Thursday, 27 March 2014

Weapon patterns, marks and mods, and the squearoll

This has been on the list a while. It was sparked off by a discussion on weapons in 40K at an old Outside the Box, but could work for all kinds of games using dice to resolve success and failure.

The starting point was the fact 40K is nearly 27 years old now, in which time a lot of the core weapons have been sculpted in various forms. Compare the original lasgun for the Imperial Guard - or Army as it was - and the Squats, cult etc. to more recent versions. In the real world, reflected in historical and modern wargaming, various modifications and variants also exist, and the same could well be true for other more fantastical settings.

Think about all the possible forms that slings, bows, crossbows etc. can or could take, let alone the range of melee weapons. This is true also for many if not all technologies in conventional science fiction, science fantasy and fantasy, possibly even innate abilities.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Near future wor*fare

When mum came back from the war her skin was on inside out and she was crapping through a hatch in her belly button. That was nothing. Last time she'd coughed her lungs up and if not for the nanopills we'd have needed to stuff them back in ourselves. Like we did with aunt Claire's. Hanging down her front like a forked bib they were. *Yeugh.*

We did laugh though.

But this time it was the baddies came off worse. She had a vid to play us and it was a case of your tote destruxor. She took out two bungalows and the playground beside the old folks home, and Mrs Moggins vaped the brick flats on Mill Street. They pulled everyone back when the 'topes came in.

'Topes? No snopes. We never opened the windows anyway these days, what with the smell from next door. All just piled up out there they were. Good neighbours. Plain bad luck...


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Status report - 2013

Before I start posting again proper, here's a second annual status report, to follow last year's. It's the subset of the material I posted here in 2013 that I think is the most useful.

There were 73 posts in all, well off earlier years, which is partly because there was more gaming going on and partly because a lot of the material got published in other places, most of it under various names other than Porky. Maybe one day I'll link some or all of it in, but for now you'll likely know it when you see it - it's out there in relatively plain sight.

Here's the list then. It's been a bit of a buzz going back to reread some of it, catching up with the specific thinking and recapturing the moments the various ideas came together.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Hex 12: electrophages; exovoltaics; ST scar; dronids

I'd more or less forgotten about Kepler-22B, but the recent posts on sectors I5 and T3 at Fate SF and Hereticwerks made me dig out my old notes.

Kepler is a system-neutral worldbuilding project: claim a sector, describe the key sites and build a set of encounters, for anyone to pick up and use in their gaming. More here.

My sector is V3, an inland sea partially covered by a red algal mat. So far I have a brief intro plus hexes 1: wreck; anomaly, 2: whirlpool; mass, 3: shell; EM signal, 4: crater; creature and 5: warren; construct, then 6-10: vessels; reefs; void; serpent; shells and 11: aurora; debris. This is no. 12.

Hex 63.54  The algal mat here is woven to form nest pools for hundreds of thousands of electrophagic crustaceans based downstream of a band of electromagnetic currents marked by boiling water, roiling steam and auroral flares. The excess energy and new compounds formed by the currents are the material basis for this nascent civilisation, and have so far stimulated the development of a rudimentary psychochitinous tool class.

The band is a channel of communication for two supervoltaic gastropods, related to those in Hex 11. Each maintains its buoyancy just below the surface by superheating a pocket of water and together they carry on an ancient discussion as to the nature of free will. Close by floats a third such being, listening in silence and gathering a great charge.

Concealed in the clouds of steam rising from the band is a spatiotemporal scar, a faint distortion refracting light, contact with which is highly disruptive. It is a former wormhole mouth which until recently was held open by the electromagnetic sheathing of the band.

The airs and waters of the region are saturated with billions of nanoscopic dronids, flying biological observers from another world. Each is filled with sensations, feelings and memories copied from lifeforms across the planet, living, dead or otherwise. Many are hibernating, some dreaming alien dreams as their stores of data leak. Most await the reopening of the wormhole in order to deliver their contents to a distant supervisory body.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


One person's terror may be another person's struggle for freedom: who wants to be free?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Traveller, the epi-character and a very long game

First go read this. Epigenetics focuses on the idea of meaningful genetic change being passed down the generations by means other than DNA. Lamarckism is the supposedly discredited thinking that change to an organism in a single lifetime can also be inherited.

The article suggests that life has developed methods to transfer by reproduction not only genetic information, but even the experiences of the parents, a form of actual knowledge.

The significance of this is difficult to downplay, and the ramifications are going to keep people occupied for a long time. This is something traditionally fantastical, hard sci-fi at best. Before I come back to what this could really mean, a quick detour through gaming.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Expected inquisitors (1) - Inquisitor Badnut, Xenocog

A natural element of the 40K setting is the Inquisition, a kind of 41st millennium NKVD, or early KGB. Trouble is, inquisitors aren't always as weird as they could be given their reach and the wide-ranging role they have, and their recent codex isn't what we might have expected of any post-RT approach, or even a sixth edition version of the institution.

So this will be an occasional series just for inspiration, adapting some homebrew ideas for rules-light roleplaying to suit the mainstream wargame, but for no edition in particular.

Inquisitor Badnut, Xenocog
Struck by a shokk attack gun in the depths of Bea IV, Inquisitor Mercutio Rex found himself with all or part of a snotling literally on the brain. Initially believing himself possessed, but failing by apparently freak chance to take his own life, he came to accept his debilitating fate as the will of the Emperor and a gift in the struggle, refusing surgery and turning his training to communion with the creature. The ceaseless scratchings, whispers and roars have lent the inquisitor a knowledge of the Orkoid mind and allowed him in the years since to usurp the overlordship of multiple warbands, gaining great fame as a warboss while turning base greenskin drives to the work of the Emperor as well as Gork and Mork, for he acknowledges their power too, and invokes them. In the meantime reproductive spores have passed into Badnut's bloodstream and proven mutagenic, enhancing his constitution and improving his luck still further. His former colleagues are divided in their counsels. Is not the Ork a mighty ally? Perhaps by this means may the green tide finally be turned..? And all the while the spores which escape in his breath, perspiration and, yes, his foul soils sow the seeds of the Waaagh! in the very highest of imperial inner sancta...

Possible wargame rules, various editions: +1 T, but -2 Cl or -1 Ld; may take up to 75% Ork allies, or Orks as battle brothers, with Badnut and any retinue affected by the Waaagh!

I'll post more as I write them up. In the meantime, take a look at the grimdarkling detail project: Lasgunpacker has a massive 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 800 options to my relatively poor 400.

As for roleplaying 40K rules-light, you could start here, and there's a simple ruleset here.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thanks and no thanks

It's good to give thanks, and to feel thankful. I get so grateful sometimes I've come close to posting just to say how great human beings are, or life is in general. I was fighting the urge this past week.

That's because being thankful doesn't have to mean switching off our critical functions or blindly accepting. Those critical functions, and a refusal to simply accept things as they stand, are what made possible much of what we're presumably feeling thankful for today.

I'm grateful for you, especially if you get some of what I've been getting at here over the years - and maybe more especially if you don't, but you keep coming back to work on it.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Up and at 'em = down and out?

Thanks to the film Gravity the Kessler syndrome is getting plenty of discussion at the moment. That's the idea that objects colliding in orbit could trigger a cascade, with the mass of debris produced potentially rendering spaceflight very hazardous, keeping us on the ground, grounded.

It's easy to imagine it used as a weapon, but for sci-fi and fantasy it could make for a strange new world - one not so far from the world we're in now.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Zone-age Rumours (1d30)

If you've read Roadside Picnic or seen Stalker, you know how inspirational they can be.

John at Fate SF is running a creative project, open to all: add a Zone-inspired work to the gaming canon, for any system. Just write it up and post - maybe using the funky image by Hereticwerks up top - and leave the link at John's, to go into the master table.

Here's my starting point, for narrative skirmish and tactical roleplaying especially: a d30 table of rumours from a Zone-struck world, for some context and large-scale campaign seeds. Feed them into a weird, modern or near-future setting or use them for inspiration.

Zone-age Rumours (1d30)

  1. Networks are down worldwide: someone must have found something special...
  2. A crazed individual or group known as the Interknut has claimed responsibility.
  3. The centre of a major city is on lockdown following a possible Zone-tech attack.
  4. Warheads are being retargeted at host countries - it's the only way to be sure.
  5. A growing paramilitant group is recruiting and training stalkers for its own ends.
  6. A thinktank wants to encourage Zone creation to stimulate the global economy.
  7. Shares in private spaceflight firms are rocketing - those with the cash want off.
  8. Tech firm Jubbly is using modified Zone-tech in its soon-to-be-released jTorch.
  9. Pollinations, sporings and seasonal migrations are producing strange hybrids.
  10. Someone is hacking radio telescope arrays, broadcasting coordinates offworld.
  11. For each person frozen in fear, one violates the exclusion laws, to risk knowing.
  12. A superpower is faking Zones in strategic regions, to undermine governments.
  13. The Zones are a pox, a wasting disease with which man has infected his world.
  14. Those hoverboards from Back to the Future Part II really weren't props after all.
  15. Brain Plague - a noetic bug - is spreading; the symptoms are sin, Tom's a sim!
  16. Someone has come forward with a daguerreotype of Brunel - in a stalker suit...
  17. A tabletop game blogger knows more than he's letting on and may be a cause.
  18. Life on Earth was born in a Zone, a garden grown in the spoil of a former world.
  19. Relatives of the Strugatskys are being taken into custody for their own safety.
  20. Protesters at CERN demand to know the whereabouts of John Higginsbottom.
  21. The Zone artefacts may be the higher beings known by the codeword 'braner'.
  22. A secret international group has built an insectoid walker for Zone exploration.
  23. Whole tracts of a Zone have seized up - the air knows we'll run before we do...
  24. One of the Zones holds a newly grown world tree, but not a tree for this world.
  25. Roadside picnics have been banned, for fear of retribution by the local wildife.
  26. Crop circles are transdimensional exhaust plumes, marks of the near-misses.
  27. The Zones are infusions of life - vaccinations - or stimulants injected from afar.
  28. Muddy, garish figures are walking out of the Zones, with a message of change.
  29. The heart of each Zone holds a portal to another world, an End to a life in this.
  30. The Zones were always there; we ourselves have only now woken from sleep...

If you need to know more about the veracity of a given rumour, make a roll on this table.

If you don't have a d30, roll 1d3 for the tens and 1d10 for the units. No d10 either..? Roll 1d2. If the result is a 1, roll 1d6 to get a number from 1 to 5, i.e. rerolling 6s. If the first result is a 2 instead, roll 1d6 and add 5 to get a number from 6 to 10, rolling all 6s again.

So, venture in, if you dare...

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

What scares the snakes and spiders?

Dogs aren't so fond of fireworks - quite a few might panic tonight in the UK. But some of them have been bred and trained to hunt with human masters, and accept their physics.

Beware of scrolling below this point unless you are an adult who is willing to be discomforted, possibly offended, and scared. There will be spoilers for Alien too.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Six Folk of Rict

I put these together for a Hallowe'en game. It's a party of down-at-heel pre-gens for The Loss in Hanging Well, off to save the Hope. Stats are for isophasmic light, a free ruleset.

It's worth noting Rict is a hard place, and these poor folk are probably on the very edge...

  • Big Lip, a cruelly branded, moonlighting hypnotist from a fallen vessel with a distinctive birthmark (3, suggest 4)  |  skewer, monocle, someone else's clothes
  • Fie, a heavily soiled, revolutionary weaver from a lost city with a prominent growth and a broken heart (2, foment 4, weave 4)  |  mallet, furled wanted poster
  • Ol' Risible, a half-dressed, reluctant gravedigger from an outcast clan with an insubordinate tone (3, scent 4, labour 4)  |  chunk of mortar, patterned wriggler
  • Skiff, a sore-covered indentured brigand from a mystical order with expensive taste and an outsized parasite (3, pounce 4) | hatchet shaft, empty snuff pouch
  • Sulfie, an unfailingly polite, blacklisted glassblower from an experimental commune with a dogged pursuer and a message (3) | pipe stem, clipped coin
  • The Boy Skans, a gangly prospective brewer from the next district with a badly-set limb and an identical twin (3, brew 4) | large pestle, iridescent feather

I used the lists in More or Less Promising Olde Worlde Adventurers and Odds & Ends, pretty much as is. I don't often link to my own work, but this seems a fair enough time.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Cthulhu waits dreaming... of Cthulhette?

Go read this. It's light on detail for a science bit, but oddly Cthulhic. There's more on midshipmen here - look at the relationships to our physiology.

A few passages for the essence of the thing:

A mysterious hum has been keeping people in Hampshire awake all night ...
Male Midshipman fish let out a deep, resonating drone which attracts females and acts as a challenge to other males. ... once they get going can keep up the distracting hum all night. 
... the noise created by the Midshipman is of such a low frequency and long wavelength that it can carry through the ground, walls ...
... "I thought I was going mad at first. ..."

The question then: what else might be disturbing our sleep we don't yet know about..?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Where in the world is Lantz - or his AdMech FanDex?

The first part of the post title is a classic question, the second because the link to Lantz's FanDex is dead. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'll update it.

I was reminded of the Dex partly by this post
at Sons of Twilight on the Epic warhound, because Lantz's list has a warhound and because there's a great admech / titan legion list for Epic: Armageddon here at Tactical Command - with the early titan weapons and upgrades.

On the subject of the adeptus mechanicus, how much of the mix of concepts do you think could come via the Morlocks, first seen in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine?

There's been a lot of Morlock-related posting recently, including last week's post for Fate at Fate SF, yesterday's at Hereticwerks with 20 Morlock NPCS for Labyrinth Lord and compatible rulesets and the Mog session reports at Aeons & Augauries, possibly more.

John's describes the Morlocks as 'machine-tending subterraneans', and the cannibalism is mentioned too. We do know 40K has been inspired by various sources, even if now it may be eating its own tail - cf. those centurions centurions, nearly
Russian doll marines.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Eyeballs, fungi, fantasy ads, sanity, plus mighty Fubar

If you like weird fantasy and especially if you play old school tactical roleplaying games, take a look at Underworld Lore #1. It's the first in a series, a free pdf zine published by Greg Gorgonmilk. I've got some contributions in there, but so have plenty of other people, not least the incredible Matt Schmeer.

Check out Matt's blog too, Rended Press. There's a master list of zines and lots of other resources for gaming, because he keeps making things, and turning things up. There's a potentially useful post here too, for anyone who's entered the One Page Dungeon or works to a Creative Commons licence.

Edit: That set of elements just reminded me of something - an episode of The Trap Door.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Review - Stalker

I don't do enough reviews these days so I've decided to post my thoughts on intriguing things as I find or revisit them. Anything relevant to the blog that seems worth looking at.

Here's a classic to start. Incredibly, John Till at Fate SF just posted his own review of it.

Stalker (1979)

A film adaptation of a Russian SF novel, Roadside Picnic; directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.

One man leads two others into a mysterious, militarily quarantined Zone - an overgrown ruined landscape, possibly struck by a meteorite, possibly the site of an extraterrestrial stopover, a form of roadside picnic - hoping to reach a chamber believed to grant wishes.

This is one of the most old school D&D films I've seen, without being related to D&D in any overt way, and it has a rich, dense terrain that might surprise and inspire wargamers too. The central location - the landscape of the Zone - is arguably at the heart of the film.

Vote for Bujilli

If you haven't been playing Bujilli, the open serial over at Hereticwerks, now's a good time to dip in.

He's uncovered more of the machinations of his uncle and set off over the snow for a showdown with his father, up to the relatively advantageous ground of an abandoned monastery, burning after a siege. One sorceror down - for now at least - one in motion and a third to summon or be summoned. The main gates barred, the readers decide what to do next.

There's a poll up - the first - to give a quick opinion, and space for longer thoughts here.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Wolf tickets and pack tactics, and man's best friend

A fairly well-known blogger who withdrew from the online community after a problematic Kickstarter has started posting again. Not everyone seems to have noticed yet. Those that have noticed seem divided, and some seem to think it inappropriate he's back at all.

I'm not going to defend what happened, partly because I don't know all the details - and who does? - partly because a solution was found to move the project forward regardless.

But precisely because none of us do know all about it, and because rumour can take on a life of its own, and because the herd mentalities are still a factor in human behaviour, even ours, I would say we should slow down. I'd guess most of us agree that legitimate criticism is reasonable, even healthy, but witch hunts aren't. In our hobby, we know that.

It's not just a bit of harmless fun either. Gaming seems to be a big part of the life of this person and has been a source of income in the past, possibly a major source. If we do stigmatise now, we may even prevent him earning a living in the only way he readily can.

Gaming is no totalitarian system. Ever heard of the wolf ticket? We don't have the right to judge who eats. If you're not ready to forgive yet, or just won't give a second chance full stop, don't read his posts or buy any of his products. Just step back: live and let live.

The same with Mike Nystul. He's not a punchbag. Maybe he messed up, but he could well be homeless now. How long should he suffer? And who decides? If we don't know the whole story, we can't be sure it won't one day happen to us, despite best intentions.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Deep thought Friday

Resolving line of sight through areas like forest is a challenge in tabletop gaming. Trees? Or wood?

Heard of mycorrhizas? Turns out most plants are bonded at their root
with a fungus, symbiotically. The fungus sends minerals up from the earth; the leaves send sugars down. Can these be divided?

We thought a tree was a tree - now we know it's more. But we still say 'tree', as if it's one, alone. How much interconnection does language hide..?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Choose-your-own-annihilation and cheese with peas

Pegboard left an interesting comment at Faeit 212 yesterday. Here's the essential part:

Tzeentch book has a table on every page. You start by rolling a d6 per page number and comparing it to the table. Your army then takes that many hits. Your opponent gets that many models back. If you roll an even number, you go back a page, odd, forward a page, roll more dice and then your opponent gets the special rules haywire and feel no pain.

It's a joke of course, presumably aimed at GW and a certain thinking on randomness and fun, but there's a radically conservative idea in there. Wargaming and roleplaying have long used tables for resolution, but they've fallen out of favour in the mainstream even if a business model based on large books of rules hasn't. Games like DCC still get good mileage, and there are the funky system-neutral tables at the The Dungeon Dozen.

Imagine this: a choose-your-own-adventure-style book of tables for use at the table, for gaming without randomisers like dice, but with more potential effects and less linearity, at least as many outcomes as table entries. Choose your action, check for contexts and apply the results, maybe jump. But not Student's-t-like distributions: there could be nested tables, option trees and 2D or 3D charts, even close-the-eyes-and-point pictures.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Nature of Gothic: Grotesqueness

This is the fourth, most brief key argument from "The Nature of Gothic" by John Ruskin, first printed 160 years ago and arguably more relevant than ever. I'd recommend the first, second and third too, for fans of M31-41, as well as everyone creating or thinking ahead.
The fourth essential element of the Gothic mind was ... stated to be the sense of the GROTESQUE; but I shall defer the endeavour to define this most curious and subtle character ... . It is the less necessary to insist upon it here, because every reader familiar with Gothic architecture must understand what I mean, and will, I believe, have no hesitation in admitting, that the tendency to delight in fantastic and ludicrous, as well as in sublime, images, is a universal instinct of the Gothic imagination.

It's worth finding the whole essay if you can, and there's a little more in the videos here.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

New sisters, heavy power armour and fantasy beasts

Still waiting for new releases for the sisters of battle? How many years has it been now?

The Athena squads could be very useful for space marine players, and that bike as well.

They're 6mm of course, but that's even better. Part of the reason I've been away from the blog so long is all the new interest in 6mm scale. I'm not sure there's ever been a better time to start playing 40K in 6mm, or using 6mm minis for combat in tactical roleplaying.

For fantasy too, as with Scott's collection, whether elves of wood or darkness, dwarves, orcs, undead or lizardmen. Or maybe some fresh monsters for a weird organic dungeon, or to keep up with all the bizarre new creatures artists like Hereticwerks keep creating?

If like me you prefer Epic to Apocalypse, there's active support for three editions - Space Marine / Titan Legions, Epic 40,000 and Epic: Armageddon - over at Tactical Command and superb miniature support from Onslaught, Steel Crown, Microworld and Dark Realm.

How about a full 150 counts-as Kroot for $46? Or 30 potential battlesuits for $52? More modern guard tanks? A not-warlord titan? All with more space on the tabletop and solid rulesets. Possible Epic: Armageddon lists for Kroot and Tau are here, titan legions here.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Ban tabletop gaming..?

Following that post on banning Warhammer from last week, look what's just turned up at Slashdot.

A request for details of the web filter that may be introduced in the UK reveals it could also block "esoteric material". What does esoteric mean..?

Choose your dictionary. From the entry at Wiktionary:

  1. Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest, or an enlightened inner circle.
  2. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.
  3. Confidential; private.

That's pretty open. Could it cover niche interests - like wargaming and roleplaying - not always shown so positively? Or dungeons, dragons and made-up worlds, god-emperors and grimdark sci-fi? Could it just collect them up accidentally? Or not so accidentally..?

That's even before we get to "violent material".

In fact, it looks like it could be extended to cover any non-mainstream interest. Blocking an interest could mean it vanishes or declines. It could mean whole areas of knowledge being hard to find or access, maybe lost. With a tool like this you could remake a world.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Where I'm at

I've been catching up as best I can and it's been intense. If anyone's interested, since Tuesday's post I've commented on some worthwhile reads:

There are some overlapping themes in there, and some expansive ideas. If you can't find one space to synthesise your thinking, I'm more than happy to host the discussion here.

I'm sure I'll be posting more very soon, but in the meantime I point you to those blogrolls.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ban Warhammer?

Back at the wheel here, briefly at least, to share with those who might otherwise miss it the thinking of a blogger at the Telegraph, supposedly a 'quality' daily British newspaper.

It's arguably not much of a paper today, but UK national media may have gone off a cliff, or been pushed, with just one less-flawed gem pushing back to keep us better informed.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, the blog post itself skips a fair few reasons for banning the hobby, if anyone did want to make the case. It seems to be a joke piece. A few tasters:

... The whole experience is pitched at teenage boys, but some of them never quite grow up and you’ll find men with dank pony tails still collecting well into their thirties. Emphasis upon "boys" and "men" - this underworld is no place for a lady.
Although it now makes me sick to my stomach to think about it, I can’t deny there was some joy in my Warhammer problem. Boys get a unique kick out of collecting and owning things that other boys don’t have, in beating them in wits or being able to show off a magnificently painted griffin. But it did function like an addiction. Once you get hooked, you find that the price of the models creeps up and up with every year. New ones are always coming on the market, and every five years or so they change the rules completely - which necessitates buying a whole new bunch of stuff. ...
... Lonely and gripped by self-loathing, I succumbed. A few days later, unshaven and sleepless, I found myself sitting amid a pile of skeleton warriors - looking on at the ruination of my life. A little while later, I threw it all in a dustbin and tried to get my stuff together. I’ve been clean ever since.

More here.

Don't forget that gem, the Grauniad. They may be the last looking out for us globally too.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

... then the blogs - now specialist games?

According to epic addiction, both GW and Forge World are winding up production of miniatures for the specialist games, which presumably means Epic, Necromunda, Blood Bowl, Inquisitor etc. The new generation producers may be turning up in the nick of time.

On that front, Tabletop Fix just announced there'll be no posting on GW and FW for the forseeable future - too risky in light of the situation with Faeit 212, Apocalypse 40K and possibly BoLS. TF posts 300-400 times a month, and shapes opinion through BoLS too.

If it's true that GW sales grew massively in 1999-2006, they could well have benefited from rising web use. There may be less danger of growth like that in a brave new world of blood freezing in veins. Look at the worry at even a restrained blog like Warpstone Flux.

If the past few months have been about getting GW ready for sale, good luck whoever's buying. Hasbro? PP? Profits might be up - just - but if volumes are falling and the player base shrinking with it, the owner will presumably be vulnerable to ever smaller shocks.

Final point: epic addiction is new in the HoP blogrolls this week. It's how I found it. With the BoLS front page not yet back, blogs may be seeing lower traffic. It can't hurt to be in other rolls too. You can join HoP here, but consider adding more blogs to your own rolls and links in posts and comments. If a community is worth having, we can all support it.

Update: More bad news - the Fantasy and 40K collectors' ranges seem to be going too.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Bell of Lost Souls peals on

For everyone wondering about BoLS being down, I've just checked. Larry's looking into it and he's confident everything is fine, and the Lounge is still going. I don't have any news on the situation at Faeit 212, but as far as I know, Natfka is away at an event at the moment, so that might slow down the response a little. All should be clear soon enough.

Update: The Spirit Chamber has more, and points to this thread at Dakka Dakka. Looks a slightly worse case now, as in GW takedown requests to the blog software provider for infringement. An email from Natfka suggests he wants to get it resolved. Interestingly, Warboss Gubbinz makes the link with TSR, original publishers of Dungeons & Dragons.

Update: For clarity, the issue at Faeit 212 at least seems to be prerelease White Dwarf images. The legitimacy of that is being debated. Zweischneid has some reflections here.

Update: Larry has posted here at the Lounge to say he's still assuming the BoLS issue is a technical one, Natfka here a little lower down suggesting the problem should be one post not whole blog, and Loken at Apocalypse 40K, also affected, has an overview here.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Crewbrew (2) - tertiary functions & compartment use

Seeing the new troop variant of the Dragonfly from puppetswar, partway between thunderhawk, valkyrie and Squat gyrocopter, I got to thinking more about that underslung compartment and how small a role vehicle interiors still have in play.

So this is the second in the crewbrew run of supplementary homebrew, with suggestions this time for 40K. The first section below is a set of actions not so commonly covered in wargaming, the second an approach to compartments for systems that don't offer one.

Tertiary functions

Once per turn a crew member may perform one of actions 1-7, in addition to any usual role. A passenger may do so instead of moving, shooting or performing another action. A friendly passenger does so automatically, while an unfriendly passenger must attempt to do so, succeeding on a 4+ on 1D6. None of the set may be performed in any other way.

  1. open/close either one adjacent hatch, doorway or ramp, or all simultaneously
  2. turn interior/exterior lighting on/off - if either type of lighting is on, but not both, units firing in and/or out are one degree more accurate; in 40K, under nightfighting, the first band is 24", not 12"
  3. communicate with another compartment over the intercom - if the compartment has at least one exterior portal currently open, this turn the vehicle is able to move up to one unit of measurement further or perform one other task one degree more accurately; in 40K, +1" or +1 to hit
  4. patch into a local, aerial or orbital relay - so as to send a message as described in entry 7.
  5. send a message over standard frequencies - if the compartment has at least one exterior portal currently open, next turn any one friendly unit is subject to the effect described in entry 3.
  6. disable a device enabling any one action 1-5. - the action may no longer be performed
  7. repair a device disabled by action 6. - roll 1D6: on a 6, the action lost is available again

* No hatch, doorway, ramp etc. may be opened and closed in the same turn, even by different individuals.

Compartment use

Each closed, crewed vehicle is assumed to have at least one compartment, but may have many, e.g. for transport. If unclear, before the game the players agree the number, distribution and capacity, as well as access: the hatches, doorways and ramps leading to each. Compartments are assumed to be connected internally by single doors.

Width in human-sized models is for a hatch 1, single door 2, double door 3 and ramp 4.

This is the number who can attack or be attacked through it when open, at range or in close combat. The player controlling the passengers decides who is visible; blast attacks into a compartment affect all within. An attacker may only enter a compartment if number of occupants falls below the width of the portal attacked; for each full turn in which at least one unfriendly passenger is within the vehicle, crew cohesion falls by one.

A crew member cannot perform a usual role if a) engaged in close combat, b) firing a non-fixed ranged weapon or c) outside the proper compartment; distraction then applies.

How would that affect your game? If you're using point values, they might need tweaking.

Linked with all of this, and that Dragonfly too, you might be interested in the release of Khurasan's Polecat and Caiman, two vehicles in both the 15mm range and the 28mm.
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