Thursday, January 26, 2017

Describe Your Hero!

One of the best things about custom miniatures is that you can design your hero from the ground up and know that it is your vision of your hero, not someone else's. I wanted to invite our readers and social media friends to post their characters and links to their Hero Forge builds to show off how you've chosen to represent your character with Hero Forge!

One good turn deserves another, so in exchange, Hero Forge co-founder Joshua Bennett has written up a short post about his current charters and show the Hero Forge design I've built to capture him.

___________________________
Character Name: Jack
Player Name: Joshua
Character Pseudonyms:
  • Jack of all Trades
  • Jumpin' Jack
  • Big Jack (in halfling Villages)
  • Little Jack (in half-orc villages)
System: DnD 5e
Race: Half-Elf
Class: Level 8 Bard
Character Sheet Picture:



Description:

Jack is a young, slight half-elf. He's 5'8" and about 145 pounds. He's handsome, androgynous, has pale skin, silver hair, and gray eyes. He's fabulously vain and, beneath his engraved studded leather, dresses in great finery and patterned silks which he keeps immaculately clean.

He plays flute, lute, and violin, though he typically only carries one with him at a time. He favors the violin. He carries a light crossbow slung across his back and a rapier at his side, though he rarely uses either, preferring to employ his musical magics in combat exclusively. He always wears a large, floppy hat with a white feather stuck in the brim, well-oiled leather boots, and gloves which he's had a tailor convert to a fingerless variety.

He has a large 'entertainer's pack' he carries on the road which has all the necessary equipment for performances of all varieties, including changes of clothes for a variety of situations. It's stuffed to the brim with strange and arcane items he's picked up on the road: magical shoes that force the wearer to dance themselves to death, large crystal spikes meant for holding and transferring multidimensional spirits into corporeal bodies, spider-silk rope, and much more that neither I, nor he, can remember in full.

He comes off as cocky and a drunk, as many great musicians do, but with a sense of profound sadness. His home town, a village once called Fairwater, was destroyed by the fall of a cloud giant's sky palace, Pledged to rebuild it from rubble, he has joined an adventuring guild to amass a fortune.

___________________________

Narrative Introduction: "The Guild Palantine Tavern: A Common Scene"

A lanky, lily-skinned half-elf sits singing across the room from you in the dimly-lit Guild Palantine bar, his feet up on a table. this is something Percy the bartender typically reprimands guildies for, but inexplicably the silver-haired elf gets no guff from the bartender or servers--only smiles and a fresh round as soon as he finishes his previous one. He gently plays an original tune on his lute and does not interrupt his song when they place a fresh tankard by his feet, but smiles warmly at the server from beneath a large swashbuckler's hat.

Many patrons have stopped talking to listen. Jack's impromptu performances have become something of a tradition in Palantine in the past year or so as he is never far from his instruments, nor from the tavern, come nightfall. More heads turn as Jack slowly builds the volume of his song, and Cotton Yeung, one of he oldest guild rangers who is never quiet, slaps one of his bar-mates in the chest to silence him. Jack leans further back in his chair, balancing atop the two rear legs, and despite being clearly, deeply intoxicated, his balance is perfect, showing not so much as a wobble as he plays.

The finery of his clothes is striking, especially considering the dirty fare that road-weary guild rangers typically wear. But inexplicably his engraved, studded leather is polished and oiled to store-window shine, and the crisp, clean silk pants and gambeson beneath are immaculate. The large silver buckles on his fingerless gloves and tall leather boots gleam in the tavern's candlelight. In fact, the indigo Palantine cloak, currently draped across the chair behind him, seems to be the most worn thing about him, its edges lightly singed as though from fire.

His shoulder-length, straight hair spills over the back of the chair and luxuriously waved about like a horse's tail as he shakes his head back and forward while he soulfully sings a melancholy chorus. His voice is honey, dripping with the weight of the epic tale he tells in song.

His lute is hand-painted with elaborate red symbols, though whether they are arcane symbols or simple decoration, you can't be sure. Though it could be mistaken for the glint of candlelight off the light wood, you are nearly certain that the instrument is glowing softly, a feint blue light pulsing with the beat. He fingers move faster and faster, plucking the strings with deft skill.

Then all at once, with heartbreaking sadness in his voice, Jack finishes his song, stopping short of an ending that is as-of-yet unwritten. He stands, suddenly looking very unsteady on his feet, and finishes his last ale with a solemn gulp. The tavern-goers are silent, and one of the barmaids wipes away a tear.

"That's the tale," he slurs, "of Giant's Landing. M'home..." Now that he is not playing, he suddenly he looks like a normal, sad drunk in fancy clothes. He bows deeply to the Tavern, but as he doubles over he fails to rights himself and collapses onto the table before him, sliding to the floor and knocking his rapier, crossbow, and several empty steins to the ground. The barmaid quickly walks over, producing a rag to wipe up the spilled booze and calls for help to get Jack back into his chair.

___________________________

So, dear reader: who is your hero?

Cheers,
Joshua Bennett

Co-Founder of Hero Forge

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy Holidays--Another Update for Hero Forge!

Hello Again Hero Forge Fans, 
We've been quietly working over the last few months to bring you more parts and features, and we're excited to announce our biggest update yet. This release includes new user-facing content and frequently requested features, updates to our menu, and a lot of behind-the-scenes improvements to performance which should make Hero Forge run faster and smoother for most of our users. Read on for details or visit www.heroforge.com to see the latest. We've changed a lot under the hood to improve performance, so let us know if you're seeing any new or out-of-the-ordinary behavior, and feel free to post your feedback in the comments section below.

NEW PARTS


This is our biggest part release yet, with over 50 new additions and seven new 'preconfig' outfit and race options. Check out the "New" category in the "Genres" tab to see all the newest content. Also note that we have updated the defult loading genre to "all" so you will see all of our parts, but you can still use the 'Genre' tab to filter down to genre-specific parts. We have added:
-One new 'bovine' head option
-Three new horn options
-One new tail option
-Five new headwear options
-One new face slot option
-Four new shoulder armor parts
-Five new chest pieces
-Four new gauntlet options
-Six new legwear parts
-Five new footwear options
-Three new handheld item options
-Five new side-item options
-Ten new Base Item options
-A special new base label option


NEW FEATURES
We are continuing to add new features as well, working on content from our very long and ambitious user-request wishlist. Some of these are smaller features we're excited to finally get to, while others are early steps towards more ambitious features which we still look forward to adding.

-We have added a much-requested "mirror pose" option which will allow you to flip each pose to a mirrored version--lefites rejoice!

-You now have the ability to add your own text to the base. Under the "base label" tab, select the "your text" option and enter up to twelve characters of your own text. Enter your character name, player names, class info, or anything else you can think of to the bottom of your base.

-We have updated our menu to 1/3rd of the screen and centered the character in the active window to the left to make browsing our menus easier and faster.

-We have added a drop-down filter to our "handheld Items" category so you can select and filter for specific item types, allowing you to browse or find items more readily.

-We've added a small range of other menu improvements, ranging from tab icons, a more responsive menu, and a range of minor usability and style improvements.

-Many users will also see greatly improved load and save times for just about every aspect of our site, as we've continued to improve efficiency and optimization on our back-end, making the site easier to use and more responsive. 
MATERIAL NEWS and KICKSTARTER VOUCHERS
After extremely positive reviews (linklinklink), we happy to announce that we are taking our "gray plastic" option our of beta, replacing "Ultra Detail" as our flagship material option. We are renaming it to "Premium Plastic" and also renaming our "strong plastic" material to "Nylon Plastic."

We will be retiring the older "Ultra Detail" material by the end of November, but will leave it up for the coming week for those of you who want to order any last miniatures in the translucent plastic.

HERO FORGE GIFT VOUCHERS
Just in time for the holidays, we have updated our voucher system so you can more easily give the gift of custom miniatures. We have made our material and shipping option selection more straightforward and granular to make it easier for you to select and add exactly the vouchers you need.

That's all for now. As always, thanks for checking in and feel free to leave comments below or reach out to support@heroforge.com with questions, comments, or suggestions. Happy Holidays, and until next time...

Cheers,
The Hero Forge Team

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    Hero Forge Update - Gray Plastic Returns!

    For the past several months, many users have been requesting an update regarding the Gray Plastic beta material we'd run back in April and May. We've been listening and actively working around the clock to reintroduce this option. We're now happy to announce that we've reintroduced this material option for a second round of beta testing.

    As before, we want to make it clear that this material is still new to us and our manufacturing partners, and as a beta material may be subject to extended fulfillment times. We have relaunched this material with a slightly increased price point of $29.99 to compensate for some of the production challenges we've encountered for this material, but based on user reviews, feedback, and our experience with the material, we're optimistic that many users will find it to be a great option for highly detailed, paintable, custom miniatures. We can't wait to hear more feedback from users about this new product offering.

    For those of you who missed the first beta, our Gray Plastic is a dark gray plastic material with superior detail and durability compared to our ultra detail plastic option. For more information, you can view our Material and Pricing documentation: https://www.heroforge.com/Materials/ where we talk about the materials properties and process.





    We look forward to hearing your feedback. Don't hesitate to reach out with your questions or comments below and let us know what you think. We thank you again for your ongoing interest, support, and engagement in our quest to bring customized tabletop miniatures to the world.

    Cheers,
    The Hero Forge Team

    Thursday, August 4, 2016

    Hero Forge Update - New Parts

    Greetings, Hero Forge Fans. We're happy to announce another update to our mini builder. Come by www.heroforge.com and check out the "new" category to take a look at the fresh content, or read on for a list of recent additions.

    New Parts
    -Six new hair options
    -Four new beard options
    -Thirteen new handheld item options
    -One new side item option
    -Two new helms
    -Two new shoulder armor options
    -Two new chest pieces
    -Two new glove/gauntlet options
    -Two new legwear options
    -Two new footwear options
    -Two new base item options
    -Two new "outfit" preconfigs: a Grecco-Roman armor set and a dwarven armor set.

    In other news, we are experiencing an issue with order tracking, with orders listed as "unknown" on the user profile page. We are working to correct this issue and apologize for the inconvenience. No news on the return of the beta Gray Plastic option yet. We are still working with out manufacturing partner researching it's long-term sustainability. While we have no news or ETA for a return of the material, we will post any news as it comes to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Thanks for checking in, and feel free to leave comments below or reach out to support@heroforge.com with questions, comments, or suggestions. Until next time...

    Cheers,
    The Hero Forge Team

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    Another update!

    Hello there, Hero Forge Fans. We just released another update that we're excited to tell you about. Come by www.heroforge.com and check out the "new" category to take a look at the fresh content, or read on for a list of recent additions. 
    NEW PARTS:
    We've added nearly 40 new parts, including many frequently requested items from our user wishlist.
    -Three new headwear items
    -Three new shoulderpad options
    -Two new chest options
    -Two new glove options
    -Three new legwear items, including the frequently requested kilt
    -Two new footwear options
    -Two new base item options
    -Twenty-three new handheld options including new spell effects to accessorize your magical character, new instruments for those of the bardic persuasion, new firearms, a D20, and more
    -Two new outfit configs: a "Sorceress" and a robotic "Power Armor"
    -We've also added the ability to customize your eye options. Now robotic eyes or humanoid eyes are individually selectable for your character, whichever face option you select. As with many L and R slots, you can click the link/unlink button for asymmetric options.

    NEW FEATURES: 
    We've also added a slew of other improvements, features, and bug fixes.
    -We now accept Paypal as a payment option!
    -We've added social logins for Facebook and Google+, making is easier and faster than ever to register and save characters
    -Updating and improving some per-item sub-poses

    GRAY PLASTIC BETA MATERIAL UPDATE: 
    As some of you who follow our Facebook page or Twitter will know already, our Gray Plastic beta material is temporarily disabled due to an overwhelming number of orders from users who wanted to try it out. Users who opted for this beta material have experienced the extended fulfillment times warned in the material description, but we're working through those orders in the order they were received and getting orders into users hands as quickly as possible. Once we finish filling the remaining orders and increasing out capacity, we plan to bring it back soon--no firm ETA yet, but we'll keep you updated. The reviews have been very positive, so stay tuned for more news here, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

    As always, we're excited to hear what you think so drop by the site, check out the new content, and let us know. Thanks for checking in, and feel free to leave comments below or reach out to support@heroforge.com with questions, comments, or suggestions. Until next time...

    Cheers,
    The Hero Forge Team

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Beta Gray Plastic Delays

    Due to overwhelming demand, our beta Gray Plastic material is currently at capacity. We are temporarily disabling orders in this experimental material until we catch up on existing orders and increase manufacturing capacity to meet demand.
    For users currently awaiting orders in the beta material, we apologize for the protracted wait. We are working to get more accurate estimates of the extended fulfillment time (the "expected ship dates" currently quote our typical time-frame rather than the current extended beta material speeds). We will continue to work through orders in the order they were received, but should you wish to cancel your order or re-place an order in a new material, please reach out to support@heroforge.com. Thank you for your patience, and helping us push the boundaries of 3D printing manufacturing technology.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    Another big update: nearly 50 new parts and a new plastic material option!

    We've happy to report that we just released another exciting update--our biggest batch of parts yet, and an exciting new plastic material option that we think you'll love. Read on for more details, and head over to www.heroforge.com to check out the new content!

    New Material
    We've added a cool new plastic material option. Our new "Gray Plastic" is produced using a DLP SLA-based 3D printing technology which makes our smoothest, most detailed models yet, and is stronger than our original plastic options to boot. It is a slightly glossy, opaque gray which makes the fine detail really "pop" right out of the box.
    Our "NEW Gray Plastic" Material has the sharpest detail yet!
    Our "NEW Gray Plastic" Material has the sharpest detail yet!
    We've launched this new beta material at $26.99. As with all beta materials, it may be subject to extended fulfillment times as production ramps up on these new machines. We've also updated our system to allow backers' vouchers for the ultra detail plastic to apply their value towards this material and pay the difference, so feel free to try it out! If you experience any issues, please report them to support@heroforge.com.

    New Parts
    We've also added another content update--our biggest yet with nearly 50 new parts. This update includes a long list of items pulled from our user-request wishlist and a new "Base Item" slot, available under base, which will allow you to decorate your mini's base with cool new items, including the much-anticipated cat familiar!
    We've added new armor sets, weapons, and a new "Base Items" slot!
    We've added new armor sets, weapons, and a new "Base Items" slot!
    What's New:
    -5 new "outfit" sets
    -7 new head-wear items
    -1 new face item
    -2 new shoulder armor items
    -5 new chest pieces
    -3 new gloves
    -4 new leg-wear items
    -4 new footwear items
    -12 new handheld items
    -9 new "base items" to decorate your base with
    We're excited to hear what you think, so drop by the site, check out the new content, and let us know. Thanks for checking in, and feel free to leave comments below or reach out to support@heroforge.com with questions, comments, or suggestions. Until next time...
    Cheers,  The Hero Forge Team