Sunday, July 27, 2014

Warhammer FRPG Thousand Thrones Snack Attack Recap

This week was particularly strange. One of my gaming friends died. His mom called me up because my number was in his phone. The memorial service was... not to my taste although I can see it's benefit to the mom. Hung out with several friends way too late and because it was a work day, didn't have a drop of alcohol.

Heck, because of the last attack of gout, I haven't had any alcohol in about a month now. Ugh. Sobriety is not to my liking.

A few of my gaming amigo's friends got together after the memorial and talked about the guy. It was interesting in that for a few of us, including me mind you, that he was so quite, there wasn't a lot we could add to the conversation. For me, it was interesting to hear about the guy's life and what he did when he wasn't around.

In terms of the type of gamer he was, he was a min-maxer. Mind you he learned, as many people do, that what looks fantastic on paper, doesn't necessarily work out in the game. I remember a 'side quest' the group was running during a Shackled City campaign I was running for 3.5 that allowed people a lot of free range in what they could use. He had a mojh magister. This is a dragon man spellcaster and he had some unique bits to him.

In this side quest, it was one of the Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics where I put a magic item that the group was researching. In a random encounter the party encountered some drow with a pslelcaster and the drow won initiative, the spellcaster hit out with a fireball that did almost max damage, and well, that magister was toasted.

Stuff like that never discouraged him though. He just went back to the drawing board to work out what his next masterwork would be.

Some thought him a little... rule lawyer like too. I particularly never had that issue with him, but at the 'peak' my my 3.5 days, I could probably recite whole passages of the game system without needing to reference the book. I also made sure to have handouts of what the changes were to the core rules at the start of the game so there were rarely moments where someone would go, "I didn't know you did that, otherwise I would have..."

One of the reasons so few of us knew anything about him, is outside of making characters and showing up to game, even in the game, he was quite. It wasn't that he couldn't role play or that he didn't engage when spoken with, he just didn't volunteer a lot of that of himself at any particular time. If an NPC had questions for him, he had answers and had no problem role playing out the encounter. If someone asked him how he was doing, he'd talk about it, but they were short answers. He was there to game, to see the mechanics of one part of the system clash with another part.

It sound stupid I'm sure, but one of the things that I'm going to miss about him is seeing him apply that analytic mind to the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

It was nice to have his other friends around to talk about him and the characters he made and some of the goofy mistakes he made and for me, it was great learning a little more about the man behind the mechanics.

Still, even without alcohol, being out past ten lead me to be exhausted the next day at work and the following day, which was game day. So I pulled out some different snacks to help me overcome.

Now this was one tasty beverage. One of my friends brought a coconut coffee something or other last week and it was good. This wasn't as sweet being far more espresso and coconut, which in and of itself isn't really that sweet, but hey, two of these and I was good.

And here we have some of the snacks. I had gone to Dick Blick art store in Evanston to look at the wet palletes they had. They are  far too big to use at my standard painting area. So instead I wandered over to the nearby Costs Plus World Market and picked up some snacks.

The wasabi soy almonds were tasty but the first bite always had a little more kick that I expected The sauce in the middle is a fresh habanero hot sauce. Very good on chips. The salsa is a hot chipotle that was more paste like than chunky, but I enjoyed it. Not shown are the chips and the chocolate covered espresso beans. The beans made it through the game, but the chips were gone in a matter of minutes.

We were short two players for the game. My dwarf was still badly wounded. Our Empire Bright Wizard, not badly wounded, but injured. Our elf bowman in great health. The benefit of being an archer when nothing actually gets up to you. Our 'hedge wizard', who in like twenty sessions we still haven't seen directly cast a spell, was in fairly good health.

We continued our exploration of the grounds with a few random encounters here and there and traps. One of the traps was exploding mushrooms. The insanity points were flowing fast and freely at the den of Nurgle. I got like five in one blast of mind warping insanity that caused me to forget everything. That was fun to play as I went about type listening to one player after another tell me what my character was like and being aghast at the whole thing.

"Dwarves send their people off to die when they make mistakes and yet are in decline? Dwarves don't sound too smart." The elf and his continued assurance that despite the fact that I wasn't as good as an elf, as a dwarf I was far superior to a human. The 'hedge wizard' assuring me that the bright wizard was nothing but a charlatan. It was great.

The final fight was VERY interesting for future games. The main thrust of the game has been the mutant child and his mutant ability to influence those around him. We were in this Nurgle manor in order to prevent the child from being bonded and controlled by a magic item.

Apparently the members in the party decided that the best way to do that was to kill the kid. Before anything else, before engaging the enemy in melee, just, you know, kill the kid. The elf missed with his bow shot, but the bright wizard completely toasted the kid.

The fight itself was brutal and I lost another piece of armor.

Before things could get too bad though, another group of enemies joined the fray, in this case, some vampires that we'd been working for and against in various parts of the campaign. They were less then pleased that we killed the boy, but in the ensuring chaos of the grand melee, we managed to escape. But the bright wizard took enough damage to burn a fate point. Two of the people who have the heal skill failed their roll and thought he was dead.

On the way out, we encountered the source of my trauma which cured me of the memory loss so I looked at the two, who have failed roll after roll in terms of making those heal checks and was like, "So... you two are telling me that the bright wizard is dead and you both looked him over?" Seeing their nods, I went back in and picked him up. Benefit of burning a fate point was that the bad guys tend to not molest you when your down.

So now the GM is reading around and ahead to see how he's going to make changes to the last portions of the book. Apparently the mutant kid is supposed to have survived the whole fight and come out with new insights.

Yeah, didn't happen.

But the weekend wasn't over!

On Saturday one of my friends wanted to head out to Games Plus in Mount Prospect. It's a fantastic store and carries a ton of miniatures, board games, card games, and other miniature related bits. As time goes on though, the physical ability of the store to carry more of the esoteric ranges of things diminishes which means I find myself going online more and more. For example, Andreas has a paint line that contains six paints of a particular color that you can use for highlighting and shading. Very handy. Another one is Scale 75. Another one is Mig or AMMO. This doesn't count the lines, like Foundry or Coat De Arms, that Games Plus has never carried.

Don't get me wrong, I know I don't 'need' any of those extra paints, but I like playing with them. For example, the store is now carrying some of the Plastic Soldier weathering sprays and primers. I've picked up the staining kit from Plastic Soldier but haven't found anything I want to use it on yet, so I held off on buying the weathering spray.

But I did pick up the Privateer Press wet palette. I've got friends who are like, "Make your own you lazy bastard or use the coupon for Michaels of Dick Blick and get a huge one for half the price!" and the 'real' one is way too big and well, I'm lazy.

I also picked up some matte black Army Painter primer. I know again people are like "Use auto primer" and a few have recommended Tamiya, but the Army Painter is usually good and isn't bad in price for the white or the black. I just finished off my Privateer Press Black Primer and I didn't like the design of the spray nozzle and it wasn't that good of a primer and it wasn't cheap so no more of that.

I also picked up some brass rod and some drill bits from Army Painter. There was a 'hobby' company bit there of drill bits, but they costs just as much as the Army Painter pack which came with the brass. An easy selection there.

After that it was off to paint for a little while. I'm showing one of the player's from the Friday game has to lay down some paint and it's more challenging that I thought it would be. Not sure if that's me being a terrible teacher or him being a horrible student. "You need to shake the paint before putting it in the pallette. You need to thin the paint. Only dip the tip of the brush in." Things that seem simple but... That's okay, learning comes from doing.

But the weekend didn't stop there. One of my friends, one who I don't see enough, was having a get together so I headed out there for some card games. We played a few hands of  Coup, a card game where the purpose is to reduce your enemies resources to zero. You only start with two and you don't get any more. There is a lot of bluffing and puzzling to do in it. It's a great and fast card game and we got several hands in. For a game I'd never played before, I'm seriously thinking of buying it because it's easy to pick up and I think can be played with gamers and nongamers with equal aplomb. Not to mention it's under $15 bones and already has some support games out for it.

We also played a game of Torches and Pitchforks. T&P is a game where you play a mob that hunts down monsters. It's a fun game but this hand was a little rough as we were all out of practice and we were very good at countering each other's ability to accumulate pint totals. I wish that Green Ronin would come out with a modern version of the game or a sequel or an add on. There's a lot of potential in it.

Outside of the gaming, it was good to have some intelligent conversation. At work it's either I'm quite because I'm in a cubicle or I'm catching up with my friends on various bits and pieces and 'real' conversation doesn't happen too often. It's one of those things where we see each other so much that b.s. is what we're best at. Seeing people you don't see that often gives you an opportunity to start spouting off and seeing where the pieces fall.

So the week started horrible and ended on a high note. Gaming for me, works best when you get to try out different games, hang out with people you haven't seen in a while, and share new food stuffs and stories among each other.

It may not be family but good gamers are as close as you're going to get and in some cases better.