Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gabriel Knight Titan by Dragons Den for sale

I'll be dropping this on ebay sometime in the next week or two. They are exceedingly rare ... I lucked out when I got mine a few years ago. A friend found two for sale in a Denver area hobby shop and we snatched em up. Its unassembled and in original mint condition. This picture was taken off the web ... I was too lazy to take one ... as I said its going on ebay next week ... I'm going to start the price out at 400 and do a buy it now of 500. Again to to my knowledge these are ultra rare ... yes they aren't anywhere near as common as the armorcast ones. As for forgeworld ... yes ... they are cool ... but hundreds of parts to assemble and they are over 500 bucks plus shipping from the UK. Then you deal with the very fiddly quality of some of their casts ... which usually can be fixed but take the know how. This thing ... its like 6 pieces that are easy to put together and your done. Prime it and paint it and bada bing. Again this is in base resin state, unassembled., unprimed, unpainted If someone wanted to save me the hassle of ebay, etc. etc. I'd probably let it go for 400 which would include shipping anywhere in the lower 48. The reason I'm selling it is I NEVER play Apocalypse games and likely won't anytime soon. If I do end up getting into Apocalypse size games it would be with my Orks and/or Nids anyway. I had visions of converting this one into a chaos titan ... but meh ... not going to happen. So I might as well get rid of it and convert the resource into something I'll actually use. As for size ... another reason I plundered that picture ... is it gives good scale. To my knowledge the armorcast warhound weapons would fit pretty easily this guy (obviously with some tweaking/converting). Its a little larger than the warhounds (both forgeworld and armorcast) and really could almost be viably used as a warlord (by comparison to the Armorcast Warlord ... I think it is a fair bit smaller than the forgeworld Warlord though). Anyway it goes on ebay probably sometime between Thursday and Sunday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ok folks I'm hosting the first Annual LARRYCON which is basically a gathering of gamers I know from my old home town of Las Vegas ... way up here in Northern Utah. We are going to be running a CON-Style gaming weekend from my home ... some might say such an endeavor would be lame ... others might say ... your crazy man ... but I'm super stoked about it. Its looking like we should have around 20 to 30 participants over the course of the weekend.

Here is whats on the agenda so far ....

My friends fly in from Vegas early Friday afternoon and I'll pick them up at the airport ... then we'll make our way to the grocery story and likely liquor store and probably be back to my place around 3 PM that afternoon (Friday May 28th) at which point I'll give them 30 minutes or so to get their gear stowed away and then we'll probably fire up a board game or something. So if people would like to show up as early as 3:00 to 3:30 that afternoon we'll have a meet and greet BS session/casual board game session.

Around 6 I'd like to fire up the grill and do some grilling and get a little pot-luck style dinner going ... anyone is welcome to show up ... at least bring some soda and/or chips, etc. with you but if you have a specialty dish you'd like to share with the group let me know and I'll put it on the menu.  I'll be providing some pasta salad, potato salad, chips and salsa, hamburgers and hot dogs and soda. You guys are responsible for your own adult beverages ... beer ... margaritas ... whatever one wants to bring themselves. 

I will outline a rough schedule of events here, what I'm looking for at this point is to get feedback from people on who can attend and what sessions you will be attending. My friend Scott has been running very successful, popular games at game conventions and Las Vegas area gamesdays for several years now. He will be running several different games that I guarantee will be some of the best RPGing you've ever had and well worth any RPG fans time. In addition to that I'm hoping to get some of the local talent up here to run a few games if they'd like so anyone out there who is interested in running a game let me know and lets get you on the agenda. Also if someone wants to bring a board game or a miniature game or something that would be cool as well. The main thing I would ask is whatever someone wanted to run could be done within one of the time slots which will be from 9 AM to 5 or 6 PM (just depending on the game) or from 7 PM to whenever (again depending on the game) on Saturday or Sunday. I'm blocking Friday evening out for mainly one big group activity. Also at this point what I'm listing for Scott is tentative ... he actually might try to run a FATE based game or two instead ... just depends.
Friday May 28th:
That evening we'll be playing:

Do You Worship Cthulhu? - DYWC is a Lovecraftian take on the classic child's game of Mafia. You play a resident of a small town where murderous worshippers of the Old Ones have set up shop. One by one they slay your comrades driving you into a hysterical state of paranoia. Each morning someone is murdered and each night, the townsfolk lynch one of their own in a effort to find the killer. I have written some social roles for the game in an effort to bring some role-playing elements and to eliminate the stalling that can happen when there is no clear suspect to accuse.

In addition James will be running ACTION CASTLE for folks when they inevitably die off as Cthulhu progresses. I'll leave discription of Action Castle to James ... in a nutshell its a pen and paper homage to old school text based M.U.D style games. Zork is frequently the reference used to explain roughly what the game is about. From what I've heard its hilarious fun. It will give the dead from Cthulhu something to do in the afterlife :)

After these games end we can either do a round 2 of them if there is interest or we can do BANG! or Shadows over Camelot.

Saturday  May 29th:

Saturday morning Scott is going to be running a game of 4E and I'm hoping to get our resident Star Wars GM James to come over and run a game of Star Wars for my other two Vegas compadres (Robin and Jason) and anyone from up here who would like to try out the coolness which is Saga system. Scott is just about the best 4E DM I think you'll ever get a chance to play for so I'm really hoping that the current 4E crew will get a chance to experience his game. It will be brutal and fun and hopefully enlightening in terms of just what one can actually do with 4E. I'm excited to get a chance to play. James is a real Star Wars aficionado with a wealth of background information on the Star Wars universe that he brings to his game and the Saga System is really clean and cool its something in between 3.5 and 4E and thus far I've very much enjoyed playing. So hopefully folks out there who would like to test the system out can have a chance to do so.

Saturday night Scott is going to be running an old school classic game Tunnels and Trolls which has been around since 1975. It really captures that old school original D&D feel with some surprisingly indie game-esq mechanics. The first time I played it immediatly became one of my all time favorite RPGs ... I'd still rank it in the top 10 best RPG systems I've personally ever played. 

Anyway here is Scott's blurb on his game: 

Tunnels and Trolls: The Dungeon of Excess - This is old-school meat grinder gaming at it's best. T&T is a simple system with great open-ended mechanics. The Dungeon of Excess awaits any who want to plumb the unfathomable depths. Can you survive the dreaded Ball Lightning?

If  we have the numbers and there is someone who'd like to run something else there is room for a second slot here of something. However Scott's game will be able to accommodate up to maybe as many 8 to 10 players ... as its a big free for all style adventure. Also T&T handles large groups better than most RPGs due to an extremely sleek combat system. Anyway if anyone out there would like to run something in this time slot just chime in and I'll get it on the agenda. 

Sunday May 30th:
9 AM to 5 to 6ish (with a break for lunch)

I believe that a friend from the SLC area Rustin is planning on running something Sunday morning and the Vegas crew and myself will likely partake in that ... but if there is interest there is room here for a second slot of something as well so if you'd like to run something just chime in and I'll get it on the agenda. 

7 PM to whenever .... 

Savage Worlds: The Incident at Station 11 - The Federation lost contact with the scientists at Station 11 on the planet Gareth several months ago. Your crew was sent to check things out and find out what happened and if everything is okay. It probably isn't okay. In fact, what happened there probably can't be imagined in your worst nightmares. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thinking Big (maybe too big) ...

Ok ... two big ideas (big in terms of pulling them off) ... I'm posting this in part to solicit advice from anyone out there who might have done similar activities (or just has a decent idea). First idea involves RPGs, the second 40K. 

I've been toying with the idea of trying to do a linked RPG for a long long time ... its just something that has sounded very cool to me ever since conversation about it came up in one of the late night BS sessions in my old gaming group (probably nearly 10 years ago). I've never been able to pull it off though. Now that I've physically relocated from my old home (Las Vegas) to northern Utah ... and am in the process of re-establishing a gaming group and local gaming club ... conversation about this has come up again. I'm trying to think of ways in which this could be accomplished. 

Originally we talked about having two to four GMs coordinate a story arc that would be shared somehow between all of their groups. The GMs would talk on a weekly/bi-weekly basis (via phone, email, however) and update their games accordingly ... all the while revealing whatever was appropriate to their players. At some point there might even be occasion where players would do cameos in other groups ... or groups might even be able to engage in party vs. party conflict ... whether simply role playing ... or actual combat. We even talked about an ending involving gladiatorial combat, etc. (or just doing that for fun at the conclusion of the story arc ... and doing a little fun awards session, etc.).

I'm resigning myself to the fact that I'd probably have to do this via 4E ... as that is just the big system on the block these days and would be the easiest one to get multiple groups engaged in. Though in my mind  it would perhaps be even more interesting to try this with a sci-fi game of some kind ... Star Wars ... Dark Heresy ... etc.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Ok Second Idea ...

A galaxy spanning Warhammer 40K campaign ...

In a similar fashion to the linked RPG campaign idea in the old epic BS sessions back in Las Vegas ... we talked alot about running some big 40,000 campaigns. We actually pulled off several successful mini-campaigns of between 4 and 6 sessions with anywhere between 4 and 10 players. But it was just games of 40K with an over arching storyline. Almost a round robin tourney if you will. Those were fun and we'll probably do those sorts of things still ... but I'm talking about a huge rolling campaign with a little more grit, and satisfying strategic complexity. We talked about coming up with an RTS style system ... nothing insane ... but a resource based system and doing a full on war that would involve intrigue, deception, resource management, etc. Our old idea was to form between 3 and 5 "teams"  or "factions" of players ... at least two people per team. The big concept here too was ... NO LAME ALLIANCES ... no Nids fighting alongside Necrons just for convienience sake ... no contrived Chaos manipulating Orks ... we wanted to do solid teams that would work with one an other by standard fluff ... again no contrived "well this one time in one short story in issue 82 of White Dwarf ..." type of crap. That is how most crappy store big games go ... and none of us wanted that kind of thing ... again the idea here was optimum fun and engagement for all of the players. We talked about keeping the teams even  ... but we even talked about having larger and smaller teams to emulate a stronger feeling of the 40K universe. For example larger Imperial, Ork, Nid and maybe even Chaos teams might be in order ... smaller Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tau, Necron teams would be in order. 

We talked about running the campaign with a defined duration ... 20 turns or something (a turn representing each team taking their full group of actions ... whatever those might be). We talked about incorporating various GW 40K related games ... Necromunda/Kill Team/etc. BFG and perhaps even Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch (though the latter two systems didn't exist when we had these conversations). I know there are alot of campaigns out there on the net ... the Badab stuff, etc. etc. We were hoping to do something somewhat sleek and not too overly complex ... yet satisfyingly more than just a series of standard 40K games strung together.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Friday, April 9, 2010

I.M.P.S - Imperial Military Personal Stories

Hey since I'm on an old news Star Wars kick ... I just thought I'd share something that I ... being always woefully behind the times ... just stumbled upon (thanks to real Star Wars fans in the RPG group). Hopefully most of you have seen the Star Wars cops spoof that came out way back in 1997 ... apparently these are some of the same folks who put that out ... but this is on a larger scale with some pretty solid effects, etc. for a fan project. Anyway check these links: IMPS offical site and Youtube.

The Force Unleashed (and Part II)

Ok ... we'll I've been playing The Force Unleashed again this week ... I guess I've been in a Star Wars mood with the upcoming Saga Edition game we have slated to start this coming weekend. Playing it again has made me ask several questions of the entire Star Wars universe. I guess the first time I played it I just played it ... and didn't really dwell on the storyline. First ... some of you out there might not like this ... but I really like this story line. Yes there are a few "huh" moments in the game. Ok and right here I'm going to say this is an old title ... so no "spoiler" alter or anything ... if people wanted to play it they should have by now. Ok back to the "huh" ... there are many minor ones as with any Lucas product ... but that's ok ... I've never had an issue with that. The only major "huh" moments for me were the pulling down of a star destroyer, the star destroyers in the atmosphere of Kashyyyk at the begining of the game ... and then the shear power that Starkiller has. Personally I can overlook all that ... and happily so ... because this story is a good one and the game was FUN. Was it the best ever ... was every level so awesome I attained enlightenment ... no and no ... but for Lucas Arts I'd say this is towards the top (again just IMO here).

 Beyond the game though to me Star Wars, Raiders, etc. has ALWAYS been about a fun romp ... 1930s serial style ... pulpy action (if not literally like with Raiders ... the overall fun adventure) to keep you on the edge of your seat with campy humor on the side to keep the audience laughing and having a good time. I have no idea what happened with episodes I, II, and III ... I won't waste space here on that ... but this game to me is really a return to the fun. Is it as good as the episode IV, V, VI storyline stuff ... lets not even go there ... so subjective and this is a video game vs. classic films ... your opinion there is as good as mine.

My point here is I just really enjoyed this story and to me it brought things together  in a nice way to tie Episode III in with Episode IV ... it did all that and enhanced the Star Wars universe. I guess after the debacle that episodes I-III represent maybe its just that I'm happy to see anything decent come out in the Star Wars universe that doesn't abjectly suck. Anyway I enjoyed playing this game through for the second time and really seriously am looking forward to the second installment ... actually so much so I bought the trade paperback ... that I though was also well done. 

As for the next installment ... I'm wondering how Starkiller is somehow alive again ... prequel? If what I've read online is true ... it might even be a "what if" (Infinities expansion content) plot that never takes place in the cannon universe. I wish the game could possibly look as good as the trailer ... good god ... why can't they just make that a full length film? That was some awesome shit!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rant O' the week ... the days of yor (and my) 40K!

I miss the days of yor (8 years ago) when there was more discussion online about modeling and painting and debait about the fluff. Now its just page after page of net list o' the month .3 and endless posts intended to incite flames which drive hits *cough* Bell of Lost Shitheads *cough* ... I'm really growing tired of it all.

In 3rd edition a good portion of the GW community had come to the conclusion that ya you can run the flavor of the month list to try to give you an edge but at the end of the day it was all about balance, balance and balance. I AM NOT saying that there wasn't cheese o' rama going on back then (Rhino Rush!) ... but the player attitude seemed to be a little more balanced overall. Maybe its just nostalgia ... I have no statsitcal info ... all I have to go by is my own selective attention. But in talking to many players I know locally and throughout the western US ... they seem to feel this way too. 

I have always liked a slightly competitive aspect that the GW games could take on ... it made for some fun several times a year when you'd get together at the local shop and play against other players. Or if you were lucky enough to be able to make it to a GT somewhere. It was great fun, you'd see really awesomely painted armies (painted by the guy playing it ... not someone in Indonesia or at Blueazzcracktable or Jawasnads.com or whatever). I think the hobby is really in trouble here in the US as its been hijacked by idiot power gamer jerks. The GW games were never about high competition ... they were about enjoyable game play ... investing in an army and being able to enjoy it year after year. Sure you'd add a model here and there every year or so ... but you knew when you bought an army that you could be playing it five years from then ... still able to enjoy it. That is still true IMO (or I'd just ebay off all my old stuff right now) but the attitude of huge numbers of players now is really horribly misguided. They seem to want the GW games to be Magic the Gathering in pewter and plastic ...

More and more people I know are totally rejecting store gaming and I even know a few people who have finally said ... screw GW all together. They've tossed in the towel or moved to WHFB or just dropped minis for the time being. It seems that the only thing people care about anymore is just "what will win at a tourney" ... and all I see is endless "mine is bigger than yours" posing in places like Bell of lost Jerks, etc. The smoke more bowls guys crack me up ... as does the Adeptacan't set. Those guys are all from big clubs ... they use group tactics at tournaments, etc. and its disgraceful and lame. That is not what the GW games are about ... yet from reading their pages, etc. you'd think they were GW insiders at the center of the GW universe. I'm surprised GW puts up with it ... but apparently lazy GW actually caters to them. I have heard out west here of some other similar groups getting thousands of dollars in free stuff from GW (which they plunder for their own armies, etc. .... its supposed to be prize support, etc.). GW really just seems to have abandoned the US (at least the western US) in terms of any kind of official support. What appears to have filled the vacuum is a collection of power gaming assholes who are doing more to destroy the hobby than they are of preserving it. It isn't a hobby to many of them ... hell they are putting out PDFs that you can purchase that will teach you how to "WIN at 40K!" ... woot! They are linking their buddies blue table style paint service! Woot!! They are advertising for whatever net GW rip off ... erm ... spin off ... company of the month will pay them. It is all sleezy and lame and has totally degraded the feel of the GW hobbies in the US. For those who don't remember the "golden" years of the late 90s and early 2000s ... you'll see what I'm saying and scoff and think I'm an idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about ... fine ... if you never experienced a better GW hobby then I would expect nothing less. But for those who were playing back then, those who attended the GTs and the old style gamesdays (BITZ BY THE OUNCE!!) ... really point by point explain how things are better now ... if you feel that way.

As for the endless list ranting and raving to me its simple ... still ... its the same as its always been. First if you are looking to be a competitive player with the GW games ... maybe you should find a real competitive endeavor that actually is designed to test ones mettle ... if your a pencil necked geek who has not an athletic bone in your body ... there is still chess for example.  You get good enough at that and you'll be world famous. Get ranked as a chess player and then I'll be impressed. Or pick up a sport ... even if your not super athletic there is always ... golf ... skeet shooting ... competitive rally racing ... etc. etc. do something you really have to work at and acquire skill to get good at.

GW games are not ultimate tests of intelligence as many would seem to be asserting. They are simple miniature games with some decent depth but by no means are they so difficult to master that people should be thumping their chests acting like big shots when they manage to beat some 15 year old kid somewhere or even if they win at a GT or at some indie club run event (even if its big). For one thing the bigger the event the less accurate the "winners" are ... when you have 100+ players and your just doing a a 5 round tourney ... you can't accurately pick a "winner" ... who has the best painted stuff is highly subjective (and at many tournaments isn't even being considered anymore ... thanks Blue Coffee Table assholes!). Its funny how the big club guys seem to win more often at these events ... you see the BoLZ guys winning at adepticant etc. Hmmm ... wonder why? Its very subjective and the GW GTs were like that too ... you'd see the guys who knew the GW "judges" (usually just a 8 buck an hour store monkey ... who was more concerned about what strip club they'd be going to that night than what was going on with the tourney)

The "competitive" players are just people who play more often than the average player ... not a single 40K "champion" has a judge watching his every game to make sure he doesn't cheat or his opponent doesn't hose himself via a bad rules call, etc. That being the case how can they really be a "champion" ... they aren't ... see mini games require a gentleman's agreement from the get go. You and your opponent have to agree to play honorably against one an other in a fashion akin to a duel. But its even more "honor system" because you don't have a second standing their watching the match to ensure its all according to the rules. Its just you and your opponent. But we all know that it is all to easy for people to cheat if they want to ... you buy some ebay always rolls a six dice and toss those out when you really need to hit ... you do some elastic tape measuring when you need it when your opponent isn't looking ... you take advantage of a player who doesn't know the rules for your army as well as they should by cheating ... and on and on. Its just super easy to cheat. The ultra competitive guys know this and they do it and don't care ... and they win at the GTs and Adepticant etc. I'm not saying every winner of those events is a cheating jerk ... but come on ... a high % of those guys are and we all know it. So ... is that a good group for everyone to aspire to? Well in the days of old ... there weren't as many BoLPG and Jawa's nads and Sheep boyz out there teaching everyone how to be jerks ... but now the internetz seems to be chock full o' douchbags ... when it comes to 40K.

Again all name calling and ranting aside ... in my experience many of the "best" tourney players are simply more aggressive and know when they can cheat and get away with it. I've seen it time and time again form the GT level events to the local store RTT level stuff. Being that these events are not heavily sanctioned and closely monitored its all just for fun ... and that is the spirit in which it should be undertaken ... yet based on how people seem to be viewing it now it seems that huge numbers of players out there are missing the point entirely. Thumping their chests about how awesome they are or their list is ... they are missing the point ... and who cares right? I care because it is a horrible cancer upon the hobby as a whole. If I was a shop owner I'd be stamping that stuff out if I saw it cropping up in my local community. It is bad for business. So many new players out there who are just getting into the hobby turn to the internet for advice on how to play the GW games and how to conduct themselves and they land on the Bell of Lost Powergamers ... and bada bing ... that is how they think the GW games are played.

GW games have shined traditionally because they are reliable, year after year players can enjoy their army. It is NOT Magic the Gathering, it is not a collectible flavor of the month type game ... yet many of the BoLS set seem to be wanting it to morph into that. They endless rant about statistics ... they math chart how some stat line in a unit will give them a .3% advantage ... etc.  ... ya if your going to adeptacant you might need to find that .3% edge that whatever math-hammer combo gives you ... but for normal gamers ... pick something that works for you and give it a chance. Play it over the course of several games, really get a feel for the strategy of the list and then adjust accordingly. That mindset has fallen by the wayside ... the play for the love of the game ... play what you think is fun who cares if you win every game attitude seems to have diminished and been replaced by "BUY MY PDF and you will WIN EVERY GAME! Act now its only 19.99!!" ... GW lets this crap keep going unchecked and they are going to poison the well entirely.

Sad times indeed ... BOOOOO Bell of Lost Idiots! Booooo Way of Saim Jackass! Booooo Jawnadz Z Master Smooth's of the world! You losers are ruining the game for everyone!! I've stopped following BoLZ and any of the other blogs that are similar ... I hate that side of the hobby. For the sake of the actual hobby I hope that GW returns to actually support their own product in the US again ... if not ... I might even be leaving the  GW hobby myself. As painful as that would be ... there are other more pure GAMES out there that are simply that ... something people do just to have fun.

Hopefully sanity prevails and the GW games that many of us have loved for a long, long time ... are preserved in the spirit that they were created.(Names changed in this rant to protect the guilty)

FREE Paper heroes!

Hey just a quick heads up on something that is flying around the blog-o-sphere ... and that is good ole One Monk Miniatures is offering ALL of their paper heroes for FREE ... yup ... FREE!!! For those of you who use paper heroes. I prefer traditional minis ... but sometimes ... for cons ... when I'm going to run a game at someone elses house ... I can see the merit in them. Anyway hit that link and download away ... the creator of the line has freely given his work to us to enjoy! Three cheers for One Monk

Thursday, April 1, 2010

United We Stand Divided We Fail ...

My Role Playing Game Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge my best efforts to have fun, to learn the rules to the best of my ability and to not take things that happen in the game personally and bring them out of the game. One game under the Game Master with liberty and justice for all.

Ya ya ... I know ... kinda cheesy. Yet if only every game lived up to that simple rip off of a 108 year old  oath  ... sigh ... if only