Monday, May 11, 2015

RPG Retro Reviews

Many of you might not know it, but I do a video blog, and review Old School D&D modules, and rules sets on YouTube. Please, take a minute to check out my channel, RPG Retro Reviews!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Just Wanted to Say HI!

OSRBaron has graciously allowed me some space on his awesome gaming blog, so I will most certainly be adding a few witticisms of my own... though, I dare say it will be difficult to match the humor and amusing look at gaming, and our own campagins that OSRBaron does. I will do my best.

Shameless Plug

If you haven't checked it out, please, click the link below, and check out my YouTube channel: RPG Retro Reviews. A look back at old D&D Edition, modules and reviews. Also, a 'how to' series on the newest (5th) edition of the game! Check it out!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Upcoming stuff

As an easily distracted person I find myself away from the blog a bit too often.

However . . .

I am working on a couple of posts to be out up soon. Both are game play journals, one for my game and one for CaptCorajus' recent game. We'll be playing another installment of his game tomorrow, so I am a bit behind.

Meanwhile here is the title for the Capt's last session: Fe Fi Fo F#$k! Don't look up!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Prop Dusting - Combat Tier by Tinkered Tactics

The issue of elevation in game play has been a conundrum from the start of miniature war gaming on through to current times in role playing. Every method from stacking dice, using string to hang figures from lamps, to stacking smaller tables on top of the game table, and writing elevation on small pieces of paper have been tried.

Plenty of companies have produced gadgets to help deal with the problem in more elegant ways than notes, string, furniture, and dice stacking.

Among the more interesting are Dr. Wizard's Patented Elevation Indicator, an acrylic cylinder marked with numbers and multipliers. Bands are placed around it at the numbers indicating how high the figure on top of the cylinder is at present. Reviews seem to indicate that the Indicator only comes with a single band to mark the elevation and additional bands can be purchased. Reviews also mention that the bands slide around too easily on the cylinder. Another obvious drawback is, what do you do if another figure has to be directly under it?

Another option is from Litko, they produce a number of game enhancement items including invisible character and monster stands, torch stands, and their flight stands. I have all of these, yet have not used them for one primary reason. I have not put in the effort to locate a glue that will dry clear and stay clear, and I'm picky about yellowed glue on clear plastic. My secondary reason is working out safe storage to keep them from breaking once assembled. I plan to eventually use the flight stands in combination with the Combat Tier by Tinkered Tactics.

I own two of the Combat Tier Family Packs, because during my move I initially misplaced the first set.

These are sturdy acrylic stands that can be adjusted to provide various elevations. They are clear allowing players to see through to what is around the figure. They also fairly strong, but I won't be putting anything breakable on them that could fall or topple the tier. No finely painted metal minis or resin figurines, plastic minis only. I might try putting some dwarvenite terrain higher up to represent flying dungeon locations.

Take a look at the pictures below. These will give you some idea of how useful they can be, and should provoke the imagination for other ways to play with the combat tier. The pictures below show just one set.

 No, cat, you cannot play with my Combat Tier set.
 As you can see, it is possible to get some serious height using all of the extension pieces.

Warning to my players - these can also work well for underwater depth indication.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Winter Wolves and Surprise Elves

The most recent episode of CaptCprajus' D&D campaign saw the party traveling further north through desolate and game depleted territory. A large wolf pack was stalking them at a distance until hunger, and the urgings of their Winter Wolf leaders drove them to attack the party just miles from the elven city they sought.
The pack leader, a large snow white creature, moved into our path and stood snarling, daring us to come closer. His pack mates then began to close in from the sides and rear, revealing two other winter wolves and a dozen or so common wolves, all of them leaner than normal. 
Torul advised the party stay close together and move toward the pack leader so the other wolves could be drawn into a tighter formation to make the party capabilities, especially those of the wizard, more effective.
The fight began and Sophia shut off the right rear flank with a web spell trapping two enemies and redirecting the rest to the left side of the party.
Hungrier members of the starving pack rushed to the attack and were swiftly cut down by a combination of Roysen's Spirit Guardians prayer, lethal crossbow fire from Mulva, and Torul's sword.
When most of the pack were in a very tight formation Sophia unleashed her newest toy, a fireball spell, killing most of the pack and seriously damaging the remainder. Those in the web suffered even more damage due to the web igniting.
A few of the wolf pack ran off to lick their wounds and find less dangerous prey.

And that is when the Surprise Elves showed up, crossing between realities to partially surround the party. In the ensuing conversation they admitted to having observed our fight, but decided not to help us because we seemed to be doing fine on our own. Surprise! (Translated from elven - expend your powerful resources before we show up so we're less likely to get killed if we decide you aren't welcome on our snowy turf - foreigner.)

Would they have been more inclined to help if we were fighting a dragon? Somehow that seems unlikely.

Sophia revealed the artifact she carried and the surprise elves suddenly became much more welcoming. (Oh crap, they brought back our happy fun ball!) Surprise right back at you!

The party was led into the heart of the elven city and presented to their queen, to whom Sophia presented the magic Snow Flake of That's Right, We Recovered What You Lost.

The elves became sincerely friendlier now that they understood that the party were trustworthy despite being a foursome of murder hobos. In fact they became so much friendlier that they presented deli counter numbers 4 and 5 together.

You want us to what?

Ok, so we were very close to a portal that would get us back to the surface world and out of the Hollow World. But . . . there's always a catch.

It turns out that about 100 years ago, the elven garrison near the portal was attacked and driven off by a dragon which is believed to lair in the attached cave complex. Sometimes you just cannot choose your neighbors.

We were asked to investigate the ruins of the keep and see if it could be returned to elven control.
 Long story short (too late!), the party and a small detachment of elite surprise elves, went to the icy rift that the portal was hidden within to determine the situation. Mulva, invisible and very stealthy, crept close enough to Hailstorm Tower to witness and overhear some frost giants that now inhabit the ruins.

She saw a male and female embrace, obviously in love, and then saw another male come around a corner and start a discussion. Could there be an exploitable love triangle among some of the giant tribe? Would they be friendly enough to allow the party safe passage through the portal? Would a toll be charged? Had the giants killed, cowed, or allied with the dragon whose lair entrance was only 100 yards away?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Getting Hammered part 8

At the time I was planning out my new table, one of the items I wanted to get along with it were a pair of custom dice trays. These were to be gifts to two of my players, good friends that I have known for a very long time. Dan Fisher of Hammered Game Tables began work on these after the table and primary accouterments were done.

Here they are:
That's right, the artwork is a reproduction of a Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus. The player getting this tray used to be big into collecting MTG cards and had some originals of the card.
The second tray goes to my longest friend, CaptCorajus, who happens to be an excellent KJ and DJ. That is his company logo in the dice tray bottom. He teared up when he saw the tray for the first time.

Eventually I plan to have more trays produced for another couple of long time friends and gamers, but those will have to wait for now.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Prop Dusting - Large Bull Elephant Miniature (aka Supermarket Toy)

Walking through the grocery store mid-week, I happened upon a bin of children's toys. Among the pile of animals and dinosaurs was a figure of a large bull elephant. It appeared to be about the right scale for use with D&D and Pathfinder Miniatures so into the shopping cart it went.

Getting it home I immediately placed next to a mini and lo and behold it indeed does look well matched to be the kind of large bull elephant that might be encountered by adventurers.

Here in all its glory I present Deathbo, Dumbo's bigger meaner cousin.

One good fireball and the whole village is having pachyderm steak for days.