Saturday, December 31, 2016

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Redux #0.1 - Prelude - Zorin Redrock - The Last Twelve Years

After the hectic cross-continental adventures as acting Plenitatory Ambassador for Barthey, Zorin Redrock decided to retire.  After a few quick journeys to receive some worthless accolades from neighboring countries, he ventured to his holding that the Emperor of Barthey had awarded him in Treibezond and stuck his toes in the sand.  Unfortunately, the coastal territory had a great beach but the interior landscape was much akin to Minnesota iron ore fields.


Two years after the war ended,  he left his estate for the final time and travelled to the Gnomish City States.  He convinced the City-States military to sponsor a pirate and slaver-hunting expedition throughout the Mer Kasp.    Unfortunately, Zorin wasn't much of a sailor, as are most other types of gnomes, and the slavers secret bases remained hidden.   

Six years on the sea taught Zorin a lot about sailing, and an utter disgust for human and gnome sailors.  Despite the finest armament on the Mer Kasp, his lack of naval tactics results in more than a few crews nearly getting wiped out from pirates.    The City-States decided to recall the ship and its crew from the mission. 

Zorin sank his small fortune into three new ships and tried to outfit them with proper crews, but his reputation preceded him. After a few disasters, a few sunken ships, and a couple of replacements along the way, his two remaining ships are crewed by a swarthy, gung-ho band of halflings. 

This year,  twelve since he "retired," his haphazard networks of contacts, spies, and informants have uncovered a tiny cove that's almost impossible to navigate.    Only the skilled, or the well-organized could get through, so that meant only a treacherous overland march is required to reach it, and possibly even rappel down some cliff faces.  Even worse, this information may be time-sensitive, and Zorin's flagship, The Fiery Blaze, far, far away.  His second ship, The Broken Chain, is nearby, and it's up to the scrappy halfling crew to do the recon, and possibly assault the pirates there.  



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mores Gnome Pics from Fall-In! 2016

Our intrepid agent Mike Lung snapped some action pics of the Gnome Wars game at Fall-In this past November...


I don't remember these guys on the Brigade website!  They were mercilessly slaughtered. 








Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Chinese Donald Trump of the Walk?

With the Chinese New Year only scant days away, a Chinese shopping mall has commissioned a statue to celebrate the Year of the Rooster with a certain American Presidential bent.
CNN Link
Small souvenir versions of the statue will be available soon, but I will say I need two of these, between 3" and 6" tall.  One to use as-is as a monster of the week, and a second to scuff up, or just paint stone and make it a relic of the pre-apocalypse, to go along with Brigade Games' Post Apoc line. 

Mandatory Holiday Swag Post 2016

Another crazy Christmas has come and gone.  There are piles of toys EVERYWHERE and the last three days of rain might not be enough to contain the size of my burning pile. 
But enough about American Girl dolls, karaoke machines, and tablets more powerful than mine.   The big question everyone's asking is "ViscountEric, What did YOU get for Christmas?"
Socks...   I got a boatload of socks.
The last two years, I've given my wife a want list to fill at the FLGS, and a straight Amazon wish list.  The local list was a near disaster, as the order barely arrived by dinnertime Christmas Eve.  The Amazon wishlist was insanity, as my dearest ordered all of it, and I've barely gotten through a third of it. 
This year my list was pretty simple:
I got my necessary undergarments, but I did get a few other things....
  •  Rory's Story Cubes for Action, Voyages, Clues, Prehistoria, and a double dose of Enchanted.  My wife may have gone a bit overboard, but the kids love it.
  • Munchkin Pathfinder
The rest derived from my predilections for Kickstarters.   I had four pending delivery for October through December, so I figured relying on those to add to the "fun" at Christmas.    Reaper Bones 3 was then delayed into Spring 2017 and the Songs of Blades and Heroes campaign might be in the mail right now.   That left me with Golden Goblin's Tales of the Caribbean for Call of Cthulhu and The Tomorrow Legion's Player's Guide for Savage Rifts.


To top things off, I held the Brigade Games' Arab Revolt figures I picked up at Fall-In! for Christmas, just so I had some stocking stuffers.  I also picked up two packs of Pulp Figures:  Weird Villans and Dangerous Dames I. 


Considering my wife ordered half of her own Christmas presents, and we loved everything we got, I consider this Christmas a win! 


Time to base the figures, make up some Rifts characters, and roll some story cubes!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PERMES Offers Free Santa Claus and Reindeer Chariot

PERMES is offering a free pdf of paper minis Santa Claus and his Reindeer Chariot on Wargames Vault.
Sample Page
- Santa's Chariot with reindeers - 2 versions
- Walking Santa Claus - 2 versions
- Reindeers - 2 versions
- BONUS 3 x reindeers for XMAS Tree

All minis, parts, accessories and elements of scenery are 300dpi 30mm front and back full colour artwork suitable both for RPG and wargaming. Three universal wide bases (grass, sand and rock) included.

(Kickstarter) Burrows and Badgers: New Blood - The 24-Hour Phenonmenon

If you're reading this the Burrows and Badgers: New Blood Kickstarter is probably over.  


Don't be too upset over missing it, as it was a 24-hour "flash" Kickstarter.  


One of the multiple options available.
With a good product, reasonable targets, a little variety, and a dedicated fanbase, I guess these quick Kickstarters can work, as they obtained 800% of their target goal. 


And to counter my one possible critique, they will be opening up additional orders through Paypal for those who blinked and missed the campaign.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Apathy of the New Releases (January '17)

My Want List
Steve Jackson Games
OGRE:  Reinforcements Expansion ............................................................... $19.95
My Money-Is-No-Object Want List
Nothing


My Imaginary Store (The Pegleg Gnome)
Catalyst Game Labs
Master of Orion Conquest DBG ...................................................................... $19.99
Shadowrun RPG:  Book of the Lost HC .......................................................... $39.99
Shadowrun RPG:  Cutting Aces HC ................................................................. $44.99
Shadowrun Sixth World Tarot Deluxe ..................... ........................................ $39.99
Shadowrun RPG:  Run Faster ...........................................................................  $39.99


Compass Games
On to Paris 1870-71:   Franco Prussian War ...................................................... $89.00


Decision Games
Barbarossa Deluxe .............................................................................................. $65.00
Folio Series: Zama  ............................................................................................. $19.95


Dynamic Entertainment
Art of Atari HC ....................................................................................................  PI

Definitely cheaper through Amazon, but it will be a conversation piece in the store.

Game Salute
Game Salute is releasing Magic Hat and Magic Potion d20s.  No pricing, but these might be your conversation starters at your store:

They're also coming out with d8 scrolls and more traditional dice sets.
Games Workshop
Death Zone Season 1 ................................................................................................ $25.00
Skavenblight Scramblers .......................................................................................... $35.00
The new sculpts are wwaaaaayyyy overdone, just like every other GW fig, but $35 is a great price point.
Planetary Onslaught Codex HC ............................................................................... $40.00


GW is also releasing individual characters for Warhammer Quest... at 25 bucks a pop. 


Goodman Games
Dungeon Crawl Classics: Holiday Module - Twilight of the Solstice ..................... $14.99
Metamorphosis Alpha RPG:  Epsilon City  (Standard Edition) ............................... $60.00
Mutant Crawl Classics RPG (Standard Edition) ....................................................... $39.99


Green Couch Games
Rocky Road A La Mode ............................................................................................ $20.00


Green Ronin Press
Pathfinder RPG:  Freeport Bestiary Sourcebook ....................................................... $34.95

Iello
Pyramids ...................................................................................................................... $19.99


Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh!  Fusion Enforcers Boosters
Yu-Gi-Oh!  Raging Tempest Special Edition Box Display (10)
Looney Labs
Math Fluxx  .................................................................................................................... $16.00


Mantic Entertainment
Nexus Psi Expansion Set (11) ....................................................................................... $59.99
Plague Faction Booster Set (17) .................................................................................... $39.99
Plague Faction Starter Set (29) ...................................................................................... $39.99
KoW: Earth Elemental Regiment Set (3) ....................................................................... $34.99
Still a bit miffed that a very clean and simple Dwarf Stone Priest figure is eleven bucks!


Monte Cook Games
No Thank You Evil!  Story Please! ................................................................................. $19.99


One Small Step Games
Huzzah! Dark Woods, Dreadful Fields:  The Wilderness Campaign ............................... $62.95


Osprey Publishing
Frostgrave:  The Frostgrave Folio .................................................................................... $18.00
Frostgrave: Calendar 2017 ............................................................................................... $15.00


Paizo Publishing
Pathfinder Adv Game: Mummy's Mask Adv Deck 6 - Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh ...... $19.99
Pathfinder Legeneds:  Curse of the Crimson Throne Audio CD ...................................... $21.99
Pathfinder RPG Adv Path:  Ironfang Invasion 2 - Fangs of War ..................................... $24.99
Pathfinder RPG Flip-Mat Forbidden Jungle ..................................................................... $14.99
Pathfinder RPG: Bestiary 6 HC .......................................................................................  $44.99
Pathfinder RPG:  Player Companion - Monster Hunter's HB ........................................... $14.99


Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds RPG: East Texas University Collectors Box Set .....................................  $79.99
Savage Worlds RPG: Rifts GM HC  .................................................................................  $24.99
Savage Worlds RPG: Rifts Tomorrow Legion HC ...........................................................  $24.99
Savage Worlds RPG: Rifts Savage Foes of North America ..............................................  $29.99
Savage Worlds RPG:  Savage Rifts Maps .........................................................................  $14.99
Savage Worlds RPG: Savage Rifts Collectors Box Set .................................................... $129.99


Pokémon USA
Pokémon TCG:  GX Sun & Boosters


Steve Jackson Games
Munchkin Oz ....................................................................................................................   $24.95
Munchkin Oz 2 Yellow Brick Raid....................................................................................  $11.95


Troll Lords Games
Castles and Crusades RPG:  Arms and Armor .................................................................... $ 9.99


Wizards of the Coast
Magic the Gathering CCG: Amonkhet


WizKids
DC Heroclix:  Wonder Woman

















 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's Christmas Eve. Security Forces Stand Down for No One!

I know Santa has powers over pets to keep them in check, but a small artillery unit might not succumb to such petty magics!

From Army Men Around the House on Facebook
Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Mike Lung Gallery #46: Hoghollow 2

More pics from Mike's Hoghollow! 

Six Gun Sue in the Jackalope Corral
A Rancher and Doctor Handle Texas-Sized Mosquitos.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

(Kickstarter) Spinagogue!

As much as I've complained about people on Kickstarter marketing seasonal products during the season to catch the buzz, but no future sales, this one gets all my love:


Spinagogue - The First-Ever Dreidel Spinning Stadium



Monday, December 19, 2016

Alternative Armies Gnomish Notary and Pudigroans

One of the troop alternatives for an expanded Gnome Wars universe comes from the appropriately named Alternative Armies.  Their Slaughterloo and Flintloque lines are a bit earlier than the Great War gnomes, but in a world where I've placed Teddy Bears in tricorner hats, many of the smaller figures are perfect for other races and nationalities. 


Gaming with the Gnomies' dogged agent, Mike Lung has been infatuated with these lines for awhile, and he reminded me of two things this past week. 


First off is a special Gnomish Notary being offered for only 250 sets:
The AA gnomes are much smaller than their Gnome Wars counterparts, but they could easily be used for other purposes.   We'll see if Mike's ideas come to fruition in a future Gallery post.  


Mike's also pondering using the dogmen (Pudigroan) as French for his Mohaircan War game vs the British/Hanobearians.  They're just slightly bigger than the Teddy Bears.







Sunday, December 18, 2016

(Kickstarter) War in Christmas Village Miniatures

One of the things on Kickstarter that give me the biggest laughs are the time-sensitive ideas.  Political games that launch in 2016 and promise delivery post-November look to take your money and don't anticipate any future play... at least until 2020.  (I will say that the Trump products may be scrutinized far longer than some of us expected). 


Launching a Christmas themed Kickstarter two weeks before Christmas seems poorly timed, but War in Christmas Village has piqued my interest. 


A $25 pledge (+10 S&H) nets you four figures, a snowman, a "dark" Santa, a Krampus (complete with child in the backpack), and a Saint Nicholas, all done in a PVC plastic.   


Price wise, the pledge level is fair, although S&H is a bit high for only four figures.  IF there was more than a one-time passing mention of stretch goals, I might be interested.  A set like this would benefit from a nice variety of homicidal snowmen. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

(GURPS) Eric Jacobson, Another Year Older

Five 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.  I've tried to regularly post 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.

 As I've upgraded to a smart phone, I've been able to recollect the fleeting dreams (lots of roller coasters...) and try to extrapolate skill use. 

ST: 10 DX: 11 IQ: 13 HT: 12

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 .

Acrobatics 8
Acting 13
Administration 16
Animal Handling 10
Anthropology 11   +1
Archaeology 10
Area Knowledge: Iceland 13
Area Knowledge: Lehigh Valley 14       +1
Area Knowledge: Michigan Upper Peninsula 11
Area Knowledge: New York City 13
Area Knowledge: South Africa 13
Bard 18 (let me...entertain you!)
Bicycling 11
Boating 9
Boxing 10
Brawling 13
Camouflage 14
Carousing 12
Climbing  10    +1
Club 11
Computer Ops   12
Conspiracy Theory 11
Dancing 10
Diplomacy 13
Drive Tractor Trailer 11
Drive: motorcycle 9
Driving: Auto 14
Driving: Diesel Locomotive 11
Economics 11
Engineering 12
English 14
Fast Talk 13
First Aid 13
Forensics 10
Forgery 10
Geology 10
Guns: Pistol 14
Guns: Rifle 14
Guns: SMG 13
Hiking 10
History 17  +1
Hobby gaming. 13
Hobby: Models 12
Intell Analysis 11
Interrogation 11
Judo 9
Law 12     +1    
Leadership 12
Merchant 11
Naturalist 10
Navigate 10
Occultism 14
Politics 13
Punning 11
Running 13
Savoir Faire 16
Saxophone 12
Scrounging 13
Sex Appeal 14
Sport: Basketball 10
Sport: Football 9
Sport: Golf 11           +1
Sport:Volleyball 9
Stealth 11
Survival: Mountains 12
Survival: NBC 13
Swimming 10
Tactics 13    +1             
Theology 10
Wrestling 10

The dreams were an odd smattering all over the place.  Out of the 18 skill points to got designated to all these skills, History, Hobby: Gaming, Drive: Auto, and Tactics dominated most of the points.  To put this in relation to the character, my cushy office job I mentioned last year has turned into some form of research.... research that requires me to improve my social skills, but tactics as well.  Perhaps I'm running the undercover ops? 



New Skills:
Accounting 11
French 12
Mathematics 10
Performance 13
Psychology 10
Strategy 10


French?  Math?  An increase in Anthropology and History.  Crap, I'm on the cusp of some Cthulhu Mythos disaster and I don't think my 231.5 character has the proper skills built up.


Friday, December 16, 2016

My Holiday Stream-of-Consciousness Rant.

It's cold and bitter outside.  My seasonal staff is slowly disappearing into the ether they magically came out of a few months ago.   I know the holidays are upon us because the schedules at home are even more impossibly hectic than they were just a few weeks ago. 

Perhaps the greatest consolation is that Saturday will be a big day with the family as we're snowed in together.  I'm hoping to finally break out the last of the Christmas decorations, bake some cookies, and all around chill. 

Sunday is the last weekend before Christmas, so you know what that means:  It's time to finish up all the games with the girls while my wife is at work.   I'd love to finish up the grand finale of the Blue Martian game, I've got a pulp game that's in the spirit of the holidays, and if I'm pushing my limits, the TMNT Heroclix boxed has one last scenario in it.   Next holiday weekend I hope is filled with Santa's Bag, Zombie Dice, and me opening up a pile of my Kickstarters that just arrived as my Christmas gifts. 

Since we've moved into the new house, I've had two gaming-heavy Christmas mornings.  The first year,  my wife went through hell to get my items through Emerald Vale (now Evolution) Games, only to have them arrive on Christmas Eve afternoon.   Last year,  I set up a wishlist on Amazon, and she got everything early... and I mean EVERYTHING on the list.  Funny thing is, I haven't actively used any of last year's gifts. 

This year, I gave a list of classic "Dad" gifts (socks, underwear, and a wallet), as well as Rory's story cubes.  I already have my rewards for Tales of the Caribbean, and Savage Rifts waiting at home, unopened, and if I'm lucky, the minis for Songs of Blades: Axe and Brimstone might make it before the Christmas Day. 

I'm shocked enough that I actually got to paint something over the past week, and even more pleased that they were the items I needed for the potential year-end games.  My queue has been repositioned and the I just need a snowy day over the holidays to sort out the other half of my bench. 

As work is winding down, I'm taking a few moments to clean up the D&D game that I've proposed but none of the players have actually offered approval of.  I'm also perusing the old gaming notebooks that covered things like the Fall-In 2015 shopping list and the last winter's painting queue (about 85% done!)  I'm a bit please a huge swath of notes on Samoa are still intact.  I'll revisit that one day when I need to fill out a Pulp Figures order (and a small Foundry order for the paint).


Despite using a notebook for some of my gaming projects, a lot of my behind-the-scenes work is done on this blog.  This post is my 1,835th on my blog.  I've got another 50 pending for a future date.  Some of those are time-sensitive, like holiday posts while others are simply working ahead (I've got five more posts ready just for December).  What's overwhelming me are the 190 drafts on file.  Some are placeholders for games (the Blue Martian game and Christmas game are set up, complete with links to where I stole my inspiration from.)   I've also got all my future Gnome Wars articles, future Savage Rifts scenarios, TONS of pulp ideas, Heroclix games, and general want lists at my fingertips.  I expect about 80% to see the light of day.


What to expect through the holidays and into the deep of Winter?    After completing the sci-fi and Heroclix storylines, I'd love to wrap up the Savage Showdown Pulp game and move it into the next "volume."    From there, I'd like to set up and stat out the Mousling Fantasy game, keep fleshing out Gnomish North America, and paint more gnomes for the Gnome Wars mega-game at Cold Wars in March.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Little Pony 40k Army for Sale

Want the perfect army to combat the nihilistic gothic oblivion of Warhammer 40k?  According to a post on Polygon, someone has put a 6,200 point Space Marine army up on eBay for a lowly, $1,800!
kailcar/eBay
Colorful pastel terminators, mousling scouts, pony gunners, and larger My Little Ponies kitbashed into titans. 


Somebody has figured out the hobby.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

(Painting) Terrain, Accessories, and... Napoleonics?

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, and Dad had a case of Troegs Mad Elf under his painting bench.   I'm more likely to break out in dance with Mad Elf than successfully do detail work, so it was a good night to work on simpler projects and clear off the queue.

I need a sleigh for this weekend's game, and Things From the Basement was nice enough to have a laser cut model.  My Hulk-like hands did snap off the tongue, but based on the scenario it's needed for, I don't need if for the horses...  and eight tiny reindeer are missing.
When I picked up the sleigh at Fall-In!, the folks at Things From the Basement were giving away free pumpkin tables, the first free swag my daughter Maja accumulated that weekend. 
Last year, both pumps for my blowers on my furnace died, so when I replaced them, most of the old parts went into a box under the bench.   Don't remember what this exactly did, but it will make a nice terrain piece for the finale of our sci-fi game, hopefully slated for this weekend as well.   The makeshift landing pad that's the centerpiece of that game is hiding in the back
I'm not a big supporter of anything Games Workshop, but I picked up a bottle of Typhus Corrosion from the FLGS when I just needed to by something, and it does the grimy look well.  I might need to grab some Nihilakh Oxide to treat the copper prongs up top.

30mm figure for size comparison




Another item Maja got as a freebie was this lone plastic Napoleonic soldier, already painted up.  I decided to base him as an individual figure and we'll use him as an NPC in our next pulp campaign.  Why are our 1920s heroes going to meet a Napoleonic-era soldier in the jungles of Africa?


Because he's guarding the hidden Egyptian treasure located there, per Napoleon's personal orders, duh!  Pay no attention that he would be over 130 years old, a minor side effect of the mission...


Next Up:  With the queue cleaned off post-convention season, I only have a unit of Blue Martians, "The Jungle Warlock", and a few female pulp figures lined up. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Time to Play Indoors

It's been a fun mix of freezing rain and sleet, transforming our winter wonderland into a quality case of heart attack snow shoveling.

It's time to clean up the basement, bring up the last of the Christmas decorations, and play something with the girls.

Cleaning out the garage and replacing a kitchen sink need to be done before the holidays too, but I need to play something with the girls. 

Television is now out for the season (no more super-heroes and zombies for a month) so I'm hoping that I can play something with the girls.

If I repeat it enough times, it will come true, no?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

(Gnome Wars) The American Uncivil War of 1836.

With the cessation of hostilities from the Seven Year's Picnic, the American Confederation of Sovereign States was established as a national government for the former colonies.  The yoke of British mercantilism was removed and many northern gnomes made their fortunes in this new economy.

Within a generation, American politics had become solely dominated by gnomes, with the teddy bears relegated to mostly secondary, almost silent, citizens. 

1836 - The Intolerable Tariffs
Early on, the CSS had formed certain tariffs between individual states and the Gnome nations of the Old World. While this was a solid isolationist policy that kept them out of the Nomepoleonic Wars, the northern states that had made up New Britain dreamt of a more powerful economic system. In subsequent years, they had established secret "Trade Unions" between each other and other nations, to circumvent the "Intolerable Tariffs" that the confederation continued to hang on to.

While the "Union" states focused on trade and money, the southern states loyal to the Confederacy looked western, expanding into the frontier, pushing out the native teddy bears and other races. In doing so, they added military experience and efficient cottage industry might.


Confederates trudging through the Jersey Pine Barrens
Once the secret of the Union states was uncovered by newspaper editor J Charles Calhoun, the southern states were forced to act in retribution, to prevent further international entanglements.   Numerous armies were sent north.


1846 - A Divided Realm
After ten long years, the southern states beat the northern states, but in a case similar to the Teddy Bear natives, the southerners exhausted themselves.  They could not subjugate the North and many soldiers pillaged what they could.  (Re: Battle of York).   The Union could never convert into a war economy, since none of the trade Unionists no one wanted to pay the taxes! 


An armistice between the two sides was signed on the banks of the O-Hello River.   Despite additional agreements over the years, no formal peace treaty was ever signed. It's not unusual on a drunken Saturday night that bullets and shells are fired across the border. 


The Union forces had set up a representative oligarchy, very similar to the shadow rulers that controlled those states during the CSS.   Once they realized a happy workforce was a productive and profitable one, the government showed benevolence towards it's citizens, and industry finally blossomed. 


For the Confederacy, anything short of total victory was a defeat in the eyes of its citizenry.  Lucky for them, their expansion already stretched out to the Mighty Mississipp, which allowed them to heal some of the war wounds, before losing against the Republic of Texas in 1860. 
Northern Cav protecting a train.
One thing that was made perfectly clear when the American gnomes came out was that there was no American form slavery in Gnome Wars.  With this removed, I focused on a economic reason for the war, and with a backhanded applause to the State's Rights camp, it was Northern greed that started the war... and both sides come out weaker in a stalemate. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

An Analysis of Historicon 2018's Move to New Jersey

I found an interesting article on Historicon's move to New Jersey.  It does a fair job combatting the North-South bias of others and carefully addresses some issues with the Somerset facility while offering hope for some professional resolution to them.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Mike Lung Gallery #45: Welcome to Hoghollow

Gaming with the Gnomies intrepid correspondent and all-around wild man Mike Lung is back with another concept:  How the West Was Gnomed.
Mike got turned onto Shadows of Brimstone, a Wild West Cthulhu RPG-lite board game, and still has was too much imagination, especially since he's incorporating ex-Eureka Teddy Bears and Miniaturemen Cowboy Orcs.  Way too much fun!
 Now why exactly the giant jackalopes don't simply hop over the fence may be the biggest secret of this world! 
Of course, the flora and fauna in Hoghollow are a bit unique, and certainly custom...
As if giant green orc cowboys wasn't enough, Mike may be working on sculpting the Greatest of All Time, I kid you not!  Details coming when I get them.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Games, Golden Goblin, and Cthulhu Invictus

After a two month hiatus, I sent an update to the gaming group, covering future options for role-playing: 
  1. Basic D&D:  Keeping it simple allows for not only lots of options, but we can get in a quality 3-4 hour sessions and still give us options to work on the more complicated options.
  2. Hackmaster:  Is still on the table, and running Basic D&D allows us time to focus on character creation and test runs on some of HM's mechanics.
  3. Savage Rifts:  While Rifts will have the same complicated rules as HM, the style I'm going for is a compliment to the short D&D game.
  4. Call of Cthulhu:  We're sending the survivors on vacation, and we would visit the heart of Lovecraft Country:  Arkham
  5. Cthulhu Invictus:  After playing in a Dark Ages game at the last con, Invictus would be a great alternative.
After mentioning Invictus, I caught up with my Miskatonic University Podcast.  The latest episode happened to have Oscar Rios of it, from Golden Goblin Press.  Golden Goblin just happened to become the licensee for the entire Cthulhu Invictus line. 

Getting control of the entire line has messed up the schedule of their Kickstarters, and now they are planning a Kickstarter for the 7th Edition version of the Invictus rulebook sometime in late winter, and subsequent scenario books



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

(Sci-Fi) #3 Forging Ahead

Work, real life, and the kid's activities have simply slayed me since the last Pulp game, but I'm still trying to wrap up a few games. 

The Blue Martian game, using Legions of Steel, was the simplest of the games in the queue and the first two sessions were nice tactical lessons for Maja and Millie.  My only problem was that we had limited time, even after we set up.    I tried to run a quick game on Saturday, but between kid's basketball pictures, a basketball game for Maja, lunch with her teammates, a birthday party for Millie, a birthday party for Millie, and ending with a grown-up birthday party my wife and I attended, that was shot to Hell.

Then Maja and Millie got sick overnight into Sunday. 

With a day full of Netflix, crackers, Gatorade, and cleaning out buckets, I decided to try a solo game during one of the naptimes.

In our last game, the Blue Martians were still fighting their way down the snow covered forest towards their desert launch pad rendezvous.

(L to R: Gronk, Froyo, Gibbles, Middleswarth, Amphibious, and Boom-Boom)

The Blue Martians leader, Gronk led one group to the base of the mountain, while Froyo (over-armed with his human RAM laser) led the second half down a cover-filled path. 
It may have been a snapped twig, or one of Gibbles' boisterous drinking songs, but something was alerted to the Martians' presence.  Two skeletal robots appeared near Froyo's group, but despite a longer range than most, the Martian's masterful use of cover negated the Machine's weaponry.
Over on Gronk's side, a lone robot emerged from woods....

"What's dat on his shoulder?"
The solo robot fired a single rocket that shot over Gronk's head and hit a barely visibleMiddleswarth.

Ka-BOOM!
On the other flank, the Machines set up a suppressive fire position.   Froyo charged forward, dodged bolter fire, and horribly missed with his fine weapon...  and was subsequently mowed down.
The Machines try to pin down the Martians
The rocket-bot fired a second shot at Gronk, but it struck short, knocking over an evergreen right on top of him. 
Gronk Falls!
While the survivors panicked (Boom-Boom was easy cannon fodder),  Amphidious had a moment of unintentional glory.  Seizing the initiatve, Amphibious charged forth, gunning down one robot....


...then a second....
And finally blindsiding the Rocket-bot. 


Normally, such a heroic act would give Amphibious the leadership of the band, but with their destination so close (and no clue how to get there), he let Gronk keep his position.

Gronk, Amphibious, and Gibbles will be the final three Martians reaching the launch pad in scenario #4.  I guarantee you, solo, with friends, or with the girls, it won't be pretty.




The original inspiration for the scenario came from Preacher by Day....

Monday, December 5, 2016

(Kickstarter) Ramshackle Games Jet Bikes

Ramshackle Games just launched their latest Kickstarter, a Jet Bike Construction Kit.


After throwing in a small pledge for their Post-Apocalyptic Dwarf Bikers Kickstarter before, and coming out of it with a little extra token of appreciation and it arrived EARLY,  I certainly want to jump on this.  Roughly $23 will get you one each of the jet bikes above, while the $32 pledge level allows you to customize five jet bikes to your liking. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Back to a Simpler Time in Talislanta

Going through my old files, a pulled out a character sheet for Zerrex, a Ferran Thief  run by my friend Scott. 

After a convention last month where stats were either abstract concepts, or hard data tied into mechanics like a logarithm, it's nice to see a balanced sheet.


"Balanced, Viscounteric?" you might ask?  Of course!  Zerrex is a very specialized one-trick pony.  Super-sneaky, but effectively a pin-cushion if a blow gets through. Matted fur and stinky scent glands aren't a great combination for hiding either.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

#TBT The Finale of the College Game

I've occasionally posted pics from the great finale to my "College Game" held in April 2000 at Griffon Games.  A simpler time with gonzo weekly sessions and some fun "off world" scenarios outside the school calendar.

The previous pictures focused on the grand battle that dominated the session.  Our heroes and their meager allies had been betrayed by cultists (surprise, surprise!) and stared down the forces of evil, led by the spider-god himself, Baraxus the Destroyer. 

The battle was suitably epic, and despite only one PC death (Velandro, Defender of Kobold Virginity.. or something like that), the battered and beleaguered forces retreat to an unfortunate last stand:  a farmhouse and barn heavily damaged by the battle, their backs against very steep hill and a wild stream engorged by the winter's thaw.  Nearing too close to the edge in heavy armor could result in a tumble into the water, and even the bravest warriors dreaded that unfitting end.

There had been a whole storyline involving the distant heirs to the throne of a near-forgotten empire and the hereditary sword that had been uncovered.  All the NPCs who had a connection were either dead or unconscious and the sword, the Bloodblade, which essentially deigned the wielder the Emperor of the Known World, was in the hands of a Wisdom 4 dwarf named Norm Dingleberry.


Things were not good.
The Very Bare-Bones layout of the barn in the final scene.
I did pull out a Deus Ex Machina at the end.  Leif IV, Emperor of the ancient and feared Empire of Feraso of hundreds of years prior, climbed up over the cliff and single-handedly slew some minotaur lord threatening the PCs.  It was enough for him to distract some of the big boys to allow the PCs to rally their forces and win the day.


Good ol' Leif IV helped revive his descendent, simple young Rurik, handed him the Bloodblade, and walked back down the hill.


When your ancestor has ascended to become Akana, God of Law and Order, you get a few perks. 


The Bloodblade clan's reign as a uniter of the continent was short-lived;  Rurik's grand-children did their best impression of Charlemagne's heirs, which helped explain the weird borders when I restarted the campaign into Hackmaster, seventy years later in game-time (one year in real-time).


Of course, this is also where I set up my best campaign ending ever, even if a borrowed excessively from Alan Moore