Friday, March 30, 2012


Hiya, I'm JM.
     I've been DMing a shifting roster of gamers in Central Virginia for seven or eight years now, and I've been gaming in some form for as long as I can remember. We've been through a few traditional fantasy games (years long, in most cases) at this point - castles have been sieged, dragons slain, phylacteries destroyed, planes traversed. In order to give everyone something a little different I came up with the world of The Crucible - a mash-up of a bunch of ideas, systems, characters and influences that I've had rolling around in my head for a few years. At it's heart it is a post-apocalyptic world, with a heavy western steampunk bent - though I created the world with DMing in mind - and nearly every idea can be incorporated with only a little thematic tweaking. Goblins? We've got that - or at least a close enough proxy we've dubbed Grems. Magic?  Sure thing, rebranded as Thaumaturgy. Undead? Of course, right next to the airships, clockwork golems, and genetically-uplifted Moreaus in the back. 
The Esperanza Nueva Basin
     To be clear, Crucible isn't an attempt to create something entirely new - it's a setting I designed to be fun for all of us, and to free me up as a DM to write almost anything I want without having to labor over whether or not it would be appropriate for the setting. I write the game and the world week to week, adding new areas and enemies as the story dictates - and in doing so, the PCs have a very real means of influencing the world around them. I mean, who doesn't want to run a game where your party fights a monstrous, flying genetic aberration with spells, rifles, and Molotov cocktails - roaring through the streets of a ruined city standing on the roof of the last of the V8 Interceptors while their salvaged 8-track blares the Immigrant Song?  I guess there are some who wouldn't dig it, but I sure as hell do.
     The rules we run with are a cobbled mixture of D&D 3.5 (the system nearest and dearest to most of our hearts), with bits pulled from d20, Darwin's World, and Deadlands, along with a healthy dose of long-standing house rules. I know it sounds like a completely unmanageable and nightmarish home-brew disaster - but it ain't.
A 'Grem'
     The bigger point, and the point of this site in general, is that of all the tasks I willingly saddle myself with as DM - the one I enjoy the most is the modelling and terrain building. Hunching over a fantasy goblin mini at the desk with a handful of toothpicks, cardstock scraps, wire, and bits and after an hour of filing, hacking, gluing, cursing, and painting, coming away with a be-stilted, top-hat wearing, Tommy-gun wielding demihuman mutant Grem to throw at the party next Tuesday night is ridiculously satisfying.
     I spend a good amount of time scouring miniature and modelling sites for ideas, inspiration, tips, and the like - and I figured it couldn't hurt to put up some of my own work. Anyhow - that's the plan. Works in progress, finished minis and terrain, tips, caveats, campaign ideas, statblocks and tables. Just another role-playing game DM miniature modelling site. There are many like it, but this one is mine.