Thursday, May 19, 2022

I finally found it!

I finally found a copy of The Haunted Tower! So now I have all three of the original full-sized "adventure packs" that were meant for use with the D&D black box!!!

Of course, there's still technically a fifth game in this line — the introductory Dragon Quest game, which plays more like HeroQuest than actual D&D — right down to a board full of doorless rooms that aren't all used during a single quest:

I'd like to find that sometime, if only to have an alternative board available for making up my own HeroQuest adventures (because hellz yeah).

Focusing back on 90s D&D, though, my acquisition of The Haunted Tower means that I can now turn my attention to the Challenger Series adventure modules, of which I presently own only one entry, the execrably railroady In the Phantom's Wake (the others being Thunder Rift, Quest for the Silver Sword, the very fun Assault on Raven's Ruin, Sword and Shield, The Knight of Newts, Rage of the Rakasta, and the ultra-rare but also decidedly not worth collecting The Jade Hare).

Most of these actually seem easy enough to find on Ebay without being unreasonably overpriced. This isn't surprising, since I doubt they're in terribly high demand; I reckon that there aren't too terribly many old-school gamers out there who have more nostalgia for these adventures than for the classic B- and X-series modules. But, hey, that just means I'll have any easier time of it, getting my hands on them! ∎

Sunday, May 8, 2022

More Paper Minis

So in the last few days, I've been sort of head over heels in love with the notion of fulfilling all of my tabletop miniatures needs with simple folded paper mins. They don't have all of the visual appeal of real minifigs, and they don't have the flexibility of faceless checkers and chessmen, but my goodness, are they certainly cheap to make, easy to assemble, and perfectly functional. 

Just as a simple proof of concept, I cut out a blank of what appeared to be the easiest template to work with that I could find online, and to my astonishment—even though I was only using 20 lb. copy paper—the proofs held together without glue. Just a bit of folding, and bam, instant minis.

For scale, the wizard's base is a ¾" octagon, roughly the size of a penny or a bingo chip.
The ogre's base is twice that diameter, 1½", or about the size of a poker chip. 

They're ugly as sin, but they're the kind of thing you could quite literally fold together on the spot, mid adventure, if you really needed to.

So, taking this idea and running with it, I both printed off some sheets of old TSR paper minis and designed a few of my own (just to shore up some missing mini types that I needed—more kobolds and skeletons, and one huge spider). This is still in the "proof of concept" stage, but here are the results:

The three homemade minis on the right are laser-printed on coated 65 lb. cardstock.

On the far left is an actual tri-fold TSR mini of a skeleton (from the tan box—the Classic D&D Game). Center is the same art, but glued together to make a more vertical pawn; and, right, a similar design using the art from the 2e Monstrous Manual (thank you, Core Rules 2.0 CD-ROM!), both mounted on bingo chips for bases. The huge black widow in the back rank is mounted on a poker chip and uses the battle sprite from the PSP version of Final Fantasy.

This is nothing I'll ever distribute, of course, because I'm poaching art from wherever I can grab it online; but it's just such a quick and easy way to make minis that I doubt I'll ever bother with the 3d variety ever again. These things are even a cinch to store (in old game boxes, tackleboxes, or art trays)! ∎

Spooky, scary skeletons!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Paper Minis

Probably the polar opposite of my previous blog post.

It occurred to me recently that I have sheets and sheets of these 90s TSR fold-over paper stand-up minis, which I've never punched out and assembled. (I don't have the whole lineup — just the '91 black box, the '96 rerelease of the Classic set, and the Dragon's Den and Goblin's Lair boxes; I'm missing Haunted Tower and the module-sized Character & Monster Assortment.) Mounted on bingo-chip bases with a drop of glue, they're actually stable enough to use! It's just a tedious process, folding and mounting all of them… but, hey, it's easier than painting minis. ∎


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Gemstone Dice


Jasper d20, bloodstone and lapis lazuli d6s,and tiger's eye d8.