Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My "Campaign" To - Do List

Another top ten list, true muchachos! This time, the games I really want to run, but not time or player base currently to do so. If something catches you eye, drop me a line, or even use that "comment" function on the blog.

10 (tie) Mouse Guard and Aces & Eights (working on both)

9 - Recon – West Africa - I ran a game or two using this setting way back in my NCC days, and I'd love an early 80's mercenary game.

8 - Talislanta – A full campaign, using any edition. Just once.

7- TWERPS – Napalm Death! Flying Gary, The Kerminator, The Holy Rolled-Up Newspaper of God (Wednesday Edition), and the Gnomish Space Marines!

6 -Rifts – Yeah, laugh all you want about the system, play imbalance, etc. Rifts is fucking cool. The best way to run it would be a two tier game with munchkin characters (Glitter Boys) on one storyline and the “normals” (Rogue Scholars, normal people with low/no –mdc weapons.) risking their lives just as much, but working "behind the scenes." The uber-munchkin occ/rccs would be reserved for NPCs and story development. Yeah, that right, I said real story development in Rifts. Expecting my C&D letter from Palladium any moment now.

5- Mordheim – Full campaign mode, quarterly “big” games, restricted economy for specials,

4- Call of Cthulhu – The Knox Mine Disaster - If I can turn Sullivan’s March into a Mythos mission, I can claim cultists (or GOOs) caused the most famous NEPA mining disaster… or might the pcs be the ones who need to initiate it? hmmmm.....

3 - Call of Cthulhu – Escape from Innsmouth/The Raid … It may come up one day, but the current game is only in 1923. We just moved it to New York last session, so a certain “look” may
be observed on the docks.

2 - D&D Variant – “Home” Polynesian campaign that mixes Basic D&D, Hackmaster, and BRP systems.

1 – Hackmaster 4e - “Trogs Revenge” The Burning Trogs meet up one more time to finally vanquish the Slavers of Roark who slaughtered their brethren and nearly wiped out the adventuring company. Short version – The PCs wade through the slavers series like religious warriors would decimate an infidel orphanage. I would expect no mercy, and by the time the slavers caught wind of this, as GM, I would offer none. If the group was still game, I might interest the Judge’s Guild Fortress of Badabaskor, with a few more tweaks.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Favorite Convention Games

So, the next two Mepacons will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the con. No theme has been determined, but I figured it would be great to have a "best con events ever" category. Old classics dusted off once again for public consumption to see if they still have that magic.

That got me thinking about games I've run/played in at cons. There are a lot of good games, a good dose of forgetable ones, plus a lot of other times I was in a miniature or CCG kick. But here is a list of the top 10 con games I've participated in...

  1. GURPS: IOU - Scavenger Hunt! - This game had EPIC written all over it. A motley group of Freshthings search the steam tunnels for the one item that will put them over the top in the Freshthing Orientation Scavenger Hunt. Fanastic players. Great PCs, Hilarity ensues.
  2. Talislanta - The Crystle Dungeon, My first game I ran at a con (Lehicon IV at the GW Motor Lodge). Needs a revamp but it worked seven years later at a Bogglecon or two...
  3. TOON - Cthulhu Comes to Springfield - Co-GMed with Bob Wintermute. Lovecraft and The Simpsons. Comedy Gold. Must remember not one under twelve next time, otherwise it gets weird in a Law and Order: SVU kinda way.
  4. GURPS: IOU - Road Trip! The free-form sequel to Scavenger Hunt! Rolling with the punches, and cleaning up after tac-nuking Springfield, Massachusetts.
  5. AD&D 2e - The Jade Monkey - run by Joe Ward, it was the first con game I played in that I actually had fun. Plus I've using the William of Arinka pregen PC as part of my campaign for years.
  6. Hackmaster: In Search of the Unknown The only HM event I have fond memories of... I had converted B1 before Kenzerco did for HM. This is the game where Steve "Drow Game" Heitzer took over a Half-Orc warrior with and intelligence of 4 and rampaged the scenario. This is where I earned the nickname "Q" from.
  7. TWERPS: Space Cadets - I converted a Star Frontier mod to TWERPS, got a few players and had a great time, even after the one guy decided to disarm a planet buster bomb with a point blank shot from his blaster.
  8. AD&D 2E - The Harpers - I took over an AD&D for Matt D, who was sleep-deprived, or scheduled to work, or something. Problem was I had been up for 36 hours with Legions of Steel, and stealing corny items from any GM I could remember at the time, had the PCs ultiately turn into Green Lanterns and fight some Cosmic badass... If that was right
  9. Battlelords of the 23rd Century - GM'ed by the man, the myth, the loudmouth, Larry Sims himself at Lehicon. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fucking awesome
  10. Star War d6 - run by Eric Pierson at a Bogglecon. I play the ship's captain, who patterned after Marino. Yes THAT "Dude, you were out of toilet paper so I used your shower curtain" mythic-level Marino. It was a hoot.

After some thinking (and knowing for certain that I can't show up for Mepacon Spring 2011) my events will be (1) a sequel to my Hackmaster "Q" game, tenatively titled "Resident Chaotic Evil," (2) reliving the IOU scavenger (complete with GURPS vs Risus), and (3) Cthulhu Comes to Springfield. Good thing I didn't snag the Simpsons actions figures from Steve, they might actually slow down the vignettes, and create even more SAN-losing situations...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mepacon Spring 2010 Review

So, I got the opportunity to spend the afternoon at Mepacon Spring, up in Clarks Summit. Although I saw no games that I was interested in, I figured it would be good to get out, meet up with Nichols, spend $25 to support the con, check out the auction table, and worst case, drive back down to my house and play some Gnome Wars in the garage.

That last option was not needed.

I arrived about 1:30, met up with Nichols, and found a fairly empty con. I managed to elude the talkative clutches of writer C.J. Henderson. I will owe it to him next con out of my guilty conscience, but I could not waste my minimal time at the con on a cloaked sales spiel. The Portal was there as well, but they had nothing that screamed "Here is my plastic! Clean out my bank account!" Two other vendors had a nice variety of "old" (10-20 years) books at cheap prices, but nothing caught my interest.

The initial auction table was chock full of interesting goodies, and the charity auction (proceeds going to the Scranton Rescue Mission) was even more tempting. There was some game called "Racing '57" with 50's style die cast stock cars and wooden board. I decided there that we would stay.

A surprising crowd came back at 2pm, and I saw the normal familiar faces. Steve "Drow Game" Heitzer. Larry "Dragonlance.... er Realms Campaign at the Con" Anders, along with young lackey. Even Gerry Rhyder made an appearance, jumping in the Gnome Wars game we were setting up and singing the praises of Troll & Toad to sell OOP items too.

Two faces I did not see: (1) Mike Sarno, he had a full block of events to run but was nowhere to be seen. He had shown interest in playing Gnome Wars, so it was disappointing he wasn't there. I hope everything is okay. (2) Mike Griffith. Although the former con-meister hasn't made a public appearance in over 11+ years, I have an update. Mike apparently is still residing in Moscow (PA) and working for an insurance agency in Allentown (the Poconos are his territory). All is well with the family, his daughter (a little tyke the last time I saw her) is now a teenager. Mike's only gaming is D&D Online, Monday nights on the Sonoma server. I've got no other details, but I'm happy everythings okay.

The Gnome Wars game was a live run of the Fort in the Teutonburg Forest scenario that I've been testing out in my garage. Gerry vs. Nichols, with me running some Swiss. The Sikhs and German garrison succeeded in their missions, all other units failed spectacularly.

After clean-up, and some raffle tickets, the auction/contest/raffle period began. I snagged a copy of Ren Faire card game in the raffle. Nothing like you doing silly tasks to earn coins to dress your fake Ren Faire visitor, like a paper doll. Seems intriguing.

Before the auction, Convention MC Ed Lehman took a moment to thank the long-working (some long suffering) con workers. A lot of them slave over four days, to only play in one or two games if their lucky. He also pointed out Steve "Drow Game" Heitzer for running a Saturday afternoon Drow Campaign for just about 17+ Mepacons. I was touched that he acknowledged me as part of the convention "Old Guard" harkening back to the days of Bogglecon, Lehicon, various other Lehigh Valley cons. Dude, I'm a convention grognard? I'll take that.

Ed also mentioned that the next Fall and Spring Mepacons will celebrate *gasp* ten years of the con's existence. No other details as to what they have planned, but it does put things into perspective. Since the first con was ran at the Wind Gap Legion Hall, the staff was evolved and solidified their operations. I don't think that staff members drive home from the con in new Lexuses, but keeping a con afloat this long is VERY impressive. Many thanks to the RPGA/Pathfinder players from NY and Connecticut who keep showing up and paying full price every con.

The auction was a blast. James Bond 007 rulebook, three modules, plus A View to a Kill still in the original shrinkwrap? $5.00. Four GURPS books? $3.00 The Bill of Rights card/board game $5.00-ish. Tiki Topple? $10.00 ( I admit I went overboard on that, but people though Swahili was silly for a buck. Tiki Gods? They must be mine!)

The Racing '57 game was a bit of craziness. Normally I'm the one to shout out a bid-ending price "ten bucks!", but this time another person shouted out "Twenty bucks!" My instinct beat my logic with $25. I think we stopped at $28 and I let the fella have it, since I would need to hit the ATM if I had won it.

The other big auction win was Supremacy for $20. I'm very happy to find out it came complete. I'm a bit worried about introducing "Druken Supremacy" at SATLOF this year. Nukes and Hoyce are not a good option....

Overall for the short time I was there the con was enjoyable, a number of games were held, attendance was up, and I traded a box of crap to Charity Mystery Box in the auction for a box of decent or awesome items. Plus, my wonderful honey got a Banana Split Blizzard from DQ to celebrate my return home by 9pm.

I'll have other posts later with pics of the Gnome Wars games, along with my ideas to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Mepacon, but for know, sleep beckons.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

(Gnome Wars) Game Prep - Part Duex

This week I've been stealing away to the garage, not to clean it out (and oh does it need it), but to play a few turns of the Fort in the Teutonburg Forest. Monday was two rounds, Tuesday two more, and tonight I got at least five rounds done.

First, the picture:

Yeah, it ain't Miniature Building Authority. The "bridge" is the carboad top for a pack of ATKM minis, and the walls of the "estate" are foam pieces from one of Maja's gift, but a little gray spray paint, a $30 bridge, and some lichen and it's passable.

Of course, painting figs might be good too...

Ten turns into it, numerous units are wiped out, one of those has already achieved a partial victory, and a "super-team" is storming the estate. The "column" of remaining German vehicles are making a break for it through the bridge defended by Sikhs (the playing pieces).

I'm still trying to balance the artillery/vehicle/machine gun ratios, but melee is deadly. Unfortunately I won't be running this at Mepacon (reason: life).

Monday, May 17, 2010

(Gnome Wars) Game Prep

As a bit a therapy, I set up some gnome on our banquet tables, and over the last week, I've added a little more here and there. After finally bringing my new Sikh unit and Gnomenator Tank into the garage, I formerly set up the board for the Battle of the Fort in the Teutonburg Forest. Pictures forthcoming, but I've played through two full turns and some "tweaking" already needs to be done for our actual campaign game:

  • The column will still get first play first turn, but they'll be set-up further onto the board.
  • The Schneider Tank on the German side allows an awesome kill zone if set up properly.
  • The Gnomenator Tank should be set up behind the advancing Sikhs.
  • I've got to find a balance for a German cannon, and perhaps an Allied Mortar.

Over the next few nights, I'll a few more turns and see if the Allied forces can punch a hole through some questionable German defenses, and what happens when things get tweaked again for campaign-specific rules (new alliances, truck, and tank issues.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

(Mouseguard) Reapers New Mouseling line

Per, they are releasing a line full line of mouselings in June 2010, perfect for Mouse Guard (or a very PC game with skaven)

There appears to be a dozen or so different figures, including a wizard and a holy mouse.

This is the first release of mouselings from Reaper since they recast a few old Heritage molds back in 1994. These are far more detailed, better cast, and just as cute.

Edit: since I'm getting a ton of hits from people searching for the mouselings, I'll throw on the box cover from Reaper:

UPDATE:  Since this is the post the Google sends people to, I finally started painting these little guys:

Also, feel free to click on the Mouse Guard and Mouselings tags on to see more figs, some even painted!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Post Office Productivity

Last Monday, I placed my post-birthday gaming orders: One with Eureka, one with Brigade Games, and one with Chaosium. I'm happy to say that I have received my Eureka and Brigade orders. Now if I only had time to put everything together.

My Chaosium order has shipped, but expected delivery in NINE days. Perhaps I'm spoiled dealing with mail order companies all in the Northeast, but a Parcel Post order from California to PA feels like an eternity.