Friday, March 13, 2015

Life is a Dungeon

Things I Learned About Life by Playing Dungeons and Dragons

Encounters. Life is full of them. Some are lame, some are cool, some are mind blowing but all of them help us earn X.P. and grow as a character (person). Treasure the great encounters of your life, but value each and every one.

Monsters. There will always be monsters. Real life monsters seldom want to eat your soul, but some of them can be just as harmful. Be brave in the face of them and know when to stand up and fight and when retreat is warranted. Monsters do not always require combat to defeat and sometimes the best way is not the simple way.

Secrets Door and Shortcuts. While these exist, they are the exception, not the rule. Nothing ruins a great game more than stopping every ten feet to check for hidden things. These things are great when they come around but it's important to experience the journey to its fullest whenever you can and use secret doors sparingly.

Traps. Like secret doors and shortcuts, traps happen but they are also the exception not the rule. Looking for traps everywhere can really lead to a serious mistrust of everything and missed opportunities. Most door aren't concealing needle traps in their locks and that rough floor is sometimes just a rough floor and not a deadly creation bent on ending your existence.

Parties. Life is always better with trusted friends and companions. Whether friends or family, make sure to keep them close and do not be afraid to reach out to them for help. Nobody gets throug hthe dungeon by themselves. Solo play sucks.

Treasure. Treasure is awesome. Getting stuff is always nice but it's just stuff. Sometimes the shiniest pieces isn't the most important piece. The Hand of Vecna is just a moldy Mummy's Hand but it;s super cool. 

Experience. Everything in life can teach you something. The small lessons often lead to big things as much as a single life changing event. Take them all in. Make sure you learn. And always remember that boiling an ant hill is cheating.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Grimtooth is Back!

Alright gamers, listen up!

You old school folks out there remember Grimtooth - that evil troll that made GM's far too lethal for their own good and gave us all nightmares about losing our favorite characters in the most despicable and horrifying ways. Well, he's back in a new Kickstarter bringing all the original works together in one place.

I've already jumped on board to support this project and I know at least few of you who want, dare I say NEED, this book.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sculpting the Mutant Future

I have always been a big fan of fantastic apocalyptic futures. From Gamma World, to Aftermath, to Fallout I love the concepts of the wholly unrealistic blasted futures with their mutants and warlords and gangs. Be it Road Warrior or Metal Storm, you cannot go wrong with spikes, freaky critters and mohawks. It is in this spirit that I have started sculpting a new range of miniatures.

A recently got back some test casts of the first two sets I finished and put some paint to them ASAP. This is saying something as I am well known for hating to paint. 

The first pack is a collections of five relatively mundane mutants (is that a thing?). While they are twisted and deformed, they are not too out there. I painted one in my most hated of mutations to randomly roll for a character - Brightly Colored Skin! This pack depicts a sort of wasteland shamaness and several mutant fighters.

The second set is made up of more strange denizens of the mutant wastelands. Two freakish brutes equipped with cybernetics along with a poor fellow with crustacean or insectoid mutations and a big-headed, dwarfed, perhaps psionic fellow complete this set. 

These should be out later in 2015 through my partnership with I'll make an announcement when the actual release happens for those who are interested in picking them up for their games.


Holiday Crafts

One thing I truly enjoy is making gifts for the holidays. While some may see it as cheap, I see it as a way to create something really special and unique. Even if i am inspired by somebody else's work, I am still creating something for my friends. This year was no different.

I made a couple of ornaments for our good family friends who are, like all good and kind-hearted people, Star Wars fans.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Hey all,

So, things have ground to a veritable halt here on the ol' ISLP. This has been due to many factors but the overall result has been a slow down in content suitable for this blog.

Sculpting has become my main hobby outlet and, while I can show stuff off here, I have been communicating most of that work through direct emails and a few more focused groups out there. I do want to show off some of that stuff here as I am sure there are a lot of you who have read for ages who wonder how that is going for me.

Family has been occupying a lot more of my time as well. This is a good thing, but it does mean far less time to idle away on endless hobby projects and rulers bashing for RPGs and such. I cannot complain about this at all and in some ways the family time has overlapped with gamer time but in respect to playing and sharing the hobby with my kiddos.

Growing my little miniatures business still occupies a huge amount of my time. Thinking, planning, re-planning, scrapping plans and then coming up with new ones is a constant dance of frustration and inspirations. I have so much stuff piled up in my mind and it's all a great game trying to get it out into the world and into the hands of the folks that make this hobby so awesome.

Anyhow, I am well and things are good, but just not a lot to report here.

Take care,


Friday, December 19, 2014

While Eli's busy sculpting and stuff...

...I've been working on the newest issue of The Aethergraph, a .pdf format Victorian Science Fiction gaming fanzine. Volume 3, #3 is available now, and you can catch up on the other five issues on my VSF blog, Victoria's Boys in Red. I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any suggestions, comments, or submissions, you can contact me at

Thanks, and Merry Christmas / Happy Hannukah!

-J Womack

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tales From The Wood Explained in a Simple Video

I have written before on the subject on one of my favorite but very unsung RPGs, "Tales From The Wood" by Simon Washborne. This game asks players to take on the role of non-anthropomorphic animal characters and to play in a setting that is bereft of almost all the trappings of other RPGS - monsters, magic, science, tech, etc. But this is overly simple an interpretation as TFTW has its own monsters and enough enchantment to make for a magical feel if not magic itself.

Trying to explain the setting to mature gamers is often difficult as many seem unable to see beyond the furry animals and likely a lot of baggage undeservedly attached to them by the popularity of anthro animals in cartoons, games, and general fandom. TFTW is not those things, but it unless you look deeper at it, you may not see this.

This video my brother shared on Facebook pretty much sums it up...

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