Friday, September 26, 2008

Those old Grenadier lead minis: Lizardman and Paladin...oh, and Umberhulk

Well, I recently babbled about my first D&D character, and then my favorite AD&D character, from "Back in '81" (or close to that..hehe). At any rate, I dug up my boxes of old lead minis (Grenadier and TSR varieties), and here's a couple shots of the ones that inspired those old characters of mine.

The Lizardman (still can't recall my character's name...ugh) has seen better days. Poor guy seems to have misplaced his sword (I'm sure it was a rockin' not such a tragedy I guess) and seems to have decided on using a much more compact weapon...presumably just the hilt is all this guy needs.

The Paladin mini is my fave of all of the minis I've ever had. I really liked the paint job I did on this guy. We had some TSR paints (found that box, recently too), and some good silvery "metal" options for the chain and plate. Plus a little gloss seems to have been applied to this dude...quite a bit more sheen there than on the Lizardman.../shrug.

The 3rd mini thrown in here is an Umberhulk figure that I really thought was sweet back then. It was in a 2 or 3 monster pack, including this Umberhulk and a Xorn, and maybe one more...can't recall. The thing about this one is I spent so much time trying to level out the base of it, that I never got around to painting it....ha! It would always rock back and forth, and sometimes even topple over, until I got the base all straightened out nice and flat.

And finally a little encounter...good vs ugly.

Ah well memories guessed it..."Back in '81."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Me = !(uber); //an oldskool Basic D&D solitaire adventure result

OK, so I have been dorking with my old box sets lately. I loves me some early 80's Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert box sets....of D&D...not AD&D...not OD&D...not 3.5...not 4.0...just good ol' oldskool easy yet fun D&D, from "back in '81."

So anyway, I don't have a group to play this old crap with...hehe...and my kids aren' t quite old enough yet. Is 4 years old and 2 years old too young?...ha! So, I decided to fire up one of the very few solo (solitaire) modules for these old D&D systems: "Ghost of Lion Castle."

Well, it just is easier if you roll with one of the 5 or 6 prerolled characters they have in the module, mainly due to spell choices, etc...they have to limit them to make the "choose your own path" thing work, ya'know? So I went with the best (IMO) choice they had, a 3rd level Elf (they were natural fighter/magic-users back then)...and yes, Elf was a class, not just a was Dwarf and Halfling...nice, eh?

Anyway, this Elf blew.

He (notice I didn't say *I*) died twice before I even got into the freakin castle! First to a Giant Fire Beetle (7 hp, BTW), and next, following a quick "reroll", to a Rock Baboon (9 hp).

Now these 2 mobs were just random encounters, based on some die rolls and tables...just saying it could have been worse.

At any rate, my stud Elf finally made his way into the joint, after trashing a Gnoll (9 hp)....yay! Oh, it still took me down to 2 not so great an accomplishment...ah well.

So I rested...subtracting 1 ration from my pack (only 9 left!), rolling for more random encounters while I rested (none, wshew!), and then got to add a whopping 1 hp (OMG!) back to my I'm ready to go with a massive 3 hp now (I have 14 normally, but that damn Gnoll beat the hell outta me before I smacked him good)...jeesh!

I decided to rest a few times. F@#$ those rations. I'll find something to eat inside...right?...right????

Anyway, I got hot lead poured on me (twice!) for a sweet 1d6 damage for failing my saving throw vs wands (twice!), got nailed by a glowing arrow trap for 1d6+1 damage - no save, got drunk by some aroma in a Brewery Room (lowering my attack rolls by 1 for the rest of the crawl), got a stone slab dropped on me (thankfully my 12 STR allowed me catch damage), got blasted by some oven heat (huh?) in a Bakery Room for 1d4 damage - no save, and just missed getting my dork chopped off by a swing blade trap in another room, making that save vs wands.

All in all, I have only gained 20 XP so far, and am ready to rest again (need that 1 hp back), before I continue. Wish me luck!

Still it was fun, even if I did suck.

Check these stats out:

STR 12
INT 17
WIS 11
CON 10
CHA 15
(should have made a house rule/class...Pally)

Wearing Chainmail and a Shield. Oh and my "magical" items consist of a Sword +1 and a Rope of Climbing...nice, eh?

My *favorite* AD&D character

My *favorite* AD&D character (1st ed. with some house rules mixed in, from '83-85-ish - high school):

class: Paladin
race: Human (no other option for Pallies back then)
name: Eridon

Ran this guy thru a yearlong (or more) campaign back then. That was such an amazing time for creativity and just getting into the game....and no, we never went down into the steam tunnels up at MSU, either...we weren't *that* kooky.

He has since been re-birthed over and over again, in various games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, NWN, D&D Tactics, DDO, etc).

Back then, tho ('83-ish), he was a strict by-the-book Pally. Funny I played by-the-book on this one, after that Lizard-man a couple years earlier, eh? 10 magic items max, consisting of: 1 suit of armor, 1 shield, 4 weapons, and 4 other magic items. That's it! 10% tithing to the church. And better watch those role-playing decisions...LG is LG, dammit!

He had 18/?? STR, I wanna say 18/42 or so, and a 17 CHA. Somewhat low CON if I recall, but DEX, INT, WIS were all decent, just not the 10-13 range, IIRC. Tough stat restrictions on those ole boys back then. You either got lucky on those die rolls or you were just a Fighter....ha!

We eventually quested (one *Hell* of a quest, BTW) for a +5 Holy Avenger (yes!) for him, and he had a Girdle of (hhmmmnnnn....) Frost Giant Strength (STR=21 ?), IIRC, a Ring of Fire Resistance, and a Warhorse as a mount (which I don't ever recall us using...crazy).

I seem to recall the Maul or the Mattock of the Titans, as an uber weapon that one of us wielded for a while. That was badass too. Oh and I used to love those sweet magical swords that were like +1 Longsword (+3 vs Undead), stuff back then. Never had a Vorpal, but the sword that I thought was sweet (still noone ever had one in our campaigns) was the "Sword of Sharpness."

The rest is just plain blurry to me now.
Gotta dig up those old character sheets. I have so much old D&D/AD&D/GammaWorld/StarFrontiers/TopSecret/GangBusters/etc crap, it's kinda silly. I still thumb thru the old hardcovers, and the old issues of Dragon much fun to rekindle those old fires, now and again.

My *first* D&D character

My *first* D&D character (D&D Basic Set and Expert Set, with a little 1st ed AD&D tossed in (Monster Manual, etc), from "back in '81" (8th grade?):

class: Fighter
race: Lizard-man (even though that was total BS for that ruleset (Moldvay/Cook B/X)...ha!)
dunno...wish I could remember that, tho

We pretty much just either rolled up random encounters and killed crap, or rolled thru some of the early pre-gen modules, with me, my buddy, his younger brother, and one or two other neighborhood kids.

I had several different characters in that little stint including that Lizard-man Fighter, a Human Magic-User, and an Elf (old-school Fighter/MagicUser naturally mutliclass'd "Class", not just "Race"..hehe). We liked to mix things up a bit, depending on who was DM-ing and what we felt like doing at the time.

The Lizard-man thing was...well....silly. The idea was born in my nutty 8th grade head, based on a *lead* figure from one of the Grenadier AD&D sets, of some Lizard-folk. He was a badass looking Warrior from that tribe or whatever, and had some cool looking bone necklace and crap like that on...oh, and a sword. Still have that mini, BTW, along with about 5 or 6 boxes of others from that era. We used to put quite a bit of effort into painting them and crap. Anyway, my character used that mini, but he really only had typical Human Fighter stats/abilites, etc. Nothing Lizard-like, besides the ability to speak with other Lizard-folk..hehe. It was mainly for roleplaying having fun breakin the rules, right?

Memories of "The Keep on the Borderlands", "The Isle of Dread" (mainly because those two came with the box sets), and "Temple of Death" (yay! allowance money put to good use!).

Other faves during this time and later on into the high-school era, include: "Castle Amber," " The Lost City," "Palace of the Silver Princess," "the slavers (A) series," "the S series - Tomb of Horrorrs, Barrier Peaks, White Plume, etc," "Ghost Tower of Inverness," "the Giants series," "the Drow/Underdark/DemonwebPit series," and who could ever forget good ole "The Village of Hommlet"...ha!

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Anyone feel like firing up the old C-64?...Ok, Trash-80s are welcome too, I guess.

If so, I'll meet ya over at "The Worthy Meade Inn", ok?

That pesky demon...on level 1!

Oh and yeah Zork, Rogue, nethack, Adventure....etc....all great games, back in the day.

Man I used to work in the lab on campus back in my college days...the main lab was mainframe based, and on the unix system we would play the ol' text based, ASCII layout type...I just can't recall eaxctly which game it was...ugh.

I'd be right in the middle of some heated dungeon crawling...hehe..and some dork would come up with some lame question about their code. I mean, couldn't they see I was doing something important?!?!?

Anyway, yeah that was circa 1990 or so. Taking the way-back machine a bit further, my bud that first introduced me to D&D (Basic Set), "back in '81"...he had a C64 and we would fire up Adventure and Telengard, and many others.

Around that same time (highschool though, so '83-'86) our computer science class/group had a full Cromemco mainframe at our disposal...and of course when we weren't pounding code, or typing up our D&D character sheets in the horrific yet cool for the times editor/WP, to printout for the coming weekend's session, we all would play it's version of "Adventure".....awesome times.

Back in '81

' was a very good year (just a few highlights):

* Basic D&D (Moldvay)
* Expert D&D (Cook)
* B3 Palace of the Silver Princess
* X1 The Isle of Dread
* X2 Castle Amber
* Clash of the Titans
* Dragonslayer
* Excalibur
* Heavy Metal
* Mad Max2: Road Warrior
* Raiders of the Lost Ark
* Time Bandits
* Diary of a Madman
* Video Killed the Radio Star
* Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
* Sinclair ZX81
* Donkey Kong
* Galaga
* Ms. Pac-Man
* Atari 2600 Pac-Man
* Jessica Alba born

Got kinda hung up there in the movie and video game portions.../shrug.