Wiz-War progress

The last couple months have been busy, but not without some small progress on our Wiz-War project.

Wiz-War board sections with base color

We got a couple coats of a dark base color on our seven board sections. Yes, seven sections. We’re making two auto-warp path sections (quarter-circle arcs) to connect the two sections across the gaps.

Also, I made a small test section so we can avoid major painting gaffes. We also have a large number of wall sections and doors to paint.

For our minis, NatureBoy selected six Reaper Miniatures. Assembling and painting metal minis will be a new adventure in and of itself. Here’s one of the minis, “T’Kay, Reptus Cleric” (14096).

That’s all for now. Hope to have more posts soon.

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Northeast Wars photos

newars2009-StormTrooper  

NatureBoy and I had a good time at Northeast 2009. Here are some cell-phone pictures.

We were greeted by the non-nonsense presence of the 501st Legion – Vader’s Fist. Trooper TK-3220 was an imposing sight (and very shiny).

On Saturday afternoon, we played Wiz-War with GM Earl; the same great guy who introduced us to the game at Carnage last November. Here are some better shots of his game.

Northeast Wars 2009 - Wiz-War

 

The Magic cards have Wiz-War game card labels adhered to them. Earl decided to use some of his many “commons” as the stock material. He even color-coordinated the Magic cards with the Wiz-War card colors. Very nice.

Northeast Wars 2009 - Wiz-War

 

On Sunday, we played a couple games from the lending library. I can’t remember what this one was called, but I think it was from ThinkFun (Binary Arts). Two players, playing land or water, take turns laying cards to make paths that connect the sides of the garden. It simple, and fun in a non-taxing way.

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This game was somewhat more involved. In fact, it was the best tic-tac-toe variation I’ve tried. And the game was beautiful. On a player’s turn, she places a marble and rotates a wooden square 90°.

newars2009-Pentago

 

And the final game we played was a homebrew Transformers RPG based on D&D 4e. The game consisted mostly of three combat scenes, with seven players and a GM. Some fun; some tedious. But the GM was good and the rules were well-thought-out. And we played using transformers! :)

newars2009-Transformers

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Northeast Wars – day one

Can it really have been over a month since my last blog post? BW asks “What are you? Some sort of blog slacker?” I guess so…

NatureBoy and I attended our first day of Northeast Wars 2009 today, and had a really nice time. For the morning session, we split up. NB was very excited to play a round of HeroScape, which was a big hit last year. I played my first Prime Time Adventures, this one set in the Firefly/Serenity universe.

Beloved Wife came to collect us for a lunch break, then brought us back for an afternoon Wiz-War game with the the same gentleman who introduced us tot he game at Carnage in November and inspired us to create our own Wiz War set. We had a good time chatting about the process of building the set and I got some new energy to get working on our set again.

I worked had over the past couple weeks on the convention booklet, doing some cartography, simple artwork and the book layout. I am quite pleased with the result.

Here’s the cover of the con booklet (with artwork by Melissa Benson):

NEW2009-Cover

And here’s a map of the conference venue that I did:

Inn Map 2b

We’ll be going back tomorrow for more fun.

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Exalted, Challenge System style

NatureBoy had a couple of friend for a sleep-over last night. Given the Wii and DS excitement, the homemade pizza, and adolescent male I-haven’t-learned- to-use-deodorant tang, they have been having a good time.

ExaltedSecondEditionCoverI had a really good time, too, because my friend Josh came over to run a one-on-one game of Exalted using his rules-light Challenge System. I’ve played a couple of games of Exalted with Josh and some other friends, both with the Exalted storyteller rules, and with the Wushu Exalted variant.

Josh’s Challenge System worked well to give some structure to the situation resolution and narration. We told a story that would make good “pilot episode” for my character, Ju-Fei. We established his background as a decadent young merchant noble, covered his exaltation, the transfiguration of his longtime friend into a probable nemesis,  and concluded with his setting out from Nexus in a familiar direction but with an unknown destination (walking off into the sunrise).

I’m hopeful that the story may continue at some point, and maybe we’ll get another player or two into the game. Josh is an excellent storyteller; his descriptions are rich, his characters nuanced, and his storylines cohesive and compelling. I hope my characters are a good fit.

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Warcosm – space fleet battles

When we attended Carnage in November, NatureBoy and I played in a huge game based on the Star Fleet Battles, a tactical space ship combat system set in the Star Trek Universe. The rules were dense, even for a stream-lined homebrew, and once combat was engaged, it took twenty minutes to resolve a single round.

NatureBoy playing Star Fleet Battles at Carnage 2008

One aspect of the game that I found really intriguing involved movement. Rates of travel were constant, and you could accelerate or decelerate on you turn by half you current movement, and your rate of movement affected how quickly and tightly you could maneuver. If you weren’t careful, you could fly right off the edge of the map.

Skip forward to December. I am placing my pre-order for the Mouse Guard RPG at Indie Press Revolution, and I noticed a game in the sidebar called Warcosm – Victory in the Stars. Curious, I took a closer look. The description promised an easy-to-learn, stream-lined ruleset for battles with counters or minis. The price was reasonable, so I tossed it (book and pdf bundle) in my cart, too.

Continue reading

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WETA makes a mermaid

Spotted on Engadget, this is a very cool story:

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Mouse Guard RPG

I first heard about the Mouse Guard RPG on a Fear the Boot interview with Luke Crane. I picked up a copy of Mouse Guard Fall 1152 soon after; my first graphic novel!

mouse-guard-01

I was hooked. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. The story and characters are compelling. Knowing that there was going to be a role playing game in this setting made it the much more interesting.

I had played a bit of Luke’s Burning Wheel game. I liked it a lot, though it took some work to get into it. But I really liked the way the story was integrated into the characters and the mechanics oft he game.

Luke based the Mouse Guard RPG on Burning Wheel, but streamlined and integrated into the Mouse Guard story and setting. He’s done several interviews in which he describes the new game, and sputters about people who think Mouse Guard is “Burning Wheel Lite.” (Here’s one from the Sons of Kryos.)

NatureBoy and I played through a one-on-one session the other day, and had a good time working through some of the different mechanics. I opted to have his character go solo, rather than tossing him multiple characters or having me run NPCs. Getting into character is the point of these games, after all.

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NatureBoy chose to play as Quentin, a guard mouse we haven’t encountered in the graphic novels yet (the Winter collection is coming!), but is included as a pre-generated character in the game text.

Quentin is a Scientist and Cartographer, in addition to being a member of the Guard.

A sudden late afternoon thunderstorm threatened to catch a family of harvesters in the field. Quentin is asked to hurry to the family and bring them back safely to Lockhaven.

As Quentin hurried along the well-marked trail to the field, he paused to update a map with his location. As he did, rain drops began to fall on the leaves and ground. Soon, the storm had begun. He hurried to find the mice in the field.

Although he didn’t see the mice, he did find a small pile of grass seeds on the ground. Further along, another group of seeds appeared as though spilled from a basket. Quentin continued in the direction of the trail of grain, and eventually found the family. They had taken refuge in hole in the stump of an old oak, and the stump was in a small hollow that had filled with rain water.

Quentin looked about for possible options; maybe there would be material for a raft or stick to use to build a bridge. Then he noticed that the nearby shrubs had strong, flexible branched that arched above the stump. He signaled to the family to climb to the top of the stump.

Quentin then used his Nature (Mouse) skill to climb one of these slender but springy branched, and as he neared the end, it flexed and bent down to the stump.

Then there was an argument. Serra and Curt wanted Quentin to take little Ivy back first. Quentin wanted them all to go up the branch before he did. Quentin won the argument, but in a compromise Serra went first, then Quentin carrying little Ivy, followed by Curt. All mice made their Nature (Mouse) tests. They then took a brief rest in the shelter of the shrub, and when the rain slackened a bit, Quentin guided them all home to Lockhaven.

It’s a fun game, and we look forward to playing again.

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Sickbay and snowstorm

The whole family has been sick with a bad cold. NatureBoy was ill last weekend. Beloved wife and I succumbed this week. I had to leave work early twice, and then took sick days Friday and today. BW and I spent most of our time sleeping or watching videos from the folded-out futon.

I’m glad to say that we’re on the mend. BW tried to get to work this morning, but the big snowstorm made travel impossible. So we hunkered down for one more day of recuperation.

I’m glad to say that during some of my more lucid moments, NatureBoy and I did get in some gaming. As a solstice gift, I got the Mouse Guard RPG and Warcosm space fleet combat game. (Both purchased from Indie Press Revolution as Book + PDF bundles!). I will post about each separately

Last night and today, we’ve had quite a bit of snow. Traffic was moving pretty slowly on Route 15.

snowy-rt15

 

Snow always makes the barn stand out.

snowy-barn

 

snowy-feeder

I liked the way the snow mounded on the feeder echoes the shapes of the crook.

Anyway, I will post more details about Mouse Guard and Warcosm soon.

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WPTZ Poll: Do you support gay marriage in VT?

WPTZ Channel 5 is running a poll on same gender marriage. Please take a moment — a single yes/no vote — to express your support for or opposition to this important legislation.

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Wiz-War progress

We’ve been casting lots of Wiz-War pieces over the past weeks. I finally got some masonite to use as a base for the game board segments, to which we would glue the floor and spacer tiles.

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I cut a square of masonite to size. Then we spread a generous layer of Tacky Glue and laid the tiles and spacers down.

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Tacky Glue is thicker than typical white (PVA) glues, and it sets up quickly. So we worked in sections.

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After all the pieces were set, we put another square of masonite and  some encyclopedias on top to help it dry flat.

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We’ve now glued-up two boards, and have enough pieces cast for half of the third. We need to get casting again, and start working on painting the boards and wall pieces. Then there are the cards, minis, and assorted accessories…

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