Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Solitaire play through of Memoir '44, The Liberation of Paris

 Here's the next in my video play-through series of the official Memoir '44 scenarios.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Space Hero Memoir 40K : Actual Play

 Here's an actual play of the game I presented in my last post. A mashup of Memoir '44, Space Crusade and Heroscape.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Space Hero Memoir 40K

 I was looking at my collection the other night when it occurred to me there was a natural mash up just waiting to happen, so I went ahead and did it.

Here's the game set up for the first play-through...

As you can tell, all you need to play this game is Space Crusade, Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie (maybe two sets if you want four walls like me), and Memoir '44.

The idea was for the Emperor's best to find the Artefact Glyph and take it off board. Alas the forces of Chaos were to intervene.

After the first turn, the yellow squad were already in trouble, with chaos marines kicking their butt.

Sadly for the "good" guys things went from bad to worse very quickly, although they did take out the Dreadnought very easily.

It went very well considering I spent all of ten minutes working out stats.

The following stats are :

Move spaces, Melee Attack Dice, Range, Ranged Attack Dice, Defence Dice, Area Effect

Standard Marine 3,3,5,3,3
Close Combat Marine 3,5,2,2,3
Hvy Weap Marine 2,3,5,4,3,Yes
Ork 3,2,6,3,2
Gretchin 2,1,5,1,1
Android 3,3,6,3,3
Dreadnought 2,3,5,5,5,Yes
Genestealer 3,5,0,0,3

Moving onto higher terrain does not cost move points but you can only climb one level for each hex moved. When shooting at a lower target range is +1.

Players each get four cards in hand and can play one per turn and draw a replacement at the end of their turn.

All moves are completed before combat.

The Memoir cards in use are restricted to the following: Attack, Recon, Assault, Probe, General Advance, Recon in force, Pincer move, Counter attack, Direct from HQ, Firefight, Ambush

Area effect weapons hit the target hex, and one adjacent hex. Both hexs must be in line of sight (although you don't have to hit two if you don't want to. You make separate rolls for each hex. You can not target an empty hex you have to target an enemy.

Next time I might add in the Devastators from Space Hulk... or maybe the Ninja from duck! duck! Go!...maybe not that last one. 

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Solitaire play through of Memoir '44, Toulon

The sun came out for an hour or two yesterday allowing me to wheel out the video camera for another solo session of Memoir '44, this time the 10th scenario from the base game, Toulon.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Decopedia Volume 2 released

I'm proud to announce the release of the second volume in the Decopedia series. This book has been written for use with the role playing game Traveller. It's designed to give the referee "drop ins" for their game. Each entry is separate and self contained so you can take it and squeeze it into your own game. Inside you will find, 10 planets, 10 alien animals, 10 people of interest, and 10 story seeds.

The planet descriptions highlight cultural, political and religious elements that make the system interesting to visit, this isn't just a string of statistics. The animals are all designed to inspire or be a part of an interesting encounter. the people of interest are individuals who have made a mark on Imperial society for good or bad, and each story seed is a core idea for generating an entire scenario.

This product was designed for use with Mongoose Traveller, but is compatible with all versions.

Currently available from DriveThruRPG 

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Experiments - a Traveller scenario

I've just published my first Traveller scenario!
The Experiments is a Traveller one-shot scenario for 1-5 players. Designed to be played in a single session the PCs find themselves in a horror survival situation. Convinced they were about to start a new life on a new world as part of the first wave of workers, they instead wake up in an underground facility on an operating table. With the lights failing, water pouring down the walls, and strange dangerous creatures coming up from below, this was not what they expected.

PDF available from: DriveThruRPG
A5 Booklet available from: LuLu
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Playtesting time again

I've been working on a game themed on  The Princess Bride ( non-commercial) . It's a re-working of the Legendary Encounters:Alien game system with a re-theme of the cards and the contents. I finally got around to running the first play-test today. It was a loss. :(  That darned princess was not rescued.

Sorting the cards into seperate decks...

Ready to play...

Game over man, game over.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Going Ashore released

The WWII Pacific campaign has captured the imagination of history buffs for generations. The island hopping battles between the hearty U.S. Marines and the dauntless Japanese form the cornerstone of that fascination.

Going Ashore is a solitaire deck building game where you play the part of the Marines carrying out a series of battles as you hop from island to island. You must defeat all of the enemies on each island before you can move to the next. Clear the enemy from five islands to claim victory, any other result will re-write history as a loss for the allied forces!

Currently the game is available only as a Print-and-Play package via but in the next few weeks it will also become a real tangible game you can purchase via
Example attack

This zipped up Print-and-Play package includes rules, the cards, morale tracker and turn sequence chart. The cards are presented in three ways giving you the maximum printing options. One PDF uses a larger format card, another "hobbit" sized, but you also get all of the card images in hi-res, allowing you print the cards in any way you see fit (see the readme.txt file before you print anything).

This is my second solitaire deck building game, and expands both the mechanisms and the number of cards  over those that appeared in "Wipers Salient".

Buy now from

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Party of Wizards

I've just released a little RPG/story-telling game. In this game all the PCs are brand new wizards kicked out of the wizard school with an empty spell book and a basic understanding of magic. The main feature of this game is the generation of your own spells. There is no long list of spells to pick from, but instead there is a mechanism for creating your own spells!

So you take, quill, ink, spell-book, and dagger and wander into the wild world to discover and create your own spells as you battle the forces of evil (or good if your PCs are evil, you know, a lot of wizards seem to go evil, maybe it's the magic that does it).

Anyway, if you fancy giving it a try, you can get it from DriveThru for a buck-fifty.
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

TRON - a session report

Last night I ran a TRON game using the Fate rules. The game was set in the "Tron Uprising" time-frame which is between the two films. If you've watched Uprising then I can tell you it's more specifically between Tron imprisoning Cyrus and meeting Beck.

I'd written some "boxed text" to read at the opening of the session but had to quickly rejig it because one player (Ruby) was late .

You're all gathered at Tron's headquarters in the wastes. he stands at the window looking out at a data storm raging across the landscape. With his hands resting on the glass and his back to you he starts to speak.

"I'm glad you could all get here this cycle. All that is except Ruby, late as usual. I've some questions for you."

Tron's head drops in what looks like despair.

"Why. Why do I surround myself with encrypted idiots? Why do I trust programs so blatantly incompetent? Why do I trust the rebellion to such audit ridden functionaries as you lot?"

"Ruby (Matt)! How could she let Seeker to get derezzed?"

"Dedar (Justin)! Why weren't you there with his cycle baton, what were you doing?"

"Motive (Stewart)! You! You! You blew the bridge before the team were across, what were you thinking?

"Tan (Robert)! And as to you, what should I do with you? A program seen talking to Lieutenant Paige, Tesla's second in command when you should have been coordinating these...these useless dropped bits!"

"I'm going to give you one more mission to prove yourselves. Succeed, or don't come back."

Without turning he tosses a data chip to the floor at your feet.

"Take that. Get out!"

Yeah, Tron is kind of a dick. The data chip held a map of the city with a series of points with red dots in a circle around the city. A single red dot with a hovering question-mark was placed dead center of the city.

They jumped on their bikes and headed to the location of the nearest red dot. What they found was a building site, where foundations were being laid. A little tom-foolery was indulged as the group distracted the ever-present guards so one of the team could slip inside the cordon for a closer look. This confirmed that the foundations were for something big as the foundations went deep but weren't that wide, so big and tall.

The three team members split up to survey the next nearest three red dots before meeting outside a bar near the center dot. This went off without incident and they confirmed that the same building operations were taking place at each site.

After a swift drink they headed over to the location of the big red dot. This was based on  a public park, but the park had been cordoned off. A powered anti-program ribbon circled the place at waist height, and was quite capable of derezzing anyone who touched it. Many guards where also present along with a number of tanks and a large command truck. The main feature however was a tall thin pyramid being constructed in the park. Parts for the pyramid were being off loaded from the elevated train track that ran through the park.

Having taken a look around they headed back to secret-tron-base-hq-hideout to meet up with Ruby-late-as-usual, and discuss what they wanted to do.

After protracted discussions which involved everything from blowing up the train tracks, flying a chopper into the train, getting "the people" to attack the train and getting the local mobster to raid the train they settled for simplicity. They also did some research and contacted their friends and associates in an attempt to find out more info. What they found was vague. All the energy storage in and around the city had been bought up and the only name associated with it was Farad, a name that was either whispered or made people close their mouths tight.

After purchasing a chopper and equipping everyone with chutes, flash bangs and limpet bombs, they flew over to the central site. The chopper was set to fly off into the wastes on its own after they jumped.  Their jumps didn't all go according to plan instead of landing on target they were scattered all over the building site.

One landed on the top of the pyramid and then made a second leap for the control truck but dropped short. He was spotted, and guards started converging on him. He raced to the cab of the truck.

One landed on the train station and quickly and quietly slid to the ground while planting bombs on the stations supports. He took out one of the nearby guards and stole his disk thus becoming camouflaged before slipping in amongst the guards converging on the truck.

Another dropped between two tanks, was spotted by a tank commander who tried to warn the nearby guards before our hero derezzed the fellow. He then jumped onto and into the tank and KO'ed the two crew. He had no idea how to drive the thing but gave it a gallant attempt, starting by rolling backwards over the other tank behind him.

The last one's drop went off without a hitch, straight inside the pyramid right next to a terminal where he got to work. He quickly discovered that the towers being built around the city were part of a massive project to steal the power from every program in the city (which would derezz them all) and store it in the pyramid. He also found that the main control unit for this machine was in the truck. This was the last information he got before being locked out and the alarm raised. He clambered to the top of the pyramid and jumped for the truck, landing on its roof.

The truck was started by one hero and kangaroo-ed dues to inexperience at driving. Our hero on the roof was nearly thrown off, but burned his ID disc into the roof as an anchor. The back doors flew open and a program looked out confused about what was happening. The captured tank rolled after the truck running over guards that got in its way.

The disguised PC jumped for the open back of the truck, missed, but her outstretched hand was caught by the program in the back who pulled her inside. She however wasn't that grateful and smashed him to the floor and held her two discs to his throat.

A tank was drawing a bead on the truck and it fired.

The die result here would have exploded the truck most likely killing all on board, but Fate points and planning came to the rescue. The truck jinked and the explosives on the train station were detonated distracting the tanker thus reducing the damage to minor.

The truck and stolen tank rolled towards the power ribbon that surround the square, but our heroic driver tossed one of his explosives at the ribbon generator, dropping the killer ribbon before racing through and onto the road.

They sped for the wastelands and discovered that the prisoner in the back of the truck was none other than the evil scientist Farad, and that this truck was the one and only such truck in existence.

They took Farad's ID disk leaving him to slowly lose his mind and used the tank to blow the truck before heading back to Tron's secret base.

There ended the game. The entire city was saved!

Once again the session went nothing like I imagined it would. The attack on the truck and pyramid was supposed to be the first of a series of attacks to bring down the great plan. The players spent longer than I had thought they would, planning. I'd expected a simple quick "Charge!" , and then onto the next part. Having said that it was an unexpected twist, they pulled it off awesomely creating a very cinematic ending.

So what did I do wrong? I shouldn't be too hard on myself as I think dropping Farad into the scene worked really well, and the players still went from investigating through to the big finish, so that was cool. But. There is always a but.

When the players jumped from the chopper I wanted time to think about where each landed and what the effects of the bad rolls they made would do to their landing site. So I went through each player's landing one by one, and my brain rushed back to the 90s and I carried on the scene with this initiative order thing in my head. Instead of letting the players just tell the story, I constrained them to taking turns. Yuk! Sorry guys. When I realised what I was doing I broke out of it and we got back into the flow. Hopefully lesson learned.

You can download the scenario from my Black Dog of Doom blog

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mecha Mice released

Yesterday I released another of my little PocketMod RPGs...

On the island of Searbay mousekind has reached levels of technology undreamed of, but the thousand enemies that have always existed and always will are still just beyond the wall. With the invention of the Mecha Suit mousedom has a chance to survive, and the tools to hold back the darkness of dissolution and barbarism.

Join the Corp, become the Paw.

Mecha Mice is a story telling game of heroic mice armed with the latest technology fighting a thousand enemies a thousand times larger than themselves. The game is only 8 pages long and provided in standard PDF form and in "PocketMod" PDF. You can print the PDF version on a single sheet of paper and fold it into a pocket size booklet.

Available for only $1.50 at DriveThruRPG

I've started collating supporting articles at the Mecha Mice blog
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Paint the Town Yellow - A Judge Dredd session report

Last night was another Judge Dredd one-shot. Three Judges started out by being called to "robbery in progress". They arrived at the Fresh Yums eatery.

The first Judge on scene stayed back to get the lay of the land and ID'ed the getaway driver in a van outside the place. The second Judge pulled into the car park next to the van but when he pulled his lawgiver on the driver, the driver raised his hands revealing a device in his hands, with a single button which he pressed. The Judge's Lawgiver immediately switched to High Explosive mode. The third Judge arrived but couldn't stop his bike, it had gone haywire! He was well past the eatery before stopping.

Next the driver was put down and the boot of the van opened by Judge Speed, as Judges Stormvolt and Wessel closed in on the door to the eatery, one to either side. In the boot of the van a device was discovered, quickly disabled, and Judge Speed's Lawgiver went back to behaving.

Two armed perps burst out of the eatery. Stormvolt put his lightning line into one perp and took him down as Wessel stuck with his dagger (they had all set aside their Lawgivers as unreliable at this point), knifing the bad guy in the arm. The perp struck back at Wessel but his own weapon was turned on him and a rifle butt to the face put him down.

A quick peak into the restaurant showed three more bad guys barricaded behind tables. A stun grenade was thrown in and settled the business. Inside the owner was discovered dead, with the patrons hiding behind the bar. Questioning revealed that no attempt at robbery had been made. This left the Judges puzzling the motives while waiting for the support vehicles to turn up.

Judge Speed was sidetracked by a bunch of youths who tried to hit him with a catapult launched paint ball. He managed to get them under control as another call came in, reporting an armed attack on a nearby block's armory.

The judges jumped on their bikes only to discover the air lanes above being sent into spinning chaos by wing-suit-gliders illegally flying through them. They tracked the fliers to the ground and arrested them. They were about to set off to the armory when they witnessed another crime. Some punk dragged the driver out of an air car and climbed in. Judges Stormvolt and Speed would deal with this crime while Wessel headed off towards the armory (Damn him, seeing straight through my distraction plan!!!!).

The air car started taking off, a judge put a round through one of the fans and it crashed to the ground - crushing the legs of the victim. The perp made a break for it. Of course the perp was taken down, and a heroic effort lifted the car clear of the wounded citizen.

Judge Wessel meanwhile was heading to the armory but decided to visit the scene of a traffic problem which had been mentioned in the morning briefing. Here he found tek-div working to fix the problem. The cause of the trouble was a transmitter just like the one they discovered at the Fresh Yums.

When Wessel arrived at block where the armory incident was happening he found the blast doors open and a couple of block militia dead on the ground. He sneaked through the blast doors passing under an active robotic defence gun. Further into the badly lit interior he found bad guys using noisy cutting equipment to work on the high security armory doors that protect the nukes.

The other judges arrived, Speed heading for the side door while Stormvolt worked on the computer system where he managed to shut down the defence guns and lock down all of the other doors.

With all three judges inside they coordinated to shoot out three devices that the perps had brought with them (purpose unknown but guessed), quickly following that up with a storm of rubber richochet that put all of the perps down. They moved in and started questioning the perps and learned that they were sent here by "Big Jim", who lived in the basement of a nearby block. Judge Speed was compelled to get over there quickly while the other cleaned up the scene.

In the basement Speed found only a single apartment door. He blew the door and burst in to find himself in a spiral painted cylindrical corridor with another door at the far end. Blast doors slammed behind him and the corridor started rotating, then spherical drones popped in and started rolling around flailing at him with buzz saws. He dodged them, opened the door, found three crawl spaces, and dived into the middle one.

Wessel and Speed arrived. Wessel decided to take out the blast doors and with his bike laser while Speed sought another way in by taking a lift to a lower basement.

Wessel burnt through the doors and took out the drones with a trick shot before rushing to join Speed in the tunnel. Further down Stormvolt found an access panel in the ceiling of the sub basement.

Half way along the tunnel they found the tunnel widened out in to a 10 by 10 room, Speed realised it was a trap with both trigger and doors that would lock them in the room. He disabled the traps and they moved through the next tunnel until they found a  sheet covering the exit.

Stormvolt swung himself up to the hatch and got it open.

Lifting the curtain Speed found a man working at a bench with electrical tools When he challenged him the perp lifted his hand revealing a device with a big red button. The perp started his monolog and threatened to press the button. Speed lived up to his name and quickly put a bullet through the perp's wrist severing it. The hand dropped to the ground and tipped through the hatchway falling past Judge Stormvolt.

Thus was "Big Jim" and the Kill-Dart gang taken down.

As the referee I was really impressed with the players reactions and thought processes. Once again they surprised me at at every turn. I expected the perps at the eatery to give them some real trouble but their high tech gadgets quickly blew through them. At the armory I'd had this idea that there would be a big battle that would grind them down but once again they out-thought my scenario. Judge Wessel seeing through my list of distraction-crimes designed to make the Judges miss the armoury incident all together was an awesome moment for me. I knew I was out-foxed.

All the players gear usage was clever and original, they all made their characters shine exercising their aspects and skill base to make a great story.

Now for the bad bits, and they were all on me. I have a strict time window for play, three hours, that's it, no more. My timing was poor. I'd tried to include too much in the game and ended up having to rush through the final scenes rather than make them the big deal they should have been.

I could have skipped the distraction crimes, I should have. I did check the clock and thought I could squeeze it all in, but I goofed. I was too in-love with the idea of distracting the PCs and that cut a good five to ten minutes that I really could have used at the end. How can I fix that in future? I guess I need to make all the drop-ins appear later in the game so that they can be discarded based on time. Most importantly I shouldn't have used them mid-game just because I liked the idea of it. My selfishness here, ruined the big-finish these clever players deserved.

You can download the scenario we played here.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

A FATE based DUNE session report.

Last night I took a couple of excellent players through time and space to a desert planet, the desert
planet, Arrakis, also known as DUNE. We were playing an adventure using the FATE rules and the brave heroes were a native Fremen and an Atreides who had escaped the Harkonnen trap. It was set during the Sardaukar pogrom, around a village so insignificant it did not even have a name.

The Fremen troops were temporarily living in a small cave fairly close to the village when the troop's leader came to our heroes and gave them a mission. The Harkonnen overseers of the village had nearly caught some Fremen out on the sand the day before, and he had decided it was time to take that thopter away from them. Thus the PCs had to get that thopter.

They took to the rocky ridge overlooking the village and spent the day in observation. The thopter returned in the evening bringing the workers back from the factories. The Harkonnens kicked the villagers out and one of them slowly opened the big door on the Harkonnen bunker before rolling the thopter inside. A short while later they observed one of the Harkonnens stomp into the village and drag a couple of resisting women back to the bunker.

They hatched a plan.Sneaking into the village they found the people were not happy with their situation but at the same time were scared of reprisals should they do anything. When they found the husband of one of the taken women, they worked on him for a while and managed to solicit his willing help.

Our Atreides had his best roll of the night when he disguised himself as the villager. A Harkonnen walked into the village and blew a horn to summon the workers to their duties.Our hero joined the throng and boarded the thopter before it jumped up out of the village and left for the factories.

Our remaining hero accompanied by the troop's pilot snuck down behind the Harkonnen bunker and settled down to await the return of the thopter. His Fremen nature was challenged part way through the day when one of the Harkonnen troopers walked round the back of the bunker and peed his life's water into the sand!

During the heat of the day when everything was quiet he sneaked around to the front of the bunker and sabotaged the keypad that was used to open the big door. As the time for the return of the thopter came close, the Fremen moved around the bunker to an elevated position  from which they could watch both the main door and smaller door. Then the waiting continued...

The thopter returned, landing in a cloud of sand dust. On board were two Harkonnen guards, the pilot, a bunch of villagers, and our Atreides in disguise. The two guards literally threw the villagers out of the thopter. The small door to the bunker opened and another Harkonnen was coming out. The Fremen pilot fired her mauler pistol and the Harkonnen froze, shocked by the sudden attack. The Fremen PC leaped to the ground and buried his knife in him, then smashed the keypad seizing the smaller door.

In the thopter the disguised Atreides was the last villager about to be kicked off, when he jumped forwards and kicked one of the Harkonnens out onto the ground. The Harkonnen pilot joined the guard in the back and they both engaged our Atreides.

Outside, the Harkonnen on the floor was quickly despatched as the two Fremen rushed to the thopter.

Inside, the Atreides was wounded as he fought two Harkonnens but one of them was taken down and the other two Fremen leaped into the back of the thopter. The last Harkonnen was suddenly surrounded he took a step back, but the Atreides was in a rage and leaped at him knocking him out and down to the ground. The Fremen PC dived out and pinned the Harkonnen and the Atreides quickly finished him off.

The thopter started readying for lift off and they climbed back on board and took off just as the big door of the bunker started opening. They flew up over the ridge and the two PCs were dropped off before the thopter was  flown south.

The PCs took the time to see to their wounds and damaged stillsuits, no point in dehydrating to death! That done, they decided to return to the village, taking the carbine they had liberated from the thopter. They were thinking of protecting the villagers from any Harkonnen repercussions.  As they arrived in the village three Harkonnens were marching into it from the other end. They were blowing horns and summoning the villagers. The villagers were scared, this was unusual and anything unusual the Harkonnens did was always bad for the villagers.

The PCs hatched a plan, the Atreides would take the carbine and shoot a Harkonnen as the Fremen simultaneously attacked from behind. But the Atreides couldn't wait for his pal to get into position (compel) and shot one of the Harkonnens. The other two bad guys flicked on their shields and met the Fremen hand to hand. The Atreides PC threw away the carbine and ran into the combat.

It was bloody, and FATE points were drained from the PCs. It ended with a villager on the Harkonnen's knife, the Atreides bleeding from a serious wound and the last Harkonnen all but beheaded.

There ended the session with the mission a complete success. The thopter was stolen, seven out of ten of the Harkonnen were dead and the remainder cut off from outside help.

The players were great, both thoughtful and inventive. They were not afraid to dive into the action when the time was right. One PC was almost killed in the final fight, but in the end seven for one would have been a good exchange wouldn't it. :)

Scenario and Char-Gen

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Judge Dredd, session report (It Aint Christmas)

On Friday night I ran my second one-shot Judge Dredd session using FATE as the rules system. The scenario was called "It Aint Christmas" and featured an investigation into a murder and a series of related human mutilations.

It always amazes me how players deviate from what I expect them to do. I plan a scenario, a particular scene, and I even work out how they might resolve the issue, and then when play starts, off they go in a different direction!

I started the game by throwing the players into some action. A militia tank driver had gone nuts and started killing people. His tank was in a secure position just in front of a bunker with ferrocrete and fire barriers to either side of it. When the PCs arrived the tank had already blown up another tank and mown down a swath of people on the street. It had also started firing its main gun into the blocks opposite.

When I had thought-up this scene I fully expected the judges to make use of the cannons or lasers on their bikes, but no! They had a much cooler approach. :) One brave judge deliberately rode his bike across in front of the tank drawing its attention while another sneaked up and lobbed a riot-foam grenade at the tank. This immobilized the turret and allowed the judges to move in.

One Judge raced to the main gun and slipped a grenade down its barrel just as another blew the doors off the back. The barrel blew apart as it fired and a Judge dragged out the perp. Nothing whatever like I had imagined. :D

The heroes were then called to a body in a park on the 30th floor of a block. I had this investigative part of the session planned, laying out the investigation step by logical step...but they didn't go the way I expected, of course. They split the party and managed to leap a couple of steps to start questioning one of the guilty parties almost immediately, clever sneaky players!

This lead them down to the sub basements of the block and to the bad guys, a large group of Troggies that had tunneled into the basement. The basement was poorly lit, troggies nipping in between and over the stacks of crates that stretched off into the dimness and the players soon found themselves surrounded. However they were amongst the stacks of war supplies kept by every block. So out came the hardware. RPGs and machines guns. Bullets were sent shooting through the dark while explosives were piled into the tunnel the troggies were using to enter the block. As the Judges blew the explosives and ran for the exit.

There were so many cool moments created by the PCs, the craziness of the yodeling being played over the P.A. in the dim basement was great. The moment of switching to I.R. vision was very Aliens-like. Setting off the fire suppressing gas to suffocate the troggies was an expression of genius.

The final scene had the three Judges standing outside the block discussing what the perp should be charged with. When the explosion they'd set off in the basement had the whole block collapsing behind them. They watched the collapse, adding charges based on what the collapsing building destroyed as it fell. Comic genius.

Players like these make my day.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

It Aint Christmas - a scenario for Judge Dredd

This is a scenario for any Judge Dredd RPG. I played it with FATE and had a very successful session
(its a one-shot). It was played through with 3 Judges but the difficulty can easily be ramped up or down. It features two main combats, one at either end of the session, and a fairly simple investigation.

It's called "It Aint Christmas" because the new craze introduced is "Block Sledding" where citizens use wheeled sleds to race down the outside of blocks.

Basic stats are included for FATE (but the scenario is generic).

Download the scenario

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Skylanders as a boardgame

My son has been collecting the Skylanders figures for quite some time, and I love the look of these
things, I've wanted to come up with a board game for them for the longest time. Well I finally pulled
Sample card
my finger out and started what promises to be a long term project.

The card image on the right is my first stab at creating a character card for the game. What follows are my first thoughts about the game rules. These are not finalised, not even play tested, just the results of a brain-dump.

The playing surface needs to be a 6cm grid to fit the figure bases, perhaps with stand up terrain in some squares to block line of sight and add interest.

  • The "Allies" in the top right corner might say anything and indicates some kind of affiliation.
  • The 1 in the orange circle is the cost to "buy" the figure into your army, a process done before game play starts, players take alternate turns buying figures up to an agreed amount.
  • The text at the bottom is usually flavour text, but may describe a special in-game ability.
  • The stats in the blue box are, Melee Attack dice, Defence dice, Range of attacks, Health.
  • Melee attack into adjacent boxes, roll 1 D6 for each Melee Attack point, all 5s and 6s count as hits.
  • Defence, used when attacked, roll 1 D6 for each Defence point, all 5s and 6s block one incoming attack point.
  • Range, this indicates the range over which you may make attacks, Ranged attack are different to Melee. They can not be made into adjacent squares (that would be melee). The Ranged value indicates the number of dice you attack with, but reduces with each square of range between attacker and target.
  • The Health number, indicate how many points of damage you can take before the character is killed (removed from the game).
  • All figures may move 2 squares.
  • Blood tokens will be placed on a characters card to indicate hits.
  • The board will be sprinkled with 3D "crates". Moving into a square allows the character to pick up the crate. Each crate may be burned (discarded) when the players wants, to do one of the following things. Heal one point, move two additional spaces, add two to Range, Melee, or Defence score for one turn.
  • There may be terrain effects, such as height or cover.
Well that's all my thoughts from a first session of brain storming. There are a lot of possible additions to such a simple system but to be honest, I want it kept simple.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Rise of the Shoggoths

I had an idea last night for another game. I have too many ideas, and don't have enough time to make all of them into reality. The idea was to base a game around the uprising and rebellion of the Shoggoths against their "Elder Things" masters.  This theme is Lovecraftian and if you google those terms you'll get some interesting images to show you what they look like.

My first thoughts were that this would be an excellent solitaire deck builder, but I'm wise enough to know that the reason I think that, is that I'm working on a solitaire deck builder right now. Thus there may be a better implementation for the theme. If it's to be a two player game it can be asymmetrical powers, with the Elder Things having technology and bio-engineering, and the Shoggoths being sneaky and having brute force.

This theme seems really good to me, strong, with an appeal to Lovecraft fans. I have a bunch of ideas for sub themes and various mechanisms but... At this point I suspect I'll never be able to progress the game because I don't have a ready supply of the required art. :(

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hospital Corners - a scenario for Judge Dredd

 "Hospital Corners" is a system-generic scenario for use in playing a role playing session in the universe of Judge Dredd. It's designed with a single session in mind, but with a few incidents along the way that can be dropped in to extend the session if you want.

I wrote this scenario for a game of FATE but it has no stats or figures, so it can be used in whatever system you're using to run Judge Dredd.

It's a minor investigation type scenario with a planned battle towards the end. The drop-ins already mentioned can be used to spice up the mid game of things start to lag.

Download the PDF

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Judge Dredd - Mongoose

I've just finished reading the Mongoose "Judge Dredd" RPG book. What they've put in this book is good but I'm left a little disappointed and here's why.

This is a setting-book, you require Mongoose Traveller to actually play the game. I find this so very disappointing. What I really wanted was one book with setting and rules.

There are no rules to play, in here. There are Char' Gen' rules but these refer to the Traveller rules so you end up with two books to look through, which is tedious and a pain the butt. With this book alone you can not fire a gun nor ride a Lawmaster. :( You can gain skills when creating a character that are not explained in this book. :(

There are other omissions too which I found rather galling. Traveller has a wonderful set of subsector rules for mapping space, I'd hoped there would be the equivalent rules in here for mapping a sector of Mega City 1. Nope. In fact there is a section saying you don't need to do this, that you should keep you game versatile and use story rather than maps. Dammit, I wanted to map a sector, build a series of blocks. That was actually what I expected from a Traveller based system. So yes, disappointing.

The book has some great pieces of comic book art. But no maps, not one. It even goes into detail of one sector telling you all about a number of city blocks and characters therein, but again, no maps. I find that puzzling.

I've used the above to waffle on about how disappointed I was, but that is offset by how good this book is as a resource. If you have read one or two Dredd stories and want to run a game set in that world this book is an excellent purchase. You don't need to have read every Dredd story ever, as all the major themes in the background are covered in this book. There is a lot of detail here that will make you salivate. If you want to run a Dredd game using any rules-set I would suggest this book is a must buy.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Monday, May 04, 2015

How to Play - Wipers Salient

Watch and be amazed how a game designer can get the demo of his own game wrong! :)

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Solitaire Memoir '44 Pointe Du-Hoc

Here's my solo play through of the fourth scenario from the base game.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Wipers Salient - Released in physical form

My game 'Wipers Salient' is now available pre-printed from Gamecrafter. Get your WWI deck building fix!

Here's a vid of me unboxing the proof copy..

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Basement? What basement?

In the fourth session of our Basic D&D campaign, the PCs completely did not enter the dungeon/basement, it's like they saw the rails and ran the other way!

They returned to the Inn with the captured Mayor (see last session report) and found the usual collection of townspeople inside. There was some discussion about how to put him on trial. They ended up with three judges, a prosecution and a defence, that was what you might expect, their choices for the roles was where it went a little weird. The Prosecution was the PCs, the judges included a drunken priest, the Inn keeper that they were buying the Inn from, and one of the PCs. The Defence was being played by the Mayor's ex-slave (freed by the PCs, the same day).

All of the mayors "crimes" were illiterated. The mayor responded with spiting and anger. Then they called on the Defence to make a statement. The ex-slave put down his pie and his beer, stood up and said "We should hang him!" There was a lot of agreement from the people in the Inn. The PCs hackles went up, this wasn't the defence they had expected! The Cleric (a PC) stepped into the breech and after a short break made a heart felt plea for mercy.This ended up with the mayor being chained to a post in the stables until a permanent solution could be devised.

The PCs didn't want to leave a power vacuum so called an election in the middle of town. By a raising of hands they would vote for a new mayor. The only candidate was the Inn keeper, as everyone else there seemed a little confused by the process. Once he was elected he immediately turned to the other townsfolk and started demanding money from them. The PCs intervened and discovered that demanding money is what the old mayor did so he thought he should do it too. They told him it was no way to behave and packed him off to the mayor's house with a thousand gold coins of their own. He took their money with a sly smile and headed off.

Now they wanted some inspiration, as there were missing people that needed to be found. The pot boy from the inn and the Assay for instance. The cleric asked his god for guidance. He started turning on the spot with mace extended he waited for inspiration. As his eyes were closed he didn't see a new NPC fighter pushing through the crowd. Of course the cleric clonked him on the head as he swung around.

The fighter was injured, carrying a bloodied sword with broken shield, and now a bruised head. He revealed that he had staggered here after fighting to free some captives from slavers in the nearby woods. Thinking this might be where the missing people had ended up, the PCs healed the fighter, who was named Garthan. He lead them back to the place where he had fought with the slavers. It looked like he had killed two of them before being driven off.

They followed the slavers trail to a clearing. In the middle of this open area was a raised mound and an iron bound door set into the side. The thief popped the lock and the PCs slipped in finding themselves in a room with two armed sleeping men. Without issuing a challenge they killed them both. Through a door, across a corridor,and opening another door they found themselves in an underground stable. Three men were watering the horses. Without a pause they dropped the buckets and charged. Hacky, slashy, thump. Two of them were killed and the third pounded to the ground. They wanted him alive for questioning. He gave them directions to where the big boss could be found before being knocked out.

Following the directions led them to a large room with a pool in the corner. The floor of the room had buckets all over it collecting water that was dripping from the roof, and the "riddit" sounds coming from the pool advertised the fact that there was a giant frog in here. The pool was by the door  they needed to get through. Of course the frog went for them as they neared that door. Poor silly frog, should have known better, may he rest in pieces.

Through the door along a corridor and they had reached the end of the directions they'd extracted. Our heroic fighter PC tried listening at the door. There was a flash of light (but no sound) and he was thrown to the floor badly hurt. Magical trap! Thinking that perhaps the "J" tattoo that all of these enemies had might help here, they went back to the stable and dragged the unconscious man back to the door and used his hand to open the door. It worked!

Inside they found a big man rising from his bed. They attacked. Maces, swords, arrows and backstabs! The man fought back with with a flaming fist. He put up a good fight and some of his friends turned up starting a second fight at the door as Garthan tried to hold them off. The PCs took some hurt and pretty soon laid out the big guy. The sight of his beheaded corpse set his friends running.

An extensive and detailed search of the room turned up a small chest and a magical scroll. Unfortunately the thief took a very dangerous dart as he opened the chest but did find a horde of 500gp inside.

The very next door they tried led revealed the missing townsfolk chained to the walls of a prison. They quickly freed them and headed for town on the ten ponies from the stables. There was much jubilation and cheering. They had been left with the impression that there may have been more people kept as prisoners in the mound, but before heading back they decided spend the night healing up and buying more healing potions. They cleared out the potion seller and it's likely to be a few weeks before he has any more potions.

A visit to check on the mayor found him hungry and thirsty. It looked like someone had emptied his own slop bucket over him.  Feeling a little sorry for him the Cleric freed him intending to get him food, water, and a wash, but the mayor attacked. His attack was weak and hopeless so he was quickly subdued and returned to his chains.

Karrbo, the mayors ex-slave and ex-defence-lawyer was offered the job of bar tender which he was glad to take. The PCs were hoping to keep the Inn ticking over until they returned to take ownership. So with everything in-hand they headed back to the mound in the woods.

They found the door closed and locked. When the rapped on the door they heard things being piled against the door. It seemed the slavers were not all dead!. The thief popped the lock (again) and they barged in...into a hail of arrows! Five guys were waiting, three with bows and two with swords drawn. The swordsmen attacked but were quickly swatted aside. The bowmen ran through a door but not before one took an arrow in the back.

There ended the session. The players now have two partially explored dungeons within reach of their home. A home I might add, that has had its power structures turned upside down by our friendly murder-hobos.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Unboxing Wipers Salient

The first pre-printed copy of my game Wipers Salient has just turned up, and here's me unboxing it.. Oooh I was so excited and nervous!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Solitaire "Memoir '44" Pegasus Bridge

Here's me playing Memoir '44 by myself and only making half a dozen mistakes.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

What would you do? Memoir 44

Here's a quick video asking a question about Memoir 44. What card would you play and which units would you activate?

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Basement 3: Son of Basement

Last night's game of Basic Dungeons and Dragons was the third installment of a scenario all about clearing the basement beneath the inn. Things did not go according to my plans.

Between sessions I had teased some events and answered a few in character questions. The PCs started by asking around the gathered populous about the daggers and the ladle they had recovered from the basement. Only the local blacksmith had something to say. He examined the rusty knife, and had nothing to say other than being surprised that a rusty knife was still so sharp. He looked over the dagger with the gold inlay, remarked that it was well made, but was not impressed with gold being inlaid. He is far too practical a man for that sort of nonsense. He knew nothing about the ladle. They asked if he thought they were magical, and he knew nothing but suggested they might visit the wizard across town, but to be careful as he was a cantankerous git.

The mayor of the town stuck his oar in too when the PCs emerged from the dungeon. Trying to play to the crowd saying that the fact that the PCs had come out again without clearing the dungeon proved how dangerous the place was, and that "he" who cared so much for the town should be given the Inn to keep it safe and to keep the people safe. It didn't go down to well. However it was the precursor to another play that would come up later.

The session proper started with the players visiting the wizard. They found him in an empty stable sitting on a trunk. After a wee bit of back a forth, which included him demanding presents, he set himself to looking over their daggers and of course the ladle.  The rusty knife he flicked away contemptuously simply saying "Silver dagger". Which left the PCs wondering how a silver dagger could be rusty. The ladle he again dismissed as a Cleric's or Healer's ladle (and indeed it later proved to restore a hit point when used to serve) but he had more to say about the fancy dagger. It was of Elvish origin made probably hundreds of  years ago. It was a made to kill lycanthropes and wouldn't kills elves. They gave the wizard a few coins and left him "reading" his invisible (or at least they couldn't see) book, with a promise to bring him any books they came across.

Back at the Inn They prepared to descend once more into the dungeon basement, when one of the Mayors thugs came over and demanded he come with them, and that they give him 10gp. They declined but he clearly told them that was not an option. Things started to get a bit fruity, words were thrown, and shoulders were pushed and it ended with a thinly veiled threat that they would regret it as "the boss" didn't like to be disobeyed.

Our heroes entered the basement and stayed quiet in order to hear if the thug was going to do any thing. It turned out he WAS doing something, he was nailing the blummin door shut! They set to the door and eventually smashed thorough and found the thug with hammer in hand and nails between his lips. Bish bash bosh they knocked him out and offered the innkeeper 10gp for the repair of his door and asked him to feed the brute when he woke. Very considerate I thought.

Back into the dark they went and consulting their map they found a door they hadn't previously opened. Listening at it they heard a burning fire. Quietly they opened the door onto a little room with a door opposite that had gaps and knot holes. The thief had a bit of a peek and saw four man sitting around a fire of burning barrel staves. They knocked. The door was opened and the men invited them in and to sit by their fire which they duly did. One of the men went to shut the door and as he turned back to them he and his comrades transformed into rat men and attacked the PCs. In the ensuing fight the magic daggers were put to use along with the fighter's silver headed, if jury rigged, spear. The cleric however turned into a crazed flame thrower and he sent bottle after bottle of flaming oil at the beasties. The thief also did that most dastardly of things the backstab!

With the monsters dead and the PCs not too well off, they started an exacting and detailed search of the room by firelight. After tripping over it, they discovered an invisible chest filled with coins. A merry and delightful happenstance that lead the PCs to considering the purchase of the Inn above them. Thus they promptly left my Dungeon Masterly rails and headed into the wild blue yonder (eek!).

Back at the Inn, they found the thug and the mayor were gone and tried to purchase the Inn by offering a thousand coins or so, and even offered the Innkeeper the chance to carry on running the place. He asked why if he had all that money he would continue to work as an innkeeper, to which no satisfactory answer could be given.

He was up for the idea but wanted to check that this horde of coin was not fools gold. They suggested he take a random coin or two and check, there was an assay in the town. The Innkeeper was suspicious and didn't want to wander over there with a couple of coins, as the remainder might be swapped in his absence. The PCs didn't want to let him go with the money either.

In the end one of the pot-boys was sent to bring the assay to the Inn. They waited, and waited and waited. Neither the boy nor the assay appeared. With another Inn-boy as guide they went out to the assay's abode and found the front door open, the fire burning down, but no assay and no boy.

As morning came they visited the missing boy's mother suspecting that the little tearaway had simply gone home. She was horrified and ran out to the assay's looking for her lad, then to the Inn but he was not to be found.

With people going missing our heroes decided it was time to visit the Mayor and see what he would do about this matter. The Mayor's house sat within its own hedged grounds and as they passed the hedge they were confronted by two of his guards. "You shall not pass" was their message but the heroes really wanted to pass and so it came to blows. Swords were draw and subduing damage done. In fact one of the guards was subdued to the floor in a bloody pulp. The other broke, and ran for the house. The Cleric whipped out is sling and promptly dropped the runner with a single shot.

They stepped over the runners body and knocked on the front door of the mayors house.A little rat of a man answered and they pushed their way in knocking him to the floor.

The mayor appeared in his dressing gown, was horrified to find armed men entering his house with violence. They asked him what he knew about the disappearances but he claimed not to know and to care less. "Peasants disappear all the time, how should I know what happens to them?"

He promptly shut and barricaded the door leaving our heroes in the hallway. They checked the rest of the house finding plenty of pies which they tried. Then they sent the little man with an armful of pies off to the Inn (and thereby setting the Mayors serf free).

With the door barricaded they went round the outside of the house looking for a window and they soon found the Mayors bedroom. With no Mayor to be found they suspected he'd done a runner via the open window. The thief jumped to the thatch for a looksee and spotted the brave Mayor running like a mad man beyond the hedge. They set out after him. The fighter was the only one able to keep up and out enduranced(CON) the Mayor. They manacled him and dragged him back to the Inn for some kind of trial.

There ended the session. What will happen next time? I haven't a clue, this train aint got no rails.

Edit: Our thief has reached second level!
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Actual Play of Lovecraftian Shorts

"The Redacted Files" podcast published an actual-play recording of themselves playing my game, Lovecraftian Shorts . I'm pretty pumped to hear strangers having such a good time with my game.

They nailed it.

Go to The Redacted Files

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Friday, March 20, 2015

I killed the Alien!

Today was truely my day of days! I played "Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building" game
and I won. Every other play of it up to this point had ended in bloody disaster, twice with the Nostromo blowing up killing everyone. But not today!

I was playing solitaire with four characters. Having tried previously with just two I can now say that four is better. Both times when I've played with four I've had much more control over the game.

I played slightly differently to previously, and let's face it that's how you beat these games. Is this a constantly winning strategy, who knows, but anecdotally it worked during this play.

In my previous plays I paid a lot of attention to trying to give each character matching symbols to unlock the extra abilities. During this game I didn't do this. Instead I tried to simply duplicate cards in a characters hand to do the same thing, and this worked at least three times.

The second difference was not filling my hand with new cards just because I had money to spend. Instead I wasted some money rather than grab 1-attack cards. This actually led to the row of available cards filling with what I considered "junk". This happened twice, but did lead me to get a couple of duplicate-card purchases which helped later.

The final tactic, was minor but made a huge difference. As I drew a new hand of cards I always sorted the "coordinate" cards and placed these face up. This made sure they were always front and center. These were critical to the win. I constantly used other avatar's cards to purchase or attack, there was no thought of reserving a "coordinate" card. If I could use it I did, except on one occasion where I had to leave one attack card to deal with a face-hugger. By always using these cards I increased each individuals purchasing power enabling me to get the better cards sooner.

It so happened that I never deliberately scanned a room, only doing this when I had spare attack value that I couldn't use to actually attack. I always scanned the most expensive room that the cards allowed.

So I have completed the first film. Next time I play it'll be the "Aliens" movie, and I'm looking forward to getting a close look at the cards for that film.

... and I've just heard that a Predator version is coming, I'd better hurry up and get through the next three films!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Back to the Basement - Basic D&D session report

Last night was a return for the players to the basement beneath the Filter Inn. Their first port of call down there was to the undead zombie creature that they'd left trapped in a barrel last time. They came armed with flasks of oil. The young cleric however wanted give turning it another try. He powered up his holy symbol..PHUT. Nothing, again. So the barrel was dowsed in three, yes three, bottles of oil and lit on fire. Then just to be sure, the burnt remains were dismembered and scattered about the dungeon.

Then is was back to exploring. The first door opened found the Kobolds from last session in a new room hard at work. The floor of the room had been excavated (10 feet of course) except for a pillar in the center, on which stood a golden statue. the kobolds were trying to construct a bridge of planks and rope to reach the statue, but the PCs thought that they themselves should be the owners of said piece of artwork. After some deft rope work and an artful piece of rope-bridge-climbing by the team's Thief they soon recovered the heavy statue and somewhat miffed the kobolds. However! The fighter had brought pie. So he delivered pie unto the kobolds and thereby placated them.

Back to the basement entrance to deposit the statue and then on to explore further. The next door opened to reveal two angry giant fire beetles. These were quickly dispatched and their juices swept into the empty oil flasks for use later.

The next door revealed two more beetles hanging on the ceiling (wandering monster beetles in fact) and these were quickly dispatched.

Into the next room which turned out to be rather empty. A bundle of sticks, perhaps firewood, was in the middle of the floor, but buried in amongst it a well kept ladle. Odd. Perhaps lost/left by the previous heroes who tried to clear this basement.

The next encounter with was a small group of Kobolds bedding down (very sleepy wandering monsters these), the PCs backed slowly out of the room leaving them to their Zs. It seems the PCs wish to find a less violent way of dealing with Kobolds.

Two more corridors led them to another pair of Fire Beetles which were guarding a hole in the floor. They were quickly dispatched and a rusty dagger was found in the rubbish scattered around the room.

When they reached a room where a partial collapse had brought down some of the ceiling they were obviously wary of a collapsing roof trap, but braved the room anyway. A banging against one of the room's doors caught their attention. When they opened the door, a veritable force of nature burst in knocking a couple of PC's to the ground. It was a large wooden trunk running along on hundreds of dear little legs. It ignored the PCs, shot across the room through the opposite open door and disappeared beyond sight. (Farewell Terry).

With the new door open they nipped through it and along the corridor beyond opening a door into what can only be described as a chapel. Bench seating was in disarray  and a large symbol was carved into the end wall. Investigation of the symbol gave the poor Cleric a bad headache (-1 for 20 mins), as it's pure evil could be felt. He set to it with hammer and destroyed this evil manifestation.

After peeking into a frog infested well the final encounter of the night was with a group of Gnomes. Some discussion with the grumpy Gnomes led the PCs to understand that they were not welcome in what the Gnomes considered their home. The PCs backed out of the room and promptly pittoned the door shut.

The PCs left for the night, returning to the upper world and the Inn. They still have a challenge before them. They were tasked with clearing the basement, but now have two groups of Kobolds and a bunch of Gnomes that aren't quite monsters, yet still need to be dealt with, it is after all harder to kill a Kobold you've shared a pie with!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

D&D - clearing the basement

Last night I DM'ed my first game of actual basic D&D in quite a few years. It was a good mixed
party of first level characters, Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Elf , and surprise of surprises there were no characters deaths. Unthinkable for 1st level adventuring!

In the town of Sift is the Filter Inn, which has an annual event of sorts where young adventurers put themselves forwards for a 100gp bounty. All they have to do is clear the Inn's extensive basement of the "things" that have moved in. There is great honour to be had in achieving this goal, as well as the money, hence our brave PCs volunteered (read that as rail-roaded by the DM).

The Inn-keeper lead them to the basement, cleared the barrels out of the way told them the secret knock (the only way he'd open the door to someone on the other side) and shoved them down the steps.

They lit a torch and examined the first room. There was the body of a man there with shield and sword and even a few gold coins which they promptly liberated. Then commenced a series of door listening rolls that carried on all evening.  With the fighter and cleric leading the way they started  the clearing operation.

After moving through a bunch of empty rooms the only things they'd found was a small chest containing a vial of unidentified liquid and a barrel filled with salted fish. Somewhat disappointing for them, but things were soon to get interesting. The next door revealed another body. When they approached, the obviously dead individual rose to its feet and tried to strangle them. The cleric boldly stood forth and proceeded to not turn the creature. They laid into the corpse with swords, maces, arrows, sling stones and daggers. They managed to knock it to the ground a couple of times but it just wouldn't die. The cleric took a serious hit and risked drinking the vial they'd found earlier which fortunately turned out to be a healing potion.

When they came to the conclusion that the monster just was not going to die the elf came up with plan 2b. Rushing back to the salt fish barrel, he emptied it and dragged it back to the fight. The fighter slammed the beastie to the ground and they stuffed the thrashing dead man head first into the barrel and sat on top, pinning it in place. The only problem being, someone needed to stay on top of the barrel!

Looking around they found the monster had been laying of a sack of copper coins, one thousand of them. So they hoofed that on top of the barrel to hold it in place. reluctantly they left the money to hold the undead thing and moved on.

Their next encounter was a pit-turned-pool that housed two giant frogs. The first arrow fired caused the frogs to leap to the attack, but it was a fly-less effort (that's frog speak for fruitless) as they were soon clobbered into a greasy paste,

The very next door was a wandering monster. HUZZAR! They found themselves facing a man who blinked at their torch light and begged them to lead him out of the dungeon. They offered to take him out but became suspicious when he insisted on wanting to be at the back of the party. Then when they questioned him, he became agitated, then angry and then violent. The man transformed into a man-rat and attacked. He ended up not being too much of a threat and he was soon downed. When dead he transformed into a simple big rat.

Suspicious of the dead end corridor they found themselves in, the elf did his elfy-searchy-thingy and revealed a hidden door. Listening at it told them there were many strange voices beyond. Carefully they opened the door and surprised a horde of kobolds setting up camp. The kobolds tightened their grip on their weapons but did not attack. There was no way to talk with them so the party made conciliatory noises and even offered them hunks of rat and frog meat. That settled it, although not friends they were at least not enemies. The PCs ducked back out of the room and heard the kobolds hammering the door shut.

They examined their map looking for another way round and headed for the next unopened door. What they found was a tiny room with another door and when they listened at that, they again heard kobold voices. When they carefully opened they door they discovered the same kobolds, so backed out of the room. Once again the kobolds started hammering and sealing that door.

Back to the map, back through a few rooms to the next door. Kobold voices again. Peek. yep, it's them again. Irate kobold remonstrations about the disturbance as the PCs backed out. Hammering sounds as the kobolds sealed yet another door.

Onto the next door. It revealed a large room with a raised stone platform at the far end with a coffin on it. Between the PCs and the coffin, eight armed and animate skeletons which turned to attack. Realising the enemy could outflank them the PCs pulled back to the doorway as the elf cast his magical shield spell. The cleric warmed up his magical symbol to turn the skeletons but alas he must have left the key at home as it failed again. The skeletons attacked. Swords proved rather poor for this work but the fighter made up for that by managing to clobber all of the weak enemies. The cleric did his macely duty and the elf and thief sent a hail of missile fire into the foes.

In next to no time the skeletons were dust, and they investigated the coffin. Fearing Dracular himself they opened the box and discovered it empty. When they moved the coffin however they found a recess below and inside that, 600gp and a gold-inlaid dagger.

Here ended the session. The basement was by no means clear of monsters. The kobolds were contained (by themselves), the undead thing was barrelled, the skeletons, frogs and rat-man disposed of. They decided to retire for the night back upstairs and lick their wounds.

Next time, the adventure continues...

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Wipers Salient

After what seems like forever I've finally released my card game ... WIPERS SALIENT.

During WWI, Ypres was the centre of intense and sustained battles between German and Allied forces. In the game of Wipers Salient you play the part of the Allies trying to hold back the massive forces of Germany during a series of incessant attacks.

Wipers Salient is a solitaire deck building game using a deck of 52 specialised cards. You have to gather your resources to maintain your Health and Morale, whilst attacking the enemy to avoid being overwhelmed.

Included in the zipped up package:
The rules in PDF format.
The cards in a printable PDF.
All of the individual card images in a high resolution, so that you can print them using a card printing service (but please refer to the readme.txt file before doing so for licensing information).

You can purchase Wipers Salient from WargameVault

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.