Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stupid Pigs

Well, I was considering if I wanted to get into the Farrow minions or not...but now it's not a discussion. This event is happening. And it is because of this:

I'm definitely not going to be able to avoid something this awesome now. Lord Carver is just a matter of time, and with him all kinds of bacon-y goodness.

Monday, November 15, 2010

And boom goes the dynamite

Captain Gunbjorn assembled his forces as he looked at the much larger horde of Cryxian thralls rushing toward them. He had his doubts about the effectiveness of the more traditional Kriel Warriors, but they had been all that Madrak could spare for him for this particular raid. He had plenty of powerful warbeasts, though, and with their combined firepower he looked forward to showing the Cryxians the true mettle of the Trolls.

His men formed up and his trolls began firing into the swarm of steam-fisted thralls surging at him, as well as the large helljack tearing forward with animal-like ferocity. He hit it with a rocket, and through his guiding influence his own beasts finished it and tore through many of the thralls. As many as he killed, though, more just charged forward to replace them.

The thralls hit his lines like an undead freight train, killing his kriel warriors and pounding his Blitzer, while an insidious worm-like machine eviscerated a couple more warriors. Bonejacks with vile corrosive sprays and explosive projectiles hit his left flank, even as he saw their leader, a glowing, iron monstrosity as big as he was with a massive cleft spear. The iron lich summoned green balefire to burn his men, and Gunbjorn knew how he would have to finish this.

While his Blitzer alternately pounded and shot the thralls that were assailing it, he moved up and cycled the next rocket into the chamber, firing it at the lich. The monster was quicker then it looked, however, and his rocket midded it completely to explode uselessly on the ground nearby. Cursing softly, Gunbjorn, raised a wall of stone from the earth to help defend him if this thing decided to charge at him. Then he called on his training with the Cygnaran army to hold his troops together, giving them cover from the deadly magics and bonejacks, if only for a moment. His remaining warriors finished off the last of the thralls on the one flank, while his Bomber killed the last ones on the other.

The next few minutes were a frenzied blur of activity, as bonejacks spewed venom and explosive projectiles, and the worm machine tried to attack him with a deadly looking bite (and missing), and his counterattack proved absolutely devastating. When the smoke cleared the three arc noded bonejacks were scrap piles, the thralls were dead, and only the iron lich, the worm, and a rune-covered thralls were left.

Gunbjorn saw the thrall move up and throw green hellfire at him, but he ducked out of the way. The lich moved onto a hill and Gunbjorn could feel the very earth withering around him and it drew in power. More hellfire came, this time finding its mark and burning him. With the last of his strength he sent it to his Impaler, but he knew he couldn't last much longer. In a blur the worm jack scurried around his Blitzer and bit right into his side, cutting through his protective armor like it was so much paper. He staggered and turned to face it, but it swung its tail around one last time, hitting him on the head.Gunbjorn's consciousness swam and he fell backwards.

He awoke later to see that his enemy had disappeared. Scorched and mangled corpses lay strewn across the battlefield, most of them the undead, but many of his own warriors as well. His beasts had run when he fell, but he could still sense them, and called them to return to him. He wondered at what had just happened, and why the Cryxian had left him alive, but then looked up and realized that the day was much later than he had thought. By the time he re-assembled his forces the defenders of the village he was going to raid would have had time to dig in, and would have heard the sounds of battle to warn them of his proximity. He would have to try again another time, and with more troops. Someday he would see that lich blown to pieces at the other end of his cannon.

Wow, what a fun game. I got to play some Warmachine yesterday with Micah, who was back in Elsinore from Ol' New York, and the second game was spectacular. He didn't have any models, so I let him use my Cryx, and I ran some trolls, and man was it fun. The first game was eDoomshaper, and while I won it was short and frankly not as awesome (though there was a particularly rad dire troll mauler trample where he got an entire unit of McThralls). It was the second game, where I had Gunbjorn, that was way more fun.

My list:
Slag Troll
Kriel Warriors (10)
- UA
Stone Scribe Chronicler

His list:
Mechanithralls (10)
Mechanithralls (10)
Bloat Thrall

In summary: Gunbjorn is an absolute blast to play. Shooting rockets, bombs, and machine guns with high accuracy at everything in sight is just mad sexy. I made that other list for Micah in about a minute, and I'm kind of amazed by it. It's tier 1 Asphyxious, which means those mechanithralls are all AD. I'm gonna have to give it more test time, but I think this simple build is a really strong 35 point list.

I had a great time in Lake Elsinore this weekend, though I'm still a little upset I didn't know about the tournament in Riverside until it was too late. Maybe if Shane SAID something to me I could have planned ahead for it...jerk. :-P

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Impossible" Dream all right

Yeah, so this challenge is going poorly so far. It's the 4th of November and I'm behind. I've got 2 of my Krielstone members (the stone and one scribe) done-ish, and I'm hoping that the rest will go faster now that I have the scheme worked out. I've had to simplify the color palette, but I think it's a solid choice and looks pretty good. Once I get the details painted on it'll be great.

In other news, It appears that I'm officially making a game. Not a campaign for D&D or anything, but an actual game, with the intent to sell it. It's called Tir Cayad, and I'm co-creator with Adam Rosenblum. It's a three-tiered game, with an RPG tier, a skirmish-level tier, and a war-level tier. So far we're just looking at the RPG aspect, since it'll be the most complex (and the basis for the higher two levels), but it's shaping up to be something entirely new. I've never seen a system like this before, but it's certainly influenced by other things. The skill tree smacks a little of Diablo II, the attributes are more like WoD than D&D, but all in all it's very original. I'll post more when I have more to show for it, but we're hoping by next week to have a functional system we can stumble through for a basic RPG experience.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Easy Stuff

Ok, well I made a little progress already on the list, and set myself backwards a little as well.

The Slag Troll is done, even thought I'm not super pleased with him. I don't really care for the model, so it's not a big deal, but I'll probably want to go back and fix him some day.

On the other hand, I painted Gunbjorn up, and he's looking mighty sexy (I should really take pics before I do these posts. Next time!). I really like the color scheme I worked out for him. It's got a military drab look to it, with a little Confederate grey-ish thrown in, but it's got a lot of spots of color so it doesn't look flat. His skin is a good blue color (the one I started with Borka and will now be my whole force's), he's got little brass buckles all over him, and his rockets are white, with yellow tips and red fins. I'm really pleased with him.

I also bought some new stuff from Brookhurst, which I'll have to fit into the schedule. I bought another blister to max out my Scattergunners, bought another Thumper Crew, bought another pack of Welps, the Runebearer (Troll Moses), and a Swamp Troll. The Scattergunners will get added to the rest of the unit when they get painted, and the Thumper will be a priority, not just because I friggin' LOVE that model, but also because it's needed for Gunbjorn's tier lists. I'm really looking forward to running a Troll ranged army with AD Thumpers and trenches.

I need to set an order I'm going to do the rest of these in, however flexible, so that I don't get paralyzed with indecision:
- Krielstone Bearer + UA (7 models)
- Pyg Bushwackers (10 models)
- Troll Impaler (1 model)
- Dire Troll Bomber (1 model)
- Scattergunners (10 models)
- Thumper Crew (3 models)
- Champions (5 models)
- Fennblades (10 models)
- Calandra (1 model)
- Pyg Burrowers (6 models)
- Runebearer (1 model)
- Welps (5 models)
- Swamp Troll (1 model)

Anyway, pics to follow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Impossible Dream Challenge

Ok, so Privateer Press's Will Schick has proposed the IMPOSSIBLE DREAM challenge - 100 points of models painted in 4 weeks in November. That's pretty ridiculous, but it's some pretty damn good motivation. I have so many Trollbloods that need painting, and I think having a time table for it makes the impossible seem feasible, especially now that the move is done.

Here are the models that need painting, as well as their point costs, to my knowledge:

Impossible Dream Challenge

  • Gunbjorn +5

  • Calandra +5

  • Slag Troll -6

  • Dire Troll Bomber -10

  • Troll Impaler -5

  • Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes (6) -3

    • Stone Scribe Elder -1

  • Trollkin Champions (5) -10

  • Scattergunners (6) -5

  • Pyg Bushwackers (10) -8

  • Pyg Burrowers (6) -4

  • Fennblades (10) -8

Number of Models: 49

Days in November: 30

Models painted each day: 1.63

Points to be painted: 50 (after adding in Warlock points)

Some of these are partially painted, and some have been partially painted for months or even years. Regardless, this is a chance to make my force complete. There are certain models, like the Scatter gunners, where I actually have 8 (good ol' Mark I holdovers), and I'd like to buy 2 more and then paint all 10. Likewise, I'd like to get the Trollkin Scouts, another Thumper Crew, another Winter Troll, and plenty of other models that I simply don't have money for right now. If I paint up the majority of my Trolls, then I will feel not only less bad buying more models, but also more motivated to do things like complete some of the Tier Lists I'm very close to (Especially Gunbjorn's, Calandra's, and Borka's) with a few more models, which I can paint up when I get them and then have a largely completed and painted force. I'll also be free to do things like repaint my Mauler and some of my other stuff that simply hasn't held up to my more recent paint jobs as well as some other things.

Plus, then Jackie will give me less crap about all my unpainted models. And I gotta be honest - she's been a pretty huge motivation to paint. I'd like to have the kind of ability to run a fully painted army when I put models on the table that she has. I'm not sure I'll ever be as hard-lined about it as she is, but being able to play a fully painted 35 points in Hardcore at SoCal Smackdown was absolutely thrilling.

It's not even kind of 100 points, but it's far more important for me than an arbitrary army size. It may be an impossible dream, but it's one I'm going to try for.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That Old Pub Idea

Heh, I gotta say, an idea like this future pub is really tenacious. I've been thinking about it a lot, and getting some good ideas from people I talk to. This is mainly just for writing some of them down.

Drink Specials
- Stuff with cool names
-- "It comes in Pints?!"
- Wide selection of beers/drinks
- Home-brewed beers

Specialty Nights
- Pirate Night
-- Discounted drinks for talking/dressing like a pirate
- Fright Night
-- Cheesy old horror films
-- Zombie/monster themed drinks
- Star Wars Night
- Mostly just an excuse to have a cantina band
- Lady's Night
-- Costume contests
-- Dancers
-- Impressions?
- Game Night
-- Magic cards
-- Board games
-- RPGs
-- Specials for coming in costume/character

- Eating Contests
-- Pie eating
-- Wing eating
-- Hot dog eating
- Drinking contests
-- Oktoberfest style
-- Fastest downing of a pint
-- Holding up the beer mug?

Important Features
- Atmosphere
-- Needs to be relaxing, more than anything
-- A place for people to hang out, not to get smashed and yell at a TV/each other
-- Fun, casual
-- Nerdy/Geeky
- Drink Selection
-- Lots of beers
-- Soda fountain
-- Specialty drinks
-- Drink specials
-- Non-alcoholic drink specials (So the DD doesn't feel entirely left out)
- Food selection
-- Actively promoted, especially in conjunction with drinks
-- Relatively cheap
-- Hobbit style - 1st breakfast special, second breakfast special, first lunch special, etc
-- Themed foods
-- Also traditional bar foods (wings, etc)
- Few or no TVs
-- Maybe no TVs at all
-- Projector in the ceiling with pull-down screen
-- Or maybe just 1 TV
-- Possible video game nights?
-- Not focussed on sports
-- Trying to not have bros
- Stage
-- Small, but enough for a band
-- Live music should be important, even if only on weekends or something
-- Also used for contests
-- Big enough for a long table, at least

The Name
- Not entirely sure yet
-- Probably have "Tavern" in it
-- Maybe "Inn"

Anyway, these are just some ideas I've had, and other people have added to. The main idea is to make a place I would want to go to and hang out, and hopefully it'll attract more like-minded people. It might flop horribly, but it'll be years before I am able to bring enough capital and experience together to actually be able to make this a reality. So many people have told me how awesome it sounds, I'm hoping that with a little help from my friends building a fanbase, as well as some luck, and especially a good location (Right now it's seeming that it'll be either New York, Seattle, or SoCal) it could work.

I suppose in time I'll reach critical mass of ideas and it'll start planning itself. I'm not there yet, but hopefully some day all the little bits of thinking along the way will pay off and I'll have a great, detailed idea that just needs implementation.

Mostly I think I just want a drink special called "It comes in Pints?!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Future as a Gamer

So I've seem the future, and it's expensive.

As a History Major, I can reasonably say that war simulations have always been a particular fancy of mine. They come in all shapes and sizes, but the chance to match wits with another commander and do battle always has great appeal to me. Especially when it is a simulation of historical events. Especially when it involves World War I.

WWI has always been very interesting to me, and in my humble opinion there are not enough attempts to capture it in modern media, especially not when compared with the absolute glut of World War II boardgames, tabletop games, video games, movies, and who knows what else. So then, to find a game like Home Before The Leaves Fall is a Godsend. It's everything I want out of a game trying to simulate the entire Western Front at once, and I cannot express how badly I want to own it and play it. It gives me a brief glimpse into a future when I have the kind of disposable income to actually spring for a $250 board game and then the time to spend a Saturday (or series of Saturdays) fighting over France.

Which brings me to the next part of this: in this glimpse into the future, I also own a house (or at least live in one), and have room to put an Emissary Gaming table in the dining room. I would love so much to have that be a part of my life, and as I think about it I realize that it's not just that. The Geek Chic style has always appealed to me, and some day I'd like to have a house all decked out with it. Tables that conceal boardgames, clocks that are just patterns of lights, cupboards with his and hers coffee mugs (at least as far as the battle lines are drawn between me and Jackie), and even nerdtastic shower curtains are all part of the dream, even if it takes me a lifetime to accomplish it.

So maybe some day I'll get the financial freedom to actually buy a house and begin populating it with things that are awesome. Until then, I suppose I can just drool with envy at a dining room table that becomes a gameboard.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Great News Everybody!

Man, SoCal Smackdown was so awesome. I played in every single Warmachine tournament they had, and am only now starting to recover. It was a hell of a weekend, and I'm so freakin' stoked about the fun I had and the new friends I met.

I also discovered a new game at SoCal Smackdown (much to Jackie's chagrin), called Rezolution. It's a pretty cool little Sci-Fi cyberpunk miniatures game, about on the scale of Malifaux in terms of models on the table. I really liked the minis, and in talking with the creator of it he gave me a rulebook for it and a couple freebies. Well, after that I was pretty much forced to buy a box set.

I've already painted 2.5 of the 6 miniatures that came with it, and I'm really blown away by it. Not only do I think I've done an excellent job painting them, but they're just really cool little models. I got some CSO Peacekeepers, and am in the process of painting them up into little cyberpunk commandos, something of a cross between the colonial marines from Aliens and the Clone Commandos from the Clone Wars cartoon (the Genndy Tartakovsky one) and Republic Commando.

This would all mostly just be for fun, since no one plays the game that I know of, but the rules actually lend itself well to an idea I've been throwing around - a campaign-driven, miniatures based RPG-ish game played one scenario at a time. I talked with Patrick from Brookhurst and he said he's into it, and we'll probably get a couple others in on it too. It'll probably play out similar to a tabletop version of SWAT Aftermath or Alien Swarm, and if so that's exactly what I'm looking for - badass dudes in armor with guns, working as a team against an NPC foe, all with a slight narrative bent and a very cinematic feel.

If I can accomplish this, it'll be spectacular.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prospective Campaign Idea

Had an interesting idea for the weekly game night at Brookhurst. Inspired by the campaign in the back of Escalation, and the type of fun battles brought on by Summer Rampage, I thought I'd try my hand at making one that could be an ongoing casual campaign that people could play weekly at Brookhurst. The rules are a little wonky right now, and I'm trying to iron out certain balance issues, but I think it's on the right track.


A campaign for Warmachine and Hordes

Campaign Rules:

Army Composition: Each faction initially creates two 25 point army lists. Neither list can share character models. Tier lists are allowed. These lists represent a “pool” of models in the army, which can be expanded over the course of the campaign, but which may not be used in every battle.

Battle Sizes: Both players must be able to field the amount of points necessary for the battle taking place, not counting attrition losses. This may mean that one or both players have models that will go unused, so that they meet a lower point level necessary for the battle.

Campaign Map Army Movement: On a player’s turn, they get to move one of their armies into one adjacent territories. If there is no enemy army in the territory, and no enemy army intercepts them, the army takes control of the territory for their faction.

- If there is an enemy army in the territory, they must fight to resolve control of the territory. If the aggressor wins, the defender must withdraw to an adjacent friendly territory in any direction so that it is not occupying the conquered territory. If this is not possible, it must withdraw to an adjacent territory that does not have an enemy army on it.

- If the defender wins, the aggressor remains in the territory it previously occupied and does not advance.

Interception: If an army attempts to move into a territory adjacent to an enemy army, the enemy army has the option to intercept them. They rush to the site to try and vanquish the invaders, but in doing so suffer -1 to their starting roll for the battle.

Strategic Sites: There are various areas of the battlefield that have strategic importance to one or more factions. If the site is in a faction’s controlled territory, they gain the benefit. Site bonuses are cumulative, unless noted otherwise.

- Graveyard: Every time a faction recruits undead models/units before a battle, it gains a free army point, which can be spent on one undead model/unit.

- Farmland: Every time a faction recruits living models/units before a battle, it gains a free army point, which can be spent on one living model/unit.

- Mercenary Camp: Every time a faction recruits Mercenary models/units before a battle, it gains a free army point, which can be spent on one Mercenary model/unit.

- Minion Village: Every time a faction recruits Minion models/units before a battle, it gains a free army point, which can be spent on one Minion model/unit.

Reinforcements: At the end of every battle, both sides get army points to build up their armies. This number is based on a number of circumstances from the battle.

- The victor of the battle gets d6 army points, and the loser gets d3.

- Each side gets +1 army points for every unit killed (all members of the unit must have been killed, and remain off the table).

- Each side gets +1 army points for each warjack or warbeast destroyed (this does not count warjacks that would have gone inert if their controlling warcaster if killed. The warjack has to be completely destroyed, with all its damage boxes filled, reducing it to a wreck marker).

- If there was a scenario objective that was achieved, the side that achieved it receives +1 army points.

Each side can spend army points before a battle to replenish forces lost in battle, or to increase the size of their army, up to the maximum point level allotted for that battle. If the battle is taking place in territory controlled by the faction, they can spend their points on faction models, or Merce nary or Minion models. If the battle takes place in any Neutral or enemy territory, they can only spend their points on Mercenary or Minion models and units.

Attrition: After each battle, the winner is forced to press his advantage, which may lead to stretched supply lines and difficulty replenishing lost troops and repairing warjacks or healing warbeasts before the next battle. This is represented in several ways:

- Every time an army that was victorious in its last battle fights another battle, the army suffers attrition. This is cumulative until the army loses.

- When a unit ends the game with half the models or less that it started the game with (rounded up), it starts the next battle with one less grunt. For example: A unit with 5 models suffers attrition if it loses 3 out of its 5 models.

o When a

unit loses
all the models in the unit, it starts the next game with two fewer grunts.

- When a warjack or warbeast is destroyed, it starts the next game with the first box in each column or spiral marked.

I'm thinking it might just be easier to say it's a 35 point campaign and do away with all the army purchasing stuff, but that was sort of the appeal to me - that if an army was fighting out of its controlled lands, it needed to hire mercenaries to fill in the gaps in the army, while on the defensive it has more loyal soldiers to pull from. I'll pitch it Thursday night and see how it goes, I guess.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SoCal Smackdown

All right, well SoCal Smackdown is happening, which is to say a convention close enough to home that I won't actually need to pay for a room there. Woot woot! It's cheap, it's a 4-day convention, and it's the West Coast qualifier for the Privateer Press Invitational! I'll be there with bells on. Cryxian...death bells? Something like that.


So I discovered a new game (by which I mean Robby discovered it and showed it to me) called Minecraft. It's a pretty freakin' rad concept for a game - specifically, that you are in a world that is 100% destructible, and also 100% constructible by you. In essence it's like Ultimate Legos on your computer. The entire world is broken up into cube blocks of different types - dirt blocks, stone blocks, sand blocks, etc - and you can break them and place them. In "creative mode" it's totally free form, and you can break and place as much as you like, but in survival mode you have to break blocks to put them in your inventory, where you can then place them again.

The game is currently in pre-release alpha form on the website, and you can pre-order the game for 9.95 Euro (about $12), which I did. I know that whenever this game is released, I'm going to love it, but more instantly gratifying is the fact that by pre-ordering you get access to the latest and greatest development mode he's got going, which is clipping along on its way to beta-testing phase. There's a crafting system, and increasingly complex tool system that requires you to build up your base and gain access to resources of varying sorts, a dynamic lighting system, and other cool things like doors, ladders, and other things to help you build a better zombie-proof base.

Oh, that's right, I almost forgot. It has zombies. The whole point of all the work you do to build a base and create defenses is so that you can survive monster attacks. Monsters only spawn in the dark, which means generally only underground and at night, and zombies and skeletons burst into flames when the sun hits them, so you find yourself with a scenario where you need to build defensive fortifications to survive day to day and night to night with unrelenting waves of baddies out for your flesh, all in a sandbox world where you build your own walls, shovels, pickaxes, swords, armor, and everything else. You can farm, raise animals, mine, and generally be exactly as sedentary or nomadic as you feel like.

Yeah, this game is going to be awesome. And it isn't even in beta yet.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Player Base

Ok, so it looks like the game is going forward strong. So far the players I have who are interested are:
Jamie Sweet: For sure
Jackie Riddle: For Sure
Robby Spengler: Definitely Maybe, when he doesn't have work
Chris Greenwood: For Sure
Tyler Moore: Maybe, if he happens to be free
Jason Tarpley: I'm sure he's down when he's in town.

That should be good enough for the time being, since I'll have a character too. More as I know it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The New Game

War. War never changes.

Well, I suppose it's been a little while. I blame school. I suppose I also blame my flighty personality and the difficulties of trying to grandfather in an older game to a newer system model. It was part of a grand experiment, and we may yet come back to the adventures of our Corvis heroes, but for now I think it's time to move forward.

Waaaaaaaaay forward. I am going to be starting up a new game, this one set in the Fallout universe. After looking around at some options, I decided to use the World of Darkness system instead of the d20 system, for a number of reasons. With WoD there is not such a huge functional discrepancy between someone who's gained a lot of xp and someone who hasn't. This solves two problems at once - it means that people who can't come to very many sessions aren't going to be left out in the cold, and it means if someone dies, the penalty for re-rolling isn't nearly as bad as the game marches on. It also means that the game should be more steamlined, with less number-crunching and more role-playing. Finally, the modern bent of the WoD core rules should translate without much effort to Fallout. All I'll need to do is stat out some of the main beasties and make up a random encounter table and we can get underway.

Which leads me to the next major point - the game structure. It'll be reminiscent of the Corvis game in that there will be a hex map. The characters will start in a Vault and will have a blank map to explore in whatever manner they choose. I'm still trying to work out the specifics, but Robby made a good suggestion to have them be able to move a certain amount every day, but give them ability to force march and rack up exhaustion penalties to get a little further. I'll probably do it in 12 hour increments, where the characters can move 2 or 3 spaces every 12-hour period, with a force march letting them go 1 additional. For every time period they traverse the Wastes, I'll roll on the random encounter table, twice for a force march. Much like Fallout 1 and 2, this could be good or bad - maybe they get ambushed by radscorpions, or maybe they find a crashed alien spaceship. Regardless, travelling through the Wastes is often dangerous and certainly unpredictable.

Finally, I think there will be the option for a revolving storyteller. Robby has expressed interest in running at least some campaigns, and I certainly have ideas of my own. I think everyone, storyteller included, will make and play a character, and if someone has an idea they want to run for a few games, we can work that in. Ideally this means that there can be more games, since the requirements both for players and STs are more fluid.

We'll see how it goes, but I think I'm already off to a pretty strong start, and am really excited to see how this plays out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The (Pipe) Dream

I'm not a person who tends to make big plans for his future. I have a hard time mustering the foresight and wherewithal to finish a college degree, mostly because the future is so goddam nebulous to me that preparing for it with any sort of certainty seems pointless. I'm getting a history degree and my teaching credentials at the moment, in large part because I need a fallback plan that I can use to force myself to have some direction in life.

Therefore, it is a weird feeling for me to have a life goal. I've had some sort of vague inklings of ideas of what I want to do - things like "I want to leave Long Beach, and probably move to Seattle", and "I think it'd be really satisfying to own my own business", but I've never had anything resembling a real goal in my life until now.

I want to own my own bar/pub. I want it to be themed. I want it to be geek-friendly. I want to brew my own beers and sell them there. It's certainly not something I can do tomorrow, but it's a dream, and more importantly a goal. I will need investment capital, experience working in the industry, and business classes (potentially a degree), but you get the idea.

This is something I want to work toward. I want to figure out how to make this work, and I want to turn it into a reality. I'd like to get some of my friends involved if I could.

Anyway, perhaps it's a pipe dream, but it's a dream nonetheless, which is more then I've had until now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Terrain and such.

So a kind of short update:
I found some sweet terrain that I think I can use for the D&D game. It's PDFs you buy and then print out on cardstock and assemble...it'll take a lot of work to make it ready to go and all that, but it's cheap as all hell and totally effective. I'll probably buy a few.

The game on Saturday fell apart, since no one ended up being available. I'll see if this Saturday ends up being better, but we'll see. For my part, the...recent events with my girlfriend mean that I now have much more free time to work with. Dang.

I have been informed to fix something - it's "Jamie" not "Jaime", and I'm told I'll be "very sorry" if I don't "correct this mistake." Best part is I'll probably make the mistake all the time after this anyway.

Going to try for a game on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's about dang time

So it's been like a week and a half since the last D&D game and I keep forgetting to post something about it, so I'm going to now.

Our heroes had a somewhat...unconventional time, but fun nonetheless (I think). Father Dumas has moved them to a local inn known for catering to Adventurers, as he cannot afford to look after them as much any more. Darthinian and Robespierre met up with 2 new characters (whose names escape me at the moment, due to their character sheets being at home, and one of them not even being names yet...), a Rhulic cleric and his Ogrun barbarian bokur. They are out seeking their fortunes and trying to find and help out other Rhulic enclaves, and stopped off for the time being in Corvis.

Darthinian managed to convince the others to go in with him on a heist and try to steal a shipment of steamjack parts bound for one of the factories in the city. After much planning, it was decided that Darthinian (with this experience as a sailor) would try to jump down from one the bridges spanning the river, infiltrate the crew, and try and find out where the goods were stashed. The ogrun would then meet up with them on the dock, move onto the ship, and start unloading boxes of the parts into the back of a wagon being manned by the two dwarves (Robespierre and the cleric). In, out, easy money.

Well, the day started out badly. It was cold and drizzly, with a fog clinging to the river and really limiting visibility. Everyone waited in their appropriate spots, until Darthinian saw the ship coming through the fog. He grabbed his rope and made a lasso, throwing it off the bridge to grab the top of a mast and swing down into the rigging, but...well, he managed to catch the mast, but got his foot tangled in the rope. Realizing that as the ship was going to go under the bridge (and thereby drag him off rather ingloriously) he tried to about by grabbing his hatchet and cutting the rope, but between the slippery rain and his haste he couldn't get it, and he was dragged over the edge, falling down into the rigging and getting tangled up. As he tried to free himself he actually fell further and got more tangled, making enough noise in the process to attract the attention of the crew, who came to investigate. Thinking fast, he began sobbing and acting suicidal, and they bought that he was just a jumper who had botched his suicide attempt, taking him down to the deck. Feeling suspicious, the captain told him to just stay put and that he could disembark when they made port shortly. Darthinian was unable to convince the captain that he should huddle below deck for a few minutes to get out of the cold.

Meanwhile, on the docks, the ogrun was standing around trying to fit in and not look conspicuous - and doing a rather poor job of it. The authorities were alerted, and had been watching him for some time by the time the ship made berth and he began toward it. They intercepted him and told him that he should probably leave peaceably, and he told them to get out of his way. When they refused to comply he decided to try and grab one to intimidate them both. He grabbed him, but the guard, being a trained soldier and all, was able to push him away and brandish his halberd. The other guard lunged forward and impaled him in the side with his halberd, nearly disembowling him, but yet he survived due to his mighty ogrun constitution. He took the hint and backed away, meeting up with the others to lick their wounds and escape back to the inn.

It was all in all an unsuccessful venture, but considering it was 100% player created, run, and executed, I think it was a successful experiment. I'll probably put in a little more structure in the future, but if the players want to create their own adventure like this, I'm glad to know they can.

It's also worth noting that I've never seen as many failed rolls in a row as Jaime rolled for Darthinian. It was spectacular.

I am going to shoot for having another game on Saturday, January 30th from probably 3 to 7 or so. Jaime is a "mostly sure" confirmation, and hopefully Laurie, Robby, James, and KC are free. There will also hopefully be a guest appearance from Jason Tarpley,who will be in town for the weekend.

Resurgence Tournament

Well, Saturday was the Warmachine Resurgence Tournament for Brookhurst Hobbies, celebrating the release of the Warmachine Prime MKII rulebook.

The tournament was set up so that it was increasing in point size each game, the first game being a 35 point, the second 50 points, and the final round a massive 75 point game. I brought a list with Master Necrotech Mortenebra that followed her progression with her most trusted Necrotech and best Necrosurgeon as they set out to build a powerful army for Cryx from the armies of lesser nations. It was a really fun tournament, and all 3 games I won by caster assassination, scoring barely any control points. The combination of Mortenebra's Terminal Velocity spell with her Overrun spell and a selection of helljacks is just absolutely brutal. I think for the time being I'm going to retire her from play and try out other casters. For the next tournament I'll probably try to run Asphyxious or Terminus and see how I do with them.

Anyway, the first game I played against Khador with Vlad, the second against Cygnar with Darius, and the third against Cygnar again with Kraye. I beat them all and ended up trying for first place with a guy who played Retribution - we both had the exact same number of tournament points and the same strength of schedule. The TO had an extra Merc coin to give out (since there were no Merc players there) so we decided that first place would get the overall champoin coin while the other would get the merc coin, as well as their respective best in faction coins. We decided to settle it with a D6 roll, and I rolled a 5 and he rolled a 4. So I came out in first place, getting 2 coins for my work and having a great day to top it off.

As a side note, I think every tournament list I make from here on out is going to have an Ogrun Bokur in it, if for no other reason then to flip Eiryss the bird. The first and third games I played both had the elf, and many other players there had her. If other people want to cheese up their list with a 3 point bitch, I'm willing to put in my 3 point Ogrun Elf Insurance (TM) every time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Story So Far

All right, so just to keep everyone on the same page, I'll try and fill in what's happened with the characters so far.

Darthinian Smelchmonger
: an Ordic-born sailor, traveller, swashbuckler, and general hooligan, formerly of the Ordic navy where he served as a scout in charting and exploring the various Scharde Islands and fighting the Cryxians they inevitably encountered. Class: Ranger. Played by Jamie Sweet.
Kerry Jackson: a native of the Cygnaran city of Corvis, where he was born into the privileged life of a well-to-do merchant family. He was well-trained as a merchant and was expected to continue the family trade, but he recently manifested the Gift of magic, and he opted to leave his family and not cause a stir by seeking a life of adventure for the time being, while he grapples with the implications of his new Gift. Class: Sorcerer. Played by Robby Spengler.
Robespierre Holderhek: A surly Rhulic man with a taste for adventure and a low tolerance for bullshit, Robespierre found he had an affinity for pistols in his homeland, and before long he found he could channel some magic through them. He told his family farewell and set out on a life of adventure to make a name for himself in the lands of mankind. Class: Gun Mage. Played by Laurie Frasier.
Grim Bloodscent: As good a hunter as ever came out of the Thornwood Forest, Grim Bloodscent has sought to emulate many of the Trollkin leaders of the United Kriels - he is following in the footsteps of Grim Angus (who he named himself after in homage) by seeking his fortune hunting the humans he finds so weak and distasteful, but he looks at Madrak Ironhide as the savior of the Trollkin race, as well as believing Hoarluk Doomshaper's rhetoric of the innate superiority of Troll blood over the dilluted stuff in other races' veins. He takes great delight in hunting down humans, the reward bounty being more of a consolation. Class: Ranger. Played by Chris Greenwood.

Darthinian, Kerry, and Robespierre hired themselves on as mercenary guards on a caravan from Point Bourne East to Corvis. On the way they were attacked by Swamp Gobbers in the Widower's Wood near Corvis, but fended off the attack with minimal loss of goods. Robespierre was wounded badly and incapacitated, but the rest of the party made it all right.

They arrived in Corvis and were dropped off at the Cathedral of Morrow, where the kindly Father Dumas took them in and tended to their wounds. He told them that if they were looking for more work, the Captain of the Guard Julian Helstrom was usually hiring someone for something. They went to meet him the next day and he told them of a bounty of a Bridge Troll he'd had reports had been attacking citizens in the northern part of the city. The party searched for the Troll in question and finally found it when it leaped out from under a bridge. The fight that ensued was mercifully short when Kerry Jackson got off a shot with his pistol right between the eyes of the beast and felled it. They cut off the head and brought it back for the bounty, much to Captain Helstrom's surprise.

The next day they went to the compound of the Fraternal Order of Wizardry, which turned them away from entering. As they wondered what to do next, they were corralled and ambushed by a number of thugs with short swords and bows. They fought valiantly, but it looked bad until Grim showed up and started putting axe to mouth on some of the bandits. The remaining bandits were fended off, and the wounded party retreated to the Cathedral to seek aid from Father Dumas.

As he tended to their wounds, Father Dumas told them of a strange occurrence where he'd heard reports from around the city of grave robbers, and sent the party to investigate. They arrived outside the city walls at the small hamlet and set up camp for the night, watching over the graveyard to see if they could see anything.


That's about what I remember as the major points so far. As more characters get added and more events take place, I'll update them here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New system/rules

I'm posting a lot today. I guess it's because it's the first day and I have a lot to work out.

There are a few new rules I'd like to try and iron the kinks out of, as well as a particular problem Robby brought to my attention.

Resolve Tokens
These tokens represent the party's combined will and ability to complete tasks every day. They can be used in a number of ways, and are always considered a communal resource.
Resolve tokens always reset to full after a full 6-hour rest.
The party gains 5 Resolve tokens per member in the party at the start of each day.
Each token represents roughly a couple "man-hours" as it were, with more tokens not necessarily representing more time, but more people helping to accomplish the same tasks in less time. This allows many actions to be tried again if they are failed, like searching the same area again by just spending more time doing it.
1. A resolve token can be used to move 5 spaces. Moving from a space with a major road to another with a major road counts as half a space for this purpose, so characters can cover twice the distance by going along the main thoroughfares. This is just meant to represent that the characters can't go infinite distance every day, and travelling across town by itself can be tiring, before any adventuring is done at all.
2. A resolve token can be spent for the party to search the hex they're in for a particular person, place, or thing. This will be treated as a communal action, with a primary participant and everyone else helping him/her.
3. This one I'm less certain of, but I'm thinking about letting the resolve tokens be expended in combat by a character for something along the lines of adding +1 to a roll per token spent - essentially letting the party go all-out if they need to at the expense of being totally exhausted when they're done. I think I'll try it out in a couple of games before committing to it, but it's definitely an idea.

The Level Issue
Robby brought up a good point that I'm not entirely sure of how to deal with. If there is a revolving door of players every session, some are by nature going to be a higher level than others. This leads to a problem where you might have a party of some particularly good adventurers and some particularly weak adventurers. I might institute a thing where I auto-correct people of dramatically lower level up to some semblance of usefulness. I don't like doing this, but if the characters are supposedly going off and doing their own thing outside the confines of the party, there's some logic to it.

Since it (hopefully) won't come into play for a while, I don't intend to address the issue right now, but if anyone has any ideas about how to deal with this I'd appreciate the input.

Corvis City Map

Well, step 1 of creating this game is giving the players a map to visualize where they can go and what they can do. This will be represented in-game with an actual map that they get and write on, and so all the players can make edits to the map as they explore and learn more about the city.

The ladder-looking things are bridges.
The double-lines around the edge are city walls.
The dashed lines snaking around are major thoroughfares in the city.

Other stuff is labeled, I guess we'll see how this goes!

Inagural post

So this will (hopefully) be a log of the things I need to keep track of, mostly D&D-related. With any small amount of luck my players can keep up to date on upcoming sessions, past games they might have missed, and also a place to talk about changes they (or I) would like to see.

That being said, the first major change is going to be in the structure of the game itself. Rather than a traditional D&D game where players show up and are led by the nose through a session designed by by the DM, I am going to be taking more of a cue from the West Marches campaign, which was also adapted by Gabe at Penny Arcade. The game will allow players a more free-form environment to come and go if they can't make all the sessions, and each game will be a more player-driven, self-contained adventure. We'll see how it turns out, but I like the idea that for the first part of the game the players will be exploring the town of Corvis, complete with a World map they can explore and flesh out. Ideally I won't even use a screen, and basically the DM becomes just someone to react to the player decisions and let them have real control over what they explore, who they kill, and how much phat lewt they get.

We'll see how it turns out in the end.

Next session is scheduled for SATURDAY, JANUARY 16TH