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.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Awesomesauce: It's Awesome!

Want an RPG that you can play straight out of the book? Now wouldn't it be great if that same RPG was a freebie? Wouldn't that be awesome?

Well it sounds like that what you need is Awesomesauce, yours for the low, low price of $0 (or your preferred currency of choice) and available at RPGNOW.

Awesomesauce is what I like to term "an anything RPG" much like Risus, as it's truly generic, unlike many mainstream generic role playing products that make the claim but only deliver if you buy a handful of supplements. Awesomesauce is the real deal and, as I say, it's free!

So being an awesome game, from a couple of awesome guys, at an awesome price, I can't recommend this download more highly.

Also check out the awesome Troll Hammer Press here and, the equally awesome Dice Monkey here.

Awesome! ;0).

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Dungeon Masters Series #14: Stamm Bladecaster

Name: Stamm Bladecaster.
Kindred: Dwarf.
Type: Warrior.
Level:  5.

Strength: 52
Constitution: 54
Dexterity: 24
Speed: 8
Intelligence: 22
Wizardry: 8
Luck: 15
Charisma: 17

Combat Adds:  +54
Missile Adds:  +66

Common, Dwarven

Dwarven War Axe (6+2, STR: 25, DEX: 8, 240 WU).

Leather Trouser (1 hit, 40 WU).

Other Items:
Ankle-High Soft Leather Boots (15 WU), Cotton Tunic (15 WU).

At One With The Earth (INT+4): A life spent largely underground grants you a bonus when trying to navigate your way through environments made primarily of stone (Tunnels, Caves, Dungeons etc).

Barter (CHR+6): Dwarves love a bargain and, Stamm is stingier than most.

When selling goods Stamm can get his level x5% more for items and, when buying goods Stamm pays his level x5% less. This cannot reduce or increase the value of items by more than 50%.

Brute Strength (STR+5): You may add 5 to your combat total every round due to your innate Dwarvish strength.

Resist Intoxication (CON+1): This bonus applies to any substance that would normally debilitate an individual (Ale, Wine, Poisons that cause paralysis etc). 

Stonecutter (INT+3): Grants you a bonus in detecting changes in stonework and naturally formed stone (changes in elevation, secret walls, stonework traps etc).

Alchemy Bytes #19: Deeper Delvings

It's great to see that Deeper Delvings has started posing again. Although, they have made it clear that the recent spate of posts isn't a "comeback", it is nice to see what's been going on behind the scenes, so to speak.

In particular, I am quite taken by the most recent posting concerning speeding up character generation in Tunnels and Trolls. Not that character generation isn't already pretty swift but, looking across several blogs at the moment this and, "The Silver Standard" would appear to be the hot topics.

Talk about timing! Over the past week or so I have been formulating ideas on what I consider my "advanced" Tunnels and Trolls rules.. Okay, they're not all that advanced but, I do seem to be working in another direction on this one, creating rules that give a great deal of customization but require a heavier investment in time.

Still, I would have to say that this article is exactly what a lot of players have been looking for of late and, probably for some time.

Definitely a blog well worth checking out.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Alchemy's Workbench #6: Laying Down The Velvet Gauntlet

Here's one they made earlier.
As well as the terrain that I am currently painting up for a friend, he has also handed me several of his other unpainted miniatures to work my magic on. One of which is this challenging little number from Games Workshop.

A quick search of their website soon turned up an image of what the finished project might look like and, it's interesting to see that they went with much the same color scheme that I had imagined (I had to guess as the box has long since gone missing).

Whilst in all honesty I have to admit that the shape and form of this model isn't exactly my cup of tea (it's lacking a certain something that I can't quite lay my finger on) it should prove to be quite interesting to paint as it should require nothing more than basic techniques to achieve what you see above, which is admittedly a rather nice overall finish.

Looking forward to this one but, it'll be some time before I get around to this one I imagine as I still have a handful of terrain to do, 35ish 20mm undead, a handful of 20mm adventurers, a not so 20mm troll and, potentially some more terrain to paint up beforehand!

Not to mention all the other models that I have my eye on...

DMotivational #36: Bring Us A Shruberry!

Dungeon Masters Series #13: Wuuf, The Bika

Name: Wuuf, The Bika.
Kindred: Bika.
Type: Rogue.
Level:  5.

Strength: 10
Constitution: 11
Dexterity: 52
Speed: 10
Intelligence: 52
Wizardry: 16
Luck: 27
Charisma: 12

Combat Adds:  +55
Missile Adds:  +75



Leather Jerkin (1 hit, STR: 2, 15 WU).

Other Items:
Glass Flask (5 WU).

Detect Magic (1 WIZ).

Acrobatics (DEX+2): Allows Wuuf to perform flips and somersaults as accompanied with an enhanced sense of balance and agility.

Cling To The Shadows (INT+6): 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).

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

Roguery (CHR, INT, LK+2): As per the rulebook.

Superior Sense of Smell (CON+5): Allows Wuuf to sense enemies on the wind, toxins in food, as well as any other item or individual that she has the "scent" for, over great distances.

Dungeon Masters Series: The Bika

One of the more curious champions to be included in the original Dungeon Master is Wuuf, The Bika.

I say curious, as the avatar for Wuuf in the Atari ST release of the game clearly depicts her as an anthropomorphised fox but, in later releases Wuuf has become a dog / wolf (it's hard to tell which of the two it is).

Not a great leap in fairness but, this does shift my focus significantly when I am looking to convert the character concept into Tunnels and Trolls terms, which involves creating a new kindred.

This is because when we think of dogs, we attach words to them such as faithful and loyal. Wolves get words like lone and, foxes get words like cunning. It's the general perception of the species and, it's that which we want to translate into game terms.

So how do I see the Bika?

Very similar to Hobb's was my initial thought. Small and wily creatures of no great physical stature who need to be quick on their feet. So from an attributes point of view, I am looking to give them bonuses in DEX, INT and maybe SPD, with penalties in CON (unlike Hobbs who actually receive a bonus here due to their stout nature) and STR. They are quite fragile after all.

So after consideration, here is what I have decided to go with:

The Bika
Attribute Modifiers: CON x 0.5, DEX x 2, INT x 2, STR x 0.5.

In the end I opted not to modify the speed of the Bika. Although they may move a lot faster than your average delver, they are a lot closer to the ground too, so any gains granted by their agility would be lost by their short legs.

The Bika's cunning (an INT modifier greater than that of any of the common kindreds) gives them a great advantage in staying one step ahead of anyone who might try to make a meal of them and, their DEX is matched only by the Fae folk (who are no physical match for them).

All-in-all, quite a balanced kindred that could definitely make for some interesting role playing situations.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Review: The Manor - Issue #1

Cover art by Jason Sholtis.
Trying my luck after my previous win over at Tenkar's Tavern, I decided to give Erik's latest contest a crack.

The name of the game was to design a mercurial magical effect (a magical effect triggered by the casting of a spell) for DCC. Now, whilst I have no actual experience of the DCC system there was no actual mechanical requirements within your entry, just creativity, so I certainly fancied my chances and, found that once I'd conjured up one idea, the creative juices just kept on flowing.

A long story short, I won! And, for my prize I had the choice of either The Manor - Issue #1 or, The Manor - Issue #2.

Possessing neither, I decided best to start at the start and, I chose Issue #1. I am not disappointed! In fact, I'm quite enthused!

Let me just start my actual review by saying that this zine is amazing! It arrived this morning and already I have read it cover-to-cover, twice! It was that good, I just had to read it again and, I'm not what you would call a big reader (normally a book a year, if that). Something tells me I'll be reading it again before the day's through too.

But what's got me hooked?

For a start, I'm really digging the format. The book is a sweet A5 size with card stock covers (reminiscent of great products such as Buffalo Castle and lending a real sense of overall quality) and, extremely well laid out. The art is beautiful throughout and, each article is written in a narrative style that is both easy to follow and also complimentary to the subject matter.

Then there is what you actually get wrapped up in these 24 pages. A short GM adventure, a random treasure table, poetry, adventure hooks, NPC's and, some excellent wilderness encounters. That's a lot of bang for $3.50.

I know I say it quite often but, this is a must own for almost any gamer. Even if you have no plan of running retro-clone anytime soon, it's a great read and, extremely entertaining.

Pick up your copy of Issue #1 and, Issue #2 here ($3.50 each) or, as a PDF here ($2.50 each).

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Several Shades Of Grey

 The first photo shoot of a few finished terrain pieces painted for a friend. I have to say that I am quite happy with how well they have come out considering that I have never painted anything like this before.

What do you think? Any feedback, tips and, advice would be most welcome. Pats on the back wouldn't go a miss either. ;0).

Oh, and sorry about the poor resolution guys. I had to shrink the images to account for the fact that they were taken with a 2.0 mega-pixel camera, under an incandescent light and, no flash. 

Alchemy's Top Ten: What Have YOU Been Reading?

Inspired by a fine posting from Paul Ingrassia over at Troll Hammer Press, I thought I would share a few of our top tens with you too. Like Paul, I also take a great deal of interest in my blog's stats as it gives me a good indicator of what I'm doing right and, what I can write off.

So with no further a do, lets take a look at a few of our top tens and how many hits that they have received:

Top 10 Pageviews by Country:

United States: 1445
United Kingdom: 709
Russia: 454
Italy: 177
Australia: 117
Germany: 61
France: 39
Canada: 35
Norway: 30
Japan: 2

Top 10 Search Keywords:

Minotaur: 37
Minotaurs: 17
Tunnels and Trolls: 11
минотавър: 7
Real Minotaur: 5
Dungeons and Dragons Minotaur: 7
The Minotaur: 4
Tunnels and Trolls Deluxe: 4
Diane Charmer: 3
Human Rogue: 3

Top 10 Posts:

DMotivational #23: Never Mind The Damn Exit, One Of These Rooms MUST Be The Bathroom!: 69

Someone Already Did It!: 60

Trollish Encounters: Refreshing A Page Was Never So Much Fun!: 39

Review: Elder Tunnels - Halloween 2010: 28

Week Of The Troll: Elder Tunnels - Winter / Spring 2010: 26

A Grenade Down The Hobbit Hole: 25

Diablo Day: A Ground Breaking D&D Release... That You've Probably Never Heard Of: 21

Alchemy's Workbench #1: Space Hulk For The Lone Gamer: 21

DMotivational #8: Red Shirt's Offer Little Protection From Ancient Terran Magics: 19

So, the chances are that if you're reading this you're a Tunnels and Trolls fan in the US that enjoys bringing Minotaurs to the gaming table. ;0).

DMotivational #35: Overkill? What's That?

Cyborkz - Resistanz Iz Futile

Who wouldn't want to add a few Borg to there miniatures collection?

The trouble is though that if you do want to, there just aren't any good Borg miniatures readily available. In fact, I'm not sure there are any "out of the box" Borg available full-stop. Of course, I could be wrong but, I can't find them!

So, what's a modeler to do? Assimilate of course! ;0).

My first thoughts on going custom were that Cadian Shock Troops would make a pretty good starting point for any Borg model. I'd need new heads and probably a few servitor arms from other models but the end result should be pretty close.. Or so I thought.

Then I found this picture on-line:

Click to enlarge.

Whilst the Cadians would do a fine job representing labor and transport drones, the arms would need some serious modification for every other type. The Games Workshop servitor arms just weren't going to cut it.

Not particularly practical from a personal point of view as I have none of the parts in my bit box nor anything to mod them with, meaning that this idea could quickly turn into a cash sink.. But looking in my bits box did give me a brainwave.

I have 40 or so Marauders from Mantic. Orks, that straight out of the box have a very Borg look about them. At one point I was even going to convert several of these to Mech Boyz for 40k. So, these would seem to be the perfect low-cost option for the project at hand. After all, the Borg didn't just assimilate Terrans did they?

So, depending on how well this pans out, I may even produce an unofficial codex for them. Not that Games Workshop will ever let you bring them to their gaming table... You can always use the paint scheme and ideas though, bringing cybernetically  enhanced Orkish killing machines to a workshop gaming table near you.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dual Duels: A Game Of Two Halves


An idea that I have been toying with to add an extra dimension to my future gaming experiences is the concept of dual duels or, playing two games at once.
It's not a new concept granted, as Chess Boxing is reasonably well established if a little obscure and, The Big Bang guys introduced us to the equally grueling sport of Tresling (arm wrestling whilst playing Tetris).

These two activities may be worlds apart but, from my point of view it's the victory condition that interests me as a gamer. If you lose in one game, you lose in them both.

So, imagine that to your left you have a game of Chess and to your right, a game of Draughts. You're a seasoned Chess player but, your opponent has a real knack for Draughts and a couple of new rules have been added.

Each turn you can make a move in one game or the other, not both, before play passes to your opponent. Lose in one and, it's game over.

Do you play to your strengths and focus your attention on the Chess game, trying to draw your opponent in, trying to place them in mate before they clear you out on the other board? Do you suspect your opponent will do the same on the Draughts board and, go on the defensive? Maybe you balance your actions? Maybe you choose to respond to your opponents actions?

I'd love to hear from you all on this one, what combinations do you think would work? Is this something you'd give a go? Or, have you ever tried anything similar?

Alchemy's Workbench #5: Hulk On Hold

Just a quick update on my little side-project of combining the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Game System and, Space Hulk to create a truly solitaire experience in the grim darkness of a Tyranid infested hulk.

It's probably not the update that you were all looking for though.

As I have SO many projects on the go at the moment, I have decided to shelve both this and the Diablo II conversion project until a couple of others are completed and, I can give them the due attention that they both deserve.

In the short-term, I have decided that the best number of projects for me to be working on without the risk of getting hopelessly side-tracked is probably two to three. Picking the three with so many pots on the boil was a hard one though but, I have decided to run with the following:

  • The Dungeon Masters Series: I'm halfway now and I have really enjoyed working on this one, so there was no way that this one was going to get put on-hold when it's running so well.

  • Flashpoint: This is a project that I have had sitting around for a few months that is pretty much in it's final stages now. Unlike my other projects however, this will be a salable product that can be yours for all of a dollar.. What is it though? Oh, it's just the only set of miniatures rules you'll ever need. ;0).. And I'm looking for a distributor.

More on this one to come.
  • Assorted Painting and Modeling Projects: I have a whole bunch of miniatures and terrain (some my own, some that I'm doing as favors to other folks) that I am painting up when I have some time to spare, as well as a number of models that I am building from scratch.

These represent some of the only time that I am spending away from my laptop of late, so I certainly wasn't going to can them!

That said though, I certainly intend to showcase some of my finished works here. I may even lend a helping paintbrush in the future to folks who need it (I don't charge by the way but a few miniatures thrown my way as a thank you never goes a miss. ;0))

So, that's where I stand at the moment. Lots of stuff going on to the back burner.. But only until I have time and space for them.

Where's The Doctor when you need him?

DMotivational #34: ACME Ork Suppliez

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Play Report: Dominion - Intrigue

Life can be a balancing act at the best of times and, I sometimes think that the life of gamer is far more hectic than most, with the only folks that juggle more tasks we do being CEO's and parents.. And I'm really not sure about the CEO's.

So between my various projects, new games coming in, new games coming out, following blogs, writing a blog and, the various other gaming pots I have on the boil, I haven't got around to too much actual gaming of late. So when I got an invite in on a shop demo of Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue (that is, me demonstrating the game with a few other folks to the public at large) at my local friendly gaming store I jumped on the opportunity.

It was a chance to game and, writing it up would make for a great post. ;0).


All-in-all and, due to a late start, we managed to get three games in and boy was there ever contrast between them.

The first game was played with the base game and the base set-up that includes the Witch, which played a large part in the game. Of all of the players around the table, I was the only one not to invest in a Witch card, instead opting for Villages and Laboratories to play a my usual strategy of a fast cycling deck.

This did bite me more than once but luckily the one Chapel I took came around often enough to dump a lot of the Curses from my deck, so with my opponents going Witch heavy (cards which become far less useful once the Curse cards are depleted), I would say that "speed cycling" was definitely the way to go. I also picked up a lone Thief that I managed to bring to bare often with my build that I found to be quite useful.

The end result of the first game was a victory for me, which frankly I was surprised at but, hey, I'm not complaining. Mostly because I'd need to save all the moaning I could muster for the next match and, I wasn't alone.

The second game was a completely random draw from the base box and, honestly couldn't have been much worse!

The problem arose from having the Chapel in play as the only option that could be purchased for 2 but, no Witch. So it was pretty much useless. This was exacerbated by the fact that too many players went Thief heavy too quickly, leaving a couple of players (myself included) with only 4 Copper in our deck on more than one occasion.

The situation was best summed up by a friend at the table as being "A War of Attrition", and he couldn't have been more right. The game crawled along at best, with no player really making any headway. It sucked.

It sucked big time!

Thankfully though, our third game was a massive redemption. With one of our new players having just purchased a copy of Intrigue (how's that for the effectiveness of shop demos) and, wanting to break it open, we happily switched sets, giving me my first look inside the box.

Combining my initial impressions from the first game I have played of Intrigue with my experience as a Dominion player, I honestly have to say that given a choice between purchasing the two, I would take Intrigue any day of the week!

In fact, if I came to play the standard set after playing Intrigue I would be quite disappointed. That's the magnitude of the difference between the two sets.

It's hard to pin down but, I think what makes the difference is that Intrigue has a lot more going on. It is the first set that I have played that contains split victory cards. So, no longer do green cards simply block up your hand. Now they offer, Treasure, Actions and, the ability to draw more cards. Sometimes several of these!

Some of the cards included also offer greater strategic depth too, such as Ironworks. You can use it to take any card up to value 4 but, depending on the type of card you take, the Ironworks will have a different knock-on effect. For example, if you take a Treasure card, it gives you an additional 1 to spend on a buy this turn. Other options offer you additional cards or Actions and, considering that some of the cards out there now, like the Great Hall are both Actions and Victory cards, you can trigger multiple effects at once.

So, as you can see, there is a lot going on and, if you can buy only one copy of Dominion, I'd make it Intrigue.

DMotivational #33: Earning XP, 4th Edition Style.

Dungeon Masters Series: The Parties Half Over... The Parties Just Begining!

Mophus, The Healer marks the halfway point of our Dungeon Masters Series.. Or at least the halfway point of series one!

I have had so much fun rolling up these new characters, taking the originals as inspiration that I have decided that I will definitely be (T)rolling up the Chaos Strikes Back adventurers too.

So in the future expect to see Hawkkin (who I seriously need to dream up a creative name for), Centaurs, Bug-people (The Leef), and, some Alligator themed folk (distant cousins of the Makan and currently lacking a name).

With all of these new kindreds, I am also slowly drawing up a new setting. At the moment I am picturing it as being a rich and fertile rain forest, teaming with all variety of exotic wonders and perils to challenge even the hardiest Kaball's wayfarers.

Dungeon Masters Series #12: Mophus, The Healer

Mophus in his youth.
Name: Mophus, The Healer.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Wizard.
Level:  1.

Strength: 20
Constitution:  23
Dexterity:  10
Speed:  8
Intelligence:  19
Wizardry:  13
Luck:  12
Charisma:  10

Combat Adds:  +7
Missile Adds:  +7




Other Items:
Provisions x 3 (15 WU each, 45 WU), Robe (40 WU), Sandals (1 WU).

Creme De La Kremm (Varies), Supress Kremm (Varies).

Healing Touch (WIZ+5): Mophus may lay hands on any willing party and restore 5 CON at the cost of 2 WIZ.

DMotivational #32: Make A Listen Check

A big thank you to Paul Ingrassia over at Troll Hammer Press for this little gem. Following on from "DMotivational #29: Make a Spot Check", make a Listen check.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Dungeon Masters Series #11: Leyla Shadowseek

Name: Leyla Shadowseek.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Rogue.
Level:  2.

Strength:  25
Constitution:  28
Dexterity:  21
Speed:  18
Intelligence:  14
Wizardry:  8
Luck:  20
Charisma:  14

Combat Adds:  +36
Missile Adds:  +45



Leather Trousers (1 hit, 40WU).

Other Items:
50' Silk Rope (20WU), Knee-High Soft Leather Boots (20WU), Silk Shirt (8WU).

Oh There It Is (4 WIZ).

Burglary (DEX / INT+2): This talent grants Layla a bonus when attempting any task that a burglar may commonly perform. When applying this bonus, it stacks with the bonus granted by roguery.

Roguery (CHR, INT, LK+6): As per the rulebook.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

DMotivational #31: The Early Bird Gets The Worm But The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese

Alchemy Bytes #18: Dungeon Words

With all my recent talk of random dungeon generation, it seems like a great time to share this great little freebie that I dug up a month or so ago.

Finding it was purely a matter of chance (as your finding it here may well be too) and, I am yet to have the opportunity to use it but from the outset it looks great and I really look forward to breaking it out.. I mentioned that this great product was free too right?

Of course anything anyway associated with Risus: The Anything RPG, the author, Tim Ballew has not limited himself to the confines of a cramped dungeonscape. Why not take the show on the road WilderWords or, into the Weird West with WestWords?

If you have a few minutes to spare, why not check the Risus Monkey out here.

Alchemy's Workbench #4: Just Scratching The Surface

Not going to happen. At least not anytime soon.
Getting an early morning in today gave me just the opportunity that I was looking for to hit the drawing board and, to start prototyping my scratch build projects. It's been quite a learning experience.

The first thing that I have learned that is no matter how cool I may think David Gaffam's papercraft model is, it probably isn't going to happen with Balsa Wood.

At least not anytime soon.

This is pretty much down to the second lesson that I have learned today, which is to play to the strengths of your chosen material. Balsa Wood doesn't handle cutting curves into it too well at all, so the arches in David's model are a definite no go for someone as new to scratch building as me, even with an experienced hand to guide me.

This has lead to some interesting compromises from a design point of view, as a lot of science-fiction architecture tends to be curve heavy. It has also lead to what I thought would be a ruins construction project going in a completely unexpected direction, with what I have on the drawing board now resembling something better described as an Imperial barracks.

All this has inspired a number of other ideas that I already had swilling around as well as sparking a new one. That's about as far as I've got so far (well apart from a card mock-up of some of my ideas) but, I have to say that I think I am coming along great guns!

Monday, 1 October 2012

DMotivational #30: Prime Moo-ver

Dungeon Masters Series #10: Sonja, She Devil

Red Sonja by Bryan Baugh
Name: Sonja, She Devil.
Kindred: Human.
Type: Warrior.
Level:  2.

Strength:  25
Constitution:  25
Dexterity:  22
Speed:  10
Intelligence:  14
Wizardry:  8
Luck:  17
Charisma:  8

Combat Adds:  +28
Missile Adds:  +38


Great sword (6+0, STR: 21, DEX: 18, 170 WU).


Other Items:
Choker (5 WU), Gunna (1WU), Halter (10 WU) Sandals (1WU).

Defensive Flurry (DEX+3): Every dice not rolled by Sonja in attack, grants her 3 hits of armor.

Unmatched Sword Arm (DEX / STR+4): When battling any male whilst wielding a sword, Sonja rolls 4 additional dice.

All Shapes And Sizes... As Long As It's A 10' By 10' Square

The many faces of doom.
An item that has not long hit the market after being kickstarted but, already caught my attention is the DungeonMorph Dice and accessories range by Inkwell Ideas.

The first I saw of these was here, in a post over at Tenkar's Tavern. Instantly they rang a bell, reminding me of Dave's Mapper. What really drew me in with the photo though was the fact that these were dice.

Dice with geomorphs on.. What a great idea!

Granted, I already have a great set of dice produced by Chessex designed with the GM in mind and producing dungeons on the fly, as well as several other dice from various other distributors that do pretty much the same. So it's not what you would call a new idea.

This is however the first time I have seen a company print a whole chunk of dungeon on to the side of a dice. Usually you get something more along the lines of a concept like "Treasure" or "Trap" and it's up to you how you incorporate it.

All in all though, I have no doubt that what you have here is a product worth owning. Unfortunately it appears to be suffering from the post kickstarter price bloat that seems to be spreading like a wildfire of late.

Taking into account the flexibility and price of their competitors I can't see too many shifting beyond those going to pledges unless the price drops a few dollars. So if this product takes your fancy but not the price, keep a watchful eye on the site as it probably wont be long before there's a sale.