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Excellent work! I do like the cards idea.Dunkin wrote: Hey folks! While this latest project was finished, I couldn't post it until they had a chance to play it, which happened last night. So now here's my latest project, the generic Tavern.
Here's an example of the "dryfit" process where I figure out the general layout of the levels. This was a unique build so I had to design the layout by scratch. Always pressed for time, I decided to wing it's design and keep the exterior shape simple. This both saved me time and cost me time in the end as well.
I used the same process Hirst showed in one of his tutorials; using double sided tape on cardboard to mass paint smaller pieces. Below is simply 4 of the 6 boards I set up and painted. I tried to paint everything separately to cut down on detail painting at the end.
RIP favorite paintbrush tho. You served me well, old friend.
I built the house in sections. This is the construction of one of the 2nd floor walls. The windows line up with the rooms on the second floor.
Here's a close up of the final construction of the bottom floor fireplace. The tavern has two fireplaces in total. Later, I added firelogs to each of the fireplaces.
Doh! I forgot about how the chimney connects with the second floor! Fixing this oversight set me back a few days.
In the end, the tavern has 3 floors and 4 sections total to it. Here's a shot of all the sections unstacked. at the point of this picture, I had not put in the interior furniture yet.
I had added black felt padding strips to all the areas where each section connects to. This extra padding helps prevent extra chipping and keeps the levels firmly seated.
This is the backdoor of the exterior. Lots of detail added to the walls of the tavern. The stand-in 28mm figure is Sir Bob, "The Not So Brave" and will be used as a scale reference.
Lastly, I added in the hand painted furniture. To keep this set piece versatile, most of the pieces are not glued in, rather stuck into place with little spots of modeling clay. This allows me to rearrange furniture how I like. Or, if a character decides to tip over a table for cover, I can easily accommodate that. the set is big to accommodate more room for battles. :)
A view of the interior from the front. The bottom floor windows simulate stained glass. The "glass" is thin plastic with highlight marker to color the windows.
This is the pre-furniture layout of the second floor. For some reason, I failed to take a picture of the final version with furniture. Each room is a tavern style bedroom for adventurers who like to sleep in style.
Now for something a not Hirst Arts related. No one likes long winded DMs. To counter this and also add flavor to the game, I pack lore, plot hooks and various information into written material for them to read away from the game table. Some are letters from NPCs or material they find on their fallen enemies, etc. This one above was a "gossip print" or "newspaper" sold by the street vendors highlighting some of the various gossip heard among the "common folk" of the city. The imprint in the wax seal were created by custom made wax stamps created from wood dowels and interesting buttons. Some factions (like the Pathfinder's Society) have their own wax seal. Warning: there might be Pathfinder spoilers below.
Here's the inside pages of the newsletter.
With the terrain and letters having a fun and tactile element in the game, loot started to take a back seat in excitement. To counter this, I borrowed an idea from someone who did this for his group. I designed cards to hand out when the characters encountered loot. Designed in Photoshop (note: the original backgrounds were modified from Pathfinder's wonderful card decks) with various art and images taken from the internet, the front held the image and name of the item while the back had a clever description and sometimes known information about the item. If the item is a magic item, there's a second, almost identical sleeve behind it that held the true nature of the item. If the player characters successfully determined the nature of the magic item, they simply pulled the back sleeve out and can now see more complete information on the magic item. The ornate pattern not only added interesting art, but it was also designed to prevent people seeing through the paper to the hidden information beneath it.
Lastly, the game I'm playing is with a bunch of people I work with. From time to time a new flier might appear near their desks that hint at possible future events. With no explanation, this helps build suspense and expectations for future games and shows that they have an impact on the gameworld, good or bad. Overall, this is also an excuse to exercise my art and creativity skills while trying to keep the game fresh and exciting. :) Hope you enjoy.
As always, feedback, comments and constructive crticism is always welcome. Hope it inspired.