Friday, March 31, 2017

(Kickstarter) Pizza Dice, Adventure Dice, and More!

Flying Buffalo has a launched a Kickstarter for their Pizza Dice, Adventure Dice, and More!

Pizza Dice have been around forever.  I remember discovering them in my early days of gaming retail, and for two bucks, they were an instant success as an "impluse buy" next to the checkout. Heck, if I look hard enough, I probably still own a set or two of the screen-printed dice.

The short story is, Flying Buffalo's "pizza dice guy" is not longer making them, but there are manufacturers to make a new run of dice, with engraved faces, hence the Kickstarter for molds, tooling, etc.

The ten dollar pledge will net ten dice total:

  • 2 Pizza Dice (1 for meat toppings, 1 for veggies)
  • 5 Adventure Dice to randomly create an RPG adventure
  • 2 Nuclear Dice (the dice you will find in copies of Nuclear Escalation and Nuclear Proliferation.
  • 1 Monster Reaction Die
  • 1 Fast Food Die  - Pizza is a option, so you could use all ten dice in a gaming session... involving Nuclear War.

The best part?  Free shipping to the US!

(Painting) Killer Apes and Watermelon Patches

Superduper slow post-con week for painting.  The Kriget Rum took water this week.  Not at all surprising, as we got 24 inches of snow with an above normal melt-off.  Slightly more surpising was the sump pump finally giving up the ghost.  Six inches of water has hampered any efforts this week, but with a mobile pump and a few fans, I antitcipate being back in action after the weekend.

While the kids still continue to paint their projects upstairs at the dining room table, I've been working on simpler stuff, so I knocked out some Killer Apes from Pulp Figures
Killer Apes by Pulp Figures
This was the first attempt at photographing using the quick and easy lightbox I found here.

I also finished up the Watermelon Patch that the kids wanted at the train show.
From Scenery Express
Still in the queue:  A dry basement, hopefully, then some German Gnomes, the kid's projects for our annual Easter game.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Miniature Building Authority is Getting Out of the 15mm Game

According to their blog, Miniature Building Authority is officially out of the 15mm market for buildings and terrain.  All remaining stock is available for sale at 50% off here.



(Kickstarter) Goodman Games DCC Lankhmar and Other News

It wasn't just Mepacon occuring across the country last weekend.  GaryCon occurred up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and the good folks at Goodman Games used to launch/announce a couple projects.

First was their launch of their version of Lankhmar using Dungeon Crawl Classics.
The boxed set (yes, boxed set!) pledge level is $50 plus $8 US Shipping and Handling.

They also announced a partnership with Wizards of the Coast to produce Classic D&D Module Collector's Editions.

From the press release:
Goodman Games is pleased to announce a partnership with Dungeons & Dragons to publish deluxe collector’s editions of classic D&D adventure modules! These commemorative editions will appeal to fans of Dungeons & Dragons across multiple editions. Each volume will include digitally restored, high-quality scans of the original 1970’s-era adventure modules, presented in their original published form. In addition, each volume will include a conversion of that original adventure to the fifth edition rules set. This format allows nostalgic gamers to re-live the adventures of their youth, and play those adventures again in a modern rules set! For gamers with families and children ready to receive the torch of gaming, this volume is the perfect format to share fond adventures with the next generation playing the Dungeon & Dragons fifth edition rules.


No information yet as to the pricing for the books.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

(Kickstarter) Talislanta: The Savage Land

It's a moment of happiness, the Talislanta - The Savage Land Kickstarter has launched!
Talislanta: the Savage Land is a prequel to the original Talislanta game. It takes place just a short time after The Great Disaster, which the inhabitants of this era refer to as The Fall.

This period is like a nightmarish version of our own Dark Ages. All knowledge of spell-casting has been lost; maps are nearly non-existent, and much of the world is unknown. Most of those who survived The Fall are illiterate, and governed by superstition.

There are no nations, city states, or even laws. In their place, tribes of warriors, nomads, slavers, and refugees struggle to survive in a hostile wasteland, torn by centuries of warfare and a malevolent magical maelstrom known as the Gyre.

This is the world in which Talislanta: the Savage Land (TSL) takes place.

T
he world of TSL is dangerous and largely unexplored. Anything the inhabitants pre-Fall knew of the world is of little value now. The landscape has shifted. The great nations were sundered. Civilization itself has shattered.


This new vision of Talislanta is a world awaiting your discovery!
The only thing I'm questioning is the three different rulebooks offered:
  • TSL - "Classic" Talislanta Rules
  • 5E - Not 5th Edition Tal, rather 5th Edition D&D
  • d6 Open -  as in the old West End System
...although all three books are available as pdfs.


The Ballad of the Pigeon God Starts Next Tuesday!

Ever since I received The Journal from my college roommate Steve last month, the skies are brighter, tastes, sweeter, and songs are lovelier.  The long lost log of my college D&D game has brought nostalgia and excitement to this old coot.  It also brings some frustration and research as the journal, written by random characters, omits key data, key players, forcing me to text and email players trying to jog their memories. 

Regardless, I'm happy to announce that The Ballad of the Pigeon God will make its new weekly entry every Tuesday starting next week, April 4th.  I'm probably halfway through transcribing the journal word for word into blog entries, and then slowly rewriting these into a prose format.  It's nothing award-winning by any means, and sometimes the original journal is better form, but I anticipate this to run about a year... the same length as The Journey of Mutumbo and Burning Trogs took.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mepacon Spring 2017 and the Bachelor Weekend

So, the short of it, I managed to make it to Mepacon for Saturday afternoon.  It was short, sweet, and full of surprises.  We'll get to those surprises in a few moments, first let's talk about the beginning of my 26 hours of bachelor-tude!

With my wife and the girls heading down to Maryland for a gymnastics meet right after school, that left me in the house alone to dogsit through Saturday night.  I did what every red blooded American male would do:

I left work, got a haircut, and went to Michael's for scrapbooking paper and craft paint.
(Alright I did grab a massive burger at five guys and some beer before getting home, man-card somewhat saved).  I took care of the dogs and descended to the painting bench for some oddball projects uninterrupted.

The following morning I took care of the dogs (even feeding them!  See, I don't hate them!)  and ate a late breakfast watching For the Love of Spock on Netflix. With one more run with the pooches, I loaded up my car with some stuff for the auction, and headed up to Scranton while the morning session was wrapping up.

After actually paying for admission (a rare thing for a guy who tries to GM every con), I ran into a few friends, scoped out the auction items, and put up Father Dagon and The Don for the miniatures painting contest to guarantee enough entries to qualify for prizes

Battletech Alpha Strike - Left
That's where the first surprise kicked in.  People were snapping pictures of the contest on their phones, but once I pulled out Don's nemesis one fellow got very inquisitive with the questions, ultimately ending the first barrage is, "Would you mind speaking about your figures and the con in general while I record it for the Scranton Times-Tribune?

Oh my goodness, there's a media presence at the con.

I rambled on as best as I could about the minis, and the reasons I enjoy the hobby.   The reporter did a great job wandering the convention and peppering a variety of people with questions, and lucky for Mepacon, even the "odd" attendees are pretty articulate and actively stay away from the worst of the gamer cliches.

For a read of his article for the Sunday paper, check it out here.

.... and Right
The second surprise came a few minutes after I the "required check-in" on social media.  A few minutes later and I got a response from a friend in Las Vegas, "Rachelle (last name) is there too."
It took a few seconds for the name to register, but I had gone to high school (and grade school) with her and can safely say its been at least twenty-five years.

This created a wonderful problem as I casually strolled the ballrooms trying to see if I could recognize her.  Twenty years ago, to find a particular woman at a con was pretty easy.  The local cons were 80-90% male.  Mepacon has benefited from the advances in gaming and I can say that they are as close to gamer gender parity as I see anywhere, so there were a few games with "token men" playing.

Needless to say, I did her, awkwardly introduced myself, caught up, and got to play in the game she brought, Terraforming Mars.   It's another resource manipulation game all the hip kids like to play, and it played very smoothly.

Two additional things I found out: Rachelle runs a phenomenal game, and if she decides to come back in Fall, she should run games repeatedly.  Given her even keel on explaining a new game between her friend and some random dude from high school, some of the experienced Mepacon GMs could learn (or remember) a thing or two.

Second, she had joined up with the Stroudsburg Area Gamers on Meet-Up, many of whom are part of the old con crew from the early 90's .  It's a small world indeed.
Terraforming Mars
By the time the game was done, the session was wrapping up, and with raffle tickets and auction bidder card in hand, I found a seat and planted myself there.    No winners for me in the raffle and nothing exciting at the auction.   It's alright to have an off-con purchase wise every once in awhile.

Despite the girls' excitement for gymnastics (top half of the field for all their events, Millie snagging a bronze in one of her's), they would have enjoyed the three times we all sang happy birthday to people during the raffle/auction/dinner break.

Two minor quibbles coming from the 40k GM's unscheduled presentation.  One of the happy birthdays was for one of his players, a seven year girl who commanded her Dark Angels against all odd.   Guess I can throw Maja and her 4+ years of wargaming experience against her at the next con and have the non-Dads freak out over their effectiveness.

The second quibble is that the same fellow called his girlfriend in front of the crowd and proposed to her.  That's all well and good, but (a) I didn't see a ring/token o' love and (b) he called her up while she was scarfing down her dinner in between games.  That's not a way to get into her good graces when years from now she recalls, "Yeah, he proposed to me at one of the cons.  But I really wanted to finish my cheesesteak first before dealing with anyone, including him."

As a whole, the con looked great.  The ladies, young and "less young" embraced the fairy theme with their costumes... as well as one Dad, who just rocked the parenting thing HARD.

I did get some info on another upcoming gameday in Stroudsburg.


Swag-wise, things were pretty slim.  A copy of Even More Things to Kill and Eat! for Kobold Ate My Baby, a battered copy of FR11 Dwarves Deep (for two bucks!), and a few cupcakes from Quigly's Cakes.   With Kickstarters shipping soon and my LOS figures coming from Cold Wars, I think I'm okay for now.

I'm also locking in the dates in stone for November.  Fall-In! in Lancaster is November 3-5 and Mepacon 33 will be November 10-12.  The theme?  An intriguing "Ancient Civilizations."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Pulp Figures New Prospectors and Federales and Nazis, OH MY!

Just a few new/pending releases coming from Pulp Figures.
German Jet Troopen
Mexican Federale Rifles
The Old Prospector


(Gnome Wars) Austrian Cavalry

I have been pulling some fantastic ideas from the news page over at Irrational Number Line Games. Unfortunately, I just have the home page to view at work, as all the other pages are blocked by filters at work.

Due to some system issues, I've been granted the pleasure of using Chrome instead of IE and low and behold, the other pages are still blocked, but I've had a chance to peruse INL stuff on Google+.

Hiding among a series of projects using soda caps, cardboard, and a lot of liquid latex?  German Gnome Peasans riding "Austr-iches"


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Apathy of the New Releases (Apr '17)

I was a little taken aback by issue #206 of Game Trade Magazine.  First off, the pdf version was delayed nearly a week as the folks at GTM and Alliance were off to the GAMA trade show in Las Vegas.  That was completely understandable, and as many FLGS's haven't even looked at #205 by the time I download #206, I doubt many people noticed.

The second thing I noticed was that the pdf was 12+ pages longer than normal.  I do see a few more visual pieces to go with product, the bulk of it was 10 pages dedicated to Warcradle Studios releasing Wild West Exodus using their company's mantle.  It appears that they've purchased the rights to the game from Outlaw Miniatures and dumped the entire catalog for solicitation. 

Outlaw Miniatures ran two Kickstarters for the line in 2013 and 2015 and managed to raise a half-million dollars for the project, which is a "semi-skirmish" miniatures game set in a sci-fi/steam-punk mix in the late 19th Century.  The regular horror stories you could hear from a first-time Kickstarter company with huge dreams apply here, especially with over 1,000 pledges in the first and over 600 in the second campaign. 

The problem?  The minis look like Games Workshop, Spartan Games, and Corvus Belli had a deranged steam-punk tryst in Deadlands' apartment.  You can make up your own mind, but the figures all look horribly overdone and overpriced.   Even in freakin' Gnome Wars, some of the vehicles would be over-the-top ridiculous in most circumstances. 


My Must-Have Want List
Nothing that tickles my fancy.


My Money-Is-No-Option Want List
Chaosium
Pulp Cthulhu: The Two Headed Serpent ........................................................... $44.95



Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Rifts - Game Masters HB SC ............................................................................ $19.99
Rifts - Savage Foes of North America SC ........................................................ $19.99
Decided against them during the Kickstarter, but if these show up at my FLGS, I will snag them up in a heartbeat.

Tasty Minstrel
Dungeon Roll: Henchman ............................................................................... $4.95

My Imaginary Store (The Pegleg Gnome) List
ALC Studio BVBA
Jim Henson's Labyrinth Goblins! Expansion ....................................................... $25.00
Tarot of Loka ........................................................................................................ $10.00


Alderac Entertainment Group
Lovecraft Letter:  A Love Letter Game ................................................................ $29.99
Smash Up: Big in Japan Expansion ...................................................................... $24.99
Unicornus Knights ................................................................................................ $49.99

Avalanche Press
The Second Great War .......................................................................................... $19.99


CoolMiniOrNot
75 Gnom' Street ..................................................................................... $49.99
I don't usually fall for the Cool Mini schlock (their fans get it through avenues other than FLGS) but it is a gnome-themed game.


Cryptozoic Entertainment
DC Comics DBG: Multiverse Box Expansion ............................................ $25.00

Cubicle 7
D&D: Adventures of Middle-Earth - The Road Goes Ever On ................... $29.99

Eden Studios
Knights of the Dinner Table: Hack Card Game (10) ............................ $19.50 each
This was listed under new releases, but it has been out for over 15 years.  This appears to be a reprint with almost double the MRSRP of the original.    


Evil Hat Productions
The Dresden Files Accelerated RPG HC ....................................................... $34.99

Fantasy Flight Games
Star Wars Imperial Assault - Skirmish Map - Anchorhead Cantina .............. PI

Fred Distribution
Island Hopper ................................................................................................... $49.99

Games Workshop
After ranting on about Wild West Exodus, Games Workshop almost looks reasonable.  My interest was piqued when I saw the new Blood Bowl Dwarf team listed, then saw ridiculous poses and the continued overuse of turquoise on GW models.  Seriously, it's an overused highlight on a huge selection of their painted models, giving me flashbacks to the Dark Eldar craze of the turn of the century and the weird "mystic green" accent on all those models. 


Hachette Book Group
Dungeons & Dragons: Rise of the Dungeon Master ........................................ PI

Kobold Press
Demon Cults & Secret Societies (5th Edition) ........................................... $39.99
Demon Cults & Secret Societies (Pathfinder) ............................................ $34.99
Kobold Guide to Gamemastery .................................................................. $19.99

Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Pack - Dimensional Guardians Boosters
Yu-Gi-Oh! Maximum Crisis - Boosters and Special Edition Boxes

Koplow Games
Leather Dice Pouch .................................................................................... $5.50
Mini-Polyhedral Sets .................................................................................. $4.50
Black w/ Green, Black w/ Red, Black w/ White.  Carded baggies for display on hooks.  See Role 4 Initiative for more of this style.
That's Mean Dice Game .............................................................................. $3.00

Looney Labs
Stoner Loonacy Deck .................................................................................. $14.00
Adult Mad Libs: The Game ........................................................................ $20.00

Mantic Entertainment
Walking Dead: Miles Behind Us Expansion .............................................. $39.99
Walking Dead: Glenn Booster ..................................................................... $19.99
Walking Dead: Negan Booster .................................................................... $19.99
Walking Dead: Tyreese Booster .................................................................. $19.99


Modiphius
Acthung! Cthulhu Skirmish:  Rise of the Black Sun ................................... $14.99
Acthung! Cthulhu Miniatures: Allied Investigators .................................... $14.99
Acthung! Cthulhu Miniatures Black Sun Troopers ..................................... $14.99
Acthung! Cthulhu Miniatures Deep One Reef Breaker ............................... $ 6.49
Acthung! Cthulhu Miniatures Nazi Villains ................................................ $14.99
WW2 Cthulhu Skirmish Gaming is great concept.  Personally knowing that I can get appropriate minis at much cheaper prices than those Modiphius is offering must make me a cheaper bastard.  I'm also not listing the new releases for Coriolis and Symbaroum, since in all my usual internet and podcast perusing, I've found nothing on them.


Monte Cook Games
Cypher System RPG:  Predation HC ............................................................. $44.99


Paizo Publishing
Pathfinder RPG: AP  Ironfang Invasion Part 5 - Prisoners of the Blight ................ $24.99
Pathfinder RPG: Campaign Setting:  Aquatic Adventures ...................................... $22.99
Pathfinder RPG: Flip Mat - Bigger Caverns ............................................................ $19.99
Pathfinder RPG: Player Companion- Adventurer's Armory 2 ................................. $14.99
Pathfinder RPG: Map Pack - Ruined Village ........................................................... $14.99

Petersen Games
Pathfinder: Cthulhu Mythos ............................................................................... $44.95

Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Rifts - The Tomorrow Legion Players Guide  SC ....................................... $24.99
The one book I did get in the Savage Rifts Kickstarter.  Solid stuff.

Pokémon USA
Pokémon: Sun and Moon Guardians Rising
Boosters, Theme Deck, Elite Trainer Boxes, and Collectors Album

Rogue Games
Colonial Gothic RPG:  Flames of Freedom: Beginnings .................................. $24.99

Rogue Comet Games
Rogue Comet produces Dungeonesque, an RPG with old school feel, 5th Edition rules, a metric crapload of books who's organization reminds me more of d20 than OSR.  Sorry, appealing to the Mentzer Red Box and original white box pamphlets does make you more appealing than the dozen other retro clones


Role 4 Initiative
Another wave of dice that would intrigue me to dive headfirst.  Although I love and live by the "dice block," this appears to be a huge variety of 7 and 15 polyhedral dice packaged to be hung off a hook.  Not the company to order your Neon, glow-in-the-dark, party cake dice, but it's a cheaper alternative you just sold a $50 rulebook to.

Steve Jackson Games
Ghosts Love Candy ............................................................................................. $19.95
Munchkin Pathfinder 2: Guns and Razzes Expansion ........................................ $19.95

Tasty Minstrel
Dairyman .............................................................................................................. $19.95

Twilight Creations
Zombies!!! #15 - Another One Bites the Dust ...................................................... $15.99
Zombies!!! Bag o' Bullets ..................................................................................... $10.00
Zombies!!! Bad o' Hearts ...................................................................................... $10.00


Vallejo
Fantasy Pro Sets (8 per set) ................................................................................... $26.32
Fairy Flesh and Malefic Felsh
Wall Mounted Paint Display ................................................................................. $24.99
28 spaces for 35ml bottles or 43 spaces for 17ml bottles


Wizards of the Coast
Magic the Gathering CCG:  Hour of Devastation

WizKids
Approaching Dawn the Witching Hour Boardgame ................................................ $59.99
Dungeon Hustle Boardgame .................................................................................... $24.99
D&D Mind Flayer Trophy Plaque ........................................................................... $320.00
D&D Fantasy Minis: Icons of the Realms Booster Brick
DC Heroclix:  15th Anniversary Dice and Token Pack ........................................... $ 9.99
Marvel Dicemasters Spider-Man Maximum Carnage Team Pack ........................... $ 9.99
Marvel Heroclix 15th Anniversary Dice and Token Pack ........................................ $ 9.99
Marvel Heroclix: Mighty Thor Starters and Boosters
Star Trek Attack Wing Wave 30 ....................................................................... $14.99 each
USS Reliant, Klingon IKS Koraga, Romulan  IRW Valdore

Saturday, March 25, 2017

(Kickstarter) Cold Warning - A Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Adventure

Golden Goblin Press has decided to launch a quick, seven day Kickstarter for their latest campaign, Cold Warning - A Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Adventure.

From the campaign page:
Cold Warning is a Jazz Era, Call of Cthulhu 7th edition scenario set in Arkham, Massachusetts and Hudson, Maine. What begins with the dubious suicide of Joseph Sutton and the bizarre behavior of his widow Marilyn, leads investigators to Winter Haven, a remote hunting lodge in rural Maine. Here they experience mysterious phenomena, encounter suspicious lodge guests and staff, learn of ancient legends, and confront strange and frightening creatures before finally witnessing the awesome power of a Great Old One. Golden Goblin Press is proud to present this chilling adventure from Golden Age master Scott David Aniolowski.

(Kickstarter) Servants of the Undead Pharaoh by Midlam Miniatures

While our whirlwind family schedule continues, we did manage to have a discussion with Maja that she we would to see more "Egypt Stuff" in our game once (and if) we ever finish the "Dinosaur Jungle.

Midlam Miniatures Servants of the Undead Pharaoh Kickstarter seems to try to fulfill her request. 
Six figures for roughly $15 (plus reasonable shipping from England) and an anticipated delivery date isn't a bad deal.

Friday, March 24, 2017

History of the Gnome World Part 7: The Holy Gnoman Empire

The Holy Gnoman Empire

As in all great stories of ancient gnomish history, the Gnomans developed through the odd trait known as The Wanderlust.

While the majority of gnomes resided in what we now call Switzerland, the first large gnomish civilization was established elsewhere. A larger than normal collection of gnomes suffering from the Wanderlust congregated at the junction of the Pi and Za Rivers. Two brothers, Minimus and Maximus Caesar were a bit more motivated than your average gnome, and staged a revolt of the village elders using wolf riders. While the smaller Caesar focused on infrastructure and improving farming, Maximus worked on improving gnome technology and developing a military defense force.

The strangest thing occurred during the Return. Instead of heading towards their home villages, hundreds of gnomes heading to this new town. The brothers then turned the isolationism of the Prison to their advantage. They warned their inhabitants that the wilderness was a hostile place, filled with feral gnomes and other dangerous creatures, but their new city, Gnome, was an island of civilization and prosperity that could expand into the wilderness and conquer it. Before the next Wanderlust had hit the city, it had expanded out in all directions, conquering everything and everyone that stood in its way.

The Gnoman Empire was born.

Gnomish Wanderlust disappeared for a few generations, overriden by Gnoman Expansion. When it did finally hit, it simply stretched the Empire further, reaching areas that hadn't seen a traditional gnome in millenia.

While those wars are mired in the myths and legends of the area, one thing is for certain: The Return occurred right after the Gnomans had to fight their first defensive war ever, one against the Scottish Highlanders.

Many did not make it back to Gnoman, rather setting up communities in the areas we now call France, Germany, and Switzerland. The ones on the border of the Gnoman sphere of influence simply vanished.  

Although there were other factors contributing to the fall of the Gnoman Empire, a war between the Germanic tribes and the Fae was one of the final nails in the coffin.

The Fae, under some unknown influence, began pillaging tribal villages that had not been harmed in generations. Low on resources, the chieftains begged for help from the Gnomans, but when none was given, they began an all-out assault on Gnoman lands to fuel the war effort against the Fae.

It was a tremendous success as the questionable woodland spirits were forced to retreat further into the even darker forests and mountains of Astria and Surfia, while the peripheral Gnoman villages became Germanic.

For the length of the Empire, Caesars, Senators, and army generals competed over who would control the Gnoman Legions.

As the leaders scrambled for the last scraps of power from the crumbling power, civil war broke out. The civil war was the straw that broke the empire’s back, most citizens in Gnome fled the city, back into the hills to live simpler lives.

The Lost Legions
During this time Legatus Legionis Luberti, the most loyal legate in the Roman army, left the Italian peninsula with the last loyal legions . Sure that there would be a Rome to return to, Luberti’s plan was to set out and honor all alliances, keeping Rome’s allies in line until the unrest had died down. He split the last Legions into ordinary cohorts and assigned them to different regions of the Gnoman World. The descendants of Luberti and his cohort of veterans are constantly marching towards battle, appearing where the need is greatest; aiding the allies of his beloved, ancient Gnome.

Gnomincus Auxilius by Mike Lung
The Gnomans were the first nation to use Teddy Bears to supplement their troops.  Despite their gentle nature, their vast numbers and durable (and easily repairable) nature allowed them to overwhelm their opponents.

Gnomanius’s Commentaries comments on the little-known Anuran Wars. It is an account of Gnomanius’s campaigns against the Anuran (Frog) tribes: Leptodactylidii, Hylidii, Ranidai, and Kermitii . Some of the major Anuran tribes that opposed Heritagii Anuran tribe that allied itself early one to the Gnomians. It provided a large contingent of Gnomian trained auxiliaries to the Gnomian army. Many of these auxiliaries units later switched sides to fight against their Gnomian employers during the Great Anuran Rebellion led by Queen Bulfrogdicca of the Amphibian Empire (Confederation with other creatures)

Ichthii Aquatic (fish) tribes often allied to the Anura to form the Amphibian Confederation.

Saurii Highly aggressive tribes of lizardmen who were generally hostile towards the Gnomian Empire and Amphibian Confederation. However, some tribes for brief periods served as allies for both nations. Saurian tribes banded together to form the Saurian Empire. It was a true empire in name only. It really was a collection of united Saurian tribes instead of one united empire under a single leader. Some of the most powerful Saurian tribes included the Chamaeleonidii, Crotaphytidii, Iguanidii, and Polychrotidii.

Although technically part of the Saurii, the group of tribes known as the Alethinophidii (Snakemen) were not part of the Saurian Empire and were generally feared and distrusted by all.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

(Savage Lost) #2.5 It Was Dreadful in the Swamp

After securing a perimeter around their campsite, and coming face to face with one of the "blue monkey men," our heroes decided to further venture together further into the jungles of this strange land. 

Working their way downhill, they noticed a head of one of the long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs peaking out above the treeline.  Going closer for a better look, they stumbled upon the long-forgotten bones of creature... a giant humanoid!

Good thing I brought a camera, or else no one would believe us!


The swamps, chips mark locations to search.....


Our heroes (L-R) Kacey Barbara, Lord Cuppenbrush, and Maja Millie.
On the other end of the swamp, the hunting party of the Akala (blue monkey men) entered.  Still looking for the ugly, pale-faced ape men, food was a bigger concern...

The Akala enter.
Kacey Barbara got near the first pool, and two strange frog/fish men armed with tridents, emerged from the water.  Kacey could hear voices inside her head.

"Leave quickly, for our Master is coming.."


Blauen, the lone member who encountered the heroes, scouted around the second pool with the dinosaur in it, lazily munching on the surrounding trees.  A voice penetrated his mind...

"Foolissshhhhh creature... Turn back beyond the sssstones to ssssafety.."

A legendary serpent man!  Bedecked in all the clothes of his station!

Blauen made his rolls and chose to ignore the reptile's warnings...



The Akala decided to capture the dinosaur, climbing all over the beast.  The dinosaur bucked twice, thrashing its tail three more times, until it was free of the blue pests.  One of the splashed into the pool.


The mixture of another strange race and telepathy froze Barbara is fear, as a giant, hideious reptiliad creature burst out of the pool.  With a mighty swipe, the photographer was knocked high in the air.  If not for the soft, marshy ground, she may have been knocked unconscious.  Lucky for her, she soaked the damage with her lone Benny



Rawwwr!
The Akala eluded the tail of the dinosaur and successfully chased it out of the pool.

Get along little Dino!
Barbara dashed by the shotgun-toting Englishman, grabbed the had of Maja Millie, and the town headed back to towards camp... quickly.

Lord Cuppenbrush leveled his shotgun and fired at the monstrosity, taking a huge chunk of flesh out of it.  The "Master" let out a howl of pain, but continued its charge.   Barely parrying the first claw with his shotgun, the second clobbered Cuppenbrush in the shoulder and the adventurer went flying over some rocks (using up all his Bennies to soak the massive damage).

The Akala might be easily distracted, but they had laser-like focus on wrangling the dinosaur, going so far as to ignore the giant, mystical gemstone lodged into the ground.  They had dinner for the whole tribe coming right up!
Hunger trumps gemstones...
Lord Cuppenbrush scrambled back up and fired another grazing shot at the "Master."  To his surprise, the beast took a few more steps forward and froze, terrified of a strange sigil carved into a nearby rock.  A third shot seemed to barely scratch the creature, but it began to retreat back into the marshland. 

This valley surprised the English nobleman in a different way each day. 
It was the second session were Millie (age 6) gleefully took control of the Akala and decided to do her own thing.  Preoccupied with the dinosaur, they did succeed at seizing one objective and ignoring a second, while chasing their prey.  The Akala village will eat well tonight. 

For our heroes under Maja (age 7), the initiative cards were not in their favor, as the stood flat-footed as Father Dagon (The Master) got a joker. The group will need to perform some more heroics for more Bennies as they attempt to explore a different part of the jungle. 

The initial set-up was inspired by "Swamp Things" by Preacher by Day....  The rest of the game devolved at its own natural pace.

Next: Episode #2.6: ?????

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

(Painting) Father Dagon and His Children

With all the long-term projects, it's nice to whip up a couple figures I needed for the next installment of the Lost World game..  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gets a little influence from a Mr Lovecraft this week.

First off is Father Dagon, a stretch goal mini from RAFM's Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Miniatures Kickstarter.  Funny thing, the last rewards from the Kickstarter hit the mail in October, but this one still isn't on their web site

Tagging alongside Big Daddy Dagon, are two Deep Ones from the old Dunwich Detective line.
Moonraker Miniatures
 The Deep Ones are a bit stunty, 20-23mm, which makes Dagon far more impressive...

Next Up:  The Cult of the Ape God needs followers!  Gnomes and Blue Martians/Monkey Men/Goblins as always...  Plus a new special project for the kids!  Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

(Kickstarter) Noir World by John Adamus

One of these days I will finally write-up the new dozen podcasts I've been listening, but sometimes they do help me take a second look at products coming out.

Meghan Dornbrock on the Modifier podcast interviewed author/editor/game designer John Adamus.  Not only was it not the stock game designer interview I've heard over and over again, but it did raise my interest in his Noir World, which just Kickstarted this morning.
Noir World is another game Powered by the Apocalypse, with twenty classic Noir roles that you can fit most types of characters, and ten different ages, starting with the 1920s and going up to near future.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Weekend Without a Cold Wars

As was apparent to its attendees, I did not make it to Cold Wars this year.    A comedy of errors this winter, adding up to rescheduling personal events, a car that I only trust on a 10-minute commute, forgetting to pre-register, and the last minute cancellation of the Gnome Wars games, I was still dedicated to making a day trip on Friday, seeing Mike Lung and the other gnomies, and maybe pick up some cheap deals at the flee market.

Then the snow came... and it never really stopped. 

I already bailed from work twice this week, but the thought of tossing the kids at day care an hour earlier the bus would (school had another snow day), calling off from work, and dealing with the jagged icy ruts to Amish country were still 50/50. 

Then at 4:45pm on Thursday, my boss tells me everyone else is stuck in meetings offsite and will continue to do so all next week.  I'm in charge... of EVERYTHING.

Work loyalty trumps hobby loyalty. 

PROs:  Saves money on gas, admission, food, and purchases.  And between my Pulp Figures order already here, my Reaper Kickstarter almost together, and my Jet Bike Kickstarter from England stuck at the post office, I've already got my metric crapload of stuff.
CONs: I can't get to see my fellow gnomies (face-to-face interaction is always the best).  With Mepacon currently at 20% to attend next weekend (a gnome-themed convention, no less!), I won't see a true convention until Fall-In! next November 3-5. 
As I always do, I will try to assemble a "ViscountEric's Best Of" pics from Cold Wars that I find from other blogs (with proper citation, of course).

(EDIT: Mike to the rescue.  After I typed this up for Sunday, this blog'a eternal and immortal correspondent Mike Lung got ahold of me with tempting news.  A fella at the flea market had two boxes full of PAINTED Legions of Steel minis. A few texts and pics later and I'm getting two more behemoths, six assault troopers and some weird spider creature I can't ID.  All for less than a day pass and gas.  Mike is a God among men...)

As a consolation prize, I finally snagged this up at the local drug store. 
I reformatted my gaming projects journal at the start of the year, and despite being better at plotting out long-term projects through the summer (and changing some dates in my "drafts" side of the blog), I was waaaay too ambitious with the first three months of the year.  There are still three items I haven't completed in January, six in February, and seventeen for March.   Most of my problem is (surprise surprise) in the painting/terrain side of things, where sleep has trumped painting for many nights. 
Upon a quick review of posts from the last two months, I see that I've already brought up these issues... TWICE. 

So, knowing that I have a problem, I will rewrite the project journal into my new permanent gnome-themed one using the following guidelines (so now, revised for a THIRD time!):
  1. GNOME WARS - Whether or not the figures are painted, I have an Easter game, a Father's Day game, and a few other ideas open to kids and/or friends.
  2. PULP GAMES CONTINUE - The kids enjoy it, plus I have so many ideas saved up that it's great to weave my storyline with their imagination.  The need for figures has dominated my purchasing/painting plan and has helped
  3. A RETURN TO PONYVILLE.  More news on that probably after my daughter's birthday in May, post-cruise.
  4. MOUSLINGS - So many to paint, with more coming.  Mousling Fantasy games were just on the horizon, anyway.
  5. MY KINGDOM FOR A LAPTOP.  With all the other issues/expenses/vacation, the need for a new laptop for working from home is important for Reviews, Gnome History, Rules, etc.  Both our antique model from before I was married and an old work model bequeathed to us have given up the ghost, and it would be nice to have a little processing power from the later side of this decade.  Getting down to the basement to paint after hours is tough.  Strolling down the hall into the office to write up reviews, RPG campaign notes, and the like requires a little less effort. 
  6. THE JOURNAL.  I've been busy transcribing the old college D&D journal word for word into another Actual Play series as I've done with Hackmaster and Call of Cthulhu.  It's over 50 pages of handwritten notes, written by multiple players, and that doesn't include a significant side campaign that occurred during Summer session that I already possessed in my office.  I'm halfway through and I've set up 26 different weekly entries that all will need significant editing to turn into a readable prose.  While the other projects are thing I love and seem to generate traffic, The Ballad of the Pigeon God is a nostalgic trip down memory lane that will excite at most a dozen people on this planet.  And while the other laptop preferred activities could be done during my lunch hour at work (I am allowed), I'm more inclined to dedicate that time for these weekly postings every Tuesday.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

(Kickstarter) Portals of Pangaea

I'm not one to normally mention a game when it's their designer's first run at thing, but Portals of Pangaea Tabletop RPG-ish Game has the advantage of being chock full of Travis Hanson art. 



Friday, March 17, 2017

(Savage Lost) #2.4 For Once I Was a Hero...

After another decent "night's" sleep and a cobbled together breakfast of provisions and some starchy legumes Lord Jon-Smythe Cuppenbrush dug up, the party regained their composure and organize a plan. 

Their new dinosaur-infested environs were still quite confusing, but a thorough search of an extended perimeter around the camp was needed before they began further exploration. 

And it was not a second too soon, as multiple things were making noise in the jungle.

Maja Millie takes the lead, followed by Kacey Barbara, and finally Lord Jon-Smythe.

The British aristocrat spied a strange site, thousands of ants (normal-sized ones) going crazy over some substance in the air.  Upon further investigation, and an agility check to avoid tripping into the voracious fire ants, he discovered one of the expedition's supply crates, far from the river.  The fresh food was missing, and the provisions in jars smashed (hence the frenetic ants on the spilled molasses).  However, the tins of food were dented but intact, plus unspent cartridges are strewn across the ground.  Someone, rather than something had found the box, but was only civilized enough to pillage to easy plunder.
Lord Jon-Smythe finds ransacked provisions!

For the sake of the dear reader, those strange raiders were the Akala, a blue-skinned race of intelligent primates that inhabited this jungle.  With their strange spoils from the day prior, the Akala scouts were sent back out to find any other exotics treats.

Instead, they found a stegosaurus, lazily grazing on a low hanging willow. 

The team tried to scare it off, as they were trained to do, but failed miserably (all 1's).  The dinosaur let out an uncharacteristic roar and used its spiked tail to topple a nearby tree.
"We really could've snuck around him, boss..."

Our heroes heard the roar off in the distance, but were concentrated on getting the supplies back to the camp, with no fire ants, if possible. 

For the Akala, the unfamiliar roar terrorized two of the already skittish creatures.  One bolted away, while another kept exactly 50 paces from the Stegosaurus, panicking in shrieks if the animal ventured an inch closer.

Kacey Barbara caught a glimpse on him as they headed further into the jungle, but said nothing.

As Lord Jon-Smythe got to the second objective, he was surprised to see the carcass of some sort of small wild boar laying in the underbrush upon further investigation, it had been recently killed, and its predator leaped up on a rock.
A sabre-tooth tiger??? By Jove!!
Not expecting such a beast, the adventurer stood flat-footed (a two on the next initiative). 

Fortunately for him, Maja Millie might eschew firearms, but she wielded a mean machete.  She also drew a Joker, giving her +2 to hit and damage.  She ran up to the big cat and seriously wounded it.   The cat still had plenty of fight it in, but Kacey Barbara handled it bravely, snapping an picture of it.  The act itself wouldn't scare or damage the beast, but as luck would have it, the contacts of her flashbulb must have finally dried as blinding *voosh* frightened the it further.

That's one good flashbulb!

The beast fell off it's perch, and just then, a lone blue skinned looking monkey man burst out of the swamp, swinging its spear and screaming at the top of its lungs. 

The sabre-tooth tiger ran off in one direction, and blue creature in another, followed by the clueless lumbering walk of a stegosaurus. 

Encountering the dinosaur, and sensing the tiger somewhere near, the Akala had (tried to) scramble up trees, as they instinctively were wont to do. Blauen, the scout with the newfound phobia of dinosaurs with 50 paces, was alarmed when the monster turn towards them.  Blauen fled through the swamp in a psychotic fit, until he reached the clearing with the sabre-tooth tiger and three strange visitors.   The dinosaur still within 50 paces, he dashed off again, finally reaching his compatriots. 

But while our heroes finished their reconnaissance for the day, someone was watching them from up above....

This is the only game the family got in during the horrid "Blizzard of 2017."  Dad spent waaay too much time keeping the two feet of snow at bay.  I had Maja run the lost expedition and Millie ran the "blue monkey men"   The four possible objectives were randomly rolled (two good, two bad) and all had a check to make to avoid immediate danger. 

The girls kept Dad on his feet, especially when Millie kept failing rolls for the Stegosaurus.  The fight with the (freshly painted) sabre-tooth tiger climaxed when Kacey Barbara, photojournalist, aced her photography roll, not once, not twice, but three times, for a 25 (8+8+8+1).  I figured her water-logged equipment must have miraculously recovered.  Between her and Blauen the Akala scaring off the cat, Lord Jon-Smythe was probably a little red faced from the encounter.

Next:  Episode #2.5  It Was Dreadful in the Swamp