My past week/s in Hobby…

Another quick few weeks have flown past me without much time to sit and do stuff.  Last post was just after my wives birthday… then shortly was Valentines Day (with that business) and here in Portland we had our annual “Winter Lights Festival“.

I have to say over the last few years this event has steadily grown.  I can’t say that the growth has been for the better either.  This year was really crowded compared to past years.  And the installations seemed to be spread out a lot more than in the past.  Overall I think the arrangement made it hard to get a good look at the really awesome builds.  The show was fun and the weather held for our visit.  But I am not sure we will go next season sadly.  

Before I get to my Epic 40k building — I wanted to briefly talk about an RPG matter.  I have long touted this book “Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering”.

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The book is decades old – but the information is still valid to this day.  Some GMs may not understand why this short read is so enlightening.  Although the book by Robin Laws is aimed at Dungeon Masters (Game Masters)… I really feel that everyone at the gaming table should read it.  It clearly points out (although sometimes generalized) the key aspects of getting a group on the same page.  Much like a player contract – this book helped to define realistic roles for me as a DM some 20 years ago.  

Since then whenever I heard someone say they wanted to learn to be the GM of a group – I first pointed them to that book.  Not because it spoke to me directly about how to be a better GM — but it has spoken to generations of GMs over the years.  Later this work was re-written and expanded on within the Dungeon Masters Guide II.  And still later Robin Laws and others have expanded on theses ideas even further.  

I recently took a look online and found these great pieces and blog posts reviewing the book.  I don’t want to redo the work of these other great reads… I will just highlight the basic concepts.  I urge you to follow the links below to get a better look into this book.

I think “The Chatty DM” had a really good basic summarization of the information… (this was from a 2009 post made on the Critical Hits Blog).

“… I think the key lessons can be summarized as:

  • What you think is fun/important in a game is not necessarily what your players are looking for.
  • You need to learn what your players are looking for in a RPG and deliver it to them on a regular basis.
  • You need to choose a game based on your preference and those of your players.
  • You create your campaigns and adventures based (once again) on your player’s tastes.
  • Spontaneity and Improvisation are skills you can learn as a GM.
  • When you run a game, you must keep an eye on the group’s mood, you control focus and make sure everyone (including you) has fun.”

 I won’t try to improve on those points… (I would look very foolish for trying).  I think it has been nailed by this summarization as well as the many other reviews of this book.

• This first link is to the conclusion of the multi-part review on Critical Hits.

This page I ran into on Critical Hits when I was following the “Robins Laws” tag on the site.  I found this to be a great little read — which expands on things nicely.

• Another link I found on Sly Flourish summarization of the book from a slightly different angle.  Really just 4 tips that come from Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering – that are really good tools to use in your games.

• Lastly this listen over at the Plot Points blog is what got me to thinking about adding this topic to my blog post was this podcast from last September 

I admit I have fallen behind on my podcast listening … but this approximately 1hr listen really kinda connects some of the teaching of that old Robin’s Laws book… with a fairly up-to-date point of view.  Listening to this and all I could keep thinking back to was the points I learned from that book.

Ok… food for thought for those of you looking for solutions to problems you may not know you need help with.

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Project — Yurt kitchen is nearly done … it is close… but I have yet to get the cooking exhaust vent installed.  I have been pretty much lazy on that really.  But the last few weeks and weekends have been fairly busy.  But here are some shots of how things look.

I got the shelf lights installed and a bunch of IKEA rack stuff we picked up a couple years ago.  The light panels only attach at a center point – meant to hook up to a ceiling light box.  Well I think that they need support points out to the ends… they just seem to sag.  So I plan to create some sort of wedge to make them flush with the shelf frame bottom.

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EPIC — Assembling epic armies has really dominated my project table top.  To the point where I really have no room on my workbench.  A self caused overload lol.  Anyhow, I have placed a bunch of Eldar into my striping solution (Simple Green – not diluted).  I also assembled a bunch of Imperial Guard – I think I have enough for 2 Leman Russ Tank Companies :).

I picked this “Metal Earth” Seattle Space Needle” a couple years ago – thinking it was a good size for terrain on an epic table.  It stands taller thank my Epic Warlock Titan … but looks like a pretty good fit to scale I think.  I picked up these forum-ware Eldar buildings / objective markers on eBay – these will look great as well on the table with the massed forces of the Eldar.

In a week or two I should have a pretty good idea of what armies I can build for Epic with what I have.  I am planning on a 3000 pt. Minimum force sizes. I know I have enough Marines, Orks and Eldar to probably make two forces each or at least 5000 or maybe 6000pt lists.  Those were the main factions from the three core boxes I had picked up over the last 30 odd years lol.  Marines were in every box and I think Orks in 2 of them as the opposition.

While re-reading some of the Epic:Armageddon book (As well as the NE:Arm book) – I found that I could probably stretch some of my Imperial Guard and Tyranid infantry figures.  The main book say 3 figures minimum to a stand – which could really help me make the 3000pt goal.

I’ve also found lots and LOTS of Epic themed STL (3d print files) on Thingiverse so I am confident that I really won’t need to worry about filling in any other gaps in my factions.  As it stands the armies I have planned are Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, Imperial Guard, Tyranids, and some kinda Traitor / Chaos Space Marine force.  I am practicing 3d printing Necron pieces – and I am fairly confident I will be able to field an army for them too after some time. 

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-d

 

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