Sunday, May 31, 2009

Deadliest Warrior Pt.7

IRA beats Taliban on the strength of their Armalite assault rifle and their superior skill at building explosive devices. Ultimately, I think terrain is key in this battle. The RPG-7 is far more effective in open terrain, while the IRA tactics and weapons are optimized for the urban environment. It was mildly entertaining watching two groups of thugs blowing each other up, but what's with the fake Taliban beards? They were straight out of Team America.


Edit: It was mentioned in tonight's episode that Geoff Desmoulin, one of the hosts of the show (the big, muscular dude), is Canadian. That got me to Googling and it turns out, he's a local. He lives in Vancouver now, but he studied to be an emergency medical technician at SAIT and served with the Canmore fire dept. for several years before going on to Simon Fraser to study biomechanics. I deem that cool.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Signature Weapon

What is your signature weapon?

For me, it was Air Strike! 73% power over speed, 87% range over melee. Hell yeah, nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.


Ha Ha!. City of Ass?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Deadliest Warrior Pt.6

As expected, Shaka Zulu had no answer for the brutal efficiency of the Claymore, which proved decisive and gave William Wallace a much easier victory than I anticipated. Next week, IRA v. Taliban and I again voice my objections. These thugs aren't warriors, they're murderers. I'll still watch it though.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Rognar's Fading Suns Campaign Blog

I have started a secondary blog to cover all aspects of my gamemastering activities. Currently, I am preparing a Fading Suns campaign using the Space d6 system of West End Games. I will be posting information on both the campaign setting and the game system over the next few weeks, so if you are interested in participating, please check it out. The link to the campaign blog is included in the links list.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

The resurrection of West End Games

The demise of West End Games has been postponed and the release of Bill Coffin's Septimus game, the product that nearly killed the company, has been announced for August. My first experience with WEG was the original Star Wars RPG. A great game to be sure, although some of WEG's writing schemes struck me as a bit underhanded. In particular, they would provide stat blocks for prominent characters that referenced numerous other publications. In order to get a full description of the Emperor, for example, you would need to purchase three or four other books. Clearly, this was a marketing ploy, but it was such an obvious and clumsy one that it gave the buyer the sense that he was being ripped off. WEG is owned by a different person now and I wish the company all the best. Having said that, none of their current IPs interest me all that much (except maybe Shatterzone for which they have no future plans other than as an add-on to TORG), so I doubt they will have much success extracting any of my hard-earned shekels.

By the way, Septimus is set inside a Dyson sphere with a radius of about 1 AU. That makes the inside surface area approximately 100 quadrillion square miles. We're talking about a pretty big map.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The latest purchase from my FLGS, pt.2

Star Wars Roleplaying Game Jedi Academy Training Manual - Rodney Thompson, Eric Cagle, Patrick Stutzman and Robert Wieland (Wizards of the Coast)

The Jedi Academy Training Manual is the latest release for the Saga Edition of WotC's Star Wars rpg and it is one of the better ones to come along in quite awhile, particularly if you like crunch and the Force (and really, who doesn't?). The recent formula for Saga Ed. books has been a few new races, most of which are exceedingly obscure, a section with some new talents and feats, another section with some new force powers and one or two new prestige classes. Combined with some new equipment and ship designs and it would typically work out to about 60 - 80 pages of crunch in a book with about 220 pages. The JATM is a somewhat slimmer tome, coming in at 160 pages, but it has a much higher crunch coefficient. It has 28 pages worth of new force powers, talents, feats and related goodies, 19 pages worth of new equipment (especially lightsabers), 18 pages of alternate Force traditions and 16 pages of new beasts. I find that last section to be particularly interesting because it includes a lot of Sith alchemy creations which allow a GM to get some use out of the D&D miniatures collection, some of which bear a striking resemblance to certain Sith beasts.

All-in-all, I would say the JATM is a must for any Star Wars campaign involving Jedi, Sith or other Force-using traditions. My only complaint is that they still haven't fixed Force Surge to allow Mace Windu to survive the jump he made in the arena on Geonosis.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Deadliest Warrior Pt.5

The Shaolin Monk defeats the Maori Warrior pretty convincingly. The sheer ferocity and brute strength of the Maori was no match for Shaolin skill and weapons. The amazingly versatile twin hooks weapon system of the Shaolin was the deciding factor and rightfully so. Against lightly-armoured or unarmoured opponents, the twin hooks can kill in any number of ways. The Maori rocks and sticks and shark teeth weapons seemed quite pathetic by comparison. Next week: William Wallace v. Shaka Zulu. Hard to call this one, although the Claymore should prove quite formidable.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What are you reading right now?

Personally, I've recently started The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock, the first book in The History of the Runestaff series featuring the character of Dorian Hawkmoon. I have read the complete series of Elric of Melniboné novels, but this is my first foray into other Moorcock books. It seems so far, to be a much easier read than the Elric stories, which is good. I found the latter to be rather dense and difficult to push through.

Hawkmoon, like Elric, is an aspect of Moorcock's Eternal Champion concept. In most of Moorcock's stories, the main character is an incarnation of a hero who exists in all planes of the Multiverse. There are literally dozens of such heroes. In this particular series, Hawkmoon is a nobleman in a far future Europe where magic and arcane technology coexist. The dark and decadent empire of Granbretan controls all of Europe except for one small country called Kamarg, in what was once France. Though small, Kamarg is powerful and it is led by a cunning ruler named Count Brass. Unable to conquer Kamarg by force, Granbretan seeks to employ subterfuge, using sorcery to bring Hawkmoon under its control and sending him forth to infiltrate Kamarg. Obviously, the effort fails, but Granbretan is not so easily deterred and the future of Kamarg is far from certain.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Deadliest Warrior Pt.4

Wow, Spetznaz beats Green Berets in a close match. I'm not sure I believe it. Personally, I found all the ballet moves of the Spetznaz to be a bit silly. The Green Berets seemed a lot more compact and precise. One more thing, where can I get one of those awesome Spetznaz ballistic knives? Next week: Shaolin monks vs. Maori warriors, was this matchup chosen based on a shared diphthong?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Campaign Blog

Link is on the left.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Oh what to choose?!?

Obiri's character spoilers ahead. Turn back if you are banned from reading this.

Well we are just about to gear up for our next campaign and so its that always torturous process of choosing a character. My character for the next campaign is already prepped. She (yes, the next character will be a she. Get off my back!) will be an offensive machine. Lots barbarian with some fighter mixed in for more feats. Unfortunately she's all specced out using Pathfinder Beta rules so if the final product changes too much she'll never see the light of day. Pity.

Anyway back to the campaign at hand. Its set in the desert and there's going to be lots of gnolls and genies. I played an arcane caster last time, and a melee class next time so I wanted to go divine caster this time. Druid is tempting and the DM dared me to abuse venomfire, but I couldn't find a character concept I liked and then the DM banned animal companions so that was out. Cleric was next on my list. I came up with an awesome holy warrior which was apparently too good (the alternate class feature is probably too awesome), so I had to swtich gears. The revised cleric was still super sweet except for one thing: I'd made a great anti-undead cleric in a campaign about gnolls and genies. Hmmm

What to do? I've noticed that adventure path tend to follow a certain pattern for enemies. You start out fighting animals and humanoids, work you way up to aberations, undead, and giants, and by end game you are fighting dragons and outsiders. It's a safe bet that an Arabian themed adventure path is going to have lots of outsiders but what class is good against outsiders?

Flips through his books.

I couldn't find any good specialized classes that fight outsiders. But I did come back to a class that I was looking at earlier. It could be very effective against outsiders (and just about everything else for that matter). Now I just have to decide if I want to use Divine Metamagic Persist or not?

Another option popped up tonight that looks really really tempting. The ambush drake.
A 7 HD dragon with no Level Adjustment. Poison, Flight, Slow. Not too shabby. Too bad I'm set on playing a divine caster this time.

Rippin' on AD&D, pt.3

After murdering the MMII in pt.1, the guys from bury it in a shallow grave in pt.2

Monster Manual II, pt.2


Thursday, May 07, 2009

So, what's on your iPod?, pt.2

Sabaton is an awesome band from Sweden which combines thrash metal with a distinctly European industrial sound. The deep, growling vocals of lead singer, Joakim Broden are very reminiscent of Rammstein's Till Lindemann, although Sabaton's lyrics are predominantly in English. Speaking of lyrics, Sabaton has a distinct lyrical interest in historical wars, with a particularly strong attraction to WWII. Songs such as Primo Victoria, Attero Dominatus and Talvisota describe the Normandy Landings, the Fall of Berlin and the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union. Other solid tracks include Panzer Battalion (2003 Iraq War), Wolfpack (Battle of the Atlantic), The Art of War (Sun Tzu and his famous book), Into the Fire (Vietnam War) and Ghost Division (Rommel's own panzer division).

Lyrical sample: Primo Victoria
Through the Gates of Hell
As we make our way to Heaven
Through the Nazi lines
Primo Victoria
On the 6th of June
On the shores of Western Europe
Nineteen Forty-four
D-Day upon us

Sabaton has five albums; Fist For Fight (2000), Primo Victoria (2005), Attero Dominatus (2006), Metalizer (2007) and The Art of War (2008).


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Deadliest Warrior Pt.3

Mafia vs. Yakuza...on paper, you would think Yakuza. After all, they have the warrior heritage and the martial arts training. However, in the end, it all comes down to firepower. The Mob used the Thompson SMG, .45 cal, highly accurate, one of the greatest firearms ever made. The Yakuza used the British Sten, 9 mm, a serviceable SMG, but no match for the Thompson. All the karate moves in the world aren't going to protect you when some wise guy is hosing down the room with a Tommy Gun. Advantage: Mafia. Next week: Green Berets vs. Spetznaz


Monday, May 04, 2009

G.I. Joe...Cool? Maybe.

I'm too old to really be much of a G.I.Joe fan. When I was a kid, Joe was the size of a Barbie doll and about as much fun to play with too. Having said that, the amount of sheer, unrestrained awesomeness packed into this trailer for the upcoming G.I.Joe movie has the potential to make a fan out of me.


Rippin' on AD&D, pt.2

More funny stuff from, but really, Modrons? Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.

Monster Manual II, pt.1


Friday, May 01, 2009

My Most Memorable Characters - Nikolai

The first character I played when I moved out west and the first with my fellow bloggers on this site was Nikolai Grenovic. Nikolai grew up in a harsh environment and embraced the darkness of his homeland. He learned to lie, to steal and even to kill at an early age. However, he did not kill for pleasure or sport, he was not a savage. He took up with violent men, he consorted with drow and other evil races, he engaged in all manner of criminal activities, but he always maintained his self-discipline. Eventually, that self-discipline would serve him well when his exploits would lead him to become captain of his own ship. He and his crew would become the scourge of the seas. Merchant ships, warships, great monsters of the deeps, it mattered not. All fell before Grenovic and his allies. Even the mighty Kraken was slain.

Eventually, Grenovic would become an admiral leading a fleet of his homeland's black dragonships into battle. Only the God of the Sea remains to contest Nikolai Grenovic's command of the world's oceans.