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Meet Kethra.

A photo of a small plastic miniature on Jewel fox's desk, next to her laptop. The miniature is of a female spell caster in a green dress, with a grey cloak over the top and a set of leather pouches and accessories hanging off of her waist. She is carrying her spell book in one hand, and using the other to summon ethereal flames from its pages.

She's a rebellious notary public, from a snowy part of the Forgotten Realms.

One winter, her local lord barred anyone without notarized identity papers from accessing shelter or grain. Kethra responded by notarizing any and all papers that crossed her desk while there was snow on the ground.

A cat is now lord of that land. The cat has impeccable documentation.

... oh yeah, her hobby is studying magic. That's what she's doing in this picture. Magic, not studying it.

Detailed profile )

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Things. How does one do them?

I think it was [personal profile] siderea who recently posted a thing about all the stuff you're supposed to be able to do, to live a fulfilling life, and how most people only do a few of those. Especially if they're disabled.

I'm trying to take in all this stuff I need to learn about a completely new country, and everything else is falling behind. We still don't have internets to stream with, and writing fanfics and replies? Painting miniatures? Keeping up with my reading page and RSS? Even playing tabletop / video games? When am I supposed to do those things? To say nothing of trying to write for the moneys, whether from Patreon or corporate overlords.

How do I thing, everyone?

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The outside of the BattleTech Introductory Rulebook:

Photo behind cut! )

The inside of the BattleTech Introductory Rulebook:

Another photo behind cut! )

Seriously, I look at the cover art and I'm like "get this gamer bullshit out of my face." But then I look at the minis photos on the inside and I'm like "d'aww <3"

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Content note: Money, and shiny personal electronics which may be unattainable for many readers.

Read more... )

We're okay with getting fewer things, if the ones that we have make us feel better about ourself and our place in the world. And we're okay with Alias buying us electronics, or with saving up for expensive devices, if they last us a long time and delight us the entire way.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So I'm on vacation in Calgary with [tumblr.com profile] alias-pseudonym for all of next week, and at one of the smaller games stores we found a set of Frostgrave treasure tokens! These represent the valuables which the players must try to recover.

We picked up some paints, brushes, and non-spray primer, and these are the results so far:

Picture! )

So that's the story of how I went to Canada, and my partner gave me Frostbite. \ ^^ /

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, if you've read my access-locked posts the conflict is still going on. ^^; Someone important in my partner and friends' lives keeps saying and doing things that unintentionally hurt everyone, and dealing with the fallout -- and helping people defend themselves -- has been a full-time job these past few weeks.

On the plus side, I just got my hardcover copy of War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus, by Sophie Lagacé! And for a limited time, you can get a pay-what-you-want (as low as $0) PDF version on DriveThruRPG.

A book cover which shows a variety of Muppet-like, furry creatures, brandishing weapons to defend themselves against hostile creatures, in a grim fantasy world where the sky is grey. The caption reads 'Roleplaying in a Grimsical World of Fantasy.'

"Grimsical" is the best word.

It's a rather grim fantasy RPG, which stars cute furry characters. I love it. ^^; It has very good production values, and the author does a really good job of porting the best parts of miniatures-based RPGs into Fate Accelerated, with stunts and manoeuvres that affect and are affected by positioning.

Why does it have optional minis rules? Because it's based on the War of Ashes miniatures game(s) by Zombiesmith, the makers of Kami Tale! So you can get cute, monstrous furry miniatures for your grimdark roleplaying game.

... I want all of them.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So I was flipping through my Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine books, trying to decide what to keep and what to discard. And despite the messy cover art of robots abusing performance-enhancing drugs, the Warmachine books also had the following:

  • POV female characters who are competent and sympathetic
  • Short stories where civilian lives and homes were important, and the "warcasters" relate to them as equals
  • People from different backgrounds (and even opposing armies) working together
  • People with very different reasons to be a career soldier, few or none of which were "rabid xenophobia"
  • Photos of towns, workplaces, and homes

Whereas the 40k books are ONLY WAR (TM) to the point where you'd think "faux-Gothic ruins" are the only ecosystem in the galaxy, and there are never any people living in them. Seriously, the artwork in some of the Tau books was nice, but the unremitting violence made me uneasy, and 40k characters in general have the emotional range of a brick.

So yeah, that's something we're keeping in mind as we rearrange our collection. We're also starting to look at potential additions in terms of "is this something I want to display?" and "what can I use this for in other games?" rather than just "does this have good stats?"

... also we keep thinking that we want to sculpt 40mm scale Steven Universe models. Starting with a whole army of Watermelon Stevens.

A screencap from the Steven Universe episode "Super Watermelon Island," showing a small army of watermelons shaped like Steven -- including his hair -- waving their spears and cheering and hugging, on a sandy beach. One of them is a cute dog instead of a Steven. In the background are jungle ferns and trees, and enormous sparkling blue and violet geodes.

Maybe we could even get some real geodes for a diorama.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The fanfic is Diamond in the Sky (NSFW for mature themes), but it's not related to the Dead Space crossover from earlier! It's actually the next part of the Pearlapis fic series, this time a bit action-y as well as emotional, and it marks a breakthrough in their relationship. It also features illustrations by my partner [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush, of course, and you'll definitely want to see the concept art for this one. <3

Meanwhile, in the world of miniatures gaming we've been sidelining and selling off our 40k and Warmahordes things, to make room for the extremely cute Endless Fantasy Tactics and Kami Tale miniatures lines!

WIP photos behind cut! )

Finally, check out this interview with Emily Whitehouse on PinkFae! It's a trans-inclusive games website, and the co-designer of Endless Fantasy Tactics has a story our readers may find interesting. ^^

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We finally finished painting our Arcantrik Force Generator. This is the model that first made us sit up and notice that miniatures games were a thing, and now it's ready to eff some shit up on the battlefield ... and look pretty on our shelves.

A spindly white model with blue power glow, which looks sort of like a robotic space flea perched on the snow. It has a turbine in the centre, behind a large armour plate, and three long, upraised appendages with have metal tips that point towards a convergence in the air above it.

Click here to view on DeviantArt.

It's supposed to have three doods standing on the base controlling it, but we decided to use them in other projects.

Yes, it is on our blanket. We took it with us when we curled up on our bed with our laptop. We're such a dork.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, we read an excerpt from the intro to a history book on the First Succession War, which was a mad scramble for land and resources after a political upheaval.

It reminded us of how much we love BattleTech sometimes, and why:

It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when we learned that Amaris had been captured and the [coup] was over. Naïvely, we thought things would get back to how they were before, in our parents’ day. How quickly we were disabused of that notion. The dukes knew things would only get worse and all the patriotic noise Kenyon had made was soon supplanted by something more authoritarian. We were just the wrong age, the perfect age to serve.

My boyfriend, Joe, was one of those called up that autumn, thrown into a boot-camp and then shipped off-world to fill out a line unit. I never saw him again—he died on Anegasaki when the Capellans killed the Fourth Militia. I was luckier I suppose, drafted into the planetary militia, so at least I was near home where it was safe and quiet. At least at first.

Then Kenyon got a mind to take over all the Star League facilities, following up on the rumors that Kerensky had left vast stockpiles on-world. That may have been true, but after four years spent on that wild goose, with little more than field rations, toilet paper, and SLDF recruitment pamphlets to show for it, the FWLM shifted their attention elsewhere. That didn’t save me from a grilling by SAFE—several in fact—because of who Gramps was, and his involvement with the Engineering Sub-Command. He died when I was nine, but even so, SAFE struggled to accept that a pre-teen knew nothing about SLDF activity. Dad got it much worse, and was held at the facility in Freeport for three weeks before they decided that the English teacher from Durandel High wasn’t going to give them much help either.

In those days, the years before the start of the Succession War, I did wonder: if this is how badly we treat our own people, how are things going to go when we start shooting at people we don’t like?

Compare and contrast, with how 40k portrays warfare. And authority, and nationalism. Even if you read 40k as a dystopian satire, where the Imperium is meant to be seen as brutal, you rarely get such a personal look, at the price that ordinary people pay for you to dress up in armour and play as a "hero." To satisfy your vain ambition, for power or wealth or heroics.

40k isn't alone in erasing civilians and glamourizing warfare, of course. Don't get me started on dudebro shooters. >_>; With the extremely subversive exception of Spec Ops: The Line.

Click here if you can't see the video.

For another good take (IMO) on how BattleTech portrays conflict, check out the short story at the start of the Alpha Strike Quick-Start rules (PDF link). A private military contractor called Wolf's Dragoons catches a desperate foe completely off-guard, and an enemy MechWarrior has an obvious mental breakdown, but there's no guarantee that she won't recover once they've gone past. So Natasha just shoots her mech's legs out and moves on. Even though she has TEH RAEG because of something the other side's employer did to Dragoon dependents.

Finally, if you want to support a PC / tabletop game that tells the story of people who live in the ruins that "heroes" and generals fight over, check out This War of Mine:

Click here if you can't see the video.

Armed conflict is a terrific backdrop for drama. But it isn't a playground or theme park, and it shouldn't be treated as one.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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