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Custom Terrain & Obstacles For Custom terrain, buildings, and other misc. obstacles


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  #433  
Old February 6th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Onacara
I think I need to go and check out Dark City Games because if Grish is involved they gotta be good.
Aye. I was thinking the same thing. I went and looked at them a bit, but it looks like there might be high learning curve. I'll look into them better when I get a chance.

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  #434  
Old February 6th, 2008, 09:28 PM
Onacara Onacara is offline
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Originally Posted by keglo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onacara
I think I need to go and check out Dark City Games because if Grish is involved they gotta be good.
Aye. I was thinking the same thing. I went and looked at them a bit, but it looks like there might be high learning curve. I'll look into them better when I get a chance.

Sorry to hijack your thread again Grish....but...the games seem very reasonably priced...I'm gonna pick me up one and if I really get into it I will grab another and another
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  #435  
Old February 6th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Grishnakh Grishnakh is offline
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Originally Posted by keglo
Aye. I was thinking the same thing. I went and looked at them a bit, but it looks like there might be high learning curve. I'll look into them better when I get a chance.

Quite the opposite in fact, the (free) rules are very simple. The company formed basically to release new adventures for The Fantasy Trip - Melee and Wizards. That game is currently celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year. It's been out of print now for almost 20 years but even so it still has a pretty large following. Not bad for a game you can't even buy anymore. The owner of the copyright has long vanished (due to mergers it's probably owned by a bank now) and since Dark City Games wanted to make new, compatible game modules they basically created a free, altered version of the old rules to support new players. That way there would not be any copyright issues. The new rules work fine, however, as a stand alone, simple game (they are only 4 to 7 pages long) and they are currently planning an expanded rules set. Again to be distributed free. What they really sell are the adventures (which are also, I might add, compatible with Gurps - and played on hexes).

These programed adventures are done in the format of the old microquest games. They can be played solo or with a group. They fit into the: "You are standing in an old, dusty corridor. You can go East 156, or return the way you came 22." style format. The difference is that they've tried to update the format and provide better back stories.

You can download both the rules and two sample scenarios from their web site and start playing tonight!
http://www.darkcitygames.com/

Current they offer rules for fantasy, sci-fi and wild west games. I also hope to be running a couple of their adventures at GenCon.

My Custom Terrain Thread: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...read.php?t=448
My tribute site to TFT/Melee & Wizards: http://www.meleewizards.com/
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  #436  
Old February 6th, 2008, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grishnakh
You can download both the rules and two sample scenarios from their web site and start playing tonight!
http://www.darkcitygames.com/

Current they offer rules for fantasy, sci-fi and wild west games. I also hope to be running a couple of their adventures at GenCon.
Thanks Grish. I'll download them and check them out. Now, how about those tutorials.

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  #437  
Old February 7th, 2008, 11:55 PM
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Grishnakh’s Customized Terrain - Part XI - Jungle Palm Trees

Are you tired of waiting on Hasbro to produce the palm trees for the SotM set? Me too. I've given up. Besides, I figure that anything I could make as a custom would probably be better than anything they could make, given the limitations of mass production. Once the official trees finally come out I'll most likely switch over to them. But in the meanwhile here's a way to make several trees cheaply and start gaming with them tomorrow. I've also included a few rules to make them work.

Materials:
• Woodland Scenics: Coarse Turf - Earth - T60
• One jar paint: Folk Art - 449 Olive Green (Available at Michael's Arts and Craft Stores. Cheap stuff.)
• A squeeze bottle of white glue. I use good old Elmers.
• Naturally Wired wire. You can find this in the floral section of most Michael's Arts and Crafts stores.



• Fern artificial plant(s). You can find this in the artificial fern section of most Michael's Arts and Crafts stores. It's important to get the correct one. The number off of the tag reads 55173 07349 and it's labeled Ferns & Grasses. It should cost $7.99. (Buy it with one of their 40% off coupons!)



Here's a close up of the leaves so you'll know what to look for:


________________________________________________________

The first thing I had to determine was both what shape and what height to make the trees. I've crawled all over the web trying to find a good photograph showing a figure standing next to one of Hasbro's palm trees so I could estimate the height. This was more of a problem than I thought it would be. The closest I came was the following four photographs. (My apologies and thanks to whoever took these shots. If you did and you want me to remove them from my thread send me a private message and I'll do so.)









The best gauge I could find as to height is the first picture above. If you look in the upper left hand corner you'll see two trees against the castle wall. Judging from the right most tree, and guessing where it's base is by looking at it's height compared to the left most tree, it appears that the trunk (minus the leaves) is the same height as the walkway of the castle. That would put it 11 hexes high. The leaves would be added above that and my guess would be that they would roughly add an additional 4 levels. That would put it roughly the same height of both the castle with battlements and the largest pine tree, 15 levels (see below).



Here's a tree against a size 10 high pine tree. The trunk of the palm tree should be as close to it's height as you can make it.



That means that the trunk of the palm tree, from the top of the hex it will be sitting on, to the bottom of the palm leaves, should be 4.5 inches.



Here you can see that the size 10 pine tree is roughly 4.5 inches tall:



All of this seemed to work out very well with the already established sizes of previously manufactured HeroScape material, so I went with these measurements.
________________________________________________________

Tree Bases:
For my first palm tree I used as a base a single, olive green hex from a Swarm of the Marro set. I realized that I was going to run out of those tiles quickly since the set does not come with that many singles. I do, however, have a lot of single sand tiles, so I decided to use those as my bases and simply paint them.

Since it takes a long time to dry I usually paint the hex bases first. It's important to maintain a consistent look to all of your customized terrain so you will be able to mix it with anything you've previously done. That's why I've tried to stay consistent with all of my tutorials and that's why I usually don't build custom "set" pieces. I like the modular building ability of the HeroScape tiles.

As with all of my custom terrain, I stain the edges black first.



I then use the olive green paint to cover the top of the tiles, including the brown.



I'll come back to the base later on. For the meanwhile, set this aside so it will have plenty of time to dry throughly.

See page 27 for information on how to flock the Swarm of the Marro swamp set.
________________________________________________________

The Tree Trunk:
The next step is to draw a template to create the trunks of the palm trees. Here are the sizes: The base of the trunk (where it will stand) is 3/4 of an inch. The trunk of the tree is 5 1/2 inches. When you twist the trunks together the 5 1/2 inches will shrink down to the 4 1/2 inch height. After that you leave an additional 3 inches to form the leaves with. Overall length is therefore 9 1/4 inches.



Next step is to cut 5 lengths of wire to the 9 1/4 inch length. Try to straighten out the wires as much as possible.



Next you form the base of the tree. Bend all 5 lengths of wire 3/4 of an inch on one end.



Now we twist the trunk. Start by holding the bases of two of the wires. Then simply twist them tightly together a few turns.



Next hold another length of wire up, base to base, and twist that one around the others.



Continue until you've started all 5 wires.



The next step is to weave (or braid if you will) the various wires together. You should do this in a very haphazard manner (it shouldn't look like a girls hair braid).



Continue doing this until you reach the 4.5 inch height for the trunk. I marked my template with a dotted line at 4.5 inches and simply check my progress against that.



Once you have the trunk twisted together I would suggest taking the whole thing in both hands and give it a final, overall, tightening twist. You want to get these 5 wires to be very snug together. Here's my tree trunk after doing this:



To finish off the trunk spread/twist the bottom "roots" around the trunk to form the base:



Then spread the top branches out in a five star pattern. Resist the temptation to bend these branches into curved shapes. Try to keep these branches straight and flat. It will make things easier when you glue the leaves on later.


________________________________________________________

Tree Leaves:
Start by choosing the leaves you'll be using. You need to cut off 5 long leaves and 3 shorter ones. Cut them off as close to the main stem of the plant as possible.



Here you can see where I cut these leaves off of the fern.



To cut the fronds on the leaf use a pair of scissors and start cutting at the angle shown below. You should cut at the same angle and continuously move down the leaf. Once you get the hang of it you can go pretty fast. (The main problem is that my hand gets tired after doing several leaves!) The plastic "stem" that's on the leaf acts as a brake and stops the scissors from cutting completely through the leaf. After you've done one side turn the leaf around and do the other. You can cut from the top or the bottom of the leaf, whichever is easier.



Here's a leaf cut on both sides.



Palm leaves in nature are not perfectly shaped. To make these look more natural you need to randomly "distress" the leaves. Again, use scissors to make cuts like the ones shown. It doesn't take many of these to get the right look.



After you've made these cuts run your fingers down the edges of the leaves against the grain of the cuts. This will bend and twist the fronds so they stand apart from each other a little bit and keep them from looking so uniform.



Next carefully peel the plastic stem off of the back of the 5 larger leaves. Important! Do not peel the stem off of the backs of the 3 little ones!



To add a more realistic look to the leaves take a green or brown marker and draw a new stem down the middle of all 8 leaves.



Here are the finished large leaves (top view):



And here are the finished small leaves (bottom view):



At this time some of the branches on your tree trunk might be a little too long. You want them to extend a little more than half way down the length of the leaves. If you find them to be too long now is the time to cut them shorter.



(Note: if you prefer your trees to have shorter leaves now would be the time to trim down the length by simply cutting off some of the leaf on the end where it will meet the trunk. Make sure you trim the branch down somewhat as well.)

Next we attach the leaves. Using a hot glue gun spread glue down the length of one of the branches.



Position the leaf over the branch and press it down. You'll want to make sure that the end nearest the trunk is glued down. Here I am using the end of an ink pen to press the leaf down into the hot glue and to avoid burning myself.



Also make sure that the leaf is centered on the branch.



Here's a top view:



Here's a bottom view:



(I might add, for some of you out there, under no circumstances should you attempt to now roll these palm leaves and try to smoke them - regardless of what you might think they look like!!!)

Next you will curve the branches. The idea is for them to start upwards at about a 45 degree angle and the curve around and down. You'll have to experiment with this a bit to get the correct look.



By creating the leaves in this fashion the hanging down, bottom half of the leaf will be flexible and will move to accommodate larger figures that are standing under the tree.

This also creates a "v" shaped depression on the top of the tree. It's this depression that you'll glue the smaller leaves into.

Pour a generous amount of hot glue into the top of the tree and place the three remaining, smaller leaves into the glue. (Now you see why we left the stems on these leaves.) You'll want them to be at a different angle to the larger leaves and you'll want them to stand up a little more so the don't lay directly on top of the larger leaves. This might mean holding them in place for a minute or two until the glue "sets" up.



The next step is to shape the roots of the tree and glue it to it's base. The roots can be shaped in a flat, twisted manner or can be positioned to look like the roots of a mangrove tree.



Here is a side view of our tree so far:



After you have the roots shaped apply a generous amount of hot glue and attach it to the base hex. Here are some examples of various root systems:



Next I'll add a little of the Olive Green paint to the top edges of parts of the tree trunk to represent moss growing on the tree. I'll also paint over any areas where the hot glue shows to cover it's glossy look.



And the last step would be to add flocking and/or small plants to the base to give it a finished look.



I would also suggest that you bend the trunk, giving it a slight or even crooked curve. In nature the trunks of these trees do not grow straight up. This will give a little more interest to the tree(s) and make them all look different from each other.
________________________________________________________

Optional Tree Leaves:
Another way to create the tree leaves is to use tape. I experimented with this method first and was unhappy with the results. It would work in a pinch however if you can not find the correct artificial fern.

You'll need to purchase green, paper tape. I found this roll in my local Walmart in the paint section. Do not use green duct tape.



I do not show the procedure here but it's pretty simple. You tear off a long piece of tape and then fold it over the wire branch, sticky side to sticky side. This seals the branch inside the tape "leaf". You first cut the overall shape of the leaf and then you cut the fronds. I did not like the color of the tape so I tried to color it in with marker, with mixed results. As you can see this is as far as I took this tree.


________________________________________________________

Pictures of the Trees in Play:
Here are some shots of my palm trees on the board. (Please note that I took these shots before I finished flocking two of the tree bases.) I started timing myself after I finished my second tree. They seemed to be taking me around 30 minutes to finish one tree. Add an additional 10 minutes or so to flock and decorate the base. Not to bad at all. Given an evening or so and I could knock out a whole jungle of these trees.

That's it. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! I'm planning even more in the months to come so check back often. Unfortunately since my thread doesn't move you'll have to watch for headline changes.










My Custom Terrain Thread: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...read.php?t=448
My tribute site to TFT/Melee & Wizards: http://www.meleewizards.com/
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  #438  
Old February 7th, 2008, 11:55 PM
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Grishnakh Grishnakh is offline
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Grishnakh’s Customized Terrain
Jungle - Palm Trees and Jungle Bushes House Rules - Revised 2/11/08


When I create my jungle bushes I make two types: tall, standing ones and short, creeping on the ground ones. I try to model the tall bushes at height 7. The height of the ground cover does not matter since it's so short.

I have my jungle palm trees as well. The trees are height 15.

All jungle palm trees and jungle tall bushes (not the short ones) gives any figure standing next to it a plus one defense against non-adjacent attacks. (The idea is that in real life the figure would be taking advantage of the natural cover and be somewhat hidden inside of it.)

• I treat jungle palm trees as "hard cover". They will block line of sight normally and will prevent movement through a hex. They also give any figure standing next to it a plus one defense against non-adjacent attacks.

• I treat tall bushes as "soft cover". If line of sight passes through one hex of soft cover it does not block line of sight. If line of sight passes through two or more hexes of soft cover it does block line of sight (the foliage becomes too dense). They also prevent movement through a hex and will give any figure standing next to it a plus one defense against non-adjacent attacks.

• Ground cover does not block line of sight plus you can move through it at double the normal movement cost. However, you can not end your movement in a hex with ground cover. This type of cover is simply too short to give any figure standing next to it a plus one defense against non-adjacent attacks.

I've been playtesting this for a few games now and so far it works exceedingly well. Whether you adapt it or not to your game I'll leave totally up to you. It would be great if anyone has any additional ideas on improving these rules.

My Custom Terrain Thread: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...read.php?t=448
My tribute site to TFT/Melee & Wizards: http://www.meleewizards.com/
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  #439  
Old February 8th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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keglo keglo is offline
 
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Wow! Who needs official trees. These look way better! Thank you again Grish. You are a genius.

Is the lava next?

Great trades with Onacara, Gypsy, SirGalahad, elltrain, generalgina, Concord, Just_a_Bill, LongHeroscaper, janus19390, and the very generous obfuscatedhippo.
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  #440  
Old February 8th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Raudulfr Shieldcrusher Raudulfr Shieldcrusher is offline
 
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Excellent tutorial Grish! The trees look great.
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  #441  
Old February 8th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Onacara Onacara is offline
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Looks like I will be faking a stomach virus so i don;t have to go to my in-laws this weekend
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  #442  
Old February 8th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Grishnakh Grishnakh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keglo
Wow! Who needs official trees. These look way better! Thank you again Grish. You are a genius.
Thanks, I hope some of you can make some use this tutorial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keglo
Is the lava next?
Is the lava next............. funny........... I guess it will have to be. It might take me a while though, both the SotM and the Tree tutorials took a lot of time and energy (these tutorials are not easy to do). I've got to catch up on other chores for a while.

My Custom Terrain Thread: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...read.php?t=448
My tribute site to TFT/Melee & Wizards: http://www.meleewizards.com/
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  #443  
Old February 8th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Grishnakh
Is the lava next............. funny........... I guess it will have to be. It might take me a while though, both the SotM and the Tree tutorials took a lot of time and energy (these tutorials are not easy to do). I've got to catch up on other chores for a while.
Those darn chores keep getting in the way! I feel you brother.
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  #444  
Old February 8th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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That palms are great!. I should manage to find the same materials here...
A strange thing is the way you americans find stuffs compared to me:
i start to search for some cake columns, some time ago: finally i've found a friend of a friend that make cakes. So it send to me a mail with the cake decorations he can buy for me: 70 euros for 12 columns and some other plastic bits, and that was the price for him, not even for the "non professionals".
Now i go hunting for palm stuffs...

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