Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ravenloft: Night of the Walking Dead (2e) Free Until Oct. 31st

Probably one of my favorite Ravenloft adventures, Night of the Walking Dead, is free on Drive Thru RPG until Friday, Oct. 31st in their Halloween sale. Night of the Walking Dead is one of my favorites just because of sheer nostalgia. The fact that it was one of the very few published first-level Ravenloft adventures available back in the day meant that I probably read it cover-to-cover a thousand times. Plus it has giant frogs in it. Its a pretty fun adventure and a good intro to Ravenloft, and I have enjoyably run more than one gaming group through those zombie-infested lands.

In a rain-soaked graveyard, a small group of men stands round a coffin bound with heavy chains. "We are here to mourn the passing of Jean de Cardeau," intones the village priest. " Let us pray that his rest is eternal, and that he never returns."

As the pallbearers lift the coffin, something scrapes on the wood from inside. Quickly and without emotion, the attendants slide the casket into a crypt. Then they seal the door and flee. Behind them, unheard, a dull thudding begins, growing louder with the onset of twilight. There can be no peace for those who linger in the earthly realm after death. And there can be no sanctuary on the Night of the Walking Dead!

Set in a zombie-infested swampland, "Night of the Walking Dead" is an ideal first-time Ravenloft adventure. Players must unravel the mystery behind a string of murders and disappearances in a village plagued by ambulant undead—and all is not as simple as it seems!

The hour of fear is upon us. Are you ready to face the Demiplane of Dread?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Paranoia Kickstarter

I recently heard about a Kickstarter to reboot the classic dystopian RPG:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sweet Terrain Finds - Buus's GM Screen

One thing I like to do during mindless internet surfing is to peruse other people's various miniature terrain building projects for sweet ideas. Sometimes I find things that are so awesome and inspiring that they demand I do my part to shout-out and bandwidth-boost them to more of the internet, because everyone's got to see this.

Here's a DM screen Copenhagen-based artist Buus built and posted on r/terrainbuilding that I absolutely had to share with everyone, because it is so incredible. And in a move of gentlemanly charity, he actually put notes into pics of various steps into an album on how he modeled it up as he went.

       Its hard to believe most of this is actually cardboard. And those faces are modeled out of greenstuff and sculpy. I would've thought they were cut up plastic molds of faces from halloween decorations or something they are so good. But nope, all original. Amazing.

 And even cooler is that it is functional as well as beautiful. Two dice towers are built into the thing. The tower on the left makes the dice roll out the front (where the two mouths with lava are) so players can see, and the tower on the right makes the dice roll behind the screen (for the DM only).

I definitely suggest you check out Buss's imgur album and Facebook page to check out his step-by-step pics, and to see more pretty close-up pics of the finished project. If seeing how this thing goes from cut up cardboard scraps to a majestic mountain of death doesn't inspire you to pick up the hot glue gun and static grass, I don't think anything would.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shadows of Brimstone: Fixed Map, Hellbats, and Fog Machines

Played another game of Shadows of Brimstone with the game crew the other day. This time I decided to try one of the 'fixed map' adventures, and utilize my recently-constructed mini dry ice fog machine. So before they came over I had the whole map set up and ready to go. I remember almost nothing from the game itself (too much creativity juice beforehand), but I got a few pretty cool pics of it on my phone, so it must've been a lot of fun.

Shadows of Brimstone: Stop the Ritual

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First World Problems: Video game season

So video game season is upon us again. What's video game season, you ask? Why, its the time of year where all the most popular games come out all in a very short period of time, because game companies still follow the 1940's marketing dynamic of getting the most popular games and toys out just before Winter so they can be bought by parents for their kids for Christmas (starting in September).

[Funfact: This marketing season's pressures are responsible for ultimately triggering the great video game industry crash of 1983. Clue: it involves your favorite non-violent Extra-Terrestrial]

So in this day and age maintaining a robust video game lifestyle always becomes more difficult about this time of year. Even child-free adults have seemingly endless responsibilities that prevent them from spending every waking moment doing stuff they want to do, regardless of what their 13-year-old counterparts promised themselves they'd do when they grew up. But I vow to use up all of my free time on this season's new release Video Games.  I will do it to help you, the reader, waste your time more efficiently this season. In an effort to artfully help you decide what video games to get and what to skip, I give you the first installment of:

The Vorpal Chainsword's Video Game Review Haikus

Wasteland 2
Spiked bats and mo-hawk punkers
Will never get old

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Like the Force Unleashed
But with Elf Wraiths and Lembas
Stabbing Orcs is great

Alien: Isolation
Engineer searching
1970s Spaceship
Don't trust the androids

*Note: All videogame screenshots blantantly stolen off the internets.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gamin' DIY Accessories: The Boardgame Buddy!

A while back I was I was ranting about the amount of chits and cards that modern-day boardgames from Fantasy Flight Games and Flying Frog Productions were using. In an attempt to get me to shut up about it, Mary picked up a cheap rotating plastic spice rack one day to help me organize my decks of cards during gameplay. After playing with it a bit, we added some improvements to the system and created the ultimate FFG/FFP boardgaming accessory, which we call:

The BoardGame Buddy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gamin' DIY Accessories: Dry Ice Fog machine

As many of you know, I am a fan of props in gaming. Even with boardgames. I figure if you're going to donate a few precious work-week evening hours to a game, and you're having people over to do it, you might as well use gold tokens for money or paint your minis to give it that extra uumph.

What only a few of you might know is that I have an unhealthy love for dry ice in gaming. I use it whenever I can get my hands on it. All gaming is better with dry ice fog settling all over the place. I find that chemical fog machines and smoke machines don't have the same effect as good old dry ice does. Even though dry ice can be messy and dangerous (and I have the frozen-off fingerprints to prove it), at least it doesn't have the sneeze-inflicting stink that your standard 'Party City Halloween Fog-O-Matic Deluxe' produces. No, dry ice only emits nice, cool, clean-smelling, suffocating Carbon Dioxide. Like nature intended.

Plus you can get Dry Ice in 1 lb bricks at most grocery stores like Hy-Vee, especially around Halloween (just go to the customer service desk and ask for it), which is what made me think of it.

This last weekend I decided that just putting dry ice in a bowl and setting it in the middle of the table during gaming, while cool-looking, just wouldn't give me the directional control over the foggyness that a true gamesman requires. Therefore I got online and looked for better ways to control my dry ice flow for gaming, wherein I found some good videos for such a project.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Brimstone Playtest/Review: Both Core Sets!

Played a big game of Shadows of Brimstone with my local gaming crew this week, and this time I incorporated Both Core sets. So all monsters, dimensions, and items were on the table from both Alternate dimensions. I wanted to play a game where we had no idea where we were going before we stepped through any portals. It was quite an adventure (lots of pictures below all the intro text, I promise).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fox Mon-daze

This post is about doomed TV shows.

Specifically, current Monday-night FOX TV shows. Yes, the ones that get canceled after 3/4ths of a season. The 2013 cyberpunk show Almost Human was a really good show, Fox. It had a cool story it was building to, but you canceled it before we could get any resolution. Doofuses.

But this isn't about Almost Human, its about the two shows that are on Monday nights on Fox now: Gotham and Sleepy Hollow.