Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Dungeon Mastery: going all game of thrones

Before you do something silly with your campaign remember: you are working with players to create a shared story but Just because you want to create characters with depth, history, feelings, agendas, and a need for speed doesn't mean you can, but it doesn't stop you from trying.
Roleplay means to play a role. Inexperienced players are going to have trouble playing the role of their character. Many become disgruntled with character development and prefer to play dungeons and dragons as a hack and slash game.

Encouraging character development
Allow the players time to get the game mechanics down. Once they can spin that d20 on the edge of their character sheet you can look at building the character.
Darvil the Sword: Fighter (level 3); neutral; 10hp; St(14), In(13), Wi(9), De(18), Co(3), Ch(16); Equipment: Sword(1d8), leather armour, boots, belt, pouch. Description: Sickly, Darvil coughs up blood after one turn of physical activity and requires three turns to recover. He chews chillies he keeps in his belt pouch and undertakes breathing exercises to recover after he coughs up blood. 
Some time around third level ask the players to come up with a phrase that their character uses regularly and the circumstances under which it is used.
Personality: Darvil tries to speak on most things of concern to him and thinks the more input the better. He will say the words: "Damn it..." when he needs to cough up blood.
If the player remembers to use the character's 'phrase' add a few experience Points to the character in reward. Don't give it away. The player needs to say it to get the experience.
Low charisma characters are less likely to input, while high charisma characters will speak more. So penalise a high charisma pc for not producing character input equal to the charisma bonus penalise low charisma PCs for oversharing their life story. Darvil's player needs to provide input at least twice to avoid an exp penalty and saying 'damn it' twice won't cut it.
With Darvil coughing up blood with every profanity, and offering to let the kobolds live if they cough up their gold more to avoid exertion than out of any sense of kindness we have a character that is more than a sword.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Board games: a title for the game

Back side of the cards (updated).



A Sunmaker card, better art on kraken and ske-ud harvester, and a replacement hex card for the sun.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Decorations up: first time in twenty years

The sum total of Christmas decorations. First time in twenty years.

Best wishes.

Short Fiction: Tarzan and the Plant people

Tarzan and the Plant People

Tarzan had noticed the strange thing. People were vanishing. The people employed to cut grasses that might easily be grazed short by a hundred animals, we're vanishing. The grasses, freshly cut of greystoke manor's extensive lawns, piled themselves high, and in shapes as large and reminiscent as the largest of the gorillas, and when they desired to be in places new, they blew through the air as though the rip of some powerful wind had carried them to a new position. Their movement corresponded to a strange pattern that shifted in the presence of any beast. Now as Tarzan, the lord of greystoke clung to the back of the carriage driven along the road, he watched as the grasses following him chased the carriage, shifting and positioning to take the shapes of the great apes of his far away land he hit upon an idea that somehow... somehow they listened to his memories.
Tarzan howled. And the horses drawing the carriage increased their speed along the road. And again a great pile of grass blew across the lawn under its own power, piling itself like a great gorilla by the road. It was likely this strange creature was in its unexpected presence on the grounds of greystoke evidence of some larger calamitous event plaguing the world beyond greystoke manor, yet he, Tarzan, could only deal with this. What was needed? What could Tarzan do that would end this calamity? A thought.
Tarzan howled. His summons reached far beyond the grounds of greystoke manor to the distant wilderness. Birds. Thousands of them heeded his call and took to the sky.
Tarzan howled. The carriage turned rather than continue on a path that would have taken it into the heart of the village beyond the manor grounds.
Tarzan howled. The sky above greystoke manor filled with flocks of birds. Tarzan watched now as birds flew over greystoke in varying directions and the grass that moved and formed of its own accord now struggled with the flow of white birds overhead. What thought dominated the mind of thousands of birds as they passed overhead in their great flocks? Tarzan could not truly know, but he had considered birds to function and converse with their own affairs. Sufficiently that the grasses that fed on Tarzan's thoughts might be distracted by thousands of birds sharing one thought. And there it was. Tarzan watched as some energy separated from the stilling grass. A silver-white flicker in the grass piled high. Was that the strange and unexpected visitor to greystoke manor that had created chaos?
Tarzan howled. The light flickered toward him struggling to become a bird and Tarzan reached within the carriage newly halted and retrieved a jar with a lid.
Tarzan howled. At this summons the flickering light settled in the jar.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Star trek: Federation's Fall

The funny thing about star trek was it revealed that many of the member world's and cultures were precisely not what I would call federation material. Some enslaved part of their own populace and yet that was considered who they were, and kirk and picard allowed those cultures to continue as federation members.
So a series that deals with inequality and striving to build something better seems counter to the tolerance of inequality.
So let's see a series with a protagonist who must deal with the inequality, and yet have tolerance of inequality imposed on him: let's have a young Benjamin Sisko.

Chadwick Boseman seems to have that young Ben Sisko quality. So we can have a series about a difficult personality rising through the ranks, fighting inequality and the Federation's tolerance for it in its member worlds.

And while it would be difficult to sustain a single character arc development through eighty plus episodes, it's something that might be important enough to undertake.

Is the federation's tolerance of inequality in the guise of tolerance of diversity something that will destroy it from within? Only Sisko's Rise can give us those answers.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Creature catalogue: yellow death fungi

Yellow Death

HD 1-1*
AC 8
MV 0'
AT 10' Radius Poisonous Aroma
DA save vs poison or die in 1d4 rounds
ML 12
SA Normal Human
NA 2-5 clusters
XP 6

Yellow Death is a poisonous fungi cluster of 2d4 finger sized shrooms found in tropical regions on forest floors. It's kill power means it wracks up a pile of corpses. Unfortunatly it also means a pile of treasure. Green dragons like this fungi as it is a narcotic for dragons, and they use it to off intruders.

board games: more rules?

More on Spaceships
The different spaceships have a real effect on the game:

Transports:  These are used to salvage a resource, equipment or population card in event that a colony is attacked, you can use your transport to evacuate populace or other to another colony that can take them.

Colony Destruction: If a colony is attacked by a player (or aliens!) the resource investment (resource cards, equipment cards, population cards) is lost unless a transport is deployed to the system.

That should do it for now, so enjoy the game.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Cover art: B2 - Mountains of Ash

Here is our potential module cover...for B2 MOUNTAINS OF ASH. This will be more wilderness adventure with several sites to explore.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Star Wars: episode Vii... The junk mail

This just showed up in the mailbox...

"It was as though millions of trees cried out and were suddenly silenced."

And you can feel free to download this...

Dungeon Mastery: DMG inserts 1&2


You want a Japanese or Indonesian flavour for your dungeons and dragons but don't have a clue? Here are inserts with geographical names. What is even more fun is assuming these names are unique and mapping them. Good luck with that. Remember...common phonetics group.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Map of the week: B2 - the mountains of ash wilderness map

The scale will be four hundred feet per hex. And look...there is castle zenopus and Gavin's Tavern.

Independence day 2: The trailer looks unrealistic

Why unrealistic? Because the people who wrote the script have never had to beat a fellow human to death for a week old loaf of bread.

Let's face facts. If aliens showed up and wiped out all your major population centres on a global scale and the founding father of anonymous managed to upload a virus into the mothership from his mac while the cool guy nukes it you will be lucky if you can find a spanner and trade it for a week old loaf of bread. Some how the world achieved a unified technological recovery and built a huge global military force to oppress the displaced populace while it takes from them what little they have left in a window of twenty years...just in time for the aliens to show up.

So what sort of things might have happened in a realistic version of history?

July 1-4, 1996: Aliens arrive. Global satellite network is destroyed. Most major population centres are destroyed. Manufacturing infrastructure destroyed. Internet ceases. Though the aliens are destroyed the human race has lost its technological powerbase.
Post july 4, 1996: In the aftermath president Whitmore suspends federal elections activating emergency powers declaring himself president for life. The individual ownership of computers ends as governments round up every computer they can get their hand on. Laptops become a black market traded item. The homeless and starving populace are forced into labour camps.
Alquaeda begins construction of UNDERMOUNTAIN, an underground fortress in Afghanistan.

1997: By making use of a Eurasian black market and a network of criminals UNDERMOUNTAIN becomes the centre of a Eurasian spider's Web into which resources begin to pour.

1998: Since the destruction of NORAD and the technological apparatus that gives the United States and other governments a global view and reach, UNDERMOUNTAIN is now the most significant command and control centre in the world. From here Osama bin laden has overseen the acquiring of vast amounts of alien technology recruiting engineers and scientists from across the Islamic world to reverse engineer the technology. He intends to beat the rest of the world to the strategic throne. Fibre optic cables are being stolen. Shipments and warehouses looted. Arms, fuel, and resources are pouring into central Asia. Alquaeda establishes a research airbase of fifty alien 'fighters' which it has recovered. They are hidden beneath Bedouin tents to avoid any prying eyes.
'Miners' salvaging the alien mothership that crashed in Iran begin to feed the alien metal into Iranian smelters. Much of the metal is directed into the manufacture of Iranian arms. Iran rushes to rebuild.

1999: 'Miners' salvaging the alien mothership that crashed in Iran discover an active core. Alquaeda agents on site retrieve the core and smuggle it to UNDERMOUNTAIN.

2000: An airfield in the shadow of UNDERMOUNTAIN is established with a fighter squadron of fifty salvaged alien fighters. Bin Laden orders his fighter squadron to strike at the remaining iranian nuclear research facility. Iranian observers notice the fighters have been painted with the Israeli flag. Iran orders its new destroyer class railgun artillery unit to begin firing on targets in Israel. Fifty ton sub orbital rods of alien metal begin dropping out of the sky over Israel. The kinetic weapons shatter the bedrock destroying entire cities.

2001: The war begins. Refugees begin fleeing the War zone. Iranian railgun artillery bombard Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and diverse regional populations. The Saudi government relocates to Mecca which it considers a safe zone.

2002: Saudi Arabia begins evacuation of its population to an African colony occupying Ethiopia out of reach of Iran's railgun. Fifty million Muslims have become refugees. They invade Europe clashing with populations over food, land, and resources.
Bin Laden deploys alien fighter squadron to strike at sites across Europe. Observers note they are painted with Russian flags.

2003: Europe mobilises to attack Russia who they now believe have an active alien fighter squadron.

2004: Quake off Indonesia results in a tsunami affecting Indonesia to India. A million Refugees who in fleeing the middle east war and having crowded into the coastal regions in Southern asia are killed by the tidal wave.

2012: Quake off Japan wipes out populations on North east coast as a tidal wave rolls across North Eastern Japan. Half a million refugees crowded into the area around fukashima are killed.

2014: Ebola outbreak in Africa. Without international medical help the virus spreads unchecked. Survivors become carriers of Ebola. Ebola remains active in sperm becoming a sexually transmitted disease.

2015: Ebola spreads uncontrolled in eastern Africa. Without medical help it spreads via sex workers into the 'mining' population working to salvage an alien mothership wrecked on the African Continent. By the end of the year Ebola is pandemic in Africa.

2016: A second wave of Aliens arrive in Earth Orbit. The human race, already on the brink of a well deserved self inflicted extinction are easily eliminated. The mothership in orbit recalls all fighters in preparation for a ground assault. Because this includes bin Laden's fighter squadron, several of which have nuclear devices aboard, the mothership is destroyed in a nuclear suicide bombing.

Before you complain that this movie will be two hours of that annoying noise from inception, no. The Independence day franchise has Jeff goldblum for that.

What this film is, is two days after startrek: beyond. A release date of July 26 as opposed to star trek's July 24 release date.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Starwars: another continuity error?

I mean really...what is so difficult about doing a good job these days? 'the rebel base is on a moon on the far side of YAVIN.' watch the movies and take notes.

And the death star could have wiped out YAVIN instead and still got the moon with the rebel base.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Map of the Week: The Vault

The vault is the remnant of a technological age long past.

Can you survive it's horrors?


Friday, 4 December 2015

Vocator Jarno: iron sky 2 wraps filming today

If you enjoyed iron sky...or at least failed to dislike it, iron sky 2: The coming race ends filming today. So get ready for more moon Nazis.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Art folio: some more post-castle Zenopus art...

If your pc doesn't come out of castle zenopus wearing a boot for a hat, it better be because he/she/elf got eaten by a Ghoul.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Board games: rules? Just how different is it from monopoly?

A Monopoly-ish Game

Just because we have a 'board' with 'properties', 'community chest' and 'chance', And even 'currency' it's going to be different from monopoly in it's rules set. While you can allocate wealth to a particular colony until you reach one population, and landing on a colony belonging to someone else should come with a 'docking fee'. Even Derelict salvage and asteroid mining are a simple mechanism for collecting income when you 'pass go' (return to a shipyard). The problem is the ships.

Handling the Ship cards
In monopoly we as players would have one piece moving around a board, and that in this case would be the beginning of our problem. Ideally it would be a surveyor. We make a discovery and if we have a heavy tug card we pull that from our hand and use it to retrieve the salvage. So let us begin with a heavy tug card in our hand along with a surveyor card. We also have a game piece on the board. We can roll 2d6 and move our surveyor around the board and when it lands it makes a discovery. So how does the heavy tug work? If it is a heavy tug game piece then it should move out across the board to our salvage discovery and return the salvage to 'go' (a shipyard) to convert to cash. So you would have multiple pieces on the board. If however we stuck to just the surveyor as our piece, then the other ship cards might function in that we drop the heavy tug on our discovered salvage picking up the monetary value and returning the heavy tug to the bottom of our shipyard deck (along with any Derelict ship card) implying a turnaround.
Each time you return to the shipyard with your surveyor you draw a new ship from the yard to your hand. Meanwhile the flaw in the game is not having drawn a new heavy tug as replacement. So what if you as players play a heavy tug, and a referee plays the surveyor as a discovery piece? Your tugs race out and who ever gets there first collects the salvage. The further the surveyor gets from home-world the further your tugs must race to get the prize.

Derelict Ships?
While discovering a top secret project like starkiller adrift in space without crew is up there with finding the liberator adrift while transporting criminals to Cygnus alpha just how do regular ships convert to salvage? As a player who has drawn a ship and decided...'well, this is useless, so I salvage it.' it's also possible that a rival player drew a military vessel and used it to pick off one of your ships. Even a Ske-ud and kraken might Derelict your ship.

The discovery of asteroids means mining rights, a Derelict ship from the ships deck or dumped cargo means salvage, a top secret warship such as starkiller can be towed to a shipyard and is now in your shipyard deck as a potential ship, the same for the sphere builder which is reverse engineered. The Dyson sphere can be reverse engineered so you can build one around your colony to protect it from a starkiller, kraken, and ske-ud. A Ske-ud is the alien equivalent of a scout and retrieval tug and encountering one with anything less than a warship means your ship is attacked ad salvaged. Once the kraken salvage value reaches two population, 

  • Once the kraken slams it's dark energy crystal into the sun cooling it and liquifying it the kraken can swim around its new home and with salvage accumulate resources until it can increase its population.
  • The ske-ud, kraken, centurion, and great experiment can ignore transit arrows.
  • A starkiller can take out a 'world'.
The Sun?
Oh right...find a sun tile below. Obviously unreachable by anything less than a kraken, ske-ud harvester, centurion, or great experiment. Of course if you use a starkiller to take out the sun...or the kraken achieves population you will want a Dyson sphere around at least one colony to survive. If you are the only over, you win...sort of.

Anyway, that should give you somewhere to start...happy holidays.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Board games: some planets you might use...










Just add these to the blank tile set and use those as navigation turns...expanding your board.