Monday, January 26, 2015

My Most Consistent Painting Partner was a Cat - DS

I do not know if it's particularly pertinent to this blog, but it is a miniature painting story -after a fashion.  So what the heck.  The one who spent the most time with me while I painted was my wife's cat Lily.

Almost every time I painted, she has sat patiently on the chair next to me at the dinner table for the past 18+ months.   When the rest of the gang came over for a paint meetup...she was there.

During this time, between her naps (let's face it...watching mini painting is boring) Lily observed me:   look for inspiration pics and cool minis on the ipad,  fumble searching in my box of paints, consult the color wheel, mix paint, listening to podcasts (gaming and not), paying partial attention to youtube tutorials, wasting time not painting (ie looking at rules / buying more minis online), and listening to the news and music -all while trying to get work done on the minis.  Night after night!

A sleepy kitty with: her banana, goofy mouse, and on top, red embroidered matching family cat pajamas.  Yes we are "those people" who have matching family pajamas for us AND our cat.

I never had pets growing up, and when I got married, I moved into a cat lovers house.  At first, Lily's presence while I painted was a nuisance.  Eventually I got used to it.  Soon after, I liked having her company at the table, especially all those late night hours while I worked.  Now, that presence is going to be missed...

An empty chair at the painting table.

Thanks for hanging out and being my little buddy.

Lily the Cat-   1998 to Jan 26, 2015

Saturday Board Gaming: Fantasy Flight Game's "Relic" and "Eldritch Horror"

The Sanctioned Psycher got tainted by the warp.  Hordes of flies surround him, but it's not all bad as can be seen on the card description.
Relic is a game produced by Minnesota's own Fantasy Flight Games.  It is set in the dark future space fantasy universe of Warhammer 40,000.  Those who have played Games Workshop's (or FFG's) Talisman will be very familiar with the style of play and mechanics Relic has to offer.  It is essentially a re-skinning of the Talisman game put into space.

The art of the board and cards is fantastic.  It really captures the foreboding apocalyptic doom of 40K.  Space is grim and lonely, the ships are menacing, and the planets look hostile. The only complaint I have is that a lot of the art is a bit small, so it seems to make things look busy.  FFG has provided some great miniatures for the player's pieces.  They are busts of some of the iconic characters that populate the 40K setting.

The Ogryn and Imperial Guardsman explore space trying to complete missions while facing off against the dark forces and abominations found in space.

There are some nice differences that set Relic apart from Talisman.  One thing I do like about the game is the mission cards.  Completing a number of missions gives players a "Relic" that help's him in his quest to achieve the game objective, which changes depending on the scenario card.  The mission cards give a little bit more focus to what you are doing rather then the random gathering of resources that one does in Talisman.

Players also find and can buy various sci fi equipment cards to assist them in their quest such as:  bolters and weapons, med kits, armor & ect.  This equipment comes in handy when facing the baddies of the 40k universe:  eldar, tyranids, corrupted imperials, and various enemies corrupted by the warp.

The Ogryn falls and becomes corrupted by the dread corruption of chaos.
Certain cards have the effect of applying a mutation to the character.  The warp's corruption is dangerous, and if you get too may chaos cards you character is removed from play...and you have to bring a new one in.  During our game 2 characters were lost this way.  A new character is then selected and brought in.  The player does retain some equipment and cards from the previous character, so he's not starting from scratch.

The Psycher makes his way through dangerous space towards the objective.  The Relic he has found during his travels protects him against, and helps him recover from mutation inflicted by the warp.

The Sanctioned Psycher seizes the objective:  the lost ancient ship of a Saint.  Victory!
Like Talisman, getting to the objective first does not end the game.  The first player uses the objective's power to attack and degrade his opponents.  The Psycher got to it first in our game.  We figured it would take a minimum of 13 turns to eliminate the other players, so we decided to call it and move onto...


Grant bought business card holders to help organize the myriad of cards FFG puts in their games.
Fantasy Flight Games has quite a stable of H.P. Lovecraft "Cthulhu" horror story inspired board and card games.  In Eldritch Horror players take on the roles of investigators of the supernatural.  They are on a mission across the globe to prevent evil forces from taking over the world.

Like many of the other FFG Cthulhu inspired games Eldritch Horror is co-operative.  The players are all on the same side, and the enemy forces actions and reactions are handled through game mechanics.  

The character card:  abilities on the bottom indicate the number of dice used for a skill check.

A variety of items are needed to face off against Yog-Sothoth.

Players move to different locales around the world to gather clues, face monsters, and seal rifts gates through which evil forces are spreading.

There are a number of different enemies one can face in Eldritch Horror.  They have a variety of powers that change up the game and add to the re-playability of Eldritch Horror.  We faced Yog-Sothoth in an epic battle to save mankind but ultimately came up short.

Sorry world...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pathfinder RPG Session 06: Loot and travel to Thistletop

Pathfinder items cards are used to help keep track and divide treasure gained.

As always:  Spoiler Alert!  Session 6 of our Rise of the Runelords Adventure!

After fighting a long and difficult battle with the quasit and other foes in the hidden temple beneath Sandpoint, the group took pause, healed,  and and divided up the loot gained.  Guardsmen Tully and Jethro are thanked and given a gold each to head to the Rusty Dragon for drinks.  Service in the Sandpoint watch has gotten more exciting (and dangerous) in the past few days.

The characters use the backroom of the Rusty Dragon Inn to divide shares.  Owner Ameiko Kaijitsu has offered the party their rooms free of charge, so the group can have a home base while staying in Sandpoint.

There were a number of interesting and valuable items including;  a ring of protection, a magic longsword, a wand of shocking grasp, several potions, a master work flute, a mysterious book, an evil symbol of Lamashtu (mother of monsters), a couple of scrolls, and other more common but still valuable items.

The next day, the company leads Father Zanthus, a couple of Acolytes, and a squad of the town guard back into the temple to secure it.  There were some pits that contained zombies that were bypassed, and Father Zanthus and the Acolytes channel holy energy to finish them off.  After making sure that it is empty and well searched, the company leaves Father Zanthus and the guardsmen to determine how to secure this unwanted discovery...

The next call was to Sandpoint Mayor Kendra Deverin.   She is brought up to date on the discovery as well as other findings.  She asks the group to keep the temple's existence a secret as not to create panic in Sandpoint.  The group informs her that they are going to head out to Thistletop to follow up on a clue found in Tsuto Kajitsu's journal.  It mentioned that Thistletop was an area that an ally of Tsuto's was located.  It is also a known local goblin tribe territory.

After items are sold, gold is divided.  Each member deposits a portion of their gold in the chest.

The company decides to take horses when they go on their mission.  It is hoped that the speed and mobility could be an asset when facing the goblins.  To take care of the horses, Jasper, an animal handler and, son of the stable owner  is hired.  Town guardsman Jethro the archer is hired to protect Jasper and the animals.

The company travels from Sandpoint along the Old Lost Coast Road, past Shank's Wood, and head north at the Pauper's Graves.   The idea is that they will enter Nettlewood as close to the coast as they can and use that to navigate to Thistletop.  Nervous eyes look north as they pass Shank's Woods. It's is the home of the Sven Tooth goblin tribe.

The company reaches Nettlewood and finds that the name is appropriate.  The woods are made up of very dense underbrush.  A game trail is found that makes trekking through the woods easier, but the horses and pack animals would be a liability to bring along.  Jethro and Jasper find a low area near Pauper's Graves that they can conceal themselves and the horses.  They are given instructions to wait 24 hours, and if the party does not return, they should retreat with the animals back to Sandpoint.  The proximity of the goblin tribes makes it too dangerous to stay around a longer amount of time.  The group bids farewell and heads into the Nettlewood...

The afternoon gets older.  The trail is followed, and single file formation is maintained.  Gilly the halfling scouts ahead. 

Gilly walks through a patch of Goblin Berry weeds...a very ichy irritant, but by luck she avoids stepping in it.

Tuihirdock notices the patch, calls for the column to halt while he chops and clears the weeds on the path with his sword.  "Gilly, look what you missed!  You would have been itching for a week."

The Nettlewood gets thicker until a clearing is reached.  A couple of  paths lead to this area.

Tuirhirdock and Gilly scout the clearing.  Gilly finds a path cleverly concealed by camoflage.  It's a goblin made trail!  Brush has been placed in front of the path to prevent notice.  It is removed and the group proceeds in...

The path narrows to 5' wide and 4' high.  It's almost like a hedge cave.  Gilly is the only one who isn't stooping to walk down the path.  The sun's rays barely make it through the vegetation.  Gilly scouts ahead and the group makes its way further into the Nettlewood.
To be continued...