A peek into Invincible’s Lair
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:16 pm 
 

A peek into Invincible's Lair

I'm completely aggravated----I can't find a free web site to host more than a few pics without trying to charge me, and Josh is out of town until after Thanksgiving. So here's just a few till after turkey-day.

<edit> Pics posted thanks to Ralf  :D + I'll post even better ones after Thanksgiving. These are ok, but I'm sure I can do much better..

See Ralf's post below-

The pic of the game room with the books in the closet is mirrored with books on the other side of the closet. Also this is only ¾ of what will be the library at the upcoming location will have. The other ¼ is in collections of 2 of the crew waiting to donate once the game-hall is finished, we just have no more room. And you're not seeing almost 3,000 painted miniatures, and beyond the imagination in playing aids castles, sci-fi vehicles, and mountains (literally), just about any gaming scenario a DM could dream of.   

I'm also going to repost my two current posts here to get this off Nev's thread.

Feel free to comment about any ideas you've had for the ultimate GAME ROOM!


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:18 pm 
 

From a coversation with The Dead Lord

Interesting you asked this question. I've been waiting until I'm able to post pics directly onto the forum which should be any day now. So I'll wet the whistle about what you're soon to see. We've taken about 15 nice digital photos of our current art room that we are at present displaying all the collecting goodies and our game room where we have all our painted miniatures, castles, and terrain. As soon as Josh the newest member of our crew posts them to his URL you'll be able to take a peek into Invincible's Lair.

Getting back to your question, I feel atmosphere is most important aspect other than a good DM. Think about it, ever played a game where the players are sprawled out all over the living room? As compared to a nice round table where the players are in tight facing each other? In the first the players tend to drift, some may even fall asleep, and the game seems to loose focus. However in the case of the round table the game tends to be much more intense. Ideas, actions, and role-play seem to be a higher level no pun intended.

Now add in some of the background music you asked about, light some candles, dim the lights --- And Whamo! Some of my earliest and favorite gaming experiences were played this way. So it always sort of stuck in my mind that one day I could build a game room where the DM could completely control the atmosphere therefore heightening the game to the next level.

Well here it is twenty-five years after my first experiences with gaming and I've with the help of many friends with technical knowledge built the proto-type. I've wired the game room with 5.1 surround sound linked to a laptop computer facing the DM. I've also linked a second flat panel monitor facing the players for showing the them maps, pics of NPC's , terrain photos etc. I have an external sound manager linked into the laptop that I can simultaneously run up to 20 sound files and manipulate them in real-time. Background breeze to howlling storm with every degree in-between, Tavern music and laughter to the dripping of cave water, we've cataloged almost 2000 sound files. The DM simply before the game selects what he'll need for that game and uploads them onto a window on the computer. What's nice is you can also edit these files together and make something really cool like waves at sea, creaking boards, and gusting wind and wow you feel like you're in the hold of an old ship. Save it and it's ready to go for your game. The program is amazing it loupes the files and I've gotten very good at a seamless edit.

To heighten the experience even more the DM also has 28 lights at his control. He has everything from four main lights to Red, Blue, and Green ground and ceiling lights all on dimmers. There are also specialty lights and colors to work with, and the craziest thing we've come up with is a fake fire place that works off colored lights, a fan, and piece of silk. It doesn't sound like much, but when it's on inside the plaster and cardboard stone façade it looks very real. Put that baby on at about half speed with the other two torch lights that work in the same way with some background tavern sounds and role-playing goes off the chart.

I've done extensive play testing in the room and all who have played from old-school to young kids say they had one of the best gamming experiences. Funny note one of the first games play tested in the room we had 2 smoke machines hooked up as well, so in the climax of the game where the players entered the red dragon's lair I filled the room with smoke and nearly killed everyone with smoke inhalation. So that idea quickly what out the window. Play testing has been a big part of getting it to run seamlessly.

Future updates include replacing the flat panel facing the players with a Plasma Projector projecting onto a 6' wide screen and running edited video clips from movies, documentaries, etc. Also one of the guys in our crew works at the DJ store and there's a new piece of equipment that has a 50,000 word vocabulary for running an audio interface with your computer. So the DM in the future will simply say Run Desert program 1 and it will take you to a calm desert, or Run Desert program 10 will take you to a sandstorm.

This all may seem crazy I know. But it puts a whole new twist on RPG's not to mention the power back in the hands of the DM. The visual and the audio is the one thing computer RPG's have over the DM, but not anymore. And believe me the heightened audio and visual elevates the game especially the role-playing aspect. So with enough said I'll shut up and post the pics ASAP.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:19 pm 
 

I knew this was going to shock a few people, so I'll defend myself now. First off let me start by saying I'm from the old school so I don't need all these gadgets to play the game. The game I'm playing in now the DM isn't using any of the sounds or lights except the house ones and we're having a blast. The room is very multipurpose great for stand up war games to the most intense role-playing experiences. Every aspect of the room was designed to be versatile from again the sounds and lights to even our playing aids that are all interchangeable. It's like a giant Lego set for the mind that you can create any world. We are fortunate to have the finances and the space to even consider this fantasy if you will.

RPG's, D&D in particular has had a major influence in my life. It's bonded me together with life long friends. Some who've stayed around and others, who moved along, but it's that bond in life not just as friends, but in our jokes, our mannerisms, and what we find funny. Just like us here bound together with a language that others wouldn't even begin to understand the humor.

A long time ago I began plans for this project, and I watched as technology began to become cheaper and better until then my finances became able to make this dream a reality. Along the way I found a few other liked minded individuals and actually went into business with one in the glorious late 90's internet boom in the form of one of the first internet design companies in South Florida. We worked a lot and the game was sort of our outlet not just in playing (something we didn't have much time for), but in our humor. I always said if I make it I'm going to build an amazing game hall.

So more time passed and I worked and collected and worked and collected some more, I also took a few summers of hiatus from normal work managing a band and collected from coast to coast. So the pile was growing and so were my ideas for creating this hall.

Then out of nowhere, I met my buddy Shawn one fateful day at the game store. This guy had just as much stuff as I did, I couldn't believe it. And this guy could paint min's too! So a friendship developed, that ended up as business partners in property development. That's how we have this extra room to house this monstrosity in one of our unused spaces. That was three years ago and the collection has more than doubled since then. Many old gamers form the old days gave us, and I do mean "GAVE " us (Thank you guys) piles of books, miniatures, and memorabilia. It was old, new, valuable, all kinds of stuff. I had a notice at the game store for new players up all the time and room for them in the game or not I'd have them over. We'd become friends and the next thing I knew they'd show up with a box full of old RPG's, miniatures, etc. Many times I tried to offer some cash, but they'd refuse or say you get the pizza tonight. So as it stands now we're only a few book's shy of every TSR D&D product produced including most of the rares. Non-D&D TSR is pretty strong as well, and then you can double that in other RPG's and games.

As far as audio and visual aspect it's just the beginning of the next evolution in RPG's. The technology is there for us to use it's amazing I'm telling you. Once you master the controls it's like playing the guitar or like singing a song it flows with your story telling.
Beyond any role-playing experience I've ever had. And when it's time for a combat just bring up the house lights to desired level set out your dungeon tiles, ground terrain, miniatures, whatever you need, or just role your dice. It's all controlled at the DM's fingertips. And when I transfer it over to an audio interface then things are going to get really crazy. But I wont get ahead of myself I haven't done that yet, Ill post the results down the line.

Finally now that I've been rambling on forever and most must be questioning my sanity, my only defense is a quote from the bottom of Traveller's posts "There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line" I also quote Field of Dreams "If you build it they will come". I guess this is how so much of this stuff ended up here, sort of a game-hall of dreams. And one more thing since I've exposed myself I'd like to say I'm so glad I found the Acaeum it filled in a gap not only in what we needed to complete our collection, but its opened up a whole world of our early history to me, plus everyday I get to talk to a bunch really cool guys from all over the world. Thanks Scott.

I know I'll post more pics ASAP!

Mike a.k.a. Invincible 8)


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:13 pm 
 

Invincibleoverlord;

I really like what you guys have done to the place....

In the upper portions of your first picture (the art room) The wallpaper looks suspiciously like some rare items that I am searching for.
Must be the ambient lighting.... :roll:

So, is the sign something someone just made, or is it really a sign made for/by TSR?

Nice place and congratulations on a very nice achievement. 8)

I wish that building was in Northeast Texas. If it was, then I would most certainly stop by to visit.... quite often....  I would probably wear out my welcome in no time. :wink:

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:22 pm 
 

can't see pics

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:31 pm 
 

Aneoth,

The sign directed you up the drive to the old TSR head quarters in Lake Geneva. It was one of two signs that were liberated when WOTC bought TSR. The other sign apparently broke when it was taken down and was discarded. I've often wondered how many of the old TSR employees we mythologize about probably hate this thing, it meant you'd arrived at work and Egg was inside cracking the whip. But I'm sure there are some found memories as well. All those seasons it diligently pointed the way the work place of the dreamers.

I don't know what happened to the pics, the hosting site must be on the fritz! :evil:

I give up, anyone know a hosting site I can post a few pics?

Thanks,
Mike


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:16 pm 
 

Ralf is going to be swell guy and post our photos. I've also included pics of some of our miniature work.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:49 pm 
 

I'm hosting the pictures until invincible found some other place to publish them.

- art room
- books in closet
- DM station
- fire place
- game room
- knight and castle
- main lights
- post-nuke game
- road warrior battle
- scottish castle
- ship docked
- store room closet
- street war
- torch

... and yeah, I really like the desktop background picture!  :lol:


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:02 pm 
 

Hope you hire someone to do your dusting... :wink:

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 8:52 pm 
 

lol dude keep your rares that are worth $500+ in a fireproof box, safe, or at the bank....  lol picture this your house burns down, try explaining it to your insurance company that your [email protected] collection was worth $100,000.  what are they gonna say?  Sir well to you your collection was worth that much but to us, well hows $100 bucks?

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:52 pm 
 

Invincible, what's the book to the right of Tsojcanth---a Warriors of Mars on its side???  

Are most of the terrain from HO/whatever scale train shops?

The poster in the torch1 picture is of CSIO blown up really big, right?  (I'm no JG expert....).


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:15 am 
 

grodog wrote:Invincible, what's the book to the right of Tsojcanth---a Warriors of Mars on its side???  

Are most of the terrain from HO/whatever scale train shops?

The poster in the torch1 picture is of CSIO blown up really big, right?  (I'm no JG expert....).


Looks like CS to me.  Should be Thunderhold?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:03 am 
 

I'll dig thru my collection tomorrow (today?) and find it. I believe it is CS.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 9:25 am 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:A peek into Invincible's Lair

I'm completely aggravated----I can't find a free web site to host more than a few pics without trying to charge me, and Josh is out of town until after Thanksgiving. So here's just a few till after turkey-day.

Have you looked at Photobucket?



  


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:39 am 
 

Grodog wrote:

Invincible, what's the book to the right of Tsojcanth---a Warriors of Mars on its side???


No that's mock money you'd win at early eighties tournaments that you could redeem at the end of a con for TSR products, its in front of a Bob Blake GenCon IX self-pub, and next it line is a Fazzel. Warriors is on the shelf below off to the right next to the Gamma World stuff.

Are most of the terrain from HO/whatever scale train shops?


No, H.O. scale is too small. H scale is almost perfect for 25mm -- 28mm miniatures. Lionel makes lots of H scale buildings + there's many other companies manufacturing products in this scale. Try hitting up you hobby super-stores. Most of the terrain was custom made by "The Mountain Man" an on-line terrain maker.

The poster in the torch1 picture is of CSIO blown up really big, right? (I'm no JG expert....).


LOL  :lol:  I was wondering if someone would notice that. Yes it is the City-State home of the Invincible One. It's from an early 1976 mailer. I hung it up for the photos hoping someone would get a laugh.


draco76 wrote:

lol dude keep your rares that are worth $500+ in a fireproof box, safe, or at the bank.... lol picture this your house burns down, try explaining it to your insurance company that your [email protected] collection was worth $100,000. what are they gonna say? Sir well to you your collection was worth that much but to us, well hows $100 bucks?


What can I say your right, but putting them in a box would defeat what we're trying to do. Our goal of the hall is to inspire, and there's nothing like gazing across a wallpaper of rare gems. I love having people over and watching them gasp not only at the rarity, but at the history of our hobby. One of my favorites is to take down the 2nd print woody and tell them to please hold this for a second while I rearrange and few things. Then I drop it on them what their holding and that it was handmade in Gary Gygax's living room. You can almost watch them vibrate a little as they stand in disbelief. Its funny how many gamer's even ones that are 30+ have no idea about those early days.

It's not about the money it's about us. I never refer to the collection as mine. I refer to it as "The Collection" because it in a sense is all of ours. It's our history, and these items bond us together because of smile they bring to us. That common bond of say Keep on the Borderlands has for us all.


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:57 am 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:

It's not about the money it's about us. I never refer to the collection as mine. I refer to it as "The Collection" because it in a sense is all of ours. It's our history, and these items bond us together because of smile they bring to us. That common bond of say Keep on the Borderlands has for us all.


hehe sence its "the collection" or rather "our collection" mind if I hang that Tsojcanth over my fireplace for abit?  lol I'll give it back when I am done admiring it :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:00 pm 
 

Better pictures of Invincible's Lair

Image

Image



Image


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:02 pm 
 

A few more:

Image

Image

Image


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:03 pm 
 

Image


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:09 pm 
 

Image

Image

Image


"Its either a wand to cast Bigby's Hand spells or a +3 backscratcher. We're not sure which."

  
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