Friday 30 September 2022

Struck by the Lurgy

 Hi folks!

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last while. I've been off on holiday and no sooner did I get back, I have found myself struck with the lurgy and am feeling pretty rubbish.

I've not been able to produce any artwork for my September challenge as I foolishly left my art gear when I went on holiday and am feeling too rough to do anything now I'm back. Hopefully I'll be back to usual service come next week as I'm not only starting my new roll in Perth but I have Inktober to have a bash at to boot.

While I was on holiday we found quite a few second hand bookshops and came back with quite a haul of goodies.

First up, there's Table Fables a really handy RPG or gaming resource which consists of lots of different random tables that I suspect will be really handy for my own games moving forward and a book I'd highly recommend folks take a peek at!

Next up, I found a stack of Brian Jacques goodies in a bookshop and chatting to the lady who ran it found that she'd had them on the shelves for 20 years since new and I got this lot for £10:

I have slowly been building my collection of Redwall books so that eventually I'll have the lot with the vague idea of doing either a Burrows and Badgers campaign or a rpg sort of thing using them as inspiration as I have very fond memories of reading them back in the early 90's and am really looking forward to reading my way through the entire series.

Finally on our last day we found a massive second hand bookshop and amongst the dusty stacks, I found some David Drake!

I've read these some years ago but felt the need to add the Hammer's Slammers series to my collection as they're brilliant military sci-fi reads.

I'm now going to have a hot beverage and sniffle a bit and try and get better before I start work on Sunday so until then, All the best!

Monday 19 September 2022

Character a Day Challenge Days 12-15


Here's the next batch of my character a day doodles!

Brady the Nightsoil Collector and Stevie 7

Brady appears to be a lowly nightsoil collector and his trusty assistant Stevie 7. Secretly they are highly trained members of the Governor General's security team, the duo have been operating on Farpoint in deep cover and have recently uncovered an assassination plot by the Cult of the Emerald Scyre which would have seen the entire sector thrown into chaos.

Brady, former Corporal Brady Mead of Her Imperial Majesties 87th Mechanised has an uncanny ability to disappear into the background and go unnoticed by those high and low and along with Stevie 7, a retrofitted combat droid that has been paired with Brady for more years than most of his handlers can remember.

Brady's low key investigation style has begun to really begun to show successes that more high visibility 
methods that the Arbites or Frontier Marshals have managed and now the mighty Inquisition has shown interest and Inquisitor Fisher has ''requested'' to be kept up to date with any of his findings. 

Governor General van Dorn has thus far managed to keep his identity secret but it is only a matter of time before the Cult finds out who has foiled their plotting and go gunning for Brady. For his part, Brady is more than ready for the sharks to start circling and both himself and Stevie pack an actual arsenal of weaponry and are raring for the chance to put some of his more militant skills to use once more.

Here's the prompt:

Hans Overstadt

When the criminal element of Farpoint need patching up or shady cybernetic upgrades, they invariably go knocking on the door of Overstadt's backstreet surgery.

The good doctor is legendary for being willing to perform any surgery, dodgy biogenic procedure or cybernetic grafting as long as he's provided enough cash to keep his personal experiments funded. His experiments have produced some of the more dangerous and unhinged combat cyborgs and battle drugs for the noble houses of Farpoint.

Overstadt is unnaturally lean and nobody is actually sure how old he is or indeed if he's even entirely human. Unbeknownst to the doctors clientele, Overstadt is actually a rogue AI that has been running from the Mechanicus for over a century now and has discovered that its easier to hide whilst waring a meat suit and keeping a low profile far from the Mechanicus out on the frontier.

Here's the Prompt: 

The Firehawk

Farpoint's resident superhero is actually Brother Vespasian of the Ultramarines who went AWOL following a supposedly lethal headshot during a skirmish several years a go. 

Vespasian was discovered by a group of street urchins who mistook the mortally wounded Marine as a character from their comic books and managed to keep the man alive long enough for his superhuman system to repair much of the damage caused by the head wound. Unfortunately Vespasian has no memory of his past and now actually believes he is The Firehawk, an avenger of the poor and innocent in a crime riddled cesspit of a city.

Since his recovery, many criminals have been found brutally beaten to death and crime dens have been destroyed in an assault of a monstrous man with flaming fists leaving the building a shambles and the goons guarding it very dead.

His exploits have made The Firehawk a legend in the slums of Freeport City but his vigilante actions have put him on a collision course with the Adeptus Arbites and as many in the Judges uniform were corrupt, he has also taken to bringing them to his own brutal sort of justice.

The Ultramarines have sent several covert teams to try and recover their fallen brother but he has thus far managed to avoid them or absolutely crush the few who have managed to corner him.

Here's the prompt:

I'm off on two weeks holiday on Wednesday so I doubt I'll get chance to get much more posted before I head off but will hopefully have a bunch of characters to share once I get back so in the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Magic the Gathering Cards for Worldbuilding?


A bit of a random post today but I got a big stack of Magic the Gathering cards which were going to be thrown out as they weren't getting used for games nights instore any more so I decided to recycle them for gaming of a different sort!

Now there's about a thousand cards in the box but they're pretty much all lands which used to get used for draft games and it got me to thinking, could I use them for a bit of a world building option for my own games?

With that in mind, I sorted through the box and selected ten of each of the land types (Plain, Mountain, Swamp, Island, Forest) and shuffled them into a deck. I then printed out a hex sheet on A4 paper and began drawing cards for the characters initial location and the surrounding hexes.

This resulted in a bit of a mixture of different environments and I could have stuck with the basics of the hexes contain either mountains, swamps or whatever but I got to thinking that maybe I could interpret them a bit further by actually looking at the images for some visual clues.

This resulted in a very basic map of a rather intriguing nature with floating islands, mysterious swamps and even some strange settlement built into a massive forest. 

It's pretty crude but by adding the roads, rivers and other elements that one sees on the cards it's possible to create a map really quickly and populate it with all manner of interesting elements. While it's not going to be particularly accurate from a geological or geographical standpoint with all manner of random elements thrown together, with a bit of care and lateral thinking, I believe it could work out rather well and I'll be introducing it into my games going forward, especially the likes of Collostle which is light on detail.

Taking the idea further, I also plan on using it for skirmish type gaming as a reference for the sort of terrain my games could be taking part in. For example looking at the following image:

If it's a fantasy setting, it could be that my warband finds itself ambushed whilst travelling through a mountain pass or being sent to exterminate some monster infestation that has been attacking a local mining camp. While the images are largely of a fantastic nature, I can absolutely imagine the method working for sci-fi games too!

The floating islands, dank swamp and strange fungal growths would absolutely work in a sci-fi setting which could see Imperial agents carrying out a sweep of the slime jungle (ala classic Rogue Trader!) to try and root out some rebels or different gangs fighting over some illicit fungal growth.

Even something like this rather moody, if featureless plain could work as the setting sun could be a key element with an attack taking place as the sun is setting which gives the forces a limited number of turns to achieve their objectives before the battlefield is covered in darkness, allowing their opponents to slink off under the cover of night. 

I must admit that I don't often see games set on the coastline but how about pirates or smugglers trying to avoid the attentions of the local authorities whilst seeking forgotten treasure or even a remote bio-lab having to be explored by Space Marines after communications have been lost and it just so happens to be set on an island miles from anywhere?

Even using something as simple as the weather portrayed can be useful as while the setting appears to be a mountainous one bordering an arid region, the threatening storm clouds could mean that the battlefield may be hit with a flash flood making for an interesting and unexpected element that can make even a generic skirmish far more exciting than expected as the characters have to seek high ground or face being washed away.

How about having an encounter between forces in a great forest that is home to an unknown third faction who don't take kindly to the fighting and decide to enter the fray to drive both invading parties away from their ancestral homes?

The options are really rather exciting and I suspect I'll be pootling around further with the cards to see if I can incorporate them further into my games. I'd be interested to see if anyone else uses a similar approach as I do think it has some possibilities for setting the scene in any game!

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday 12 September 2022

Character a Day Challenge Days 8-11


Here's the next few days worth of character a day challenge illustrations!

Luthor Trumpington III

Trumpington hails from the corporate hive world of Polaria, a frozen waste pockmarked with megacities where money is the name of the game. Luthor Trumpington earned his first billion creds by the age of 21 and led the families Redline megacorporation to crush all opposition with a series of hostile takeovers, corporate skulduggery and all manner of shady deals but gave it all up when he won a supposedly authentic pirate treasure map whilst gambling on the frontier world of Farpoint whilst visiting a Redline facility.

Since then Trumpington has set aside his corporate ambitions and is seeking a crew to hire with the aim of setting out to the frontier to search for the Treasure Planet the map supposedly leads to. Thus far, there haven't been any takers as the business mogul has been very cagey with the details and any unscrupulous crews that have tried to strongarm Trumpington have been dealt with by his army of guards.

Here's the prompt:

Ghent Handerbilt

Garth Handerbilt was once the most feared gossip columnist on the staff of Farpoint's premier gossip rag, The Daily Tribune. Handerbilt had a prodigious skill to root out gossip on all the best known celebrities and had no compunction of sharing the indiscretions of the rich and famous to his horde of readers who mainly hail from the lower orders of society.

Unfortunately said rich and famous didn't appreciate their proclivities revealed to the scum of the sector and following a series of excoriating articles in the Tribune, Handerbilt met with an unfortunate accident and he was accidentally exposed to a deadly and extremely rare substance that left his body ravaged by the Mimjip Pathogen. 

Realising he only had a week to live, Handerbilt sold all his belongings and invested in a power suit that would keep him alive long enough to seek vengeance upon those who had struck him down. Now armed with a heavy handgun and towering rage, he stalks the sector hunting the wealthy and offering them the option to duel. Thus far he has killed 17 assorted nobles before disappearing back into the slums where his adoring readers keep his whereabouts secret from the law enforcement, bounty hunters and noble lackeys who are after his hide. 

Here's the prompt:

Rhogar Singh

Rhogar Singh is the mayor of Rafa Canyon, a small township in the badlands of Farpoint who became famous for singlehandedly defeating the Ork warlord Dygo Smashface while protecting his home from the deprivations of the Goff warband that had been raiding the surrounding settlements. 

When interviewed about his exploits, Singh informed the reporter that he was merely doing his civic duty as mayor and that if the now deceased Dygo had left his settlement alone and not tried to eat his wifes poodle, Fru Fru he wouldn't have to have dealt with the Ork.

Here's the prompt:

  The Bridesmaid

Ramona diGriz, AKA The Bridesmaid is an infamous bank robber who has hit several banks around the Farpoint sector leaving a heap of dead and wounded guards, law enforcement and even two Space Marines in her bloodthirsty wake.

Nobody is sure what has started the bloody rampage of The Bridesmaid but she seems intent on continuing her lawlessness and despite the efforts of the Adeptus Arbites and an increasingly ridiculously huge reward for her capture dead or alive (preferably dead), she still manages to elude the authorities.

Here's the prompt:

I'm going to take a day off from the project as I've been really busy with work and want a day to recoup before getting back to the swing of things so watch this space!

Until then, All the best!

Friday 9 September 2022

Character a Day Challenge Days 6&7


Here's the next two characters from my monthly challenge!

Lombardo Vecht

Vecht shot to fame at a young age, starring in the popular Imperial syndicated show Adventures of Jimmy Vecht, Child Inquisitor, starring as the titular hero, Lombardo was the toast of the Imperial airwaves until the onset of puberty saw the show cancelled and Vecht packed off to boarding school by his parents.

Upon graduation, Vecht found that his fame had waned and few remembered the show, other than how insufferable the youthful inquisitor was and eventually even repeats vanished from the airwaves. While the Imperium moved on, Vecht did not. Furious that he was no longer famous due to his acting skills, Vecht decided to become infamous instead and delved deep into debauchery and using his family fortune, set about searching for every arcane and forbidden tome he could lay hands on.

Over the next decades, Vecht set up numerous cults around the Farpoint sector, aided by the ineffective and corrupt Governor and eventually made a pact with a gribbly being from another dimension and formed the Cult of the Emerald Scryre. Since then, the cult has sent out numerous expeditions to find forbidden tomes and mysterious archeotech with Vecht seeking an as yet unknown something.

With the arrival of the new Governor General, the cult has had to hide itself away but is still active throughout the sector and Imperial agents are desperately trying to root them out before they find the mysterious artefact.

Here's the prompt I had for Vecht:

I didn't want to do a grimdark current 40k sort of thing with it as I'm not a fan of the whole Realm of Chaos thing so decided to go for something a bit more Cthulhu themed with some ancient being giving the foolish Vecht power but for some unknown reason.

Sister Charity of the Immaculate Flamethrower 

Sister Charity hailed from the world of Harmony, a pristine planet with a small religious community but disaster struck when Charity accidentally managed to burn down an entire forest while undergoing mandatory weapons training. Unbeknownst to the Imperium, the planet of Harmony is an Eldar Exodite world and the forest Charity burned down was a sacred grove called the Forest of Lost Dreams. 

Enraged at the sacrilege, the Eldar descended upon the monastery and set about wreaking bloody vengeance upon the inhabitants. Harmony miraculously survived the slaughter and was found by an Imperial landing party in the smouldering ruins still clutching her flamethrower.

The Eldar had set a doom upon her and she now roams memoryless throughout the sector wielding her flamethrower and burning down pretty much every Imperial outpost she encounters. While the Imperials have captured her repeatedly and incarcerated her in several convents, she always seems to mysteriously escape and burn the place to the ground as she goes. While this isn't endearing her to the church, she does also aid those in need and has saved several settlements from xenos threats before burning them to the ground herself, sparing the innocents but leaving them homeless.

The inhabitants of Farpoint class her as a dangerous but saintly figure who will save their souls but burn them out of house and home whenever she escapes from whatever unfortunate convent, monastery or asylum she resides in.

Here's Sister Charity's prompt:

I really want to introduce these characters into my Farpoint campaigns as they're rather fun to write about and suspect that there could be some really entertaining games with Sister Charity turning up as an NPC and setting fire to stuff!

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday 5 September 2022

Character a Day Challenge Days 4&5


Here's the next two days worth of prompts for my September challenge!

Roberto and Marta Garcia!

Renowned Shakespearian scholar, Roberto Garcia and his wife, Marta, whilst on their second honeymoon to Beta Draconis led the charge against a zombie horde with a mixture of stirring speeches (Roberto) and excessive violence (Marta) which rallied the scattered defenders of the city and first stopped the horde and then drove it back.

In recognition of their achievements, the pair have been granted Imperial favour and backing to build a new theatre dedicated to retelling the events of the defence of Beta Draconis. 

Roberto, while a civilian has trained with weapons for defence under the strict eye of his families retainers but Marta is a retired Imperial Assassin and literal killing machine whose only soft spot is for her dear husband and his archaic speech but as he tends to wander into dangerous locales in search of inspiration on a fairly regular occasion, Marta is usually packing numerous deadly weapons to keep her erstwhile husband safe.

Marta has also gifted Roberto a servo skull which he named Yorrik which floats about in his wake reciting stanzas at random but also has a tracking beacon fitted into it so Marta can find her scholar if he wanders off.

Here's the prompt I had:

I'm rather fond of the Garcias and suspect they'll be making a fairly regular appearance in my games going forward as NPC's to add a bit of theatrical mayhem in scenarios and I'm interested to see what I get next in the random prompts. I've more or less given up on using my Story Cubes thus far as none of the prompts have stumped me but will hold them in reserve just to be on the safe side.

In the meantime, All the best!

Saturday 3 September 2022

Character a Day Challenge Days 2&3


I was going to post these once a week but I've been asked to post them each day so without further ado, here's day 2 and 3 of my September challenge:

Jimmy Kallix, Mafia Boss

Jimmy Kallix is a precocious youth who set his mind to running his own megacorporation by the age of eight but following a failed business venture he found himself penniless and decided that if he couldn't get what he wanted in business, he'd try crime instead. 

Ever since the Kallix mob has become infamous for bank robberies and all manner of organised mayhem as the youthful genius constantly outwits law enforcement while building himself a criminal empire that is coming to rival Lucius Goldberg, the undisputed kingpin of the Farpoint Sector.

Lucius has, thus far at least merely shown mild interest in Kallix but if the two gangs rackets begin to intersect, the sector may have a mob war to deal with.

Colonel Archibald Fluffybum III (retired)

Formerly of her Imperial Majesties 17th Regiment of Foot, Archibald led a long and glorious military career and retired to live in splendid isolation in Freeport City where he spends his time raising a veritable horde of cats.

As a gene-spliced trooper, he had to deal with many detractors but Archibald soon gained a name for himself as a capable and brave officer who rose through the ranks on ability alone and his tactics in the Vox Novis campaign are still taught in military academies sector wide. He lost an arm in the cleansing of Delta V against a rogue cult and had a bionic replacement grafted on and has elected to keep the monstrous claw in his retirement and has in recent years shown some interest in whipping the local militia into shape.

I'm really enjoying the process of designing these utterly random characters and have a dynamic duo to showcase tomorrow but until then, All the best!

Thursday 1 September 2022

Character a Day Challenge Day 1: Kermit Delaney


As promised, here's the first of my September Character a Day Challenge!

Behold Kermit Delaney, sludge sub driver! I ended up with the following prompts and story cubes to give me some inspiration:

Kermit Delaney was once human but following a series of unfortunate events, caused by en large by his OCD, the former bus driver found himself turned into a frogman by an incensed wizard and catapulted into a strange new world. The rather confused Kermit has found himself a job in the Imperial frontier settlement of Brimcome Glades, a swampy sort of a place inhabited by swampy sorts of settlers.

He operates one of the few public transports in the settlement, a beaten up old submersible which Kermit's obsessive care has resulted in about the only vehicle that runs well and on time to boot. Kermit has found a new lease in life, freed from the alimony monies from his four failed marriages back on Earth and has found his niche. 

Fortunately for the reality jumping frog, the locals are all somewhat gene-spliced in order to survive the rigours of Brimcome so look pretty froggy themselves and Kermit has managed to avoid Imperial entanglements thus far but Inquisitorial agents have been hearing rumours of his story but have written him off as a bit of an oddball and generally harmless.

I've really enjoyed putting together the first of my characters and may end up statting up the characters for Planet 28 if folks are interested. Hopefully I'll get the next post up tomorrow so watch this space.

All the best!