Monday, September 27, 2010

Back from the boat and better than ever...

I successfully survived a week on a cruise ship with my wife and daughter! Most of the time was trailing the little one and her handy-dandy monkey backpack, but I put together some drinking time, some tear-the-roof-off karaoke time, and I did get most of my projects finished.

For Toon's Cthulhu Comes to Springfield, all the characters save one or two are done. My biggest worry about shticks for each character was resolved... by not giving one to every character, rather the more famous characters get them. And not all the shticks are beneficial. Scenarios are outlined and I've run them through my head enough times during some rough nights that all I need to do is write-up the official character sheets.

Probable "episodes" are "Mr Smooth", a updated version of "Homer the Ghoul", "Krusty the Kultist", and "R'yleah Rising".

For Hackmaster, to go was a bit slower: I didn't get to start rolling dice until the last night and got through everything but skills but the time we got off the ship. The truthful quirk was prevelant amongst the characters, but in a party where everyone has secrets but no one would even think about asking the right questions, it may not be problem until it's too late, and it's already dire straits in Cyndicea when the players read the PC backgrounds.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cruise Work

Tomorrow we depart Baltimore on the Carnival Pride on an 8-day cruise to the Bahamas. I would say I'll be catching up on my relaxing, but my wife and daughter are tagging along as well.

Not to be overwhelmed with excursions and buffets, I'm bringing two small gaming projects with me.

(1) Rolling up my 6 Hackmaster characters for Mepacon, possibly with the help of wifey and bambino. Playing the lost civilization angle cuts down on my options for talents and skills, which is good since I'll be a bit rusty at running HM.

(2) Brainstorming and putting on paper the actual stats of the Simpsons for Cthulhu Comes to Springfield, along with their special abilities.

Somewhere in the midst of the naps the ladies in my life love so very very much, I'll put together an action plan for the minis, the terrain board, and the endeavor know as Tanga. With some changes at work, I'm questioning just how hard I'll press the matter with the guys, and when oh when we would have the chance to play.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall-in! 2011 PEL is up

The preliminary event listing (PEL) for Fall-in! 2011 in Lancaster has been posted on the website:

With the con running October 29-31, I wasn't surprised with only a 22-page document. Between Halloween and the fact that Fall-in! is traditionally the least attended HMGS con, I'm happy with the choices I have.

The major thing that sticks out to me is the lack of Gnome Wars games. There's a evening joust on Friday, but nothing else. Here's hoping Jim's (The Gnome Guy) son wants one more go at trick-or-treating on Saturday.

For the time being, my wife has given me a Saturday day pass in Lancaster. The lack of Gnome Wars lets me concentrate on playing other games, developing a very particular (and cost effective) shopping list, and probably getting home before trick-or-treating.

Mepacon is two weeks later, much closer, and I have a full Saturday slate... I'm not going to push my luck, but I do have two games that piqued my interest (and by the fates that plague me, they're both running at the same time):

S-238 - Banana Wars: The Marines Land in Nicaragua, 7 February, 1898 - Theme Game
Sat. 10:00 AM, 4 hrs, 10 players
GM: John Camarano
19th Century 28mm, Rules: A Good Day to Die
On the morning of 7 February 1898, the local United States
consular agent requested the USS Alert, at anchor in the harbor of
Bluefields, to stand by in case of an attack on the city. A force of
Marines and Sailors was ready to respond in case of trouble. What
did the Navy commander see that morning when he looked through
his binoculars on the sleepy little town?

S-322 - Otjihinamaparero: The Threatened Flank(German South-West Afrika 1904) Sat. 10:00 AM, 4 hrs, 6 playersGM: Roy Jones with Eric AlvaradoSponsor: Falcon Miniatures, Prize: Gift CertificateColonial 25mm, Rules: Sword & the Flame (modified) The Hereros occupy the formidable natural fortress ofOtjihinamaparero, with it's high rock walls. Schutztruppen andmarines launch a north flank assault, but the Hereros hold theirground, showering the attackers with lead. The Hereros must nowcounter attack quickly, before the Germans can break the morale ofthe Hereros army. From the new scenario book "The HererosWar". More at:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Risus: IOU - The Heresy of the Diminuative Pope

Sunday evening was our annual Risus- Illuminati University (IOU) game. Six crazed players and a demented GM sitting around the fire pit.

MONGO! - Union “Negotiator” with a love of fine pastryTannenbaum - Male figure skater and Batman wanna-beManna - Adorable Jewish Monkey in a Fez
Wasabi JonesBadass Funk Guitar player from Japan.Professor Clarence PittlemanTelekinetic Talking Coffee Bush
And our newest addition, from the Keystone Light beer commercials
Keith Stone - Always Smooth

The group had just left the on-campus memorial service for Erica Soggypants, (Depressed teenage girl obsessed with Rachel Green from Friends). Erica had driven the car that got the other PCs on the plane where they fought Mustafa Z and Snake Gandhi. Once that last member got onto the plane, Erica lost control and crashed into a truck carrying jet fuel. Very sad.

Upon leaving, the group just wanted to “hang out” and that’s what they did… until a twister generated from the W.U.S.E. building tore across the campus! Most of the group wisely (?) dove into the on-campus Nazi-zombie-infested coffee shop for shelter (a previous scenario they never finished). MONGO! refused to go, since it was a non-union shop. A quick battle with the twister changed his mind, as he went flying through the plate glass window.

The coffee shop is uprooted by the twister and goes flying into the air. It ultimately lands and the group finds themselves amidst tiny houses and a brick road painted. A number of midget wearing blue doo- rags and wielding blunderbusses surround the shop. The Lollipop Crips give them a royal gang welcome to South Munchkinland. Two things saved the group: First, Manna the Monkey’s red fez magically turned into a blue jeweled one. Second, Professor Pittleman, was wearing his Pope hat from the Church of Coffee. Luckily the Lollipop Crips were down with the Pope of Oz and the Prof slyly convinced the munchkin gangstas that he was part of the Ministry of Commerce with the setting up a new business within the dwarf ghetto.

Despite, aiding to the munchkin economy, the group had no official papers, so they were deemed “illegal.” They proceeded to the Emerald City of Oz to talk to the pope and obtain their *snicker* green cards. Walking passed a corn field, they encountered a female scarecrow hawking American flags and Ronco “as-seen-on-TV” gadgets. She ranted about keeping America strong (making the Reagan Republican (2) Wasabi happy), suppressing the liberal elite (much to MONGO!’s chagrin, and cooking a chicken in half the time with half the fat. KeithStone immediately (and successfully) seduced Sarah Palin the Scarecrow and after some smooth canoodling in the corn field was asked by Keith and Wasabi to tag along to Oz

As the group walked through a patch of woods they heard rustling in the underbrush. More little people staggered out with a dazed expressions. It was not until a latino munchkin in an all white suit appeared that the group knew something was amiss..

Boss, Da Brains!!!!! Da Brains…..

The group fought off the zombie midgets well, although Prof Pittleman, Manna, and Sarah Palin were infected. The group picked up their speed, and rushed to Oz for papers and a possible cure.

The giant doors for the Emerald City of Oz were answered by Twinkie the Robot, of Buck Rogers fame

“Whad’ya need, BUD?”

Twinkie denied the group entrance, stating you needed the proper papers to get papers. Keith Stone tried to be smooth, by instantly appearing on the other side of the door. However, guards grab him, kick him out. With the door open the others get in (Keith using his Keith-Stone-on-the-spot cliché to follow them). After bureaucratic mess, they figured the smartest way to get papers is to find a janitor (they’re usually illegal!) and ask how to get fake papers. Once they meet Jorge the Janitor, Scarecrow Sarah Palin realizes they’re talking to an illegal and contacts the Oz Guard. The Guard arrives, but not before the Drive-by Media-brainwashed Mongo takes out Scarecrow Sarah with a Molotov cocktail

The group is hustled into the Great Hall of the Pope of Oz. The Pope acts in the same booming voice and special effects as the movie version. Everything goes according to script until Manna the Monkey uses “Cute Jewish Monkey (5)” to guilt the Pope into calling his mother. This throws the Pope off and he offers a green card plus fulfilling one desire if the go and kill the Wicked Witch of the Westside.

Pittleman just wants his zombie-ness cured
MONGO! wants to the President of the International Order of Teamsters
Tannenbaum wants to go home.
Wasabi Jones wants to open for George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic
Manna the Monkey wants a cure for her zombie-ness…. and a nice piece to Banana Matzah.
Keith Stone just wanted another six-pack of Keystone Light.

The group got directions and trudged through a blasted wasteland, but as they got closer to the witch’s castle, the plants began to sprout, flowers began to bloom, and birds began to chirp again. The castle was bright white, with colorful turrets. No guards were seen outside

They opened the unlocked door, and a strange flower person could be seen running down the hall waving. Its head was a giant sunflower and its arms and legs were stems. He was incredibly polite and jovial, welcoming them to the Castle of the Great Mageddon and asked them to stay until the Great Mageddon was available to see them tomorrow. Dinner was great, all the amenities one could ask for were provided: A refrigerator full of Keystone Light, a sound studio, Kosher Banana Smoothies, heck, they even cured Prof Pittleman and Manna of their zombie-ism.

After dinner, each character had to make a save vs. overwhelming happiness.

Only MONGO! and Wasabi made their saves and realized there was something far too wrong with the situation. They marched up the Mageddon’s room (thanks to friendly maps at each corner) kicked the door open and found a powder blue boys room with a cute little voice around the corner singing “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”

In front of them stood Emmanuel Lewis, of “Webster” fame.

He was cute, cuddly and adorable, just the type of person MONGO! likes to throw phone books at. The cute Webster then turned waco-religious crazy, spouting off “this is not part of the prophecy! I shall not be denied my place in the hierarchy.” The oversized battleaxe he was swinging like Barry Bonds wasn’t helping things.

*CRASH… WOOSH* A Molotov cocktail crashed on the floor, igniting the room. Webster was more than a match for the pair, hacking at Wasabi, and keeping MONGO! at bay. Finally, MONGO! had enough and began chucking objects as deadly weapons…. but Wasabi’s cliché weakness (Sympathy for Orphans) kicked in and he dove in front of MONGO!’s attack. Webster spun, knocked MONGO! away, and kicked a crippled Wasabi into the fire, which was spreading up the walls.

MONGO! recovered and began pummeling the little guy with abandon. As the former child star expired, the flames reached the top of the castle, fulfilling the ancient prophecy:

And Webster, yeah, Emmanuel Lewis, cause he’s the Anti-Christ.
The Roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The Roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
The Roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
We don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn.
Burn motherfucker, burn.

MONGO! grabbed the charred body of Wasabi, Emmanuel Lewis’ Detroit Lions helmet, autographed by Alex Karras (for proof!), and ran out of the castle. The others had snapped out of it and fled, Keith Stone dragging a fridge full of Keystone Light out the drawbridge.

Back at Oz, the Pope wanted to renege on the deal, even though MONGO! did bring proof. The group began a heated argument with the Pope, when Manna the Monkey kicked in Jewish guilt mode, and Wasabi Jones just whined about burn crème for his charred body. Prof. Pittleman hurled some insult about the Pope’s mother and the Pope’s response was an a very un-Pope-like “What you talking ‘bout Pittleman?”

Behind some blinds in the room Gary Coleman appears. Seeing the zombification cured he offers new wishes…

MONGO! - At first, MONGO! wished to kick Gary Coleman's ass, but a quick pull of a tasselled rope produced Snake Gandhi out of a curtain, so an injured MONGO! quickly changed his mind. (MONGO! and Wasabi both have ENEMY: Snake Gandhi on their character cards and both rolled for him to appear at the beginning of the session. I was feeling generous.) Gary Coleman couldn’t get him the presidency of the Brotherhood of Teamsters, but got him another gig as President of the NFL Players Association.

Manna the Monkey – got a banana smoothie and got to keep the Blinged out blue fez.

Tannebaum – wanted to be president of Uni-Mart. The wise Gary Coleman gave him the most responsibility within the company… assistant manager of his current location.

Keith Stone – just wanted a beer coolie for his new fridge of Keystone Light.

Prof Pittleman – just wanted to go home, which worked with Wasabi’s previous wish…

Wasabi Jones – George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic had a show in Oz the next night. The group can take the tour bus back to IOU.