Thursday, November 29, 2012

Angelfire still exists....

Years ago I tried to create a website for my campaign world of Valla Moor.  This is my attempt.  I found it yesterday by searching for something and it popped up when I googled.  It's old, outdated, and has many spelling and format issues.  but at least it was there.

Yea, not my best work showcasing the world.  the nice thing about it is the adventures are a synopsis of the game sessions we had.  I stopped updating at session 21.   there were many more sessions, including the attack on the slave camp, the fire elemental frenzy at Csighd, the flame woods adventures, etc. etc.

I just wonder a few things...

How many times do you get your players to work for an evil dragon?  Or for that matter, to have a dragon say to the party:   "Your friend looks dead.   can I eat him?" 

I remember a time when the party was caught on the side of the road by a blue dragon.  the dragon was of a much higher level than the party, they had no hope of killing it.  In fact, it was so brazen, it stomped a foot down on the party leader and told every to stop trying to attack or he would hill him.   The party ended up taking a job from the blue dragon, who wanted a black dragon's egg.   He never said why, they party obliged and got him the egg.   then the blue dragon fled with his new egg after mentioning what he was going to do with the egg.  The atrocity of destroying a village weighed heavily on the good aligned group that they sought to bring the blue to justice.

What a pity, he was such a great Big Bad Evil Guy....    unfortunately they did defeat the dragon, but at a great cost of life to the party.  I'm digging out the old campaign and dusting it off.  my group that I've been playing in has a DM that is burnt out.  they asked me if I would step up and DM for them...

Oh what they got themselves into.....  MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Can I get my 2 hours back?

Hey, there's a movie that appeared on Sci-fi  this past weekend.  Oh wait.. it's SyFy...  Sorry about that.  thought it was the science fiction channel.  The movie was called Dungeons and Dragons:  Book of Vile darkness.

I DVD'rd the movie and watched over the past two nights.   I want my money back.  My two hours.  Harsh?  Nah.  Let me synopsis it for you:

The movie's plot involves a book.  A book of vile darkness, forged ages ago and it wreaked havoc in the lands until it was sundered into three parts.  One apart was destroyed, the other two hidden away.  This was thousands of years ago and now the parts are being found and put back together by a "mind flayer".

Now that sounds good.  It's got a plot, it's got a mind flayer.  Want to know what one looks like?
That's a Mind Flayer.  it only talks in your mind, the tentacles on his head are used to probe your skull and suck out your brain.  He's pure evil.   This movie is going to be sooooo awesome!   especially with that for the big bad guy.

The movie starts out decent enough, telling the history of the book to set the plot line.   it even shows a human paladin/knight of Pelor that has lost his way.   Wait.. Pelor?   WOW.  sweet.  We've got a god that is mentioned that is the god of sun, etc. etc.    Nice.

The ceremony involving new knights is interesting.   I can forgive the idea that it happens at night. I mean it is a SUN god.    Perhaps the ceremony will light the area when he's chosen.  Night would be perfect for that.  However... the Knights of Pelor are all wearing dark, black armor.  Um...  Sun god?  brightly colored clothing and armor?  Riiight..

Ok, so this is about D&D and you can have artistic license   I go with it.   The knights are decimated by a rampaging barbarian horde.  Humans...  not Orcs, Goblins, or other monsters.  Humans.   Budget constraints.

The party is formed when the wayward knight goes in search of his father who was taken by the barbarians. He joins the party at the assistance of a whore.  Yea, a lady of the night.   Sure.  he's wayward, it's ok.  He's abandoned Pelor because Pelor abandoned him.

The part consists of the fallen Pelor guy, an assassin that wears banded mail, or some other type of heavy armor that an assassin wound't really wear, but it looks cool and he's evil.  Also in the party is the leader, a which, aka sorceress..  A odd tall blue-skinned guy.  Not sure what he was supposed to be.  Doesn't ring any D&D race bells in my head.   AND the dark foreboding vermin lord guy.

Party is good... except the blue guy.  why not a dark elf?  or a dwarf?   So far, 30 minutes into the movie and it's all been humans.   Ok, so I won't bore you with details on every scene.  The special effects were cool, even if I could not figure out what spells were going off.  An hour into the movie... it's still all humans.   Um... D&D has more races that just humans.  Not a single monster of any type.  it's all humans they fight.  until the "dragon"

Hey, they've got a dragon!  It's red in color, breathes fire, insatiable apatite for humans, has two legs and walks on it's wings.  WAIT... HUH?!   Where are it's front legs?   The head's all wrong.  That is NOT  a dragon.  Closer to a wyvern or a dragon-kin even.  Not a real dragon from D&D.  not even a 4E dragon.  man that sucks.  first non-human in the movie and it's not right.

Ok, getting past that, the party razes a town.  ok, the party is evil, and the fallen pelor guy kills one party member by poison  and lets another die.  The remaining members go to retrieve the cover of the book.  All about glory and gold.  They get to a place and find a monster!  WOOT!   Um... what is it?  a small child thing.  funky face.  ok.  nice special effects, even though the power she had was to suck the fingers of anyone willing to put them in her mouth.

The creature afterwards was nice.  A glowing animated armor of a type.  Nice.  I can't remember what book that was out of but it was perfect.

Nearing the end of the movie, I await the Illithid.  The meet this guy with a gem in his head, chained to two women.  he seems to talk through them.  his mouth wired shut.   Um.... where's the Mind Flayer...  The movie ends with the fallen pelor guy rescuing his father  becoming the fodder for the new ink jar, and then for some reason, pelor's amulet reacts to him and he kills everything on the spot.   Ok, the only ones alive are the father and son, and the witch/sorceress.

Where's my Mind Flayer?!?!

Ok.  I rate this one better than the first movie, but less than the second movie.  The only thing this movie had going for it was the special effects were cool, and it had Pelor in it.  It needed more monsters, something other than Humans....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Highway 85...

Over the past month or two, I've been working on a custom tile set for Zombicide.  This tile set is based on Highway 85, the highway that Rick Grimes, Dale, Glenn, Shane, and the rest come upon a traffic jam and can't take the Winnebago any further.  Granted, it's based on the scene, and not accurate at all.  Glenn's charger wasn't there.  the canopy wasn't open on the Winnebago, and other stuff.  Each tile represents a small section of the road.  There are 19 tiles in all, you can combine them to form any size road you wish, AND they can be combined with the original tiles and other custom tiles.  Here is the contact sheet.

The tiles are not ready yet.  I still have a little more work to do on them, like getting them imported into the map maker.  Once that's complete and I'm satisfied that they are good, I will release them.   Here's a little bit about the tiles.  


The one on the left is a road tile.  It uses a pattern worked up by Miah Terry, alias miah999 on   The zones are broken apart by the crosswalk lines, and the lane lines.  So the white dashed lines, and the crosswalks are zone dividers.  Also, the concrete barrier in the middle of the tile is another zone line.  You can see near the light poles a slightly lighter color to keep the sidewalk likes going, even into the blacker part of the road.  Manholes are also present.    

On the right is a road edge tile. You see that the zones are still broken up by sidewalk likes, but since there isn't a sidewalk on grass, I had to make it a different coloring, so I just made them more like dirt.  The zone barrier on this type of tile is also the, zones stop at the guardrail, AND the sidewalk lines here.

Here is a look at how the tiles fit with the original tiles:

I'd say they fit nicely huh?  With the two corner tiles, the zone edges are further enhanced by counting the edge of the sidewalk, like it was the against the edge of a building.

So, we're getting there.  I'm nearing completion of the 19 tiles and hope to have them out for Christmas.  OK,  Christmas and zombies don't exactly go together do they..?  Yes they do!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Ok, the latest craze has infected us all.   It's Zombies... From the TV show Walking Dead, to video games, to board games.  Zombies are interesting and dare I say, improbable.  but it's that kind of apocalyptic stuff that fuels the fun...   Enter Zombicide.

I found this game while browsing a site called Kickstarter.  It's a website that allows you to do something called crowd funding for your idea of a new game, photo gallery, miniatures, etc. etc.  If you've got an idea for a product, Kickstarter might be the way to go to get funding.  So far, I've only done two.  Zombicide and The Bear.   One of those subjects is for talking about here.    The other is a children's book for my son.

Dead Inside
The basic set contains: -
71 models
6 Survivors
40 Walkers
16 Runners
8 Fatties
1 Abomination
9 Double Sided Game Tiles
110 Mini-Cards
42 Zombie Cards
62 Equipment Cards
6 Wounded Cards
6 Survivor Cards
70-plus Tokens
6 Zombicide Dice (with Skulls, Molotov’s and Bullet Holes!)

This is what the minis look like when unpainted. Someday, I plan on painting them up. In the kickstarter, you were able to get the Abomination set, which then adds a further 30 or so zombie models and a few of the bonus survivors. Also 6 black and red dice and 6 glow-in-the-dark dice. None of these are essential for the game but they sure are nice to have. The bonus survivors are modeled after several movie characters, but not named like them. not-Sheldon, not-Machete and not-John Maclane. Also, I picked up not-The Bride for Kill Bill and not-Jules from Pulp Fiction. The kickstarter also included not-Chuck Norris and certainly not-Bruce Campbell. I played the game several times by myself to get familiar with it. The game runs in a couple hours depending on the scenario you play. I myself like to just set the board up, come up with a scenario myself and play. I've also done up some house-rules for the game as well, since some rules i don't care for. That gets me to my next idea... customizing the game. Yea, I like the game as is... but sometimes... you want to drive a volkswagon, instead of the pimp mobile. Or drive a tank instead of the cop car. I started making custom car tiles for the game. In fact, here is the links to the following:

 And for the first time ever, I introduce my newest pack of cars based on the Walking Dead TV Show:

 Now you see how that works? I am going to release any custom stuff I do right here. So keep an eye on this space for more new stuff... like my custom gameboard tiles for Zombicide.... They are ready for release... and I will sneek peek them now: Here is Highway 85.....

More to come... Really soon...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Role Playing without the Role....

OK, so it's not really role playing or any kind of RPG.   I got hooked on another game that got it's start from Role Playing games like D&D.  It's called Munchkin.  It's a card game where 2-6 (or more) players are a "party".  The object of the game is to kill monsters, steal their stuff AND backstab your friends.

The game involves treasure cards and door cards.  There are over 8 expansions to the original game, and several off-shoot games like Munch-Fu, and others.   I tend to stick with the original and all it's expansions.  I've got dungeons to add to the mix which add more crazy to the game.  The monsters are not typical.  they are funny, like a level 1 gold fish.   Here's a sampling of the cards.
It's a great party game, where it's every person for themselves.  it's gets viscous when you're close to winning and everyone is out to stop you.  But that's the name of the game.  It's fun, even when it gets brutal, because you know it's all in good fun.  If you might be interested  here's the link to the game so you can know more...  Munchkin Card Came

Remember, until next time.... Never Pick up a Duck in a Dungeon...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Use the Force....

In 2004, Wizards of the Coast came out with a new skirmish game set in the Star Wars Universe.  This game detailed the heroes and armies of the universe vying for control of a board.  The last person standing, or had the most points at the end of the round won.  This is just s picture of some of them.

If you want to see what was produced during the reign of the game, go here:  John Ling's Star Wars Miniatures at Rebel Scum  Ok, that's a plug.  Those minis pictured are the ones I bought throughout the games time.  every single one shown there I have.  Every set, every mini, many in multiples for army reasons. I mean, I have over 300 stormtroopers alone.   My Imperial Army is one that numbers close to a 700.  Stormtroopers, Snowtroopers, guards, Vaders, etc. etc.

I started customizing the game by making my own maps ans scenarios   One was the Hoth battle.  I created the map of the base, and then made an event that everyone could play.  It's neat seeing the ATATs tromping down the field....

The play field was big.

The other scenario I made was the end of Episode 1, the Theed Palace attack on Naboo.    That map set of 4 maps measured in at about 8 feet across.  I don't have any pictures of it right now since I can't find my CD of the maps, and all on-line resources of the game are slowly disappearing.

The game is fun, will always be fun, and the minis server another purpose with the role-playing game if I ever wanted to RP there.   I always seem to go back to the RP side of things don't I.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The 31st Century... and no Aliens...

Back in '88 I started getting into a game called Battletech, which is now called "Classic Battletech".   It's a game of 31st century combat where the weapon of choice is a 30ft tall "robot".  however, they are driven like a walking armored tank.  there are no "transformers" here.  it's a game based off of the old "Robotech" franchise by Harmony Gold.  Plus with the expansion of the universe in this game, Humans have encountered no aliens.  it's all human...

Battletech, the board game is fun, run on a hex grid system.  It's a long game to play since it uses a "character sheet" for each mech, and you tick off each shot from the armor you have.  it's time consuming, but still very fun.   AND yes, it's better with miniatures.  I started getting some minis for the game to play with.  I wound up in '90 going into the state tournaments for the game.  Winner would get the chance at world finals at Gencon.  I went with a good friend of mine that also played, Hank Holloway.   We both played the same team in the tournament.   A little bit of luck was also needed for the game, and my luck ran out eventually.  I placed 7th overall in the tournament, which is pretty good considering.  My friend got a couple of easy matches and placed 2nd.  All in the luck of the draw.

Many years later, a company called Wizkids came out with a clix game called Mechwarrior.    Based off the franchise, they created a new board game.  They jumped the universe many years, and included many odd things.  They revitalized the genre with the game, but also destroyed it.  the game died when 2.0 came out, about 5 years later.  The market saturated, and people had tons of these things.   I still have a lot of my minis left from the game.  I keep them because they are still rather cool... if you ignore the stylistic mechs they came out with that were rather dumb, the pieces that really didn't fit the universe right, breaking the 100 ton rule, etc. etc.  

Bitter?  Nah.  I just go watch the old cartoon and dream of the day when Hollywood makes a true Battletech movie...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Spreading my Wings....

D&D is my mainstay of gaming.  it's fun, I can imagine lots of things with it and implement it into my world.   I look at D&D this way:  it's similar to Acting in a movie.   You've got your Director, Producer, and Writer (all the game master); the Actors (players), the script (the adventure) and props (miniatures, actual items etc.)   So if you have a good director/producer/writer, and good acting, it can be a fun time.  There's adventure, mystery, crime drama, popcorn flick type action, all that makes a good movie great can be in roleplaying games.

But sometimes, you just want to do re-enactments of famous battles.   That's where I got into Wings Of War.  a cool game where you control a bi-plane from WWI.  You choose the side and fly your plane.  you pick up three maneuvers to fly and get to check to see if you can fire on the enemy.  The game is now called Wings of Glory, but it is still the same great game.

I mainly stay with the WWI line, but there is the WWII sets as well.   the minis are great as well, even for the collector who doesn't play the game.  You can find the game here:  Ares Wings of Glory.  They have single seat planes, double seats, the bombers, Balloons, and even a Zeppelin is planned.  I want, nay, need to get the Wings of Glory battlemaps that are coming.   My foray into making a map for that game was great.  Domjan Svilkovic made a map off Google Earth for another game and I converted it to the Wings game, with his permission of course.  Photo-realistic and beautiful.  However, the maps that Ares is coming out with are better as there are three of them that can be combines in multitude of ways, making a much bigger gaming area.  And here it is:

If you'd like to download it, you can find it here:

I like Wings of War.  I also like the idea that people would climb into "flying wood coffins" and go into the air and shoot at others.  They had guns mounted on the fuselage that shot through the propeller of the plane.  an interrupter gear worked to allow you to do that without shooting your prop off.  It's fascinating to me.  I've got many books on WWI air combat.

You can even play as the "Red Baron", WWI's most famous flying Ace...

There is something to be said for skirmish type battles.  One on one fighting.  Mano a Mano....  ok, not really hand to hand, but plane to plane.  Juking, diving, getting into position and shooting your enemy down to control the skies.... or bomb the target, miss, and have to swing around and hope you get lined up again without being shot down yourself.

Friday, November 16, 2012

People still play D&D...

It was during the later days of car designing that I met a wonderful woman that became my wife.  Cindy is a wonderful woman that I love sharing my life with.  That along with having a son is another story that can be told later.  This is about D&D....

After the GTA thing, I moved into more D&D, deciding on the creation of a "home-brew" world that I could send my role playing group through.  That world was Valla Moor.  I built it from the ground up, and I was a bit slower than that 7 day record we would all aspire to.   I'm still building the world, adding more into it as the fancy strikes.  I've got the home city/town fleshed out, mapped out to a 1 to 1 scale for miniatures use.  I use a program called Dundjinni.  It's a wonderful map making tool that makes it easy to build maps for just about anything role playing wise.  That town, if I printed it out to scale of the minis, would be 12 FEET by 14 FEET.  it's awesome...

Each grid square on that map is a 1 inch square, that gives you how massive this 12 foot map would be.  A man with a screenname of Hylas helped me with this project by creating a lot of these buildings that I used.

The hometown is called Csighd.   It's not quite been destroyed by the various players that have called it home.  It's been invaded, burned, taken over, etc. etc.  all in the name of Hextor.  He's the ruler of the world and has the people subjugated for almost a thousand years.  Undead abound, Elves are slaves, evil rules, and the heroes are considered rebels.  It's a fun and different take on things.  D&D always fuels the imagination.

Always remember.... People Still Play D&D

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The beginning... of customization.

My First foray into customizing games was really D&D, where you make your own adventure for your players to run through.  But my real first attempt at customizing a game was with the old original Grand Theft Auto.  Back in the late 90s there was an editor that you could use to import your own creations of cars into the game to improve the look of the game.  I was able to take a 64 pixel square block of color and turn it into something very cool and recognizable.

This is just one that came out of that time-frame:

If you're still into playing that game, as well as it's sequel GTA London, you can get my cars from here:  Get That Azzhole?

Pretty slick huh?   Back in the day I made these cars, I was one of the top 5 car designers in the world.  It's a label that I'm proud of, and a community that was very tight knit.  10 years later, the community is still there and the cars are still being made; even though some have moved on to other pursuits.  GTA has grown so big... they are on version 8 or 9 now(counting all the "sequels" to GTA3), but they call it GTA V.

The early years...

Gaming was fun, playing on the old Atari 2600.  But my foray into real tabletop gaming came from my good friend Dave Geer.  He introduced me to a game called Top Secret.  A James Bond type Role Playing game.  After that, he introduced me to Dungeons And Dragons.  Naysayers abound, but it is NOT devil worship, not an entry way into damnation, etc. Etc.  This was during the height of religion trying to ban the game in all its forms.

It fueled imagination, an outlet for my overactive brain.  I stepped into the Dungeon Masters role, preferring it to playing, since I got to control the fates of the players.  They hung on my every word, waiting for the hammer to fall, for me to say, Roll For Initiative Monkey Boy...

I remember the tile a player who fancied himself a "rules lawyer" got bit my my sting.  The party was in a 5 foot wide hallway.  Just enough room to stand in, let alone try to swing a weapon.  He was at the back of the line, with the only weapon that could hurt a Clay Golem.  The guy in the front was holding his own, but not hurting the golem.  The guy was infuriated when I told him he could not just jump tot the front of the line, it would take him several rounds to pushing his way through to get there.

Well, he finally got there and was ready for combat.  We rolled initiative and the golem won.  Now here is where I must tell you that I was a first time DM.  My mentor Dave, sat behind me watching and providing insight when needed.  I rolled the attacks for the golem.  That's when I cringed.... and so did Dave.   I had one Natural 20 sitting there.  I rolled on the critical hit table.  I cringed again.   Triple damage to roll.   I rolled.   My jaw hit the floor... so did Dave.  The dice are a horrible mistress...

I spoke what happened:  The golem swings and misses, for his second swing, he uppercuts and lands the blow.   You are taken off your feet and fly above everyone's head to the back of the line where you hit the wall at the corner and are imbedded, your bloody pulp of a body oozing down the wall.  Take 72 points of damage.

He only had 32 total.

Yes, I felt sorry for him, and had made allowances for the death of his character.  Unfortunately he ripped his character sheet up there on the spot...

Oh yea, I found my game. Fun, imaginative, and I could control the fates of everyone around me.   Muhahahahahahahahaha...


My New Blog...

This is the first official post of my new blog....

I will be posting things here like the games I play, custom stuff that I make for said games, and anything I need important about said games.   Of course, other stuff might appear here as well.

It's a one-stop shop for my stuff.   I created this blog to put everything in one spot.   I hate going to various websites and posting things only to have them eventually disappear, shut down, etc. etc.

I've played many games over the years, ranging from D&D to Star Wars Minis, Mechwarrior Clix, to Wings of Glory.  I've played computer games as well, but like tabletop better.