Saturday, 29 December 2012

Still In Blog-ness

I know it's been a while since the blogs seen an update, but let me assure you all, I am still busy beavering away. Just not at the blog of late.

Truth is that it has been WAY too cold in my particular part of the world to entertain the idea of sitting at my desk for any extended period of time. That coupled with a lovely little virus that just keeps on giving. :0/.

Things are both looking up and warming up however, so all being well, normal service will be resumed soon, and can I take this opportunity to thank all of our regulars that have been swinging by on what must be a daily basis to check up on us. It's much appreciated. :0).

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Swords Edge: From An Orcs Point Of View

One of the projects that I have been working on of late (on top of all of my other projects and gubbins) is a complete re-write of Tunnels and Trolls, from the ground up. Not that there is anything wrong with the rules as they stand, but even the rule book tells you that if you don't re-write it, you're not really playing the game.

Also, what I'm going for is quite unlike the rules as they stand. I'm creating a game that is set long before any established Wizard's Guild (a big thing in standard Tunnels and Trolls). So no Wizard's Guild means no Wizards. Rogues are as high as magic gets... There is always religion though. Groups of people that through sheer faith are able to perform potent acts of magic. Maybe the early "Wizard Gods", who knows? They had to come from somewhere right?

This is a HUGE change, as Tunnels and Trolls has always been very particular in steering well clear of religion. It's not the only big change that I have planned however, one of which will really go against the grain of traditional tropes.

No. More. Monsters.

Well, not per se anyhow. One of the big things that I have always loved about Tunnels and Trolls is the vast array of kindreds open to the player. Far more than that "other game". I think this is in no short part down to both inspired games design that was way ahead of its time, and of course, Tunnels and Trolls sister game, Monsters! Monsters!

So rather than simply say that kindreds, such as Orcs are generally monstrous sword-fodder, I will be taking the approach that every kindred included has a unique culture and society. Humans, Dwarves and, Elves may still be the norm, but the thing that will differentiate them from other races will be culture rather than kindred. Each will have a stake in the game world, maybe some greater than others, but each will none the less have a role to play. That is the name of the game after all.

Blood, rust, cults, and low magic. This is quite a different Trollish world.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Castle Panic: Finally At The Table

A lot later than expected, and just a quick posting but I finally managed to get a game of Castle Panic in, and well it was awesome.

When I sat down to read through the rules, I knew that my first run through, tonights session, would be a solo affair and the rule book promised me quite a challenge. It wasn't kidding! The monster descended upon the walls of the castle pretty damn fast but despite the horde, all was was going reasonably well until I lost close to half of my walls and towers within the space of a couple of turns.

To say it was looking bad was an understatement.

Thanks to a couple of lucky draws, it didn't take too long to turn the tide of battle though, and a few turns later I had replaced all of the lost walls. Just a shame that I couldn't do anything about the lost towers.

The game kept pace from then on in up until a point where I had most of my walls wiped (again) with monsters continually being thrown into the same couple of arcs in some weird twist. Whilst this wasn't too bad from a strategic point of view, it did result in just under a third of the draw deck being useless for the better part of the game. Maybe that'll even out over time though.

This kind of flow, along with a fairly consistent pace (save a couple of surges) meant that victory came rather easily, but I can't help but think with how easily all of those walls fell early on into the game, combined with the fact that I only had two walls (one of which was reinforced mind) and one tower remaining, that this game has a lot of challenge left in it.

It's certainly no Elder Sign.

If you don't own it, buy it! Like Settlers, this is one title that should be in EVERY gaming collection.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

$195 For A FREE Game? What The Hell!

Quite often I will take a flick through Board Game Geek and the web in general to see what's happening on the Print and Play front. There are a lot of great games out there for literally nothing more than your time and effort.. And obviously a little toner and card stock.

That's not always the case though as this shocker has shown me!

Dungeon Plungin' came up on my Print and Play radar a long time ago as a freebie, so imagine my shock when I found someone retailing it for $195! Make that $235 if you want to go "Deluxe".. And for deluxe, read some components mounted on chipboard. Hardly deluxe in my book. Other than that you're looking at shelling out all that money on card stock, but no matter which way you look at it, this mark up is a disgrace!

I mean, given the current value of the USD ($195 is roughly worth £121.69) let me put that into context for you. For less I could buy any one of the following dungeon crawls (with frankly vastly superior production values):

Dungeonquest (£49.95)

Hell, I could even find a copy of Warhammer Quest for that kind of money! Warhammer Quest of course not being freely available right here. Now tell me what part of this game being sold at such a ridiculously high price doesn't scream of all kinds of wrong!?

Alchemy Bytes #32: WINNING!

Following on from previous posting on the excellent Castle Panic, I decided to have a look over the Fireside Games website to see what else they might have to wet my gaming whistle.

Then I found this. A free print-and-play game of Sheenisms! WINNING!! A free game that I just had to share.

Although I do notice that Fireside Games have made yet another typographical screw-up (which is becoming something of a theme), labeling the web page as "Fireside Games - Bloodsuckers Card Game". Another one of their fine products, but nothing to do with Charlie Sheen.. I hope.

Still, typo's or no typo's, the products are still great, and that's the main thing. :0).

First Look: Castle Panic

Well, the time is almost upon me and the green skins are gathering amidst the trees. Thinking we cannot see them as we hurry our work upon the bastions along. The Panic will soon be upon us.

By which I mean that all being well, either tonight or tomorrow I will be taking my first shot at the tower defense come board game, Castle Panic. Carrying on the theme of firsts, I wanted to share my first impressions of the game with you all before even the first card is drawn.

As you have probably guessed from my previous posts, I LOVE the look of this game, and I had very high expectations of what was to come from the word go. Expectations that I can fairly say have been delivered upon from the moment I cracked open the box.

Unlike a lot of modern games that come with die-cut card components, the pieces in Castle Panic come pre-punched. Which is a big plus for me, as I have lost track of the countless hours (literally in the case of Descent 1st Edition) that I have lost popping games from their sprues before I could even entertain the idea of sitting down to look over the rule book. By which point I have usually given up the ghost and shelved the game for another day.

Looking over the interior of the box, I also notice that ample space has been left around the compartment designed for holding the games cards, so that if you wanted to protect them with card sleeves, you could and they'd still happily fit back in the box. That said, if you can't be bothered the space isn't so large that components are going to rattle around loose. That's good design!

All in all, I have to say that I think the folks over at Fireside Games have done a cracking job, with the only fall down points in the whole game being some of the simple typographical errors that have been overlooked, one of which can really mess with game balance if you happen to read it wrong. Which is a shame.

The error in question comes from the "Brick" and the "Mortar" cards, that both instruct you that if you have the other, you may play them both and build a wall. As the text is written however, it suggests that each card allows you to build a wall, instead of the two cards only giving you one wall. A small error but a significant one. The rules do clear this up but I still thought it was worth mentioning.

So there we have it. My first impressions are good, going on great. How will it all play out? Well there's only one way to find out!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Alchemy's Wokbench #8: Kill The Monsters. Steal The Treasure. Stab Yourself In The Back?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on a way of playing the Munchkin card game solo.

This is largely because I am a HUGE fan of the product line (with a sizable collection to boot), but there just isn't the player base where I live, and I have to get my Munchkin kick somehow. Normally this would mean Munchkin Quest, which is a great game, but what about those times when you want to kick in a door, kill a monster, and steal his loot at 3am in the morning or, on a rainy day or, as is most common with our gaming group, when everyone else is on a different shift pattern to you?

It makes getting a game in nigh on impossible but there must be some kind of solution. Right?

Well, I am a firm believer that nearly ANY game can be played solo. You just need to take a good long look at it and then get creative! Munchkin was no exception. I also believe that when creating a solo play version of a game, it should mirror the original in its theme and goals, else what you are actually doing is creating a new game, using the same components.

The first thing I needed to do was concisely breakdown the goal of Munchkin, which I would describe as "Reach level X before your opponent(s) do". So by nature it's a race game essentially, which makes it amazingly simple to convert. It also makes it incredibly easy to tweak once converted to either increase or, decrease the difficulty. Awesome!

So without further ado, I present:

Munchkin: solo
Compatable with all major Munchkin releases.

 Components: Nothing beyond the norm. The solo version of Munchkin has been designed so that you won't need to raid your gaming shelf BUT, it does run on the assumption that you are playing Epic Munchkin (because what true Munchkin wouldn't want to play to level 20!?), so if you are using standard level counters, you may want to retire them in favor of a couple of D20's.

Set-Up: Before dealing yourself your starting hand, deal out six piles of ten Room cards in front of you, and directly below each of these piles, deal a pile of ten Treasure cards (for a grand total of 60 Room cards and 60 Treasure cards across 12 piles).

Flip the top card of every Room pile so that it is visible and, now deal out your starting hand.

Play: Munchkin is played normally with the following exceptions:

  • When you would "Kick Open A Door" you instead choose to encounter the top card visible on any of the Room piles.

  • If you do not encounter a Monster you may "Look For Trouble" as normal or, "Loot The Room". If you do so, the face-up cards on the top each pile are considered face-down for the purposes of looting the room (and for all other reasons during the game, they're flexible like that).

  • If you are forced into "Charity", you simply discard the cards regardless of whom is actually the lowest level player.

  • After the "Charity" phase, your opponent automatically gains a level and, your next turn begins straight away.

  • Curses that would cause your opponent to lose a level still do so and may be played at any time but, curses that have any other effect other than reducing your opponents level, such as "Lose One Small Item", instead prevent your opponent from automatically leveling up at the end of your turn.

  • For the purposes of all cards, you are considered to be alone and unable to ask for help.

Winning: The player wins if they reach level X before their opponent but, as with standard Munchkin, the last level can only be gained by slaying a monster.

Friday, 30 November 2012

DMotivational #46: Kill The Monsters, Steal The Treasure, Stab Your Buddy

Dungeon Masters Series #21: Syra, Child Of Nature

Name: Syra, Child Of Nature.
Kindred: Elf.
Type: Wizard.
Level:  3.

Strength: 18
Constitution:  24
Dexterity:  17
Speed:  9
Intelligence:  29
Wizardry:  30
Luck:  39
Charisma:  20

Combat Adds:  +38
Missile Adds:  +43

Common, Elven.


Elven Doublet (2 hits, STR: 2, 75WU).

Other Items:
1 x Provisions (15WU), Tabard (8WU).

Call Water (8 WIZ), Freeze Please (11 WIZ), Hard Stuff (15 WIZ), Slush-Yuck (15 WIZ).

Gift of the Earth (WIZ+6): Daroou takes 6 less damage each round/turn from "Earth" effects (Such as a cave-in or, stone weapons). 

Gift of the Ocean (WIZ+3): Syra takes 3 less damage each round/turn from "Water" effects (Such as drowning or the Freeze Pleeze spell).

Healing Touch (WIZ+2): Syra may lay hands on any willing party and restore 2 CON at the cost of 2 WIZ.

Alchemy Bytes #31: More From The Tabletop

Highlight of the episode: Accidental "Nerd Rage".

DMotivational #45: Lions And Tigers And.. Velociraptors? Oh My!

Dungeon Masters Series #20: Halk, The Barbarian

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Robert E. Howard's Conan.
Name: Halk, The Barbarian.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Warrior.
Level:  2.

Strength: 23
Constitution: 25
Dexterity: 22
Speed:  17
Intelligence: 14
Wizardry: 13
Luck: 22
Charisma: 14

Combat Adds:  +36
Missile Adds:  +46


Club (3+0, STR: 5, DEX: 3, 50WU).

Bezerker Helm (Open-face Helm with Small Horns, 2 hits, STR: 2, 35WU).

Other Items:
Barbarian Hide (Bear fur Loincloth, 10WU), Sandals (1WU).

Brute Strength (STR+1): ou may add 1 to your combat total every round due to your immense natural strength.

Dodge (DEX+2): Your natural agility grants you 2 points of "natural armor" when dodging blows that you are aware of. 

Alchemy Bytes #30: Castle Panic In Action

Alchemy Bytes hits the big 3-0 in style, showcasing one of my latest purchases. Now how does that look for fun!?

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Plunder For The Cave #3: Even More From My Friendly Local Gaming Store

On top of my recent thrift store purchases, I have also added a couple of items to my gaming collection courtesy of my friendly local gaming store. Not the huge haul that I picked up last time, but still a couple of solid gold additions.

The first new item is Munchkin: Apocalypse, which I didn't even know existed until I spied it in the new arrivals area in-store, which was a real surprise given that I had been surfing the Munchkin website only two days previous and I saw no sign of it. Although I picked it up without hesitation (and indeed the small pack of bonus cards that have been released for it with, quote-unquote "Radioactive Dice"), I am not entirely convinced by my purchase.

Whilst I like the concept of the release, upon flicking through the cards, I am not entirely convinced that Steve Jackson Games have done it true justice. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, and the addition of the "Seven Seals" special rule is a nice touch. I just would have liked to have seen greater variety in the beasties and disasters. I mean, how many different ways can you think of (both natural and otherwise) of the world ending?

Flaming Meteor, The Black Hole Machine, Mega Tsunami, Volcanic Eruptions, Kaiju on the Rampage, Solar Flare, Viral Warfare, Rise of the Machines, Nuclear War, Alien Invasion, Another Ice-Age, Zombies... It's a long list. A long list that isn't particularly well represented. Still, being a Munchkin game, there will without a doubt be expansions, so there is still time for all of this to come into play I guess.

My other purchase was a copy of Castle Panic, which has recently come back into production after what seems like an age of unavailability. I have been seeking a copy of this for a while and have on a couple of occasions been met with the frustration of the expansion being available in-store, but with no chance of being able to order in a copy of the base game. So suffice to say that when I saw this in the new arrivals area, I snapped it up in an instance that The Flash would have missed if he had blinked.

Whilst I am yet to have a read through of the rules, I am already loving this game. The die-cut pieces come pre-punched, and according to what I have flicked through in the rules, the game can be played solo, co-operative or, competitively. That's a sizable achievement for such a small box! I can see this game getting a LOT of table time in the years to come.

Triple Score At The Thrift Store! (And A Note On Thrift Store Shopping)

After quite a lull in my local thrift stores, the past week has seen a sudden resurgence in stock. An opportunity that I have taken full advantage of.

Maybe taken advantage of is the wrong turn of phrase to use though. Although it is true that when you pick something up in a thrift store, you only pay a fraction of what the item may cost you on say a site like E-Bay, the money does go to a good cause. Not that E-bay traders don't deserve your business but there is something about knowing that you are giving something back that really makes thrift store shopping worthwhile for me. It's ethical business, and I'm all for buying into that.

So what did I pick up?

Well the recent restock has seen a lot of vintage games coming to the market. Some really good games, some obscurities, and games that were well and truly a product of their time... I bought one of all three. There were and still are more for the taking but I think that when thrift store shopping it's very important not to let your greed get the better of you. Sure, you can take them all and the store will get their money just as if they had sold them to half a dozen customers. The problem with doing this is that those other five customers will miss out, may not return, and you hurt the store. So whilst I love a good deal made better, I have to weigh up my actions against the greater good when thrift store shopping. Completely off-topic for what I have found but I felt it well worth while sharing.

So what have I actually found?

The Good: Campaign (1971: Waddingtons)
This was a pretty impressive find that was sadly missing a piece and a few cards when I got it home, and some of the pieces included had definitely seen better days, being covered in some kind of aged glue. Still, a bargain is a bargain. The board is in good condition, the rules are all present and correct, the missing piece is easily replaced with a pawn from my spares box, and with the Internet at hand, I am more than sure I can find a PDF of the cards (or make my own).
Approximate Value: £5 (as spares).
I Paid: £1.

The Obscure: Air Charter (1970: Waddingtons)
Upon opening this game up in-store, I was amazed by just how, well, amazing, the game had aged. It evidently hadn't been kept in the best of conditions over the years, but remarkably it hadn't taken any damage! There was a few dents in the box but that was it. Again, a piece had gone missing but this was such a minor thing compared to the natural beauty of early games design that I just had to have it. Again, I only paid a pound. :0).
Approximate Value: £17.
I Paid: £1.

The Product Of The Time: Ulcers (1969: House Of Games / Waddingtons)
Outwardly this game seems nothing special. It's basically Monopoly but, with the goal being to hire a compliment of staff and survive a Fiscal Year (one trip around the board) with them all intact. Nothing too special there at all. It does deserve a questionably honorable mention however as it really was a product of it's time in it's political attitudes. Stuff that just wouldn't fly to day.

It's not something that many people would pay to much heed to I think but it should be noted that the only female characters you hire in the game are secretaries. Which is pretty sexist, and it's not like it went unnoticed, as latter editions used the same art but divided the female characters amongst the various professions.
Approximate Value: Not a clue to be honest.
I Paid: £1.

DMotivational #44: Generic Means You Can. It Doesn't Mean You Should.

Calm Before The Storm

Image Property Of
There's no two ways about it. Blogging wise, the past couple of months have been pretty slow ones.

By and large this is down to real life commitments, but I am hoping that I can start to turn that around. Fast. In the next 72 hours in fact! The thing is that, just because I haven't been able to update here as often as I would have liked, the ideas have still been coming thick and fast. REALLY fast.

I now have a new abstract game on the workbench, along with an independent survival-horror roleplaying game, heavily spurred on by the sterling work that Jerry Teleha has been doing with Stay Alive! On top of that there have been the usual gaming musings, a solo conversion for the Munchkin card game that I think's pretty dapper, my old solo rules for ZOMBIES!!! that I have re-discovered in a pile of print-outs, new plunder for the cave, new thrift store finds. There is a LOT to blog about, and I finally have the time to sit down and do it all justice. :0).

So sit back and relax, there's a storm coming. ;0)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Dungeon Masters Series #19: Daroou

Name: Daroou.
Kindred: Daroou.
Type: Monster.
Level:  8.

Strength: 72
Constitution:  84
Dexterity:  19
Speed:  11
Intelligence:  16
Wizardry:  11
Luck:  15
Charisma:  60

Combat Adds:  +70
Missile Adds:  +77

Wizard Speech.



Other Items:

Brute Strength (STR+4): You may add 4 to your combat total every round due to your immense natural strength. 

Gift of the Earth (WIZ+6): Daroou takes 6 less damage each round/turn from "Earth" effects (Such as a cave-in or, stone weapons). 

Healing Touch (WIZ+3): Daroou may lay hands on any willing party and restore 3 CON at the cost of 2 WIZ.

Hive Mind (INT+1): This talent can be applied to any SR and CBT generated by a Daroou when there is more than one present.

Insight (INT+4): Able to fully explore any given situation quietly and quickly within their own thoughts, Daroou are often able to give good advice to those who seek it.

Resist Intoxication (CON+3): This bonus applies to any substance that would normally debilitate an individual (Ale, Wine, Poisons that cause paralysis etc).

Tough Hide (CON+1): Your hardened and earthy flesh reduces damage taken by 1 point.

Tracking (INT+6): The ability to follow trails and tracks left by others as well as the ability to hide your own.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Dungeon Master And The Daroou

In my ongoing project to convert the entire cast of champions from Dungeon Master to Tunnels and Trolls, I have again reached a point where it has become necessary to create another new kindred. The Daroou.

It's no surprise that Tunnels and Trolls didn't have this one covered as even looking at Daroou (the name of the champion in question after which I have named the kindred) I had a great deal of difficulty working out exactly what it was supposed to be.

In one respect it reminded me of the imps from the original Doom game, but after a conversation with a Dungeon Master old-hand, we agreed that Daroou looked a lot more like a Wookie. At least that's what he had always thought, and looking over the Internet, it seems he was not alone. The concept presented here in particular really captured my imagination, and shaped the Daroou as I will be casting them.

Given that a large proportion of the previously cast kindreds for the Dungeon Masters Series wouldn't be out of place in the jungle, I have decided that the Daroou will represent the all encompassing spirit of nature given physical form, protecting natural order as caretakers of the canopies and guardians of those who live in harmony with it.

All of the Daroou are in truth one entity (the jungle), taking many physical forms in order to protect itself and could be thought of as an immune system of sorts, called into action when the land feels threatened. As such all Daroou share a hive mind and cannot truly ever be killed, crumbling into dirt and dust when slain. This also makes them a poor choice for a PC as they would be totally out of place in most dungeons.

That being said, the Daroou still need to be statted out in order to be played, and in order for me to be able to complete the Dungeon Masters Series. So in relation to that I have decided to give them the attributes of a Jungle Troll (with the STR modifier rounded up for good measure) as they are in many respects, identical.

So the modifiers for the Daroou are as follows:

The Daroou
Attribute Modifiers: CHR x 4, CON x 3, INT x 0.75, LK x 0.75, STR x 3.

I hope you have as much fun introducing them to your campaign or, maybe their forest cousins as I did creating them.. Well, converting them. ;0). 

Alchemy Bytes #29: Even More Catan!

Although I would be one of the first to admit that I am no fan of Catan ( I haven't even sat down to a game yet), I have developed a thick and fast appreciation of Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, as I am sure you are all becoming more than aware of with my recent posts.

As much as I am really digging the videos on this great channel, this one did leave me a little flat. It certainly wasn't for the best efforts of the guests though. Catan just doesn't seem to be all that interesting. An opinion that I know that other people also share.

There has to be a reason Catan is so popular though. I just don't see it!

So what do you guys think? Catan, yay or nah?

Alchemy Bytes #28: Wood You Like Fries With That?

With all the recent talk of The Settlers of Catan that seems to be going around, I really couldn't not post this could I? ;0).

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Crossovers #2: Unsettling Times In Catan

A Nuclear War Card Game / The Settlers of Catan Crossover created by Rick Loomis. Edited and re-posted here by me.

You are playing The Settlers of Catan as normal, with the following exceptions:

  • Create a draw pile using all of the basic cards from the Nuclear War Card Game.

  • On your turn you may discard any two resources in order to draw a card from the "Nuke Deck".

  • You may also discard the following combinations of Nuke cards for the following benefits:

A Secret Card = One Resource of your choice.
A Top Secret Card = One Resource of your choice.
A Special Card = One Resource of your choice.
Two Propaganda Cards = One Resource of your choice.

  • When you have a combination of either a Bomber or a Missile and a Warhead that can be fitted to it, you may use them to destroy any City or Settlement on the map.

  • If attacked that player may opt to shoot down that Bomber or Missile if they have the appropriate Antimissile. If they do so, the attack is canceled and play immediately passes to them.

  • If the Bomber or Missile is not intercepted then you spin the spinner. Missiles fail to affect their intended target on a spin of "Dud Warhead", Bombers on "Bomber Runs Out Of Fuel" and, blasts of only a 10 Megaton yield on Bomb Shelters. Anything else destroys the target and a marker should be placed on it's smoldering ruins. Nothing else may be built there for the remainder of the game but, for all purposes within the rules there is considered to be no Settlement there.

  • If you used a Bomber to drop a Nuke and did not spin the result "Bomber Runs Out Of Fuel",and it has not dropped 50 Megatons worth of explosives, leave the bomber face up in front of you. It may be used to drop further Warheads in the future.

You can read the original text here or, order your copy of the Nuclear War Card Game here.

Crossovers #1: One Way Ticket

A Nuclear War Card Game / Ticket To Ride Crossover created by Rick Loomis, Ken St Andre, and Laura Samuelson. Edited and re-posted here by me. :0).

You are playing Ticket To Ride as usual, with the following exceptions:

  • Create a separate draw pile containing all of the Warheads, Carrier, and Antimissile cards from the Nuclear War Card Game.

  • On your turn you may draw a card from the "Nuke Deck" in the place of drawing or taking a Train card. Cards drawn from the Nuke deck are treated as train cards, so on your turn you may take any combination of two Train / Nuke cards or, one face-up Wildcard as a draw action.

  • Instead of taking your normal action on your turn you may choose to nuke a railroad if you have a Carrier and a Warhead that match. The nuked railroad and all other DIRECT connections between the two cities are destroyed and route markers returned to their prospective players.

  • A Nuke may be countered if the player being attacked has an Antimissile capable of taking out the attacking Warhead, and wishes to play it. If not the train markers on the targeted line are returned to their players piles, and no-one may re-build that connection for 1-4 turns, depending upon the yield of the blast:

10 Megatons = 1 Turn.
20 Megatons = 2 Turns.
50 Megatons = 3 Turns.
100 Megatons = 4 Turns.

  • These turns are counted down at once the player that launched the nuke has taken their turn, so please note that the player that launches the nuke will be the last to be given opportunity to re-build there! Also please note that Bombers remain in play until they have dropped a full 50 Megatons worth of nukes, or are shot down by an Antimissile.

  • Once a Ticket is completed, it is cashed in for points immediately (because that railroad may not be there for long) but, kept by the player who completed it. At the end of the game, the player with the most completed lines receives 10 bonus points.
You can read the original text here or, order your copy of the Nuclear War Card Game here.

Crossovers: Because Two Games Can Be Better Than One!

Whilst sifting through my Facebook feed this morning, I found a very interesting post from Rick Loomis over at Flying Buffalo. A very interesting post indeed!

Both he and Ken St. Andre are very talented games designers and, it seems that like myself, they can't help but wonder what could be done "better" when they sit down to a game. Even games with high production values. This isn't because we like to think that we know better though.

As I see it, all games designers, and indeed all creatives are free to express themselves and their ideas as they wish through their work. I wasn't there at the birth of the brainchild so who am I to say that they got it wrong unless they've made some glaring error?

So, for me, tinkering with a game is more like seasoning to taste and, we all have different ideas on what tastes good, and what's foul. That's why there are so many games out there! A creative individual sees  something they like, cuts away what they don't and those changes change again and again through active play until what you have is a completely new game that doesn't resemble anything like the original, except the theme.

Frankly, it's a great way to go, and you have to consider that the fans have a lot more freedom than designers. Fans can rummage through other games for components without the fear of being sued! Designers have to make everything look fresh, new, and different. So as a fan, you have a lot more freedom, and, thanks to the Internet, great chunks of the gaming community have ways and means to share their ideas.

What's all this building up to though?

A lot more crossover related content from me hopefully. There are a lot of interesting ideas floating around and I want to hook in the ones that catch my eye to share with you all, starting with the two recent additions by Ken, Rick and, Laura Samuelson.

Alchemy Bytes #27: Bringing Munchkin To The Tabletop

Well after getting pretty much hooked on Tabletop from the word go, I decided to skip ahead a few episodes to Munckin.. Which in itself is kind of a Munchkinny (being a real word) thing to do.

Having seen the interaction over a game of Small World, a relatively friendly game, I knew that the banter over such a cut-throat game like Munchkin was going to turn Tabletop all the way up to 11, and verge on the brutal. Brutal in a good way though. That is the nature of the game after all.

Kill the monsters, steal the treasure, stab your buddy!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Dungeon Masters Series #18: Wu Tse, Son Of Heaven

Name: Wu Tse, Son of Heaven.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Warrior.
Level:  2.

Strength: 21
Constitution: 24
Dexterity: 21
Speed: 11
Intelligence: 31
Wizardry: 10
Luck: 21
Charisma: 11

Combat Adds:  +18
Missile Adds:  +18


3 x Throwing Star (4+0, STR: 2, DEX: 10, 10WU per three carried).


Other Items:
Sandals (1WU), Silk Shirt (8WU), Tabard (8WU).

Acrobatics (DEX+4): Allows Wu Tse to perform flips and somersaults as accompanied with an enhanced sense of balance and agility.

Cling To The Shadows (INT+5): Grants a bonus to any attempt to stealthy activities in which your opponent has their senses impaired (In darkness, they are drunk, there is a lot of noise etc).

DMotivational #43: Enchanted Bunny

Alchemy Bytes #26: WHEATON!!

Following a suggestion passed over a game of Dominion in my local gaming store, I decided to give Tabletop a whirl. I have to say, well worth a look, and I don't think that I recommend it highly enough.

Previously I have always thought of Tom Vasel, and The Dice Tower as my go to place for gaming info on Youtube. To be fair to Tom, he does put out good quality material on a regular basis, and if I am looking into a game that I may want to add to my own shelf, I'll probably still go there.

That said though, having now been exposed to the Tabletop, I find The Dice Tower somewhat laking. Wil Wheaton is a great showman, and his guests really seem to be having a blast. He's genuinely passionate about gaming and, the banter around the table rings far truer than the comparatively dry and clinical style of Tom Vasel. Speaking for seasoned gamers, I think that we can all agree that when a session really gets going, that inner-child evident in those gathered around the Tabletop in the video above is what really comes out.

Alchemy Bytes #25: Kickstarters

Check out more from Shannon Wheeler and Too Much Coffee Man here.

Dungeon Masters Series #17: Tiggy Tamal

Image property of Dan Scott
Name: Tiggy Tamal.
Kindred: Gnome.
Type: Rogue.
Level:  5.

Strength: 6
Constitution: 8
Dexterity: 26
Speed: 10
Intelligence: 56
Wizardry: 30 (31)
Luck: 29
Charisma: 10

Combat Adds:  +28
Missile Adds:  +42

Common, Dwarvish.



Other Items:
Cotton Kirtle (1WU), Gunna (1WU), Sandals (1WU), Wand (+1 WIZ whilst wielded, 1WU).

TTYF! (6 WIZ).

At One With the Earth (INT+3): This talent allows Tiggy to navigate when underground with great ease.

Gift of the Ocean (WIZ+4): Tiggy takes 4 less damage each round/turn from "Water" effects (Such as drowning or the Freeze Pleeze spell).

Gift of the Sky (WIZ+2): Tiggy takes 2 less damage each round/turn from "Air" effects (Such as falling or missile weapons).

Roguery (CHR, INT, LK+4): As per the rulebook.

Stonecutter (INT+6): Grants you a bonus in detecting changes in stonework and naturally formed stone (changes in elevation, secret walls, stonework traps etc).

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Alchemy Reaches 5000!

Image Property Of
Which is just awesome!

Whilst we are still quite a way away from reaching our goal of 1,000,000 page views, it is still a great feeling to have come as far as we have, as quickly as we have.

So, this short post is just a big thank you to everyone that has tuned in, dropped me a comment or, popped on by.

Here's hoping to see you all here at the 10,000 mark!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Play Report: Shadows Over Camelot: The Card Game - Game #1, Quest #1

Well I have put a couple of posts up about it of late but, tonight marks my first time actually sitting down, breaking the seal and, playing me a game of Shadows Over Camelot - The Card Game.

Not having played the original board game, I couldn't tell you how they compare but speaking for the card game alone, I can say that it is well worth the money and, that despite the fact that I was playing solo, it was still tense.

For the purposes of a play report on a memory game, I decided to note down the cards once I had committed myself to a quest (because writing them all down as I went along would be cheating frankly). So here goes!

My first quest that I embarked upon was for Excalibur. It was a middle of the road quest, granting two swords if I was successful and I had seen a couple of high value Excalibur cards go down as I worked my way through the deck. I had seen a couple of high value Saxon cards pass too but Merlin effects where going to remove those (or at least so I figured), so this seemed like a fairly safe bet.

There was a Morgan card in play that forced me to count cards aloud as I played (which really messed with my mental count) but I felt pretty confident in my decision as her effects hadn't been in play too long and, I couldn't have lost track of what had passed by that much. Could I?

As it turns out, no, but it was close! One more point in the quest for Excalibur and it would have been a failure. Still, a win is a win and none of the other quests reached the failure threshold either, netting me two white swords and no black ones. A good start.

But what does the realm of Camelot have in store for our valiant knights and their new and shiny sword?

Dominion Defies Decryption

Fiendish Forces At Work And Play!

This is not a good thing! So with that in mind I will preface this post by saying that reading on may spoil your enjoyment of Dominion. If you want to live in blissful ignorance, stop reading now. If you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, read on.

I mentioned in a recent post of my plans to created a home brewed deck-construction game based loosely upon Dominion but, with a Dungeon Keeper theme.

Initially I planned to simply "re-skin" a few Dominion cards that seemed to fit the theme of their Dungeon Keeper counterparts (for example I would have used the Torturer as the Mistress) to see how the idea would actually look on the table and play out within the limitations of the theme.

Before taking the plunge however, I figured that I would have a little dig into the mechanics behind Dominion to see what made it tick and, to give me some idea of the thought processes of the designer. You might say that I was planning to go method on this one.

That's when the problems began.

I was working from the assumption that if I looked deep enough, there would be some underlying mathematical relation between the cost of a card and the effects that it brings into play.

There isn't! At least not one that I could find.

There are patterns that can be found amongst certain groups of card that would lead you to think there is but, this soon falls through when you try to apply those constants to the make-up of another card.

As an example, I compared the Bazaar, the Market and, the Festival to try and find some relation between card costs, compared to the effects of the card. They were perfectly suited to the task as all three had a cost of 5 to bring into your deck and, between them, they shared all the major values that I needed and wanted to work out (Actions, Buys, Cards and, Coinage).

Through an algebraic process of elimination I was able to determine that when costing a card, Actions, Buys and Coinage shared a common value that I labeled 1, while a Card would cost you twice as much.

So, A=B=2C=$, where A=Actions, B=Buys, C=Cards and, $=Coinage.

This was at least true of these three cards but as soon as I tried to apply these rules to other cards such as Village, Laboratory and, Smithy, it soon fell through. So, as the rule couldn't be applied to any card it was no good at all.

Carrying on with my experimentation I have not been able to find any formula to tie it all up, which leads me to believe that there very well may not be one. This is both good news and bad news, with a sprinkling of interesting.

The good news, from my point of view at least is that I can completely scrap Dominion as a model for my project. I can take away the ideas sure but, I have no interest in designing a game that is unbalanced... Which brings me nicely on to the bad news.

I had thought Dominion to be a relatively well designed game but, now looking over my results and some of the more glaring mistakes that I had previously not given any thought to, I have to accept that this is not the case and, well, it's kinda ruined the game for me. Not in the sense that I will never play it again but, more that when I do, I won't feel like I am playing a fair game and fairness is very important to me at the gaming table. This lack of fairness though is to say the least a little intriguing.

Knowing what I know, I will now not only be able to build a better game myself but also some more interesting preset combinations for Dominion itself. I can search through the cards, find the cards that are balanced and put them together!

So, inversely as much as I have ruined my game, I have also taken it up a notch! You gotta love maths!!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Zynga Hits The Game Aisle!

Well I didn't see that one coming but here it is!

Whilst sitting through an ad break I was quite surprised to see that the popular Zynga game, "Words With Friends" has been released as an actual board game... Which I cannot see going down well with the folks over at Mattel, who own the Scrabble trademark worldwide, with the exception of the US and Canada (Where Hasbro hold the rights).

But what does this all mean?

Well, Words With Friends owes a lot of it's popularity to Scrabble. There can be no doubt about it. Being the only Scrabble clone that you can play on Facebook has allowed it to build an epic fan base and, the fact that they have now decided to hit the board game market suggests to me that any legal challenge Mattel has raised, has failed. Words With Friends it would seem is here to stay... But who will win out in the long run?

If I had to call it, I would have to say Mattel. I don't believe that they have the reach or resources that Zynga does but, Scrabble is so well seated in gaming culture that any clone, no matter it's fan base is going to have a hard time shaking it. Let's not also forget that the vast majority, if not all Words With Friends fans where Scrabble players first and foremost and, it's only truly Scrabble's lack of presence on Facebook (for some unknown reason) that attracted anyone to it in the first place.

So, to wrap it up, I think Words With Friends the board game will flop and, represents a great lack of good judgment on the part of Hasbro and Zynga. Only time will tell though.

What do you all think?

Drone Guns, Fantasy Style

An idea has just occurred to me whilst watching Futurama: Bender's Game. It came to me during the scene where the Planet Express crew decided to directly assault Mom's icy lair and she rolled out the seemingly endless wall of Killbots.

I thought to myself, those could just as easily be animated ballista guarding the fortress of some powerful enchanter or artificer who doesn't welcome visitors as robotic drones with lasers for arms or, Gatling Guns mounted in their torsos... Because that's how I think. :0).

It seemed a little odd at first but then I began to wonder why the concept hadn't hit me sooner. Especially after the hordes upon hordes of animated suits of armor that I have waded through time and time again whilst playing Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II.

So what I have in mind is fitting several of these devices to key defensive locations, such as turrets or, as a full defensive line along the battlements, with animated suits of armor or other automatons instructed to reload them. Preferably, I would use repeating ballistae (which I picture looking a lot like this) for a sustained rate of fire against marauders and charge the "crew" with simply clearing jams and changing "clips" but the design and implementation is purely up to the whim of the GM.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Alchemy Bytes #24: Old School Vampires

Following on from my last vampiric posting... Bloody Twilighters!

DMotivational #42: Twilight - More Harmful To Vampires Than Solar Powered Silver Stake Launchers Bathed In Twice Blessed Garlic Sauce!

Alchemy's Workbench #7: A Couple Of More Design Ideas

Whilst in recent times I have not had much time to work on the projects that I already have on the go, it certainly hasn't stopped me coming up with more. As it should be!

My two most recent musings both revolve around cards. One simple.. One not so.

My simplest idea is simply to maybe produce a Top Trumps deck or two. There are a lot of legitimate sets and clones already out there, covering nearly every subject that you can imagine but there are a few themes that I would like to explore, the Dungeon Master Champions for instance or, maybe something a little more imaginative. Any which way I do this though, I don't ever see this becoming a commercial or even independent release. Just something spun off the home printer but, it should still be fun none the less.

The second idea that I am toying with is a revamp and re-skin of Dominion with a Dungeon Keeper theme. Again, something that'll never be a commercial release (and never see the light of day beyond my close gaming friends because licensing would likely be a nightmare!) but should be fun to work on.

Initially I plan to simply swap the art on existing cards that best fit the feel of room or what have you from Dungeon Keeper before addressing the more tricky aspects of new mechanics and new victory conditions. All being well, what comes out the other end won't look any more like Dominion than any other game that uses deck construction as a mechanic. At least that's the plan.. Or as close to a plan as I have for the moment, considering I only dreamed the project up yesterday.

Then there is of course the fact that I already have more than enough on the go at once. Still, I would value any input on the matter. What do you all think?

Make A Reality Check

Recent events have set me thinking. Just how real are your fantasy roleplaying sessions?

Now that may seem like a bit of a contradiction but through playing a quick session of Rolemaster recently, I have come to see just how lacking most other combat systems are. Not that other systems are unplayable, far from it in fact. Most other systems, even those with ridiculous amounts of crunch are, in my eyes far more accessible as games go. Where I find that they tend to be lacking though is the depth in their combat systems.

Often you will be doing something like "1D6" or "1D8+1" damage and, more advanced systems may even assign a "type" to the damage such as fire or lightning. Which works but, it's not a patch on what you get with Rolemaster.

During Rolemaster combat you can easily have a limb broken or lopped off on top of the damage! Now that sounds a lot more like the brutality of warfare to me than "you lose 3 hit points". There are of course groups that won't want this level of graphic violence, such as those with younger members to consider but with a group of adults I think this is just the thing.

It need not end there either!

Consider the realistic impact of encountering a zombie. A rotting corpse lurching toward you, an overpowering smell of decay in the air and, the very real horror that it doesn't just want to kill you, it wants to rend you limb from limb and feast upon your still warm flesh. That's the thing that fear is made of!

Also consider the emotional impact of the first time your character takes a life, the long term effects of a life as a "hero" and, the vices that this may lead to. It's very easy to paint all of our characters as stout and resolute in the face of even the most profound adversity but this shouldn't lead us to forget that more often than not, they are human or of goodly alignment.

Dungeon Masters Series #16: Leif, The Valiant

Leif Ericson
Name: Leif, The Valiant.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Leader.
Level:  4.

Strength: 29
Constitution:  41
Dexterity:  27
Speed:  7
Intelligence:  16
Wizardry:  6
Luck:  22
Charisma:  23

Combat Adds:  +40
Missile Adds:  +55



Full Soft Leather (5 hits, STR: 7, 75WU).

Other Items:

Explorer (INT+3): As an explorer, Lief can often tie new experiences in with knowledge of the world that he has already seen. This gives him a bonus in identifying plants, animals and, phenomena that he their likely properties in strange new lands he may visit.

Insight (INT+1): Able to fully explore any given situation quietly and quickly within his own thoughts, Leif is often able to give good advice to those who seek it.

Leadership (CHR+4): Special ability, as per the rulebook.

Shipbuilding (INT, STR+6): Leif is a master at both designing and building his own ships, able to draw up plans, source appropriate materials and, build vessels with his own hands.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

DMotivational #41: Have You Tried Switching It Off And On Again?

Alchemy Bytes #23: Shadows Over Camelot: The Card Game - Video Review

Following on from my recent post I found this stellar video that gives a good overview of how to play the Shadows Over Camelot Card Game but, however leaves me with one question still unanswered, just how on earth is a game with such a strong focus on interaction supposed to play solo?

Plunder For The Cave #2: More Goodies!

In addition to the recent purchase of a rather awesome box of Skeleton Warriors, that I am REALLY looking forward to getting up and running, I also picked up a few other goodies worth noting.

There is a lot of sweet terrain to pick through in my local gaming store but, one small pack had caught my eye a few trips back and the purchase of the Skeleton Warriors gave me the perfect excuse (as if I needed one) to invest in it.

The pack in question contained a staggering 44 assorted gravestones for a meager £8! Throw in a hairy grass mat and that's pretty much a graveyard right there (although I'd like a mausoleum or two as well).

Renedra,who produce these gravestones are the same folks that were able to outfit me with 90 bases for only £5! As far as value to quality ratios go, these folks give you a lot for your money, which is always a good thing and, as far as the actual quality goes, I certainly have no complaints.

On top of all the modeling goodness, I also decided to pick up a copy of the Shadows Over Camelot Card Game by Days of Wonder. As well as the evocative box art, I was also drawn in by the promise that it could be played solitaire.. The fact that my copy came with the free promotional expansion (giving me a couple of extra cards that look like they'll really change the game) also certainly didn't hurt my decision making process in this either.

Although I have only had a chance for a quick flick through the rules, I have to say that I am quite impressed with what I have seen so far. At it's core, it appears to be a fairly basic memory game but, despite the typical Days of Wonder simplicity it actually opens up and encourages (and kinda doesn't work without) fairly deep roleplaying opportunities.

This should be an interesting one to bring to the table but, quite how a game that depends so heavily on roleplay will fair solitaire I really do not know. I sure plan on finding out though, and soon!

Monday, 5 November 2012

+1 Follower: Welcoming Gothridge Manor.

Following on from the example set by Pulp Citizen, over at his blog, I would like to give a big shout out to our latest follower, Gothridge Manor.

Welcome on-board the mad ship Alchemy. Also, I'd like to take the chance to thank all of our other followers and readership. Without you guys, this blog would just be me barking at the dark. :0).

Alchemy Bytes #22: STAY ALIVE!

Ever wondered just how well you'd handle the zombie apocalypse? Well now you can find out!

The very talented Jerry Teleha is premiering his debut play-by-post solo adventure, Campus Chaos over at his new blog. Every post gives you the chance to vote on the course the story will take as you assume the role of Officer Mickey, a lone officer charged with the security at the local gaming convention.

Will you succeed in the gamers at the convention, whose knowledge of zombie B-Movies may be your only hope or, will it be case of every officer for themselves when hell literally breaks out in Toledo!?

As if frat boys weren't bad enough at the best of times! Check it out, cast your vote and, above all, STAY ALIVE!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

DMotivational #40: Brave Sir Robin

Alchemy Bytes #21: Warrior Dice

This awesome little game is one that I have been wanting to post for a while but, through a combination of a lack of time to look for it and, not being 100% sure what it was called, it's taken a while but, I'm sure you'll think it's worth it.

So, for your gaming pleasure, I present you with Warrior Dice from the wonderful folks over at Warpspawn Games.

Not just an awesome freebie but, one that is easily customized and, I love customization! Why not take a look over the system and design a champion of your very own.

Surely I am not the only one thinking Jedi with all this talk of force points. ;0).

Where's Your H.E.D.Z At?

Whilst putting together a few items for sale that I had in storage in the spare room (hopefully some day to become the gaming room once I shift myself into gear), I found my copy of H.E.D.Z, the Card Game.

Whilst outwardly appearing to be little more than a Top Trumps freebie clone (it came free with a gaming magazine), it does hold a secret.

Printed on the back of the back of the standard rules card is a variant, that with no modification, could be played with any set of Top Trumps or, similar cards. So, for your trumping pleasure, here's they are!

  • Deal out 7 cards to each player.
  • Each player selects five 'live' cards to play with.
  • Remaining cards become the players draw pile.
  • Each player selects a card from their live cards.
  • The lead player declares a category.
  • The card with the highest value wins.
  • The winner places his card and the losers at the bottom of their draw pile.
  • If both values on a card are tied, both cards are placed centrally an the winner of the next hand also adds along with the losers card and, their winning card to the bottom of their draw pile.
  • If you run low on cards and you are the lead player, you may pass control to your opponent to draw the top card of your draw pile to your live cards.

  • You win the game if your opponent has no live cards left to play.

Miniatures Of Myth And Legend Or The BIG Box Of Plastic

Ever wanted some children of the hydra's teeth to call your very own?

I have. Jason and the Argonauts was probably one of the first, if not the first fantasy movies that I ever saw and, the scene with the skeletons was always one of my favorite. There's a reason why it's a classic.

It's awesome and, for me, sets the bar of how skeletons should look if you're modeling one. None of that red glow rubbish. Pure, animated bones that look like they might fall over in a strong (hell, even a light) breeze for me thank you very much. It's a timeless and iconic look and the chance to bring that to the gaming table was not something that I was going to overlook.

Enter the Skeleton Warriors of Myth and Legend (they really have a name that epic) by the Wargames Factory or, as I like to think of them, the big box of plastic.

For me this product is a win on three fronts:

1 - They don't cost an arm and a leg.
2 - They capture that "iconic look" far better than most plastic miniatures.
3 - There's a LOT in the box.. A LOOOOT!

So, what do you get in the big box of plastic?

40 Skeletal heads (4 different expressions, 10 of each).
48 Right arms.
30 Left arms.
30 Sets of legs and lower body.
30 Pairs of skeletal feet.
30 Torsos (3 different spinal angles, 10 of each).
30 Round shields (Greek style).
30 Spears (although they look a lot more like javelins to me).
10 "Arm Claw" (these look REALLY cool).
10 Bow and Quiver.
10 "Earth Burst" bases.
10 Greek Sword in Scabbard.
10 Greek Sword without Scabbard.
10 Persian Sword in Scabbard.
10 Persian Sword without Scabbard.
10 Knife in Scabbard.
10 Spears (these ones really do look like spears).
3 Pikes.

Now that's a lot of bang for your buck in one box, especially one that costs less than £20. Not only do you do you get the tons of choice, you'll also no doubt have plenty of spares to fill your bits box with, making this buy real value for money.

There is one drawback however. The 10 "Earth Burst" style bases included, are all you get. No standard square or round bases, which is definitely an issue with models that have little to no chance of standing up of their own volition. That feather light look is their appeal though and, buying a bag of bases won't break the bank (I paid £2.50 for 50), so I would still recommend these every time over the pitiful 10 warriors you'd get for a comparable price from that other company.

Friday, 26 October 2012

What A Low Life Says, What A Low Life Means.. What A Low Life

Anyone familiar with the shady deeds surrounding Shipman and his one man mission to, I assume, try and destroy Tunnels and Trolls will probably no doubt be familiar with the fact that there is no low or demented level to which he will not sink in his cru-very sad-e.

Anything that will get him a few extra page hits and the attention that is both his life-blood and the oxygen it carries to his black heart.

So why give him what he needs?

Simply because I have a voice here, where on his site there is no room given to comment. So when he lies (signified by sound when his lips move) I can speak and, when he steals (and he does this a LOT), I can give you a link to the real deal. Whatever he does, I can set the record straight.

Starting with his latest humdinger, what he says:

"T&T NEWS -- Our friend and artist Jeff Freels who does work for Outlaw Press has sent us this new large print Tunnels & Trolls Character Sheet. So I thought I would share it with everyone. Just click on it to see it and make yourself a copy. Enjoy!"

And now, what he means:

"I have uploaded a copy Jeff Freels entry into Ken St. Andre's contest over at the Trollgod's Trollhalla in the hope that you will somehow think we work together. I admire Jeff's work greatly and I hope that my inclusion of it here makes me look more popular than I really am. Enjoy!"

DMotivational #38: It's Not The Size, It's What You Do With The Dexterity Bonus That Counts.

Dungeon Masters Series #15: Azizi Johari

Diana, The Acrobat. My inspiration for Azizi.
Name: Azizi Johari.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Rogue.
Level:  2.

Strength: 21
Constitution: 29
Dexterity: 29
Speed: 15
Intelligence: 13
Wizardry:  10
Luck:  22
Charisma:  11

Combat Adds:  +39
Missile Adds:  +58


2 x Fang-Wing (2+4, STR: 8, DEX: 3/12, 17 WU, Each inlaid with a tiger tooth in the pommel).

Target Shield (4 hits, STR: 10, 300 WU).

Other Items:
Halter (10 WU), Tiger Fur Loincloth (10 WU).

Call Water (8 WIZ).

Acrobatics (DEX+4): Allows Azizi to perform flips and somersaults as accompanied with an enhanced sense of balance and agility

Roguery (CHR, INT, LK+1): As per the rulebook.

Alchemy Bytes #20: Tuck In!

Whilst not the greatest problem ever faced by gamers, safe card storage seems to be one that comes up quite often. Especially with the advent of games like Dominion.

These games involve a LOT of shuffling, which in turn leads to a lot of wear and tear on the game.  You almost certainly have to sleeve up every card (which close to doubles the cost of the game to do it right), which then leaves you with the problem of trying to fit your game comfortably back into the plastic inlay. Believe me, it's not going to happen.

So now what you really need to do is invest in tuck boxes, yet another hidden cost but, one I can help you virtually eliminate! Okay, not me but, Craig P. Forbes has just the website for you.

He has designed a virtual template that allows you to print off as many custom tuck boxes as you need at only the cost of some decent card stock and the ink in your printer. Way cheaper than the shops and, if you're feeling artistic, you could always print a design on the back of the template to really capture the contents of the tuck box.

If you're tucking away Dominion: Seaside, why not print a Pirate Ship on the back? Using the template to create a tuck box for your latest Magic: The Gathering deck, why not throw in a mana symbol or, piece of fantasy art?

DMotivational #37: A +5 Holy Avenging Needle In A Hex Map

Following on from DMotivational #29: Make A Spot Check and,
DMotivational #32: Make A Listen Check, it's time to make a Search Check..

Yeah.. Good luck with that!

Plunder For The Cave #1

Plunder for the cave will be the new catch all title for posts relating to new items that I have added to my gaming collection. Whether that be miniatures, board games, source books or, other miscellaneous gaming goodies.

If the guide at Google has sent you my way and you'd like to know more about what you see in the collection, feel free to post up a comment or a question and, I will get back to you as soon as possible.

New additions this week:

Dungeon Fighter: The time between this catching my eye after walking through the door of my friendly local gaming store and deciding that I HAD to have it would have been missed by The Flash if he'd blinked.

The appeal was instant. A goofy dungeon crawl with a sense of humor bordering on the insane. A game that literally on occasion instructs you to close your eyes and throw your dice between your legs.. Yeah, I had to have it. :0).

Although I think that it is unlikely that this game will see massive amounts of table time with the group, I know that with the right guys, every session will be a blast. The game also offers a solo play option, too so even if it doesn't see too much group play I know that I'll certainly be breaking it out every now and again.

Peryton Fantasy Roleplaying Game: This was another instance of seeing an item and knowing that I had to have it (there's a theme starting to develop here).

The guys over at Peryton Publishing are a great bunch and this really is a fantastic product. So far I have only had the time to give it a quick flick through but, for anyone familiar with D&D 3.5 and the OGL it should be a breeze to run.

From the outset though I can state three things without a doubt.

1: The artwork is sweet!
2: The layout is bang on!
3: There is more here than just your standard OGL product. Much more! 

So, considering what you have here could easily be considered a replacement for the trio of 3.5 manuals, with a more old-school feel, at a fraction of the cost, I cannot recommend you picking up this product more highly. It's a lot of bang for your buck.

Pirate Versus Pirate: Another item that I had been eyeballing for sometime but couldn't decide whether to buy or not was Pirate Versus Pirate by Out of The Box.

I was certainly drawn in by the Kovalic art but in all honesty pirates aren't really my thing. I know a lot of people where the mere mention of pirates alone would have had them running game in hand to the till but, that's just really not me. I much prefer a dungeon crawl (as you may have well guessed by now) and, even when I play sci-fi games there is an underlying crawl element. After all, Space Hulk is little more than a dungeon in space.

All that aside though, I am glad that I bought this game because behind the theme there is a pretty solid strategy game that frankly would work, pirate or no pirate.

The only real problem that I have with the game is the inclusion of dice in a game that encourages and, pretty much relies upon strategic movement. Me being me though, I have thought my way around this one and done away with the dice all together.

So instead of rolling 2D4 for movement each turn, you now simply move a single pirate 5 spaces. This keeps the game balanced but increases the level of strategy involved and, creates a game that plays a lot more like Queen Bee, an abstract strategy favorite of mine. It manages to do this without creating a rule set that moots ownership of both games. Win-win in my books!

A Couple of Reaper Minis: In addition to two new games and a new read, I also picked myself out a couple of new miniatures to indulge myself in my new found love of painting.

So added to the "Going to paint sometime soon" collection I now have Spectre and a Fog Wraith, both by Reaper. Those of you who know me pretty well will no doubt know that I really dig Undead and Demonic miniatures, so the fact that I am really looking forward to painting these shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

That's all the plunder for the plunder that I have to show you for the moment but, I do hope to be adding more soon and, giving each of these items a post to call their own.


Dungeon Fighter by Cranio Creations.
Peryton Fantasy Roleplaying Game by Peryton Publishing.
Pirate Versus Pirate by Out Of The Box.