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