Monday 7 June 2010

Miniatures Monday - Holy Orders

Which is better?

"I turn the ghouls"


"Back, foul shambling shapes of corruption, I banish thee to the graves whence you came, in the name of (insert your deity's name here)"

Well, of course we'd all like to think we'd be the latter, putting the maximum effort into role-playing the cleric, but after a while, we default to the former and I think that games are possibly the poorer for it.

If you do want to go for the Laurence Olivier approach to playing a cleric, then this is the figure for you. Just look at that dour, humourless and very earnest face, framed by a cowl and - for good measure, in case the deity is off making a cup of tea - a helm. That's the sort of face that would willingly turn heretics into bonfires, put a hand to the Inquisition's rack and, yes, use twenty words to turn undead where only four would do.

The shading on the robes is perhaps a little heavy-handed, but bear in mind that the figure is only 25mm and on the table (rather than exposed to the merciless eye of the digicam and flash) would probably look a lot better. Again, the metal of the breastplate, what can be seen of it, is suitably tarnished, and the tiny pouches at the belt are well done. Note the way in which the belt buckle is picked out in metal, compared to the leather of the belt itself.

The club in the right hand, presumably there in case faith has to be backed up with deeds looks menacingly chunky and those knobbles would make a dent in many an orc's head. In fact, the cross itself is heavy enough to do 1d4 of damage if wielded in anger.

The (lack of) wisdom of wearing a white under-robe into a dungeon is exemplified by the generally grubby finish that Andy has given it. That's definitely a sixty degree wash.

Playing men in skirts is an interesting feature of running magic users and clerics (the enfolding swathes of cloth would surely hinder the expeditious retreat of this holy man). Poking out from under his hem are his sandals, which - while authentic for this monastically-oriented cleric - might be a bit impractical in the dungeon environment. I can just imagine a 1st level cleric, having just begun his career in dungeons complaning that he can't go down that tunnel because he'd get his robes dirty and the underground stream would give him chillblains.

It's given me an idea that clerics and the religious in general might make a good theme for the Hooks Alphabet. I'll mull it over and see what comes up.

I'm hoping to post something on the Solo Dungeon this week and something a little tasty that might be of use to you all as well. If not, then I'll see you on Friday for some more art.


  1. I agree with your assessment, sometimes we spend so much time getting the fig just right, that it takes it forever to get it to the table.

    Who was the manufacturer of that little gem of a fig?

  2. All the figures that I've featured in this run are Citadel Miniatures from way back when; possibly 1982-3. They made some good figures back then.

  3. first good analysis I've read of practical considerations with robes in the dungeon environment. Actually, It's the only one I've ever read. ;)

  4. "I turn the ghouls" or
    "Back, foul shambling shapes of corruption, I banish thee to the graves whence you came, in the name of (insert your deity's name here)"

    I provide a bonus to the cleric for being more theatric, they get a bonus to turning and more exp.

  5. Looking forward to the solo dungeon. I'm curious how you develop it.

    The miniature looks great to me. I won the coolest owlbear miniature from Otherworld Miniatures and it will look like a black ooze by the time I get done painting it.

  6. Your miniature looks great. I got an owlbear mini from Otherworld miniatures and it will probably end up looking like a Black Ooze by the time I get done with it.

    Clerics should be dramatic. Robes definately help add flair, but suck when they get caught snagged on a door handle as you flee from a giant mind flayer. Oh, not mind flayer, I'm not allowed to use that. A giant flayer of fish.

  7. Clerics and their robes - strangely enough, this is one area that LARPers would have some meaningful input.

    (that's a sentence you don't hear very often)

  8. Figures in robes look good but the robes are not really practical as you write. I know that priests in battle in the medieval period wore the same as everyone else, so perhaps our clerics in the dungeon should do the same. Looking at wizards, the Karameikos gazetteer actually explicitly states that they wear the same clothes as everyone else. Be careful whom you try to rob there! :-)