Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kickstarter Madness - Wild West Exodus

Kickstarter has been a good and a bad thing for me. I am following some cool things and buying some cool things, but there are just too many cool things out there, and not enough time to invest or play them.

This one is a perfect example. The game looks cool. The miniatures look cool. The price is very reasonable for what is being offered.

The reality - even if I did paint enough miniatures to play the game, I would probably not have anyone to play it with.

As the effort moves on and more cool items are added, I find myself still wanting to try out the 'Wicked Level' which would give me enough to play. However, the next level up, 'Fiendish', offers almost double the base offered (rulebook, 2 factions, etc), with some additional bonuses thrown in for only about double the cost.

So here is my offer. I am currently in for the 'Fiendish' level as an early bird. I would like someone I know (or at least trust) to go in with me on this. For say $75, you will get 2 full Factions (28 miniatures), the rulebook, half the scenic bases, and the matching bonus miniatures for the factions you choose (the wave 2 bosses, 2 of the ladies, 2 of the totems/dark council).

I will retain the other bonuses like the merc crew, template set, and the rotten module. Now for $40 more, you can pledge yourself at the Wicked Level and get a bit more of what you would be getting by going in with me.

Just thinking out loud here...I would not need any money up front to help pay for the pledge once this ends. That can all be settled up later. If you know me, have met me, or we have corresponded via other blogs or Trollhalla and you are interested, let me know.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ragnarok Part 3 - Desecrations, Lacerations, and the End of the World

(Part 1 - Click Here)
(Part 2 - Click Here)

With their new Forest Troll companion in tow along with 'Skizzo' the ratling, the group moved along to the other door in the kitchen. The Dark Elf did some silent scouting and found out the door lead into the main chapel area where 4 dark elf guards were currently stationed. They were standing around the main altar in the vaulted room. Upon reporting this to the rest of the group, the Human asked Skizzo where the crown was. He said it was beyond the double doors behind the altar, leading down to the Peryton's lair.

The Human asked the Mountain Troll to take out the guards. Dutifully, he charged the 4 dark elves with his crowbar and unnatural strength. After skewering one, impaling another, and driving a third face first into the altar, the fourth was left with the easy choice of begging for his life. 

The Forest Troll then stepped forward and began to rip apart the dead bodies of the dark elves, pulling out their organs and defiling the altar with their viscera. He then pointed at the remaining dark elf and demanded that he recant his religion here and now or he will kill him. Faced with the deranged stare of a Forest Troll that could rip his arms off, the dark elf reluctantly recanted his dark elf gods.

The rest of the group were a bit shocked by the Forest Trolls antics, but proceeded with their mission. The Human declared the captured dark elf's name was now 'Skizzo Jr', and the Mountain Troll and the Dark Elf upgraded their melee weapons with a few of the dropped scimitars of the guards. The Human also declared that Skizzo Jr was now Skizzo's servant (or dogsbody) and allowed Skizzo to order him around. They also asked him to open the doors to the Peryton's lair. He produced a key and opened the doors.

The Dark Elf proceeded to creep down the passageway to the Peryton's lair with the Mountain Troll and the Forest Troll following behind. The Human asked Skizzo if there were anymore Dark Elves in the priory. He said the head priest would be in his chambers and would show him how to get there.
Down the pathway to the Peryton's lair, the Forest Troll suddenly disappeared and suddenly as he appeared. The Mountain Troll and the Dark Elf shrugged and kept moving down the corridor. The Dark Elf brought out his bow and got close enough to see the Peryton and measure out a shot. He nodded to the Mountain Troll and took his shot, hitting the Peryton with an arrow while the Mountain Troll charged in. The Peryton's scream affected the Troll, slowing him down to half his normal speed. Another arrow hit the Peryton while it charged the now slowed Troll and pinned him to the ground, goring with its antlers. Another arrow from the Dark Elf found its mark while the Troll grabbed the Peryton forcefully thrusting it off of him and finishing it off with the blow.
At this time, the game was paused while Tom told about what was happening in the sky. Fenris wolf devoured the Sun and the Moon, shards of the sun falling from the sky and down to the ground. Ragnarok had begun.

The Human had been searching the chapel area for some loot before following Skizzo to the door leading further into the priory and to the priest's room. After the Sun and Moon were devoured, the door flung open and out came the priest, half dressed and ragged. He saw the disemboweled dead bodies on his altar and looked at the Human. A comical scene followed with the priest asking who the Human was, what happened to his men, and what is going on in the sky.
"Did you see what happened!?"
"What happened to my men?!"
Back in the Peryton's lair, the Dark Elf grabbed the crown and had the immediate urge to take it for himself. Knowing well enough that the Mountain Troll would tear him limb from limb, he decided to try to run away. At that same time, the Forest Troll reappeared and the Dark Elf rolled a critical failure trying to get away, falling to the ground. The Forest Troll then grabbed the crown and had the same urge to keep it for himself, attacking the Mountain Troll. The Mountain Troll killed the Forest Troll with one swing from his scimitar. The crown dropped to the floor and the dead troll disappeared once again, going to the 'death' GM (Paul).

The Dark Elf wrapped the crown in a cloak and the two returned to the chapel where they saw the Dark Elf priest emphatically reveling that it was the end of the world and the time for Loki and the giants to take control of the world. He said that everyone needed to go outside and start destroying the shards of the sun that fell from the sky. The group decided that is well enough time to kill the remaining priest and Skizzo Jr. before heading outside to start retrieving the shards of light.

Outside, they saw groups of 'Woe Hounds' going after the shards and devouring them. Figuring that the evil gods wanted them destroyed, the group decided they could use the crown to curry favor with the gods and collecting the shards would also be a good thing too.

© 2012 Mike Hartlieb and Peryton Publishing, used with permission. All rights reserved.

They approached and dispatched one Woe Hound. They then tried to catch and prevent another pair from getting to the next shard. The Dark Elf was able to slow one down using his bow, while the Human rode forward to slow down the other, giving the Mountain Troll time to catch up and help dispatch it. After collecting two shards, more scenes played out in the sky. Heimdall and Loki killing each other (I think) and the blood of the gods falling from the sky. Random players were touched by the falling blood and granted some bonuses to their attributes.

Tom then brought the worlds back together and wrapped things up. Tom can explain the way he wrapped everything up a bit better than I can.

Below are the scribbles that I pulled together during Ken's seminar. Overall, I think everyone had a good time. Two of the guys in my group are local and I got their contact information. Both are interested in playing some more T&T. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ragnarok Part 2 - Assault on the Dark Elf Priory

My adventure revolved around the group trying to retrieve an Elven Crown that has been taken/stolen by the Dark Elves. The characters immediately created their own back story where the human rogue had hired the Dark Elf and the Mountain Troll to help him get the crown.

Having the Dark Elf in the group who had the Talent of 'Dark Elf Lore' (or whatever Kopfy called), allowed the character to draw upon his knowledge regarding traditional Dark Elf temples and so forth. As far as teh group could tell, there was only one way into the huge gothic structure in front of them, through the main doors. A successful check later against the Dark Elf Lore talent, he did recall that these places usually have a hidden access tunnel for supplies, servants, and others such things.

If you ever watched the Ghost Hunters/Ghost Adventurers shows, my inspiration for this was the 'death tunnel' at the Waverly Hills Sanitorium.

After leading the group to the periphery, they did indeed find this tunnel. It was locked with metal gate. The Mountain Troll wasted no time with his 102 STR ripping the entire door off its hinges and casually tossing it aside like a toy. The Dark Elf led the way into the dark tunnel.

I must say this group got along great and really played off eachother. The Human Rogue was the weakest character in the lot, but played a very boisterous, money bags employer. A few times, he would remind the Troll and the Dark Elf that he was paying them good money for this and they needed to do this or that. He also sounded alot like Seth Rogan, which was kind of cool too. The Mountain Troll played the dutiful retainer, happy to not have to think too much and just crack skulls when he was asked to. The Dark Elf also leapt right in with his character, picking two ice picks as his weapons because it made sense for his character. He also utilized the talents Kopfy assigned to him very well, both the Dark Elf Lore and the Shadow-walk type of talent, basically sneaking in the shadows type of thing.

On the way down the pitch black tunnel, the group noticed a pair of glowing orbs turning a corner and steadily moving towards them. The Dark Elf immediately went into a defensive posture and made a spectacular saving roll to jump up and prop himself in the corner of the ceiling ninja style. The others did their best to crouch down or attempt to set up some form of ambush. The glowing orbs came closer and closer and when they eventually came within in range to where the group could discern what it was, they saw it was the Kremm glowing eyes of a zombie.

Another successful Dark Lore roll and it was recalled that Dark Elf Priests like to create and 'program' zombies to do mundane tasks and they will normally not be aggressive unless given a direct order by their creator, or attacked directly.

The Dark Elf jumped down after realizing what it was and told the troll to leave it be. Sure enough, the zombie sauntered on by with a sack of garbage over its shoulder, slowly walking towards the exit of the tunnel. Covering the rest of the length of the tunnel, it ended in a open room filled with smoked meats, hanging meats, vegetables, freshly baked breads, and barrels of ale. There was also a nice stash of wine. After partaking in a quick feast, the group noticed some sounds of clanking dishes past the doorway at the top of the stairwell in the cellar room.

The Dark Elf climbed the stairs and cracked open the door. In a kitchen were about 10 Ratlings busilly working/cleaning in the kitchen; washing dishes and so forth. All of them were wearing worn but nice tunics and each had a dirk strapped to their belts. After reporting this to the Troll and the Human, it was decided the Troll would lead the way with a frontal assault. The Ratlings did not know what hit them.

The first five in range of the Troll tried to put up a fight, but once the Troll pulled himself through the doorway, the melee was over before it started. Ratlings were grabbed and smacked together, back handed, and spliced by a very strong Mountain Troll wielding a crowbar. After the first round, 5 ratlings lay dead, but a dirk was just barely sticking in the side of troll, jiggling a bit until the troll pulled it out and dropped it to the floor (1 Spite Damage).

One of the remaining 5 ratlings ran for the door on the other side of the room while the Troll bashed and spliced again. This time 2 tiny dirks were left sticking out of his hide (2 Spite Damage). The Dark Elf nocked an arrow and let fire, dropping the running ratling to the ground. During the carnage, from the safety of the cellar doorway, the Human played an inspiring ratling slaying song on his lute.

The ratling hit by the arrow was not quite dead.

"Yieldssss...Yieldssss I ssssaayyy. Plleeassse, don't smassshh Skizzo!"

"Well, if you want to live, you are gonna show us where the crown is", said the Human.

"I knowsss...Skizzo knowsss where it is. It is down the path it is!"

"You work for me now Skizzo. Do as I say, and you will be treated well."

Meanwhile, a new figure appeared in the access tunnel. A Forest Troll was chasing down some goat somewhere else, now this is where he found himself. He followed the strange music and his nose to the sweet smells of the meat and bread in the cellar. Grabbing a leg of something in one hand, and a loaf of bread in the other, he climbed the stairs and entered the kitchen.

When asked why he was there, he said he did not know. When asked if he wanted to help them get the Elven Crown and the Human would pay him handsomely, he accepted.

~ Next: Part 3 - Desecrations, Lacerations, and the End of the World

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Ecology of a (Ragnarok) Event, Part 1

August 2012
Tom and I agree to approach BASH at the University of Toledo to see if they would in any way support bringing in Ken St. Andre as a special guest. Our goals at that time:
  1. Would BASH be interested and would they pay for the hotel room for Ken
  2. Organize some form of large scale T&T event for Saturday night at the convention
October 2012
No activity at all on the BASH Con forums and no response to the emails I sent out regarding Ken. I reached out to Tom and told him we may need to make a phone call and I would rather he take the lead since it was his money being offered regarding the plane ticket. We decided since this was a student organization, we may need to reach out to an administrator at the University to find the proper person to contact.

Late November 2012
Tom decides the large scale T&T event will be called 'Ragnarok'.

December 1, 2012
I say, "So...tell me about this Ragnorak scenario."

Tom's response:
Well think of three tables full of players, Ken playing the Trollgod, as an uber-GM. You and I as managing GMs. A third GM as the God of Death. 
Players will play Vahallans (godlings), Migardians (humans), trolls, dwarves, elves and goblins. All throughout a couple lands. A lot of battles. The Jutans (pronounced Yutahns) will be gathering under the leadership of the dread Ymir.
December 3, 2012
Tom posted the details for his event to BASH Con.
GM Name/Names: Ragnarok: The Role-Playing Event 
Game Name: Tunnels & Trolls 
Game Description: Baldur is dead. The ice walls are encroaching on the world. Fernis has devoured the sun. Come play an Asgardian, a Middle Worlder, or a Troll in this role-playing event so titanic that it requires three GMs, and a death god. 
Day: Saturday, 8pm-Midnight
December 30, 2012
After some emails and phone calls between Tom and the convention organizer, not only will the group be bringing in Ken as a Special Guest, they also offered to pay for his hotel, his plane ticket, and to provide transportation to and from the airport.

January 7, 2013
Tom announces on Trollhalla that Ken will be the special guest for BASH Con. I posted on this blog the same information. We reached out to Dan H (another Ohio troll) to be our 3rd GM, the God of Death.

January 20, 2013
Tom and I meet via Google+ web chat to discuss what we need to prepare. Here are my notes to that meeting:
Asgardians - Humans, leprechauns or elves with an attribute over 50. It is assumed that they are associated with one of the Asgardian gods, the player can pick which one. 
Middle-Worlders - Any Kin, but mostly humans, dwarves, hobbs and orks. They are the most numerous and most of the action of the game is going to happen in their realms.
Nether-Worlders - Any Kin really, just with the unlucky fate of being born in one of the hinter-realms of the cosmos.
Baldur is dead, The Sun gets eaten, The sun gets destroyed...The two groups will fight eachother - but not kill eachother.
January 23, 2013 and the Wednesdays that follow
We had a agreed to meet and talk each week on Wednesday night to get everything coordinated. We did not meet...primarily because I bowl on Wednesdays. I never said we are very good at planning.

At some point in February prior to February 13, 2013
Tom calls with news that Ken has not yet received his plane ticket. Initially, Tom had planned on buying the plane ticket. He was duly frustrated in that it was BASH that made that offer and now BASH that may not be able to buy the ticket after all. We had discussed that if this thing falls through and Ken does not come in, then we should not show up and run any or our games. We did hope for the best, but we also did no further planning for the event. At least I did not.

Let it be noted that we only talked about not showing up...we would have still showed up...it was our way of trying to be rebellious.

February 13, 2013
Confirmation from Ken that he now had his plane ticket. I confessed to Tom that I had no clue what I was expected to do for the Ragnarok session. Some of my best games I have pulled out of my arse.

February 15, 2013
The first night of the convention and we meet for Tom's annual Friday night game. Trollhallans in attendance include Khenn Aarth (the Trollgod), G'noll, Kopfy (Tom), Perryton, and myself. At dinner that night, we briefly discussed that if we do not get many players for the Ragnarok event, Tom can either continue his game or Ken could run something for us.

February 16, 2013, 6:30 PM
Ken is running a 'How to T&T' seminar with 7 or 8 eagerly engaged attendees. While he is giving his presentation and pulls them in to start rolling dice and create some characters, Tom pulls me aside and tells me what he wants me to do.

February 16, 2013, 7:00 PM
"You are gonna be in 'blah blah blah', and you will have a smaller group of characters. They will be trying to get an Elven Crown out of a Dark Elf Temple."
"Ok...what are the types of guardians this place should have, other than Dark Elf priests or guards?"
"Hmmm...Ratlings, blah blah, and you can have larger monster, like a Peryton. Maybe it has like 3 spells it can cast."
I brought out my notebook, sketched out a basic design for the Dark Elf Temple and wrote down stats for Ratlings, Zombies, and the Dark Elf guards. I went out to my blog site on my kindle where I posted a 'Meandering Monster' entry for a Hippogriff. I figured it is also a large, winged, and beaked monster; I could borrow from that a bit. I then created my version of the Peryton and I was at least ready to go with something.

(Perytons are not really beaked though...oh well...I was in a hurry).

February 16, 2013, 7:30 PM
Tom and Paul (G'Noll) leave to get ready for the Ragnarok event.

February 16, 2013, 8:15 PM
Ken's session is going really well. He had run a few small encounters for his group and was in the middle of presenting some of his wares for sale, including a few 7.5 Fiery Dragon boxed sets (one of which was purchased). Paul came in the room telling me that Tom was looking for me - he was almost done or in the middle of character creation for 10 players that showed up for the event. He needed me to be there.

After watching over Ken's wares while he ran to the bathroom, I grabbed my stuff and headed down to the room.

February 16, 2013, 8:30 PM
Character creation is in full swing and everyone seems to be in a really good mood and having fun creating their characters. There were at least 2 Dark Elves, 2 or 3 Trolls, 1 or 2 Minotaurs, and at least one human and one elf. All the characters were equipped and ready to go. Tom randomly determined which character was going to be 'Balder Reincarnate', and randomly determined the 7 characters at his table and the 3 characters at my table for the assault on the Dark Elf Temple.

My group: A Mountain Troll Warrior (with 102 STR and 102 CON), a Dark Elf Warrior (wielding dual ice picks and a bow), and a Human Rogue (his chosen spell - 'That's a Natty Beard').

~ Next: Part 2 - Assault on the Dark Elf Priory

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Stay Alive! Character Sheet

I kept a lot of my files on a zip drive because my work computer has software like Photoshop and such that I do not have on my personal computer. A few months back, that zip drive became corrupted and I remember lamenting that there were definitely some files that I did not transfer to my PC.

One of the many was the originals that I worked on for my SA! sheet updates.

Here is the new and hopefully improved version of the SA! sheet that I worked on tonight. I updated the ranges based on what we did in the 'Solo Adventures', re-added the sections for Possessions and Missile Adds and weapons, and I updated some headers so it is more clear on what each cell is supposed to represent.

Tom G. - I can send you a full PDF version if you like.

By comparison to the 'Mickey' Sheet...which was reduced in resolution when I converted it from the original PSD to JPG...which is why I did not use it to recreate an original. I also changed the SA! header to a more standard font because of 'permissions' reasons...I will figure out a way to remedy that.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Peryton Gamers - Gen Con 2013

Update 3/26/2013
One additional game for Friday (Spacers, Rocket to Nowhere). At this point, we are waiting for Gen Con to approve all of the entries after which I can request the badge codes.

Update 2/23/2013
One new game for Saturday (T&T, Temple of the Hag), and I moved my Game of Thrones game to Sunday so I can play in a friend's game on Thursday.

The first wave of event submissions is complete and here is what is on tap for the Peryton Gamers for 2013 in Indianapolis. For anyone that is interested in running a few games for us this year, please reach out to Tom, Robin, or myself. So far, we only have 3 takers on our offer to run some games and get a badge.

Total number of T&T events at this time: 7

The RPG rooms in the Marriott have 4 tables per room. We will more than likely be assigned a single room where all of our events will take place. We already have some nice overlap of games on Friday and Saturday. It would be good to fill in some spots on Thursday if possible.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Precognition - something cool that almost happened

The wonderful thing about role playing games is that you never really know how things are going to work out, despite the best planning. The more incredible thing is when you game with kids, the unpredictability is even greater.

I run a AD&D game for the kids where the 12 year old is playing his second character. In this game, he is a half elf Thief-Acrobat, the cousin of a major political family in the city they are based out of. The 7 year old has been showing interest in playing, but she is still not to a point where she wants to learn rules and such. She is a half elf Thief-Mage that pretty much has any 1-3rd level spell that the group needs. She tends to run away from conflict initially, then lets me know what she wants to do. I then help her with her actual course of action. It is fun, and it keeps the boy's character alive more often than not because he tends to run his thief like his 100 HP Barbarian.

His character also has psionics, so he has a few special abilities associated with that 1st edition system. One of these is 'Precognition', which gives him a chance to determine the possible outcome of an immediate decision. He attempted to use it earlier in the adventure and the role was not successful.

However, later on in the dungeon delve, they burst into a room where the two dark elf opponents were aware and waiting for them. A few bad roles later, the entire group was dead, dying, or running away.

Ding Ding...Precognition....

I said stop...and to the boy...reverse back to you opening that door. What just happened is the vision that you got when you touched the door.

Both kids got a bit excited and actually came up with a decent plan on how to handle the situation a bit better, and the outcome was far more appealing to them.

Good times...