Sunday, May 19, 2019

GENCON 2019 Event Wish List Submission



I am planning on attending GENCON 2019 in Indianapolis, IN this year.  This will be my fourth year in a row and something that I look forward to every year.  The parts that I don't enjoy are the hotel registration process (aka the housing lottery) and event wish list submission.  The fist one, hotel registration is a pain, my wife and I love to get a down town hotel next to the convention center. 

To secure one of these coveted hotel slots you must first have a badge to attend.  Then you have to enter into a random lottery to receive a time slot or window that you can log into the GENCON housing portal and hope there are rooms left downtown.  If the star align and the time slot works out...then you can secure a room at a downtown hotel. 

The next part is related to the picture for this blog.  Event wish-list submission.  So GENCON releases the event cataloge of all the different types of events available during the convention weekend.  Everything from board-games, game demos, role-playing games, author book signings, LARP events, to how to cook seminars.  You have two weeks to look through the catalog and fill up your wish list.  Then on the day of wish-list submission you wait nervously to see how many of your chosen games will be available.

Well today was that day, and out of the eleven items on my list...I got four of them.  The best part was the that I got my number one selection!  Playing Runequest:  Role-playing in Glorantha with one of the members of Chaosium!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hogline Curling How to Video

A good friend of mine has created a new board game based up the real life sport of Curling!  His 2 minutes video on Youtube is a good description and sums up the game perfectly.  If you have a few minutes, go check it out.

Hogling Curling Video

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New Marvel Campaign, Issues # 0 "The Cast of Heroes"

This past Sunday our gaming group decided to start a new Marvel Superhero campaign (TSR Marvel, aka FASERIP).  Our group consists of four players and in this post I am sharing our new intrepid heroes and their stats.


Superhero Name: The Conductor
Character Name: Lawrence Strausman III
Origin:   Mutant

F  EX (20) Health:  50
A  GD (10)
S  GD (10) Karma:  46
E  GD (10)
R EX (20) Resources:  MN (75)
I   TY (6)
P  EX (20) Popularity:  7  / 0

KNOWN POWERS: 

  • Absorption:  AM (50) 
  • Solar Regeneration:  GD (10)  
  • Electrical Manipulation:  RM (30) 

LIMITATIONS: 

  • None

TALENTS: 

  • Business/Finance
  • Archaeology
  • Heir to Fortune 

CONTACTS:

  • (Business/Finance)




Superhero Name:  Overload
Character Name:  Gwendolyn
Origin:  Induced Mutant

F:  TY (6) Health:  34  
A:  TY (6)  
S:  GD (10)   Karma:  84
E:  TY (6) 
R:  TY (6) Resources:  TY6  
I:  TY (6)  
P:  TY (6) Popularity:   7 / 0

KNOWN POWERS:   
  • Neural Manipulation:  IN (40) -The hero can alter a target's neural activity. By changing nerve messages within the target's body, the hero can cause a variety of effects.
    • Disruption: The target's body loses all sensations; it falls to the ground, a limp lump mass of flesh.
    • Paralysis: The target body becomes completely rigid. No chemical can counteract the paralysis while the power is in effect.
    • Seizure: The target's muscles spasm uncontrollably for as long as the Power is in effect.
    • Exaggeration: Nerve signals are actually amplified, causing the target to overact when attempting any movement.
  • Sense Alteration:  EX (20) - The hero can deliberately change the manner in which a target either receives sensory stimuli processes it within the brain. The simplest form negates one or more of the senses, producing instant blindness, deafness, numbness, and so on. More complex is the ability to modify the senses. The hero can amplify some elements and negate others. For example, the hero might make a target literally see red (and only red).  The most complex form is Hallucinations. By a Monstrous Intensity FEAT, the hero can transfer sensory information to others, making everyone share a common set of perceptions. These may be the hero's, or someone else's.  Sensory negation takes a Typical Intensity FEAT; sensory alteration takes a Remarkable Intensity FEAT.  The Power rank determines the range and duration of the effects.
  • Danger Sense:  TY (6) - It is a combination of automatically functioning Psionic Powers (Telepathy, Empathy, and Precognition) that warns the hero about impending danger. 
  • Martial Supremacy "D":  RM (30) - This form seeks out the opponent's weak points and strikes at them. The hero can ignore the effects of physical Armor when determining Stun and Slam results. Unfortunately, the hero must study his opponent for two turns before he can bring this effect into play.
LIMITATIONS:  
  • None
TALENTS:  
  • Martial Arts (D)
  • Sharp Weapons
CONTACTS:
  • None


Superhero Name: Aodhamair
Character Name: Aodhamair (Ad Mair)
Origin:  Humanoid, Seliee Fae (1003 years old)

F  GD (10) / IN (40) Health:  28
A  TY (6)
S  TY (6)                         Karma:  80
E  TY (6)
R RM (30)                 Resources:  PR (4)
I   TY (6)
P  GD (10)                 Popularity:  7 

KNOWN POWERS:   
  • Hypnotic Voice:  RM (30) - Hero can control targets within range of her voice, -1CS when greater than 20’ away
  • Martial Supremacy “A”:  IN (40)
  • Hyper-Intelligence: EX (20) - Permanent version 
  • Total Memory:  GD (10)
  • Iron Will:  Ex (20)
  • Linguistics:  RM (30)  Hero can know up to 30 languages
LIMITATIONS:  
  • Power negation with contact:  Iron (Must be pure iron metal)
TALENTS:  
  • Resist Domination 

CONTACTS:
  • Seliee Court



Superhero Name:  Unknown
Character Name:  Eli Edwards
Origin:  Modified Human

F  RM (30) Health:  120
A  IN (40)
S  EX (20) Karma:  50
E  RM (30)
R GD (10) Resources:  TY (6)
I   EX (20)
P  EX (20) Popularity:  0 / 0

KNOWN POWERS:   
  • Slavic Magic: Draw power from “Domob a krb” the realm of Rod-Rozanica (White God & Black God) of the Pre-Christian Slavic Faith
  • Visage of the Psychopomps (P):  IN (40) - The hero can shape-shift in a Sparrow (Psychopomp).  The hero can shift at-will and return to his human guise at anytime.  He gains the following abilities while shape-shifted:
    • Winged Flight:  FE (2) - speed 30 mph / 2 areas
    • Telescopic-vision:  FE (2) - Range 2 miles
    • Dimensional Travel:  RM (30) - The hero can move between his home dimension and the realm of Peklabog (Slavic Underworld) while shape-shifted into a Sparrow
  • Curse of Pripegala (U):  Ex (20) - The hero can “curse” a target with -1CS to all actions.  This ability has a Range of 1 area and duration 30 days upon a single target.
  • Pekelnik of Ny (D):  EX (20) - The hero can summon a corporeal spirit from the Preklabog that are property of Ny.  They frequently appear as serpent or humanoid shaped being made of fire.  Both smell strongly of brimstone.  The summoned spirits are cooperative and will remain until destroyed or released by the summoner.
  • Shield of Ny (D):  GD (10) - The spirits of Preklabog will act as a shield for the hero
LIMITATIONS:  
  • Slavic Magic and a strong tenant of their faith requires a balance in all things; light/dark, male/female, finite/infinite, good/evil, the elements (earth, air, water, & fire), etc.   A practitioner must strive to maintain a “True Balance” in all things.  A failure to adhere to these belief will cause a -1CS to all feat rolls for each weak of ignoring or failing to achieve balance.
TALENTS:  
  • Occult Lore
  • Fist Aid 
CONTACTS:
  • Local EMS

Friday, April 19, 2019

City of Heroes MMO News!

 City of Heroes

Way back in 2005 I went and purchased a copy of City of Heroes developed Cryptic Studios and published by NCSOFT.  Since I am big fan of comics, Supers, and MMORGP (Such as World of Warcraft) I though why not.  I installed the game and loaded up the character creation screen...and wow it took my breath away.  The options were varied, in-depth, and seemed limitless.  I spent an hour just working on my first characters appearance.

Over the next year I lost myself into the game and enjoyed many an evening of fighting crime and defeating villains in Paragon City.  I continued to play the game off and on again for the next several years.  I wasn't a big fan of the expansion City of Villains but it was a nice addition to the game.  I did enjoy reading about the roll out party that took place at Alcatraz in San Francisco for City of Villains, it was a cool idea to promote the new expansion!

Here is the Wiki article for those that are unfamiliar with the MMORPG:  City of Heroes Wiki

Then in 2012 Paragon Studios announced that CoH would be closing its doors for good and the game was soon to be shut down.  I had not been active in the game for a couple of years but it was terrible news.  I immediately went and reinstalled the game and logged back in to my old Rad/Rad character.  As soon as I was logged in, i received a whisper from an old friend who still played...he had kept my characters name in his friends list for two years hoping I would log back in...we had never shared real life contact info prior to me drifting away from the game!

We spent the evening reconnecting, talking about old times in the game, and sharing real life contact info.  It was great nostalgic evening that put me back in touch with an old friend.  Now skip ahead several years....

I kept tabs on some of the old forums and even some of the newer sources of info on the game, Reddit, Discord, and such to see if anyone had any interest in creating a private server of the game.  Over the years it was commonly believed that the source code was gone for good and for a private server to exist someone would have to complete redevelop the game.  Which wasn't going to happen anytime soon.

So this morning when I was checking out my old and new sources of info on CoH, out of habit, I found that last night an individual had released the server source code out into the wild of the inter-webs!

And, not only were the files released, but there has been a secret private server operated by this individual and a group called SCORE (stands for Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers).  Another person going by the name of Destroyer Stroyer had been invited to the secret private server but felt it was wrong to keep it away from large and loyal following that CoH still has online in 2019.  So he made a video and revealed the existence of the server to the masses.

You can find the full story here:  City of Heroes Private Server Leak

The online groups have been going wild with this info for the past 24 hours!  I am going to keep an eye on what transpires and keep my fingers crossed that maybe I can play City of Heroes again one day soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Another Call Center Story

As a supervisor in a Customer Care call center for a major cellular carrier, I learned many lessons.  One time I did get to carry a lesson over from the Army into the call center.  I had been watching a new employee on the call center floor for past few days.  I noticed that he rarely took any calls and spent most of his time flirting with the women working around him.  He was a good looking guy and by his actions, he took full advantage of his looks.

Other supervisors would approach him and ask him to get back to work.  This happened about every 30-40 minutes during the day.  I also noticed that each supervisor that approached him would walk up and start addressing him about not doing his job.  He would then stand up and walk up in front of each supervisor and stand very close, usually 8-10 inches give or take from the supervisor.  He never raised his voice but he would encroach on their personal space and within a few minutes the supervisor, subconsciously, would start backing up away from the agent.  The conversion would continue for few more minutes before the supervisor would flee from this man.  Then he would go back to flirting and not doing any work until the next supervisor came along.

Like I said, after a few days watching this behavior, I decided to go talk to him myself.  I walked up and addressed him by name.

He turned way from his current target and stood up in front of me.  "What you want man?"  he said with enough attitude to show his disdain for my prescience.

So I calmly replied "Mr. [name redacted for his protections], don't you think you should get back to work?"

He slowly moved up in front my me and was easily only 6 inches away from me.  We were face to face and he replied "Ya know I was only messin around.  I already done a bunch of work today and was just takin a break."

I stood my ground and looked him in the eye and simply said "Look, you either have to kiss me or punch me.  You and me this close...the suspense is killing me, what ever it is you want to do to me, just get it over with."

He quickly took a step back from me with a shocked look on his face.  "Nah man, its not like that!"  He looked around and saw the other call center agents laughing at his awkward plight.

So I finished up and said "Well then don't you think you should get back to work?"  He look around for any sympathetic faces and saw only people smirking and laughing.  I turn away and went back to my desk.  He only worked at the call center a few more weeks before he stopped showing up.  During those couple of weeks there was a marked decrease in his flirting and he kept busy answering calls.  Somthing I learned in the Army, sometimes it just takes a direct confrontation.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Charterstone Review



This review is long over due.  My wife and I purchased our first copy of Charterstone by Stonemaier  Games well over a year ago.  I had read several positive reviews of the game and thought it would be fun to pick up a copy and share it with my wife.  In this game you play a character (we selected our starting character randomly) and you have been tasked with building and founding a new village for the Forever King.  Charterstone has been out for more than a year now but I am going to keep this review spoiler free for those you have not had a chance to play.

This is a legacy game and your actions in each game will unlock more content for future games.  The campaign is set for 12 games but do not worry, once you finish the campaign you are provided with rules to play the game with your finished board.  The Charterstone board is also two sided!  That way you can buy a "Recharge" pack and play the game again on the second side of your board.  We fell in love with the game very quickly.  This is a resource management and worker placement game.  You will unlock crates and construct new buildings in your charters to flesh out your village.


As the campaign progresses you will be faced with Guide posts.  They are special conditions that can affect how the winner is determined at the end of each game and they will occasionally introduce new temporary rules for a specific game.

Each game will play out in about 40 - 60 minutes.  We frequently found ourselves scrambling to get done all they things in the game we wanted to accomplish as the game would come to an end.  Since this is a Legacy game, the rules are intentionally vague at times and you have to make sure you read each new card you unlock fully...or you may miss an important step to progress the game story or mechanic.

Something that was amazing with this game is the online assistance available for rule clarifications.  The Facebook group is fantastic, they answered our questions within 10-15 min.  We even had the creator and owner of Stonemaier games, Mr. Stegmaier himself respond and answer a questions we had about what actions occur in what order!

This game has light and pleasant atmosphere that is kid friendly.  We loved the artwork, especially all the individual buildings you can unlock and build.  The game is currently available via amazon via this link:  Charterstone for $48.00. or direct from the Stonemaier Webstore.

I higly recommend the game and my family and friends have enjoyed the experience of playing.  So much that are currently on our 4th time playing the campaign with a set of new players.






Pros (Things I like)

  • The legacy aspect is original and you want to find out what is going on with the Forever King and your village
  • Online support is great and people in the Facebook group will respond quickly to questions
  • A worker placement, resource management, Legacy game!
  • Upon completion of the campaign you continue to play your finished game board with special rules provided.
  • Metal coins are included with the game and they are impressive








Cons (Things I don't like)

  • The games often felt as if they went too fast and you didn't have enough time to compete all your planned/desired actions
  • Some of the rules are vague and difficult to follow

Monday, January 7, 2019

Traveller RPG Story - In Walks a Stranger

You are drinking in a small run down bar in the Regina “down” port, which is a not so fancy way to talk about planet side port facilities as opposed to the orbital station.  The date is 001 – 1105, and as Imperial reckoning goes, stands for the first day of the year 1105.  It has been one thousand, one hundred and 5 years plus a single day since the founding of the Third Imperium and only a year since you were drummed out of the Regina Port Security Service. 
Gerald, the aging barkeep and owner of “Skittered” your favorite watering hole approaches “Lt. Blair, you want another drink?”
Nodding your agreement, he quickly pours a tumbler of dark amber liquid.  You may have always heard that belters (asteroid miners) like this drink.  It tastes like whiskey and ferments well in zero-G.  Just try not to think too hard about what substance the fermentation originates.
As you tip your glass up and start to drink, a short portly man in a business suite sits down next to you.  He smells like he comes out of one of the corporate buildings that encircle the Down Port.  People who work in the filter air of the big buildings have a smell to them, or maybe is a lack of the smell all the rest of us out here have.  Rumor has it that corporate types don’t like the natural Regina atmosphere, so they heavily condition and treat the filtered air inside their buildings.  Making sure to keep a positive atmosphere pressure inside, thus keeping out that pesky agricultural taint that follows you everywhere on Regina.
Regina is the capital of the Regina sub-sector in the Spinward Marches Sector.  Regina is only 25 sub-sectors away from Capitol, the center of civilization and the ruling seat of the Third Empire of Man, and at Jump 3 that means you are only a few months from Capitol.  Regina is classified according to the UWP (universal world profile) as a A788899-C.  What that means is that it has a mighty fine space port, modern shipyards, is an agricultural planet, with a good bit of law to protect everyone. At least that’s what the Governor and his minions always say on the news vids.
The portly corporate type turns towards you, looks you up and down and states quietly “I hear you are the man to talk to about finding hard to get pieces of data?”