A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

BEST. COMIC. EVER. (Plus Blog Update Stuff)


And its a fan comic. Its the second part of a 2 part series (links can be found within the actual post) that pretty much has almost everyone from DC comics showing up in some form.

Its great, and if you have a soul you should read this.

(EDIT: With Scans Daily currently down you may find the creator's work at: http://the-blackcat.deviantart.com/ )

And then wonder why DC isn't offering the creator gobs of money to print his or her amazingly fun, funny, and cute comics in a proper dead tree format.

Those of you interested in my RPG project don't worry! February will continue my work on the Adamythryl Engine. Painting my wee Elven ships for Uncharted Seas comes first, but the starter fleet should be done Monday night.

I wanna play more City of Heroes till the middle of the month when my sub runs out and I can go back to playing some other videogame of some form and shape. (Currently Arc the Lad 2 on the PS1. Unlike a certain modern overpriced system, the Playstation 2 plays all my PS1 games, and in a generally improved way to the original machine.)

I know I haven't been blogging a ton lately, but the winter blahs plus holiday hell, and the vast variety of projects and interests I have keeps me from really devoting a ton of time to any single one.

But I average at least a post a week here, and given the small amount of readership I have, its not my number one priority, though it is on my mind quite a bit. I could post more "HEY I DID THIS TODAY" stuff like I did early on in my blog, but its mostly stupid, nobody cares, and in some cases I was being nicer about game sessions than I should have been as the annoying parties in some of those early 08 games were actually reading this. When I really shoulda been talking about how badly they ruined that week's session. (As it stands I am not likely to ever play Hero Quest ever again, and its caused me to take a long break from Lord of the Rings Miniatures. People ruined my experiences in those games THAT BAD. Though in LotR's case I still really love the game itself.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saturday Changeling LARP Report: Rufus' War Journal Part 4

This one is just text. A TON happened at this month's game and the thought of doing it comic style frightens me. Plus I have too many other projects and things I am working on right now. Painting, getting more content for the Adamythryl Engine, just fun stuff.. maybe even the HORROR of getting a life. Oh wait. That one never works. :(


War Journal Update 10 Jan 09

On the 10th of January, I sent a comrade to what may be his doom. I know you want to be kept informed of what goes on at the Freehold, but this was a hard situation to update you on. But I will tell you what happened, and hopefully you can see the kinds of challenges I face in trying to build a brotherhood here in Connecticut.

Since December, David had discovered Maude's location within the Hedge. Her exact location, this time for sure as opposed to a wild guess. We also had to bring Darryl (the English fellow who was willing to sacrifice himself during the Sid incident over the Summer where I became Summer King) into his position as the Winter King, made more difficult as he and the quiet tall woman Mia are the only two Winter Court members nearby.

(Mia being mostly insular and quiet and not believing in herself. I have been trying to get her to open up, rarely with any luck.)

We had guests from New York, their Summer King, a Naga like man known as Nemo, and his Marshal, a Dragon like formed fellow by the name of.. ahh.. damn. Forgot his name. I REALLY need to do better at remembering names. :( We were joined by a new local, a hulking ogre by the name of Dion.

The Baba Yaga like hut David had found was in fact Maude's residence in the Hedge, so we began planning our assault, with our incredibly powerful New York guests in tow. We left a message for any other Lost who would arrive at the freehold later on, and headed to her old cabin in the woods to enter through a portal. Our angry booze selling Summer I mentioned? You know, Erin? She would be one of the few to receive our message and join us. And with the usual amount of grousing.

(I swear she and David are in competition for being the crankiest!)

Given our typical luck, David forgot how to actually open the portal, but with a little energon and a LOT of luck, we discover how to open it, which lead inside her hut. We find a fire elemental trapped inside her fireplace, writhing in pain. Removing him lead us to discover he was a Lost, burning in agony. We put the fire out, and anonymously got him to a hospital.

(With the amount of us who end up there on a regular basis we should probably be getting frequent patient miles. Or some really good insurance.)

We take what few books are found to be worthwhile, and the crew that went into the hut itself found a birdlike man's set of bones, charred and staked to a post. There was a sigil clawed into the wood. The crew that went in decided to burn it down, and eventually they all met back up. (Yes, someone got separated. Quite foolish. Always stick with your squadmates!) Of course, now our secure portal to the hedge no longer exists.

I can only do so much. I also find out that the captive soldier we grabbed a few months back, Doug, was no longer staying with my dad who apparently missed him leaving one day. I really need to get pops off the bottle. I am getting him to move and get a new trailer somewhere else. Hopefully it will keep him out of danger. And we REALLY need a better place to hold captives.

(That reminds me. Have you found out where Mr. Stewart went yet? I found my dad, you should be able to get back yours, even if he is a private detective and well capable of knowing how to avoid being found. You came back from being missing so there is no reason for him to be searching for you, right?)

We discuss what to do next. There is an enemy camp in the Hedge with over 200 soldiers there. We finally notice Mia has arrived, hiding herself in plain sight as usual. Our plan turns into a recon mission. One team will form a distraction while the other is a secondary. This gives time for the Dragon Marshal to fly over the camp and see what he can see, given a boost into the air thanks to Dion and his Ogre-ness.

While planning continues, we attempt to get Mia to acknowledge Darryl as the Winter King so he can take his place in running things. We show her the symbol from the post, and we begin to have an idea that the previous Winter King, Dave, may have been the poor soul tied to it. With some coaxing from both of us, we lead Mia to Maude's cabin so she can see some of these things for herself. Again, the Hedge hut being burned down meant we couldn't show her the body itself. We did however show her the altar in the woods David has been putzing about with. Darryl not being the most evasive of people answered David's cell phone call with what we were doing in a level that angered him enough to show up there, even as I tried to mitigate the damage. David didn't want anyone going near the altar, but Mia wanted to see it for herself and I saw no reason for her not to. David may be one of us, but anything someone wants nobody else to go near is something that needs a second pair of eyes to check up on. And my deal is fighting for my brothers and sisters, my claws slashing the darkness. This magical stuff is not my strong suit!

He showed up and groused some, but we were able to calm his grouchiness down enough. Darryl then officially became Winter King, and that was that! On to the recon mission!

It goes off well to start. We fire a couple sniper rounds into some of the guards (dressed like Revolutionary War troops! Greatcoats and everything!), and then the other team gets into action when they are distracted, causing more havoc, and the Dragon gets airborne. But they see him and launch a flaming person at him from a catapult! We take some shots at our scout's new passenger, but it fails to dislodge him. He ends up crashing to remove the poor fellow, and the rest of us scatter and head back to the Freehold.

Our plan there now becomes one of disruption. We decide to take out their ammunition tents as that will not only slow them down, but demoralize them and give us and other Lost a better chance against them. We set up an ambush against their patrols, with David taking advantage of the propaganda against us that claims we current Summer and Autumn Kings are Loyalists. He tries to convince them he needs some of their ammunition to deal with rogue elements. (Which are really US mind you!) But its so badly done they refuse and PLAN B happens where those of us hiding move out to kill and capture the patrol. This works, with lots of painful hits taken (man these loyalists WILL NOT let go of their weapons regardless of how hard they get hit!), except everyone is so worked up, the entire patrol gets killed.

And with that failure David decides there is no other option but for him to attempt to morph his looks into one of the Loyalists we have fought, and to quietly sneak into the camp, find out the information we need, and sneak back out. His odds are not very good.

Eric, we may have lost one of our brothers to this plan. I could not stop him from trying such a risky and foolish stunt. I have yet to hear back from him, and his sacrifice may have even been in vain.

But for now, I watch, I wait, and I hope.

Your friend,
Rufus Landale


Yeah, a lot happened this session, and with time tight, and my projects many, this month its just a prose format. I have plans for another way to do pure text reports, but this month I didn't feel like going too crazy and inventive, and my idea had the chance to be more important than the information being relayed. Which in such an eventful month is not such a good idea. I will save it for when its needed. Plus it will be a good introduction for my other Changeling character, and his Hunter sister.

Eventually this blog will introduce you readers to most of the characters that ramble about in my head, though in many cases they will be tweaked to fit whichever game system and universe I am bringing them in to. If comics legend Osamu Tekuza could have a "studio system" where his characters were used in various stories and genres, why can't I?

Ok, BESIDES the lack of skill and talent. I already know that part...

Oath Update for February challenge!

My Elven fleet is coming along swimmingly, outside of the blotchy bits on the sails I had to touch up thanks to the spraypaint preferring to stick to the paper as opposed to the sail.


I'm probably gonna give them an Elf Grey drybrush, followed up by a blue wash. Then paint the nose art in a simple color (probably followed by a black wash), paint the sail masts blue, then maybe use some Eldar decals on the various ships to denote squadrons.


I gave a drybrush with old mid 90s Lightning Bolt Blue and I kind of like how it came out. (Right front unbrushed to show me the difference.) I might give the ships a black wash over that.

The sails obviously need the masts painted, probably in Foundation Mordian Blue and then that LB Blue over it. A little Foundation Yellow around the edges, and probably some simple symbols on the sails, plus maybe painting the nose art in a single color for squadron ID and I will be done.

Probably by next week I will be done with my oath!

But I am already ahead of the game with my boats, and I am enjoying the rules so far. I should be playing in February after our group's run of AT 43 takes a pause.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

February Painting Oath!

My Oath

(See November-December 08 for info on the Painting Oath dealie.)

Its not Games Workshop, but I want to have it painted by next month when I play some demo games with it.

I do solemnly make an oath to the naval trinity of Robert Shaw, Captain Dan, and Guybrush Threepwood that by February 23rd 2009 I shall have painted my Uncharted Seas Elven Starter Fleet consisting of 1 Battleship, 3 Cruisers, and 6 Frigates.

(Picture of what they look like here: http://www.thewarstore.com/product45288.html )

Current status: Models washed and cleaned. Priming beginning now.

I know... Its damn dirty, snobby, poncy, emo ELVES, but they are pretty ships! And if I like the game I plan on buying the Dwarf fleet starter next. Its cheap (25 bucks for the Dwarf fleet compared to 40-44 for the other 4 current races), and its DWARVES. IN CIVIL WAR STYLED IRONCLADS.

My paint plan: Have them primed and base color spraypaints by next Monday, and then fully painted by the next Monday if possible. (Blue hulls, yellow sails (like the 40K Eldar Alaitoc craftworld!), colored nose insignia. Dark blue wash, light blue drybrush, blue or brown for the sail masts.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Quick Reminder!

The current sections of the Adamythryl Engine are the boring parts of an RPG I as a reader usually ignore. The lists of skills, powers, and equipment. The part the munchkins read in their endless quest to make RPGs less fun for everyone by breaking it.

These list sections below, and the ones that are to come will be updated at multiple times even after I post them, so feel free to go back and look at them again from time to time. Or don't and wait for the inevitable alpha playtest version in a fancy PDF format. Now with 25% less randomly capitalized words and 25% more consistent term usage!

Edit: Skill list should now be as complete as I really need it to be. I will probably end up adding more skills as needed, but I think I have a good list so far. Next week it should be time for Talents! Optional Rules section updated on 21 JAN.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Adamythryl Engine! Part X: The Optional Rules

Welcome to the new name of my silly homebrew RPG!

What better way to start off its new title than with an ever updating section with all those overly detailed optional rules that while they give flavor, also increase complexity?

First up is a repeat from an older section:

Tech Levels of Skills: Skills have 3 tech levels. Primitive (human history up till 1900 or so), Modern (1900 through 2030 or so), High Tech (Guess!) Each tech level of a skill counts as a seperate skill however a primitive version of a skill can use it with penalties towards Modern, Modern can use their skill with penalties towards Primitive AND High Tech, and High Tech and use their skill with penalties towards Modern. (This penalty is -3 for Simple skills, and -6 for Complex as opposed to the -5/-10 for normal untrained use. And you DO get your skill still added to your attribute check!)

Take Security as an example. While the basic concepts of locks and traps is enough for a Modern skill version to do the basics of both High Tech and Primitive, there is too much different between an old 1800s lock and eye reading bio heat sensing electronic locks hooked to the Galactic Meganet. Yet to the Modern user there is enough of both in current systems that he or she can at least give it a go.

Automatic Attribute Check Passing: If your check modifier is +11 or more you auto pass just like how a -11 is an auto fail.

Advanced Machine Damage: Normally when a suit of power armor, vehicle, or mech is damaged, it keeps working fine until you get it to zero damage. This new rule can add a little flavor. Also it replaces the combat action allowing you to aim for a system. You aim as normal, but the effects work as below. A successful aimed hit causes 1d2+1 hits to a system of the attackers' choice.

Now, whenever a mechanical armor or object gets under half of its damage, every damaging hit that it takes, including the one that brought it under, causes a systems damage check. You roll on the chart below, and each hit you caused reduces that system by one with its applicable effects. 3 hits to a system destroys it, and a 4th hit shuts down the machine entirely, though the machine still has whatever (if any) remaining damage left.

Note that skills or abilities capable of repairing systems can be used by characters to fix their machines in the heat of battle and its a lot easier to fix a broken system than the entire machine as it is in the normal rules. If a machine doesn't have one of the below systems it is considered to be the No System Damage result.

Chart: (d20)
1-8 : No system damage.
9-12: Motive systems.
13-14: Sensors.
15-17: Weapons.
18-19: Internal Mechanics.
20: Instant System Destruction.


Motive: Movement reduced by 1 for every hit. When destroyed machine may not move at all.

Sensors: Vision reduced by 1/4 maximum range, and any actions requiring visual or sensor driven actions have a -2 modifier. When destroyed the modifier is either a -8 through impossible depending on circumstances. (A windshield is a sensor, so its possible a character could break it open, look out the side window, while a submarine underwater would be nearly impossible to do anything while submerged.)

Weapons: 1 weapon is destroyed. If no weapons an arm or other form of manipulator is. When destroyed all weapons or manipulators are destroyed.

Internal Mechanics: All actions involving movement or other physical operations have a -2 modifier. When destroyed the machine is immobile but may fire weapons straight ahead or if man powered (like the machine guns on the top of a tank turret), you may fire in a reasonable arc.

Instant System Destruction: Roll a D4 with 1 = Motive, 2 = Sensors, 3 = Weapons, 4 = Internal Mechanics (reroll destroyed or nonexistent systems). That system regardless of condition is now considered to have taken 3 hits.


EMP Systems Damage: (Connected to the above rules) Certain weapons don't damage things permanently, but can easily take out mechanical and electronic systems and the like without causing serious damage to a machine. We call these EMP weapons. When an EMP weapon hits a machine, it does its damage as a number of effects (1 per point of damage) rolls on the System Damage Chart above. At the start of each turn of combat 1 system point is repaired from this sort of damage, controlling player's choice. 4 or more points does disable the machine, and all points are recorded as the machine will naturally shake off the EMP effects after enough time (and a little repair work maybe!) has passed.

Any machine that takes 10 or more points of EMP damage total is automatically disabled for d6x10 minutes. The total EMP point count on a machine can NEVER go higher than 10. Additional EMP damage becomes permanent systems damage beyond the 10 point threshold.


Free Skills and Hobbies:

Starting characters get 2 simple skills at level 1, or 1 complex skill at level 1, plus Basic Education at level 2 to start. These 2-3 skills DO NOT take up one of your total number of known skills but they do cost the normal skill points to advance.


Making more/less heroic games:
This can be done easily by raising or lowering the amount of starting talents and powers characters get. Normally, it is two of each at first level. A high adventure game could increase these starting amounts to 3, 4, or up to 6 depending on campaign. A low heroics game could have 1 of each, or even no starting talents and powers at all.

And a preview of one of the more off beat Talents I had to add in: (I'm also writing it down so I do not forget. Future generations may NEED THIS INFORMATION.)

Great Hair: Your hair.. its AWESOME. And because its awesome, you are more awesome. It doesn't matter whether or not its a kick ass beard, fabulous sideburns, or the ultimate in manly, the afro, your hair makes you kick more ass than normal people do. Once per game session before making the check, if you try to do something awesome, you may use the power of your hair to ensure that if your attribute check is a failure, it becomes a success, and if the roll is a success it becomes a critical success with the GM to determine what that does if for some reason you decide the powers of your awesome hair aren't being used to beat the spit out of somebody.

If you are roleplaying in a 70s or 80s modern era someone in the party should probably have this talent. Shatner's toupee in TJ Hooker was clearly why he would have had this talent. Also many old school anime characters had this talent. So did rock legends Led Zeppelin and Queen.

More advanced rules to come from time to time! This way I can keep the main game simple, but add in those complex rules some folks might like!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I've got a playtest adventure idea in mind for my game system!

Which I am now calling the Adamythryl Engine! (Ooh... FANCY! And there are no Google hits for the name! And only a few for another spelling of it. Funny, I thought I made that unimaginative metal up when I was 13-15 or so!)

But here is a teaser for the first adventure:

"We Can't Stop Here, This Is Goblin Country!"

In a post armageddon Earth where the foul forces of the child of Tiamat, Vedaan has been defeated, the fantasy world of Narfindor merged with Earth, as if it was destined to all along. Now 2 years later people are slowly coming to grips with their altered world.

In Las Vegas a tribe of the formerly nomadic desert warriors known as Orcs have decided they like this civilization and money thing. The formerly subservient but cruel Goblins learned quickly that lots of submachine guns make up for any strength advantage the more balanced Orcs may have once held. Warmaster Duggie with the help of his "Big Camel" has brought Vegas back under the control of the Mob, run by him. (Dissenters get fed to the camel. Who is not a camel. Nobody who has met it has returned to tell the tale.) In one of the early battles a major warlord sent to quell the Goblin rebellion was knocked out and heavily injured. Waking up near a pirate themed casino he remade himself into Hooked Pete the Pirate, and reforged his soldiers into dune buggy driving privateers, taking a number of casinos for themselves.

The Goblins control most of the city, and have Trolls stationed at the Hoover Dam all but controlling power. However without a steady supply of everything the jewel of the desert will fail, and while Mobster Goblins won't keep gamblers away, the lack of supplies due to Orc land piracy will!

An uneasy peace has been forged, but both sides want the satisfaction and honor of controlling the entire town.

The players join in here for whatever reason. Are they working for Vizier Araj Val who wishes to see the Orcish people continue to be mercenaries and travellers, embarrassed at what some of his people have become?

Are they journalists sent to report on this strange new state of being for what has always been one of the biggest freakshows in America?

Are they simply travelers who have heard about the tiger patterned Mer exotic dancer whose beauty and movements helped make Duggie's casino the king of the Strip?

Are they special operatives sent by a US government stretched to its limit after fighting demons, monsters, and dealing with the kinds of racial friction one would expect from having people from a fantasy world appear out of nowhere after what many thought was the end of the world?

In the post Armageddon Earth, anything is possible!

Starring our pregenerated cast of explorers:
Father Tim Greyson, a pistol packing Priest who saw things during the war that made him question how he followed his beliefs.

Tyrone Williams, who thought his mean streets were filled with terror and violence until he saw monsters, and saw that unity could bring people together.

Mary Flanaghan, a school teacher who learned that even the creatures that gave her students nightmares could be defeated by a little faith, and a BIG hammer!

Josh Garcia, an ex Coast Guardsman who still has survivor's guilt for the fall of Los Angeles.

Tracy Wagner, a college art student "finding herself" after a vampire coven decided her school wasn't going to get back to normal after the war.

I would say more, but then I would be spoiling more than I already am!


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