Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Marmoreal Tomb Kickstarter is Here!

So maybe you're at GenCon right now, knee-deep in orcs, reaving your way through a bloody slaughter of Red Bull-fueled carnage and glory. Well, once the corpses stop twitching and you have an opportunity to recover your arrows, drink a healing potion, and take a short rest; I ask that you set your Battleaxe aside for a moment and consider the parchment fragment you found amongst the Chieftain's horde, and realize...


Lost for decades, this temple complex of the Great Ones was relegated access only to the Wise Few. Those fortunate Masters of the Realm who personally knew Lord Ernie of the Genevans, the Elder Son of Gygax. But those secret treasures hidden deep within the famous Hobby Shop Dungeon can now be sought by brave adventurers of the Current Age. That's right! Today Ernie Gygax and Benoist Poire of GP ADVENTURES have revealed that the hidden location of the entrance to the lost Marmoreal Tomb of Garn Pat'uul (amongst other Wonders of Adventure!), is only a short distance away...

So I ask thee, Good and Noble Warriors of the Realm. Donate a bit of your hard-earned gold to this Kickstarter, and once again let the Songs of Glory ring throughout the land! I have personally interviewed Benoist about this project, and both spoken and gamed extensively in the upper levels with Ernie, and I can promise you from deep in my soul that these are Wizards of Truest Integrity and Grace. These Noble Maesters are dedicated wholly to bringing us forth to the Dungeons upon which our forefathers tread, and allowing Glory and Honor to once again be the hallmarks of Our Great Hobby! Your gold will be well spent, the Kickstarter Completed, and the Spoils from this Adventure will be Beyond Limit!

Game On and Kick Butt! Huzzah!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Between the 'Cons

Holy crap have things been busy. I think the end of June (Nexus Game Fair / SD Comic-Con) through early-August (GenCon) is always the busiest time for any productive Gamer. Too many Cons, too little time. Running games, prepping games, practicing games before the Con... it never ends! Its a non-stop thrill-ride of adventure (and exhaustion)!

So this is my post to say that "Yes, I'm still alive and gaming!" And yes, I will finish those things I've talked about, like that painting guide, the He-Man campaign guide, the deck-building games tutorial, the famous nerd podcasts, and more bad netflix movie reviews I've been working on, but its going to still be slow around here on the blog itself until after GenCon. So please don't lose heart in the VC Blog quite yet! Just check back here in a couple weeks. We have a number of monsters we need to slay before we can write about it.

Game on!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Deck Building 2: Shadowrunning

Holy crap you guys, Deck-Building games CAN be fun!

As suggested we might do in the last post, our game group got together this week and cracked open that Shadowrun: Crossfire game I had bought at GenCon last year but never played. After handing the instructions over to poor SirLeo27 (our resident rules-rememberer) and demanding he teach us the game immediately, we decided to also crack open some beers and seek out a tutorial video on how the game is played. BoardGameGeek is a good website for such boardgame tutorials, though for some reason half of them are always in French. I guess the French like reviewing board games for some reason. Sacre' Bleu! Anyway, we found a tutorial vid by "Not Bored" that did the job well enough and got to playing Shadowrun: Crossdressers.

And against all odds, Shadowrun:CrossWorldz was a lot of fun and not too hard to learn. Too many rules to explain in a blogpost for sure, but well worth the half-drunk effort we put into learning the rules before playing. In a nutshell you always start with a simple starter deck and then "buy" black market cards as you defeat enemies and earn money, so you don't have to learn what every card does before you play. Since there's only 6 black market cards out for purchase at a time, you can scan them over and buy the best one at that moment. No need for an excel database of power-ups and combos for this game. You get what is drawn, and that's it. As I have a penchant for cyberpunk, I loved it and didn't even mind all the Elves that Shadowrun spreads all over the otherwise awesome dystopian future setting. Mostly because it made up for it with endless cards featuring Katanas and Trenchcoats.

Shadowrun: Crossfire, recommended for those who want to stick it to the Corpers and their chipped-out choobs!

Game on, Chummer!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Deck-Builders and TableTop

For nerds like me, you all know that the latest episode of TableTop came out this week, and features the heroic Marvel-themed deck-building game: Legendary.

Now, I'm not a deck-builder kind of guy these days. Yeah, back in the early 90's I was bit by the Magic: The Gathering bug as hard as any dorky teen, but soon became annoyed with the power-creep in the card releases, and realized I was just being milked for my paper route money by Wizards o' the Coast. The "most-expensive-card-wins" rule effect of Magic left me with a sour taste in my mouth for deck-builders, so I never really give them a chance after that.

In the first segment of the above episode of TableTop, Wil Wheaton acknowledges that he experienced that very same Magic:The Gathering (of your money) realization and subsequent recoil from deck-building games. But he then goes on to clarify how deck-building games have come so far since then. Such that they aren't about buying individual cards anymore, and everyone playing is at an even level. Plus many of them are now co-operative games, which we all know is the best kind of game because friendship and reasons.
I am relieved to see that there is a DC-themed version. Gotta stay loyal, after all.

I think maybe I should give deck-building games a try, and to actually open that copy of Shadowrun:Crossfire I bought at GenCon last year during the annual purchasing frenzy one goes through in that most glorious of dealer halls. (I grabbed and bought it before I realized it was a deck-building game, as my uncontrollable lust for anything Cyberpunk-related blinded me to the actual description of the game mechanics on the back of the box at the time).

The GenCon Dealer Hall. Such a glorious place where rational purchasing decisions fly right out the window.
So I guess its about time I get my deck-building Game On!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Video Games: Quest Marker Overload

For some time now I've been feeling like I must be getting old. Its not because of my creaky joints, or lack of athletic ability (that's always been there), or even my curmudgeonly attitude toward kids-on-my-lawn (spoiler: I want them off of it). No, its been because video games just don't hold my attention like they once did. No matter how flashy and excited they seem to be, after just a couple hours I'm just not into it anymore. I've just started Batman Arkham Knight and already can tell I'm going to lose interest before too long. Lose interest? In BATMAN? Not possible, right? Well, rare is the new AAA game that comes out that I actually care enough about to finish. So what is wrong with me?
Wait, why are you VIDEO-calling an unmasked Barbara Gordon all the time while traipsing around the city, Batman? And she calls you "Bruce" regularly in the calls? How do you even still have a secret identity?

Turns out, I've decided I can take a smug look outward and say "Nothing is wrong with me, everything is wrong with the games designed these days!" (my walking cane raised angrily overhead). But its true. Game design these days focuses on two things that didn't exist in the past golden games of yesteryear: Quest Markers and Fast Travel.