The Saga of Pun Pun, the Kobold Part 6


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We all were excited.  After the last adventure, most of the tribe had the money, and were able to finish our training to become better at our skills.  For some reason, the Order of the Crown is requiring us to become tougher, then at some arbitrary point, they allow us to begin our training.  You would think that we could be trained as we got tougher, but that isn’t the way.

I wonder if this job is so dangerous that they don’t want to invest the time in us until after we have proven ourselves by surviving for some amount of time.

It doesn’t matter.  I have been spending my time training, learning the fine arts of disengaging, hiding and dashing.  These are very useful skills for me.  They probably would help the Liealot and maybe Dre.  Liealot seems to be content on running straight up on his foe, and asking to be hit as hard as the foe can do.  He is interested in only the frontal assault.

I have tried, and continue to try to convince Liealot that he should be more interested in saving himself for the big bad guy, not the minions.  I can shoot the minions with my shortbow.  I have also tried to convince Liealot that his self destructive nature of running at people who have arrows is not going to end up well.  After all, he did die, and have to be brought back from the dead because of this unique fighting style.

Liealot did spend his downtime working with other fighters, learning more martial arts with his sword and shield.  That should help.

Dre seems to be more content.  He is becoming more confident in his usual ways.  I still can’t figure that halfling out.  I guess that some beings are just not meant to be understood.

The druwitch was busy learning how to transform into other creatures.  So far, in practice, the druwitch has body shaped into weasels, birds, and other critters.  I am not terribly impressed, since she is a witch, and a gnome, whose fey ancestry is simply coming out.

The wizard seems to be more distant and unapproachable.  Kobolds have wizards and sorcerers.  This high and mighty personal view is not unusual for the magic users that I have seen in the underdark.  Even the Drow have a hierarchy, and once the female clerics move out of the room, the Drow males that cast magic are the highest in the room, certainly over the regular fighters, slave drivers and other Drow.  What is interesting is that all of the different types of Drow magic casters all feel as though they are the most important types of magic casters, except for those whose magic is illusion based.  Everyone looks down on the lowly illusionist.

Dreamboat is back.  He keeps trying to avoid me, but that isn’t going to do him any good.  He has not shown the Order of the Crown that he has enough experience for them to invest time in training him to get better yet.  It does not make sense.  He is amazing.  The Order of the Crown should be elevating him to the highest level, and making me his first in his concubine.  That would be the appropriate thing for the Order of the Crown to do.  Unfortunately, Commander Knowles doesn’t seem to understand the godlike beauty of this dragonborne male.  When he walks into the room, the room changes the tone, lighting and even the food tastes better.

No matter, the Order of the Crown will eventually understand the elevated status of the dragonborne.

So we are paid, and continue to train.  I now have a princely sum of 102 silver pieces.  All of it is in the bank.  I don’t know what to do with all of this coin.  I also don’t understand why the Order of the Crown feels the need to pay us for service back to the Tribe.  The Order takes care of all of our needs.  They give us food, lodging, missions to accomplish.  We have a tribe to be a part of. If I don’t want to eat the food that they provide us, which is far better than anything that my Kobold tribe ever fed us, then I can go out and partake of the offerings to the gods.

This idyllic life has the benefit of belonging to a tribe, where the tribe values us, and the tribe also feels the necessity to pay us.  I am not sure what to do with all of my coin.  I am saving it in case Commander Knowles ever needs it back.

I am confused by the other members of the tribe.  They spend the coin that the Order of the Crown pays them on things like food.  There is ample food already provided in the barracks, and if you need a snack, then there is the offering to the gods.

Dre told me about something he called ale.  It sound intriguing.  Water is boiled, the cooked grain is put into the boiled water, and then Dre says that the water sits for a long time and foments in barrels and kasks.  Then after some amount of time, it is drunk.

Dre says that there are hundreds of different types of ale, each with its own recipe.  I asked a wise man what it meant to foment, and he told me that it meant to stir up a violent course of action.  Why you would want grain water to have a violent course of action is beyond me.

Dre also told me that there is something called whine, which evidently involves something similar to ale, but you take juice from fruit, and foment it in small bottles.  I am wary of any drink which is called by the same name as a sound that a dog makes.  Why it is called “whine” as opposed to “fart” is beyond me.  The first people who made this probably realized that they couldn’t sell farts, but they might be able to sell whines.

This seems like alchemy.  Alchemy seems too outside the normal for me to be involved with.  Alchemists always are trying to turn lead into gold, rather than spending their time like dwarves, and just digging the gold up out of the ground.  Everything that alchemists have created is essentially experiments for turning lead into gold that have failed.  This has created explosives, acids, poison clouds, and so forth. In my experience, you should stay away from anything that an alchemist provides you, since it is probably unstable and will likely hurt you very much.

Anyhow, we got paid, and then were told to be ready for a mission in a few days.

We finish up our training, then report for payday, and get our mission.  We are joined by a ranger named Scout.  I have heard about people who are rangers.  They tend to work on their own, living in their element.  I decide to see what this human is about, and walk over, sit next to him and give him my best toothy grin.  He seems to be OK, his arrow quiver is half full of the fire arrows that I have been producing for the armory.  He is friendly enough, and doesn’t seem to be offended by my presence.

Commander Knowles tells us that we are going with Scout to look for a chest that is in a crypt, that is in a fort that was overrun by Orcs.  The Orcs and other evil beings have crossed the mountains and attacked into part of the land. There are armies that are in place that are warring with the Orc tribes.  The Order of the Crown is used as a small strike force to accomplish specific tactical goals that a large standing army could not do.

This is a good example of the type of specific tactical goal that a small group could accomplish.  A siege of the fort may be very costly, and could damage the fort beyond further usefulness, possibly destroying the chest that is so important.  Sending in a small specialized strike force into the fort may have a better chance of capturing the goal.

This chest is so important that the wizard is not participating in the mission.  Instead, the wizard’s familiar, a flying cat is accompanying us, and the other wizards back at the Order of the Crown will be teleporting the cat with the chest back when we find it.  We are expendable.  Now this seems to bother several members of the tribe.  I am confused by this concern.  As a Kobold, we are always expendable.  We do not have a death wish, we don’t want to die, but knowing our place, and understanding that we might need to die to protect something else is an important part of being in a tribe.  For example, if a Kobold den is in threat of being overrun, we would send out a delaying force, to give time for the rest of the tribe to move further away.  If you were selected to be a part of the delaying force, the tribe is honoring your sacrifice so that the rest of the tribe can live.  The delaying force doesn’t have to die, but they need to do everything they can to give the tribe as much time as possible to move out, and get to a safe location.

This mission, while maybe not desirable is really no different.  Someone has determined that there is a chest with something needed in it, that is beyond the lines controlled by our armies.  Our lot is to go and do everything we can to retrieve the item needed.

Scout tells us that the fort is about three miles east of Brackley.  I don’t know where this is, but Scout knows, and says that there are multiple ways to get there.  Some are faster, and have a higher risk, others are slower and still have some amount of risk.

The tribe has the first of several discussions about whether we take the safer route, but be in a lower level of danger for longer, or should we take the more dangerous route and be in danger for less time.  Eventually, we decide to take the more dangerous route, through the forest.

Dre seems to think that he should be given a horse, or maybe be carried on a litter, like a prince.  Scout is OK with this idea, as long as Dre pays for his own way.  Dre is not happy with multiple days of walking.

We are also lent special cloaks which help us hide.  The material is very fine, and sees to blur the light around us, making us hard to see.  Commander Knowles says that they are Elven cloaks, and are designed to help us blend into our surroundings, making it easier to pass unnoticed.  They appear to be magical.  I hope that this helps me hide from enemies.  I will need to keep the cloak in fine repair, to make sure that when I give this useful tool back to the Order of the Crown, it is still fully functional and clean.

We start out the next morning, and have several days of uneventful travel.  After several days, we enter the forest.  The second night in the forest, we rest in some enormous oak trees.  I like oak trees.  They are easy to sleep in, and they provide enough cover that you an shoot bad buys from them, then hide again.  These are the most enormous oak trees that I have ever seen.  The trunk is over twenty feet across at the base.

We divvy up watches, and I take first watch.  Nothing happens.  The next morning, I see the druwitch and Scout talking to two of the trees.  Dre is stuck in the tree.  He claims that the tree branch has wrapped over him, pinning him into the tree.

Dreamboat is not happy about falling out of the tree in the middle of the night.  He says that the tree branch simply folded over, causing him to fall onto the soft ground below.  I look at the tree branch he says dropped him, and it looks normal.  I am not sure what he is talking about, the tree branch looks fine.

Scout and the druwitch are muttering in the foul language of the fey at the trees.  I am not sure what they are doing, but it makes me nervous.  Nothing good ever comes from speaking one of the uncouth fey languages.

We start out again and have a pretty uneventful day.  Around dusk, we come across a small clearing, about 50-ft across, which has a hillock.  The party goes to the hillock and I climb up a tree at the edge of the forest.  I don’t like being in the clear.  Since I have been on the surface, I have found that being high up, shooting arrows from my shortbow is the most useful thing I can do.

We divvy up watches, and Liealot and I have first watch.  The rest of the tribe goes to sleep.  I keep watch from the tree.  Liealot seems to think that keeping watch involves sitting next to the fire, staring at it, while poking sticks into it.

Not long after the watch starts, I hear the horrible curses of goblins underneath me.  I don’t understand goblin, but I know it when I hear it.  Not 30 feet below me are four goblins, each with crossbows.  They appear to be pointing and gesturing at the tribe sleeping on the hillock.  Liealot doesn’t see the goblins.

As the goblins creep forward, I shoot one after another from above.  All four drop with four arrows.

I hate goblins.  They are foul, evil, nasty creatures.  They were responsible for destroying my tribe.  I killed all four of them before thinking about warning anyone.  I hope that there are not more coming.  In hindsight, it probably would have been a good idea to have alerted the rest of the tribe, because there may have been more.  I simply left them dead, on the ground as a warning to any other beasts that might want to approach the tribe’s camp.

The druwitch had the next guard shift.  As it happened, she came across a giant snake that was eating the goblin corpses.  It eat three of the four and then started following the druwitch over to the encampment, because her goat was standing next to her.  This caused Dre to wake up, and Dre screamed in a high pitch, and we all learned that Dre sleeps with no clothes on.

Things went quickly.  The snake was killed.  The poor thing was trying to eat a meal, and be a carrion reducer, and it died because the druwitch essentially baited it to come by the party.

Scout butchers the snake, and finds three fresh goblin corpses inside the snake.

The druwitch is really angry.  She is able to control her glamour, and keeps her demonic presence hidden.  But she is really angry.  She blames me, for killing the goblins and keeping them where they fell, instead of dragging the corpses away from the camp.

I know that the druwitch is only putting on a big show, trying to deflect the fact that she is the one who baited the giant snake to come to the encampment.  It is ok,  Everyone got to see what the druwitch really was.  She screwed up, and instead of taking the lumps for it, she tried to shift the blame to the one who actually took care of the problem for the tribe.  This is true fey thinking at work.  I fear that we will only see more of this as we continue on.

In the middle of the encounter with the snake, the druwitch did shapeshift to a bear.  Aterwards she was happily explaining that she had found a baby owlbear in the middle of the night on one of her shifts several days ago, that she would also be able to shapeshift into an owlbear.  I worry about the druwitch.  Why anyone would want to shapeshift into an owlbear is beyond me.  Now, being able to shapeshift into an adult dragon, now that would be worthwhile.  Owlbears?  Really?

The next morning, as we are thinking about breaking camp, five more goblins enter the clearing and are clearly confused.  They see one goblin corpse in front of them, three goblin corpses further away, covered in some form of slime, a butchered giant snake with large hunks of meat carved out of the body, and the tribe organizing themselves for a day of travel.

I shoot one of the goblins from above, then hide again in the tree.  The goblins look confused.  Then Dreamboat lets loose with an arcane bolt, and fries one of the goblins.  Things go badly for the goblins pretty quickly.  The druwitch shapeshifts into a dire wolf, and charges, resulting in the goblin she charged is cut in two.  In the end, there is one goblin who cuts and runs.  He gets about 50 feet into the forest before the druwitch passes him, turns around and stops in front of the goblin.  The goblin stops, drops his crossbow and raises his hands, apparently trying to surrender.  Dreamboat hits the goblin with an other arcane bolt, and the goblin is dead.

After some more time going through the forest, we come across a very wide, deep and fast moving river.  There is no way to cross without a boat.  The tribe talks for a long time, and determined that we need to cross at another location.  Scout knows where to go, so we follow him.

So we continue on through the forest, and find a small pond in a clearing.  This is a much larger clearing.  Dre, the druwitch and Liealot all strip off their clothing and go for a swim.  It seems that they are infested with some sort of small bugs that hide in their hairy parts, and they are wanting to get rid of these bugs.  This is where being a lizard is very helpful.  I have no hairy parts for bugs to hide in.

Dre, the druwitch and Liealot all go into the water, without checking for any monsters  They don’t take any weapons, and they are butt naked.  I hope that there are no leaches in the water, or giant octopus.  I haven’t seen a giant octopus, but I have heard that they can be both very nasty and delicious.

I am standing by the edge of the forest, trying to blend in, and two very large ogres come up and stand next to Scout.  Scout, being a ranger and all, and having the name “Scout” is oblivious.  I think that he is entranced by the three tribe members swimming in the pond.

I run up to the orgres and scream out “Do not attack, we are cleaning up these sacrifices for the Master!”  Unfortunately, the words don’t come out of my mouth well in common, and the ogres are not very good at common.

They ignore me and club Scout.  Things go badly pretty quickly.  Dre, the Druwitch and Liealot all try to get out of the pond.  While this is going on, the ogres split up, and one goes after Dreamboat, and the other hits Scout again, causing him to drop to the ground.

I shoot a couple of arrows at one of the ogres, Liealot grabs her sword and shield, and nothing else, and charges.  Watching a naked half elf fighter attack an ogre is very…. er… inspiring?  I really don’t know the right word to use, either Kobold or common.

Drey just charges.  The druwitch also charges.

The ogre that isn’t in combat with dreamboat moves up to the druwitch and Liealot and swings, but misses badly, knocking down the tree that I was hiding next to.

We end up killing of the first ogre by working together.

The second ogre runs away.  Dreamboat runs after, and keeps pooping off spells to slow the ogre down.  The druwitch revives Scout, and scout and I each plant an arrow into the orgre, then Dreamboat finishes off the ogre with another spell.

Things seem odd.


Savage Worlds – War of the Dead Episode 13



So I have been trying to figure out how to describe what happened at the last Saturday RPG session.  I have been stewing over this for a while.  Things almost got back on track, then it didn’t.

In a nutshell.

  • The party drugged the Mayor.
  • The party dragged the Mayor.
  • The party learned what a real SOB the Mayor was.
  • The party found out that some people go missing, usually those who have leadership skills.
  • Collin confronted Bubba Skeeter, the head of the town’s guard system
  • Collin one-shot punched Bubba Skeeter, and killed him so dead that it was kind of embarasing.
    • And Collin did it with a 2 of clubs, but with exploding damage dice
      • Well, exploding doesn’t even come close to describing what happened with Collin’s dice
  • The party went out with an Army Sergeant to find a few missing troopers, or at least figure out what happened to them
  • The party found a military convoy, and the major in charge of the convoy wants to take over the town, or at least use it as a base of operations.
  • The town is not happy.

Yup, that is about it.  At least the big stuff.

Sue is back.  That didn’t make the group any more mature.

Case in point.

The party drugged the Mayor.

The party went to Elanor’s house and made bran muffins for the Mayor.  Now the Mayor is a health nut, so of course the mayor would like bran muffins.  Elanor informs the party that the Mayor is not a nice man.  He is uncouth, and unholy.  He believes all sorts of things that are not true about large groups of people.

Sue provided the Viagra for the muffins.  I mean, Sue, who had not been playing for the last few weeks magically created Viagra, well, the party did raid the pharmacy, and got a wide variety of medical supplies from behind the counter.

The party crushed up Viagra, to the tune of about 6 pills per muffin, and baked the muffins.  They then went to the Mayor’s office to provide a “peace offering”.

It turns out that the Mayor likes bran muffins, but he really likes them when there is a dollop of jelly or jam inside.  He states that this dollop of jam inside is better than cutting them open and slathering butter and jam on the muffins.

He eats two of the muffins.

Now here is the problem.  You know that thing that they say about “if you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours…”, well, 12 times the dosage for Viagra creates a bit of a problem.

At the same time, the padre starts drinking Patron tequila with the Mayor.  I won’t write all of the horrible things that the Mayor says, but in general, it involved:

  • Tequila is the only good thing to come out of Mexico
  • He has spent a lot of time in central and south America in the CIA doing counter insurgency runs against the drug cartels and the commies
  • The rocker looks like his mother mated with a llama.
  • Everyone agreed that the rocker, Broquen Glaz indeed looks like his mother mated with a llama
  • The Mayor has the hots for the hippy chick
  • The Mayor has the hots for the padre
  • The Mayor has the hots for Broquen Glaz, as long as Broquen Glaz shaves his ass first.
  • The Mayor is pretty much soused after drinking 14 shots of Patron.
  • The padre only drank a half of a shot, and tipped his shots to “keep up with the Mayor” into a potted plant, which is currently a very happy potted plan.

After quite a while, the Mayor is unable to stand up straight.  He has a hard on that makes him bend over at the waist, because his chinos don’t have enough crotch room.

This of course makes the drunken mayor make even more passes at the hippy chick, the padre, Broquen Glaz, and eventually the centurion, whom he has seen completely naked, and evidently likes what he saw.

Now the nurse (aka hippy chick) decides now is the time to hit the poor mayor with some Oxycontin.  She initially thinks that she is going to have to hide it, and crush the pills up and lace it in some shots of tequila.  The Mayor has no problem grabbing pills from her and downing them with the tequila.

It seems that the Mayor may be a bad ass, but he is also a drugged up drunk bad ass with a hard on that won’t quit.

The Party Dragged the Mayor.

Now this is kind of hard to describe.  The players took this, and ran with it.  So please, dear reader, don’t be offended by what I have written, I am simply reporting what the party did to the poor drugged, drunk mayor.

They decided to take the Mayor to Elanor’s house.  It seems that in addition to having the hots for the hippy chick, the padre, Broquen Glaz and the centurion, he also has the hots for Elanor.  He is so drunk that he forgot that he has the hots for Collin also, but then there is Elanor, who is an uptight woman, according to the Mayor, but he has lurid fantasies about what he would like to do with and to her.  Mostly involving a Parchisi board, cheddar cheese and some vanilla yogurt while listening to Karl Marx “Das Kapital” read in German by Liam Neeson.

But then, who wouldn’t get turned on by Liam Neeson reading Das Kapital in German?

Where was I?

Oh yes, they drugged the Mayor, then paraded him over to Elanor’s house.  Well, they tried to parade him to Elanor’s house.  He passed out on the way, falling face first onto the sidewalk.

His junk was so engorged that he was like a teeter totter.

This is where it gets weird.

The party chooses to “help” the mayor get to the doctor’s office by dragging him feet first, face down, allowing the concrete sidewalk to scour his clothes, producing, in the end, a very scratched up Mayor, including losing the tip of his penis, due to the grinding action.

For some reason, Eric thought that this was very appropriate.  He plays the Padre, and the Mayor had differences of opinion with the Padre about just about everything, starting with whether people of that skin color had any value.  We are in rural North Carolina, after all.

I tried to ham up the inbred dumbass bullshit that I heard in the Army, heard from southerners etc over my life.  As horrible as I made the Mayor towards the Padre, Eric kept saying “I have relatives in Kentucky, I have heard all of this before.”  Well, challenge accepted.  I kept getting more and more obscene in describing what the Mayor said, and Eric would say “Meh, heard it before.”  I up it a notch, and Eric just looks at me and says “is that all you got?”  Then Sue and Mike chime in and say “Jesus, Rob, we you aren’t even coming close to what we used to hear in Florida”.  Shari and Collin said at one point “Wow, you haven’t even come close to what we heard in Northern Idaho”.  Bill just sat there and tried to distract himself by looking at his phone.

I could not top these people with my rantings.  Eventually, I just gave up.  I can’t top reality.

I mean, when we have a society where a porn star is paid $130,000 in hush money to not talk about her affair with a married Donald Trump, and that doesn’t make President Trump’s supports say “hmmm”

When there are headlines like this:




Now I don’t care if President Trump, Candidate Trump or citizen Trump had affairs.  It is not my business.  What I care about is that he is continuing to make us all look like idiots to the rest of the world.

Every time I feel that the Trump circus can’t go lower, he shows us he can.  This man has talent.

Where was I?

Oh yes, A mayor, with some major rug burn, and then some.  The mayor is going to be hurting when the drugs wear off.

The party learned what a real SOB the Mayor was.

A little too late, the party remembered that the Mayor and the Doctor were brothers.  Oops.  The mayor’s condition didn’t seem to bother the doctor too much.  The doctor filled in the party about the mayor.

You see, the Mayor only showed up a few days after the zombie apocalypse started.  He dropped in out of the blue, and organized the town, making sure that they had adequate walls, training, etc.

The Mayor was a CIA operative in central America.  He was a very bad person down there, keeping the USA safe from democracy.  All of these skills allowed him to come by and take charge.

The town doesn’t really like the mayor, but the things that he instituted have kept the town safe for the entirety of the zombie apocalypse.  Now Erick and Mike seem to think that since the mayor arrived 2 days after the zombie hordes came, and that was 14 days ago, the 12 days of the mayor making sure that there was fuel for the generators, and ammunition runs is not very impressive.  Collin calls BS.  Sue is happy that the mayor is drugged and unconscious, and not hitting on her anymore.  Bill is happy that the mayor is no longer looking at him with a predatory leer.  The only one in the group that the mayor didn’t seem to be interested in was the little girl.  Even predatory asshole dickfaces have some things that they won’t do.

It doesn’t matter how many times Eric / padre tries to rudely interrupt the doctor by saying “don’t care”, “don’t want to know”, “shut up” etc.  The doctor is going to tell his story.  Damn it, the NPC has one job, and he is *going* to do it.

The party found out that some people go missing, usually those who have leadership skills.

While the party is at the doctor’s office, they are approached by an Army sergeant who is trying to figure out what happened to his three troops, Privates Aetuna, Caulkins and Klatu Berada Nec-hum-hum-huma. I don’t remember the third private’s name.

It seems that last night, these privates were assigned to go on patrol, and never came back.

In talking with the Doctor, it becomes apparent that the people who do patrols out side the gate tend to go out, and fewer come back in.  Common wisdom is that anyone who has leadership skills that might have a conflict with the Mayor go out with four other members on patrol, and amazingly enough that person is the only one killed by zombies.

Now the Party decides that this must be a big deal.  I try to explain to them that (1) two people missing do not make a statistically significant sample, (2) There appears to be a bias in the information, as it is not confirmed, just rumored (3) the biased information fits the biased perspective of the party, and so on.

That doesn’t matter.

There are ample examples of correlation not equaling causation.  Standard graphs such as:


Clearly show that if we stopped selling organic food, autism would cease to exist.


Similarly, importing Mexican lemons to the US has had a direct result in reduction in US highway fatalities.


and my all time favorite, there is a relationship between the number of pirates in the world and the average global temperature.

Armed with factual statistics like these, the party decided that there must be a plot to kill off the most leadership prone people.

It never crossed their minds that maybe, just maybe the situation was that the person who had the highest leadership potential had no skills at fighting a zombie horde.

But that was Bubba Skeeter’s problem to deal with.

Collin confronted Bubba Skeeter, the head of the town’s guard system

The party decides to seek out the head of the guard.  They want answers, no they demand answers.

They go up to the house with the head of the guard and loudly demand satisfaction.  Now Bubba Skeeter as a big man.  He wore just bib coveralls.  I looked for pictures on the Interwebs that I could use for Bubba Skeeter, and decided that this was the best one that described him.

fat cat in overalls

Bubba speaks with a strong drawl, and the party can understand at best between 2 and 3 words out of every 6 spoken.  Kind of like listening to a cat in bib coveralls.

Bubba Skeeter seems to not want to do what the party wants. The party wants Bubba Skeeter to wake up the people who were on patrol last night, so that the party can interrogate them.  After all, correlation equals causation.  Right?

Bubba Skeeter is having none of this.  His boys came in just an hour ago, and need their sleep.  Otherwise, they won’t be worth a shit tonight.  No candy ass Yankee, or hippy woman, or llama-human hybrid, or weirdo in a centurion outfit or padre is going to change that.

That pisses off Collin.

I am not sure how it happened but Bubba Skeeter and Collin didn’t see eye to eye.  So Collin murdered Bubba Skeeter.  Now I realize in the zombie apocalypse, many of the rules of polite society go out the window.  But to just outright murder poor Bubba Skeeter was a little too much.

That is why I found a picture of a cute cat in coveralls to try to shame that callous Collin into understanding that you don’t just punch a guy to death because he won’t wake up the guards from last night when you demand it be done.

Collin one-shot punched Bubba Skeeter, and killed him so dead that it was kind of embarasing.

Collin and Bubba Skeeter decided that they needed to duke it out.  They go out to the road, and determine that the winner of the fist fight will toss the loser over the fence outside the town.

Bubba Skeeter drew a 6 of diamonds, Collin drew a 2 of clubs.

Bubba missed with his punch.  I didn’t chip it, since I figured that the fight would go a few rounds.

Collin, on his 2 of clubs, rolls stupidly high on his to hit roll, and gets a strength die (d12) plus a raise (d6), well, he would have had a few raises, but only the first one counts.

The on his damage roll, he explodes both the d12 and d6, and then explodes them both again, and then rolls a normal number.  He ended up doing something like 34 damage.  Maybe it was 32 damage after I took of Bubba Skeeter’s toughness.

Now exploding a d12 twice is pretty awesome.  Doing that type of stupid damage is more than awesome.  Bubba Skeeter took a shaken, and then at least 7 wounds.  There was no way I could chip enough damage to keep Bubba Skeeter in the game.

So Bubba Skeeter dropped to the pavement, dead.  Neck broken, back broken, massive hydrostatic damage to his soft organs…  Or maybe since Bubba Skeeter weighed over 450 pounds, the simple act of charging and swinging a meaty fist caused his heart to explode.  I am not sure.

What I am sure of is that the deal was that the winner had to pick up the loser, and drop him on the other side of the fence.

Collin didn’t do this.  He left Bubba Skeeter lying in the road.

So Collin didn’t win.

As the DM, I didn’t say anything, I wanted to see if Collin would finish the task.  He didn’t.  He was too busy thinking about how he should patent the move he just made, and incorporate it into Goomhaven to make Gloomhaven even more awesome that it already is.

So Collin didn’t win.

I am not saying that Bubba Skeeter won, but Collin didn’t win.

The party went out with an Army Sergeant to find a few missing troopers, or at least figure out what happened to them

The sergeant convinces the party to come with him to find Private Caulkins.  The sergeant thinks that Caulkins is going home.

The party wanted a car.  I gave them a lifted Chrysler K car.  I did this before I did some searching on the Internet for pictures of cars.  As I am writing this blog, I found this picture.


This will likely be an upcoming car for the party, since it is so amazingly cool.

The problem is that the six seater K car (four regular people, 6 if you have very small people and a front bench seat… VERY small people).  the sergeant makes 7 people, and presumably, they have to get Caulkins back if they find him.

Eric has the answer.  Rip out the trunk lid, and weld a bench seat onto the back.  I try several times to get Eric to explain how he is going to attach the seat.  I explain that hte generators only create 120 VAC, and arc welders run on 240 VAC or higher.  There just isn’t the load ability to run arc welders.  Eric assumes that I mean that there is no welding equipment there.

Eric then goes on a five minute tirade about how this is not representative of the south that he knows, and has lived in, where every house has at least an arc welder and gas welders, and many houses also have several mig welders also.  His tirade explains that welding equipment is more ubiquitous in the south than moonshine stills.

I tell him again… they have gas welding, but no power for arc welding.  Finally, after he is exhausted from his tirade, he relents and says, fine, gas welding it is.

So I want Eric to explain how he intends to attach the bench seat into the trunk of a unibody car.  I explain that the gas tank is under the trunk, and they will have to remove the gas tank or possibly have a fire.  He is convinced that the Dodge K car has the gas tank in the middle of the car, not under the trunk mat.

Eric knows a lot but I don’t think I would trust him to do a modification of my car.

Eric then says that he will use straps to keep the seat in place.  Once again, I ask how the straps will work on a unibody car.  Finally, everyone decides to just cram into the car and go.

The party found a military convoy, and the major in charge of the convoy wants to take over the town, or at least use it as a base of operations.

The party goes out the gate, and starts down the road Caulkins is likely to have taken.  After a half hour, they see a convoy of military humvees heading towards where they came from.  The sergeant says that they should turn around and go back.  Collin, the driver complies.

The town is not happy.

It seems that the convoy is being commanded by a US Army Major, who wants to take over the town and use it as a base of operations.

The town is not happy.

The mayor is incapacitated.

The head of the guard is still lying face down, dead, in the middle of the street.

No one has cleaned up the dead zombies at the high school football field.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Saga of Pun Pun, the Kobold Part 5


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The tribe was busy for another week.  It ended up being pretty bad for the fighter and the druwitch.  But that is for later.

We are given a mission.  We were supposed to go on patrol in the city.  We were paid, and then we left on patrol.  Commander Knowles wanted us to get to work, and get out of the office.  I get it, we are supposed to be busy, not hanging around, trying to look busy.

Commander Knowles wants us to patrol around one of the market areas.  We all leave, and within two bells of starting our patrol we are approached by several town guards.  It seems that they have found a body.  I ask if the body is dead or alive, and they just look at me like they couldn’t believe that a Kobold could speak common.

The guards take us to a human who has been murdered.  His throat is slit and he has bled all over his fine clothes.  He is dressed very well.  He has marks on his hands that make it look like he had several rings taken off his hands.  The fighter and Dre ask a lot of questions, but it doesn’t seem like they are getting any good answers.

Dre draws a picture of the dead guy, so he can show it to other people, hoping to have a person recognize the picture.


Unfortunately, no one recognizes the man from Dre’s picture.  I think it is because no one wants to get involved in a murder investigation.  There is too much chance that it might come back on you.  There is a lot of undercurrent here on the surface.  The people here are lucky that they don’t have to fear imminent attacks from the Drow.  Now the drow wouldn’t bother murdering a single being.  The Drow would come in and murder entire lots and families.

But we are looking at a single dead human here.  The human was murdered and left in the alley.

Dre thinks that this means that he was simply murdered, maybe for the possessions that he had on him.  He had some rings, and nice clothing. He may have just been mugged and left to die.  Dre is pretty sure that this was not a ‘hit’, since he was not left out in a place that had high visibility.

We go to a nearby pawn store, hoping that someone may have heard something.  Between the pawn store and a nearby smith, we find that the pawn store owner thinks that he is a general player, but he doesn’t know anything and doesn’t recognize Dre’s picture.  The smith heard some commotion outside the window last night.  The people sounded like they were speaking common and sounded like they were human, but the smith didn’t listen too closely.  He was busy etching designs on weapons.  The smith thought that it was dangerous to poke outside his door at night.

I can’t disagree with the smith.  We had some bad things happen during some night missions.  Dangerous people and beings are outside at night.  IT is a pretty good idea to stay inside where you can be warm and dry, and hopefully keep your neck properly attached to your body.

We did some more investigation.  The druwitch and fighter investigated the body.  The fighter and druwitch take the shoes off the corpse, and find that someone had carved a symbol onto the heel of the corpse.  It looks like this:


The druwitch and the fighter seem to think that this is important.  Mostly because people don’t usually have fresh wounds carved into their feet.

The man who hide behind conjured rocks thinks he knows what this symbol is.  This symbol is what slavers from Mallow use to brand their slaves.

Slavers. Kobolds hate slavers.  Drow have slaves.   Deep gnomes, svirfneblin, have slaves.  Orcs and goblins have slaves.  No civilized race has slaves.  Only the evil horrible monster races have slaves.

Now I know that slavery exists in this “civilized” world of the surface.  That is disturbing.  Slavery always preys on the weakest elements.  Beings conquered in battle, beings who are indebted to others and can’t pay their way out, beings who are born into slavery and have no chance to get out.  Slaves in the underdark are in a horrible position.  The Drow have a hierarchy in their world.  The females are the most important.  The males are a very distant second.  In the males, if you have magical talent, then you might be treated somewhat better, but they still must placate the females.  Within the males, the magic blessed ones then come the fighters, and then the merchants and below that are the slave traders and slave masters.

I have never had the misfortune of  dealing with Drow, but I heard plenty of stories.  They are evil creatures.  The Drow slaves can do any number of tasks, from tending to food needs (farming and food preparation),  being experiment subjects for the Drow sorcerers and clerics, to being front line soldiers intended to reduce the number of arrows and blunt the weapons of defenders to the Drow onslaught.

The svirfneblin, or deep gnomes are another horrible race that keeps slaves.  The deep gnomes don’t keep slaves for too long.  They are very suspicious creatures, always wary that someone will find the vein of ore or fancy rocks.  They use slaves for short periods of time to help clear out their mines, then once something that they find valuable is dug out, they slaughter the slaves.

In any event, slavers are always a bad thing.

While Dre and I are asking the pawn shop owner and the smith for information, The wizard decided to go to his favorite bar and ask for information.  The druwitch and the fighter take the shoe to a clothing shop and ask about it.  The proprietor of the clothing shop recognizes the shoe, since he made them.  The shop owner says that the shoes belonged to a man name Tomlin, a trader and merchant from Mallo.  This is good news, we finally have some information.

Now we are onto something.

The shop keeper says that Tomlin stays at the Wings Respit in.  We all decide to go over to the Inn.  As we enter, we notice several groups of people eating, all minding their own business.  The fighter shows Dre’s picture to the barkeep, and asks if they have a tenant named Tomlin present. The barkeep goes and gets the owner of the business.  As we wait, the druwitch and sorcerer both notice that two men look interested in the conversation.  The owner approaches the fighter, and asks what this is about.  The fighter tells the owner that Tomlin was murdered last night, and we are investigating the murder.  The two men who looked interested look extremely distressed and start to leave.  Dre and the druwitch stop them and ask them why they are leaving.

It seems that these two men were guards in the employ of Tomlin.  They had accompanied him, along with three other guards to guard the convoy of carts that he took into town.  The carts had spices that Tomlin had imported from another island.

The fighter asks the owner if the tribe can investigate Tomlin’s room.  The owner allows it.  As the tribe and the two guards go up the stairs to Tomlin’s room, it becomes apparent that Tomlin has magically sealed the door to his room.  I suggest to the owner that we could bust through the wall, since the door is likely the only thing magically warded.  For some reason, she thinks that this is the wrong thing to do. She does say that there is a window off the back alley.  I go back, climb the outside wall, slip open the window and crawl in.  The room is small, and has a wardrobe, chest of drawers, along with a soft bed.

The door won’t open from the inside any better than it wouldn’t from the outside.  It appears that we need some sort of wizard or sorcerer to undo the magic that is holding the door closed.

I call through the door, and tell the tribe what I see, and that there is a rope hanging outside the window.  Pretty soon several of the members of the tribe join me.  They find several changes of high quality clothes, along with a locked lockbox in one of the drawers.  The lockbox is magically warded also, so it won’t open.  I suggest that we could drop it out of the window onto the ground below, and the fighter is convinced that would be a bad thing, after all, what if there were potions inside.

The wizard takes the lockbox.  He thinks he can get it open. or maybe have one of his wizard buddies help him out.

The wizard disappears for a while, then comes running back to the party, panting and telling me that I need to pick the lock on the lockbox, like right now.  The lock isn’t easy, but I get it open pretty quickly.  It is disappointing. There are no potions inside.  Only a book and a bag of heavy coins.

The party investigates the bag of coins.  There are many platinum coins.  Meh, no value here.  The book is also interesting.  It seems to be a business ledger, detailing how Tomlin brought slaves from Mallo to another island where he traded the slaves for magic items, then traded the magic islands on another island for spices, and he is turning the spices into cash here.  It seems that he takes the cash back and buys more slaves, and keeps the cycle spinning.

The two guards take us to another tavern, and we meet up with two other guards from Tomlin’s caravan.  They don’t know where the third guy is.  We split up, and each of us go with one of the guards to see if we can figure out where the last guard went to.  I go with one of the guards to look at half the gates and talk with the city guards at the gates.  The fighter goes with another guard to other city gates.  Dre goes with one guard to check out some taverns, and the druwitch goes with the last guard to check out the markets.

When we call come back, we find that the guards all come back, and Dre is not with his guard.  The guard says that Dre is at a tavern named the spunky nugget, and he is watching the room that the fifth guard is in.

We all hurry over, well all of us except the wizard.  The wizard thinks so highly of this mission that he leaves to go somewhere else, but lets his flying cat come along with us.

When we get to the door that has the fifth guard behind it, the door is locked.  I pick the lock, and then step back to provide covering fire, or to deny exit from an enemy who charges out.

The party storms in. It is a blood bath. Not the good type.  The guard has three friends, and they are mean and tough.  I ended up shooting one of them twice with well aimed fire arrows, and Dre punched him really hard, and he didn’t even flinch.

In the end, Dre ran away, since he was really hurt badly.  The fighter died.  I mean really died.  The wizard’s cat died.  The druwitch got knocked out, and almost died.

As all of the front line people fell in front of me, I stood in the door with my shortbow and stared as the fifth guard slammed the door in my face and then locked it again, with the corpse of the fighter and ex flying cat and the unmoving body of the druwitch inside.

I pick the lock, and try to open the door, but it has been jammed.  Dre slams against the door and it doesn’t budge.  He must have loosened it for me, since when I slammed into the door, it opened.

It is a horrible place of carnage inside.  A regular charnel house.  Two bodies of our tribe members, and the corpse of the flying cat are lying there on the floor.  The four bad guys are gone.  Dre rushes in and tries to save the fighter, but she is gone.  I rush over to the druwitch and am able to stabilize her.  I fear that her being allowed to live will only bring on the future of a portal opened from hell, with demons spewing forth into this world, while the druwitch cackles maniacally.

The wizard shows up finally, and learns of the news.  He doesn’t seem to care that his flying cat was killed.  He is concerned about the fighter.

We take the corpse of the fighter to a church, and the wizard offers to pay to have the fighter brought back to life.  In great fanfare, the fighter comes back, and looks very confused and very much in pain.

It seems that the wizard agreed to rid a certain crypt of undead creatures in payment for bringing back the fighter.  It also seems that we have all been volunteered to help out.  I guess that we will have to do this by autumn, and it is spring now.  We have some time to get more skills that will hopefully allow us to live.

After lots of discussion, it is determined that we (meaning the wizard) need to turn in the money and the ledger book to Commander Knowles.  He counts out the money, then hands 500 gold pieces to the wizard for a “finders fee”.  I am not sure what that means, since I found the box, but the wizard found what was inside the box after he ran up to me with it and I unlocked it for him.

Oh well.  The wizard tried to give me 100 gold from the finders fee.  I only needed 14 gold to make up a total of 20 personal gold to begin my in depth training.  So I gave 86 of the 100 gold back to the wizard.  Then when I went to pay for my training, Commander Knowles told me that I had done so many things for the Order of the Crown, that my training wouldn’t cost me anything.  So I gave the other 14 gold back to the wizard.  I am paid by the Order of the Crown to be a member of the tribe.  I don’t need any finder’s fees.  I have the best friends, food, and adventures possible.  Who needs extra loot?

Besides, the rest of the party seems to want things like better weapons, better armor, better clothes, and maybe a 10-ft pole.

Savage Worlds – War of the Dead Episode 12



So we met yesterday with the intention of playing Savage Worlds, War of the Dead.  You know, continuing on in the campaign.  Well, it kind of worked.

The entire thing started out with Sue almost ready to come back from Inbredlandistan, keeping ‘Merica safe on her secret mission to “watch her daughter’s cats while her daughter was in training”.  Yeah, right.

Well, let’s back up.  The party spent a lot of time not doing the game.  People were late.  I am not naming anyone, but Eric and Rob were on time.  Mike came a few minutes late, and the rest of the group showed up really late.  Not that I am naming names, but the “rest of the group” may be Collin, Shari and Bill.  That is OK.  I am not on a timeline.  But between the late start and the general conversation at the table, we didn’t get started until about an hour and a half after we were supposed to.  Now, most of that time was BS’ing, along with gossip.

So backing up, I had a busy week at work.  I went to Houston Texas, well actually Sugarland Texas for several days.  Now I have a love / hate relationship with Texas.  I dislike the politics they have on display.  I don’t hate their politics, but I disagree with the conservative things that they do.  The people are really nice.  Whenever I interact with the people, it shows me that decent, kind people could have very different politics than I believe in.

The heat and humidity (and cockroaches) are enough to make me want to run away screaming.  I can take dry heat.  I can take cool and humid.  I don’t like hot and humid.  Even air conditioners only do so much, since you still have to walk outside, or get into a hot car. And there are cockroaches.

I don’t understand how people can live there.  I don’t understand why people live there.  It was 80 degrees and pretty darned humid while I was there.

I did do some interesting things while I was there.  I stopped at a game store I randomly found on Google.  It was Golem’s Gate in Stafford, near Sugarland.  The game store was small, but had a good selection of board games, and surprisingly, a really nice selection of RPG’s.  They had hard copies of several Savage Worlds games, along with the usual D&D game books.  It was surprising that Pathfinder was not represented, but World of Darkness was.

I wonder if D&D 5e is undercutting the Pathfinder dominance of the industry.  Paizo had a huge runaway hit with Pathfinder.  It was easy, approachable, and eventually (in my opinion) sagged under its own weight.  I mean, in order to keep the monster fed, they have to come out with new books and modules regularly.  Do we really need 6 official bestiaries?  To be fair, all you need to run a good game is a core book and Bestiary 1. There are two extra books that add new rules for races and classes that are pretty nice.  I have four bestiaries, along with several after market monster manual books.  I haven’t bought bestiary 5 or 6 , since I have so many RPG books, I just haven’t felt the need to get them.  This probably says something about me, since my functional problem with things is that I am a completist.  If I get into a game, I want to get everything for that game.  This is problematic when I have the following current major RPG lines…

  • Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • Mutant Crawl Classics
  • Pathfinder
  • D&D 5e
  • Rifts
  • Harn
  • Runequest
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Paranoia
  • Amazing Adventures
  • Starfinder

and so on, and so on.  You see the problem…  It bugs me when I don’t have all of the supplemental product for every game I have.  Now I have large PDF libraries for other games.  For instance, when I see something that is on Drivethru, I will buy it in PDF, and may print it out for easier reference. That is what I did for Star Frontiers.  Now, I had most of the stuff for that game when I was a kid.  When I found it in PDF format, I grabbed it.  I bought the entire V1 set of books and modules for Twilight 2000 a few months ago.  It was about $40, but I played the heck out of that when I was in high school.  I will eventually print it out and bind it to have it available for easier reading, and maybe force it on one of the gaming groups I participate it in.

This week, I grabbed the entire PDF set for Aftermath, a serious Post Apocalyptic game series.  I played this in middle and high school also.  It required a flow chart to play.  It was super detailed.  The game was a little much, but it was a hard science version of post apac that was more serious than Gamma World.  Think more like Traveller in seriousness and science fiction.  I didn’t like the game system for Aftermath.  But I would mod the ideas into Gamma World and Morrow Project.


Yes, that is the flow chart from Aftermath.

The game system was not for the faint of heart.  The ideas were pretty awesome, and could be folded into other games with a limited amount of work.  Kind of like how you can take just about any fantasy RPG module, and with a little amount of work make it work within any fantasy RPG system.

I was the only person in my gaming group in middle and high school that had a paper route, so I had a steady source of income.  Everyone else had to wait for their parents or other relatives to buy them stuff.   They tended to want to play one game, or possibly two games because they didn’t have the income to go and buy new game systems.  The games tended to be D&D (1st Edition) and Star Frontiers.  That is because for a nominal fee, you could buy the core books for those games, and have a lot of fun.  I liked those fine, but I also wanted to play other stuff.

TSR had good ideas, but other gaming companies had good ideas also.  I found that I could weave into the D&D or Star Frontiers horror, wonky post apocalyptic ideas, etc.

Yes, I was usually the DM, since I had the money from the paper route to buy the books.  I also liked the books and modules.  I would read them and imagine what I could do with them in the games we played.

I actually never really played RPG’s much.  I usually ran them.  I like running them, and kind of framing the story that we are all involved in, I do like playing too.  I am having a lot of fun with Pun Pun, the kobold trapmaker in our Thursday game night.

Where was I?  I was prattling on about games…

When I was at Golem’s Gate in Stafford, I found amongst the RPG’s two copies of the original Deadlands DM screen, and one copy of the paper character cutout standees.  They were $15 apiece.  All brand new, never been opened.  I texted Loren to ask if she wanted one.  Then I called Loren…  I am not a stalker, but this was pretty cool.  Loren later told me that she was in Safeway, and her phone doesn’t work inside that store, so she didn’t get back to me.

I bought all three, just on the off chance that Loren wanted the DM screen.  I wanted one of the DM screens and the standees for me.  Later Loren told me that she already owned the DM screen, but we could go in it halves and give it to Daron.  Daron seemed to think it was pretty all right when we gave it to him.

The trip to and from Texas was bleh.  I don’t really like flying.  I am not afraid of it, I just find sitting in a small seat for hours on end truly unfun. I have traveled a lot.  The thrill is gone.  Maybe that is because when I traveled for work, I went to places like Lubbock Texas, St. Louis Missouri, and so forth.  Not that those places are bad but if I were going to the Bahamas, that might be better.

I returned with little fanfare.  The dogs were very happy to have me come home.  The kids and wife were happy also, but they didn’t bark excitedly at me or for me when they saw me, like the dogs did.

Friday was a pretty quiet day.  I spent it in quiet recuperation with the dogs.  Then Saturday came.  As were were getting ready to out the door, we get the following from Sue, who was still on her secret patriotic mission in Inbredinistan


We weren’t sure what that meant, so I chose to send Mike thoughts and prayers.   I created a poll on Facebook Messenger to see if we could come to some sort of understanding of how to be nice to Mike today.


I figure that if that is enough for the Republican Party after a horrific school shooting, that should be more than ample for an RPG session.

We meet at Dice Age Game emporium, and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Well, it wasn’t really that long, but the Harer family is getting coffee.  Evidently, they had to grow the beans and roast them before the coffee was able to be served.

Meanwhile, we were starting to get bored.  So we did the only thing that people do when they get bored.  They start thinking.  I have a bright idea that we need to tease Collin about Gloomhaven being so AWESOME!

Quickly, in some odd way, a plan is hatched.  Well, we actually took more time trying to find a marker that we could insta-tat on Mike’s arm than we spent thinking about the overall project, but through desperation, inspiration came through.


Mike covers up the fake tat, and waits for the Harer’s.  And waits.  And waits.  Then waits some more.  Evidently, the Harer family is still playing Gloomhaven.

Finally, the Harers show up, all of about 5 minutes late and Mike shows the tat to Collin, who has the following reaction:


I am not sure if this is fear, angst, gas, or what.  He seems to like the tat, and mutters about how he should get it in permanent manner on his back.

result (1)

Things seemed to go downhill from there.  We really need Sue back to get us back on track.

It didn’t take long and Eric steered us down the old S&M path.  He decided that all of the minis needed to be roped together into some form of ritualistic orgy…


And then Mike started playing with the barf bag I grabbed for him on the plane.


I really can’t explain why I got a barf bag for Mike.  It started several years ago.  I think it was about 12 years ago, when I went on a business trip to California, and Mike asked me off the cuff if I would bring him something cool from Anaheim CA.  In desperation of looking for something cool, while at a conference for traffic engineers, I found nothing.  So I grabbed a flyer from the hotel that was for the Richard Nixon library in Yorba Linda CA and a barf bag from the airplane and gave it to him.  Mike seemed pleased with the gift.  Ever since then, when I can grab a barf bag from the airplane, as in when I remember to grab a barf bag from the airplane, I give it to Mike.  This is a true test of the concept of “it is the thought that counts”.

After I posted a picture of Mike playing with the barf bag puppet, Sue responded on Facebook Messenger with:


Followed by…


Not getting into any specifics of what we did to her husband, Mike seemed to enjoy himself, a lot.

Where was I?  I think I adequately described the pregame show.  Now onto what we actually did.

You see, this was intended to be a session where the party could actually rest and recuperate.  They were provided an idyllic setting where they could rest up, and prepare for the next few chapters.  It provided the opportunity for a base of operations where they could be well taken care of.

Did they take advantage of this?


Not at all.

Rails?  Who needs rails?

The adventure started out just where it left off the previous week.  Bad things happened.  As Collin was driving the van, an Apache helicopter crashes right in front of the van, causing Collin to swerve to try to evade the helicopter.  Well, Collin is kind of a poor driver who has moments of brilliant inspiration.  This was not one of those moments.

Collin is unable to swerve out of the way with his sweet 1973 Chevy Van.  He crashes into the helicopter, and destroys the van.  Everyone in the van is seriously injured due to the crash.  The party looks outside, and sees that the burning helicopter is right in front of them, and sadly, there are a large group of zombies shambling towards the crash scene.  Help is on its way!  Not so much.

Mike’s Luchador bravely hops out of the van, and is quickly surrounded and dies.  Shari runs away.  Just as things are getting bad (as if Mikes character dying in the first encounter of the session), four large 4X4 trucks drive up with two men with rifles in the back and they dispatch the zombies.

Mike pulls out a pregen character, who is a glam rock star, whose weapon is a guitar.  I don’t remember the glam rock star’s name, but it is something like Jem


Or maybe one of these guys.


or one of these guys.

2002 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Whatever the story is, I think that Mike’s character should be on a never ending quest for Aqua Net.  I mean, how else can he have hair like this in the zombie apocalypse?


It is about this point in the game where we start getting trolled by an 8 year old girl who is in the store.  She hangs around the periphery of the table, listens to what is going on, and offers her opinion about things.  Mike loses it.  Not in a bad way, but everything this girl says causes Mike to laugh uncontrollably.  The girl has strong opinions, and is perfectly willing to express them.  The girl hangs around for the better part of a half hour and keeps Mike in stitches the entire time.

The people in the truck offer to take the party to their town, so they can recuperate and possibly join them.

Now for some reason, several of the party members seem to think that this may be a trap.  After all, no one helps out in the zombie apocalypse.  Right?  Eric keeps referring to the Governor and the Walking Dead, as though there is some sort of connection.  How could a group of nice people actually exist in this day and time, much less nice people in North Carolina?  We all know that no one in North Carolina is nice.  Just like we know that there are no basements in Florida, and all boats have canopies on them.

The party goes with the people in the trucks, but only after securing all of the medicine that they could from the wrecked van.

The people in the truck are friendly, and they drive for a while and end up coming up on the town of Dalesbury, which is surrounded by a wall made out of junked cars, tractor trailers, farm vehicles and the such.  There is a gate, and people with guns are manning the wall.

The gate opens and the four trucks pass through, and they drive down the main street of the town.  There is one street, and a dozen or so crossing streets.  The town has a movie theater, a post office, two bars, a grocery store, a hardware store and many houses.

The trucks stop in front of a doctor’s office, and the people are led into the office.  The doctor introduces himself to the party as Doctor Lewis.  Doctor Lewis seems like a pretty OK guy.  He has each of the party members go into a specific exam room in the office.  Each party member is followed by two town members with guns.  The town members explain that they are not trying to be rude, but since the party is new to town, they really don’t trust them, and it is possible that they could be bitten, or want to create problems.  They apologize for the treatment, and ask that the party consider the position from the town’s perspective.  The doctor heals several of the party’s wounds, and asks about the medicine that they brought, is it available for others in the town, or does the party want to keep it for their own.

The response from Eric and Collin is reassuring but noncommittal.  Doc responds that it is OK, but if the party decides to stay with the town, then all resources should be shared.  Once again, no specific response that agrees or disagrees from the party.

The Doctor tells the party that they will be put up in Elanor’s house.  Elanor lost her husband in the beginning of the plague, and she has a large house with lots of rooms.

This is where important plot points could have been included, in the event that (a) corporal Hauser, (b) any one of the three soldiers that accompanied the corporal, (c) the little girl with the flu, and / or (d) the father of the girl with the flu would have allowed for some more information to be described to the party.  But since none of these people were living any more, that doesn’t matter.

As the Doctor finishes up his examination and healing, the party is approached by the Doctor’s brother, who is the mayor of town.  The mayor seems unimpressed by the people that were brought in.  A glam rocker, a person dressed as a Roman centurion, a Hispanic priest, a young girl and a white man.

For some reason, Eric’s character, the Hispanic priest takes umbrage to everything that the mayor says.  It doesn’t seem to matter what is said, the priest takes it as an affront.  It seems that the priest has a chip on his shoulder.   The priest figures that the mayor is a bigot and a horrible person who does not value anyone who is not white.  Well, he may be right.  The priest gets more and more frustrated as the Mayor slights the priest in every way and opportunity possible.  It seems that the Mayor is not happy to have people like the priest here.  Eric is pretty sure that the Mayor is upset about him being Hispanic, but it could be that the priest is not of the correct version of the faith.

As the party is walked to Elanor’s house, they notice that everyone is armed, but no one has tried to take away the guns from the party.  They find out that the town has several generators that they keep running, and they need to find fuel to keep things going.  The town has gardens where food is grown.

Elanor is happy to have the company.  She has a nice and tidy home, where the living room is in various colors of violet, and the sitting room is in various shades of dusty rose.  Elanor makes over her visitors, and tells them that she would like them to rest until lunch, and she will have a very nice beef stew to eat.

The party rests until lunch, and then comes downstairs to a delicious beef stew for everyone.  Elanor is a good host, and has pulled out all of the parsnips, rutabagas and turnips from the stew, leaving a delicious beef stew with carrots, potatoes and celery, allowing the party members to add the other root veggies as they desire.  Elanor knows that not all people like these types of veggies in their food, so she thinks it is better to allow people to add them than try to figure out how to politely not eat them.

Elanor is a beautiful woman in her early 30’s, and talks about how she and her husband wanted to start a family, but he was not able to fertilize her seed.  They were talking about adopting a baby or five before she was left behind and her husband ascended into heaven.  She is sad because she thought that she had lived a righteous life, and would have been called with the other believers in the rapture, but that was not so.  She tries to put on a brave face, but knows that for some reason, she is destined to an eternity in hell, because only the righteous were taken when the seventh seal was torn asunder.  She hopes that if she continues to live a good live, a godly life, that she will be allowed to at least glimpse a view of heaven before she is thrown in to the pit of hell.  Maybe a short glimpse will be enough to keep Satan from entirely owning her soul.

Eric consoles her, telling her that some people were taken in the rapture, but others of true faith were left on this mortal coil to minister to the wicked to hopefully give others the ability to also ascend to heaven.  Maybe Elanor’s faith is what kept her here after the rapture, to help others, and show the truth of faith.

Elanor seems to take solace from what the priest says.  Maybe she will enter the Kingdom of Heaven after all.

The priest asks Elanor about the Mayor.  Elanor tells the priest that the Mayor is not a nice man.  He only wants to be around white people.  Anyone other than a white person is not worthy.  It is unfortunate, but racism lives beyond the Rapture.

The party is told that they will be brought before the town members that evening.  During that time, the party can tell the town members what their skills and abilities are, along with what their story is – how they survived the Apocalypse, and then the town will determine if the party should become members of the town or not.

This should be pretty easy, but the party is not going for it.  For some reason, the party wants to do more.

The centurion and the Mayor get into a conversation about the centurion’s ability to fight, and pretty soon, the centurion has agreed to show his prowess by an Olympic style event.  The mayor and the centurion eventually agree to letting 10 zombies charge the centurion, and the centurion has five discuses (hub caps) and five javelins and his sword.  Evidently, the centurion will fight completely naked also.  The Mayor wants to make sure that this is not embarrassing for the centurion, so he is told he will be chained to a spot, and will not be able to move more than 10 feet from where the chain is locked down at on the ground.

Collin wants to get in on this also.  So does the priest.  They all decide that the first order of business is to allow the centurion to show his battle prowess, then they will reset, and then 10 more zombies will charge at the centurion and Collin’ where Collin can uses 5 bullets in his 50 caliber Barrett rifle, then it is all hand to hand combat.  Meanwhile, the priest can show his power channel through the Lord, and help out the two in the kill pocket.  The Mayor likes the idea of some entertainment for the townspeople since they don’t get to do much otherwise, and the Mayor keeps trying to get more zombies against the party members.  After all, if 10 can be handily dispatched, why not 20?

In the end, the games commence, and the town comes to watch the entertainment.  Mike decides to play power cords on his guitar through the boom box that the town provided.

The centurion takes his place with his five hubcaps and five spears, and his sword.  The zombies are let loose, and amazingly, the centurion kills one zombie with a hubcap.  He kills several with spears, but this is where it gets strange.  Somehow, Eric, the priest all of a sudden figured out that his character had a spell which could be used against the undead, which could turn them, or possibly destroy them.  That would have been nice to use any time in the last, say, 10 sessions.  Eric walks up to the fence, and proceeds to do his magic, and several zombies are stunned, and one drops dead.  The crowd doesn’t seem to notice.  In the end, four zombies get into combat reach of the centurion.

This is where it gets weird.

Now, I have tried to explain the bucolic, calm, nice atmosphere of the town.  This is an oasis in the desert.  Things are nice and quiet here.  If the party plays nicely, then they will have a good base of operations to work out of for a good while.

Does the party agree?  Nope.  They are going to screw things up, because… rails?  who needs rails?

Collin, Shari and Bill all toss the mayor over the fence, into the area where the zombies are.  The mayor is in no danger, but the mayor shoots his 44 at Collin, missing him, but requiring Collin to use a chip.

Collin tells the mayor to call this thing off.  He does this while somehow unlimbering his 50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle and trying to intimidate the mayor.  So the Barrett sniper rifle is not a gun you can Rambo.  It is a big gun.  I mean big.


It weighs 31 pounds unloaded, and is almost 60 inches long.

There is no way that you can Rambo this bad boy.

Now, I carried the M60 when I was in the army.  We all tried to do this…

Image result for rambo m60

We couldn’t effectively do it.  The gun is heavy, and more importantly, there is a lot of weight in the front of the gun, making gravity want to pivot it away from you.

It is a game.  So I let Collin intimidate the Mayor with his big gun.

The mayor says “fine” and walks away, not even looking at Collin trying to balance his big gun menacingly.

The zombies continue to attack the centurion.  It takes several rounds of combat, and pretty much everyone giving Bill their chips, but the Centurion ends up killing all of the zombies.

And that is where we ended for the day.

Like I said, it was supposed to be a nice, quiet adventure, where the party would be able to rest, recuperate and get ready to help the town.  We shall see where it will go from here.

The Saga of Pun Pun, the Kobold Part 4


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Pun Pun is back, and ready to work for the tribe.

The tribe continued on trying to become better at our skills.  Commander Knowles seems to be pleased with our work to date.  He seems to want to not let us know how well we are impressing him, as every time we report to him, he responds with statements like “hmmm” and “err, I guess so”.  These non committal types of responses must exist to make sure that we don’t become too impressed with our own abilities, and take undue risks.  Commander Knowles leadership style seems to be to give us tasks that we should just barely survive to improve our skills, and then not to pump our egos too much when we come back having accomplished the task.  His tactical use of responses like “yeah, that seems adequate” and “uhhhhhh, just get out of here” are acutely designed leadership measures used to help us find ways to come back next time and report our accomplishments in a more useful manner.

We were paid for our third week in the Order of the Crown.  Now, I am saving all of my silver for the purpose of training.  At some point, I need to have 20 gold to pay for my training.  When I get this training, I will be able to better hide right after fighting.  This will allow me to more often be able to surprise the enemy and hit them harder.

While the Order of the Crown pays us for our work, they also require that we pay for our own training.  It is interesting, as I spend my down time making fire arrows for the armorer, but that work is assumed to be in the overall scheme of payment.  The other members of the tribe don’t seem to have the same commitment to the cause, and they go off and do other things that don’t help the tribe out.  The fighter, well, he spends a lot of his time off going to the church and starving himself while muttering obscene curses in some ritualistic method to curry favor with some arcane god.  I have listened to the words that the fighter spews out, and they are some form of nonsense, not a civilized language like the dragons speak.  I wrote down the foul curses that the fighter said once, while trying to curry favor, and they were nonsense.  I wrote down:

Fest däischter dé nei. As den Well hannendrun. Ze nei Noper onser, engem iweral Blummen zwé da. Hun no Haus main, Fläiß bereet mä zwé, Biereg Scholl Fuesent dee am. Welt erem spilt dem hu. Der Zalot Keppchen d’Bëscher no, et iwer Welt Faarwen ons.

When I questioned the fighter as to what he was talking about with his gods, he responded “I am a Paladin, not a fighter”, whatever that means, but then he also said “Why do you keep calling me ‘HE’?”  I ask if he lays eggs, and he responds “Well, sort of”, but then doesn’t go into any more detail about how he lays eggs, then has a male of the species fertilize them… Then after I explain that there is a simple test involving testing for the sex of the person in question, which involves a finger up the anus, checking for the sex organ, he gets very upset and storms off.

You see, I can’t even get to the point where I can even have a reasonable discussion with the fighter.  We have had this discussion several times, but he seems to not want to commit to the fact that he is just a fighter who worships some random set of deities using nonsense language.

The human with the wounds on his arms and hides behind conjured rocks is back.  He went on some sort of secret mission for Commander Knowles and won’t talk about it.  It is really mysterious.  We are not sure what that human does.  He also has a small cat that flies that he conjures out of thin air.  This is confusing, as no one can explain why anyone would want to have a cat around.  They are finicky prissy little creatures who eye everyone around them with a predatory look.  They also have a thing about walking up to you and turning around and placing their anus right in front of you, and then they switch their tail as if saying “See my butt, that is all you deserve”.  Cats also have strange things with their paws and the claws in them.  For some reason, when they approach you, as if they might “like” you, they can still attack you mildly with their claws, as they purr and drool on you.  I have heard of this as called “needing”, but I am not sure what the at needs.  I have also seen cats which appear to show their “affection” for you by trying to crush the life out of you.

The human who hides behind conjured rocks is pretty quiet about his skills, and he gets all upset when the fighter refers to him as “she”.  There seems to be some greater thing going on in the upper world.  There is a really strong concern that someone who is a “he” may be called a “she”.  The surface dwellers consume a huge amount of time in grooming their facial hair, or exposing parts of their mammary glands to try to reinforce the sex that they want people to see them as.  This all falls apart with dwarves.  All dwarves have facial hair, and in some manner, they are able to distinguish the opposite sex.  It us also possible that dwarves just all get naked together in some kind of ritualistic orgy, and even though they all have facial hair, enough female dwarves lay eggs, and eough male dwarves fertilize the eggs while the orgy is underway that the species propagates itself.

These surface dwelling mammals are very interesting. I am not sure what good it is doing to study them, as every time I think I have figured out what is going on, one or more surface dweller shows me that I am wrong, and I need to reconsider my entire hypothesis.

Snuggy Dre was in full on money making mode.  There was a festival going on, and Snuggy wanted to make some extra money.  I followed along to observe how Snuggy made his money.  Now he calls himself a “Bard”, but as far as I can tell, being a bard is something between being a thief, magician and a confidence trickster.  I don’t know what useful purpose a bard has.  Snuggy has taken all of his gold and put it into his teeth.  That is evidently his way of simultaneously letting everyone he talks to that he doesn’t have a bag of coin (it is all molded to his teeth), and he is so rich that he does not need any money, since he has so much money that he can have it all in his teeth.

I followed Snuggy Dre out to one of his performances, observing how and what a “bard” does.  He started out by getting everyone’s attention, then said:

Hickory Dickory Dock… The mouse rand down..

And then Snuggy Dre stopped.  He somehow felt the mood of the room, and realized that this was not the best approach to making money.  Being observant, I started writing down what he ended up saying.  His story seemed to be concocted out of some form of former pain.  The rhyme he said went like:

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there’s none left
‘Cause I’ve been brassing and laughing so long that
Even my mamma thinks that my mind is gone
But I ain’t never crossed a man that didn’t deserve it
Me be treated like a punk, you know that’s unheard of
You better watch how you talking, and where you walking
Or you and your homies might be lined in chalk
I really hate to trip but I gotta lope
As they croak I see myself in the pistal smoke fool
I’m the kinda G that little homies want to be like
On my knees in the night, saying prayers in the street light
They been spending most their lives living in the gangsta’s paradise

This seemed to appease the patrons of the tavern.  They all provided lots of coppers to Snuggy Dre.

He then went on and rhythmically said:

Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Elfvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne
Cause I’m a halfling and I’m proud
I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped
Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check
Don’t worry be happy
Was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
(Get it) lets get this party started right
Right on, c’mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be

The third rhyme he sang out went like this:

Man, don’t you worry ’bout a thing
‘Bout your daughter, nope she’s not my type
But suppose’ she said she loved me
Are you afraid of the mix of halfling and half orc?
We’re livin’ in a land where the law say
Mixing of race makes the blood impure
She’s a woman I’m a man
Look on your face, I see ya can’t stand it
Man you need to calm down, don’t get mad
I don’t need your sista
But suppose’ she said she loved me
Would you still love her or would you dismiss her
What is pure? Who is pure?
Is it Elf? I ain’t sure
If the whole world was to come through peace and love
Then what would we be made of?
Excuse us for the news
You might not be amused
But did you know Half Halfling
No need to be confused
Excuse us for the news
I question those accused
Why is this fear of halfling and half orc
Influence who you choose?

I am not sure what all of this is about, but Snuggy Dre has a lot of internal angst that seems to make him very upset.  However, when he spews his rhymes out, he gets a very good reaction from the crowd.  Well, most of the crowd.  The dwarves, humans and half orcs seem to be really into it, and they are singing along with Snuggy Dre.  The elves are too high and mighty to appreciate this.  To me, as a Kobold, it all seems like a lot of angst and noise.  I mean, what exactly could have happened to a halfling that would make him so angry?

I spent most of my down time creating fire arrows.  I didn’t spend a lot of time at the festival.  Like I said before, I have 60 silver, which I have been told equates to 6 gold.  I need 20 gold for training.  I am saving every silver I can to get better, so I can become more useful to the tribe.

The druwitch also had a busy week.  She keeps denying that she magically keeps a glamour up, which if dropped would show her true fey self.  No one seems to mind that there is a fey in the tribe.  Now a gnome is probably the least offensive of the fey, but they are still fey.  They can’t be trusted, because when the time comes, she will revert to her true fey nature, and ritualistically murder everyone around her to grant the passage of devils and demons to this plane of existence.  I have tried to educate the fighter, Snuggy Dre and the mysterious man who hides behind conjured rocks about the true nature of the fey in our midst.  They are under her spell, and believe that she is not a threat, and that I am mistaken.  I am beginning to wonder if my destiny is to keep tabs on this evil entity, and when the time comes, seek help to extinguish her life force before she opens the portal from the other dimension to bring in Orcus and his minions.

So after several days off, Commander Knowles called us to his office, and in his highly efficient manner, he told us that we were going on a five day mission, where we would be accompanying Lemmon, the tax collector from Kastiff to Arlington, and then back.  The day trip would take two days, one day in Arlington, then two days journey back.

We were briefed, and told that we would leave after one more day of downtime.  The fighter, wanting to practice his ability to take a hit and not die, asked if we could be assigned to another day of patrols.  This seemed reasonable to me, but the rest of the tribe didn’t think that it was a good idea.

The druwitch went to look for potions.  She understood that the fighting style of the fighter caused problems, as he kept getting knocked out by the bad guys.  This was ok, but if several people got injured, then there wasn’t enough divine magic in the tribe yet to heal enough people to become mobile again.  The druwitch thought that having some healing potions would help improve our odds.

Evidently, this type of magic is expensive here in Kastiff.  We earn just over 2 gold pieces a week in salary for doing the bidding of the Order of the Crown, and one healing potion cost 50 gold.  This is problematic, to say the least.  Even if all five of us pooled our resources, and put all of our money into the pot, then we could maybe buy one of these potions every 5 weeks.  This seems out of the range of what we need.  I think we need to get better at how to fight.

So we met up with Lemmon in the morning, and traveled throughout the day, under the blazing hateful orb in the sky.  The rest of the tribe mocked me by continually talking about how nice and warm the sun was, and how good it felt on them.  I pulled the cowl of my cloak as far over my nose as possible, to reduce the horrible glare that was burning the back of my eyes.

After we walked for most of the day, we came across another forest.  These things are everywhere.  Tall trees stretching for leagues.  We followed the well developed path through the forest, and eventually, the hateful orb crested and went below the horizon.  The druwitch found us a good spot to spend the night.  Everyone bedded down, but I found a tree to sneak into.

The forest is completely alien to me.  There is some level of cover from the branches and leaves of the trees, which reduces the burning from the hateful orb.  There are small trees, which the druwitch calls bushes, and large trees.  She says that there are different species of trees, all of which have different characteristics.  She talks of things like pine, spruce, oak, but to my eye, they all look the same.  Some are straight, some are more bendy.

I suppose that the druwitch’s intimate knowledge of the forest is similar to a kobold’s understanding of rock formations in the underdark.  The druwitch hasn’t provided any useful information about pine, spruce, oak, etc, like what can be used best in traps.  What tree is the most flexible, where if I wanted to create a trap, the branch or main tree itself could be bent over as compared with snapping.

I can tell you that the tall straight trees are not comfortable to sleep in.  The branches connect to the upright portion of the tree at too small an area.  The trees that are all bendy tend to have nooks and crannies where you can create a nice and conformable nest of branches, leaves and other things to rest in.  The ground around the bendy trees also tend to have tastier grubs in it, as opposed to the straight trees with the small straight leaves.

So the rest of the tribe created a fire, and cooked their meal, then divided up the watches.

The fighter had the first watch.  I was asleep, but the fighter utterly failed in her watch duties, as during her watch, we were attacked by a horde of goblins.  They made their announcement of their presence by firing a volley of arrows into the tribe.  I took an arrow to the shoulder.  The fighter took two arrows.  Things started happening fast.  The fighter yells out that he has been hit, then starts running.  I am not sure that the fighter knew what direction the arrows were coming from, but the fighter ran directly towards the attackers.  I hope that this was bravery, not where he was trying to get away, and just by bad luck ran towards the attackers.

The fighter was shot multiple times and went down in a thump.  Thankfully, there was enough leaf litter and soft ground that the fighter didn’t sustain any additional damage due to falling unconscious to the ground.

I continually try to determine if the fighter is brave or suicidal.  Maybe both.  The fighting tactics of running directly at your foe and trying to kill them with a sword while they have the time to shoot several arrows at you before you close the distance seems foolhardy.  It may be brave, but still foolhardy.

The party springs into action.  I was pretty involved with trying to kill one of our foes with a fire arrow, so I didn’t watch everything that was going on, but Snuggy Dre got hit with an arrow, and my boyfriend, Zedar does some amazing dragon magic and kills one of the goblins, and hurts another.  The goblins cut and run.  Things go badly pretty quickly, as they continue to shoot at us, hitting the druwitch.

I pursue one of the goblins.  We play a cat and mouse game hiding in the bushes.  He is a wily goblin, and it takes several shots before I am able to kill him.  Everyone is convinced that the goblins have run away, and they let their guard down.  I still am not sure that the one goblin has moved away or not.  So I lie in wait, hiding.  The druwitch goes and heals the fighter, and the party decides that they need to go back to sleep, but can’t figure out where I am.  They call out to me, but I am still hiding in case the last goblin pops out.

At last, the fighter sees me, and comes over to me, calling out to me.  I see my quarry move, and try to line up a shot on the fighter.  I am faster, and shot the horrible goblin in the head as it looses the shot on the fighter.  Thankfully, the fighter isn’t hit badly by the goblin shot, but I have my kill.

Zedar, the dreamy looks at the corpses of the goblins that were killed.  He takes his powerful hands and roughs up the goblin’s body, searching longingly for some forgotten treasure, fingers probing in the moist recesses of the muscular hunk of flesh with quick motions of his fingers in the well lubricated flesh, finding pleasure in the touch of his strong armored fingers on the fresh warm body…


We go back to our dreams, and nothing more happens, at least out side of our dreams.

We start up again in the morning and finish the journey to Arlington.  There is not much here for us to do, except protect Lemmon as he collects the taxes.  The day goes without incident.

During this time, I attempt to talk to the fighter.  He doesn’t seem to want to listen.  I use rocks to explain kobold pack tactics.  The problem with the fighter’s methods is that he just runs right at the bad guys.  If there are four bad guys shooting arrows and only one good guy, then all four arrows are going to be pointed at the good guy.  He needs to get a bevy of retainers, so that they can all attack, and change the ratio of attackers to defenders.  4 attackers with arrows to 1 defender who must close the distance between them, and only has a sword is not a good combination.  If you had 4 attackers with arrows, and 4 defenders charging, then the odds of not being a pincushion in the first seconds of battle improves.

The fighter doesn’t seem to appreciate the concept of pack tactics.  He wants to know why he is the only one charging.

We head back the next day, and most of the day is uneventful.

Along about the afternoon, we come across an unusual site ahead of us. There is a one horned cow on one side of the road, and on the other side of the road are four goblins and a hobgoblin standing transfixed, looking at the one horned cow.

For some reason, the fighter and the druwitch are entranced by the one horned cow, and start babbling about it being a “unicorn”.  I have no idea what they are talking about, this is a cow, and somehow it is cursed to have the ability of clouding the minds of its foes to see it as something special.

That is not my problem.  If the druwitch and the fighter want to go and worship a one horned cow, that is OK, as long as they don’t try to confuse my mind with their odd beliefs.

The goblins are more important to me.  As the party starts to close the 200 feet from us to the spectacle in front of us, I let loose with one fire arrow after another, and quickly kill off three of the four goblins from range.

One of the goblins shoots an arrow at the druwitch, and the fighter bravely stands between the goblin and the druwitch to save the fey creature.

The dreamy Zedar closes the gap, and the hobgoblin pulls out his sword and starts closing the gap to Zedar.  Zedar is faster, and roasts the hobgoblin with a burning flame spell that consumes the hobgoblin.  He then eldritch blasts the final goblin, hurting him.  I finish off the fourth goblin for my honey with another arrow.

As I trot up to the cow, the fighter is beaming, and keeps chirping about how there is a unicorn here.  I see this:


The druwitch and fighter see this:


for all I know, they are actually seeing this…


This is very important to the druwitch, but even more important to the fighter.  He is beaming, as though this is the highlight of his life.  It will be interesting to see how he reacts when we see a true magical being, like a red dragon.  Now that would be awesome.

We make it back to town without any more problems.  We report to Commander Knowles, and as the fighter gushes about the “unicorn” or more correctly put the unicow, the commander is more interested in the fact that we came across goblins and a hobgoblin than a unicow.

Savage Worlds – War of the Dead Episode 11 and some non Pun Pun stuff


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It was a long week.  I don’t know why it was so long.  I had last Monday off as a holiday, and the Friday before it was a vacation day, so I had a 4 day long weekend, followed by a 4 day work week.  But for some reason, that four day work week was a really long week.

I think it was because I had also scheduled to take this Friday off, so I *was* going to have a 3 day work week, but then I decided to work Friday, you know, lots to do at work.  That may have been a mistake.

We gathered last Thursday for our Thursday night gaming, but Daron was busy.  So we didn’t get to play D&D, so no Pun Pun.  I did bring Cosmic Encounter and we played that without Daron and Summer.

I wasn’t sure how Cosmic Encounter would play with the Thursday night group.  I don’t remember doing anything but playing RPG’s with that group.  Eric loves any type of game, and Eric was full on ready for some backstabbing in Cosmic Encounter.  Loren, Mathew and Jeremy (not Jirimiah) were game, ready to try something new.

I tried to explain the rules, but it is something that you need to play through to get the swing of things.  I was surprised.  Loren, Matthew and Jeremy all seemed to enjoy the backstabby shivving best friend then backstabby shivving thing again.  Loren has told me before that she only really likes RPG’s, and the board games she likes playing are things like Star Fleet Battles and BattleTech.  I have played games like Car Wars with her, and she doesn’t seem to enjoy that as much as an RPG.  I get it, in an RPG, you are not trying to figure out how to get the proper mix of cards, resources, etc to get the most number of victory points.  In an RPG, you can try to build a character to tell a story.  That is more fun to me also, but I do enjoy board games with friends, as the game is a foil to allow people to spend time together.  Other people do it with football, baseball, book clubs etc.

The game went very well.  Everyone seemed to get into the overall wonkiness of the rules.  I had a special card, that if I kept it, I would automatically win if all of the cards of one of the decks was consumed, requiring a reshuffle of that deck.  I sat with zero victory points for most of the game, as I wanted to see if I could win with that card alone.  I did, but then Matthew played a cosmic zap card that took away that card just as I played it, so for an infinitely small amount of time I won, then I didn’t.  I also decided at one point where both Loren and I played a negotiate card that I would play kingmaker, and give Loren the two victory points she needed to win, and I would get my first victory point, that worked well, until Jeremy played a card that undid all negotiations.

In the end, Eric and Matthew won, as they both played a negotiate card, and were able to give each other the number of victory points to simultaneously win.  I pointed out to Matthew that he would not be “THE” winner, but he was perfectly happy being “a” winner.  🙂

The powers in the game were a lot of fun.  Matthew never played his power.  Eric’s power allowed him to add the total number of ships in his own system that were not on the planet being attacked to his attack card value.  This was pretty devastating for everyone attacking him.

Jeremy’s special power was that any attack he was a main player was first determined by a 50/50 random draw.  That meant that if Jeremy wanted to, he could commit 1 resource to an attack, and then let chance, pure chance determine the outcome.  Jeremy seemed to really like this, and did it over and over and over.

For some reason, every time Jeremy and Eric attacked each other, Eric was able to win the chance.  Whenever Jeremy and Loren attacked each other Loren always lost.  Not sure why, but the force was not with Loren last Thursday night.

I am blanking on Loren’s power at this point.  All I know is that whenever she attacked me, it was bad for me.   I think her power was that when she was attacked, or attacked someone else, she could randomly select a card from the other player’s hand.  She did this to me a lot.

My power was that whenever I pulled ships from the void, I got 2 extra ships.  Whenever I pulled cards, I got two extra cards.  This allowed me to have a ginormous stack of cards.  This helped me keep the cards I wanted, as I had a few really good cards, but whenever Loren stole a card from my hand, it was usually, but not always, a crummy card for her.

Fun was had.  Everyone told me that they would play Cosmic Encounter again.  That is good, since I really like that game.

The key to a good Cosmic Encounter game is to have a bunch of people who are willing to be awful to each other.  You have to revel in other people’s pain and suffering, and not get your nose out of joint when you lose terribly.  There is also some level of bluffing and trash talk that is included in the game.  If you play it with a bunch of people who are all nice to each other, then it is not a really good game.

You also have to enjoy a game that strategy does not really work super well in.  There are no dice, so the random element is related to what cards you pull, along with how you can use any given moment to screw another player.

Roy, the owner of Dice Age Game Emporium does not like Cosmic Encounter.  Roy likes games where he can map out a strategy, and work through it while denying other people what they want.  He seems to revel in games where you have 100 possible paths to victory and as you play the game, you pick a path, and as things are denied you by other players, you continually refine that path to victory to figure out how to deal with the current situation.

That works well for lots of strategy games.  It doesn’t work well for games that are based on some level of chaos.  In my opinion, if you are playing Cosmic Encounter “right”, there is lots of opportunity for chaos…

Hopefully, we will all be ready to play more D&D, and Pun Pun will have some more tales to tell.  I was surprised at the response that I got about Pun Pun’s story on the blog.  Everyone thought that it was not a true representation of what happened, since it happened from her perspective.  Really, aren’t all stories told from a perspective?  Do we doubt the news, because it is from a perspective?

Bah, write your own blog if you don’t like Pun Pun’s story from her perspective.

Saturday, we played more Savage Worlds, War of the Dead.

Sue was still not there.  She was probably finishing up her top secret mission to the third world country that she is helping overthrow.  Bill, Mike’s official government minder left to go back to Arizona.  We are not sure if this is because the Trump administration decided that Mike was not a threat, no longer a threat, or if there was no threat in the first place.  Mike is sworn to secrecy.  Bill didn’t tell us.

The other Bill, Bill the huge fan of 1980’s power ballads, was back.  He thought that Air Supply’s show was amazing.  He still had some whip marks on his arms, where he was brutally attacked by old women thrashing around in the mosh pit while “All out of Love” was playing.  We warned him, grannies in a mosh pit is not a good combination.  They whip their walkers around and pinch cheeks in full on orgasmatronic mode.

Bill was also having problems with his computer again.  He “claims” that the hard drive was having problems.  Probably a virus.  You know how they are.  The virus’s that is.  Anyhow, after Bill got the computer working, he was upset because Comcast, or someone was throttling his download speed while he was trying to restore his mega game library from Steam.  I suggested that it would probably work faster if he simultaneously downloaded his games from Steam while also viewing some really nasty stuff from Pornhub.  After all, no one just downloads games from Steam.  Steam knows that it is probably a denial of service attack if you are only downloading games.  You need some raunchy porn to go along with the game download to satisfy the servers.

I also suggested to Bill that he should do a punk rock version of this beauty.

Mike was still lamenting the lack of Sue at home.  We all felt bad for him.  It is hard having a true patriot who is willing to “watch their daughter’s cat” for weeks at a time.  We all know that this is some sort of code.  We are not sure what the code is, but Mike told us that Sue will be flying back after next weeks game.

Shari and Collin were ready to play.  Shari had some sort of secret that she was not able to tell, but I could tell that it was bugging her to no end.  She wanted to tell us, but it was a horrible secret and she was not allowed to tell it.  Collin sat there and couldn’t make it through a sentence without including “And Gloomhaven is so awesome!”

It was kind of odd.  He was saying things like “I had a sandwich for lunch, and Goomhaven is so Awesome!” and “I was driving my car and Gloomhaven is so awesome!”, and “And there I was looking at the bean burrito at Taco Bell and Gloomhaven is so AWESOME!”  I am not sure if this is a new form of Tourette’s, or some other malady, but we need to be wary of.

Eric brought a toilet for Roy.  Most customers pay with money, possibly a bank card or maybe some chickens.  This is the first time I have ever seen a customer pay with a used toilet, and one that didn’t even have a seat.  I guess I have a lot to learn about bartering.

It took 5 people the better part of an hour to install the toilet.  I didn’t realize that so many people needed to sit on a toilet to get the wax ring to seat.  Also, Shari showed her home improvement prowess by showing all of the men who were working on removing the toilet that you didn’t need a ruler to pull out the old wax ring, you just needed to grab it like Trump would and pull it out.

So we started playing some Savage Worlds.  It was a lot of fun, but it would be better if Sue were there, showing me that I was number one.  I get this a lot.  I get it at work, I get it at the game store…  I get it from Mike, when I remind him of his character needs.

Mike true seld

I think that Mike is having a good time.  I am not sure.  He may be showing his true nature after being separated from Sue for so long.  We had some conversations via Facebook Messenger, and Sue said at one point that we should mess with Mike, and then also said that we should leave Mike alone….  I am confused.

Where were we.  Oh yeah, Savage Worlds.

Because the party skipped by some of the vignettes last session, they had to deal with guilt, or at least some of them did.  The party members were required to make a Spirit roll, at a -2, and if they didn’t make it, they would feel guild over not doing anything useful to help the people in the three things that happened.  Let’s see, what did they do…?

Oh yeah, they didn’t help the three soldiers that were stuck in the truck, surrounded by zombies.  Well, Bill, the government minder did die trying to help.  Then, they tried to help the nice young lady with her toddler child out of the car, sort of.  Until she was overrun by zombies, and then they shot her dead.  Then they started a fire at the gun mart without helping the guy on the roof.

You see, actions have consequences.  Just look at this dildo, and you know that I am right.

Image result for donald trump

Too many people stayed home on election night, you know who I am talking about, all the illegal aliens who could have voted, all the dead people who could have voted.

Now I am not saying that Killary would have been any better.  I really didn’t like Killary, but I dislike Trump more.

As Commissioner Gordon said in The Dark Knight…

Gordon: He’s the dildo ‘Merica deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll worship him. Because he needs it. Because he’s our dildo. He’s a loud, asinine dipshit. A true disgrace to the Human race.
Well, maybe Commissioner Gordon was talking about someone else, but I think the quote above just about says it all.
For the record, there are Trump Dildos available.  This one is a standard dildo..
Image result for trump dildo
This one has an expanded base, to make sure that it doesn’t go too far into the anus.
Related image
There are also multicolored Trump Dildos on Etsy…
Image result for trump dildo
Now if those pictures above offend you, I don’t care.  Trump is a tool.  He is not even a good tool.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, my politics are such that I dislike Trump, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and a bunch of other good for nothings that are in DC.
Now, in all fairness, I don’t think that the other side has much to be proud of either.  I just find that the far right conservative side tends to offend me more at this time than the left does.
But that has nothing to do with Savage Worlds, or the World of the Dead, or Saturday’s game.  For some reason, any simple thing that these dipshits do derails me.  Like the concept of arming teachers to save kids in schools.  What a stupid idea.  Why not adequately fund the teachers so that they don’t have to buy their own supplies for the classroom first?  Maybe, just maybe, stop sucking on the NRA’s tit and realize that there are between 4 and 5 million members of the NRA.  4 million is what the Huffington Post estimated based on their annual budget of $160 million and a $40 membership fee, 5 million is based on NRA’s actual posting of information online.  There are 327 million people in the USA.  A quick math equation of 5 million NRA members out of 327 million people in the US means that approximately 1.53% of the population of the US are NRA members.
How exactly does 1.53% of the population dominate the national dialog?
Let’s do some comparisons.  The National Geographic Society has 6.8 million members.  Sunset Magazine has 1.3 million publication subscriptions.
Why doesn’t the National Geographic Society get the same time in front of congress, making sure that natives don’t wear things covering their breasts, and keeping beautiful butterflies flying?
I see what you did there.  You let me get distracted again.  Damn, you are good.
So because of guilt, something that the NRA and Republican Leadership are immune to, some of the party members start out with fewer poker chip bennies than the others.  Eric and Bill were unaffected by the fact that they didn’t help out people who were in dire straits, so they started out with three bennies.  The rest of the party members had some level of guilt, so they started out with only one bennie, and they will do that for this session and three more sessions.
The party starts out, and shortly finds an HEB.
Image result for heb store
Now the players keep asking what an HEB is.  I have told them several times that it is a grocery chain in the south.  The players at the table are convinced I am wrong, just like I was wrong when I said that buildings had basements, since obviously no building ever had a basement in Florida, not knowing that they were actually in North Carolina.  The party also included haters who said that there was no way that any boat ever, ever didn’t have a roof on it.
As they approach the HEB, they find that there are three cars and one van in the parking lot.  The cars are a really nice Chrysler K car complete with stick shift, sun roof  and electric door locks.  Shari is in love.  This is the ideal car for her, so she says…  Earth calling Collin, take note here.
Image result for 1980 chrysler k car
The second car is a beat up old VW bug.  Every panel on the car is a different color.  The interior pleather seats are cracked.  Mike asks if the doors are locked.  I respond that the doors are locked, but like all old VW Bugs, the lock doesn’t work, and he can open it right up.  Mike responds, just like my old bug…
Image result for junker vw bug
The third car is a 1980 Yugo.
Image result for yugo
The party doesn’t even bother with this car.  I am not sure why.  They are convinced that it will not be worthwhile for anything.  I reasoned that if the 1980 Yugo made it to 2018, someone was putting a lot of TLC into it.  It may be a pretty sweet ride.  But no interest from the party.
The vehicle that the party really focused on was the 1975 Chevy van.
Chevy Van Classic front
The paint is a pearlescent white at the top of the van, and has a lavender bottom, with the paint colors blended, including a darker purple flop and a classy amount of metal flake added.  The wheels are Cragger mags, and the back wheels are slightly larger than the front ones, giving the van an aggressive stance.
The windows on the back doors are painted over.  There are no windows on the main cab of the van, and the driver and passenger doors are tinted cop killer black.
All of the chrome work on the van is super shiny, where someone has obviously spent a fortune on getting it all nickel plated, then triple chromed.  This was someone’s labor of love.
The inside is truly classy plush shag carpet, with four captains chairs all of which swivel around to a post in the middle where a steel tube can be attached with a small table to play cards and hold your beer cans on.
Image result for 1975 chevy van shag carpet
The party is wary.  Rob never gives out something as nice as this.  There must be a catch.  There must be.
Eric is nervous.  He decides that he is going to carefully open the hood of the van, and pop the battery cable off the post.  This kills whatever power might be on the security system.
Eric opens the door, and finds out this this van is even better than they thought.  It has a full 8-track music system, and even better, it has a case of 8-tracks.
Image result for 8 track cassette case
There is vintage gold in the case.  Golden Earring, Blue Oyster Cult, The Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings, The Carpenters, Fleetwood Mac Rumors, and six Dianna Ross cassettes.  The party is upset, because there are no Beatles cassettes.  Mike sat and sulked because there were no Beatles tapes.  He kept muttering to himself that when he had an 8-track, he had several Beatles cassettes.
The van also has a CB radio.  None of the party clued into that when I was telling them about the van interior.  They were too fixated on the fact that there was an air mattress in the back on the shag carpet, and a large wooden box that included a healthy supply of condoms, lube and the marijuana.  Mike grabbed the pot.  I think he wanted to make sure that it was properly secured.  Shari grabbed all of the lube.  No one bothered with the box or the condoms.
Eric noticed that in the back of the van, there were really odd metal poles that were bolted onto the bottom frame of the van, and created a large frame in the back.  There were ample tie points on the frame also.  It almost looked like this van had the ability to restrain someone… I wonder what that would be useful for?
The only thing the van was missing was some sweet graphics like this…
Image result for chevy rape van
Mike wants to know where the keys are, after all, it would be a shame to ruin this van by having to hotwire it.  Against all odds, the keys were above the sun visor, and they fell right into Mikes hands when he tilted the visor down.
Bill was concerned.  There must be something wrong with this van.  Rob never gives away anything that is nice or useful.  Never.  Never.
Eric goes and reconnects the battery under the hood.  The entire party is concerned now.  Bill has been going on for so long about how Rob never does anything good, ever, that they are now all worried.
Geez, all I was trying to do was give the party something nice, to see how long they could keep it nice before it gets wrecked.
The prize was in the grocery store though.  The party needed to get the drugs from the store to help the little girl back at the warehouse.
The party wants to know what the inside of the store looks like.  It is dark.  There are so many sale posters up on the windows that no light is getting in the store.
Mike spends about 5 minutes looking at the door, trying to figure out if it is a good idea to open it or not.  The entrance has two doors.  The doors swing on a hinge, and if there were power, when a person stepped on a pressure mat, the door would open.  Shari tells the rest of the players at the table that these pressure mats only worked for people who wore shoes, but if you tried it barefoot, the mats wouldn’t work.  Shari speaks with authority, so we decide to let her have her moment.  No one calls BS on her.  We really don’t know for sure.
The doors are not locked, and are easily pushed in.  The party slowly enters the HEB, wearing shoes, hoping that it isn’t a trap.
Mike goes for the liquor section of the store.  He finds it, and immediately starts breaking the glass out of the security system to get at the liquor.
Everyone still hopes it isn’t a trap.
Well, it is.  The book says six zombies per player.  The players get into the HEB, then all hell breaks loose.  While Eric, Collin and Shari run like the wind outside, Mike and Bill are left, surrounded by zombies.
Mike is able to get away.
Bill is not so lucky.  He is surrounded and bit several times.  He isn’t able to shake all of the wounds.  Bill declares that he is going to immolate himself, pouring flammable liquid onto himself, and then charging the group of zombies closest to the liquor cabinets.
Billimolation runs at the zombies, and starts the store on fire.
Everyone runs to the van, and just as the fast zombies catch up, Mike tosses the keys to Eric, Mike crawls in and shuts the sliding door on the van, Eric starts up the van, and slides over to the passenger seat, and Collin gets in to drive.
The Chev 350 sounds good.  Somoene did some major work on the engine, it rumbles, and sounds pretty nice.  The engine is backed up by some rodded glass packs.  Collin starts driving away, and the zombies follow.
Shari asks if she should help Bill.  Bill says “I am dead”.  I remind Bill that he will not be dead in a short while.  Well, kind of not dead any more.  Shari decides that it is not worth trying to save the corpse that was once bill.  CTWOB, kind of like TAFKAP.  I wonder what symbol CTWOB would use.
Image result for tafkap
The party is distressed because they have no meds.  I don’t think that they are as worried about losing the detective.  Maybe they were.
The zombies pour out of the HEB, and start following the van as it rumbles slowly around the store.  Collin starts having them trail out like a tail, and then gets enough zombies behind them that he can race forward, and let the rest of the party jump out of the van, get on top of it, and get to the ladder to the HEB roof.
The party finds the roof is locked, but Mike is able to use his crowbar, and his benny for a second roll to pry open the access door on the roof.
As soon as the door is open, smoke roils out from the fire inside.  Mike bravely scales the ladder, after describing how he will keep out the smoke by urinating on a rag, and tieing it around his mouth.  This was said in the game store at a higher volume than the rest of the game conversation for some reason.  When Mike declared this, Jirimiah, Lisa and several other people all looked up like “what the hell is going on over there?”
Mike descends and finds that other than the store being on fire, there do not appear to be any zombie threats.  He goes back up, and everyone decides to come down.  Shari takes the crowbar and gently opens the door the the pharmacy, and Eric and Mike start looking for cold medicine.  I explain to them that they are in the pharmacy, and only prescriptions are here, the normal cold and flu stuff is out in the store.
There is a corpse on the floor, with a gun nearby.  It appears that the pharmacist killed himself.
With complication comes inspiration.  Eric starts gathering all of the bags of prepared bags of medicine.  A very large amount of bags are filled with amoxicillin, and speak about treatment for Chlamydia.  There appears to have been an outbreak before the outbreak here in town.
Mike and Eric, both being athletes know what sort of opiate drugs are the best to have, and make sure that they gather all of the opiates, and other similar drugs.
After a short while, the party gathers all of the drugs they can find, put them all into plastic bins and shopping baskets and shuttle them up the ladder onto the roof.
By this time, there are many zombies trying to get into the van that Collin was sitting in.  Collin did the same thing, driving around slowly, creating a tail of zombies following him around.  After a while, enough zombies are following far enough back that the Collin can drive back, the rest of the party (except Bill) come down, get into the van with their huge selection of drugs.
The party moves on, driving around, and they realize that they have no idea how to get back to the warehouse.  As they drive around, Collin notices the road is exploding behind them.  Collin accelerates, then turns left down a side street into a construction zone.  Collin rolls so well on his driving roll that he doesn’t get any dust or dirt on the van from the construction site.
As they continue on, they see the new Bill character.  He is a Roman Leginaire
Image result for roman centurion
His name is Biggus Dickus, or maybe it was Vibratta Clitoris, Suppositorious or Overanxious Odus .
Bill is all about removing the huns that have attacked the capital.  He quickly gets into the van, and is ready to work with the group.  He likes the carriage that the Senators are driving him around in.
The van gets driven back to the warehouse eventually.  There are hundreds of zombies on each side of the warehouse.  This is where the conversation gets interesting.  Eric wants to have the vehicle driven up next to a man door, and the party will open up the sliding door on the van, the man door will open up into the warehouse, and the party can enter.  Collin had a long conversation about man doors on buildings.  For some reason, he was concerned about these.

Image result for mandoor

Collin has a problem with man doors.  I am not sure what they ever did to Collin, but Collin is really wigged out about them.

It ends up that the party drives around and gets another tail of zombies following, and empties out one side.  In a complicated throw, Bill’s centurion shows off his throwing skills and throws a tire iron with a rope attached onto the roof.  It is retrieved by the people at the top who take the drugs from the party.

Things are supposed to go smoothly from here.  They don’t.  The zombies overrun the warehouse.  But since the party didn’t go back into the warehouse, they didn’t get into the boss fight, but as they drive away, they see the spurt of blood arcing from the people on the top of the building, as zombies consume the people that just got the medications.

Well, that sucks.

As the party drives away, the sun is setting, it is kind of pretty, and an apache helicopter crashes right in front of them.

More later.

Savage Worlds – War of the Dead Episode 10



All right, I don’t really know what episode we are on for War of the Dead.  We played this campaign for quite a while last year, then stopped and played a bunch of other games.  I had a hankering for getting back to this campaign.  I also wanted to play some Savage Worlds.  Eric wanted to play some post apocalyptic stuff.  Mike wanted Sue to come back.  His government minder, Bill (cover story Bill is Mike’s brother from Arizona, but we all know the truth).  Sue wanted to come back, but she was hip deep in some deep cover spy action Keeping America Great Again (KAGA!) in the Bible Belt of ‘Merica.

Collin and Shari wanted to play a game, any game.  They are pretty much up for just about anything as long as Collin gets to plot the demise of the rest of the party, or in a boardgame, make sure that he wins by a significant spread of victory points.  Shari is up for just about anything, as long as it allows her to be either the kingmaker or cause chaos.

Bill didn’t show up again.  It was obvious that Bill was following the last gasp tours of the great musicians of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s again.

I went to Seattle for a joint IMSA / ITE conference this week on Monday.  I saw that Air Supply was touring, and was stopping at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma.  I knew what Bill was doing this weekend.  I mean, what else would a self respecting 22 year old man do, rather than come and listen to the hits of a bygone era, from before he was born?

I mean, look at these guys.  Who wouldn’t want to go and listen to their hits?


These guys are on a major world tour, hitting all of the casinos, riverboat gambling halls, and even some major time share resorts.

And the short guy is all butched up with tattoos to look like he is tough.


Nothing lends street cred to your song “All out of love” like some tats on your arms.

When I go to the Air Supply site, and look at their VIP tickets, the following is on the FAQ site for the VIP experience…


So we know that Bill was there in the crowd, belting out the lyrics to all the best Air Supply songs, like:

  • Making love out of nothing at all
  • Lost in love
  • All out of love
  • The one that you love
  • Young love
  • Keeping the love alive
  • Power of love

I need to find out from Bill if any of Air Supply’s songs didn’t include the word “Love” in the title.

I also want to know how many of the fans in the audience look like this…


So other than Bill going to the Air Supply final reunion tour, what else happened?

Collin brought me a moving box that had the Cool Mini or Not (CMON) Rising Sun game.  The group Kickstarted this for me last year, in appreciation for me running games most weekend for the group.

So what is Rising Sun?  I have no freaking idea.  The minis are amazing.  Here is a screen capture of some of the monsters from the rule book.  And yes, they really do look that good.


The rulebook also includes the following as the objective of the game.

Rising Sun is a board game for 3 to 5 players set in legendary feudal Japan.  Players compete to lead their Clans to victory by accumulating Victory Points over the course of the Seasons. Players will forge and break alliances, choose political actions, worship the gods, customize their clans, and position their figures around Japan. Victory Points can be gained in several ways, from winning battles, to harvesting the right provinces, to playing to the Virtues accumulated by your Clan. By the time Winter arrives, the player with the most points will rule the Land of the Rising Sun!

There are several clans which the players play.  These include the clans of Bonsai, Koi, Dragonfly, Lotus and Turtle.  That is in the base box.  The Kickstarter included several additional clans, including the Kickstarter Exclusive Fox clan and two other clans which I don’t remember the name of.

The minis are absolutely amazing.  I only hope that I can do them justice.  The Rising Sun Kickstarter included pictures of minis that they painted, and they look amazing.  Here are some of the pics that really grabbed me.

This guy is painted in yellow.  I have a really hard time painting yellow.  Every pot of yellow paint that I own seems to take a lot of layers to get the color depth, and it tends to need to be thick enough that it can dull the details.  Thankfully, these minis are way better than the Zombicide minis, and there is some real depth to the detail.







The minis are really amazing for this game.  I need to restate, that the pictures above are not of my painted minis.  These are painted professionally by CMON people, and they did an amazing job on them.  I will be looking closely at them for inspiration.  I probably won’t copy colors, but looking for how they brought out the detail, and trying to figure out how I can do something that is close to help make the minis as beautiful as I can.

I will tell you, there was a lot of interest in this huge box of minis.  Several of the people who paint minis were really interested in these guys.  The monsters are just as detailed.  There are several Japanese style dragons, which are always cool.  There is also a Godzilla like Kaiju.

There are a lot of minis to paint for this game.  The game play looks pretty good.  Eric said that he watched it being played earlier in the week at a meetup gaming group, and the people seemed to like it.

So I have managed to prattle on for about Bill and Air Supply, and about the amazing game for Rising Sun.  What else has happened?

Last week, the auto repair shop declared that the Dodge Dynasty is dead.  Long live the Dynasty.  It was a good car, for the three weeks we had it before the engine was toasted.  That means that we are looking for another vehicle.  Damn.  I get it, shit happens, but spending about two grand on a vehicle then having it die because the fluids were not checked is maddening.  Life lesson.  Kids are expensive.  I will get over it, but shit.

Like I said, I went to the joint ITE / IMSA meeting in Seattle last Monday.  ITE is the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and IMSA is the International Municipal Signal Association.  I have worked through the chairs of the NW Section of IMSA, and am a past president of that section.  It was a lot of work, and was a good experience, but it taught me that I really want to avoid responsibilities in non profit groups.  There are too many needs, and too few people who are willing to step up and give their time to the needs of the organization.  Both organizations are great.  The people in the organizations are great, but they all have their own lives.  Too many people would like to just be able to come to the conferences and benefit from them, without putting in the effort it takes to volunteer and help run the conferences.  I get it, life is busy.  I gave four years to running the chairs, finding conference spaces, trying to get people involved.  I got burned out, and now I am one of the people who goes to the conferences and runs away when I see someone trying to create a committee.  The conference was pretty good.  I got to talk with a lot of people who were selling stuff, along with other people who do what I do.  I met up with a lot of old friends in the Seattle area, and caught up on things.  The drive wasn’t a lot of fun.  It is a long drive to Seattle from Vancouver.  Thankfully, the traffic wasn’t as bad as I remembered from past trips.

The rest of the week was pretty much normal.  Work was work.  I got a lot done.  I watched a couple of movies at night, and remembered why I don’t care for Tom Cruise.  I tried watching the Mummy, and even though it was free to watch, I didn’t care at all about it.  It wasn’t good.  It wasn’t bad.  I just couldn’t care about the plot.  The special effects were good, but no matter how much fluff you put into the view of the picture, if the plot is not good, the plot is not good.  Having Tom Cruise in the movie didn’t help.  I find Tom to be really boring.  Some actors are good enough that you don’t focus on the actor, instead you see the role.  Tom Cruise has about all of the acting talent that Pauly Shore brings to the camera.  Tom Cruise is also like Pauly Shore, where both actors have had one significantly good movie, and the rest are pretty much bad.

Pauly Shore’s good movie was “In the Army Now”, which actually was a really good movie, and if you were in the army, you could really appreciate it, I mean a lot.

Tom Cruise also has one type of movie that is good, rather than one movie.  This is the type where he dies.  Interview with a Vampire Valyrie, and Edge of Tomorrow are good examples of this type of movie.  I really don’t like Tom Cruise.  I find his “acting” style to be repetitive boring and pretty much meh.  The one role that I did like him in was as the producer in Tropic Thunder.  Now that was acting.  I had heard that the Mummy was panned by the critics.  I can tell you that I tried watching it.  I made it through all but the last 20 minutes, and then I just turned it off.  I didn’t care about how it ended.  That was how meh it was.

I usually don’t do that.  I am a connoisseur of bad movies.  the more schlocky the better.  But the Mummy wasn’t bad, it was just meh, and it wasn’t worth the time to watch the last 20 minutes of it after spending the first hour and a half.  I can think of one other show that I did this in.  The Battlestar Galactica TV show as awesome, until the final season.  I turned off the final episode with 20 minutes to go.  I just didn’t care.  I spent several years watching the show, and then… bleh.  I didn’t care.  The show was pretty awesome for the first several years, then it was like Oprah, “You are a Cylon, and You are a Cylone!  You all are Cylons!”  Who the fuck cares?  But when they got to the end of it all, I just shut it off.  I did the same thing with Sons of Anarchy.  After Jax waffled on killing Clay for the 16th time, then he killed Clay, it was like “who cares?”

Maybe I am alone in this view, but at some point, if your show runs out of ideas, just kill it.  There is something in the entertainment industry that needs to fill movie times in exact intervals of 15 minutes.  The movie must be 90, 105, 120 minutes long, or else.  Preferably 105 minutes, including the intro and exit credits.  That means that you have to write the story to include extra shit, or cut out very important plot points to meet the specific time requirements.

TV is the same way.  The shows must be written to have a story arc that covers 22 weekly episodes, each with exactly 41 minutes of plot to accommodate the intro and exit credits, along with advertisement breaks, and each story line must end with a cliffhanger.  If you only have 14 episodes worth of material, you need to come up with the extra 8 episodes worth of material, even if it sucks.

The brits have the right idea.  Run a show for the required amount of time that it takes to tell the story, and then stop.  Leave the audience wanting more.  The exception to this is Doctor Who.  Some people love Doctor Who.  I used to watch it religiously, but there was a point a few years back where I decided that statues that crept up on you when you weren’t looking was a bit thin related to a plot.  Doctor Who is a religion for some people, like Star Trek or Star Wars and the Marvel movie world.

I did find a movie that I do want to watch… Super

This seems to have the type of irreverent humor that appeals to me.  Plus it has Rainn Wilson, Michel Rooker, and Nathan Fillion.

But that has nothing to do with playing Savage Worlds, now does it?

So we met Saturday and oogled at the minis for Rising Sun.  Then we sat down to play. Savage Worlds, End of the World.  Collin, Shari, Bill, Mike and Eric.

It had been a year since we played this particular game last.  We had to remember the basic mechanics.  Roll to hit against the parry, then roll against toughness to see if you actually did any wounds.  Unless it is ranged attack…

Long story short, we had to spend some time relearning the game mechanics.  We also had to relearn where we were in the book.  I started describing the situation that the party was in, and one of the players would say “We already did that… remember, this is where we murdered the little girl…”  OK, maybe it wasn’t murder, maybe they just let the little girl die.  Eventually, the players and the DM synched up and got the adventure going.

The adventure was supposed to be simple.  But this group never allows it to work that way.  There were three simple vignettes, each was supposed to challenge the party, and give them a moral dilemma to figure out what to do.

The first one involved the party coming across an armored truck with three soldiers in it, surrounded by 24 zombies.  They could hear from inside the truck that the soldiers were in dire straights, and were about to run out of ammunition.  What to do?  What to do?

Well, sneak on by and realize that this was not the party’s problem, right?  Hmmm.  That is what they initially tried, then Mike realized that Diablo Americano had a moral obligation to help out the needy.  You know, that cursed role playing attribute that he took to make the character interesting.  Also, Bill’s old man character had a bloodlust problem with killing off zombies because the zombies killed off his entire family.

So, begrudgingly, the party tries to help the three soldiers in need.  It doesn’t go so well.  The soldiers are surrounded by not only walkers, but also sprinters.  Bill. the Corporal NPC. Collin and Mike are quickly surrounded by sprinters.  Collin and Mike run for it, leaving Bill’s old man with a cane and the corporal fending for their lives.  Things don’t go well for either of them, surrounded by multiple zombies, Bill and the corporal die.  Badly. Bill Senior was able to play Savage Worlds for approximately 30 minutes before he died.  Now Bill did nothing wrong.  He thought that the right thing to do was to help the party, and in turn, he was surrounded by ravenous zombies and died.  Bill Senior learned a valuable lesson.  Never help the party in a Zombie game.  Things don’t work well for that.  Let the other members of the party die, run away, save your self.

Being a true experienced role player, Mike pulled out another sheet for his government minder to play.  This guy is an aging glam rock star who has an electric guitar that he bashes the bad guys with.  He also has a smoking habit and if he can’t keep his smokes around, he will start getting the shakes from lack of nicotine.

Then the second mini scenario involved the party coming across a car with a mother and toddler surrounded by a large group of zombies.  The baby was screaming, the mother was freaked out.  the party stood around and observed, thinking that it would be nice to have a car.  Maybe they can get rid of the zombies, and push the woman and toddler out, and drive away.

In the end, the party begrudgingly decides to help out.  Kind of.  They draw the zombies away, and the woman gets out of the car… too soon… and is mauled by the zombies.  She goes down, the toddler takes some bites, and Eric shoots the toddler to put her out of her misery.

See how thoughtful this group is.  They then run away, trying to get some distance between them and the zombies.

A short while later, they come across a gun store with four vehicles, 48 zombies and a living human on the roof that has a sniper rifle, killing some zombies in the crowd.  How to help?  How to help?  Eric decides to “help” by shooting at the gas tanks of the cars, to get them to drain some of the fuel on the pavement amongst the zombies, and then Collin will throw a lit road flare at the fuel.  Unfortunately, the fuel not only engulfs the zombies and cars, it also engulfs the building, and the man on the top of the building takes offense to his building catching fire, and starts shooting at Collin.  Now this is a high powered rifle, a Barrett 50 caliber sniper rifle.  The man is a good shot, but Collin is living the old football days, dodging around, and only gets four very large bullet holes in his football jersey.  Collin is not happy, but realizes that it is time to get away, so does the rest of the party.

Now, if the party had actually “helped” in any of these vignettes, things would have been good.  If they had saved the man on top of the gun store, they would have each received two firearms, and 10 fully loaded clips for each of those firearms.  But the fact that they didn’t actually help makes things worse.  Collin and Eric have no shame, and are completely unaffected by the fact that they didn’t help, at all, but the other three players all start with two fewer bennies for the next four sessions.  Guilt.  Guilt is a bad thing.

We finished up after this, and played another game called Skull, a bluffing game that Eric brought.  Skull is a fun little game, but completely nonsensical, as I sucked royally at it.  If I can’t even win one hand, let along losing every goddamn hand royally, it is obviously the game sucking, not my ability as a player.

The Saga of Pun Pun, the Kobold Part 3


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The past fortnight has gone very quickly.

We arrived back in town after our long journey back from the giant wasp escapade.  The fighter made a lot of noise the entire trip back.  I was not aware that a being could make so many groans, sighs and grunts per league.  Maybe this is also part of his training.  The fighter keeps telling me that he is a girl.  However, he doesn’t want to partake in the traditional anal sweep to be sure.  I am very confused, as he told me that if I try, I will pull back a nub.  I am not sure what a “nub” is, but I think that must be his male genitalia, after all, if the fighter was a girl, there would be nothing to pull back.  The ways and traditions of the surface dwellers are very confusing.

Dre is in high spirits.  He continues to chatter, sing and bang on things.  I am not sure what his specific role in the tribe is.  I know that he is not the witch doctor, as the Druwitch is fulfilling that role.  The Third is very quiet.  I haven’t seen him at all for the last several weeks.  He may be hiding under conjured rocks again, and I just don’t know where to look.  I kind of like The Third.  He is a very interesting surface dweller.

We arrived back in town late at night.  We would have arrived earlier, but the fighter insisted on walking at a slow pace during the entire return march.  I have heard of elite fighting forces that march at a very slow pace to show their prowess at synchronized movements. It is a martial skill, to be able to march at a maddeningly slow pace.  The fighter may be practicing this.  He kept wincing as though in pain, while making sounds like “ugh”, “ah” and “eee”, which I think may have been some sort of cadence to help the slow march return to town.  I was very surprised though, as I thought that a marching cadence was something that was done rhythmically to help everyone keep in step.  I tried to follow along with the fighter, but whatever he was doing did not transfer to the shorter step of a Kobold.

When we arrived back in town, late at night, we went to Commander Knowles office, and found that the door was locked.  Dre knocked loudly on the door but it appeared that Commander Knowles went somewhere else for the evening.  The fighter showed leadership by insisting that the party find a bunk at the nearby barracks and bedding down for the night.  I volunteered to stand watch at the door, ready to report first thing when Commander Knowles came in the next morning.  The rest of the tribe is getting better at being stealthy.  I was looking at the door when I mentioned that I would stand guard, and by the time I turned around, the rest of the tribe was gone out of sight.

I spent the entire night waiting for Commander Knowles.  At first bell, Commander Knowles came in, I reported to him about our successful mission.  Commander Knowles seemed to be distracted, and only responded by saying something like “yeah, uh huh, ok, go get some sleep”.

I found the rest of the tribe, and napped until they were ready to get up and report to Commander Knowles.  The fighter and Dre had an unusual ritual for waking up.  They moved stiffly, and appeared to be in pain.  Their faces winced in pain, as their bone joints popped and snapped and they kept mumbling something about “couvfee”.  They were bleary eyed until they drank the hot smoky brown liquid.  The couvfee seemed to have magical powers that made them feel much better.  Shortly after drinking the hot smoky smelling brown liquid, they appeared to be much more awake, and their eyes no longer were bleary.  The fighter was also really cranky until he had two cups of couvfee.  Dre mixed lactated extract of a mammal’s breast into his couvfee.

The druwitch didn’t seem to need this type of ritual.  She woke up, tended her weasel familiar, then made sure her goat mount was OK, then she started looking for food for herself.  I was impressed that she would take care of her familiar and mount before taking care of herself.  The druwitch may be an OK being, for a gnome at least.  I am not sure that we can trust her, since she is a gnome, and they are all horrific creatures that spout demon spawn from their fingers.  Cross a gnome, and you will see their pleasant faced aura drop, and the true horror of their being comes out, fiery eyes, smoke escaping from their nostrils, tentacles escaping from their armpits.  Gnomes keep the glamour, or aura up making them seem like likable creatures until they are crossed, then they lose their glamour spell and true evil beings come out.  It is best to keep the druwitch on my good side. I am still trying to figure out what this demon wants.  Probably to steal the souls of unknowing creatures.

We reported to Commander Knowles and met a new member of our tribe, and he is *dreamy*.  I would brood an egg for him any day of the week.  His name is Zedar, and he is 100 percent Dragonborn.  Tall, dark and handsome, He even is a spellcaster.  Think of the possibilities of having a clutch of eggs with this amazing creature.

I am sure that he likes me, but he is playing shy and hard to get.  I just can’t overplay my hand, and let him know too much that I want him..  Need him.. must have him as mine.  Normally, we Kobolds are not latched to a specific mate.  We share mates, and that helps make sure that the generations are well mixed.  But in this case, Zedar is mine, all mine.  If anyone tries to get between us, there will be consequences.  Dire consequences.

But enough, for now, about Zedar.  As truly beautifully amazing as he is.

We met with Commander Knowles and he told us what our schedule was going to be.  As entry members into the Order of the Crown, we must prove our selves by performing normal patrolling, guarding and escorting as directed.

Commander Knowles wanted to have us designate a leader.  I know that I am not a leader.  I am a simple Kobold.  The obvious leader was the fighter.  He knows how to take a punch and not die, maybe be very injured, but not die.  This is very important for a leader, as inevitably, some young turk will try to take your leadership away, and you need to be able to have the snot kicked out of you and still live.  The fighter has demonstrated this skill several times already, so that made him my first choice as leader.  The rest of the tribe agreed.  The Third was hiding so well in the office that no one noticed who he voted for.

When I nominated the fighter, I told Commander Knowles that I nominated Layalot, the Vigilante to be the leader.  The fighter looked confused, and he corrected me.  I need to remember that is isn’t Layalot, it is Liealot.

Commander Knowles gave a small clear orb to the fighter, we are to come and report any time that the globe glows or pulses a glow.  I am glad that the responsibility for this orb was given to Liealot, not me, as I don’t always wear clothes, and I might leave it in a pile of my robe, only to return and find it stolen.  Liealot, the fighter always covers his body with multiple layers of clothing.  I am unsure of what these surface dwellers are doing, hiding their bodies in shame.  I wear a simple robe to keep the burning gaze of the hateful orb off my body.

The Order of the Crown appears to be testing our abilities.  The missions so far appear to be pretty straightforward, without much intrigue.  The first mission we went on was to patrol the market during the day.  Our presence was intended to make the market goers feel safe, and hopefully keep the cutpurses away.

The tribe goes on the mission, and we wander through the market.  To be honest, we really didn’t have any training, and we were simply trying to not look like fools.  Shortly after we arrived at the market, we were assailed by a butcher who was trying to get us to purchase spiced meat.  He wanted three silver pieces for a portion of spiced meat.

The fighter and I knew that the only reason you “spice” meat is to cover up the rot.  This is a perfectly acceptable practice in Kobold tribes.  Meat spoils, and sometimes lesser beings need to have some way to hide the smell and taste of meat that has turned.  I have never had this problem.  My stomach is cast iron, and I can eat anything.  While the spiced meat sounded very appealing, spending an entire day’s wages on turned meat did not seem like a good way to spend money.  Besides, I needed to save my salary for paying for training by the Order of the Crown.

We pushed on, and shortly after that, there was a loud cry, and a horse drawn carriage bolted towards us.  The carriage careened through the crowd.  We quickly noticed that there was no one guiding the carriage, the horse was running wild.

We all jumped into action.  The druwitch and Dre started moving people out of the way, Zedar, the fighter and I ran towards the carriage, hoping to leap onto it and grab the reigns to halt its wild ride.  As it got close, I leaped into the carriage and grabbed the reigns and pulled hard on them, trying to stop the horse.  I may be small, but when I need to be, I can be very strong.  The fighter lept into the carriage and also grabbed the reigns and pulled even harder.  Zedar tried to leap up, and instead brushed by the side of the carriage.  Thankfully, Dreamboat was not injured.  Dre tried to leap onto the carriage as it passed, and missed, falling face first into a puddle.  The druwitch kept people safe.

The fighter and I stopped the carriage, and I immediately melt into the crowd, looking for more danger.  This was a good thing, and Liealot knew what to do, as the leader, he immediately took the credit for the tribe’s actions.  Being the leader, he basked in the glory of the successful mission.  As a Kobold, I understand that a simple tribe member exists only to make the leader look good.  I have no aspirations to be a leader, as having praise heaped upon me makes me feel uncomfortable.  It is good that one member of the tribe wants this praise, and is willing to take it from strangers who within a half a bell will likely not remember the name of their benefactor, and within two bells will forget the entire ordeal.

The shaman of my tribe told us several times that no one remembers the names of the heroes.  Only the bad ones are remembered.  If you want the glory, you should be a bad person who does despicable acts that will be remembered for generations.  I am not bad, and have no desire to become bad.  I worry that Liealot the Vigilante may be interested in being remembered.

The druwitch finds what likely spooked the horse. .  The horse has a large bite in her leg, about the size of a giant rat.  The druid patches up the horse, and I go for the high ground, looking for any other giant rats in the area.  There are none to be seen, but there are several sewer holes and grates.  It is likely that the culprit is in one of the sewers.  No one wants to go into the sewers to look for rats.  The druwitch and the fighter are adamant that the sewers are not in our patrol area.

We have some downtime after the market patrol, and Liealot convinces me that I should go with her to her church.  As a Kobold, the concept of a church is very interesting.  As near as I can tell, Liealot’s church takes money from the members and then sings, prays, and uses most of the money to build great monuments to their belief system, and gives a small pittance to the poor and needy.

I find this very odd.  I keep hearing from the surface dwellers about how Kobolds are sub-beasts, and obviously not civilized.  This is confusing to me.  The surface dwellers allow some portion of their people to live in squalor, and make them beg for alms.  Then some of the wealthier surface dwellers begrudgingly give small portions of their wealth to the church, presumably to cleanse their beings for a better afterlife, and the church then gives a very small portion to the beings living in squalor.

The surface dwellers also must pay more of their money to the nobles, so that the nobles can live a comfortable life, and apparently all the nobles do is breed, eat and occasionally ride their horses around the area, looking down upon all that they rule.  Meanwhile, farmers, craftsmen and merchants work hard to make something that they can trade to get the medicine, food, and lodging they need.  The nobles take their money that is taxed from everyone and pay a standing militia to keep the people under control.

This is civilized.

Kobolds work for the good of the tribe.  We all have jobs, and work to get things done.  There are no nobles.  Kobolds do jobs that are in line with their abilities to keep the tribe alive.  We have no possessions, so there is nothing to tax.  When we are attacked, we all fight to protect the tribe.  No Kobolds live in squalor.  No single Kobold goes hungry.  They all succeed or fail together.

This is not civilized.

The trip to the church was an eye opening experience.  At one point, Liealot told me that he was going to fast.  He wasn’t moving very quickly to start with, and ended up not moving very quickly while he was fasting.  Liealot had a long explanation about how he wouldn’t eat or drink while fasting, except that he would eat or drink small amounts.  I don’t see what not eating or drinking or only eating or drinking small amounts would help you go faster, but he seemed to think that this was a good thing to do.  Something about cleansing his soul.  I don’t know about this church thing.  They did have magnificent buildings, and beautiful ornamentation.  I decided not to ask Liealot about how may starving beings living in squalor could have been fed if they had a small wooden structure instead of an enormous cut and polished stone structure with massive gold arches.  I also decided not to ask if the beings who were living in squalor were fasting to cleanse their soul, or if they were simply starving to death.  These are questions for later.

Dre spent his downtime going from tavern to tavern, looking for work.  He evidently makes money by performing in front of people, hoping that they will put coin in his hat while he performs.  I don’t know how successful Dre is, as he appears to drink and eat his earnings instead of banking them.  Dre has a curious performance style.  He speaks rhythmically, while pounding on things.  I observed him doing this on the street in the market one afternoon, and many people seemed to show their appreciation by hurrying by him and not making eye contact.  Some people would throw coppers into Dre’s hat, but the vast majority of people hurried by.  Some of the people who had hatchlings would place their hands on the hatchling’s heads and turn the gaze of the hatchlings away from Dre as they hurried by.  Several of these people did not understand that Dre is not a street person, and actually has a good paying job.  They would say things to their hatchlings like “if you don’t learn to read, you will end up doing this” and “People who can’t get into the infantry are left with jobs like this”.  I am not sure if they were providing guidance that their hatchlings should, or should not busk for change in the market.  I was kind of surprised that Dre was the only busker that I saw who didn’t have a sheaf of paper with an official seal from the city prominently displayed near his hat.

The Third successfully hid behind conjured rocks the entire fortnight.

The druwitch spent her time getting to know other druwitches, hoping to learn more.  I can see that she is busy trying to develop her coven, so she can become stronger, and eventually do what covens of witches do.  I figure that she is working to open a portal to bring Orcus and his minions into this plane of existence.  That would be bad.  I don’t understand why a seemingly rational being would want to bring Orcus into this plane.  Orcus is a bad hombre.  After some careful thought, I realized that the druwitch’s mount is a goat, which ties her to the cult of Orcus.  Orcus is part goat, with goat head and legs, and is covered by goat hair.  I will need to keep an eye on the druwitch.  The church that Liealot attends may be a good thing to be close to, as they may be able to help destroy the coven of witches who are trying to bring Orcus here.  I need to bide my time and gather information so that I can get help in destroying this coven before things get too out of hand.

After watching the goings on at the church, I decided that I could be more useful working for Temujin, the armorer.  He is the cow/human halfbreed.  I know how half elves are made, an elf and a human have marital relations, and you get a half elf halfbreed.  The same thing applies to when a dwarf daddy mates with an elf mommy.  Similar to half orcs.  Now, given the comments that the farmer had on our trip to defeat the wasps, about us not bothering the animals in the stalls, I wonder who buggered who to be Temujin’s parents.  It is probably best not to ask.  There may have been some magic involved, or possibly too much ale.

Anyhow, for a cow/human haflbreed, Temujin seems ok enough.  He lets me work in his armory making fire arrows all day long during the downtimes.

At one point, Dre came in wanting some better armor.  Now Dre has an odd sense of humor that doesn’t seem to be understood by many other beings.  Dre started asking about how to improve his armor, as he only has simple leather armor.  There is not hing wrong with leather armor, as that is what I wear. Dre wanted to be tougher.  Evidently, his training of being beat into the ground to toughen him up is not going as well as it is going for Liealot.  Temujin shows him various armor types, and Dre is upset that he will have to pay for any improvements to the armor he has.  Dre is enamored with the plate armor, and thinks that would be pretty sweet, but recoils at the exorbitant price that Temujin wants for the plate armor.

Dre starts asking about other forms of armor, and mentions that he would like to have Kobold armor.  Temujin says that Kobold skin is no better than other leather, and Dre presses the point, joking (I think) by saying that my skin would make a good hat.  Now by this time, I have been working in Temujin’s armory for several days, and have made a nice selection of fire arrows for him, and Temujin appears to value the weapons that I am making.  Temujin impresses upon Dre that this is not something to make fun about.  Dre tries to play it off as a big joke, but Temujin seems to take offense to the comments.  The moral of the story is, it is OK to joke about those not in your tribe, but never joke about those in your tribe.

Our next job is to act as an escort to the tax collector.  The tax collector’s name is Nemen, and he is a pretty serious person.  He takes his job seriously.  He has a book, a backpack and a short sword.  We talk about his experiences, and ask if he has ever had brigands try to take the tax money from him.  He tells us a couple of tales about being attacked where one of the escorts was killed, beheaded even.  Nemen tells us not to worry, as we are going to be in the market area during the day, and that should be pretty quiet.  Now if we were going to the docks, or outside the walls, there might be more problems.

We follow Nemen throughout his rounds, and things are pretty quiet.  Nothing notable happens. It looks like the citizens aren’t happy about paying taxes, but they understand that someone has to provide the nobles with the lifestyle that the gods granted them.

Several more days of downtime happen.  I make more fire arrows for Temujin.  Liealot and Dre go to the church district and busk for money.  There is much discussion between them about how much of the funds need to be donated to the church.  Liealot wants half, Dre wants a small percentage.  After a full day of singing and playing their instruments, they have gathered about 50 copper and a silver.  Dre promises to give all of it to the poor.  This seems to make Liealot happy.

We are sent on another patrol.  This time, something exciting happens.  Liealot and Dre see something suspicious.  Dre goes over to talk to a person wearing brown pants and a green cloak, and has a bag.  Zedar stands and looks menacingly at the guy.  Liealot stands back and looks really agro.  I climb up the side of the building and wait to see what happens.  If this bad guy does anything to Dre, I will rain down fire arrows from above.  Dre demands to know what is going on, and the bad guy stands there and argues with Dre.  Lialot and the druwitch notice that people are walking towards the bad guy, and when they see the might of the Order of the Crown’s presence at this location the other people quickly turn around and go away.  The druwitch decides to follow one bad guy who turned away, and chases him down.  He claims that he has done nothing wrong, and when asked why he was running, he tells the druwitch that he was running because she was chasing him.  Well, I would probably run if a demon filled gnome was following me also, but that’s not the point here.  The druwitch brings the runner back and starts interrogating him.

Now I am not an expert in interrogation, but when the bad guys say “I have rights” and they don’t want to talk, that is obviously proof that they are doing something wrong.  If you have nothing to hide, then there is nothing to be worried about from the Order of the Crown.  The arguments proceeds, things get heated, and the druwitch tells her familiar to sniff the bad guy.  The weasel sniffs the guy and his bag, and doesn’t react as though anything is bad.

Then another group of the Order of the Crown arrives.  The leader of this group has a silver badge, and appears to have a different take on the situation than Liealot has.  The silver badge leader informs Liealot, the druwitch and Dre that people have rights, and they can’t just wave swords at them and threaten them.  Liealot seems to take this news better than the druwitch and Dre do.  They think that the silver badge guard should back them up and force the bad guy to open up his bag.

I hear the fighter say in a loud voice that someone should keep an eye on the bad guy.  That is my queue.  As he leaves, I follow him.  He wanders through the alleys and eventually ends up in a tavern.  I follow him in, and for a guilty piece of work, he is one cool customer.  He drinks a couple of flagons of ale, eats a meal, plays a dice game with some other patrons, and leaves the backpack that Liealot was convinced had contraband in it sitting on the bench near his cloak.  He was so confident of his position in whatever criminal gang he was that he left the bag outside of his direct reach.  This must be a very highly placed bad guy.  He knew that no one would touch his bag.

After a while, he retired for the night, and I followed him out of the tavern.  It was dark, and I lost him after he turned through several alleys.  I went to the barracks and woke up Liealot and reported what had happened.

Liealot asked if I followed the correct bad guy.  I think I did.  He was a furry mammal that had brown pants, a green coat and a bag.  How many of them could there be in a city of this size?  Come to think of it, there were a lot of people milling around and they all looked pretty much the same to my eyes.  But Liealot doesn’t need to know that.

Our next mission is night guard duty.  We essentially stand around and wait for something to happen.  This is not a very exciting job.  Almost nothing happens.  The biggest thing that happens is that a drunk adolescent comes up to us and hands Liealot a scroll.  He says that he found it, and thought it looked important.  Liealot and the druwitch thank the young mammal for the paper, and they look at it.  It is full of all sorts of mumbo jumbo, and Dre thinks it is a land deed.

I find the whole thing confusing.  The concept of a person owning something is still odd to me.  After all, the tribe is all.  The tribe occupies the area that we live in, work in, and hunt in.  We only occupy it until we are forced to move somewhere else.  The surface dwellers seem to be very focused on having tangible things that they can touch, and they go to great lengths to document their specific relation to the things that they own.

We have several days of downtime, then on another night, we are sent on late night patrol.  This one seems to go quietly, until the druwitch sees something move in an alley.  She approaches and says she sees a rat tail, a big rat tail.  I scamper up the side of a building to get a better line of sight to shoot with my shortbow, and the tribe attacks the two giant rats.  It doesn’t go well for the giant rats.  The druwitch kills one, and the fighter finally scores a victory by smiting it in two.  The way that the fighter carried on after that single stroke of his greatsword, you would think that he had vanquished an entire armored line of battle hardened orcs.

As we are looking at the corpses of the two giant rats, the druwitch spies more movement in the alley across the road. They run over and attack, and the druwitch uses a spell that sounds like a clap of thunder followed by a huge gust of air.  Two of the giant rats are hurt.  Then everyone but me gets into the fray.  The problem is that in order to snipe successfully, I need an opening to shoot at the bad guys with.  If the good guys stand between me and the bad guys, it is hard to shoot at the bad guys.

Zedar does some dreamy magic, and I lose all concentration of the encounter, since I am busy watching that amazing bundle of masculinity work his magic.  I wish I could say that the rest of the party did something, but to be honest, Zedar was so amazing that all I could do was watch his masculine arms wave as he swayed rhythmically, pumping his hips in a wild gyration… ooooooooooohhhhhhh nelly, it was really something to behold.  I could watch that man work all day long, and then on through the night.  He could fertilize my eggs anytime.  Wowzers.  What a dragonborn male.

Whew.  Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Anyhow, after killing five giant rats, we need to keep moving.  Things are going well, when all of a sudden, there is a series of sharp barks.  And a pack of dogs is charging us.  Dogs are bad news.  They can bite you.  Worse yet, they can body slam you, knock you down, and then bit you.

The druwitch pops off a spell, and one of the five dogs stops attacking, and starts wagging his tail.  Dre tries to fairy fire the remaining dogs, but only is able to lite one of them up.  Zedar steps in, and casts some form of arcane spell that infests a few of them with fleas and ticks.  Interesting choice.

I scramble up the building wall.  I figure that dogs can not climb buildings, so I can get up high, and shoot arrows down on the dogs, while keeping myself safe.

The dogs attack the druwitch, and she is really badly bitten, and looks really bad.  She is up, but not by much.  The fighter steps into the fray, and is mauled by the four unfriendly dogs.  It doesn’t go well for the fighter.  She does her patented “impress the enemy by allowing them to knock me out” thing, but oddly enough, the pack of dogs is not impressed.  Zedar steps into the fray and kills a couple of dogs, but is taken down by the pack also.  Zedar seems to have the same fighting style as Dre and the fighter have, where you want to impress your enemy by showing your dedication to absorbing their blows.

With the fighter and Zedar down, it is up to Dre, what is left of the druwitch and me to finish off the dog pack.  We slowly whittle them down, and are able to stabilize Zedar and the fighter before they die.

We patch up Zedar and the fighter as best as possible, and they start to say that we should return to the guardhouse to report.  I think that they, along with the druwitch want to quite for the night.  This will not do.  We still have two more bells to finish our shift.  Just because they were mauled by dogs does not mean that we should quit.  What would Commander Knowles think?  Here we are, hired to do a job, and just because three of the tribe are just about to collapse under their own weight, we should quit?  That seems like a really bad idea.  That is not sharing the tribe’s burden properly.  Because three of the tribe members are barely able to walk, some other tribe members will need to come and work extra hard.

In the end, the fighter, our leader, decides that we need to go back to the barracks.  He is the leader, and he does have the orb of position, so we must follow what he says we need to do.

As we are proudly walking back to the barracks, the leader is once again chanting his cadence of “ooh”, “ugh” and “ahh erk” as we move slowly along.  Dre is out of sorts, I would have expected him to be beating a tattoo on his drums to keep us in time.  I think that Dre is also concerned about how we will be seen by Commander Knowles for cutting our patrol time short.

On the way back, we hear a commotion in one of the alleys.  Looking down the alley, there are four thugs robbing a fifth person.  The druwitch calls out in a loud voice “halt”, then casts a fireball onto one of the thugs.  The thug takes the full force of the fireball, and still lives.  The fighter gains momentary composure, stands fully erect, raises his greatsword in the air and says “Disperse or regret being born” or some such thing.  It might have been a loud “ooh, ugh, erk”, I don’t remember for sure, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he said something mighty and impressive.

The thugs run away as I try to reinforce their retreat with a fire arrow. I missed, because the thugs were moving so fast.

As soon as the thugs turn and run, the fighter rotate his great sword and starts using it as a crutch, and assumes the posture of what I normally see with invalid humans, all crouched over, and continues the marching cadence of “ooh, ugh, erk” as he slowly moves along towards the barracks.

The druwitch undergoes the same amazing transformation, remarkably gaining 40 years in age as soon as the bad guys move away.

I didn’t see what Zedar did, but I am sure that he looked graceful, sleek and beautiful the entire time as he stood magnificently behind me, just out of my view.

Dre seemed to be pretty much unphased by the entire thing.

Non RPG Day board games galore


So we gathered at Dice Age Game Emporium yesterday.  Sue was still away.  Mike keeps denying that she is in the Witness Protection Program, but we all wonder.  This thing about flying out constantly likely means that she is either an undercover spy, going to third world countries to help Make America Great Again, or she is testifying in some major federal case, and is sequestered.  In any event, either of these alternate fact stories are much more interesting than her cover story of going to visit her daughter to care for her daughter’s cat while her daughter is training.  I mean, who else but a super secret spy organization would come up with such a mundane cover story?

Mike did have his government minder, code name “Bill” back.  Bill’s cover story is that he is Mike’s brother.  I am not sure what happened, but “Bill” started showing up occasionally after Mike retired from the county.  “Bill” also seems surprised by stories that Mike tells about his college VW van, and other things that Mike shares about his life.  So far, our association with Mike, Sue and “Bill” have not yielded a visible tail from the Trump kleptocracy.  Maybe I am still falling under the radar, since there must be many more people who are being assigned minders.

Bill (real Bill, not Codename Bill, the minder) was here today.  He had great stories to tell about the Barry Manilow concert.  There were granny panties flinging everywhere.  In addition to the granny panties, there was also Depends undergarments flying around.  Bill wanted to keep away from those, and told us that he successfully dodged every depends bomb, but reveled in the flower printed cotton goodness.

Eric was there talking about how he could be the best director of a government IT department. The biggliest, The most best ever. Better than anyone ever before, and his reign as Director would result in massive improvements in clarity, thruput and also general satisfaction of the entire world.  Then he said that he wouldn’t do it unless he was paid at least 3 times the top end of the job as being offered.  It was kind of confusing. To offer that type of service to the public, then pull back and say “nya nya nya” provides a confusing view on the entire interaction.

Collin was there ready to dominate and crush all opponents.  He was in fine form, smiling with his teeth showing, but fully capable of showing his teeth without looking as though he was ready to rip you throat out for standing in his way of total boardgame domination.  Since Sue was not there, we had no ritz cracker / mac and cheese / Satan’s anus dish to make Collin retch and recoil in horror from the gaming table.  That horrible nasty dish seemed to put Collin off his game.  That may be a good thing to bring in the future to help keep him off his balance during gaming.

Shari was also there, ready to have fun while sowing the occasional or more often chaos.  Shari seems to revel in chaos on Saturdays.  I have worked with Shari for about a year (I think), and she is totally into the job at work.  I hesitate to say “normal”, because, well, that isn’t Shari.  She is polite at work, keeps the boat rowing towards the goals, you know, all the right work things.  Then on the weekend, we see the alter work Shari.  It is an interesting flip that happens.

So what did I do?  Well, I brought games.  Board games to play.  Eric and I were talking on Thursday evening, and he told me that he bought a new game to him, but a used copy of the Heimlich Maneuver.  I was confused, and we finally realized that he was talking about “Heimlich and Company”  This game was published in 1984, and won the Spiel des Jarhes in 1986.  It has been published under several names, and here are some pictures of different boxes and names that I found on the Interwebs.

As you can see, it has been published under a bunch of different names over the last several decades.  Why does a game from 1984 warrant so many editions, names, along with being played at all in 2018?  After all, most board games that were published over 30 years ago never see the light of day a couple of years after they are published.

Well, this game is really simple.  I mean really really really simple, but it is a lot of fun.  You have to have the right group to play it.  I know, you keep seeing me write this about just about every game that I talk about.  But for this game to go from being kind of fun to really fun, you need players who are willing to stab each other in the back.  It is about spies, after all.  Everyone who watched Mission Impossible, James Bond, the Borg Conspiracy, or any other good spy flick knows that spies are always trying to subvert each other.

I played this game for the first time about 5 or 6 years ago, and found a copy of the Rio Grande games version of “Top Secret Spies”  Eric found an older version.  The main difference between the two versions is that my copy had an extra deck of cards that allows for variant play to spice up the game.

The core game is a lot of fun on its own.  The Rio Grande version of the game is still available, and the website has the following description of the game:

As in any spy story, the action in this game can be turbulent and confusing at times. The players search for top secret information on seven spies, hidden in a safe, which keeps being moved from place to place. Whenever an agent is able to crack the safe, more information becomes available. Each player is the chief of secret service in his country and sends his best agent in this race for information. The players should be careful to keep the identity (color) of their agents secret. To better conceal his agent’s cover, each player can move all agents in the game. The player who has managed to move his agent marker the farthest at the end of the game, has collected the most information and wins!

Sounds easy, right?  It is.  Every player has a card that has the color of their agent on it.  That card needs to be secret, it is a spy game, after all.  There are corresponding pawns on the board with the same colors as the agent’s cards.

Each player, in rotating order, rolls the die, which allows the player to move any combination of pawns clockwise around the buildings to a new building.  The die is a modified D6, where it has five sides, each with a unique number between 2 and 6, and then the sixth side as a “1-3”, which allows the player to decide how many pawn actions they want, between 1 and 3 pawn actions.  So if you roll a 5, you can move 1 pawn 5 spaces, 5 pawns 1 space, 2 pawns 1 space and one pawn 3 spaces etc.

Each building has a score.  This score is from 0 to 10 and a -3.  When a pawn lands on the space as the black safe, each pawn scores based on the current number of the building they are standing on.  The outer score track has wooden disks that have the same colors as the pawns.

After scoring, the person whose turn it was when they landed a pawn on the space with the safe then moves the save to a location which has no pawn on it.  When any player reaches 42 points in a scoring action, the game is over, and the player with 42 or more points wins the game.

Pretty simple.  However, the strategy comes from finding a way to subvert the other players and gain victory points while giving victory points to your competition, to hopefully not allow anyone to know what color your pawn is. This leads to lots of gameplay where people look like this:


Shari, “Bill” and Bill are intently trying to figure out how to tank the rest of the players and get the winning move.

We played three times.  Each game took between 20 and 30 minutes.  When we finished the first game, I asked Collin if he wanted to play another time, and he shot me a crooked grin, and said “yes, of course” while looking pretty chuffed about this.  Collin also borrowed my copy to take home and torture his family with.

After playing three games of whatever you want to call this, Heimlich Maneuver, Top Secret Spies, or whatever, we decided to play another game.  I brought Cosmic Encounter and another one of my favorite board games “Power Grid”.  I have a ton of board games, probably really a ton of board games.  I love playing games, RPG’s, board games, mini games, etc etc.  I am not a big fan of video games.  My wife and kids love those, I prefer the human interaction face to face as opposed to knowing that you need to face your opponent and push “up up left left right down up up down down” to kill the bad guy.  Ok, I get it, there are games like that, and there are some really amazing MMORPG’s, along with other RPG’s which have some pretty amazing game play.  It just isn’t for me.  Kind of like how I don’t want to ride in Mike’s VW van.  But that is another story for another time.  I probably should let him tell that one.

I was pretty excited about Cosmic Encounter.  I bought the Broken Token insert, and I have three of the expansions, so I now have the ability to play with 7 players.  I asked Roy to order me the expansion that allows for the 8th player. Because, 7 players isn’t enough.

I only have a few board games which allow for 7 or more players.  Most of my board games allow for 2 to 4, or 2 to 5 players.  I just got one shipped from Kickstarter called “Texas Hold ’em Zombies”  I originally backed it because it had a cool deck of zombie poker cards, which would be helpful in any Savage Worlds game with… you guessed it…. zombies.

This was the card that sold the entire game to me.

poker cards, joker

Ok, I am a sucker.  I admit it.  A zombie game, with a pretty cool poker deck, but a goblin sitting on a bunch of dynamite, as the joker card.  Uh huh.  I was powerless to resist.

The game play is a modified version of poker.  I am not a huge poker fan.  I do use poker decks for Deadlands and Savage Worlds.

As I was saying, most of my games are for smaller groups, It is kind of hard to find a game that will play well for more than 5 players.

So, we looked at the two games, Cosmic Encounter and Power Grid, and decided on Power Grid.  Eric had played it before, so had I.  It had been a while for both of us.  Surprisingly, Collin had not played it before.  Spoiler alert, Collin enjoyed the game, and will likely need to buy it really soon.  Power grid is a pure strategy game.  I really enjoy it.  I have the base game, plus several expansions, including:

  • Benelux / Central Europe map
  • Brazil / Iberia map
  • Europe / UK map
  • The new power plant card set

There are five pairs of maps that I don’t have.  I also don’t have the Robots expansion.

Each map has several new special rules for play, that changes things up enough to keep the game interesting.  The Robots expansion allows for an “AI” to add robot players that follow some form of a script to expand the number of players, not to add additional player slots to the game, but if you only have 2 or 3 players, you can use the robots expansion to simulate other players to allow for more complex play.

Now, if you were to walk up to a group playing Power Grid, and watch the play, you might be put off.  The board is ugly.  Well, all of the game boards are ugly.  Well, ugly may be the wrong word.  With all of the fancy graphics and design elements being pumped into modern gaming, Power Grid looks just…. meh.  Not bleh, but meh.

Here is a picture of the America map that comes with the base game.  All of the maps pretty much look like this in style.

Image result for power grid board game

Looking closer at the game board, it looks like this:

Related image

This is not an attractive game.  At least from my view.  There is no real chance, as in something that adds random play elements, such as cards or dice.

There is a little chance, but it is really related to how the players interact, who has the most powerful system, and what order they are bidding on things.

OK, so how do you play this game?

Let’s see.  I am going to give a high level look at it, as the game is really complex.

First of all, all players are put in order of play.  The order of play ends up being the player with the most cities to the least cities, in the event that two players have the same number of cities, then the play order for those players with the same number of cities is based on the number on their highest value power plant.


It really isn’t that hard.  Kind of.  maybe.  sort of.

At the end of each round of play, the player order resets, and the player order is configured based on the last round of play.  For instance…

  1. Blue – 4 cities
  2. Black – 3 cities, highest power plant valued at 08
  3. Green – 3 cities, highest power plant valued at 05
  4. Red – 3 cities highest power plant valued at 03
  5. Yellow – 2 cities

For *BIDDING* on new power plant purposes, the order goes from 1 to 5, in order.  There are eight power plans visible to the players.  The first four power plants are the ones that are currently available to bid on, the next four show what the upcoming market will likely be, with a lot of caveats.

In the picture below, you an see that there are four power plants, 03, 04, 05 and 06.  These are the power plants that are being bid on.  07, 08, 09 and 10 are the upcoming power plants.

Starting in rank order, the first player must place a first bid, or pass.  If the first player passes on an initial bid, then they can not bid on any other power plants.  Say for example, player one wants to bid 3 Perry Bucks.


OK, it isn’t called Perry Bucks, it is called “Electrum” or some such thing, but Rick Perry Megabucks is better than Electrum in my view, and this is my blog, so there it is.  If you don’t like it, write your own blog and make your own jokes.

So Blue, player one in this case, bids 3 Perry bucks on power plant 03.  The player must bid at least as much as the number in the upper left hand corner of the card, which gets mondo expensive later in the game as new cards are played out.

Each other player can decide whether or not to bid up that card.  If everyone passes, then Blue gets to buy it for 3 Perry bucks.

If yellow wants that power plant, yellow can increase the bid as much as they want, usually by one over the previous bid.  Then it comes around to everyone who has not passed on this particular bid to determine if they want to jack up the price or not.  In the end, there is kind of a game of chicken going on, to see if you can jack up the cost on someone else, or not.

Once someone purchases a power plant, they can not bid on another power plant during this turn.  When a power plant is purchased, it is removed, and a new power plant is randomly drawn from the stack.  This can disturb all of the other power plants, causing the market to shift.  During the majority of the game, players can only bid on the four power plants that are in the top row, knowing that something better may always be coming up.

After everyone has had the chance to initiate a bid, or pass on initiating a bid, then the game progresses.

In this case, the players then get to purchase fuel, in reverse order.  The fuel is purchased such that the player with the lowest score buys first, going up the line to eventually having the player with the most cities on their grid purchasing fuel last.

There are four types of fuel, coal, oil, garbage and nukes.  Since we are playing with Perry bucks, the coal is clean coal.  It is unfortunate that I purchased my copy of Power Grid during the Obama era, so coal markers are dirty brown.  I am sure that in games purchased in the Trump era, clean burning green coal markers are used.

The available resources are shown on track.  The players purchase the resources in reverse order lowest number of cities to highest, as in from 5 to 1 on the list above.

This provides a distinct advantage to the players who are lagging behind.  The cheaper resources are available first to the players who make the least amount of money

So in the photo above, if the yellow player has one power plant, that uses three oil to power two cities, the yellow player can purchase the oil they need (three of the black cylinders) at four Perry bucks apiece.  Now, each player can store twice as much oil as they can consume on one turn, so the yellow player can purchase three additional oil tokens at five Perry bucks apiece.  This insures that the yellow player has fuel for the next turn, at a set price and jacks up the cost of oil to the other players who are purchasing resources after them.

The other players may not be interested in oil, they may be powering their power plants via garbage, nukes, or coal.

In the picture below, you can see that power plant 20 uses three coal to power 5 cities.  The player has enough coal for one turn to burn that many resources for the five cities.  Power plant 26 uses two oil to power five cities.  The player has enough oil to power five cities for one turn.  Power plant 35 is a power plant that is more efficient, and shows up even later in the game, and uses one oil to power fie cities.  The player has two oil on that power plant, which means that they will be able to power 5 cities this turn, and five cities next turn.

Some power plants allow you to burn some amount of garbage, or consume some amount of nuclear material to power some amount of cities.  There is also wind power, which can be very expensive at first, but requires no purchasing of materials to power the number of cities for each wind plant.

Some cards also allow you to consume a combination of coal and oil to power a number of cities.  This allows some flexibility.

So why is all of this important? You bid on power plants, which can allow you to be more efficient, and you buy resources which can allow your power plants to power cities, and you can build new connections to cities which also costs Perry bucks.  At the end of each turn, you count up the number of cities that you can actually power, and get Perry bucks back based on how many you can power, not the number you have.

Each player can only have a maximum of three power stations of any combination.  IF you want to acquire a new one through bidding, you have to sacrifice one of your existing three power stations.  When you go to power your cities, at the end of the turn, you consume the entire amount of resources to power your plant, even if you don’t need all of it to power all of your cities.

In other words, if you take the power plants in the picture, above, 20, 26 and 35, and you only need to power 10 cities (instead of the 15 that are able to be powered by the entire group of power plants), you only need to burn the resources from two of the power plants (5+5=10)

If you have 9 cities to power, you still need to consume the resources from two power plants, since your power plants each produce enough power to power 5 cities each.  If you had a power plant that produced 4 and 5, you would only need to burn what you needed to, the extra one that you produce by consuming all of your resources are wasted.

If you have 11 cities to power, you need to produce power from all 3 power plants, consuming the resources to produce all 15 power, wasting 4 power.  You can’t burn one oil to only produce half the power.  You can only use the resources in each power plant once.

This means that you have some difficult choices to make.

Now things still aren’t over.  Now, you can elect to expand your empire, and hopefully power the cities.

In the picture below, the finger is pointing at Fargo.  If you are the blue player, you can connect to the city in Fargo for 10 Perry bucks, plus the connection fee in the circle, which would be 6 Perry bucks if you were coming from Minneapolis or also 6 Perry bucks if you were connecting from Duluth.

Related image

In the first stage of the game, only one player may have a house token in any city, each costing 10 Perry bucks plus the connection fee in Perry bucks.  For instance, the connection from Minneapolis to Chicago cost Blue 10 Perry bucks to build the first house in Chicago, and 8 Perry bucks for the connection.  If they only could connect via Duluth, then it would be 10 +12 Perry bucks.

This is important, because the game is all about expanding your empire, while also denying other players access.

Once any player has seven cities, powered or not, then the game allows players to purchase a second house in a city for 15 Perry bucks plus connection fee.  It is important to note that no player can have more than one house icon in any city.  This means that no one can have a monopoly, blocking people out of expansion.  The expansion may be expensive, but it is possible.

At a specific point in the game, enough of the power plants have been purchased that a third phase opens up, and players can purchase a third house token in any city at 20 Perry bucks, further opening up the markets and expanding.

The order of expanding and buying cities in markets is based on the player who has the lowest number of houses on the track order to the highest, just like purchasing resources.

This is likely where the explanation of the game using Rick Perry as a joke point falls apart.  No one in their right mind would suggest that there should be a fair Republican method of expanding power consumption where the underdogs would get any sort of fair play.  That is ludicrous.  But this is really a game that was designed in Europe, where they think differently than in ‘Merica.

Playing the game on the ‘Merica board means that it is actually a fantasy strategy game and as such, no comparison should be made to the actual American “free trade” market that is under the Trump Presidency.

There is no way that you can look at this Trump Appointee who couldn’t even say what branches existed in the Department of Energy when he was asked about it, after saying that he would eliminate the Department… and then was appointed.  It is very confusing.

Image result for rick perry state of the union

Here is PRick (the P is silent, after all) trying to look all butch, dreaming of shooting at something.  You gotta love his hands on the gun, looking out at the 1,000 yard line, dreaming of being a hero, when there is no ammunition in the gun.

Image result for rick perry gunship

Personally, I think that PRick is just a big used douche.  I associate him with a used condom.  Something that reduces the pleasure, provides limited stimulation and makes sure that nothing happens because of its use.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I believe PRick Perry is a useless fuckhead who should probably stay on Dancing with the Stars, a show that I have never watched.

Image result for rick perry dancing with the stars

And here is another shot of PRick trying desperately trying to be cool and relevant.

Image result for rick perry dancing with the stars

FYI PRick, wearing your hat backwards looks massively stupid.  If you are not a mechanic, don’t do it.  You just look like a 65 year old man who is desperately trying to stay relevant.  You might as well complete the look by wearing your pant waistline around your thighs, showing off your boxers.

Whew.  I think I got it all described.

So how did the game go?

Well, the first problem was that I assumed that the game was for 7 players, not 6.  I miscounted, or misunderestimated the number of players in the game.  That meant that someone had to sit it out.  Shari decided to sit it out, but then Eric had to go early, so Shari finished the game for Eric.

It was a lot of fun.  I don’t think that it was Mike or Bill’s cup of tea.  They seemed to enjoy the group dynamic, and playing the game, but Eric, Collin and I were really into it, more than I think Shari, Bill, “Bill” and Mike were.

That being said, we had a good time.  I was in a good position to win, but I misjudged that Shari was going to force the game end one turn sooner than I planned.  Collin was upset, since he was not the winner.  Collin likes to win.  He likes to crush his opponents even more than simply winning.  Given the opportunity, Collin wants to win by a landslide, not just a single victory point.

That being said, I think that Collin will be purchasing this game.

The Saga of Pun Pun, the Kobold Part 2


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Journal Entry – Translated on February 9, 2018

Things just keep getting better and better.

I spent many days and nights feasting on the amazing banquet that is offered to the Gods out of the back doors of the homes and businesses in town.  It is amazing, every day, the people who live here provide offerings of food to metal containers behind the buildings, and once every few days, the acolytes of the gods collect all of the food and move it off to a large hole.

In the meantime, anyone who wants can feast upon the offerings.  No one seems to care, as long as you close up the container with the offerings.  Their god is amazingly benevolent in making sure that all beings can survive off the offerings.  Rats, bats, dogs all benefit from the magnificence of the great god that rules over this city.

After several weeks, a strange tall human started trying to catch me.  I successfully hid from him for a week or so, but I was not canny enough to keep away from his constant hunting.  He caught me in a net, and before I could get out of the net, he wrapped up the net and took away my weapons.  I was terrified.  I had survived so long, and wasn’t being a problem.  I made sure that I always left it clean after I feasted on the offerings to the gods.  No one seemed to mind the rats or dogs, but for some reason, the big human took a special interest in me.

I was taken to a cell and placed overnight.  It was confusing, as the cell was locked, and the bars were small enough that I couldn’t get through it.  Also, the lock was extremely good, and even though I tried very hard to pick it with my fish bone lockpick, it wouldn’t open for me.  I suspect that some magic was used to keep the lock closed.  Looking back on it, it was a good thing that I didn’t try to escape.  Things worked out beyond my wildest expectations.

The man let me stay overnight, and he fed me good quality rations.  They even provided a bucket for me to relieve myself in.  This was an upstanding place.  The next morning, the man started trying to communicate with me.  He knew a little draconic, and started teaching me common.  He limped when he walked.  He moved with a grace of a fighter, even with the limp.  He was patient, and let me try to figure out how to correctly say things in this new “common” language which was not meant for my lizard like jaws.  His name was Knowles.  He had a word used in front that lots of people here have as a first name, Commander.

Kobolds generally have unique names, at least within any specific generation.  Kobolds have a long roster of names, and as one Kobold dies, that name becomes available again.  Usually, a tribe waits a few egg cycles before using the name again, to hopefully reduce any confusion, after all if a Kobold cleric is named Vruprol, and Vruprol dies, the if another Kobald is hatched and given the name Vruprol and that Kobold is a fighter, there may be some confusion.  Confusion is bad in a tribe.  Tribes need cohesion.

The big beings had funny sounds that I could not make with my lack of lips.  Things like “water”, which I could only pronounce as “ater”  “Meat”, “meet”, “Pete” and “Eat” were also confusing.  I understood pretty much what the human was saying but I couldn’t say it properly according to him.

Things went well enough, as he decided to keep me around instead of sacrificing me to some god, or doing what Kobolds do with useless creatures, kill them and then use their bodies to grow new fungus.  Now, as a Kobold, I really understand that I am just a cog in the wheel, and there are tens of thousands of Kobalds which are more useful as a group, compared to any individual Kobald.

This does not mean that I welcome a useless death.  I want to be useful, and belong to a tribe, doing things as a group. A Kobald needs a tribe.  Commander Knowles said I would be a member of his tribe, the Order of the Crown.  He told me to show up tomorrow at 9 AM to become part of a new tribe.  Time doesn’t mean a lot to Kobalds.  We live in the dark, and the concept of 24 hours as the amount of time that occurs between when the hateful burning orb rises above the horizon, until it comes back and rises above the horizon again might make sense, but the people on the surface do something really odd, where they decided that for some reason, the “day” starts while it is still dark out, and then some number of hours later, the hateful burning orb rises, and they call the time when the pain is at its highest point in the sky “noon”, or maybe even “12 occult”  This is all very confusing, after all if you want to reference some known point, why not start counting when the burning orb first rises above the horizon?  Why are there only 24 hoors in a day, and why is it a day, when it includes the hateful orb being above the horizon and below the horizon, but they call the painful horrors from the orb “daylight”.

The people who live on the surface of the earth have become immune to the pain and suffering from the hateful orb, burning in the sky.  Some people even act as though they look forward to it.  I have heard that there is something called “summer” where the hateful orb is in the sky longer than during the winter when I arrived here.

We must take the good with the bad, after all, we have no control over the bad.  I have heard about a magical creature called a vampyre, who lives only at night, shunning the hateful burning orb in the sky.  These vampyres must be very wise and good, to know better than stay out in the light.

But that isn’t important,  I was going to be a member of a tribe.  I was told to arrive at 9 AM, and when it became obvious to Commander Knowles that I didn’t understand, he said “three bells”.  Now that made sense.  After the hateful orb rises, the watchmen strike a bell once, then later, twice, later three times and so on.  I knew that I needed to be at the tribe’s gathering point, Commander Knowle’s office at three bells.  I didn’t want to be late, so I showed up on the stoop right after two bells, and sat outside in the shade, waiting to be invited into Commander Knowle’s office.

I was minding my own business, sitting in the shade, and all of a sudden, the shade got even darker.  I looked up, and saw a very large fighter in chainmail armor, with a shield and very large sword.  The shield had the emblem of the horrible burning orb on it, and I knew that this fighter was a bad person.  Anyone who worships the burning orb that pains the eyes and skin must be bad.  There is no other excuse.

The fighter started talking. Or at least I think he was talking.  He might be a she.  I am not good with understanding the sex of these surface creatures.  No one has let me do the finger test to see for sure if they are boys or girls.  For some reason, the surface dwellers all wear cloth or armor, and don’t let you touch the parts that allow you to know what sex they are.

This big fighter in armor started demanding to know what I was doing there, and generally was extremely rude, implying that I was not an intelligent creature, much less here to be a member of the tribe.

The big fighter had some really odd personal qualities.  Her main fighting style became obvious later.  Her style was to step forward into the reach of the monster, then allow the monster to hit her, while she collapsed to the ground unconscious.  I am not a student of war, but I don’t believe that it is an effective way to fight by attempting to subdue your foe by having them wound themselves after they hit you and knock you out.  Maybe I am missing something, but this happened to a bunch of the surface dwellers that I was going to become a tribe with.  This may be a fighting style of the large surface dwelling creatures.  Enough of these tribe members seemed to do this over and over again.

Maybe this type of beat me up and knock me out fighting style is important to build up the toughness that is required to be a surface dweller.  As I said, things are really strange.

After a while of listening to this fighter generally be rude and obnoxious, I learned her name.  She said she is a girl, but I was not allowed to insert my finger into her anus to tell for sure if she was a girl.  Like I said, odd things with these surface dwellers.

Her name was Layalot the Vigilante.  It might be Liealot the Vigilante.  I am not sure.  I can tell you that her name Layalot or Liealot seemed to fit her, since her primary method of fighting was to collapse under the attack of her enemy.

After Layalot and I went into Commander Knowles office, we were joined by a very short surface dweller.  He kept pounding on things and making obscene sounds with his mouth.  He was brash, and interrupted everyone a lot.  He said that his name was Snuggie “dre” Brownbottle.  Dre was interesting.  He also had the collapse before your enemies fighting style down.

I am beginning to wonder if experience fighters are the type that you want to avoid.  After all, they can definitely take a beating.  After a while, they are ready to take another beating, and another beating, and another beating.

Like I said, Dre was very rude to Commander Knowles, and generally to everyone in the room. He talked a lot, made rude noises from his mouth, and kept slapping everything in the room.  After watching him for a while, I deduced that his hitting things all the time must be a way to constantly work on toughening up his hands, so he can take a longer beating before being dropped to the ground unconscious.

Soon thereafter, I was introduced to another tribe member.  He had the longest name of all, Soren Percival Montiller the Third.  Evidently some surface dwellers have lots of names that take a long time to say, to help show how important they are.  I am not sure what he does, other than hide behind rocks that he conjures out of thin air, and then suffers burns on his arms.  Third seems to be very quiet about what he does.  I really don’t know what he does, other than hide behind rocks and get burned arms.

The last tribe member was a small witch.  She kept telling me that she wasn’t a witch, but I knew that she wasn’t a sorcerer or a cleric.  She had a furry mount, and a weasel familiar.  She was a gnome.  I know what gnomes are.  They are untrustworthy horrible creatures who will slit your throat at the drop of a hat.  Kobolds have a long history with gnomes.  They are not to be trusted.  Her familiar, the weasel, is able to go and do errands for her.  She kept trying to correct me when I called her a witch, and called herself a “druid”, which obviously is a surface dweller’s word for a witch.

So the new tribe met with Commander Knowles, and are each given a copper badge, as a symbol of our association and rank within the Order of the Crown.  We are told that we are the lowest level of associate in the Order.  That is OK.  Eventually, if we live, we can move up and gain more usefulness to the tribe.

Being a member of the Tribe of the Order of the Crown has advantages.  First of all, we can have free food and lodging in any guardhouse in the nation.  Also, we get paid three silver every day.  I don’t know when we will be paid, but it is good to know that we are members of the tribe.

The Order of the Crown is an independent arm that provides special help outside of the normal things a standing army would do.  It seems that the standing army is able to go toe to toe with invading orcs, goblins and such, but they are not good at taking care of special missions.  The Order of the Crown exists to fill the gaps that a large standing army can not do.

That sounds really like it is in line with my skills, and I will be able to help the tribe do what it must do.  I just hope that I can live up to what Commander Knowles expects of us.  I would hate to be kicked out of a second tribe.  Of course, if I weren’t kicked out of the first tribe, I would be dead now, killed by the goblin horde that wiped out my first tribe.

We are given our first mission.  We are to go and see why a remote stable of horses is being attacked by giant wasps.  We ask some questions, like how big is a giant wasp?  We are told that they are the same size as me.  That seems pretty bad.  But we must follow the orders of Commander Knowles and do the work of the tribe.

I have never seen a giant wasp.  I have seen other bugs.  Insects, spiders, bees, and even normal sized wasps.  Bugs that sting are not to be messed with.  They hurt.  When they bite you or sting you, you feel immediate pain, and the area puffs up for a long time.  Wasps are delicious, if you cook them in a fire and then eat the legs.  The bodies are full of bitter gooey nastiness. I don’t suggest eating the bodies.  Now bees and spiders taste good.  Not as good as grubs and other larvae. But it is all good food.  Especially if you are hungry.

So we are sent on a two day march away from the town, to where the stables are.  We spent an entire day walking under the scorching painful orb.  We spend the night in a farmers’s barn.  Dre tries to impress the farmer with his badge.  The farmer seems to want to make sure that we don’t disturb the animals. The seems to think that I want to fertilize the horses eggs.  I try to explain to her that I lay the eggs, not fertilize them.  She seems to know all about standing on top of things to fertilize horse eggs.

Once again, this surface world is very confusing.  I don’t understand why someone would think I would fertilize horse eggs.  We did run into a creature that was half horse, half human.  Temujin was the boss of Commander Knowles.  Temujin was part horse, part human, or maybe he was some other thing like part goat, part human, maybe part cow, part elf.  All of these mammals of a type look the same to me. I am not trying to be rude, but in my view, there is far less diversity in the surface dwellers than they would want to let you think.

They seem to take great pleasure in defining themselves as unique beings, like “I am a dwarf battle brawler of the honeybadger clan”, or “I am a half elf half human, my elf side comes from the Sea Elf race…”  They all revel in their uniqueness.  Two half elves can sit there and bicker with each other based on what specific group of subelf group they can draw their heritage to.  They also have strong delineations in their occupations.  It isn’t enough to be a fighter, you can be a ranger, paladin, barbarian, Swashbuckler, Gladiator, Noble Warrior, Great Weapon Fighter, Guardian fighter, Knight, Slayer, Champion, Battle Master, Eldritch Knight, Banneret, and on, and on and on and on.

There is something important to these surface dwellers to uniquely define your self as though there is no one else who is like you.  It isn’t enough to be a member of the tribe who contributes to the overall good and needs of the tribe.  These special surface dwellers need to define themselves as something unique, special and important.  I am not sure that this is a bad thing, but they spend a lot of time focusing on this, instead of focusing on the good of the tribe.

So we rested in the barn.  No animals were violated. We left in the morning.  The druwitch decided that we should go cross country.  The fighter agreed.  We went across the land instead of staying on the roads.  We arrived at about 6 bells at the stable.

Several of the tribe tried to talk with the stable keeper.  The stable keeper confirmed that this was a location where the giant wasps were attacking the horses.  The stable hand said that the wasps come from the forest, nearby.  We went over to the nearby forest, and started thinking about what to do.

The druwitch knew a lot about the animals, and she told us that wasps are most active during the daytime when it was warm.  The druwitch spoke to her familiar, the weasel, and sent it into the forest, looking for where wasps live.  The rest of the tribe stood around in the field, near the forest.  I figured that was folly, and found a good bush to hide under just inside the forest.

After a while, the weasel familiar came bolting back out of the forest and jumped on the druwitch’s shoulder.  Then three giant wasps flew out of the forest attacked the party in the field.

It was kind of sad.  I think it must take a huge amount of training to learn how to fight by being knocked out by your opponent, hoping that when they hit you, they hit you so hard that they kill themselves in the attack.  This seems to be a very ineffective way of attacking, but the fighter and Dre both were amazingly successful at it.

The Druwitch used a spell that created a painful sound that really hurt two of the giant wasps.  Third created a rock that hid him from everyone else.  The fighter first tried to impress the wasp by shaking her sword and shield at it menacingly, then the wasp stung her.  I popped out and killed the wasp that was attacking the fighter, with a flaming arrow.  The fighter then fell down and was knocked out by absorbing the attack by one of the wasps, I popped out and shot another wasp.  The Third grabbed Dre’s body and drug him under the rock he had conjured.

This chaotic fight was very confusing.  Kobolds are known for fighting a lot.  But we try very hard to kill the opponent, not succeed by absorbing their attacks, or conjuring a rock and hiding in it.  I have a lot of things to learn about the surface.  Things are very different here.

So all three giant wasps are killed, and the druwitch heals the fighter, who in turn heals Dre.  There is some sort of magic going on here, where the tribe members touch each other, and utter foul oaths and then magically the other tribe member gets better.

Things are becoming challenging.  The fighting method of the tribe means that we need to rest, so we decide to sleep until around midnight and then pursue the wasp nest by following the druwitch’s weasel into the forest.

The tribe starts coming up with ideas as to how to deal with the inability of two of the tribe members to see at night.  I make several suggestions, that are not well received.  My first suggestion is that we should have the two night blind party members act as bait, and walk with torches 50-ft to the right of us while we sneak up on the nest.  This seems like a good idea to me, but the druwitch and Dre think that this is not a good idea.  The fighter and the one who hides under rocks also think that they don’t want to be bait.

It is decided that we should all walk in line, where the druwitch is going to follow her familliar, and then we will have one of the nightblind members, then me, then another nightblind member, then Dre.

We follow the weasel familiar for a short period of time, and all of a sudden, the weasel stops and climbs up on the druwitch’s shoulder.  I look up, and see a huge ball in the tree.  Everyone eventually sees it.  I suggest to the druwitch that I take some oil up and douse the ball, and light it on fire.

The druwitch gets all agro and tells me that if I start a fire, she will slit my throat.  She is adamant that the forest is important, and must not be destroyed.  We have an existential conversation about whether we can kill grass (ok), bushes (ok), trees (not ok).

As the party is discussing how to deal with this, I climb the tree, and start investigating the ball.  It is buzzing slightly, and quite warm.

At this point, the druwitch does something completely unexpected.  I was not allowed to start a fire, but the druwitch creates a fireball, then torches the ball.

This is where things got a little weird.  The ball lights up, and the entire 15-ft wide ball drops on the party, crushing them, and doing some awful things.

It was very impressive watching the party destroy the nest structure by allowing it to fall on them, knocking all of them into the ground, and hurting them in the process.

The Third runs away.  I don’t think he liked having a giant wasp nest dropped on him.

Layalot is encased in a wasp egg.  It is pretty gooey and slippery.  She roars in defiance, rips the egg apart, and then is stung and knocked out by the queen wasp.  It is amazingly impressive watching her take so much damage.  I don’t know how any being could take so much damage and not at least impress her foe into thinking that attacking was a bad idea.  But that may be an issue with fighting beasts as opposed to intelligent beings.  I know that if I hit a foe, and they took the entire damage and dropped unconscious, I would be very impressed with their dedication to their cause.

I pop out from the tree branch, and hit the queen wasp with an amazing arrow show, and kill her.  The Third comes back and hits the other wasp.  Dre hits with some form of magical attack, and it goes down.

Now the issue is to deal with the fighter.  Her body is lashed to the druwitch’s goat, and is dragged back to the forest edge.  The trip back to Commander Knowles office takes two entire days.

I am looking forward to hearing from Commander Knowles if we solved his mission the right way or not.