Friday, June 28, 2013

14.3 lbs

My Reaper Miniatures Kickstarter package has shipped. FOURTEEN POINT THREE POUNDS!!!  Dear lord

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Horde of Orcs!

That's about 150 orcs right there. Just primed them tonight. There a bunch of boar riders and a few chariots to to this too, plus a few character models. The general on a wyvern is already complete.  This will be an easy 3000 points when complete. I figured I bet get working on these things before my Reaper and Redbox miniatures Kickstarters show up. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reaper minis incoming!

This weekend I got email notification that my Reaper miniatures kickstarter order will be shipping soon.  It's been almost a year since that kickstarter campaign ended, but I've been looking forward to getting these things for a while. Now that they're on the way, I have to figure out what I'm going to do with them.

1.  I'm going to sort through them and just marvel at how many of them there are.   I can't remember exactly what I ordered, but I think I'm around 200 miniatures

2. Paint these suckers.  I bought storage cases as part of the kickstarter, so there's no excuse for not painting these. I'll have a good place to store them.

3. Use them in some games. Some of them will come into use for RPGs, but I'm also hoping to get some wargaming in with these.  I'll probably try to put together some games using Delta's book of war, and the excellent Fanticide rules from Alien dungeon, but I'll be looking at some more "skirmish" style wargames in the coming months.

Now I just need to get my minis from Redbox games

Friday, June 7, 2013

Starting my own Megadungeon

While I've been itching to run some classic modules and try some of the new classics that are coming out of the OSR, I've got this idea in the back of my head for writing my own MegaDungeon.  The problem is the concept.  I know I could go the easy route and use the "Mythic Underworld" concept, but I want something more detailed, more "realistic".  I've come up with a few ideas, but I think they all have drawbacks.

"The Necromancer beneath the city"  The city once had a large underground dungeon in which it held its prisoners.  Very little of it has been used since the Mad Mayor was overthrown decades ago.  In recent months, public executions and exhiles have ceased, and other prisoners are starting to disappear.  No one in the public knows exactly what has happened to these prisoners.  In truth, they have been thrown into the old Dungeon in groups on a weekly basis.  A powerful Necromancer has moved into the depths of the dungeon, and has threatened the City fathers with devestation if they do not provide him with "tribute" in the form of living bodies.  Once thrown into the dungeon, these prisoners are rounded up by the Necromancer's minions and taken to holding areas where they are later used in various experiements.   

The individuals in an adventuring party are thrown into the dungeon for whatever reason (actual crimes, politcal revenge, outlawed magic or religious practice etc), but before they can be rounded up by the Necromancer's minions, they encounter an old elf who has lived in the dungeon since the time of the Mad Mayor.  He leads the party through a hidden tunnel and provides them with some basic supplies.  From here the party can explore the dungeon, encountering the Necromancer's minions, many unusual experiments, forgotten areas from the time of the Mad Mayor, and eventually the Necromancer himself.

To extend the adventure even further, the Necromancer is taking most of the prisoners and turning them into zombies.  He is then selling these zombies to a political power in the "Underdark"  to create an army.  Either before or after defeating the Necromancer, the party can venture into the "Underdark", ala the D1-3 series.

The drawbacks here are figuring out a reasonable/realistic base of operations.  Without a way to get out of the dungeon, there's really no way to sell loot or get supplies, which creates an interesting situation. The best solution I can come up with is providing a few secret tunnels from the Dungeon into various parts of the city. Without access in and out of the dungeon, it makes for a really good campaign idea, but it doesn't lend itself to the MegaDungeon play style all that well.  In a way it reminds me a little of the situation the a party finds itself in at the start of B4-The Lost City, or A4-In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords.  

"The Endless Catacombs"  The city has buried its dead in a gigantic labyrinth of catacombs for milenia. Adventurers can enter the catacombs for various reasons including: Looting treasure, catching tomb raiders, clearing out invading mosters etc. 

Stole this idea from Glen Cook's 2nd Black Company Book, Shadows Linger.  The problem here is that if it is one gigantic catacomb, the deeper areas are actually the newest, and if they are still being used for their intended purpose, there wouldn't be much adventuring activity there.  This also tends to be heavy on the Undead.

"The Mines o' Death"  The mines are a combination of naturally occuring cave complexes and mines that have been built over the centuries.  Various powers have controlled the mines over the years, but they have been abandoned by civilized races for many centuries due to a lack of production, dangerous conditions, and climate change in the region. The mine is now inhabbited by multiple humanoid factions, as well as all sorts of strange creatures that resided here or were brought here by the creators of the mines.

This is a pretty straight forward concept but seems to have a lot of potential.  I think it has much in common with Moria, mixed in with the Caves of Chaos from B2. I envision the complex having many, many entrances spread out over a few miles, rather than the few dozen yards in caves of Chaos. The caves and mines will interconnect in various interesting ways, and provided for a huge variety of areas.  I like this better than the abandoned Dwarven city model because it allows for more variety and creativity.  One of the major drawbacks in this one is that it lies far from civilization (probably a week's journey or more to the nearest outpost) making it an unlikely location for lower level adventures.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Game Starting

So I'm finally getting a new game started.  I originally wanted to try out my SKaLD rules, but since I don't know any of the players, or what their tastes are, I decided to stick to something closer to published rules. I was going to use Labyrinth Lord, but decided instead to use the latest draft of the 52 pages, which I think just amazing.  It's filled with wonderful little inovations that set it apart from other rulesets.  Sure, most good retro-clones come up with some good ideas, but the 52 pages seems to have something new that just works on every single page. Some favorite ideas of mine: Separate attack modifier advancement for melee and missile attacks, the Abjure Evil mechanic in place of Turn Undead, Maximum ability scores to qualify for a class (if every score is <13, the player can be a gnome, which has inate spell abilities), the encumberance system, combat sequence (very similar to the Holmes sequence),and the death and dismemberment rules for when characters reach 0 HP or lower. The only section of the rules I'm a little hesitant about is the skills section, but we'll see how that goes.  It might work very well, but if it doesn't it's the type of system that can be easily and quickly adjusted or replaced.   The real deciding factor for this game is that the rules are very well laid out and easy to follow.  Each concept tends to be explained completely in one page, in as few words as possible.  

I've met some of the players, but I've never played tabletop games with them, so I really don't know what their experience is like or how they play.  The only hint I have is that most of them asked about bringing premade characters so that they wouldn't have to take the time to role them up at the game. They were all sceptical about my promises that character creation would only take about 10 minutes with this system.  Based on this I'm assuming that they've never played anything older than 2e.

It's been ages since I've run any "classic" modules, so I've decided to start with one I haven't used before: B1-In Search of the Unknown. The plan is to run through this adventure, and possibly some of B2, and then throw the party at Caverns of Thracia.  I originally wanted to start with CoT, but since I don't know how good my players are yet, I decided to start with something simpler. CoT can be fairly rough on inexperienced players, but once they get a few characters to 2nd or 3rd level it should provide a fair challenge. B1 seems fairly tame (though not Castle Caldwell tame) except for the one pit trap.  Dropping 40' into a pool of frigid water is bad enough, but then climbing out of the water, quite possibly in complete darkness and unarmed, to come face to stinky face with a pair of troglodytes is going to be a real challenge. 

I've been thinking of developing a whole campaign area based on the wilderness map from Keep on the Borderlands, or possibly the wilderness map from the original version of Palace of the Silver Princess, but i want to keep the focus on the dungeon, rather than wilderness and city adventures.