Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Call of Cthulhu LCG...insanity!

Cautious dabbling into Fantasy Flight Games' Call of Cthulhu LCG.

Jim started with some inquisitive yet brave faculty and students from Arkham's Miskatonic University. No human beings know more about the Mythos than the learned professors at Miskatonic U. Miskatonic's chief strategy is to get in, get the information, and get out as fast as possible, hopefully avoiding Terror and Combat. Miskatonic excels at speedy Investigation and card draw, and appeals to "rushing" players.

Grant played the always terrifying Cthulhu faction. The cult of Cthulhu can be found throughout the world's history, in all cultures, among all races, human and otherwise. As can be expected from the faction of Cthulhu itself, this faction specializes in striking terror into opponents and then destroying them utterly. This faction can often turn on itself, though, so invoke Cthulhu carefully!

Game #1 quickly went to Jim and his learned professors. Investigation struggles at the various stories allowed Miskatonic to take the lead and never look back.

Game #2 saw a number of Deep Ones, bolstered by the Shadowed Reef location. Truly terrifying! Miskatonic was continually harassed by Innsmouth bus driver Joe Sargent and his ability to destroy enemies based on the number of Deep Ones in play. Cthulhu didn't rise, but he won.

Game #3 featured two different factions. Jim played Yog Sothoth. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet; Its worshippers know the secret ways between the worlds. Where Yog-Sothoth outpaces every other faction is in recursion - returning cards from discard - as well as search cards to help you find what you need when you need it. Grant chose The Agency - With its network of police officers and concerned citizens, the Blackwood Detective Agency combs dive bars, the docks and the back alleys, hunting the servants of the Mythos. This faction's specialty is Combat and appeals to aggressive and destructive players.

This would be the closest of the three games with Yog-Sothoth winning 3 stories while The Agency only won 2. It's interesting how very completely different the game is based on which faction/deck you play. We have a wide variety of cards to choose from and the deck building portion of the game can be overwhelming at times. I think we'll try to find some decks other players made online and give them a try.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pathfinder RPG Session 01: Burnt Offerings

Free lunch at Sandpoint compliments of the local taverns. The nice afternoon was ruined by some raiding goblins. Aldern Foxglove was rescued and the party hopefully earned the respect of Sandpoint locals including Father Zantus and Sheriff Hemlock. But who was the mysterious "Longshanks" seemingly behind the attack? No shadowy figure was discovered in the graveyard. Perhaps the goblin attack was merely a distraction. More investigations in the morning. For now, an overdue rest compliments of the the Rusty Dragon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pathfinder RPG Session 00: Character Creation

Emily, Dave, Todd, and Grant rolled up some characters for the Pathfinder campaign Jim will be DM'ing. So far we have a rogue, sorcerer, barbarian, and fighter. So far we have 5 dead wererats and one nearly dead fighter. Next time we'll advance on the monsters together! Oh, and stay away from that small divided section of the room in the lower right corner just in case.

Friday, September 5, 2014

GF Uruk-hai

Did someone say something about it being Lord of the Rings season?

Finished some of the plastic Uruk-hai last night. I picked these guys up from FFG's Black Friday sale last November. While I don't have an Isengard force, for $5.00 I couldn't pass these guys up. I think they'll make a nice addition to Jim's forces next time we visit Middle-Earth.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

GF Vikings for Saga

Slowing moving forward with my vikings from Gripping Beast. Sometime we'll need to try out a game or two!

**cough Monty cough**

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flames of War Forgotten Photos


These are from a game played back on 04/26/14. Forgot to post them right after the game due to Joe Vandeleur-induced rage.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gary Con VI ...The Loot! DS and EE

It has been a month since Gary Con VI ended.  Emily, my buddy Justin, and I ventured out to Lake Geneva WI  on March 27-30th for our very first gaming convention, and I have to say it was an exceptional experience.  Gary Con is definitely an "old school" gathering that was started to celebrate the life of Gary Gygax and his contributions to games.  This Con may not appeal to everyone, but to those of us who started in the 70s, the nostalgic, and those interested in the roots of RPGs and old school games, it's a great chance to meet and game with fans of early RPGs.

I was initially going to do a quick write up of just the merchandise I bought from convention, but I have decided to break it into two parts.  Emily took some really great pictures of GaryCon that I am going to share soon, along with some of my experiences.  But first...the loot!

The Loot En Masse!  I had a budget, and I stayed in it.  Mostly.

The guide to the weekend's events.  Emily and I both picked up t-shirts that feature this design on the back.

A variety of foods delivered to your game.  Including interestingly named salads!

The Menu:  Order from, and delivered to your gaming table.  One word:  Civilized.  And "wow!"  The blue plastic cups were for pop, and could be refilled for $1.00US the entire weekend.  They also had a couple of differently coloured beer cups, similar design, that could be used for single day beer refills.  As we don't drink beer, I am not exactly sure the cost.

A nice dice bag and some GaryCon VI - six sided dice.  The 6 had the demon idol face from the original Player's Handbook on it.  Also the GaryCon VI challenge coin.

The miniature was designed for the con.

Bring a mining pick and ten foot pole, or you'll be sorry...

Greg Gillespie's Barrowmaze!  I was excited to see this, as I have followed a blog that uses it for the campaign backdrop.  Definitely a creepy crawl.  Solid.  I would have liked to pick up the oversized map for it, but they either sold out or didn't have any by the time I bought it.  No deep story behind this one;  it's a pure old school crawl. 

A pair of solo modules by Pacesetter Games. I have a fondness for small party or solo modules, as they bring me back to the days of Choose Your Own Adventures or Fighting Fantasy style books.  The modules are made for generic old systems.  I have read a bit of the first one and it seems pretty good.

Modules from Eldritch Enterprises...danger of the adventures are rated in skulls.

Frank Mentzer's module, The Case of the Missing Magic, was very interesting to me as it is a mystery.  I am a big fan of whodunnits with faves such as Poirot, Holmes, & etc., so I was excited to see this offering.  There are not too many fantasy mystery modules out there, as it is more challenging to write than hack, slash, and explore adventures.  Tower of the Scarlet Wizard (rated 6 skulls...eeep) was written by that rascal James M. Ward.  Jim reffed the all women's game on Saturday that Emily participated in.  He ran them through Monty Haul's Tower of Lesser Doom.  Emily had a very good time with it and picked up the module (signed by Ward) to run us through in the future.

G/P Adventures - Haunted Halls of the Beggar King

Ernie Gygax/Benoist Poire tourney mod.  I have not read it too closely but it seems pretty solid.  I really like the map artwork.

AD&D:  Still #1

1st/2nd edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons:  Still my favorite.  No edition wars back then, it was all AD&D.  The Book of Priest Craft was a nice find.  I think I now have everything the published for the Birthright setting.  For any fans of Game of Thrones, or gms wanting to introduce, politics, economics and religion into their game, it is a great background setting for having the players participate as regents and nobles of nations. 

Not pictured:  I got a couple of Players Options books:  Player's Options and Combat and Tactics.  It's when they started the heavy customization and design of characters.  The Options books were pretty inexpensive, at 6.00US each, so I picked up extra copies as I do use some of the stuff out of them in my game.  You can sort of see that the game was evolving (villainous-ly turning?) from AD&D to 3e with them. 

Also Fighter's Challenge 1&2!  These modules were designed for a Ref and one player in mind.  TSR came out with two modules for each class.  They are really good if you want to give one of your players a solo mission. 

Gygax Magazine!

Picked up all 3 issues of Gygax Magazine.  I was pretty lucky that they had one box remaining of issue #1 that arrived the second day of the con.  I was there Johnny-on-the-spot to pick it up when they came in.  This is a sort of reboot of the classic Dragon mag, and I would recommend them.

For those who have everything else for the Pathfinder card game!

Pathfinder mats on sale!  For use with the Pathfinder Card Game. They are not really necessary for playing the game, but Emily and I are big fans of gadgets and accessories.  When we play on the table pictured in the background, the cards are really hard to pick up off the table.  These mats help out a lot in that.  Basically, they are cool looking mouse pads of the "iconic characters" included in the base game.

The Pathfinder Card game is a great introduction to RPG style games.  Spouses and friends who would have no interest in a full RPG will find the scope of this easy to take.  Games are about an hour.  The Pathfinder Card game is a big hit in our gaming group.

Going on the wall in the computer room.

Emily had the convention poster framed (!!) for my birthday.  Epic.  Notice the dragons on the wood frame.  Much better than my idea to put it up using poster gum.

The improved RPG Cosmology poster.  Heading to the computer room!

Poster of Cosmology of  RPG games.  The first version of this was originally in an article in Gygax magazine #1.  It shows the relationship of various RPGs, starting with Dungeons & Dragons in the center, and other games radiating outwards from it by year, and vaguely grouped by relation (ex:  d20 games to the left.) 

This poster version has quite a bit more on it than the original one in the magazine.  After reading the Gygax mag article I was wondering why Villains and Vigilantes was not on it (picture nerd-rage!)  This improved full poster rectified this...but the original V&V was released in 1979, the second edition was printed in 1982.  It also does not include the original super game, SuperHero 2044, which was released in 1978 by GameScience. 

What a weekend!  And what a pile of loot to remember the experience by.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Call of Cthulhu LCG

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game (formerly the Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card Game) is a card game produced and marketed by Fantasy Flight Games. It is based on the fiction of the Cthulhu Mythos, primarily the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. In 2008, Fantasy Flight moved the game over to its Living Card Game (LCG) format, which retains the deck-building aspect of collectible card games, but without the random distribution.

It shares art and characters with FFG's other Cthulhu Mythos products Arkham Horror and Elder Sign.

Players attach resources (taken from the cards in their hand) onto blank placeholder cards known as domains, later "draining" them by putting a drain counter on them to play various cards. Both players compete to complete stories by winning success tokens. Five success tokens wins a story; three stories wins the game. Players typically assign character cards to stories, to win struggles and gain these success tokens. Additionally, the first player to run out of cards to draw from loses the game, making deck destruction another potentially effective strategy.

There are eight factions in Call of Cthulhu, as well as "neutral" cards (light grey in color) that are not part of any faction. A card may only be played if a domain with that faction attached is drained (neutral cards can be paid for using any faction).

    The Agency: This "investigator" faction comprises the Blackwood Detective Agency, law enforcement agencies, and others involved in criminal justice. Its symbol is a badge, and its color is blue.
    Miskatonic University: This "investigator" faction represents the academic prowess of Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University, as well as other academic groups. Its symbol is a scroll, and its color is gold.
    The Syndicate: This "investigator" faction represents the underworld element of human society, including mobsters, killers and journalists. It mainly focuses on Danny O'Bannion's gang and its contacts. Its symbol is a dollar sign in a triangle and its color is dark brown.
    The Order of the Silver Twilight: This "investigator" faction is a later addition to the game and centers a secret cabal of leading politicians, charismatic socialites, persuasive civic leaders, and successful businessmen who must pass through successive ranks of occult initiation and ritual to emerge into the inner sanctum of the Order, there to pursue their quest for ultimate earthly - and unearthly - power. Its symbol is a trident in a cross, and its color is silver grey. Their name may be a play on The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
    Cthulhu: This "mythos" faction includes Cthulhu himself, as well as his associated cultists and monsters (such as deep ones and shoggoths). Its symbol is a squid, and its color is green.
    Hastur: This "mythos" faction centers on Hastur, especially his King in Yellow aspect, as well as his worshippers and minions, largely human psychopaths and monstrous Byakhees, as well as werewolves. Its symbol is the Yellow Sign, and its color is yellow.
    Yog-Sothoth: This "mythos" faction centers on Yog-Sothoth, and the scholars who worship it, as well as various trans-dimensional beings including Nightgaunts and Star vampires; it also hosts several undead monsters. Its symbol is a key, and its color is purple.
    Shub-Niggurath: This "mythos" faction centers on Shub-Niggurath and the many, many monsters she is responsible for creating (notably Dark Young, ghouls, and Dholes). Its symbol is a goat's head, and its color is red.

We were able to play 3 games last night...
1. The Agency (Winner) vs. Cthulhu
2. The Order of the Silver Twilight vs. Miskatonic University (Winner)
3. The Syndicate vs. Yog-Sothoth (Winner)

The Order of the Silver Twilight is no match for the faculty of Miskatonic University