Monday, July 31, 2017

(Review) Tales of the Caribbean by Golden Goblin Press

Back in September 2015, I was one of close to 500 people who pledged towards Golden Goblin's Tales of the Caribbean.  It arrived with acceptable delay and since we've wrapped up our Cthulhu campaign for awhile, it was placed on the shelf until I got some beach side reading time in Gran Turk, the Bahamas, and the balcony of the cruise ship that took me there to start the Summer.


Tales of the Caribbean is a 148-page softcover collection of seven scenarios set in various locations in the Caribbean.  They do include a NPC to possibly create continuity between them, but each scenario can stand perfectly fine on their own. 

As I regularly do with Cthulhu scenarios, I'll do a quick overview of each one and a StatCheck breakdown.  Cool locations and events are great and all, but if the investigators can't handle the skill checks, then you shouldn't run without some adjustments.  I'll list what skill checks are written into the scenario, maximum SAN losses/gains if all situations are encountered/obtain, as well as any special bonuses, and Cthulhu Mythos knowledge that can be gained in the scenario.

The Devil Cuts In by Phredd Groves 
A Christmas tradition on the island of Monserrsat goes horribly wrong. 

Anthropology
Art: Music x1
Charm x2
Climb x2
Credit Rating x1
Cthulhu Mythos x1
Fast-Talk x2
First Aid x3
Jump x1
Library Use x7
Medicine x3
Other Language: Creole x1
Other Language: Latin x1
Other Language: Montserratian x1
Persuade x2
Psychoanalysis x1
Psychology x1
Sleight of Hand x1
Spot Hidden x5
Stealth x1

Max San Loss: 7-105
Max San Gain: 4-32
Bonuses: +2% to Cthulhu Mythos

Toil in the Fields by Jo Kreil
Investigators are sent to Haiti to retrieve the body to the son of an old friend.  But what happens when they find the young man, still alive on the streets of Port-Au-Prince?

Archaeology x1
Chemistry x1
Conceal x1
Credit Rating x3
Cthulhu Mythos x2
Fast Talk x3
Geology x1
Law x1
Listen x2
Locksmith x4
Medicine x1 
Occult x4
Other Language: French x2
Persuade x3
Spot Hidden x4
Stealth x3

Max San Loss:  8-57
Max San Gain:   6-23
Bonuses:  Cthulhu Mythos +5%, Occult +4%,

Crimson Eyes & Azure Pools by Jason Williams 
Investigators are summoned to when a research vessel with Miskatonic University staff and students is found abandoned in the Bahamas.   

Climb x1 
Fast Talk x1 
First Aid x1
Library Use x1
Listen x3
Occult x1
Persuade x3
Spot Hidden x8
Track x3

Max San Loss:  13-60
Max San Gain:  6-45
Bonuses: Cthulhu Mythos +1%

Wrath of the Sulfurer by Dave Sokolowski
The investigators are rushed to St Vincent to act as observers for a volcanic eruption.

Anthropology x2
Archaeology x2
Art: Painting x1
Bargain x1
Credit Rating x3
Cthulhu Mythos x1
Dodge x4
Fast Talk x1
First Aid x2
History x1
Library Use x1
Listen x3
Medicine x1
Occult x2
Persuade x3
Psychoanalysis x1
Psychology x1
Spot Hidden x2

Max San Loss: 6-41
Max San Gain:  5-26
Bonuses:  Nothing

Black as Pitch at Midnight by Oscar Rios
The investigators arrive in Trinidad and get caught up in an old rivalry started half a world away.

Library Use x1
Medicine x1
Other Language: Hindi x2
Psychology x2
Spot Hidden x1
Tracking x1
Not a lot of skill checks, but there's definitely a warning that this scenario needs experienced players/investigators.  

Max San Loss:  8-44
Max San Gain:  16-47
Bonuses: Nothing

Servant of God by Jeff Moeller
Investigators are hired to solve a murder of a Vatican Monsignor in Cuba.

Accounting x1
Library Use x6
Other Language: Spanish x2+
Persuade x1
Spot Hidden x2

Max San Loss:  12-28
Max San Gain:  3-18
Bonuses: Cthulhu Mythos +1%, Occult +1%

Night Forms a Cover for Sinners by Oscar Rios
The investigators are asked to follow up on an M.U. grad student doing research in Puerto Rico.

Botany  x1
Chemistry x1
Climb x1
Drive Auto x2
Other Language: Spanish x2+
Psychology x3
Spot Hidden x1+

Max San Loss:  7-24
Max San Gain:  4-26
Bonuses:  Cthulhu Mythos +1%, History +3-5%, Occult +5-7%

Tales of the Caribbean is great for a number of reasons.  First off, there are seven distinct scenarios included.  Each could be reasonably dropped into an existing campaign as a either a vacation interlude or an exotic mission from the hum-drum New England lifestyle. 

Second, the traditional Lovecraftian New England Mythos is turned on its ear with the Caribbean culture and climate.  

Third, by and large, they are survivable scenarios, that could easily escalate out of control depending on Investigators' action.  Black as Pitch at Midnight is the exception, but that is the only scenario that provides a warning to Keepers.  Tough characters and experienced players might get out of that encounter with smart, malevolent experienced entities with their wits or the lives, but not everyone is coming out with both. 

Finally,  *spoilers*  no Deep Ones or References to Atlantis.  Even visits to Cthulhu standards come in with new dressings.  And after reading Crimson Eyes, Azure Pools while on my cruise to the Bahamas, I looked at some of their souvenirs in a completely different light. 

With all that being sad, I give Tales of the Caribbean five out of five gnomes.  

A print copy of Tales of the Caribbean is available for $39.95 from Golden Goblin Press.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

(Kickstarter) Double-Sided Plush Terrain Mats by Cigar Box Battle Mats.

I thought they were going with an August 1st launch date, but Cigar Box Battle Mats was gentle on my August blogging schedule and started their Double-Sided Plush Terrain Mats Kickstarter last Wednesday.


This, the Reaper Kickstarter, and the rush to get events in for Fall-In is going to give me heart palpitations. 


A $99 pledge will get you one high-quality double-sided plush terrain mat, and YOU get to chose whats on each side! 


Shipping in the US is $15 flat, regardless of number of mats. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Macrocosm Miniatures Weird War Miniatures

Per a recent email, Macrocosm Miniatures have finally launched their Weird War Miniatures collection, which includes Russian Dwarves (Bob Olley Dwarves previously owned by Hasslefree) German Goblins, British Halflings, and French Halflings (all previously available through Black Hat).
Russian Dwarves

French Halflings

German Goblin MG Team

Friday, July 28, 2017

(Poll) What to Run at Mepacon Fall 2017?

The Fall edition of Mepacon 2017 will be held November 10-12 at the Hilton in Scranton, Pa.

As I just divested myself of all GM duties for Fall-In the weekend previous, it's time to decide what I should run.  I'm dedicated to running kid or kid-friendly games (having a six and an eight year in the house does that), so I just need to figure out what to run and how much:

Our choices (All are two hour time slots)
"Rat-Na-Rock"  System: Of Gods and Mortals. Players: 6+
The Frost Giants have attacked Asgard! The Midgard Serpent wakes from its slumber.  Odin and the other main gods of Norse mythology are missing!  And you have been cursed to the size of a mouse!  Can you stop the "Rat-Na-Rock"  from happening?

"Valley of the Ape" System: Valley of the Ape.  Players 6
Six different groups venture through the jungle, seeking out lost artifacts, dodging quicksand, and capturing the greatest prize of all: Kang, the great ape of the valley. 
This will be an expanded version of my Ape God game

"Adventures in Ponyville" System:  My Little Pony RPG.  Players 6
Yes, there's a legitimate My Little Pony RPG. It's in hardcover, and it's really well done.  I'm not a brony, but as a father, I've watched enough episodes to put run two hour slots to make help make characters and run two encounters to show off the mechanics. 

"Mousling Fantasy" System: Savage Worlds RPG.  Players 6
Generic kid-friendly(esque) fantasy adventures using the Mouslings from Reaper Miniatures and slightly stripped down Savage Worlds. 

"Eric Run Something For Grown-Ups" System: ???? Players: 6
I'm the non F20 demographic when it comes to "normal" RPGs, so I've been hitting 50/50 odds of games going off.  When they happen, they're fantastic.  When they don't, I get sad.  Options include "Cthulhu Comes to Springfield" (Toon), "The Ka-Boom Show" (Spirit of '77), Illuminati University (Risus), Savage Rifts, and maybe some classic red-box D&D.  Ideas in the comment section, please.

No Water No Paint No Game

Sorry, no painting this week.  The second great basement flood of '17 is cleaned up and I did get the table sorted out and some of the kid's projects primed for painting. 

Fall-In 2017 mysteriously closed their GM Registration for the Preliminary Event Listing (PEL) on July 21st, a week after Historicon and a full month earlier than had posted on their website.  After at online yelling and screaming by the convention director that we GMs don't know what we're doing (or reading), they graciously extended GM Event Registration for the PEL to Friday, August 4th. 

Of course, someone did pull up the web archive of the Fall-In! from back in June, when important dates section still had AUGUST 21st as the deadline.  I'm used to finding the pomposity of the HMGS cons coming from know-it-all players, not a clueless convention director.  Even my local con has "check/change the website for the next con" on their to-do list right after the last convention wraps up. 

It's not a huge to-do, but the general attitude has really turned me off from running anything for future Fall-In conventions. 
UPDATE:  Due to what appears to be the poor attitude and general incompetence of the convention director, I will not be at Fall-In as a GM or paying attendee.  The basic rule of customer service, especially when you side is in the wrong is, accept responsibility, correct the issue, apologize and drop the subject as quickly as possible.  Not having a clue as to how a certain proactive engaging demographic would react to a reasonably presented information, being radically changed incorrectly and refusing admit error and move on is just something I don't tolerate anymore.  The amusing thing is that the right thing was done by extending registration to August 4th.  Owe up to the error, make a have hearted mea culpa, and next year everyone think's you're a rock star.
Of course, I only said I wouldn't pay to go to Fall-In.  I have told stories of many individuals attending a full con without registering.  Not getting access to the Dealer Hall isn't the worst thing that has ever happened to me.  So, you still might find me at the bar Saturday night. 
Removing my Rat-Na-Rock game from the scheduled convention game and going to the con as a civilian seems to be liberating.  It also completely changes my events for Mepacon.  Now, first on all, I still have painting the Giants, Mouslings, and ordering a few buildings on the top of my list, so I might still run it at Mepacon, but I think my attention will be directed towards some Valley of the Ape and My Little Pony RPG in 2-hour sessions for kids and kids-at-heart alike. 

On the writing front, I've got 51 episodes of the Pigeon God in the can, ready to post.  We're looking at April and May for the final episodes, so I have some time to assemble the random memories that make up the final sessions of the game. 

I also have 19 out of the 31 #RPGaDay entries finished.  The questions are workable this year, although I was amused by a recent update regarding alternative topics that focused entirely on, 'Don't criticize the question."

About a third of these questions would completely baffle your average casual role-player, and two or three have made me turn my head to the side, trying to comprehend them. 

I'm just hoping for the celebratory 5th Annual #RPGaDay, we go back to the first year's questions. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Mike Lung Gallery #50: El Cucaracha!!!!

Let's celebrate fifty posts of the wild and wacky work of GwtG's intrepid reporter Mike Lung! 

Today is the biggest and baddest bug south of the Rio Grande, El Cucaracha! 
Mike started with an old toy from "A Bug's Life":
And turned him into terrifying, even to the 35+mm varmints!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Apathy of the New Releases (Aug '17)

My Must-Have Want List
Nothing

My Money-Is-No-Object Want List
Modiphius
Space: 1889 The Strange Land ................................................................ $ 9.99
Space: 1889 The Strange Land (Savage Worlds Edition) ....................... $ 9.99

My Imaginary Store (The Pegleg Gnome) List
Alderac Entertainment Group
60 Seconds to Save the World ................................................................... $24.99
Cat Lady ..................................................................................................... $24.99
Mad Science Expo ...................................................................................... $19.99
Smash Up: Big Japan ................................................................................. $24.99

Asmodee Editions
Mysterium: Secrets & Lies Expansion ............................................... $29.99

Bandai
Dragonball Z Super Card Gaem - Boosters

Catalyst Game Labs
D&D: Dragonfire DBG: Adventures - The Trollclaws ....................... $19.99

Chaosium
Call of Cthulhu:  Down Darker Trails- Terrors in the Wild West HC........ $44.95

Cheapass Games
Button Men Strategy Dice Game ................................................................ $35.00

Chronicle Books
Vader and Family Coloring Book ...........................................................  $14.95
Donner Dinner Party ................................................................................ $19.95
Ghost Story Dice ...................................................................................... $14.95
Magic & Fairy Dice ................................................................................$14.95
Space Travel Dice .................................................................................... $14.95
Pirate Adventure Dice .............................................................................. $14.95
The Games We Played HC ....................................................................... $24.95
Ultimate Book of Card Games HC ........................................................... $19.95
Zombie Cribbage ....................................................................................... $19.95

Fantasy Flight Games
Legend of the Five Rings LCG: Core Set ................................................. $39.95
I question the appeal of, and eventual sales  of, limited card game structure, especially when once expansions start to plague the game.  But this is L5R....
Star Wars Destiny:  Empire at War Boosters
Star Wars X-Wing - Guns for Hire Expansion .......................................... $29.95

Fat Goblin Games
Castle Falkenstein:  Firearms and Margarine ............................................. $14.95

Gale Force Nine
D&D RPG:  Tomb of Annihilation DM Screen ......................................... $14.95

Games and Gears
Pathfinder:  Heroes for Highdelve GenCon 50th Anniversary Book ......... $14.99

Games Workshop
Oh, Sweet Lord, the new 40K stuff hits the general distribution channels.  But before that , let me complain about Citadel's Death Guard Green, perhaps the least appealing color I have ever seen manufactured in paint form... and there's a lot of gross Chaos colors in the line.  Seriously, I have little respect for someone willing to pay $4.25 for 12 tiny milliliters of paint or $19.50 for a spray can of it.  That all being said..
40K Dark Imperium Boxed Set ................................................................. $160.00
Between the hardcover rules, figures, and accessories, it looks like it's priced appropriately
40K 8th Edition Rulebook (HC) ................................................................ $60.00
Index: Imperium Vol 1 ..............................................................................  $25.00
Index: Imperium Vol 2 ..............................................................................  $25.00
Index: Chaos .............................................................................................  $25.00
Index: Xenos Vol 1 ....................................................................................  $25.00
Index: Xenos Vol 2 .................................................................................... $25.00
Tactical Objective Cards ............................................................................ $12.50
Command Dice ........................................................................................... $20.00

Goodman Games
Dungeon Crawl Classics: Treasure Chest  ................................................. $50.00
Fifth Edition Fantasy: Treasure Chest .......................................................  $50.00
Metamorphosis Alpha: Treasure Chest .....................................................  $50.00
A fat stack of appropriate product at a nice introductory bulk price.

Great Than Games
Scythe:  The Wind Gambit ........................................................................  $30.00

Green Ronin Publishing
Blue Rose RPG:  Six of Swords - Adventures in the World of Aldea ......  $29.95
Dragon Age RPG:  Faces of Thedas Sourcebook ...................................... $39.95
Mutants and Masterminds RPG:  Rogues Gallery Sourcebook ................. $34.95

John Wick Presents
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - Cole Rules HC ................................................ $59.99
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - Gamemaster Screen ........................................ $19.99
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - Heroes and Villains HC .................................. $39.99
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - Nations of Theah V1 HC ................................ $39.99
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - Pirate Nations HC ........................................... $39.99
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - Sorte Deck ....................................................... $24.99

Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG:  Code of the Duelist Special Edition Box Display
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG:  Kaiba's Collector Box Case
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: Yugi's Collector Box Case

Max Protection
Keep Calm Playmats. 
Not a big fan of most accessories that don't come with prices, and definitely not a fan of plays on the classic "Keep Calm and Carry On," but these playmats speak to me:



Modiphius
Conan:  Conan the Thief ............................................................................ $24.99

Ninja Division Games
Onami ......................................................................................................... $29.99

Paizo Publishing
Pathfinder Adv Card Game: Hell's Vengeance Character Deck 1 .............. $19.99
Pathfinder RPG: AP - Ruins of Azlant Part 3 - The Flooded Cathedral ....  $24.99
Pathfinder RPG: Bestiary 2 Pocket Edition ...............................................   $19.99
Pathfinder RPG: Player Companion - Blood of the Coven ........................  $14.99
Pathfinder RPG: Ultimate Equipment Pocket Edition ...............................  $24.99
Pathfinder RPG: Flip-Mat Bigger Keep .....................................................  $19.99
Pathfinder RPG:  Map Pack - Fungus Forest ............................................  $14.99
Starfinder RPG: AP - Dead Suns Part 2 - Temple of the Twelve .............  $22.99
Starfinder RPG: Alien Archive HC ...........................................................  $39.99
Starfinder RPG: Flip-Mat Cantina ............................................................. $14.99

Palladium Books
Rifts RPG:  Living Nowhere .....................................................................  $16.95

Pelgrane Press
#Feminism:  A Nano-Games Anthology ...................................................  $24.95
Timewatch RPG:  GM Screen ...................................................................  $19.95

Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds RPG:  Rippers Resurrected Collector's Box Set ...............  $99.99

Plastic Soldier Company
15mm Easy Assemby:  T-55AM2B ........................................................... $27.97

Pokémon USA
Pokémon TCG:  Battle Arena Decks Landorus vs Genesect

Posthuman Studios
Eclipse Phase RPG:  2nd Edition Rulebook ................................................ $59.99

Steve Jackson Games
Dungeon Fantasy RPG:  Boxed Set ............................................................. $59.95
Dungeon Fantasy RPG:  GM Screen ........................................................... $24.95
Munchkin Shakespeare Drama Dice ...........................................................  $ 6.95
Munchkin Shakespeare Kill-o-Meter ..........................................................  $ 9.95
Munchkin Lite .............................................................................................. $19.95
Cthulhu Dice  ............................................................................................... $ 6.95

Stronghold Games
Terraforming Mars: Venus Next Expansion ................................................ $29.95

Troll Lord Games
5th Edition Adventures:  A8 - The Forsaken Mountain ..............................  $ 9.99
The Storyteller's Dictionary ........................................................................   $24.99

Wizards of the Coast
D&D RPG:  Tomb of Annihilation ............................................................  $49.95
D&D RPG:  Tomb of Annihilation Dice ....................................................  $19.95
D&D RPG:  Adventure Grid .......................................................................  $24.95
D&D RPG:  Dungeon Master's Screen Reincarnated .................................  $14.95

Wizkids
DC Dice Masters:  Harley Quinn Starter Set ...............................................  $19.99
Pathfinder Battles Iconic Heroes Box Set 7 .................................................  $29.99
Pathfinder Battles Iconic Heroes Box Set 8 .................................................  $29.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:  Card Pack Wave 4 ................................................   $ 9.99
Federation Attack Squadron or Hirogen Warship

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #16: (Talislanta) The Magical Fair

Date: ???  Location: ????
Once the swirling mists abated, Rolf Wolfsblood poked his head out the front door of the brothel. The dirty streets of Hydincall were gone, replace with rows of tall crops as far as the eye could see.  It looked like some sort of grain, yet the stalks were a peculiar midnight blue, shining against the sun. :

"Wait, are there two moons in the sky???   KANNNNEXXXX!!!!" - Rolf

From the Journal of Kannex of Cymril, Tanasian Wizard, translated from High Talislan...
16th of Ardan 150 N.A. - Outskirts of the City-State of Cymril, The Seven Kingdoms
I've done it!   Thanks to my oscillating Heka on the world known as "Crow Sad Eyes," I've actually been able to funnel my power into an inter dimensional gate spell with half the effort.  Or so I believed.  What I though would be a simple effect taking me and my possessions within the ritual circle back home has transported the entire Hostel for Wayward Women I was residing into a farmer's field outside of Cymril.  Lucky for us, it appears to be far enough outside the city limits to avoid the Tarkus-mounted Thrall patrols.  News of a strange building full of humans and an new alien race known as an "Alf" would attract the magicians and windships would be instantly upon us.  

I emerged from my ritual trance to the sounds of the sub-man Rolf Wolfsblood, screaming my name. It's no surprise that magically-backward being was the first to panic, even before the wayward women.  By the time I descended into the barroom, the mystic Kane was already calming him, so I directed my attention to the Alf Guide, Ashe and his oversexed companion, Maloran.  I explained to them my magical miscalculations, how we all were residing in my home world of Talislanta, and advised them how dangerous the world might be for everyone in the building.  I would be dedicated to returning them back home, but due to the differing Heka energies of the realms, I would require much more time and assistance in conducting the reversing ritual.  I pledged their protection as paramount, so pooling our coins together for long-term provisions, bribes to the farmer to keep things quiet, and some armed mercenaries to ensure it stayed that way.  

40th of Ardan 150 N.A. - Outskirts of the City-State of Cymril, The Seven Kingdoms
Kannex purchased supplies and security, with unintended consequences.  The mercenaries, a variety of warriors living within the Seven Kingdoms, took their job of protecting the brothel very serious, but were not secretive in anyway of the foreign pale-skinned concubines when speaking with their associates in Cymril and beyond.  Soon, Maloran's cousin, Duane, was back in business, courting the pleasures of the locals,

Kannex brought in his sister, Loorina, and cousin, Esdath, to the brothel to teach everyone the customs of the land.  Duane's girls learned to speak and write Low Talislan, as that would be the language of their client, while the party (including Babette and Maloran's cousin, Duane) learned Low and High Talislan.   Kannex was researching the gate/teleportation spell to get everyone home, and his Tanasian people not always welcome in the parts of Cymril he needed to visit, his work was very clandestine and very slow.

2nd of Phandir 150 N.A. - City-State of Cymril, The Seven Kingdoms
Almost five months of time passed and the party was adept enough as the language and customs that Kannex had let them travel the the green glass city of Cymril.  If Hydincall had overwhelmed the party, Cymril blew their minds.  Dozens of races walked the streets, countless exotic plants, salves, creatures, and magic items filled the bazaars, and windship hovered above the buildings in ways that baffled the entire team.

On the second of Phandir, Kannex set them out alone on a specific mission, during Cyrmil's famous Magic Fair.   With the influx of even stranger races for the festival, their pale skin wouldn't seem so it would not seem strange for a group of bumbling foreigners to look for a Kasmirin Trap-Smith and merchant by the name of Abn Qua. But first a little exploration of the fair was in order.

The group carefully tried to avoid pickpockets and thieves while imbibing every alcoholic creation this new world had to offer.  The food tended to be less forgiving than the brews, as many many delicacies were had harsh ingredients.  Spices aside, the idea of a barbberry muffin still containing the barbs perplexed Kane as his tongue swelled twice its size.

Amid the tents and outbuildings was a makeshift arena of logs, offering tournaments in martial combat, archery, and magical prowess.  Rolf and Ashe signed up for martial combat and both breezed through the first round.  In the second round, Ashe was easily bested by a Danuvian Swordswoman, while Rolf encountered a mentally disturbed Cymrilian Swordsmage that manged to crack the barbarian's sword in half, automatically winning.

"I'm relieved that I did not use my prized Sun-Sword in combat.  While it's superior quality may have survived the trained blow, it will be far more useful to cleave the heads of those who prevent us from returning home." - Rolf

With minor winnings for reaching the second round, everyone agreed to shop to the weapons merchants. Kane picked up a beautifully carved quarterstaff, Ashe a sturdy shortbow, and Rolf coveted a used Greatsword, a weapon commonly used by the heavily tattooed Thrall people. His Sun-Sword would still be his primary weapon.  The Greatsword was significantly heavier than the his old sword, but it almost felt magically balanced.

Their initial curiosity finally satiated, they finally set out to meet the person Kannex arranged to help them get home, Abn Qua.

Weaving through the throngs, they asked, bribed, and cajoled a number of people to get a location on Qua.  After the fourth or fifth person, the noticed a strange furry creature that was obviously tailing them.

The creature didn't immediately notice the heroes advancing, but after a few moments, it caught wind of the situation and clumsily stumbled through the crowd.  The party kept tabs on the furry rodent man until he got himself cornered around three tents.  It turned around and a disgusting mist emanated from its hind end, Rolf and Babette taking the blinding brunt of it.

The creature crawled under a tent, but Ashe and Kane dove after it and captured him inside.

A gnarled old man in desert garb started clapping from a corner of the tent.

"Ferrex is an excellent tail for a Ferran and you noticed him only a few moments into his assignment.  You are either very skilled or very lucky.  If you are here to help Kannex, you will need to be both.  I am Abn Qua."

Upon cleaning up, he explained that he needed them to travel past Cymril to discover why a Thrall's amulet ended up getting sold in market from distant merchants.

"Sounds rather insignificant to me, but if it gets us closer to getting home so be it."  - Rolf

DM Notes: Here, my friends, is the the start of the campaign's "Summer session."  Certain players have been magically teleported back to Kannex's home world of Talislanta.    Kannex doesn't have the best reputation with the Cymrillian magic community, so the research and reagents needed to send them home would be earned by a series of jobs.  

Character conversion to OMNI was pretty easy.  The Talislanta +/- stat system lines up with the old bonuses/penalties from basic D&D.  Thrown in level bonuses and everyone had respectable Combat Ratings.  

Fun fact, as I ply through the Talislanta journal.  I added the reference to Rolf's Sun-Sword, as it is mentioned in later episodes.  

While I've tried to list significatn magic items the characters acquire, after 18 years, it's by no means perfect.   I don't remember doling out an actual Sunsword, but it could have happened... or it could be a sword with a Continual Light spell cast on it... or a magical +1 sword with the spell.   Future episodes will bring up an attachment to the sword, so it is a prized possession.

Although those Thrall greatswords kick ass.

NEXT #17 - The Scent of the Beast

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Great Basement Naval Game

Here in the normally hot and humid confines of Northeast Pennsylvania, we must have angered God and he sent us a deluge.   We were already close to the normal average rain for the month just from the last week of soaking thunderstorms. 


This morning I woke up to yet another pounding storm, and a quick venture in the basement uncovered yet another bum sump pump and three inches of water.  After a half hour of dickering around with the pump to no avail, I realized the three inches had grown to six, and by six in the morning it had already hit a foot and a half.  A few items in storage would be ruined, but the shelves in the Kriget Rum start at three feet. 


Bailing with buckets went to no avail so I was forced to leave things to hit the hardware store, grab a new pump and get it installed. 


An extra hour away added an extra foot to the water, great for 54mm Naval action, but periously close to the heating elements. 


Upon leaving for work, the new pump was free of rocks, I don't anticipate any long-term damage outside losing some Christmas decorations, and I should be back to painting by Wednesday (It's amazing how many gallons are in a cubic foot... and how many cubic feet of water were in my basement). 


Two final things:  Event Registration for the Fall-In! PEL has been extended for an undetermined length of time.  I'm not the only regular GM who swore up and down that the deadline was in August, when magically it changed to this past Friday.   The grand convention poobahs at HMGS have changed it to TBD, so hurry up and get your events in to qualify for free admission (for members of any HMGS chapter in good standing.)


Secondly, I've become involved in a super-secret project.  One so secret, that I don't even have the details yet.  Once I know more information, I'll..... probably not be able to comment on here, due to NDAs and propriety information. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The #RPGaDay 2017 List is Up...

After waiting and waiting, the infographic for #RPGaDay 2017 is up!


What is #RPGaDay?  Dave Chapman, founder of the concept explains it well over at Autocratik, but in a nutshell, it's an RPG Question-a-Day for the month of August that you can answer and share with the gaming community as a whole via social media.

Want to do short answers under 140 characters?  Just tweet your answers!

Want to just share it with your gaming friends you already know? Facebook!

Want to answer and have no one see it?  That's what Google+ and Tumblr are for.

If you have a long answer, well, that's why the internet gods invented blogs.  A blog entry a day is great practice to see if you enjoy it.  Avoid all the graphics and fancy stuff. For most of us, we simply want a good answer, maybe a story associated with it.  If your talking about obscure stuff from the mid-80's that even I don't remember, that's when posting a jpg of the cover or a link to the game's fandom page might be appropriate.

Feel like a question doesn't make sense?  There should be an alternate set of questions available shortly.  Worst case, pull up one of the last three years of questions and answer one of those.  This is not some marching band competition where everything needs to be regimented. We're gamers, we all march to the beat of a different drummer. Some to trumpets, maybe an oboe or a xylophone from time to time.

Of course, you can post links to your blog to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even Tumblr if you are so inclined.  Just make sure to use the hashtag #RPGaDay on the posts and sit back, relax, and read everyone else's entries.

Friday, July 21, 2017

(Painting) German Bier Medics and Smoke Markers

My "Home-storicon" was pretty much was relegated to painting, and I had no problem with that. 

First off, I'm proud to say, after nearly eight years "Die FleiderAffes" are finally finished!

This unit should be 320 points and includes a Commander, Officer, and NCO.  I picture this as essentially the headquarters unit. 

The final two figures to finish off the unit were perhaps the most important: "Herr Bier Doktor" and his lovely Bier Nurse Assistant. 


I'm not painting red crosses on the steins.  White should be enough.

Of course, as I gingerly packed up this fully painted unit, I went through a second box of unpainted gnomes and found the German Sausage Mortar Team with unpainted figures, and a lone unbased German rifleman, all with this unit's paint scheme. I'll hopefully finish up the mortar team this month and the rifleman will get reassigned to my undermanned third German unit, "Die Yuenglings."

No schedule as to when my 2nd unit, the 31st "Die Leinenkugels" will hit the table to be finished.

I also fooled around with steel wool possibly older than my wife to play with some smoke markers.

Not fantastic, but I've had this project in my blog queue for awhile now, and when I recently went through the garage, I found a bag of steel wool that was from my wife's grandmother's house when we clean it out a few years ago.  From the price tags, the unopened bag may have been from the late 70's.  No rust, but some pieces were extremely brittle. 

The original markers were initially inspired by Armored Ink, although I avoided the bad flames and may have been influenced by other blogs.

Next:  My 25 Pulp Figures German Colonials are completely base coated.  I anticipate them getting finished much quicker than the gnomes.  From there, frost giants and treasure chests! 
On the RPG front, I'm happy that I finished episode #46 of the Ballad of the Pigeon God, although, I've been forced to split two episodes into four, to maintain size and consistency.  Thanks to that, I've gone from behind on my other writing to WAAAAY behind.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

(Savage Lost) #2.12 Finale "THOSE WERE THE REAL CONQUESTS"

Lost in some mysterious valley for days, our heroes had just eluded danger to enter the "Forbidden City" of the native Akala. 

While most of the city was a mixture of ancient architecture, one tower did defy explanation.  It was a gleaming metal structure, ascending into the fog.

Upon reaching it's front door, the heroes were confronted with a keypad and touchscreen, a strange apparatus for our folks from the 1920's, much more so for primitive monkey people.

Entering the Metal Citadel
Our Heroes:
Maja Millie - Noted archeologist and currently cradling a strange Crystal Skull, obtained from the wicked Ape God, Atil-a-Kong
Nils Lingonberry - Swedish Adventurer.  Holding the Crown of Kamula from the encounter with Atil-a-Kong.
Lord Jon-Smythe Cuppenbrush - British Gentlemen, Big Game Hunter, and ex-soldier. 
Barbara Kacey:  Newspaper photographer out of film and her element.

But Maja Millie notice a strange light coming from her satchel.  The crystal skull she had discovered during their fight with Atil-A-Kong, the Ape God, was now glowing brightly.  She positioned it closer to the controls o the wall and doors opened with an effortless *swoosh*. 

Looking at the countless buttons with strange symbols inside the elevator car, Maja looked for a pattern on them and guessed the highest "number" in the pattern.

The elevator shot up like a rocket, cycling through all the symbols until finally slowly down, hopefully at the top. 

The doors opened up to a hallway with concrete floors and metal walls.  Stepping out of the car, small fluorescent lights came to life along the edges of the floor and ceiling. 

Nils walked up to door, pistol in hand, and hit the electronic panel besides it.  As the door *swooshed* to the side lights came to life, and a lone figure stood in the back of the room.  A robot head looked up and was immediately hit by a bullet, exploding in a fireball. 

"What was that!"  Lord Cuppenbrush inquired.
"I don't know, but eet blows up gut!"

Nils incinerates the first encounter.
Not seeing any exits or loot, Maja Millie shut to the door to block off the fire and smoke and chose a different direction.

A short trip down a different hall and they got a full view of cousins of the first encounter.  Again, the lights flickered on and two robotic creatures with some form of gun attached to their arms slowly came to life. 

Lord John slid over to allow the rest to move in and get a shot at the robots.  He missed with his revolver and Maja Millie attempted to use the Crystal Skull to shoot energy bolts.  She couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, and each shot make the Skull glow brighter. 

More robots...
Lord Cuppebrush managed to disable the further robot, but another emerged from the walls!  Nils then boldly charged into room, shooting the near 'bot in the head before kicking it away! 
Nils to the Rescue!
Deciding to save his limited ammunition, Lord Cuppenbrush drew his cavalry saber and charged the mechanical construct.  It could only defend itself by parrying the blow with its gun, but upon impact, the saber snapped off the hilt. 

A quick energy bolt from Maja Millie dispatched the final robot.

The next room was huge, taking a full ten seconds for all the lights lining it to come to life, revealing a huge mechanical spider! 
Oh boy!!!
Lord John and Maja Millie managed to hit the horror, knocking out some of its mechanical eyes and some sort of weapon mounted on its head.  When Nils had the chance, he could only aim his pistol and answer with a resounding *click*.

Completely out of ammo, the Swede chucked the pistol at the creature, and the spider returned fire with some form of energy blast.  Nils, barely got of the way from getting vaporized. 

A Close Call By Nils
Kacey Barbara had already bolted towards the only other door in the room.  Lord Cuppenbrush grabbed the Swede and stumbled towards the door, a few of shot hitting something essential on the beast. 
Maja Millie tried to create some sort of covering fire using the Crystal Skull, but each shot missed and the skull grew to a blinding light... and began to vibrate. She threw to the artifact and the spider-robot seconds before it exploded. 

The Crystal Skull Explodes!
As the boom from the explosion finally subsided, Lord John crouched in the doorway, trying to shield his comrades with great futility.  Both Maja Millie and Nils were knocked out and bleeding badly, he was holding on my true grit and the photographer was at her wits end.  Most of the lights had been knocked out, and the few that remained showed the mechanical "spider" was still alive, albeit with only five of it's six legs.  But something  was on top of the creature, almost riding it. 

"Good Lord, that mad shaman Mettiaus is on the spider!  Quick, Barbara, grab Maja."  We must  leave immediately." 

The photographer grabbed her friend and they stumbled down the hallway.   The Akala shaman had difficulty controlling the machine, its lone weapon firing wildly into walls and collapsing parts of the ceiling.    The hallway was a long run which terminated into another door.  Lord Cuppenbrush hit the panel with his elbow and the door slowly *swooooooshed* open, revealing warm fetid jungle air, but the outside blocked with rocks and vines.  The gentleman and photographer slashed the vines and pushed their compatriots over the rocks, all the while dodging the explosive blasts of the spider.  Lord Jon rolled over the rocks last, as a shot hit the entrance, forcing things to collapse on themselves. 
Back in the African Jungle, but Still Lost!
Lord Cuppenbrush took a moment to rest and proceeded to patch up his friends.   The odds didn't look too good for four injured Westerners, lost in the jungle with barely any food, no clean water, and three bullets for a single revolver, but they persisted in finding a way out of the jungle and back to civilization. 
A little more than two days into their trek, they heard human voices coming closer.  Throwing caution to the wind, they made as much noise as they could muster, and soon were surrounded by a well-armed party of natives.... led by their good friend Bob Njano! 


Bob Njano had travelled back with the Shield of Ma-Nu-Fa and the Jade Heifer of Hathor from their earlier expedition, secured them in the Royal Museum, and immediately headed back with extra native hirelings to look for his friends.  It took three days, but they arrived back at the river and quickly met up with the gunboat to take them back home. 

The Shield, Jade Statue, and Crown of Kamula, earned them enough to rest in peace and tranquility as long as they wished. 

There your have it, Season Two of the Pulp Campaign is in the books.   This season was a lot more consistent than Season One, but it also may have been it's downfall.  The girls loved the Akala, hated the Ahdo, and simply could not understand why the dinosaurs got frightened by their over-eagerness to pet them.  Upon further review with the cast, we will return for Season Three, although it will be (a) back in Egypt and (b) probably in the January 2018.  Our attention will be turned to Mousling Fantasy Role-Play and the My Little Pony RPG (with some playtesting for Rat-na-Rock).  Most of the palm trees need a break (and thorough refurbishment) before we go further. 

Campaign Pros:  The jungle cloth from Jo-Ann Fabrics worked great.  The "Blue Martians" got some use plus I got to use the weird bug mini Mike got for me back during Cold Wars.  Using a Beanie Baby monkey for the "Ape God" scenario was genius and guarantees I use that scenario for conventions.

Campaign Cons:  The jungle cloth was a big dark for some of the pictures.  Kacey Barbara was a one-trick pony with little use except extra dice for lucky rolls.

The finale was inspired by part of a scenario from The Land of Counterpane.

And finally, most of the scenario titles (and basic plotting) for the second season were derived from chapters from The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Mike Lung Gallery #49: Nomepoleonic Action!

It's been awhile, but Mike has a few more delectable things up his sleve.

First off, a Brigade Games Gnome Wars' Nomepoleon mounted, leading his Italian Todoroni allies from Alternative Armies.


The Action of Wurstburg (Ostarian Dogs vs Ferach)
And finally an Ostarian cannon and limber.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #15: A Trip to Hydincall... and BEYOND!!!

5 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
The expedition from Eding had traveled up to the capital.  Lady Iris tagged along, as promised.

Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar
Ashe - highly skilled elven ranger, still recovering from being half-eaten by a dragon.
Maloran Alberhold - human fighter, ladies man sans charisma.
Talis Makolin - a rakish bard avec charisma
Velandro - pious priest of Akana w/ his kobold acolytes left at home. Possesses Bell of Chardastes
Wrath - Young Holy Warrior with a an ego bigger than his ability.
Kannex (NPC):  Mysterious Fire Sorceror from an even more mystrious land.
Lady Iris(NPC): A Red Knight of Crosedes, and recently rescued from the clutches of the spider-people

Rolf was nearly giddy as he got his first view of the city.  The King's castle was larger than any town he had ever stepped foot in, and that was dwarfed by the sprawling urban mass spilling out of the city gates.  As they crossed Main Bridge, an architectural wonder of multiple stone arches that was wide enough for fifty men to stand without touching shoulders, Rolf would peer over the side, and drop a copper piece down to the river below.

Nearing the city, Ashe raised his hood to cover his heritage.   The party proceeded to a bar where they met a friendly drunk man who resembled the barbarian in stature, but for a full head of greasy locks of hair.  Brutus, a struggling gladiator, welcomed them with open arms (and the hope for cheap booze), recommending the crew try attend the gladiator games in the city.  Despite a propensity to mispronounce every one's names, the party found him clueless, but non-threatening.

Heading towards an inn for the night, a young thief attempted to steal from Rolf!  She was easily caught, yet his looks and charm won the party over somehow, and Babette was taken in, much to the barbarian's chagrin.  He was no long enamored by the sparkling civilization, now noticing the filth and disease in every corner.

The Thief Babette
6 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
Rolf, still clutching his papers from William, and the rest made their way to the castle and their audience with King Nevin.

Seated right beside the king was... Archbishop Adolphus???  It appeared that Archbishop never left the city, and would send body doubles to oversee events.

Velandro gave to the Bell of Chardastes and Adolphus was quite please, rewarding each member in attendance one thousand gold pieces (including Babette!)

The Bell of Chardastes will finally be returned!
Upon reading the scrolls from William, King Nevin announced that William would be granted the title of Baron of Eding, until such time as the King could find a viable candidate of Crosedean blood to oversee that small corner of the Kingdom.   Despite the needs of the newly established barony, Lady Iris would stay in Hydincall to assist the king and the Knights of Crosedes to investigate and eliminate both the Spider-Person problem, and a growing sect of Akana worshippers claiming the return of the King of Light was nigh.

The trip back to the inn was filled with many stops, as everyone stopped to spend some of their earnings and random magical devices, potions, or just luxury items.

Talis noted that Maloran's luck with ladies seemed to improve in the city, almost rivaling his own consistent streak.  Upon the compliment, Maloran paused a moment and declared the group was moving to another inn for the following night. Everything but the drinks would be free!

7 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
Everyone traveled to the Hydincall Magic University in the morning.  Kannex immediately gained credentials on the spot and was invited to study in the library.  The others spent a few gold to get magic items identified by the students.  They left Kannex at the University and crossed town to the coliseum to watch the gladiators fight.

That night, they picked up a pleased Kannex from the University, and proceeded to move their belongings from the inn to a different inn Maloran simply called "My Cousin's Place."   Indeed, the inn was actually owned by Duane Alberhold, one of Maloran's cousin.

It was also a brothel, as a very pious acting Wrath physically escorted one the employees out of his room.

Talis determined getting chicks at the brothel was too easy, so he went out to a different bar. The bard didn't score with any ladies, but did get a date with a girl who seemed awfully familiar....

8 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
The party secured their valuables at the brothel and everyone except Kannex went back to the coliseum for a day of amateur fighting.   Ashe did not fare well, but Rolf won his group.    Wrath was disqualified due to Talis trying to impress his date.  Seated in one of the nobleman's boxes, he tried to cast spells to aid Wrath, but the magical detection installed around the arena caught his act.  He was immediately detained and escorted away...  The rest of the party was in general seating, and Velandro spied Talis' female companion...

"Isn't that the girl from the Temple of Alasku?  With the bright pink bedroom in the middle of a dungeon full of undead?  What was her name... Celeste? What in the battlerage of Farmesk is she doing here?"

Talis was immediately labelled a magic cheat and branded on the forehead with a magical rune that only appeared within the limits of the city.  He was released outside the arena to hail of curses, sputum, and rotten vegetables.  Hydincall liked their gladiators fighting clean.

He was greeted back at the brothel by the cheering chorus of the Dag Family.  The kobolds, along with Kane, had traveled down to the capital to reunite with Velandro.  Kane filled the rest in on the growing spider-person problem.

9 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
Wrath announced that he received an offer to train with a gladiator school in the city, despite Talis' actions.  He packed up his belongings and bid them all farewell.

10 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
Velandro announced that he received permission to take the Dag Family to a monastery in Ispatlia for formal training.  A much more tearful parting took place and they left.

Talis continued to try and get magic spells or training, but the magic rune forced most sages and wizards to shun him.

11 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
The remaining group, save Kannex, decided to attend an auction.   A small part of the mission to the capital was to pick up some more, or nicer items for the chateau and whatever those bungalows were.  
Ashe convinced the others to put together some of their earnings to buy things for the greater good of the party.
  • 50g  -6 full length woolen cloaks
  • 50g - 2 crimson robes
  • 10g - 2 pair boots
  • 500g - china dishes
  • 50g - crystal goblets
  • 150g - 3 floor rugs
  • 40g - vase
  • 15 - casks of white wine
  • 50  - casks of red wine
  • 50  -  brewing supplies

Most of the pooled money went towards a fantastic painting.  It was a huge oil painting of adventurers looking a map and pointing to some mist covered mountain off into the distance.  Sure it was 5,000 gold, but it would look awesome over the mantle in the Chateau's great room.
A poor rendition of the fancy oil painting.
They also bought a wagon and a team of horses to haul everything back to Eding.  They may have lost Lady Iris, Wrath, and Velandro's clan, but they had earned Brutus and the very clingy Babette.

12 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
In the early morning, the wagon half-packed to leave for Eding, no one could find Talis anywhere. Heading back in for more personal items, everyone was startled by explosions down the block.  They staggered out to the street to find Talis nonchalantly walking back from the origin of the flames.

It's uncertain why Rolf became so enraged with the philandering bard but a chase ensued.  The pair dashed through alleys, over walls, and back into the brothel.  The group ran back into the brothel, to (a) catch Talis and (b) prevent Rolf from beating him into a pulp.  They only managed to detain the barbarian, as Talis jumped out a window and onto the wagon.

As he turned around, hoping to see an irate barbarian, he saw the building enveloped by a strange green mist, and in an instant, the entire building was gone, only the foundation of the building remained...  and a very confused Brutus coming out of the outhouse that had been behind it.

DM Notes:  There you have it folks, the completion of the second story (That infernal holy bell), the launch of the spider-people storyline, and an entire brothel of adventurers (and employees) simply vanishing in one of the biggest cities on the continent.  

This session ended our "big game" for the semester.   Players would be heading back home for the summer, but there were still some people available The arc of episodes will cover the adventures of our Summer adventurers, a brothel, a bright blue outhouse, and a strange creature named Qually.

Two other little notes:  I'll mention him in the notes of later episodes, but I love the stupid simplicity of Brutus the ex-Gladiator.   He's barely mentioned in the journal, but he's a loyal meat-shield who can almost remember names.  I'm sure he'll call Talis: Ballast, Callus, Dallas, and Talcum, if they travel back together to Eding.   Picture him as professional wrestler Razor Ramon.
Give him some chain mail and a bastard sword, and you have Brutus.
I also have a very crude map of everything that's transpired thus far, and a few hints for the future. You may notice a bulge in the river north of Eding.  That's a lake and quarry that I know I made passing mentions in-game, but not one noted it.  That will change after the summer story arc.


NEXT #16 - "O Brothel, Where Art Thou?"

Monday, July 17, 2017

Scrum in Miniature: Historicon 2017 My First Gaming Con

I've already posted the pictures of the wacky Gnome Wars games from Friday, and TMP is currently only allowing Supporting Members to posts, so the Historicon recaps are a little thin.

This post, from Scrum in Miniature is an absolutely perfect recap, especially from the first-time attendee perspective.  Plus there's a picture of one of the Gnome Wars games on the MBA Castle table.
Picture via Scrum in Miniature