Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year's Cleaning

It looks like the ViscountEric household is almost over the stages of grief known as the holidays.    The build-up to the holidays, the chaos of the actual events, and the subsequent malaise that cloaks everyone immediately afterwards has all disappeared.    A run for snacks and a cheap bottle of Verdi are all that's necessary for New Year's Eve.  Even work is in a holding pattern, as we finalize our annual audit and do the usual end of year, T-crossing and I-dotting, continues through mid-January. 

This has allowed me an unusual situation, something people call... time?    I haven't gotten painting and gaming started yet, but I have been able to attack the two elephants in the blog's room:  The Burning Trogs Actual Plays and my gaming correspondence on my viscounteric AT gmail DOT com. 

For the Burning Trogs Rule! actual plays, I've transcribed the campaign journal up to episode 47, and it looks like the entire campaign will end up at 50.   Like I mentioned before, I need to convert the entries into a prose style, re-construct a lost session, and fill in the blanks with the return of *spoilers* Cecelia and the background of a famous (in his own mind) gnome titan general NOT named Zorin.

While the Trogs are finally wrapping up, catching up on my emails has been hellish.  I started with 184 email chains to review from Mike Lung, the "Gnome Guy" Jim Stanton, and the Canadians.  Some of these stretch back to the Summer of 2012!

I've managed to whittle that 184 down to 104!  Pictures have been uploaded to drafts on the blog.  There's a few new surprises popping up for 2016, but certain things can be expected. 
  • New episodes The Burning Trogs Rule! should be posting every Tuesday until the material is exhausted sometime this Summer.  I've got plans for what follows, but I'm keeping it close to the vest for now.
  • Mike Lung Galleries will be posting every Thursday.  I anticipate some duplicate pictures, and even posts, but I don't care. 
  • Apathy of the New Releases, my biased review of new gaming solicitations in Alliance's Game Trade Monthly Magazine, will continue to post on or about the 26th of each month.
Worthless fun facts:  This is my 1427th post published on this blog since September 2009.  Between the Trogs, Mike, IOU, and random holiday filler posts I didn't want to forget about, I have 25 posts already scheduled to post on specific dates between now and judgement day.  I have 104 posts in draft form, a combination of scenarios I want to play, gnome history, Trogs, Mike, and things slightly more fleshed out than placeholders.

2016 looks to be a full year with the gnomies.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mandatory Holiday Swag Post 2015

The It's a funny thing, as I reference last year's post with a similar name.  Just as much chaos as last year, just as much celebrating, just as much automatically waking up earlier each day (on a four day weekend to boot!), but in the end,  this year's festivities just seemed to work so much better.

A little bit more rest for the wicked this year, it seems.

This year, my wife was a bit more proactive with me getting her a wish list that didn't have hundreds of items on it that she and the local FLGS owner could decipher and put in an order two weeks before Christmas, only to have it show up via UPS at 3:30pm Christmas Eve.

This time, I cobbled together a quick personal Amazon wishlist of nine things that intrigued me.   She made her order through Amazon, and her selections arrived in three shipments, all within the the first week of December.

So let's start off with the oddball stuff...  My sister and brother in law thought best to go back to my thrash metal days with a brand a coffee sold by the drummer from Anthrax:

A Slayer ornament to remember the reason for the season:


...and a Cthulhu Coffe Mug.


My wife's cousin and I exchanged similar gifts.  He got me Cardcassonne and he got Tsuro.


Upon opening up my gifts from my wife, I discovered she didn't just get me four or five items from my wishlist.  She ordered the whole damn thing.

Next time I'm putting twenty on the list.

Dungeon Roll.  Maja likes to play it when we visit friends, and the lastest printing made the chits twice as big.


Cthulhu Invictus and the Cthulhu Invictus Companion. I'm a huge fan of Golden Goblin Press and jumped onto their De Horrore Cosmico Kickstarter without even owning the books.  I've now remedied that situation.

I haven't played Car Wars the Card Game since after my Senior Prom in 1992, and I decided against tacking it on my Car Wars Arenas pledge.  This too has been remedied.


Out of all the Ospreys on my main wishlist, I picked this one for some early research for a very longterm project.  I'm much more into the New Guinea side than Gallipoli, but entire book is very nice.



I've also bit the Frostgrave bug with my next gift.   A mage centric version of Mordheim, where everything could be expanded or improved upon, but you know what? Nothing necessarily needs to be changed to make the game a playable and fun experience.  


Before Frostgrave, there were the AARs of  Song of Blades and Heroes and it's offspring from Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog.  


Which leads the surprise winner of the haul, Osprey's Of Gods and Men, another whim item.   As I'm looking for a ruleset to use with the Frost Giants and Viking Mouslings from the Bones III Kickstarter.  I like the basic mechanics and the three levels troop types (Gods, Legends, and Mortals).

Since Andrea Sfiligoi wrote this and Song of Heroes, I expect some similarities in style when I get to reading that.


Finally, I got a Reaper Bones 'Telephone Box' to complement the pile of Dr Who stuff my six year old got from friends, family, and Santa.

The biggest gift I got was from my in laws:  A complete beer homebrewing set.  All the boxes are on a pallet beside my painting bench.  I guess it's a sign from God that I need to stay in the basement all winter long!

A four day weekend, a pile of food left over after two fourteen person feasts at the house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my wife loves all her gifts, three viewings of Star Wars (once with the girls), and the household animals are behaving?   Close to the best Christmas I've had since I was a kid.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Into the New Year

I'm not much into looking into the past year, and looking into the next one during these holidays, especially since my "gaming calendar" covers that around the end of September and beginning of October.

The gaming and painting well has been pretty dry these past three months.  Crazy hours at work, crazy homeowner projects at...well, home, and a hectic kid's activity means my biggest accomplishment at night i Netflix and pass out on the couch.

Cleaning up before the deluge of people descended upon the house for Christmas allowed me to better organize my gaming papers/folders/files, as well as really take a crack at writing up theover decade old actual plays from the Burning Trogs campaign.

So what should you expect in 2016?

The Burning Trogs Rule!  My Hackmaster Actual Plays from my Burning Trogs campaign have twenty episodes posted thus far.  Over December, I've managed to transcribe 22 more episodes from the party's journal.  I need to turn them into a better prose form and add the GM commentary, but we're winding down with only 22 more handwritten pages to type up.   Burning Trog updates are scheduled for Tuesday starting in January with 'Gwen's Journey'  and "The Redrock Brigade."

I also plan on two more store reviews and review/breakdown of De Horrore Cosmico by Golden Goblin.

Painting  I visited the basement TWICE this week, so I an restart my current batch of stalled projects.   Palm trees galore, test painting on Martian spiders, and a yummy camo scheme for some battlemechs are already sitting at the table.   The Pulp Figures I grabbed at Fall In! need some paint before they hit the game table,and then there's future projects.

Future Projects  No Cold Wars means no imminent projects (probably would have been more Samoan Civil War action using CLA.  Between Frostgrave, Song of Blades and Heroes, and Of Mortals and Men, plus a FLGS that stocks Bones, we could have some fun experiments.   Taking the Bones III order in consideration, I may plan an Of Mortals and Men game using my swag.

I may need to greatly increase the amount, and possibly some 15mm Splintered Light.

Intrigued?  Find my post describing what add ons I grabbed.  I've multiplied that original one a couple times.

That's all I'm promissing for now...



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Apathy of the New Releases (Jan '16)

My Must-Have Want List
Decision Games
Mini-Folio Series:  Lettow-Vorbeck (DCG 1713) ............................................ $12.95
Covering the East African Campaign of 1914-18.  I'm giddy like a school girl.

My Money-Is-No-Object Want List
Flying Buffalo Games
Nuclear War 50th Anniversary Edition .................................................................... $39.95

Goodman Games
Fifty Fantastic Functions of the d50 ........................................................................ $19.99
$19.99 is a bit steep, but still.... Colonel Zocchi!

My Imaginary Store List
Academy Games
Conflict of Heroes:  Guadacanal ...................................................................... $80.00

Alderac Entertainment Group
SMASH UP: IT’S YOUR FAULT EXPANSION ............................................ $19.99

Army Painter
The Army Painter Wargaming Set ..................................................................... $34.99
Thirty-Five bucks for dice, glue, and a laser pointer??? No Thanks
Frozen Tuft         .................................................................................................. $5.99
Highland Tuft      .................................................................................................. $5.99
Razor Wire 3m   .................................................................................................. $5.99
Swamp Tuft        .................................................................................................. $5.99
Winter Tuft         .................................................................................................. $5.99
Woodland Tuft    .................................................................................................. $5.99

Avalanche Press
Defiant Russia ...................................................................................................... $44.99
Panzer Grenadier:  Invasion 1944 ........................................................................ $44.99

Battlefield Press
Traveller RPG:  Warren C Norwood's Double Spiral War .................................... $30.00

Decision Games
Mini-Folio Series:  Khe Sanh '68 ........................................................................... $12.95
Mini-Folio Series:  Suez '56 ................................................................................... $12.95

Fantasy Flight Games
Star Wars LCG: The Force Awakens Gaming Mats ............................................... PI
First Order or Kylo Ren.  Not a fan of the LCG, but Magic fans might go for it.
Star Wars: Rebellion  ............................................................................................... $99.95
Star Wars RPG:  Force and Destiny Nexus of Power HC ....................................... $39.95

Gale Force Nine:
Doctor Who:  Time of the Daleks Board Game         ....................................................... $75.00
D&D Tyrants of the Underdark Board Game ........................................................... $70.00
More stuff for GF9's "Tanks" game.  Just not impressed.

Games Workshop
I recently talked the owner of a new game store in the area (more on that coming soon, I hope.)   He's a unrepetent GW fan and showed an unabashed love for the new stuff that I've not seen from other gamers in store and otherwise.   With GW account minimums and poor discounts by not going direct, it just looks easier to self promote smaller lines with lower costs, better margins.  

Horus Heresy:  Betrayal at Calth .............................................................................. $150.00
38 new figures, 42 reference cards, a rulebook, double sided tiles, and dice?  For Games Workshop, it's a steal.

Project Box Paint Set ................................................................................................. $205.00
Basically a 1% MSRP on the paint and they'll throw in four paint brushes.  YAWN

Water Pots ................................................................................................................. $17.00 ea
Four different styles of... coffee mugs.

Codex: Tau Empire  ................................................................................................... $49.50
Battletome: Seraphon ................................................................................................. $49.50
Tau and Lizardmen get do-overs and boy did they jack up the prices... again. 

Munitorum Battlepack Case Harness .......................................................................... $90.00
Fancy words for a ninety dollar... backpack.  But that' a steal compared to.

Age of Sigmar Rangefinder ......................................................................................... $33.00
Thirty-three freakin' dollars for a glorified retractable table measure!!!

Goodman Games
Dungeon Crawl Classics Core rules Ltd Ed HC ................................................. $59.99-79.99


IDW
Back to the Future: An Adventure Through Time ....................................................... $34.99

Konami Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! Wing Raiders Boosters

Looney Labs
Firefly Fluxx .............................................................................................................. $20.00

Mantic
Dungeon Saga:  The Return of Valandor .................................................................. $49.99

Mayfair Games
Catan: Replacement Game Cards ................................................................................ $10.45
Catan: Cities and Knights Replacement Game Cards . ............................................... $10.45
Catan: Traders and Barbarians Replacement Game Cards ................................ ......... $10.45
Catan Dice Game Clamshell Edition ........................................................................... $13.00

Osprey Publishing
Special Operations Executive:  Churchill's Secret Agents .......................................... $12.95

Paizo Publishing
PATHFINDER AP:  HELL’S VENGEANCE PART 2 - WRATH OF THRUNE .... $24.99
PATHFINDER CAMPAIGN  SETTING: INNER SEA FAITHS ............................. $24.99
PATHFINDER FLIP-MAT: TWISTED CAVERNS ................................................. $14.99
PATHFINDER LEGENDS: MUMMY’S MASK (AUDIO CD) ..............................  $21.99ea
Six different CDS for $22 might be a bit much
PATHFINDER PAWNS: HELL’S REBELS AP PAWN COLLECTION ................. $19.99

Panini
Dragonball Z  Perfection Boosters

Pinnacle Entertainment Group
SAVAGE WORLDS RPG: ELDRITCH SKIES - DISTANT VISTAS V1 .................. $14.95
SAVAGE WORLDS RPG: KAISERS GATE - FIELD MANUAL MOUNTS V1 .....  $14.95
SAVAGE WORLD RPG WINTER ETERNAL ............................................................ $24.99
SAVAGE WORLDS RPG: STEAMSCAPES - ASIA ................................................... $44.99  Pokemon USA
Pokemon TCG:  XY Breakpoint 

Solace Games
More 3rd Party Pathfinder, but I've going to hold off on mentioning more of it (and ordering it for the imaginary store), until I hear some positives about the game.  It's been pretty negative around this neck of the woods, but that could be all the 5th Edition talking.  Don't look at me, my preferred game is Hackmaster 4th Edition!

Steve Jackson Games
Star Munchkin Guest Artist Edition (Len Peralta) ............................................................... $29.95

Wizards of the Coast
Magic the Gathering Duel Decks:  Blessed vs Cursed ........................................................ $20.00 ea
Magic the Gathering: Shadows Over Innistrad

WizKids
Star Trek Attack Wing Expansion Packs:  ........................................................................... $14.99
Borg Assimilator 84, USS Venture, Xindi Reptilian Warship

Marvel Heroclix:  Uncanny X-Men.
Marvel Dicemasters: Civil War

Zveda
There's just something about affordable tanks and toy soldiers from $5-10.  Even their historical playsets are 1995 40k priced.    Historicals are truly the way to go for those who want something inexpensive and can be used for hours of fun.  Perhaps that's why I wasn't a wildly successful store manager.  I got all the money I could get out of my customers,  I just did it in a way that generated value for them. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Boxing Day, etc!
 
Shotgun Santa and Zombie Elves from www.recreationalconflict.com

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

Whether you celebrate Christmas with Gnomes, Nissen, Tomtes, or those strange bearded elves no one lays claim to (unless it's the big man in red himself) have a very Merry Christmas and joyous New Year.

From the Gnome Sanctuary

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Travis Hanson - Beanleaf Press

As we get closer to Christmas, I present the artwork of Travis Hanson to help you remember one of the true reasons for the season.

Seriously, you need to go onto Beanleaf Press and order a pile of his books so you can get them by Orthodox Christmas.  It's that good.

I supported his Kickstarter for Tanner Jones and the Quest for the Monkey Stone, and I need to put in  a proper order soon.  They're perfect reading for my daughter, and they capture a relaxed look into a child's imagination that I wish we all could have (he sure loves big stuff that defies gravity).  

Travis is great for his fans, normally producing a new piece of artwork on his Facebook page (the art above is one of them. No permission given to use, and I'll take it down if asked, but I hope in this case it's okay).    A lot of his daily pieces are unique character sketches that I would love to integrate as visual aids for a personal game with the girls.  LOTS of female characters.

He's also the artist on the Scavengers RPG I've been harping about.  In fact, he's one of the key reasons I pledged to it.

Regardless, after you help some of the less fortunate this holiday season, take some of the money you have left over and order some of his stuff.  You will NOT be disappointed. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I Can't Smell the Cookies

But I can smell what the Rock is cooking for Christmas!!!!



Monday, December 21, 2015

(Review) Star Wars: The Force Awakens....

I got the pleasure of seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens not once, but twice on Friday.  Taking a half-day to see it at noon would have been sufficient, but my co-worker called late asking to see it a 10pm, and with an awesome wife taking care of the kids' bedtimes, I was off to see it again.

I promise no big spoilers, like Jar-Jar and Dengar adopting Yoda's illegitimate love child (oops).   I will address some of the criticism that they essentially copied Episode IV.   Here we go...

Oh for cripes' sake, everything about Star Wars is cyclical, you didn't see a portion of that coming?   It's been 32 years since the last movie, and I'm assuming about that much time has passed in the storyline.  They had two hours to catch us up story-wise to what's transpired, find a decent plot hook, and build some character background to make us feel attached to the new characters.  You expected completely new take on things?  You may want to wait for Rogue One to come out, although I guarantee you the you'll see the same movie military tropes that pervade the genre, some of which were in Episodes I-VI.

Remember, Star Wars was groundbreaking in many ways when it first came out, but it simply redefined the the classic pulp space opera from the Thirties through the Fifties.  And you know what one of the tenants of the classic space opera serials were.  Variations on a theme.   Same characters/villains/plots, but different characters/villans/plots.  It needs to be rehashed, to make sure even the newest, most virgin viewer knows what's going on, but to establish a continuity in story.

And really, plot lines aside, the new movie does a few things better than the originals. 
  • Space fights have high-tech effects, but the feel like the original trilogy.  Everyone is still using the old targeting computers, which seem dated to 21st Century
  • Lightsaber duels that, again, feel more like the original trilogy than the Mexican Luchador /Cirque du Solei  performance of the prequels.  There was one noticeable over dramatic pause, but everything else was great. 
  • While I may have outgrown my love for rubber suits (see below), the CGI-only characters were fantastic.  I completely forgot that Maz Kanata wasn't real.  A little-Yoda-esque, but far more realistic.
The Lego figurine does not do the character justice.

My nitpicks:
  • For a galaxy with space communications, the telegraphing was there in force.  Sure, most of us old-school guys were trying to figure things out while the movie progressed, but we didn't need hit-me-with-a-brick obvious dialogue to tell even some neophytes what was about to go down.
  • Speaking of which, the dialogue for some sections was over-the-top informative, in the "Let me tell exactly why everything is going down the way it is" kinda way.   Yes, this hearkens bark to the days of Flash Gordon on the radio, except in the new version it couldn't get more overt if you dropped a plug for Ovaltine in between scenes. 
  • Perhaps there's been so much CGI in movies, that the pleasant sounding idea of people in rubber suits for aliens is a great idea, but less so in practice.    The junk dealer Unkarr Platt  (voiced/played by Simon Pegg) gave me a Seventies rubber monster vibe that didn't jive with the rest of the outrageous cast of characters.
  • Moody Jedi must be a family trait, the word Emo comes to mind, but let's see what the writers do with it.
  • Add misogynistic comments here:  Carrie Fisher just acted old and tired, and delivered her lines with the enthusiasm of an early rehearsal for a summer stock production.  Part of it was the previously mentioned dialogue, but I would like to chalk it up to her not having fun.  Any other ideas go down I path I don't wish to take, but I will say, Harrison looked tired to, but got better lines, some great one-liners, and as reports came out, had a blast making the film.
With a 32-year gap, and the old Extended Universe no longer cannon (but could be heavily borrowed from), I do feel a need to read something, anything, to get me caught up on the whole Republic/First Order/Resistance thing?  How long have stormtroopers been cultivated via the Finn method versus Jango clones?   Why is General Leia not part of the Republic government?    Has the Wookie ever lost a game of the space chess game since  New Hope?   

All my niggling questions will eventually be answered, but if you want to see a new Star Wars movie that captures the spirit (some say too much) of the original trilogy, The Force Awakens is a must see.

But you have already gone, haven't you....?

I enjoyed the action, I loved the off-handed inside jokes that referred to the previous movies, and I'm waiting with anticipation for more to be explained in 18 months.

On the Gaming with the Gnomies 5-Gnome scale, I give the Force Awakens four out of five gnomes.


Considering the best of the prequels for me was Revenge of the Sith and that might net a 2.5 gnomes on a good day, I think Disney is pushing the franchise in the right direction.

Friday, December 18, 2015

(IOU) The Burger King

Ah, the Burger King.  The fast-food mascot that marketing turned into the "Creepy King"  for most of the 21st Century.  A Creepy King that a perfect foil for Illuminati University. 

When the characters for my Risus-IOU game temporarily crash landed on HoL, I believe he made a quick appearance, so it should be no surprise that he hopped aboard the rescue vessel and is running around the Pent at IOU.

The King (Not to be confused by "The King."  He's on HoL as well
Mute Avatar of Flame-Broiled Goodness (7)
Washed Up NFL Star That Had "Potential" (5)
Intimidating Inquisitor with a Flair for the Dramatic (4)

Special Abilities: 
*As an avatar, the King cannot be truly killed.  Every time his body is destroyed, he reappears in another location
*As an avatar, the King can instantly produce a complete menu of delicious looking fast food from behind his back.


Between the Starbuck-ripoff coffee shop and the *insert random State here* Fried Chicken place on campus, the King is bound to make an appearance again. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Mike Lung Gallery #38: Bumble!

Still cleaning off the old emails!  Here's a friendly neighborhood Bumble resting after a hectic game of Bunnies and Bumbles, which, if you follow the link, shows I mentioned this over four years ago!


Mike's inspiration for the game was a set of solitaire rules for sheep herding from Wargames Illustrated.  I used those same rules, with some modifications to run the sheep in my Battle of Yellowstone game from Fall-In!  2011.

Merry Christmas, Mike!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

And the Host has.... SOLD?

Today was the last day of the auction for the Lancaster Host, home of Cold Wars, Fall-In!, and former home for Historicon. 

My early afternoon productivity at work has been non-existent, thanks to the final bids slowly moving the bid by amounts of $50K to $100K from $5.5 million up to the winning bid of $8.3 million.  More exciting that watching paint dry, but annoying, because everytime the bid was increased, it tacked an additional four minutes so other parties could counter it. 

I live on the edge, I tell ya!


So now, we wait with baited breath as to what happens. 

A) Carry on, nothing to see...  The Reserve was not met, so the winning bid is not binding.  The Host operates as normal and Cold Wars goes off without a hitch.

B) Sure!  We'll take it...  The owners of the Host decide to take the money and run, accepting the bid via the auction house or extensive negotiations.... They could...
  1.  Keep the hotel running and honor the contracts
  2. Shutter the facility for potential demolition, or keep the hotel running an NOT honor the contracts (dependent of course on the legal obligations that were spelled out in the documentation that bidders got.)  Since I didn't have the $25K deposit required to be an eligible bidder (it's in my other pants), I've got no clue.  Good, bad, or indifferent, there's no timetable for anything, nor is there any expectation of one!
This means the HMGS BOD has to prep multiple contingencies as all parties finalize this portion of the process.  Different venue? Different date?  Limited accommodations?   Even if it's the same old same old, the deadline for events for the first PEL is FRIDAY!

Who wished interesting times on HMGS???  They keep things "interesting" all by themselves.

(Gnome Profile) King Gnomefrey

The great thing about Gnome Wars is the vast supply of statues available to acclaimed gnomes of the smallest and largest of statues.

Per the History of the Gnome World, Part One, the time between the fall of the Gnoman Empire and the Age of Exploration was know as the "Peaceful Age."   This title is a bit of a "mis-gnomer" as there were still plenty of localized skirmishes and small consolidations of power.  One of the largest acts of military might and political maneuvering was the gnome they called King Gnomefrey.

Winter is coming...  Plant Onions
Every gnome race claims King Gnomefrey as their own, but there are a few similarities between the legends.   King Gnomefrey was a humble sheriff/magistrate/constable in his home village after the fall of the Gnoman Empire.  To better protect his village, he defied gnomish body chemistry and sought out his neighboring village to form a defensive alliance against the denizens of the woods.  When, to his surprise, he discovered that the leaders of the village were actually plotting to attack Gnomefrey's village to appease some of the barbaric warlords, Gnomefrey took things into his own hands, recruited a small group of loyal gnomes, and assassinated the other village's leadership.   

He let the barbarians attack the rival village (goblins, trolls, feral gnomes, again, the legend varies) and he waded into pillaging  with his village's militia, and not only killed every creature, but claimed the village as their own.    While different approaches were made towards some of the other villages, he  ultimately gained control over seven neighboring communities, his "vegetable patches" which would send excess crops and crafts in return for protection by Gnomefrey's "Forest Patrol." 

Alas, the fate of poor Gnomefrey is the same across all cultures as well.   When he finally decided to take a wife, a jealous rival suitor of his wife poisoned him during the wedding reception.  No gnome could combine the same military might, political swagger, and command over the Forest Patrol to keep the peace between the the eight villages, so, in the natural act of gnomekind, "The Prison" took over their lives and the communities went back to their isolationist ways.

King Gnomefrey:  Any European-style gnome race and the Japanese can use the good King Gnomefrey,  Avoid using him with all-Sikh, Gnoman, or Americans.

Move: 12"
Weapons:  King Gnomefrey walks into combat with a giant hatchet (gnomish battle axe) and a shovel.
Ranged attack:  If King Gnomefrey is not locked in combat, or about to be drawn into combat, he may throw his battle axe, once per turn, at a figure within 6".  He hits on  3+,  if he succeeds, he may immediately move to the spot of the fallen figure to retrieve it, at no cost.  If he fails, his next immediate action must be  to retrieve his axe. 

Melee:  King Gnomefrey may make two attacks per turn (one axe d12, one shovel d8).  If attacking one figure, the shovel will always go last.  If attacking two people, the same rules apply for the first target.  However, if he may only use his shovel against the second target. 

Special Melee:  King Gnomefrey make take on up to four opponents at one time of his choice based on the standard rules for melee.  Defending units may attempt to flee, but doing so will require a morale check on that unit/army  for each figure fleeing before combat. 

Gnomefrey's  attack is as follows:


                 2nd Gnome A              1st Gnome  A                            1st Gnome B    2nd Gnome B

                       Shovel            -        BattleAxe          Gnomefrey       BattleAxe     -    Shovel

Combat with the 1st gnomes is simultaneous.  Depending on initiative, both 1st gnome attack, then Gnomefrey attacks both 1st gnomes.  Same actions apply towards 2nd Gnomes.  2nd Gnomes will receive the +1 bonus to overwhelm, only if his 1st gnome survives melee. 

Allied Gnomes within 12" will not rout due to failed morale checks, rolls are still required. 

Treat Gnomefrey as a 100 point character. 

The Forest Patrol:   Treat as Gnoman Archers.  May deploy hidden 6" from the deployment zone.  The Forest Patrol is revealed if they fire at enemy forces, or they are within 24" of  an enemy units and are in their front arc of fire (Enemy must be looking straight at them, not behind or to the flanks.)

Add five points to the Gnoman Archers.  Maximum of 10 on the battlefield.
 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

(Kickstarter) The Halfman Army

As a lover of gnomes and halflings, I can't help but plug the Halfmen Army Kickstarter by Westfalia Publishing.

If you're tired of the rag-tage look associated with halfling units, and want to shoot fort a "short"-term solution for military might, this might interest you.  The lowest pledge level past the "$1 and add-ons) starts at about $23US, and nets you a unit of 10 of the same figure (swords,spears, handguns, bows, polearms, crossbows, peasant militia, or 5 halfling knights on goats!), and the value increases with the more you pledge.   Yes, it's a UK campaign, so the overseas shipping might hurt a little, but Westfalia has previously three distinctly different Kickstarters, and except for and acceptable delay for the first campaign, everything's been done well and on time/slightly early.



 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Teddy Bears in the Land of the Gnomes

DISCLAIMER:  The following is one of a few articles I plan to write regarding placing non-Gnome Wars races into my personal campaign world.  It should not be considered official in any way.
  
The gnomes aren't the only sentient race on the globe.  Gnomes have interacted peacefully with sentient animal races and fairie-kind for untold generations.  

Today we cover the Teddy Bears.
 
Don't be confused by their cuteness and cuddliness, Teddy Bears have a militaristic streak among them that was perfect to be exploited by "visionary" gnomes.  Sure, their modern weaponry lacks in range and their artillery is less effective, but the a race that doesn't have any vital organs, save a soft, plush, heart, is difficult to put down.
 
The first documented relationship with Teddy Bears and Gnomes was during the Gnoman Empire. Teddy Bear Legions were formed and travelled throughout the land, doing the bidding of the Empire. Although they were considered subordinate to their gnome counterparts, they received identical training and equipment and would be expected to accomplish the same missions and tasks as ordered.

As the gnomes finally travelled, they discovered that bears were EVERYWHERE!  In America, they had already set up coastal towns and interior villages, although there were a number of primitive ones throughout the wilderness.  While some maintained their noble savagery, many adopted the customs and laws of their new gnomish overlords.   They were so loyal to the British in America, that they were eventually given a degree of self-rule over gnome and bear alike.
 
Teddy Bears made great explorers through the far corners of the globe.
In Africa, native bears controlled most of the southern portion of the continent.   It appears that about half the native bears joined forces with the colonizing gnomes, forming Askari units, while the others strictly held onto their culture and land.


While the British gave the majority bears self-rule over bear and gnome alike, the governors of the British colonies were only loyal to themselves, taxing the bear and gnome to high heaven and only turning over the required amount of taxes to the British.  The citizens of the American Colonies revolted, and the Ameri-Bear Revolution (or Ambearican or Seven Year's Picnic)  occurred.  With little support from the British, the ruling class teddy bears were kicked out of the country and the United States was born.  However,  gnomes who had supported yet barely participated in the war seized power from the exhausted teddy bears and established a bitter confederation of states that devolved into the American Gnome Civil War.

The Good, the Pegleg, and the Cuddly

While Teddy Bears around the world are either subservient to their masters (gnome or otherwise), in American and the Caribbean, they have have been marked with a rugged independence.  Many a Cowbear can be found, from the Texan Republic, up to Columbia and the Indian lands.  Teddy Bear pirates sail the seven seas even today, luring the innocent in with their cute looks and seizing the moment with wooden swords and cannon shot. 

 
 
Seven Years Picnic Figures (to be used for Seven Years Picnic:
12" inches movement - Move or Shoot.
Mounted officers may move 12" per turn,  12+d6-1 if charging.
 
Musicians and Flag Bearers:  Each Musician may roll a d8 at the beginning of the movement phase.  on a 5+, the unit may move an additional 6".  The unit may not fire in the same turn a musician's ability is used.  The Musician and Flag Bearer's effect may are not cumulative, but may be used in succession in the same turn, until a positive effect is roll.
 
Rifles    0-12"  3+
             12-24" 4+ 
             No shot beyond 24 inches.
Pistols   0-6"  3+
             7-12  4+
             13-18 5+
 
Melee 
Officers d8
Troops d8
Musicians and Flag Bearer d6
Mounted Officer d10
 
Morale
If the majority (more than 50%)  of a unit is in base-to-base contact, they gain +2 to their morale.   
If the Flag Bearer is still alive +2
If the Musician is still alive +1  
Musician and Flag Bearer bonuses are not cumulative.  The best modifier is included.
 
Modern (Askari)
All rules apply, save musician/flag bearer bonuses.  12" to move, 6" to move and shoot
 
Zulubears
Plungers of Doom! - if the Zulubears are within 12" of a target and wish to charge, they may throw plungers (spears) before moving.  Roll 1 die for every two figures (round down).  4+ to hit knocks the enemy down.
d8 Combat for fall figures
 
Roman Bears
Honey Pot Catapult  9-24"  4+
                                25-36   5+
Everything in a 3" diameter is killed. 
Everything in a 6" diameter is covered in honey.  -6" for all movement,  -1 to melee and firing. 
Treat all Roman Bears like Gnomans, except they may not use special abilities.
 
Pirate Bears
All pirate bears get the benefit "no penalty for fighting/firing on  ship"
Move 12", Move and Fire 6" max
Rifles 0-12" 3+
         12-24" 4+
No shot beyond 24 inches.
Pistols 0-6" 3+
              7-12 4+
             13-18 5+
Cannon:  Max Pirate Cannon Range 36"
 
Pegleg -1 movement
Eyepatch - 1 firing
Parrot/Sidekick - +1 Bonus to all things
 
Melee: 
Captains  d10
First Mates d8
Pirates d8
Cannon/Ship Crew d6-1
 
Cowbears:
Move: 12"  Move and Shoot 6"
Melee:  per each special.
 
 
 

 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Miskatonic Railroad

As we crash headlong through the Christmas season, trains play a more prominent role in the festivities.   Let us travel back to a fine railroad in the respectable town of Arkham, Massachusetts.

The Miskatonic Railroad...





Thanks to my friend Mike Sarno for discovering this!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Flashback Friday: Bogglecon 2 and Burning Plastic

Everyone once in awhile, I pull up a piece of nostalgia and realize... the mid-90's were a strange time to be a gamer.
"Bogglecon 2,  March 1994 - Last Playtesting for Burning Plastic"
After two cons to whet my appetite, the Lehigh Valley Gamer's Association (LVGA) and their Lehicons vanished in something akin to the Baltimore Colts moving to Indianapolis in the middle of the night.  (Kids, YouTube it if you don't know what I'm talking about). 

March 1994, I wasn't even twenty years old.  I hadn't even gotten my first job at a gaming store.  

But we were playing Burning Plastic.  Designed by another Eric, Eric T. Smith while we were both at community college, we played the heck out of it.  Green army dudes representing killer robots powered by unstable mini-reactors and even more unstable CPUs.  Explosions, self-destructions, carnage, and mayhem were the words of the day.

And here was a new con, a one day con called Bogglecon, run by one of the LVGA old guard, Mike Griffith.  Three slots  of gaming with twelve events or so per slot.  Everything that made the Nineties the Nineties.  2nd Edition AD&D, Vampire, Grunge, Goths...  and a table by the pool of a dozen crazy guys playing Burning Plastic.    It was awesome, and we would continue to attend Bogglecon, it's Fall equivalent Gobblecon, and it's red-head step brother Cardcon through the Fall of 1999.  Mike fell ill, and a bunch of gamers came together to organize Mepacon.  The rest is history, including a few fun Burning Plastic games at those cons. 

Two quick notes.  Scott, the player running Janus in my Burning Trogs campaign, is in the leather jacket by the pool.  I'm also wearing the very trendy gaminv vest with two pins I remember, my "Tournament Victim" name tag that I bought after going 0-9 at the DBA Beginner's Tournament at Lehicon IV, and my "I refuse to have a battle of the wits with an unarmed person..." button that is still floating around today.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Mundane Lifestyle is NOT for Me!

These past two weeks at work have been wild and crazy.  Plug in a household full of congestion that's reminiscent of RSV (gunky for adults, extremely dangerous for babies) and we're a hacking miserable mess.

Weekends with Mommy working usually means some gaming or fun activity with dear old Dad, but with a basketball game and a gymnastics party, that pretty much pooped me out.   

Since the birthday party was for Maja only AND it was a gymnastics party I could leave and come back, I took Millie to Hudson Model Railroad Club for their holiday open house.  Nice layout, nice flow of people, and a neat little scavenger hunt kept Millie's attention for about as long as I needed.    Still no trip to Michael's to get a few supplies for the stagnant palm tree project.

Not much progress on the gaming front.  Illnesses, work schedule, and Christmas looming in the background mean lots of down time to recuperate.    I did manage to print out a copy of Spirit of '77 and the final pdf copy of Scavengers  actually arrived! 

Going through character creation tonight.  Should work not only as a fun, Basic D&D-esque game, but I should be able to port over most mechanics into my "Disney Jr" RPG.  As my high school track coach always said, "We shall see what we shall see.."

And as the "Burning Trogs Rule!" Actual Plays have become quite popular, fret not dear readers, they are returning to Tuesdays in January, with a very special "Gwen's Journey" from her experiences after escaping Roark straight from the campaign journal.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

(GURPS) Eric Jacobson, Two More Years Later

Four long years ago, I admitted to a GURPS version of myself, an amalgam of a 100-point version of me I created for a Red Dawn game gone gonzo, and interspersed with various dream memories I've had since high school.  Two years ago, I posted an update with more skill points added from all the wacko stuff I've dreamed of, including infiltrating a Mormon cult.   I openly admitted that I'm essentially Tom Arnold's character in True Lies.

It's two years later, let's see what two kids sleeping somewhat regularly has done to my dreams....

ST: 10 DX: 11 IQ: 13 HT: 12
No changes to stats. Unless I develop consistent super-powers in dreams, it's much too difficult to improve them point-wise. More likely, they'll start dropping as I feel older in REM sleep.

Advantages: Charisma +2 (I am a helluva guy), Common Sense (I'm constantly warning people in dreams not to do stupid things), Luck (if I survived the Red Dawn game, I have it in spades), Voice, Light Hangover.

Disadvantages: Bloodlust, Nearsighted (corrected), Gluttony, Stubbornness,
Sense of Duty (Friends). Enemy: The Mormons (earned "in-game" no points)

Skills: for skill checks, one rolls 3d6 and roll your skill level or less. These are the skills I've put points into, which means most simple actions are automatic. If I wanted to do something that's not on the list, like speak French or pick a lock, my default skill level is usually IQ or DX -5... or worse. A skill level of 10 is average, 12 rather skilled, 14 well-trained, 16+ expert.

For breaking down the years, I'll try to the following. I'll list the skills I had points in first. Bolded means points were added to the skill and "+2" will denote an actual point increase of the skill .

Acting: 13                 (+1)
Administration 15   (+2)
Anthropology 10
Archaeology 10
Area Knowledge: Iceland 13
Area Knowledge: Lehigh Valley 13
Area Knowledge : Michigan Upper Peninsula 11
Area Knowledge: New York City 13   (+2)
Area Knowledge: South Africa 13
Bard 19 (let me...entertain you!)    (+1)
Boating 9
Boxing 10
Brawling 13
Camouflage 14
Carousing 12
Conspiracy Theory 11
Dancing 10
Diplomacy 13
Driving: Auto 14
Driving: Diesel Locomotive 11
Driving: Motorcycle 9
Driving: Tractor Trailer 11
Economics 11              (+1)
Engineering 12
English 14
Fast Talk: 13         (+1)
Forensics: 10
Forgery 10
Geology 10
Guns: Pistol 14
Guns: Rifle 14
Guns: SMG 13
Hiking 10
History 16   (+2)
Hobby: Gaming 13    (+2)
Hobby: Models 12
Intell Analysis 11
Interrogation 11
Law 11 
Music Instrument: Saxophone  12
Navigate 10
Occultism 14
Punning 11
Running 13 
Savoir Faire 16
Scrounging 13
Sex Appeal 15     (+1)
Sport: Basketball 10
Sport: Golf 10
Sport Volleyball 9
Stealth 11
Survival: Mountains 12
Survival: NBC 13
Swimming 10
Tactics 12
Wrestling 10

Year Three:  (15.5 points towards all skills
Acrobatics   8
Climbing 9 
Computer Operations 12
Fast Talk 13
Merchant 11
Naturalist 10

More points in Administration, Area Knowledge: NYC, and Acting, and more social skills like hobbies and sports means one thing:  at some point, I've been kicked upstairs away from the car chases and intell drops in Iceland.  And its the first time imaginary me has really used a computer. I'm old school like that.   
When the Tom Arnold version of me talks, people listen.
A better cut of suit, some salt and pepper hair, and my voice (and a Bard skill of freakin' 19) mean I command the attention I demand.

Year Four (18 points towards all skills)
Animal Handling  10
Bicycling 11
Club 11
First Aid   13
Judo 9 
Leadership 12
Politics 13
Sport: Football  8
Theology 10

Leadership, Politics, and Theology lean towards advancing my position as an in-house rep.  Yet another sport means I'm trying to keep myself active.  And bicycling.  Let's say I'm trying to be green.

This now makes me a 210-point GURPS character.  A knowledgable pro who's left the dirty work of secret agent support and now oversees operations from the comfy confines of a leather chair behind a utiliatarian metal desk.in a small office.  I wasn't going to use gunplay often, but I'm much likelier to use my brain and voice to resolve a situation. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Lancaster Host, or Anyone Have an Extra $2.7 Million?

By now, most interested people know that the Lancaster Host, home of Cold Wars and Fall-in!, and previous home of Historicon, has been put on the auction block.
This can be yours!
For a cool $2.7 million, you can make the opening bid for the facility. 

Of course, for those of us not in the hospitality or land development industries, the big question is, "What is going to happen to Cold Wars in March?"

The true answer, beyond the online doom and gloom, came in the form of a email sent to HMGS members. 

The short of it, "Everything is progressing as normal, although we are scrambling for available venues if the new owner decides to cancel the contract."

If Cold Wars does go off, it may be the HMGS con done there. It's a bit of a disappointment, as I'm missing CW this year,

BUT....

Changing venues allows the possibility of changing dates, which means I might, just be able to go on another weekend.  I'll do my best to keep everyone posted. 


 

Buck's Minions

Over at Buck Surdu's blog, he just finished up painting up some of the Sergeant Major Miniatures "Helper" figs in a familiar paint scheme.


At $10 for 4 figures, they're a bit of a steal.  I hope to see these on a HAWKS table at an HMGS con soon.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Doc Millheim is at it again!

With the fate of fame parapsychologist Dr. Nathaniel Millheim up in the air, a recent discovery of  an ancient Egyptian leather manuscript that had been in storage for decades makes the keeper in me a bit giddy. 
If Dr Karfour is still there, I would be very scared...
With a simple reading of the title my mind raced with the possibilities.  If Doc Millheim were to survive the reign of the Black Pharaoh (a VERY big if..) and managed to compose a manuscript to survive the ages, wouldn't it be a hoot if the find overshot the Roaring '20's and showed up almost one hundred years later.  Time-travelling Stargate-esque adventurng anyone?  Perhaps I can turn it into an interesting convention event.

Then I actually read the article. 

Specific dates aren't given, but it looks like it was obtained by the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology after the Great War and ultimately donated to the Cairo Museum prior to the Second World War and stored away with papyrus and other writings of ancient Egypt.   It could very well exist SOMEWHERE in the current game.  It COULD be obtained by a certain group of roguish gentleman from America.    It SHOULD be far more disastrous than any other plan, save Professor O'Hara's possible experimentation with dimensional teleportation. 
 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mushroom Turrets

Thanks to the GWtG intrepid modeler/reporter Mike Lung, I have been turned on to Orcs in the Webbe's Advent Calendar.  Today's addition is a great modelling job using an inexpensive battery powered light and some skill to make a Mushroom Turret.

Unlike my own 12 Days of Blogging, or other holiday activities, keeping up with the advent calendar is something I might be able to do.

The Mike Lung Gallery #37 - The Ameribear Revolution

After skipping Thanksgiving, we're covering the the final pics Mike composed for me. 

No Indians in this one, just a good assortment of Mike's custom sculpts alongside the old Eureka Bears (and a few Alternative Army Todori "French" for effect.)


Mike's Sculpts
We'll be seeing the pics again, as I'll use them to adorn some upcoming articles on Anthromorphic Animal Races in the Gnome Wars Universe, and a full history of the Ameribear Revolution.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Keeping Up With TV - Fall 2015

Part of the spiel of why my productivity is so low, beyond family life and kids' activities is television catering to this man's demographic.  It's not perfect, but unlike comic book reboots, TV is even harder to cater to everyone's sensibilities.

The Walking Dead:  Considering I'm typing this after grabbing the DVR of the mid-season finale, it's as good a place as any to start with.  The "casual" WD fans hate this season.  Not enough deaths, weird pairings, and if I have to hear about the fate of Chinese kid for weeks on end, I'm going to start hitting people in the face with a shovel.

For me, it's the opposite reaction to the Season 2 at the Farm.  A whole half of a season dedicated to maybe 72 hours?    I expected a lot more maiming and death from the mid-season finale, but I appreciate the nods to the potential of things happening.  The Saviours are coming, and to do it properly might require more than a half a season of episodes.

And yeah, I know the kid's Korean  B-

Dr. Who:  This season has been rather bland.  I have a higher threshold for pain in regards to Moffat when compared to "True Whovians"  but everything is so intricately tied to everything else that I truly can't enjoy a "standalone" episode.  Oh, and my hate for Clara Oswald is finally pushing the boundaries.  I loved Jenna-Louise Coleman as Oswin long ago in  Asylum of the Daleks, but each appearance, each explanation of the storyline made things more insufferable.

The great news is that Peter Capaldi can chew through horrible lines and monologues like a herd of cows at feeding time.  "Heaven Sent" has been the only episode this season that I truly enjoyed, a "classic" Moffat redirection story that was tight, but ridiculous enough to make a great Who story.  My only worry is that the follow-up will be a flaming pile of crap that disregards half of what had been built up this season.   C

Jessica Jones:  This much vaunted second submission to the gritty, street level world of Marvel was supposed to blow the doors off Daredevil.  For me, someone with only the base idea of the original comic storyline, I watched the first four episodes, then the finale for very few surprises.   Dialogue was horribly inconsistent, ranging from updated noir-speak, to high falutin' indy comic scripts, to a vapid Image 90's style "THIS ENDS HERE!" approach.   C-

Agents of SHIELD: I was one of the few people who enjoyed the first season "Marvel Comics Present Spy/Police Procedural," so others may consider my standards low.  I'm enjoying all the haphazard moves Ward is making for Hydra, the other planet stuff with Simmons, but the spy soap opera stuff with the ATCU, May and Andrew, and Bobbi and Lance.  B

The Flash:  The girls and I started watching The Flash on Netflix and we've gotten through eight or nine episodes from Season One.  It's great.  The actors seem to enjoy the comic book lines when they get the chance, the special effects are solid, and for all the comic book logic that needs to be accepted, there is a more realistic look at death and dying in this series than I would have expected. And I love me some Captain Cold.  A

Supergirl:  My wife has crowded out our DVR on Mondays with The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, so hopefully the girls and I can catch up on a few missed episodes.  Another top notch series, although they drive home the feminist angle a bit harder than they need to.   The fact that an action series is populated by multiple highly-proficient women is fantastic (and something I missed before I started writing,) doesn't need comic-book level dialogue espousing the difficulty of being a woman under the scrutiny of the male-dominated peers.  Even with that minor nit-pick, and the cheesey super-prison as a main plot point, is my girls' favorite shows, finally supplanting Doctor Who as most requested Daddy-Daughter viewing.  A

The Big Bang Theory:  Even with the aftershocks of a wedding dominating the season, they've managed to keep up a healthier dose of nerdist itinerary to offset the practical relationship mumbo-jumbo that logically needs to be kept up.  Much better than last season  A

Drunk History:  The concept will always work on a base level, although this year I'm more enthused by the special guest stars reenacting the story (Urkel!)  B-

Gravity Falls:   There's only one more episode (Weirdmageddon III) before they close the book on the series as it is today.    There's so much more I want them to cover, but there are only so many days in a Summer to do it in.  Truly the one show that kept our whole family (wife included) entertained.  A+

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mister Rogers, Evil, and the Games of Make Believe

In a world of social media and 24-hour news cycles, it's not a surprise that the world was overwhelmed with the tragedy in Paris.  To see dozens of innocent people gunned down in cold blood, many with absolutely no chance to escape their faith,  

Everytime I see one of the  scores of "experts"  pontificate as to how this tragedy could be avoided, my eyes glaze over.  I'm not an evil person, but I'm much more interested in how much worse the terror attacks could be.

Since I'm not a member of the CIA, Al-Queda, or ISIL, I may be a game master. 

As a longtime GM with a background in history, I've spent considerable time going beyond the the flavor text and board game aspect that we all started with and more researching the "bad guys" to make them more effective than villain of week or boss monsters. 

Back during 9/11 I was stunned by the events just like everyone (15 hour days at the newspaper would guarantee it if it weren't so horrific to begin with.) By Friday, I had taken a half-day to have lunch with my friends who were still at college.  For a bitter, sarcastic bunch, they were simply abhorred by the end of the meal, as I went on a rant about how ill-thought out the attack was, the complete lack of contingencies, attacking a site on a holiday (Election Day in NYC), a devolving into a "if I were a terrorist I would do XYZ..." that involved six more conspirators, a completely different action, and would create a far greater panic in the Heartland.

Luckily I was not picked up by the FBI or other law enforcement for my rather tacky outburst, but the fact of the matter was I could think coldly and logically about such horrific things that allowed my friends to come to two conclusions:  (A) Don't make Eric angry and (B) Sometimes I may pull some punches when GMing with my friends, but most of the time, WATCH OUT!

Even the most "serious" role-players run their villains as a Scooby Doo monster of the week with some magic powers.  Heck, at best, they have the brilliance of some wild plan Cobra Commander or Skeletor devised on after-school TV, only to have it fall apart at the first glance of the heroes.   Greed and hate usually results in bank robberies and localized tragedies.  When we're playing in a world of drow elves, dragons, and liches living for for hundreds of years or more, shouldn't true evil show their faces in (horrific) competence?   Institutionalized evil is far more frightening than some raging bugbear barbarian terrorizing a hapless village.   The installed system could do far more damage to the PCs than the crazed machinations of the local doppelganger pretending to be a merchant.

Seriously guys, research some of the crazy atrocities committed by historical figures through the years.  It will add to your GMing style (and possibly land you on a terror list, but it's a small price to pay.)

To offset that talk about evil, I present a picture of Mister Rogers:

Roll for Initiative, Neighbor!
This has been floating around social media for awhile, with plenty of chuckles, but all of us know 1st Edition AD&D is much too violent for our favorite neighbor to run.   

What would Mister Rogers run at the table?  

In the show, he demonstrates a strong need for his neighbors to understand the difference between right and wrong and as much as the his stories can be railroaded (trollied?), it's more a device to get between one scene or another.   Most importantly, he would stress creativity and imagination.  He would certainly have a sandbox style often (C'mon he literally played in a sandbox in his backyard.)  
He would definitely run some of the more new-wave, independent games out there.   The Fates, the Fudges, and many a fast game of Risus.  I think he would like my attempt at making a game for the Disney Jr shows (with the serial numbers filed off, did you hear the stories about him going to prison, Vietnam, being a Navy SEAL?  All true! Honest!)     People would still get hurt, only killed in the most serious situations and when those traumatic situations occurred, he'd specifically look to award the helpers of the innocent.    Perhaps a game like Village on a Hill would be more his forte.  

Suggestions and ideas on either topic are welcome!