Monday, October 31, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A "Vampire Bat" for Your Zombie Games

Studio Miniatures has released a few new figures for their "Survivors" line. 


Dean - With a pistol or a bat, he's known for his headshots.
Lenny - "All lead is sacred"


Jim - Someone may have buffed his stats.

Each one is available for £4.00.

Friday, October 28, 2016

(Painting) Trees and a Mouse

While I managed to keep my normally prolific post rate on the blog and snuck two pulp games into an normally chaotic month, my painting has suffered.    With Fall-In! in a week and the mouse fantasy games for Mepacon in two, it's crunch time in the Kriget Rum. 


Here's the pathetic output thus far this month:


First off, I keep finding (#%!%!!@ trees to paint up from the dinosaur and toy soldier playsets.



I believe that all cheap, plastic terrain has been painted up. 

With the bevy of mouse creatures to paint for Mepacon, it's pretty pathetic that I've only knocked out one of the easier ones, a lone  Mice Warrior from Eureka.


A bad size comparison between an old crouching Grenadier fig and the Mice Warrior.
Next:  A few critical Mouslings for the con game, a pulp figure or two, plus more Blue Martians!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

(TBT) Historicon '99

Over the last 20 years, I've moved a grand total of seven times.  Despite my best efforts to reduce or at least organize my stuff over the years, when combined with my wife's piles, has created a hoarder's tornado of crap in our garage. 

It's gotten better over the summer, and every once in awhile, a real gem appears out of a box. 

Today's artifact:  the Historicon 1999 Preliminary Event List (PEL) that was still mailed to my mother's house. 

I can't imagine the cost for mailing a 52-page booklet to all the previous attendees, but that was still the rage back then. 
 
With a Napoleonic theme, it was no surprise as to what was filling the pages.    I had just started attending the HMGS (East) Cons two years prior, so I was still dipping my toes into historical wargaming.  Interestly enough, the event titles I had highlighted in a now-fading yellow still line up with the events that pique my interest today.  Boxer Rebellion, Russo-Japanese War, and a few head-scratchers into AWI and Ancients. 
 
There were plenty of seminars (sponsored by The Couriere), yet a good number of fantasy/sci-fi/pulp games.  Not as high as the current cons host, but enough that I imagine the grognards harrumphing their way past numerous tables.
 
Pre-Register today!
It's interesting that there's Children's Room with an appropriate $5.00 registration fee.  The room was open from 10am  to 4pm Friday and Saturday, where kids could play games with other kids, learn to paint, and stay out of Dad's hair while he played in a lunchtime session.   I do prefer the kid's getting in for free and play with Dad/Mom model they currently have.   Even in a kid's-only game in the HAWKS room, I get just enough free time to go to the bathroom, grab food, and maybe do a quick perusal of the flea market while my daughter plays, and I'm okay with that. 
 
Of course, no PEL would be complete without a GM Event Form in the back?
 
Note the last line...
 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Apathy of New Releases (Nov '16)

ViscountEric's Want List
Playroom Entertainment
Pass the Pandas (PLE 18400) ................................................................................. $12.00


My Money-Is-No-Object Want List
Battlefield Press
D6 Edition:  Ninja High School The Anime and Manga .............................. $39.95
Khepera Publishing
Atlantis - The Second Age RPG:  Grandmother's Island .............................. $12.99
Steve Jackson Games
OGRE 6th Edition ......................................................................................... $49.95


My Imaginary Store (The Pegleg Gnome) List
Alderac Entertaiment Group
Siege ............................................................................................................... $24.99


Battlefront Miniatures
Fire Giant ........................................................................................................ $40.00
Frost Giant ...................................................................................................... $40.00
Storm Giant Royal Guard ............................................................................... $50.00


Giant resin models for the D&D Campaign Storm King's Thunder?   It does appear on other solicitations that the big word UNPAINTED was included.   I'll take my smaller, cheaper Reaper, thank you very much.

Brain Games
Game of Trains ............................................................................................... $12.95
Logic of Cards ................................................................................................ $5.95 per set
Blue, Matchsticks, Yellow Packs
Catalyst Game Labs
Shadowrun:  Sixth World Tarot ...................................................................... $24.99

Catan Studios
Catan: Scenario - Santa Claus .......................................................................... $ 8.00


Cakebread & Walton
Onedice: Supers  ............................................................................................... $11.99
Onedice: WW2 ................................................................................................. $11.99

Cryptozoic Entertainment
Batman the Animated Series:  Almost Got 'Im Card Game ............................  $20.00
Ghostbusters:  The Board Game II ..................................................................  $90.00
Ghostbusters:  The Board Game II - Louis Tully Expansion ..........................  $30.00
Ghostbusters:  The Board Game II - Slimer Expansion ..................................  $30.00


Cubicle 7
Call of Cthulhu:  World War Cthulhu Cold War HC ...................................... $44.99
Doctor Who RPG:  All the Strange Strange Creatures HC ............................. $39.99
Doctor Who RPG:  Pasternoster Investigations HC ........................................ $34.99

Evil Hat Productions
Young Centurions:  Sally Slick and the Miniature Menace PB....................... $15.00

Expeditious Retreat Press
Pathfinder 1-on-1 Adventures #18:  Redemption ............................................ $16.00
Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens 1st Edition .......................................................................... $22.60
Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition .................................................................... $19.00
Exploding Kittens Original Edition .................................................................. $19.00


Fantasy Flight Games
Dragon Shields (100) ........................................................................................ $10.99
Apple Green, Ivory, and Sky Blue
Star Wars RPG: Edge of the Empire - No Disintegrations HC ......................... $29.95
Star Wars X-Wing Rogue One - Tie Striker .....................................................  $14.95
Star Wars X-Wing Rogue One - U Wing .........................................................  $29.95


Fearlight Games
Baker Street:  Roleplaying in the World of Sherlock Holmes ......................... $39.99
Baker Street:  Casebook #1 .............................................................................. $24.99


Games and Gears
Battlemat Grass Field 6x4 ................................................................................ $80.00
Battlemat Concrete 6x4 .................................................................................... $80.00
Perhaps I'm just cheap, but eighty bucks for a battlemat is a bit much, when I've seen better quality mats for sixty. 

Games Workshop
Overprice Blood Angels this month.
Iello
Around the World in 80 Days .......................................................................... $39.99


Jasco
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Board Game ........................................................... $39.99


Kobold Press
Kobold Guide to Plots and Campaigns ............................................................ $19.99


Modiphius
Achtung!  Cthulhu Unit Packs .......................................................................... $49.99
Badger's Commandos, Black Sun Troops, Deep Ones War Party, and Servitor Horde of Nylarathotep.
Mutant Year Zero:  Die Meat Eaters, Die! ........................................................ $16.99


Monte Cook Games
Numenera:  Into the Outside HC ....................................................................... $39.99


North Star Games
Evolution:  Climate Stand-Alone Game ............................................................ $59.99


Paizo Publishing
PATHFINDER ADV CARD GAME: MUMMY’S MASK ADV DECK 4 .... $19.99
PATHFINDER RPG: CAMPAIGN  STRANGE AEONS MAP FOLIO ......... $19.99
PATHFINDER RPG: ADV PATH - STRANGE AEONS PT 6 BLACK STAR ... $24.99
PATHFINDER RPG: FLIP-MAT - ELEMENTAL PLANES MULTI-PACK ...... $24.99
PATHFINDER RPG: PLAYER COMP HEROES OF THE HIGH COURT ......... $14.99


Pelgrane Press
Esoterrorists RPG: Worldbreaker ............................................................................ $19.95
Fear Itself 2nd Edition ............................................................................................  $29.95
Time Watch RPG ...................................................................................................  $49.95
Time Watch RPG:  Behind Enemy Lines ..............................................................  $19.95
Time Watch RPG:  The Book of Changing Years .................................................  $24.95


Playroom Entertainment
Unspeakable Words ...............................................................................................   $25.00


Role 4 Initiative
Castle Keep:  Dice Tower and GM Screen Combo ..............................................   $34.99


Sanguine Productions
Urban Jungle RPG:  Anthropomorphic Noir Role Play ........................................  $29.95


Steve Jackson Games
Munchkin: Hidden Treasures ................................................................................ $19.95
Moop's Monster Mash-up .....................................................................................  $29.95
Munchkin Valentines ............................................................................................  $ 5.95


Troll Lord Games
Castles and Crusades RPG:  The Andanuth .........................................................  $24.99


WizKids
DC Dice Masters:  Superman and Wonder Woman Starter Set ........................... $19.99
D&D Red Dragon Trophy Plaque ........................................................................ $299.00
Marvel Dice Masters:  Defenders Team Pack ...................................................... $ 9.99
Marvel Heroclix:  Mercs 4 Money Fast Forces .................................................... $16.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:  Bioship Alpha ............................................................... $14.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:  USS Excelsior ............................................................... $14.99
D&D Fantasy Miniatures:  Icons of the Realms Starter Set .................................$19.99


Complete Line of Official D&D and Pathfinder UNPAINTED Minis.............. Price Varies
I don't know what material is being used to cast these figures, but the renderings are far too detailed for generic WizKids rubbery plastic.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

(Savage Showdown) #10 Don't Miss the Boat

Ever since the film crew for the latest feature, Witness of a Hero descended upon the sleepy village of Sohai, there had been nothing but trouble.    First, crazed fans and corrupt soldiers tried to kidnap the film's star, Ruby Diamond.  She escaped their clutches, but her trusted driver, John Partridge, was killed.   Then, Ruby's dog, Rosie, went missing, and there was a running fisticuffs in the streets to find it and claim the reward.

The man who found Rosie was Lt Col Thaddeus Ovaltine: treasure hunter, archaeologist, and leader the Rough 'n Ready Riders mercenary company.    He was also the man primarily responsible for Miss Diamond's kidnapping attempt.  He had narrowly escaped capture in the attempt, but his Riders had all either been killed or run off.   Being fabulously wealthy had its privileges and he managed to purchase the service of a few disgruntled government troops to rescue. 

The reward money was chump change for such a wealthy man, but Ovaltine finally had an opportunity to meet his beloved face-to-face.   The starlet had no idea that her puppy's savior was the same man that tried to kidnap her (botched Notice roll), but no sooner had Ovaltine started to spew romantically about how they were mean to be together (botched Persuasion roll), than Ruby called for her bodyguard and dashed off to film her last few scenes. 

Even with government troops on his payroll, Ovaltine couldn't get near Miss Diamond again, thanks to her own batch of easily bribed soldiers. 

With filming complete, it was time to leave, but the film's producers soon discovered that the nearby train station and rural roads were swarming with too many bandits and scoundrels for even their own private army to handle. 

Enter Captain Larry.  He had participated in the dog hunt for the money, but he also had a slice of decency inside his cold heart.  He let the film know, that his ship's services were available to get Miss Diamond out of town discretely.  The retired mobster, Gerald the Saint was further employed to walk Rosie for a few nights, until one night, he didn't return with her, instead taking her to Captain Larry's ship. 

Under cover of darkness, Ruby and local hero Ted Mosby, Aviator, slipped out of the hotel and made their way to a small shack, where they would wait in safety until Captain Larry made to signal to rush to the boat.    Rush might be an overstatement, because a girl in heels can't run, and a fairy lady such as Miss Diamond wouldn't be caught dead running.  The crew had their work cut out for them.


Ruby and Ted started at the small shack (upper left) and needed to board the ship (just past lower right) to succeed.




The crew of Captain Larry's ship (and Rosie) started on the docks.
Turn One:  As the sun began to break the horizon, a single flare was shot into the air.  Captain Larry had arrived.   His men stormed the dock and advanced into the desert to meet their objective.  Ted and Miss Diamond walked with flare, purpose, and a desire for cover.  

Morty:  "Sumthin's out der!"
The duo could hear group quickly moving towards the shack.  Ovaltine and his men on payroll had discovered the plan and were making one last try to nab her!

Turn Two:  The sailors had bigger (and closer) fish to fry, as a small horde of  locals came barreling out of the dunes.  The rumors of the actress' late-night disappearance formed liquor-aided worries than the film company was ditching town without paying many of the locals that had been hired as extras.  Seizing Ruby would guarantee payment, one way or another. 

For Ted Mosby, Aviator, a quick shot fell one of Ovaltine's men, but a strong desire for survival forced him to hide within what little cover was available.  

Angry Extras
Turn Three:  Ovaltine's new men proved to have little mettle in this endeavor, as a few shots by Ted and sailor Old Pete froze them under cover of some palm trees.  The other sailors proved less than reliable.  Morty, packing a Tommy Gun, sprayed a wall of bullets at the locals, but couldn't injure a soul.    The locals returned fire, and if not for Morty's chronic back problems, which kept him hunched over, the sailor would surely be dead (a benny to soak all the damage may have helped as well). 
Almost there, Miss Diamond...


Turn Four:  The locals seized the initiative and charged Captain Larry, Morty, and Redshirt Lance.  Each was wounded, but held their ground.


The locals charge.
Turn Five:  Ted and Ruby dashed off closer to the ship, just in the nick of time,  as Ovaltine finally convinced his men to charge out of cover.  The Lt Col sprinted in front of his and tried to take a pot shot at Old Pete. 

*click*

*click click*

Despite an opportune shot, it appeared that he had forgotten to load his rifle AND bring any ammo along.  His sidearm would have to do. 


Back with sailors, blows were finally landing.  Captain Larry clobbered one man, Redshirt Lance a second, and Morty shook off his attackers, took two steps back before leveling his Tommy gun, and wiping out all but one of his attackers.

Morty tries to clear the board


Turn Six:  With Ted and Ruby under cover and rushing towards the ship, Ovaltine's men turned their attention on the sailors.  No sailors meant the starlet wasn't going anywhere.  A few quick shots fell Morty before he could turn around and fire, while three soldiers and one local jumped on Captain Larry.    Wounded, and against overwhelming odds, the captain slugged two into submission, forcing the other two to flee. 

Captain Larry - Undaunted!
Turn Seven:  Ruby Diamond made it aboard, and the other sailors quickly followed suit.  The locals routed and the Ovaltine's men found cover and took some useless pot shots at the boat.  Mission accomplished!

Turn Eight: Only, it wasn't.  Ruby Diamond quickly realized that Captain Larry wasn't aboard.  She screamed his name as the other sailors shoved off into safer waters. 

But Larry would make one last valiant effort to reach the edge of the water, before two shots hit him in the back and he collapsed into the water. 



The fate of Captain Larry:  Unknown.



As it has become SOP in the games with my daughter, Maja, even with bonuses.   The sailors pulled a Joker for initiative, earning them a +2 for all the units actions, a roll on the Fortune and Calamity chart which netted them an increase to a skill or ability (Maja wisely up shooting to a d8), and in a hail of gunfire and dicerolling, she accrued a mountain of misses, and the few that landed didn't do enough damage to rip a sheet of paper.   The good news was that my futility was even worse, forcing Ovaltine's men to freeze and overwhelming numbers of the locals to achieve little. 

But the three part story of Ruby is over, with her on her way back to Hollywood, and perhaps a leading man role for Ted in his future.  Ovaltine will sulk, but soon be back to his dastardly ways. 

And Captain Larry?  He may return, depending on plot convenience.  

Maja, Triumphant!
As with many of the "Egypt" games I play with my daughter, this one was wildly influenced/inspired/stolen from Preacher By Day's game of the same name. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Frog Fight!


"Back in my day, we needed to capture, kill, and taxidermy our Anthropomorphic Animal Minis, and by golly, we liked it."

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gnome Patheos



It's not often that gnomes get involved in conversations of faith but here your go.

It's also nice to know that many citizens of Iceland believe in gnomes...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mousling Stats for Savage Worlds

As I'm working on the two scenarios for the Savage "Kids!" Mousling games, I figured I would set up the racial template for


Mousling: 
More Mouse than Creature:  Mouslings are allowed one free edge, just like humans.
Nimble Creatures:  Mouslings navigation of the forest allow them a d6 in Agility rather than a d4.
The Mouse Nose Knows:  The Mousling Sense of Smell gives +2 to scent-based Notice rolls.


Tiny Legs, Tiny Feet:  Mouslings small stature allow them only a base pace of 5.
Only so much strength in such a small body:  Mousling characters must spend two steps to raise Strength during character creation and must use two advances to increase Strength during play.



Savage Worlds offers a variety of benefits and penalties to create a race package. I stuck with the one free edge, as they are still quite human in attitude. I do want to work through with the Mousling Knights and Barbarians to ensure the Strength restriction doesn't hinder them too much.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

CoC #39: Masks of Nyarlathotep #19 The Best Laid Plans

July 16, 1925 Tokyo, Japan
Professor Bob Wintermute awoke from his bed at the American embassy by the sound of a truck backfiring.  It was a restful sleep soon he was down to his first breakfast not behind bars in weeks.  The backfiring truck was the Japanese delivering his remaining possessions:  two large satchels of personal effects and forbidden tomes.

After freshening up, Wintermute was escorted by Marines to the harbor and physically placed onto the ocean liner for voyage to San Francisco through Hawaii.  Keeping a healthy level of paranoia, he carried the two satchels, plus a third bag with his spare clothes and books the Japanese gave him.
Fumbling with his key to the cabin, he opened the door, and came face to face with reporter David Kavida, and a quite bald, but very alive Steven O'Hara.


Steve's Story
When the Japanese Navy separated the investigators, Steven was placed in a far less posh cell located in an active warehouse.    Realizing that he would be safe if he answered the new interrogators with the same answers he gave Captain Taro, he sat at his provided table and waited for them.
  •   "What was your purpose on the island?"  To secure "the weapon" for the Japanese.
  •   "What was the purpose of the NCA on the island?"   To provide tactical support
  • "What was the purpose of the reading materials you had on your person/back at the warehouse?" Don't know...haven't been able to fully examine them yet. As a scholar, these items piqued my interest, and I picked them up to discern whether they had any value to the academic community.
  • "What are the workings of the rocket?"  How should I know? The Chinese specialize in rockets, not the Americans. Perhaps you should interrogate an actual "rocket scientist"
  • "What about the appearance of the fish men?"   Stumped on this one too - perhaps they tested earlier versions of the rocket and this was a side effect? Have you guys even been able to ascertain what therocket was even supposed to do?
  • "Who and What was the boat we fired upon in Shanghai harbor?"   We believe this boat served an integral part in the construction of the rocket. At the very least, it merely supplied the technicians building the rocket. At the most, it's role was far more sinister, perhaps housing backup plans or even a key scientist. At the time we noticed the boat escaping, we could not abort our current mission to go after it. We feared, that if it escaped, another weapon could be constructed later. So, if we could sink the boat, we could eliminate the threat. 
  • "Why was the explosion so catastrophic?"   I guess the boat was carrying an explosive payload for the rocket...how else would you explain it?
Steven had planned on feigning an illness to get transferred to a hospital and somehow contact anyone who wasn't part of the Japanese military.    Unfortunately, he didn't need to pretend as the morning of day two, he awoke to severe nausea and clumps of his hair falling out.  

Being familiar to "radium poisoning" from his time in the Dakotas, Steven was able to convince his captors to transfer him to a hospital and advise the doctors of the best course of action.  

For the rest of his stay in Japan, he resided in a hospital bed, under heavy guard.  Outside a few high ranking generals and admirals, who did not utter a word of English, his only other guest was Captain Taro during the last few days.  

He thanked O'Hara for not elaborating on the outrageous parts of the mission, keeping with the basic debriefing he had conducted with all the investigators.  He also thanked him for losing his hair, which allowed Taro to convince his superiors that more was on the island.  One additional sweep netted the Japanese all the half-broken equipment they had buried on the island.  Not a huge success, but a better start.  

One evening, Taro got O'Hara dressed, and escorted him to the train station.  There, they boarded a passenger train that took them to Tokyo.   Before leaving him aboard the ocean liner, Taro handed him a sizable wad of cash and a small bag, containing the futuristic tools he had found on the island. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

(Kickstarter) No Mercy 2: Viking Penguins vs Pirate Bears

After the news with the Reaper Bone 3 Kickstarter, it was a pleasure to Travis Hansons No Mercy Viking Penguins vs Pirate Bears launch a few hours later. 




No Mercy is a fun take on the classic game of War.  We've enjoyed the original set with Aliens vs Cats with Guns.  However, it's missing a certain dynamic for more than two players and two more factions (Viking Penguins vs Pirate Bears) should fit the bill. 


The second best part is that No Mercy 2 can be played as a stand-alone game, in case you're afraid of aliens... or cats... or guns.


The best part is that Travis Hanson has a fantastic record in his Kickstarters, delivering on time, if not EARLY. 


I for one welcome my new Viking Penguin overlords..


... or Teddy Bear Pirates if they happen to win.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

(Kickstarter) Reaper Bones 3 Delayed Signficantly!

Just as I was thinking that my Reaper Bones 3 Rewards could fill the spot of Christmas gifts so my wife doesn't have to suffer through a non-gamer shopping nightmare, news comes of a significant delay. 




The project was already hitting manufacturing and shipping snafus, as the Chinese manufacturer valiantly struggled to produce 2.4 MILLION units and ship them in a business environment that saw the world's largest container ship company file for bankruptcy.  Still, with all these issues, my original September arrival date was slowly pushed back week by week to look like late November/early December at the latest.


Then came word at the end of the week that the communication with the Chinese company was garbled at worst, misinterpreted at least. Items that had originally been believed to be pending a container were in fact, still in the queue waiting to be manufacture.  Delivery of the final pieces would be on the water "shortly before American New Year".  This means, at best, product for the initial waves wouldn't reach homes until late February at the earliest.


I'm not mad by this predicament.  In fact, it puts a huge burden off my shoulders of assembling a mousling/frost giant game for Cold Wars in March. 


I think I figured out the kid's game for Fall-In! next year.


Here's hoping the Song of Blades: Axe and Brimstone Kickstarter delivers on time, so I can have some halflings under the tree.  Perhaps Savage Rifts and Tales of the Caribbean could follow suit. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Just Mediate and Say, "GNOOOOOMMMMMEEEEE....."

The true busiest time of the year has been unleashed.  God help us all.

Must... enhance.... my calm....

Friday, October 14, 2016

Legions of Steel Character Preview



I made a quick jaunt to the FLGS on Wednesday.  After waiting a few weeks for any special orders to come in, the latest Age of Cthulhu supplement arrived.  Twenty-five bucks for a skinny hardcover is a big ouch, with anniversary gifts, birthday presents, and hockey games in our near future, much less the upcoming cons.

As I spied the shelves for other new items, two new figures caught my eye in the painted minis display case.

My two figures I had handed off to Triple P Painting were sitting in there, and they didn't look too shabby at all!
UNE Pioneer  "The Traitor Jacobson"


UNE Behemoth  Lt Colonel Brian Woolever
They'll be sitting in the case at Evolution for awhile.   Since I used a gift certificate for the work, it makes sense to me to let them sit there and sell his services for a bit.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

(TBT) The Group at Fred's Lobster Garden

Tomorrow is my 10th wedding anniversary, so I should be focusing on that, but here's a picture of part of the gaming group (with spouses) celebrating at the reception at the classiest of joints in Tioga, PA, Fred's Lobster Garden. 
Front Row:  Nichols, Adam, Allison (Nate's Wife), Nate
Second Row:  Lori-Beth (TOWN's current ex-wife), Angi (Steve's wife)
Third Row:  TOWN (The Other White Nate), Steve, HOYCE!
Seriously, that was the name of the joint.  It was the only place in Tioga County that could hold 150+ plus people and still have a dance floor.  The food was great and the tab for the open bar was the cheapest among any of my friends' weddings, and let's be honest, we all hosted lushfests!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

(Kickstarter) KODT Chibis, Now With a Life Counter

I've already mentioned the Impact Miniatures KODT Chibis earlier this month, but something got added that even made me pause and reconsider it.


Besides the Knights of the Dinner Table and other available Chibis they produce, Impact is also offering a resin, double-sided life counter with a slot base for a figure for an additional $9.


Coming from the early heydays of Magic, I love a good life counter, and the ability to mount a Teflon Billy to keep track of my life in a game of Spelljack is almost too good to pass up. 


Almost too good, for the Kickstarter for Song of Blades: Axe and Brimstone just wrapped up this morning, and my gaming budget is full of halflings, which if they arrive on time, reduces my wife's shopping list for Christmas.

Did Anyone Ask the Killer Whales?





Sunday, October 9, 2016

CoC #38: Masks of Nyarlathotep #18 "The Tokko Sends Their Regards"

June 26, 1925, Hiroshima Naval Base, Japan
It had been two days since Professor Bob Wintermute had seen his compatriots, Steven O'Hara and David Kavida. All three were survivors of a bizarre raid on an unmarked island by Chinese Communists and the Japanese Imperial Navy. The Communists appeared to be slaughtered to the man, save a wise old Chinese sage named Mu Hsien. The Imperial Navy still had many questions to debrief the trio, and thus far, were not satisfied with the answers.

Despite providing their contact, Captain Isoge Taro, a thorough debriefing, he informed them that they were to be transported back to Japan so higher ranking members of the Imperial government could ask additional questions. 

Before the ship arrived at port, the group was separated to different portions of the ship, then escorted off individually. It appeared to be a naval base of some sort. 

While the fourth wall of their room were the steel bars of a prison cells, the amenities provided to Wintermute seemed at least... congenial. A bowl of fresh fruit and a clear picture of ice water on a table with two chairs. A writing desk sat next beneath the lone -barred window. A full-size bed with actual linens was up against the corner. 

The "interrogators" did not seem to be quite qualified. They attempted to discuss matters with Wintermute in this holding cell, but outside some basic information, he kept to his guns, demanding three simple requests before talking with

I demand to see a representative of the United States Embassy.

I demand to see a representative of the United Kingdom Embassy.

I demand an immediate opportunity to send a telegram to Ambrose Mogens outlining my situation.

June 27, 1925, Hiroshima Naval Base, Japan
The Japanese allowed for telegram to Mogens. In the afternoon a tailor arrived in his building and took measurements of the professor, "For your meeting with the Embassy."

June 30, 1925, Hiroshima Naval Base, Japan
New suit arrived in the morning and he was transported under armed guard to a local government office of some sort to meet with Luke Beecher, Consulate-General of Osaka.  Beecher was quite accommodating in contact Miskatonic University regarding Wintermute's class coverage for the Fall.   Beecher was more intrigued as to how he had arrived in the custody of the Japanese.  The government had only declared that they had discovered him in a secure area of naval operations and had detained him until his threat could be ascertained.   Dr Bob managed to slip him a note explaining that he and his comrades were being held against our will after observing the catastrophe that struck Shanghai, and that the Imperial Japanese Navy was convinced that they were involved. He also had reason to believe their lives were in danger, and that they must be released post-haste.  After a lovely dinner in the Consulate-General, Wintermute was returned to IJN custody with the promise that "There's obviously a misunderstanding.  We will work things out."

July 14, 1925 Hiroshima Station, Japan
For two weeks, Wintermute was kept in his homey cell.  Agents for whatever Ministry wanted questions answered would come in, ask an almost random range of questions pertaining to his knowledge of the events in Shanghai and Grey Dragon Island, and when the professor largely rebuffed them, would leave a few English language books on history and leave with their tail between their legs.  Every few days was correspondence from Beecher on official-looking parchment.  the Consulate could not confirm the presence of O'Hara or Kavida on Japanese soil, and politely implored with Wintermute that providing a bare minimum of truthful cooperation with the authorities would speed up his release.  After that particular note, the questioning was almost insulting.  "Where in Shanghai?"  "Did you assist the Imperial Japanese Navy in removing revolutionaries from Japanese soil?"  "Is Professor Forrester at Miskatonic an adequate replacement until you are released?"

On the 14th, Wintermute and a bag of meager possessions (including the small library he accumulated) was loaded onto a train ride in the early evening. He occupied a single parlor car with six heavily armed Japanese military personnel.

July 15, 1925 Tokyo, Japan
In the morning the train arrived in Tokyo, and Wintermute was escorted directly to the US Embassy.  There he met with Ambassador Edgar Bancroft and a number of aides.   After apologizing for the delays in his release, and a few racial slurs mixed in.  He inquired about the vague note provided to Beecher, and feeling a wee bit safer, Wintermute provided a sugar-coated account of his time in Shanghai.  He and his friends were searching for a mutual friend, a John Partridge.  Partridge had dealings with some Chinese mobsters and they were trying to get him out of China.  A member of Japanese Naval Intelligence threatened them with cooperating.   For what little information they had on this gang, they had been detained while the Japanese instituted a reign of terror on Shanghai.    "They claimed that we were much more involved, but all three of us are writers, academics.  None of us had the slightest idea about crime and true corruption."

The Ambassador thanked him for this statement, dispatching a few aides and sending a few more in.

"According to the Japanese, David Kavida has never set foot in Japan since 1922.  He did submit an article on the New China Army and the chaos in Shanghai two weeks ago, but that was by telegraph in Hangzhou China.  According to a recent record, he arrived in San Francisco yesterday." The Japanese also expressed regret that your friend Steven O'Hara, succumbed to injuries sustained while in the water.  According to records, His body was already being transported on private passenger steamer for delivery to his ex-wife. 
Ambassador Bancroft
Wintermute was informed that he would take residence in the embassy overnight and would be immediately escorted by American personnel to ship to take him home via San Francisco.  He was also provided enough cash to purchase rail tickets and the necessary incidentals.  The Japanese were delivering all his remaining possessions to embassy that morning.


Next:  Episode #19 The Best Laid Plans

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Only Time That "Killary" Might Be Appropriate

I try to keep the politics out of a gaming blog, outside of some well-intentioned Trump ribbing and a few "fun" posts closer to Election Day. 


This changes everything.


Brigade Games recently posted these two pics on their Facebook page:



"We are trying like heck to get these molded and cast for Fall-In which is days before the election.  They are making their way over the Atlantic at the moment."
"One way or another they will eventually be on sale for use in your Apocalyptic or modern games..."


Well, these go the to top of my shopping list at Fall-In!

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Mike Lung Gallery #43: The Chickazulu


It's been a while since we showcased some of Gaming with the Gnomies correspondent Mike Lung's work.

Here we have the feared Chickazulu army, in full battle regalia.

There's over 180 of them now, with at least 60 hatchlings just turning old enough to wield the spear and join the imPeepis.






Young Soldier:
You afeared of the Chickazulus then, Quartermaster?

QSM Bearsfield:
One Chickazulu is only one chick... and I'm afeared of no one chick... but the Chickazulu, they come in the thousands... like a peeping, yellow wave of death... in the thousands... and them beaks... stabbing!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Refugees Find a New Home in Pennsylvania

According to news reports, the gnome and their homes that had been evicted from Little Buffalo State have found a new place to live in Millerstown and Duncannon city parks. 


It's good to see local leaders solving the homeless problem by correcting their own gnomeless problem.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

(Kickstarter) Knights of the Dinner Table Fantasy Chibis by Impact Miniatures

Impact Miniatures is at it again, this time with Chibi  fantasy versions of the Knights of the Dinner Table.


For a measely $24 (+ $5 S&H) you can have your favorite gaming characters, dressed as their iconic Hackmaster characters.


Probably not jumping in (Kickstarter or wife's birthday... wife's birthday wins!), but the chance to own a Teflon Billy is tempting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

(Savage Showdown) #9 That Silly Dog

The desert town of Sohai was already a busy place with a movie filming right outside its borders and a Hollywood starlet residing in its swankiest hotel. 
However, disaster swept through the film crew and the town's citizenry, as it was discovered that acclaimed actress Ruby Diamond's dog Rosie had turned up missing!  News of a substantial reward for the return of her pet sent numerous "search parties" to the far reaches to find the dog.
The dog was spotted in the wee hours of the morning, in a deserted bazaar.  Three groups were the closest.
On a quiet, pre-dawn morning on the streets of Sohai, a dog does it's business on an obelisk
#1 -  Adventurer and archaeologist Maja Millie had teamed up with Ruby Diamond's saviour, Ted Mosby and two locals.  - Run by my daughter, Maja.

#2 - Lieutenant Colonel Thaddeus Ovaltine and three corrupt government soldiers had escaped the kidnapping attempt of the starlet and decided to join forces to capture the dog, split the reward money, and give Ovaltine another chance to woo Ms Diamond.  Run by my friend Brian

#3 - Captain Larry and his sailor bros were in it for the money, but knew that Ovaltine was up to no good.  Run by me!

Special Rules:  Numerous sacks, crates, and containers lay scattered across the board.    If a figure got within an inch of the item, they could make a random skill check.   If successful it was a one time bonus, with a raise it was a permanent bonus towards capturing the dog.

Turn One:  Rosie was chasing her tail around the obelisk which allowed Maja Millie's and Ovaltine's group to move up quickly.    Captain Larry recommended caution, but his sailors didn't obey his orders.   Morty the Mook dashed over to what obviously was a pile of kibble and tried to fling a sack over his hulking shoulder.   Perhaps the kibble got in contact with water and became extra-heavy, perhaps Morty didn't lift with his knees. Perhaps the dice gods rolled catastrophically, but within seconds, Morty was laying on the ground clutching his back. 


Morty, asking for improved chiropractic care on the crew's health care.

Turn Two:  Maja Millie was renowned in these parts as being a fast runner, and her fleet footedness allowed her to run up behind Rosie the dog. 
"Here puppy puppy."
Rosie was startled by the sprinting human and was just about to dart off, when out of nowhere, Lt Col Ovaltine and a big sack of dog treats (+2 permanent bonus) appeared.  


"Milk Bones for my Beloved's canine..."
Turn Three:  Ovaltine's government allies tried to get in position to run interference with the other groups.  Two soldiers got into it with some of the sailors, while the other tried to nab Maja Millie.  The archeologist was too nimble for the native, and with a juke move, evaded capture, hooked a leash onto Rosie collar, and began to drag her towards the table edge. 



Maja Millie steals the dog away, only to lose it seconds later.
The dog's carefree nature hindered Maja's natural speed, so it was easy for Ovaltine to run alongside them, and with a slash from his long knife, cut the leash. 

Turn Four:  Captain Larry had finally managed to race across the street, and watching the dastardly Ovatline's deeds first hand, drew out his revolver and leveled it at the Lt Col's head.



*click*  *click*

"That's the last time I give Morty the job of loading me revolver...."     

The soldier finally caught up to Maja Millie, stopping her from her pursuit of Ovaltine, but earning a knockout elbow to the nose in return. 



"Quick somebody stop him before he ..."
Turn Five:  Captain Larry couldn't keep pace with Ovaltine, and his futile throw of his empty revolver only managed to knock off the Lt Col's sun hat.    Ovaltine successfully threw the bag of dog biscuits ahead of Rosie to encourage her to move faster.  No one was able to catch him... 

Except for the two locals helping Maja Millie.  Both came dashing out of different alleys and tried to gang tackle Ovaltine. 

They missed, only succeeding in colliding into each other....




"... nevermind."
Thaddeus Ovaltine gets the reward money (split four ways among the soldiers, he is a man of honor), as well as a chance to woo his beloved Ruby Diamond.  What will transpire during that meeting?  You'll need to stay tuned for Episode #10, coming soon!!!!

Some unfortunate initiative orders and short rolls for the random movement for Rosie ensured that the game devolved into a miniatures version of Fumble Rumble... with a dog. 
No real dogs were harmed during this game.

This scenario was directly inspired/borrowed/stolen from Preacher by Day's AAR: That Darned Cat.


Next:  Episode #10:  Don't Miss the Boat