Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #28: Meanwhile, Back at the Chateau...

12 HexDec 1070 - Hydincall, Kingdom of Crosedes
As the green mist surrounding Duane Alberhold's brothel finally dissipated, the entire building disappeared, leaving parts of the root cellar.  Talis Makolin, bard and lover extraordinaire, had just been chased out of the brothel by his irate barbarian travelling companion, Rolf Wolfsblood, but now he stood in the middle of the street with the party's new purchases in a wagon, and their new friend dim-witted ex-gladiator Brutus, leaning against it.

"Crud. Brutus wanna go up to Eding with me?  I guess there's plenty of room at the Chateau."

"Sure Dallis, let's go..."

With the bulk of the party missing, and many of Hydincall's wizards, alchemists, and magic shops looking for the pilfering Talis, consulting with Echelon, Carthon, Mohammad, and County Zabty sounded like the safest option.

20 HexDec 1070 - Chateau d'Echelon - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Talis and Brutus finally brought the wagon up to the Chateau and immediately informed the other party members of the situation.  Assuming that their missing companions were fairly experienced adventurers, and there were no clues as to what happened, they assumed their friends were smart enough to find a way home.  Those at the Chateau decided it best to stay there, work on improving the estate, and help Eding when needed.

The simple village of Eding...
29 HexDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
The village and its surroundings were subject to days of horrible storms, plus a few tornadoes, flattening crops and causing  significant damage.  The citizenry were frightened, and many families began packing up and fleeing to Omsjik.

31 HexDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Barrack, former owner of the Blue Wizard, and disgraced militia commander, spoke to Prince William about resuming his duties as community leader, as he had under Baron Athelstane.  Prince William outright refused and their vociferous debate on the village green was the talk of the town for day.

35 HexDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Barrack had continued his campaign to help lead the rebuilding process in Eding, until one of his daughters discovered him dead in a privy behind the Inn, a dagger sunk into the center of his chest. The captain of Prince Williams' "baronial" guard, a chap named Rogard, launched an investigation. 

Echelon took up where Barrack left off and began to immediately petitioned Prince William to formally acknowledge the cleric as a leader of the village, to coordinate tending to the crops and keeping the peace.

Talis launched his own investigation into Barrack's death, but found little.

21 SepDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
The weather over the past month had been most erratic, the day scorching hot, even for late summer, and the nightly storms extremely fierce, pounding the town.  The storms must have stretched up into the mountains, because cascading waters then swelled the river.  Many areas are flooded, including Lansluck, many halfling villages and Eding itself. Echelon dispatched the other residents of the Chateau to the village and the halfling towns (but not as far as Lansluck) to help as many people as possible.

Needless to say, many crops were failing at a critical time.

8 OctDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
After the flood waters subsided, a plague, probably caused by the mosquito infestation, swept through the valley.  The only man with enough true healing powers to fight the sickness was Mohammad, and he was working night and day to combat the illness.  Still more people escaped Eding.  Words like "accursed" would come out of their mouths during their farewells.

14 OctDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Echelon and Talis continued to seek audience with  Prince William about community leadership.  He had rejected every proposal presented to him, preferring to stay within the walls of Athelstane's old manor, surrounded by Athelstane's old guards.   Some of his old friends were coming to aid the village, and they were more powerful that the Chateau's roster.

22 OctDec, 1070 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Echelon went up to the see Prince William yet again and found the townspeople revolting and surrounding the manor house.   Echelon ran back to the Chateau for reinforcements and Talis went to help William.

Talis tried not to harm the villagers too badly as he fought his way to the Prince.  Rogard was leading the revolt and the only factor keeping them from seizing them was that William's allies had just arrived they seemed better organized that Talis' group, but they had already lost two of their own to the peasants.

Talis used his magic and his blade valiantly to help save William.  The villagers torched the manor house as Talis escaped with the Prince and his surviving friends, Rurik Bloodblade, a viking warrior from Wyrmnal, Fiame, a cleric of Akana, and MacKay an aging Mymidion.

DM Notes:  Welcome back to the past in Crosedes, from the moment the brothel disappeared.  I had a few sessions with Talis and Echelon's players the week before finals and well before we started the Talislanta summer sessions.  The best part of all was that everyone kept their part of the story secret over the Summer, so when our heroes might get a chance to reunite, the updates will finally hit them like a ton of bricks.  

Prince William has been granted absolute power to control Athelstane's land around Eding by the King of Crosedes.  He might be a great paladin, but the idea of making decisions in a crisis affecting thousands absolutely petrifies him.  

William's friends, Rurik, Fiame, MacKay (and the recently deceased Billo and Travis) were the party that the Archbishop sent to recover the Bell of Chardastes after it appeared our heroes failed in their mission.  

Next #29  From Bad to Worse

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Magic: The Gathering - Arena of the Planeswalkers Board Game at Five Below.

Outside of helping Maja write an actual graphic novel using Rory's Story Cubes, it's been very light gaming-wise this weekend. 

With the kids off to an amusement parks Halloween festival with family, my wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary a day late, with childless lunch at TGI Fridays and an exciting hockey game between the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and the Syracuse Crunch. 

Unfortunately, even in our relaxed state, we're so efficient getting out the door and eating that we had 90 minutes to burn before puck drop. 

Working on a rumor I got last week, I suggested the chain Five Below, which, if you don't have girls under 13 in your house, is effectively a store where everything is five dollars or less, and 80% of the merchandise drives young girls into madness.

No need for Shopkins, cute t-shirts, and forty horrible shades of nail polish, but my wife confirmed the rumors by pointing out this before I could find it:
This is Magic: The Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers board game.    Over two years ago this was solicited through the hobby store channels , and I asked two questions:  How much was it, and how deep was this getting distributed, because the company was listed under Hasbro rather than WotC.

Two years later, it's on clearance at Five Below for five dollars, well under the $30.00+ retail price I've seen on FLGS shelves. 

To be honest, even before reading the rulebook, it's not a bad deal.  Thirty plastic figures (ten of them with a "speed paintjob" from China), some battleboards, some dice akin to BattleMasters, and a shiny black d20 equals an impulse buy that might be useful. 

For five bucks, I'm surprised I only bought one.   Sure, it's toy company quality sculpts that might be a smidge small for 30mm, but I can think of nowhere else where $15 would net you six hellhounds and a vatload elves, phoenixes, and various warlords and beasties. 

I'll even try it out to see if it plays okay...

It's no Kay-Bee Toys deal for Star Wars Figures and D&D modules from the early 90's, but I'll take it.

FYI:  No Five Below in your area, I did find it online at Target for a little over $17.  Still not a bad price....

Steelstacks Gamecon - Saturday, November 11, 2017

Live in the Lehigh Valley and can't make the hike up to Mepacon?  Don't fear, Steelstacks Gamecon will take place that Saturday, November 11, 2017 in Southside Bethlehem from 12-4pm.  

Although it is $8 admission and only four hours long, it appears the organizers are focusing on as many 20-30 minute games that they can get their hands (and there are a ton!).


Friday, October 13, 2017

300K For the Gnomies!

With the help of bots from Italy, the Ukraine, and Russia, plus the views of thousans of real people, Gaming with the Gnomies just hit 300,000 page views.

I already provided by plans for world domination this year a mere two weeks ago, so not much has transpired.  My crazy busy season at work and the kid's activities have kept me from the basement, but I have gotten some time beyond my two-hour online RPG sesion in the office to work on a slew of projects.

I did take a minute to go through the blog journal, just to make sure I still had all my plans were still in the queue.

  • Adventures in Gulluvia:  The relaunch of the old weekend group on an online platform is progressing slowly, but I think I have enough options for them, plus a few scenarios from some peculiar sources.
  • 5th Edition D&D: Oh what fun it is to play a mixture of Robin Hood and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.  Falgor the Barbarian rocks!
  • My Little Pony:  Reviews of the Core Rulebook and Curse of the Statuettes are pending.  I have a little administrative work to do, but the multiple sessions at Mepacon are ready!  
  • Fall-In!:  Finally registered, room reserved
  • Pulp Alley:  It took a few days of digging through my junk mail, but I did find my Pulp Alley Lost World of Lemuria PDF that they sent directly to me.  Still planning on Season 3 of the Pulp Game to be back in "Egypt," but it's a fun campaign to run for future sessions.
  • Risus: Going through the Blogging Journal, I re-discovered the previously shelved "Planet Mirrorball."  With the cancellations of the 5e game, Risus - IOU will make a comeback after attacking the water plant.
  • PROJECT ZERO:  Super-secret project I can't discuss at all.  Only thing I'll mention has been missing my nightly writing goals of a 1,000 words a night.  Getting that corrected ASAP.
The furnace needs to be serviced, so I'll be downstairs shortly.... and revisit the painting bench.  

"The Weekend" is Moving

"The Weekend", the annual small convention held at the Continental Inn in Lancaster, PA is moving in 2018!

Calendar-wise that is.

The location and activities are still the same, but the convention will be moving from June to April 11-15, probably due to either date availability, or the grand impending return of Historicon to the Lancaster Host this July.

It doesn't affect my season hockey tickets, so color me intrigued.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Reaper Mousling Ad in White Wolf Magazine

Flipping through the Halloween issue #48 of White Wolf, circa 1994, I come away with a few things.
  1. It was chock-full of edgy, pretentious BS back in the day.  It's pretty tame compared to the wackiness at the ends of the spectrum we're dealing with today.  That is neither a compliment towards their writing, nor of the current situation.  
  2. $3.95 for a magazine was an acceptable price for a guy who just had gotten a job for minimum wage ($5/hr) at New Frontiers in the Phillipsburg Mall selling Magic cards.
  3. Ken Carpenter was one of the only reasons I read this magazine at that point.  A Fantasy scenario and a review for Legions of Steel? Totally Sweet. 
  4. A note that issue #45 had an editorial about the movement to remove lead from minis.  Oh the barbarity! 
  5. The current reviews I post from time to time or little better than the schlock review for TWERPS Space Cadets 2nd Edition in the capsule reviews.  
  6. The #3 best selling gaming product for that August was Jyhad Booster Packs.  The only two products in the top 20 that weren't Wizards, TSR, Palladium, White Wolf or FASA?  R. Talsorian's Castle Falkenstein.  I may post that list later.  
  7. It was the glorious early days of Reaper Miniatures as they had commissioned Terry Williams to sculpt some of the original Mouslings (and the long forgotten Verminites).
Dollar minis.... oh the memories....
7. The dude reviewing TWERPS Space Cadets 2nd Edition was me...