I think I’m starting the year on run of waffles, if you can call two a roll. Following on from a really enjoyable night of D&D I decided that I couldn’t rely on someone else to bring along a players handbook and that I needed to get my own copy. Which is where my series of dilemmas started. A quick search of the internet made it clear that there were any number of ways and formats that I could obtain an electronic copy of the handbook, but none of these were official. Looking to see if there was an official way to get hold of copy lead to the simple fact that there wasn’t one. Now this was all buzzing through my head on Saturday morning and with the buzz of last night’s game still fresh in my mind I really wanted to get my hands on the book as soon as possible. Obviously this desire is being driven by the something new and shiny gene that I think all us gamers have so the question was do I get a free, ‘unofficial’ version of the handbook or do I wait and get the physical official version.
Now this gets a bit on the touchy side here as I decided to do both. I know there are ethical issues here and if we all go down the route of not paying for something then the things we love will disappear. I rightly or wrongly rationalised it to myself in that there was an official electronic version I would have got that and that I am still going to get a copy of the official physical book so I’m not depriving anyone of any income.
So with that decision made it was time to track down a physical copy of the book. Obviously Amazon was good place to start and with free delivery I could have my hands on the book Monday evening as soon as I got home from work. But that shiny gene was itching away and just didn’t want to wait that long. How could I possible survive and bring my character up to speed if I had to wait that long. Like I say shiny syndrome had well and truly taken hold. I phoned round a couple of stores that were in driving distance to see if they had a copy in stock but none did. They were all happy to order one for me but I was on a mission by then. As a bit of last shot I decided to walk up to a local shop that specialises in board games, no minis involved, just board games. I like to pop in every now and game looking for simple pick up style games so there was nothing lost by having a look.
I rock up at the shop and there on a shelf in the corner is a copy of the player handbook, result. But it’s noticeably more expensive than it would be to buy it from Amazon. This is where dilemma number two for the week kicked in. Should I pay more and support a local store or should I save the money and wait until Monday to get hold of the book. Shinny syndrome not withstanding it really did get me thinking. I understand the issues here in that the shop have already had to pay for the book and they don’t know how long it will be sitting on the self before someone, like me, walks in. They will have had to pay for it to be delivered and I would imagine they don’t get anything like the discount a big international organisation will get. Which if they want to stay in business means that extra cost gets passed on to me and you as the customer.
In the end shiny syndrome won out and decided to pay a bit more to get my hands on the book there and then. Whilst I was in the shop I had a chat with a few people and found out they do run some D&D games there and that they are always looking for new players and DM’s. Now I only lost my virginity with D&D last week so and I’m not looking to join any new games, but this was a welcoming introduction to a new part of our community. That was something I wouldn’t have got by getting the book online. So I guess what I’m trying to get at is that the cheaper option isn’t always the best option in the long run.
Now then with that off my chest it was time to get on with some hobby, which having played D&D last week took a bit of curve ball. We had arranged another game for Friday and one of the things I needed to do was to get a mini to represent my character. It wasn’t really a shock that there aren’t that many minis out there for Halfling monks with a quarter staff. So I took a bit of scatter gun approach and ordered a few models that I thought could be ok or that could possibly be converted to the part. The first of these to turn up was an official D&D models of a Halfling rogue. Now I have to say right from the start that if this model turned up as a proper hobby project I would have been massively disappointed. It’s made out of the horrible not quite plastic that you can’t use a scraper on to remove mould lines that that clings to even the sharpest of knives when you try to clean it up. That notwithstanding it had some potential and with the next game coming up on Friday I got cracking with it. Originally it had a knife in one hand and a smoke cloud coming from the other so I removed both and added a quarterstaff in the form of a tooth pick. Not the best of conversion jobs but I decided it would do the job. A lick of paint several coats of varnish, as the DM is a model killer and the job was done.
The key thing I’ve picked up from painting this was that you need to have a goal in mind when you start a project. For me this was getting a model painted that I could use on Friday night. So I took the approach that it was a gaming token and didn’t need to be a work of art, or what my limited talent passes for a work of art. With that goal in mind I’m really quite happy with how it turned out.
I’ve also spent quite a bit of time this week working and reworking the background for my Halfling Monk. I’d done quite a bit of work last week but now that I’ve got the players hand book there are some things that I need to change. All the key bits stay the same and I think he will still play in the same way but I want to add a bit of meat to the backstory. I’ve still got some more work to do on this but should have everything I need fleshed out in the next week or so.
Looking at what I’m going to refer to as a proper model I’ve managed to finish off the White Butcher and with the exception of his face I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. Going back to what I touched on last week in knowing when to call it a day on a model and trying to learn from any mistakes. The mistake in this case is that it all looks a bit chalky which I think is down to how I thinned the paint down. I maybe went a little to fare and didn’t mix things up quite well enough. That may have been down to my enthusiasm to get it finished. Lesson here is not to rush things. I do really like this model though and think that it has a very simple yet at the same time very imposing stance to it. He just looks like nothing is getting in his way.
No game night this week because Al had to work but we did get another Friday night of D&D in. I will do a full write up of the adventure in a separate series of post at some point in the not too distant future but at the moment we are still getting to know each other so it might spoil things to reveal too much just now. But in summary the adventure started with us all chained up on a ship with no idea how we got there or who each other was. Something happens to the ship that allows us with a bit of ingenuity and fighting to get to shore in one piece. A little more fighting and we get the local town where for a number of reasons the group gets split up for the night. We all learned different thing things during the night so when we got back together in the morning it was about trying to get to know each other a bit better and work out how we were going to deal with our new situation. The highlight for me was my little Halfling monk getting suck into a fight and doing more damage that a big red dragonborn paladin, turns out he’s quite handy. But I do plan to hide behind the big guy wherever possible.
This week saw the Halfling Monk providing sustenance in the form of his mum’s world famous ginger biscuits for D&D night. We had a couple of new members of the group this week that brought our crew up to full strength. I’ll do a more detailed D&D update as a separate set of posts but we had a good dungeon adventure this week with a few characters taking a bit of pummelling, but on one died. I’m finding that a halfling monk is a really interesting character and at this stage he can actually stand his ground in a fight. But I’m not going to get to carried away and I’ll leave the big guys to do the bulk of the fighting. Then I can just fill in where needed. All in all it was another really good night and big thanks again to Anna for running things for us.
That brings me to the end of this week’s update. Must be the enthusiasm of the New Year and only have to do one trip to Newcastle this week that has got my fingers tapping. Plan for this week is to write up the adventure from Friday ready for a future update. I’m also going to put some time in to working on Thenidiel this week as I feel that with a little bit of effort I could get her finished. I’ve also come across an Ork Pain Boy that I may also make a start on just because it’s a nice model, I think’s it came from Spellcrow but I’m not a hundred percent certain.