Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tom Smith/Gen Con 2012

     Saturday night, 10 PM. at Gen Con and I found myself at the Tom Smith concert. I was minimally familiar with his music, that he was a filk performer of some renown and having listened to his Driving through Ohio repeatedly. (off the Earpicac cd) Mister Smith did not disappoint. His songs were fun and clever, with pop culture references abound. Just a few songs we heard were Spoiler Alert, Telly Taley Heart (to the tune of achey breaky heart), and my personal favorite, I had a Shoggoth. I had a Shoggoth is on his free download page, and is originally from the FuMP and is extremely entertaining.

     So, I just discovered that Tom is an award winning filker and frequent guest of honor at shows all over the place. Really, all over the U.S, Canada, and even England! So if you get a chance to see him at  a show, I highly recommend it. If you cannot, then check out his cd.s here. I am sure you will be glad you did. As always, please leave comments or questions, and take care!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Headlocked: What's Your Story

     So, a friend of mine has a game he is trying to get off the ground, called Headlocked. He (Andy Fix) describes it as a game about the art of pro wrestling. (check out his nifty little video here) Art you say? Yes, art, we know that wrestling is not real, but basically there is a story behind all of the fake hits. It uses the Fate system, and Fred Hicks from Evil Hat Games gave it a bit of a plug. In wrestling you have heels, basically the bad guys or jerks. Then you have the faces, the ones whom everyone loves. So you and your friends get together and say "I want my wrestler to be despised by everyone, but somehow turn around and be redeemed." The Fate system is all about working with the other players and connect your story with theirs.

     I have heard of some people saying "What, another wrestling rpg?" and I was confused, since I have only heard of the WWE: Know Your Role rpg. Apparently there are a few more out there, but since I am not a gamer who is also a wrestling fan, I had no idea. So, the point of this is here is this game, I am not a huge wrestling fan, but if my friends who are wanted to play, I wound jump at this one. I also wanted to get the word out, especially since he has a kickstarter going. Please check it out, and let me know what you all think.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nicholas Briggs!! and Big Finish Spare Parts audio

     I went to the Who NA booth to purchase the Big Finish audio Spare Parts, and discovered Nicholas Briggs there. The voice of the daleks and cybermen, signing autographs and playing with his modulator, it was so cool! I purchased the audio and Mr. Briggs signed it for me. Of course, after walking away I thought of all kinds of things to say/ask him. Such is life.

     I listened to Spare Parts on the way home from the con and I loved it. They fact they used the original cyberman speech pattern is awesome (though they made so you could understand them). The story drags a bit in a couple of spots, but really turned out great. There are several nods to previous cybermen episodes, especially The Tenth Planet. Just seeing the forbears of the cybermen, before they are/were converted is a little chilling, a feeling of inevitability washing over the story at times. Even though this is from 2002, I do not want to get too much into the details so as not to spoil it for people who have not experienced it. Please leave me some comments so I may try and improve this blog, thanks.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

I feel a Gen Con comin' on!

     So, Gen Con 2012 is here, as many of you know. My twitter feed, as well as Facebook, has been inundated with posts from the show. It has been awhile since I have attended, so I am very excited. I will try to take pictures while at the show so that I can share with all of you guys.

     I plan on playing in one of Sean Fannon's Shaintar pick up games as well as hanging out with Andy Hopp, possibly playing Low Life with him. Other than that I am hoping to possibly get in on a Labyrinth Lord game. Anyone out there going, let em know? Take care everyone!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shaintar and Gen Con

     So Gen Con looms so close yet just out of reach. Sean Fannon will be running his awesome Shaintar setting and I was going about updating a character of mine for his new beta rules, that you can find here! I got caught in expanding my back story, then I saw others had come up with actual stories, so I decided to put mine out there as well. I hope it has some redeeming value to it. Let me know what you think.

A Dwarf Reborn
     Taryn Shaleskin seemed a typical dwarf, despite his dusky skin he diligently studied about masonry and how to combine natural rock formations with solid dwarven craftsmanship. He had already been caught picking the lock to the pantry several times, but when his teachers discovered him attempting to disable the traps in the catacombs beneath the school, that was the last straw. Taryn’s parents were called, and when they arrived to pick up the young dwarf, scolded him profusely.

     “What kinda life were ye lookin fer?  Ye better get started straight away on clanhold repair, bes’ be staying outta the kitchen, too” his mother growled, the promise of endless chores could be read in her stern gaze. Taryn despaired, a life of nothing but simple work around his families here and there was not something he was looking forward to.  On his second evening home, he managed to slip out, opening the locks and using his knowledge of crystallography to disable the guardstones. Free at last, he wandered not caring where his booted feet took him. He paid his way making some simple house repairs in the nearby Olaran village, the humans were amazed to see a young dwarf away from the clanhold.

     Somehow, his wandering took him past the border and into blasphemous land of Kal A Nor. Sleeping under the stars was new to Taryn so he had covered himself completely with his blanket. Shortly before dawn, a border patrol was moving through the area and stumbled over Taryn, embarrassing a guard who actually fell over the prostrate dwarf.  

     “Damned heathen scum!” shouted the captain of the guard, starting to draw his sword. The disheveled guard who had tripped over Taryn turned and kicked him in the head with his steel shod boot. Thinking him a spy as well as an affront to Ceynara, their twisted goddess, they bound him roughly and brought him to a nearby guardhouse for interrogation.

     Taryn awoke on the floor of a cold, stone cell. One leg shackled to the wall, he brushed bits of dirt and dried blood from his face. Suddenly the stout wooden door opened and a guard pulled him from the floor while another removed his shackle. Soon he was strapped to a table, being screamed at and spit upon. They felt he was a spy, but it did not help that they hated anything “less than human.” Across the room lay another dwarf, this one had been beaten and seemed like he was not long for this world.

     “We captured your friend a few days ago,” one of his interrogators croaked “trying to spy upon us! He was found stalking one of our patrols!”

     “Perhaps we should show you what’s in store, maybe you will be more cooperative than him.” The man moved to the other dwarf and grinned, the poor dwarf groaned and then spit into the interrogator’s face. The man’s face twisted in rage, as he backhanded the prone dwarf.

     At that moment Taryn heard shouting from outside the room. The clamor of metal striking metal caused Taryn’s torturer to turn as the door burst open, revealing a brutish ogre. Before the brute cross the distance, the interrogator drew a dagger and plunged it into the beaten dwarf’s breast. A cry of rage broke the ogre’s lips as he broke the man’s neck. From behind the ogre came a tall graying man, wearing a long gray cloak, ragged leather armor, and a grim expression.

     He cradled the dead dwarf’s head, then turned to the ogre “Shakalla. Bring a stretcher, we must get our fallen brother away from this wretched pit. Give him a proper burial.”

     Shakalla stalked out of the room mumbling about having something in her eye. Taryn lay there in shock, wondering what would happen next. The man in the gray cloak turned to Taryn “Did you know our brother here? “ Taryn could only shake his head. “Grog had a huge heart, which is how he came to my attention.”

     The man came over and removed the straps that had restrained Taryn. “Grog was a great dwarf, no one can replace him. Get out of here, go back to wherever you’ve come from.” He then turned and left the room, brushing past Shakalla and another man.

     As the ogre and human carefully Grog on the stretcher, Taryn felt a fraction of their loss. Here was this dwarf, defiant to the end. If he could somehow prove his worth, to be at least half as great as Grog had been, then he could someday go home with his head held high. As they quickly marched off, he decided to follow them. These, oh what did he hear one of them say, these gray rangers!  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Coming soon (Harrowfaust, round 2)

     Working on upcoming hooks for my Harrowfaust game, using recent posts from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque for some cool ideas. Just a teaser, I am calling one story idea ,Cannibal Holocaust. looking forward to letting you know what happens next. Take care everyone!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Harrowfaust (Labyrinth Lord) Game

     Yahoo!! I ran a game of Labyrinth Lord set in Harrowfaust, from the Tales of the Grotesque and the Dungeonesque Gothic fantasy setting. Harrowfaust is the region that the vampires vs. pennagalan and is populated by superstitious peasants. My three players decided to run a paladin, fighter, and a magic user. They are started in the village of Bremond and have joined with a group of sun worshiping vampire hunters who hide in an abandoned church.

     The leader of the hunters, Cristoff, tried to convince to the group of the reality of vampires. The players remained skeptical but are willing to stick around if there is pay involved. Cristoff then sends them to the home of the village elder, who will be expecting them, to retrieve a few items hidden under his floorboards. Also, recently the local baron has sent a representative on an inspection of his lands, the group should be wary of this individual.

      Upon arriving at Jean Michel's hut, comes out of a neighboring house to tell them that he was chased out of his hut by some vicious looking rats, so to be careful. They entered and located to hole where the items had been stored and also the giant rats had come out of. The items (two bags of grain and a bottle of holy water) were gone, presumably with the rats down an ominous tunnel.

     Viola, the fighter, set to crawling down the tunnel when it collapsed into a cave. Quin, the magic user tied off a rope and climbed down with Alexander, the paladin. As they looked about the area, seven giant rats leaped upon them. After beating down the rats they found a trail of grain leading through a tunnel into another cave chamber. Crossing the chamber, they were set upon by three giant centipedes, scuttling after them. Finishing off these three creepy creatures they then came upon the object of there search, a room whose floor was cluttered with various mushrooms and fungi. Giant rats skittered amongst them, hiding their numbers and across the room lay a rather large specimen, even for a giant rat. amongst the debris and detritus scattered about this lounging beast was the bags of grain as well as gleaming bits of treasure.

     What followed was a close fight for their lives as the group battled nineteen of these giant rats, only to have the monster rat at the end leap from it's throne of debris and wriggle away through a crevice. The group emerged triumphant, though sick from whatever disease the rats were carrying and that is where it ended. I am hoping to continue with the story next weekend. Take care everyone!