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?”

Friday, January 4, 2019

2018 Top 10 Board Game plays

Here is a top 10 list of the board games I played and the number of plays in 2018:

1.) Charterstone - 28
2.) Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - 19
3.) The Shipwreck Arcana - 18
4.) Stuffed Fables - 9
5.) Scythe: The Rise of Fenris - 8
6.) Terraforming Mars - 8
7.) Scythe - 6
8.) Star Trek: Ascendancy - 6
9.) Mansions of Madness -5

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 a Year in Review

2018 was an interesting year, below is a list of events that occurred this past year:
  • Watched Avengers:  Infinity War, it was really fun to see how the theater reacted to the end of the movie...since I had read the comic version back in 1991
  • Lost my Grandma Evans early in the year.
  • Traveled with work to Arkansas 5 times, which is 4 less that last year.  I am going to count that one as a win! 
  • My son is now 4 years old, and refuses to use the potty for # 2...
  • Started playing Overwatch on Xbox and I now play Hearthstone on my mobile devices.
  • I did not Start playing World of Warcraft, again...
  • Read a lot of good books;  The Kill Society by Richard Kincaid, Action Figures Issue Seven:  The Black End War by Michael Bailey, Wearing the Cape:  Recursions by Marion G. Harmon, and Please Don't Tell My Parents You believe Her by Richard Roberts.
  • I believe that I have an Audible addiction.  My list of audio novel that i have listen to this pas year is too shameful to repeat here in the blog.  All I have to say is that R.C. Bray is a phenomenal narrator and actor.  His interpretations are fantastic and most of the reason why I continue to use Audible.
  • Went to GENCON 2018  and had a fantastic time.  You  can look up my earlier blog entry for more information.  My wife and I even got rooms downtown!
  • Interviewed for a new position in my company again.  I did get the job!  I am now the Operations manager for Premier Power Maintenance in Louisville, KY.  The company owners have given me wonderful opportunity to assist in growing the company and help me achieve my goal of moving my family back to KY and closer to rest of our family.  The move was onerous but well worth the final out come.
  • Played several new board games: Western Legends, Stuffed Fables, Shipwreck Arcana, Merchant of Venus, Key Forge:  Call of the Archons, Dwarven Smithy, Charterstone,  Unearth, Seafall, Scythe:  the Rise of Fenris, Bob Ross:  Art of Chill, Alien Frontiers, Firefly Adventures:  Brigands and Browncoats, and Doctor Who:  Time of the Daleks, 
  • Our ongoing Marvel (FASERIP) campaign on Roll20 has fallen to the wayside since my move and job change.  This is one I am going to change with the new year and get going again!

Thing that I didn't get to do this past year but want to change in 2018:

  • Work in the wood shop.  I don't have one anymore...I sold most of my tools to prevent having to move them across three states.
  • Slacked off on my blog for the past couple of months.  I got very busy with work, and I know, excuses…excuses. 
  •  Take my son to the Zoo, he still wants to see an Aardvark!
  • Take a family vacation in an RV to the Grand Canyon, its on the schedule for this year.
  • Convince my mother to come and stay with us and when that doesn't work, talk her in to staying for a couple of weeks.
  • Just so I can be like everyone else at New Years, loose about 20 lbs.
  • Write more, practice practice practice!
  • Continue my Marvel RGP campaign on Roll20 and perhaps add a second RPG campaign.  

I know its quick and just a list of experiences but I feel better getting them down on paper.  I do have a few game reviews that will be coming up in a couple of weeks.  I promise!  I also am going to strive to be more regular with updates, and share more of my thoughts and stories.  Happy New Year!

- Jeremiah

Friday, December 21, 2018

Wearing the Cape: Operation Pole Star Review

I am a fan of Mr. Harmon's Wearing the Cape universe and quickly snatched up a copy of this product upon its release.  The supplement/adventure is 12 pages in length.  If you are familiar with the other Wearing the Cape RPG books and high production quality then you will enjoy the same level of attention and design with this book as well.  I enjoy Kasia Slupecka artwork from the cover and the continuity in with this book and the other RPG products.  Please keep in mind this is a FATE powered product and all game stats are recorded in the WtC:  RPG format, but can still be used with FATE Core as well.

The book includes an opening chapter addressing how Ole Saint Nick fits into the Post-Event world of WtC and sites examples of how to incorporate Santa into other type of campaigns.  Mr. Harmon then follows up plot ideas and area descriptions of the North Pole and story specific areas addressed by the adventure.  I was surprised to find several top down and 3D rendered maps of one of key areas within the adventure.  I like maps and find them very useful with my players in describing the areas they will be playing during an adventure.

The only item that kept me from giving this book 5 stars, is that despite Mr. Harmon presenting several ideas on how to approach the villainous plot. It is ultimately in true FATE fashion a loose suggestion of how to approach the story and leaves the specifics up to the individual game master.  It would have nice to have a few more fleshed out ideas and suggestions and more concrete path of play.  With that said, the Side bar texts do an excellent job of presenting options and ideas for the game master to explore during the play.

Our gaming group is playing this adventure on Christmas Eve and we are all looking forward to meeting Santa!  Thank you Mr. Harmon for this seasonally themed WtC adventure.

The game resource is currently available via Drivethrurpg for $2.99 

Pros (Things I like)

  • More Wearing the Cape products!
  • The art work is fantastic
  • The adventure includes Santa Cause
  • Excellent finish and game design quality

Cons (Things I don't like)

  • I would have liked to see more specifics on the actual adventure story and less of the freeform that naturally comes with FATE products.
  • That is about it...

Friday, September 21, 2018

Golden Sky Stories: Twilight Tales Kickstarter Review

As my collection of Roleplaying game material continues and my addiction to Kickstarter project continue to grow.  I come across some neat RPG concepts and some games that slipped by me.  Golden Sky Stories  is one of the games.  The game is originally a Japanese RPG which became a translation project for a Kickstarter  here in the United States a few year ago.

As I said before, I missed the original Japanese version and the translated U.S. Kickstarter.  I did not miss the translated expansion;  Twilight Tales.    I back the Kickstarter and was pleasantly surprised when it took less than 6 months for delivery of the final printed books.  I also took advantage of the add-on for the project to pick up the original Golden Sky Stories in softcover.

I don't know what I expected from a translated RPG but wow, the book is well laid out and easy to follow.  The basic premise is that the player will choose a Henge (pronounce Hen-Gay), which is a spirit creature that resides in and around the town.  The players as Henge are animal spirits that can assume human forms and human-animal forms.  The players then will spend their time helping the mortal, and sometimes making things worse, but it all works out in the end and everyone gets a happy ending to the story.

The Kickstarter campaign was quick and to the point, with the printed material arriving amazing quickly for a Kickstarter.

If you like cute and heartwarming stories then this game is for you...if you like action and violence in your RPGs...I would look elsewhere.

The game is avialable from Drive Thru RPG in PDF or print-on-demand Golden-Sky-Stories

Pros (Things I like)

  • Good looking book, high print quality
  • well organized
  • I can't say enough about how quickly the Kickstarter wrapped up and delivered the printed books 

Cons (Things I don't like)

  • Not much, its a fun game and easy to pick up and play

Thursday, August 30, 2018

GENCON 2018 Summary

Ok, I did not attend least not yet.  I did attend GENCON 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I experience several high points of the years trip; playing Golden Sky Stories RPG, talking to Marion Harmon (The Wearing the Cape creator), meeting Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games, getting my little gnome hero for Hearthstone, and playing Runequest with Jeff Richard as our game master!

This was the view from our hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  This was our first year to secure a room in the downtown block of hotels...the best part we were easy walking distance to the convention center and all the games.  Our close proximity made gaming, eating, and sleeping much easier than previous years where we were forced to stay at least a 30 min. drive away from the convention center.

I only signed up for a few scheduled games.  My wife and I like to keep our afternoons and evenings free to meet up with friends (sometime strangers) and try our hand new games.  This year we tried several new games to include:  The Thing, Shipwreck Arcana, Campy Monsters, and Space Park.  On Saturday I even managed to play Blizzards Hearthstone in a Fireside match and get my Warlock hero!  I made it a point to seek out Mr. Marion G. Harmon, the creator of Wearing the Cape novel series and it's corresponding RPG.  He was fantastic and he was the person who directed to me the logic game of Shipwreck Aracana. Fantastic game Mr. Harmon, thank you!

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the highlight of the whole weekend was Playing the new Runequest:  Role playing in Golorantha with Jeff Richard.  The event ticket was expensive at $20.00 but well worth the price.  The adventure was tittled "The Trouble in the Big Rubble"  and we had a fantastic time.  I meet some fellow gamers who were awesome and loved Runequest as much as I do.  This was my first exposure to the new rules/edition and I found it close enough to 2nd Ed. that I knew my way around most of the mechanics and the other newer game material came easily.

This was easily a weekend of memorable events.  Going with the Chaosium theme, i attended Sandy Peterson's "How to create a Call of Cthulhu adventure" seminar and wow was that informative.  Mr. Peterson has been kind enough to post the session on YouTube, if you are a fan of Call of Cthulhu, I recommend you take a few minutes and check out the video.  My apologies for the picture, but Mr. Peterson walked behind the camera and its the only one I remembered to snap.

My wife and I also "Spent a night in Greengully" with Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games and the creator of Scythe, Chartertone, and Viticulture.  He is a wonderful host and took time out of his evening to sit with us and ask about the games and our experiences.  Once again, if you are going to GENCON and Mr. Stegmaier is attending, take time to visit his area and check out his selection of games.  You can even ask him about winning strategies.

Ok, those are the high points of the weekend.  We had a wonderful time and met a lot of great people and played some many many terrific games.  I am looking forward to next year...I just hope Marc Miller can make it next year and is willing to host his Traveller RPG:  Can you survive character generation!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Kickstarter: Traveller The Great Rift Box Set

Today I received my copy of Mongoose Publishing's The Great Rift box set for the Traveller RPG.  I have been watching the development and impending delivery of this product on line with a great deal of excitement.

Mongoose delivered the PDF versions as they were completed but we have had to wait for delivery of the printed copies.  I have been very eager to see the final product. 

It has been worth the wait.  The final box set is superbly constructed, it even has a small ribbon to help you get the books out of the box with out damaging either the books or the box.  Mongoose did an outstanding job of keeping all the backers from Kickstarter informed along every step of the journey.  My only concern was that as I read of US backers receiving their physical copies, I had not received mine.

I sent an email out to Matthew Sprange and he responded quickly stating that I should have received my copy already.  After verifying my mailing address Mr Sprange said that would see it in the mail soon.  True to his word it arrived 3 days later. I don't know what hiccup occurred, but he handled my inquiry professionally and resolved the issue quickly.

I have seen several articles and forum threads that disparage the cost of some of Mongoose Publishing products but I personally have not had any issue with any of the printed material and have been supplied with PDF version of anything where I have purchased a physical copy from an online.  source.  

An exciting note is that within 24 hours of the PDF being released, the fan favorite web site,the Traveller Map had been updated with all the supplied material and content!  If you have not had an opportunity to explore the Traveller Map web site, it is well worth you time.  My favorite "easter egg" is the map of the Zodani Core Expeditions!