Varning: Kristen post. När är det rätt tid?

2017 December 12
by mackan
Hebreisk punktskrift "Beresheit"

Hebreisk punktskrift "Beresheit" - "I Begynnelsen"

Jag står inför ett nytt skede i livet.

Jag ska, ånyo, bli student.

Jag ska i och för sig också fortsätta att arbeta som vanligt. Men jag sökte till Universitetet till våren och jag kom in. Jag ska läsa Biblisk Hebreiska.

För dem av er som känner mig sedan länge, är det här antagligen ingen stor överraskning. Jag har längtat i mer än ett decennium på att börja plugga Hebreiska. Faktum är att jag tog mina första, stapplande steg till självstudier, redan så tidigt som i mitten på nittiotalet. På ett sätt är det alltså inte så stort och dramatiskt.

På ett annat sätt känns det betydligt större och mer dramatiskt.

Jag har hittills så att säga väntat på rätt tillfälle.

Men det rätta tillfället kommer aldrig. Jag lät bli för att barnen var för små. Och senare för att jag förlorade synen. Och senare för att jag läste på Frälsningsarméns Officérsskola. Och senare för att jag inte hade tid, samtidigt som jag arbetade.

Well – det rätta tillfället kommer aldrig.

Det är, i stället, dags. Det är dags att fånga tillfället.

Och jag ska vara ärlig – samma berg som fanns där innan tornar fortfarande lika mörka upp sig framför mig. Barnen är fortfarande “små”. Jag är fortfarande blind. Jag jobbar fortfarande (lite mer än) heltid.

Det finns dessutom ett antal nya berg - alla böcker finns inte ens översatta till något tillgängligt format för mig. Jag måste dessutom, förutom Hebreiskan i sig, lära mig Hebreisk punktskrift. (Och, för att göra det lite krångligare, det finns flera olika sätt att skriva Hebreiska på punkt…). Dessutom måste jag och min lärare komma på ett sätt för henom att läsa vad jag skriver, då hen ju inte läser punktskrift.

Det är, med andra ord, omöjligt. Med mänskliga ögon är det här utsiktslöst.

Men det är min fasta övertygelse att Jesus lovat att vara med mig. Och att det är när jag går på den väg som Han utstakat som Han också kommer visa sin kraft. De som hört mig predika kanske förstår referensen att “ta upp pinnen och låta Gud stå för specialeffekterna”.

Det här är ett prov – att ta ett steg i tro.

Be gärna för mig.

Och tacka gärna för att ens den här möjligheten finns. Jag är otroligt tacksam. Även om jag bävar.

Random DnD advice (for DMs, primarily)

2017 February 20
by mackan

What the title says, so let’s just jump into this random post.

  1. Would I have started over today with new players at my table, I would make them keep their class “secret” to one another. At least through the first few levels.

    This is simply to help them start ROLEplaying. By having to show what they are good at, instead of telling the other players their class’ stats, players have to rethink tactics and strategy. It also makes for a perfect way to teach everyone on how to do skill checks and attack rolls, regarding of what tactical role you “should” have in a traditional DnD party.

  2. Would I have started over today, I would also have lost the magic system(s) of DnD and picked up the one from Dungeon Crawl Classics instead. (The link goes to the Beta rules pdf. But you should buy this book, and support the makers. ‘Cause it is great.)

    I am simply not that fond of the binary way a spell either works or fails in DnD. Which made me write my own sort of magic system, used by Witches, in my campaign setting. But I digress. The cool thing about the DCC system is all the ways a fumble on a spell might really blow up in your face.

    Some people would criticize the DCC magic to require you to have spell cards printed out, so that you could remember all the different effects and stuff. And this is probably true. BUT. You kind of already have to do that in DnD anyway. You have to remember which spells requires INT, WIS or CHA, which spells requires a save against it and which are cast in a special way. Which are real “spells” and which are cast as rituals. Etc, etc, etc. My only point here is that the spells in DnD are not very streamlined, rules wise, and then you can use another system which actually add some new features as well.

    Because here is my other critique of the DnD magic; it is basically tons and tons of spells that all “zap” someone or “zap area”. I don’t say that there are not other spells aswell, but it feels as if every other spell is like “zap”, with a little difference on range, and how often you can use it.

    I think that this is in part a relic of earlier versions of the game, whereas in DnD4 everyone had “powers” and most powers, to be honest, were different names for the same effect.

  3. I am thinking about permanently disabling a PC who drops to 1 or 0 HP. With a mechanic such as this (for blindness).

  4. Would I have started over today, I would not let PC’s choose a class (or maybe just Rogue or Fighter) until, like, level 3.

    Wow, DnD5 certainly made a lot of spellcasting classes. Basically, now a Ranger is a Fighter-Druid, a Paladin is a Fighter-Cleric, a Monk is a Barbarian-Cleric and add to this all the usual Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard (did I forget any?). So… What? 9 out 12 classes are now some sort of spellcaster. This has a DnD4-”everyone has Powers” legacy vibe to it.

    But it makes it so much harder for new players to actually learn the core mechanics of the game. So this is my first critique of it; You don’t learn the core stuff before specializing. Stuff such as skill checks, saves, how to attack and move during combat, but more importantly – how to actually roleplay.

    When everyone has learned how to role play, how to mechanically play the game and use the dice, then you can add magic.

    Also – is there really a good reason to have all these different kinds of classes of what used to be a Wizard? Can’t we just have a unified spell casting supplement and sort of add on the flavours? That would also mean weeding out some of the different names for “Zap!” (you don’t have to know if it’s a sorcerer, warlock or druid zap…).

    ALL magic also takes a lot of extra time. Often the spellcaster don’t know beforehand what kind of “Zap” s/he wants to do and it takes a while, sometimes minutes, in a battle round before you have the stats checked up (save? No? OK, spellcasting ability, spell casting bonus, spell level aaaaaand….) and is hard for the player to memoraize and prep beforehand. So. Some streamlining regarding magic is probably a good thing

I realize it sounds like I am hating on DnD, and especially the magic. I don’t. I love DnD and when I play, I almost always play a spell casting role (since a year; a warlock). So this is more just a random selection of advice and thoughts. Feel free to comment and discuss below.

Happy gaming! Always! That’s what counts!

Dags att trycka en T-shirt?

2016 December 26
by mackan

Jag har funderat på att trycka en t-shirt med texten;

“Sedan 2013.
Troligtvis fel medicin.”

eftersom i princip varje ny människa jag växlar några ord med – flera gånger om dagen alltså – frågar samma två frågor. “Har du alltid varit blind?” och “Så hur blev du blind, då?”

Jag ska vara tydlig här och säga; jag tror inte att frågorna ställs av någon illvilja. Men det är trots allt så att det är… privat. Jag är inte bekväm med att prata om det, hela tiden och det är fortfarande smärtsamt.

Men det som framför allt stör mig, i ett större sammanhang, är på något sätt att den som har en norm-kropp på något sätt “har rätt” att få sin nyfikenhet stillad närhelst hen möter någon som inte har en norm-kropp. Under senaste dygnet har jag hört om svarta som blivit ogenerat frågade om de har samma hudfärg i armhålorna, en rullstolsburen vän som fått frågan om hur hen och hens partner “gör det” och har själv fått svara två främlingar om hur jag blev blind. Alltså – gemensamt för alla de här erfarenheterna är att det är fullständiga främlingar som frågar. Och liksom förväntar sig ett svar.

På Engelska finns ordet “ableism”. Såsom i able-ism, eller “funktionism”. Alltså – när vi behandlar människor olika efter deras kropps funktion. Och ett sådant uttryck för funktionism tycker jag är just detta.

Med en funktionsnedsättning kommer tusen och åter tusen utredningar och förfrågningar från sjukvård, försäkringskassa, habilitering, etc, etc. Alla ställer ungefär samma, ingående, frågor. Och det leder möjligen dessutom till den institutionaliserade tanken för den med funktionsnedsättning att den inte har (rätt till) ett privatliv. Att man alltid måste fråga.

Men det finns också en stor nyfikenhet – inte illvilja – bland många.

Men här är poängen – man måste inte agera med illvilja för att det ska vara kränkande. Det är helt enkelt rätt tröttsamt och smärtsamt att alltid svara på de här personliga frågorna. Att ständigt gå över sin egen bekvämlighetsgräns.

Så – kan vi prata om det här på andra sätt? Och kan vi kanske ställa oss själva frågan, ibland, “varför är det här viktigt för mig att veta?” Och göra en egen bedömning kring “vad skulle jag vara bekväm med att andra frågade mig?”

Rogue One — as “seen” by a blind guy

2016 December 15
by mackan

First, let me just give a fair warning. This review includes spoilers. They are all in the second half, though, and marked out with an H2-headline so you can choose wether or not you want to read them or not. All spoilers are pretty mild, if you have eyesight (and have watched the trailers, for example) but especially for non-sighted viewers, consider this a warning.

That said – here goes.

First half – the spoiler free review

Rogue One is the Star Wars film you have been waiting on. And more specifically, if you have been a fan for a long time, it is the one you have been waiting on since “Revenge of the Sith”, Episode III of the saga, eleven years ago. Because, in short, it is exactly what Ep III was supposed to be, but was not.

Rogue One is “Episode 3,5″ in the continuum. It bears promise to tie off more of the loose ends than “Revenge…” did and it has also been promoted as a standalone introduction to Star Wars and bridge nicely to Ep IV – “A New Hope”, the film that started it all back in 1977.

So let’s just get this out of the system – it is the prequel AND sequel that is supposed to bring balance (…”to the Force.” As the prophecies have fortold). And yes. It delivers. I would argue, as a fan since my childhood in the 80s, that Rogue One is actually the strongest installment yet of all the eight films so far.

So what is so great about it? (Yeah – I promise again – no spoilers in this part!)

First of all – the dialogue. It sounds natural and it helps anyone who doesn’t see to follow the story really well. Even when you get to follow different groups in different places, director Gareth Edwards makes a great job of using just the exact right words to cue you in. The dialogue sounds natural, but could probably be used without images as a radio play, with little effort. So full points there.

Secondly – the story. The script is written by Tony Gilroy and Chris Weitz after an idea by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. As mentioned earlier, it is not easy to come up with “Episode 3,5″. You can risk either breaking continuity by including too much of your own stuff, or you might risk to just rehash the same ol’ same ol’. But Rogue One doesn’t feel like a fanfilm with a budget, but is a great film in it’s own right. Without breaking anything. Actually it adds depth and layers to the story, both in the prequels and the original trilogy.

Thirdly – the cast. The actors in this film really acts. They sound as if they believe what they say and every gasp of terror, sigh of relief or wide eyed awe is realistically acted out before the camera. In a film made in 2016 and hence is probably shot in great part before a green screen, that is an accomplishment in itself. The actors didn’t see what the audience sees, but have to react realistically to it. And they do. With honors. But it also shows that the actors themselves care about their roles, and it makes me believe in them and care about them too.

Rogue One is more than just entertainment. It is a very well made movie. I would go so far as to call it a “movie play”, because it is so immersing. If you are an old fan, just checking out the latest Star Wars movie, you will have a great experience full of “heck YES!”-moments and high fives with fellow fans. And if this is the introduction to the series for you, this is a treat, as well.

Regardless – don’t miss out.

Five light sabers out of five.

The part with (mild) spoilers in it

From where this film comes in the continuum of the series, you have probably already figured out that if Episode 1-3 was about how the Emperor came to power (populism and fear mongering), and Episode 4-6 was about the facist Empire and the tyranny of Vader and the Emperor, Ep 3,5 – Rogue One – is about how the Rebellion started. Simple cronology also suggests that Jedis and sword twirling will probably not take a huge place in the story.

The Ex-Jedi, proto-Rebel Alliance setting gives the story a special tone. The heroes are not part of a common Rebel Alliance, simply because such an alliance is not yet formed. Instead there are splinter groups and different motives, access to vital information and resources are all like scattered pieces of a broken lightsaber.

There have been mumblings on the Internet about the choices of making a woman be the main character, and having people of color being, you know, a normal part of the Star Wars universe. I, for one, welcome this diversity, even if some of it obviously is lost on a blind guy. I do hear, though, that people talk with different accents. And not in that Jar-Jary annoying kind of way, but as a way to make the story more believable. In this time period of the Star Wars saga, the story is about finding allies and friends, and they might come from all kinds of backgrounds.

As a blind person I also appreciate Donnie Yen’s character – Chirrut Imwe – the only “Force user” in the story. His role is important and adds to the overall story, but I find it important that he is not invincible. Instead he has to rely on the others in their little band of de facto, improvised, rebels. And they have to rely on him. The Jedi knights in Ep 1-3 had to be killed by deceit and by shooting them in the back. And the Jedi of episode 4-6 carries on the whole elite-thing. But here, you have a Force user that is a warrior-monk, sure, but still is vulnerable.

The film deals in contrasts. Small band of non-heroes against huge numbers of really corrupt evil hordes. Vulnerability versus Pride. Threat and violence vs hope. And this creates a dynamic in this fast paced, action packed film. It breathes life into an old concept. And this makes Rouge One to the film that you so desperately hoped that the Revenge of the Sith would be.

En tramsig julsång

2016 November 30
by mackan

I år står jag “grytvakt” vid Frälsningsarméns julgryta på Nätet.

Det är otroligt kul!

Min insamling stöder Julgrytan i Malmö och i Malmö behöver vi samla in 200.000 kronor till vår verksamhet för utsatta. Hjälpen kan röra sig om matkassar, presentkort, blöjor, kläder, skor samt rådgivning i frågor som rör funktionshinder och kontakt med myndigheter. Vi kommer även att anordna en julfest, öppet julfirande på julafton.

Det här övergripande insamlingsmålet har jag dock brutit upp lite och dagens mål var “minst tusen kronor”. Om vi skulle nå det tillsammans så skulle jag skriva och sjunga en julsång med ord som givarna själva bestämde.

Så här är den. Eller i alla fall texten – jag måste öva in den ordentligt innan jag kan göra en inspelning.

Oh – och orden jag fick var “A4-reglett”, “Magi” och “Mutten och Lutten”. De två sistnämnda är två apor som bor i en grön låda. Som min mamma hittat på. Så klart. Så. Here goes;

Det är sista november, har du snart handlat klart?
Kan du känna hur julstressen svettar?
Hela världen är fylld av Lucior med krans,
Av magi och av renar och vättar.
När din verklighet fylls utav klappar och glögg
och av A4-punktskriftsregletter
Och du längtar till frid och du saknar din fröjd
så du tar ett par Losec-tabletter

Har du glimrat ditt glam, har du glittrat din glans
ibland saffran och pepprade kaker?
Har du trängts med en folkhop för att ta dig nånstans
för att ännu en jul handla saker?
På din lista står Pokémon, Lego och gröt,
en låda med Mutten och Lutten -
det är två stycken apor, och de vill du ha
för att inte din jul må bli rutten!

Har du ännu ett år slagit handelsrekord,
har du spräckt både plånbok och svångrem?
Har du möjligen ännu en gång gjort din plikt
och fyllt magen, förråden och ångern?
- Ta en paus och besinna – ett barn är oss fött,
och han ligger där naken i kylan.
Där hörs änglarna sjunga om frid på vår jord
- om vi blott stänger av alla prylar.


Stort, stort tack alla som bidrog idag.

Pride. And prejudice.

2016 August 8
by mackan

I am, at the time of this writing, not entirely clear how to really start this conversation. So I will just start writing and tell you what happened and let you build your own conclusion or join in the conversation. I have waited for a day to start writing, but I don’t  really have a good beginning of the text, anyway. So I’ll just write.

So this last weekend Malmö Pride started.

I have not really taken part of the festivals before. Maybe I have gone to one or two workshops or seminars, but not beyond that. Which is, to be frank, kind of odd really. Because I have, for all my lifa, had all the reasons to parttake as an LGBT+ ally. In retrospect, it seems I just never really got around to it.

For full disclosure; I have always had openly gay people in my family and growing up, it was no more a mystery to me that some people fell in love with people of the same sex, than that others fell in love with people of the opposite. Love is the natural here. Love is the norm. So when people around me talk about “gay love”, “gay sex” or “gay marriage”, I kind of always become sort of uncomfortable. Because the way I grew up, I regard this as Love, Sex and Marriage, respectively.

The fact that I have not been to a pride-festival before makes me somewhat sad and inexplicably feel guilt. It feels as if I should have.

Anyway – this year I finally went. I have several people in my family whom I wanted to support and it just felt natural. And I am happy to have gone. (And to keep going to some smaller events, throughout this week). I feel that it somehow is my duty to show my solidarity and my pride to even be in this amazing family.

So.

Then, last Sunday, I was going to preach at my Salvation Army corps. So I went in uniform, as one usually does. And on the bus someone sat down next to me and begun a conversation.

This is in itself nothing unusual. It happens a lot. But this time the mood of the conversation was different than usual. The person decided to sit down with me and start condemning the Pride festival, the “LGBT movement” and “homosexual life style”, right there, on the bus. I made a few comments to the effect that I strongly disagreed and that I liked the whole deal with the festival. To which my co-traveller answered;

But you are in the Salvation Army, for God’s sake!

You are supposed to be against gays.

And the s/he left.

And now I am left with a terrible, terrible realisation that the movement I am a part of, the Salvation Army, has become a symbol of opposition against LGBT people.

When people see the uniform, and recognize it, it does not anymore testify to a faith of a loving God, of good news to all mankind, of Soup, Soap and Salvation. But it testifies of exclusion, opposition and in worst case hate. And it makes me very, vary sad. Right now, I can’t really deal with what I am feeling. People who see me in uniform might automatically think that I am “against homosexuality”, instead of someone to trust. It feels, genuinely, as the movement has spoiled it’s testimony and it scares me and makes me sad.

I am not sure how to move forward in this.

Dark Arts of Nerdery – Blind Crafting – a Water Elemental for DnD

2016 June 13
by mackan

My crafting for Dungeons and Dragons have really kicked off. I really like to make stuff. It gives me inner peace.

This water elemental is also sort of my own idea. Or rather, I used a set of technicques that I learned from watching different YouTube videos but remixed them into my own thing. So, here goes.

Water Elemental - Step 1 - I twisted some wet paper towels into "tentacles", reinforced with white glue, and stacked / shaped the tentacles into a spiraling whirl on a piece of cardboard.

Water Elemental - Step 1 - I twisted some wet paper towels into "tentacles", reinforced with white glue, and stacked / shaped the tentacles into a spiraling whirl on a piece of cardboard.

Water Elemental - Step 2: After the whirl had dried, I placed another sheet of wet kitchen towel on top to create a more watery, less snakey, surface for the miniature.

Water Elemental - Step 2: After the whirl had dried, I placed another sheet of wet kitchen towel on top to create a more watery, less snakey, surface for the miniature.

Water Elemental - Step 4: While the arms and fingers were drying, I started on the body by just running my Hot Glue Gun back and forth over a piece of plastic bag.

Water Elemental - Step 4: While the arms and fingers were drying, I started on the body by just running my Hot Glue Gun back and forth over a piece of plastic bag.

Dark Arts of Nerdery – Blind Crafting – more miniatures. Quick and easy.

2016 June 6
by mackan

I just wanted to share with you some very small ideas on how to quickly rustle up some goblinoid figures.

I experimented a lot on different kinds of paper for this, but what actually worked best was ordinary kitchen tissue paper, closely followed by ordinary printer paper.

What you need to make vaguely goblinoid miniatures

- Paper (tissue paper or printing paper)
- White glue
- optionally a bead for head.

How to do it.

My own process was a trial run, with different kinds of paper and card stock and stuff. Hence the kinda messy pictures. But… Without further ado.

First thing you do, cut a piece of paper about "6 heads" tall and wide. If you are going to make a great creature - use the head size, top to bottom, times 6 for length and width. Mine is a small one...

Step 1: First thing you do, cut a piece of paper about "6 heads" tall and wide. If you are going to make a great creature - use the head size, top to bottom, times 6 for length and width. Mine is a small one...

Step 2: From the top, cut a slit in the middle of the paper, one head-length down. From the bottom, a slit 2 to 3 head lengths...

Step 3: roll the paper from the sides. When you get to the middle cuts, twist the paper into arms and legs on the humanoid (goblinoid).

Step 3: roll the paper from the sides. When you get to the middle cuts, twist the paper into arms and legs on the humanoid (goblinoid).

Step 4: When you have the body shape you want on the paper figure, white glue everything in place.

Step 4: When you have the body shape you want on the paper figure, white glue everything in place.

Step 5: Attach the head. Either you simply roll one out of paper. But I can't be bothered so I use a bead instead.

Step 5: Attach the head. Either you simply roll one out of paper. But I can't be bothered so I use a bead instead.

You could of course always make lots of these. Each step above is a matter of seconds, all except between step 4 and 5, which is where I went to sleep to let the glue dry.

I have also not yet mounted these, or painted them, but that is a matter of hot glue and a washer for mounting and a fairly quick paintjob.

I will certainly do this and make a little army of nasties for my players to encounter, along the line.

But the huge difference between these and the skeletons / undeads I have made earlier, is the time to make ‘em. I could literally make a dozen of these in like half an hour.

So that’s all for today. Über-simple miniatures galore!

Dark Arts of Nerdery – Miniature making. For non-visual crafters / DnD-players

2016 May 30
by mackan

A few of my readers know that when I lost my eye-sight, a few years back, I started to look for games to play with my kids, And that is pretty much how I got back into RPGs after having been away for almost 20 years (with just an occasional game here and there).

I have blogged about how I started to play the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, here. How it was to DM it, in a group of visual players, very much into miniatures and counting squares. (IE 4 ed players…). And I recently blogged about having started to make my first dungeon tiles.

Now, my kids are both sighted and they LOVE miniatures. But I don’t really have the dough to buy every monster, hero or other figurine they want. And then I ran into DM Scotty’s and DMG Info YouTube channels. and I got so pumped with creativity!

I want to make it very clear to everybody that I have pretty much taken their designs, as I understand them, and maybe only slightly tweaked the methods for un-sighted DM-crafters. And here are my first miniatures.

Undeads. (Skeletons and Zombies)

Gerry from DMG Info has a great video on how to make skeletons. Here are the method I used from that video (and later built upon, to make zombies).

FIRST – A FAIR WARNING:
I used to solder before. A LOT. I have mended more mic cords than you have probably seen in your whole life. So I have a soldering iron and I have soldered a few things even since I lost eye-sight. But. It is effing hard. And you can really hurt yourself with molten solder. So. Know what you are doing lest you hurt yourself.

With that said – what you need to make a wire skeleton:

What You Need

What you need to make a skeleton

4 pieces of wire. 3*2 cm and one of 3 cm.
Soldering iron.
Solder (duh)
Something to wrap your longer wire piece around. I took a small Allen key.
Tongs and Wirecutter. I have miniature ones.
Paint.
Blue tack / clay or something to keep parts, temporarily, from moving while you solder them.

Step one – form the rib cage.

Take the longer piece (3 cm) of wire and wrap it around something thin so you get a spring. This is going to be the rib cage of your skeleton.

Step two – form the spine and hip bone.

Take one of the pieces of wire and find, roughly, where the middle is. Now, form one half of the wire into a little loop. This is the hip bone of the skeleton.

Skeleton parts

Wire. Formed into skeleton parts

Step three – attach the ribcage to the spine.

Thread the ribcage onto the spine and push it all down into the blue tack, so that it is laying still. The ribcage should be in the middle of the straight spine, IE half way up from the hip bone loop. Solder it in place.

Now – I believe I said earlier that you should know how to do that or jump to the Zombies part already? Yeah. I meant that. But as a small piece of advice, get the iron well heated up and then hold it to the ribcage/spine for a while to heat that up before you try to melt the solder onto it. It is hard and I had to redo this several times, because it would fall apart when I took it out of the Blue tack.

Four – make and attach the legs.

I basically just bended one of the other wire pieces into a “U”-shape and then soldered them to the bottom of the hip bone loop. Again – Blue tack is your friend.

Five – mount the arms.

Arms are attached right on top of the rib cage, but soldered to the spine. Blue tack is your friend.

Six – Attach head.

I simply glued a bead in place and painted it all.

Unpainted skeleton

Unpainted skeleton.

And thus the skeleton itself is complete. I use 1 inch washers as a base to mount my miniatures on, so I did the same here. Two drops of hot glue from my glue gun and it was done.

Using washers, I think, is really good since it makes the miniatures really bottom-heavy and stable. They are harder to knock over on the table when you play and I am thinking about glueing washers to all my bought miniatures’ bases too, for this reason. Eventually I am thinking about making magnetic tiles to play on… More on that later, I guess.

I paint all my miniatures with black acrylic paint as a base. Then I highlight with different shades of grey, to make the shading kind of “pop out”. Now – this process is really hard to describe, since I don’t actually see the results.

But I dillute the paint with water, somewhat, on the paintbrush so that it will get everywhere on the model. And then I apply the first layer. All black.

The skeleton is supposed to be rather light grey. I hope that it is. My fiancé tells me it looks fine, so I trust her. But I paint it with light grey by just dabbing the paint on, very lightly. My hope is that it will NOT cover some parts, and there will be a natural shading to it that way.

Sighted players can judge the picture below.

The skeleton, painted

The skeleton, painted. Base painted black.

Now Zombies

Making zombies came as an afterthought for me. Soldering the skeleton was really, really hard. So my idea was to hot glue the next couple of skeletons together. I mean, you can never have enough skeletons, right?

Anyway – hot glue is great in a lot of crafting. But it is rather messy. It left large gloopy bubbles of paint or the joint would just break. One can think of this as a problem. Or one can think of this as an opportunity.

I mean –  skeletons certainly don’t have gloopy joints. But what if I could use the hot glue gun to add “flesh” to a more zombie like monster?

So – think of my zombies more like “hot glued skeletons”. With extra hot glue on the parts where I wanted to have some rotting flesh.

Zombie or Banshee or something-

So this is my first zombie. Clothes made from toilet paper. I think it is an undead necromancer. My friends tell me it is a Banshee.

During the process, it became clear to me, though, that I could also add clothes to them, in order to cover up some faults. So I basically rolled some small pieces of toilet paper around the legs to form pants legs, or a skirt. Small square pieces became shirts or mantles.

My first zombie became an undead necromancer – s/he has a cloak and a bead as an orb.

My later tries involved tissue paper to make pants and skirts and shirts and it eventually became this rather cute zombie couple. (Once they were finished, though, I fell in love with them, and let them fall in love with each other, so now they are dancing. Facing each other in an undieing embrace. Open ribcage to open ribcage.

Yup. I am quite the romantic.)

I only have black and white paint at home, so all I can do is black and white and different shades of grey. But sometimes I think that can be good, too. At least for more spooky kind of monsters.

Mr and Mrs Zombie. Unpainted. Glued wire skeletons with tissue paper-and-white glue clothes.

Mr and Mrs Zombie. Unpainted. Glued wire skeletons with tissue paper-and-white glue clothes.

Zombie couple dancing. Painted and mounted.

Zombie couple dancing. Painted and mounted. Not all girlfriends get these kinds of gifts, but mine did.

Dark Arts of Nerdery – Blind Craft: Making Dungeon Tiles for DnD

2016 May 13
by mackan

To be honest I have just made one. To see how hard it is. But I wanted to share with you (and brag) how it came out. As always in a “Things I Have Not Seen”-fashion.

So – advice for cheap GMs, crafty blind folk and other hobbyists to follow:

First - I started with a sheet of roughly 12 cm by 60 cm thick cardboard. Unpainted.

First - I started with a sheet of roughly 12 cm by 60 cm thick cardboard. Unpainted.

I had some ideas for this project. First – I wanted it to be CHEAP. Like, preferrably, dirt cheap. As in made of scraps that I would otherwise throw away.

Secondly – I wanted to see if it was as SIMPLE as I had imagined, when checking out the Dungeon Master G, who has this really cool show on YouTube on how to make a LOT of DnD miniature stuff. Could I even pull this off, not seing?

This is important – all methods here are his. I have only learned by listening to YouTube. Any credit for cool looking tiles goes to him.

The cardboard used for this project came from packaging for the boys’ new beds, so it was totally worth trying out this… The paint came at about 40 SEK each for white and black – so… 8 USD in total?

It took 15 minutes for the black paint to dry up enough for me to continue, so the whole piece took like 30 minutes or so to make. Totally feasible for a blind person. If you are into crafting your own stuff.

For those of you who see with your eyes – how does it look? Good enough to play an encounter on?

I used a sponge to paint the cardboard with black acrylic paint as a primer / background.

I used a sponge to paint the cardboard with black acrylic paint as a primer / background.

My Fiancé, who sees a little bit with her eyes, helped me cut out a 1 inch by 1 inch (2,5 cm * 2,5 cm) sponge

My Fiancé, who sees a little bit with her eyes, helped me cut out a 1 inch by 1 inch (2,5 cm * 2,5 cm) sponge

Squirt out a little white paint, and on the larger white paint, put a smaller blob of black paint. Use the sponge to apply in square-ish, stone-ish shapes. The paints will mix into a grey-ish / highlighted / shadowed stone pattern.

Squirt out a little white paint, and on the larger white paint, put a smaller blob of black paint. Use the sponge to apply in square-ish, stone-ish shapes. The paints will mix into a grey-ish / highlighted / shadowed stone pattern.

Stamp the sponge into stone-ish shapes, forming a grid-ish pattern (it can be used as a "battle-grid", roughly, for those who play that way).

Stamp the sponge into stone-ish shapes, forming a grid-ish pattern (it can be used as a "battle-grid", roughly, for those who play that way).

The "finished" corridor. And the messy table around it.

The "finished" corridor. And the messy table around it.

Finished piece with miniatures. Close up.

Finished piece with miniatures. Close up.

The finished piece with figurines. Zoom out.

The finished piece with figurines. Zoom out.