Friday, 19 April 2013

Retirement



I think it’s unlikely that there will be any more activity on this blog. The advent of Google+ seems to have taken the wind out of the sails of the OSR blogs and left a lot of good stuff trapped behind walled gardens where one needs a Google+ account to read or participate. I’ve no interest in doing that so my interest has waned.

I also, as the result of a change of lifestyle intended to try and combat my insomnia, switch the PC off a good hour before retiring for the night and that is quite dramatically cutting the time I spend online. I’m also becoming less interested in online communities as I get older and have to admit that much of my participating in such is only as a result of downtime in the office giving me the opportunity to browse threads and forums.

I’m not deleting the blog so stuff will remain here as long as Blogger does (and I’m not sure these days how long that will be…). You can contact me at o_cooperNOSPAM@NOSPAMyahoo.com. I am on FaceBook but only accept friend requests from people I know personally.

I will still be running the Rogue Trader game at Oldhammer Day this Summer and will probably be posting on the B.L.O.O.D. forum and Oldhammer FaceBook group about that.

Regards,

Coop.

Anyway let's sign out with Sabbat - Blood for the Blood God flexi-disc version from WD95 November 1987.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

New Arrivals, Dropzone Commander also Little Mans

New arrivals, printed on the finest low quality toilet paper known to Lulu.





I picked up Tales of the Space Princess really as a curiosity, but it has reminded me of my long held conviction that E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman saga is what Star Wars would be like if the costumes were based upon 40s sci-fi.

Mystery Men! is more interesting, I particularly like the chargen system which is the sort of thing that makes me wonder why this hasn't been done before in other OD&D-derived systems - based upon a pre-agreed "power" level (Heroic, Superhuman, Epic or Cosmic) each PC starts with a huge chunk of XP. From this XP, powers are bought and whatever is left over determines the PC's starting level. This would be perfect for allowing high level D&D play straight from the off.

Also, been asked to read and review this for the forthcoming UK Games Expo.





Hostilities brewed up once more on Friday night at Stourbridge. Matthew Brady sends the following photographs from within the lines of the Army of the Pakamac. Toys are 15mm, rules are Black Powder (by Priestly and Johnson) and the result, erm, doesn't seem to have filtered through to the Northern press yet.










Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Six Scenario Seeds From BuildADungeonFromMe

This is the sort of thing I intended BADFM to do. Hit the random button and get inspired.





ONE - The final room of the alien shrine. While appearing to be sunlight filtering through the window in the roof, there is only solid rock (or desert sand) for hundreds of feet, if not miles, above. The picture window is in fact a minor warpgate that only permits light to travel through it is transmitting sunlight from a far distant star, perhaps from the alien civilisation's home solar system.

Research suggests that if all the engraved grooves in the walls are filled with a mix of fat and blood from intelligent species, the Featureless Goddess will come to life and grant the performer of the ritual one (and only) question guaranteed to be answered correctly. If the question cannot be guaranteed to be truthful it is believed that reality will in fact shift to match the answer. Clever PCs may be able to use these unanswerable questions to achieve Wishes.

(For example - When will Bountcrass the Usurper die? Since that is not known, an answer of "in ten years to the day" will change reality - Nothing can make Bountcrass die before that date, nothing can prevent his death on that date).


TWO - A Chaos Warrior of the Cult of The Chimaera of Scorpion and Man. It is of vital spiritual importance to these Chaos Warriors that their mortal remains be fed to the temple scorpions, accordingly cult members will go to any lengths to recover their fallen and return what remains of them to the Feeding Pits in their hidden temple deep in the desert. This is undertaken in the hope that one day the scorpions fed upon such will give birth to their Messiah, a hybrid of Scorpion and Man, the titular Chimaera. Somewhat predictably their temple/dungeon is quite heavy on the Dromopoda theme.



THREE - Cranial Parasite. A small grub that nests and grows within the brain cavity of severed heads that still possess a large degree of their original brain matter. Feeding upon the latent psychic energy within, the grub rapidly grows a size commensurate with the skull, growing tentacles with which to move and interact with it's environment and a large, lamprey-like mouth in the original owners jaw.

It's MO is to fight from ambush, dropping upon it's prey and sucking blood until it's prey is dead. It will then repeatedly vomit it's virulent stomach acids upon the neck of the victim until the head is severed, planting a child grub within the head before looking for new prey.

In regions where the Cranial Parasite is known and feared, most cultures practise cremation to avoid the spread of them.


FOUR - Monsieur Guillotine.

AC5, HD3, Att - 2 fists + charm-like effect, DMG - d4/d4, M12, AL:C, Usual undead immunities. Turn as Wight.

A bizarre magical hybrid of guillotine and animated skeleton. Upon encountering living beings that can be killed by decapitation, Monsieur Guillotine will attack while issuing a strange chanting noise. Each enemy who hears the noise must Save vs Spells each round they remain in earshot of MG or sink to their knees in a fugue-like state, totally unable to defend themselves or take any action.

Once all enemies are in a fugue-like state (and those that resisted are dead or have fled), on each subsequent round a random victim will raise and lay him or herself down in the guillotine (one round to perform). On the next round, the guillotine will descend and slay the victim (no save).


FIVE - Lord Treasure-Stomach. Believed by legend to be a narcissistic Earth Elemental who caught sight of his own reflection in the lake and froze in position unable to tear his eyes away. Furthermore it is believed that such creatures exist on a diet of valuable gems that stay secreted in their stomachs and that should the lake ever be drained Lord Treasure-Stomach will awake in a murderous rage and lay waste to the area. Locals will go to nearly any lengths to avoid the risk of adventurers trying to wake him in order to see if the gem diet legend is true.



SIX - Morkhoon the Death-Writer. First you have to locate this ancient, withered undead beast. Then you have to pay his grim price which he will tell you in staccato hisses of a volume barely audible to the human ear. This price varies by job and probably by whim of Morkhoon. Then he will prick himself and draw his thin, black blood and write the name of your target upon his wall and furthermore your name alongside it. The target will be dead within a year and a day. Morkhoon never fails and your name will be alongside your guilty deed for ever. Morkhoon knows who requested the assassination and will always draw the name of the guilty party - it is no use sending a catspaw or delegate to request your dirty work. Amongst the names of the guilty are those of many Kings and Emperors who thought that slaves, servants and messenger boys would be taking the rap for them.


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Death Frost Doom in a Black Country

Yeah, it's all my fault - no sooner do I print out and start to bind my PDF of Death Frost Doom then the snow sweeps in and paralyses the UK. Sorry. If it makes you feel any better I slipped and fell on the side of my arse walking back from Tescos today and Das Coopwagen will almost certainly be stuck on the drive for much of next week.



I won't bother reviewing DFD because it's been out a few years now and basically everybody else has already done so. I quite like it, it's almost scrupulously fair (which will be returned to later) and has a nice atmosphere. However there is one word that breaks it for me.

That word crops up as early as page 10 and is "susurrus".

Now, I already know what that word means. This is because I had to look it up after encountering it back in White Dwarf 9, specifically Albie Fiore's classic three-and-a-half-page 1st level D&D dungeon The Lichway from 1978. It's not like The Lichway is a famous dungeon or anything, nothing like something mentioned by people like Pterry as being the setting of the first game of D&D he ever played in.



So yeah, DFD is basically a rewrite of The Lichway. I think a lot of people have already noticed this and commented upon it so I'll just add this - LOTFP's Tower of the Stargazer is basically a rewrite of the Beacon at Enon Tor from IMAGINE 1 (April 1983). So there's previous here.

Basically the big problem I have with this scenario (and to be honest, it's the only major one) is that as soon as the word "susurrus" is mentioned, two things happen.

1 - Somebody says "what's that mean?" or
2 - Somebody blinks and thinks "Shit, this is a Lichway rewrite. This time there might actually be a Lich".

So that's problematical. It's a further problem in that the situation is slightly different in the two scenarios, but Lichway's is, I think, superior. To elucidate;

In DFD, a thorny plant blocks entrance to room 22. Air travelling through it's expanse makes the susurrus noise that keeps the undead "asleep". The players will just regard this as a problem to be brushed aside or, worse still, will be sagely wondering if the susurrus noise throughout the dungeon complex is, you know, maybe just maybe keeping the undead asleep. Because that Might. Just. Happen.

(This is what I mean by almost - knowledge of just how bad removing an irritating loads of brambles could be just isn't guessable and if it is - well we all know which WD scenario your players are familiar with...)

In Lichway, a beast called the Susurrus is kept in a cage over a secret trapdoor (yeah, that's a spoiler. The scenario is from 1978 FFS) over the secret treasure (ditto). It lives off air which it pulls through a series of resonant chambers in it's exoskeleton producing the susuruss noise that keeps the undead "asleep". It doesn't actually block any passage through it's chamber. It lives off air so has no reason to attack the PCs unless they have a naked flame which it detests seeing as how a naked flame burns up all the oxygen and is a direct competitor for resources. This makes sense. There is also a bullroarer in the dungeon complex specifically made to control the beast.

So the Lichway sets up a situation whereby the PCs don't actually need to dispose of the Susurrus and probably have to go to some lengths to do so (it's 8HD, they are 1st level) but intelligent play will certainly show them a way to "solve" the "puzzle". DFD just gives them an annoying briar to remove in order to get access to a room that will then fuck them up for doing the obvious thing which is a situation compounded by the fact that in the optional "go to dungeon on quest for McGuffin found in one room" the DM is supposed to place it in the room blocked off by the Susurrus plant.

However, that's the only part I dislike. So, thinking about it while on the household chores this afternoon I came up with the following take. Drop the thorny susurrus plant and introduce

THE TOM BOMBADIL OF THE DEVAN-KU DEATH CULT!

Now we have a wizened old immortal, perhaps one of the very first members of the cult back in Ye Olde Days. He sits in room 22 playing a bone flute. This can be heard everywhere in the dungeon that the original susurrus could. He has sat there since time immemorial playing his bone flute very badly, awaiting the day that a new Grandmaster of the cult will arrive and declare that is time for HELL TO VOMIT FORTH IT'S FILTH. This has never happened in the past. But the eschatology of the cult says that it will one day. Maybe the Grandmaster doesn't know he's the Grandmaster. Maybe he was living the carefree life of a murder hobo dungeon bastard right up until the point where he made the music stop. Who knows? Devan-Ku moves in mysterious ways.

If the PCs try to talk to him he will carry on playing his flute. Should they make moves to attack him he will stop, ask "Are you sure? Are you really sure?" and if they are sure he'll just shrug and let himself be hacked down (1hp which should shock and worry any player who thought that this was THE BIG END OF LAST LEVEL BOSS and was preparing accordingly).

And then HELL VOMITS FORTH IT'S FILTH.

Another tiny problem I have is that there is a chimney up from room 22 clearly intended to be an emergency exit from, basically, the shitstorm that the PCs have just caused. This is claimed to be difficult to find from the surface (i.e. you must use DM's fiat to stop them finding it or the scenario will be fucked) but as we know, what is intended purely as an exit sometimes get used as an entrance as well. The chimney is partly blocked by susurrus brambles but the scenario is quiet on what exactly it would take to clear this and what, if any, this effect would have upon the susurussy noise. It strikes me that this was put in more in hope than expectation that the PCs don't find it. A bit scruffy.

Also why would you have a secret door in room 22 that requires a human sacrifice to open (this is good), alongside another secret door that, err, doesn't require a human sacrifice to open and leads to exactly the same corridor? I would cut out the linking N/S 10' of tunnel that links room 23 to the likes of rooms 24, 25 etc. or have the ritual open both.

But I like this scenario. If I were ever to get a game on, I'd happily run either as an introductory game but I'd have to prep players before running DFD that this is a little bit different to the more run of the mill D&D game.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Just Two Members of the Horde of Goreshitter

Firstly, a frank and honest admission of some shocking 'Eavy Metal heresy.

I like gloss varnish.

I especially like gloss varnish on 28mm figures.

My excuse for this is that some of the first miniatures photography I saw in White Dwarf was the work of Aly Morrison and they were slathered in rock hard gloss varnish. I loved the effect, the sheen and the porcelain-like finish and it was massively inspirational upon me. Gloss used to be quite fashionable up until the early 1990s but then it went away in favour of the almost maniacal "must be flat and reflect no light" look which was probably inspired by the increasing use of the black undercoat.

Anyway, I gloss all my 28mm. I even like the tactile feel when they are picked up.

Unfortunately this makes photography of my toys extremely difficult. Anyway here's two that I managed to snap via the iPhone without looking utterly shit.





Hathroll Stone Ommer, Asgard Miniatures Half-Troll with Hammer, pretending to be a Runequest Broo Oldhamster Chaos Beastman. I wanted to use this model because Asgard is Bryan Ansell's old company although I actually bought this as a reissue when Tabletop Games owned the moulds. I had a go at a traditional Blanchitsu "Orange Ogre Face" on the shield, but in red to match the red-and-yellow-ochre colour scheme that the rest of the warband has. Unfortunately the model is far too big to fit on a 25mm x 25mm base so I've double-based it - the frontage is the correct-for-Oldhamster 25mm but twice the depth as if it were what the kids all call a "unit filler" these days. Groundworking will be done all at the end of the project to keep it consistent across all models.







Yak Gotegobla, Citadel Miniatures Beastman Champion. I was a bit unsure about whether this model fitted in with the Oldhammer ethos being, to my mind, from the modern, rubbish period. But then I realised that the copyright date on the slottabase tab was 1995 which is obviously a hell of a lot closer to the magical year of 1987 then it is to the modern day...

So it gets a pass and gets to lead Göreshitter's Beastman unit Göreshitter's Shitters of Göre (all 5 of them). I tried to go all "limited palette" on this one, it's possibly ended up being a bit too subtle.

I do have other members of the warband painted up, unfortunately the gloss varnish and uneven lighting in the flat (fuck you shitty modern energy saving bulbs) meant that the pics aren't worth posting.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Been Quiet Recently

Been quiet recently. The reason for this is that I'm following a self-imposed curfew from VDU use after 10 at night in the interests of combating insomnia. So no PC, iPhone games, DVDs or vidya after 10 which is cutting the amount of time I spend online.

Despite this, the Rogue Trader game at Oldhammer weekend is go go go, scheduled for Sunday 1st September at Foundry in Nottingham. You can find the thread and rules and such like at the B.L.O.O.D. forum (no idea what that acronym stands for) here.

Anyway pics of some toys that will no doubt show their faces at Foundry.







Sunday was the West Midlands Military Show at Wolverhampton which is the same show that used to be based at that run-down secondary school in Walsall just off J10. Despite the name it's 90% wargaming with the balance being made up from displays by local kit modellers, a re-enactor or two and a couple of Second World War US Army vehicles.

These days, with the decline of the small "club open day" show this is one of only two shows I attend, the other being the show that used to be called Sandwell Skirmish but then moved out of Sandwell and into Brum which is held in December.

I picked up a few bits and pieces, mainly for the Oldhammer 40,000 game. I saw nothing of RPG interest, the usual Bring and Buy stall was pretty desolate and devoid of much of interest. I think this is probably the continuation of the decline of the B&B concept (once upon a time being the only real reason to attend smaller shows) it's market share having been decimated by eBay and a lot of tales of theft from stalls. That's usually where I pick up RPG bargains but nothing of interest this time.

On the subject of RPGs I finally got around at looking at the PDF download of 1977 vintage Tunnels & Trolls (4th edition) that I downloaded back in November. Printed out and bound this now means that I have four copies of T&T across three different editions and I have never played any of them...






Friday, 1 March 2013

Oldhammer Game Proposal - Rogue Trader

WD112 had this announcement of a "Bring and Battle" Rogue Trader event at Games Day '89.





I'd swear that there was an earlier incarnation of this game at Games Day '88 using just Space Marines and presented as a sort of gladiatorial game for the title of Emperor's Champion but I can't find any evidence of such in White Dwarf back issues. I may have dreamt this but I'm fairly certain I didn't.

I'd like (if the interest is there which is where you guys come in) to run something similar at the Oldhammer bash at Foundry this August. Using the 1987 rules of course.

This would be a case of each player turning up with something that resembles a Space Marine tactical squad (loaners would be available although I imagine most people attending Oldhammer would be able to lay their hands upon 10 Space Marines - RT01s or modern it really doesn't matter) and pitching in - either as an "everyman for himself" thing or set up as two opposing table edges. I guess the format depends upon numbers really as I suspect the rules might fall apart if there are too many sides.

I envisage people being able to turn up and just join in as and when, re-joining in after being wiped out if they so fancy. An excuse to push some lead and plastic around and roll some dice in other words. We might keep score, the winner wins the adoration of his peers or muttered asides of "powergamer..."

But while inviting all and sundry to the gladiatorial games on the world of Ghun'Khryme-Kapitol there will be a few... say we say complications.

Which is to say that your GM (yours truly) keeps thumbing through Warhammer 40,000 - Rogue Trader and thinking thoughts like "hmmm... random Dinosaurs....", "hmmm... vortex missiles" and "hmmm... biowire. I remember that issue of 2000AD..."

In other words, lots of random events designed to stir things up and stop it being a Missile Launcher sniping party. And it might allow me to kill something as it looks like my Khornate warband in the RoC battle royale won't be achieving very much...

Any interest? Is it worth my while sorting the game out. Let me know here or on the Oldhammer Facebook page.

Cheers,
Coop


Monday, 25 February 2013

Oldhammer - Umlaut Goreshitter

Once upon a time, in the Reikland village of Alt-Hammer, deep within the dark forested Principality of Upper-Rungun, a minor petty princedom whose only known exports were congenital deformities, buggery and "The Old King's Rot" was born a son to Hans and Lieselotte Gorseschitter.

Umlaut(*) had his Mother's eyes, his Grandfather's nose and his Father's head which, a famed family trait running down the Gorseschitter lineage from before the days of the two-tailed comet, was growing out of his left kneecap.

The Gorseschitter family trade was rat-catching, a job made far easier when ones eyeballs are hovering just above the ground. In time young Umlaut grew to manhood and inherited his Father's mantle - the ratter's pole with D6 dead rats, a sling and ammunition, d6 animal traps and the proud symbol of his profession - A Small But Vicious Dog ().

A happy lifespan of about 35-40 years, siring several deformed mutant children of all three sexes and eventual decay into Chaos Spawn-dom awaited the young, keen ratcatcher.

Except... for that fatal day when he was summoned to the manor house of the Graf Jacob Sa'Vile von Self-Fondler to deal with a rat infestation whereupon it all went a bit Pieter Töng.

Umlaut let his Small But Vicious Dog () off the leash in chase of the scent of rodent and followed him down into the cellar of Schloss von Self-Fondler. There he discovered to his horror the great scented pastel catacombs of the Graf's pleasure chambers, a hell of soft furnishings, recreational drugs, pale wan slaves and (he suspected from a brief glimpse of a black-and-red-robed figure fleeing in haste) the Cardinal of North Albion.

Following the sound of yapping and the trail of overturned silver platters of Lustrian Army Marching Powder, Umlaut arrived at a small hexagonal chamber decorated in hermaphroditic murals to find his Small But Vicious Dog () victorious amongst a pile of dead rats, some of whom appeared to be wearing gold earrings in piratical style.

Suddenly a noise behind him made the young rat-catcher spin around. Behind him stood the Graf, who was for some reason clad as a somewhat disreputable and dishevelled looking junior Priestess of Shallya and pointing a loaded crossbow at him.

"Having seen the magnificence of my pleasure chambers and resolved my rodent problem you will never leave alive peasant. Prepare yourself to meet your decidedly unimaginative and sexually repressed maker."

The Graf's finger tightened upon the crossbow trigger. With a yelp, the Small But Vicious Dog () leaped up at the Graf's face. In a flash, the nobleman's carotid artery was severed and with a yelp, the Small But Vicious Dog () fell to the ground with a crossbow bolt through it's neck.

Tales are only whispered of the grim bloody vengeance that Umlaut wreaked upon the house of von Self-Fondler in revenge for the death of his brave Small But Vicious Dog (). But when all was done and the stones of Schloss von Self-Fondler lay tumbled amongst the curiously twisted and spiky weeds, Umlaut Gorseschitter was no more and UMLAUT GÖRESHITTER stood in his place.

"My Dark Master Khorne" screamed Göreshitter, "I will slay the pervert followers of the pre-op ladyboy God for your dark glory even if I have to grow a ginger mullet and drive to fucking Nottingham!"

With that, a leap into the dark woods and Göreshitter was off to assemble around himself a motley collection of the worst crap ever to fall out of eBay and, being somewhat illiterate, set fire to the house of a paediatrician in South Wales (allegedly).

---







Umlaut Work-In-Progress reflecting his Chaos Attribute (Limb Transference) which moved his head to his knee. I feel slightly like I'm cheating here by going for 100% plastic and putty rather than white metal but it's been a bit of a nightmare trying to find a suitable figure. Most of the lead I found out wasn't suited to quick-and-dirty headchops as the head was either moulded against a weapon or "flowed" into extensive detail such as on the Grenadier amazons I had that all had long hair and/or braids.

And if the top half of the figure was fine for head removal, the knee wasn't and would be obscured making it either difficult to see the head transference or impossible to convert.

So this is Göreshitter in his current guise, that might change before the summer. Colour scheme will be red, red and some red possibly with brass and then some gore.


(*) Sadly Windows charmap.exe is unable to replicate local spelling and add the required umlaut above the letter 'm'. Use your imagination.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Oldhammer Theme Music Is It?

You are all wrong.

It's this.




I suggest it is played on continual loop at Oldhammer day at Foundry this summer.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Oldhammer Warband Thoughts

I need two Hobgoblins for the warband (who will be known as Naztibrootiz and Zhort), so I went through the box with my very old (now retired) Hordes of the Things Goblin army, The Goblins of Crippledick Peak to see what I could find.

These are (I think) Ral Partha Orcs.



These were masquerading as Goblins because they aren't as big as modern Orcs. They have very nice shields for old skool freehand shield designs although BITD I just used GW waterslides.

The other option is these two Chronicle N16 Cave Goblins from the talented hands of Nick Bibby a man who sadly had to stop sculpting when he developed an allergy to epoxy putty. :)



Not sure where I got the idea for ginger goblins from but not a bad one.

Whichever I use, I'll strip and repaint in the traditional Comedy Racist Oriental Yellow of the 1980s Citadel Hobgoblins along with some form of unifying paint scheme to tie everything in together - traditional Khornate dark red and yellow metal sort of thing.

You know, I woke up yesterday morning having had a weird dream that I needed to convert a Fimir into a Were-Fimir that was also a two-headed, two-beaked, one-legged Chaos Spawn at the same time and that this thing would get fucking murdered by bowfire on the first turn despite taking up six months of work to get it finished and painted. Good job, nothing like this ever happens in real life and that Umlaut Göreshitter's Chaos Warband is just Hobgoblins and Chaos Beastmen eh kids?


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Oldhammer Warband

Right then, for the Oldhammer day to be played out at Foundry in Nottingham later in the year, it's time to sort out the Coop Chaos Warband. With dice rolling and everything. See here for all the stuff if this appears to make no sense to you.



Here are my weapons - plenty of chaotic chance and randomness in there.



First up, me or UMLAUT GÖRESHITTER as I now wish to be known. I pick a 10 Hero Human. Khornate, so get Chaos Armour for free which is basically Heavy Armour +1.

Chaos Attribute - Limb Transference. Hmmmm. This turns out to be head to knee which, for purposes of modelling, I can only envisage as requiring the decapitation of a model and the sculpting of a face on a giant swollen knee. Much like my knee after I banged it trying to clamber out of a single-seater racing car (had it had a scowling John Blanche Ogre face growing out of it at the time).

3 Retinue rolls next.

First is d6 Hobgoblins, 2 of. Fairly certain I can rustle up some Goblinoids that are not quite little Goblins, but not quite hulking Orcs. I have some Ral Partha Orcs that can go in the Dettol.

Second is 2d6 Beastmen, 7 of. Don't think I have any of these to hand although I do have an Asgard Half-Troll that needs using.

Third roll is, ohh...


Which sends me off the interesting Other table. Score - Fimir.

That's bad luck as I don't have one and they aren't exactly cheap on eBay. Still, carry on. This turns to be not just a Fimir but a Chaos Fimir as it has up to D3 attributes - Roll of 1. Result - Chaos-Were.

Which requires another model. Roll for base creature for "were" form - Fimir.

ODFO.

2 Fimir models? Fimir-Were-Fimir?

Fuck it, keep rolling. Chaos-Were form has 5 attributes.

Hopper (one leg - obviously just what you want with a old, large, white metal model designed for a 40mm base), Huge Head (just what you want with a old, large, white metal model designed for a 40mm base that is now balancing on one leg), Warty Skin (which was done with little balls of Milliput pressed flat on the model's skin, yes?), Bestial Face and...

Chaos Spawn.

ODFO.

Roll another d6 attributes.

Bestial Face (again), Beaked (twice) ,Rotting Flesh.

KHORNE MY UNHOLY MASTER WHY MUST YOU MOCK AND TORMENT ME SO ALL I EVER WISHED TO DO WAS ADORN YOUR GORE-SPLATTERED FOOTSTOOL WITH THE OFFAL OF MINE ENEMIES!

Lets get this straight shall we...

A Fimir that has the curse of Lycanthrophy that, upon nights when Morrslieb the Chaos Moon is full turns into his bestial inner self... another Fimir.

With a giant head supporting two bestial faces, both beaked while hopping on one giant leg. He does have a slight wart problem with his complexion but happily that's being resolved as it's basically all falling off.

JUST TURN ME INTO A CHAOS SPAWN NOW AND GET IT OVER AND DONE WITH OK?

Now, where's my Milliput?

LATER EDIT

Suddenly, Chaos Were Fimir reminded me of Leaping Slomm Two-Face all the way back in "The Mark of Chaos" (basically proto-RoC) in The First Citadel Compendium from 1983.




That gives me something to work on. Maybe start with a leg from a doll or action figure of some description, forget that the Chaos-Were form is supposed to be a Fimir (as the Chaos Spawn attribute rather trumps that) and work up something akin to this.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Zanbar Maul Darth Bone

This is Zanbar Bone the BBEG of the fifth FF book, City of Thieves. Designed and illustrated by Brit(*) Old Skool favourite Iain McCaig, 1983.


This is Darth Maul, Sith Lord from that Phantom Menace shit. Designed by Brit(*) Old Skool favourite Iain McCaig (yes, the same one), mid-1990s.


Influence of FF went a long way didn't it?

(*) Californian by birth, Canadian by upbringing, Glaswegian by residence. But you know what I mean.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Identify That Dwarf

Back in the Rogue Trader era of White Dwarf (i.e. from WD93 onwards) there was a mention in one issue of a forthcoming event at Games Day. It would be really helpful for a prospective project if someone could help me locate the actual issue this was mentioned in. All I remember is


- Players were asked to bring to the event a painted 10-man Space Marine squad.

- The battle was a free-for-all event, a gladiatorial event for the title of "Emperors Champion" or something broadly similar.

- There was a mention in a later WD that the eventual winner had adopted the tactic of using his Missile Launcher to target ice-floes the other player's Marines were standing on and in doing so sinking them.

This might have been run twice and accordingly mentioned in WD the following year. I believe that if this was the case, the second year allowed Chaos Space Marine squads which would almost certainly date it to after the release of the first Realms of Chaos volume.

Does anybody else remember this and which issues it was mentioned in?

Knowing the readership of this blog it will probably turn out that somebody not only knows, they played in the original and have run it as a special Christmas game every year since...

Monday, 21 January 2013

Ancient & Modern




Back to August 1986 now, and a fascinating experiment by Graham Staplehurst in the pages of WD80 and WD81.

A&M is a sort of multi-media scenario/campaign/magazine special, the sort of thing that could only ever have been produced in the magazines as opposed to in published scenarios (which would have come up against commercial pressures). In this scenario, the players start as AD&D characters in Brian Lumley's Theem'hdra Mythos S&S setting (House of Cthulhu, Sorcery of Shad etc.), full of antediluvean pulp goodness which then shifts gears halfway through to become a game of Call of Cthulhu in which the players play their own ancestors/grandparents in the classic CoC era who, in turn, turn out be the descendants of the original AD&D characters. WD81 also has some short Theem'hdra fiction in the form of Lumley's The Sorcerer's Book.

There is a lot of material here in two short-ish magazine articles. WD80 has a high-level overview of the Theem'hdra setting, and the sketchy way the scenario is written allows for it to either be a one-shot or full campaign dependent upon how the DM-and-Keeper fills in the sections inbetween the described "must happens" and encounters. There's a lot of open-endedness and potential for the players to wander around trying to find solutions to problems such as travel in 1920s Normandy when you've lived your lives in the forgotten, only-part-human civilization of 10,000,000 BC. (There's a nice aside in that at one point the AD&D characters can lay their hands on a sizeable quantity of Sterling and Franc bank-notes but how will they recognise this as money?).

After the Appendix N-spectacular of the brief Theem'hdra background (anybody for an expedition to "the nightmarish Marsh of Slugs - all ten thousand square miles of it"? Nobody?) we get on with the plot.

In Theem'hdra there is currently something of a stalemate between the forces of the evil Gorgos, member of the Thromb race that seeped down from the gaps between the stars across interstellar abysses etc. etc. and the white wizard (and curiously anagramically named) Teh Atht. To break the stalemate Gorgos has decided to write off his attempts to conquer Theem'hdra and has instead put much of his power into an indestructible book containing a spell which will bring him to the  future when cast by some useful idiot, far from the spoiling and meddling efforts of his nemesis Teh Atht.

Independently, Atht has created an indestructible time capsule containing relics of his age. By co-incidence this is unearthed not very far in distance or time from where Gorgos' spellbook gets unearthed. Through temporal machinations far too complicated to get my head around, the 1920s PCs become very important to the resolution of the scenario because they are the descendants of the Theem'hdra PCs who are apparently very important because they are ancestors of the Theem'hdra PCs who become very important because Gorgos tries to capture them because... I think because he tries to capture them. Maybe. Or something like that.

(And this raises another question - if I play my Great-Grandfather Lance-Corporal White, ex-Royal Engineers and Tank Corps, Western Front and I get him killed how exactly do I end up playing him in a CoC game to get him killed in the first place? Why do I suddenly appear to be speaking from a formless, eternal void?)

Anyway.

Our Theem'hdra PCs get attacked at night in a raid intended to make them prisoners of Gorgos in his Temple of the Secret Gods evil lair HQ. This might or might not suceed but via a very loose "this might happen, then maybe this, possibly that if something else occurs" style of scenario plotting the PCs draw the attention of Teh Atht himself who whisks them off to his tower. There is a much looseness here, run with whatever the PCs get up to until a suitable opportunity to introduce the Big Man arises.

Following astral body investigations, Teh Atht discovers that Gorgos' book has been unearthed by a British archeologist whose merry widow (and useful idiot), Mme Chalbert is planning to perform the required ritual in the pursuit of immortality and power. Meanwhile, Atht's time capsule has been discovered in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption at sea by the academic Theldred Gustau who has translated it's contents but faces public scorn for his wild claims. Oh, and Atht's plan is to get the AD&D PCs to communicate with the CoC PCs through dreams in order to get them to form an adventuring party go to the Palace of Westminister lawn and recognise each other when Big Ben rings twelve.

Confused yet? Never mind, have a Tim Sell double spread map.





Suddenly we flash to the "modern" day, it's sometime pre-Second World War and the PCs (who have never previously met) share a strong mental image of a very modern Le Corbusier white-painted concrete house and the "witch" who is going to summon Gorgos, Mme. Chalbert herself.

Now get on with it.

The PCs have to use their wits, contacts and skills and generally whatever they can come up with to locate Chalbert and the house (on a private island off the coast of Normandy), get there and disrupt the ritual. At some point (and this is not very clear how), they need to come across the testimony of Theldred Gustau suggesting that there is another link to the antediluvian land floating around somewhere in the form of his memory of events and notes, but it would be really handy if they didn't wander off an diversion to Gustau's house in Yorkshire.

Because of





which would be not good.

At this point some temporal space-time knicker elastic snaps and, in a move completely unforeseeable to anybody playing in the scenario, both sets of PCs swop times and our CoC investigators end up in Teh Atht's tower.

At this, nearly everything is good as the world and indeed entire space-time continuum has been saved yet again. Unfortunately our PCs are all trapped in the wrong times and Lance-Corporal White is thinking that driving tanks on the Somme while Germans tried to kill him was a better gig than this, implying that I'm not here typing this right now.

So, onto part of the scenario detailed in WD81.

Teh Atht needs to visit the tower of Mylakhrion, the foremost ex-wizard of his age now sadly deceased as his own spellbook is not extensive enough to contain the spell required to swop both sets of PCs in time for a celebratory feast of greasy, roast mutton and ale, or weak, milky tea and Battenberg cake depending upon era. The CoC PCs will accompany him to the tower. The AD&D PCs need to get somewhere on the modern globe coterminous with Mylakhrion's tower. This is troublesome as the continents no longer even vaguely resemble those of Theem'hdra.

However, one man in 1920s Earth is aware of Theem'hdra and has much of Teh Atht's time capsule notebooks. The Coc PCs need to dream-comunicate with their AD&D counterparts and send them to Yorkshire to find out Gustau. This is another section of the scenario that could be hand-waved or could produce hours of inventive roleplaying. While knowing nothing about the twentieth century the AD&D characters have to get off a Norman isle, get to England and then travel to Yorkshire (probably with law in pursuit), locate Gustau and then travel with him to Norway where he has calculated the site of the the tower to be. Oh, and spells keep failing in the modern industrial age. Just to make life easier.

This done, the CoC PCs accompany Teh Atht to the tower. Again this could be hand-waved or turned into the World's Biggest Dungeonbash. Oh, and technological artefacts such as guns and electric torches keep failing in the ancient age. Just to make life easier.

Right at the death, the rather angry Gorgos the Thromb arrives to have it out with Teh Atht once and for all.





Is there a male equivalent of vagina dentata? Maybe penile dentata? Stat this up, you can have that on me. Probably on some random Chaos Attribute table for Slaaneshi NPCs somewhere.

---

A&M is a really bold idea, not least of which is that it attempts to sit sniffy CoC players down and hand them AD&D character sheets which I imagine in some circles around 1986 would be akin to turning up to Keeper a Coc session and waving dogshit under your player's noses. It's also a little bit short of player agency and any real chance of failure in the Theem'hdra segments in that Gorgos' agents are trying to capture, not kill, and Teh Atht is too stunningly powerful to let anything fatal occur to the PCs unless they are mind-bogglingly stupid. In both modern segments, things are much looser and depend more upon the player's wits and Keeper's improvisational skills with the ability to extend across a great many playing sessions.

 I like A&M, I've never played it and suspect it was more admired in print than played but it's the sort of thing that White Dwarf did very well. It deserves a modern airing and if you're the sort of person who regularly reads the blog then you won't struggle laying your hands on copies of WD80 and WD81.

Later edit - it strikes me that one reason to justify Gorgos' attempt to capture the PCs rather than just kill them is that he is aware of their links to the 1920s and the attempt to summon him but is unaware of exactly what those links are. He may even be suspecting that they are ancestors of Chalbert and that he cannot risk them dying and so removing her from the future timeline. This might even be correct. If a PC has some obvious genetic trait such as a gap in the teeth or a shock of red hair, then perhaps Chalbert will turn out to have that trait.



Sunday, 20 January 2013

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Helmet Camera Footage Found on iPhone

While tidying up the Camera Roll...


Didn't end well for the lone Silver Skulls Space Marine.

(Sorry kids, it was 6th edition rules. Nephew's Christmas present and all that).

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Two quotes from Rick Priestley

"The modern [Games Workshop Design] studio isn’t a studio in the same way; it isn’t a collection of artists and creatives sharing ideas and driving each other on. It’s become the promotions department of a toy company – things move on!"

Rick P from an interview by Orlygg at Realm of Chaos.

Not all second editions are design-led though. The bigger the publisher the more likely it is that someone has a weather eye on the wage bills and profit line. In other words, it may not be the game's designers who pull the strings, especially where designers are employees and not necessarily the game's original creators... ...With fantasy and science fiction games that are tied to proprietary model ranges, there is a temptation to subvert games development for simple range expansion. So the second edition effectively re-writes the game, changes army composition, and adds new'must have' models.

Rick P in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 63.

I am doing my raised eyebrow face. That is all.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Some Points

XBLA Spelunky is great if you are the sort of person who likes Old School D&D and liked Rick Dangerous on the old, proper machines. It's basically Rick Dangerous Rogue-like. It's one of the few games that manage to be brutally hard (at first), but 100%, no messing fair and never cheap.

On the subject of Rogue-likes, Zaga-33 on iOS costs sixty-nine pence and is equally brilliant. (This has been out for absolutely ages but I only thought to mention it now due to mentioning Spelunky).

buildadungeonfromme.tumblr.com now has 266 pictures loaded up on it and a RANDOM button for pressing and seeing what inspiration stuff drops out of the other end. You should press RANDOM a few times and write the scenario. It will be good for you.

Warhammer 40,000 6th edition is OK (myself and The Not-really-a-nephew-nephew both have the Dark Vengeance box sets with no intention of buying codexes or worrying about points values) but does play rather like somebody simply took 5th edition and shoe-horned his own house rules and "this is how we play" things into it. Lots of slightly clunky exceptions to rules, not slick.

I have a new blog for the wargaming stuff that seems out of place here on fightingfantasist. It's called OPEN FIRE! ALL WEAPONS! which you need to shriek like a leather-clad lesbian dominatrix from the Slavic regions of Mongo in order to get the full effect. Mostly going to be the historic stuff I think.


Will whoever keeps sending me anonymous messages on http://fuckyeahbritisholdschoolgaming.tumblr.com/ that just say "leman russ" or "white dwarf" kindly explain himself and his purpose in doing so? I'm starting to feel that I'm missing a meme that the rest of the Internet knows all about.

While sorting out a post of the cover of Something Rotten in Kislev for that blog, a Google search came across my long-forgotten review of this WFRP supplement from 13 years ago...

Also, I has Dreadball.


But first impressions were that the figures were not of the usual 28mm Mantic quality, but rather small and afflicted with a lot of flash and not at all what I had expected as an existing Mantic customer.


But then after being disappointed I painted the human team up, and they looked OK when speed-painted and gloss varnished.


I was going to paint them silvery-chrome, but then I realised that everybody else would do that, so I painted them bronze and blue instead and I was going to call them BRUTAL DELUXE, but then I realised that everybody else would do that, so I named them METAL MESSIAHS instead.


I need to paint the Orc team but we are due to play on Friday so that probably won't happen in time.

Also, sorry Words with Friends, but despite your moral objections it is an acceptable world in real world Scrabble. It may not be big, and it may not be clever, but it is a legal play. Cost me 18 points there, you bowdlerising pig-fucker.