31 Dec 2016

2016 ya done

Well its the end of the year. I writing this post two weeks ahead of time to make sure that I get it out in time. This post I will be addressing the entity that we've named 2016. Crafted between the moments of time we call years, made of more DNA called days and hours. 2016 is beast of a year, one of great change and in many cases not for the best.

You're done 2016.

My wife lost her two grandmothers and you kinda sucked in making those deaths a month apart.

We lost our home that we planned our next five years around, now we've had to make another home but the pace we set to start our dreams has stumbled.

You were witness to the strangest election of the United States of America as one who all laughed at took the seat of power from someone who may not have been much better.

Conflict rises and people suffer and yet this year it seems we found more ways to do harm to each other and we're watching it today.

You scared me with death in a manner that I could not do anything in reply but wait for good news. Never once have I been so weak and powerless.

I've changed in you 2016, I changed because more times than I expected you had something unpleasent for me instead of a better forward.

I really hope your sibling 2017 does more with the time it represents.

I know I will. I will try with my life partner to make things better in our lives and hopefully do something that will make a moment better in the life of someone else. I will try to do more and be better.

I will try. That's the best I can do.

You 2016, the best you can do is get the fuck out of here and never come back. You have 23 hours make the best of them...

- Fuck you 2016.


28 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Boardgames

This was an easy category for me to do up since my number one has been at the top of my head for quite some time. Honorable mentions goes to Dead of Winter: Long Night which I picked up at GENCON and have not regretted playing. I just wish I've played more of it as well as the base game.

This post will be short because I feel like I'm just nodding as I run to the finish and call out this years top board game for me. This year was really easy for board games and it dosn't seem like I really needed to explain why each one of these games are here.

They just are and if you like your board games you will love at least one of these if not all three.

Number 3: Secret Hitler

I am the first Canadian backer to receive his game. The folks at GENCON told me so when I picked up my copy from their happy hands. They asked to see my funny plastic bills that we up here use as money and they squeeled a little too strangely for my liking. So I said thanks, grabbed my wood box and fled the chamber of games that they had set up.

So what next?

26 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Magic

Magic had a good year. It may have missed the chance to do some level up Zendikar cards with the second half of Battle for Zendikar but it had some great cards come out non the less. My honorable mention is the reprinting of the Planeschase cards. I've now only played a few games with Pale Rider and I have to say two things: 1. I need to give him a new knickname for this blog, and 2. It's fucking fun and I'm looking forward to playing a game of Emperor Commander with the Eternities Map planechase varient.

Note that I didn't pick my choices based on play and meta results. I pick my card based on how well they inspire me to keep playing and building decks. I pick them on how much fun I think they will be unless I've played them and I know they are fun.

With little ado lets get the ball rolling.

Number 3: Curse of Vengeance

Vidor is my favorite Norse god. Second in strength to Thor and known for being very quiet and killing Fenris out of vengance. Vengance is a theme I love to explore in my games. Getting a card that does just that is awesome and became my easy pick for this year's number three... now I just need to get more of them.

What's next on my list.

23 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Movies

This years movies have not yet finished and I'm still due to see a few more flicks like the Accountant and Nice Guys but my honoranle mention is split between Deadpool and Dr. Strange. Both are comic flicks that did their characters justice in bringing them from page to screen. Ryan Renolds is Deadpool and no matter what nit pickings I have with the flick it was fun. While Dr. Strange was a breath of fresh air with some of the best FX fight scenes in a long time. The rewind fight is still a moment of screen time I keep thinking about.

Number 3: 13 Hours

Tears of the Sun is my favorite military movie with A Bridge Too Far in close second. My father's is We Were Soldiers and my brother's is Black Hawk Down both great choices. Tears of the Sun has a special place for me due to my own experiences. The choices folks make in uniform are hard ones, the good choices they will chose are even an greater hardship.

13 Hours is a great piece of action film that really shows the issues from keeping hydrated in a prolonged fire fight, the chaos of fighting an non-uniformed enemy, and living with the orders that are given to you to follow. Fuck the politics and the e-mails of Clinton - 13 Hours was well put together and it did so without making look like a bunch of americans were saving the world during a single firefight. It was honest more than most films and for that it took my 3rd spot of the year.

22 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Miniatures

Once more the top three will start with my honorable mention the Cosmica Jurisdictional Buildings some of the sexy terrain pieces that Warsenal. The only reason I have not gone crazy and bought a shitload of their terrain is because I have already way to much to paint, finish painting... and that's just terrain. Looking forward to seeing how the new Haqqislam terrain continues to roll out.

Number 3: Mobile Brigada (Corvus Beli)

This year started with an awesome boxset for my Nomads. These minis look awesome and they are even better when you have your hands on them, Painting them is a joy. They have been at the top of this years list of minis but they are not the best of this years releases.

Lets see what else I liked...

19 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Video Games

This year I'm keeping the list short and easy for my favorite things that were released this year.

Today will be video games. Now I've been playing some video games all year and not as many as I'd like to play but I've really come to enjoy my time in these places.

Honorable mention is: MWO (MechWarrior Online)

I just started playing this game this fall and I really jumped into it. It's been fun and I wish I had more time to play this rewarding online team shooter. I have a post on my experience with the game that has been in draft format since September so maybe 2017 will kick it out of the door.

Number 3 - Dishonored 2

I'm not finished this game but wow is it good. Great atmosphere, great sound, brilliant graphics, and a sense of level design that continues the better levels and mission design from the previous game and it's major DLCs.

17 Dec 2016

This guy I get

I don't post much about my second job.

My longest job, the one that has been more than once a full time job. I find it hard to not let the topic take over and consume the whole of this blog. I also am active in my second job and as such I need to be careful that what I put here does not discredit those who I share a vow with and those who no longer can join us at the table and on the field.

I keep this blog as an exercise on writing. Its PT for my hands, brain, and the words that fill me up.

I'm lucky to find something that expresses some of my feelings and thoughts...

- Enjoy


15 Dec 2016

The Village Part 2

So with some help from the gaming community on the Privateer Press forums because I ran into a problem. There was only a few places that could host the location of my village from my last post.

So my options were limited.

Firstly I changed the name, Der Riss is from the German language and means 'the gap' or 'the chasm'. I dropped the Der and kept the name of Riss. It sounds like the word 'rice' and I like the way it has a curt and small name showcasing its isolation and stature.

Secondly I spent more time on the inhabitants. I already had lots of info on parts and portions but through the week I came to write down bits and pieces started to flesh out. I spent some time on the larger farming families and how they settled near Riss (see how it slipped in and didn't feel clunky). I spent some time on working out history as well and making landing spots for characters to fill once a player was done with that character.

One of the reasons for this is the nature of gaming. Sometimes, games go on for years and sometimes they don't. I've ran campaigns that have lasted ten years (Legend of Five Rings 1st and 3rd edition) and weekly games for over two years (Rifts). In both cases I made space for those characters to fit so they could take a level of ownership in the setting and make the experience a bit more richer. It didn't always work and there were some sessions that had better results.

With two jobs and two major games, I have limited time and I can see the odd game being a one shot and some of the campaigns being not very long. For example it's hard to see the premade player character from the Unleashed boxset (which is awesome by the way) continue to work together once the conflict in the adventure set is resolved. In that case I could see some of the one shot PC's move into Riss and make a place there or become a fixture in the setting.

Unleashed box contents
by Privateer Press
So making places for players to fit their characters in the setting is important. I have lots of info but if the world is already super cool why have the PC's. Dragonlance as a fantasy series was awesome but it sucked as an RPG setting since you'd never be as good as the Heroes of the Lance. Same goes with Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones for RPG settings, the players need a place to tell their own stories and to have them be valuable to the whole setting. Otherwise what's the point.

So with that done the geolocation of Riss was the hard part.

Let's see what I decided.

9 Dec 2016

What a week and the village.

Once more the ability to put out posts due to my jobs and life, has been limited.

Lady Bear lost her grandma and we had a funeral. Charging Pun joined us and we stayed with family through the whole process. He had a scare later that week with his youngest so we're all a bit burnt out. I'm looking at working weekends again for the end of the big push before the holiday but I'll be using that time back during the holiday week.

On the constructive side of my life I'm in the midst of planning an IKRPG adventure that I'm really excited about. Mister Wolf asked me to run as a guest GM on 17 Dec, and Sleeves also asked for a game for his Birthday on 7 Jan a few weeks later. Both games will be played in the same place and I want players to affect each other's game - fuck it I want them to impact the setting.

Then an idea hit me finish making the village.

The village was a location I've been working on to run the majority of my IKRPG games. A living breathing setting that would accommodate many types of games. Exploration, pioneering, dungeon crawls, seafaring and pirate stories, war conflicts, nature vs civilization, etc... I've been building a place that would allow me to play all those games. A place where player character could season the place when they adventure there. A place where it would allow many travelers to come and go. A place that would allow stories to be told and yet still keep a level of isolation from the rest of the world while still being impacted by the changes in the world.

So the village is after the break - see you all next week hopefully with more regular posts.

- Cheers


2 Dec 2016

Its starts with the first page...

This post has been a long time coming. Funny as the subject of the post is about finally getting into something.

I wrote the first page I hope to write more.

Life has not been easy these past months. Work, and work, illness and death in Lady Bear's family, my health scare, an offset schedule, Remembrance Day, tight wallets, getting behind with the cottage dream, and the horror of the upcoming Winter Season Holidays (a bad thing for someone who loathes Christmas).

Last night it happened. While Lady Bear was deep into her first binge of a tense sci-fi TV series (Orphan Black), I finally wrote that first page. I've tried in the past to put it on paper. I've drafted synopsis, characters, backgrounds, settings, events... the whole shebang.

I've never written the first page.

It took me an hour to get through it, to find the voice between the idea. To have the words start flowing. Once I got the engine warmed up, I wrote that page. Then I re-wrote it and after an hour I was happy with my page.

I've been inspired by the efforts of others and the lazy stance I've had all this time.

Lady J has asked that I read her first draft of her book. It took me three hours to read through what she had. My notes were put on my phone's notepad/quicknote function. Afterwards I pasted them at the end of an email where stream of consciousness took over at eleven thirty pm to give her my full attention.

I've read and was at the book release for Maynard James Keenan's Biography. He insights and experiences were interesting as Alan Cross moderated the event asking questions and littering the events with humor, depth, and notes of history. Maynard was sick and it ended quite quickly, lasting only two hours, but I was happy and inspired by the event. Inspired... more ashamed that I haven't gotten off my ass to write what I want to write.

The folks I work with suffer through my rambles and the reply when I decide to take in oxygen is always: "You should write a book." A slap to my ego's face every time I hear that. I want to scream, I've always wanted to. I've got ideas. I've got a few ideas primed and ready. The words should have been - every time, I'm writing one right now.

That would have been a lie.

So the first page is done. My next step is the second page. A few steps after that I'd like to finish the chapter. Once that's done I'd like to write another chapter.

I'm writing. I'm finally writing.

It all started with a first page.

- Cheers