Friday, June 23, 2017

(Painting) Blue Martians and Some Ramblings

Lots of moving parts on the painting bench this week.  Between a busy week and family mini-vacation at "The Weekend" in Lancaster, not much got finished.

The last of my wave of "Blue Martians" I've been working on since  the Wednesday before the Big Bang are finally finished!
Pathfinder Goblin Pyros (89002) with one random spearman from Pathfinder Goblin Warriors (89003)

More Notes (non-painting):  We did manage to procure a very adequate laptop this week, so not only will I use less of my lunch hour to type up blog posts at work, it's finally powerful enough to let me venture into the world of online gaming with the crew.

Speaking of the crew and role-playing, the  Pigeon God the next 23 actual plays are finalized and scheduled for Tuesday releases through the week after Thanksgiving.  The laptop helps my quest to get these finished, but my quest is to get the year done before my busy season in September and the last twenty or so episodes by early Winter.

Just as I inch under 350 blog posts at various stages behind the scenes (plot ideas/scenarios/scheduled posts) comes the announcement that #RPGaDAy is coming back in August.   I've been an active participant the last three years and it's been a hoot.  It just means another 31 placeholder blog posts behind the scenes.  More on that when the information becomes available.

And it should be noted I had "The Talk" with my daughter Maja this past weekend..  No, not THAT talk.

As we drove around doing errands on Free RPG Day, we covered the options for games.  It's not like a kept a draft board in the car, but I believe the final consensus was:

  1. Mousling Fantasy Role-Play
  2. Stuff with Gnomes, big and small
  3. Continue the Pulp game:  More Egypt, fewer dinosaurs.
  4. PONIES! 
  5. General family games off our nook in the dining room.  
  6. Learn to play Munchkin

Things that didn't make the cut:  Anything sci-f and/or fantasy skirmish related.  I'll have to introduce Song of Blades and Heroes/Mutants and Death Rays to the group at large and see if she picks up on it.

NEXT:  My queue is cluttered again and time limited.  The Mous-a-geddon/Rat-na-rock figures are primed and the big are gravitating towards me.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

(Kickstarter) Ill-Tempered Tikis

The Wild East Game Company has launched a Kickstarter for their Ill-Tempered Tikis card game, and for good and honest reasons.

The game cards are printed and sitting in shipping boxes on a pallet.  They need funding for printing up the actual game boxes, so for $9 (plus S&H) they're offering their game.  The best part? They've already met their goal, there will be no stretch goals, and the only way you can spend money is either getting more copies of the game, or a few offers coupling other existing products with your pledge.

I'll put a nickel down that this should fulfill with little or no fuss.

(Kickstarter) Dwarven Forge Dungeon of Doom!

It must have been a few weeks since the last gaming Kickstarter impoverish all of gamerdom.

Dwarven Forge believes that gamerw worldwide must have a few dollar hiding, as they've launched Dungeon of Doom.
As always, it's a gigantic project with mind-numbing pledge levels, but there are hundreds, nay, thousands of interested backers.

Coming to a convention game near you, sometime in 2018. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

(Savage Lost) #2.10 Against the Ape God

After rescuing their friend Nils Lingonberry from the horrible Ahdo tribe, our heroes were themselves rescued by one of the Akala tribesmen, who warned them that the rest of the tribe wanted them dead for the death of the Akala tribal elder. To make matters worse, the Ahdo had successfully summoned their Ape God from wherever he was slumbering and he was now rampaging across the valley.  If the  heroes ever wanted time to get home from where ever they were, they would have to deal with these crazy predicaments.

At the same time, Blauen was leading the heroes to the Ape God, the Akala  were attempting a preemptive strike on the Ahdo and Atil-a-Kong. The nature of the sacrifice didn't allow their high priestess to control the Ape God.  The Ahdo were desperate not having their God under their sway, for he would cause havoc, starvation,  and even more general chaos, more so than the high priestess was willing to except

Set up:

The lair of Atil-a-Kong was an ancient ruin.  Through his various incarnations that appeared over thousands of years,  the Ape God had dug out and torn apart the surrounding ruins, so treasures were strewn across the area.  When the war parties couldn't engage in combat against Atil-a-Kong or a rival party, they could investigate an area (the blue chips) and draw a chit out of a cup.  Sometimes it would be the lost treasures, other times a monster attack, killing a party member, or quicksand, forcing them to lose a turn.   Each treasure was worth between five and twenty victory points. landing the killing/subduing blow on Atil-a-Kong was thirty.

Rules are Valley of the Ape, and the war parties have the following special rules.

The War Parties - 
The Akala (10) - By using the trees, they may retreat though the Ape-God, rathing than fleeing away from him.

The Ahdo (10) - They are able to go through rough terrain that other characters must move around.

The Heroes (Nils Ligonberry, Kacey Barbara, Lord Jon-Smythe Cuppenbrush, Maja Millie, and the Akala Blauen) - Allowed to shoot up to 18 inches.  All heroes, save Blauen, have two hits.

Turn One-Three:
The Akala dashed out and yet another disorganized formation, and after a lone warrior threw a spear at the Ape-God, Atil-a-Kong moved over and turned the monkey-man into a fine blue and red paste. The others fled in terror and somehow regrouped.

Atil-a-Kong on the move. 

The Ahdo tried a flanking attack, only landed one spear, and all five tribesmen were crushed by an ape backhand.  To make matter worse, the remaining Ahdo, fell into quicksand, but Atil-a-Kong was distracted by the Heroes nearing the ruins.  .
Turn: 4-6
The Ahdo escaped from the quicksand and found a strange treasure, an infernal contraption which whirled to life, cut off a man's head, and went dead again.  Even the treasures in the area were deadly.
The heroes managed to hide from the Ape-God, find a treasure...
and also got trapped in a quicksand bog right next to where the Ahdo had been trapped.

The Ahdo continue to flee...
The Akala continued to spread out, uncovering treasures, but also failing prey to the Deep Ones!
Turns 7-9
A portion of the Akala flanked the Ape-God, and another quick wave of the arm, eliminated them from existence.    The heroes superior range allowed them to fire on the monster and retreat far enough to keep him out of range, until, of course, they backed into a table edge!
Oh no!  Not poor Blauen!
When Atil-a-Kong managed to reach the heroes, the beast was too winded to properly attack, and he could only step on Blauen.

Turns 10+

The Ahdo regrouped and attacked beast from the rear, significantly  wounding/subduing the Ape God on back-to-back turns.   That grabbed the giant primate's attention, and the result was not pretty....
The Ahdo get knocked out...
The Akala lost more men to exploration and when it came time to attack, the Ape-God brushed aside the first wave.

Oooh!  A surprise under the tree!
With the Akala down to two, the heroes decided to join forces to take out the beast in hand-to-hand combat
The Joint Akala-Hero Task Force
Together, the die rolls were high enough to wound the monster significantly, while it's counter attack was weakened, spreading wound among all of the heroes.

Kornblum, one of the two final Akala, delivered the killing blow on the beast.
It wasn't beauty that killed the beast, it was short spears and gunfire.
With this incarnation of the Ape God dead, and the Ahdo weakened, the Akala and the Heroes made up.  Kornblum would challenge Cyan for Warchief of the Akala and a giant ape was worth more prestige than a measly dinosaur.

Returning to the Akala village, Kornblum accosted Cyan, and quickly dropped his challenge.  The Elder Mettiaus was alive and forcing stampedes of dinosaurs were quite disconcerting.  Even more so was the direction the shaman was heading... towards "Yetekelekele Ketema."

The forbidden city.

GM Note:  Valley of the Ape is a quick and easy game.  I do plan on using it for some of the kid's games this Fall on the con circuit.   Even with the fall of the Ahdo (20 victory points), we needed to kill the Ape to get enough victory points to win.  The heroes will get to use the Crytal Skull and the Crown of Kamula on the adventurers (if they do anything).  The Akala recovered an ancient scepter from a long-dead Akala elder.  They might need that to combat the apparent madness that Mettiaus succumbed to.

RIP:  Blauen

Next: #2.11 We Have to Do What?

Gnome Bikinis at the Ready

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #11: The Hobgoblin King

20 HepDec 1070 - Abandoned Monastery of Akana Outside of Lansluck
Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar
Kane: Student of Eastern mysticism, controller of water.
Ashe - highly skilled elven ranger
Maloran Alberhold - human fighter, ladies man sans charisma.
Talis Makolin - a rakish bard avec charisma
Echelon - a pigeon loving priest of an eastern god of the sea, escorted by his charmed wolf, Pathfinder.
Velandro - a pious priest of Akana with a kobold following (The Dag family is currently back at home.)
Kannex of Cymril (NPC) - Mysterious sorcerer from parts unknown with a penchant for fire.
Wrath - Young Holy Warrior with a an ego bigger than his ability.

The party successfully navigated their two boats across the river towards the base of the monastery's hill.  The initial scounting done by Velandro and the Dag family's allowed to group to avoid some of the issues that infested the hill, but they still needed to make one fighting retreat from new digging around a giant ant hill.

They were surprised to find "friendlies" on this side of the river, as they came upon a small cottage, inhabited by two women, Rosabelle and Rosalina.  They provided delicious lemonade and quicker directions to the ruins of the monastery.  No one really thought that strange.

Right before the monastery, they encounter two large ogres that had curtailed Velandro's initial expedition, but with the help of his fellow adventurers, they were slain.  Much of the monastery was in total ruins, with either undead or "wildmen" hiding in the crevasses and piles.

Working their way into the first sub-level of the ruins, they immediately encountered a stiff resistance of organized hobgoblins and bugbears!  They continued to persist, freeing a few prisoners, including one foul individual, Cullen DeFinch who to party armed to fight back, then proceeded to run out of the dungeon... with Talis' back-up parrying dagger no less!  The nerve!

The party pushed through the level, meeting and slaughtering wave after wave of hobgoblins, but it was a lone cleric, worshipping some eyeless statue of Akana that unnerved everyone, especially Velandro.  Hobgoblins were inherently evil.  Men worshipping desecrated statues of Akana.. and pulling immense evil magicks from it were far more terrifying

The further then ventured, the tougher and better organized the hobgoblins were, until they finally reached their great hall, where their King held court!
Quick!  All of you charge the intruders and get yourselves killed, before my lackey triggers the trap door in the floor.
Dozens were slain in the room, possibly even the king himself.  Wrath, Kannex, and Echelon fell from wounds. The rest of the party quickly fell as well, as something dropped the floor out from under them and they tumbled down a wide chute, until they were all deposited in a strange octagonal room, with a door on each wall.   They did their best to barricade the doors, posted a guard at the bottom of the chute, and most passed out from exhaustion.

DM Notes: And there you have the first half of module B5: Horror on the Hill, or as the whole scenario is titled in B1-9: In Search of Adventure, "The Hobgoblin King."  Looking to avenge the deaths of civilians in Eding by killing Spider-People in their secret lair isn't working out as well as they thought it would.   They didn't add two and two together that the strange evil cleric might be a go-between between the spider-people and the hobgoblins, but they were having too much "fun" hacking and slashing.  

With the party constantly engaged while on the floor, so they did little in searching rooms/bodies. The major magic item obtained in this episode was an Elven Cloak to Ashe the Ranger.

Many of the towns in the campaign world have randomly generated names.  Lansluck  is one of those that's changed over the years.  For the first three campaigns, this was a never-visited spot known as Rurik's Fort.  

In my fourth campaign in the World of Georic (the same one that generated the ghost in the basement of Caldwell Manor), that party managed to make it to Rurik's Fort, but took no action on the obvious news of hobgoblins mobilizing across the river.   They left as soon as they could without investigating anything.  When the next session came, a new player with a new character, Lan the Ranger, appeared in Eding, claiming to be the lone survivor of the hobgoblin attack that otherwise wiped out Rurik's Fort.  My newbie players became quite wise, and decided to inform the King of the attack and get actual military forces to take back the town.  

Lan's story was embellished quite a bit, and once the army kicked the hobgoblins back across the river, the new town was renamed Lan's Luck.  Not bad for a 1st level ranger.

NEXT #12 - The Horror in the Hill

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day Recap

Another mid-June weekend done, another Father's Day complete. However this year was different than every year since the birth of my eldest daughter.  For once, my wife did not work the weekend of Father's Day.  God help us.

My weekend started with a trip to Michael's Friday night.   I received a gift card for my birthday and figured after two months it was time to restock on paints and brushes and whatever else I could find. Unfortunately,  the store I went to was in the middle of a mass re-organization.  There were no half decent paint brushes, much less the ones are usually use.  The paints were wiped out and the best I could do was restock a couple of colors, a new minis case, some discount craft stuff for the kids and some more scrapbooking paper for a few more poor man's  shadowboxes

Saturday started with the problems at the garage with the inspection of my wife's van.  No way I was wiping out more than my entire budget for The Weekend in Lancaster to take care of the car repair which according to the rest of the world should cost me $150 and hopefully that part shows up Tuesday and we can get that fixed for a pleasant drive down there.

Saturday afternoon I grabbed  Maja to run a few errands and we ended up at Evolution Games for Free RPG Day.   Despite knowing what selections were available and coming in about two hours after the store opens I wasn't too impressed with the offerings this year compared to others.  However, I did manage to grab a copy of the Runequest Quickstart and with very little nudge convinced Maja to pick up the DCC Quickstart rules and adventure.  I'm quite impressed by Goodman Games' effort. They released a very solid, usable product which could be used as is, and I personally have grown to love the concept of zero level characters going out en masse.  In fact, I hate to say this, but I may retool my "Home" campaign idea to use Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Unfortunately for my FLGS, they didn't really run any promotions other than announcing that we would run different games throughout the day.  It appeared that there was no additional product purchased for sale, and no sales or promotions of the meager existing stock.  Maja and myself were forced to be happy with the free offerings, some Heroclix.  (Gamorra and Wonder Woman make the girls happy), and two stuffed animals out of the skill crane on one shot.

The best game in wise that we could get together on Saturday was just a quick game of Uno and then Dad got everybody together to watch Doctor Strange on Netflix.

With a late night for the girls, I was able to get up and run over to the store and pick up all the necessary staples that we need for Father's Day. So, as Mom ran a few errands, we broke out a nice tablecloth and the good China and had ourselves the annual tea party of grape juice, Tastycakes, and barbeque potato chips.  It's not wild and crazy, but it's what we've always done, and quite frankly,  if we can do some version  of that over the next 20 years during Father's Day I'm going to remain the happy father that I am.
I didn't get any painting done with the girls nor did we break out any of the smaller games but we focused on an afternoon and Season 3 of The Flash.

After my wife's classic Father's Day dinner of chicken, potatoes, cheese, and bacon smothered in hot sauce and baked in the oven for ridiculous long period of time, we did manage to run episode ten  of the Savage Worlds/Showdown Lost World campaign. So we SW aside for one game and ran Valley of the Ape (available on Wargame Vault).  It's a fun, simple system and it's a perfect excuse to use Beanie Babies as raging killer apes. The write-up of the game should appear later this week.