Saturday, February 17, 2018

Project 350: Week Five

Still driving around with a rental car, and sloooowly shopping for cars while the Insurance Adjuster crosses the T's and dots the I's on my check.  I also no longer have the random moments in the middle of the night where I feel like I'm in total organ failure.  It's an exageration, of course, but I forget what the traditional aches and pains feel like for a middle aged man.

I'm also counting the weekends for basketball to end.  Don't get me wrong, our little community league is far better than the road warrior travels gymnastics makes us do, but with the double elimination tournament in full swin, leading to the big championship game at the high school for my eldest, I'm dreaming of 9:30 am next Saturday, when, regardless of win or lose, we'll be piling into a car and heading for the Allentown Train Show and a trip to my Mom's (and a chance to game with the guys).

The sump pump is pulling yeoman's work this week, but the French drains can do little for the soggy ground, and we're getting seepage through cracks in the floor.  With a 1/2 inch of water that goes down, only to have another downpour fill it back it, I'm monitoring the status by sitting at my bench and painting.  Of course it's nothing off my projects drafts save to the blog, so I'm sad to report minimal progress on Project 350.  With a week and a half to go, I'm stagnating at 357 drafts and scheduled posts, down only one from last week.

I've already whittled down the fory or so backlogged ideas for February down to 24, and to be honest, no more than six have a chance of occuring. 

My goal for this weekend?  Launch my Third season of the Pulp game with the girls.  Since I call them "seasons" I realized that for this storyline, I could "film" some of them out of order, and with the completion of certain pieces, those games could happen right now.  Here's hoping Maja's team wins their first game this morning, so we can grab breakfast and go home, a loss means a second game and a morning/early afternoon lost to any other activities.

Of course, the biggest news is that Monday I start a new position within my company, with a sizable raise and tweaked hours.  The late night marathon sessions will need to stop at midnight now.  The best news from this is that I've been doing 80-90% of the workload already, on top of my normal duties, so the job will eventually be easier, as I shed off some minor duties to interns and support staff.

Targets for this week:
  1. The Pulp Game, using Savage Showdown
  2. Mousling Fantasy... or Song of Mice and Whiskers 
  3. My Little Pony
  4. Contemptable Little Armies
  5. Writing some of the latter episodes of Ballad of the Pigeon God, it won't affect my 350, since they're scheduled for June, but it would be nice to drop that Draft number closer to 280.

Friday, February 16, 2018

(Kickstarter) Creatures: Underground - Gnomes!

It is a great and wondrous Friday when gnomes appear on Kickstarter!

Krakon Games has launched a campaign for Gnomes for the Creatures Underground line

Now, the gnomes are more akin to traditional 28mm scale, so they are very small for Gnome Wars, but I am picturing them as a variant group of warped cultists.   And at around $21 for 10 of them (prior to shipping), it's worth a try.
Scale comparison with an oversized dwarf

(Painting) Transnitrian Recovery Vehichles

So many projects, zero focus, but I have gotten something off the bench!

From my great big box o' mechs I picked up at the last Fall-In! flea market, I found some microarmor, and after many distractions, the first three are finished.
Manufacturer Unknown
These LAV-R recovery vehicles are the first part of my "Transnitrian Scientific Republic" army I'm building, with battlemechs and OGRE minis to come.

Transnitria is the unrecognized autonomous breakaway state from Moldova.  It's got the classic 80's communist vibe, without the worldwide fear of nuclear annihilation and if any country fits the futile effort to save their city/command post from OGRE aggression, it will be them.  And if we're playing in the future, using some surplus USMC recovery vehicles to salvage what they can from the battlefield sounds good to me..
Hunchback for scale.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

(Kickstarter) The Princess Bride RPG

It IS conceivable!

Toy Vault has launched a Kicstarter for The Princess Bride RPG!
The 250 page book will be written by RPG veteran writer Steffan O'Sullivan (GURPS: Bunnies and Burrows) using the Fudge engine.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mayfair Games Shuts Its Doors

I've said, ad naseum, just how crappy things have been lately. 

Now Mayfair Games folds up?  Yeesh, enough already!

From their Facebook post earlier this week:

As of today, the management team at Mayfair Games, Inc. announces we will wind down game publishing. After 36 years, this was not an easy decision or one we took lightly, but it was necessary. Once we had come to this conclusion, we knew we had to find a good home for our games which is when we reached out to Asmodee.

We are pleased to announce that we have sold our games to Asmodee North America, who have acquired all the assets of Mayfair Games, Inc. This acquisition includes the product line for both Mayfair Games, Inc and Lookout Games, GmbH.

We would like to take a moment to say - Thank You!
Thank you to the many retailers, reviewers, customers, industry partners, and volunteers, who made us a success over the past 36 years! You helped bring our games to game stores and cafes, conventions, libraries, schools, kitchen tables, backyard patios, family vacations, and more... where thousands of fans have been introduced to this great world of board gaming. Thank you!!

Catan has been out of their hands since 2016. I can't think of another game of theirs that I've played in years, but like TSR, FASA, and other before them, I always thought that Mayfair would be a cog in the general gaming industry. 

And Asmodee gobbling up board game companies just doesn't sit well with me.   It's probably just me, but my gut is telling me to wait for a big blowout sale, if I ever find anything that tickles my fancy.  

Happy Valentines Day 2018!


If you're down to the last hour, and you've already used the one-time only "Valentine's Day is a commercial holiday" excuse, follow these guys' suggestion and get your lady some lead!
Or resin.. or plastic...  Just make sure it's the proper scale.  Size does matter.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ballad of the Pigeon God #45: An Accounting of One's House

15 OctDec 1071 The Temple of Akana, Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
The deaths of Carthon d'Echelon and Dew Xyclone rocked the village of Eding.  Peasants were known to be victims of various monsters, but Carthon had quickly become part of the foundation of the community.  And most of his dealings with merchants, farmers, and the like involved some of Dew's cooking to break the ice. 

Their funerals would normally be small affairs, a few mourners participating in rituals under the large tent that marked the location for the new Temple of Akana.  But when one remembered that Carthon was the adoptive father of the young Baron, the area was flooded with area notables.  It also meant that a few friends, thought dead by the current rulers, needed to say their goodbyes from a distance. Talis Makolin had already made his vitality noted in a drunken stupor at the Blue Wizard Inn, after learning of the death of his long-lost father, so he brazenly took a seat near the front of the temple, with Baronial guards and Royal spies obviously in attendance.   

After the funeral, he mounted his horse and rode east towards Lowdale, attracting a number "curious" followers loyal to the crown.   Outside of Lowdale, he and a group of Halfling militia led by Mayor A.Warren Corkbarrel ambushed these agents of evil and brutally put them all to the sword.  Ransacking the bodies, the bard discovered coded messages that, when finally broken, gave them vital intelligence:
  • King Cervinal knew Talis was alive, but did not know that Echelon, Velandro, or Mellandria were still alive.
  • The King wanted Talis dead.
  • Cervinal honestly liked Norm Dingleberry, granting him a knighthood and a vital defensive command in Lansluck. 
  • The rest was confusing, and possibly in a strange dialect or different language, but it appeared that the King either knew of the Spider-People, approved of their mission (not disclosed), or were in cahoots with them. 
Talis' distraction allowed the others who attended both inside and in the shadows to return to the Chateau unmolested. 

17 OctDec 1071 Chateau d'Echelon, Barony of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
With the declared death of Echelon, and now Carthon, ownership of the Chateau and surrounding estate was put into question.  Carthon had never taken the deed out of his name, and without a will of his own, possession would turn to his son, the Baron, and under the influence of the Crown. 

As Baronial Seneschal, Lady Iris put a quick stop to that.  Using her power and some scribes more loyal to goodness and light than the law and order of the King/Dread Lord, Iris created a legitimate paper trail, selling the Chateau to "Baron" Felix, giving the proceeds to Jenny d'Echelon. 

Felix and Iris worked together to keep the "unexpected guests" a secret, while filling new positions. 

Felix would take over all of Carthon's responsibilities, Heirylat (Iris' ne'er do well father) would be the estate foreman, and they would bring a young peasant girl, Zoe Loup, as the new housekeeper.  Zoe was a peasant girl claiming her son Luke was Maloran Alberhold's.  He denied the claims, and the next day left for Hydincall, where he would be magically transported to Talislanta and killed by a Land Kra.  The girl and her newborn had survived the hellish Summer and Fall of 1070, and had lost all of her family in the chaos.  With Babette's babies and Dag's kids at the Chateau, it only felt fair to bring her onto the staff... so long as she wasn't a spider person.

22 OctDec 1071 Chateau d'Echelon, Barony of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
With many matters, both formal and personal resolved, the day-to-day activities at the Chateau were coming back to normal, even if each chore still had a hint of sorrow within.
The inhabitants of the Chateau d'Echelon and various outbuildings on the estate:
  • Felix Homsburg - Current owner of the estate. Former Baron of Homsburg, Ras-Prythax. Kidnapped by Spider-People 341 years prior. Rescued by Echelon and given a trusted job.
  • Zoe Loup-Alberhold - 19 year old housekeeper. Her year-and-a-half old son Luke was fathered by Maloran Alberhold.
  • Heirylat - Estranged father of Lady Iris.  Former crime enforcer kidnapped by Spider-People in 1050.  Rescued by Echelon and given a job.  Current Estate Foreman, part-time tax collector.
  • Babette of Hydincall - accomplished street thief.  Became pregnant from a man from another world.  Her boys, Darius and Yuri, six months old.
  • Brutus - Dim-witted but loyal ex-gladiator who found a home and a family at the Chateau.  Works as a manual laborer on the estate.  Part-time tax collector.
  • Dag di Velandro - Kobold Acolyte of Akana with a sworn blood-vow to serve Velandro.  His wife Groeta, and "teenage" children Scrag (son) and Daschelle (daughter) live in a bungalow. 
  • Kane - Eastern monk and water elementalist.  Effectively has retired from adventuring.  Spends his days working for his keep, in deep meditation, or assisting his friend Mohammad.
  • Mohammad - Mentor of the Echelon, now a crippled, agoraphobic, and psychically weakened cleric of Tshang Kai Shing. 
  • Pathfinder - Grey wolf, permanently charmed by and telepathically linked to Echelon.  He spends his days sleeping around the barn or helping the humans herd animals on the estate.
  • Sterling Riverbend - Quarter Ogre Fighter picked up Hydincall.  Used for manual labor and guard duty. 
Zoe Lupe-Alberhold, the new housekeeper
The four remaining inhabitants were assumed dead (and if not, certainly wanted by the King) and decided it was best to move on for now. 

Echelon - Pigeon-loving, former Baron of Eding, now a wanted man of the new evil king if they only knew he was alive.  Cleric of an eastern god of the sea
Talis Makolin - a rakish bard, Knight of the Pigeon, also assumed dead.   Just discovered he and Echelon are half-brothers.
Velandro -  a pious priest of Akana with a kobold following.  Also assumed dead.
Mellandria - former baronial scribe under Echelon.  Assumed dead as well, now caught up in the zaniness.

Echelon and Talis' father Winston, had owned a manor house somewhere outside of Omsjik.  If they played their cards right, they could take ownership of the property without anyone assuming that they were the "Dead" Echelon or "Dead" Talis.  Who would be that blatantly obvious?

DM Notes: Sorry for what many could consider a bookkeeping episode, but with some many moving pieces... and so many missing pieces at this time, it was wise and proper to do a formal census.   What was once a crazed and bustling estate has turned into eight adults, two kobolds, two kobold children, three babies, and an intelligent wolf.  Let's also assume that they're hiring farmhands as needed, but that's a very intimate group, and with Lady Iris' blessing, we can hope they can keep it together. 

Next #45 The Actual Accounting... Revealed!