Thursday, October 15, 2015

Positive, Negative - Plaster Casting & Kingdom Death Settlement Years 7-12

Another combined creative project and battle report dual post. This time, with plaster!

I've been working on a set of terrain elements for Kingdom Death- the above master (that would be the black one) was actually done months ago, based off of previews and guessing. Turned out I was within 1/4" of the correct dimensions, so I feel pretty good about that.

I've still been working on getting the right plaster consistency (too much water and it doesn't get perfectly solid; too little water and it's thick, which is more prone to bubbles) and latex (the mix is right, but just trying to figure out what shapes it captures best), but I'm pleased with how the heads turned out.

This was my first section, equivalent to a 4x6 tile of game board.

I'd made several smaller sections of faces that weren't photogenic, but the result was a bunch of little molds of components, which I could then mount and then patch with some more plaster.

This being the master, you can see where the molding process destroyed some of the detail. Turns out that spackel isn't that tough, so peeling the latex off the parts I'd patched with it was enough to wreck bits.

This was the second attempt casting it. Turns out plaster weighs a ton. I think the above turned out to weight about 6 lbs.

I stripped it down to around 1/8" and mounted it on another 1/8" MDF board. You'll notice that the close edge is a little wobbly- that's because I got about 1/16" off what I'd intended to so needed to patch it.

A little demo of what it's shaping up to look like on a board

I'm thinking I'll yet again pull out my airbrush (*wince*) and see if I can delineate the tiles organically that way.

If that doesn't work, I'll figure something out for painting it.

More Lantern-side Stories
As promised, more battle reports, too.  Continued from part 2.

Year 6-7
Other than being able to fight a Phoenix, which we thought was decidedly a bad idea so we waited, these were pretty uneventful years. We fought two more Antelopes, and made a Barber Surgeon and a Stone Circle from their parts somewhere in here, and got some utility gear from both. Most notably, things that generate more resources and experience points, plus half an Antelope suit.

Also, Squid was murdered and we used our house rule preventing death.

It was around this time when we'd refined it further. Our house rule is now a more costly

All survival (min 2) and miss the next hunt/showdown.

(So far, we've used the rule 3 times in the campaign, out of the 5 opportunities. Also, we don't use this on things that cost you population, just things that name specific survivors.)

Oh, and I guess there was an event here: We'd officially surpassed our first settlement's life, and with plenty of people to spare!

Year 8
Our first level 2 fight!

We picked a Lion for our quarry, and on its hunt, we ran across all manner of bad stuff, culminating in a trail of corpses. We chose to brave it, which triggered a sequence of coincidental level-ups that meant, when we got to the end of the trail, we had roll buffs, and they were high enough that we ran into a knight who gifted us his unique Steel Sword and Steel Shield, and made our poor newb-ish Butch deaf from being so scary. This was huge, since our own technology caps at beating scrap metal until it's sharp or sticking poop in a bucket or wearing something's skull and yelling loudly. The shield hits better than most of our other weapons, and the sword is at near-unattainable levels of power.

Butch kept running into lion traps, but we barely managed to make it through the fight without any deaths, mostly due to Dash. We made some poor decisions, but mostly managed to fight it well.

Year 9
Squid (our veteran Twilight swordsman) fought his mentor and got a gaping chest wound for his trouble.

We then got Family, so we started being able to impart wisdom on our new kids, one of which was Huck, Chuck's son (one of a pair of twins), who came in knowing how to use a sword (for the upcoming fight). We built most of a Lion set with our pieces.

We then were met by a King's man.

We messed up because our crazy bone specialist had had all the crazy knocked out of her in the previous fight, so we needed our sword specialist to instead take over her role at the last minute, but even if we hadn't...

This was a really rough fight that wound up with all four party members dead. I felt pretty screwed by this fight. We didn't have very good luck, but it was just punishingly difficult- mostly within a realm I thought was reasonably hard for the next level of threat, but it had a pair of abilities, one of which was really punishing if you didn't know to prepare, and one of which as far as I can tell was just plain brutal.

We may have also of course been catastrophically unlucky and not recognized it, since our sample size is 1.

If you want the full Kingdom Death experience, then by all means go for it.

...If you want to avoid shooting yourself in the foot, though, a few tips to give you a little edge, which I've written as generally as possible to try to avoid spoilers. Tags for the purists out there, anyway.

(Kind of) Spoilers!
• The Heavy gear keyword is your enemy.
• High-speed weapons are your friend.
• It might be worth sacrificing newbs. The rewards for winning the fight aren't even that good.
End of (kind of ) Spoilers!

We also found one of the AI cards to be some horrible shit. You might get lucky and not get it in your deck, or knock it off, but if you get it, you'll probably know it when you see it. It's Basic and shouldn't be.

Year 10
Well, at least we got a bunch of Endeavors out of that slaughter- we were at 8 instead of the standard 0. Made me realize how much better Graves are since they give you a big opportunity to regrow if you lose a party that dies in the field (compared to cannibalism, which doesn't get anything extra if you lose guys in the field vs. in camp.

We fought another Antelope after the failure at our town gate. We were feeling kind of demoralized by that, honestly.

The antelope went down predictably easily, even though a pile of ticks had us coming into the fight with only two Survivors with survival points.

Year 11
Our survivors were bored so gave each other nicknames. We rolled very similarly, so I guess they weren't feeling very creative?

We then got a terrifying visit from a new guy who tried to explode one of our veterans, except we spent her survival following our house rule (4 uses of 6 times, now) and would be back in a couple years.

We then got a ton of weapons and finally got our Ammonia to use our Leatherworker (from a random tech tree, we'd tried nearly every opportunity to draw it). We ended up with two characters with very high attack rate (one with speed 4 swords and one with speed 7 katars).

We then hunted a level 2 Lion. We got lucky early and knocked it down and cut it balls off, which made it extremely angry at the cutter, and somewhere in here it got up.

Then we got another knockdown, and our Katar fighter scored 7(!!!) wounds in a row, taking out about half its health in one attack. It went down pretty easily after that tenderizing, and the target of its rage somehow lived to see another day (we'd expected her to come out with serious damage).

We thought we got pretty lucky in this fight. In retrospect, I think this was just our new build style hitting its stride. Katars have become our damage weapon of choice.

Year 12
There was a heat wave that meant our returning group was mostly too tired to fight this coming year. Our Settlement got bored again (too hot to do much, I guess?) and decided the meaning of life was to to conquer. *Insert Conan reference*

We luckily avoided this resulting in our guys smashing up their own storehouse, and instead one of our ladies struck a 90's action hero pose and became the Thundercaller, or some nonsense like that.

We also got a nice big buff from all our Innovations and a good roll, which resulted in a heavily buffed-out Savior being born understanding the world, understanding how to hit things, and understanding how to wield her mom's sword. Oh, and she had a magical shield aura that would have made her absurdly tough except for horrible things like kill strikes that circumvent evasion and armor.

We then had a terrible hunt phase where we were still too hot, in which we encountered a leper colony, something attacked us in the dark, and someone lost a weapon in a sinkhole. Fortunately, we slaughtered a helpless animal for some resources.

With that bad start, we went up against a lion, and Butch, the venerable patriarch of the Coolidge clan, was finally unlucky enough to be killed after numerous other disorders and injuries. We'd mostly been keeping him around to see what happened when you maxed out your courage, but it still was one of our worse Level 2 Lion fights. We did manage to kite extremely thoroughly, though, with another testicle-stealing survivor and 2 movement penalties.

We're feeling like we're pretty thoroughly getting the hang of fights and getting a much better sense of the flow of the game/campaign. We're finally getting resources and have recognized a snowballing effect once you're getting good enough to take on more rewarding monsters.

We're also feeling the Nemesis encounters are basically boss fights, except that if you lose you die rather than needing to try over.