Wednesday, February 13, 2019

All Set for Cold Wars....

The Cold Wars checklist is slowly getting completed.

The big personal announcement for this is that I will be staying overnight Friday AND Saturday, but not at the newly renamed Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center.  The Budget Host was clean enough for my daughter at Fall-In, and with a hefty discount from hotels.com, I can afford two nights  (plus two night of post-game festivities). 

Hotel is booked, convention registered for (plus a t-shirt!).

All I need to do is officially assemble my shopping list and my online order to tin-soldier.com for some bulk Colonials, and I might actually feel productive!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Lost Dispatches of Feraso #14 - Nulb

The Village of Nulb, Viscounty of Verbobonc

To His Lordship, the Viscount Wilfrick of Verbobonc,

The kind gentleman Whit of Griffon's Cove was right.

The village of Nulb reeks of garbage and filth.  I'm simply amazed with the debauchery, riotous attitudes, and lack of general upkeep, how any of these wooden buildings are still standing.

But even as we attempted to blend into this town... poorly I surmise, was that this bustling, corrupt village of outlaws and oathbreakers was operating differently.

Something is going on..


I've learned to secure my belongings on different parts of my body while traveling with Rolgrim Snakecloud, but these were his type of folk, and to watch him work the crowd was something near magical.

I was prepared to grab my sword and dash out to the horses when Rolgrim came up to a table of obvious river pirates and pointed at the rest of the Order of Merit.  Apparently, claiming we were all bounty hunters didn't make any of the patrons blink an eye.  Claiming we were hunting down the horrible fool elf Talanth Blackash made us brothers in arms.

That damn elf had been here too! 

The steely visages of the locals finally broke with descriptions of the elf and his cohort.  Morya accidentally instigating a bar fight may have stopped our flow of information, but it did win us over with the locals.

Over the next two days, we earned the trust of the remaining villagers, for what that was worth, and I'm not sure I wanted to know the goings on of the village, preferring to continue on the Gnarley Wood Road closer to Verbobonc City proper.

Something important is south of the village and whatever it is, the Blackash Gang (Thendara is still with them) wrecked havoc on the inhabitants and barely raised the alarm. Most of the residents to the South, and most of the locals, have taken up arms and pursued this criminal elemental further south.

On the fourth day in town, a big storm swept through the countryside around dinnertime.  I've seen clouds that dark, and perhaps lightning that violent, but THE ACTUAL GROUND SHOOK beneath my feet, with not a clap of thunder to be found.  An assessment of the village the following morning discovered a number of ramshackle shelters had simply blown away from the winds, while a few other buildings collapsed from what some of the folks are calling an earthquake.

By the evening, everyone watched the river rise, and Murag the dwarf and our cleric Brother Alwin convinced the rest of us, that perhaps it might be better to investigate the complex south of Nulb while remaining villagers were preoccupied by flash flooding from upriver.

We dropped our horses off at the local smithy for new shoes and stabling, as well as Murag asking the Smith to repair his old, non-magical chain mail.

The Smith seemed to be the most honest, if disinterested member of the community.  I do remember him standing up as Morya's honor was tarnished by some drunken lout, not that Morya could not handle herself in a matter of seconds (and hence the brawl).

For twenty gold, I asked him to let his stable boy take one of the horses to Griffon's Cove, to pay Whit another ten to send the messenger back to your castle.

I know my Lordship is quite aware of the goings on in his own land better than some former scribe wandering about the woods, but I can assure you, something is amiss in this part of the Viscounty, and the Order of Merit is determined to seek it out and correct it.

Whether this member wants to or not.

Humbly yours,

Elsderth Greyhawk
Sellsword and Sage of the Order of Merit


GM Notes:  We're back on track, although the Order of Merit isn't quite sure how far Talanth Blackash and company are.  Nulb isn't the place to stay for any stretch of time, but this complex (did somebody call it a Temple?) south of the town is worth investigating, and Elsderth learns the worst problem with a group is when you're outvoted. 

Next: #15 - The Temple of Elemental Evil

Monday, February 11, 2019

(Kickstarter) Mall Kids - The RPG

#ZineQuest Kickstarters are coming out hot and heavy for February. This time, it's Mall Kids, and RPG exploring the intersection of teen angst and crushing capitalism.
Sure, it's not slaying dragons or rescuing princesses (usually), but....

Players will navigate a single day at the mall and take turns framing scenes for the characters to play out. Will there be a secret meeting out by the dumpsters? Will you start a riot in the food court? Will a series of complicated and precisely timed diversions lead to you finally asking your crush out without your boss finding out your not at your register?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Gnome Games at Cold Wars 2019!

We at Gaming with the Gnomies would like to make an update.  

Previously, when we announced the PEL release for Cold Wars, had no Gnome Wars games.

That is still true, but thanks to the Gnome King himself, we have events!

"From the "Gnome Guy" there will be a joust on Friday night, A non-Gnome Space game on Friday afternoon, and a Gnome Wars game on Saturday night."

Will someone gain legendary gnome status in the joust, like Rosalie of the Rosary in 2010?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Modiphius Star Trek

My weekly 5e online game has been stuck in a plot-induced hiatus the last two weeks.   The storyline is contingent on the actions of one particular character, and their player has been out of commission with a nasty bug. 

While we await his recovery, our regular GM threw me a curveball and decided to run us through the Quick Start scenario for the Star Trek Adventures RPG (STA).. Having never played the system, and having half the players as die hard fans, we acquiesced to his demands. 

STA relies on Modiphius' 2d20 system.  There are attributes, disciplines, focuses, talents, and values to keep track of, but it boils down to the basic 2d20 mechanic (I think).


  • Actions require a certain number of successes on 2d20
  • The roll use a combination of attributes and discipline.  The sum of each one is the target number.
  • Any roll equal to or less than the target number is a success, any 1 on a roll counts as two successes.  
  • Using all the other things previously mention, if you can explain how focuses, talents, and values can help you, you then can count any die result equal to or less than the discipline as two successes.
  • Any excess successes can carry over at Momentum, which provides bonues for future rolls.

Don't ask me about damage resolution because we relied on a Roll20 character sheet for that.

As someone familiar with Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs, the whole momentum thing can really kick up the cinematic feel for the game, without FFG's funky dice.  We succeeded in our mission, even though the Lt Commander (me) took a sucking chest wound in the last round of combat.

Thank the Federation for Universal Health Care and a space martini in the replicator later.

I did, however, get the warning to take the helm next Monday.   Time to prep some new material.

Friday, February 8, 2019

(Kickstarter) Girl Underground - Powered by the Apocalypse

Every once in a great while, I completely miss a good Kickstarter when I do my daily perusal of the new campaigns.  For Girl Underground - an RPG in Zine form (#ZineQuest), I obviously missed the little words beneath the title while I was scrolling on my phone.

Alice in Wonderland.   The Wizard of Oz.  Labyrinith

Sometimes you need to read the details:

From the Kickstarter page:
Girl Underground is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3–5 players about a curious girl in a wondrous world, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, The Wizard of Oz, Spirited Awayand similar tales.

Follow a young girl’s journey of self-discovery through a whimsical fantasy land with the friends she meets along the way. Explore twisted, willowy woods filled with whisper-soft lies, or tricky fairy rings with riddling promises on the way to overthrow an unjust ruler, like the possessive Crowing King or the commanding Ringmistress.

The game uses a simple system built on the Apocalypse Engine—the same foundation for popular games Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, and Night Witches.

Girl Underground is a low-prep game played either as a oneshot or a short campaign of 2–4 sessions. The game provides locations, side characters, and theme prompts to build a wondrous land tailored to each play experience. With little prep required, Girl Underground is perfect for convention games or game nights when you don’t have a full table.

The zine comes with five evocative playbooks: one for the Girl and each of her four companions.
In short, this zine will give you a game that:
Works for 3–5 players, including a GM
Offers flexible pacing for a oneshot or 2–4 sessions
Uses the popular Apocalypse World system
Provides the materials to make it pick up and play
Sets out playbooks for the Girl and each of her companions

And $9 for the zine/pdf seems like a steal.