the end of an opportunity or the end of one phase of a life, which must be laid to rest before we can move on to better things.  On the "flip side", an inverted death card can represent an unwillingness to let go of the past, which interrupts us from moving forward, causing us to become lost in a futile life-in-death obsessed with things we have lost and can never regain, while the opportunities of life pass us by.
  • Skulls and ghosts in Halloween imagery suggest the thin boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a boundary which might be crossed under the right conditions.  "Our ancestors are not gone, they have simply entered another world, and under the right conditions, they might come back to us.  Death is not the end, it's just the beginning of a new life beyond this one."
  • A skull combined with wings might suggest the freedom from this world's troubles, pains, and sorrows, which comes with the liberation of death.  The danse macabre of plague art - the dance of death - depicts plague victims dancing feverishly with death, or sometimes being led, smiling, from this world into the next.
  • Skulls in Celtic culture represent magical and vital power, and in Gothic culture hold the secret of things known in life long after death.  The combination of a serpent - a creature believed to know secrets - with a skulls, such as emerging from an eye socket, symbolizes the serpent's ability to learn the secrets of unknown worlds and forgotten histories.
  • Skulls and corpses can serve as a reminder for what has been lost, and that symbolism plays a part of the use of death symbolism in some European pagan-themed heavy metal:  "The conquered and converted pagan culture of my ancestors is dead, but not forgotten, and its destruction is not forgiven...."
  • Sometimes skull and death imagery simply run on Rule of Cool:  they are shocking, they are creepy, they are scary and strange, and there is even a sort of strange and eerie beauty to them.  The shock of coming face to face with the morbid and weird induces something of an altered state of consciousness - an awareness of our temporary place in this world, the mystery of what lay in worlds beyond the wall of death, the unknown ways we might die which lurk just out of sight in the darkness, the strange and alien menace of the uncanny valley and the threat it represents to our health and safety....  Cultures throughout history have been fascinated with death and the grotesque, and have held it close to the otherworldly.

 

Considering the idea that - in a pulp horror/fantasy setting - we're talking about a sculpture on the walls of a house of an undying, mummified lich whose youth and vitality have decayed away in undeath rather than lasting forever, leaving only dust and bones and burning rage against time and death behind in that living tomb, any of the above possible symbolic meanings take on all sorts of possible meanings that range from the weirdly logical and appropriate, to the grimly ironic. 

 

And, to those possibilities, you can even add the fantasy possibilities that the carving was either made by the (presumably unpopular) mummy's enemies after death, to obliterate his symbolic eternal youth and replace it with a symbolic death or life-in-death (part of the usual pulp-style mummy's curse - "King Hakir is dead forever, and let no mortal disturb his grave nor speak his name again, lest he rise from his tomb and return!"), or the possibility that the undying king had the carving made in his mummified, lichly likeness long after he decayed.

 

Any of these possibilities and more might suit your fantasy story the best, if you're willing to just roll with it and see where you can lead it!

 

 

Far out mate,  I couldn't have said it better myself. 

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Thank you - it just sort of confuses me a little that nobody seemed to object to the comparable use of a skull motif all over the "Shadows of Sullenhall" expansion.  It works just fine for me in both cases... maybe a little bit cliche, but then gothic horror and sword-and-sorcery - pulp fantasy, horror, adventure, and science fiction in general, really - tend to run on such little cliches, and it's all part of the fun.  At least for me!

Edited by YronimosW
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1 hour ago, Inarah said:

 

I'm glad you could share that with us.  I'm excited to see how the whole set looks together. 

 

Purely speculation, but I wonder if any of the Khamsin Herdsmen or Rangers will make it to Bonesium this time.  Those, with the terrain, could make for a nice little skirmish. 

 

 

Im really hoping the Khamsin figured make the jump. They have such a fantastic look and are perfect for skirmish games or other unit-based encounters. I know I've been eyeing them for use as masked cultists in Rangers of Shadow Deep.

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2 hours ago, bearsman6 said:

I'm givin' it all I've got, Cap'n. I don't have the dollars!


This, I think, is a fair summary of Reaper's biggest challenges in this Kickstarter.

 

For some of us, it might be the number of women or the number of skulls in the Kickstarter, or a question of whether fantasy is realistic enough.

 

But, I think for most of us - maybe all of us, and we just can't put our finger on it, or don't want to say it out loud - the difficulty really comes down to a more economic level. 

 

Has a post-COVID world left us with the disposable income that we had in the previous Kickstarters?

 

The lockdowns and so on were rough on small businesses and on jobs.  Will we have an income this time two years from now?

 

Do we still have the consumer confidence in Chinese manufacturing, the US Dollar, the US economy and government, European stability, and an international supply chain that we did before a virtual economic world war broke out?

 

Will manufacturing in plastic and global shipping be cheap - or even economically viable - in a world of petroleum shortages?  Fertilizer and food shortages?  What effect will this have on Reaper's ability to fulfill this Kickstarter?

 

 

As backers, we're giving the Kickstarter everything we've got, but the dollars are limited.  I think some of us can be forgiven for looking for excuses not to back.  Still, I'm hoping for as successful a Kickstarter as Reaper can pull out of its hat in spite of these challenges, and I'm betting almost everyone else is, too.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, YronimosW said:

Thank you - it just sort of confuses me a little that nobody seemed to object to the comparable use of a skull motif all over the "Shadows of Sullenhall" expansion.  It works just fine for me in both cases... maybe a little bit cliche, but then gothic horror and sword-and-sorcery - pulp fantasy, horror, adventure, and science fiction in general, really - tend to run on such little cliches, and it's all part of the fun.  At least for me!

 

Mrs. GG and I will likely not buy that add on precisely because of the over abundance of skulls but we sort of expect skulls on Western European based Gothic architecture pieces (and not just because of Games Workshop) so I did not feel the need to comment on it. Nor did I find the need to comment on the two small skulls in the sand at the base of the Hakir wall. It was the big skull mask sculpted in the wall that was a skull too far for me. It just shattered the illusion for me.

 

Your posts on this are as eloquent as usual… I just disagree with you and I can not articulate that as well as you can.

 

The sculpting itself on the wall is brilliant. A great piece and it helps sell the add-on to me. Turning it around might work for me, it will depend on the table as we will be using it for skirmish gaming not D&D. Otherwise a bit of greenstuff may do the job, although I lack the skills of JG/RR.
 

But for example, it is the skull motifs on the Bones 5 Rune Wights that prevented me from convincing Mrs. GG to buy them and part of the reason for our Maggotcrown guards to end up on eBay. 
 

EDIT: Let me be clear, I do not expect “historical accuracy” in fantasy but I do like “coolthentic”. Deciding what is authentic enough to help suspend disbelief in a cool way is difficult and very subjective. 

Edited by Grumpy Gnome
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27 minutes ago, YronimosW said:
 


This, I think, is a fair summary of Reaper's biggest challenges in this Kickstarter.

 

For some of us, it might be the number of women or the number of skulls in the Kickstarter, or a question of whether fantasy is realistic enough.

 

But, I think for most of us - maybe all of us, and we just can't put our finger on it, or don't want to say it out loud - the difficulty really comes down to a more economic level. 

 

Has a post-COVID world left us with the disposable income that we had in the previous Kickstarters?

 

The lockdowns and so on were rough on small businesses and on jobs.  Will we have an income this time two years from now?

 

Do we still have the consumer confidence in Chinese manufacturing, the US Dollar, the US economy and government, European stability, and an international supply chain that we did before a virtual economic world war broke out?

 

Will manufacturing in plastic and global shipping be cheap - or even economically viable - in a world of petroleum shortages?  Fertilizer and food shortages?  What effect will this have on Reaper's ability to fulfill this Kickstarter?

 

 

As backers, we're giving the Kickstarter everything we've got, but the dollars are limited.  I think some of us can be forgiven for looking for excuses not to back.  Still, I'm hoping for as successful a Kickstarter as Reaper can pull out of its hat in spite of these challenges, and I'm betting almost everyone else is, too.

 

 

I think a big part of it is that, for those of us that have been here for Bones 1-5, we’ve got most of the standard monsters in Bones now.

 

So the alternate sculpts have to really be something we want in order to make it them worth getting.

 

The reality is that Bones 1-5 backers are no longer the core audience for Bones Kickstarters, as much as we’d like to be.

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46 minutes ago, YronimosW said:
 


This, I think, is a fair summary of Reaper's biggest challenges in this Kickstarter.

 

For some of us, it might be the number of women or the number of skulls in the Kickstarter, or a question of whether fantasy is realistic enough.

 

But, I think for most of us - maybe all of us, and we just can't put our finger on it, or don't want to say it out loud - the difficulty really comes down to a more economic level. 

 

Has a post-COVID world left us with the disposable income that we had in the previous Kickstarters?

 

The lockdowns and so on were rough on small businesses and on jobs.  Will we have an income this time two years from now?

 

Do we still have the consumer confidence in Chinese manufacturing, the US Dollar, the US economy and government, European stability, and an international supply chain that we did before a virtual economic world war broke out?

 

Will manufacturing in plastic and global shipping be cheap - or even economically viable - in a world of petroleum shortages?  Fertilizer and food shortages?  What effect will this have on Reaper's ability to fulfill this Kickstarter?

 

 

As backers, we're giving the Kickstarter everything we've got, but the dollars are limited.  I think some of us can be forgiven for looking for excuses not to back.  Still, I'm hoping for as successful a Kickstarter as Reaper can pull out of its hat in spite of these challenges, and I'm betting almost everyone else is, too.

 

 

Once again, you've managed to articulate something that I felt, but didn't really realise I knew, until I'd read it.  Well done (again!)

 

On the skull complaint front - personally I love a goofy skull or three on my Reaper minis. My DnD tends to run towards the silly/light hearted rather than grim dark fantasy, and Ridolfi's (and most of Reaper's) style fits this perfectly for me. I've never looked to Reaper for realistic fantasy - there are other awesome companies for that audience. 

 

On another note - looks like we just hit 1,020 K! Green Griff is complete!

Edited by tommyzolla
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3 minutes ago, Magnus Brickson said:

Combining 3 of the 5 unlock levels into one is an odd move. Seems like 5-tier unlocks was a mistake. Seems to me that they're trying to hasten the unlocks and reveals to draw in more backers

I think they realized it was a tactical error.  I suspect future expansions will be 3 part and not 5 part due to this.

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