Sunday, November 13, 2011

Interface Zero - Part 3

So, where we last left off, Jackson was facing off in melee with a ninja looking suspiciously like Tabitha, Simon was advancing on the conference room, Tabitha was clumsily checking out the offices, and Zeb was on overwatch.

An explosion signifies the deployment of the second enemy team. Fortunately, Zeb, expecting something like that, already had them in his sights, and immediately takes out one of the six.

As Jackson and Tabitha 2 are trading blows, Simon runs in, grabs the silver box, and bolts.

Taking advantage of the confusion, Zeb takes out the leader of the strike team.

Tabitha goes to check out the damage done by the explosion, tripping over one of the dead bodies in the process.

The strike team retreats, regroups, and readvances, to no avail. Zeb takes out two more.

Finally, Jackson gets a solid blow in, knocking the ninja unconscious. As the sword tumbles from her hand, Jackson's programming goes directly from self-preservation to medic and kneels down to patch her up.

The remaining two members of the strike team decide to bolt and get into the van to make their escape, unfortunately Zeb sees one get into the drivers seat and cuts him down.

With the box in hand, Simon calls for a hasty retreat. The last remaining member of our own support team reports that he's captured a prisoner and will be bringing him along.

The last remaining enemy in the van bolts out the back, with Zeb in hot pursuit. As he makes it to the front of the building, Zeb turns the corner and shoots him in the back. Down he goes.

The team finally regroups and boards the armored bus for departure. Despite Zeb's protests to grease the prisoner, Simon proceeds to interrogate him. They find out that he's just an actor playing a part and explains that the script didn't go as planned. At that point, the team realizes they've been set up and decide to go to one of Simon's safehouses.

Meanwhile, Jackson gazes into the laserfine patters on the silver box, gets lost in them and almost loses his "humanity". Fortunately, he snaps out of it, oblivious.

The group, sans their remaining support member and prisoner, but with an unconscious ninja Tabitha, sit in Simon's safehouse pondering their next move...

Interface Zero - Part 2

This is a rough outline of our second game. I hope to add more details (or even write it as Jackson's log file!) in the future.

Tabitha wakes up on the operating table, staring into the big plastic grin of her attending physician, Jackson.

Jackson fails to heal her with a, "there, there now." He tries again under Dr. Bob's watchful eye and succeeds. Then gets promptly fired.

Jackson overhears Tabitha and Simon talking about a job, so he asks if he could tag along. They agree.

Tabitha finally gets a decent shower while Simon and Jackson raid the medical supplies.

They end up taking a taxi manned by a orc with a samurai sword to Yorktown mall.

They speak with a fat, sweaty lawyer who offers them a job retrieving a silver box with the numbers "0,0,0" on it from the HelpDesk Inc. main office. After some clever positioning and negotiating by Simon, they agree. Meanwhile, Jeb, on lookout, gets harassed by mall security. He sternly explains that his ginormous sniper rifle is a gift for his wife. The rentacop leaves quietly. They all jump into an armored bus manned by the same "orc" and are joined by another 4-man tac team.

They reach the HelpDesk Inc. main office, deploy, and send the tac team in first.

All the previous occupants inside appears to be cut to death.

Shortly thereafter, another team in two vans shows up. One van deploys at the front gate wearing red armor and begin a pitched battle with the tac team. The other van proceeds around back.

Meanwhile, the PCs work their way into the back. Simon gets in and starts hacking the system to try and locate the box. Tabitha is checking out the nearest likely rooms. Simon discovers a meeting about the box was scheduled in the main conference room. Jackson runs there immediately, trying to avoid the rounds and grenades being tossed back and forth at the front of the building.

Once he arrives, the room is dark. He flicks on the light to see the entire meeting group dead in their seats, the silver box in the middle of the table. Out of his peripheral vision, something drops from the ceiling.

He turns to see a female ninja wearing samurai armor. She has Tabitha's face!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interface Zero

Last night,  I got my first chance to play Interface Zero, a cyberpunk setting for the Savage Worlds RPG.  Josh ran it (a different Josh), and since we were short players, I was able to talk Eric and another Fair Game patron into playing with us. I am very happy with how it played out, so here's my post-game writeup:


That's the first thing I remember.

Then I opened my eyes.

Still pitch black.

I thought, "well, at least I'm alive." Then I patted myself down to take stock of myself. I seemed to be unscathed, wearing some sort of paper, but I was constricted by something. Fumbling around, I found the backside of a zipper. I paused to listen before trying it. Footsteps. I decided to get out of whatever it was I was in and quickly. I worked the zipper from the inside, bright light pouring in and stinging my eyes.

"Are you alright?" asked the figure standing in front of me.

"Who are you?" I snapped back.

"My name's Simon. I've come to get you out of here."

"Here where? Where am I?"

"Downers Grove."

"Downers who?"

"Downers Grove. It's a shithole in the walled city of Chicago."

My eyes adjusted to the light, fading to the dim light of the decrepit room. Simon squatted down next to a nicely wrapped box with a bow that was near the bag I escaped from. He undid the bow and the box unfolded, revealing a card, a credstick, a pistol, and a knife.

"Tabitha? I think these are yours," he said.

I moved over to the objects and picked up the card. It was blank, but my mind superimposed words over it: "Take these and run."

I looked up at Simon. He seemed to have received a similar message as well, as he produced a briefcase, opened it, and retrieved a pistol.

I put the card and credstick in one of my paper pockets, tossed the box and ribbon into Simon's briefcase a fraction of a second before he snapped it shut, and picked up my gift weapons - one in each hand.

Simon made his way to the staircase down and I followed close behind. At the base of the stairs, a man with a huge rifle was keeping two other men at bay. The closer of the two, seeing Simon step off the stairs, called out, "let's make this easy. We just came for the merchandise," and nodded in my direction.

"Well, you can't have HER," replied Simon. "Why don't you leave before somebody gets hurt."

About that time, I heard a car pull up. The second guy turned and stepped outside to speak with the driver.

"Listen, in about two minutes, I'm going to have to put you both down and take the merchandise anyway."

Something about the way he said it triggered something in Simon. In one smooth movement, Simon darted across the hall, triggered the spring-loaded knife release in his boot, caught the knife, and plunged it into the guy's throat.

He grabbed his throat, dropped to his knees, and gurgled, "well, that sucks."

I'm surprised I remember that, as I was also enraged by his comment, tore across the hallway and out the door, and found my own knife plunged into the other guy's back. As he dropped to the concrete, the driver calmly asked, "now who's gonna pay for these sandwiches?"

Simon stepped up and said, "that's my order. Can we also get a lift out of Downers Grove?"

"That's strictly against policy. But the going rate's 10 credits each."

While Simon was making arrangements, I pulled out the card and looked at it again. This time, my mind read it: "Congratulations."

I then decided to check the two dead men. The were both carrying large pistols, both carrying credsticks, and both carrying I.D.s showing that they were Level 1 Support personnel for HelpDesk Inc. I took all of it. They were both wearing what looked to be almost identical outfits made to look like distressed street clothes. Actually, now that I think about it, they almost LOOKED identical.

I grabbed one of the jackets and a pair of boots and put them on.

Simon, the silent guy with the rifle, and I climbed into the small delivery vehicle. I handed Simon the credsticks, one of which he promptly paid the driver with and tossed out the window.

"Can I have one of the sandwiches?" I asked.

Simon handed me one, which I tore open and voraciously ate. It was simultaneously the best and worst thing I ever ate. It was a flavor I had never experienced, yet vaguely remember. At the same time I could taste each individual artificial chemical used in the processed protein and texturized vegetable matter.

Simon directed the driver to his apartment, which was situated above a convenient store. Upon arrival, the silent guy with the rifle got out and started hiking off into the distance, Simon stepped out, waved, and called after him, "See ya Zeb. Thanks!"

Simon's apartment was a sparsely furnished couple of rooms that doubled as storage for some of the convenient store's old hardware. Taking a look around, I found a pristine envelope taped to the side of an ancient slushy machine. "Hey Simon, what's this?"

Simon looked just as confused as I. He tore it off the side of the machine, opened the envelope, and removed another blank card. He stared at it for a long while, then looked up at me with furrowed brow. "I'm going to find out what HelpDesk Inc. is all about."

He sat down at a desk that had to be about 80 years old. "Huh, looks like there's two new job postings for them on craigslist."

I sat down at the coffee table and started going through the objects I collected during the evening:
  • Boots - Men's, artificially distressed, no labels.

"Checking their public site."

  • Jacket - Artificially distressed, no labels, bloody hole through the back.

"Nothing exciting."

  • Two Plastic I.D.s - HelpDesk, Inc. Level 1 Support. Nothing else.

"Just a firm that rents out low-level security personnel."

  • Two 10mm Watchdog Automatic Pistols - New, registered to HelpDesk Inc., fired two or three times at the most, 12 rounds each.

"I'm hitting up their private site."

  • One 10mm Watchdog Automatic Pistol - New, unmarked, unregistered, and direct from the manufacturer.

"Huh, there's a big gap in their firewall…"

  • One Combat Knife - New, unmarked, unregistered, and direct from the manufacturer, bloody.

"Big white room. Single file cabinet in the middle."

  • Box and ribbon - High quality, otherwise unremarkable.

"I'm gonna open it."

  • Blank card - Now it says, "We'll be in touch."

"Damn! Nothing in… SHIT!"

  • Credstick - Labeled, "Rasa, Tabula."

Simon snapped out of his trance and sat upright in his chair, "damn honeypot…"

"Rasa, Tabula." Is that my name? Simon called me Tabitha. Did he read it correctly?

"How'd you end up in that body bag?"

"I don't know."

"Well, what happened before you climbed out of it?"

"It was dark."

"Do you remember anything before that?"

I thought for a long while. "I don't remember anything before that..."

"Hey, I just got an IM from some guy. He liked our work dispatching the HelpDesk guys and wants to offer us a pickup job."

Something wasn't right. "That was awfully quick. I don't trust them."

"Yeah, but it's a job working for a company on the same level as HelpDesk."

"How do you know it's NOT HelpDesk trying to set us up?"

"Well, our only other plan is to take those two openings and work for HelpDesk… Anyway, we got a couple of days to decide. It's 5 AM, and I can use some sleep."

Simon moved to his cot, made no attempt at removing clothing, warned me, "don't go outside," and, as promised, went to sleep.

I was still reeling from the night's events, so I decided to do some online shopping and pulled up MallMart's clothing line. After perusing their entire catalog, I settled on some comfortable athletic wear, rugged running shoes, and a pleather jacket with ballistic panel inserts. They said it would be delivered within the hour, so I decided to take a quick shower.

Unfortunately, Simon's bathroom left something to be desired. Like cleanliness. My best bet would be to do some spot cleaning.

I shed the blood-splattered paper coveralls, wet some toilet paper, and stood in front of the cracked mirror. The body was medium-dark skinned and athletically built. But the face was startling. Blonde, pale eyes, strong bone structure. I didn't recognize it all, yet at the same time something deep inside was familiar about it.

I wiped off the remaining blood droplets and scanned my body for any distinguishing marks. As I ran my fingers over the nape of my neck I felt a raised pattern. I swiveled my shoulders around enough to make out the the genetically modified roman numeral "III".

At that moment, I was notified that my package had arrived and was waiting for me downstairs. I hurriedly pulled on the paper coveralls, put on the boots and ran downstairs.

Waiting for me was the same car and driver from earlier in the evening, however the "Johnny Jim's" placard had been replaced with "MallMart". I took the package from him, thanked him, and bid him a good evening. I opened the box, pulled out the armored pleather jacked and put it on. Then I decided to look around the area.

Noticing the convenient store clerk and my dry throat at about the same time, I stepped inside the brightly lit store.

Annoyed, he impatiently looked up from what he was working on.

"Hi! Where can I find the drinks?" I asked.

He jabbed a grungy finger across the store to a sign that boldly read, "DRINKS."

"Oh, thanks!"

I made my way over to the slushy machine and poured myself the largest CrocAde Slushy available.

"Hi! Whatcha working' on?" I asked as I stepped up to the bulletproof booth to pay.

"I saw you come in earlier. You Simon's new girlfriend?"

"Well, I'm female and I'm Simon's friend, but that's about the extent of it."

"Well, a couple of guys were in here asking about you."

"When?!?" I shouted.

"About fifteen minutes ago."

"What'd they look like?!?"

"I dunno. Like street thugs."

I bolted for Simon's apartment.

Once inside, I ran over to Simon's cot and shook him.


"Simon! They're here!"

"Who is?"

"Those guys!"

Rubbing his eyes, "Who?"

"HelpDesk Inc.!"

Fully awake now, "When?"

"About fifteen minutes ago!"

Simon leapt up and grabbed his weapons. I hurriedly tore off the paper garments and replaced them with my new purchases, jamming two pistols into the pockets of the jacket.

Then we ran back downstairs.

Carefully rounding the corner of the building, we noticed the convenient store clerk conspicuously missing. We entered the store and noticed some movement in the back row by the drink coolers. Simon went right, I took the left.

"Bang!" Simon's gun went off and Simon ducked back behind the shelves. There was obviously a threat, but Simon didn't hit it.

I decided to try my side. I ran to the end of the rows, peeked around the shelves and fired on the unsuspecting thug. He didn't stand a chance, going down with a thud. I ran back to the clerk's bulletproof booth only to meet the barrel of another thug's gun inside. Startled, I tried to stop quickly, but only slid in the puddle of the clerk's blood and ended up on my ass.

The thug fired. He was apparently startled as well, as his bullet hit the ceiling. I fumbled for my second pistol, fired both, but only one connected, putting the thug down.

I got myself on my feet and found the clerk's assault rifle behind the counter just in time to see another thug advancing on Simon. I pulled the trigger on the AR and held it down, putting several rounds into the bulletproof glass between me and Simon's new threat.

My bluff worked, because the thug bolted out the back of the store with Simon hot on his heels.

Just as Simon was about to clear the door to the stockroom, he stopped suddenly and dodged back into the store just as a launched grenade passed through the door and into the frozen foods behind him, blowing up the produce section and raining down bits of flaming vegetables.

I ran out of the clerk's booth and around the shelves, just in time to see a man in heavy red armor raise an assault rifle at Simon's prone body, forcing him to drop his gun. That's when I opened up on the guy in the red armor. Unfortunately, the armor did what it was supposed to, so I ducked back behind the shelves.

Simon took the distraction as an opportunity to pop his spring-loaded boot knife and try to find a chink in the armor. And failed.

Just as I was about to take another shot at the man in red, one of the thugs got the drop on me, sinking his blade deep into my right shoulder, cutting muscle and scraping bone. The pain was incredible!

It gets fuzzy from there. I remember sliding down the shelves to the floor. I remember handing the clerk's assault rifle to Simon. I remember the sound of breaking glass and my assailant's head disappearing in a pink cloud. I remember Simon frantically trying to apply medical care to me. I remember a few more shots. Then…


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oil Rig Build Log - Part 5

It's been a while since I posted something, so here's a photo update. The miniatures are coming along nicely and we're experimenting with railings:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

FIASCO Anyone?

So.... we FINALLY got around to trying FIASCO out last night.


There were four of us, Josh, Marty, and myself, who are veteran roleplayers, and Jen, who played D&D once and hated it but is taking improv classes currently. Even with learning how to play (I read the rules through twice beforehand), it took us just under three hours to complete a story, from beginning to end. And it was a DOOZY!

Here were some of the more interesting highlights of the game:
• Ecoterrorists selling weaponized algae to the Ruskies
• A bizarre love triangle between mother, father, daughter with an unexpected pregnancy
• One of the Ruskies killed with a pickaxe in the first act
• One of the characters burning half her face off and ending up in a morphine-induced stupor
• Three out of four main characters dying horrible deaths by the end of the story
• All of us enjoyed it immensely!

The rules as read, seem a bit weird at first, but in play they're dead simple:
Setup: Roll 2 white dice and 2 black dice per player (in this case, 16 total). "Spend" the dice to "buy" and qualify Relationships, Needs, Objects, and Locations. There is one Relationship between each player as they sit around the table (4 total) - so no characters, per se. With four players, there are two Needs, one Object, and one Location. Once the dice are spent, the players discuss who their characters are based on their Relationships (and Needs).
Act 1: The dice are returned to the center. Each player takes turns playing their character in a scene. They can choose to Establish the scene and have the rest of the group Resolve it, or choose to have the group Establish the scene so they can Resolve it themselves. Resolution is accomplished by grabbing one of the dice from the center and finishing the scene, white signifying a positive outcome of the scene, black signifying a negative outcome. The die is then given away to one of the players other than the one whose scene it is.
The Tilt: When half of the dice are gone, the players roll their gained dice, group totals into black and white, and subtract the lower from the higher. The person with the highest white score and the person with the highest black score roll the remaining dice from the center and "buy" and define two new complications, returning those dice back to the center.
Take a break: Discuss how the game is going, grab a drink, take a potty break.
Act 2: Second verse, same as the first. It plays exactly like the first act, except you now keep the Resolve dice. Try to bring in the complications from The Tilt.
The Aftermath: All the dice should be in the hands of the players. They roll them as in The Tilt, but now the white and black values determine what happens to their characters as the story crashes into the ground. Higher numbers are better (fame, fortune), lower numbers are worse (death, dismemberment). Then players then take turns describing what is happening to their characters at the end of the story in short vignettes, "burning" a die each time. Use the format, "This is [character name], [doing something]."
Like I said, easier to play than to read.

Two final thoughts:
1. Josh asked if he could run one of the scenes as a flashback. There was a resounding "Yes!" We like how flexible the game is to this kind of thing.
2. Marty said he would have gone to see it if it was a movie. He's in the process of writing it up. Hopefully I can post it here...

Too Many Tabbies

Google Chrome has become cumbersome with the number of tabs I have open. You know what this means? Link Dump!

Map of the Interior World

The Stainless Steel Rat Series


GMF20 Fire Wasp at Grey Matter Miniatures
Bolter and Chainsword (awesome bases)
Secret Weapon Miniatures (for bases and weathering materials)

Vacation Spots

ElementCase for iPhone 4

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oil Rig Build Log - Part 4

As promised, here's the Oil Rig Build Log Update!

Pete cut 1" steps from some extruded polystyrene foam sheet insulation (otherwise known as "pink" or "blue foam"), glued them in place, and coated them with some left over household latex paint. The paint seals the foam so we can spray paint it. Without it, the propellant in the spray paint will dissolve the foam.

At this point, we're pretty much done with the playtest mockup. All we needed was a placeholder for the oil derrick. So, some scrap cardboard later, and voila!
To maintain overall proportion, we decided upon a 20" tall derrick.

Here you can see the scale of this project. Our stand-ins are a couple of PanOceania mins from Infinity.
(Check out those railings...)

Here's the PanO guys boarding a helo for a quick escape!

As I had mentioned, we planned on spray painting the rig to unify the appearance and hide the imperfections. Here's an action shot of Pete!

Four cans of cheap grey spray paint later and here's the finished product. Lookin' good!
That should suffice as far as usability for play testing!

Now on to the miniatures!

We had briefly discussed using the existing Infinity miniature line, but in a very specific scenario/terrain such as this, we figured we'd streamline the rules to minimize the complexity. As such, the mins weren't as important. That meant we could return to the concept of an SpecOps attacking force, and a "goon" defending force.

For the attackers, we found the Eureka Miniature line and really liked their NATO Special Forces Frogmen (this is the Eureka Miniatures USA link - they're based out of Australia). Here's what they look like cleaned up, their bases sawed off, and pinned:

For the defenders, after an exhaustive search, we settled on 'Guards in Hard Hats' from Copplestone Castings in their 1960's Characters line. I don't have a picture of them, so this will have to do:
We ordered 12 of them as we are assuming the defenders will be at a disadvantage, so a 2 to 1 numerical advantage should help.

Just a cool picture Pete took showing the scale of the bits we've assembled so far:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adventures in Gamma World 4e - Season 2

Now that I have completed my tour of duty, Marty is taking the reins and running our Gamma World campaign, and I'll be putting on my PC hat. He's running us through "Famine in Far-Go". (BTW, I was using the "Steading of the Iron King" from the main Gamma World boxed set and the "Trouble in Freesboro" Gamma World Game Day module in case you were wondering.)

Marty started by narrating the events that transpired immediately after the previous group jumped into the Beta Chamber. Frank and Gypsie went in together, but were separated kicking and screaming. The rest went in at various intervals. Since it's essentially a new game with new players only Chris decided to stay with his character Brainulo. Pete wasn't available for this session, so Gypsie made it through as well, but we'll see if Pete joins the new session.

So on to the new roster!

Aloicious or "Al" (played by Mike): Gelatinous Fungoid - A lump of clear Jello that releases spores on occasion. Also has the personality of a lump of Jello.

Brainulo (played by Chris): Radioactive Telekinetic - Basically a giant floating brain that armors itself with a shifting shield of telekinetically manipulated scraps of metal and talks with a Stephen Hawking-like voice box.

Charlie (played by Ashley): Ectoplasmic Shapechanger - Simply, a shape-changing ghost! She's still trying to get a handle on how to wear armor, use weapons, and carry things.

Chum (played by me): Simian Electrokinetic - "Chum was naturally born on Gamma Terra in a sentient great ape enclave on the shores of an electric volcanic lake. He was born the middle child - older brother Fodder, younger sister Gibs. These are their common names, chosen when they are of age to leave the enclave. The family chose the names on the belief that "lucky" names bring nothing but ill, ergo "unlucky" names bring prosperity.
Their names may have saved them, but unfortunately did not save the enclave. One day, the fish folk of the lake decided to take to the shores and ransacked the village, scattering the surviving inhabitants far and wide.
Chum has been moving from settlement to settlement, lending a hand as needed. He's currently settled in Far-Go as the townsfolk have given him a sizeable home in exchange for some basic protection from the nearby wildlife.
Chum's getting up in ape years (around 45, give or take) and has decided he is looking for a few things before he can take his final rest: a little knowledge, a little spirituality, a little compassion, a little bit of home, and maybe a really pretty laser rifle."

Zazz!™ (played by John): Felinoid Arachnid - "Zazz!™ doesn't remember much about his childhood. Dad was furry and Mom had extra legs. Zazz!™ is something in between. His parents died some time ago and left him alone. Zazz!™ wandered away from home after getting lonely and bored. He has wandered the waste for some time and has met many people, none who have had a more snazzy name than 'Zazz!™'. Recently he met Charlie, some sort of ghost thing in a suit of armor. Zazz!™ thinks Charlie is pretty, but Charlie 'just wants to be friends' and always tells Zazz!™ what a good friend he is. He doesn't like that, but is glad for the company."

And now on to the recap:

Chum's Log - 2-22-Six-Monkey-Aww screw it! If I ever find out who came up with that nomenclature, I'll plant some cast iron in their face!

Slept hard after the locals and I did some weed-whackin' last night. Those little plant things make my fur tangle.

Woke up to the sound of breakfast blurpin' in my ear. Unfortunately, the bastard got away before I could get my mitts on it. Half-way though plan B - Cap'n Cola - the town alarm went up. Grabbed my gear and headed out in the crappy Far-Go weather. Thank the Great Ape for umbrellas - if I didn't have one, my coat'd be singed somethin' fierce.

Turns out Jessup found some brain-thing in his fields. Swear he should have scooped up a handful and shoved it into his ear - he could use a healthy heapin' of grey matter. Anyway, grabbed Jake and Lyall and followed Jessup to his find.

On the way there, we stumbled across a blonde human also layin' in the field. She was bloodied up a bit and held a severed digit of some sort in her clawed hand. She was still breathin' and seein' as humans usually pose less of a threat than others, I had Jessup take care of her while Jake, Lyall and I continued on our search for Jessup's brain.

Didn't take long before the idiot started screamin' and runnin' back into town. Looked like he kicked up some dust as he went. The boys and I went back to the female and discovered she was not alone. Couldn't make out what it was, so against my better judgement, I decided to toss a beer on it hopin' the liquid gold might make it more visible. To our surprise, it caught the damn thing and returned the favor. Turns out it's some sort of sentient gelatinous beer dispenser. Says its name is "Al".

Sent Jake into town with the human. As he was headin' out, a couple of strangers came to meet us and the beer dispenser - a furry spider-lookin' thing with a belt buckle that says ZAZZ, and an honest-to-goodness ghost named Charlie. Apparently, they were respondin' to the town folk's call for help.

Sent Lyall to go check on Jessup and the new three and I went to go find the brain.

Sure enough, there it was, big as a tree-stump, complete with eyeballs, all connected to wires and such, and formin' a bruise on one side. Got 'round the side without the eyes and poked it a bit. The others got it awake tho. "Al" let loose a cloud of somethin', helpin' the brain resume normal functions and invigoratin' the rest of us. Weird li'l bastard, but somethin' we should keep handy.

Anyway, the brain tells us it fell form the sky. Doesn't remember much else, however. That's about the time we heard the town bell AND siren.

As we got closer to town, the alarm fell silent - along with the rest of the town. Eerily so. When we got to the center, we found a small army of Dead'uns, this time commanded by three flyin' eyeball things. That's new. What's with all these flyin'/fallin' body parts? Speakin' of, Brainy rushed in (against my warnin' 'bout them explodin' Dead'uns) and blasted a bunch of 'em with some thought-wave or somethin'. He can stay, too.

The eyeball things shoot some sort of blindin'-purple-death-ray. Blinded Brainy, Charlie, and Zazz a couple times. Fortunately, they knock out of the sky pretty easily.

After the first go-'round of blindin', Brainy and Charlie disappeared. Shortly thereafter, our ghostie came through the walls of a nearby building and gave one of them flyin' eyes a good squeeze - kinda creepy, kinda interestin'. Zazz coughs up some sort of webs - kinda disturbin'.

All the while we were workin' on the flyin' eyes, our li'l beer dispenser was whittlin' down the Dead'uns. I was kinda worried it'd befriend them, but it kept at its task. Dropped a beer in the scuffle, however. That beer turned out to be the final killin' blow on the last eye. I gotta stop wastin' beer like that. At least I got a sip before slingin' it at the damn thing.

Now about that screamin'.....

Monday, February 21, 2011

*Sigh*..... back to link dumping...

Mainly miniature resources:
OZ Painters
Copplestone Castings
Foundry Miniatures (Street Violence)
Old Crow Models (took over Ainsty, but that's been bought again)
RAFM Miniatures - USX Modern Day Heroes

A couple of very nice artists' blogs:
 - in particular:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oil Rig Build Log - Part 3

Making progress! We've got it to a point where it's definitely playable terrain, but still needs some work.

Before we move on to the build report, a couple of interesting notes:
 Upside down it would make some totally awesome  terrain for Battletech!
 Also, it's built like a tank! Here we're using two tubs full of Lego to weigh it down while the glue dries. Lego aint light! (Yeah, Pete's got a ton of Lego. Plus check out that carpeting!)

Okay, back to the build! This round, we decided on and built the upper deck layout, mounted the support columns for the cranes, and tried out the helipad.

This was done on Saturday. Since then, we've been moving forward on some of the cover and loose terrain bits. Pete's put together some nice real wood pallets (1" x 1") and some crates:
I decided to scour the internet and start purchasing some of the more difficult to obtain items. In particular:

  • The oil derrick. This is going to be tricky. Not only is it the biggest and most recognizable feature of the the project, but there are very few pre-built ones in a scale close enough! We decided to go ahead and order the Plastruct Electrical Towers & Oil Rig Kit from Hobbylinc. It came in today. However... the oil rig kit looks... a little... small. The girder bits are small and the base is only about 4" across. The instructions are almost useless, but the drawings are worthwhile. It might be useful to try building it as-is with the same philosophy as the cardboard mock-up.
  • Forklifts. After some extensive searching, I found some roughly 1/64 scale die-cast forklifts made by Welly toys and bought two red ones off eBay for $5 each. They arrived today as well. The forklifts are pretty neat and look in-scale. They come with cheap plastic pallets that are 1" x 1 3/8", so Pete's should work fine.
  • Winches. We are contemplating building winches from scratch, but seeing how work-intensive this project will be, we are weighing the price-to-work savings of some kits or pre-built parts. In this case, I found a Tugger Winch kit across the pond in the UK. I've sent them an e-mail for a quote, but it's looking like they'll end up being around $10 each. And we're talking about needing SIX...
P.S. We got the quote back - a $70 total. Looks like we'll be scratch-building them...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oil Rig Build Log - Part 2

This past weekend, Pete and I were able to bang on the project and push forward. We now have the catwalk section and lower deck all glued together. We also cut 5" wide strips of cardboard to make the center structure. We decided to put in several alcoves to provide some sort of cover for the miniatures to duck into. You can see what I'm talking about here:

Obviously, the cranes have arrived and really give the project a sense of scale. We are using styrofoam and shoe boxes as placeholders for the next phase. In preparation for that, we have started doing some research into 1/64 or S-Scale modeling supplies. I have gone ahead and put in an order for a Plastruct Electrical Towers & Oil Well Kit. I'm curious to see how involved building a derrick from scratch will be...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oil Rig Build Log

As I had previously mentioned, Pete and I are in the process of building a miniature scale oil-rig for use in tabletop wargaming.

Many years ago, I ran a Cyberpunk game session that took place primarily on an off-shore oil rig. Pete and I thought it would be fun to build a scale model of that oil-rig. We took that a step further and thought it should be playable terrain.

Our first step was to cut cardboard blanks (currently 24" x 24") to get a feel for the scale:
(Okay, this wasn't the FIRST attempt, but, alas, I lost those images in a phone shuffle...)

Actually, our first step was to try out a few sci-fi tabletop miniature games. We looked into:
  • AT-43 - Although I have a slew of AT-43 miniatures, we never got around to playing as we did not want to purchase the rulebook for a "test" game and the rule summary I found was useless as it expected you to have the book. (Also, it looks like they are now discontinued...)
  • Infinity - The rules are simple in theory and provide a nice defense/response mechanic, but once you start adding in all the weapon and special ability rules it becomes daunting.
  • Rezolution - Nice simple rules. Possibly TOO simple.
We ultimately decided to go with Infinity due to its defense/response mechanic.

Shortly after, we were invited to participate in an Infinity game by a fellow we met at Fair Game. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and, in discussion with the host and other players, discovered some interesting notes:
  • Infinity requires a LOT of terrain. It's pretty deadly otherwise.
  • Usually, a field of play is 4' x 4', however... 2' x 2' x 2' is doable.
Based on our experience, we decided to go ahead and upgrade from "get a feeling for the scale" to a playable cardboard mock-up. Hopefully we can get it done by the next Infinity game and ask the gents to try it out so we can get even more feedback.

Here's where we got so far:

Quite exciting!

I have also gone ahead and ordered two remote control(!) cranes from Hobbytron. The scale is a bit on the big side, but they are awesome and may just add that extra oomph!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adventures in Gamma World 4e, Part Deux: "I Love Tangh!"

Our intrepid mutant heroes have defeated the Iron King and have put an end to his robot manufacturing shenanigans. Since Brainulo had been captured by some guy named Tangh and his name had been brought up by some of the local Porkers, Brainulo convinced the group to follow that trail.

Session #7 (January 25, 2011)

Mike's write-up:

"Defeat for the Iron King meant a return to the town of Chell for our heroes but only to restock before moving on. The group was set on tracking down the remaining Porkers who once held Brainulo captive and possibly discovering the mystery of Tangh. Gypsie and Brainulo began repair work on the truck as Frank and Owl bartered for supplies. After getting sidetracked in the steading of the Iron King, Fjordinnheas rejoined the party. But the arrival of one meant the departure of another as Cat stayed behind but promised she would catch up soon and bid the party farewell. With Frank at the wheel, our intrepid heroes traveled the road in the direction they last saw the Porkers flee.

After a few hours, they approached a blockade of wrecked vehicles manned by more Porkers. Frank attempted to circumvent the cars but the terrain proved too tricky and truck came to a dead stop at the edge of their camp. The villainous porcines then released their secret weapon - a flock of glowing, red, irradiated birds! As the Porkers closed in, the battle was engaged. Owl and Brainulo fled the back of the truck and attempted to strike from a distance. They were soon followed by Fjord who took out one of the pigs instantly with his guns. This happened just as another of the Porkers smashed the side window and belched a noxious cloud into the cabin coating Frank and Gypsie with its bile.

Gypsie used her gravity power to attack the villains, catching most of them in its field of effect. Frank knocked the one at the truck door back into Gypsie's attack field, which was then triggered and injured a good many of the enemy. The birds, which were also stunned by the attack, quickly recovered and swarmed the truck. Their radiation proved useless against Brainulo but mutated Gypsie making her super intelligent. Frank showed uncommon skill and competence and the tide of the battle was quickly determined. Seeing his fate, their leader attempted to flee on a motorcycle but Brainulo took control of the vehicle using it to kill another one of the enemy and prevent the leader's escape. Somehow the radiation affected the Porker leader giving him glowing, red wings and he clumsily fled the area as Owl was immobilized by his healing mutation and unable to pursue. But the leader left a trail of glowing, red feathers and the party was easily able to track him.  Before disembarking, the group quickly searched the camp discovering many useful items.

Following the leader's trail, they arrived at what appeared to be an abandoned building formerly owned by PungCo. Gypsie and Owl scouted, following the trail of feathers to an underground garage where they discovered armed, giant cockroaches! Summoning the rest of the team, the group attacked the cockroaches and made short work of the bugs who were so much more disgusting than their roach comrade. The party claimed what was left of the roaches' supplies and exploring the rest of the building now awaits the heroes."

Session #8 (February 15, 2011)

So, this last Tuesday was the last time I will be GMing our Gamma World game. In classic style, Chris wrote up the last game as a message to their mutated cockroach friend, Cat:

Dear Cat,

We hope this message finds you and finds you well. We have come here to the PungCo Laboratories in pursuit of Tangh, and we finally found him. Using some of the technology in this abandoned lab building, he escaped our clutches, and we are going to follow him. If you have made it this far, we hope that the sight and sounds of the Beta Chamber don’t intimidate you and that you decide to try and join up with us again. Perhaps we should explain the carnage and destruction you see strewn before you, though.

After our skirmish with the armed roaches in the basement, we decided to explore further into the building. The lobby was mostly deserted, but we found the building keys on the dessicated remains of a security guard. Using them, we searched the nearby offices and found a wide variety of junk; some of it useful, some of less so. If looters haven’t already ransacked the building, feel free to take anything you think might help you on your way.

Gypsie reconnoitered the second floor and it appeared abandoned, with some electric lights flickering in the corner. We figured these to be old computer terminals and continued upstairs. On the third floor, we found several smashed windows, so Owl took a quick flight to scout out the area. The building again appeared vacant and the trail of red glowing feathers had grown cold, so we decided to press on. The key fob we found didn’t have a key for the hallway door, so we all took turns attempting to open it, either by nimble fingers or by force. The ruckus must have raised the alarm for some robots sentries on the second floor as we were surprised to find 5 of these hovering menaces floating in behind us! Fjordinius was amazing with his katana and seismic stomp, Gypsy was ferocious with her claws, and Frank used the heavy punching bag we found downstairs as a most unique improvised weapon. One of the robots seemed to mutate during our skirmish, the outer casing became plush and shaggy, much like the horrible carpet in the elevator lobby. Simultaneously, an area on the floor took on a metallic appearance. This sort of behavior might help us all better understand the fickle nature of the mutations of our world. After the robots were demolished and left smoldering on the carpet, we pressed on down the hallway.

We encountered a huge laboratory, and peered through the glass viewing windows. We could make out some Porkers and one huge warthog, more wart than hog, in a space suit - Tangh! The room also contained what looked to be some sentry guns, but they appeared inactive. Gypsy, Owl and Fjordnius attempted to sneak to a second entry way so that we could flank these hammy bastards, but the automated entry system exposed us and the doorway opened to expose Owl and Fjordinius! While two of the porkers moved towards us, a hoop soldier appeared, and the Spacesuited Hog began to pound wildly on a glass door marked "Beta Chamber"! Inside the chamber, we could see a swirling menagerie of scenes and times. It was like a window that looked out on the world from every possible viewpoint and changed constantly with the blink of an eye!

A shout came from the room, and it was our Pig on the Wing from the car blockade we encountered earlier. He was attacked by Frank and Owl. Owl ended up killing him, his charred remains smelling like fried chicken with a side of bacon! When Brainulo entered the room, Tangh immediately changed his focus and shouted out an order to capture him! Fjordinius blasted Tangh, and another Porker ran in to support his wounded leader. Owl and Frank both shot at the smaller pig soldier, painting his guts all over Tangh! Gypsie was engaged in a struggle with another porcine warrior at the other side of the room and blasted him with her head mounted laser, and again, it smelled like a barbecue from hell!

Tangh struck at Fjordnius, and his blow was met again with a gun blast from Fjordnius, but this was one tough porker. Any blow to one of these big pigs seemed to result in them vomiting an awful substance towards us. We were not always lucky to avoid this biowarfare! Frank tried to bite at a porker with his mandibles, but only managed to nick him, unable to close his mighty mandibles around his face!

One porker made his way to a computer terminal and activated the laser grid. It must have been designed for more humanoid hands, as his blasts went stray and shot a pipe at the back of the room, causing water to pour in! Frank struck a mighty blow against Tangh. He stumbled, quite wounded, crashed through the glass into the Beta Chamber, and disappeared! The porker operating the laser cannon tried to vomit again, but this time he mutated and became a wobbly, ambulatory pile of puke! Brainulo trained his radioactive eyes on one of the porkers. With a blast, he seemed to age quickly as the radiation ate him away from the inside out. Tangh suddenly stepped back out the Beta chamber, looking much better than we last saw him, almost fully recuperated! Owl took control of the laser sentry system and blasted at Tang. Gypsy took a couple of brutal swipes at Tangh with her press-on claws, blinding him. As a last defense he belched forth once again, catching both Frank and Gypsie in the blast, before retreating into the gaping void of the Beta Chamber. As he disappeared, Gypsie could barely make out his destination - what looked to be a... Farm!?! Seeing that he was outnumbered, the hoop soldier surrendered to us. Since he had nothing more to offer, Frank tossed him screaming into the Beta chamber. It has become clear to us that if we are to catch up with and defeat Tang, we may need to step into the Beta Chamber ourselves…
The letter is torn at this point, and any further account of the events that transpired in the Beta Chamber are no longer legible...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Year is Six-Monkey-Slap-Slap - Adventures in Gamma World 4e

Just after 3 P.M. on a Thursday, the Large Hadron Collider worked...

Too well...

At that instant, multiple possible realities all collapsed into one.

It is now just over 50 years later and the world is mixed up jumble of ancient ruins, radioactive wastelands, unexplored jungles, and mutated wilderness and it's not done shifting.

Welcome to GAMMA WORLD!

At the beginning of December, I decided to pick up a copy of the new Gamma World Role Playing Game from my FLGS, Fair Game. In reading the sourcebook, it looked like a lot of fun and I was itching to play!

So I rounded up the usual suspects and then some. We gathered at Fair Game on December 7th and ran with it.

I decided to do character generation a tad differently. I wanted unique character origins with no overlap, so rather than rolling, I printed out a list of all the first level character origins (including Engineered Human) on card stock, cut them out as cards, shuffled them, and had the players draw randomly.

Here's what we ended up with:

Catadonia (played by Josh): Gravity Controlling Cockroach - Josh's description: "Cat was minding her own business when the 'big mistake' happened. She was a muck-shucker working in the pits of a pork rendering plant, cleaning out the chaff during third shift. The plant was 90 clicks down the hill from CERN when 'it' happened -just as a she was swatting at an errant cockroach which had crawled onto her cheek. A bright light, high-pitched squeal, and the smell of bacon potpourri is all she can remember. She awoke in the back of a garbage truck being dumped into a land-fill. Amazingly still alive - yet changed. She is now a two and a half foot cockroach who has the ability to shape gravity at will. And she developed a bit of a mutation (feature!) - a long proboscis which can be used as a stabbing weapon - doing damage and restoring health to herself. She has a stabbing weapon built into her face."
Marty's take: "She spent most of her time either climbing on things or falling into pits full of radioactive waste.  She also packed a mean laser rifle."

Fjordinnheas (played by Jon): Seismic Speedster - Marty's take: "A running conundrum, he hid and fired his rifle a lot. Jon was new to gaming, so he was finding his comfort zone."

Frank (played by Marty): Giant Hypercognitive - Marty's description: "Yep, nothing sexier than a giant with a brain...I ended up with the most gear of the group, all of which turned out to be some form of transportation. I had a truck, a horse, a wagon, a keel boat and a I played him as a redneck. A giant redneck with mandibles (my first alpha mutation) and a blonde sidekick who could claw your eyes out. He also has a 16 pack a day habit, so traveling was only done by vehicle and any walking required a sit down afterward. But oh was I brutal in combat."

Gypsie (played by Peter): Empathic Felinoid - Marty's take: "Her stats made her beautiful, graceful and dumb as a bag of hammers.  She's Frank's sidekick."

Hips (played by Eric): Plant Doppelganger - For the most part, this tree is schizophrenic. More often than not, he doubles himself (his other half named Bips), and casually converses with himself.
Marty's take: "Occasionally he would duplicate himself to distract enemies. So in theory he was two doppelgangers."

Owl (played by Joe): Hawkoid Engineered Human - Marty's take: "I just imagined him as a Silverhawk and Joe pretty much agreed. He was our aerial reconnaissance. He also saved Josh's ass when he fell into the radioactive pit and was getting plugged with crossbow bolts by some Badders."

Session #1 (December 7, 2010)

Since I hadn't run a game in a while and we wanted to see how the new Gamma World played, I decided to run the intro adventure from the rule book.

I plopped the PCs into the town of Chell and jumped right into the story. They had a few minutes to mingle, before there was a call from one side of town and the townsfolk ran to gather on that side. The PCs followed to find the crowd watching what looked like a dinner plate with dangling appendages trundling down from a nearby hill. As it approached, the townsfolk dispersed to safer vantage points. I believe Hips and Bips, Catadonia, and Fjordinnheas stood by to intercept this foreign robot. Unfortunately for them, it exploded right in front of them, to the cheers of the crowd. Bruised and battered, the PCs confronted the townsfolk asking why they weren't sufficiently warned. The answer they got was, "well, this has been happening daily for at least a week!"

The PCs decided to head up the hill to find out where they were coming from. Frank and Gypsie jumped in Frank's pickup with Hips and Bips in the bed of the truck and Owl carried Cat and Fjord. At the top of the hill, they find some pig-men (Porkers) rutting around and an old stone tower guarded by giant badger humanoids (Badders) armed with crossbows.

Owl decided to drop Cat and Fjord off on top of the tower while Frank proceeded to drive his truck through the cluster of Porkers. Combat was on at that point. For the most part, Owl and Fjord sniped from above, Cat scurried down the tower to engage the Badders, Frank kept rolling over the Porkers while Gypsie took pot-shots, and I believe Hips and Bips pummeled anything that came near them. The Badders took the strategy of burrowing in to hide and popping up to fire occasional crossbow bolts. The Porkers provided minimal resistance, but one ended up on the hood of the car, smashed in the windshield, and Foul Belched in Gypsie's lap.

Marty's take:

"The system plays like a very simple D&D, which is great for newcomers (of which we had two) but a little frustrating for people more familiar with the original ruleset. It was just a matter of getting used to the simplicity.

…suffice it to say it was a lot of fun.  We ended up fighting some Porkers and Badders and my pickup truck came in handy. It also got filled with pig vomit, but that'll wash out…"

Session #2 (December 14, 2010)

Josh's summary (see unedited, and funnier, version here):

"For this session, we were short a few players due to real-life getting in the way. Gypsie was being played by Marty (with Pete’s blessing) and Hips basically rooted himself on the spot and sat out (as a Plant Doppelganger, it was a natural way of having him sit out).

After the first encounter, we found ourselves outside of this 30 foot tower with dead humanoid badgers and pig-men strewn about the front yard. Obviously our next step was to investigate within.

Frank would guard the front entrance while Gypsie (the cat woman) would climb into his pickup truck and crash through the front door.

So much for subtlety!

I decided immediately to get a higher vantage point and scurried up the outside wall to the roof (hooray cockroach abilities!).

Owl also decided discretion was appropriate, so decided to fly up to the roof - with Fjordinnheas in-tow.

So there are three of us on or hovering above the roof while the truck accelerates toward the front door. Fjord decides he wants to use his seismic ability to crash through the roof, so Owl dutifully drops him.

Simultaneously, Fjord crashes in through the roof while the truck drives through the front door and chaos ensues. A battle takes place with more ‘badders’ (the giant badger critters) and a bat-winged lion monster that fires lasers from it eyes named a Yexil.

Anyway - the combination of a “boss” Badder, and that Yexil put us into some pretty rough times. We barely avoided being totally decimated with the final scene culminating with Owl teetering on the brink of unconsciousness and stabbing the Yexil in the eye, delivering the final blow.

All in all, a great encounter."

Marty's summary:

"Gamma World was pretty fun, but ... it ended up being a shorter night and we only got through one encounter. It was almost a TPK (total party kill) though, and it required our Engineered Hawk/Humanoid standing his ground to get us through. My Giant blasted a few Badders (mutant Badgers) but went down like a sack of shit after getting nailed with a psychic assault of some type. The rest of the group faired about as well, getting taken out one by one by a Yexil (batwinged lion monster that fires lasers from it eyes) until it was just the aforementioned Hawk/Humanoid, who managed, while teetering on the edge of unconsciousness, to stab the creature through its laser firing eyes. He kept the other eye as a trophy. Thankfully he also happened to be one of the better trained members of our little group and his medical skills kept us all from bleeding out.

All in all it was fun, Gypsie, who I was running, mutated four times throughout the encounter. That only happens when you roll a "1", so you can imagine how well I was fairing. Went from having the ability to shunt people out of time to growing tentacles to turning into living mud to...well, I don't remember the last one, but I didn't last long in the fight with it either way."

GM Note: Fjord spent some time riding the Yexil like a bucking bronco!

Session #3 (December 21, 2010)

New character addition: Brainulo (played by Chris): Radioactive Telekinetic - Basically a giant floating brain that armors itself with a shifting shield of telekinetically manipulated scraps of metal and talks with a Stephen Hawking-like voice box.

Joe's summary:

"As we last left the game, everyone was still within the tower after killing the mighty Yexil. We resumed with finishing up the exploration of the basic level of the tower, nothing of real interest was found.

At that point both Owl and Fjord heard a loud sound coming from outside, Owl flew up to the roof to get a vantage point as Fjord ran to the main doors. Once outside we all saw a group of three Porker-bikers, they were examining the carnage that was left by our first encounter. We also noted that there was a large lead box in a sidecar attached to one of the bikes.

Owl hears them yell out, "we must report this to Tangh!", and they start up their bikes and head out down a path. At this point we all decide to pile into the battle damaged, rusty old truck with Gypsie in the driver's seat. Lady luck is on her side as she is able to drive full speed, in reverse, down the hill and over one of the Porkers.

A short chase ensues where the remaining Porkers attempt to out run us. But Gypsie, with the truck still in reverse mind you, is keeping up and is close enough for Cat to use her gravitational power to slow down the Porker that is escorting the large lead box. At this point the box bursts open to reveal a what appears to be a giant exposed brain. Gypsie catches up with and runs over the slowed Porker. He flies into the back of the truck and lands on the unexpecting Cockroach (ewww… Cat smothered in dead Porker…). Gypsie slams on the brakes, the truck stops and we all get out to examine the brain.

This is where we learn that the brain, named Brainulo, was captured by the Porkers and kept inside this lead box for an unknown amount of time. We tell Brainulo everything we have yet discovered and experienced and then travel back up to the tower. I wasn't that happy about letting the last Porker go, but alas, I could not keep up with him. Besides, Gypsie was driving.

We reentered the tower and proceeded to the stairs leading down. As we made our way over there, one of the exploding saucers came running up the stairs and explodes in the the middle of us, damaging almost everyone. After the explosion we head down to the basement where another encounter quickly takes place.

We take out a few enemies and find ourselves in a larger room with a huge humming machine in the center and even more enemies circled around it. The fight that proceeds takes longer because the enemies appear to be healing themselves, also those of us that are close to the machine are taking mental damage every turn. We focus our attacks on the machine and destroy it, and the rest of the Badders after that. After the battle, we notice there is a cage in the corner of the room that contain four brainless, human zombies."

GM Note: At one point, Owl zorched one of the Badders by whipping out the Yexil eye, aiming, and yanking on the optic nerve bundle!

Session #4 (December 28, 2010)

New character addition: Cloud (played by John): Electrical Swarm - Basically a small semi-solid storm cloud that hovers 5 feet above the ground. John has cleverly integrated most of his starting gear as "features" of the cloud (e.g. he has low-light vision as he started with night vision goggles).

Marty's summary:

"Having successfully defeated the Badders in their fortress and destroying their brain melting machine, we proceeded to search the room and try to figure out what was going on with the zombie people locked in the cell. Cat (the roach) poked and prodded them with her antennae while Brainulo split his attention between them and the now-defunct machine. During her probing, Cat discovered a strange goo on the floor with an electrical current running through it. It was determined it was some type of protoplasm and the decision was made to see if it would react to an outside stimulus. Fjord and Cat probed at it from different sides while Frank headed back up to his truck to grab a battery, his generator and some jumper cables. Owl wandered off down some Badder tunnels we'd discovered while Gypsy herded the zombies out of the cell and into a corner.

Frank returned and, with Brainulo's guidance, pumped electrical life into the protoplasm. Much to Franks surprise, the Goo grew and in a thunderous voice demanded MORE ENERGY. Enter John's character. Welcome to the game John!

Anyway, Frank, Brainulo, and the newly formed Goo/Cloud tried to figure stuff out as the group began looking for Owl. Brainulo decided to hang back and fiddle with the broken machine and watch over the zombies as the rest of the group pressed ahead (Chris was out for this session).

Further down the Badder hole the group discovered Owl in a cave filled with luminescent blue moss and three very angry killer moths - moths that seemed to bend time and space around them. A fight ensued. Three exploded time/space bending killer moths later, our heroes were victorious, coming through with only minor scrapes and scratches. Gypsie suffered a mighty bruised ego, though, and Frank probably hasn't heard the last of it.

Pressing on, the group entered a large natural cave filled with 20-25 foot crystalline formations, an electrical grid and a giant sphincter....door. Guarding the door were two flying disc robots, ones similar to the kind that had been exploding outside of town. Fjord attempted to talk to the guards, hoping to get past them without a fight. He failed spectacularly and mutated on the spot. As a matter of fact, Fjord managed to do this twice during the encounter, first gaining the ability to death read (viewing a corpse's last memories) and then, when he attempted to overcharge the death reading, gained the ability to alter reality and reverse events. Or something like that. All I remember is him falling to ground and sputtering.

Having defeated the robots, the group discovered a control panel in the center of the room and prepared to open the door and face whatever was on the other side."

GM Note: Half the party leveled up at that point.

Session #5 (January 4, 2011)

Chris' recap:

Our party rose from a long rest in the cavernous room that held some bue crystals that emitted a strange electroluminescent glow. In the center of the room was a console station with an assortment of levers and buttons. Surrounding the console was a field of indecipherable glyphs. At one side of the room was an irising door that when opened, issued forth the hovering bastard robots with their flagellating umbilical arms. One robot came into the room, but Brainulo was able to take control of the machine and return it to it's point of origin. While the robot hovered in the door frame and kept the "sphincter" open, a glance into the adjacent room found another dark area. Cat jumped at the opportunity to try her hand at mining and chipped away a small piece of the glowing blue mineral. When the mineral was struck, however, the floor panel marked with runes delivered a painful electric shock to anyone touching one of the crystals or standing within the demarcated floor area. Brainulo and Cat took a stinging shock at this time, but we were succesful in puzzling out the rudimentary controls of the center console. Unfortunately, this process also destroyed the robot and those standing by the door were caught in the explosion. With the door controls available and mineral in hand, it was decided to explore the adjacent room, and the blue mineral was tossed in to see if it would illuminate the area.

It didn't do much of anything, but luckily, once inside the next room, lights flickered on and machinery in the center of the room hummed into life. A quick scan of the room, and it was discovered that the robots that we had been encountering had a larger counterpart. The room was dotted with alcoves, and they housed either the small robot disks or larger modules that had more complicated apparatus and some nasty looking appendages. Frank charged forth and swung his axe at tthe closest three robots. Two were quickly destroyed, but the larger one remained and struck back. Not only was this robot awakened by the strike, but the other robots in the room buzzed into life and immediately moved to intercept our intruding party. Owl rushed in to aid Frank, and in a flurry of blows, both were struck down! While Owl and Frank were barely clinging to life, the rest of our group made their best effort to dispatch the rest of the robot attack. The familiar sound of metal sliding against metal was heard, and more of the smaller robots floated into the room. Gypsie was furiously slashing away, and Cat was using her natural salivary discharge to do her best to injure the robots. After a particularly rough melee engagement, Cat was restrained, and when she pulled away from the robot, it had taken on an insectoid appearance. It was no less deadly in its new form, however. Brainulo tried to rush around the room to disable the consoles that allowed the smaller robots into the room. Once the room was sealed and the robots had been destroyed, we tended to our wounded and searched the lockers within the room. Not much of use was found (such as a pager that didn't get any signal, or a roll of velcro) and it was decided that we should press on. Opening the door at the far side of the room, we could see the red glow of lasers criss-crossing across the room from floor to ceiling, and...."

Session #6 (January 11, 2011)

Chris' recap:

"Our team continued to press on into the adjacent room, only to find that the room had a sloping floor that dropped precipitouosly towards the middle of the room. Criss-crossing the center of the room, and emitting a red glow, a series of lasers made further exploration impossible. Beyond the lasers, in the faint red light, we could see two more of the larger robots we have encountered, as well as some fearsome looking soldiers that were packing heat. These soldiers appeared to be some horrific mutation of rabbits, and clearly their physiology never intended for them to stand upright. Frank bolted into the room, but rather than beginning to smash anyone in his path, he tried to communicate with these rabbit creatures. He called out to them, but they sneered in derision and shouted something back about the Iron King in schlurpy, lispy tones. Frank seemed to think that diplomacy had failed, but another effort was made to talk our way through the situation. Brainulo called out to them, but again was met with scorn, and one of the hoop soldiers readied his weapon. Owl, meanwhile, was experiencing some bizarre change in which his feathers molted into a glowing gold bioluminscence.

Sensing this attack, Brainulo took his chance to remotely control one of the robots and set the bot's sights squarely at the hoppy bastard. While a rocket went flying towards the rabbit, he fired and shot Brainulo. At this point, Owl joined the fray and attacked from long distance, injuring the other rabbit. We were able to remotely wrest control of the panel away from the rabbits, turned off the lasers, and moved closer for the attack. Gypsie adeptly jumped on her hoverboard and drew close to the uncontrolled robot and tried to attack while performing a 360 kickflip ollie. This overly complicated jump dashed gypsie from her board, smashing it into a wall! The robot closest to gypsie attempted to track and fire at her, but mutated in the process and became a see-through assemblage of laser light. This new mutation allowed it to emit a painful laser blast to all of us close to it. The robot under our control again fired at the rabbits, and they were immolated in the rocket blast. In an attempt to get it to shoot the other robot, it suffered a mutation of it's own, changing into some sort of hideous amalagm of robot and rabbit. Frank drew his shotgun and blew that furry monster out of the air. Fortunately, the laser light robot reassumed its tangible form and we were able to down it as well.

The Hoop soldiers weren't carrying much but their weapons, vests, and Stupendico badges. We continued into the next hallway, and after searching a series of ransacked laboratories, we came away with one post-it note that read "The Nanites are over-active - from the desk of Jackie Treehorn." We moved on down the hall to another aperture door, Owl opened it, and with a quick look around we spied three Hoop soliders and another pair of the larger model robots. In the center of the room were two giant vats of purple solution that was pulsing faintly. The Hoop soldier towards the back of the room was on a suspended catwalk and was wearing some sort of steel helmet - the Iron King. Above the room, a giant mechanical arm was supsended and looked to be a remnant of some previous manufacturing operation. Owl closed and locked the door as quickly as possible, and we decided to retreat back a step and take a rest to take stock of our situation.

After a few hours, we went back to the door and opened it only to find six of the smaller hoverbots waiting for us! We must have been spotted, and they accumulated a small army as we rested. Owl cried out in a horrifying shriek, Brainulo unleashed a telepathic blast that took out the smaller robots, and Frank charged into the room to attack the Hoop soldiers on the ground. While embroiled in combat, the Iron King used something to bring the mechanical arm to life and grabbed Frank, squeezing him!

Gypsie, in an unexplained sugar rush, charged in, and, in a flurry of claws, blinded one of the Hoop soldiers. He wandered off, slipping in a pool of the purple solution. Brainulo locked radioactive eyes onto the downed hoop soldier and this gaze killed him. Overhead, Frank was hauled off to one of the purple vats and plopped in! Gypsie struck the other Hoop in a flurry of claws and blinded him as well. One of the larger model robots tried to fire, but instead, turned into a hovering glob of purple goo. Gypsie bounded after the now gooey robot and, in yet another a flurry of claws, it fell to the floor. Frank, having climbed out of the purple nanite bath, clambered up the catwalk, and, with his mandible pincers, bit off the head of the Iron King - his head and helmet falling to the floor. Brainulo retrieved the helmet, now controlling the mechanical arm, grabbed the remaining robot, and squeezed it in a satisfying crunch. There was much rejoicing!

Hopefully our cockroach friend is still waiting for us back in the previous chamber. Time to return to town, let them know that the robots won't be bothering them anymore, rape the horses, and ride out of town on their women! (wait, what?!)"

GM Note: Most of the party made it to level three!