Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wisdom Teeth

OK, so I just had to post this picture, future wrath of the daughter notwithstanding. Julia needed to have a couple of wisdom teeth out. Having had a couple of my own out as a teenager, I knew this wasn't something that Julia could get through awake, so we needed to go with the full sleep option.
The Recovering Patient

Everything went fine, but it was quite a cute and comical thing coming out of the anesthesia. She had ice packs draped over her head like saddlebags, gauze sticking out of her mouth, and had, for lack of a better word...temporary insanity. When she first woke up she had no idea who she was, who we were, where she was, or pretty much anything else. She came about fairly quickly, was on the way home within an hour or so, and by the next morning the alien possession was gone and we had our daughter back.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Last weekend, after getting back from a week-long national sales meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel complex in Nashville, I was able to finish the runestone project begun a week or so earlier. To recap, the runestones were carved from foam insulation board, painted a medium gray color, runes were scribed with a dull pencil point, and then colored in with a fine point black Sharpie.
In process

The next step was to dry brush the pieces with a light gray color (Folk Art craft paint in Dove Gray).
First light gray dry brush coat

The last step was to pick out a few bits of detail with a medium brown color and a tan color. The final pieces shouldn't be too monotone, and the bits of brown and tan coloring break up the all gray color scheme.

The pieces, when complete, are simple but effective. They can be used as Underdark pieces (which they will be...(spoiler)...or as outdoor pieces.
Runestones (again)

All in all, this was a nice simple project that took perhaps an hour and a half in total, and resulted in ten pieces of scatter terrain that can have multiple uses. Total cost, with the materials already in hand, was basically nothing. Allocated cost of the actual materials used would be less than $10. Not bad for a handful of multi-use pieces.

Christmas Tidbits

Brother Dave always does a good job of paying attention to whatever my interests-du-jour are, and getting Christmas or birthday presents that tie into those interests. This Christmas was no different, and Dave and his Darling Wife got me (among other things) a couple of books that I have devoured.

The first was the Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding, a brief paperback (121 pages) containing a variety of essays from a bunch of different people with a lot of collective experience in the fantasy role playing game and related industries. I liked this book a lot, and my only complaint, if any, was that it wasn't long enough. There were chapters on design methodology and a variety of different aspects of fantasy world creation. While none of these essays was extensive in length or scope, they were all filled with good advice on things to consider, approaches to take, and the like. Given my...ok, let's call it an obsession...with creating the world we are playing D&D in, this little book gets a solid "A-".
World building, and Fantasy Maps

The second of the two books was How to Draw Fantasy Art and RPG Maps, by Jared Blando. As we have gotten back into playing D&D after all these years, one of the things it has gotten me interested in doing is to get back into sketching and drawing. I have bought a few books on basics of drawing and sketching, and this is a good complement to those, focusing specifically on fantasy map cartography.
Sketching a piece of our World (in progress), 11 by 14 inches

In a couple of spare hours over the course of the past few evenings, I have made a beginning effort at turning a piece of the players' world into a basic (beginner) hand drawn map. The picture above is what I have so far. More to come as this progresses. Sketching in some forested areas comes next, which will be time consuming. So we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, thanks to Brother Dave and his family for giving me a few Christmas gifts that do indeed keep on giving.