Thursday, August 31, 2023

August Games


Saturday, 5 August 2023

Saturday Kurtis invited me over for a day of gaming to celebrate his birthday (which, I think, was actually the day before...?). Also in attendance were Eli, Brent, and Brent's sister Amy. 

When I arrived they had Cyclades set up. I'd never played it before. Gave me a bit of a Scythe vibe... but, like WAY LESS complex and so much faster... It was okay... 

After that we played a game of Compounded. Amanda and I played this at Kurtis' years ago. Liked it and thought it would be a fun one to play with the kids (and learn a little bit about chemistry... maybe...). So we bought it... and we've played it once... 

I should probably dig it out and play it with Amanda a few times and see if it's one we care to keep and, if not, maybe just get rid of it... 

Feeling a lot like it's time to purge some more games. 

Or, maybe I just haven't had enough sleep and my blood-sugar is low... It's hard to tell sometimes... 

Finally we played Charioteer (from GMT games). Like it sounds it was a game of chariot racing at the Circus Maximus! The play structure seemed unnecessarily convoluted while they were trying to explain it... but after a few rounds I think everyone kind of figured it out.  

Thats my pink chariot crossing the finish line in second place! 

This turned out to be pretty fun. I'd play it again. 

Sunday, 13 August 2023

We had our friends, Bruce and Adelle, over for supper and a game. We've barely seen them, let along played any games since the beginning of the pandemic

(Now that I think about it, they did join in for an online FATE game at one point during the pandemic!)

We introduced them to Wingspan! 

This was my 50th game of it (according to my log on BGG). Amanda's played a few less... as I've played it with others, but she's only ever played it with me. 

The next day Amanda and Keiran left for a vacation in Ontario and Michigan with Amanda's family. Finnegan and I stayed home... 

Once Amanda and Keiran got back, Amanda and I were off on a trip of our own! She was travelling to a work conference and I just kind of tagged along. Those was our first trip anywhere together, on our own, in nearly twenty years (sincere having kids!? With the exception of one overnight bicycle trip to a local regional park)!

I'd kind of hoped we might play some games on our vacation, alas... 

RPG-a-Day 2023 - The End

Wrapping up that last few days of August... 

29) Most Memorable ENCOUNTER

Ehhhh... not really thinking of any...

There was one Cthulhu game where the players were trying to be so gentlemanly and logical and talk sense to a VERY drunk bright young thing who just wanted to have fun and party some more and had zero idea how much danger she was in and completely frustrated the players attempts to save her at every turn... the players actually clapped at the end of the encounter!?? I think it was more the clapping because they'd enjoyed it SO MUCH is what made it memorable, than the actual encounter itself, which seemed to me just like any other ..?

30) OBSCURE RPG You've Played

I've owned a few obscure-ish RPGs... I'm not sure I ever played any of them...?

What even IS "obscure, anyway!? To a lot of people, I imagine, anything that ISN'T Dungeons & Dragons is "obscure". 

At one point I would have thought The Morrow Project was pretty obscure... then I learned there was a FOURTH EDITION!?!? It can't be THAT obscure if there was enough people playing to warrant a second, third, or FOURTH(!?) edition.

Maybe Teenagers From Outer Space, again...?


You know what.... I HATE "what is you favourite .... ?" questions... I have NO IDEA. There are games that I'd like to play now, that I like the idea of... There are games that I played in the past, some of them a LOT, but am no longer playing, and probably for REASONS!? NONE of stand out above all others as "THE BEST" or "FAVOURITE" of all ..

Do any of you, dear readers, have any memorable encounters, obscure games you've played, of favouritest games of ALL TIME!? LET ME KNOW!

Monday, August 28, 2023

RPG-a-Day 2023 - Week Four

 Still doing this...? I guess so... I feel like so many of my answers are the same. 

22) Best SECONDHAND RPG Purchase

Star Frontiers

I picked up just the BASIC Star Frontiers rulebook for $4 from Bob's Book Exchange in...? 1983 or 84...? probably the summer between grades seven and eight. Me and a friend played SO MUCH with just that basic rules book... I later picked up the advanced rules (or maybe the full boxed set) and later Knighthawks and Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space... That Basic rulesbook probably generated the most play per dollar spent out of ANY game EVER for me... 

23) COOLEST Looking RPG Product/Book

There have been so many... I'll say I really like some of the older black and white books... loved the early Timothy Bradstreet illustrations in the first edition Twilight: 2000 books. 

I don't LOVE all the full-colour hardcover books everyone seems to feel like they NEED to publish these days... so many just have very rushed, sloppy digital illustrations that just leave me feeling cold... 

That being said... the new Blade Runner games just looks AMAZING. I also really liked Tales from the Loop - but they had entire books full of Simon Stålenhag’s work to draw upon. 

24) COMPLEX/SIMPLE Game You Play

I like simple. Detest complex. 

I think FATE, in a way, is very simple... and elegant in that simplicity... but also one of the harder ones for people for people to wrap their heads around. Some people who have played a lot of RPGs really like things to be clearly defined and codified in the rules. FATE is wildly open to interpretation. I'd love to play it MORE and get MY own head wrapped around how some of the mechanics work better and the FATE point economy... 


So many. 

SOOOOOOO Many.... 

Even more that I've only played once or twice, and many many more adventures and supplements I've never made use  of... 

But in terms of actual game systems that I have and have never used...

High Colonies and Those Dark Places - two hard sci-fi role-playing games (the latter relatively new, the former ANCIENT!) that I really liked the look/concept of... but never really played. I often thought of using the premise of High Colonies to play with some other system... but never got around to that either. 

Jackals and ΑΓΩΝ - two role-playing games set in the Bronze Ages... 

Justifiers - a small RPG published in the late 80s. also kind of a hard sci-fi game where you play a human-animal hybrid made by a corporation to go out and explore space. it was small and relatively inexpensive and seemed like a neat idea... I feel like there were a bunch of supplements or adventures for it, which I may or may not have had as well... I know I kept the core rules for a long time, but it eventually got chewed on by a dog...

Hellboy - very recent... we got to making characters... but there were just too many rules to read... maybe I'll get to is SOME day... 

Mouseguard - we might have made characters at some point, for an game Finnegan was going to try and run at one point... but then didn't get to it. 

Burrows and Bunnies - you play a rabbit... seemed interesting at the time and so very. VERY different from anything else - I mean, it was published in 1976!? I picked up a copy around 1986...? 

Legend of the Five Rings - I have stuff from a few different editions, and i HAVE used ONE of the adventures - but played it using...? Savage Worlds...? I think...? 

Gear Krieg - I don't THINK we ever played this one... I might have used the setting as inspriation for another Savage Worlds game. 

There are others... these are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head!? 


I can't think of any particular character sheet from any particular game... I definitely like black and white and printable sheets with adequate space to write things down. Large spaces for the stats and stuff you need to reference most often. 

I like ones where you have space to make a sketch of your character too... 

I can't stand all these new ones with full colour character sheets that just turn into a mess when you try to print them off on a black and white laser printer. Or preprinted ones on a type of paper that you can't write on with a freaking pencil. 

27) Game you'd like a new EDITION of...

None... I just don't care to buy any more books... 

I wish Tales from the Loop used the dice system that Blade Runner uses (two base dice of differing types, rather than pools of d6s). BUT I don't need to see a whole new edition of those books for that, though. If I ever run it again, I'll just make those changes!?  

28) SCARIEST RPG You've Played. 

I ran a GURPS Horror game many, many years ago that at least one player admitted feeling some tension/scariness while playing...? I think it might have been the one set during the Great War...? 

How about the rest of you? 

What are YOUR Best secondhand EPG purchases? 

What was RPGs are you holding onto that you've never ever played? Are any of them scary? 

Are there any RPGs you'd like to see a new edition of? 

Do YOU have a favourite character sheet!? 

Let Me Know!!!

Monday, August 21, 2023

RPG-a-Day 2023 - Week Three

 Here we go with WEEK THREE!!!

15) Favourite Convention MODULE/ONE-SHOT

I don't think I've never played a role-playing game at a convention...?

Finnegan has run a few one-shots that were fun - especially Dungeon Crawl Classics/Mutant Crawl Classics funnel adventures.

I think the funnest I remember in recent history that I ran was a FATE one shot I called "Dude, Where's My Warhorse" wherein the very hung over retinue and attendants of the knight that won the king's tournament the previous day scramble to locate their masters prized warhorse that is discovered to be missing upon awaking after a night of drunken debauchery.... I've run it twice with different groups and WILDLY different outcomes.

I guess I have run miniature games at conventions... and the ones that went the best were ones where all the players were on one side and played against a common enemy run by ME... which is very similar to a role-playing game....? 

The favourite one...? probably the last one I ran - Necromunda where each player controlled a group from a different gang. They each got a character and a small handful of regular gangers. They had all sort of banded together to stop Karloth Valois and his band of zombies and scavvies from getting to a populated area of the underhive and infecting large numbers of (relatively) innocent people and growing his power. Collectively, they had to stop him, If he got through - ALL THE PLAYERS LOSE... Players gained points for taking out Scavvies and Zombies and a bunch for taking out Valois (so a "winner" could be determined), but each were handed a card with a secret agenda on it - something only they got points for and only they knew about. Most of them were "take out the leader of X gang"... which gave them points... but the leaders were very powerful and if they did that too soon, it could affect their collective strength and ability to stop Valois. People REALLY got into it!

I ran it twice, actually, once as a play-test on my birthday and once at ToonCon:

The Return of Karloth Valois - Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash

ToonCon 2020 - Part 3 - Sunday - Necromunda (and Power Grid!)

16) Game You WISH You Owned

I feel like at some point there probably were games I wished I owned or wished I'd never gotten rid of... but I've either tracked them all down or lost interest...? 

Now, there are so many games that I OWN that I'd LOVE to play, but just never get around to it... there really aren't any others that I really long for. Not many that I wish I still had... (board games, miniature games, specific miniatures.... maybe... but not so much role-playing games I really, really wish I had...). 

I guess I wouldn't mind checking out the NEW version of Twilight: 2000. I've really enjoyed reading through Blade Runner, and the new Twilight: 2000 seems to use the same system, and I have SO MUCH STUFF for the original... I have just about all the first edition adventures and sourcebooks in print - as well as pdfs... so... Also have PILES of painted modern troopers and civilians and vehicles and terrain I could use... 

(edit/update... between typing this and posting it... not really ANY games I wish I had...)

17) FUNNIEST Game You've Played

Again, Teenagers From Outter Space or the "Dude, Where's My Warhorse" adventure I ran with FATE. 

18) Favourite Game SYSTEM

Ehhhh... I don't know... 

There are things I like about a LOT of different systems. None of them really stand out as better than all the others. My favourite system at any given moment is usually the one I'm currently planning to play. Which changes all the time. 

Right now... FATE seems really elegant, but I just don't feel like I have enough experience with it. Blade Runner and Wrath & Glory seem like they have the right balance of crunchy and streamlined simplicity. 

I really, REALLY liked Savage Worlds and ran that EXCLUSIVELY for YEARS....

I guess, in general, I like anything that's fairly simple and generic and the rules get out of the way of ROLE-PLAYING. Character CONCEPTS are more important to me than number crunching and optimizing within a complex system of rules and chaff. 

I guess I could also say my favourite game system is the ONE I'M PLAYING RIGHT NOW! (which really isn't any, at the moment, so.... maybe in the fall... or winter... when the game room is accessible again...) 

19) Favourite PUBLISHED Adventure

I have a really hard time with published adventures... I like the idea of published adventures... because I feel like it should give a sense of how the game should be run - especially if you're just starting out.. But I always find holes in the plots that I just can't seem to fill. 

Or, if *I* don't find them... my PLAYERS WILL!!! 

The first Wrath & Glory adventure I ran from Dark Tides - the first anthology of adventures. There's a murder of a high-ranking nobility of a hive world, way up in their private spires, players have to investigate. The first thing one of them asks is "well, what's on the security camera footage"... There is ZERO MENTION of security systems or cameras, which, OF COURSE they'd HAVE....!? but if there WERE, that would make it INSANELY EASY to figure out who it was... Oh, they were taken out (how did they access that)... ugh... ground the adventure to a halt when I had to suddenly come up with reasons why there was no security camera footage. 

First game in the Dragonlance series of games. They find the Disks of Mishakal... the GOAL of the adventure... a set of 160 platinum disks, each one-sixteenth of an inch thick and eighteen inches in diameter, held together with a big rivet that runs through one side so they can be shifted out and examined... One of the players asks,  how HEAVY is that... nevermind, they'll figure it out, gets out phone calculates volume of this pile cylender of disks... looks up the density of platinum... Yeah... it's only a few tons... HOW THE FUCK ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO GET THESE OUT OF THE COLLAPSING CAVERN!? I tell them if someone of good alignment carries them, it is as if they are weightless... (making shit up on the spot, at this point) because... MAAAaaaaaGIiiiiic! but wait, what if that person gets in a cart (or a gully-dwarf-powered elevator, is the person carrying them weightless... can a person of good alignment even USE a gully-dwarf-powered elevator - knowing using it will send those gully dwarves to their CERTAIN DOOM!!?? 

I guess I liked the Free City of Krakow for the old Twilight: 2000 - it was less of an adventure, per se, than a detailed location with lots of potential... 

There's a nostalgic little hit of dopamine when I think back to Keep On The Borderlands (and maybe Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh)... the excitement of those first adventures all back in the day, when everything was NEW! But I haven't looked at it in 30 years.... and... I'm a little afraid to in case they SUCK in the light of modern reexamination. I mean... Dragonlance didn't hold up... 

20) Will Still Play in TWENTY Years Time...

I have NO IDEA. I have no idea what I might be playing in a year, let along TWENTY!? 

I just hope I'm playing SOMETHING. 

(I have to admit, I have a difficult time with future predicting. I have a hard time imagining I'll even be alive in five years, let alone ten or TWENTY!? I've been this way since my teens. It's honestly led to some not great life choices... and you can well imagine my shock and disconcert at realizing I'd made it to fifty and had an adult child - all in the same year - last year!? So, at this point, I have to acknowledge it's a possibility... but it's still hard to imagine) 

21) Favourite LICENSED RPG

Right now I'm really loving Blade Runner... Maybe once I try to RUN it I'll be less enthralled. 

Wrath & Glory is, technically, a licensed product... but a licensed RPG based on a miniature skirmish game that I've played like a role-playing game... so it feels more like an extension of a game I've already played and less like something someone else made up... Regardless, it is a licensed product, I do like it... so...

One of those two, I guess. 

I really liked the CONCEPTS in Tales from the Loop... but it just didn't work out for me running it... 

Who else has a favourite one-shot or a game you wished you owned, a favourite system or tell me the funniest game you've played? What's your favourite published adventure? 


Do you have a favourite licensed game?

Please let me know in the comments!

Friday, August 18, 2023

My Little Pony

I'm... not even kidding... 

My son Finnegan picked up the My Little Pony Role-Playing Game and I'm hoping I'll be able to convince him to run it for me and a few lucky friends... 

In the meantime, I obviously had to start sketching character concepts... I started off with a generic punk rawk pony... and then it kind of just got silly...

Generic Punk Rawk Pony... I don't have a name yet... maybe something like Annie Archie...? Ideas?

Billy-Joe attempt #1 (too dark)

Billie-Joe attempt #2

Jon Bon Pony

(I'm... I'm so sorry....)

Will I be doing miniatures for this game... probably not... but you never know!? 

(I did see some My Little Pony dolls at Dollarama for $3-4... I mean... that's less than your average role-playing/wargaming miniature, so....) 

Monday, August 14, 2023

RPG-a-Day 2023 - Week Two

Here we go with another weeks worth of answers to the RPG-a-Day 2023 Prompt list...

8) Favourite CHARACTER

Not one of MY characters, but one of the characters that always made me laugh was Mad Willie - a gunfighter scotsman in a sci-fi campaign I ran using Savage Worlds - using elements of traveller and highly inspired by Firefly/Serenity. the characters were the crew of the Muttonchop Express - owned and flown by Captain Burt Jackson. 

Mad Willie did not believe in lasers. Lasers were the most commonplace weapon in the game. He believed they were nothing more than flashlights and his cognitive dissonance would generate the most outrageous excuses for any damage caused by lasers... "ooh, Look, you've got SUN SPOTS!?" 

You can read more about him here:

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Willie

9) Favourite DICE

I don't know that I consider dice enough to have a favourite... I do like the LARGE d20s I have - for playing D&D or Frostgrave/Stargrave, etc.. 

I used to have a set of sharp edged, different coloured, translucent dice that looked like gemstones... they were pretty... not sure what ever happened to them. 

I do like the dice that came with the Lost Tomb of the Bitchen Chimera dice - that had the Dead Milkmen Logo on it... 

I like any dice I can read across a table... I CAN'T STAND dice that are mottled or are so lacking in contrast that they are difficult to read! 

10) Favourite Tie-In FICTION

That would be the Ciaphas Cain novels by Sandy Mitchell. They are set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and Cain is an Imperial Commissar. They are presented as memoirs he wrote in later age about his exploits as a Commissar in the Astra Militarum - that have been edited and annotated by Amberly Vail - an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos. While deeply steeped in the grim dark future of the 41st Millenium, the stories - and Cain - do not take themselves TOO seriously. They are, in moments, quite hilarious. It's sort of a bit like Black Adder Foes Forth meets 40K.... 

11) WEIRDEST Game You've Played

There was a game of Teenagers From Outer Space that I ran in High School in the late 80s that was just BONKERS... because it was so light on rules and you could just do anything... people felt free to do just... ANYTHING... Some bat-shit crazy stuff went down... 

Do you think I can REMEMBER any of it, at this point...? No, not really. I do remember one character fell into an open man-hole, tumbled through a series of pipes leading through the centre of the earth and finally popped out a dunny door in Australia... but because FUCK PHYSICS, he just kept falling and grasped a large antennae before continuing to fall into the Australian sky... Like Luke falling out of the underside of Bespin in the Empire Strikes Back. Luckily his friends arrived in their flying car convertible just as he was losing his grip (just like Lando and Leia in the Millennium Falcon flew up and rescued Luke before he fell!) and flew him back to Canada before his fifth period class.... 

12) Old Game You STILL Play

Do newer editions of older games count...? 

I haven't really played a lot of role-playing games in the last year... So far, in 2023, I've only made characters for Hellboy. so I'm not sure there's ANYTHING I "STILL play"... 

"WOULD STILL play"....? 

Ehhhhhh.... I don't know. I don't have any particular love or nostalgia for any older systems. I have a TONNE of adventures and source materials for a lot of older games.... Which I would LOVE to play sometime. Would i use those original systems? Probably not! I'd convert it to use with something newer and simpler - Like Savage Worlds (which I have done a lot of in the past!) or FATE or something. 

13) Most Memorable Character DEMISE

I might still a just a little bit bitter about my friends using MY characters as meatshields when I couldn't make it to the final session of Temple of Elemental Evil in grade nine...


I don't really go to conventions... and the few I've been to haven't had a lot of people selling stuff. I guess both Fallcon and ToonCon have had auctions and I've bought stuff at those... but I can't, for the life of me, REMEMBER any of them. Pretty sure none were role-playing games....

Oh, wait... I think one was a board-game-tie-in to Legends of the Five Rings - which had a role-playing game - (Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan?) which I got for $5 or $10... and have never played... 

How about the rest of you? What are YOUR favourite character and dice and tie-in fiction and convention purchases? What was YOUR most memorable character demise? What old games do you still play...? 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Not Dead Yet - Necrons and other Kill Team Stuff

 For the last few weeks... (maybe a month...?). I've been getting together with a couple of friends on Discord and having a paint and chat on Sunday afternoons. I haven't been doing much PAINTING, though, mostly assembling. Over the last two weeks I assembled some Necrons from the Kill Team: Shadowvaults box...

Turns out I dislike assembling Necrons ALMOST as much as I dislike playing against them... But they're done! Well... ASSEMBLED, at least. 

In the last month, I've also assembled and primed all the miniatures from the Kill Team: Ashes of Faith box set. I was tempted to try and knock off the Sisters of Silence - as they seem easy and maybeFINISHING some stuff might get me motivated to PAINT MORE!!! But I've decided to try and finish ASSEMBLING all the stuff... and THEN worry about figuring out what to paint and when. 

Although... I'm tempted to paint Necrons as well, now... I could go with very simple paint jobs on them - just to finish some stuff. 

Will I ever PLAY with the Necrons...? I don't know... Maybe just to try them out. A more likely (relatively speaking) is that I might use them as opponents in a game of Wrath & Glory. 

We shall see... 

Monday, August 7, 2023

RPG-a-Day 2023 - Week One

 It's that time of year again... and I forgot about it until a friend posted it on the second. I won't be doing daily updates on the blog... maybe weekly...? We shall see...

1) FIRST RPG played (this year) 

That would be the Back of Beyond Campaign I ran earlier this year. I wasn't using any system in particular... I guess it was similar to Diplomacy, in a way. I had six players, each representing a warlord in control of a faction in the Far East starting in 1919. There were Tsarists and Bolsheviks and Warlord Chinese and Western Interventionists. They sent messages to the other warlords to negotiate or threaten or bully each other, as they saw fit, and at the end of the week, submitted a movement order for their army in the field. I played out any battles using One-Hour Wargames and reported the results on this very blog... and the negotiating began again. Some REALLY GOT INTO THEIR ROLES - writing verbose communiques and proclamations in the "voice" of their "character". 


Like, ever...? That would be my dad, I think. I somehow convinced him to buy the red box Dungeons & Dragons around 1982 or 1983 and he tried to run it for me... but very quickly I took over and ran it for him for a time, until I found other kids my age to play with.

3) First RPG BOUGHT (This Year)

I can't remember if I bought the Hellboy RPG at the beginning of this year or the end of last year...? 

If the latter, then it would be the Blade Runner RPG I bought last week.

4) Most RECENT Game Bought

That would be either the Blade Runner RPG or Tiny Epic Galaxies...? 

If we're talking RPGs... Blade Runner. 

Speaking of recent purchases, though, Finnegan bought the My Little Pony RPG and a game called Thirsty Sword Lesbians the other day! They sound fun and I hope I'll be able to convince him to run a game or two for me and some friends. 

5) OLDEST Game You've Played

The oldest Role-Playing Game I've played would be D&D... though it was relatively NEW at the time!

If we were talking about a game that was OLD when I played it - like the game that had the largest amount of time between when the edition I played was published and when I played it... That would probably be quite a bit different! 

Oldest GAME... like the physical copy I played...? Or the old game invented...? Probably Monopoly or Crokinole or Snakes and Ladders...? 

6) Favourite Game You NEVER Get To Play

Honestly, when I've been playing as little as I have the last little bit, EVERY game seems like a game I never get to play and wish I could play more.

Also, I don't think I lament not being able to play any particular game as much as I miss getting to play with certain PEOPLE...

I guess Wrath & Glory is the one I've thought about most over the last year and just never seem to get a game going...

Or FATE...

7) SMARTEST RPG You've Played. 

I don't know... There have been some with new things, clever mechanics and such... 

I really like the simplicity of FATE. It seems very elegant. I'd like to try it more. (though I just went out and bought Blade Runner...!?) 

How about the rest of you?