Monday, September 25, 2017

Apathy of the New Releases (Oct '17)

ViscountEric's Want List
WizKids
Wardlings Painted Minis .............................................................................. $6.99 each
They just announced the Wardlings around GenCon.  Looks like we're waiting until early next year for them.

ViscountEric's Money-Is-No-Object Want List
Arc Dream Publishing
Delta Green RPG:  Kali Ghati Adventure ....................................................... $19.99

Mantic Entertainment
Warpath: Arbiter Intercepter .......................................................................... $49.99
Warpath: Enforcer Accuser Interceptor ......................................................... $39.99
Warpath: Forge Father Drakkar APC ............................................................ $29.99
Warpath: Forge Father Sturnhammer Battle Tank ......................................... $39.99

Sanguine Productions
Madcap:  Screwball Cartoon Role-Play ........................................................ $39.95

My Imaginary Store (aka The Pegleg Gnome) List
AAW Games
Pathfinder RPG:  Into the Wintery Grave: Wrath of the Jotunn ....................... $42.95

Alderac Entertainment Group
Junta: Las Cartas ............................................................................................... $19.95

Arcane Wonders
Critical Mass ..................................................................................................... $29.99

Avalanche Press
Panzer Grenadier:  La Campagne de Tunise ..................................................... $24.99
Panzer Grenadier:  Land Cruisers ..................................................................... $24.99

Catalyst Game Labs
Shadowrun RPG: Forbidden Arcana ................................................................. $49.99

Chaosium
Call of Cthulhu - Reign of Terror ..................................................................... $34.95
Khan of Khans .................................................................................................. $24.95

CMON
Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Minis Game:  Starter Set .................................... $149.99

Cubicle 7
D&D RPG:  Adventures in Middle Earth - Mirkwood Campaign .................... $39.99
The One Ring RPG:  The Laughter of Dragons ................................................ $39.99
Giftmas at Dungeon Abbey ............................................................................... $12.99

Exploding Kittens
Bears vs Babies
Core Edition and NSFW Expansion Pack

Fantasy Flight Games
Civilization: A New Dawn ................................................................................. $49.95
Fallout: The Board Game ................................................................................... $59.95
Legacy of Dragonholt ......................................................................................... $59.95
Star Wars Imperial Assault: Skirmish Maps Nal Hutta Swamps .......................  PI
Star Wars: Legion - Core Set .............................................................................. $89.95

Twilight Imperium 4th Edition ........................................................................... $149.95

FASA 
1879 RPG:  Big Trouble in Little Soho - The Akkadian Connection Bk 1 ........ $14.99

Fat Goblin Games
Pathfinder RPG:  8 Bit Adventures - The Legend of Heroes ..............................  $15.95
Vs Stranger Stuff: Season 2 .................................................................................  $19.95

Flying Buffalo
Tunnels & Trolls:  Adventurers Compendium......................................................  $11.95

Gale Force Nine
Firefly Adventures:  Brigands and Browncoats ..................................................... $50.00
Star Trek Ascendancy Ship Packs (12) ............................................................... $10.00 each
Romulan, Cardassian, Federation, Klingon, Ferengi

Games Workshop
Chaos Space Marine Codex (HC) ......................................................................... $40.00
Grey Knights Codex (HC) .................................................................................... $40.00
Age of Sigmar:  Generals Handbook 2017 ........................................................... $35.00
Warhammer Underworlds:  Shadespire ................................................................ $69.99

GMT Games
At Any Cost: Metz 1870 ....................................................................................... $50.00
Coin: Pendragon - The Fall of Roman Britain ...................................................... $59.00

Goodman Games
Age of Cthulhu: Treasure Chest ........................................................................... $35.00
Dungeon Crawl Classics: 2017 Halloween Module - Shadow Under Devil's Reef $9.99
Dungeon Crawl Classics #94:  Neon Knight ........................................................ $9.99
Dungeon Crawl Classics #95:  Enter the Dragon ................................................. $9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics #7 Reliquary of the Ancients .......................................... $9.99
Gen Con 2017 Program Guide ............................................................................. $19.99
Original Adventures Reincarnated #1:  Into the Borderlands .............................. $39.99
Hammerdog Games
The Dread House RPG: HC ......................................................................... $49.95

John Wick Presents'
7th Sea RPG: 2nd Edition - The New World ................................................ $39.99

Just Insert Imagination
Savage Worlds RPG:  Winter Eternal Adventure Guide - Vol 1 ................... $24.99

Kobold Press
Eldritch Lairs ................................................................................................. $24.99
Pathfinder and 5e Versions
Fifth Edition: Prepared 2 - Tombs and Doors................................................. $19.99
Fifth Edition: Wrath of the River King .......................................................... $24.99

Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: Circuit Break Special Edition Box Display
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: Cyberse Link Structure Decks
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: Spirit Warriors Boosters

Koplow GAmes
Dice Bag:  Leather Dice Pouch - Small ........................................................... $ 4.50

Modiphius
Mutant Chronicles RPG:  Dark Eden Campaign ............................................. $25.00
Space 1889 Ubiquity Dice Set ......................................................................... $14.99

Mongoose Publishing
Traveller RPG:  The Pirates of Drinax ............................................................ $99.99

Onyx Path Publishing
Pugmire RPG ..................................................................................................  $49.99

Pazio Publishing
Pathfinder Adv Card Game: Hunter Class Deck ............................................  $19.99
Pathfinder RPG:  AP - Ruins of Azlant Part 5 - Tower of the Drowned Dead . $24.99
Pathfinder RPG:  Campaign Setting - Taldor - The First Empire .................. $22.99
Pathfinder RPG:  Map Pack: Frozen Sites ..................................................... $14.99
Pathfinder RPG:  Player Companion - Potions & Poisons ..................... $14.99
Starfinder RPG:  AP - Dead Suns Part 3- Splintered Worlds ........................  $22.99
Starfinder RPG: Flip-Mat - Starship .............................................................. $14.99

Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds RPG:  Weird War I - Collector's Box Set ..............................$79.99

Pokemon USA
Pokemon TCG: 2017 World Champion Deck Display
Pokemon TCG: Sun & Moon  Crimson Invasion

Ravendesk
Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla The Tabletop RPG ............................................... $39.99

Rogue Games
Colonial Gothic RPG:  The Journey to Norumbega ...................................... $19.99

Schwalb Entertainment
Shadow of the Demon Lord: Death in Freeport ............................................. $19.99
Shadow of the Demon Lord: Freeport Companion ........................................ $27.99
Shadow of the Demon Lord: Madness in Freeport ........................................  $21.99
Shadow of the Demon Lord: Terror in Freeport ............................................  $19.99

Steve Jackson Games
Munchkin Apocalypse: (Peralta Edition) ....................................................... $29.95
Munchkin Apocalypse 2:  Sheep Impact (Peralta Edition) ............................. $19.95
Munchkin Hidden Treasures Bonus ................................................................ $19.95
Munchkin Shakespeare: Flowerspeare Pawns ................................................  $ 6.95
Munchkin Shakespeare: Spykespeare Pawns .................................................. $ 6.95
Munchkin Wonderland .................................................................................... $29.95
OGRE: Miniatures Set 1 ................................................................................. $39.95

Stronghold Games
Bottle Imp ...................................................................................................... $19.95

Troll Lord Games
Castles & Crusades RPG:  Player's Handbook 7th Printing, Alt Cover Art.. $29.99
5th Edition Adventures:  A11 - The Wasting Way ......................................... $ 9.99

Wizards of the Coast
Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition ................................................................ $100.00
D&D RPG: Xanathar's Guide to Everything ................................................. $  49.95
Betrayal at Baldur's Gate Board Game .......................................................... $  50.00
Magic The Gather CCG:  Rivals of Ixalan

Wizkids
D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures ......................................................... $4.99-29.99
25 different SKUs
Pathfinder Deep Cut Minis ........................................................................... $4.99-$24.99
14 different SKUs
Wizkids Deep Cuts Unpainted Minis ........................................................... $4.99 ea.
9 different SKUs

Z-Man Games
Cardcassonne: Expansion 4 - The Tower ...................................................... $19.99
Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 .......................................................................... $79.99
Black and Yellow Editions
Through the Desert ........................................................................................ $44.99

Sunday, September 24, 2017

(Kickstarter) 28mm Classic Movies Pulp Miniatures

Chris Abbey at Sally 4th has launched their third Kickstarter, 28mm pulp miniatures covering classic movies.  This first wave looks fairly similar to those of the characters from Casablanca, but you didn't hear it from me.
Higher tiers include accessories and well as everyone's favorite North African Nightclub, Rick's Place.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wargaming Poll, Five Years Revisited

I found this on one of the secondary blogs that I follow. Being as there are few wargaming questionnaires on Facebook, I shall answer it here. (Now that this is five years old, I've decided to revisit it. The original answers from five years ago are in italics at the end of the new answer.

1. Favorite Wargaming period and why?  Colonials   (Last:  Colonials)

2. Next period, money no object?  Medieval - Vikings in particular.  (Last: Pre-Dreadnought Naval)

3. Favorite 5 films?  The Natural, PCU, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Spider-Man, Field of Dreams, Gladiator   (Last:  No Change)

4. Favorite 5 TV series? I'll go of all-time, since I can't list five current ones: Herman's Head, The Big Bang Theory, In Living Color, This is Us, and The Flash
(Last: Herman's Head, How I Met your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, In Living Color, and Wipeout)

5. Favourite book and author?TR: The Last Romantic, by H W Brands, but my favorite author is Anton Chekhov.  (Last: No Change)

6. Greatest General?  Lettow-Vorbeck  (Last: Patton)

7. Favourite Wargames rules?  Mordheim. Gasp, I know, GW rules, but in that setting and campaign rules, it allows for workable game inbalance. Can't handle the Rat Ogre? Get your troops out of the way and live to fight another day.  (Last: Mordheim)

8. Favorite Sport and team(s)?  Still Baseball...New York Yankees... Wife is now a rabid Pittsburgh Penguins fan and stalks(Last: Baseball/Yankees)

9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go? 1900 New York City. Just enough culture shock. For a ten dollar gold coin, I would even eat some potted chicken, which was neither in a pot, nor chicken. I'm keeping the gold coin when I go back to the future.   (Last: No Change)

10. Last meal on Death Row?Kjottbollar, Lingonberries, Gruss-Gruss, Limpa, Green Bean Casserole, Jello, and one cup of Glogg.  (Last: No Change)

11. Fantasy relationship and why?  The wife has her "list" but I never did... must be happy or something.  (Last: No change, except my wife's list didn't include hockey players)

(Answers to questions 12-19 have not changed at all)
12. If your life were a movie, who would play you? Robert Downey Jr as Kirk Lazarus as Lincoln Osiris playing me. 

13. Favorite Comic Superhero?Captain Marvel (aka Shazam!)  

14. Favourite Military quote?
‘The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.’ (George C Patton)

15. Historical destination to visit?I've never been big into visiting historical destinations, but if I need to do research for my game, I'll say Samoa. It would be very, very tough...

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Not getting into Rogue Trader (and only Rogue Trader). Not completely cleaning out Imagination Workshop when they closed. Selling off all my Legions of Steel.


17. Favorite Fantasy job?Running a gaming/comic shop that could turn a profit without selling meth.

18. Favorite Song Top 5?One (Metallica), Sing Sing Sing (Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall 1938), Sabotage (Beastie Boys), Cult of Personality (Living Colour), Carmen Burina.

19. Favorite Wargaming Moment?Running Legions of Steel at Origins '95. Running a kickass scenario when one of the players says, "This is an awesome scenario, did you design it/?" I explained that we took it directly out of The Tech Factory. "Oh," said the player, "I publish The Tech Factory."

Small World.

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?  Ignorant people.  I'm of the belief that we are all stupid at one time or another.   Those individual moments shouldn't tarnish one's opinion of that person or a group that they are part of.  That being said, there are those people who are just so woefully ignorant that they should be categorized as an invertebrate, but they are the individuals that propagate negative stereotypes. 

(Last: People who think that no one can hate anything/anyone except those who hate other things. I'm one of the most prejudicial people I know, yet you would barely notice in most environments. Start ranting about any group... ANY group, and your standing with me drops dramatically, you just won't know about it. And that is why I don't do a political blog.

...and if we're playing a game, let's just play the damn game. Bad enough I get to hear hack analysis on the latest geek phenomena, I don't care about what you think about civil rights, the economy, international relations, or the fact that Wendy's won't serve tomatoes unless requested until I after I've destroyed your artillery position. And even then, I don't care.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

(Kickstarter) Battlelords of the 23rd Century 7th Edition

Another die-hard bunch of fans of the crunchy sci-fi RPG, Battlelords of the 23rd Century have joined forces to launch a Kickstarter for the 7th Edition of the rules.

Adding more races to core character options, and the eternal mission to edit and clean up a lovingly crunchy system seem to be priorities.
The pdf is available for $25 and the monster of a main book is $50 with S&H tacked on via the backerkit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Terraforming Mars: The RPG

While we're just getting our traditional Sunday RPG session converted to online play, the Monday night 5e game on Roll20 is going swell.  My elf barbarian, Falgor, has reached 2nd level, and is ready to cleave into a new character this past Monday night, after we wasted the last session in PvP mode.

But that session never materialized.  Jeff, our GM, gave us notice that he was bailing a little more than an hour before start, so Nate, Steve, and myself completed the second half of my Terraforming Mars RPG, using Risus.

Setting:  Mars 2048
Early Colonizers have only partial successes in terraforming Mars.  With fertilizer, soil has produced bumper yields, water has been extracted from beneath the surface, but protective greenhouse tenting is still required to protect the plants from radiation and the sudden high winds.

Excavation of a new agriculture plot has netted a strange discovery: a piece of curved steel with what appears to be hundreds of tiny rivets.  A team of geologists are dispatched to clear that corner of the site while your team continues the mission.


Over four hours of online play, botantist Beth Bowers, techs Newman Ramirez and "Burps" Ramirez (no relation), and "Project Liaison" Rick Vogel investigated the strange site, drove the colony manager insane, and infiltrated a plot about "Red Power."   In the end, a mysterious source of oxygen was rapidly filling the atmosphere, and only Liaison Vogel was saved to tell the tale.

Not a bad playtest of a scenario given that a) Steve and Nate can undermine the best ideas (including attempting to seduce a hostile in the middle of combat) and b) the scenario idea started with the phrase "Nazi-infused Martian DNA."   Probably a random statement from Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff that caught my interest, but time has buried that memory.

Still, with some touch-ups, I have a decent convention event.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #24 (Talislanta) Rescue from Kroxour


3rd of Ardan, 151 N.A. Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
After speaking to Kannex again Rolf and Norm found they needed to get yet another item, and with the rest of the party not schedule to return yet, the duo was all they had.

Both Norm and the very disgruntled Rolf  took equs to a shrine two days out in search of some glowing ball.

5th of Ardan, 151 N.A.  The Tomb, Cymril
Once they found an access point to the tomb, they went inside to find a simple square room with two large sarcophagi of obvious royalty in the center, and each wall lined with the armor of ancient knights.  One wall had an dusty treasure chest, opened to reveal gems and gold, while the opposite side was a glowing orb.

Norm:  "I told Rolf not to touch it, but for the first time ever he seemed greedy and picked it up. When he did so, the armor all came back to life.  We tried to fight them but it didn't work.  Rolf put back the treasure and a voice echoed in the tomb.  For the first time, I have heard Dwarven in this strange room.  It said "leave the treasure" so I said "OK!" grabbed the orb and ran out.  We escaped no problem and got back to the brothel. "


12th of Ardan, 151 N.A. The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Seven days later and there was still no sign of the Ashe and the others.  Norm was spending his nights on the roof staring into the stars as if he was waiting for someone.  Rolf had become sullen and withdrawn, even forgetting to train with thoughts on his mind.  Sometime on the twelfth, he left the brothel and didn't appear to be coming back.

19th of Ardan, 151 N.A.  Office of Abn Qua, Moneychanger, City of Cymril
With still no sign of his friends, Norm became inpatient, grabbed Darius, who had just returned from a drunken bender after finding out he was the father of Babette's child, and rode into the city of Cymril to hunt down Abn Qua, the Kasmirin patron of the party's expedition. Grilling Qua on the fate of the party, the dwarf demanded a skyship of some sort, stabled his pony, Mytomek, and bought supplies.

20th of Ardan, 151 N.A.  City of Cymril
Abn Qua came through with a small windskiff, which Norm quickly boarded, pulled down his goggles, and cast off, Darius needing to jump aboard to follow the dwarf.

25th of Ardan, 151 N.A. The Citadel of Kroxour
Norm sailed around the stronghold numerous times.  He eventually found the windship that transported the party on the jagged rocks below, smashed from a great height.  He scaled down from the skiff and searched the wreckage, finding nothing.

Finally, Darius was able to spy a group of people huddling around a tiny fire.  Upon closer examination, they found the missing party, or at least what was left of them.  They had acquired some treasure, shoved up against the corner of the gully they were in, but they were changed.  Ashe's hair was stark white and he was mumbling.  Babette was still pregnant, but gnawing on a strangely human looking leg bone.  Kane was further down the gully, digging into the ground with something that looked like parts of his plate mail.  He stood up, dropped the shoulder piece he was using, and with a heavy sigh said, "Norm, Thank the Gods.  Where's Rolf."

Norm: "Where's Rolf???  Where's Alexi?"

Glancing over to Babette chewing the bone, Kane could only sigh again, "Alexi is dead."

Darius keeled over and vomited.

Norm and Darius got the entire party and the treasure onto a very overburdened wind skiff and headed home.

32nd of Jhang, 151 N.A. The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Two months after rescuing his compatriots, Norm still focused all his energy on taking care of his friends.  Ashe and Kane were finally acting normal, and Babette was given bed rest and hearty diet (without bones).  No one spoke of Alexi at all... and as the days passed Darius, the father of Babette's child, began appearing less regularly, until one day, he just disappeared entirely.

A huge, hulking man with a bald head and elaborate tattoos running down from his forehead to left arm stepped up on the porch of the brothel.

Rolf had finally returned home.

DM Notes:  Another quick (and extremely easy) mission for the party, then a little exposition on what happened to our heroes.  As I mentioned in previous episodes, we don't have any documentation as to Kroxour's Citadel outside of a few vague memories.  

In the later days of the party's stay in Talislanta, Rolf travelled back to the Kingdom of Taz to live and study with the Thralls.  I've retconned that trip to occur a little earlier, which allows Norm to yearn for the stars, and rescue his friends from their encounter with cross-dimensional elder gods. As none of the Kroxour party would appear in latter sessions, their bouts of madness and abandonment could be treated better than the "Oh, you completed the mission and just sat around until you were able to get home."

There are no notes about Darius after the party left for Kroxour.   Your pregnant beloved gnawing on the bones of Alexi might be enough to make the Sarista gypsy become scarce.  

Sorry, Alexi, zero notes mentioning you after Kroxour.  It was time for more closure.  Rest in Peace.

Next - #25 - The RAVANT!

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017



Sunday, September 17, 2017

OGRE Goes to University

The Daily Illuminator over at Steve Jackson Games was nearly giddy as a school girl to announce OGREs invading the Indiana University campus.

No, it wasn't a to-scale invasion, over even using the new plastic proofs from OGRE Minis, Set 1.
Most only notice chit-covered tables at a college after a long weekend.
Apparently, a game design class at IU was using the "Bad Timing" scenario that was available in issue #210 of Game Trade Magazine.  

I can't find any electronic link to the scenario on GTM, and if you can't hunt down a physical copy, the scenario is available over at Warehouse 23.

As a random sidenote, I'm not on the Steve Jackson site as much as I was in the days of yore (circa 1998), and was disappointed to not find a Daily Message from the Illuminati.   Here, the Illuminati has gone high-tech (They do control Apple after all) and have set up the Fnorder app for the iPhone. And it's free (mwhwhaha!)

Dr Who Fluxx Coming Soon!

Social media and the Looney Labs e-mail newsletter pleasantly surprised me this week with the announcement of Dr Who Fluxx!

An ever changing, wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey set of rules like Fluxx is perfect for Doctor Who.

Sorry, the new 13th Doctor is not part of the set, although a set of promo cards might be fitting later on.

Scheduled release date is November 23rd. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

(Kickstarter) Conspiracy Theory by Steve Jackson Games

Love conspiracy theories?  Tired of the Panda jokes in Cards Against Hummanity?  Love explaining that "Hiroshima 1945"  is the appropriate card for "Fluffy" in a game of Apples to Apples due to the influence of the Trilateral Commission and Bette Davis?

Then there's a spot on your shelf waiting for Conspiracy Theory, now on Kickstarter by Steve Jackson Games.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DCC RPG Hurricane Harvey Relief Bundle from Goodman Games

With two major hurricanes rocking the southern United States, it would behoove me to mention the special charity promotion the good guys at Goodman Games are running.

The Harvey Relief Bundle is to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey.
 
All proceeds will go to benefit the American Red Cross for Harvey recovery. The bundle is specially priced to contain three popular adventures at a discount of more than 70% off regular price! And all three modules have water encounters - exactly what your DCC RPG characters will want while Harvey is on their mind. 

The modules included are Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea A 0-Level Adventure, Dungeon Crawl Classics #75: The Sea Queen Escapes, and Dungeon Crawl Classics #91: Journey to the Center of Aereth, all for the low low price of $9.99!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #23 (Talislanta) The Harbinger of Darkness

41st of Zar, N.A. 150 The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
With most of the household finally recovering from another batch of the "Talislanta Pox," this time a strain of flu that wrecked havoc on the adventurers otherworldly immune systems, a visit by a near-giddy Kannex surprised them all, especially since Rolf and Norm were already out and about, retrieving yet another random regent, ingredient, or knick-knack for their experiment.

"My friends," the Tanasian wizard motioned everyone closer, "I bring you... progress."

He chalked up the main floor of the brothel in strange patterns.  He set up the magic purifiers they had obtained from Silvanus at certain points outside the drawings and placed carved hunks of amber crystalline in between them.  There were candles, somatic components, and even audience participation as Kannex got everyone to chant.

Eventually, a small magical portal, no bigger than a human fist, formed in the middle of the room, about six inches off the group.

"My friends, I have tirelessly researched our predicament since you arrived in Talislanta, I have discovered secrets that have laid dormant since before the fall of the Archaens (which I know you guys have no clue who they were.  Very powerful.  Very long ago.). "

"Look through the portal, and you will see the lot where the Pleasure House stood in Hydincall."

Only one or two people could look at a time, but all were amazed that they could see old leather shop that stood beside the brothel.

"I can transport things between the worlds.  Just not big things, for everyone's safety."

"My biggest delays in this process have been finding ways to get everyone home... safe.  My last two teleports have been done in error, and luckily I survived.  Intentionally recreating the ritual for your return, using the stable Heka levels of my world, requires... amplification and stabilization of what I can do.  Rolf and Norm are already guaranteeing I have enough supplies to conduct it.  I have two more items, and time is of the essence. "

"Deep within the Wilderlands of Zaran, there lies an ancient citadel that once belonged to Kroxous, a necromancer of the Archaen Age.  His mortal form is long gone, but something still resides in there terrorizing man, beast-man, and even devils that wander the wasteland.  If the stronghold is still protected then the Orb of Kroxous still resides within."

"The Orb is what you commoners would call a crystal ball, but from a dimension that even the Shaitan and Demons fear to mention.  Get the orb, and I'll have a way of harnessing enough power to get you home."

Our heroes:
Ashe:  Elven Ranger
Alexi: Sarista Rogue
Kane: Water-Controlling Mystic from the lands far east of Crosedes.
Babette:  Street thief from Hydincall
Darius - NPC - Sarista Rogue, alternating between the alias "Yuri" and his real name.  Interest of lust with Babette

Upon pledging her desire to retrieve the orb, Babette dropped another bombshell: She wasn't suffering from the effects of the Talislanta Pox.  She was pregnant, and suffering morning sickness. Darius (or Yuri, depending on his whim) was the father.

42nd of Zar, N.A. 150 The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Darius/Yuri could not be found anywhere on the property.  Babette was upset, but still agreed to go on the mission.

43rd of Zar, N.A. 150 The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Abn Qua was apparently running out of connections, or windships, as the one that arrived to take them, the Flying Erd, left a lot to be desired, both structurally and with its crew.  However, it was quick and small enough to hide from whatever was terrorizing the stronghold.

1st of Ardan, N.A. 151 The Citadel of Kroxous, Wilderlands of Zaran
To celebrate the new year, the Flying Erd finally reached its destination, a large stone fortress that appeared to have fallen in on itself...  The captain landed the ship, allowed our heroes to disembark with very specific instructions.

We will remain aloft over this very spot.  We shall not move unless attacked.  We will only land to pick you up if you return alone.  Any threat, whether a Za raider or a spawn of Tarturus, and I will cut the ropes and come back when it is safe.

3rd of Ardan, N.A. 151 The Citadel of Kroxous, Wilderlands of Zaran

An excerpt from The Nexi of Parallel Worlds by Horotio the Halfblooded (1139 Georic Calendar):

Of the many cross-world forays that I have been able to document, the Assault on the Citadel of Kroxous is one that I have been woefully deficient in obtaining many specific facts.  Four adventurers two male, one female, and a native of unclear gender from that world, pierced the undead defenses and entered the lower levels of the ancient dungeons.  They encountered Kroxous, or what mystical element remained of him, and attempted to seize the Orb of Kroxous for their own needs.  

Except the Orb appeared to be powering an adjacent gate.  As the party got closer, something large and not within the comprehension of mortal man pulled the orb into the gate.  The sight of the being drove two in the party completely mad.  It is documented that the elf known only as Ashe reached through the portal and fought off the entity just enough to bring to orb back to their current dimension.  This heroic effort, and peer into the void beyond, caused his hair to immediately turn white, and possibly a part of his mind, if not his soul, was torn from him.

There is positively nothing mentioned, in written or oral histories, of what happened after the Orb was obtained, although there are later stories of the individuals, so it can be assumed that at least some survived.  

There is also nothing listed in any journal or lexicon within the libraries of man that discusses this event.  I can only rely on the recollection in oral history form that has not been hindered by the years past or the sanity lost from such an event.  I give credence to those words as a researchers despite my obvious bias towards the source.  The woman in the expedition, Babette of Hydincall, was my Grandmother.  She never spoke anymore than what I put down on these pages, but I'm quite certain in my heart and in my mind, that I do not wish to know more....

DM Notes:  This is one of those sessions that has been lost to time.   I remember a small contingent of players, some Cthulhu-esque creature beyond a magical gate, and Ashe's hair turning white while saving someone/recovering something going through the portal.    The saddest part has been that my original notes were long lost, so all I had were the scant memories of the players, and my hazy recollection of a non-TSR module with a hooded figure holding an axe.  

More than three months after receiving the Journal and starting the process to post it onto the blog, a random Google search brought up a different obscure cover of a module I would be using later in the campaign (approximately episode #35 right now).  A little more searching I found the true cover I was misremembering: 

The Harbinger of Darkness by Underworld Games

There's very few mentions of the module, and the minimum price I've found for a copy is $65, so I won't be snagging one up to flesh out the details.  

NEXT #24 - Into the Tombs

Monday, September 11, 2017

Events for Mepacon Fall 2017 (Part Two)

The second wave of my events are finally submitted for Mepacon, November 10-12 at the Hilton in Downtown Scranton, PA.

Despite some cool ideas to run two hour "grown-up" RPG sessions, I've kept things simple and filled out my twelve hour GM requirement with two more sessions of My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria RPG, Friday afternoon and early evening.

"Tokens of Friendship"  MLP: RPG, Six players max. 
My Little Pony has a role-playing game and it's as magical as the power of friendship!  Each session you can create your very own pony and share adventures with your friends in Ponyville, Canterlot, and beyond!   Or bring back your pony from a previous session to play some more! Parents welcome to help their child or play alongside them.

Running in the 4-6 and 8-10 timeslots.

More of the same....

Sunday, September 10, 2017

RAFM's Premiere Membership

Before Labor Day, RAFM Miniatures announced a Premiere Membership, allowing a 20% discount on all orders.

Now that Labor Day is over, I finally have a moment to see how good the discount is.

$52/yr nets you a 20% discount on all your orders from RAFM.  Great, but for most of us who don't have the privilege of living in the Great White North, S&H is appropriately bonkers.  A hundred dollar order is pulling up a $20 shipping charge, so the discount will cover that on a few orders of that size.
I did notice that the S&H charge for orders over $250 calculated at zero, so that might be the smartest way to go (with multiple orders to make the membership a true benefit.

Now, let's turn our attention to the Old Glory Army Membership.  A $50 membership earns a 40% discount on items, and since many of of the items sold are unit packs with 30 25mm figures, this drops the price of them to under a dollar a figure.  Shipping seems a bit wonky online, but if the base numbers are included, ordering a unit pack at a time with shipping will still save you $5 an order.  And, of course, there's those of us on the East Coast who can benefit from the discount live at the HMGS cons Old Glory attends.  A half-decent order can cover the Membership and your fees to get into the con!

If it works for you, try (either) membership!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The More Things Change....

I saw this in August during #RPGaDay and it didn't fit the theme, so it becomes part of my busy September at work.

Apparently there was a great uproar over crappy card selections for the latest Commander decks and someone posted the "new official Magic: The Gathering Playmat":

I find this far too amusing for what it is, but I do have two comments:
  1. As a Magic player for 20+ years, welcome to the Cycle of Life, and not the Green Enchantment from Mirage.
  2. If I still was an active Magic player, I would buy one of the those playmats in a heartbeat.  

Friday, September 8, 2017

(Kickstarter) Pulp Alley - Lost World of Lemuria

Pulp Alley has dipped their feet into Kickstarter territory with the launch of their Lost World of Lemuria campaign.

A 44-page expansion for Pulp Alley, including 11 scenarios for 1-4 players.    $16 for the book, $9 for the pdf, with play decks and minis available as add-ons!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

GenCon 50 Museum Tour

When you throw 72,000 unique gamers in a space like the Indiana Convention Center (and Lucas Oil Stadium) for GenCon, special events are bound to appear by the score.

In celebration of GenCon 50, they set up a retrospective of the prior convention under the guise of Lake Geneva Horticulture Hall, site of the early convention.

Guide Paul Stromberg does an incredible job giving a solid overview that the men who would bring Dungeons & Dragons to life were first and foremost fervent wargamers.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Confederate Hurricane Connection

What do Confederate monuments, eclipses, and stalled hurricanes with biblical flooding have in common?

It's probably all Covfefe's fault.  At least we know he had a hand in it.

During the period of 1890-1920, numerous statues to Confederate war heroes were installed all throughout the South.   While beloved by a populace properly distanced from a noble "lost cause", the financing of the statues had a more mystical purpose.  Dampening the effects of hurricanes.

Many of the early monuments sat on power nodes: locations where ley lines intersected one another.  This produced increased magical energy for local hedge wizards.... and actual wizards within the remnants of the first iteration of the Klu Klux Klan to promote their agenda of white superiority.

However, the destructive forces of the hurricanes that destroyed Galveston in 1900 and 1915, attracted much more powerful entities in the magical community.  Documentation is scarce, but it has been ascertained that a summit of the some the most powerful organizations was held and it was decided that additional monuments would be built along the ley lines to draw these destructive storms in the interior of the United States, rather than linger in the Gulf, where they were prone to stall or even grow in power.

For nearly 40 years, this series of weather dampeners disguised as Lee, Jackson, Stuart, and others, worked well.  It wasn't until this magical weather alliance began to crumble under the strains of post-war America and the Civil Rights movement that Hurricane Audrey slammed into the Texas-Louisiana coast.

Some groups decided that even more statues on weaker nodules could be used as a stop-gap, which accounts for the erection of new monuments through the 50's and 60's.  However, it has been the utter lack of coordination of the numerous groups against the near-unstoppable power of Gaia herself that has caused the wall of monuments to act as a weakened sea wall, sometimes moving the brunt north, other times letting a killer storm through unimpeded.

Over the last fifty years, the sorcerer Covfefe has been one of the few individuals interested in maintaining this hurricane barrier.  Feeding on Rebel pride and the fears of non-white races, he has regularly recruited white under-educated males into organizations to conduct marches and rallies, steeped with chants and songs that are only slightly deviated from the mystic texts.  The events did not need to be big, as numerous rallies seemed to trump actual attendees.  Sometimes even the threat of such activities seemed to accomplish whatever mysterious plot Covfefe wanted to achieve.

After the catastrophe which was Katrina, Covfefe realized the total solar eclipse in 2017 would intersect the hurricane barrier, and the right rituals could be used to strengthen it again.  He dispatched his unwitting racist pawns to march against the evil of Progressivism and Multiculturalism, building a significant base that he could draw upon when the stars were right.  Through his efforts, the Gulf Coast enjoyed over a decade of calm seas.

As the eclipse neared, however, a social movement to remove the statues for their connection to slavery grew across the country. This was not some evil conspiracy, rather a genuine effort by large groups of people to remove the overt symbolism the monuments represented. While many of the statues had little effect on the barrier, the speed of their removal alarmed even the eternal Covfefe.  Fearing his chance to stabilize the wall was fleeting, he called up a large group of his neo-Nazi, white supremacists, and general racists to protest the removal of the statue of Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, protecting a significant ley line, first documented by Thomas Jefferson.  An above-average march with the proper mixture of chants by the alt-right and counter protesters, would be just enough to hold the barrier together, while the growing followers of the sorcerer worked towards a new multi-purpose "wall" along the the Rio Grande.

Unfortunately, violent members of the Antifa disrupted the ceremony.   Within the membership of the anti-fascists has always been a volatile group of magical anarchists, cancelling magic for the simple sake of doing so.  

They had undermined a slowly growing effort at Standing Rock.   Occupy Wall St?  There was reason the encampment was in Zuccotti Park.
... and the mystical desires of the movement would have worked to, if it had not been for the undermining efforts of the Anti...ma?

With the protest in Charlottesville in shambles (even the meek attempt at a blood sacrifice by vehicle failed to secure his goals) Covfefe could only watch the eclipse occur and essential deactivate the whatever was left, leaving the Texas coast completely vulnerable to Harvey.

But what few realize, even among those who know the dark secrets man was never meant to know, was that Harvey was a summoned aberration that backfired thanks to the failures of Covfefe.

After Hurricane Katrina, tens of thousands of residents of New Orleans were displaced.  This included some rather prominent practitioners of voodoo.  In decisions that confused the homeless, some prominent voodoo priests were not allowed back into the city.  This enraged those priests and instead of plotting revenge through traditional voodoo practices, many of them spent a decade working with Haitian refugees, and others delved into the darkest, blackest magicks.

They finally realized that their magicks could be combined to spell doom onto all within the city of New Orleans, innocent and guilty alike. They attempted a smaller version of the ritual two weeks before the eclipse, a steady rain that still managed to overwhelm the city pumps in areas. With the eclipse, and the loss of key "hurricane barriers" within New Orleans, a storm with the fury of the full ritual would linger over the Crescent City for days, if not weeks, sinking the city once and for all.

Except the ritual was terribly miscalculated.  The failures of Covfefe caused a backlash that flew back to the source of the ritual, sending the destructive power of Harvey further west, stalled right atop the relocated, corrupted Voodoo priests... of Houston.

Or that's one way of looking at it. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #22: (Talislanta) The Lake of the Prismatic Lotus

Arriving back at the brothel with magic purifiers, random texts, and a dwarf named Norm, the party kicked back and relaxed  without their resident mage.   Norm took over Kannex's room, as it was discovered that the authorities didn't care about a peculiar whorehouse in the middle of a farmer's field, but with the numerous conspiracies involving Tanasian Wizards, Kannex's research raised considerable eyebrows.   Our cast of characters stuck on the world of Talislanta:

Kannex - Tanasian Wizard trying to get an entire building transported back to its proper dimension. Currently in hiding.
Alexi - Sarista gypsy native to Talislanta.
Darius - NPC - Sarista gypsy and agent of Abn Qua.  Going by the alias of "Yuri"
Kane - Monk of eastern mysticism with an odd elemental control of water.
Babette - Urban street thief swept up with the party when they teleported to Talislanta.
Ashe - Elven Ranger, still fighting a bout of Talislanta Pox.
Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar.
Norm Dingleberry - Failed mushroom farming dwarf but surprisingly adept at windship piloting. Arrived separately to Talislanta, by unknown means. Can not speak Trade Common from his world, or Talislanta, just Dwarven.

19th of Zar, N.A. 150  The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Things had returned to  hurry up and wait mode for the mission, as communications with Kannex became even more sporadic than before.

Upon a routine "patrol" around the farm the brothel had appeared in, Kane, Ashe, and Norm skirted the woods, the humans on foot, Norm riding his pony, Mytomek.  There wasn't much conversation between the mystic, a half-sick elf with "Talislanta Pox" trying to get some air, and a dumb dwarf whose mastery of Low Talislan and Trade Common was a list of words that make schoolchildren blush.

However, today, Norm spied something shiny in a creek running parallel with their path.  He dismounted Mytomek, gestured to the other to follow him and searched the creek.  While his companions watched in cofusion, the dwarf splashed through the cold winter water to find... a long lost silver piece.   He climbed out of the water, and halfway up the creek bank to present his treasure.

"Sonavuab..!!!  *WHAM*"

Norm completely forgot his place on the creek and had come up right behind his pony.  His steed promptly kicked him in the head out of fear, knocking the dwarf unconscious and sending him flying back into the water.  Kane and Ashe did their best to save him and get him back to the brothel post-haste.

Despite their best healing efforts, Norm remained unconscious.  Lucky for him, his helm (and pilot's cap and goggles obtained in the previous adventure that was stretched over it) was quite dented. Without it, Norm may have died.

23th of Zar, N.A. 150  The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
With the group settled in for their normal group breakfast with the ladies of the house, A smiling dwarf came down the stairs and said, "BONJOUR EVERYONE!  I LOVE LE BREAKFAST!" in a bombastic and outrageous French accent.

Everyone just stared at Norm with their mouths agape.  This was the first time Norm had been awake since the accident, and neither his accent, nor his command of Trade Common was usual.

Kane checked out the dwarf again and found nothing wrong with him, save a lump on the head that was quickly healing.

The dwarf was quite jovial, singing songs and dancing with the ladies.  He also inadvertently knocked open Babette's door, displaying the thief and the Sarista gypsy Darius in the midst of mid-morning delight.   Somehow, within a house with two dozen people in it, this pair had managed to hide a pretty hot and heavy affair...

33rd of Zar, N.A. 150 The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
A courier for Kannex finally arrived at the brothel.  Another necessary item was uncovered and the party needed to travel to the southern jungles to obtain a rare purple flower.  Unfortunately, another wave of "Talislanta Pox" had spread through the building and only Rolf and Norm were healthy enough to adventure.

35th of Zar, N.A. 150 The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
The Jade Arcana arrived above brothel, and the barbarian and dwarf boarded from the roof.    The journey would be relatively short, but the captain alerted them of one problem:  The area the rare prismatic lotus grew in was not accessible by windship.  They would need to rappel down into the jungle and climb back up  40-50 feet when they found the it.  Over the next three days, the captain and crew worked with them to teach them the ins an outs or rope use so the operation could continue.

38th of Zar, N.A. 150  Kingdom of Taz
The windship flew into a very hot place, hovered over a tall rainforest, and Norm and Rolf climbed down the ropes.   Norm had become quite adept at working the ropes, but Norm's gigantic stature complicated his descent, and he got loose and fell from twenty feet onto the soft jungle floor.

They immediately were hunted by a pack of flying apes who harassed the windship so much that the Jade Arcana left for the sake of the crew and ship.  Now abandoned for an unknown period of time, our heroes waited for the apes to return, and promptly killed them without mercy.

The jungle was an unforgiving place, with herds of violent beasts forcing Rolf and Norm to climb a few trees and stay fleet of foot.  Norm attempted to catch something in a trap, but after Rolf found him missing for more than an hour, he went out and found the dwarf wrapped up in his own trap.

Rolf:  "Thank Galmar the little man is decent with an axe...  I hope he prays that continues."

39th of Zar, N.A. 150  Kingdom of Taz
In the morning Rolf awoke to the sound of small children screaming.  He dragged Norm out of deep sleep and the two dashed to a small nearby lake.  Small, pale, loincloth-clad children were being eaten by some strange eggplant-shaped creatures with tentacles and sharp teeth. Norm was terrified, Rolf immediately ran to the back of of the creature to attack.

Norm: "He must love children!"

He stabbed the monster once before a tentacle grabbed him, forcing him to drop his Sun-Sword.  He used his dagger, but it ate it right out of his hand.  Rolf ended up punching the tentacle enough to break free.  Norm tried to usher the kids away from the water, but most seemed more shocked by the bearded man. Some ran back into the monster's clutches!

Rolf ended up pulling out the greatsword he had picked up months before in the Cymril marketplace. It was a long fight, but the added weight of the greatsword was enough to not only wound the beast, but eventually kill it.

He reached into the water, recovered his sun-sword and walked out of the water towards the dwarf. The sound of trumpets filled the air.

A company of well-armed Thralls emerged out of the jungle.  The Thralls were one of the major races of the Seven Kingdoms.  A race that was magically engineered by sorcerers long ago to be a warrior slaves, but the sorcerers' destruction allowed them to become their own culture.  Virtually identical at birth, the distinguished themselves with an elaborate series of tattoos on their entire body.  Most Thralls could know another Thrall's history simply by reading their tattoos.

The Thralls took Rolf and Norm prisoner. They marched them to their village and separated them.
A Thrall Warrior
45th of Zar, N.A. 150  Kingdom of Taz
For many days, Rolf was kept in a rather comfortable hut, under constant guard of five of the Thrall warriors.  Eventually he was given his freedom and reunited with Rolf, however, there was something wrong with the barbarian.  He had a constant satisfied grin across his face, and he would occasionally give a hearty laugh when talking with the Thrall.  It might have had something to do with the new tattoo he had received on his face, stretching between his left eye and ear.  It looked very similar to those of the Thrall.

Rolf:  "Norm, These are good, noble people.  They will give you the flower for Kannex, then escort us back to the spot to meet the Jade Arcana."  

48th of Zar, N.A. 150  The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
The duo arrived back to an empty brothel.  They were informed that the another component was found and the rest of the party had gone off to get it.

Norm was happy for the rest, but he was worried about Rolf.  The barbarian had spent the entire journey back staring towards the Jungles of Taz until they disappeared over the horizon, and kept staring to the south after that, grasping his greatsword, the true weapon of the Thrall, with a nervous energy.

DM Notes: As I continue to cobble together these scant notes about Talislanta, certain vital pieces of information, like when Norm got knocked in the head and started speaking Common with a crazy French accent, were never mentioned in the journal.   It took some emails and some gnashing of teeth to corroborate everyone's recollections, but I feel I did this big event the justice it deserves. 

I always use 4d6, removing the lowest die, for character creation, and characters like Norm are a possibility in each campaign.  I wasn't ready for a non-human with a Int low enough to prevent him from speaking Common,  so I may have taken some heavy-handed plot control to keep things going for a character who was otherwise playable.  He already appeared on the world by unknown means (although in his new accent, he would insist that a farmer with a long scarf let him use his privy that was painted blue and *poof* he was in Talislanta.  The knock to head certainly didn't knock any sense into him.  

The encounter with the Thrall was a turning point for Rolf.  Meeting a group of warriors that were the same stature as him, with the same dedication to the martial studies gave Rolf an immediate attachment to them.  It certainly helped his side of the relationship that he single-handedly save the village youngsters from a beast though long-extinct.  Pretty obvious foreshadowing, but Rolf was given an open invitation to return to that village, and that will weigh on his mind.  

NEXT #23 - The Harbinger of Darkness

Monday, September 4, 2017

Vorwärts by Mike Lung

You may have noticed that I recently rotated the picture behind the Gaming with the Gnomies title. The picture of my Hackmaster group has been replaced with a new color version of the sketch Mike Lung threw together years ago.

Thanks to the wondrous medium that is MS Paint, Mike Lung presents "Vorwärts!"


Vorwärts! A depiction of the 1st Battalion of the Swiss Regiment Zu Fuss advancing into battle over the Vergoldetesfeld (the Gilded Field) at the Battle of the Schwarzewälder (Black Woods).

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Day of Sloth Is Upon Us!

The Day of Sloth is upon us.  That glorious Sunday before Labor Day that my wife and I host a party involving a pot luck of grilled meat and decadent carbohydrates!  Rejoice and be glad!
Except, of course, that we celebrated the Day of Sloth yesterday.

*gasp*

My lovely wife has a rule when it comes to picnics and other soirees:  It ain't happening if she has to work the next morning, and she's working Labor Day, so an audible was called.

It's for the better.  Despite the later 4pm start and the remnants of Hurricane Harvey making northern Pennsylvania wet and miserable, we had a gaggle of friends over, two certifiable herds of children stampeding through the house, and a demand for hot dogs that only Joey Chestnut could compete with.

There was enough of a break in the rain to light up the fire pit and roast some marshmallows, and our small gamer attache of Steve, Nate, and Nichols had some good times with my neighbor, shooting the breeze while building the fire higher and higher.

My ultimate ulterior motive each Day of Sloth is to get some gaming in, but the later start time, the rain, and the endless supply of meat on the grill nixed that idea.  I will props to my daughter Maja, who did try to sneak in Car Wars The Card Game within the group's conversation on fatherhood, testing computer code, and Kickstarter's highs and lows.   Don't worry sweetie, you will get your reward in a few games today.

The gaming high point was the uncovering of the never-before-viewed "Journals of Echelon."   Actually it was Steve uncovering more typed up notes from the Ballad of the Pigeon God AD&D game from college. Some of the papers were props I typed up for sessions you'll see this Fall. Others are huge spoilers to future storylines, but include a bevy of juicy details that I got wrong.   Good, news, simple name changes are updates I can easily make at this time.  

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Even for a fellow that preps early, #RPGaDay was a vast undertaking.   That, and the premise of online gaming, has distracted me from painting and the normal wide latitudes the blog ventures into.  Sure, I almost averaged a non-#RPGaDay post a day for August, but sometimes my heart wasn't in it.

Looking back at September 2016, it took awhile to get my bearings right. Masks of Nylarathotep was wrapping up, my Burning Trogs Rule! campaign journal finished just after Labor Day, I only painted  a few random figs, and relied on cutesy humor and Kickstarters to fill the void. I don't anticipate a major deviation from that this year.  Between my Pigeon God weekly entries, Apathy of the New Releases, and a pile of stuff that I never found room to post in August, I had material for 14 out of the 30 days in September as of the 1st.

I can easily see the dream list I mentioned two weeks ago filling in the remaining days, but reviewing last September's list, I completely forgot about the Family Game Decathlon.  I can't do a game-a-day concept for the month of September, but I can offer come competitive games as a reward for getting back in the homework swing of things.

Of course, the long term planning for seasonal help at work crumbled just hours before my all-intern staff was supposed to report in.  Lucky for us, my staff is still arriving earlier than previous years.  I just need to lower my expectations.

And as I mentioned back on Day #22, we did get to play my Terraforming Mars game using Risus, although I'm waiting for an opening to finish it. I'm sticking with Ponies for this upcoming Mepacon, including Friday sessions, but Terraforming Mars appears to be flexible enough to run in a four hour session (or perhaps two under a PbtA system, or something simpler, like Lasers and Feelings/Rockerboys & Vending Machines.

As my Track and Cross Country coach always said, "We shall see what we shall see."

Friday, September 1, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017 - A Retrospective

Another 31 days down, another 31 posts for #RPGaDay finished.  As always, it was a fun activity. Although there was one major dud of a question (Day 24: PWYW was a very niche question), the alternate questions saved it from being the sub-par day.

On the selfish angle, I've subscribed to a few extra blogs with interesting answers, but most stopped posting by Day10.  Heck, some haven't posted anything for the rest of August!

Reading through the throngs of  dull "My favorite character was a warforged alchemist with the transplanted brain of a were-kanagroo in 4th Edition." answers on Twitter, I honestly gave up my daily search on the latest tweets pretty quickly.   I barely watch Youtube videos as it is, much less people sitting there talking about gaming, when I could read their blog in a quarter of the time and get much more out of it.  Heck, I rarely go back to my "note to self" recordings about gaming I make when I drive home from work and many times I should.  Sorry, I'm not that demographic.

Traffic on this blog did get a boost, which was far better than prior years.  I try to post "normal" stuff everyday, so with the extra post from #RPGaDay, I was up about 30% from when I normally double post in a day.

Then that third week hits (with or without GenCon) and historically traffic sort of tapers off.  Nature of the beast (or the questions), I guess.
As of Midnight 9/1/2017 - Previous years include all historical pageviews. 
And despite an effort on my part to make my tweets "pleasing," with a picture, a link, and an attempt to make it appear that I actually wanted someone to visit my site, Twitter traffic was a veritable ghost town.

I got a serious boatload of traffic from my public Facebook links.  A lot of my blog-less friends gave their answers in the comments, and since I posted it publicly, their gaming friends must have seen it on their own feeds.  Lots of conversation, some interesting discoveries, and a good time by all.

In a pleasant surprise, Twitter got slaughtered by Google+ as a traffic source for most of the process. There's a very active gaming community on it, and a few key "+1's" generated some surprising hits.

So, where do we go for the 5th Annual RPGaDay in 2018?  I say let's go back to RPGaDay 2014 questions, and use  a "where are they now?" style, where applicable, for those gamers who have participated since the beginning.  That wouldn't help the "Still playing only Pathfinder" crowd, but would expand answers to "Toon is still my #1 humor game, but I had a great time learning Paranoia XP." or "PbtA is soooo much better than Fate Accelerated (or vice versa)."

Waiting with bated breath for #RPGaDay2018....

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wardlings Pre-Painted Minis from WizKids

WizKids announced Wardlings today, their new line of pre-painted fantasy RPG miniatures, created with younger players and their families in mind.

From the press release:
The Wardlings realm takes on a new twist to an otherwise classic fantasy world where kids are the adventurers. These fledgling adventurers gain their powers and abilities at a young age, allowing them to defeat the evil creatures in their world. Their powers, however, are fleeting. As the children grow, they begin to lose their powers over time. When they enter adulthood, most forget they ever adventured in the first place as everyday responsibilities take hold.


I like the boy/girl options for each class, as well as the companion gimmick.

Scheduled release for the line will be early 2018. 

#RPGaDay 2017 Day 31: What Do You Anticipate Most From Gaming in 2018?

We wrap up #RPGaDay 2017 looking towards the future: 

"What Do You Anticipate Most From Gaming in 2018?"

Short Answer: Friendship is Online

Long Drawn-Out Answer:  I'm a quirky fellow that has tracked my all of my gaming since a Paranoia game in the Summer of '89.  To make it even odder I've tracked my "Gaming Years" from October to September of the following year, so this question is nearer in my mind that most who are currently trying to find time to play the latest GenCon releases between now and Christmas. 

What do I plan on running for my 2018 "fiscal year"?

Counting down to #1:
  • #4 Savage Worlds Pulp - Season 3 of the Pulp game I run with my girls is scheduled to start in January, simply to accommodate my wargaming responsibilities, a desire to purchase new terrain, and a chance to run some different stuff this Fall.  The game will return to Egypt, with a few side-treks to jolly old England and perhaps a secret lair.  Will the characters heed the warnings that you "Don't Mess With the Zola?"
A return to Urban Intrigue...
  • #3 Savage Mousling Fantasy - I've got a number of Mousling-themed scenarios for the girls, hence the push back of the Pulp game. 
  • #2 My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria RPG -  I'm targeting a lot of MLP RPG with the girls, for more "Theatre of the Mind" role-playing, and so I can run demos it for most of Mepacon.  It is the one game Maja really wants to run, so I'll encourage that as much as I can. 
  • #1 Online Gaming -  We're just a few sessions into a 5th Edition D&D game on Roll20, but online gaming will probably become my go -to for dealing with "grown-up" gaming.  5th Edition D&D, Classic D&D, maybe expanding into Savage Rifts and Hackmaster. Still too new at this for long-term planning, but locking myself in the office for a few hours on Monday night, Yuengling Black and Tan in hand, has set some relaxing tones in the past few weeks. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017 Day 30: What RPG Genre Mash-Up Would You Most Like to See?

Almost there!  The penultimate question for this year's #RPGaDay was also the second hardest for me to answer:

Day 30: "What RPG Genre Mash-Up Would You Most Like to See?"

This one sent me down some pretty deep tangents.  I'll just cover the main points.

To quote the Barenaked Ladies, "It's all been done," and if it hasn't, there might be a good reason for it.  If I scour RPGnow.com enough, I might find a Vampire Mecha game, or a troupe based Steampunk Wizard game, but most "new" genre mash-ups are variations on an existing theme. 

So, upon my searches for previous #RPGaDay questions, I fell upon this gem:
I owned this book from West End Games back in the day, probably part of their $5 Pennsylvania fire sales that were epic on the local convention scene.  It was a pretty decent book that I mined for ideas, but it was long lost in one of my purges, but it sparked my next question?

Are there any good Pulp Sky Pirate games?

I see a lot of fantasy related flying pirates material, but not much for true pulp 20's/30's esque style flying adventures.  Crimson Skies is a bit overdone, and let's not mention SkyCaptain and the World of Tomorrow.
My first brilliant thought was that I just didn't want a classic sky pirate game, I wanted DuckTales!!!

And after four weeks of this endeavor, I finally looked up some episodes of DuckTales and despite my old GM Charles using some episodes for GURPS Humanx game back in the 90's, I realized that, beyond the catchy theme song (A-woo-hoo!) it wasn't what I had stuck in my head.

I stand corrected, I want a Tailspin game.
Maybe we can avoid the Disney licensing fees for a pretty obscure property (I assume more people could believe they could make money on DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Ranger.  If you add Goof Troop to that list, I will have to cut you.)   Cool sea planes that don't completely venture into WW2 territory, anthropomorphic character in classic roles  from the silver screen, and perhaps the only Disney cartoon property that has the words anti-aircraft artillery in its Wikipedia listing. 

Get me a Tailspin game.

Or at least a sourcebook for the DuckTales RPG.  I'm flexible.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #21: (Talislanta) The Blue Lotus Clan

Our heroes, travelling across Silvanus in search of the missing windship Solanus-Pon for their patron Abn Qua, and magical purifiers so Tanasian wizard Kannex can get them back home to the Kingdom of Crosedes:

Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar.
Alexi - Sarista gypsy native to Talislanta.  Also returning to Durne.
Darius - NPC - Sarista gypsy and agent of Abn Qua.  Going by the alias of "Yuri"
Kane - monk of eastern mysticism with an odd elemental control of water.
Babette - Urban street thief swept up with the party when they teleported to Talislanta.
Norm Dingleberry - failed mushroom farmer, separately transported to Talislanta, by unknown means

40th of Talislandre 150 N.A. - Zanfir
Continuing their  journey on Equs steeds (a pony for Norm), the party discovered a man lying in a clearing.   They discovered that he was a guard that had fallen asleep on the Solanus-Pons when the thieves struck.  Magic and Morpheus powder were certainly used... by Tanasian Wizards

(Kane: Just like Kannex!)

He had remained hidden for a number of day until the finally found him and tossed him overboard. Luckily they were flying low and the trees cushioned his fall.  Kane healed up the sleepy guard and provisions given, and they left him in the clearing.

41st of Talislandre 150 N.A. -  Silvanus Forest
They encountered a wooded marketplace and  found a merchant that dealt in powdered substances, including Morpheus powder.

While the party questioned the merchant on his recent dealing, Alexi was caught stealing from the booth.  The merchant cursed out the group, and promptly pulled his wares into his wagon  locking a swinging door down from the roof.  Alexi and Yuri then started to dance on the roof of the merchant's wagon.  Alexi crashed through the roof onto the merchant. Yuri jumped down to grab a gruffan and threw it down the hole.  The scared animal immediately bit Alexi in the junk.
Junk-Biting Gruffan
Alexi nursed his wound while he opened up the door to the wagon, releasing the gruffan.  They ransacked the wagon, finding a large satchel of diamonds.  Rolf and Babette tied up the merchant, Fardain.  Through Babette's interrogation, Fardain admitted to selling a large shipment of Morpheus powder to the Blue Lotus Clan.  They left the merchant tied up, returned to their steeds and immediately left

44th of Talislandre 150 N.A. - Werewood Forest, Silvanus
The party finally located the Blue Lotus Clan.
They were quite pushy asking questions regarding the missing windship.  The Sarista from the clan were still friendly and recommend they talk to the mother of the clan, which required an appointment... and a healthy bribe.

*100 gold lumens later*

The Clan Mother told them that Tanasian Wizards under the guise of the Erythrian Cabal had the windship in question for part of their plans to build a flying city.  She admitted that the Blue Lotus helped them steal the ship, but further they worked alongside them, the more power-hungry the wizards obviously were.

"The Tanasian camp also has the  magical purifiers I've heard you seek.  Stop the cabal, seize the purifiers, recover the ship.  Darius has kept me updated."

44th of Talislandre 150 N.A. - Werewood Forest, Silvanus
The Blue Lotus led the party to the outskirts of the Tanasian camp and left them to their devices. They quickly pounced upon the camp, slaying individual wizards and causing general chaos. Creating distractions, they were able to rummage through the scrolls and research throughout the base.   Noticing a group of wizards heading down a side path, Rolf rallied the rest of party to follow them, ultimately leading them to the Solanus-Pon trying to take off.

The group boarded the sky and fought in horrendous combat with desperate sorcerers  The Cabal's leader piloted the skyship into dangerous maneuvers just above the treeline of the Werewood, tossing all the occupants to and fro.

While Kane was using water magic to push wizards overboard, one of the "rogues" finally got a good shot at the Cabal leader and he tumbled away from the helm, sending the windship into a spiral.  In their last few seconds of life, Rolf and Kane slew the leader and braced for a horrible impact.

...that never happened.  Despite getting jostled around, bruised and battered, the windship ultimately was pulled out of the freefall and set to a level course.

Standing behind the helm was a dwarf, bedecked in a leather cap with goggles strapped over his helmet, tongue sticking out the side of mouth, trying to keep the vessel level, and not doing too bad a job of it.

Norm had found a calling greater than mushroom farming.

1st of Zur 150 N.A.  - City-State of Cymril, The Seven Kingdoms
By hidden skill or outrageous luck, Norm managed to keep the Solanus-Pon above ground for a slow journey back to Cymril.  The wizards were turned into Cymrillian authorities, Kannex got his magic purifiers, and Abn Qua worked another mission of the party's into greater fame for the merchant.

DM Notes:  Another adventure with a half-finished journal entry, I did my best to embellish it... realistically.  This is the adventure that proves Norm's usefulness to the everyone, even if it started as complete luck.  This is also where his classic headgear came from, even if it was peculiar to traditional D&D.   

This would be the last adventure with most of the party together.  Late Summer vacations messed up schedules and future scenarios rely of two or three characters to reach the goal.  

Next: #22 - The Lake of the Prismatic Lotus