A rare situation

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The re-rise of Hork the Orc

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My favorite D&D character in college was a half-orc barbarian named Horknuth, who went by the stage name “Hork the Orc.” He was a gladiator-slave with an extremely low Intelligence and a penchant for fine shirts. Unfortunately I left the mini in Iowa when I moved to Kansas all those years ago and for one reason or another Hork hasn’t seen play since.

Recently my D&D group has started a second campaign in which the role of DM is shared between all the players. The PCs are employees at a detective agency which performs tasks structured to be resolvable over the course of a single evening. This way we can keep a semi-cohesive story but allow individual players to come in and out without complex-ish explanations (“Carl can’t play? Oh, um, I guess Dinkles the elf twisted his ankle. He’ll catch up.”).

This campaign seemed like the perfect opportunity to begin playing Hork again on a regular basis. I was having some trouble finding a mini figure so I decided to do some surgery.

Before: A stock figure from a D&D 4th Edition pack, “Male Goliath Barbarian.”

This guy’s got a ridiculously huge sword, odd colorations, hide pants, shirtlessness. That’s not quite right but the build of the character is close enough. An XActo knife and a bit of paint later and…

I realized belatedly that the haircut and short bold-colored pants make him look a bit like The Hulk. I don’t think it’s too bad for a first effort at modding and painting a figure myself 🙂

Written by Chris

March 17th, 2011 at 11:50 am

Posted in D&D,General,Photography

Dungeons and Dragons – Homemade Minis

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It’s been some months since I started a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with people in R&D at Perceptive. Everyone in the group has been getting into it and we’re having a great time.

My last post on this subject was about a homemade battle grid. I talked about the potentially high price tag of playing D&D with all the Wizards of the Coast-made accessories and such, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any cheaper since I wrote that. Instead of a potentially vast collection of little plastic miniatures to represent foes in the game I’ve been using a large number of 1″ glass beads that I got at a Michael’s craft store for seven dollars. This works out well for straightforward enemies but it doesn’t really give the players a sense of “oh shit!” when going up against a large or otherwise interesting creature. When the group faced a young dragon, I made one out of origami. It went over very well but there were two general problems with the idea: first, it pushed my origami skills to the limit and second, there aren’t easy-to-follow origami instructions for making most other creatures (like aboleths for example).

Then Courtney got a block of Sculpey and went to town.

Why, what’s in this box?


Shiyali (Courtney’s dwarven wizard character) and all her effects – a Flaming Sphere, a Cloud of Daggers, a Pinioning Vortex, and two Rolling Thunder tiles. The grid that the figures are standing on is 1″ by 1″ squares.

Shiyali from the side, featuring her orange mouse Gerard.

Courtney hasn’t only been making figures for her character. She’s also been making some minis for some of the more interesting combat encounters that we face. We haven’t actually had the encounter that will feature the following monsters, but they’re so damn cool I can’t not blog about them 🙂

A beholder and two dimensional mauraders.




Shiyali ruins the beholder’s day by conjuring a Flaming Sphere between it and its guards.

Written by Chris

July 11th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Posted in D&D,Photography