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Nerd Craft

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Miniatures: The Mini-Mes of Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Miniatures have been part of Dungeons & Dragons since before it began. In fact, D&D started as a miniatures game! It’s true! Originally it was a fantasy miniature wargame written by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson called Chainmail. Eventually spells and heroes were added and a way for those heroes to improve and it became the basic D&D of the mid 1970s, which has evolved into the game we all know today. Miniature war gaming goes back to at least 1913 when H.G. Wells published a book called Little Wars. They were his rules for playing miniature wargames. This post is going to be about miniatures, but not a history per se and not a how to or anything. This column is about what it was like for a preteen to discover miniatures via D&D and how the tabletop roleplaying game, miniatures and kid grew up together. There will be a bit of history in this piece so my primary sources are DnD Lead (a great resource for the early stuff) and Lost Minis Wiki, which has a lot more pictures and not as much history. Those sources are listed at the end. Yes, grad school has made me paranoid about citations.

dice cookies D&D

Game to Table: Holiday Festive Food Ideas for Your RPG

The holiday season is in full swing! Families gather around large meals and share time with one another… possibly even play a session of D&D together? In the spirit of the season, I was trying to think of a topic that might thematically represent this time of year. Ideas danced in my head like sugar plums… Sorry, I couldn’t resist. However, it did strike me that a common element when it comes to holidays is food.

D&D Halloween adventures

5 Ideas for Your Halloween Adventure

Halloween is fast approaching! Finally! The one time of year when grown-up nerds can cosplay without fear of judgment! It’s also a prime opportunity for some festive tabletop roleplaying game Halloween adventures. With loads of nightmare fuel in our favorite books by Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press and more, we’re just about set. All we need is to build a framework to unleash these delightfully dreadful monsters. In this week’s RPGtube video, I’ve shared 5 session prompts to keep your players on the edges of their seats! While good monsters and a good plot can make a fantastically frightful session, I’ve thought of 5 ways to immerse your players just that little bit more!

Dragon Bagons Dice Bag Kickstarter – Hoard the Shiny Things!

Following up on the success of her first Kickstarter campaign, New Zealand’s Bridget Hughes returns to the crowdfunding platform with a new project! Under the Wayward Masquerade brand, Hughes created Bagthulhu, the diabolically adorable Cthulhu dicebag. Now the crafter has turned her imaginative attention to the great wyrms we all know and love from Dungeons & Dragons and fantasy lore to present Dragon Bagons: CR 10 Dragon dice bags Kickstarter.

Wayward Leather puts Designs on Nerdarchy Live Chat

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O50YCw_lqAc&w=560&h=315] Nerdarchists Dave and Ted welcomed artist and craftsperson Mellie Z. to the Nerdarchy live chat to talk shop about her fantasy-themed leatherwork creations. Mellie hand-crafts fantastic pieces for display, wearable garments and accessories, bags and "monster boxes." [caption id="attachment_19924" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Mellie Z. creates handmade, fantasy-themed...

‘Bagthulhu’ from Wayward Masquerade – World Domination One Adorable Dice Bag at a Time.

Bridget Hughes from New Zealand has a dream of a world under the dominion of adorable yet menacing dice holders. Her business, Wayward Masquerade, has created many amazing products over the years, but her most popular and iconic is ‘Bagthulhu,’ the Cthulhu-themed plush dice bag. Bagthulhu has seen widescreen praise from terrain-crafting legend DM Scotty and even Call of Cthulhu game designer Sandy Petersen.

painting miniatures

Painting Miniatures and Modding Miniatures – The Basics.

Many of you out there might be like myself and have an addiction to plastic.  You collect Dice and painting miniaturesMinifigures.  It can be a consuming hobby that lands in FB groups and Forums looking for the one mini to complete your collection.  You might spend loads of time on Ebay looking for deals and steals just to boost up the extras bin or that one exclusive piece you just found out about.

Well if you are like that, then you are like me, Nerdarchist Ted.  I cannot fathom a guess as to how many hours I have spent searching for deals on Amazon or Ebay because of my habit/addiction.  I have it under control based off of the argument my wallet had with me some years ago.  Enough was enough.

As I sat and looked at the hundreds if not thousands of little pre-painted plastic miniatures It begged to question what was I going to do with it all.  My friends and I spent years playing Mage Knight.  I have loads of them.  I spent years playing Heroscape and I had loads of them.  I bought loads and loads of D&D minis as well as they were perfectly sized for our Table Top role playing game.

Mage knight there was variety and you had lots of uses for them.  With Heroscape unless you were planning to play a 10 player game, not recommended by the way, and everyone wanted the same pieces there was no need to have that many copies of the miniatures. 

spinning wheel, spinning wheel, nerd craft

Nerd Craft | Making a Doll Furniture Spinning Wheel

SpinningWheel, spinning wheel, miniature, rumplestiltskin, fairy tale, storybook, picturebook, picture book, dimensional illustration, dimensional illustrator, art doll, ooak, folk lore, folklore

A giant miniature spinning wheel!

 

So probably many of our regular readership would much rather be reading “Wheel of Time” than reading about how I spent my time crafting a spinning wheel, but to those interested in the fine art of nerd craft, please do read on.  If you’ve been following my take on the Grimm’s Fairy Tale of Rumplestiltskin I’ve been chipping away at, you may have seen this piece in the background of a shot already.

nerd craft

Nerd Craft: Miniature Crafting a Throne & Crown

doll furniture, throne, small scale throne, doll throne

Throne and an example of wooden trim used to make decorative elements.

 

Hey Nerdarchists, I’m still working the next dimensional illustration (sadly this weekend was jam-packed with shooting videos and gaming- I know, you weep for me right?), but I figured I spend the time to show-off some of the miniature crafting I did for the last shoot in a lil segment I’d like to call “Nerd Craft“.  The main set pieces were a throne and a crown worn by the king figure.

art doll

Fantasy Dimensional Illustrations by Ryan Friant

Hello my fellow Nerdarchists, Ryan here.  Many of my contributions have been seen on Nerdarchy more than read.  I’ve been doing the “How’s to Speeks Goblin” comic strip for the last year, but I’ve decided to change directions and do something completely different for the website- dimensional illustration!  If you’re wondering what the heck that even means, I’ll explain it later- promise!

 

puppet, Jim Henson, puppetry, 80s, Brian Froud, Labryinth

Skesis from Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal”

Raised on Fantasy Art

Genre art, specifically fantasy art has always been a huge passion for me.  I grew-up on Jim Henson, specifically loving his collaborations with Brian Froud to create films such as Labryinth and the Dark Crystal.  Later on I got really into the art of Tony Diterlizzi, who’s art you might recognize from the Planescape box set of the 90’s and other Dungeons & Dragons products, Magic the Gathering cards, and his fantastic children’s books- there are countless other book cover, children’s book and RPG interior artists who’s work I enjoy.  Later I would come to also really love the work of Arthur Rackham (a fun bit of lore about Mr. Rackham is that his grandfather was the infamous pirate Calico Jack Rackham) and Rednose Studio.  If you’re not familiar with any of these great fantasy artists, do yourself a favor and Google their work.  There are many, many other artist’s whose work I admire, but when I think about the artists that most directly influences my art, that’s about my pantheon right there.

Nerdarchy Presents Master Dungeon Tile Crafter Dungeon Master G info

gamingHello Nerdarchy Fans, Nerdarchist Ted here and today we are going to examine dungeon delving in a new way.  Do you use dungeon tiles or a grid in your campaign or do you do more of a free form combat?

Before Nerdarchy used a grid and miniatures we used a rough drawing on paper and d6s for bad guys and d4s for our heroes.    We even occasionally used ketchup packets or kit kat bars as barriers to segment rooms or corridors.  Quite ridiculous, if you ask me.  I am thankful that those times were not caught on film.

This evolved the longer we played and while we occasionally use dungeon tiles or some cool scenery we have not fully embraced a true 3 dimensional gaming world.

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