Showing posts with label #Inktober2020. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Inktober2020. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2020

(Ab)Using What You Got

I like to use random ideas. Generally, I hate spam but spam comments have caused some of my better writing to come to the forefront. In this week's version, "a better life with Spam", I'll post images of artwork based on Artificial Intelligence. 

This was a project I started a few months ago. I like the unicorn but needed to figure out where the rest of it was going. 

Queue up the spam suggesting Artificial Intelligence gets things done more efficiently. Since I was lost on this image, I didn't know how to proceed. I upload it to and the results are lovely. 

I've tried redoing this image in oil paint, but that seems wrong. I think I will try colored pencils, which isn't my favorite choice, but I think it could work. 

On a side note, I generally don't delete spam. Some of it is amusing, such as the guy at a consignment shop that tried to imply that his goods were magic items to tie into my 52 Weeks of Magic posts. Classic. 

Let me take a second to shout out Fat Goblin Games,, and Goblin Clan Miniatures. These 3d printed products came to my awareness via a spam link. They have suspended their affiliate program, but they are so nice, I can't help but suggest them for your table.  

Having said that, I have noticed an uptick with tech-themed spam which has been deleted. The problem with tech products and spam is they can do nasty stuff with your data. I will implement a policy of report and kill from here on out. If you have noticed missing comments, that is why. 

My apologies, but I can't host something dangerous. 

As always, if you have a product or website you want promoted, post a link in the comments or hit me up at Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, Dice.Camp or Mastodon. I am always looking for new stuff and content for my site, I would love to do a write up on you. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Inside Out Fortification

This month, I am doing castles as the theme of my Inktober sketches. I've always been amused by the bit in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish where Wonko the Sane builds the Asylum, an inside out building to contain the world gone mad. 

This is probably my first contact with this concept of an inside out structure. 

However, real life shows that Wonko the Sane's Asylum isn't nuts. Apparently Julius Caesar did this in his siege craft. In a particularly interesting conflict, Caesar attacked fortification of Alesia. 

Muriel Gottrop in December 2004 from Wikipedia

The Gallic leader, Vercingetorix took refuge in the oppidum (an Iron Age Fortified town) with his 80,000 men. Caesar decided it was more prudent to siege the town rather than storm it. However, this required building a 10 mile long wall around Alesia. It wasn't perfect, but it was effective. 

When the Gallic relief force showed up, Caesar built a second wall around his own forces and the Roman's world collapsed into a one half mile strip of land between his walls.  

As the siege progressed, Vercingetorix turned out many of the civilians in the hopes that they would be captured by the Romans and fed. Caesar refused this option and didn't attempt to capture or kill any of them. A siege requires people to consume the food, so in turning them away, he didn't weaken his own position by wasting energy on killing or capturing them. As you can see from the map, neither of Caesar's walls were perfect and probably some people simply walked away. 

The Romans never broke into the walls of Alesia, but Vercingetorix was forced to surrender. He and the chieftains were killed and the Roman Legions took 40,000 captives as slaves. 

Most of this account was written by Caesar himself, so many of the numbers are probably inflated. It is fairly reasonable to assume that Caesar reported accurate numbers for his own forces but magnified the Gallic forces to look better. He said that there were 80,000 following Vercingetorix and the Gallic relief force numbered 250,000. This is pretty unlikely. 

But what we can take from this is, Caesar only took half of the people involved captive as slaves and he literally built 2 walls at least 10 miles long. 

From the prospective of gaming, we can see that a lot of historical figures do incredible things while not resorting to a scorched earth policy or glassing event. Caesar really played himself as a benevolent leader and ran a policy of forgiving his enemies. This probably explains why Vercingetorix surrendered himself. Either he though that was the best option for his followers to survive and there was a slight chance he, himself, would survive. Many of Caesar opponents killed themselves to spite him when they lost. 

These sorts of examples highlight why people surrender in battles and I would totally make that concept a thing in my games if it ever came to the party surrendering. I posted about that almost a year ago. If more games incorporated an honor mechanic, it would probably happen more often. 

One further tieback to game is my frustration of the lack of realistic scales for fortifications. Alesia was not a particularly massive fortified position, but if Caesar stood back a couple of miles, it's far larger than what is shown in modules like Keep on the Borderlands. My players in our B2 sessions were completely stymied by the huge area and I figure the area represented on the map is too small by a good margin. 

I'll be posting maps and drawings of my ideas soon. Stay tuned. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Inktober Lighting Test

I have a stack of drawings I want to redo but this year I'm sticking to a particular theme of castle exploration. Since this is day one with a new camera and setup, I need some test images. That's where my slush pile comes in. 

Test One: Lighting with Woman.  

Why is my internet ponderously slow? Blah. 

Well, the lighting wasn't bad but my camera is screwed up. I'll try again tomorrow. Sigh. 

Inktober the First

Back in August, I sketched out a castle scene and became fascinated with the two guys wandering through. 

I think this Inktober, I will give them names, crank up the detail and document their explorations through various locales. 

I think they will mesh nicely with my D&D kick. 

I actually set up an area to draw, I now just need to get the zoom and lighting correct.