Skip to main content

Benefits of Working at Home

For about the past few years, I've been working from home. It's a long story of corporate shenanigans which resulted in me surviving a second buyout of my employer by another company but my physical office dropping out from under me. The point is that I'm physically isolated from my colleagues in an office in my house full of...well, any stuff I would want to have with me.

On a mostly but not entirely unrelated note, I've long vaguely toyed with the idea of painting miniatures. It'd be nice for other hobbies I'm involved with. On the other hand, it requires at least a little hand-eye coordination, and I'm not good with that. What finally made me decide to do something about it was finding OpenForge, 3d-printable architecture and terrain for gaming. I like architecture.

What made these come together is...y'know how some people doodle in the margins during long, boring meetings? I realized that I had the opportunity to "doodle" as extravagantly as I liked. In nearly all my meetings, I'm on the other side of a voice connection. I could do little bits of painting, a few minutes at a time here and there, and nobody would know. They wouldn't even know if I weren't wearing pants (though, as a point of pride, I do). At any rate, bouts of fifteen minutes to a half hour are about right. I can do a little painting on some small objects, set them aside for this or that coat to dry, and come back to them at leisure later.

So, then, I've been printing and painting pieces for this mausoleum design to experiment with miniature painting techniques. These pieces mostly have a brownish base coat, a variety of other earth tones applied with bits of sponge, a dark wash, and a final treatment with a faint touch of ligher color here and there. The green bits are, of course, copper patina.

I particularly like how the door came out. Those hasps are treated with rusted iron paint.

 The inside is much the same, plus a little bit of moss-textured paint.

This has been fun so far, and I'm intending to finish it, but I'm not sure I can actually use it. My gaming system of choice uses hexagons, not squares, and I'm not sure how I'd fit an overlay on it.


Popular posts from this blog

Writing GURPS Adventures

Someone over on the forum asked for advice on writing adventures for GURPS. Or more specifically, in context, writing GURPS adventures with an eye towards publication by SJ Games, which is a very different animal. Whatever method and structure you have for writing up adventures for your own use is, of course, the best and you should use it for your own purposes. But we're talking about commerce here, not just art, so this should be thought of as advice on how to do business with a particular publisher, not generally useful advice on how to write adventures.

I need to start by defining a term. SJ Games means something specific by "adventure." As the wish list uses the word, an adventure has a plot, or at least something plot-like in it. It presents a specific problem to solve through a progression of encounters. They are not sandboxes. Sandbox-style adventures, with their multiplicity of possible PC objectives, are, in the terminology of the wish list, locations. There ar…

Writing Historical RPGs, Doing Diversity

For a few years now, I've been seeing things like this and reading pieces elsewhere about apparent conflicts between historical accuracy in historical or pseudo-historical fantasy games and issues of deep interest to some parts (and some potential parts) of the modern gaming audience. I tend to write things which are both connected to history and are written to enable the fantasies of modern people, some of whom have a specific interest in not reproducing problematic parts of the past and present in their recreations, so it's something which touches on stuff that I do. And I think I tend to move and write in circles where this tends not to get much thought or attention even though I write for a game which makes accuracy a priority, so while none of this is new to people who grapple with these issues regularly, I'm thinking maybe I should say something about it to get it into spaces where I work.

So, how do I approach the demands of both accuracy and diversity in the stuff …

The Last Pyramid

Today saw the publication of the final issue of Steve Jackson Games's Pyramid magazine, as was announced several months ago. Broadly speaking, it was the victim of generally rough times within the gaming industry.

I'm one of what is surely a small number of people who have been published in all three iterations of Pyramid. I'd had some previous contact with SJ Games--some stuff I helped with ended up in GURPS Cyberpunk, which in turn has doubtless gotten my name on the Federal Register of Dangerous Hoodlums--but it wasn't until the later days of the paper version of Pyramid that I finally got up the nerve to try my hand at writing an article. The result was a short piece on low-tech (mostly Medieval) economies, which became my first professionally published work.

This, apparently, was enough encouragement. Having seen how painless the process actually was, I started thinking in terms of writing for publication. It didn't hurt that around this time I went to work fo…