A la Mode

Welcome dear reader!
Hi, how is 2017 treating you so far?

I’ve usually attempted to post more by the halfway mark of the year but alas this year has been pretty much hectic with an added pinch of exhausting thrown in for good measure.

Why you ask , well mostly as my role has transitioned into something different, but while retaining much of the same stuff as I was doing before only more of it. Confusing right?

Streaming and gaming

I’ve been a little relaxing in my streaming habits, I started to ease back to streaming on Sunday mornings and will aim to keep up that habit while it makes sense to do so. I’ve been trying to keep the streams to relaxing games, mostly as it’s Sunday morning but also I usually have Little Troll in close proximity.

Gameblast was great fun this year and we raised more than our total in 2016, which considering there was on three of us this year was rather a good accomplishment. I totally love Special Effect and all the good work that they do.

Games

Munki and I are possibly going to get into a MMO (know first time in forever), we bought the game with the month trail as some kind of bonkers anniversary gift to each other, we’ll see how the first month in FFXIV pans out.

I am playing alot more Euro Truck Sim 2 recently, I think it’s that I find it quite relaxing ( until I hit something ), I’m covering more of the map to try and get those achievements.

Online Role Playing

Oneshot Island
Oneshot Island

Since the start of the year we have been playing through the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we’ve had a few start and stops due to real life but it’s been enjoyable, we even picked up another player a month ago, So I must be doing something right.  It makes Sundays a little longer for me as a 8am start for streaming and a 11pm finish after the DnD session can make for a long day, but it’s enjoyable.

I find that Roll20 is such a great tool for our game, that I have now got a Pro account, which if they only thing it gave was the ability to copy between games would still be very worth it.

I had the pleasure of running a One-shot game for some friends from the streaming community I am part of, I was nervous as the last game I created and ran was in back in 1997, so I was worried that it wouldn’t go according to plan or I’d just turn into a blithering wreck. Thankfully it was fine and everyone enjoyed it, including me.

I have found that I enjoy building up scenes for the groups to consume, yes I know it’s all make believe, but sometimes it’s useful to have an idea of the environment or things that as the GM you want to remember to use in your story telling.

In getting to building these I pretty much bought all of the art assets by David Hemenway on Roll20, I find that his the art style lends itself well for use with both rendered and hand drawn characters, and the various packs fit well together.

Clan RPG

In one of my last posts in 2016 I mentioned that I was enjoying playing Dungeons and Dragons and that I was possibly looking into running a game for some of my clan members. Well that is now fully underway with a pre generated campaign to kick things off, this was to allow everyone to get to know 5th edition (players and GM alike), but also to test the waters with regards to if players are ready to commit the time, before having the GM spend time and effort on building a unique campaign.

The player characters have been rolled up now and i’m quite looking forward to throwing mobs at them over the next month or so.

We have looked into using fantasy grounds to run role playing games in the past but found that understanding the software was sometimes trickier than working out THAC0. So this time around we are using Roll20, which given the feedback I have got so far seems to be going down a storm. We have run some test fights to help players understand how their attacks, saves and skills work, which I have to admit is such a pleasure to using with the 5th edition ruleset.

As we are running an off the shelf campaign I haven’t any plans to share it, publicly, however once we move into custom work I’m tempted to host the campaign information on Obsidian Portal, to help keep track of characters, events and documents.

Venerable Dad and Hero Kid

Some members in one of the online communities that I am part of have been running a 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons role playing game via the online Roll20App. I’ve really enjoyed the mechanics and there is certainly alot less number crunching involved, although I think this mostly in part to the way Roll20 speeds up nearly all checks and actions so that the players can focus more on role playing and enjoying themselves.

I last played D&D since 1998 and that was AD&D 2nd Edition so it’s taken me a little time to get back into the swing of things but I’m happy to be back playing a game on a semi-regular basis. I’m exploring options to GM a game with some friends online in the new year.

Hero Kids

herokidsThis morning Littlest Troll undertook his first steps into the world of role playing with a title I picked up from DriveThruRPG called Hero Kids.

I was very pleased with how the game makes activities simple, making them easy to explain to a child yet the game still remained enjoyable for those playing. The small one doesn’t have a great attention span and can get bored easily, the first adventure felt just about right time wise, with a huge number of giant rats laying unconscious in some caves.

Since there is a Cyber Monday Sale on this weekend at DriveThruRPG I think I shall be picking up the complete bundle for this game Hero Kids – Complete Fantasy PDF Bundle [BUNDLE] which includes:

  • Hero Kids – Fantasy RPG (Core Rules book)[discounted as I already own this].
  • Fantasy Expansion – Pet Cards
  • Fantasy Expansion – Monster Compendium
  • Fantasy Expansion – Equipment Cards
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards II
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards III
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards IV
  • Fantasy Adventure – Curse of the Shadow Walkers
  • Fantasy Adventure – Escape from the Ghost Pirates
  • Fantasy Adventure – Fire in Rivenshore
  • Fantasy Adventure – Glade of the Unicorn
  • Fantasy Adventure – Mines of Martek
  • Fantasy Adventure – The Lost Village
  • Fantasy Adventure – Tomb of the Lost King
  • Fantasy Adventure – Wizard’s Tower
  • Fantasy Adventure – Yuletide Journey
  • Fantasy Premium Adventure – Maze of the Minotaur

Hopefully we can get some role playing done over the Christmas period if the little troll hold still  and If we discover that he enjoys the game and wants to play more I’m tempted to get the Flat Plastic miniatures https://arcknight.squarespace.com/shop/fpm-hero-kids.

In which I dust off my blog

The last three months have been very busy on the work front with a very tight deadline project that has been rather taxing, plus on call has been manic in May. Also I was diverting a lot of energy into driving lessons, theory and practical test preparations but happily I sat my driving test and passed on the second attempt.
Awesomely my father in law donated his car to me which was great and saved me quite a bit of hassle finding a car.

So after spending my annual bonus on car insurance and tax we undertook an adventure to Bluestone with family and friends. Of course every holiday experience has to start with hiccup and this one was no different with a bolt that holds the gear pivot shearing off and me having to call out the Breakdown service, thankfully it was repairable.

After 1 month driving I still dislike it, but do enjoy the hour or so I have reclaimed on my daily commute.

Games

I haven’t really been playing much in the way of social games recently, my Game List in the sidebar is likely very out of date.

  • Battlefield 4 – After the worst start in FPS history I decided that my trigger finger was wasting away. I have been playing a few nights a week as a drop in game.
  • Dreamfall Chapters – Man this game is so detailed at times, a great follow up the previous games in the series.
  • Always Sometimes Monsters – Part of me thinks this game is an old school masterpiece reskinned, but maybe not. Very good and harrowing story.
  • Space Run – A fun tower defense game that seeing you having to adapt mid level to counter opposing forces.
  • Kentucky Route Zero – I’ve only just started making my way through this interesting story.

Board Games

games.2015.06.01We headed down to Rules of Play in Cardiff  twice in the last 2 months, damn that shop has alot of choice and it maybe a few pound more than Amazon but supporting a “local” business is more important, plus you get to browse.
In the digital age I buy my Computer games and Music via download outlets but with physical copies of tabletop games it’s nice to read the blurbs and ask a real person about a game rather that taking those Amazon feedback scores as gospel.

This last month we have obtained:

  • Zombies!!!
  • Love Letter
  • Race to Adventure
  • The Cave
  • Bucket of Doom
  • Zombie Dice 3
  • Tsuro of the Seas
    plus our wedding anniversary gifts
  • Hobbit Love Letter
  • Machi Koro

We’ve had a great time playing through them all recently and some of our existing games too.

Reaping Kickstarter rewards

In 2014 crowd funding continued with some epically failing to reach the starting line, while others silently gained momentum smashing their targets. It was also the year that early access seemed to be everywhere, maybe a little too much in some case as the public want to make sure they are buying into the thing they have confidence in.

So in 2014 I backed a number of Kickstarters of those the following have been  Fate tokens by Campaign coins, Vye: The Card Game by Sand Hat Games and Elegy for a Dead World: A Game About Writing Fiction by Debojaan Games.

1) In December my Fate Coins arrived and I have to admit were rather awesome. The cost was more than I was originally going to back but I upped my amount and really like mixture of coins I received.
image

I’m planning to put them to good use this year by running some Fate role playing games.

Elegy-2014-12-08-20-50-39-05-300x1872) I had a copy of Elegy for a Dead World delivered via Humble Bundle, and redeemable on Steam. I have a weak spot for Debojaan games but then I’m rarely disappointed. The game sees you visiting alien worlds and help you create a narrative about the people who inhabited these distant worlds.

Featuring writing prompts that aim to inspire you to detail a story the final days of a worlds population.You can share your stories with others and there is even a pay on print option with screenshots from the game.

vye queen3) Finally is Vye which was being run by some of the ex-City of Heroes staff. The game is very simple area of control game and quite fast paced, I’m rather keen to play it at home and at my work game evening.

Additionally the artwork on the cards is awesome and I have the print and play version available to test before the final version arrives sometime in June.