Link Fest

A collection of interesting things from around the web.

The Golden Geek awards are open for voting.

The new edition of Mindjammer is out at last. Well, kinda. You can preorder it and get the 99% complete PDF today.

Never go hungry in a dungeon again.

Wall of stone, stone to flesh, slice, cook, flavor with prestidigitation.

Why cutting off a tail is a great insult.

The subject of Damage On A Miss in D&D came up. This generated some poor arguments (tip: saying you should be listened to because you designed games — especially when they are a completely different kind of game — is likely to get your arguments dismissed out of hand) and some well thought out commentary.

A list of names for pubs.

Posted in D&D, FATE, RPG, Starblazer Adventures | Comments Off

Jake Thornton prepares to review the new White Dwarf

Jake Thornton is going to give his opinions on the relaunch of White Dwarf over the next week or so. This could be interesting.

White Dwarf hasn’t been of much interest to be for a while, since it has heavily geared itself towards showing straight adverts for GW stuff and showing pictures of GW stuff and away from printing interesting articles.

I doubt this will change, but having a review from Jake will settle the matter for me without me having to shell out for copies of my own.

Posted in Miniatures, Warhammer, Warhammer 40000 | Tagged , | Comments Off

Why do tech levels differ in Diaspora?

Via the G+ Diaspora community:

It seems that Humanity has spread all over the universe and colonized many planets. I guess that, originally, all humans come from the same place, Earth or whatever. However, I don’t know how to justify the big differences in technology levels between planets, or how the low technology cultures arrived to a given system using slipstreams.

How do you explain it in your games?

This is how I’d handle it:

The great expansion took place before anyone from Earth had developed the slipstream drive. Humanity crawled to the stars in ships that could only approach the speed of light but never exceed it.

Some traveled on generation ships but most used cryogenics to suspend their life functions for the trip.

When they arrived at the planet they were aiming for, they had few resources beyond those they found on their new home and had to build new civilisations almost from scratch.

Some planets were rich in materials, some little more than deserts.

Some were devoid of life forms above level 3, others had native life or other colonists competing for the same resources as the colonists.

Each colony had to struggle back to the stars at its own pace. A few had enough functioning technology with them that it took them months, but most took decades, centuries or never made it on their own.

As time passed, many colonies forgot where they came from and experienced severe culture shock when first contact was made with other humans.

Posted in FATE, RPG, Science Fiction | Tagged | Comments Off

Deadzone tiles

The first batch of Deadzone kickstarter goodies made an appearance a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been playing around with it in between all the running around I’m doing ahead of Christmas and New Year.

The main reason I backed the kickstarter was for the scenery since I saw the prototypes at UK Games Expo and saw a lot of potential there.

Deadzone Tiles

These are a couple of tiles I have as work in progress. On the left is a standard floor / roof tile to which I’ve applied White’s Wolves’ painting technique.

The base coat is Halfords ArtFx Grey and this is overlaid with Humbrol Grey 64.

On the right is the tile I plan to use as the centre of my landing pad. I haven’t started applying paint to it yet as I need to figure out how I’m going to attach the electronics to it first.

As you can see, I’ve drilled 9 holes in it. These are sized for LEDs which will be used to show landing lights in various patterns.

Posted in Deadzone, Mantic, Miniatures | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

UK Games Expo 2013

A fun UK Games Expo this year. I’d say it was cheap since I managed to avoid spending money in the trade hall except for a set of dice (because I forgot to bring any of my own), but proximity to good, cheap food or accommodation were not among the many benefits of the new venue.

So what did I do… Mostly, I skipped the boardgames tournaments that I usually enter and opted for lots of RPGs instead.


The Mattock of Mandabor (DnD) was a decent 4e game. It didn’t have quite as much combat as I would have expected from 4e, and it lacked the grid that is usual for the system. This was a shame as I signed up for it expecting an easy afternoon of pushing miniatures around a battlemat to ease me into the weekend. It would be unfair to criticise it for not being what I was expecting though.

Daring Tales of Adventure: The Jewel of Zinj (Savage Worlds) was a good, rollicking Pulp adventure. Dutchess had to face the terrible dilemma of criticising Brent for murdering a magnificent beast or giving in an asking him to skin the animal so she could have a new fur. The twist at the end was interesting, but one that depends on the player to receive it to be receptive to the idea (unfortunately, in this case, he wasn’t).

Captain Scarlet: Live & Let Retrometabolise (Savage Worlds) was excellent. An assortment of Bond villains made guest appearances and were dealt with. Captain Blue turned out to be something of a psychopath (what else was I going to do with a character whose only social skill was Intimidation d10?). I especially enjoyed calling a Joker at just the right moment to go before Captain Black so as to be able to squash him between my SPV and a large HGV before he could climb on board.

Escape from Mos Shuuta was a useful introduction to the new Star Wars RPG. I’m increasingly not a fan of it (or WFRP 3e) as the dice take too long to resolve (since you have to do symbol adding/subtracting on, what are effectively, two and a half sets of symbols, and then resolve the effects of each of those sets … for every action). The system has some very good ideas, but I think reducing the level of crunch and using Fate to handle the narrative effects makes for a better game, at least for the Edge of Empire level. The system might turn out to be good for handling a Jedi game, but it will be a while before we can see how that works out.

Scooby Doo F’Taghn! (Savage Worlds) was the highlight. Two foolish players failed to turn up, so two of us ended up pulling double duty on characters. I ended up with Daphne Blake and Frederick “Fred” Jones.

Daphne had Fighting d4 so was clearly not the movie version of the character. The dice disagreed and kept exploding, which led to the infamous 22 point zombie-slaying saucepan attack in the kitchen.

Fred then made his infamous terrible mistake (since he refused to believe in the supernatural) and removed the zombie’s mask. This took a surprising amount of effort.

There were lots of other great moments and it was an excellent game.

While I had fun at all of the RPGs I played in, the Savage Worlds ones were the best and I’m now sold on the system. I think I shall be running some in the not too distant future.

Board Games

I managed to get in a demo game of Quarriors! and decided that it seemed fun so I might pick up a copy at some point. I also tried out Forbidden Desert (since Jess bought a copy), which I think is more fun than Forbidden Island (and will probably play some more of when I see Jess again next month).


For the first time, I actually attended one of the seminars … which was a Star Wars Vs Doctor Who panel game with all the organisation (not a lot) and fun (a great deal) that you would expect from something we imagine was dreamed up in the hotel bar the night before.

This didn’t leave a great deal of time for sleep so I’ve been glad to have a bank holiday Monday to recover in!

Posted in Board Games, D&D, Gaming in general, Pulp, RPG, Savage Worlds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off