Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019 Warpstone Cup

Summer 2019 Blood Bowl League Proposal



Open source living rulebook. No cards or fancy gimmicks, no KEEP PURCHASING model. You have a squad? You’re in. THE GRINDER WANTS MORE MEAT. THE PEOPLE ARE RESTLESS AND IN NEED OF DIVERSION

First half season regular pitches only

Then biweekly Streetbowl/Beach Bowl/DungeonBowl/BridgeBowl events as the Warpstone Falls From the sky

The finals include DungeonBowl and regular pitch events - driven underground, the fans' insatiable blood lust cannot be denied, quenched, or postponed on account of weather-like events!

You can own multiple regular and minor-variant teams in the league to pull models to make legit DB college teams, or not, as you like. (Like, a regular BB team and two Streetbowl teams, for example)

Submit shared Freelancers and arrange to use custom and classic star players. I was thinking some sort of Mordheim-like warpstorm would promote hiring of converted/kitbashed journeymen with different monthly themes, so your stock human team could be a spaghetti-like mess at the end of the season, fit only for immolation. Like: May means a superfluity of Undead stalk the land and so Skeleton, Zombie, and Ghoul Journeymen are now available for everyone. June means dwarves and halfling Freelancers are available since the hills and mountains have been smashed up by warpstone-fall. Any non-usual (to your base team) weirdos come with animosity automatically, but you can use any upgrade to REMOVE it. Bones McRattleton proved himself to his new team mates in less than 2 games! If you have a model, all it has to do to get on the pitch by the end of the season is to be painted and in the right colors.



I think I have BB17 humans, rats,Old 40k Dark Elf conversions in process but I like the new sets so much I may shelve them. Was also working on converting some 40k/fantasy Orcs into a smallish squad (thanks, Baity!)

Amber college team is complete - maybe some effects (the blood for the blood god makes me pretty happy). Vallejo mud and rust look great just sprinkled liberally on everything

Anyway, this is my brain trying to shake off the cold and imagining happier summer times

If I were commissioner, in the current political climate, I would totally make bribery cheaper and more legal, and tied to the President's poll numbers and things like the GDP, just for a laugh.

DIY #screenprinted T-Shirts for all participants! Available in Green-on-Black, or in classy (effeminate) Black-on-Green.

The Winner's Cup is a beautifully purchased Goodwill-store goblet, festooned with hot-glue, acrylic crystals, and day-glo paint (I actually want to do this now just to make one)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Mini-Review: Osprey's Last Days

My particular hard copy arrived after the USPS claimed it was probably lost en route... About a week and a half late, but hey! There wasn't any rush and I got it for maybe 15 bucks or something, so no harm done. A good looking book with great art, nice photos of well-painted minis (mostly Hasslefree, I think?). Simple, although maybe too many stats, is my first thought.

It's fun, and well made, some other people have done it better and more thoroughly. I like that there is some within-team tension, and I like that you don't have to use weird dice (this is my least favorite thing about the Walking Dead game, all the dumb weird dice)

Coulda used some more rules on varieties of zoms, maybe (note: easy enough to hack, on my own) and the effects that non-meshing builds have. For example, there is a rule that your leader  can "Have the Talk" with a member of the crew who doesn't share the same psychological tag as him or her. Well, that's great if you want to keep hiring on gangbangers or something if your leader is a Nice Guy. But! There's really no bad effects from having a team member on board who doesn't fit within the preliminary team-building guidelines. Say you pick up a couple of real bad hombres in the course of play, either through capture or rescue, or whatever... I get the impression this is an eventuality that might occur. Until you "Have The Talk" with them, some morale deficiencies owing to disharmony seems pretty reasonable, until at last they defect and hit the road, or else come around. So: team members who don't share tags with the leader don't follow orders, or maybe loot counters they get don't have full value, or something. It seems like this must have been included in there at one point. A great number of things occurred to me whilst reading that were like O THATS COOL, THEY MUST ADDRESS THAT LATER, but then i got to the end of the thing and that was it.

I guess I like the book as a physical object. The margins seem sort of wide... Like a Freshman English essay? Like, hey man, use a slightly larger font, make the margins smaller, the book slightly shorter, whatever. I felt like even the low price I paid via the sale was sort of paying for a great deal of empty layout. Too much white space in my game books makes me nervous. Frostgrave has that feeling, also, and it's my goto favorite wargame for a good long while, but Frostgrave is nice and tidy and a complete package.

Good Things: it hints that there is a really good game in there, somewhere. And it seems like it was probably much grander in scope than what we are given. The 'DLC model' of releases is fine, I guess. The impression I had is that some of the more fun stuff that was in there must have been advised or edited out. Like "THIS IS TOO COMPLICATED MAN CHOP IT OUT" and then they had to bump the margins larger to account for missing space.

As a comparison, Mantic's The Walking Dead : All Out War has made me feel tense and nervous and (dumb weird dice aside) there is a real feeling of dread that comes through in playing the game. I start that game up and I wish my little people were some other place instead of on that 2x2 or 3x3 board. A very interesting thing is that TWD:AOW presents a 'solo version' of the game within the first few pages of the quick start. I wish that a lot of other pubs put out a product that didn't always make the assumption that you and a couple of friends could get together to play it. TWD:AOW seems to me more limited in scope, justified in its DLC model (Days Gone Bye is kind of a game-changer in terms of dropping custom figure rules), and chock full of zombie-apocalypse horror. On the flipside, I don't like to manage a bunch of cards and tokens and bits and bobs. One bad thing about Last Days is that every action accumulates counters (I guess you can put them on the fig's card instead of on the board) to keep track of ammo use and other conditions.

All in all, a good dame, needs a little polish and some at-the-table hacking but it's nice and neat and great in that it doesn't need a proprietary fig set. You just dig out what you have and use it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Lamentable Upper Levels of DunjonCorp Site C

I was toying around with a guitar and an electric organ and Tablesmith. All my creative outlets have DUNGEON on the front, and fuck it, but here's 50 rooms spat out by Tablesmith after I twerked on it last night and went to bed relatively satisfied with what it vomited up.

Each line is a room and the contents in the ostensible 1st level of a DunjonCorp thing. The level is adjustable and it has the same monster list as Kabuki Kaiser's Ruins of the Undercity because I like it, although I'm going to adjust it some (e.g. by adding monsters and mutations and psionics n shit). For some reason (my programming and preferences) the generator makes a lot of traps. Deep breath! Go.

  • Corpse renderer - breaks corpses down into 1d10 potions.
  • Slime Patches - 1 in 10 is monstrous and/or dormant .
  • Strong updraft air.
  • This room is trapped with Poisoned Arrow . 1000 current issue gold can be found here.
  • Fire - blazing fire in center of room.
  • This room is occupied by 12 Jinxkins. Glittering synthshells equivalent to 800 gold can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 15 Kobolds. Potion of Growth can be found here.
  • Weapon racks - 4 ancient mono-scimitars, void grenades, or blasters.
  • This room is occupied by 3 NPC Adventurers. Scroll: Ward against Magic can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 12 Giant Rats.
  • Warpgate to alternate dimension or plane. Circlet of Summoning Ghost can be found here.
  • Archway - stepping through transports to Astral/Ethereal/Dreamlands.
  • This room is trapped with Ball trap - all PCs in marching order DC 15 Reflex save. 5 Hematite 25gp can be found here.
  • This room is trapped with Falling Stones - d6 damage per PC.
  • This room is occupied by 3 Snyads.
  • 4 Mummified corpses: disturbing them causes Enrages PC or victim for 1d10 turns DC 15 Will save.
  • This room is occupied by 8 Brigands.
  • This room is occupied by 11 Gibberlings.
  • This room is trapped with Negative Energy Glyph - Save or lose 1 energy level.
  • Stairway to extra-/para-dimensional section of dungeon.
  • This room is trapped with Arrrow trap - unluckiest PC gets Attack with d20+5 1d10 damage. A Weathering Steel choker, worth 600 gold coins can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 14 Gibberlings. Glittering synthshells equivalent to 600 gold can be found here.
  • It is dusty, here. The dust is recently disturbed.
  • This room is trapped with Ball trap - all PCs in marching order DC 15 Reflex save.
  • Weapon racks - 2 ancient mono-scimitars, void grenades, or blasters. Strange alien metal beads worth 200 gold can be found here.
  • Magically confined monster - a Nycadaemon.
  • This room is trapped with Vacuum chamber - within 5 turns, the breathable air from this area and nearby 3 rooms is evacuated. Triangular coins of an alien material equivalent to 900 gold can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 7 Jinxkins. Apparatus of the Crab can be found here.
  • Mouldering Tapestries, worth 643 gp but weigh 1000gp.
  • Rotten flesh smell.
  • This room is trapped with Floor, collapsing - suddenly, the whole party makes DC 15 to avoid falling into the depths. Ancient bartering tokens equivalent to 400 gold can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 14 Giant Rats. Scroll: Spells (3) can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 2 Fire Beetles.
  • This room is occupied by 6 Gibberlings. Triangular coins of an alien material equivalent to 600 gold can be found here.
  • It is dim here.
  • Weapon racks - 3 ancient mono-scimitars, void grenades, or blasters.
  • This room is trapped with Burning Oil Shower - d6 damage plus 1 per round for Level 1 rounds. Strange alien metal beads worth 200 gold can be found here.
  • This room is occupied by 11 Giant Rats.
  • Archway - stepping through transports to Astral/Ethereal/Dreamlands.
  • This room is occupied by 15 Kobolds. Potion of Treasure Finding can be found here.
  • This room is trapped with Arrow trap, poisoned unluckiest PC gets Attack with d20+5 1d10 damage and random poison DC 15.
  • Fire - blazing fire in center of room.
  • Altar to Business/Commerce/Mammon - leaving money causes Ages PC or NPC by 11 years. High Tech: Chemical Sensor Functions on 1-19 in 20 can be found here.
  • It is dusty, here. The dust is recently disturbed.
  • Corpse renderer - breaks corpses down into 1d10 potions.
  • This room is occupied by 2 NPC Adventurers.
  • Trash incinerator - receive 5 gold/AL in antique coins for worhtless items.
  • Illusionary Ceiling - view the sky outside. Glittering synthshells equivalent to 400 gold can be found here.
  • This room is trapped with Earthquake .
  • This room is occupied by 10 Gibberlings. Flying Carpet and Scroll: Ward against Elementals can be found here.

The Dungeon of Depression - Good Riddance to 2018

This is a bit of a slog, maybe. So if you want, like, CREATIVE shit, maybe not for you today. Disclaimer. Spoiler alert!

I write a lot. A lot of stuff that I don't particularly put out into the world. I put out a lot of stuff that just kind of spills out and it feels right, and I don't playtest, or worry about it too much. I don't try to make money from it. I just want to get it out of me. If somebody else can amuse themselves for a spell with something I wrote, then terrific. I wake up almost every morning to RPGNow telling me that some unwitting person is taking a chance to download something I put on there, and maybe that's a good way to start the day. Also, coffee. I hope they don't see the flaws I see and that their fun continues relatively unabated without clarity or insight.

I feel a little adrift without G+ and the people in there. I struggled a lot with the commercialization of it. I'm a little anti-capitalist, I guess. I'm not saying artists shouldnt eat, I'm saying that turning play into art into a job is a regretful process. Play can be art. Art can be play. They don't have to be work. They ought not to come with a price tag, maybe. I don't know. I'm sure someone will lean in and give me a hard time about it but fuck it.

I'm glad I said it. For a while, it seemed as if it (Google Plus) was a perfect storm of people being creative and supportive, playing for play's sake. Then within the past 4 or 5 years or so, shortly after my kid was born, it seemed mostly like a thing to share Kickstarters on, and shelfies. Like conspicuous consumption. I read and erased a digital bootleg of R&PL, and you know, I don't think my impressions of it are, uh, impressed. (edit: unnecessary shit talking, sorry bros, left in for historical accuracy and taking a poke at capitalism felt good in the process) I don't get into discussions of what OSR is/isn't, but it's sort of like porn. I don't know the definition but I know it when I see it. I'm losing my thread here, but the reason why G+ died was because it became exactly what it was, namely a thing to sell stuff on instead of a place to share great ideas on. Promote, then publish. The promotion is the game instead of the Game Itself.  I look back and see that buying my way into a legit standing in the G+ community with a published product was what killed the thing for me. The fun. It killed all the fun. Don't get me wrong, I sort of dig wrestling with InDesign, but that's not the same as laughing hilariously at a game table with pals, or having that full-body thrill when you read an electrifying idea. Gus and Jarrett and Wayne and even Gorgonmilk (goblessim) and Emmy and Gavin and Ram and Kiel and Reynaldo and all those G+ people they gave me that brain-thrill and I been chasin' the tail of that dragon since maybe 2014 or '15.

I don't know where I'm going.

Every year around this time, I gotta slog out of the winter gloom. I found myself actually sighing in discomfort today. Not like exertion, I mean my back hurts a little from all the weight I put on during the holidays. But like legitimate existential ache. Like FUCK THIS IS WHAT A DEPRESSION FEELS LIKE. I been shaking my head about it since I was 9 or 10, crying about some girl whose name I can't even recall, her leaving the school, or that other girl that was mean to me. The fuck her name was? Who knows? Then, at that time, it was nice to hang my depression on the intricate social blunders and losses that every kid undergoes. But now, I see that my fascination for dungeons arose in tandem with my depression: correlated (I hope!) and not causative, but now I'm getting suspicious. At what point do you shrug off the internal mythology of the Archetypal Darkness, find The Treasure, and call it a day? Hang your gear on the wall and be like I USED TO BE AN ADVENTURER LIKE YOU BUT NOW I AM AT PEACE? I'm not saying I'm AT PEACE, what I am saying is that the filthy grime down here, and trying to delve it and conquer it, does not have the same appeal as it did when I wasn't seeing the connection clearly. I SAW THINGS YOU ... HUMANS WOULD NOT BELIEVE

You know when I want to think about D&D the most? After listening to the news. I mean, at least in an imaginary fantasy realm, I can come up from the depths and be like FUCK YEAH I BEAT THAT SHIT. Biweekly, on Fridays, I can really and truly say WE KICKED THE SHIT OUT OF THOSE EXISTENTIAL DEPTHS and get back to the day-to-day business of living and breathing and making sure my kid doesn't succumb to the same sorts of problems that have ridden me. Like, the spectre of depression flits around my house like a snarling dog inside a cute puppy and man I don't want her to be bit. Man, when we are all out of this collective dungeon of history, it's going to be nice to get to the tavern and be like FUCK THOSE DRAGONS WE FUCKED THEM UP GOOD

Anyway, now that I've vomited this out, maybe my brain can be at peace for the afternoon while I listen to peoples' awful emotional bugbears and minotaurs. I'm safe, emotionally, and sound. No need for worry. I am writing and programming and noodling with the guitar. Thinking about music. Watching my kid grow. Taking pleasure in my marriage.

It's good to write and share. If you choose to make a buck off it, God Bless You. I made some really cool Tablesmith stuff last night, which maybe I will share it or not, but fuck it was fun to make it and see it do its thing. The mere creation of the dungeon seems more a thing than to beat it into submission. I guess I'm an Evil Wizard or something. I used to be an adventurer like you. Maybe still am.

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