Thursday, 28 April 2011

Gothic Punk Tumblr


I've had an email from a guy called Phil Helliwell about his tumblr blog, Gothic Punk which is exclusively dedicated to collecting as much John Blanche art as is humanly possible. Since Blanchitsu is curiously not represented very well on the intertubes this is a laudable aim. Recommended unless you are one of those sort of fools who doesn't rate Blanche. They do exist you know.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Busy Moving...


A couple of blog followers have nominated me for this Stylish Blogger thing that is doing the rounds - I haven't ignored it, it's just that I'm currently too busy to do any blogging so it won't get looked at for a while. I've sold Coop Towers so I'm sort of up to your eyeballs in alligators leaving one home in Dudley's rural Gay and Lesbian village and sorting out a palatial waterfront property elsewhere (I kid you not). The sham that passes for normal service will resume at some point.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

RIP Elisabeth Sladen


Sad news from the BBC -"Sarah Jane" has passed away from cancer at the age of 63.

LATER EDIT - Dork Tower's tribute here.

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Quandry of Unfathomable Proportions

Hey it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who but it's a new Michael Moorcock novel but its crappy modern Doctor Who-

DAMN YOU LIFE WHY MUST YOU TAUNT ME WITH SUCH GORDIAN KNOTS AS THIS!? HOW DO I SQUARE THIS CIRCLE!?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

A Very Brief Review of Suckerpunch


Wagner's music is better than it sounds - Edgar Wilson Nye (1850-1896)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sandbox Steve Jackson (UK) Style


Reading through Warlock #5 I found "In Search of the Mungie's Gold", an article from Steve Jackson with a wilderness scenario for Fighting Fantasy. I thought this was mechanically unusual enough to justify a blogpost showing how SJ suggests a novice GM might run a wilderness/sandbox game.

The gorgeous John Blanche mono-and-spot-colour map is an 8x8 grid. Our PCs have arrived in the boat in the SE corner in search of the titular gold and are presented with the map - it's a player handout and doesn't really convey any information, just a great big slice of Blanchitsu Brit Old Skool Dungeonpunk atmosphere. I loves me some of that classic White Dwarf spot colour - a big nostalgia trip I'll freely admit.

The procedure is as follows. The scenario gives 16 encounters for the GM to place upon the map. Three of the encounters are with the Mungies (gold-hoarding gliding Apes - Warlock #5 has an "Out of the Pit" feature detailing the four dangerous Ape races of Mauristatia) and must be placed in adjacent squares. Other placings are just free. The GM therefore has a copy of this map (or just an 8x8 grid) with 16 marked locations. (Clever readers will note that this implies a ratio of 1 in 4 squares being keyed to encounters).

Each turn day consists of 4 Periods of Time, in which the party may move one square orthogonally. A little dial is included at the bottom of the map for handy reference.

Upon entering a square, the party may choose to Explore and will encounter the, err, encounter should one be present. Presumably nothing happens if they don't Explore so you only find trouble if you go looking for it. The scenario design works around this potential non-event of a gaming evening by requiring the party to Explore, not only to encounter the Mungies (and their gold) that they are after but also because three of the encounters can result in the party being told in which rough direction the Mungie lair lies. Presumably the party will Explore every square unless they are heading for home with the gold or with their tails between their legs.

Terrain type of the square seems totally irrelevant to the party's progress other than a note that Howl Cats live on the timberline and should be placed in appropriate terrain. (Howl Cats are Ape's with Lion's heads which means we are back in Citadel of Chaos Ape-Dog/Dog-Ape territory.)

At Night, there is a 2-in-6 chance of "Night Creatures", i.e. Wandering Monsters, the table of which is actually at reference 123 of The Shamutanti Hills (available under separate cover). If no night guard is placed, all players suffer the loss of 4 STAMINA points as they are attacked in their sleeping bags.

In the Night phase, any character who didn't eat a meal that day loses 3 STAMINA points.

If the party choose not to rest at Night, each character loses 2 STAMINA points.

(Direct translation to other rule systems is not that easy/clean but if you are not familiar with FF, characters are generated with STAMINA scores of 2d6+12, loss of a round of combat inflicts 2 STAMINA and Provisions heal 4 STAMINA).

If the GM has access to Warlock #2 and it's random table for Wilderness encounters, SJ suggests that each "non-keyed" square could have a 2-in-6 chance of a random encounter.

Note that Steve Jackson is still a swine with his concluding paragraph...

Yeah, thanks for that Mr. Starship Traveller Space and Time Coordinates.

Simple though it is, I'd love to play in something like this so long as it has a spot colour John Blanche map of that awesomeness.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Beardy Planning To Wake Great Cthulhu Up


One-man sub to the deepest point of all five oceans. Awesome stuff.

Now the burning question is - those teeth versus Great Cthulhu's. Which set will come off worse?
Link

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Even I'm Shocked



I am just beyond words. Nothing repeatable in polite company can ever do this justice.

Fighting Fantasist Dungeon Geomorphs VIII

Hadn't forgotten, just hadn't done any for about a month. Two 5 x 5 corners and two 10 x 5 borders.




Monday, 4 April 2011

Lets Play - Proteus #13, The Shadow of Shargan


Honestly this couldn't look less like a trap if it was Admiral Ackbar wearing a wig and his wife's knickers posing for cameraphone pics on /b.

-62-

You walk up to the nearest statue, which is of a young man. It is incredibly life-like, and the youthful features are twisted into an expression of terror. Then with a sudden shock, you realise that these are not statues, but real people petrified into stone by some volcanic eruption. Their horror when the disaster struck remains frozen eternally upon their faces.

But why have these grisly monuments been placed together
in this cave – and by whom? Or will the whole complex be full of such relics? You shudder in spite of yourself, and at that moment there is a low rumble, like distant thunder, and the ground trembles slightly under your feet.

Suddenly, the “statue” nearest to you topples over and shatters into many pieces on the floor, and you notice something glitter amongst the rubble. You stand motionless until the shaking subsides and then bend down to discover a small, red-gold ring amongst the broken pieces. Do you wish to take the ring? If so, turn to 101. If not, turn to 171.

While waiting for a decision, why not pursue the adverts from this issue of PROTEUS and buy some Grenadier figures? An Orcus for £1.50!

Today is Monday, Monday Yesterday Was Sunday, Sunday, That Means Saturday was the Day Before That

I had hoped to be blogging today about Afternoon Play, a Eurogames meet held on the first Sunday of the month at Urban Coffee Company in central Birmingham but...

...I'd still been out drinking in Brum at 2 o' clock on Sunday morning so never made it. (Also, it was a showery day and I didn't fancy self and games getting saturated whilst walking from the train station). Maybe next month. I would have been taking Citadels and Risk Express and maybe Dungeonquest.

And a game of Friedrich at Stourbridge on Friday got cancelled due to lack of players so that was a pretty disappointing gaming weekend all told really. (But a good home match at the Albion with us beating Liverpool followed by birthday bash at the Glee Comedy Club made up for it).

I did get to do some gaming last week on Tuesday at Dudley Darklords with a game of Cold War Commander against Webby. This was the third game of a new project that Web dreamt up, that of mixing the "anything goes" fictional bush war nature of AK-47 Republic with the "we like these" nature of the CWC rules. A jumble of 1:72 ex-American and ex-Soviet tanks and the Republic of N'Bungitupa went to war under my command and achieved very little. It's a refreshing change to that of playing with the usual NATO supertanks and little mans that generally do what you tell them to. We have a gentleman's agreement not to pick any forces that look halfway decent. My most useful units were SU-100s (not even proper tanks) and a MiG-21 Fishbed (flown by N'Bungitupan air ace Wing Commander Tallyho Choksawai) which sort of sums it up.