Eldritch Tales

Impending two Kindle family.

For my birthday my friends at work dug deep and gave me a £40 Amazon gift voucher, which I immediately spent on a 3G Kindle. I'm almost universally impressed with it. It's fast, light and does exactly what it was designed to do - allow me to read on the extremely packed 8.15am Northern Line train. I lent it to Christina over the weekend as she was flying to Denmark for her fathers birthday and won't let it go now. I think it helped that she is reading 'Do androids dream of electric sheep', but I strongly suspect she'll end up getting her own soon.

Niggles so far, the scroll buttons on both the left and right side (to support left and right handed use I assume) mean I do accidentally scroll in crowded conditions, but I'm already compensating. I'm also disappointed that some books are region only, for example you can get Fighting Fantasy kindle books in the US but not in the UK it seems. Also, smaller publishers seem to not on there yet - Black Library I'm looking at you, trashy 40K novels are ideal for the Kindle. (Actually not all the 40K books are trashy, but you know what I mean). Also, Freya managed to crash it in about 2 minutes but zooming and changing the font on a *cough* TSR PDF I uploaded - It's ok, I have an original B4 at home.

But reading a Kindle formatted book is a very pleasant experience, especially when you're somewhere book unfriendly. I'm a hoarder and I do feel a sense of guilt about not adding the mound of books that our little flat cannot contain. I also wish that Amazon did some sort of scheme whereby you got free or cheap versions of books you previously bought as paper.
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Old School

[D&D] Megadungeon? Me? With my reputation?

I decided I need to get a lot better at Campaign Cartographer 3. Megadungeons seem a rather interesting space to play around in, so I thought I'd give it a go. So far, so interesting. I'm up to room 83 and the process of mapping has generated a backstory, several distinct areas and I've even started stocking bits of it. I don't suppose I'll get to run it, but from what I learned running the B4 Basic D&D, it's entirely possible to run 4e the same way a Grognard runs their OD&D.

I've been using Google documents more and more too, just so that the stuff I jot down at work is right there on my laptop at home without any action on my part. Now if they can get Google docs to work on an iPad I'd be £429 poorer. (Actually I wouldn't - "money is too tight to mention")
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[D&D] The end of the adventure, the end of a city

After an epic 4 hour final encounter my groups latest Raiders Guild adventure came to end on Monday night (and Tuesday morning). A pitched battle involving the main thread 4th level characters and a side thread group of 11th level characters fought a wicked, gorgeous cultist, Vrock, Goristo, Mezzo, Carnage, Dretch and Gnaw demons and ghouls. I didn't get to run the final encounter, which is technically out of the adventure anyway and decided to write it up as a narrative instead as I want to move onto the next story.
So here it is...
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Old School

Hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to bash we go.

We played the B4 - Lost City 4e pick-up game again at the weekend. A Dwarf Fighter, Dwarf Thunder Wizard, Dwarf Axemage (aka Swordmage), Halfing Barbarian, Gnome Illusionist Wizard, Human female Heal Cleric (NPC) who I was tempted to rename Snow White

The party kept running into ongoing poison attacks, including my Killer Bees, and many saves were made successfully thanks to the +5 vs poison. I liked how the Killer Bees (10 ongoing poison damage, but suicide attack) worked out and I suspect that against a less Dwarven party it would have resulted in a few scary moments.

The Dwarven Axemage was completely independently named Gorm, so when the party met the Brotherhood Of Gorm there was much rejoicing. Gorm the god is a stern faced bearded man too and who knows how tall a god is?

The party pretty much ignored the 3rd level and are now onto the more dangerous 4th level but are still only first level. This could prove interesting, but they are close enough to 2nd that the first encounter might tip them over the edge. I continue to annoy the party with Fassandra the Healer, who always gives good advice.
Skull Face

Games Expo : GBU

On Friday I drove up to Birmingham to run the Pelgrane Press stand as Games Expo 2010, a joint rpg, board and war game convention that runs over the weekend. It certainly seemed very busy.

The Good

Talking and enthusing to lots of people who had never heard of GUMSHOE or Trail Of Cthulhu, bigging up The Armitage Files which was universally well received as an idea. Talking politics, art and games design over several hours with Ralph Horsley, Alessio Cavatore and Angus Abranson amongst others on Saturday while consuming too much Fox's Nob and Lone Wolf beer. Being taught a little Shurro by Alessio on Sunday and getting to chew the fat with Steve Dempsey on the drive bank into London. Picking up some more Pig Faced Orcs and other Otherworld miniatures.

The Bad
Failing to convert many good, hard fought pitches into sales. While many people loved the idea of GUMSHOE, thought Trail sounded really 'up their street' and Mutant City Blues as 'cool' they rarely got out their wallets and bought. I'm not sure if there was too much shiney elsewhere, if it were the wrong crowd, with lots of students, wargamers and boardgamers or if we just didn't get so many people past the stall but sales were simply not very spectacular. However I think many people know more about GUMSHOE and Pelgrane.

The Ugly
I'm once again reminded how a few gamers lack basic social graces. I was using tongs to serve myself sausages and bacon from the buffet breakfast when tall and broad man came bounding up to the area with a half full plate and stood too close to me with obviously fretting over the wait while I served myself. He then just reached over and scooped up sausages and bacon with his fingers. I try to non-judgmental about peoples habits (or lack of them) but really, no!


I played Talisman with Freya last weekend and after a not-so-epic game, about 1.5 hrs, she headed into the middle to win. I chased her, caught up and using the immobilse spell I'd been hanging on to, stopped her taking the Crown Of Command, taking it myself only to roll a 1. She then picked it up and rolled a 6. My arse was toast.

I've never played such a close-run game.
Old School

Tonight, have yourself a real good time

I'm running a last minute game of pick up 4E D&D tonight from 8pm in Highgate (Northern Line) and have a couple of spare chairs. Who is in?

Usual terms apply - no prior experience needed, will provide a (1st level at this point) character if wanted, treat it as a one-off or come back anytime you can when the pick-up games are going on.
Skull Face

Siftables and RPGS


It strikes me that there is a great potential here for RPG miniature gaming. Obviously you can have them representing different miniatures simply by changing the pictures on them, but they could easily display state, e.g. stunned, slow, etc, and possibly other information too. Going further, they could actually do some of the combat math for you, track initiative order and take away some of the dull crunch, while keeping The Crunch.
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