Furiously Eclectic People

Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People feed
Furiously eclectic people posting various things with tenacity.
Updated: 20 hours 44 min ago

HackMoor 2018/04/12 BlackMoor Dungeon Level 11 Begins

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:50

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

THERE WILL BE NO GAME THIS WEEK AS I AM OUT OF TOWN.

Instead of a pizza and since I had only four players (they are kind enough to SMS ahead of time if not showing up), I got four Whataburgers with accompanying fries. It ended up being about the same price as a pizza. The burgers were better than the most, if not any chain establishment I have known. At first I was dismayed by the appearance of crinkle-cut fries, but they turned out to be made from real potatoes, not pressed potato powder. (You can tell if some of the fries have a curvature, as if from the end of a potato.)

PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

When the party reached the bottom of the stairs, I avoided the rebus puzzle and accompanying trap from the text. I deemed it a rather Sophomoric yet still above the ability of my group. Maybe I should have used the trap anyway and not tie it to the puzzle, but that would have been unfair.

They came to a short thirty foot pillared hallway followed by a four way intersection. The party turned right and entered a tunnel adorned with silver and copper chunks as they followed the tunnel it opened up to a large chamber occupied by "Matt", a large bipedal metallic looking creature that once again the party needed a one-way Comprehend Languages spell to understand.

"Matt" seemed friendly and warned them to stay away from his arch-enemy across the hall named "Woody"

Taking their leave as best they knew how, the party inadvertently took Matt's advice and turned right again and went further down the hall. (I can't claim if the party actually gave a damn about the warning or were simply following protocol by always turning right.)

After another thirty feet down the original hall, the party was "greeted" by an mouth attack by a Purple Worm, swallowing the lead Goblin whole.

Oh, I neglected to mention the Goblins, they were an escort granted by the Goblin "El Jefe" two levels up. Since the Honor Duel with the Orc Stratra one level up, they were under Strata's protection and not killed outright by the Orc Kingdom. Anyway I think there were originally four escort Goblins granted by "El Jefe", but when I asked the Party they only remembered two. Perhaps they were simply taken in by feminine Orc buxom charms and stayed behind?

Anyway the Goblin was soon dissolved by the Purple Worm's gullet.

Next either Huang or Honda fought the creature who was also swallowed whole. This caused a minor rules check because one of the Players said that since the character was swallowed whole there was no "bite" damage only the gullet damage counted. Not in a mood to argue, I said "fine", notwithstanding I recalled several movies where some giant creature still takes one or two gulps to swallow whole, which would tell me it would also "bite" in the process.

Ignoring the bite damage (2d8+12 in d20 system) or (2d12 in HackMaster), this brought the disparity between the stomach of a BlackMoor (D&D d20 system) Purple Worm, which does two 8 sided dice plus 12 points of crushing damage plus 8 points of acid damage per round verses the stomach of a HackMaster Purple Worm which automatically kills in 6 rounds. I chose the d20 system method. Either way the character fought its way out from inside the Purple Worm in time and also killed it.

They explored the cave the one the Purple Worm came out of. All they found were some brownish soft rocks which turned out to be Purple Worm shit. The other cave opposite across the hall turned out to have some dead gophers, ostensibly Purple Worm food.

Going back out they turned right (again) and followed it fifty feet to a thirty by thirty foot square room. It was full of billions of little beetles (or so said the module text). Numrendir was temporarily in charge (mainly because another Player went to the can), and backed the party out. Upon return of the other Player, they decided to fireball it.

This brought another rules discussion.

According the HackMaster, each beetle should have been worth at least one Experience Point per beetle even if they were so small to discount the hit point kicker. So there was some fantasizing about all the Party members going up by infinite levels. I had to kill that idea, I even got my HackMaster Smartass Smackdown Table handy, in case it got serious.

The beetles were not the problem of the room, they were simply meant to be a clue. The writer's of this module thought is was a good idea for the party to "observe" the beetles and see if they notice them crawling into and out of a crack on floor of one side of the room. The Fireball eliminated that. So I reversed the clue and had the party "notice" more Beatles were entering the room from the crack instead.

It was a hard gamemaster's night.

Of course this meant the party found the secret door they had not bothered to check for. Since they were preoccupied with beetles.

Opening the secret door and following it, the Party found it narrowed down to 2 feet in width, so they had to continue single file. The remaining lead Goblin started to fall into a pit trap filled with spikes fifty feet down. But Huang just behind him, managed to pull back the hapless little Goblin just in the nick of time.

Next they entered a twenty by twenty foot chamber containing six upright sealed stone sarcophagi. Gnomex, (think it was Gnomex anyway) detected something "evil" inside one of them. Naturally being one of the curious sort, he attempted to strike it with his trusty magic Warhammer. As soon as he hit he, he disappeared. Gnomex found himself inside of of the sarcophagus he attempted to hit, and also under water, dirty water at that in a tight fit, even for a Gnome, with hardly any room to maneuver.

The Party on the other hand only heard the tinkering and "mummphfl-flmmfs-gurgle" coming from inside the selfsame sarcophagus. So they struck it down. (Good thing the magic Teleport only worked once on that sarcophagus.) The water and Gnomex, spilled out, along with a dagger which was apparently the source of the "evil". So the party wrapped the dagger in some cloth and put it away. (They'll have to remind me who has it.)

Last thing on the agenda, the party exited this chamber, being mindful not to touch any of the other sarcophagi, turned a corner to the right and found themselves in a ten foot wide hallway with fourteen doors (seven on each side) spaced every ten feet. Each door was adorned overhead by the statue of a gargoyle.

Session to be continued on 26 April 2018 if there is a quorum.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly
Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a
Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a
Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING/OFFLINE/RETIRED CHARACTERS
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

image_blog: tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[Anime Review] Sword Art Online

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 01:09

SAO takes about 5 episodes to get going.

SAO is a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game and the cartoon is about people playing that game. It touches on Human relationships, action, drama, romance, and how a writer can screw up a good idea.

I loved the novel “Dream Park” which would make you think I’d immediately love SAO but it’s just not that good, for five episodes. It lacks the charm, depth and humour evident in Danmachi (Familia Myth/Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?).

SAO is a fantastic concept (very much like Dream Park combined with modern ideas of MMORPGs) but it’s a bit boring and at times, painful to watch.

All that said, it gets better after episode 5 and starts to become more and more interesting. After 10 more episodes it turns suddenly into awesome and emotional.

Then…. Even more suddenly SAO becomes stupid through to the final 25th episode.

I see a lot of people toss Danmachi aside for it’s tame minimal fan service for the much more serious SAO however after episode 15 it becomes about boobs and a little fan service even up through tentacle fetishes.

It’s a slog through the rest of the episodes where the main character departs a little from who they are for no other reason than to keep you in suspense. As well, this later chunk of episodes have a lot of filler with multiple episodes that could just be skipped and nothing is lost.

Did I mention that the intro and outro credits are painfully long. The music is fairly average.
So in the end you can think of SAO as two parts and an epilogue. The second part feels like it was written by Stephen Moffat. It does not have the same feel as the first and there are his famous style of dues ex machina.

Slow to get going, awesomeness, stupidity, veering way off track and a finale. It stumbles through romance, action and horror. I really mean stumbles as it doesn’t do any of them well in the long run.

I’m glad I watched it but doubt I’ll watch it again or get the manga or even the original light novels. It didn’t really spark any imagination.

image_blog: tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/04/05 Level 10 and King Funk III

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 02:38

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had a Steak pizza with fresh lumps of Mozzarella and Garlic.

PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

If you haven't guessed by now, Gorignak is an Earth Elemental.

Gorignak was in a friendly mood, so Numrendir cast a "Comprehend Languages" spell, knowing this would be a one-way conversation. Gorignak, having lived in this dungeon since its beginning aeons ago was quite patient and wise, and understood what Numrendir was doing. (While wise, Earth Elementals are still limited to one language by their Intelligence score, and Modern Standard Common wasn't it.)

Numrendir learned from Gorignak there were "Pig Noses" and "Small Giants" living on this level. (Orcs and Ogres respectively). and Gorignak uses Ooze Para-elementals to run errands for him.

The party was about to wrap this conversation up and decide which way to go, when from the Southeast passage from Gorignak's lair comes this large Orc, apparently the twin brother of the Orc just slain last session. (I rolled snake-eyes to get this encounter, just like his twin.) Not wanting to let a good thing go, I had the Orc ask everyone in the room, "Has anyone seen Gronk my twin Brother?"

"You mean the one we just offed?", replied Gnomex, "his carcass is in the next room."

This of course necessitated another Honor Duel with the Orc (who called himself Stratra) who eventually lost. This wasn't just any orc, it was an 8th Level Fighter Orc (like his twin). High level Orcs are not normally allowed in HackMaster, but the module provided it. Anyway, the last blow dealt brought Stratra down to exactly zero hit points, so Gnomex (since he was a Cleric), had a few segments to healed the Orc before it was considered Hackmaster dead. It thus satisfied the Honor Duel and using movie-logic, put the Orc forever in Gnomex' debt.

A "take me to your leader" deal was struck with the proviso the Stratra could retrieve his dead brother in the next room for proper burial. Thus laden, the Stratra led the party and its entourage to Orc territory, where they were challenged by the sentries but passed Stratra's word. This included the Id Cultists, whom the Orc tribe was nominally at war with.

Stratra found his priests and took his brother to be entombed saying he'd be right back. Allowing the party in their free time to tour local Orcdom, including the slave pens, brothel, and local bar and grill. Especially the bar, while expensive, they found that this Orc tribes brew was quite good. (It must have been the water in this dungeon as the pools they found were exceptionally clear and pure.) They stopped at the entrance to the King's double-wide entrance doors where they were not permitted entry as there was a sign posted stating that "King Funk III Tours are held at the bottom of the hour" and it was the top.

Meanwhile an Ooze Para-elemental appeared in the hallway carrying a waterproof pouch, it stopped by one of the guards, took a letter from the pouch and placed it in a puka near the entrance marked "King's Post" and departed. (There was no explanation for this but the party learned later both Earth and Water Elementals living on this level employ Ooze Para-elementals to run errands and are this Level's Postal Service.)

Finally at the bottom of the hour, Stratra (who had just buried his brother) showed up and gained entrance to King Funk the Third's hall the by way of the nickel tour. As if on queue a buxom female Orc in a slinky dress and stilletto's invited them in and they got the official tour. When asked about having an audience with the King, she told them he was away in his Sensitive Compartmented Orc Facility making war plans.

Finally the King arrived and the Party gained an audience.

These became diplomatic talks. So the first question asked by the King was, "Why should we make a pact with you? We have been at war for years!"

"Why not?", replied the Priestess of Id, "We're both Evil, Lawful Evil in Fact".

"Yes but we're still a different kind of Evil.", argued the King.

"Not so much, really, what's so different?", said the Priestess.

"At least we don't sacrifice an innocent child every Monday." , said the King. (GM's note: In game terms it was Sunday.)

The Priestess countered "Oh nooo. You use slaves and when they're no longer any use, you eat them. How is that so different?"

Even the King, faced with this form of logic relented. A peace treaty was made and a deal struck.

They decided to trade muscle for supplies, notably since the cultists could pass as normal people outside the dungeon in Blackmoor. They could obtain the hops and barley on the open Blackmoor market needed for the tasty Orc brew. In return the Orcs (who are growing in ever increasing numbers) could build their forces to invade Blackmoor again and retake what King Funk the First lost long ago. In due time Numrendir, who has the brewing skill, could lend his assistance.

The Party it was deemed, were free to continue further down the dungeon and explore. Since no one in the Orc's dominion had ever returned from that direction, the King deemed it a safe bet.

To seal the deal the High Priestess Cultist asked for a private audience in the King's Chambers. They were gone only a few minutes and they both emerged with the familiar glowing blue eyes the party knew too well.

"One last request,", the Priestess said and whispered in the King's ear. The King then summoned one of the guards and gave private instructions. The guard returned shortly with an innocent slave child tied to a rope.

"Thanks, we'll be leaving now,", said the Priestess, "we have a ceremony to prepare for."

"IDspeed." replied the King. And the Cultists left.

Now the Party, no longer followed by Cult observers were led by the King to the stairs leading down to Level Eleven. "Beware the trap.", informed the King as he pulled down a lever. "The scything blades along both walls are the only thing that keeps the lower critters out and there is no off switch at the bottom."

"How do we get back up if there is no off switch?", asked Gnomex.

"I'll keep guards posted, when you need to get back up just call out the password.", replied the King.

Gnomex had to ask, "What's the Password?"

"Donkeyballs".

Thus warned, the party went down.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING/OFFLNE/RETIRED CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/03/29 Looking South to See Gorignak

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 01:23

Second attempt at this post, first attempt seems to have disappeared.

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had a Spinach and Chicken pizza with fresh lumps of Mozzarella.

There is an image attachment to this post that the email version didn't get, at map of this level that they have explored so far. Due to black and white format, areas of shadow not explored are indistinguishable from solid walls.

PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

I deemed we did not have sufficient Players for a quorum, so we played another three Player session of Rail Baron. This time the two losers from the last game outplayed the winner from the previous game.

On the side however, I asked the Player running Aerys to conceptualize the room they were in. She decided to look to the opening to the South and met a strange creature made out of earth and rock. It wasn't hostile, and started to talk to Aerys in unintelligible sounds. At which point I suggested a comprehend languages spell may be in order.

For the sake of the story I named the creature Gorignak, the rock monster from Galaxy Quest. (The module gives it a different name but I think this is better.)

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING/OFFLNE/RETIRED CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



Tracy Johnson
Ye Olde Fashioned Text Games at:

BT

NNNN

image_blog: tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Volume 6 - Raiders of Gor

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 17:19

This book started pretty slow, but turned into a swashbuckling-action-oriented feast! It was reminiscent of the first book and I really enjoyed it for the most part. I find in almost all of the Gor books I start out a bit bored while they set the story up, then get hooked when the meat of it starts.

The final battle scene description made my eyes glaze over a bit, it could be because I'd taken a break from the Gor series so I had forgotten what certain terms meant. I skimmed through the in depth ship descriptions because I wanted to get back to the action. (And because honestly...I didn't care, it's a boat...move on). Tying the women to the front of the boats was equally barbaric and beautiful to imagine, their faces twisted in fright, their bodies on display. I'd like to see a painting of that.

Character-wise I liked Telima alot, the switch-a-roo at the start was interesting, and the scene where she and the other girls dance around their captive tied to the pole made me smile. It was good to see some payback coming to the males. As for the main character, I did tire of his angst after a while, he needed a good smack upside the bottom to smarten him up. I think I still don't understand how he can be so angsty for lost loves and then get more women and then get angsty about them, it's like he punishes himself constantly. Get a hold of yourself man!

I enjoyed learning about the workings of Port Kar from the political system all the way down to the how they handle slaves. I pictured it as a floating (though not described as such) pirate city full of all types of booty. A book focused solely on the day-to-day workings of Port Kar featuring minor characters would be very intriguing I think.

Captive of Gor is next, I'm hoping it'll be just as action-packed. (or more, more would be good!)

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[XCOM2-Spoilers] Vigilo Confido (Easy-Ironman)

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 20:10

I blow the time to restablish contact with the Western U.S. after the game tells me I can't. Vigilo Confido!

I gain three potential target sites. Eastern U.S. to counter the Alien Cypher dark event to gain a scientist; New Mexico to counter the Alloy Padding dark event to gain a Grenadier; Western U.S. to counter a hidden event to gain 84 Intel. The last being the only one that isn't labelled Easy. I take it.

Operation Spider Tomb
Moderate Difficulty
84 Intel Reward
Protect the Device just outside Vancouver

Cast of Depravity:
Leftenant Schneider "Sheriff" a Sniper
Knight Number 5 "Tinderbox" a Spark
Leftenant Neptune "Sailor" a Scout
Sergeant Uranus "Sailor" a Hacker
Sergeant Klein "Clydsdale" a guy who blows stuff up [Shaken]

We stir Klein around a bit before getting him off the Skyranger.

Moving in we see a Viper and a Lancer. One basic setup later and Clydsedale uses supressing fire on the Viper which isn't effective. Everyone but Tinderbox and Uranus miss but those two down the Viper. Neptune gets Lanced by the ADVENT stooge and neutralizes him.

Uranus considers penetrating the ADVENT security but finds it too tight and backs out. Tinderbox aggros a Lancer and Officer while Uranus injuress the Officer as it gets under the covers.

The ADVENT stoolies centre their frustrations on Tinderbox after he misses the Officer. Tinderbox get's marked and shot by the Officer. As the Lancer breaks for Tinderbox, Klein jumps up and misses completely while Sheriff gets a pistol hit on him before he Lances Tinderbox.

Klein moves up and reloads. Tinderbox turns his back on the Lancer and rushes the Officer who screams at the Lancer to intercept but it's fruitless as the Officer is torn to shreds by the Spark.

Uranus gets a little inappropriate (won't repeat what she said) and reams the Lancer.

We mess around and reload while inching toward the target. Some ADVENT move in on us and everyone but Tinderbox fires wide.

Klein tramples the Viper, Sheriff ticks off a Trooper that's flanking him so Neptune slips up and takes care of his problem which ends the mission. Excellent.

---

Klein is promoted to Leftenant and takes Heavy Ordnance over Holo-Targeting. He won't listen anyway; he just likes to blow stuff up and make horse jokes. This mission sees him recovered from his "Shaken" status.

Low on Power and Comms in my base. Despite needing a Proving Ground still, I build more Comms and start clearing space for more rooms. With only two Engineers, I can't do much. I finally research magnetic weapons.

The Dark Event ADVENT Alloy Padding completes and they launch a retaliation strike against our resistance by targeting civilians. Let's save some lives people!

Operation Flying Dawn with Cpl Kazanova, Cpl Hamilton, Hijack, Tinderbox and Sheriff.

With a mixture of arrogance and apprehension, we hit the gound.

Our first encounter near two civilians is a Super Trooper and a Muton. A grenade and some shots take them out. We hear shots in the diatnce and a Human cry the cry of death.

A choice always has to be made in these types of missions whether to rescue civilians or eliminate threats. I save 9/13 civilians in 5 turns and eliminated 7/7 enemy targets, with only one soldier wounded from a Muton counterattack.

---

Operation Righteous Dawn
Hack the workstation on CP rail, Edmonton.
Difficult

Trainees:
Lt. Clydesdale (Grenadier), Cv Tinderbox (Spark), Lt Neptune (Ranger), Sg Uranus (Specialist), Sg Cyborg (Sharpshooter)

Time to get this resistance back on track.

With complete confidence we all run forward. We don't expect this to be wheely hard anyway. After a bit we see a Mec and Officer and realize we only have 6 turns to get to the objective.

I setup and launch a grenade into the two but they run the other way and no one but Tinderbox can see them; he rails against the Officer, sending him crashing to the ground. Uranus sends Aid Protocol to Tinder and the Mec hides in a car. Tinder blows up the whole car and Neptune finishes the Mec off.

We meet heavy resistance with a couple Sectoids, Vipers, and Troopers. Tinder gets in the middle to draw fire but Neptune takes a critical hit and gets poisoned.

Neptune gets swatted hard and her caboose goes to the railyard in the sky. Uranus screams, steels herself and rushes for the target network access.

Success. Good but not great. By Neptune's beard, we lost one. In Neptune's honour, Specialist Uranus takes the Field Medic skill which would have come in handy.

KIA Leftenant Sailor Neptune; 6 Missions, 15 Kills, a Ranger.

---

Operation Buried Shadow
Raid the ADVENT Train

Trainers:
Number 5 "Tinderbox" a Spark
Haruku "Sailor" Uranus a Specialist
Dmitri "Rocket Red" Pushkin a Grenadier
Markus "Clydesdale" Klein a Grenadier
Deric "Efreeti" Blackstone a Ranger

We see a mechanical turret and Uranus decides to hack it with only 30% chance to control and succeeds! Unfortunately, even with success, it means we lose concealment and are now being hunted.

A couple Mutons, Shieldbearer, Viper, and two heavy turrets. The hacked turret does most of the work for us. Tinderbox burns the rest but.. but... the mission isn't over?

Another Shieldbearer and Officer sneaking around. The Grenadiers make short work of them.

Flawless victory in six turns.

---

Operation Shattered Witch
Neutralize target in ADVENT vehicle.

Leftenants Cyborg and Sailor take Sergeant Efreeti and Corporal Pushkin along with Cavalier Tinderbox along for the ride.

Soooo, I failed a Hack with nobody in Overwatch and a Ruler Muton Beserker along with some ADVENT soldier attacked. We panicked and Pushkin killed the VIP, Tinderbox dropped the Beserker AND Pushkin to the lower floor with a blast.....

The Beserker flees through a gate, Efreeti misses with his blade. Many reinforcements come.

We use tactics like blowing up floors so bad guys take falling damage and land within grenade radius of other bad guys. We flee.

It's considered a mission success but I'm pretty disappointed in myself for shooting the VIP instead of the Ruler. It was purely a lack of attention to detail. I get far too cocky on Easy mode.

--

Operation Blood Knife

Destroy alien facility

My name is Stephen. I'm a Ranger for the XCOM project. This will be my fifth mission. I don't know the rest of the crew on this one but they seem to have a bond. Apparently my predecessor was involed with our Specialist and something pretty brutal happened to her.
On the flight into action I examine the cool throwing axes they equiped me with. They're odd but far better than the sword I used to have.

(Grenadier Cpt Clydesdale, Spark Vanguard Tinderbox, Specialist Lt Uranus-gravely wounded planting explosives, Sharpshooter Lt Sheriff-wounded) Stephen Hamilton, Sgt Ranger 16 kills.

"Apparently I WAS better than Neptune."

image_blog: tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/03/22 Down to Level Ten

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 03:12

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Back to the usual, a meat-lovers pizza with the pepperoni removed and Philly-cheese steak substituted.

​PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

The party had just accepted the surrender of the surviving two of four Goblins. They were about to attack Goblin El Jefe inside the next room when they were annoyed by the Priestess of Id raising up the Goblin dead and healing the surviving Goblin's wounds.

"Tsk tsk, we can't leave just a mess like THAT around," she said, "it will bring down property values, and show up on Neighborhood Watch reports. Besides, our new Order of the Lawful Good aspect of Id needs new converts, don't they?"

As she thus spoke her eyes glowed again blue, the four Goblins nodded in agreement.

Cheerily the Goblin guards opened the double doors to the next room, introducing "Sir Huang, Baronet of Catan!" (formerly Temple of the Frog and environs. I should have also added he was announced in the manner of Helga, in "'Allo 'Allo".)

The party interrupted El Jefe's evening meal, consisting of very large flies, served on a platter by relatively cute goblin wenches. (Now why the flies just don't fly away? My guess is they're just too fat to fly.) The wings were pulled off just before El Jefe ate them, a Goblin delicacy.

As they come in El Jefe says "WELCOME Sir Huang!", as his eyes glow a bright azure. In another pleasantry he addresses the Priestess of Id, "Greetings your Holiness, how long has it been, a week? What can I do for you all?"

Gnomex, getting to the point whispers to Sir Huang about directions to the next level down.

Therfore Huang as if prompted, asks: "Which way down to the next level?"

"No problem Sir!" says El Jefe, "My guards will see you down."

"Former guards." Interrupts the Priestess. "They just joined the new Lawful Good Order of the Temple of ID."

"No matter." says El Jefe, "We're Goblins, we'll make more!" As he grabs one of the Goblin show girls and winks.

As they leave, a good-bye shout is heard from El Jefe's hall, "For the glory of ID!"

"For the glory of ID!" Replied the former Goblin guards.

So the Party is accompanied by the Cultists (the High Priestess, a few other priests and guards) You can almost say they follow the Party out of morbid curiosity. Thus, avoiding most of the pitfalls of Level Nine, the party is led past a few twists and turns and reach trap door in a nondescript room. They take the steps going down.

GM's Note: I must have missed something, as my eyes on the map wandered. When I put them on leve ten, I accidentally shifted the party a bit and they found themselves in a hallway with a door. I can rectify that next session or just leave them where they are. In any case it was just a door in the hallway.

With a bloody greasy door handle.

The party detected no traps, notwithstanding they didn't want to touch the bloody door handle. (Which is strangely odd, considering the wild abandon the Players grab pizza slices with unwashen hands.) So they asked the new Goblin members of the Lawful Good Holy Order of ID to do it.

After they opened the door, as if it sadness could ever overcome Goblins, they burst into tears. Inside were a baker's dozen dead Goblins. All friends and acquaintances.

They vowed revenge.

As if on cue, what came strolling down the hall but the biggest baddest Orc the party had ever seen, wearing a banded mail and a large floppy hat with a feather, circa late 16th century.

Omitting most details, a challenge was issued, centered on Aerys for some reason (probably as the new Grand Master of the LG Order of ID,) and was answered. Since Aerys was female, Huang was designated as her Champion. (Or was it Gnomex? I've had a couple beers as of this writing.) In any case the Orc was defeated and the Goblin rage was assuaged as it were.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level ​WitchRanger​ (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome ​Adept​ of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING​/OFFLNE/RETIRED​ CHARACTERS
​Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
​Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage​ Second​ (a Protege of Jacko). ​
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/03/15 BlackMoor Dungeon - The Cleric of Id

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 01:52

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had two large pizzas, one Pepperoni, one Chicken. After many weeks, we had a session of HackMaster.

​PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

The party took some respite from their endeavors by accepting the hospitality of the Cultists of ID, memorizing spells, healing, sleep, et. al. During this period one character mentioned their spell book contained a dearth of spells. So I suggested the player take some initiative and steal them from another character. I amended that to include friendly borrowing, if another character agreed. So there was some die rolling involved, as players invoked some "Write" spells to copy spells from each others spell books. As I also told them there is a chance of failure, they can attempt again when they gain another level. It was as if that was a harbinger of fate, as one Player kept rolling ones and twos on their attempts, we even tried using a new die after every bad roll.

This evolution probably took a day or two, since the each spell Written takes one hour per spell level pass or fail. Their hosts were rather nice about the party taking their time. The non-magic users were easily entertained and an alliance was made.

Aerys made the first move towards an alliance, or at least an association. First the Cultists "alignment" was ascertained.

While this is usually a social faux pas, the Cultists made no dissembling. The Cultists Priestess, the significance of her position apparently obvious by her glowing blue eyes when she spoke, (like a G'aould from Stargate): "We're Evil," she said, "but at least we're honest about it."

The party pondered this, finally Aerys came up with a rejoinder: "Do you have any Neutral or Good Chapters of your Religion? If not, can we start one?"

"I don't see why not," she said, "we're always looking for new members. This could be an interesting method to expand our franchise."

So the deal was struck. I proffered the Player a briefing on the Religion of ID (to be delivered later), as I had previously said the Characters had been given the pamphlets and tracts anyway.

After this the Party, accompanied by the Cultists, went out exploring level Nine. Although it should be obvious dear reader, the Cultists were quite familiar with parts of this level. They went along to see what the party would do.

They went North then turned Southwest to see the staircase they came down before. Seeing nothing, they turned into a short hallway going Northwest that ended in a heavy door. Eventually breaking it down as it took more than one attempt, they found a small ten foot by ten foot square room with a door on each wall (including the one they came in). Within it was a large statue of a Goblin with various "offerings" placed around it. Specifically, some flasks with unknown fluids (one ceramic, three glass), a jar filled with blood, a silver goblet filled with cheap ale, two moldy pieces of bread, some moldy cheese, several teeth and bones, a gold signet ring, an empty scroll case, a crushed holy symbol of an unidentified diety, three decomposed headless chickens, the head of a female elf. various silver and copper coins, a vial of ink, a quill, and a scorched wizard's spell book. Since they had just gone through that process of transcribing spells, they simply stowed it, and anything else of value.

After successfully desecrating whatever intent these offerings were by taking them, the party made a exited the chamber by the easily opened (from the inside) door opposite the way they came. Coming to a "T" intersection they turned left, passed some corridors came within view of the aforesaid staircase and turned left again to find themselves outside one of the side doors to the same statue room.

Forcing this door open, they went past the statue through the other side and came out to another "T" intersection. Turning left they came to a door on their right, and checked to see if it was locked. It was, and they attempted to unlock it or force it I forget which as it didn't matter. One of the Characters, (probably Numrendir), at this point noticed that a mere 10 further was a wide open corridor at a 135 degree angle relative to their current corridor and decided to peek around it.

What he or she saw where a pair of Goblins aiming their arrows at the back side of the door the rest of the party was attempting to open. Whoever it launched a Phantasmal Fireball and hit for beau coup hit poitnts. 3 out of 4 Goblins failed their saving throw (there were 2 other Goblins around the corner), but they all survived. The two visible Goblins did a mere right face and let loose their arrows back at Numrendir for 11 hit points.

At this point Grok cast a Sidewinder Fireball (Factor 2) and downed a couple of the Goblins. One of the Goblins had charged Numrendir but Grok was ready to meet him on the second round and struck with his Short Sword (being a Battle Mage) and rolled a critical hit. (Using my cheesy system, he scored triple max hits, dropping the Goblin.

These Goblins were a bit difficult to take down, apparently they were Sixth Level Fighter Goblins.

In any case the surviving two Goblins failed their Morale Check and offered the location of their boss, just through the next door down the hall.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level ​WitchRanger​ (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome ​Adept​ of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING​/OFFLNE/RETIRED​ CHARACTERS
​Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
​Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief).
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage​ Second​ (a Protege of Jacko). ​
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[XCOM2-Spoilers] die Pause für die Beförderung

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 16:11

After the mission i realize that I forgot to do my previous promotion so Sheriff takes Quickdraw (firing pistol first doesn't end turn) and I really don't know if it's better than Death From Above; Neptune takes Run and Gun (take action after dashing); Jones takes Deadeye (lower Aim to improve damage) simply because I always take Lightning Hands and want to see if Deadeye will ever come in handy or if it's just a way to miss.

Uranus and Jones recovered from their 'Shaken' status.

The previous failed mission not only lost me the Intel and VIP but contact with Western U.S. and the supplies normally gained there. Talk about a setback.

I go back to base and feel shame.

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[XCOM2-Spoilers] Devil's Gift (Easy-Ironman)

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 16:00

Operation Devil's Gift

Rescue VIP from ADVENT Vehicle, Edmonton

This is a rescue mission so I decide on two sharpshooters and no Grenadier.

Cast of Kidnappers:
Sergeant "Sailor" Neptune (Ranger); Sergeant "Sailor" Uranus (Specialist); Knight Number 5 (Spark); Leftenant "Sheriff" Schneider (Sharpshooter); Corporal Jones (Sharpshooter)

We start on a roof but after setup, only Sheriff is left up there as he has Squadsight. I do some running to scout using Jones and Neptune. We see a couple ADVENT in a building to our right but then we see the Viper King and a Viper peon slither out front. He becomes the priority target and we set up allowing the Troopers to flank us. Number 5 will start the barrage with everyone else on overwatch.

It goes fairly well. Neptune never got line-of-sight on the King and everyone else hit except Sheriff. The Troopers took tactical positions to my flank as expected, but we have to kill this Viper King.

Apparently only Neptune can move so she pulls her sword and dashes for the King doing heavy damage but not enough and his reaction is to open a gate for escape. Number 5 is Marked and takes some damage from a flanking Trooper (ADVENT Officer) while Uranus gets stabbed by the other one (ADVENT Stun Lancer). No music comes from Number 5.

I try to use Lightning Hands with Sheriff but somehow screw it up and he blows his whole wad on the Viper King, eliminating him. Now to the flankers and the eleven turns to get our VIP.

Number 5 flanks the Lancer and misses, almost hitting Uranus who ducks and curses Yoma. Spectacle Jones removes the Lancer from play.

Neptune rushes over, and strikes down the ADVENT Officer with her sword and snags some loot making me wish I'd added the extra loot option to my Guerilla Tactics Room.

Uranus hacks one of the local ADVENT systems to increase our vision for one turn.

Well I'll be a milksnake's uncle..... In my haste to take out the Viper King successfully, I just may have blown up the truck with the VIP.....
Mission Fail.
7 turns, 4/4 enemies killed, 1 soldier wounded.
Rating: Poor

Well, once again I feel like the mission was so bloody easy that I became lazy and foolish. This is a part of who I am. I excel best when challenged and when things seem too easy, I drop the ball. Perhaps as , XCOM can teach me some things that will transfer to real life. Perhaps I need to travel in the opposite direction he is to find my own balance.

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[XCOM2-Spoilers] Operation Night Fire (Easy-Ironman)

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 02:59

Operation Night Fire

Briefing: Supply Line Raid - ADVENT Convoy
Location: Wilderness of Eastern U.S.
Objective: Raid ther Advent Convoy; Neutralize all enemy targets; Secure supplies
Difficulty Moderate

The Troupe:
Cpl Neptune (Ranger), Cpl Arathorn (Ranger), Aspirant 5 (Spark), Cpl Pushkin (Grenadier), Sgt Schneider (Sharpshooter)

I have a number of injured soldiers but still some choices to make for this mission. Two Sharpshooters or two Rangers?

Normally I'd take the Sharpshooters and currently Micharu's (Ranger 2) partner Haruku (Specialist) is as few days away from health. As well, Spectacle Jones (Sharpshooter 2) is "Shaken." I need to get him out there to remove shaken.

Still, I'll go with the two Rangers, a Spark which I've renamed Number 5, Pushkin the Grenadier, and my German Sharpshooter with the Repeater.

Number 5 steps up while Ranger Micharu Neptune rushes ahead haphazardly and spots some baddies.

The patrol seems to be walking away from me, perhaps drawing me in as one of them turns to face me even though I'm concealed.

Ranger Aragorn Son of Arathorn scoots off to the other side and spots the supplies we're here to get. No engagement yet but wedding bells are in the air.

Number 5 moves just to the edge of concealment with Grenadier Dmitri Pushkin using him as cover. Our sharpshooter remains and goes into Overwatch.

Once everyone else is set, Micharu rushes in whispering something about being the soldier of affinity and attacks with her sword on one of the two ADVENT patrolmen but doesn't take him out. Luckily, Number 5 and Aragorn toast both of the baddies. There is no time for objections now, let's complete the ceremony.

We move forward in the same formation and a Sectoid with an ADVENT Trooper slide into few. Micharu tags the Sectoid and hurts him but no fatalities.

Aragorn flanks the trooper and lets fly the dogs of war scoring a critical hit and downing pasty trooper.

Micharu whispers "This is for you Haruku;" rushes up and disects the Sectoid with her sword finally getting a kill. She bellows "Space Sword Blaster!" and aggros a Viper and another Trooper.

Pushkin with only a 31% chance, nails the Viper but it's still up. Number 5 tries to finish him off while some music spins up in his speakers but misses. This leaves only the Sharpshooter to choose between finishing off the Viper or taking out the Trooper and he doesn't have good position on either of them (in fact he'd have to move for any hope of a pistol attack on the Viper). He takes out the Trooper but feels blue as he sees the Viper snag Aragorn and the truck beside them explodes, killing both....

Success, but Aragorn is dead. Three missions and 8 kills under his belt. His ugly mug will be missed and a broken sword placed on his grave.

Micharu dealt the most damage, Number 5 made the most attacks, Aragorn was the most under fire, Micharu moved the furthest. Everyone else gets a promotion except Pushkin, who did nothing.

Number 5 becomes a Knight and takes Rainmaker over Strike. I know Strike is good but I think I'll keep him for those big bad Sectopods.

Micharu Neptune becomes a Sergeant and takes Shadowstep over Shadowstrike. The latter sounds powerful getting better aim and damage when concealed but to move without allowing overwatch fire seems pretty useful all the time.

Lukas Schneider becomes a Leftenant and must choose between Death From Above (killing an enemy from above takes only one action and does not end his turn) and Quickdraw (firing your pistol at the start of his turn does not end his turn). Both are Abilities that I often forget about. I think I'll wait on this one and mull it over.

Uh oh, I'm low on Intel. It's possible I haven't mastered that game mechanic.

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[XCOM2-Spoilers] Operation Regal Beast (Easy-Ironman)

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:23

Operation Regal Beast

Location: Abandoned Research Facility
Briefing: Investigation - Unknown Site
Objective: Investigate Vahlen's Signal; Central must survive

Cast of Nitwits:

Aragorn "Son of" Arathorn | Ranger
Spark-001 | Mech
Katya Kazanova | Sniper
Dmitri "Rocket Red" Pushkin | Grenadier
John "Central" Bradford | Pincushion

---

Some blah blah explanation and signal stuff I never listen to. Probably why I don't know the storyline.

I send Aragorn and Spark out to scout and they see a couple Snakemen on guard duty. We set up accordingly trying not to be spotted.

Once we're setup, I place everyone in Overwatch except Aragorn who rushes in and slices one of the Neonate Snakemen in half. The other panics and slithers for cover. Spark misses it but Katya takes it down with one shot form her sniper rifle.

Aragorn takes point and while Spark is here to protect Central, I keep Central in full cover off to the left with Spark down the middle. I know he provides cover but I'm leery of keeping multiple units too close together.

As Aragorn moves forward a couple Vipers (type of Snakeman) wander into the room and he takes one down as Central proves why he's not 'field-ready,' firing wide.

Aragorn takes up a defensible position while Spark, Katya and Rocket line up in the back. We've entered a building and I need to get everyone in there for combat. Rocket gets an angle on the remaining Viper and with 92% chance to hit, he goes for it and rips the Neonate Viper apart with his cannon.

There are bats and snakes around which make this place creepy; not to mention the holograms of another type of Viper, a Muton and an Archon. We have two exits out the back and I send Spark, Aragorn and Rocket to the right with Katya and Central to the left, violating the ideal that Spark is protecting Central.

I change my mind at the last minute and send Rocket Red at a run to back up Central. Vipers come down from everywhere in the cavern. I lost count of them and while Spark and Aragorn took potshots, they missed these slithering beasts. One came out of a grate behind Katya and she reacted quickly putting it down with her pistol. Central took one out at the far end of the area. It seems he's warming up to field-work. Our rear is wiped but we've got an umbrella of Vipers ahead of us with our target location in the middle.

My first move in the combat is to order Aragorn closer to his nearest enemy instead of just taking the shot which aggros two more Vipers. Instead of taking his 100% on the nearest enemy he takes out one with higher ground at 75%.

Spark moves in and can't get any two in the area effect of his rockets thus he takes out the one closest to Aragorn. Katya sees one with her Squadsight and takes it down with ease. Dmitri (Rocket Red) can't see any targets, moves in and launches a grenade at one that could flank Aragorn.

Central has a couple choices. Open the door to the small building with our mission target location inside or try to take out one of the remaining Vipers. I can't remember how the Reaper Ability works, so I hesitate, but my gut is always to rush forward in berserker mode. Central guts two Vipers with his sword and ducks into cover. Wow, that looks like all of them. Well done guys.

Whup, a new one comes in from behind and targets Katya while another slithers between Spark's legs for position. Base tells us there are no more coming except some strange reading which may be y'know a Queen or something like that. No biggie. Press on.

Aragorn takes the one by Spark out with ease and Katya makes a risky forward maneuver, turning back at the last second to dispatch the other in a 50/50 gamble.

Uh oh, our target is not in the building but there's a reading she might be in the back of this cavern. Fun. What could go wrong? I eat a biscotte and consider dinner. All the troops reload while I eat my snack.

Spark takes point while I lazily order the troops forward to get organized.

Entering the back of the cavern, Spark finds some high ground down the middle; Aragorn goes left while Central goes right. Katya has to run to keep up with the rest of the group. Bats fly in front of my cameras. Snakes flee Aragorn's steps.

Oh great, a Viper King. I love this game but am not a fan of the "boss monster" style of play. Still, a couple reaction shots do some damage and another Viper slides out of the rocks.

While journaling I knock my mouse off the desk and move Central way back as if fleeing the fight and Katya gets snagged by the Viper King who's not just a Boss but a Ruler, which means it will act every time one of my troops takes a move or shoot action. This could be bad as I just had my most powerful unit flee the area by mistake. He's close enough to run back full tilt and stab the Ruler. I should use Reaper to kill it's peon on the way but I don't. As soon as Viper King is stabbed, it drops an injured Katya and summons a gate to flee. I bet I'll see it again. Better shred the armour before it gets away.

Dmitri can't risk rockets on the 'King' as Katya and Central are adjacent. He moves for a better position to shred the armour with his cannon. The Viper King gets away. Dangit.

Bah, lets' just kill all the rest. Screw prisoners.

We do.

Easy-peasy.

Mission Type: Alien Nest
Objective: Completed
Turns Taken: 14
Enemies Killed: 15/16
Soldiers Wounded: 1
Soldiers Killer: 0
Rating: Excellent

Promotions:
Dmitri moves up to Corporal where he can actually shred armour. I guess he couldn't before. Whoops.
Aragorn also moves up to Corporal and gains Blademaster.
Katya is injured for 21 days but as the previous two, is promoted to Corporal. She has to choose between Long Watch and Return Fire. I really like the idea of Return Fire however Long Watch seems to be what's worked best in the past so that's what she takes.
Spark gets promoted too! Yippee! Now an Aspirant instead of a Squire he may choose between Bulwark (better cover for adjacent friendlies) and Adaptive Aim (removes recoil when in Overdrive). I really don't know but take Bulwark. Likely a mistake.

Conclusion: I don't feel like I was challenged, perhaps I should move this up to Veteran difficulty where I usually play, however even with the ability to load/save (not in Iron Man mode), I do tend to lose the occasional trooper.

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/03/08 Place Holder Report

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 11:43

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601. (Note I just upped this an hour to reflect reality.)

As of the last report it was 5 weeks since the last HackMaster session, it has been 3 more weeks since the last report we still haven't played it, 8 weeks total.

​PART 1.

++++ START OF NON-SESSIONS ++++

This doesn't mean we haven't played any games. We just didn't play any HackMaster. What follows are a summation of the last three sessions.

2018/02/22 - We played the old Avalon Hill game of "Rail Baron". The Player who runs Huang and Honda won this session in a three Player game. Having got both AT&SF and Union Pacific by the time all rail properties had been bought. We knew then it was a foregone conclusion.

2018/03/01 - We played a new game, Bezier's game of "Palace of Mad King Ludwig", again the Player who runs Huang and Honda won. Although there was some sense of beginner's luck was we were all learning how to accumulate points and swans. The game was a hoot, somewhat of a random jigsaw puzzle with points earned for tiles played. The idea is that you're all architects competing to build mad King Ludwig's palace. The winner gets the King's contract based on points earned for the best combination of rooms. There is a 14 minute or so video on how it's played, just do a web search on the title and the publisher.

2018/03/08 - We played no game, however I decided to have my Players go next door to the Italian restaurant where we normally get pizza and order real dinners, on plates. I put it on my bill. In other news, another one of my Players lost his job. Currently my Players are three out of five unemployed, and I'm not 100% certain of the status of the remaining two. Anyone in Hampton Roads hiring personnel with recent experience as a reciprocal horizontal motion surface cleaning engineer, let me know.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level ​WitchRanger​ (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage​ Second​ (a Protege of Jacko).
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome ​Adept​ of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING​/OFFLNE/RETIRED​ CHARACTERS
​Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
​Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief). ​
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/01/18 BlackMoor Dungeon - Down to Level Nine

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 04:04

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601. (Note I just upped this an hour to reflect reality.)

It has been over 5 weeks since the last session due to illness by me and several Players. What follows is a session that occurred on Jan 18 (I think, if not it was a week later). I hope I remember it correctly.

​PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

On level seven, the Party had just fought some Ghouls and Ghasts (the Ghasts were more problematic as one couldn't be Turned, and paralyzed Huang for a bit. They could have continued on to the next room but they went back the way they came. Going past the stairs they had previously come down they went past a door down another hall, finding another set of stairs going down.

Now on level eight.

Upon arrival they had a long and drawn out fight with some Beast-like men. They killed one but reached an impasse. So rather than continue the fight they hired and healed the survivor by offering a better deal than its current employer, a tribe of Goblins. They also holed up in a storeroom the Beastman led them to, so they were able to catch some Z's and re-memorize some used up spells.

Asking their new guide which way was down, it led them towards yet another set of stairs.

Now on level Nine.

The Beastman informed them sometimes the Goblins raided another large storeroom for foodstuffs nearby and he took them to it. As advertised, they found barrels full of strangely enough, fresh food.

Going south from the room they came to another set of locked double doors. But they were challenged on their approach with a "Who goes there?"

To make a long story short and my memory fails me, they negotiated their way past some guards and became the welcome guests to some cultists for the Temple of the Id. Who were actually quite friendly, notwithstanding the party had to put up with the cultists constant proselytizing. Oh and the cultists forgave them for nicking some of their foodstores.

The party gained little information notwithstanding the Cultists told them this corner of the dungeon was a dead end. And if they didn't mind could they accompany the party on the way out? All they want is to reestablish their lost Temple outside Blackmoor.

Anyway there is more room for negotiation on this that may continue next session.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level ​WitchRanger​ (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage​ Second​ (a Protege of Jacko).
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome ​Adept​ of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING​/OFFLNE/RETIRED​ CHARACTERS
​Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
​Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief). ​
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



​--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/01/11 BlackMoor Dungeon Down to Level Seven

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 21:12

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

​We skipped the 4th of January due to excessive snow.​ Today should be a good day.

This time I am definitely certain I got an extra large Meat Lovers Pizza with the pepperoni out substituted with philly cheese steak meat.

​PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

For the nonce, ​I eschewed a suggestion that the previous encounter had a twin brother get reinforcements.​ But that doesn't mean it could later happen.

The party mucked about on Level Six for awhile. They went to Northwest from their last encounter to a really, REALLY dark area where even their battery powered DA3 module technology could barely pierce on high beams and decided to back out.

They went back through the fallen Orc and his mutts of their last battle and Southwest, to where they found some more big dawgs, feeding on some fallen corpses. They barely managed to attract the attention of these Worgs, who momentarily looked up from their feeding then went back to chowing down.

Whoever one the dawgs, apparently the smallest one of three approached. Starting with a minor growl.

"Nice doggie."

The growl became a pitiful whimper and he came trotting up wagging his tail.

One of the party members patted him on the head.

So, gaining a new friend, the party backed out again ignoring the other two doors off this feeding trough and moved South. Passing up an up staircase they came upon a corner with a door on either side and a passage going West. Going through one of the doors, they continued Southeast to a dead end.

Returning to the Westward passage they came to the first corner turning South past another firepit and about 55 feet, it turned East again ending in a door on the left.

25 feet past the door they found another left hand door. Past it, there were another set of stairs going down.

Now they are on level 7 as indicated by the huge painted number 7 at the bottom of the staircase. There was also an outline of a zoo animal so residents can remember where they parked. Next to this landing there was an immediate door on the left and another double door sixty feet to the right past an intersection, going through the immediate door they found an empty passage. Seeing nothing they turned around and headed for the double doors.

As they approached the door, their new found mutt decided to whine and whimper again. Once opened they party was accosted by another ghostly apparition they could not Turn. They defeated it in combat however, and as it died its howl could nearly deafened the party. (I left that part out during the session, but its essential to the plot.)

Finding nothing of worth in that monster's room (maybe they could have but the party didn't look, I expect they'll want to go back after they read this report), they party backed up and went South at the prior intersection ending in a door.

Opening said door, they entered a stinky room with rotting corpses full of ghoul like creatures. They party's Adept, the Gnome named Gnomex turned them all save one, an especially stinky one that gained a hit on Huang. Huang failed his save and was paralyzed for a few rounds while the rest of the party had to kill this thing.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Grok the Dwarf, a third level ​WitchRanger​ (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage​ Second​ (a Protege of Jacko).
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome ​Adept​ of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING​/OFFLNE/RETIRED​ CHARACTERS
​Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
​Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Master Espion (Infiltrator, subclass of Thief). ​
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2017/12/28 BlackMoor Dungeon - Down to Level Six

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 02:32

​Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Next game is Tomorrow.

It would normally be our alternate game week but a key Player is still in town.

Again I forgot what pizza we had.

PART 1.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

Previously, the Party had butchered a group of four Dark Dwarves for their rumored and alleged alliance with evil and without a shred of forensic evidence... after all they had only been taking out the trash to the level waste bin. It seems their only crime was rehearsing a Cab Calloway routine.

During the chase the party passed some down staircases so they doubled back and took another flight down to level 5.

The landing ended in a long hall which turned right into a four way intersection. Turning left, the party encountered an area of pure darkness to which the party's light spells could not break. Even Numrendir's high tech torch could barely illuminate the ground they walked on. To top it off they party had to make saving throws versus fear, so the party​, rather than deal with it, ​turned back and went down what would have been right at the same intersection.

Passing some rubble, the party entered another large hall with more flights of stairs going down to level 6.

Immediately upon coming down the stairs they were faced with growling coming from three large hounds with glowing red eyes on leashes. The next words they heard were Orcish version of "Sic 'em!" as an overly large Orc let them go.

Again there was battle, I for this I even have the crib notes. Gnomex did the K/O on Worg one and three, while Honda got number two. As far as the Orc was concerned Junkbot did the majority of damage but Grok did the kill when it was down to just a few points.

After reviewing the material it seems I missed the intended tactics of this encounter, because the Orc was supposed to run away and get reinforcements.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

BBBB

PART 2.

++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

CHARACTERS
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).

NPCs/Proteges:
Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage (a Protege of Jacko).
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

CAPTURED CHARACTERS (both PCs and NPCs)
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

MISSING CHARACTERS
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

BBBB

++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.



--

Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

NNNN

tweetbutton: 
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs