Monday, October 29, 2018

Screams Of Glee And Terror - Three

They kept on moving...

... through dimly lit passages...

... leaving a lot of mayhem behind.

It just does not get any better then this, if you ask me. Everybody had fun, there was a lot of mayhem and looting, and Sundry Mysteries uncovered.

I thought that the skeletal hands were very useful for moving the miniatures in the Underworld. The vertical extender went over well, and watching the players working in three dimensions was a treat. One player even came in remotely, which was both entertaining and instructive.

And we stuffed out faces, too; the potluck was a roaring success!

And Phil even played a part; I put his music tape on - the chanting, of course - just like he'd done for us on that Halloween all those years ago.

Screams Of Glee And Terror - Two

The source of the mystic chanting is discovered...

... and promptly disposed of.

The Cat, being a cat, rushes in where angels fear to tread

To the extreme consternation of her 'minder'

Screams Of Glee And Terror - One

The party arrives at the bottom of the air shaft, and looks around.

They discover that they are not alone...

.and cut loose with the heavy weapon, the Cat

Having disposed of the guards, they move on to the looting

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Ready For Tomorrow's Game!

Overview of the game table

What the players are seeing

The game opens where the previous game session ended, with the Sacred Cat doing a cat thing and jumping through an open door. The rest of the party, scenting trouble (and a whiff of Ancient Evil), are in hot pursuit.

Mayhem will, especially with this lot, ensue. I think Phil's going to get a lot of laughs out of this one...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Progress On All Fronts - Part Two

I have uses for these tiny lights.

We still don't have a new furnace, but we do have a brand new 'electric radiator' space heater that has all sorts of complicated controls. It's a 'smart' heater, and regulates itself as to temperature and power use. It's perfect for The Missus, as she doesn't have to monitor the thing constantly to get the most efficient use out of it. The smaller of our two 'manual' versions of this unit is now upstairs, to take the chill off our living quarters, and the larger is now in the game room to take the chill off that space. We also have three smaller ceramic/forced air heaters, which we use as 'point sources' for smaller area like the game room's little bathroom.

We still have to get all the paperwork done, and so it'll be a couple more weeks of life on the back-up for us until the new furnace is up and running. There's a possibility of getting central air conditioning at the same time, which will be a blessing for The Missus come next summer.

I was out doing a little shopping this past week, ahead of the game on Sunday, but it wasn't a very rewarding retail experience. My usual source of Halloween-themed stuff was pretty picked over, and this year's offerings were just the far said of 'too morbid' for my taste; nothing funny. I did get four strings of tiny battery-powered LED lights, for which I have uses, and some nice gauzy drapes for the vertical extender of the game table. I'm wanting to keep the Underworld we'll be exploring on Sunday a little concealed from the players until The Big Reveal, and I'm hoping that these will do the job.

Nothing at the usual big-box pet stores, either. Lots of driftwood and rocks, but I already have as much of that kind of scenery as I'll ever need. Nothing to see, so I moved on.

my last hope was a shop owned by an old friend, where I had hoped to find a suitable and impressive statue for the Temple of Mretten. The shop has gone very upscale, which I am glad for as I like the owner quite a lot, but the very posh young man behind the counter looked right through me while I was in the shop; I do not fit the profile of the customers that they want to have, it seems.

Not 'fitting the profile' has been an issue for me for a while. I once had an incident at the FLGS when I was buying some 'name-brand' miniatures, and the young man behind the counter was absolutely baffled when he discovered that I did not play the game that the figures had been produced for. "Why are you buying these, if you don't play the game?" was his plaintive wail of befuddlement; the other young man behind the counter then jumped in with his observation of Yours Truly: "He's really weird. He runs games, but doesn't play them." Well, I thought, all right; do you want my money or not? I did mention this little encounter to the owner of the place, and he allowed that any time I wanted to spend money in his establishment I was certainly welcome to do so.

So it goes, I guess. The lights also glow purple, on the second setting, and alternately blink both the nice warm lights and the purple ones on setting #3. I can think of uses for that, too... :)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Progress On All Fronts - Part One - Sunday, October 21st, 2018 - The Weekly Update

The Usual Suspects from the Fourth Sunday Group

All sorts of news, this time around, and everything that has been keeping me off-line for the past weeks.

The furnace repair people were in last week, and after three days of struggle finally declared our thirty-year-old furnace was a goner - bad heat exchanger - and as they can't get parts for the thing anymore we're getting a new furnace. So, all the stuff in the workshop had to get moved yesterday and today, as the people giving us the quote and scheduling the work need access to the area tomorrow morning. As just about everything is on casters, it wasn't much strain on my tired old back and we're food until the coming weekend. Everything rolls back for the Halloween game, and we'll have both room and heat for the same.

Had a very pleasant 'open day' today; one of the 'global moderators' for my forum dropped by and worked on the thing while I painted up the personality figures for next Sunday's game. From left to right, we have:

The Felinoid Rogue - a visitor from Someplace Else, and a PC from June's 'Free RPG Day" game

The Crossbow Officer - a 'native' PC, rolled up in D&D 5E, likes glaives

The Nlyss Warrior - another 'native', hired for his fighting skills'

The Tinalya - smart as all get out, on a natural '00', and a very well-played PC

The Nylss Warrior Woman - one of the very best chracters I have ever seen rolled up, has negative social skills - thus a perfect Nlyss - and with a name like Murr Dir Oboe is perfect for the part. I ask you: hat could possibly go wrong?

The Archer Officer - another Tsolyani ex-pat hired on by the Legion

The Sacred Cat of Bast - another one of the visitors from Someplace Else, and a PC from June's 'Free RPG Day" game who is played with utter purrfection

The Priestess of Bast - another one of the visitors from Someplace Else, and a PC from June's 'Free RPG Day" game who is supposedly the 'minder' of The Cat. You can guess how well that's working out.

The Dragonborn - a mercenary brought by dear old Captain Harchar from Someplace Else, and who threw Lord Chirine for a loop - who's he named after, remember? (The player swears she didn't remember the reference.) Hired for sheer impressiveness, and the stats are really good as well.

The Fremen Assassin - We get all kinds around the palace, and this is one of the visitors from Someplace Else, and a PC from June's 'Free RPG Day" game. The blue eyes went over really, really well with the Temple of Mretten, by the way.

The game sessions are running quite well, with the party heading into Dire Peril underneath the Temple of Mretten for the Halloween game. I suspect mayhem will ensue, and I'm looking forward to building this game board.

Heh, heh, heh... :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We're Still Here...

Phil would have approved, I think...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

- A quote from the only person to have: a) been the President of the United States; b) won the Nobel Peace Prize; and  c) to have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery on the field of battle. We could do no worse by following his example.

We are still here.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Week In Review - Bad, Horrid, And Good - Weekly Update - October 6th, 2018

We're having a rotten week, here at the Workbench.

On Wednesday, we got the news that both Janet's parents have been diagnosed with brain aneurysms, and that because it's a genetic thing she's also at risk for one. Her doctors have theorized that what they thought was the Bell's Palsy that cost her the use of the left side of her face may actually have been a small stroke caused by an aneurysm. It's very worrisome, as a number of her relatives have died from what were thought to be strokes.

On Thursday, the electric power drop to the house came apart, and I had to come home early to deal with the power company and the fire department - we did get power back after four in the morning, but it made for a very long night.

On Friday, the house's furnace failed, and we will not see a repair person until October 16th. We're limping along on our back-up heaters, with a back-up to the back-ups waiting in the wings.

I also chipped a tooth, that night.

So; let's have some good news:

Tim Erickson, of TRE Games, has done some new furniture, pictured above. Just the thing for the busy office, and for those curious player-characters  to have a peek into.

Why 'peek into'?

Because - and you may want to be sitting down for this - all three have working drawers. Let me say that again: working drawers. Regular readers of this little confection will be aware that I like miniature stuff, and to me this is right up their with treasure chests and crates that can be opened. All sorts of possibilities occur to me - and Tim has been kind enough to include a sheet of maps or papers as appropriate to each item of furniture.

The mind of a gamer like me boggles at the though and at the possibilities. Now, all I have to do is hand the players a set of my dental picks when they want to open some drawers...

Mayhem will ensue. Positively, absolutely.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Pause For Reflection, After Hearing About Duke's Passing...

Still here; still breathing.

I'm in the midst of a pause to reflect on my gaming, and my life in the hobby. Duke was one of the greatest of all miniatures gamers, and he was an inspiration to me for many years. I still like to run the big, multi-player games; I run them like the good Major's 'Braunstein', but at least I still run them.

And people seem to like them; I usually get a good turn-out, and a great game once the players realize that this is what's called, these days, 'open sandbox play'.

With the turn of the month, we're heading into what's going to be a busy schedule of gaming for me. The even-numbered Sundays will be the game days for the two groups, and the odd-numbered days 'open house' days for people to drop by if they wish and do everything from painting figures to small skirmishes. I think it'll help me, by keeping me in focus, and I'm looking forward to it all. And, if there's a fifth Sunday in the month, I get a day off... :)

Gaming, from my point of view, ha really changed over the past forty years. With this new campaign and game group, I am going back to my roots in gaming to those days at Conflict Simulation Association meetings, where the game was the ting and laughter the rule of the day. We played anything and everything, and I'm headed back into that way of looking at games.

I am usually assumed to be playing / running Tekumel, which has occasioned some confusion when I buy things like my three regiments of Zulus. I do game in other periods, and I may do a little reporting on that in the future. My Ancient Egyptian efforts have spawned some interest, so why not the other Ancient's that I dabble in from time to time?

I'm gonna miss Duke. Hadn't talked to him in years, but I'll always treasure the times I have with him at conventions. Still got some of his paints, too, and still using them...

Monday, October 1, 2018

Great News, Sad News - The Weekly Update - September 30th, 2018

From the 'Lost Minis' wiki, which you should look at...

This will be a series of very short takes; I've had  a very long week.

First, the sad news: Duke Siegfried passed away yesterday. He's one of those people I grew up with in the gaming hobby, and he'll be missed. A lot.

Second, the great news:

(1) Dr. Amina Inloes, of the Islamic College in London, as had her paper on Prof. Barker, Tekumel, and Islam published. I will provide a link as soon as I can get one.

(2) The folks at Ral Partha are having a Kickstarter to get more vintage miniatures back into production. See the news at

(3) Dr, Mike Burns at Dark Fable Miniatures (see link to the right) is having a sale on selected set after his latest Kickstarter funded quite successfully. The Missus backed this, as she usually does, and we'll soon have new figures on the way.

(4) There's a major audio documentary about Prof. Barker and Tekumel in the works, being done with the cooperation of Michael Mornard - better known as Kerdu Mnashu Korunme hi Chaishyani, Mnashu of Thri'il. More on this as I get it, of course...

In other news, we're in the midst of getting the house ready for winter; I hauled the air conditioners in today, and got a lot of other heavy lifting done throughout this past week. I think the results will be worth it, especially for the gaming groups, but I'm pretty tired out.

Lots more to come!!!