Thursday, December 31, 2015

Acquired the Holy of Holies.. the original Dungeons & Dragons, 1974

I happen to collect, when the mood strikes me, old RPGs from the 1980s that I played.

I moved out of my hometown and left all my RPGs back there sitting in my parents' garage. The intervening years has made me nostalgic for the good old days, so I've been slowly rebuying old RPG books.

Luckily, no one wants these old booklets as the hobby in my view is dying. Magic the Gathering and computer games have killed it off. Given the declining demand, I have been able to acquire a lot of old RPGs for a song.

Well, the postman today surprised me twice. First, by working on New Year's Eve and secondly, for delivering the Holy of Holies, the original 1974 Dungeons and Dragons, which I bought off ebay.

I came close to meeting Gary Gygax when he was in my city a couple of years ago at a sci-fi convention, but I couldn't find him in the crowd. Oh well.

I never did much D&D or AD&D, as I tended to like space opera like Traveller, Star Trek and Star Wars. I have no D&D characters that I created and am able to still have a character sheet for, as you can see in my 1980s characters listing, though I have one I believe of my friend Jim's.

It didn't help that I hated TSR at the time, the company that published D&D, though I don't remember why now.

Still, the books are what gave rise to the hobby, which at one point I loved.

Anyways, the books are in great condition for being about 40 years old. I am pleased.  I feel like that line from Spinal Tap.. don't even look at them.. don't even point... they are too Holy.

Happy New Year's everyone.

D&D boxed set, 1974

D&D boxed set, 1974

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My post-apoc phase in making miniatures.

For awhile, I was making a lot of post-apoc vehicles and terrain.  Mad Max: The Road Warrior is a favourite and all.

Anyways, post-apocalypse miniatures are easy to do as the dirtier and rustier, the better.

Take this bus for instance. It was very easy to paint.

I did the same with building kits, even toy ones and scratchbuilt them out of foam, like this bridge in two modular parts. (Modular, as you can place them as close to or as far apart as you want when you set up your miniature battles). 

The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse Bible reference grafitti is a nice touch if I do say so myself.

All in all, it was a fun "phase."

Blast from the Past: My AT-ST conversions

Everyone who has seen the original Star Wars films should be familiar with the AT-ST mech, the All-Terrain Scout-Transport, aka the "chicken leg" walker.

Well, I once bought an AT-ST model kit for $10 and decided to convert the bottom half and the top half into two bizarre mechs.

I love Weird War II stuff, so naturally I took the top half of a German Tiger Tank and stuck the AT-ST legs on the bottom.

It was a bit tricky because the parts don't fit well, so I bought a Captain America toy that seemed perfect in between part.

 You can see the toy part in it's original blue.

I stuck a side gun on the right, and the rest was easy.

Then I was left with the top half the AT-ST, so I decided, what the hell, to put rollers on it. I wanted to convey that it was heavy and churning up mud even in a snowy environment.

And voila, two bizarre mechs. Love it. I don't know what game system they will be used for, but whatevs. The conversion was fun in itself.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blast from the Past: All Things Zombie escapade

I managed to find pics of an All Things Zombie: Better Dead than Zed scenario that I crafted and which Jim and I played a year or two ago. The scenario was that Jim's ATZ character heard that the Coast Guard still has a boat in town, so it is decided to make a run for it into town and get a lift out during the Zombie apocalypse. Of course, there is no one left alive in town; just Zombies, or Zeds.

It was Jim's military guy, and two NPCs if you can call them that, Bubba and Stevie at first.

I thought Jim was going to go down the center of town, but he went down the right and entered a car parts store 

Bubba didn't last very long and was killed getting out of the car parts store.

With Zombie's on his tail, Jim and Stevie enter a Burger joint..

Inside, they find 2 survivors, whom we dubbed Scumbag 1 and 2.

They burst out of the back door of the Burger joint..

Meanwhile, the car alarm from turn 1 was still going strong with lots of Zeds drawn to it.

 Jim, Stevie and a Scumbag make it to the river, but got Stevie got jumped by a Zed and was killed.

To make matters worse, I told Jim, he needed to roll doubles to get the boat going and look what happened; a Dice Hall of Fame moment.

Jim and Scumbag # 1 escape, while Bubba and Stevie were killed.

Based on my scoring sheet, Jim got 50 victory points, which was Exceptional.

2 Humans escaped: 10 points
Escape by boat: 20 points
Recovered 1 weapon: 10 points
Recovered 1 food:      10  points

Total: 50 points

It was a tense scenario and very touch and go with the Zombies. A good session.

Conversion of WEG Star Wars smuggler character to FFG Star Wars

I recently converted my friend's WEG minor Jedi character that he created in the 1980s here.

Well, now I am going to convert my own character who I also created in the 1980s, my smuggler Kelly Dukes. Yes, yes, I know.. Corellian Smugger in a YT-1300 freighter.. but hey, I was in my 20s when I created him and I still love Han Solo...

His background I wrote after the campaign ended:

The son of a successfull businessman, Dukes's family was ruined financially by the Clone Wars. The Dukes' family went from upper middle class to just getting by by the time the war was over. His mother died of an unspecified illness during the war that left Duke perennially sad.  Father and son plied the space ways ekeing out a living on margin thin profits in the years following the wars. Life was hard, but Dukes seemed to thrive in the anarchy of the Outer Rims. Things came to a head as his dying father pulled whatever strings he had left and got his brash young son into the Imperial Academy. At first, it was difficult to adjust, but by graduation, Lt.jg (N) Dukes as a competent Imperial Officer who seemed to have potential to make it to flag rank. A natural warrior, Lt.jg  Dukes led bold actions that earned him the respect of men and officers alike. Things came to a head one day when Dukes was ordered to bombard the pacifist farmers of Genko III. He refused, was court-martialled and was sentenced to 25 years hard labour on the spice mines of kessel. Whatever happened on Kessel, a part of  Dukes died in the hell of Kessell that to this day he refuses to talk about. He became a new man. Hollow. More cynical. Harder. More ruthless. He finally escaped by strangling a guard and stowed away.
           Over the next couple of years, he drifted into the seedy underworld and became associated with the vile gangster Ploovo-Two-For-One becoming eventually his top smuggler. Dukes participated at the smuggler's battle at Tanaab where he developed the famous "Dukes belly flop"  maneuver. He is on a first name basis with many of the galaxy most vile smugglers, gangsters and other rogues. He is famous for out-gunning 3 opponents at an old fashioned quick draw. Taking their insults no more, he told a friend at a Mos Eisley watering hole to "get 3 coffins ready." He then walked up to them, and observers to this day swear Dukes was like grease lighting, killing all three before they even reached for their holsters.
          It's not known what he and Ploovo disagreed about, but  it concerned a shipment that Dukes was responsible for. Outraged at not being reimbursed, Ploovo put a huge reward on his head and Dukes started running. Eight months later, exhausted and broke at being chased at by Ploovo's lackeys as well as Imperials, Dukes sought refuge on Bespin. Determined to make his last stand standing up, Dukes waited to kill and be killed at the hands of several bounty hunters. Not wishing to have a gun fight in his city, the administrator of Bespin encouraged his old friend from Tanaab to at least die for a good cause by joining the Rebellion. With no other options, Dukes agreed.
        He joined the rebel strike team 717 and has found a new niche in life. Like many Corellians, Dukes is not an overly big supporter of the Alliance. However, he remarked that of all the people he's known, the Alliance "was the only place to offer a tramp like me a bowl of soup." He has voiced his goal of scouting unknown space once the war ends. If it ever does....

Since I gave Lancer 320 points to convert given playing about a dozen WEG missions and such, I will do the same for Dukes.

I will start with giving him +1 in Agility and +1 Brawn for 60 points.

He will be natch a Smuggler class in Piloting, but I will give him a second specialization for 20 points in Scoundrel.

His two free skills for being Human are outside his specializaiton and will be 1 rank each in Mechanics and Brawl.

His four free skills at Rank 1 each for this class will be  Knowledge (Underworld), Skulduggery, Streetwise and Vigilance.

Career Skills bought


Astrogation             2
5+10 pts = 15 pts

Cool                           1
5 pts

Deception                            1
5 pts

Piloting, Space                   3
5+10+15 pts = 30 pts

Piloting, Planetary            1
5 pts

Streetwise                             2
Free+10=10 pts

Ranged - Light                   3
5+10+15 pts = 30 pts   

Knowledge (Underworld)     2
Free+10=10 pts

Skulduggery                         2
Free+10=10 pts

Vigilance     1

Non-Career skills bought

Mechanics                       2                                  Free + 10 points + 5pts non career=15 pts
Brawl                               2                                 Free + 10 points + 5pts non career= 15 pts

Costs so far:
Characteristics : 60 points
Second Specialization: 20 points
Skills: 150 points

Talents bought

Full Throttle                    5 points
Skilled Jockey                10 points
Improved Full Throttle       15 points
Grit                                  5 points
Master Pilot                     25 points  
Black Market Contacts     5 points
Convincing Demeanor      10 points
Hidden Storage               10 points
Quick Draw                    5 points

Total points:                320 points

Motivations: Greed, of course.

Obligations: I'm actually going to give 2 of them, but low magnitude.

One obligation is a Bounty on his head from the vile gangster Ploovo-Two-For-One and the other is Responsibility for the "kid", Jim's character Lancer.

I also added -1 Feared Reputation from the Smugglers' sourcebook (pg. 96).

Completed Character sheet: