Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DC Adventures - Have I finally found a DC Heroes RPG I understand?

This Thursday I have back surgery scheduled, so what better time to elicit a bit of sympathy from “She who must be obeyed”?  I convinced her that I NEED something to read at the hospital during my overnight stay, and that none of the 350,000 unread books in my personal library would do. So we went to my Friendly Neighborhood Game Store and picked up the brand spankin’ new DC Adventures Hero’s Handbook. 
Truth be told this isn't the first try at a DC flavored RPG. Back in the late 20th century a company called Mayfair games came out with one. It looked real nice too. I bought it as the manager in the store was unpacking them. I opened it up in the car. I read through it on the way home. I tried to create a character at the dinner table. My buddy and I tried to run the character through a scenario. Later that night I put the game in my closet and never spoke of it again. 
I don't know whether it was the game or me. I never asked, I was too ashamed. I think it had something to do with algebra, I’m not sure. Math was never my strong suit.
I’ve played Mutants & Masterminds before and enjoyed it a lot, so I think I’ll be able to wrap my head around it this time.
Wish me luck.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Manly Monday at the Movies -The Outpost on DVD


I picked this up over at Biglots for $3.00 a few months ago because it had Ray Stevenson (Pullo from the HBO series Rome) in it. It had sat on my shelves since then without a glance. I popped it open today to watch just because I noticed it was still in the wrapper.  Boy am I glad I did. The Outpost was one of the best popcorn munching good times I’ve had in a while. Bad ass mercenaries, hidden bunkers, Nazis, Zombies, and the only chick in the movie was a stripper in the bar at the start of the movie. This was a total testosterone charged, shoot em up military/horror fest.  Pick it up, gather some of the guys, pop open a few cold ones and let the gore-fest begin.  Great Fun!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A new tradition is born

We spent the greater part of the day here at the Lair enjoying a marathon geekfest of the Lord of the Rings.  We had some serious “family time” as everyone sat around the living room and revisited Middle Earth amongst  popcorn, soda, and corndogs.
I love these movies. I love that my Minions love these movies.
I think I’m gonna make this a yearly thing.  Can you imagine all of us watching The Lord of The Rings and (by that time I hope) The Hobbit, with our Grandkids?
Yup. New tradition at the Lair-
Lord of The Rings Marathon every year!

So let it be written, so let it be done!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Legends of Steel-BASH Fantasy Edition. Spotlight-Talena

Some of you may remember a few months back I mentioned that Basic Action Games and Evil DM Productions would be teaming up to release a BASH version of Legends of Steel. Well, we are just about ready to unleash it on the gaming world. Until then we figured we would tease you with a few characters from the book. This week we have  our nimble rogue-Talena!
Fun fact: did you know Talena was once a Wednesday girl?
It’s true.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

From 05/15/2008 -GI Joe & OD&D

I’m noticing a trend lately that I find interesting not for its own sake but for the larger picture it paints of age, nostalgia and trying to recapture youth- The movement to get back to an “old school” style of gaming.
What I find amusing is that I’ve been on this ride before with my buddies who collect action figures. A few years back there was a huge resurgence in nostalgia amongst us guys who played with GI Joes back in the late 60’s through the mid 70’s. The net filled up with message boards and websites where middle aged men would wax nostalgic about their GI Joe collections and their most recent attempts to reacquire the lost treasures of their youth. The boards would buzz with opinion and debate over which Joes were better, whose collections were the most authentic, which companies were re-releasing which figures to cash in on the nostalgia craze and how every effort to do so sucked.
We would bitch and whine about how kids these days wouldn’t know a fun toy if it bit them in the ass. We complained about the little GI Joes, the “Real American Hero” GI Joes from the late 80’s (which of course would offend the “young pup” collectors who grew up in the 80’s watching GI Joe and He Man), We would complain about the high prices and low quality of the new stuff coming out and how it would never compare to what we had “back in the day.”

Back in the day…
That’s the key isn’t it?
A few years ago the GI Joe guys started hitting middle age. Suddenly there was a rush to get back to simpler times, where backyard adventures filled our summer days. Nothing now would ever, could ever, bring those days of bottle rockets and dirt clod fights back.
So we did the next best thing. We went on EBay and paid outrageous prices for moth eaten tokens of our youth and cleaned them, patched them up and put them on display. Eventually, the craze wore down. The casual collector picked up a $9.00 anniversary Land Adventurer at Wal Mart and moved on. The rest of us die hard’s still haunt the boards and still wait for the re release of the Mobile Command Center, much like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

So now, a few years later a new group of guys are reaching their 40’s. These guys didn’t have much to do with Kung Fu grips or Big Jim’s P.A.C.K. They were too busy trying not to get killed in the Tomb of Horrors or have all their levels drained by a Succubus. These are the guys waking up and finding a new version of D&D coming very soon. And there are many who say it looks nothing like the D&D we played as we listened to “Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, or The Red Hot Chili Peppers. This is some new fangled D&D. Hence, the movement to recapture simpler times. To get back to late night sessions at mom’s dinner table. Nights filled with character sheets, funny dice, graph paper, clunky lead miniatures and of course Taco Bell wrappers. Can we get back to “old school?” I really don’t know. It didn’t work for the GI Joe guys. But if there’s a chance of recapturing a sliver of that excitement the first time you went up a level, then I’d say it’s worth a shot.

Friday, August 13, 2010

from 11/04/2005 -The Endless night

"The endless night"
Suitable for use with Traveller, Star Frontiers, Alternity, Etc.

This was inspired by the movie “Outland” starring Sean Connery.

The players are sent to an asteroid mining operation to investigate the murder of a VIP’s son. The son and his father had a falling out and no one in the colony knew who that his father was this famous person. The death was ruled accidental but of course that is not good enough for the father.

That’s where the group comes in. the father hires a team of private investigators to go there undercover and conduct a private investigation. The team finds out this is just one of many deaths in this mining colony, it appears that literally hundreds of convicts, indentured laborers, homeless and other people “who nobody will miss” have disappeared through the years here. The players discover that the killer is the head honcho of the mining operation, pretty straightforward stuff. Until, we add the twist that the head honcho is a Vampire. Actual-sleeps in a coffin-strength of ten men-turns into a mist- undead vampire.

Now the players who are prepared for a conventional fight have got to suspend their 25th century mentality and fight a creature of legend. For some added spice, add a “sin town” with strip clubs, casinos, and brothels etc. where the laborers go to blow off steam- this is where his minions hang out- kind of like the “Titty-Twister” in “From Dusk till Dawn”. Oh, and have the vampires “Renfield” guy be the chief of security for the mining company.

Monday, August 09, 2010

from 08/04/2006 -Lone Wolf

Today I decided to take a walk during lunch and check out the local used bookstore. I saw a couple of the Lone Wolf game books in the bargain bin so I picked them up. I have a quasi-collection of these and the Endless Quest books from TSR. I collect them for my sons-can’t start the indoctrination soon enough eh?
Anyway, I did a little surfing back at work and came across a website that has a few of the earlier books on PDF. More importantly they have a PDF of the Magnamund Companion, A gazetteer of the world of Lone Wolf. This is one tough book to find ( I found a copy at a game store years ago and have since had several offers of up to $50.00 to part with it). One of the neat features in the book is a section with some ship construction guidelines,using paper, balsa wood and some household items, the results are impressive. I might take a crack at it one of these days.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Mini Six

I just downloaded Mini Six. I like what they've done with it. I understand the rise and fall of WEG is quite a story. You'll have to look it up somewhere else though.  All I'm gonna say is that this volume looks nicely put together and the price is right. I'll have a more in depth look later once I wrap up some of my Dicey Tales commitments.

But by all means head on over to AntiPaladin Games, download Mini Six and show your support. 
Great job of helping to keep a much loved system alive. Thank you AntiPaladin.
The Evil DM salutes you! 

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I want it now.

I went to order this on RPGNow and got to the paypal part when suddenly my comp went wonky on me. It took the money but didn't give me the link. 

I know it will all get straightened out, but I want this now!  ARRGGHH!!

Anyway, this is from the guys who do Colonial Gothic, so I'm very interested to see what they have done with the Sword & Sorcery genre.  This has received quite a few positives from all the usual suspects in the know, and is fast on its way to "Indy Darling" status. 

I see James Maliszewski named as one of the writers, so I'm very interested to read it. James has a great gaming blog called Grognardia that I follow and heartily recommend. He's also another Old school gamer from 1979, so his "Gamer Cred" is solid in my book.

Once I get my PDF copy of Shadow, Sword & Spell  I'll post more. 

But dont wait for me- Order it now!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I'm looking to trade for the Grand Duchy of Karameikos

I want to graduate my minions into AD&D. The campaign I want to do it with is the "Known World" or "Mystara" campaign.

I have several of the Gazetteer but I want to start with the first one, GAZ 1 "The Grand Duchy of Karameikos". The problem is I dont want to pay $35+ for a copy on Ebay. I know they have a boxed set but  I'd rather have this one.

If anyone has a copy gathering dust and they would be willing to trade- I have a whole lot of gaming stuff that I would trade for it. 
Anyone interested in making a trade drop me a line at

If I cant find this one I might just start them out with Spelljammer, I've been thinking alot about that campaign anyway.

Thanks guys.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Sentinels - Mission briefing collage

Dicey Tales will feature character write ups of a pulp era team of adventurers known as The Sentinels.
I started taking some pictures for my artists to get feel for the look I wanted for them and before you know it the “kit bashing” bug bit me. And I decided to slap something together. So here they are preparing for a mission.

By the way, our heroes are the “West Coast” branch of the Sentinels Organization.  They are headquartered at the Brookehelm Estate in the Nob Hill district of San Francisco.

The San Francisco team consists of:

Captain Ron Rogers
Legal Name: Ronald Dearborn Rogers
Apparent Age: 36
Alias: Captain Rogers
Specialization: Leadership, Sailing, Salvaging, and Smuggling
Occupation: Ship Captain
Languages: English (native), Cantonese, Tagalog
Nationality: American
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operations:
San Francisco, California 
Current/Past Affiliations: United States Navy

Captain Rogers started life as a young tough on the streets of New York. After his third arrest the juvenile judge gave Rogers a choice, the Navy or "The Big House".
Young Seaman Rogers soon found himself on a gunboat in the Yangtze River. Ron was a natural sailor but the Navy wasn't his cup a tea. After his enlistment he and a couple of buddies started a small Import/Export business out of Shanghai and soon Rogers was the master of his own 75' foot ketch “The Sea Maiden”. He currently resides on his vessel in the San Francisco pier.

Catherine Ramirez
Legal Name: Catharina Amparo Carrillo Ramirez
Apparent age: 23
Alias: None
Specialization: Pilot, Socialite
Occupation: Socialite
Languages: Spanish (native), English, French, Italian, and German
Nationality: Mexican
Place of Birth:
Orizaba, Veracruz
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operations:
San Francisco, California 
Current/Past Affiliations: None

Catherine was born in Mexico to one of the country’s wealthiest families. Her Psychic abilities began to manifest at a young age. Catherine’s nanny, a local Mestiza healing woman recognized the power in the child early on, and helped Catherine keep her abilities in check.  Fearful that their daughter’s abilities would be mistaken for witchcraft, her parents sent Catherine to Europe to finish her schooling.  In Paris, Catherine took her first flight when she was 14 and fell in love with flying. By age 17 she was a fully certified pilot. By 19 she owned her first plane. Catherine is active in the European spiritualist community and has used her Psychic talents to aid individuals and several European police agencies. She currently resides at a townhouse in San Francisco’s Nob Hill district.

Dr. Daniel Henderson
Legal Name: Daniel Jerome Henderson
Apparent age: 35
Alias: “Doc”, “DJ”
Specialization: Surgery, Internal medicine, Pathology
Occupation: Medical Doctor
Languages: English (native), Latin, French
Nationality: American
Place of Birth:
Harlem, New York
Marital Status: Widowed
Base of Operations:
San Francisco, California 
Current/Past Affiliations: U.S. Army, Howard University (Fellow), St. James Hospital (Resident)

Dr. Henderson grew up in New York City. His first job was as a butcher’s assistant. During WWI at the age of 17 Henderson was an infantryman in the 369th infantry regiment, the "Harlem Hellfighters". For his actions during the second battle of the Marne, He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Sadly, his young bride Barbara succumbed to the Spanish flu while he was serving overseas. Following the war, Henderson attended Howard University and earned a degree in Internal Medicine. He is currently on staff at St. James hospital in Oakland California and lives at the Brookhelm estate in San Francisco.

Professor Myung Cho PhD.
Legal Name: Myung Jae Cho
Apparent Age: 60
Alias: None
Specialization: Electronics, Chemistry
Occupation: Chemistry Professor
Languages: Korean (native), English, Japanese, German, Mandarin, Italian
Nationality: Korean
Place of Birth:
Pusan, Korea
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operations: San Francisco, California
Current/Past Affiliations: None

Professor Cho spent his childhood in Pusan Korea, assisting his father on his fishing boat. Realizing his child’s brilliance, the senior Cho raised funds to send Myung to live with an uncle in America. Myung was accepted to the San Francisco Institute of Technology at age 16 and graduated with honors.  He then attended the Illustrious Istituto de Cavallero in Florence Italy. He followed this with research work in Germany and England. Professor Cho was responsible for over 200 patents in chemistry and electrical engineering. Unfortunately, as his success grew, so did the outlandishness of his theories. Several high profile setbacks and a stint in a Spanish jail for assault ruined a rather promising career. He lives in San Francisco at the Brookhelm estate, supported by royalties from his patents and continues to conduct research independently.

Paul Hawker
Legal Name: Paul Jamison Hawker
Apparent Age: 46
Alias: Major Hawker
Specialization: demolitions, modern weapons, small unit tactics
Occupation: Soldier of Fortune
Languages: English (native), Persian, Spanish, French
Nationality: English
Place of Birth:
Sussex, England
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operations:
San Francisco, California 
Current/Past Affiliations: Royal Engineers, British Army

After graduating with an engineering degree from Cheltenham College, Hawker served with the 15th Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers. Hawker has since fought in conflicts from the fields of France and the mountain passes of Afghanistan, to the jungles of Paraguay.  Hawker has done a bit of prospecting in between conflicts (diamonds in Africa, silver in Mexico, etc.). He is an expert marksman, driver, speaks several languages and has a talent with explosives. He currently has a bungalow at the Brookhelm estate in San Francisco.

Margaret Tier
Legal Name: Retta Tuglas
Apparent Age: 33
Alias: MI6 Codename: Dove
Specialization: Magic, Singing, Espionage
Occupation: Professional Singer (Retired)
Languages: Estonian (native), Romany, English, German,  
Nationality: Estonian
Place of Birth:
Laiuse, Estonia
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operations:
San Francisco, California Current/Past Affiliations: MI6 

Retta is an Estonian born Gypsy. Traditionally, women of her family are able to use magic. Usually, the effects are minor (making smoke dance to a tune and such). In Retta’s case however, her power was much stronger. Retta kept her abilities well hidden from all but her immediate family. She eventually attended university to study music and soon became involved in nationalist student groups where she was an outspoken anti-communist. During a holiday in London she won a singing competition which propelled her to stardom. She adopted the stage name “Margaret Tier” and soon began touring Europe. At some point she was contacted by British Intelligence and recruited as an agent where her celebrity status (and subtle use of magic) gave her access to people and places with which to complete her missions for MI6. She has recently retired from both the espionage trade and show business, and currently resides at the Brookhelm estate in San Francisco, California.

Jack Branco
Legal Name: Jonathan Branco
Apparent Age: 45
Alias: none
Specialization: Investigation, Boxing
Occupation: Private Detective
Languages: English (native), Portuguese, Spanish
Nationality: American
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California
Marital Status: Single
Base of Operations: San Francisco, California
Current/Past Affiliations: San Francisco Police Department

Jack was born in San Francisco and, with the exception of a couple of years in the Army, has lived in “The City” all his life. He was an average student but very athletic. Jack spent his summers working as a longshoreman and his free time at the boxing gym. His hard worked earned him a spot as an alternate on the U.S. Olympic boxing team. He served in the army as a Military Policeman stationed in Hawaii. After his military service Jack joined the San Francisco Police Department, went to night school and earned his detective shield in three years. Two years later he turned in his badge and resigned from the force for personal reasons. He has since opened a Private Detective agency specializing in insurance fraud.

Sunday, August 01, 2010