Monday, March 13, 2017

Hobby Update: 13 Feb 2017

I have been quite busy the last two weeks, and decided to share a hobby update.

On the miniature front, I finished four Stormcast Enternals with a fifth waiting for some paint on its wings. Currently on a holding pattern until I get to the hobby shop afterwords  expect some pictures. In the mean time I have started an additional five which have been base coated.

I participated in another monthly event of Star Trek Attack Wing. I didn't manage to buy the scout cube but I did pick up another Dominion ship to start building out that fleet. That places the number of events at two! However, they were not the only games I played!

My weekend two weeks ago was filled with awesomeness. First, my sister and her husband visited for a Saturday play date with the kids. Me and the brother-in-law took advantage of this. Last year he expressed interest in miniature gaming so for Christmas I bought him a starter box of Malifuax Gremlins. As you can see, not bad painting for his first time. We played a henchman battle to teach him the game. I played a wonky Neverborn crew using Candy. No real combos but it was just great playing the game again.

Later that night we also played a game of dominion. I have the Alchemy expansion but I think it is time for an additional one as I feel like the game is getting a bit stale.

That was not the only fun that weekend! Joey came up Sunday to spend the night. Hearing that I played a game of Malifuax, he asked that we do the same. We decided on a massive 50SS game which allowed him to use some new models he picked up for his Outcasts. It was a pretty tight game, I was trying to maneuver for objectives and he was going straight towards the face. I love how this game focuses on attaining victory points rather than simply trying to table your opponent.

Latter that night we played dominion again with my wife, yup time for a new expansion. In the morning we played STAW and then headed downstairs for another round of Malifuax. This time we played a smaller game which allowed me to bring out my own Gremlin crew for the first time. They are definitely fun to play, but the strategy rolled against me and I don't have the additional models to adjust the game plan for. It was still a fun match, and really renewed my zeal to play the jump back into the game.

In regards to RPG side of things, I still have not managed to play any games. But I am posturing for it. I worked out the playing schedule with the Ultima Forsan group and I think I picked out what campaign I will be playing for the Sunday crew. Expect more latter.

Hope you enjoyed this. What plans for the hobby do you have the next couple weeks?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

On My Radar: Five RPGs campaigns I want to run.

Hello all!

I snagged my first player for my next online group, though I may be kind of cheating as also plays in my first group. I figured he would be interested in joining another game that promises more consistency. I am going to ask a few other friends and then open invites up to readers of the site if I still need more. Till then, I need to decide what we are going to play!

I have narrowed down the list of potential campaigns to five. They are:

Zeitgeist: The Gears of Revolution (EN Publishing) -

Steam and soot darken the skies above the city of Flint, and the choking products of its industrial forges sweep from the majestic harbor to the few rain-forests that dot its knife-toothed mountains. The Unseen Court, the Great Hunt, and the many spirits of the land no longer receive tribute, but they cannot enter these new domains of steam and steel to demand their tithe. The impoverished workers who huddle in factory slums fear monsters of a different breed, shadowy children of this bleak urban labyrinth.

Times are turning. The Skyseers - Risurs folk prophets since their homeland's birth - witness omens in the starry wheels of heaven, and they warn that a new era is nigh. But what they cannot foresee, hidden beyound the smog of the night sky, is the face of this coming era, the spirit of the age. The Zeitgeist.

This is a massive steam & spell campaign that will take players from level 1 to 20. Everything I read suggests this is one hell of a setting which challenges both the GM and players. This one requires commitment but the pay off seems to be an endings that players will discuss for years. My concern is that it may be to much for me to pull off at my experience level. It is also only available in Pathfinder or 4E D&D, neither of which I have any experience in. But it sounds so cool!

The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley (Frog God Games) -

Finally, welcome to the World of Necromancer Games! From Bill Webb and Clark Peterson's home campaign comes the old-school setting of The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley. For over a decade, fans of Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have been asking to see the world behind the adventures. And at long last, here is where it all began, in the Stoneheart Valley near the town of Fairhill. This mini-campaign was originally presented to the fans of Necromancer Games in three separate modules: "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Crucible of Freya", and "The Tomb of Abysthor". Frog God Games has taken the full series from the 3E version plus supplemental material previously available only online, and converted it all to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system and the Swords & Wizardry Complete ruleset.

This satisfies my desire to try something old school. I researched the Lost Lands for some time and am desperate to jump in. From what I gather, this collection of three adventures offers a way to introduce players to the world that Frog God Games has created. The only downside,  is that it can be brutal on players that want to go full ham, regardless of using the S&W or Pathfinder rules. My preference would be S&W and as long as I warn my players not to get attached to their characters it should work.

One of the most critically acclaimed campaign out there now completely converted to Pathfinder!

The Road to Revolution is a complete 320 pages campaign designed for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Set in the Great City, this epic campaign takes characters from their humble beginnings, all the way to powerful adventurers upon whose actions the City will come to depend. The Campaign Arc contains six adventures in all, each written by the original authors of the Great City Campaign Setting. Arc adventures can be played individually or linked with others in the series to create a complete campaign

I added the flyer due to the lack of excitement in their back cover description. While they should work on their pitch, this campaign does seems interesting. So much so that I already purchased it last month. It is based in 0one's Great City which has its own massive setting book. Both the city and the adventure arc is full of grit. I wouldn't go so far as to call it dark fantasy. It is just that to survive the Great City, one needs to tread carefully and refrain from insulting potential enemies. The Path to Revolution contains six adventures which focuses heavily on political intrigue and investigations. Add some unique encounters and this campaign could be the perfect step in learning to GM.

Necessary Evil Explore's Edition (Pinnacle Entertainment) -

This is no simple reprint! Pinnacle Entertainment's classic Savage Worlds setting with super-villains saving the earth has returned better than ever. It's reformatted to the wildly popular Savage Worlds: Explorers Edition-size paperback with updated rules. The plot has been expanded to include a new ending, giving you 110% of the story of the first edition. The new edition also has new art, with two dozen pieces added. The Fate Of The World Lies With The Scum Of The Earth! When the super heroes of the world are blown to kingdom come by an unstoppable army of invading aliens, who will save the day? Evil... The only forces left to take on the alien menace are the crafty and self-serving super-villains! Necessary Evil is a supers game done Savage Worlds style. Inside the twisted Plot Point setting are complete rules on making four-color super-powered characters, over seventy super powers, a whole pile of adventures weaving in and out of a resistance story, new Edges and Hindrances, a bestiary of out-of-this-world critters, and more! Necessary Evil requires the Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game to play.

While deciding games for this list, I had to include a Savage Worlds campaign. The problem in picking one is that most settings lack a full length campaign and the few that do tend to be all highly regarded. While these are not bad traits, it does hurt in trying to choose something that meets the criteria of a pick up and play group. I finally picked Necessary Evil due to the reviews and the angle it employs. The Players are super villains who fight alien overlords... ummm, yes please. While this plot point campaign uses the explorer edition of the SW rules, I don't foresee a problem running quick updates to the latest deluxe rules.  

Red Eye of Azathoth (Kobolb Press) - 

Kings die, nations crumble, and madness trails in the fiery wake of a comet called The Red Eye of Azathoth. Do you have what it takes to battle across history against the Mythos horrors that surface under its lurid glow?

• 887 AD, Holy Island, English Northumbria – As blood rain falls and the dead rise, Viking invaders and English monks must join forces or perish in a Lovecraftian nightmare.

• 1287 AD, Iwaizumi, Japan – Snowbound Samurai must unearth what lies behind the village where babies cannot cry and an abomination hangs lanterns that shriek with a thousand voices.

• 1487 AD, Valencia, Spain – Heretics must escape torture, prison, and the clutches of angels to expose the Spanish Inquisition’s true purpose.

• 1587 AD, Roanoke Colony, The New World – Colonists face flayed horrors that hammer on stretched-skin drums to reveal whose knife dug CROATOAN into the Lost Colony’s tree.

• 1887 AD, Desperation, Arizona Territory – In the series’ explosive magic-and-gunpowder climax, condemned gunfighters unravel the last skeins of the millennium-spanning mystery and stand alone against the full Mythos horror of The Red Eye of Azathoth!

Ia! Ia! Take your players to the mad reaches of our past with 108 pages of epic horror, complete with player handouts, new adversaries, and pregenerated Investigators for each time period.

So yeah, this is a bit different. REoA is a Call of Cthulhu campaign which I so want to run, despite three glaring issues. First I need to go get a rule book of 7ed CoC. By that statement you are correct in guessing that I never ran a Cthulhu game before, which I image would make jumping into this campaign a bit rough. And the premise itself sounds like it would test my GMing chops. But it would be a hell of a feat.

So, there are the games I'm considering. I'm going to have the one committed player to check this out so he can offer his input. Have you tried any of these campaigns? Any really sound interesting? Let me know so I can make up my mind!

PS, all purchases using OBS affiliate links drops a few cents in my account to help with purchasing items that I plan on running and writing about. If you wish to avoid this but plan on purchasing the above products, simply visit drivethrurpgDOTcom and type the game in the search menu. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Random Thoughts: RPG Planning...

I haven't forgotten about you all, I promise! Preparing to move, working extra hours, actually enjoying the hobby, and spending quality time with the family has kept me busy. There are a number of posts in various drafts in the hopper so expect some within the next two weeks. Till then, I hope you enjoy this trip into where my mind has been!

One of the things interfering from effective use of hobby time is an abundance of choices. This began with a simple debate of running an pre-written campaign or one of my own imagination. Regardless of path, there are many options. Between reading Endzeitgeist or listening to Savage World podcasts, I've found numerous established worlds that I want to go out and explore. There are at least ten I can name without really thinking. To complicate matters, I have about five more worlds of my own creation floating around in my head!

The key to deciding what games to run is time. Other than the awesomeness of some pre-written worlds, being able to grab something already created and running with it has some appeal. Some settings even include epic adventure paths that span multiple sessions and levels. To run these, reading through of the material is the only prep needed. Downloading the products to my kindle allows me to read during lunch. Now that is efficiency! Two downsides is the danger of railroad

Running something of my own creation requires a greater commitment of time, especially considering the need to adapt rules for the setting. Once that is done, then there are all the adventures that need to be created. This amounts to time, and if there is anything that learn from this blog it is that time is valuable and must be managed!

I mulled over all these choices this weekend. Today, I decided the best plan is to pick a goal and just run with it. I have decided to run three different games.

First is the Ultima Forsan game I am running with my brother, cousin, and friend. After talking to each of them and we agreed to finish our first season and then make an effort to play more regularly. This game pretty important to me as I know the guys I'm playing with, feel safe GMing for them, and love the setting. Savage Worlds is also a breeze to run. My PCs all have histories that the players and myself still want to explore. The plan is to play every other Thursday. By the way, the 3rd AAR should be arriving shortly.

Game number two most likely will be another online game. The goal for this one is two run a loose campaign similar to Pathfinder Society or D&D Adventure league. This allows players to participate when they can, and run one shots or small adventure arcs. I am leaning towards one Sunday night a month for this one. Once I have somethings ironed out expect to hear more, I may even ask for players!

Finally, I want to run a homebrew. I picked out one setting already know which ruleset will be used as a framework. Ideally I will play at my local gaming store. However if I use the ruleset that I want to, I may need to go online to find enough players. Before I actually get to the point of making that decision, I am going to take a month or two to flesh out the world and game mechanics. I am already working on my first post about this one, so stay tuned.

So these plans should keep me entertained for the near future.

What were your deciding factors to run the games you current GM?