December 28, 2011

Under the Guidance of Will-of-the-Torch...

Mostly posting to say I've not died from alien face-eating disease yet.

But here's a little something I've been working on for my next stint as Game Master. In my continuation of expanding and testing my own little RPG system, I've started working on a teeny-weeny Swords & Sorcery-ish addition if we ever need it. Right now I'm working on the sorcery part. It's mostly just the working concept of spells right now, with 8 tiers (referred to as circinates) of spells. They aren't technically circles of magic, so much as just separate groupings of various schools of spell-casting. I'm not too happy with 'wanderlight's name, as it doesn't quite fit the naming scheme I'm going for. Hell, even the spell 'anemos' was a bit of a pain in the ass to name; you'd think there just was a single term for gill-/water-breathing that I could easily find. Each circinate is considered its own single 'skill' for the purpose of the system's skill structure; archetypes are as close as we get to classes in this game. Anyhoo, below is the basic skeleton of the cumulative list, devoid of proper costs, casting times and other inconveniences beyond a few notes of what each one does.

From the very start I wanted every magic-user to be capable of two things: inflicting harm, and healing it. Magic in this setting is supposed to generally be more primal and elemental in nature. Each spell should have its own aesthetic qualities as fitting to its caster. Another thing I wanted to try avoiding with these spells was make more flexible abilities that weren't as specific and cookie-cutter as D&D's spells tended to be. If outcomes or purposes were somewhat familiar, they would be merged together in the name of versatility.

Damage (1 BP* taken, damage objects)
Mend (1 BP* healed, mend objects)

    1st Circinate
Flare (spontaneous fire to target object or person, 1 damage/10 ranks)
Heal (1d6+1/10 ranks)
Lift (levitate one's self, or other things)
Cloak (minor invisibility and muffled movement)
Stamina (+1d6 max HP 1 minute/10 ranks)
Strength (+1 STR/20 ranks)
Wanderlight (floating orb of light/light spell)

    2nd Circinate
Anemos (allows water-breathing)
Coma (target or targets put in magic sleep)
Drain (drains target STR or HP to 1, DC is points spent)
Expedience (+1 action every second round/10 ranks)
Harm (1d6+1/10 ranks)
Shock (stun, effects increase/10 ranks)
Wallow (become relaxed in environment, mask scent, laugh at mosquitos)
Ward (minor force shields self)
Wealth (transmute material into food, drink, and simple objects)

    3rd Circinate
Open (open portal)
Warmth (resist cold, makes warm)
Cold (resist heat, makes cold)
Ground (resist electricity, makes slow)
Sanctuary (sanctuary)
Seal (arcane lock)
Fireball (fireball)
Fortitude (resistence to poison, disease and radiation)
Attor (envenoms target weapon, teeth or claws)

    4th Circinate
Wall (earth wall)
Noise (spell shield/radius dispell)
salubrity (+1d6 HP healed/10 ranks)
Shuck (ignore 2 damage/10 ranks each hit for duration)
Outstay (+1 CON/20 ranks)
Curse (-1/-5 to specified score/skill/10 ranks)
Wrack (elemental storm 1d6 damage/10 ranks)

    5th Circinate
Sting (enhance weapon or claw)
Hale (cure ailment, poison and diseases)
Shatter (intense vision/nightmare, 1d10 damage, instant fatigue)
Snare (holds individual)
Sending (personal message anywhere, only to reciever)
Vanish (turn invisible)
Raise (bring physical body to animation)

    6th Circinate
Bore (make holes in walls or form pits)
Sweep (obliterates mold, dust, poison and weak beings)
Field (invisible force blocks passage and projectile)
Sap (leeches mana or HP from nearby energies (magic things, people, etc.)
Conjure (1HD/something points, make entity shaped by maker's imagination)
Obscure (changes appearance)
Behold (allows true seeing)

    7th Circinate
Death (ethereal emenation kills the weak, weakens the strong)
Rend (attacks bypass defenses)
Mirror (turn invisible as fake double fools enemies)
Storm (calls forth lightning to strike enemies)
Portal (creates door through solid mass)
Phantasm (manifests spectral entity to assist combat)
Shift (alter appearance and change shape)

    8th Circinate
Petrify (gaze or grasp to turn target to stone)
Wither (inflict life-consuming curse)
Destroy (obliterates target entity)
Wish (alters reality to some degree)
Malign (alter appearance and change shape of others)

*BP stands for Body Point. Characters usually take damage to their BP instead of their CON scores for determining death that eschews hit points.

December 17, 2011

More Internet Fun: 'I Write Like...'

Found this little website called 'I Write Like' through the blog Coasters, Castles, Combustion. The idea is that you feed it a section of your own writing, of which it analyzes your use of syntax, the genre of your writing, style, and word selection to determine which author your writing is most like. For kicks I selected three different segments from some of old short stories of mine to see how consistent they could be. Based on my results, which I'll provide below, I suggest for anyone else trying this out, to submit as long a sample as you can manage for most viable results. Now for my own results:

I write like
Arthur Clarke
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

    A man, clad in space suit, sits alone, bathed in the wash of light from a holofield counting his minutes to the memories of histories gone. Many interesting holo-vids of ancient space exploration captures dance about in a 3-meter by 3-meter sphere around him. His silhouette breaks the image behind himself, and there is no sound to match the footage; he is in a hostile environment, completely sealed from the outside.
    Unclad spacers smile. Their chatter continues unevenly amidst exchanged opinions and laughs, but he doesn't hear them, neither from without nor within his helmet; the audio reciever was set to the mute function.
    He had curled his knees to his chest earlier. Amidst the alien rock, the grit, shreds of plastic, ablative and steel construction, he was his own sole company save the hulking face of a heavily corroded rock devoid of dust. His cold-chilled fingers dragged their hardcap-tips across his visor. That was one of few sounds he did hear, from within his closed world. The dust brought with his gauntleted hands gingerly held to the smoothed visor wherever a scratch of its outer layer sat, but with little effort even his idle body shook the fine stratum free.

My second entry features another space theme, but this time it's a murder:

I write like
Harry Harrison
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Drasniki placed the upturned pot upon the man's skull, only to suddenly thrash against its face with a clenched fist. A superhuman vigor held his limbs and each slam brought horrendous pain to his victim; blood sprang free from his battering hand as flesh and bone alike shattered with every consecutive hit to the inward-dented pot.

And before the slender spacer could come to his senses, the man was dead and his crimson hand had swollen, slick with sticky blood. His thin lungs exhaled with wheezing contractions drawn as evenly as a weakling manning the bellows.

The moment lingered in an unsettling way. Wiry Drasniki was not in the room where his body stood; he did not see the flurry of his coiled fist; he did not witness the wracking bruise of his limb; he did not accept his actions, nor the repercussions of his deed. He sucked air from the scene, standing utterly still as a tick bit at his skull. Its itch gnawed at his scalp, whispering things to his head.

A man had died.
A life was taken.
He had hurt.

His panting shallowed and his eyes stole a hazy focus.

A man had died.
He had taken a life.
He had hurt a man.

The spacer held his breath with the bite of his lip. It was his fault. All of it. With a last, long-drawn and shuttering exhale, the spacer held his left hand before personal scrutiny. His discoloured fingers wouldn't move. A shot of intense pain wracked his entire arm as he attempted to turn his wrist and wiggle his battered digits. His other hand still tightly clenched the silicon panhandle of the pot now firmly stuck to his victim's skull. With no volition of his own would it budge and he was quick to let go, instead turning to attend to his thoroughly broken limb with ginger hesitation.

My third entry featured a man threatened by some vague "orcish" character, where the genre presented could still be considered ambiguous:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

"Merry, merry, merry man! Haha! Shriek, scream, and die!"  The orcish thing knew; oh it knew so well its favorite activities: death, dismemberment, and destruction. Brilliant pass-times for those chaotic, lame sort.

Blair clung to the shadow of the stone arch. The beast was near, and he could not be found, for death would surely take him. His white-handed grip tightened around his beaten crowbar, sprung tight with energy. Its footsteps drew ever nearer, and each plod upon the worked stone floor drew Blair's swing tighter and tighter. It was coming; he could smell its foul odor now, something beyond recollection, something alien.


Afterward, for further interesting value, I combined all three and submitted the cumulative mass, of which my result returned to Harry Harrison. Very interesting, though I must shamefully admit I'm not familiar with too much of his work, however 'The Stainless Steel Rat' seems very much my cup of tea.

Any of you few lot interested in posting your results?

November 28, 2011

In short of doing something more interesting and creative, I was fiddling around with the background. I wanted something old-school-ish. Whaddya' think?

November 18, 2011

I hate d4 hit die.

Just took the time to take this lovely little personality test, "What D&D Character am I?", and a shout-out to David Macauley over at There's Dungeons Down Under to drawing this lovely thing to my attention. ANYHOO, le Results:

I Am A: True Neutral Human Sorcerer (3rd Level)

Ability Scores:







True Neutral A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

And past that, below are my broken-down detailed results. Perhaps there is some philosophical merit to this test, given that while my highest scores weren't so by very much, that sorcerers, rangers, and the idea of warrior poets are some of my favorite classes. I must laugh at my extreme negatives for the paladin and monk. I do actually enjoy playing the strict and disciplined nature of monks, though paladins I outright despise.  I'm not too keen on the racial runner-up the gnome score had with human; I love the little people, but my regrettable stints as gnomes in times passed has left a reputation in my gaming circle I wish I would escape...

Lawful Good ----- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (17)
Chaotic Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
Lawful Neutral -- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
Lawful Evil ----- XXXXXXX (7)
Neutral Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Chaotic Evil ---- XXXXXXXXX (9)

Law & Chaos:
Law ----- XXXXXX (6)
Neutral - XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Chaos --- XXXXXXXX (8)

Good & Evil:
Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Evil ---- X (1)

Human ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Dwarf ---- XXXXXX (6)
Elf ------ XXXXXXXX (8)
Gnome ---- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Halfling - XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Half-Elf - XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc - XX (2)

Barbarian - (-4)
Bard ------ XX (2)
Cleric ---- (0)
Druid ----- (0)
Fighter --- (-2)
Monk ------ (-21)
Paladin --- (-19)
Ranger ---- XX (2)
Rogue ----- (-2)
Sorcerer -- XXXX (4)
Wizard ---- (-2)

November 14, 2011

Up & Down

So, there I was listening to John Carter on the radio today as we slaved over the bakery ovens in the early morning. The crap-shoot: he wasn't of Mars. In fact, he sounded to be in his 80's (at least), and I believe he may also have later referred to himself as "Connor".

Not much has been happening hobby-wise that's pretty enough to warrant showing you lot, otherwise. I'm still mucking around with the banner design. Oh, and I completely forgot to post the next two chapters of It Only Rains on Tuesdays... Painting a Reaper adventurer for my chum. That one might be finished quicksoon if I get off my ass and then back on it sooner.

How was your weekend?

November 2, 2011

A Brief Look into Terrible Picnic Locations.

Well, it's not the most refined of pieces on solar development, however here is a small guide line I've written out for my group in the hopes I might get to be a player eventually in a science fiction campaign. I've tried to make it general and not too space-science-y for their use in what most likely won't be anything more than Star Wars-style planets anyhoo.

 Hazardous Environments

 Most planets are far from habitable, or at least extremely uncomfortable, for the average colonist. Many are lifeless, atmosphere-lacking rocks, or so extreme in their conditions that life as we know it might not even have a chance, no matter how hardy the organism. This is for you, the not-me-as-DM-for-once.

Primary Factors are generally those of a hazardous environment, where exposure is almost certainly death. Characters might get some leeway in expeditious corrective measures, though most often their chances are as slim as their environment is deadly. Being exposed to vacuum will not instantly kill someone, but getting a face-full of pressurized Venus is definitely the last thing they'll ever do.

Secondary Factors are those more likely to be survived, should exposure occur. These factors are more likely to be evident on more moderate planets that aren't quite right. With the exception of antiquated space suits, most feature auto-sealing countermeasures, or are easily patched in the event of integrity rupture.

Primary Factors
  1. no atmosphere
  2. very thin atmosphere
  3. extreme atmospheric pressure
  4. extreme temperature
  5. heavily radiated
  6. extreme gravity
Secondary Factors
  1. dangerously saturated air
  2. unbreathable air
  3. dangerous micro-organisms/bacteria in air
  4. poisonous elements in air
  5. unsafe radiation levels
  6. regular acid/sulfur rain

Planets without atmospheres are often smaller and possess lower gravity than most are accustomed to, and often are subject to massive amounts of unimpeded solar radiation and extremely cold temperatures during the night cycle. Asphyxiation is not fun.

A planetoid with a notably thin atmosphere might consist of breathable air, however there is never enough air density to breath, leading to hypoxia and death. These planets are often colder and subject to almost unimpeded solar radiation. Often the cause of receding atmosphere relates to the planet being remarkably close to a larger source of gravity or exposure to extreme solar radiation.

Extreme atmospheric pressure is caused by an overdeveloped atmosphere often laden with extremely high levels of greenhouse gasses, or the result of a very high gravity, such as the conditions of a gas giant. This environment is exceedingly dangerous, requiring the most advanced of protection systems. Failure of these systems can mean swift death.

Deep cold and exceeding heat both prove dangerous to any would-be adventurer. Depending on atmospheric conditions, either of these extremes can also accompany extreme pressure ranges. Exposure means quick painful death.

Most common among worlds that survive their parent star going nova, heavily radiated worlds often lack atmospheres and are devoid of life. Even in heavily shielded suits, people quickly die from radiation bombardment.

Extremely high gravity can crush and flatten man and machine alike, and is often accompanied by heightened atmospheric pressure. Low gravity is an impediment and often a cause of very thin atmospheres. While movement and physical exertion is often taxed in high-gravity worlds, higher speeds can prove especially dangerous in low-gravity conditions.

Dangerously saturated air is one that is technically breathable, however the overabundance of a not-normally-dangerous element in the atmosphere can effectively drown or suffocate people without proper breathing apparatus, within any number of minutes.

Unbreathable air is simply the result of an atmosphere that our bodies can not draw oxygen from. Asphyxiation is not fun.

On some primitive or overly-aggressive life-bearing worlds, there can be any manner or fungi, spores, virus, or airborne bacteria that cause anaphylactic shock when accidentally inhaled or exposed to through suit ruptures. Other effects might include sickness and infections only later apparent. This is the hazardous garden that looks welcoming...

Poisoned air contains elements naturally dangerous to our bodies with appropriate dosage. An overabundance of dangerous gasses and chemicals pollute air that might have almost been otherwise near breathable conditions. Gasmasks, or similar air filters, may suffice in allowing safe respiration to explorers.

While not as extreme as heavily-radiated worlds, others may possess thin ozone layers, or be exposed to radiation from a nearby star or other presence that can be harmful to unprotected individuals, though not necessarily to native life, assuming that the radiation levels aren't too high.

Atmospheric composition and conditions can lead to noxious concentrations of chemical acids and similar destructive compounds that pollute the environment, leading to acid rain and rapid corrosion. This environment can quickly wear out equipment, destroy materials, and kill living beings.

October 26, 2011

Communication isn't always in a box.

Convenient, but too convenient.
Perhaps it has been discussed, and perhaps I've simply missed the topic many times over during my times with the Star Frontiers system, but it is to be said, that not all characters can and will always have a polyvox device bending their ear. Sometimes, they will actually have to know how to talk.

While I know not what all sort of languages the futuristic setting of Star Frontiers (and official canon only provides scant few) provides, I've still come up with a way of determining how easily versed in multiple languages characters are in my campaigns. Quite often we see humans with automatic run of the mill Pan-Galactic with extras being French, Zulu, and other odd spare languages to use amongst the group.

Characters know any number of languages as determined by their LOG skill at character creation.

LOG Score   1-20    21-40    41-60    61-80    81-100
# Known      1           2           3           4           5
Life happens and there isn't always a properly-programmed automatic translator for every vocal beck and call.

October 25, 2011

It Only Rains on Tuesdays... Pt 1:

Oh, balls! Seems I forgot to post this. The first of many, and shazzam!


The man that was Number Two, named "Tom", flash-clone personality of Richtoffen, Tomothy, BioSciences. His gaze quickly turned to his masculine form, fully aware of the terrible chill of his surroundings, but quickly became more preoccupied by the alien sight of the thing clambering out from pod number three.

Its face was that of a man and a man his computer memories bade him know. But that was some freakish mutant; the gentle pouch, like some old earth marsupial, was almost hidden by its chest hair, and he could swear that was some manner of plant's vine protruding from its lower back.

And then, whether in some manner of audacity, or simply negligence, the other shouldered past to view the still unopened tank marked number one. Tom quickly abandoned his alienation to get a good look about the large room they were in and the many pieces of technology set up about its otherwise spartan plasteel construction.

(Note: excluding Kangaroo Boy, we usually are pretty in-character, but the group was perhaps a bit too excited to play weird mutant freaks in a pseudo-post apoc setting, where they for all intents and purposes believe they're supposed to be human.)

Tom notes the tattooed bar-code along his companion's neck, of which a '3' is prominent alongside it. Without a word he confirms his suspicions and hopes the thing truly is a messed up clone of that man that insisted his name be simply 'Wikkus'. The scientist first turns to a large changing screen completely surrounded by various lockers, all with numeral identification. He is quick to don his coat when he first becomes aware of his wings, both folded behind his shoulders, and after drawing Wikkus' attention from occupied tank number one, they find a pocket knife in a desk drawer after avoiding a collapsed, dust-ridden skeleton wearing a delicate lab coat.

Afterward, the two are quick to get dressed, with the scientist stealing number thirteen's pair of utility boots and universal coveralls. After all, that grease job in the back wouldn't be needing it. Neither would any of them past tank five for that matter.

With some effort the scientist had his coat on over his back without impeding his wings, and Wikkus was off doing something odd in front of the first tank; the internal lighting in the room seemed to flicker, but nothing came of it, and Wikkus was quick to find boredom in his curious ability.

By then, the steady cyan light on tank one turned a steady green, strobing for effect as the liquid contents drained and a hulking man barely fitting inside slumped to the bottom as his breather slipped free of his throat. Then he awoke, and forward came our third mutant man. His body bristled with dangerous-looking spines, and he easily stood two feet above either of them. The weapons AND technical officer's entire body rippled with raw strength.

With brief introductions came taking stock of what resources they had at hand. A pessimistic sigh came from Sergei as he scratched just above his bar-code, completely displeased with the lack of working terminal in the room, though he quickly surmised their cloning system must run on its own system somewhere. The further fact that both of the two skeletons' chronocoms were dead and their authorization colour bands were missing only added to his unpleasantness. He liked things to work out.

The mutant Wikkus had a blast cutting holes in his clothes while he wore them with a rusty X-Acto, dexterously avoiding injuring himself as he liberated his pouch from his shirt and thermal garment. Number three then jumped from the top of a rickety, ancient fakewood desk in an attempt to touch the false ceiling. Somehow, he didn't fall on his ass and hurt his dignity.

Before them stood the door, somewhat ajar, and behind it, the pitch black of a hallway. The Russian quickly slid the old plasteel frame aside and they all peered out into the darkness with a quick vote to tread down the right hallway, basing faith on the miniscule amount of light the saw somewhere down there.

Ignoring most of the second floor of this large facility they were in, the three miraculously found everlasting MREs in a kitchen (finding evidence that it was used as ingredients to boot), of which only one was contaminated and found thanks to Wikkus' "Dontcha'Poot'InaMout'" training. Then with unprecedented vigor they shouldered through a destroyed lounge, more hallways, an atrium and out the front door; Tom just knew there was people out there. They were at least a kilometer away, but he just knew.

A blue oinky bank, broken bicycle, and what-have-you awaited the Russian's deft hands out in a few missed cars in the parking lot before he crushed a skeleton with the rusted door of the parking lot's security checkpoint. A seeming blank in his memory left him ignoring a wonderful military green suit hidden under the skeleton's uniform and they continued down the road, leaving the BioSciences Laboratory behind.

He couldn't have known, but Sergei's sense of smell was far superior to that of any man, and eventually, they snuck up behind a heavily-garbed individual bent over the battered shell of a maintenance droid. They weren't the least bit stealthy, but somehow the individual failed to notice their presence.

Richtoffen suddenly became rather put-out, failing to read the being for what it was. He just knew there were people about, but not this one! In his simmering frustration, the faux-German clenched his palms and with a whirl of startling speed, the person's pry bar was in his hands.

They gasped and choked, shelving around to draw a hidden weapon, but not before the Russian and his scientist friend lunged headlong, battering the hunched creature before it shrieked and jumped backward from the ever-near Russian, firing an unseen shot off into the air. Again the bear of a Russian dove at the being, though it in turn threw a knife past his head before he grappled it to the ground with resounding success.

The creature recoiled, nearly flinching as many spines dug into its skin, and it was free! But not before Richtoffen had mastered his ability of magnetic control to snatch the pistol from the ground, firing two shots, the last making a clack as it powered down, inflicting a single crippling blow to its leg. Despite this, it still managed to dodge the heavy-handed Russian in his wrestling attempts. In his anger, the Russian pounded the miserable wretch into the pavement, taking another swing to crush its spine, killing it instantly.

Kangaroo Boy had simply stood there, gawking at the scene before him. The others quickly pushed the laser pistol and a small supply of spare charge into Wikkus to turn to looting its haversack.

Further down the shallowly-winding road flanked by a massive grid fence and disheveled gate, the scientist took note of the disappearance of those people out there somewhere. Not even ten minutes later, the grass before them had withered away into a large plot of sterile land, and at its center, to their marvel, a large brown dome accompanied by six columns of what seemed to be sand.

Though all three suspected it to be a hut at first, Sergei was more interested in what looked like a dead body around the other side of the dome than anything else. He was struck brutally by three of these six formations, almost unable to stumble back to escape the rest.

The Dome pulsated with a strange crackling purple energy that soon disappeared, and likewise, so had the scientist. The two locked in a mental spar as Wikkus panicked, not even thinking to fire his readied pistol. The shaken scientist snatched it up and revved the power settings medium-high, scoring a single hit that exploded just in front of the brown mass, and Wikkus, jostled by the action cast forth from his hand a tight sphere of pale orange gas. It flickered violently against the invisible shield. Richtoffen fired two more power-consuming shots, finally blasting past that unseen field, scoring great damage immediately aided by the acidic quality of the orange gas. Sergei had seen his moment and threw his looted knife right into the brown thing just before it collapsed into a pitted mess.

They were victorious, and with impunity they hounded the dead man, but the vultures shirked back; this was no cadaver touched by carrion feeder, for it was clearly infested with something. No one wanted to touch it, though they truly wanted its things. Richtoffen held the long-dead man aloft by a metal thing in his sturdy backpack as Sergei slashed its straps, and the body hit the dead ground with a thud. Its belt received a similar treatment, though it was simply unbuckled. All three ignored the military green single-piece suit of this man, even with a good glance at several unsuccessful bullet impacts marring its shoulder. But then perhaps, Sergei realized, this was armor! They must return to the security check point almost an hour back and take the dead guard's!

He grinned with delight as they strolled back with a new incendiary grenade and some other goodies.

After covering little more than a kilometer and a half of travel, and slightly more than three hours of waking existence, the trio resumed their progress down the shoddy paved road into a fork. With a moment's reprieve, the doctor set to using his new-found medical supplies on his Russian friend's crushed and battered body, though he decided not to rid himself of his dirtied disposable scalpel blade, at least not just yet.

And that's it till next time. Whenever that is.

October 19, 2011

It Only Rains on Tuesdays...

 A sprawling hulk of material, the colossal microcosm, Warden, carries on for miles in length, height and width. It is a super-massive spheroid vessel totaling a grand number of 17 floors empowered with the means of artificial gravity, and the space of an entire world.


A whistling crack sounds ahead of a gentle drone, almost a whir really, but it carries on, reverberating all around, and with a nauseous pain that empties your center your eyes creep open. Only a faint blur of colour meets your waking sight. But it burns your eyes with an intensity that stabs the back of your skull. At least you thought it did.


What a silly notion: You. Marvelous.

It could have taken hours, maybe even minutes, but as your vision slowly adjusts itself and colours become shapes, and shapes features, you are ready to brave what stands before you; and with a slightly feeble start you clamber out of the artificial construct that was your womb.

Congratulations, hero, this is how your life begins: confusing, cold, and naked.


That was the introduction I gave my players back on Monday when we began our new campaign after a couple weeks of game withdrawal. The setting is a pseudo-Post Apocalypse aboard the starship, Warden, and uses the main rules system from Star Frontiers, though that it is not. It's aimed to be a swell mix of, if you couldn't already guess by the hyperlinked ship name, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World and a wee bit of stuff from Frontiers for that slightly Fallout kind of game. We're all pretty big fans of the Fallout series, though a number only know Gamma World by WotC's version, so it'll be nice to lay some sod.

We normally always play with miniatures, if only to ease all the remembering up for whoever's the GM, but not this time, and I have to say, with Star Frontier's somewhat simple and quick combat, it's a blast. We were finally spending more time screwing around than pushing pieces about the place.

Anyhoo, as follows is a campaign in the far-flung future chronicled by me as I remember, session by session. Hopefully things don't seem like too long a read. I'll need to optimize that.

September 28, 2011

And Here's an Update. (Finally)

Here they are, as originally promised, though late certainly and in no way fashionably so. Ended up being fairly busy with this and that yesterday, so couldn't take some piccies until just recently. Behold: the inconsistent trial runs of my borrowed camera!

First up is a scavenger/scout sort of fellow from Grenadier's now defunct Future Skirmish line (though still available from em-4, but I'm sure you all know that). Another fine figure from Copplestone's illustrious past. Actually painted him a little while back but never got around to photographing him, and I think you can see some of the dust he's accumulated, oh, balls. Hopefully I've rendered the dark, smoothed leather look I was going for with his hood. I've still forgotten to put some tufts of grass on his base, it seems. Though I've not been able to find any of my flock, nor any of my static grass since I've moved into this house. I've still got lots of wood chip grass from my first days of terrain making (more on that later), but really, it doesn't look that pretty.
prod to expand

Next we've got a smallish group shot featuring the scav to the center, the first of many raiders to the left, and one of my Stalker-eresque conversions brandishing base colours. I like the purple scarf; it's manly. All Copplestone sculpts.
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And here's another picture of that loveable sadist. I really enjoyed painting his skin, as I've never had so much space to paint it with before, though through my flailing and failing with photography, I don't know if I've done him justice enough. I've noticed a lot of my blending often doesn't carry over with my pictures, with many of the shots being too over-exposed and whatnot. Do note: this fellow and his base both aren't done; I'm very sporadic in my painting. The last time I was working on this guy was almost last Christmas ago, so a long, long time. How does his hip-pouch look? I was aiming for that sun bleached look all post-apocalyptica textiles should feature.

Now for some 15mm goodness, though I will apologize right now in advance. My deepest sincerity for accidentally saving the following image in .JPG format. I'd not known the mistake myself until just now as I went to upload the image.

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Three Traveller adventurers clad in survival gear, the obligatory barbarian adventurer, and an assassin. I imagined these three adventurers were, rather, clad in survival garments and gear, which would also give me a good excuse for their red, yellow and blue colour schemes. This fits with the overall theme I wanted to present of company-supplied agents or surveyors, armed with military equipment, as I wanted to look into playing Star Frontiers with 15mm scale figures, if only because model vehicles and fliers are more affordable. Only the barbarian and the female adventurer have been completely painted, with the blue-suited adventurer only needing his alice pack and visor finished up. The assassin and the tactical vest-wearing fellow are only in base colours so far. The bases of all are unfinished (needs some foliage). I like the barbarian's reversible shirt and the blue adventurer's grey skeinsuit.

Run! It's got Tentacles!
Actually just today I finally got my hands on one of those damn Volturnian monstrosities that are, the Queequeg. I've been wanting one for some time now, and blam, there it is, and oh boy, oh boy! No spots of rot!

Unlike most monster-type figures out there, I was surprised to find that the damn thing was actually scaled to 25mm figures properly. I've been underwhelmed many times by such 'great' beasts. GW's Red Terror figure, for example, though don't get me wrong, I love it. It just doesn't look like it could show any space marine a gape of the serpent.

And last, but by all means not even remotely least, a small preview of some 'greens' of some armatures I'm bulking up. They're actually not green. I'm using that ProCreate stuff, and because of the aesthetic charm of greyscaled sculpting previews, I've made the image thusly so. I've got some sketches somewhere, but for the most part I'm just practicing forming tiny characters.
They might eventually be Heavy EVA salvaging-types
That's it for today, folks! I'll try to be more regular and improve my camera skills, maybe share some Star Frontiers and D&D home-brew and/or thoughts, or at least find something entertaining or interesting to talk about.

That backdrop is the inside of my second shirt.

September 27, 2011


...It's the players that sap the fun from a role-playing session.

One thing I've noticed between the baker's dozen of players we've got around in our two gaming groups, is that some of them simply are annoying. I'm sure I'd be preaching to the choir, but there's always those players that just love to dick around; yanking the DM's chain, and dragging other players down with him.

I realize it's mostly to do with the fact that for some, a game is simply a game, and maybe, just maybe, not even that. Perhaps it is time to waste, they think. Don't get me wrong, I don't enforce dropping the 'Serious Game' hammer like a fascist, but really, when one player can't even have some level of self-control, it can really destroy the mood, aggravate the game master, and by way, distract the other players.

This is the player that eats all the chips, drinks all the mountain dew, cannot even try to be a useful character, and perks up the moment there's a female involved, whether or not it's an NPC. They're almost like loadstones, for everything and everyone involved.

These players aren't fun and aren't needed.

Anyway, just thought I'd say. I should have some pictures of a few painted figures and some works in progress tomorrow when the day's bright.

June 10, 2011

Now the fun begins.

   After a long, perilous and later fruitless and redundant trip to lands abroad, have I finally returned home to a couple of nice little parcels full of potential. First things for home though? Some decent food and a proper shave to get rid of that O'Bannon beard.

   I won't lie, my main interest in making this web log was for an outlet for starting my foray into 15mm scale science fiction miniatures. And what better way for a kick-start with none other than some good ol' Traveller figures from RAFM? I also purchased some other things from Khurasan Miniatures for some other factions and tridlins.
An elegant clash of Hard Sci-Fi & Fantasy.
   Maybe I should have made it more clear on the picture for those interested, but various mini-projects and factions are present in that pile of stuff.

   In the top-left is a currently-incomplete platoon of Milstarsbanki (Planetary Garrison Militia) (2 fire teams, 1 assault team, and platoon command), below that is Khurasan lamprey-men and some belligerent modifications. Ishtaran reptilia-hominids control the bottom-left next to Khurasan militia. There's two 5-person HE-EVA-suited squads each with an engineer, starship crew, colonists/citizens, thugs/armed colonists, a few miscellaneous bestial aliens, Khurasan mantid-men, a primed steward android and some primed adventurers along with that pesky assassin.

   I've started painting the steward and have already got an idea of what I want to do with the others.

  Also, it seems Khurasan just recently put out a new Modern/Sci-Fi Stowage set. Cool stuff!

   I am changing the font. It's not too much a worry to me, but I feel it might be hard for some of you lot to read.

June 1, 2011

Speaking of Aliens...

Aliens: Colonial Marines has recently resurfaced.

Originally slated to arrive on the Playstation 2 back in 2001, being developed by Check Six Games then, production was cut short some time prior to release and hadn't been heard from since. Currently the game is in the hands of Gearbox Studios and we're looking to see a release sometime next year. Hopefully in the early months of next year. Here's a glimpse from E3.

I salivate in anticipation.

Mixing Music & Miniatures: an under-rated asset.

Not many people (at least to my experience) seem very interested in using various music tracks as flare to their games, or simply are at a loss for correctly applying it to their activities. If appropriately applied, almost any soundtrack has its place and can greatly enhance the ambiance and atmosphere of any play session.

Empowered military organizations drum and boom across the field as one nation's young, brave soldiers press forward into enemy territory. There is purpose, pride and patriotism behind these mortal stalwart men.

Such music could extend beyond any set period of war. Ranging easily across early 20th-century and beyond, whether it is for a world war or for those steeled soldiers in a distant hard-science fiction setting.

What inspired me to write this happened yesterday when I stumbled upon the soundtrack from the console strategy game, 'Aliens versus Predator: Extinction'. This game, in my opinion had some fairly solid music behind each of its three campaigns, of which each of the myriad of tracks are all around ten minutes long. Perhaps it is just nostalgia on my part, but when combined with various music tracks from the great game, 'Aliens versus Predator: Gold Edition', and certainly without forgetting the amazing military score from the original source, 'Aliens', had I easily created a large enough selection of thematically-similar while still diversified collection of music that could apply to almost any military-based game session.

Add a dash of percussion, a pinch of loneliness, and some creeping terror.

Perhaps, it is my experience with playing video games that leads me to favor the use of music during tabletop game sessions. In any decent game, there was decent music, and it tied the end result together well, or otherwise. Perhaps it is just me.

I don't game Vietnam, but if I did, I would suggest using a lot of the great music from that period that we all know (and maybe love), for that good old American jungle picnic feeling many seem to associate with that conflict, instead of this sort of music. Just because the USCMC was inspired by the Vietnam war, doesn't mean it was, but in space.

Here are some picks of that music I was referring to above:

'AvP Extinction Soundtrack - Marine theme 3'
'AvP Gold Soundtrack - Orbital'
'Aliens Soundtrack - Combat Drop'
'Aliens Soundtrack - Combat Drop (Percussion Only)'
'Aliens Soundtrack - The Complex'
'Aliens Soundtrack - Newt'
'Aliens Soundtrack - Ripley's Rescue'
'Aliens Soundtrack - Ripley's Rescue (Percussion Only)'

May 24, 2011

Starting up / test phase post.

Hello all, this is that specific batch of blah-blah I have placed here to test out fonts and stuff, oh, and I went and made a blog. The reasons for why I made a blog are lost on me, but I did it anyway.