What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Computer Gaming RPG

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Heroic Issue 2 Now Available!

Two successful Kickstarters have led to the release of the first two issues of 'Heroic' by Zenith Comics which offers readers a great introduction into a new comic book universe.  While it is normally difficult to get involved in reading something already established, and despite years of development that have gone into creating this universe (albeit in a homespun Superhero RPG campaign), the story instead focuses on the story which is integral to the what will be a 6-issue story arc.  Bits and pieces of the universe are dropped in and provided to the reader but not in a pace that would overwhelm the reader with details that would take away from what is shaping up to be a great story.  More importantly, this isn't a typical one-issue origin story but a story that builds up across the initial 6-issue arc.

Backers of the project have all gotten their copies (digital and physical) for issue 1 and with the digital release of issue 2, those physical copies won't be too far behind.  It's always nice to see a successful crowdfunding effort meet its objectives and deliver on the goods!  Better yet, the campaign for the 3rd issue won't start until the physical copies are in the readers hands.

If this is the first you've heard of Zenith Comics or Heroic and you're at least curious, nothing could be simpler to get caught up and up to speed with the story thus far.

A digital copy of the first issue of Heroic can be gotten HERE where as a copy of issue 2 can be gotten HERE.  Both are pay what you want though the suggested price for either is below $2.00

It doesn't get much more 'indie' than this though but everything about this comic is high caliber as far as content, art, and quality is concerned.  The Heroic comic book series is off to a great start and continued support means actual development will also pick up the pace as more resources will actually make this possible.

Keep them dice rolling and happy reading!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Troll Lord Games SALE!

No... not the company but their product line in digital format.  TLG is the proud publishers of games like Castles & Crusades and Amazing Adventures.  If you already collect their stuff and love PDFs but are missing a few things from the collection, then you may want to head over to DriveThru or RPGNow (both part of the One Book Self family) over HERE and grab them while you can since most of their lineup (I want to say all but I'd probably be mistaken) is on sale for up to 50% off!

Best not wait too long as the sale ends this Sunday.

Many adventures are in the $2.00 to $3.00 range and the core books are also half off which is a good way to get into the game if you've considered but haven't bought into the game yet.  If you do this though, a small friendly tip: While the C&C Bundle is usually a good way to go, you are WAY better off to pick up the PHB and M&T books in PDF for $10.50 each ($21 for both) and pick an adventure (there are many great ones to choose from) for a couple of dollars.  Less than $25 bucks for a complete game and adventure scenario?  How can you lose with that!

If fantasy isn't your thing, maybe check out Amazing Adventures.  It recently got an overhaul with the new printing with a lot more material and companion books.  It's also worth checking out but, being new, the discounts aren't as big.  Regardless, there is plenty to choose from.

Happy Gaming!


Well... May... Right?

Hello faithful readers!  Sorry if there has been absolutely nothing to read here since the end of April!

As some of you recall, I'm getting married and that is less than two months away.  May has been a busy month as planning and organizing continues towards that particular date.  I also turned 40 last month so there was much rejoicing and celebrating.

Aside from wedding details, I wish I have been up to more but truthfully, there has been little painting, gaming, writing, or even reading the past 5 weeks or so.

But, I have been lurking, plotting, and even clearing out some of my older gaming material.  I have been keeping up with some news and there is three things I would like to point out:

1) The new and revised Petty Gods is freaking amazing.  There will be an attempt to get back into the groove of my Weekend R&R series and I will take to review this gem.

2) Zenith Comics has release issue two in PDF.  I will also expand on this in the days ahead but, if you have taken my past advice when I mentioned issue one, it is now your chance to grab issue 2 as a 'Pay What You Want' offering over on DriveThru!  You can grab a copy HERE.

3) Troll Lord Games is having an amazing sale over through the same family of services (DriveThru and RPGNow!).  This ends Sunday but right now is your chance to get a bunch of stuff while things are going for 50% off!  Check it out HERE.

So... I'll be reminding you guys over the next day or two of both the new issue of Heroic by Zenith Comics as well as TLG's sale.  In the meantime, as a few key things get finalized for my wedding and subsequent honeymoon in Indianapolis, things should pick up around here as another siege lifts in this bastion known as my life.

And yes... you read that last bit correctly.  My honeymoon is in Indianapolis and, more specifically, GenCon.  That is the kind of lucky man I am.  ;)


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekend R&R: The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions

Some of the greatest breakthroughs in science were the result of accidents...  But what about gaming supplements which started out as an adventure?

A couple years back, James Raggi ran a campaign to publish some adventures (part of the LotFP July Grand Adventures Campaign which ran in, well, July of 2012) and one of the projects to get funding was 'The Seculsium of Orphone'.  The premise was fantastic and here's some of the text talking about it:

Orphone of the Three Visions is a wizardess of restless and fitful ambition, so often seen in city market and bazaar, paced always by her velvet half-human servant and bodyguard Ioma. For decades she has kept her seclusium unassailable upon an island of three concentric gardens in the Cove of Bar's Toll, working her magics, pursuing her grandizement and mastery, forbidding all to come. Now she has ventured into the subrealm Paume, for reasons of curiosity, provocation or entrapment, and has neither returned nor left any remnant impulse of her will. Even loyal Ioma has departed for other employment.

So her seclusium stands, not vacant, but vulnerable. The wise have not yet approached it, but cast greedy and speculative looks. Who will be the first to venture an incursion? What will they find within?

It didn't offer anything too complicated but the concept hit the right notes for the fans.  It sounded like it was something that a GM could just dive into and run as an adventure.  And, as a bonus, this proposed resource was basically described as a system to create these 'specialized wizard lairs' to drop into your campaign -- Ophone's Seclusium is included as a fully fleshed out example of this system.

Well, there certainly was no false advertising here and the book delivers EXACTLY what the campaign promises.  I also got the impression that this was originally intended to be a much shorter book as far as page count was concerned.  Unfortunately, based on what I have seen in various other reviews, I think some people where expecting something else.  To be fair, it was ALWAYS described as a system but, the complete example provided isn't near as complete as most would hope for.  Interestingly enough, there are two other examples provided but these are even less detailed than the first.

The best analogy I can offer are model kits.  You have kits for beginners, intermediate, and advanced modellers and each skill level will offer more pieces and prove increasingly challenging depending on the difficulty of the model and skill level assigned.  The three examples are a bit like that.  All three need work to put together to actually use but the first one (Orphone's) will require the least amount of work to have it ready to play.  But, know that there is quite a bit of work to get to that point where you can run it.  There are no maps with locations.  All that is provided for the three examples are 'areas' such as an island.  The manner of buildings or structures is all up to the GM to devise bases on scant (though arguably useful) information.

Simply put, the examples fails in every single way as potential adventure material.  It is a resource to create and populate an area -- nothing more and nothing less.

On the other hand, as a tool, the mileage you get out of the system will vary.  There are many lists that will help you bring about a concept of a seclusium into being and, for people who love tables and lists, this book has a lot.  Many can be used for completely different purposes for gaming, designing, and writing creatively.  While some detractors of the book have lamented on what was basically described as a book of lists, the various items spread out are interesting enough to engage the imagination and any gaming book that does that has merit and value.

The book itself has a page count of 160 pages and is divided in three sections.  The first part is basically an overview of the concepts presented in the book.  It's short and sweet and only takes up 7 pages or so.  The second part is just shy of 70 pages and you have the three examples provided for play.  The third section is about the same size and are just complete lists (tables) dealing with wizards, the seclusim itesl, magic items, people, and creatures.

There is no color in the book but it is cleanly and wonderfully presented and illustrated.  As a small hardcover format (A5), it is like other Lamentations of the Flame Princess recent releases and has that premium feel and look that so many people (like myself) happen to like.  Pricing is fair for what you are getting and is approximately $22 USD if you go to the LotFP site and order a physical copy (HERE).  Of course, shipping is a different matter but it might be cheaper to get a copy from Noble Knight Games (listed as $23.95 USD) depending where you order from.  However, if you don't think a physical copy is worth the investment, the PDF can easily be gotten for a mere $10 and, I think that's a great price to pay to start playing around with the material -- if you think this might be your thing.  You can find the PDF over HERE at RPGNow (part of the OBS family).

The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions is by no means a breakthrough but it wasn't a mistake either.  The mistake here would be to ignore this resource for not complying to some preconceived notion of what this should have been or was supposed to be.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Stalagmite Painting Guide

With everything going on, I have not been painting as much as I would like.  Hell, there are a lot of things I would like to be doing and don't get to do as much as I would like.  However, I still paint when I can.  Every now and then, I get someone telling me that they would paint if they had the time or I wish I could paint and anything I would try to paint would suck.

People that make such statements often do so because of misconceptions.  Don't get me wrong, it does take some time to paint a single miniature you're intending to use to represent a character... You've got different colors and a strong desire to be attentive to all the details you possibly can to realized what you want to do.  Admittedly, it might not be quite what you envision the first couple of times out the gate when you do one but there are so many little tricks to make your life easier when it comes to painting miniatures.

As for time, that can be a tough one but, if it's important enough I think it's easy to work something in.  Watching the game?  Why not paint at the same time?  It doesn't take much to look up and takes to the wonders of instant replays (and PVRs that allow you to rewind anything you may have missed), and it won't stop you from LISTENING to the the commentators describing the action.  Can it be a bit tricky at times?  Sure and it won't speed up the painting but you'll get some work done.

Some people are also not *into* a lot of the detailed painting of miniatures.  I get that, and thankfully it isn't impossible to find some pre-painted figures for you to use.  Scenery might be a bit tricky.  Oddly it can also be simple to paint.

These Stalagmites from Reaper Miniatures (out of their Bones II Kickstarter) are a perfect example.  These were not time consuming, did not require any significant attention to detail, and so simple that anyone who hasn't painted before can be practically guaranteed of a paint job they can be VERY happy with.

I primed the miniatures with liquid acrylic gesso (as I usually do with these models).  Once dried, I gave them a grey basecoat.  If using Citadel Paints, you can use 'Mechanicus Standard Grey' but really any acrylic grey will do.  A mid-range between white and black is what you are looking for. Once again... very easy thing to do.  You don't apply to thick or too thin.

Depending on the look you are going for, you have several options limited only by your imagination.  I liked a purple color and chose a wash (Citadel's 'Duchii Violet') and applied a generous coat from top to bottom on them.  I let the dry while making sure not too much pooled at the base of the figures.  If it started to pool, I took the brush to 'soak up' some of the excess liquid.  I allowed it to dry.

Honestly, at this point, if you are happy with the look, you can consider this 'mission accomplished'.

I went one step further and did a bit of drybrushing to bring out some of the edge and surface details.  This is VERY minimal kind of work and I chose something with a light purple look about them.  Once again, if using Citadel, you can use the Dry compound, 'Lucius Lilac' or the Edge paint, 'Dechala Lilac'.  They are pretty much the same color expect the consistency is obviously different.  I love drybrushing my models ever since I got used to it but, in this case, it was such a small and light amount that you can hardly tell it was done.

I did all six pieces, from start to finish, while watching a hockey game.

So, if you are not the type to get into a lot of miniature painting, or are just looking to get started, I don't think you can get much easier than doing something like these.

Happy painting!