Saturday, 15. January 2011

Munchkin - A game of backstabbing. Literally

As I am not a huge card game goer, I finally got around to playing Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games. Of course, this was at a small party with 6 other people. The you are definitely in it for the long haul with that many for all the rules wrangling you can pull off as well as all of the backstabbing.  All that aside, it was still some pretty good times and I can see why its heavily played.

Essentially for those who don’t know (Which is probably everyone except me but I’ll write this anyways,) it’s basically a cardgame dungeon crawl. You start out classless and raceless and at level one. You can pick those up through play, as well as varying equipment that can and can’t be used depending on your race and class. Elf for instance gives you a bonus to run away and gives you a level when you help someone defeat a monster. They also get completely ripped apart by certain monsters that don’t like them. (Better negotiate for some help with those ones!) The idea is to get up to level 10 and win, via collecting loot, killing monsters and any other of the various insane ways to get levels.
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Equipment costs and Advancement

Thursday, 6. January 2011

Yes, this stuff is very expensive for good reason! (Flickr / Laenulfean)

Looking through some posts today, Red has an interesting one on the price of plate mail and why it may or may not be expensive.¬† The point of interest seems to be the change in prices from Basic through 3e, and then a huge drop coming into 4e.¬† I will argue in this case that it’s not the time, expense and rarity of the material that determines cost in this case, but rather how much player advancement is affected by it.. and how much it is factored into the characters base level of effectiveness.
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Thematic Music – Sons of War

Monday, 3. January 2011

Sons of War (Shadows and Nightmares)
Two Steps from Hell

A little bit of nice battle music to continue on with the new year. I might have to break down and buy an album at this rate. And the record companies think this produces more losses than gains.. right. I’d have never listened to these guys and just not bought anything were that the case.

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Happy New Year!

Saturday, 1. January 2011

Happy New Year (Flickr / Lel4nd)

Happy new year to everyone out there, hopefully last night was host to some good friends and partying, maybe a little drinking and if you were really lucky, gaming (I was in the last category for a change.) A good start to a new year indeed. Unless of course, you subscribe to the theory that this is the last year there is. I have no such problems however.

So the new years resolutions are something along the lines of the following..

1) Work towards getting self employed.
2) Lose the added holiday weight
3) Game more
4) Write more
5) New locks

I managed to scrounge up an amusing story for¬†new¬†years too.¬† Apparently while I was¬†away,¬†I had a visitor that made off with some of my loot¬† (Been a local problem in the apartment I’m in.) ¬† My Xbox hard drive was missing, along with a few rolls of quarters and wait for it… someone fed my goldfish.¬† A lot… Hmm.

Needless to say, the police were promptly called and as they already had a handle on the situation from some of the previous issues, an arrest was made and the missing loot was recovered.¬† I was real lucky, in short.¬† One of the local kids seemed to have managed to get his hands on the maintenance keys for the apartment and was causing some havoc.¬† Master key problem will probably be remedied on Monday, as I don’t particularly care to have the vulnerability exploited again.¬† But hey.. at least the fish were happy.

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System Selection: Heavy Gear

Thursday, 30. December 2010

Heavy Gear, 2E

Moving along to one of my more perennial favorites, Heavy Gear. It’s always good to be able to stomp around in mid sized gasoline powered mechs in the desert. The setting is pretty harsh, and there are a lot of ways to die if you take it as a role playing game rather than a pure tactical simulation. The system has a inherent simplicity within it, so it makes picking it up or running a game very easy. You can quickly focus on game play and the storyline elements, or run complicated tactical scenarios because of this without an entire manual of character sheets. It likewise plays very quickly, so everyone can get in on the action.

General Setting: Terra Nova, a desert planet in the future a couple jumps away from Earth. Left abandoned during hard times the colony survived and flourished. When Earth returned to reassert its control, the people of Terra Nova fought off the invasion using gears, smaller gasoline powered mechs. There is plenty of other vehicles, but the gears are what makes the system what it is.
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Firing for effect!

Wednesday, 29. December 2010

Struck! (Flickr / ThisParticularGreg)

All to often in martial training one is given a generalized target to work with such as the head, torso, outer leg, etc.  While at a basic level this approach acceptable in order to further our training we need to proceed further.  Rather then generalizing, we need to be thinking head for instance.. we need to be thinking nose, left orbital, left temple.. base of jaw.  The study goes further than that however.. there are a lot of additional components. Intended effect and reaction, type of strike, angle of  attack and knowing what surrounds your target is equally important.

Specific targets are aimed at within the body for specific effect.¬† I’m not talking about the obvious such as simply poking someone in the eye.¬† What happens when the hips are displaced backwards from a low punch, or then the a leg is driven outward from a strike?¬† Where does the body move and what openings does it produce?¬† Study of body movement in such cases are important because it guides what your follow up strikes are going to be.. and equally¬†important where they are not going to be based on your expected reaction.
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Game Breakups

Monday, 27. December 2010

NZ Quake - Martin Luff

I’ve read an awful lot of listings lately with various game breakups and for whatever reason, I can’t relate to too many of them. Typically I’ll bail early if I’m not too happy with how something is working out. This is after all, supposed to be entertainment in some form or another. I think I seem to be a major culprit lately in that I have a tendency to get sidetracked by about 600 different things and then have a problem getting back on track to game.

In this case, it’s Christmas gifts, hobbies (a little knifemaking and leatherwork) working on side projects that relate to this blog, finalizing how I’d like to handle a podcast here as well as how to fit it into my schedule, and hopefully another project that I am about to launch here sometime in the new year. Of course, there is plenty of cleaning up from all of that mess to eat up my time as well.. when work isn’t keeping me busy with travels.

Its either that or if its not me.. then everyone just gets busy with real life and has the same problem. Summer and winter seem to be the real major contributors to this. There are either bunches of vacations, activities to make use of the good weather or family is in town in the case of the summer. Winter however is similarly nefarious. Lots of winter plans, hunting seasons, vacations and family and of course planning for the holidays proper all take their toll.

I suppose this somewhat leans into hoping and trying to get around and game more for the new year. Fortunately, entertaining aside (which is of course required) it’s a relatively cheap hobby.

What sidetracks you from games?

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Carol of the Bells – TSO

Saturday, 25. December 2010

Carol of the Bells
Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Merry Christmas to everyone!

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Errant Beta Live

Monday, 20. December 2010

Errant cover

Greg Christopher creator of Synapse has decided to toss his hat into the D&D OSR ring on the off chance you haven’t been following.¬† The entrant in this particular case is Errant.¬† The systems are quite different¬†however they¬†have a couple of the same flavor elements that marry them in a similar fashion.¬† Both are of course, free for the plundering however any feedback you can provide is quite appreciated.

The main immediate similarities are that of a simple gaming style, familiar statistics and a couple of old school classes.¬† Of course, claims of old school D&D being simple is somewhat of a nefarious misdirection.. old school was a byzantine labyrinth of rules and regulations.¬† Errant really is simple however, staying true to it’s predecessor Synapse.¬† The game retains¬†the original¬†6 statistics of STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHA.¬†¬†Actions that aren’t tied to anything specifically¬†are resolved through a simple stat check.

Major differing points are relatively in depth character creation for an OSR game (Gifts and some character customization in skills) and taking another leap for the time frame.. actual character motivations other than raiding dungeons for loot and fame.  Spell casters in this set are also very specialized and themed versus the generic wizard or mage.  Notably absent however is the cleric or priestly class, with the Paladin filling the holy mans void.

The books artwork is rather light versus some of the major producers, but filled with good quality pieces that have been donated.  The location of each piece is rather well themed and fits in well.  The books character creation and rules flow rather well and is condensed into a neat 80 pages.

Rather than making this review overly long, I will suggest taking a look at it if you’re interested.. (and even if you aren’t~)

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M.B. Movie Trailer

Friday, 17. December 2010

I’m sure while everyone was at least somewhat amused at the old Mario Brothers movie as kids, acid reflux comes with remembering those movies. This is seriously what really needs to have happened. Hat tip to Dueling Analogs on this one.

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