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3106  Community / Classic Topics / Terrain and Vehicle Models? on: August 03, 2007, 08:49:23 PM
I use minis in my games, and sometimes I like to have scenes that will stick in the players' minds. For those I build some cardstock terrain. PDFs have the advantage of being inexpensive, easily customized, and if someone destroys your terrain then you can generally replace it. And the more terrain you have the more you can mix and match.

There are some good companies out there - with World Works Games being my favorite, they make a good sized line of modern urban terrain, though the Invader flying saucer from Ebbles also sees a good deal of use.

Ebbles makes some good SF terrain and vehicles while World Works has First Light, a set for building space ships. Smiley Ebbles' vehicles are very nice, though I have only built a very few.

Fat Dragon Games makes some, ummm, strangely familiar fighter craft for sci fi gaming as well. I feel that they work well with the World Works First Light set, and if I am ever running an old style Battlestar Galactica game I will know what to use.  Tongue

I would have included some images, but testing that showed how very large some of those pictures are.

Now if I could find some PDFs for Steampunk I would be all set.

The Auld Grump

*EDIT* I have been adding vehicles as well as terrain, so I changed the title of the thread.
3107  Community / Classic Topics / Re: Motivational posters on: August 03, 2007, 08:05:05 PM

The Auld Grump
3108  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Faerie - What Campaign Qualities Would You Run With? on: August 03, 2007, 03:19:11 PM
Heh, I might enjoy a game based on Neverwhere.  I actually used part of it in a Changeling: the Dreaming game set in London. London Under is a scary place. I remember reading a magazine article (National Geographic?) about just how much London is built over itself. I have been in American cities that had similarities, with Seattle Underground being one of the more accessible.

For Gaiman there is also American Gods, less useful for gaming, though Anansi Boys scaled the setting down a notch. I can't believe that they wanted to do a movie for Anansi Boys while taking out the supernatural elements and making the main characters Caucasian.  Undecided

The Auld Grump
3109  Community / Classic Topics / Re: Motivational posters on: August 03, 2007, 01:09:24 AM
Another handy site, possibly actually useful for creating handouts. Official Seal Generator.

The Auld Grump
3110  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Historical Snoop on: August 01, 2007, 12:57:41 AM
Heh, look up party lines, and how switchboard operators used to work - trust me, it was just as viable a means of intercepting communications as any today. Smiley *EDIT* The first automated switching system for telephones was invented because of operators listening in ad/or switching calls to other lines - specifically a mortician named Strowger had clients stolen by a rival who had a wife who was a telephone operator....

Wiretapping was done with telegraph lines in the eighteen hundreds. There were even devices that would replicate the telegraph signals in visual form. And strange as it may seem the fax machine dates back to 1843!

The Auld Grump
3111  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Problem Players? on: August 01, 2007, 12:50:03 AM
We had a 'problem player' in the very first D&D game that I ever played in (ca. 1976). That player was the DM - he had a best friend who would cast Charm Person on all the PCs, then play the entire game by himself. To make it worse the DM allowed him to order charmed characters to 'voluntarily' fail their saves against subsequent charms. Eventually we told him to get his friend to stop with the charms or we would find a new DM. He took this as a challenge, and ran the next game worse than the first few.

He was surprised when we actually gave him the boot, along with his friend. I ended up taking over as DM simply because I was the only other person who wanted the job, even though I was the youngest player in the group. (And I will tell you true, for the first year or so my adventures sucked! I was surprised a few years ago when I ran into one of those long ago players, and he thought I had done a good job. Heck, he remembered the games better than I did.)

While that was the first time I have been in a group that has decided to kick a player out the door it was not the last. Given a choice between a bad campaign and giving a player the boot I will choose the boot. It saves trouble in the long run.

That said, I have seen remarkable turn arounds, so the first step should always be to talk to the problem player. I have even been surprised when a problem player beat me to the punch, and asked how he could fit in with the game better. This was over subplots, something that he has since come to like. He is still in the group, and is one of the better players, he was always good in tactical situations, role playing and subplots just gave him trouble, he has gotten very good with them now.

The Auld Grump
3112  Community / Classic Topics / Re: Motivational posters on: July 31, 2007, 11:21:31 PM

The Auld Grump
3113  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Odd Sources for Inspiration on: July 31, 2007, 10:51:45 PM
Way to handle 'Bullet time' at a LARP? Not sure if this really counts as inspiration, but....

The Auld Grump
3114  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Places Not to Have Epic Battles on: July 31, 2007, 09:23:18 PM
I know. Hadn't mentioned it before, but it's a pattern of forumn interaction I heartily dislike - literally putting words in other folks mouths. Probably needs to go into FAQ.

That is good to know, when I make such quotes in the future I will endeavor to make the 'quoted' name as farcical as the 'quote'.

The Auld Grump
3115  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Odd Sources for Inspiration on: July 31, 2007, 09:08:04 PM
I'll use concept art (from Gamespy, RPGamer etc.), other art sites (Comic Art Community, deviantART) and other game art sites, like draining the Wizards site. Also artists cited in various game books have their own sites that are worth looking into.

You get ideas to expand or just basic background stuff.
For example, the Iconic characters from d20 Modern are kicking around in my game as various NPCs. The ship from Mass Effect (the Normandy) will end up in my next space game.
The illustrations in D20 Modern were rather better than the game in many ways. Gnoll pimp, mind flayer preacher, ogre hockey player.... Smiley

The Auld Grump
3116  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Faerie - What Campaign Qualities Would You Run With? on: July 31, 2007, 09:06:00 PM


Oh the synchronicity of life.

The San Diego Comic Convention was a very good show...
Saw Stardust did you?

The Auld Grump
3117  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Faerie - What Campaign Qualities Would You Run With? on: July 30, 2007, 09:58:13 PM
Many of the qualities depend on where you are in the realms of faerie - and its associated realms.

There are two major courts, and two minor courts, aligned with the seasons. While Summer has the better reputation it is not all that all that friendly towards mortals - Baal was a sun god, as is Balor of the Burning Eye, neither are the 'good guys' of their pantheons.

There is also Day and Night, Twilight and Dawn - these also have associations, not entirely in line with the seasons. Twilight and Dawn are safer, but Night and Day have more inherent power. Consider them societies or factions rather than courts. A Seelie fey may belong to the Winter Court, though it is rare, and he might belong to the Day faction - bright, shining, cold, and dangerous.

The friendlier fey actually belong to the minor courts - Spring and Autumn. These might well gain the Mellow Quality, while Day and Night, more vibrant and dangerous, might bear Tense Qualities. Outside of idyllic areas Tense would be rather more common than Mellow.

Spirited and/or Wire-Fu - these again depend on where you are. More likely activated for a scene than a season. Neither would make sense when you have gotten to Faerie through a gate within a barrow of dead kings. This is the realm of the Sluagh, pale, bloodless and lethal - the host, and the hunt of the unforgiven dead. (Not much like the White Wolf changelings at all, at all.) There is a great overlap between the fey and the dead.

Blockbuster... I really hadn't thought of, neither court really goes in for explosions much - though Goblins do. Smiley Their explosions tend to be small, focussed and lethal - rather the opposite of Blockbuster.

The goblins are... odd, even by Faerie standards. One minor Realm of Faerie (not associated with London Under) is The Goblin Market. Rossetti's Goblins are different, and there are some who find a certain subtext in the poem itself.

A Realm of Faerie that lies close to the mundane world is London Under - if you have ever read or seen Gaiman's Neverwhere then you know how the place works. Many of the inhabitants do not even realize that they are, or have become, fey. This is a quality that the setting shares with Dunsany's tales.

Campaign Quality: Faerie Magic

Magic is rather easier for many traditions to work while in Faerie, with a +2 Faerie bonus to spells not aligned with Faith. Faith based Traditions have a harder time of it, with a -2 Faerie penalty. However when Faith magics work then the fey have little defense against it, suffering from a -4 Faith penalty, while those who share the Faith gain a +1 or +1 bonus per die on any positive effects. When Faith works in Faerie at all it works wonders, for the Divine has made its presence known.

This Quality can still use some polishing, and still has not seen actual play.

The Auld Grump
3118  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Deathly Hallows (spoilers) on: July 30, 2007, 12:05:30 AM
And the phrase of the day is Blondicus Explodicus!

The Auld Grump
3119  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Faerie - What Campaign Qualities Would You Run With? on: July 29, 2007, 11:47:14 PM
I'd think the Strange Providence and perhaps Spirited qualities would apply within the realm, and maybe even Omni-Competent, if you want it to be a place where normal rules don't seem to apply.
Heh, Strange Providence is indeed one of the Qualities I chose - there are few true coincidences in Faerie, but many seeming ones.

I borrow from a lot of sources in regards to my version of Faerie, Lord Dunsany and Terry Pratchett are high on the list. Wee Free Men and Lords & Ladies are very good in this regard.

“Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.”

Seelie (sometimes Summer) elves will mess with you if you chance upon them. Unseelie (sometimes Winter) elves will seek you out. There is a little bit of Harry Dresden elves in there too, Summer Knight has the feel that I wanted for the Winter (sometimes Unseelie) Court. Ars Magica also serves, as does Dark Ages: Fae by White Wolf. While I loved playing and running Changeling I do not follow that game's vision of the Fae.

The realm of Faerie is in some way controlled by its Lords and Ladies. When a coincidence occurs it is meant to serve some purpose. When Strange Providence comes into play you can lay your bets that it is not Providence being served.

The Auld Grump
3120  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Faerie - What Campaign Qualities Would You Run With? on: July 29, 2007, 09:53:54 PM
Faerie has been part of my Spycraft setting for two years or so, though only one PC has ever gone there, and that was off camera. (He is a Mage of the Classic Fey tradition, and bumbled a spell. When a faerie showed up to carry him off for his failure he surprised me by going off willingly. As a result I suspect that his character had a good time while he was there....)

Rather than listing off all the campaign qualities I have chosen to make Faerie a different place I think that I shall cover them one at a time.... Hopefully others will chime in with ideas that I can steal borrow. Smiley

Revolving Door - My standard game does not have Revolving Door, however if you 'die' within the realms of Faerie it has half the standard cost to come back. However you can only come back in the Faerie realms, and can never return to the mundane world. Your type changes to Fey, and you gain some of the strengths and limitations thereof. You can also be summoned, for one scene per summoning, into the real world by someone who remembers your true name. (For most true name and given name are the same.)

The Auld Grump
*EDIT* It is, under most, but not all circumstances up to the player whether or not their character returns this way - if it is not the player's choice there is no cost for the return. If indeed it is the character who has appeared.
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