Friday, June 12, 2009

adventure writing advice??

(If you are one of my players.. please don't read.. hehe)

So I working on my one-shot Earthynn story that I am running at GenCon. Its going to pre-gen charcters.. probably level 12 (wanted to try some higher level 4e). It involves a wizard's tower, a mysterious city and a gold dragon. I have lots of col ideas for it.. the adventurer are going to start with "amnesia" and there will be a long running skill challenge throughout the story involving them regaining their memories... there are some cool puzzle rooms in the tower... the city itself is full of illusions... there is an Eye Tyrant at work behind the scenes... I have lots of cool ideas.. but when I actually sit down to assemble them into a concrete adventure... I get nowhere...

How do I start, where does it go from there... basically I am just looking for tips on structuring the adventure.. should I start just by writing up encounters? Does it benefit me to draw out maps first? should I detail all the ideas I have as individual encounters then find ways to tie them together? Do I write up an outline and stick to it?

The gaming group I will be running this for (and the one that will eventually be the long-running Earthynn campaign) are a varied lot... some are new to DnD, some are very casual players, and others are very hardcore players... so I am trying to be prepared for all fronts...heh

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Sunday, June 07, 2009


So, I have been thinking about GenCon.. well, lets be honest, I spend a lot of time thinking about GenCon... and I always like to try out something new when I'm there, maybe pick up a new game, or play a new game.. look at some new gaming aids or tools, check out the plethora of gaming companies producing tons of awesome products, even if they are not ones I will eventually buy and/or use. Here are a few of the things I am hoping to demo/check out/purchase at GenCon this year.


Seeing as how I am building a campaign world, this seems like a great tool. The software is only $45... and the system requirements are not severe... so I am looking forward to trying it out and maybe picking it up this year.


This is a miniature game of naval warfare set in a high fantasy setting. Instead of the Spanish armada facing off against the British fleet.. (boring!)... you get the Elven fleet facing off against the Orc Raiders... they have 5 races and two more on the way. And to top it off...they even have Sea Monsters!


I read Gnome Stew's very thorough review of this RPG and it sounds pretty awesome. I have not read the comics, but I think I might like to..


Retribution Models Revealed!

So, thanks to the Internet... pictures of the upcoming Retribution of Scryah models. I love the look of the warjacks.. they look so alien and cool, and real change for the Iron Kingdoms. The elves being such a reclusive and hidden society developed their technology along a very different line than the rest of Western Immoren. Also, the release reveals that the heavy warjacks will come in a "kit" that allows three different possible warjack variations (and they are made of plastic). The light warjacks still come in individual blisters.

I am not sold on the paint scheme just yet...I like the green/teal highlights for the "energized" areas.. but the white.. dunno. White is very difficult to paint.. I think it could work.. but I am expecting my warjacks to be much more heavily inked.. should give them a dirtier more rugged appearance... So the kit provides the chassis/body of the warjack and has the three different sets of arms, three different heads (the heads look really cool), and the weird generator things on the third one (no idea what those do). Pretty cool.

It also seems as if it'll be reasonably priced for the kit, its listed on some of the distributor sites at about $30. That is a great price considering some of the larger metal heavy warjacks for the other factions are $50+. The only problem I have.. is the options. I dislike, and therefor, I am not very good at, assembling and converting models. The ideal use for this kit would be to assemble them in such a way to allow magnets to interchange the parts.. that way you can switch between which warjack you wish to use.. but I really don't think I am going to be able to pull that off (or more appropriately, not have the patience to pull it off) I would just as soon glue them together and be done with it. Needless to say, I will be buying multiple kits (which I would be doing get multiples)

And then we see a new infantry unit. These are the Dawnguard Invictors. They are exceedingly cool. We still have no idea what they are going to do rule-wise.. but they have awesome armor and gunblades. Who doesn't love gunblades? I also love how their guns are like big revolvers... Here is the "blurb" about them and the awesome concept artwork by Chris Walton (played against him in a tourney once long ago, before he worked for Privateer Press)

And here is the picture of the models, they come in a box which contains the full unit for about $45. (again, thats a great price for a full unit of ten models!) I love their armor, and the two different helmet-less head models is really cool. I am expecting them to have an Assault charge order perhaps (shoot their guns as they charge in with the blades) but otherwise I have no clue what they'll do once the models hit the tabletop.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how different the Retribution models have looked. Their style is so unique to the Iron Kingdoms, and that makes them really interesting to me (and their amazingly cool background fluff) But of course.. when you put anything new and different on the internet.. the forums explode with nagativity. Right now I think the Privateer forums are mostly 50/50 in regards to liking the Retribution models. And, as has been said in the forums, if everybody liked them and played them, the game would get pretty boring... Chris Walton posted his own take on the argument that they "don't fit" in the Iron Kingdoms up on his webpage.. sheds some light on their design:
So one of the major complaints that I’ve been hearing about the look for the Retribution is that they don’t look like they “fit in” with the rest of the Iron Kingdoms, or that they don’t have a steampunk “feel”. Make no mistake, this was purely intentional from start to finish. The elves of Ios are a cloistered xenophobic race that has had very little to do with the rest of Immoren for a very long time. This is a society that trades with no-one and kills any who dare to cross their borders. For a time their gods walked among them helping their empire reached undreamt of heights of power, and their technology base is radically different from anything anyone has seen in the rest of the IK. It would have been very easy to throw some rivets and chunky plates on them and call it a day. But that would have cheapened the entire faction – totally disregarding the mystery and alien qualities of the elves in the WARMACHINE setting. In the end, I’m really glad that we took them in the direction we did. The new and the unknown are often scary, and that’s exactly how nature intended it.
GenCon is right around the corner.. I need to start saving my pennies!