Wednesday, 29 August 2012

(Really) Basic Hammer

Whilst having a ponder in the bath this morning, where it has to be said that I do a lot of my best thinking, I got to mulling over Warhammer 40,000 and my pet peeve with it (well beyond the elitism and extortionate prices associated with it).

The rule book.

Warhammer may not be the most complicated game ever written but it does suffer from a bulky rule book. It's gargantuan when you consider that the game itself only consists of four phases and six turns!

Definitely not user-friendly!

So, I got to thinking, what the game really needs is a bare bones introduction level set of rules. Ideally they should take no longer to explain than a couple of minutes and they should be easy enough to allow people that have never played before into the game.. And I think I may really have something here.

The basic rules as I have designed them where written with infantry based skirmish level play in mind but, to be honest, no specific brand of miniature. So if you are considering entering into the hobby but don't want to shell out £60+ for an entry level box set, why not break out some old toy soldiers or other minis that you have lying around give these rules a whirl?

They're by no means 40k rules but, they will give you a taste of what it might be like to play the game and, if the game is for you.


Before play each player should take an equal number of models of their chosen type and place them within their "deployment zone".

Deployment zones can be any area at least 12" away from enemy deployment zone. If you do not have that much space to spare, then separate table  edges will suffice.

Phase 1: Initiative

Each player rolls 1D6. The player that rolls highest acts first in each of the following three phases (or may optionally allow his opponent to act first) and, play they proceeds amongst the players (more than 2 is possible) in order of the dice rolls from highest to lowest.

The player with the highest initiative will be referred to as the "first player" throughout the rest of these rules. 

Phase 2: Move

Roll 1D6 for each "Unit".

This turn that unit may move up to that many inches. A unit is defined as a group of models acting together as one. Once you have moved all of your units, play passes to the player to complete their movement phase.

Once all players have completed their movement, the first player then begins their Shooting Phase.

Phase 3: Shooting

Each unit that can now draw a clear line of sight (a line between your model and your opponents that is not blocked by terrain) but is not within an inch of an enemy model may fire.

Each unit rolls 1D6 for each member it has left and, every six rolled removes one model from the targeted group.

Once all of the first player's units have fired, play passes to the next player in initiative order that has models left on the table.

Once all players have completed their Shooting Phase, the first player begins their Close Combat Phase.

Phase 4: Close Combat

Units that are within an inch of enemy models (and therefore could not fire) may now optionally attack in close combat.

Close combat works just like Shooting, with each unit rolling a number of dice equal to its members with the exception that both fives and sixes will remove an enemy model.

Once all players have completed or passed on this phase the next turn begins and, initiative is re-rolled.


If at any point all of a players models are eliminated, they are out of the game. The winner is the last player to have models on the table when all of his opponents have been eliminated.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

DMotivational #15: It's All About The Plasma Of Late

The Enchanter: A New Type For Tunnels and Trolls

Snake Charmer by Renata Cavanaugh
(CHR / INT / LK / WIZ)


Originally when I conceived the Enchanter as a specialist Wizard for Tunnels and Trolls, I had much more of a pacifist in mind. In fact, I had considered banning them the use of any weapons! This was mostly due to the special ability that I had designed for the type, that required them to be non-agressive in order for it to be at all effective.

As I worked through fleshing out the type however, it soon became apparent that a character that is unable to fight due to it's special ability, simply would not function as a part of a standard delving party.

So the Enchanter that is presented here is a re-working of that idea. It still maintains the special ability that I feel is central to this type but, also puts a good range of other abilities at the players fingertips with which to adventure.

Oh, and of course it now allows Enchanters to wield weapons should diplomacy fail. ;0).


The prime attributes for Enchanters are, Charisma, Intelligence, Luck and Wizardry, all of which must be at least 12 in order to qualify for this type. As such Enchanters are as rare as Paragons (and just as powerful!)

  • All Enchanters have the same limitations when it comes to wielding weapons that Wizards do (they may use no weapon that grants more than 2D in combat).
  • All Enchanters begin play with Wizards Speech in addition to any other languages that they know.
  • Enchanters are not trained by the Wizard's Guild and therefore do not begin with all of the 1st level spells.
  • The first Talent taken by all Enchanters must be Charm (based upon Charisma) in the same way that all Rogues must take Roguery.
Instead of attacking a foe, an Enchanter may try to beguile them into submission using this ability.

When charming a foe in combat, instead of attacking, the Enchanter rolls a number of dice equal to their level plus one and, adds any bonuses (one point for every point over twelve plus the bonus granted by the Talent) from their prime attributes, whilst the opponents roll up their attacks normally.

If the Enchanter wins the combat round, then the MR of the enemies is reduced by the difference as if damage had been dealt (although no harm is done, so armor can not reduce this amount).

If an opponent is reduced to zero MR this way then they become docile and compliant... Or as docile as compliant as can be expected of the creature in question.

When used outside of combat, the Charm ability can be win over almost anyone using SR's (as set by the GM and, based upon the situation).

Charming is not without it's limitations though and, cannot be used in the following situations:
  • The Enchanter and the target do not share a common language.
  • The target is non-sentient (Undead and Constructs generally cannot be charmed unless they possess an active consciousness).
  • If the target is being attacked in any way, shape or, form they cannot be charmed.
In addition to this ability, Enchanters automatically gain access to the following spells once they have the required attributes to cast them:

Level 1 Spells (DEX: 10, INT: 10)

Hold That Pose (WIZ: 4)
Oh Go Away (WIZ: 5)

Level 2 Spells (DEX: 12, INT: 12)

Mirage (WIZ: 8)
Spirit Mastery (WIZ: 8)

Level 3 Spells (DEX: 15, INT: 15)

Befuddle (WIZ: 12)
Firestorm of Protest (WIZ: 6)
Rock-A-Bye (WIZ: 11)

Level 4 Spells (DEX: 19, INT: 19)

Dum-Dum (WIZ: 8)

Level 5 Spells (DEX: 24, INT: 24)

ESP (WIZ: 20)
Mind Pox (WIZ: 39)
Second Sight (WIZ: 25)

Level 6 Spells (DEX: 30, INT: 30)

Porta-Vision (WIZ: 30)

DMotivational #14: You Know Your DM Hates You When The Only Armor The Blacksmith Has In Stock Are Red Shirts

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Plasma Dawn!

Well, despite my expectations in this article that I posted up earlier, it would seem that the whispers of the warp had a certain, almost eerie ring of truth to them.

It has to be said, and indeed, I did say it, that when I heard the rumors that the 6th Edition Starter Box would contain such a high-volume of plasma weapons, I didn't think for a moment that the rumors could be true.

It was just so "Un Games Workshop".

Here they were, proposing to peddle a product to new players that in my opinion had great potential to deter them from wanting to take the hobby any further and, that does little to sell the new rules to those players.

Frankly, I am still left asking myself, what the hell are they thinking!?

The tactical squad of Dark Angels is clearly sporting a Plasma Cannon, and if the write up here is at all accurate, there are at least another two plasma weapons in that squad. That's three opportunities every time that squad fires to blow itself clean appart!

So, "tactical" isn't the word I would use given that plasma weapons only get moderately better stats than bolters and, bolters don't explode. Bolters are also cheaper as a buy in when it comes to reckoning the points cost of your forcelist, so I can see no real reason for including them.. They kinda suck to be honest.

That aside however, I must concede that by and large, the sculpts for the new miniatures look pretty amazing, with a good mix of models in there for you to bring to the table. Certainly far more imaginative than Black Reach. So in that respect, Games Workshop should certainly have no trouble selling this box set to the masses.

It is just a shame that when people actually do get some of the models to the table, that they will find them self-destructing before they've made a dent in the enemy.

This should make demo games in-store interesting to say the least!

On The Cards: Sunday 26th August

So many plans, so much time and yet so little done.

What's Been Going On?

I did set out this week with soooo many posts planned but, if anything, I have posted up less this week than I have in previous weeks. I have also rolled back some of the more recent changes that I had made... But why?

Well, as much as I thought that I would have the time to do this, that and, the other in theory this week, the practice has had me spending only a handful of hours sat at my laptop whilst I have been cracking away at a number of things.

One of them being miniature painting. I have taken back to doing this myself and am currently spending a couple of hours on average behind the brush a day.

I am finding this quite enjoyable but, I am coming to learn just how fussy I can be when it comes to my paint jobs. Still, all being well, I will have some pretty amazing looking models (by the standards of someone who hasn't painted in an age) to bring to the table.For one thing, I have taken to painting my own miniatures again, so on average spend a couple of hours 

Other than that, I have been very deeply buried in rule books, looking through games that I have owned for some time but, have done little but sit on the shelf, with the hope that I can bring some of them to the table soon and of course, review them.

I have also ditched (as some have you may have noticed) Trollish Encounters and the survey that I had posted up. Although Trollish Encounters seemed like a good idea at the time and, indeed ran smoothly, it's variable size meant that it left the sidebar looking rather ramshackle and, just had to go!

I can always bring it back though, just maybe on a page of its own.

The survey has also been chucked before completion. Again, it was making the blog look a damned mess as far as I was concerned but, the feedback was valuable and the responses fairly conclusive, so I must thank everyone who participated. Your feedback has been taken on board and into consideration.

So What Next?

In all honesty, I can say that the week ahead is as much a mystery to you as it is me!

I still haven't received my hours for the coming week yet and, I could be required to be in work in less than 24 hours...

What I can say however is that I will be continuing to post up the usual features regardless and, time permitting, more besides! All being well, I hope to get that new Tunnels and Trolls type I promised you all today too.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Well, That Didn't Take Long Did It?

Less than day after the creative folks over at Hobb Sized Adventures have posted up there new short solo adventure, The Challenge of the King, the less than creative (and frankly sub-human) James Shipman has usurped it.

Not that this will be much in the way of news to anyone who knows anything about the shady shenanigans that he considers ethical business practices.

Say no to the crook, visit Hobb Sized Adventures and enjoy the original.

$900 worth of miniatures for just $100

Yeah, you read that right! $900 worth of  Reaper miniatures for just a $100 pledge to this kickstarter project.

A big thank you to Erik of at Tenkar's tavern for putting up the original post that drew my attention to this great offer, which I just had to share!

I am a great believer in kickstarters (and even plan to do a couple of my own in the future) for getting new projects off of the ground.

In my opinion they are great way for small and large groups alike to continue to expand in these financially tough times and, in turn keep the hobbies that we love alive and kicking!

So why not show your support? There's lots of shiny things in it for you!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Trollish Encounters: Refreshing A Page Was Never So Much Fun!

Image property of
The gremlins have been hard at work again in the Alchemy Labs ever since they saw this strange device in a far and distant land.

"Hmmm, they thought. Summoning random quotes with technomncy.. Interesting. We could use this to conjure up all kinds of chaos".

So they sat there tinkering, stripped back the machine to it's bare components and combined it with bar tales to create the "Trollish Encounter Generator".

Activated by a click of the mouse upon the refresh button or clicking on ANY of our articles, the generator will cast the delver of your choice into instant adventure.

Will you find treasure? Will you find peril? Click the mouse and try your luck! (check it out in the right-hand bar)

Whilst there are only a handful of encounters at the moment, be assured that the generator will be updated on a regular basis with more treasure, more monsters and, more adventure!

Want to add your own encounter?

E-mail us one or, drop it to us a comment below. If it's good, it's in and will of course be credited to you for all future delvers to see!

Monday, 20 August 2012

To Buy Or, Not To Buy - Part #1: Fighting Fantasy

One of the biggest problems that a lot of gamers have with systems that randomly generate attributes based on dice rolls is that if they roll poorly, then they can be on the back foot from the word go.

In fact it is fair to say that every future dice roll in any given attribute reflects upon how well you rolled initially. If you get a good result to begin with, then you are certainly going to have an easier time of things when it comes to testing that attribute in the future.

So if you are unlucky enough to roll a one for your Skill in the Fighting Fantasy system, even a double-six in Stamina is unlikely to save you from the pummeling that you are likely to receive from even the most mediocre of foes.

That doesn't seem fair right?

A simple solution I have introduced to my solo gamebook sessions to resolve this, is a basic point buy system based upon the averages generated by the dice you would ordinarily roll to generate an adventurer.

All heroes using this system begin play with the following attributes and, 14 points to improve them:

Skill: 6
Luck: 6
Stamina: 12

Every point spent on an attribute will increase its value by 1 and, there are no upper thresholds on how high you may push any attribute.

Many people may think that this is a bad idea, opening the system up to "Min-Max" exploitation, throwing all of your points into Skill for example to create a character with a massive 20 Skill points.

Consider though that this same character would only have a Luck of 6 and, how often the average adventure may call upon a player to test it. Taking this into account it soon becomes clear that this form of rules manipulation isn't really a viable approach and that point buy systems like this actually encourage balance.

DMotivational #13: Tis' But A Flesh Wound

One Page, Unlimited Potential


In scrolling through my feed this morning, I came across this great post over at Jake Care's Gamebooks.

Whilst I had seen the original adventure that the post mentions in the Red Box version of the Dungeons and Dragons rules, I had no idea that other writers had carried on the format.

I had always thought that this was a crying shame, as it was so innovative and, the closest that realistically you could come to a GM lead adventure, without the GM.

True, it did have the drawback that there was no random factor involved outside of combat (and this mini adventure doesn't even possess that), so there was little to no replay value but, couldn't that be easily fixed?

By this I mean that there is nothing to stop budding games designers and solitaire adventure writers sitting down, adopting the creative mechanics of the system whilst throwing in their own random twist.

For example, if a player is directed to a piece of text, couldn't that text be (or direct the player to roll on) a Wandering Monster table? A Random Treasure Generator could also be thrown in with the same ease.

Attach that to a simple system like Fighting Fantasy or, Tunnels and Trolls and you'd have one hell of a product on your hands.


Read more about Page Quest and download your copy here.

Alchemy Needs You!

Well, here we are folks, post 100 and, it's announcement time once again.

Going forward I would like to start adding the work of guest bloggers.

So, we need you!

The chance are if you're reading this blog, you're either into your games or, Google screwed up, of which I sincerely hope it's the former!

Chances are also that you have something to say about the games that you play. Maybe a fond childhood memory or, maybe you're involved in the development of something new? Perhaps you roleplay on a regular basis and note down your sessions, have written a review on another site that you'd like to share with a wider audience or, have a kickstarter, group or, product that you'd like to promote? Maybe you're a fledgling writer or artist looking for an outlet?

If any of this sounds like you, why not drop us a mail?

We would love to publish your works on this blog and share them with the world. We can't offer you anything in the way of financial incentives just yet but, the original works will remain your intellectual property and, you can of course link your own site or blog into them if you have one.

Should you want to, you can even include such works on your CV and I will happily stand as reference for you.

So, why not drop us a mail? We look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

DMotivation #12: If Tunnels And Trolls Did Clerics

Alchemy Bytes #15: Headless Hollow

One of the biggest problems with being a modern day gamer is the sheer volume of games that are available and, subsequently the sheer volume of games that most of us end up owning.

How is that a problem?

Well, with so many games on your shelf, how can you be expected to remember the rules to every last one of them? You can't really. Especially with how complex some modern releases are (not that old Avalon Hill was anything like simple!)

So when you want to break out that game that you've not played for a few months one of the first things that you have to do is sit down and have a flick through that rule book.

Which has to be in all honesty one of my pet peaves.

There is a solution at hand however. I had seen it suggested before that the thing to do was to create quick cheat sheets to include with your game that would remind you of all the key rules and, get you up and running straight out of the box. In fact a lot of newer games do include similar reference sheets that do just that. So it was an idea well received by many of the major publishers.

But what about your older games or, the newer ones that haven't followed this pattern? Do you really have to sit there and type up your own reference sheets?

Not if you can find it over at the Headless Hollow you don't. Whilst they may not have every game ever printed covered, they do have a fine range of cheat sheets and rules summaries for you to download, currently supporting (and listed here as there was no way in hell that they'd all fit into the limited space given for labels by Blogger):

7 Wonders

Advanced Space Crusade, The Adventurers, Age of Conan: The Strategy Boardgame, Agricola, Android, Arcana, Archeology: The Card Game, Arena Maximus, Arkham Horror, AT 43, Ave Caesar.

Babel, Battle Ball, Battlecars, Battle for Armageddon, Battl Khaos, Battlelore, Battle Masters, Battleship Galaxies, Battles of Westros, Battlestar Galactica, Beowulf: The Movie Boardgame, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Black Beard, Blood Bowl, Blood Bowl: Team Manager, Blue Moon, Blue Moon City, Britannia, Broadsides and Boarding Parties, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

City of Thieves, Call of Cthulhu: The Collectible Card Game, Call of the Cthulhu: The Card Game, Camelot, Catan: The Card Game, Cave Troll, Chaos in the Old World, Chaos Marauders, Citadels, Civilization: The Board Game, Claustrophobia, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, Cold War: CIA vs KGB, Colossal Arena, Colloseum, Commands and Colors: Ancients, Condottiere, Conquest of Nerath, Conquest of Planet Earth, Conquest of the Empire, Cosmic Encounter, Curse of the Mummys Tomb, Cutthroat Caverns, Cyclades.

Dark World, Descent: Journeys in the Dark 1st Edition, Descent: Road to Legend, Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition, Doom: The Board Game, Doom of the Eldar, Dracula, Drakon, Dreadfleet, Dream Blade, Duel in the Dark, Dungeons and Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Boardgame, Dungeons and Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Boardgame, Dungeonquest, Dungeon Twister, Dust Tactics.

Earth Reborn, Endeavor, The End of the Triumvirate, Warhammer: Epic 40,000, Escape from Atlantis, Escape from Colditz.

Fire and Axe, Formula D, Fortune and Glory, The Fury of Dracula.

Galactic Emperor, The Game of Thrones: The Board Game, The Game of Thrones: The Card Game, Gears of War, Ghost Stories, Gloom, Guillotine.

Hammer of the Scots, Hannibal, Hellas, HeroQuest, Heroes Incorporated, Heroscape, Horus Heresy, Hour of Glory, Hybrid.

Iliad, Il Principe, Incan Gold, Incursion, Invasion from Outer Space, Isla Dorada.

Jamaica, Jambo, Judge Dredd.


Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, The Legend of Robin Hood, Letter of Marque, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings: Card Game, The Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation, Lords of Waterdeep, Lost Cities.

Maharaja, Mall of Horror, Man O' War, Mansions of Madness, Mare Nostrum, Marvel Heroes, Memoir '44, Merchants and Marauders, Mesopotamia, Middle-Earth Quest, Minotaur Lords, Monsters Menace America, Monsterpocalypse: Collectible Miniatures Game, Mordheim, Mutant Chronicles, Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel, Mystery of the Abbey.

Necromunda, Neuroshima Hex, Nexus Ops, Ninjato.

Odin's Ravens, Okko.

Pandemic, Pirate's Cove, Prophecy, Puerto Rico.


Rattus, Red November, Rex, Road Kill Rally, Rogue Trooper, Rune Age, Runebound, Runebound: Sands of Al-Kalim, Runewars, Rush N Crush.

Saboteur, San Juan, Scarab Lords, Shadows Over Camelot, Shazamm, Silk Road, Small World, Space Crusade, Space Hulk, Space Hulk: Death Angel, Star Craft: The Board Game, Star Wars: The Queens Gambit, Summoner Wars.

Tales of the Arabian Nights, Talisman, Tannhauser, Thebes, Thunder Road, Ticket to Ride, Tide of Iron, A Touch of Evil, Traders of Carthage.



Warhammer: Fantasy Roleplay, Warhammer: Invasion, Warhammer Quest, Warlock: The game of Dueling Wizards, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, War of the Ring, Warrior Knights, Wings of War, Witch of Salem, Wiz-War, World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game, Wreckage.



  Zanziar, Zombies!!!, Zombie Plague.

DMotivational #11: You Meet In A Tavern..

Because nearly everyone's first induction to roleplaying will go something along the lines of:

"You meet in a tavern, drawn to the area by rumors of adventure for the taking. In the one corner of the room a wizened looking old man studies a small piece of parchment covered with what from a distance resemble archaic markings. Elsewhere in the bar area a group of rough looking locals gamble over dice and fill the air with the occasional profanity as small coins change hands and, raucous laughter at the expense of their fellow gamblers. Behind the bar a large muscular man keeps order and a watchful eye over his patrons.

What do you do?"

On The Cards: Sunday 19th August

Another week of blogging nearly up and, what a week it's been.

Not only have we reached our 1,000 page view goal but, also set ourselves the new (and very ambitious goal) of 1,000,000 page views!

I know a lot of people who read that post probably sat there in disbelief for a moment or two before thinking to themselves, something along the lines of "it'll never happen".

I really believe that it can be done though. Not only can but, will be done.

Over the past couple of months we have grown substantially, going from attracting only a handful of readers everyday, to the point where we now pull in on average 40+ viewers nearly each and every day!

This figure is still growing too! So it may take a while but, 1,000,000 page views is going to happen.

I want to take this opportunity to again send out a big thank you to everyone who has popped by and made this possible, with special thanks to everyone who has shared our content with the web. There's nothing quite like Googling your work and seeing that it has spread like wildfire. :0).

So whatever next from our bag of tricks?

Well, I will be continuing with our regular features that have proved to be very popular on the world wide web including Alchemy Bytes, DMotivational and, our conversion of new material for the Diablo II Fast Play RPG. Also we'll be continuing with our new features The Aladdin's Cave and Fluxx Up's.

I also have a few other things in the works that I hope I can start rolling out over the coming week, including a new Tunnels and Trolls type with a rather original approach to combat and, many more things to boot.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Win A Fully Painted Rogue Trader Era Imperial Guard Army!

Yep! You read that right. A fully painted Imperial Guard army from the Rogue Trader era is up for grabs.

I came across this great give away run by the folks over at Bell of Lost Souls whilst searching the web for research material (amazing the things my research keeps digging up of late) and just had to share it with you all.

The best bit? It's free and, you still have time to enter. Hell, you can enter the draw up to six times if you have the means.

For full details, check out their competition posting here.

Plug For A Bud

A friend of mine has recently started up a local gaming group in my area and, after working out the details of what we wanted to say here, he has given me the go ahead to plug his new group on the blog.

So here it is!

This is a group for gamers of all ages, who live: in / close to / willing to travel to; the North West Of Birmingham.

We are currently based around Bearwood and hope to expand our group to a larger size.

We are hoping to get a group to meet at least once per week, maybe once in a weekday evening and potentially once at the weekend.

We play all sorts of games, tabletop, wargames, roleplaying, card and lots more.

Post in the group or email us at:
If you have a product, service, site or, blog that you would like to plug here, drop me a mail here. 

It's free and I am happy to accommodate almost any reasonable request.

Dungeon! And Possibly Some Dragons

On researching one of my previous articles I came across this and all of a sudden I was filled with nostalgia and excitement.

Dungeon! is one of my fondest childhood memories of gaming and, I can actually remember one six week holiday where I did little but play this game, day in, day out.

Sadly my childhood copy didn't really stand up too well to the wear and tear of my less than careful ways as a youth and somewhere in my early teens it had to make friends with the trash heap. :0(.

A few years down the road though and, along came E-bay and, I can happily say that I once again became a proud owner of this fine game. :0).

So, with such fond feelings for this game you can only imagine how happy I am to see what was probably my first ever dungeon crawler reaching out to a new generation of gamers.

Good show Wizards!

Alchemy Bytes #14: Dungeon Command

Another interesting insight into the world of gaming from Tom Vasel and Sam Healey over at the Dice Tower.

This time they take a look at a game that has certainly caught my eye and, promises to have a great deal of potential. I strongly suspect I will be picking up a copy at any rate. I also however suspect that this could very quickly become another expensive collection to maintain.

With each of the two box sets currently available costing over £30 each and, the realistic necessity being that you need both to play a decent game it's not cheap off the bat. Then take into account that there at least two further planned expansions in the works at Wizards and, we start getting into the realms of downright expensive!

Since this is Wizards as well, it isn't unrealistic to expect that they will go down the route of releasing booster packs that will probably set you back about £10 a time.

For that kind of money I could build a 40k army!

Dungeon Command does have certain advantages over Warhammer though. Chiefly the fact that the miniatures you buy here come painted and assembled. Also however, each miniature also comes with cards that allow you to use it in any of the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System games that you may already own (Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, The Legend of Drizzt).

So if you do happen to own any of those you're not just getting a new game but an expansion for your old game to boot, which makes the £30 a box price much easier to justify and accept.

In conclusion, I would say that this game would make a great buy for any fan of the now out of production Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures Game but, be warned, keeping up with this one isn't going to be cheap!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Trollish Grapevine

With such a close-knit community like that of the Tunnels and Trolls fans, it really doesn't take long for news to spread like wildfire.

So what's today's burning issue that has just made it to my mailbox?

Shipman is at it again! That is he's trying to sell TrollsZine, a FREE Tunnels and Trolls E-zine produced by the fans for the fans, in yet another feeble attempt to profit off of the hard work of others... Again.

So, I'm here again to go on record as a contributor to the first two issues of TrollsZine to ask you all not to buy from this crook. No-one that has EVER contributed to TrollsZine has done so with the intention of making money and, we sure as hell don't want some hack coming from the outside and damaging our name by doing just that.

Download your copies of TrollsZine from the links below for FREE and say no to this con man that would have your money for nothing!


TrollsZine #1
TrollsZine #2
TrollsZine #3
TrollsZine #4
TrollsZine #5

Even More Thrift Store Finds

I really do have some amazing thrift stores only a stones throw from my doorstep and, it never ceases to amaze me just what people don't want anymore.

So what have people been throwing out of late?

My first two finds where within where both found in the same place on the same day. The first one to catch my eye was a box that seemed really familiar to me for some reason that I didn't twig until I read the title, "The Chronicles of Narnia".

This isn't a game based upon any of the new movies but, rather the BBC drama from the late 80's. I only vaguely remember watching this as a child but, it must have stayed with me far more clearly than I recall as only catching a glimpse of the box out of the corner of my eye was enough to draw me in.

Having had a quick flick through the rules I can safely say that this game has about as much to do with Narnia on a thematic level as my neighbors cat has to do with Aslan. It's still a nice game though and, I am still very happy with it.

My second find of the day was Treasures and Trapdoors, sitting maybe only two or three boxes away from where I found The Chronicles of Narnia game. This is another fine example of Waddingtons craftsmanship and innovation, so I simply had to have it. No question about it.

I won't go into too much detail on this one just yet though as I aim to be looking at it in a future as a part of The Aladdin's Cave.

My last find of the week came a couple of days later when I stumbled upon a copy of Dracula by Rio Grande games sitting in that very same thrift store for a mere £1.99! How could I pass that up?

Outwardly I have to admit that I wasn't expecting too much from this game. Vampire themed games are ten a penny and, games that play on the well known name of Dracula seem by far the most frequent.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I got through reading the rules and found that what I had here was actually a solid strategy game that carried the theme of Dracula well!

I'm really looking forward to breaking this one out the next time I get a chance to sit down for a game and, I expect that it could become quite popular in our group.

So there we have it, three amazing finds, across two days in one store. Whatever will I find next?

The Aladdin's Cave #1: Heroes Of The Maze

The Aladdin's Cave is a new feature that I plan to run as often as my collection will allow, where I will be taking a look at some older obscurities that I think are well worth owning should you ever get the chance.

First up we have Heroes of the Maze by Waddingtons.

From the outset it would be easy to look at the box and think to yourself that what you have here is yet another 90's dungeon crawler in the vein of say Heroquest. Perhaps an attempt to clone it as copyright really wasn't what it is now back then.

You would be wrong though. Oh so wrong.

For a start, there's not a cardboard component in sight. Even the boards plastic! This is to say the least unusual. It also includes mechanical parts, which is almost unheard of in the context of board games. Well other than Mousetrap that is but, this was no one off as Waddingtons used a similar mechanic in another of their games that I was lucky enough to get hold of, Treasures and Trapdoors.

Also, unlike Mousetrap the mechanical part in this game (that rotates sections of the maze) is actually integral to play, rather than simply being a gimmick to engage younger audiences. Not that I would say Heroes of the Maze is by any stretch of the imagination a game aimed at adult audiences. In my eyes, it is more a toy with rules.

So in conclusion what else can I say about this game?

Well, for one thing the production quality is excellent. Despite my copy being in the ball park of 21 years old the mechanical wheel still functions without difficulty, the dice have not faded with age and, none of the other pieces are showing any signs of wear. Considering how fragile plastic was back then it's clear to me that Waddingtons were certainly a cut above the competition, building games to last.

I would also say that should you decide that you want to pick up a copy for yourself, prices are still pretty low on E-bay as it hasn't really gained any value with time.

So don't buy this game if you're looking for an investment but, should you want a light-fantasy game to play with the little ones there are few finer candidates than the one we have here.

DMotivational #10: A Gazebo?

Ever heard the epic tale of Eric and the Gazebo? No? Check it out here. XD

Alchemy Bytes #13: World Wide Web Of Wonders

I found this amazing little wonder in my Facebook feed today and just had to share it.

I have been pondering doing something similar for quite a while. Ever since I first saw this in fact.

Personally I found the art in Toy Mallet: 40c quite evocative. It set me thinking on just how much fun it could be to field a cutesy and fluffy force in such a grim setting.

Also I expect the looks on the faces of other gamers and, indeed the Games Workshop staff as you began to unpack your army ready for battle would be priceless!

In fact, the only factor that has stopped me creating such an army is budget. Admittedly a Battleforce would probably suffice but that's still £80 to spend on what is essentially a one-shot practical joke. Not Cheap.

Still very tempting though...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Fluxx Ups #1: Non-Creeper Feature

If there is one thing I love, it's a game that you can play with.

Not playing but, playing with. A game that really lets you dig into and make it your own the way roleplaying games encourage you to.

That's the way I see Fluxx.

With every set having identical backs, regardless of edition and handfuls of promotional cards, I can't help but see it as an ideal candidate for home brewing.

Which is what "Fluxx Ups" is all about. Taking bits out, putting bits in, and, seeing what happens.

For today's experiment I decided to take Martian Fluxx and see what happened if I stripped a deck of all of it's Creepers and, all of the cards that related to them (Actions, Goals, Rules etc). I had seen this written as a suggestion for easing in new players in another version. Zombie Fluxx I think But, what actual difference does removing the Creepers make?

It has to be said, not a lot.

I dropped 13 Creepers, 3 Actions, 2 New Rules, 6 Goals and, an Ungoal card and I didn't find that the game played that much differently at all. The only real change I noticed was that without Creepers the game is much more friendly.

Sure, you can still steal Keepers from one another, trash them occasionally and manipulate the Goals and New Rules to your advantage but, there is none of the negative impact of throwing a Creeper in front of someone just so that they can't win. In my book, that's just poor sportsmanship.

So it would seem that the impact of removing creepers is less a change in play but, more a change in the meta-game. A very positive one at that! So, if you're going to play Fluxx with younger audiences this is definitely something to consider doing.

Alchemy Bytes #12: Descent - Journeys In The Dark 2nd Edition


An interesting look at Fantasy Flight Games latest version of the I suspect some day classic dungeon crawl, Descent: Journeys In The Dark.

Personally, I can't say that I agree with Tom Vasel's take on the new version of the game and, his assumption that it makes 1st edition obsolete. Without the fan base of the original version I think it is fair to say that this new release wouldn't be receiving half the attention it is.

Can I see all of those fans jumping ship at the sight of a new version of their favorite game? Not likely.

Not to mention that the second edition isn't really a new game! It's a rehash built on the lessons learned from years of first edition (in much the same way that first edition was a re-skin of the Doom: The Boardgame, taking on board the lessons that they had learned to build a stronger product).

One element that second edition does add to the base box is a campaign system similar to that in the Road to Legend expansion for the original. Which is a nice as without a doubt, that was the most popular expansion amongst the fans.

Is that enough though? Not for me I'm afraid.

Although I know that I will almost certainly end up buying a copy for the sake of completion, I am no fan of the majority of the changes that have been made by Fantasy Flight in the name of progress.

The campaign system is a nice touch and the skills that you collect as your character advances in level also have a certain appeal about them. Most of the other changes seem more like mistakes rather than progress though in my opinion.

In conclusion, this is a nice product but it's no more than a pale shadow of what it had the potential to be and, certainly not worth its price tag.

Best left avoided.

A Tweak Here, A Twiddle There

Image property of
After considerable poking and cajoling the tech gremlins have finally got around to installing the latest tweaks and McGuffins, that should make navigating your way around this blog even easier!

We now have a search function (that not only searches this blog but, every blog that we are following!), a lovely tag cloud if that's more your thing and, a page view counter so you can see just how well we're progressing towards our new target of 1,000,00 page views!

Are there anymore tweaks that you'd like to see?

Drop us a mail at: Alchemy's Mailbag

DMotivational #9: In The Grim Darkness Of The Future There Is Limited Segway Parking

Alchemy Bytes #11: One Thousand Mokeys With One Thousand Typewriters

Have they produced the complete works of Shakespeare?

Not yet but, who wants Shakespeare when you can have your pick of their vast range of free RPG products?

Including full blown rulebooks, popular independent productions like Dungeon Squad and, solitaire games where everything fits on to one sheet of A4 (such as Hex), this site has a lot to offer.

Check them out here and fit your boots with a trove of free booty.

Millennium.. Falcon Optional


I haven't had a chance to check much of anything online over the past day or so due to the heavy work commitments.

Work commitments and the heavy sleep commitment that is which come from working a 10 hour shift on top of 3 hours sleep.

I'm back now though and having caught up on both my sleep and the many blogs I follow I am happy to announce that we have now broke the 1,000 page view target I set myself.

Which is great, nay, EPIC news.

So as with my previous targets, a big thank you to everyone that has clicked on by to show there support and, a huge thank you to all of my regular readers. You all make it worthwhile.

So where do we go from here? Well, I think the next target should be


So, I am not going to aim for 2,000, 5,000 or, even 10,000 page views. No this time we're going for something of mammoth proportions..

This time I am thinking 1,000,000 page views!!

Lets turn this Millennium into a million.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Review: Elder Tunnels - Halloween 2010

Balancing horror and high-fantasy can be a difficult task.

Even in surreal, pan-dimensional warp spaces like the many worlds of Tunnels and Trolls it's a delicate balance. Many of the classic tropes have already been explored in depth by most gamers, either through the classic fiction that most of us will have read or, through popular culture.

Suffice to say, springing a surprise horror adventure on your party can be a difficult task for the GM... That's why we're taking a look at a Halloween product in early August.

Pick it up now, read through it within the next week and, your next session can really bring some bite to the table. Not only will the players not be expecting you to run such a scenario but, to their credit, the two GM adventures included in this issue don't read like horror at all... Until your players are already up to their necks in it that is. ;0).

But what do you get for your money?

The Ephemera Furnace


The first GM adventure in the book has several interesting themes running through it. One of which is a theme that doesn't often make it to my Tunnels and Trolls table in all honesty. That theme being morality.

I have long since thought that it is hard to herald folks that break into the homes of (granted, less savory) folks to steal and murder as heroes but, that would seem to be at the heart of our hobby. In fact, it's such common place in high-fantasy that most of us barely think twice about it. I sure don't when I am at the gaming table. I have even heard tales of a thieving little hobbit in another group, stealing the door knobs on every chamber he passed because they were made of brass!

So it is fair to say that any delver that's made it so far through their career (often having set foot inside their first dungeon is a  good benchmark) has done something immoral. Usually something like mowing down a poorly armed goblin with a broadsword for his pocket change or, hacking up a swarm of rats, just because they're in the way.

This adventure redresses that balance however and, the more black hearted amongst your party could find themselves having a very hard time! Which I think is a good thing. Not only does it encourage better roleplaying by forcing players to evaluate their actions but, it also throws them one hell of a curve ball.

Interestingly and coincidently, I saw a similar dilemma in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager that I had watched only last week.  So if you happen to have a season 1 on DVD and want to run this adventure, I would highly recommend taking a look at "Phage" for some pointers upon the motivations of the NPC's and, possible developments that may occur as a result of this adventure.

Resurrection Missions

I have to admit that when looking at the product as a whole, I find the inclusion of the Resurrection Missions article odd.

In all fairness to the author and the editors over at Peryton Publishing there is nothing wrong with the article. Nothing what so ever. It is well written, has that familiar Tunnels and Trolls take on fantasy about it and, offers three very entertaining short adventures that could be used to either break the ice with a new party or, as a special event to reunite players with their most favored fallen characters from the year that have met sticky ends.

It could be great! But somehow when compared to the other adventures it seems to fall short... Which is where the oddness comes in.

There is nothing wrong with it what so ever, yet I just can't seem to get on with it. I suspect that this may be more to do with me as a reader favoring certain authors, their styles of writing and, the way that they bring the words to life, so should certainly not be taken in any way, shape or, form as a slight on Mike's work. It's just evidently not to my taste.

It is however a fine piece of work and a good solid contribution to the zine, so well worth a read.

The Farmer's Daughter

In fairness to my readership, I must admit that I have not yet had time to play through this and, as not to spoil any of my future adventures I have pretty much tried to avoid reading anything about this solo what so ever.

As such, I can't really review it in any fair manner, so I will be coming back to this one at a later date. One thing I can comment on however is the interesting take on Grant Wood's, American Gothic that it uses as cover art and, that comment would have to be, awesome! Awesome with a capital A!

Trouble Among the Tumbled Stones

Last by no means least is Tom K. Loney's GM adventure, Trouble Among the Tumbled Stones.

Anyone that has read my previous Elder Tunnels review will no doubt have guessed that I was really looking forward to reading this adventure after how much enjoyment I got from the Wuthering Depths. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.

Continuing in the setting of his previous adventure, Trouble Among the Tumbled Stones takes us above ground and into troubled times as Tom fleshes out this rich world with his vibrant imagination.

As with Christina Lea's adventure, things start out rather unassuming. People are going missing along the main trade road and, this being bad for business the local authorities want to put a stop to things. As such, they hire the party to investigate. Now that all sounds rather tame doesn't it?

Not at all horrific.

Well, that might well be the case if the people weren't going missing right in the middle of Ghoul country! Ghoul's that interestingly enough the locals seem to live a peaceful coexistence with or, at least a have a tolerance for. The Ghouls even have their own settlement and community.

Now hows that for a twist! Normally you'd be charging the Ghoul city with a bunch of angry locals, brandishing torches and pitchforks sure that they were the villains of the piece but nothing is quite that clear cut here. In this instance, the party are likely the outsiders, new to the area and, potentially the subject of suspicion from the Ghouls. Talk about turning the tables!

That's as about as much as I can say before I start throwing spoilers out there (which I really don't want to do) but, for all the great content in this zine I really have to recommend you pick up a copy.

You won't be disappointed.


Check out the Elder Tunnels here.
Take a look around Peryton Publishing.

Pick up the PDF here ($4.99) or, order your dead tree copy here ($7.99).

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Review: The Cursed Catacombs

The Cursed Catacombs is the sixth entry in the Toys for The Sandbox (TFTSB) series by Occult Moon.

Like other products in the range, instead of giving you one single fixed adventure that you can run straight out of the book, The Cursed Catacombs offers the creative GM a collection of adventure seeds based upon it's story arc for you to pick and choose between.

So with the six varied plots covering a wide variety of scenarios, there should be something in there for most groups. Even if you don't like the possibilities presented, it isn't hard to throw something together with the map, background and, NPC's provided.

So with a detailed map of the catacombs covering 4 levels, a map of the island, 6 plots, 4 NPC's and, two tables for generating random content this product certainly has a lot to offer and, is one hell of a bang for your buck!

You will need a creative GM to run it though and, I cannot stress this enough. The whole product has been designed with the intention of offering gamers bare-bones that must be fleshed out before use.

This kind of thing can of course be done on the fly by skilled and experienced GM's but, I don't recommend this approach personally. It's completely unnecessary when you consider that this product can be read through within the space of half an hour and, adapted to your setting in probably the space of just over an hour or so. Less time if you're running it as a one shot.

Do I recommend this product?

Definitely. Personally I enjoy a good undead fest but, even for those groups out there that don't want to spend their sessions hacking through corpses there is plenty of potential adventure to be had exploring these catacombs.

Pick up your copy here ($0.99).

DMotivational #8: Red Shirt's Offer Little Protection From Ancient Terran Magics

On The Cards: Sunday 12th August

Well my new approach to things seems to be working from a planning point of view.

True, I haven't managed to get everything done that I wanted to but, by and large if I set out to do it, it has been done and, I still have the rest of today to boot.

Just in case though, anything that I currently have outstanding has also been penciled in for early next week so one way or another, it's certainly getting done. ;0).

Amongst my other works in progress, the Diablo II Fast Play creature conversion is also coming along nicely and, we are quite close to reaching the half-way point. I will be carrying this one on for as long as it takes and, also potentially opening up a couple of other on-going projects over the next week.

This week will should also see a tech update to the blog. Now that I am beginning to get to grips with Blogger I hope to clean up the interface a little and, add a few more user friendly features that I have seen on other blogs and, thought were nice touches.

Content wise, I will be adding a new feature, The Aladdin's Cave, posting up a few more thrift store finds that I have made over the past week and, continuing to post up more great Alchemy Bytes and DMotivationals.

As ever I will also be posting up anything that catches my gaming eye, so stay tuned and, stay frosty. :0)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Diablo II: More Monsters - Fallen One Shaman


Enraged Fallen One
To Hit: 12
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 6
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (1D6 Fire Damage)

Special Rules: Any character targeted by a shamans Fire Bolt may attempt to make a Saving Throw on DEX. If they are successful, the damage taken is halved (round fractions down).

Raise Dead. Instead of attacking a shaman may return an adjacent dead Fallen One to life. The risen Fallen One gains its full compliment of HP but, may not act this round.

XP Value: 35.

Demented Carver
To Hit: 12
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 8
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (2D6 Fire Damage)

Special Rules: Any character targeted by a shamans Fire Bolt may attempt to make a Saving Throw on DEX. If they are successful, the damage taken is halved (round fractions down).

Raise Dead. Instead of attacking a shaman may return an adjacent dead Fallen One to life. The risen Fallen One gains its full compliment of HP but, may not act this round.

XP Value: 65.

Deranged Devilkin
To Hit: 10
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 10
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6+1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (3D6 Fire Damage)

Special Rules: Any character targeted by a shamans Fire Bolt may attempt to make a Saving Throw on DEX. If they are successful, the damage taken is halved (round fractions down).

Raise Dead. Instead of attacking a shaman may return an adjacent dead Fallen One to life. The risen Fallen One gains its full compliment of HP but, may not act this round.

If a Deranged Devilkin is damaged by a fire attack, roll 1D6. On a 1 or 2 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up).

XP Value: 120.

Depraved Dark One
To Hit: 12
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 12
Primary Attack: Staff (2D6-2 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (4D6 Fire Damage)

Special Rules: Any character targeted by a shamans Fire Bolt may attempt to make a Saving Throw on DEX. If they are successful, the damage taken is halved (round fractions down).

Raise Dead. Instead of attacking a shaman may return an adjacent dead Fallen One to life. The risen Fallen One gains its full compliment of HP but, may not act this round.

If a Depraved Dark One is damaged by a fire attack, roll 1D6. On a 1,2 or, 3 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up). 

XP Value: 270.

Warped Warped One
To Hit: 8
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 16
Primary Attack: Staff (2D6 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (6D6 Fire Damage)

Special Rules: Any character targeted by a shamans Fire Bolt may attempt to make a Saving Throw on DEX. If they are successful, the damage taken is halved (round fractions down).

Raise Dead. Instead of attacking a shaman may return an adjacent dead Fallen One to life. The risen Fallen One gains its full compliment of HP but, may not act this round.

If a Warped Warped One is the target of a Mind Control spell, roll 1D6. On a 1 or 2 the spell fails.

If a Warped Warped One is damaged by a fire attack, roll 1D6. On a 1,2 or, 3 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up).

XP Value: 975.

DMotivational #7: Every Chess Set Should Come With At Least One Spartan

Review: Monsters! Monsters!

What is Monsters! Monsters!?

It could be said that and, I indeed have said so, that Monsters! Monsters! (M!M!) is the sister game of Tunnels and Trolls.

Whilst that is the case, a re-read of the rules has lead me to reconsider my stance on this considerably. Although the rulebook gives you everything that you need to run your very own M!M! session, the level of detail is minimal and, not much beyond what is made available to you freely here in the free abridged Tunnels and Trolls rules.

So should you pick up a copy? Definitely!

Whilst I would say that M!M! is far from being a complete and concise product (it is only 45 pages long), it makes for one hell of a supplement! So, if you own a copy of the Tunnels and Trolls rules this would make one great purchase for you.

So what do you get for your money?

52 new kindreds.
A new type, the Monster.
A description of each monstrous kindred.
An alternative means of missile combat.
The Special Monster Magic supplement by Bear Peters.
Wandering enemy (instead of wandering monster) tables.
Random treasure tables for your random enemy encounters.

Convinced? Pick up your copy here or, here ($7.50).

DMotivational #6: What Happens When An Awesome Force Meets An Awesome Object?

Alchemy Bytes #10: All Things 40K

Whilst searching the web the other day I came across this excellent little blog.

It's packed full of painting advice and step-by-step guides that are just ideal for novice painters like myself. In many respects it's a lot like having a pro sit down with you and talk you through what you're doing but, with the added advantage that you can quickly skip ahead and see if the finished work is actually what you're trying to achieve.

There are of course various Youtube videos offering similar services but, in my opinion the layout here although being more basic, is far superior. After all, you can't print off a Youtube video can you?

If you're new to painting miniatures or, interested in getting involved with them this blog is well worth a read.


All Things 40K

DMotivational #5: Let's Hope The One Ring Gives A Good Armor Save!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Target: Sid Orpin

Or so it would seem...

T&T NEWS -- (COMING SOON) This is a Tunnels & Trolls Mega-Solo called Rapscallion. It is 8-by-11 in size, 56 pages, and center stapled with 142 entries. BACKGROUND: "You have always sacrificed a little of your hard-won gold to Ylsenor, the god of the rogues. In return, you have enjoyed more than your fair share of good fortune. Today, just as you think your luck has finally run out, your deity snatches you from death's jaws, but now you are expected to entertain the great Dissembler. Take on his challenge, and prove his faith in you is well founded, and the rewards may be great. Fail him, and you may never have the opportunity to pay homage to him again..." Suitability: Only Rogues--no other character types, please--of L1 to L3. Since you will be told to add or subtract Rogue Points at various times while playing this adventure, in addition to the usual need of keeping a record of current stats, keeping a note of your total Rogue Points is important and may prove useful. You start with a Rogue Point total of 0. Kindred type used in this solo: (Humanoid types. No Monsters). Class type used in this solo: (Only Rogues). Magic Matrix (Yes, a special Magic Matrix has been added). When it arrives next week it will sell for-- PRICE: $14.00

Only days after being released at DriveThruRPG, James Shipman has got his thieving hands on Rapscallion, inflated the price and, sent it off to the printers with plans to try and cash in on someone else's creativity... Again.

By all accounts he appears to be targeting the works of Sid Orpin at the moment for some unknown reason, having recently decided to add a similar ad for "Devotion to Duty" to his home page as well. Now, I know that these two guys have history but I don't for one second believe that Sid would have given him the green-light on either of these or, indeed that Sid would even want to associated with him.

Nope. What's happened here is that Shipman has bought a copy from DriveThruRPG in the hopes of giving it away freely and damaging the authors sales, found that the authors have gotten wise to his tricks and made this an impossibility through various security measures and, like a dog with a bone, he has decided he has to do something with it.

Sad really...


Pick up your copy of Devotion to Duty here ($3.50).
Pick up your copy of Rapscallion here ($2.00).

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

DMotivational #4: Finally Resolving The Question Who Would Win In A Dogfight, The Enterprise Or The Millenium Falcon?

Diablo II: More Monsters - Fallen One


Fallen One
To Hit: 13
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 6
Primary Attack: Sword (1D6-1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: None.

Special Rules: None.

XP Value: 7.

To Hit: 13
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 5
Primary Attack: Sword (1D6 Damage)
Secondary Attack: None.

Special Rules: None.

XP Value: 7.

To Hit: 12
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 7
Primary Attack: Sword (1D6 Damage)
Secondary Attack: None.

Special Rules: None.

XP Value: 15.

Dark One
To Hit: 12
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 8
Primary Attack: Sword (1D6+1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: None.

Special Rules: None.

XP Value: 35.

Warped One
To Hit: 10
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 12
Primary Attack: Sword (1D6+2 Damage)
Secondary Attack: None.

Special Rules: None.

XP Value: 120. 

DMotivational #3: Thou Shalt Not Crit Fail

Hot Nights In Lowhollow... Hot Stuff!!

I was quite excited to receive news of a new piece of work by Tom K. Loney in my feed today.

Whilst I am yet to pick up a copy myself, if his earlier work is anything to go by this should be nothing short of spectacular.

Tom's earlier work, Wuthering Depths in my opinion created a setting worthy of the title masterpiece, so the chance to pick up another of his brain children at the low price of only $2.25 (that's right, it's on sale) seems like a steal and a definite must have item.

Pick up your copy here.

Tenkar's Tavern: Discount Codes

One of the blogs that I am really enjoying following at the moment has to be Tenkar's Tavern.

I really like his take on gaming and there are some really great posts getting thrown out at regular intervals. It's really no wonder that the blog is so popular and it has really given me something to aspire to.

For those of you that don't already follow the blog, I highly recommend it. Not only has there recently been a competition over there, with real prizes but, also Erik has recently posted up a couple of great discount codes that will allow you to grab some great gaming bargains.

So, the codes...

From now through to August 10th the code ASTOUND (all caps), will get you 20% off of Lulu orders, whilst the code TooHot8450 will get you the same discount off of both DCC #70: Jewels of the Carnifax and Vornhiem and, is good through to September 10th.

My thanks again to Erik for sharing these codes on his blog, which you should all really check out.

DMotivational #2: Use Your Words

Diablo II: More Monsters - Counselor


To Hit: 6
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 18
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6-1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (7D6 Fire Damage) or, Charged Bolt (5D6 Lightning Damage).

Special Rules: A Fire Bolt may only target one creature per round.

A Charged Bolt targets three random enemies within a 20 by 20 area in front of the caster, dealing it's full damage to each of them.

Once per round a Counselor may Blink to a new location. If they do, "to hit" rolls made against them during the next round suffer a -8 penalty.

If a Counselor is the target of a Mind Control spell, roll 1D6. On a 1,2 or, 3 the spell fails.

If a Counselor is damaged by a lightning or fire attack, roll 1D6. On a 1, 2 or, 3 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up).

XP Value: 3,000.

To Hit: 6
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 20
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6-1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (8D6 Fire Damage) or, Charged Bolt (5D6 Lightning Damage).

Special Rules: A Fire Bolt may only target one creature per round.

A Charged Bolt targets three random enemies within a 20 by 20 area in front of the caster, dealing it's full damage to each of them.

Once per round a Magistrate may Blink to a new location. If they do, "to hit" rolls made against them during the next round suffer a -8 penalty.

If the Magistrate is the target of a Mind Control spell, roll 1D6. On a 1,2 or, 3 the spell fails.

If a Magistrate is damaged by a lightning attack, roll 1D6. On a 1, 2 or, 3 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up).

Immune to fire.

XP Value: 4,000.

To Hit: 4
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 24
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6-1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (10D6 Fire Damage) or, Charged Bolt (5D6 Lightning Damage).

Special Rules: A Fire Bolt may only target one creature per round.

A Charged Bolt targets three random enemies within a 20 by 20 area in front of the caster, dealing it's full damage to each of them.

Once per round a Cabalist may Blink to a new location. If they do, "to hit" rolls made against them during the next round suffer a -8 penalty.

If the Cabalist is the target of a Mind Control spell, roll 1D6. On a 1,2 or, 3 the spell fails.

If a Cabalist is damaged by a fire attack, roll 1D6. On a 1, 2 or, 3 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up).

Immune to lightning.

XP Value: 6,000.

To Hit: 4
# of Attacks: 1
HP: 28
Primary Attack: Staff (1D6-1 Damage)
Secondary Attack: Fire Bolt (10D6 Fire Damage) or, Charged Bolt (5D6 Lightning Damage).

Special Rules: A Fire Bolt may only target one creature per round.

A Charged Bolt targets three random enemies within a 20 by 20 area in front of the caster, dealing it's full damage to each of them.

Once per round an Advocate may Blink to a new location. If they do, "to hit" rolls made against them during the next round suffer a -8 penalty.

If an Advocate is damaged by a fire attack, roll 1D6. On a 1, 2 or, 3 that attack deals only half it's damage (rounded up).

Immune to lightning and mind control.

XP Value: 8,000.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

DMotivational #1: Man Of Honor

Borador: "It's Worth How Much!"

Buffalo Castle has always been a go to solitaire adventure for me.

In the early days this was largely due to the fact that it was one of the only adventures that I happened to own. I had picked it up at the same time as the 5.5 rulebook from a second-hand book stall, Tunnels and Trolls products where hard to come by back then and, this was long before the days of DriveThruRPG.

I still love coming back to Buffalo Castle though. It's my training ground for new delvers and, an absolute classic of a dungeon hack. So with the creation of Borador in my last post, there was only one place I could send him. :0).

What follows is a play report of what I can only describe as being my most memorable experience among my many journeys here over the years yet. I didn't delve far (for reasons that will become quite apparent, pretty quickly) but, I'm pretty sure with what I managed to achieved in those few encounters I broke some kind of record. A personal record if nothing else.

The first paragraph of Buffalo Castle places you in front of the castle itself, with the option of picking up some useful items at a knock-down price. Admittedly, this was no use to me as I was flat broke but, hey, the offer was a nice touch. So with shopping out of the question, it came down to a straight choice between three doors and nothing to pick between them. So I chose left. What's the worst that could happen?

Well considering that in the very next chamber I entered after walking along a short corridor sat a troll on a treasure chest things weren't looking great. This is by all accounts the same troll that splattered the last Dwarf to come this way.

As I saw it negotiation wasn't really an option here and, given the animosity between the two kindreds it seemed unrealistic to hope for anything other than a bloody out come, so I figured, attack! Attack!! ATTACK!! Crossbow out in a flash, I took aim and unleashed hell.

Making the L2SR on DEX seemed like a sure thing with such a high value in DEX and 4+26 was certainly going to make a dent in the troll if not kill it outright. So I rolled. I rolled a 1 and a 2! Disaster! My bow string broke and the troll looked less than impressed. Crap!

Predictably the troll spent the next few rounds bashing Borador from wall to wall, all of which thankfully got soaked up by his armor. The spite damage was beginning to add up though and 4 rounds in he had lost 1/4 of his CON while the troll had only taken one pitiful flesh wound.

Enough was enough and Borador had taken more than his fill. Considering that I had little to lose in the way of defense, I opted for all out attack, throwing myself at the troll screaming, bleeding and, yelling general abuse the trolls way that brought into question its parentage.

Boy did that ever work!! In a complete reversal of fate, the troll only managed a measly CBT of 25 (after rolling 4 1's and a 2) compared to Borador's mighty 48.


After this point it was only a matter of a couple of rounds before the troll was mince meat.. Much like my crossbow (which I had pinned a lot of hopes on). Still, it could be repaired, so I decided to I would take it with me. Certain that the troll had to be guarding something of value, I opted to loot the chest, finding a jewel worth 300GP and, my successful ransack roll revealing a small pouch of rough cut crystals worth in the region of 120GP.

So, my first encounter hadn't been the walk in the park I had been expecting but it was at least worthwhile.

From here it was another straight up choice between two doors with nothing to pick between them. One to the north and one to the west. I figured that the heart of the castle probably lay ahead... So I decided to head west. After all, I didn't want to venture straight into the maws of something nastier than a troll just yet and, there could well be more treasure to be had around the outer walls.

The door here lead straight into another chamber and, straight into another fight! This time with a giant snake. Well, it was certainly no troll, combat was swift and brutal in the favor of our hero but, he took one nasty nick and that was all it took. This giant serpent was of the venomous variety and that one small wound was more than enough to get its poison cursing through Borador's veins.

The effects of the venom caused Borador to lose half of his STR for the rest of this adventure, which also translated to him losing half of his Combat Adds. So now I had lost more than a 1/4 of my CON, Half my STR, Half of my Combat Adds and, my Crossbow was little more than fancy firewood. Only two rooms in I decided it was time to retreat. Not before i ransacked the room however, which turned up a silver ring set with a cluster of small polished stones and a solid silver crown adorned with rubies.

Nice! with a combined value of 2,480GP the hell that Borador was being put through almost seemed worthwhile. It did lead me to question just where all these gems and pieces of jewelery where coming from but, being in such bad shape I figured I would look for answers when I was safely rested up at an inn or tavern somewhere, which hopefully wouldn't be too far away as the exit was within sight. Only a few more feet...

When another snake decided to rear it's scaly head. Sword still in hand, combat was a quick affair and it was then that Borador noticed something odd. This snake had swallowed something or, at least someone wearing it. There it was, a cheap brass brooch set with a kings ransom of turquoise stones worth something close to 13,505GP.

Amazing! This has to be far my biggest find in any random treasure haul, in any solo adventure that I have played to date. I still had the room to ransack too! Which not wanting to hang around to be attacked again, I cracked on with. This search turned up another small pouch, this time containing assorted variety of studs with a combined value of 3,520GP. Another great find!

So securing all of his loot Borador stepped back out into the daylight and prepared to begin the journey into town. He would now have to broker all of the gems for coin to help repay his clans debt, seek the help of an apothecary, find a place to rest and, of course replace that bow string. ;0).

Totting this up Borador managed to walk away with 104AP and the following:

4 Mithril Studs, each set with a medium piece of rough cut Onyx (520GP, 6WU Each).
6 Copper Studs, each set with 11 medium sized pieces of rough cut crystal (440GP, 56WU Each).
Brass Brooch set with 60 big rough cut Turquoise Stones (13,505GP, 605WU).
Jewel (300GP, 1WU).
Silver Crown set with 7 medium sized polished Rubies (2,110GP, 45WU).
Silver Ring set with 40 small polished Turquoise Stones (370GP, 42WU).
Small pouch of 60 small rough cut pieces of Crystal (120GP, 62WU).

Total value: 21,125GP

Not bad for a second level Dwarf eh?