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.


  1. Welcome to the wide world of gaming blogs!

    Hope to see more from you and have fun.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad to know I'm not just screaming into the ether. At least, not entirely.