Monday, January 26, 2015

Wandering into Numenera

I've recently acquired the Numenera Core Rulebook from Gaming Library, last Thursday and though
I've known about it thanks to Jay, it's till only now that I can do a proper review about it.


Numenera is a game made by Monte Cook; one of the people involved in creating D&D 3.0,which is
set in a future Earth one Billion Years from now. In Numenera players create complex characters
using a simple formula: My character is an "Adjective" "Noun" who "Verbs", and is played by rolling
a d20 against a difficulty level. One of the most important things this game has to offer is that
only the players roll. I'll divide this review focusing on the key sections of the game; mainly
Character Creation, Setting and Playing the game, hopefully properly explaining everything to
would be players.

Now when I first read about the game on /tg/ I found myself extremely
confused upon hearing the specifics of the game but after hearing a proper and thorough explanation
from Jay I became extremely interested and tried to gather enough interest
from my friends to actually try out the game when the book becomes available locally.

In what Monte Cook calls his Cypher system I immediately found it interesting and versatile mainly because when players create characters a lot of them usually ask me as a DM - can I become a Two Weapon Warrior, a Tough Hardy Barbarian, A Rogue who can talk his way out of anything and other variations of simple descriptions of what they want to play as regardless of the system.

I believe that this is a great way to entice people who've never even tried D&D into table top role-playing aside from that it mitigates power-gaming from the older players. Its a simple enough way to create a character, that a new player can be done within minutes; even slight overlaps between characters are hardly noticeable. For example a Charming and Clever character may sound the same; when you look at it even stat-wise, but depending on how a player and GM work together to describe a character's action both become completely different. Let's say both players are given a situation where they have to broker a deal with bandits to stop attacking a town; a Charming character would more likely describe his actions by charming the lower ranking members of the bandits into joining him and rebelling against their leader and maybe become town guards, where as a  Clever character might deceive the leader into believing that he has an army behind his back that would instantly destroy the band if they continued their actions.

Character Creation

Character creation is divided into three segments mainly:

Character Type

Character type is the "Noun" part of the "Adjective","Noun" who "Verbs" formula.
Numenera offers three Character types, they are Glaives, Nanos and Jacks. The best analogy I can give to differentiate each of these types is Glaives are your generic warriors, Nanos are your Mages or  Techpriests and Jacks are your Rogues and Jack of all Trades(Hence the word Jacks).

These types however aren't as fixed as other games; A Glaive for example may be your stereotypical tough,  mindless berserkers or they can be cold calculating assassins. It all depends on the combination of your character descriptor and focus and of course how well you describe your character overall.

Character Descriptor

Character descriptor is the "Adjective" portion of the formula. The Numenera core rulebook
and players guide offers 12 basic descriptors like, Charming and Tough. However the Player Option splat book offers a bigger selection to further customize a character. Each descriptor grants a character bonuses and sometimes extra abilities depending on its nature. For example from the given example above Charming grants a bonus to intelligence and training in skills relating to seduction, bluff and persuasion and the like while Tough grants a bonus to might and Armor and Might Defense.

Character Focus

Character descriptor is the "Verb" portion of the formula. The Numenera core rulebook
and players guide has a wide selection of various foci such as Bears a Halo of Fire and Rides the Lightning again the Players Option splat book expands a player's choices. Each foci becomes a sort of power source  and character overlaps change when combined with descriptor and focus. Let's compare a Glaive and Nano with Bears a Halo of Fire as their focus.

They both gain the ability Shroud of flame however when a player and Gm works together when describing their actions A Glaive's weapon becomes enshrouded with flame when he attacks with pierce or thrust while a Nano's onslaught ability originally described as a force of psychic energy, becomes described as a blast of flame. These descriptions don't factor in mechanically but are more for flavor and story.

Combining each detail, Type, Descriptor and Focus give a limitless amount of combinations. Even with overlapping character concepts a player will likely be able to enjoy the game without being
under the shadow of a similar character.

Aside from the mechanical side of character creation, each of its portion grants the options to help a
player developing his or her character's back story and player links.


Numenera is set in a far future a billion years from now, with several civilizations coming and going
affecting the earth in various ways leaving their marks on it. Book further expand's on the games setting however it can be very overwhelming to both new and old players alike so to briefly describe Numenera's otherwise deep setting, think of game's setting as an 80's sci-fi/fantasy cartoon mainly HE-MAN. Other references you could make with the game's setting is Riddick, or Wheel of Time.

It's a rich vibrant setting which fuses old world aesthetics and treats science and technology as magical. A GM can even create an isolated sub-setting in the world of Numenera to fit his ideal sub-setting without affecting much of the worlds canon.

I personally find the setting to be a hard setting to create campaigns for compared to other games like D&Dwhich enables a GM to create a campaign simply by using premade settings like forgotten realms or homebrew their own setting by drawing from Tolkien, Anime or Games. Even 40k Roleplay like Death Watch and Only War is easier to create a campaign for due to its rich setting and simply watching any war movie like Saving Private Ryan or more recently Fury and American Sniper is enough to get a GM's creative juices flowing.

Had friends of mine not reminded me that Numenera feels like old 80's cartoons like He-man, Galtar and the Golden Lance, Pirates of Darkwater and even The Herculoids I probably wouldn't be able to run my own custom campaign with this game and I would probably have to rely heavily on adventure modules (Thank god the Core Book has 4 free).

Playing the Game

The game uses a very simple difficulty number vs dice roll test to determine everything that happens in the game. The GM simply declares a difficulty level ranging from 1-10 multiplying it by 3 to
determine player's target number and the players roll a d20 and compares it against the difficulty to see if he passes. So a difficulty 3 requires a 9 on the d20 to pass. Aside from this basic rule players have skills, items or assets and what the game calls spending effort, that can reduce a tests difficulty which when they  reduce it to 0 they automatically pass. Unlike other RPG's Numenera rarely calls for the GM to roll any dice, when he does its likely only for a random encounter or rewards but overall he rolls next to nothing.

To further expand on this topic, lets say a situation calls for the player to jump across a gorge and the
GM declares it a difficulty 5 speed test; requiring a 15 or higher on the d20 to pass. The player is playing a Rugged Glaive who Carries a Quiver. Being rugged gives him training in Jumping reducing the task by 1, he also has a rope which he wants to use as a sort of swing is counted as an asset reducing the difficulty once more by 1. Finally he decides to spend 3 points of speed as effort further reducing the difficulty by 1. The tests final difficulty is now 2(5-3) which now only needs a 6 or higher to pass.

Another of the games features is what they call the GM Intrusion. GM intrusion enables the GM to create interesting situations, advance the story or simply to complicate things for the players.
Let's go back to the jumping a gorge test, if the player succeeds the jump the GM can use this
opportunity to perform an intrusion and say the rope snaps or the landing spot suddenly crumbles which  causes the character to fall into the gorge. The player now has the choice to accept or reject this intrusion. If the player accepts he or she receives 2 XP from the GM, 1 for himself and the other to give to another player. If he or she rejects the intrusion he or she simply forfiets the XP grant with a 1 XP tax along with it and continues on with the original success result.

Final Notes

I like Numenera's system mainly because it's easy on the GM as it reduces the number of things he has to keep track of and focus on the story. Without looking at the book constantly a GM who homebrews a campaign can arbitrarily assign difficulty levels as he sees fit and still have a semblance of balance. Combat is easier since a GM can simply memorize the level, the armor and damage of basic monsters. Should the players ever need NPC allies a GM can simply give them a Level, specific weapon and armor and aside from roleplaying how that NPC acts he can effectively have the players control them.

A good GM can create a riveting story by focusing more on skill challenges without making the combat characters feel useless. He can do this by throwing in a very difficult combat encounter once in a while kind of like a boss monster to keep the players on their toes.

Overall Numenera is a great game, new and old players can easily delve into it without being too
overwhelmed; aside from reading the setting. Its price; approximately 40USD depending on where you get it from, is well worth it and with 4 free adventures its likely going to see heavy use.

I did a quick playtest last saturday with two friends of mine to get acclimated to the system;
to get ready for Jay's sessions, and I ran the first free adventure from the book; "The Beale of Boregal"  and we quickly cleared five encounters in about 2 hours more or less, losing time as I had to flip back and  fourth from the book but I think once I get the hang of running the game we could probably finish one shot  adventures in a span of 3-5 hours.

I'll write up a play report in a couple of days hope you stay tuned to read it and again feel free to leave a comment or suggestions.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Helping a friend

Philgamer is in dire straits anyone viewing the blog please read and help in anyway you can.

More Roll20 Dungeon Tiles

Here are some more dungeontiles for roll20, mostly 1x1 tiles for dungeon dressing and some of the bigger tiles for rooms

Again these shouldnt require any more tweaking when using them for Roll20, just drag and drop them and they should fit on the grid easily. I'm still planning on doing more tiles but Ive done most of the basic room and hallway tiles;  ill probably make a set of  1 and 2 square door, then a 2x2 stairway and 2x4 stairway but after that I'm not sure what most people would need.

Feel free to drop a comment on suggested tiles :D after the basic dungeon set I'll probably make a wilderness then cavern set.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roll 20 Dungeon Tiles

Originally I wanted to use scans of official WotC scans and crop the tiles as required to create .jpeg versions of them for use with Roll20 however after a recent discussion with my local DM peers I've decided not to do that to avoid any copyright infringement issues as its likely treading the border of legality so I decided to create my own digital tiles from scratch. Granted they aren't pretty but they should be functional, and they should fit on the online grid perfectly..

Though personally I find using tiles on Roll20 to be cumbersome unless I've prepared everything in advance; including ALL possible encounters we all got to agree Tiles make it look better. I cant say how good my tiles actually look compared to the official WotC ones but with the lack of support for free Roll20 tiles I hope it helps the community.

I'm planning on expanding from the tiles above these simple floor tiles were the only things I could do quickly with a short amount of time at the office; expect more soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mapping the Redbrand Hideout Area 1 and 2 part 2

Hi guys welcome back to Mapping the Hide out segment.

This time lets talk about painting the tiles.

I mentioned that I didn't know whether or not spray paints would be harmful styrofoam; apparently they are thanks to a warning by Raymz and reccomended I use styrofoam paint first then spray black. However being the cheapass I am and aside fromthat I couldnt find styrofoam paint in the bookstore I went ahead and just bought a big tub of plain acrylic paint.

Painting the tiles is simple the first thing I did was SLATHER i mean dont even bother wetting the brush just dip your brush in the tub of black paint and SLATHER it on the foam; making sure you evenly coat everything.

Heres everything coated in Black with the rest of the tools I need to paint
Once the black paint is dry you need to mix up a batch of grey paint and drybrush everything with a dark layer first keeping the grid clear as much as possible and other nooks and crannys to give the illusion of depth. Layer it up to the lightest shade of gray you want take your time, the first layers are often barely noticable from the black. Keep in mind however to reduce the amount of lighter shades to maintain that illusion of depth

1st Drybrush pass
Eventually youll end up with something like this 

Its probably functional to a degree by now and you can already use it at that stage but I decided to use my static grass from my miniatures to up the polish to 11

Simply brush some wattered down glue to portions you want and apply the flock to get some sort of mossy ruins effect

Big difference from your regular grey tiles, the moss makes the stone pop more in my opinion.
Once everything is done youll end up with something like this

Thats all for now stay tuned next time as I map out area three and if I can find a good tutorial maybe make some barrels and crates. つづく!

Only War Play Report

Play Report: Only War 


A quick background first. 

As you may or may not know, I've been running an Only War campaign for my old buddies who some of which moved to Canada. This group and I originally began playing RP's with D&D 4E and several other games after that. Eventually due to the ever present real life that tends to be detrimental for gaming we found it hard to continuously play sessions at my place due to location(again 3 of my players have moved to Canada) and scheduling problems and so we moved the session online via Roll.20 and Skype; so for my first Play report I'm going to tell you about the accolades of :

The Second South Hill Raiders

The team created the regiment using the Regiment Cration rules of Only War and these are the stats they picked out

Homeworld - Fortress World
Commander - Phlegmatic
Regiment Type - Reconnaissance Infantry 
Training Doctrine - Sharpshooters

For a total of 11 Regiment points which gives the regiment these bonuses

Characteristic Modifiers:

+3 to any two of the following characteristics: Ballistic Skill, Willpower and Toughness,
+3 to Perception
-3 to Willpower


Common Lore (War) - 2 Ranks
Common Lore (Imperium) - 2 Ranks
Common Lore (Imperial Guard) - 2 Ranks
Linguistics (Low Gothic) - 1 Rank


Nerves of Steel OR Sprint
Combat Sense


Ballistic Skill


Bred for War: Players must take a Challenging(+0) Willpower test to go against the regulations of the Imperial Guard.

Hated Enemy Renegades - Players may be required an Ordinary(+10) Willpower test to restrain from attacking the target of their Hatred.

Standard Regimental Kit Additions:

1 Chimera Armored Transport and 1 Magnoculars per player character.

The regiment was just a bundle of statistics untill I asked the players to give a short description about their regiment and squad.

They came up with the story of connecting all their regiment and future regiments to the Planet of South Hill; a world based off our home town. They became the 2nd South Hill Raiders drawn from the planet since the prior game had a simillar regiment composition named the 1st South Hill Sharpshooters(Who lost their lives attempting to evacuate the populace of Avalon from Tyranid menace assaulting the Calixis Sector). The valiant efforts of their predecessors made South Hill a prime world to gather new Imperial regiments to be sent to various battlefields across the galaxy, the 2nd South Hill raiders being one of the chosen to be sent to the spinward front. They didn't bother adding much flavor to their commander and war history saying - Their squad particularly is a bunch of misfits who take no shit from no man; being true to their reconnaissance roots; people who are used to be out on the field with little to no interaction with other guardsmen.

Dramatis Personae:

Ptesticles -(yep you read and pronounced that right) the Operator, played by Sam. Ptesticlese is the dedicated tank driver of the team, piloting their Chimera APC equipped with autocannons and a heavy bolter to serve as both the squads transport and the closest thing they have as  an anti-vehicle. Outside the tank Ptesticlese depends not on his lasgun but his ever trusty GRENADE!. His comrade who serves as his co-pilot and gunner is an addict named Vorgen; so far hes been sober enough to help the team.

Marcus - the team's Medic played by John. Marcus is basically your generic "healbot" in terms of other games but with the lethality and difficulty of Only War he hasn't proven his skills yet but that probably wont stop him as he serves recaf to the wounded while tending to their injuries no matter how bad he does it. Accompanied by Harmon, the field medics have been working more as doctors of death rather than life.

Lapua  - the teams oddity; the Ratling Sniper, played by AJ. Lapua is the team's dedicated hit-man, proving the ancient addage of 1 shot 1 kill most of the time. He prefers to hide WAY behind cover and provide pot shots so that the rest of the team can advance. Every sniper needs a spotter Lapua's is Odette a fellow ratling whose eyes can tell where the enemy is taking the hobbits, i mean VIP.

Piotr - The Heavy Gunner played by drew. Piotr acts as the squads de facto leader seeing as no one decided to play a sergeant or commisar to be the squads "Face." Piotr is your usual big man with a big gun type of character who is used to assaulting the enemy head on though has enough brains to hide when necessary. Assisted by Diane, Piotr's dedicated loader they form a formiddable moble MG platform as all Piotr needs to do is keep his finger on the trigger wihle someone else reloads the gun for him.

The Mission

We began the campaign using the GM kit's adventure - Old Soldiers. The team starts of being unceremoniously dropped off in the camp by their regiments chimera where they meet and greet the 37th Maccabian Janissaries, the guardsmen responsible for defending this area of the planet Virbius from the rebel guardsmen the Severan Dominate. The squad received the cold shoulder from the Janissaries, obviously noticing their low morale probably from the recent successive losses from enemy Guerilla tactics.

Once settled down the team was called to the command bunker where they meet their C/O, Colonel Raxe Garn of the 37th Maccabian Janissaries. Being the first squads from the South Hill Raiders to arrive Garn quickly tells them of their situation and mission. The Raiders are assigned to locate and assassinate the enemy general as the Janissaries no longer have teams to spare for the mission as they've lost several squads already and need the rest of their men to reinforce the front lines.

Piotr the squads acting leader arrogantly takes the mission with a, been there done that attitude and readies his companions for the mission the next day. As dawn begain the team ready themselves as they retrieve their mission assignment gear from the quartermaster and head out alongside the larger force of the 37th. Virbius' harsh nature was quickly shown to the team as they wandered for hours in forests, plains and mountains where enemy patrols lurked nearby. The team avoided numerous patrols and found themselves at the center of the planets most dangerous weather, the Virbian Lightning storm, Their dataslate had warned them to avoid this as much as possible for it was known to destroy nearly everything in its path. Ptesticlese narrowly escaped this threat losing only one of their jury rigged pintlemounted missile launchers in the process.

It was nightfall when they found the enemy base. Like all manly men the only option they could think of short of assaulting the front gate was assaulting the side wall. the made up the plan of leaving Lapua behind to provide covering fire by taking out the guards posted on the enemy base's tower while the rest of the squad ride the chimera downhill straight at the wall. Piotr though untrained in using missile launchers grabbed one of their spares thinking I don't need precision i just need to bust a hole in that wall. He fires one shot straight at a section of the wall damaging it but not nearly enough to punch through; this attack alerted the base; the four guards posted at the gate quickly went inside the base to warn the others. Lapua kills one of the watchmen posted in the tower to distract them from the charging tank. As he prepares his third shot Lapua sees an enemy Leman Russ vanquisher roar to life and head outside the gates. He shouts at the chimera warning them of the enemy armor pointing at it. Pioter barely understands what Lapua was saying over the rumbling chimera and simply continues firing at the wall with his missile launcher this time enough to blast it to bits.

Ptesticles catches a glimpse of the Leman Russ's rear armor through the smoke as it exits the base. He tells Piotr and Marcus to get off by the hole and he'll deal with the tank. He forces the tank to spin and puts it in reverse right directly at the makeshift entrance while he orders vorgen to man the autocannons to prepare for a tank war. Piotr gets off first and takes cover behind the rubble to brace his autogun while Marcus takes the opposite wall.

The Slow Leman Russ peeks through from the corner of the tower and fires a shot from it's battlecannon at Ptesticles' chimera, thankfully the enemy's main cannon jams; the emperor's will has protected them. Lapua takes another shot at the watchmen from the tower to protect Piotr and Marcus from their attacks forcing the last watchman to duck behind the fences. The four guardsmen from the gate quickly head towards the broken wall but are quickly met with full automatic fire from Piotr's autogun, losing one of their men instantly. Piotr tells Marcus to advance as he provides cover.

As soon as Marcus and Harmon get past the walls they quickly duck and jump from cover to cover while taking pot shots at the three guardsmen from the gate, killing one of them. This is when he sees their target, General Scarus; leader of the renegades. Meanwhile behind them Ptesticles Engages the enemy Leman Russ using the Chimera's higher speed to his advantage trying to keep away from the enemy's hull mounted heavy bolter while their main cannon is out of commission. Repeated attacks from their autocannon slowly peel the heavier tank's armor.

Lapua continues providing covering fire killing the last of the guardsmen posted at the wall. Piotr fires one last full auto burst at the guardsmen cowering behind the walls of nearby buildings and kills them. Piotr quickly hefts his autogun and advances to provide support for Marcus as he advances and attacks the enemy general. The The general quickly dodges the first shot and orders his two bodyguards to counterattack and they fire at the Medic and his assistant wounding them both. Ptesticles continues to circle around the lumbering Leman Russ with his chimera continuing to blast it with their autocannon. Their luck nearly runs out as the enemy tanks main cannon fires in retaliation once more hitting them at their weaker side armor, only narrowly avoiding certain death.

The teams heavy gunner now sees General Scarus and his two bodyguards and fires at them but without bracing his heavy weapon his shots fly wildly. The wounded Marcus and his companion move back attempting to use the nearby wall as cover and retaliate. Forging accuracy for volume of fire Marcus switches his Lasgun to Semi-auto burst and fires directly at the enemy general. It seems that the Emperor has smiled on him today all his shots strike the enemy general's head searing it clean off he breathes as sigh of relief as the remaining soldiers' morale quickly breaks. But before they could enjoy their victory a figure clad in black armor casts an intimidating shadow over their medic they see Lord Kalkus Veth, leader of a Dark Eldar Kabal accompanied by four of his men on Jetbikes. 

All of the guardsmen loyal or otherwise quickly fire at the alien's sudden appearance and the alien's henchmen fire at the hapless rebels reducing them to mincemeat. Lapua sees the threats and fires at what seems to be their Leader; his shot hits but the alien's armor protects him from the sniper. 
Before the rest of the 2nd could react Kalkus Veth sets his sights on the medic and fires his weapon at him. With nowhere to run Marcus was prepared to die however Harmon quickly jumps in front of him protecting his mentor at the cost of his life.

As the Leman Russ's crew seems to become lifeless Ptesticles takes the opportunity to return to his comrades inside the base and immediately sees the Xenos group with Marcus clutching their dead comrade's lifeless body and quickly orders vorgen to attack the enemy vehicles. The enemy jetbikes superior speed proves to be a challenge however as they deftly dodge the chimera's autocannons and position themselves to flank the weakened tank. Piotr Rushes to Marcus' side firing pot shots at the black clad figure attempting to drag Marcus away from the threat.

Lapua calms himself down and listens to Odette's coordinates, and aims at the head of their quarry as it menacingly saunters toward his allies, and he simultaneously exhales as he pulls the trigger of his sniper rifle followed by a loud resounding bag from the weapon his sight is momentarily blinded. He hits the leader and his shot breaks through his armor and wounds the alien however it doesn't do enough damage to kill him but it does throw off the Eldar's aim causing him to miss both Marcus and Piotr.

The two Jetbikes begin to pelt the tank with their alien weaponry, silvery flashes of light and particles slam into the tanks hull ripping through its armor slowly but surely. Ptesticles makes a quick decision to ram the bunker behind him and use it as a sort of cover to prevent the jetbikes attack from penetrating his weaker side armor and create an avenue for escape for his companions outside. Seconds later dust fills the air as the tank rams the wall breaking it but also damaging their vehicle. The Jetbikes' riders weren't prepared for this and were taken aback. This momentary laspe of concentration was all Vorgen needed to fire a barrage at one of the bikes instantly destroying one of them in a blaze of fire; as the wreckage flips the two riders atop it rag-doll into the air and drop with a sickening thud among the rubble.

Piotr sees his chance for a short respite from the enemy onslaught and orders odette to drag Marcus away from combat and provides cover for both of them as he shoots at the Xenos leader. Lapua learning from his previous attacks corrects his aim once more and pulls the trigger for the final time. Before the alien could deal the finishing blow to Piotr's group his helmet bursts in crimson mist as Lapua's shot hits Kalkus Veth right in the head. As the life leaves the alien leaders body his remaining men promptly elevate their jetbike and throttle it in a hasty retreat.

By the time the entire ordeal ends and the squads regroup they realize that its well past midnight and the dark night lit only by the flames of war. Now with a clear layout of the base they see it is composed of a large barracks complex a small supply depot and an underground bunker. The few rebels that did surrender to them as soon as the general died proved to be useless most of them being low ranking soldiers they knew nothing about the interaction between the General and the Eldar. After performing executions the team takes a few minutes to catch their breaths and rearm themselves using the supplies from the depot the squad proceeds to initiate a sweep of the enemy compound starting first with the barracks thinking it might contain more of the rebels.

Piotr is first to enter the complex followed by Marcus and Lapua while Ptesticles waits outside in their chimera in case of emergencies. Inside the complex they find one large hallway populated by several doors on each side, each one of them locked or empty. Lapua however with his heightened senses notices that there are still people inside probably barricading themselves in one of the rooms. Using Lapua's senses they find one of the locked doors and hear the whispers and hasty preparations of its residents. Piotr primes a krak grenade to serve as a make-shift breaching device and ready his team mates for what they thought would be a simple encounter against a couple of enemy soldiers. Once the blast cleared and the door opened the team opened fire however they were unprepared for the 15 guardsmen barricaded inside; it seemed that the barracks walls were composed of wooden paritions easily removed to expand rooms, The cowardly soldiers used this to their advantage to create a defensible position after barricading several of the doors using their beds and lockers.

The sheer number of opponents made it hard for the three man team to eliminate them all, especially with only having 1 narrow opening to attack from; grenades couldn't manage to kill more than one as the guardsmen inside scattered themselves and hid behind makeshift cover to protect themselves from the blasts. The team radioed in Ptesticles to ram the shoddy barracks from the side to provide support, and in a few seconds he floors it hitting the south wall, the chimera carried too much inertia to be stopped with the brakes causing it to ram straight past the north wall, dazing its passengers, everything went much better than expected however 11 of the guardsmen couldn't avoid the oncoming vehicle due to the dust and smoke wafting through the air delaying their reactions inevitably causing their deaths.

Piotr takes this opportunity to exit the hallway and run towards the south wall to gain a better firing position; while Marcus and Lapua distract the enemies. As the remaining four rebels reposition themselves from the onslaught their allies hiding in the northern section of the bunker come to reinforce them through the broken wall increasing their number to 10 as they continue to suppress the two members of the 2nd Raiders by the hall.

Once Piotr manages to find a good piece of wall to act as both cover and his brace he primes his autogun for a full-auto burst killing one of the guardsmen with several direct hits; his armor stood no chance. The desperate rebels see the heavy gunner slay their ally and attack in retribution; two of them fire at Piotr; the weakened wall offered minimal protection against the lasgun barrage wounding him gravely and finally hitting him square in the head; the energy coursing through Piotrs body was too much for him to bear; burning most of his face and hair, leaving him unconscious.

Marcus and Lapua see their ally go down and are gripped with righteous fury; Marcus in desperation throws a Krak grenade at one of the rebels and with either sheer luck or skill hits the Severan soldier in the head, the impact causing the bomb to explode prematurely leaving a grisly headless corpse in its aftermath. Lapua continues to fire with his sniper rifle however the disadvantagous angles he fires at reduces his effectivness causing minor wounds on their enemies. The rebels retaliate once more their morale raised by both losing their own allies and knocking out one of their enemies; they fire at the two remaining members of the 2nd by the doorway. One barrage shot hits Lapua square in the chest; his armor and cover offering minimal protection and his weak frail body is burnt with the white hot energy rippling through him causing a nasty scar and leaves him in a near death state.

All hope is not lost however as Ptesticles recovers his bearing and manuevers the tank to face the remaining four Dominate troopers with a burst from Vorgens autocannon two of the guardsmen disintegrate from the blast and personally manning the heavy bolter the Operator squeezes the trigger and leaves nothing but red mist for the remaining two enemies.

It took a long while for the team to rest this time seeing as they had two members critically wounded; after Marcus attempts to patch them up as much as he can they team readies once more to continue their sweep. They enter the enemy bunker this time only aware that there should only be a few people manning the bunker; mainly a vox room, a command center and likely officers quarters. They first locate the officers quarter and catch three Severan storm troopers hastily burning officers journals and valuable tactical data. A few grenades and a couple of shots here and there made short work of the unprepared officers leaving the badly wounded team nearly unscathed. They recover what they could from the tactical data and journals and find more incriminating evidence of the Severan Dominate high command's treasonous dealings with the Eldar menace and an enemy supply schedule.

They continue searching the bunker accidentally finding General Scarus' personal quarters. Here they see a room of a man bred in battle its meager furnishings proving that the man spent most of his time in either a command center and front lines; the team however recovers valuable data on recent attack orders given to the Eldar menace; proving that it wasn't their predecessors teams incompetence against the rebels but their unpreparedness for facing the Xenos. The team finds the enemy command center unmanned and recover more valuable tactical data; one revealing the exact coordinates of previous eldar attack sites and the various supply routes the Severan Dominate uses.

They bust through the enemy vox room next finding two storm troopers attempting to warn the rest of the rebels about the bases status. The 2nd however quickly dispatch the rebels before they could finish their task. Using the tactical data they recovered they use the enemy command center to relay the information to Colonel Garn and place an ambush for the enemy supply lines. With their mission complete and knowing reinforcements are on their way the team takes the time to relax and explore the rest of the base.

Ptesticles locates a large cave behind the base and explores it; he discovers that this cave seemed to be the hideout for the Eldar finding what seems to be a sort of arena and torture chambers inside. As he delves deeper he sees a larger room that seems to be both some sort of laboratory and torture chamber; several dead bodies litter the various alien machinery and holding pens inside. It is here he finds 5 survivors hooked to a giant machine all cables, needles and other indescribable devices for inhuman experimentation and torture. As Ptesticles sees the horrors unleashed upon his fellow man he feels his sanity chip slowly. He quickly calls for Marcus to help him remove the survivors off the machines.

Within moments Marcus arrives and examines the patients, he notices three of them as members of the 37th Janissaries and two who appear to be natives. He successfully extracts the guardsmen off the machines but fails to do so with the natives. They waken briefly from their coma like state as the machines attempt to pull them back; the various blades and needles stuck in them plunge once more putting the patient's already strained body into shock killing them instantly. Marcus attempts to revive the three unconscious Janissaries and successfully wakens two of them, one however was too far gone to be revived.

Once Ptesticles recovers from the sight he continues on exploring the caverns and finds an ancient Hive Gate. After examining it closely he finds a control panel and attempts to use his meager knowledge to manipulate it. However its ancient machine spirits do not recognize him and barred him or everyone else; from what he could see ,entry.

The rest of the night passes by uneventfully with the team recovering most of their wounds. The following morning they leave the enemy base as their replacements arrive. After a few short hours of travel back to their own base they are greeted with a ceremony honoring their deeds and medals are awarded for everyone with an obvious rise in their reputation.

They are given orders to rest and refit till the Emperor needs them once more

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mapping the Redbrand Hideout Area 1 and 2 part 1

I thought my first Article would have been a review but the only thing I can review at the moment would be the 5E starter set adventure and its been how many months since its release and I'm pretty sure there are tons of reviews and play reports piled up all over the internet. However what I haven't seen are 3d mapping tips so I'll be posting a series of short part by part posts on making my own.

I've been inspired by terrain building videos and channels on yYouTubechannels mainly The GM's CraftThe DMinfo and this particular video by Epicfantasy

So lets begin. Chose Area 1 since its one of the likely entrances my players would enter first aside from area 8; but area 8 requires more work since its more of a natural cavern than a ruin type.

First get some tools; card board is easier to work with but this time i chose Styrofoam packaging mainly because it was easier to get(got it free at the office right before our IT guy nearly threw them out after opening new monitors.).

Like every map making video step 1 is draw your grid or planned grid. Area 1 is about 8 squares wide by 6 squares long; however its odd shape lets you chop it off into 2 3x6 pieces and a single 2x4 piece. And area 2 is a simple 3x4 room with a 1 tile extension for the entryway.

forgot to take a picture of the 2x4

Seen above are the various segments and the final layout of areas 1 and 2  I couldn't take a photo of making the stairway mezzanine and upper level of the entryway mainly because I'm not sure how well it would look once painted mainly because it was my first time making stairs and upper levels.

I wanted to paint these immediately but i realized i had a few things missing from my modeling and painting kits mainly because this was a spur of the moment decision seeing as I just had a holiday(thanks pope!).

My first problem was priming. I  did have a matte black spray paint but im unsure of how spray paint interacts with polystyrene and I'm afraid there's a chance the paint might melt it off, I could have tested it on a scrap piece but looking out side the weather suddenly turned cloudy and from my experiences in painting war-gaming miniatures cloudy days are bad for priming. And aside from my ancient GW Chaos Black pot I probably don't have enough plain black acrylic paint to cover most of the pieces.

Second problem was since I've been painting mostly Dwarfs, Spacemarines and Soviets(dust and bolt action) I dont have a collection of gray paints to paint the stone tiles and walls of the dungeons so even if I did manage to prime them I'd have ended up with several black pieces of styro.

However I now have 4 interchangeable and likely reusable tile pieces which is nice.

Ill be back by sunday for part 1.5 and 2 of this series; stay tuned or as the japanese say it つづく!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Wandering Begins

An old photo of my everexpanding RPG collection

Hi, I'm you're friendly wandering Dungeon Master Gino, I'm starting this blog due to being inspired by a couple of fellow Filipino Table Top gamers such as Astigisms! and Philgamer. This blog is mainly to express my own experiences, thoughts, opinions and some of my own DM tips and tricks.

 Who Am I? Brace yourselves because this is going to be long.

I'm a relatively a "young" DM in comparison to other DM's as I only started my table top experience sometime around my 2nd year of college which is approximately around 5 years more or less ago. I was one of those kids that learned of D&D and TTRPG in general due to pop culture references and viewd D&D as a thing of wonder one of those things that no one of my generation(that I knew of) ever played; that also means I missed playing the game from its inception(I wasnt even born yet for 1st edition) and what they call the golden age of RPGs during the 70's to early 90's.

The farthest I can remember on hearing about dungeons and dragons for the first time was with an episode of Dexter's Laboratory and that was way back in 1996/7 and i was like 6 or 7 years old. That was when I first wanted to find out what they were playing; sadly I never found out where to buy or play D&D then which led me to a life of computer games. Being part of the playstation generation I filled my hunger for RPG's with the classic JRPG's like the Final Fantasy Series, Breath of Fire and my Top 1 JRPG ever Suikoden II, I was satisfied playing these games until a friend and his older brother needed to test out Neverwinter Nights on our old windows 98 pc since they'res was broken and BAM! my first " D&D experience".

With Neverwinter I was hooked to the choice based roleplaying it gave me; no longer was i playing within a script I now had full control of my character and had to come to grips with my ingame decisions. NWN1 hooked me into more western RPG's (aside from Diablo) and its expansive choice system and so I searched for more games like it such as, Temple of Elemental Evil, NWN's sequel NWN2, Star Wars KotoR(sadly it was too late for me to experience Baldurs Gate 1 and 2 and Icewind Dale), even to MMORPG's starting with Ragnarok.

Many years later the un-fillable void which i tried to fill with video games became reachable with D&D 4E with Keep on the Shadowfell. At that time I knew I wouldn't find a DM nearby and so I took it upon myself to take the crown. I called forth my buddies and thus began my first foray into Table Top RPG's

In the short span of 5 or so years I deeply immersed myself into reading and experiencing various tabletop RPG's  as if I was making up for the past  years I never got to. Ive read, and ran various games starting with D&D4E, then Pathfinder to D&D3.5 even A Song of Ice and Fire RPG to non Fantasy games like Warhammer 40k Death Watch and Only War to FFG's new Starwars Edge of the Empire and the next thing to run/play on my list is Monte Cook's Numernera.

Thats it for my long winded mini RPG biography.

Aside from that I'm also an Illustrator(check out my galleries at or and avid gamer.

Oh and Honestly I have no idea what to post for my next articles and I'm very open to suggestions :D for now I'll probably do a review of D&D 5E or a Session Log for my Roll20 group.

Quick shout ot to Tagsessions!, Post52Dust formerly known as Makati Underground(not the R18 related thing), and now recently Raymz Games and Variable Play