Friday, August 25, 2017

Ancient Dread: Octagon's End and the Rock Faeries

Past where the mural was is a square room with a ladder in the center, carved out of stone, leading up.  It opens up into more of a traditional cavern, stalagtites and stalagmites surround us.  The ceiling is about 25' above us. It leads off to the SE. We follow to the left until it curves back around south.  A path through the stalagmites opens to the left (NE) and to the right (SE). We follow the NE path following the 'Left Hand' rule through numerous caverns.  Something lands on my back.  I shake it off.  It appears to be some sort of tiny gnomelike creatures.  Echo pulls out her light gem making them pull back a bit. I activate my bracelet of charismatic aura.  They become my best friends.  Whispering in Faerie they are.  Rod talks with them.  There are spiders in the caverns.  They ask if we are friends and I respond that we are. They start leading us down a cavern.   The fey creatures lead us to a huge set of double doors, obviously dwarven carving. 

To be continued.

Monday, August 21, 2017

@Gen_Con 2017 : Swag and Stuff

OK. I've covered the days I was there w/ a few of the things I picked up.  This is the rest.

A 'Don't Tread On Me" 4-sider T-shirt. There was also one w/ a lego that looked suspiciously familiar.  Yes, messages have been sent to the relevant parties.

From Crystal Caste, my annual GenCon special dice.  Apparently there were a few variations of this over the weekend.  The ones I have have a 'GenCon 50' on the single pip.  The ones offered on Thursday did not have the pip.  There were also some price differences on the sets offered based on which sticker was on the can. I also picked up a set of the 'Rainbow' dice and some 20-sider earrings for 4PB.  CC was the only place selling them at the con. Took me a while to find.

From ZOE/DG:
Not only did Matt Vancil sign my copy of Pwned, but I picked up the 2016 Patreon patch and 2017 golden waffle pin.  The pencil is from HyperRPG which is working w/ ZOE/DG for streaming.

No. I cannot explain the banana.  I will not explain the banana.  Go and watch Gamers:Shadow Menace

From Palladium Books.
 A print of the 'Hydra'  and a map of the Great Northern Wilderness from Palladium Fantasy RPG

From Forged Foam, I got two sets of short sword/small shield for my boys.  They are being universally described as 'whappy things'.

Now this next piece, the one I'm going to close out with, is something that I've been working on having done for a few years now.  Several artists I've talked to either were too busy or not available.  Walking around the con floor, I saw an artist not only who's style was very close to what I was wanting but also did commissions AT the con with prices that were so reasonable as to almost be suspect.  Her name is Diana Harlan Stein, founder of Naiadstudios.  We chatted for a bit (she's been running a D&D campaign since before forever), fleshed out some details, and I was able to provide some support images.

Now for background.  My Palladium Fantasy character got roped into a relationship in the campaign.  For a Bday present, I asked the GM to give me a background story on her.  He (slowly) started writing it up in journal form.  I got an image of my head of an elderly female elf writing at a table.
This is the result.

I was going to do a 'my thoughts' bit but I really don't feel like it.

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 1 *Insert Funny Title Here*

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 2 Lots of Gamers

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 3 Victory and Loss x2

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 3 Victory and Loss x2

An evening of good company, several bowls of good chili, a shower (oh gods a shower, how wonderful) and a comfy couch to sleep on (and boy did I sleep) brought me close to 100%.  I left before most were awake (having some early-ish events and wanting to get good parking).

A much shorter day planned w/ an OGRE tournament at 10am and then some talks and a last vendor hall walkthrough.  Showed up a bit early to the tourny tables.  Got to browse through one of the OGRE 6E boxes set up for demos. Being used to the Designer Edition, it's so tiny.  :)

10am.  I am the only person at the table.

10:15 am.  I am the only person at the table.

No-one else showed.  While I don't mind winning by default, I really wanted a game.  Andreas, the Demo Team Co-ordinator, hooked me up. Just walking by was one Al Griego, longtime OGRE player and MIB for SJGames who took up the challenge of a game.  He chose attack (An OGRE Mk 3) and had no problems w/ me using my own pieces.  I went w/ a classic Fuzzy Wuzzy defense.  All GEV's.

First round he expended his missiles and I took out his Main Battery.  After that my tactics were near perfect.  My movement planned to the space.  Every unit that could be in range would be in range.  Most of them got out of range of the OGRE each turn if able.

But my rolls sucked beyond belief.  After I managed to get the OGRE down to 2 movement, I went two turns w/o a single hit.  After the 2nd round of that, I knew there was no way to stop him killing my Command Post and conceded the game.

I stated on the book of face that the first person to beat me in the game would get a copy of the Nihon KS sheets.  I kept my promise.  It was a good game.

Since this was a 'for fun' game, I was still declared the winner of the tourney and got the swag.  Al already had 6E so didn't mind.  I got the game, extra sheets, and the Con/Tourney exclusive acrylic CP.

Since it ended early, I skipped up the the ZOE/DG Fan Talk for new announcements.

Chris DuppenThaler (he didn't talk much, we kept forgetting he was there), Christian Doyle, Tony Becerra (Humans and Households), Don Early (Demon Hunters), Ben Dobyns, and Chris Ode on Camera.

 Journey Quest S4&5 are happening. They've been contracted and are being written. ZOE/DG are formally becoming one company.  A Fartherall RPG might happen. Lots more Kickstarters and plans in the works.

After the talk, I said my goodbye's to the folks and did a last walkaround the vendors floor.

Calye from JBMPress.I have lots of their badges and the bag. 

At the Steve Jackson Games booth,  a demo team member (Ariel iirc) was showing a couple to play OGRE.  I got a little obnoxious and 'helped'.  Her remark  "He doesn't work for us. He's just a big fan". She got a Nihon sheet too for putting up w/ me.

Time to head home.

Next up will be swag and thoughts. 

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 1 *Insert Funny Title Here*

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 2 Lots of Gamers

@Gen_Con 2017 : Swag and Stuff

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 2 Lots of Gamers

As I said, the night was... unpleasant.  One would think that an underground garage would be cool, or at least cool off during the night.  Nope.  It stayed 85 deg F the whole night.  I maybe got 3 1/2 hours of actual sleep.  At the point I decided enough was enough and I wasn't going to get any more, I cleaned up a bit (vets will understand the term 'birdbath'), changed, and headed into the convention center to find a gallon or two of coffee.  This is what the halls looked like at 6am.  Note this for later.

There were sheep everywhere.  Apparently some had escaped from Catan. If only I had some wood to trade for them.

Barb from OffWorld Designs, the official outfitters of GenCon. I have been a fan of these folks for years since I picked up their classic 'Rune Dragon' shirt at Worldcon '91.  Later I got the design as a tattoo on my back officially making me their biggest fanboy.  I run into them at nearly every gaming con I go to (not that there's a lot) and make a point to stop by, say hi, and support them.

W/ a few quarts of coffee in me, I shuffled over to the halls to find Peter Pidrak setting up his 'Invid Hive' scenario for the Robotech RPG Tactics. Currently only 'Macross' era is available but he's printed and kitbashed units from both Southern Cross/Masters and Invid Invasion to create some fantastic sets and settings.

I mulled around for awhile and then went into the line for the next Gamers Live: Attack of the Mutants from Planet X. While waiting, we watched the registration and photos for the upcoming costume contest. An Amidala was one of the best imo.

  I splurged for 'Premier Seating' and was one of the first people in line.  Now even cooler than that was they had a panel of authors to act as the 'Fantasy Mind' of the GM and offer suggestions.  They also had 'Action Points worth +/- 10 ea.  Commentary in the form of signage was made throughout the show.  The authors included Matt Vancil, Cat Rambo, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Howard Taylor and (I forget the last one and the pic isn't clear).

Being up in front, I got to demo the rolling of the die.  I will post video/screencaps of that when the streaming is available from their Patreon page.  Christian Doyle had a bit of a sore throat so passed the GM'ing onto Nathan Rice for the event.

After the show.  Christian Doyle and Maggie Ferguson-Wagstaffe.

My painting friend is a big fan of Howard Taylor's 'Schlock Mercenary' series.  I did something special for him.
Of course while he's being a great sport, I make myself look like an @ss as my camera starts malfunctioning and he ends up standing there for like 5 min.

More films for the rest of the day.  The Gamers Season 0 and then the Premier of Gamers: The Series. Ep 1 The Shadow Menace.

Standing frickin' ovation.

Short brief for those who don't know.  The first Gamers movie was a low budget, indy film made about 15 years ago. Later game Gamers 2 and 3 w/ a new cast/storyline.  At the END of G3, however, the players from G1 appear.  G0 and the Series work on combining the two storylines.  Again, it is available on their Patreon page and soon on DVD/BR.

After the show, I chatted w/ Ben Dobyns (who for some reason still puts up w/ me)

I stayed for his project 'Strowlers', and up and coming series about 'What if magic what real but highly secret and regulated?"  It is an 'open-source' concept that is being worked on now in half a dozen countries around the world. The first episodes were shot in Seattle (shock), Ireland, and Mongolia.

I'll admit. When they did the KS, I was reluctant, backing because I know their work and will support it.  Later, I got the honor of getting to watch a rough-cut of the Ireland episode because Ben wanted the opinions of 'non-film' people (which I definitely am). I was hooked.  I am now kicking myself for not putting more into the Kickstarter.

After the viewing, I helped them haul some stuff back to their booth. Or tried to.  I had my first experience w/ a door-nazi.  One of those that revels in the little power they have.  She not only harangued Ben and some other for daring to try and go in the wrong door (it was after 6pm) but got very hostile and rude w/ me, refusing to let me in because I didn't have a vendors badge.  Ben took the box I was carrying.  I understand there are rules.  It wasn't one of those "Hey, I'm sorry but I could get in trouble if I let you" types.  She was one of those nasty old ladies who will call the pound on your dog out of spite.  She should have been wearing a Stormtrooper outfit.  I saw her the next day and she was acting the same way.  Horrible woman.

Either way, as you can tell from the photo above, I was wiped.  I found my way to the friend of a friend's house that I was staying at.  I was done for the day.

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 1 *Insert Funny Title Here*

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 3 Victory and Loss x2

@Gen_Con 2017 : Swag and Stuff