Tuesday, 24 December 2013

LOG&S Fluff: The Agora

While many strips of The Grand Stairway are little more than a yard or so between walls with the occasional alcove or recessed Door there are a few rare places that stand apart from the rest. Walk for long enough and you are sure  to find a part of the stair which crosses over itself and the claustrophobic corridors give way to an interconnected hallway or a spiralling tower.
     It is in one such place that a market can be found - wide stairways and layered halls with overhanging balconies, smaller staircases trailing from archway to pass across each other like a stone and wood cat's cradle. Packed thickly amongst the Doors and walls lay a hundred or so pavilion tents of many designs, twice as many gazebos and uncountable temporary tables and stands surrounded by a thousand or so denizens  of the Gossamer Worlds,  each buying or selling the displayed wares of their endless homelands.
     It has been known by many different names in its time but the Gossamer Lords know it by one. The Agora.
 
When approaching, one can first hear the barkers and throngs of The Agora and shortly after the scent of cooked goods, heady musks and travellers. When one turns a corner into the market proper it is a sudden assault of colour and movement that lurches out towards the viewer  and demands attention.
     The tents  and other constructions that make up The Agora are  as varied as their owners. A hide and leather yurt where a man with the head and hooves of a horse fletches elaborately carved arrows  of bone and wood sits beside a brightly coloured linen and silk covered stall where a pair of women from the Italian renaissance sell delicate perfumes created from the products of a handful of nearby Gossamer Worlds.
     The consumers  of a thousand realms jostle and brush past each other to see the goods available for trade and  barter, arguing the value of the coins of  their homeland even as the shopkeepers weight them for their precious metals or resale value in their  own worlds.
     All across The Agora you can find a trader who specialises in some form of food - from simple tables with barbeque grills cooking sweet vegetables basted in honey and star  anise to huge pavilions with enchanted hotplates frying immense cattle  meats and rich eggs. Other tents boast barrels of strange beers and alien spirits in  fluted bottles ready for drinking. The Agora has a taste for all who are brave  or inquisitive enough to try their luck at  the griddle.
    On the subject of luck, a single tent exists where a man can  trade some goods in exchange  for a handful  of silvery chips and entry through a Doorway to a casino known as 'The Laughing Mare' where you can make or lose a fortune on the roll of a single die. Many (though not  all) merchants in  the Agora accept  the distinctive chips as a  rough currency, meaning  the traders who work for the casino have a  wide  selection of ecletic and  rare things  for sale.
     A noticeboard hangs from a free standing post by one rickety Door at the edge of the Agora with a simple 'Ursula Axilla, PI' sign above it. A few pieces of folded up paper and vellum are tacked  to it - messages for its owner from various clients and informants.
     Naturally, where there  are travellers there are always  those who make their daily bread offering respite from a hard day. Whilst true privacy is all but an impossible dream in The Agora, there are a few private tents to the outskirts who'se only trade is in flesh. Some of the establishments of ill repute  attempt an air of secrecy - calling themselves bath tents and even occasionally actually providing washing services.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Winter Solstice

I had a lovely celebration for Winter Solstice with the family and hopefully from this point onwards we're gonna have less Fiction for my game and more actual gaming stuff to go up on here!

My lovely Maid of Wynn bought me some Necrons, so I think what i'm going to do is make an unboxing post and then do it as a christmas special. Because hell, I can schedual it to come out that day even if no-one's going to read it!

Also excitingly I just bought myself the new 40K Killteam rules... So I imagine you'll also see a Killteam from Unboxing to Table Ready and their first Battle?

Probably with The Responsible One! (If you havn't seen his blog, go check it out. He's been way better at posting actual content then I have and has a bigger gaming budget :P)

So yeah! Thats a thing.

Exciting Times!

(I even got a tape measure out of a cracker. My first responce was 'YES. TAPEMEASURE! FOR GAMING!'... ^.^ )

Friday, 20 December 2013

LOG&S Artwork: Ginger

Trans-Dimensional Good Time Gal Ginger!

LOG&S Artwork: Rui Shi, The Guardian Lion

A photograph of a drawing of Rui Shi, a demon-hunting monk from a currently un-named Wuxia style Gossamer World!

Artwork by +Purple Fantum

I wish my scanner worked ¬.¬


Thursday, 19 December 2013

LOG&S Fiction: Gossamer Worlds - The Automated States of America

== Basic Information ==

Gossamer World Name: The Automated States of America

Gossamer World Themes: 1920's Anachronistic Sci-Fi. Noir. Pulp Fiction. Crime Drama

== A History In Brief ==

In the 1900's, The world's technological advancement had reached a pinnacle. Not only had the fields of robotics created a new servile class but advances in cybernetics had opened the doorway to families opting to improve newborn infants with enhancements such as replacement organs, skeletal structure or musculature. It was the 'fashionable' thing to do as well as away to ensure your children would excel in life.

In 1910, America suffered a second civil war.

Where once, North fought against South this second war was to decide the fate of robotic life in America. Originally very simple, robots had been growing slowly more sophisticated over the years until they were able to think, reason and even feel emotion. Naturally as a race designed for servitude, robots desired freedom more then anything else.

Fashions of the past quickly turned sour, where those who had opted to undergo cybernetic surgery for medical or other reasons resulted in 'Borg' hate crimes - that the people who had them were more machine then man and therefore no longer counted as people.

The political and physical war lasted for almost a decade until a change in president supporting the freedom of robotic life made the bold decision to grant 'Ferro Americans' their independence. And so, life has settled to what most people expect of a 1920's movie - The mob whacks guys, the police are corrupt, Racism stretches across species boundries and Jazz and Liquor are in their heyday.

The current President of the Automated States is Seymour Wayland, a Democratic Party candidate brought into power by the country's wish to end the war. Wayland's presidency was  almost cut short by an attempt on his life that was thwarted by an un-named agent of the government. This was the tipping point that swayed public vote to his favour and won him the election. No public information has been released to the media about this agent to protect national security.

The biggest crime syndicate in the Automated States has its roots firmly settled in Chicago, secretly led by John Go21 The 'Titanium Don' of the Zambini crime family. Once a human run organization with heavy robotic ties it seems a murder in the ranks has resulted in the old boss Salvador 'Sal' Zambini being replaced by a robotic up-and-comer. A robot in such a high rank of a crime family is unheard of and other crime families have given the group the cold  shoulder...  A fact that doesn't seem to have slowed Zambini growth at all.

Sal Zambini's trusted Consiglierre 'Buggy' Ma10ne is missing presumed scrapped and his wife was also a victim of the viscious shooting that took the mob boss' life






(Images from Penny Arcade's 'Automata' Storyline or The Whitehouse)

Vampire: The Requiem Blood and Feeding Essay

"Why Vampires should resort to violence only as a last recourse."
or
"Can I afford to pay for this fight?"

Vampires don't really need to pay for food. This much is a simple fact. If needs be, a vampire can go out there and grab someone of a street and chow down. Its dangerous, but its a thing. Blood is fairly important to a vampire. Lets look at the basics of what a vampire needs blood to do.

1: Wake Up.
Thats right. Every day that a vampire survives costs a point of blood. Thats 7 points of blood a week just to wake up. Thats one whole human death a week if you don't feel bad for draining a person dry, Three 'Risky' feedings of 3 vitae per week (9 vitae), four 'safe' feedings of 2 vitae  per week (8 vitae) or seven insignificant feedings of 1 vitae per week (7 vitae).

2: Are you a Nomad?
Haven of soil costs 1 blood a night, if you cant find somewhere safe to have a day sleep or are on the run. Thats another point of Vitae.

So, on average, your worst case scenario decrees 14 points of blood per week to survive. or 56 a month. 56 points of blood! Eight average human deaths. One safe feeding a night. This means you are balanced out and not gaining or losing blood. Lets say you're a reasonable person and you arn't snatching people off the street to put them in your face. Thats maybe what, 2 hours of flirting or co-ercion or domination or however you feed?

But lets look back a second there. Flirting/seduction requires certain... bodily aspects to be needed to work sometimes. Maybe you get your blood during sex, or something like that? So lets add...

3: Blush of Life
Blush of life is required to do things like - not feel like a corpse, pretend to have a pulse, be warmer but hardly average human temperature and to get the physical side effects of sexual arousal - getting hard, or moist, or whatever. Thats a point of blood for a scene.

So if your average way of feeding is via sex and you are a nomad, that puts you up to 3 points of blood a night. or 21 blood a week. 84 blood a month. One Risky feeding per night. 12 Humans a month.

But the likelyhood of being a nomadic sexual predator is unlikely. So 2 blood a night is more reasonable. And in those situations, you might even be able to get away with having a safe place to stay for a night or meeting someone who doesnt need sexual stimulation in order to get to a position where you can feed from them. So whats more likely is that you're going to need only about 4 additional blood a week on top of your basic 7.

4: Corvee
Its likely that if you life in a city with a lot of vampires, theres not going to be much in the way of spare territory to claim as your own. So its likely that you're also going to need to pay Blood Tithe to an older vampire. Maybe thats human blood, maybe thats YOUR blood. either way, thats around maybe 3 blood a month if you have a landlord and he's not giving you a good discount or making you pay through the roof.

So lets make it a nice round 10 blood a week, yeah? Its a nice solid number and is also co-incidentally the blood pool of a BP 1 vampire.

Jimmy is a Neonate, a daeva who was an up-and-coming actor before his embrace. He's good looking, personable and his way of feeding is via seduction.

Jimmy gets mugged.

Now. Lets stab Jimmy with a knife. We'll ignore the astonishingly appaling dicepools that some characters in the IOD have and assume that its someone who knows how to use a knife (rather then being stabmaster prime), using a knife. An average slash is going to do 2 damage to Jimmy.

A normal mugger is just going to stab someone once if they have to, but when Jimmy fights back (he's had a bad night) the guy gets two stabs in before Jimmy stops him/fends him off. Thats 4 Lethal. Thats four blood... or two nights of safe feeding on TOP of the two nights of safe feeding he normally would have to do a week. Or maybe Jimmy takes a couple of points from his mugger. The point being, thats another 4 points.

5: Healing
Bashing heals at 2 points per point of blood. Lethal heals one-for-one and Aggravated damage takes 5 blood and a night of sleep each.
Except, well... if you look like you'd been seriously hacked to peices or burnt to cinders, you wouldn't have your normal ability to feed socially as i suspect most vampires do. So if you cant heal up most of it, you're going to be on significant penalties to dicepools to do with feeding/ get less blood per night then you normally would.

So injury not only straight away saps from your blood reserves, but punishes you later down the line too.

Though, there was a way for Jimmy to minimise the amount of damage he took, using his celerity.

6: Power Use
Celerity costs 1 blood per turn but makes him very hard to hit. If he doesnt get hit, those two rounds of combat are still going to cost him 2 blood (better then the four of damage) or maybe more if the mugger still got a lucky shot in. or potentially, Jimmy is shooting himself in the foot if his mugger gets seriously lucky and still stabs him twice, potentialy putting the blood cost of that fight up to 6 blood. And we've allready established that as a BP 1 vampire, Jimmy has a pool of 10.

Assuming that Celerity helped on one hit, but didnt on the other means that fight cost Jimmy 4 blood. Meaning that if jimmy continues his normal feeding style, he'll stay on a pool of 6 blood. Which is fine if Jimmy doesnt expect to be attacked anytime soon again.

And lets be fair, on average he wont.

but averages go out of the window when you're fighting another vampire. Vampires can deal Aggravated damage, which is very, very expensive to heal and often very obvious. Vampires rarely stop because they've taken a gut-shot. Vampires can lose control of themselves and become unable to withdraw from a combat.

... Combat against a vampire becomes seriously prohibitive on your 'ability to feed' and 'days left before torpor' counts. Vampires live day-to-day on their ability to hunt/provide for themselves, and they cant 'go without' for a few days, because every day costs at least one blood if you're lucky or well prepared.

Herd helps. Haven Location helps. A bunch of merits help. Be really, really glad that most ST's wont say 'i've you've used these dots once this month, you cant use them again' though if you travel a lot.

The point being, a fight doesnt just course resources.

A fight costs your ability to continue living.

Even if you win.

People get terrified of the concept of having to live on very little money in real life. Why wouldn't a vampire be terrified of the concept of falling into a coma only someone else can wake you up from? the answer is they probably should be terrified of how likely that is.

And thats why vampires shouldn't engage in violent agression until all other options have run out.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

LOG&S Fiction: Tezoac

More Fiction! Seems my players are super pumped for the start of the game...

So much of everyday life happened high up, either in the cities sprawling up the side of the mountains or in the beautiful tree top settlements or even sailing through the air in one of the airships held aloft by the large balloons and light wood panels, some large communities of airships had started to come together and now use flotillas travelled through the air, small communities never touching the ground. This was all for good reason, this world was populated not only by man but a menagerie of beasts that roamed free, some the height of a two storey building others small and fast, herds of different types roamed the plains hunted by strange and wonderful predators. Tezoak love it this way and that was why it was this way, this world was his in a way made to suit him changing to meet his desires.
It was strange what could turn up unintentionally in a world like this. Take light wood it had been found that one of the many different types of trees if carved and shaped in the right way could be used to help you fly, with it pushing it self off the ground from one side of the plank and not with the other allowing shutters of it to be put on the bottom of air ships and angled to help increase lift. Tezoak had been told that it was a curiosity that hadn’t been widely seen before and one one of his few visits to other worlds he had seen as much himself how different things could be and strange it all was. He longed to start his adventure on the stairs but had been told each time he brought it up that it was not yet the time but soon...
Tezoak stalked through the forest floor, again out to test himself and see what else this world has to surprise him. Crouched low in the undergrowth watching a curious creature he hadn’t seen before all colourful and proud possibly trying to attract a mate when the familiar tingle came in the back of his mind. He turned his minds eye to welcome the interaction but be ready as he had been taught to call the umbra to mind to protect him.

As the image became clear in his mind he relaxed and smiled “Hello” he said “I’m just out and about exploring” The woman in his minds eye smiles at him and spoke softly “Soon it will be time, I know you have been waiting” He paused all his attention now on the lady “Really?” he said loudly, a touch of impatience in his voice. Once again the Lady smiled “Yes, really” then another voice rang through his mind one that he was used too “I’m sorry to interrupt Zak but you might want to raise the Umbra on your right hand side now!”
Tezoak’s head spun round as he called the swirling chaos to his defence just as a large cat like creature sprang from the bushes, all claws and fangs. The front half just started to vanish, unravel as it hit the wall of Umbra called in front of it. It’s hind quarters slumping to the ground twitching next to him. As Tezoak looked down he could see that Ally had moved to his right wrist and was a shield incase it hadn’t worked ready to be brought up in defence, he smiled and said “Thanks Al” as he watched the shield shift back down to the standard vambrace it often looked like.
His attention turned back to the lady in the back of his mind she looked disapprovingly at him “Perhaps you should come through” He nodded in agreement and reached out into the air and vanished leaving the forest to deal with the remains of his wood be attacker.....

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

LOG&S Fiction: Kitt the Patchwork Man

And one more.

Location: A mountaintop on the Gossamer World of  Hezra

My Search had brought me to a mountainous region of a world known by the locals as Hezra. The fortress looked like it had grown from the mountain or had been carved out of it by the wind and the rain, not by the hand of man. Inside this "Impregnable" fortress so the stories said was held a mysterious captive. Some said that she was a beautiful Princess, others that she was a powerful Sorceress. Either way the rumours had eventually reached my ears and here I was.
Getting in wasn't easy, it wasn't supposed to be. there was only one winding road up the mountain and three granny's with brooms could have held it against an army of thousands. I, however wasn't an army. I have had to learn how to fight but I prefer not to. I always prefer Brains over Brawn, for one thing its easier on the upholstery.
 
As the sun began to descend behind the mountain peaks, the wind shifted and I finally made my move. I ran towards the edge of the cliff and threw myself off. I dove down briefly before the hanglider caught the air currents and I rapidly rose into the air. The Winds buffeted the hanglider and it took all my concetration to not get smashed back into the sides of the mountains. In the rapidly oncoming gloom I fought the wind to keep my coarse, the fortress was coming up fast. As I swept towards roof of one of the towers a guard looked out at the wrong time, I kicked out and he was swept off the battlements, his falling screams lost in the wind. I fired my piton and it embedded itself into the stone as I landed. My feet skidded on the slick stone as I fought my momentum, the wind and the hanglider. Just as I was going to be swept off the roof, the rope attached to the pitton ran out and I was jerked back. I had made it. I took a load of deep breaths before a massive grin creased my face and I had to fight down the urge to scream in triumph.
 
I turned to the trap door in the floor, it was locked of coarse, not that it really mattered. I commanded the door to open and it did. I get on well with doors. As I opened the trapdoor, the guards below looked up in time to see me drop a small metal canister, it bounced a couple of times as it hit the floor and I shut the trapdoor to let it finish doing its job as I rummaged in my bag for my gasmask. After a couple of minutes I opened the door again and peered down, the room was thick with white smoke and collapsed guards. Humming to myself I climbed down the ladder and checked on the guards, they were sleeping nicely. Morph Gas is quick acting and leaves you with one hell of a head ache but it leaves you alive.
 
I skipped over downed guards and went to the door, I quickly peered out but no one had escaped or had heard anything. I concentrated and made a couple of passes with my hands whilst muttering and watched as I faded away. Now Invisible I stalked through the fortress, dodging guards and servants all the while getting closer to my target.
 
The Tower was guarded but I waltzed passed them and snuck up the stairs. For some odd reason Argentus was humming the Mission Impossible theme, I worry about him sometimes. At the top, two guards were stationed outside a locked and barred door. Bingo! I carefully pulled out a couple of poisoned darts and snuck up on them. Carefully I reached up and scratched one of them in the neck and then as I became visible and swung around and stabbed the other guard. They barely had the time to see me before their muscles contracted and locked. Spasm is a nasty and fast acting, it locks the body into different shapes depending on a persons strongest muscle groups. One of them had curled up in the fetal position and the other had his arms and legs splayed as if he was doing jumping jacks.
 
I examined the door and could see that it was magically warded, no big surprise there then. Getting passed the Wards wasn't too difficult, it was just time consuming and I half expected an alarm to go off at any time but it didn't. Eventually I had unravelled enough of the Sorcery on the door to stop it exploding in my face when I opened it. Inside was a plush cell but it was a cell none the less. A young woman with red hair looked up from the bed as I entered.
 
"Morgan?" I asked my heart in my mouth.
 
She smiled at me as she stood up and came towards me, a hand reaching out.
I suddenly heard Argentus Growling in my mind. I stopped and waved a hand over my eyes whilst chanting a couple of words. When I looked again, Morgan rippled like a reflection on a pool of water and then broke apart to reveal a humanoid shaped hole in reality.
 
"Oh Crap!"
 
I dived away from Its out swept hand and drew Argentus. It continued to move towards me, all attempts to try and fool me gone as it shrieked. Alarms began to ring and the door slammed shut and glowing barriers appeared over it and the window. I could probably get past them but it would take time, time I probably wouldn't have what with the Creature I was now trapped with trying to eat my Existance. I dodged another swipe and lunged as it went past. It shrieked but I wasn't sure if I had done any raal damage. I could probably keep dodging this thing but it was a small room and I'd eventually run out of room and also other guards were on the way I was sure.
 
So the door and window were barred, alarms were ringing... the time for subtlety was gone, time to make a new exit. I turned towards the wall and gestured, words of power spitting from from lips. A blast of force ripped from my hand and smashed against the stone blasting a hole in the wall. I now had a way out but my Sorcery had cost me. As I finished casting I felt a searing pain across my back as the Creature struck me and tried to erase me. Only the fact that my patched jacket was more than it appeared saved me. I lashed out with Argentus, causing it to retreat in pain as I stumbled towards the shattered hole. Seeing me trying to escape it rushed at me again, It ran onto Argentus but its momentum forced us both to fall out the hole. We seperated as we fell, its shrieks lost in the wind and
 
I tried desperatly to force away the pain and cast a spell. Just in time I spat out another word of power and the wind gently picked me up and cast me back into the sky. As I flew away to lick my wounds a thought kept running through my head. It was a Set Up!, A Trap! Good that must mean I'm getting closer.

Monday, 16 December 2013

LOG&S Fiction: Tezoac

Uno Mas!

He leaped through the tree tops looking at the herd running below, his arm elongating to meet the next branch claws digging in as he swung upward, the tree line come up quickly. he readied himself again to change, he was determined to get this shift right to feel the change and take the form he wanted in one quick burst. His memory flicked back to when he had first tried this and the sensation of hitting the floor from this high up he was sure he had nearly broken every bone in his arms and legs not to mention his ribs, it was a good motivator to not have to feel that again, since then he had at least managed to glide down in some fashion when he hadn’t taken flight, he called the Umbra to him and held the image in his minds eye of a huge eagle like birds that lived in the Mountains not far from here, they could carry off a man if he was unlucky never to be seen again.
 
He burst forth from the treetop out over the open plains below, arms stretched wide forcing the Umbra through them, shifting quickly his body started to change and he then beat his wings down lifting himself higher into the air. The change wasn’t perfect but it was getting better the form becoming more and more familiar, “ Well at least I can fly” he thought to himself as he glided through the air currents using the Umbra to help plot his course, slowly he perfecte the change till he was exactly what he wanted.
 
He turned his gaze downward looking at the herd running below once again and dived, he was starting to feel hungry

Sunday, 15 December 2013

LOG&S Fiction: Matri Lark

And again, yet another!

The stones of the keep were cold underfoot, chill enough that the feel of them soaked up through the soles of her shoes to leave her feet starting to tingle and numb as she slipped quietly through the hallways and passages. The whole keep seemed to seep cold more than insulate from the bitter weather outside, even when the weather turned warm the old stones would cling to the cold with a bitter grip until well into the planting months.
 
Matri pulled her woollen cloak more firmly about her, frowning at a singe mark along one hem she’d not noticed before donning it that day, she knew Mistress Singer would be wroth with her over yet another item needing repair. She sighed quietly to herself and picked at the scorched section, catching a faint scent of hermeticus vitae that still lingered, she made a note to remember to investigate that later; as far as she was aware the unguent had no such disastrous effects normally, but perhaps the extended interaction with the wool had allowed a latent corrosive aspect to come to the fore.
 
She was still putting together the ratios needed to blend a new batch of hermeticus when she came to the door. It was not a splendid or magnificent thing; many of the doors on lower levels where the Court resided were far more impressive with their gilt inlays and carvings of fantastic beasts. This door was plain, made of a deep, dark wood that seemed to harbour a red hue if one looked closely. Of course in these higher parts of the keep the few torches that burnt struggled valiantly to keep the gloom at bay, so the door tended to be wreathed in shadows and a neglected coating of dust about the edges.
 
The one adornment was a large handle, all swirls and twists of ivy worked in brass. As ever she tried the handle, and as ever before it rattled and clunked but did not budge.
 
Darting a look down each corridor Matri plucked a small vial from her sleeve and knelt to inspect the lock. Wedging a small filter into the contraption she uncorked the vial, a noxious scent bringing tears to her eyes, she delicately dripped the liquid down the filter drop by careful drop.
 
It made no sound as it ran down the filter, though Matri could smell the corroded metal even from the specially treated device. She suppressed a proud smile at her latest work as it slowly dripped into the lock. Drawing the filter out she placed it securely in a small iron case, one already heavily marked inside from similar use, and turned to watch the lock with an intent gaze.
 
She watched with some small amount of anticipation as slowly a curl of vapour began to twist into the air. She covered her nose and mouth with a cloth and, judging her alchemia to have had enough time, gave the hand a firm twist.
 
The locking mechanism gave a loud clunk and stayed firmly latched.
 
Frowning she twisted the handle again and rattled the door against the lock that, by all rights, should have been a half melted mess by this stage. It remained as solid and impervious as the day it had been set in place. Meanwhile the iron case at her feet was already sending up the scent of corroding metal.
 
She got to her feet and sighed as she packed away her case and the empty bottle, a failed experiment; evidently while the lock appeared to be made of the same brass as the handle the inner workings were of some foreign substance. She would need to return to her work room and try to discover what it may be.
 
All of a sudden with a sharp stab of pain a frantic voice ripped through her mind, “DANGER!” it squeaked loudly and in the moment of fright and panic Matri thought the pain was from the words themselves. As the moment subsided her mind worked the information through and the needle sharp teeth clinging to her ankle was identified as the true source.
 
With a pained yelp she shook the small weasel from her ankle, bending down to try to swat the creature away as it danced sideways nimbly avoiding her.
 
“Danger, danger, danger!” is chattered in her mind in a merry sing song tone as it leapt about her feet in a war dance.
 
Matri frowned at the little beast, “from you?” she asked in a weary tone.
 
“No!” it squeaked happily and darted forward at her toes to nip, “from the dusted one.”
 
Realisation dawned as Matri glanced down the corridor and heard the short, sharp footsteps that could only belong to the keep’s Lore Master. With a moment of panic she turned and, unthinking, twisted the handle to the door at her back. Without a complaint the door swung quietly open as though it were never locked.

Friday, 13 December 2013

LOG&S Fiction: Weaver

More Fictions!

Weaver Cellestis: Banixia

I look at the gift in the box on the table with a lump of trepidation mixed with excitement churning in my stomach. Throwing up seems like a viable option right now. Perhaps screaming really loudly, or jumping up and down and cheering wildly? I’m not sure. Outbursts like that aren’t the norm in Banixia. Outbursts like that are for Glitchers.
Instead, I remain calm, focussed and entirely in control. Ordered and in keeping with the world around me. Coded. In line with The Program.
Finally managing to drag my eyes upwards to look at the Lady in front of me, I take in the non-regulation gown, the quirky hat with the little cogs that she said were part of her last Robotic Companion. The thought occurs to me that perhaps Lady Voice is a little funny in the head, perhaps on the verge of her own Glitch? The thought is quickly banished and locked away. This woman has given me an opportunity. In return, I will give her the respect she deserves, or at least the decency to overlook a few... differences.
My eyes drop back to the box. There’s an arm bracer thing, designed to cover my whole forearm, and inlaid with a matt surface. When I pick it up, it seems to respond to me, to my thoughts... it’s warm and I feel it pulsing – a computational hello from your friendly neighbourhood... what is it?
“A Utili-pad. You’ll find it very useful”
Her voice is clear and musical – cuts right through my thought processes and I can’t help but pay attention. For a brief moment though, I wonder if the device in my hand would be better as a wristwatch. We have the technology after all...
Lady Voice smiles.

“Naturally Gifted. As I’ve always said. I never choose a bad egg.”
I’m confused. She gestures at my hands and the device seems to have taken a new shape. A wristwatch. I allow myself a smirk at this small triumph and fasten the watch to my wrist. I’ll figure the rest out later.
The second item is a boiler suit – though not a regulation khaki one. This one is the exact same shade of grey as my eyes, with black piping and decals on the cuffs. The material gives the impression of being soft, but as I pull it on, rough filaments brush my skin, telling me that the fabric is in fact, reinforced. The best part lights up once its on and fastened. My house symbol, the weaver on her web, sits proudly upon my breast and glows a gentle blue.
I suddenly curse inwardly. She’s had it made fitted. I don’t have much of a figure – my profession requires us to be built like coat-hangers. And with my red hair, pale eyes and boyish shape, I’m not exactly cut out for fittedanything. Joy.
Finally ready, I look over my shoulder at the door behind me. Through the haze, I can see out into the beyond. Out into the pathway that will lead me to strange new places. My first task is to find people who will work with me. Other Wardens to travel with. Safety in numbers with a focus group of people from other worlds that I can study more intently. I turn and know I’m ready. I know I might not come back. I know the risk I’m taking. I know that right now, my family are being moved to Upper Banixia to lush new apartments and careers as tailors to The Speakers and Those That Code – the Eidolon Masters...
I stop, alarmed. I seem to have forgotten something. Something important. Spinning around, I feel relief course through my body and the sudden business in my head ebb away as I focus on his individual strand of code.
Paree tilts his head, causing a few rivets to creak and groan quietly. The quiet hum of his fusion core puts me at ease – the single entropic force in this very structured narrative of a goodbye. I prefer him to the Lahndahn, Lady Voice’s old RC. He doesn’t call me a cant like Lahndahn did. I never was sure what one was, but it sounded thoroughly unpleasant.
“Do take care Madame. Remember the code I taught you. There are more in your utilipad should you require them.”
He dabs at his optic sensors with a handkerchief, and again I feel that pull of the Glitch. The urge to run over and wrap my arms around Paree. To tell him I’m scared and excited and thank him profusely for his help and tutelage.
Instead, I quietly thank him for his service, and Lady Voice for her patronage, and tell them to expect me back as promised.
The doorway beckons, enticing and surreal.
My journey begins.

LOG&S Fiction: Ursula Axilla

One of my players wrote fiction for her character for the upcoming game!

Ursula Axilla, PI - From the Automated States of America

The Whitehouse: Current President - Seymour Wayland


Going to see Seymour is always such a pain in the ass, sometimes I gotta wonder why I bother but then.. well, he's terrible at cards and has the best booze in town.
I always feel so fucking small wandering down the corridor to his lounge, like that whole building was built to put whoever is in it, whether you own it or, whether you're a bot or a skin, right down into your place. I honest to gods wouldn't be surprised if the damn thing was some ancient bot itself, running some massive experiment on whatever it can lure into its highly polished innards. 
I knew it was a mistake to visit him at work, his assistants look at me like i'm dirt just cos I prefer to walk the city than some cushy office job, watching a wall of massive screens all day. His PR guy always tries though, physically blocks my path every time cos he knows I can't push past his massive metal torso. Same old conversation whilst i'm aware of the shifting of the security guys around me, always half an eye on me in case I decide to prove them all right. What am I gonna do exactly? Besides, they didn't catch me when I pinched a hole-puncher and a box of pens. Security guards my ass. 
But in the end, it's always time well spent when I finally get in. Seymour's a good guy, he works hard and he gives a shit, which I guess is the very least you could hope for out of a Big Boss Guy. He treats his staff well and they seem to genuinely care about his welfare. All for the best. I've had to pull him outta the shit once and I don't reckon i'd survive a round 2. 
We play cards, he loses with a smile, the good natured jackass. His wife will show up eventually, she always does when I visit but it's not like that. She knows it's not like that. She just knows I will always talk him into some cockamamie bet if she doesn't roll by to shut me down, she's got a sixth sense for it. Fun ruiner... I think Seymour doing a lap around the building wearing nothing but his briefs would do everyone a heap of good. 
Eventually I drink enough of his fancy booze that my heart starts hurting and that's always my sign to stagger home. I'm always offered a lift, but I prefer getting the air and the chance to walk some of it off. It's like clockwork, which it actually could well be, that when I pop by his of a night that when I get back to my own office there'll be a job waiting, or some fresh faced little punk wanting to tell me something I probably already know in the hope of getting paid. But then i'm a pushover when i'm liquored up, if I had an accountant he'd probably sign me up to some 7 step programme. 
It's good to have friends though, in this place with all its fast cars and flashing lights and sparkling promises of a fancy home and nice clothes if you sign your mind away on the dotted line and plug into the Great Commercial Machine it's easy to forget you're alive if you don't take the time to break bread with others now and then. 
 
Still, Seymour said he'd at least try and run around the office in his pants, even if Trish said he couldn't do it outside. Good man that one. Good work ethic. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Let me tell you about... Lords of Gossamer & Shadow

So I've gotten my grubby little mitts on a copy of Lords of Gossamer & Shadow. It is the spiritual successor to Eric Wujcik's Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game and is powered by the same system. Here's the blurb from the Rite Publishing website:

This world is but one of untold many, a flux of chance caught between shadow and light. It is a world poised between great powers that shape and define all matter, one of many battlegrounds in an epic struggle between form and cacophony. The lords and knights in this battle move between realms with impunity: they are the creators, shapers, and destroyers of worlds.
In Lords of Gossamer & Shadow, the player-characters are agents caught up in this immense, multi-dimensional struggle. Born into it, their birthright is one of unimaginable power... and with it great danger! They will bear unique and idiosyncratic magical artifacts, command legions drawn from the myriad of otherworlds, and wield incredible powers that alter the very substance of reality. They are players in a Machiavellian conspiracy with the greatest of stakes, and arrayed against them are the deadliest of foes... each other! Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless) is an original sourcebook and roleplaying game using Erick Wujcik's diceless rules system, the same system that powered Amber Diceless Role-Playing. Lords of Gossamer and Shadow will be a standalone product, but is fully compatible with the existing rules system and can be readily used in new and existing campaigns.

I've actually read through the whole book - which is a novel prospect for me. It MIGHT be because I played Amber for almost the entirety of my teenage years and have been waiting excitedly for Lords of Gossamer for some time now...

Its a good book. I really like it. The artwork in it is very evocative (even if the front cover is very misleading...) and the powers have a very solid and interesting theme to them. It's a very loving new take on an old cult classic - But its definitely not a replacement for the Amber  DRPG... Don't think of it like its a 'new edition' of the game because the powers represented in it aren't quite Amber.

I am beginning to run a game of it, so I'm sure you guys will get some  LOG&S themed posts for the foreseeable future!

Friday, 6 December 2013

No more Dice-Off Reposts!

So there we are ladies and gentlemen, the end of my Dice-Off reposts.

I'm writing this from the past and by now hopefully a lot has happened and I've slipped in some other non-schedualled blog posts to do with what I've been working on during this time (Such as the Amber DRPG game I've been considering getting started as well as some stuff about the board game I've been designing.

Thanks for sticking with me guys - we're going to try and make sure we keep a fairly regular schedual for updating - my plan personally is to try and make sure I keep the 'Wynn Wednesdays' and 'Fort Fridays' going from this point on.

Intermission: 15mm Laser Cut buildings (26/04/2013)

Dropship Horizon made a post about some 15mm MDF Lasercut terrain. I didn't even realise they made this stuff at 15mm size.

I know where next month's paycheck is going now. To Mad Mecha Guy!

Anyway, tomorrow, hopefully more on Salute and my shiny, shiny purchases there!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Salute 2013: Demo Game and Set Peices (24/04/2013)

So yeah, as I mentioned on my last post there were some absolutely Cool demo games and some real disappointing ones too. Here are some Photos! (Some will even have writing)

So, upon getting to the Excel Centre I had to marvel at the size of the queue just to get into the show. This was about half an hour before the doors were supposed to open, and both the pre-paid line and the on the door line were amazingly massive.

This was the queue in front of me when I got into the line.

This was the queue behind me 10 minutes afterwards.

More line! It was of an impressive length

Some Hammer's Slammers gaming. This table was absolutely huge, loads of tanks and other vehicles going on. You can see the length of the table with this shot but it still doesn't put it properly into perspective.

Zoids. I stopped and did a double take when I saw this table.

Yeah, I wasn't imagining things. Someone had done a Zoids tabletop wargame with some ancient looking zoids toys that they must have bought online or from specialist collectors. I don't know about you, but for a good couple of years when I was younger Zoids were the coolest toy if you were a bit nerdy and weren't one for football.

WWF wrestling match game using WWF action figures. Man, The FiancĂ© kicked herself that she wasn't here to have a go on this. She loves wrestling!

Sadly, I think the amount of models they brought was completely un-nessicary as I didn't see more then 2 games going on at a time. But the table still looked hilarious as, as you can see many of them have been posed to look like they're backstage.

It was a kind of dicebidding game, I think - where at the start of the game each player drew dice out of a bag. Different coloured dice and different coloured symbols did different things... It was a bit like King of Tokyo but not quite!

A close up of some Snits

This was the most impressive demo game of the event - It even won an award for the most innovative so clearly I wasn't the only person who thought so!
Snit's Revenge is a game about little monsters climbing up a giant monster's bum and kicking its internal organs to death while the giant monster's immune system fights back.
It was amazing.

The Bolotomus in all its glory.

Some HUMANS

Apes (Some on Horseback) Chasing down an Astronaut as he tries to escape. This was a planet of the apes games using Akula's Rules: Skirmish Edition (Cunningly Referred to in this instance as 'Monkey AR:SE). Looked very good fun and sadly while I'd been watching the ape cavalry had caught up with the poor hero.

YOU DAMN DIRTY APES

Some freaking sweet spider-tanks

Freaking sweet spider tanks in alternate WW2 wargame

Rather generic fantasy 15mm battle. The models were relatively nice and i'm attracted by the use of hex grids in games :P

Close up of the models from above... They definitely look nicer when you aren't zoomed in.

Generic Medieval, again using the same Hex grids

The same Japanese historical wargame that was there last year.

Some cool alien flying ships take on the colonial british, as far as I could tell...

Yep. Definitely the brits. Pip Pip!

This caught my eye. Remember a game called 'Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven'. This was basically a miniatures version of that, where several people tried to achieve several different goals all at the same time as a ninja with special rules. The guys running it seemed fairly enthused, but No-one was playing it when I got there.

Generic sci-fi game

Dreadball, which is basically futuristic Blood Bowl, as far as I can tell. The models were, in fact gorgeous and as you can see the (optional) stadium is pretty freakin' sweet. But the thing that baffled me the most about the Dreadball stand was...

The Booth Bunnies. These poor girls looked so absolutely bored that they might as well have been naked for the fat lot of good it did them. They seemed utterly un-interested in interacting with anyone and with what was going on in general and seemed genuinely surprised that people were ignoring them in favour of looking at tiny plastic men. But hey, what are you going to do, right? Nerds are gonna nerd.

Some MDF terrain, which was pretty sweet.

Ok, so this is what you get in a dreadball box - A cardboard game table and two teams of plastic models. The models are of exceptional casting and as usual, I was utterly happy to discover that Dwarves had received some love. (Space Dwarves, no less!).

DWORFS
 
This was an interesting looking game - It was Odysseus escaping from a slowly shrinking island which was presumably getting swallowed up by the ocean which it looks like the various players had to loot items and get to their home island to win. Pretty swanky.

The 731st were there, asking for citizens to stand aside as they patrolled Vader around. hee!

A really sweet looking castle.

Some guys dressed up in WW2 gear. The guy dressed up in the german uniform was trying to do a german accent which made me cringe a little.
I really hope he wasn't actually german, otherwise I'm going to get hate mail.

The table accessories from the above picture. Pretty cool.



This dude can rule my dungeon any day.

Ok, so this stood out as a bit different - As you can see there are clearly little floating islands all over the place and some form of flying ships ready to traverse them

... Now, this was a bit clever. Notice what the ships are on there? Car antenna. You could lower them up and down to show how high your ship was flying from the gas. Innovative!


The Jason and the Argonauts Table. I was slightly disappointed when the Argonauts were the same size as the colossus. That would have changed the film significantly.
Yes, the Argonauts and the Skeletons were freaking massive. Action Man size.



This Malifaux table was damn popular. I don't know if its obvious from this photo, but this was actually two separate games being played at the same time - the train was splitting the board! Nice!

Terraclips stuff is seriously fucking pretty, guys. I was hella tempted.

The Road to Berlin

More Road to Berlin


The Dropzone Commander table

This thing was utterly amazing. That's all constructible card cityscape, that the company was selling for what I felt was a pretty reasonable price. Pity its all 10mm really. They had a pair of binoculars so that you could zoom in on the buildings and the really great painted models they were selling. Serious pretty.

This was also fantastic - all the little purple crystals were LED lit and illuminated the whole thing in this awesome dim purple glow.


This guy was sweet. Those LED's flickered like he had a fire in his chest.

Full Thrust Space Race game - to the Fast Food Joint at the Centre of the Universe!

And finally... The Trebuchet! It was in the doorway. Verrah nice...