Monday 20 December 2010

The troll is leaving the bridge for a few days

It's my friend's birthday on Wednesday and me and the rest of our friends have something awesome planned for him that involves being out of the country for a couple of days (he has no idea where we're going, so I won't say just in case he reads this, the sneaky blighter).

So if I don't speak to you before, though I imagine I will, have a fantastic Christmas everyone and thanks for your support this year. Trollish Delver salutes you.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Marvel heroes for Risus

I've already told you how much I like the Risus system. It's simple, versatile and can fit to any genre. With that in mind, I'm thinking of running a Marvel supers game in the new year, so I've written up some characters for my players to choose from. If you have your own you want to put forward then leave me a comment.

Captain America (Bucky)

Description: Hardened soldier with a sense of humour. Bucky tries his best to fill the red boots of his hero Steve Rogers.

Cliches: Cybernetic arm (3), Acrobat (2), Strives to be the best (3), Soldier (5)

Iron Man

Description: Billionaire businessman who always sticks to his guns, even if it gets him into hot water. Also - awesome tech.

Cliches: Super genius (3), Power armour (5), Ladies' man (2), Visionary (3)


Description: Witty web-head who's just an ordinary guy. Y'know, with superpowers.

Cliches: Webslinger (4), Agile (3), Science nerd (4), Never shuts up (2)

Ms Marvel

Description: Carol Danvers was normal until she was exposed to radiation that gave her super sweet Kree powers.

Cliches: Super sweet Kree powers (5), Super spy (3), Compassionate (2), Pilot (3)


Description: Norse god in a surgeon's body. He's blonde, speaks funny and can summon lightning KRAKOOOM!

Cliches: Godly powers (5), Protector of Midgard (3), Mjollnir (3), Donald Blake (2)

Friday 17 December 2010

Preparing for Christmas

Hey guys, like many people I'm getting ready for the Holidays, so I haven't been updating TD as much as I should. Rest assured that I'll be updating from Sunday, so don't leave me. PLEASE DON'T LEAVE MEEEE!


Tuesday 14 December 2010

Out of the Pit

It came! I've just been flicking through Out of the Pit, a book that's jam packed with creatures from the Fighting Fantasy universe for use with the Advanced Fighting Fantasy rules. It contains a map of Allansia, 250 creatures and random treasure and monster tables. The artwork is taken straight from the gamebooks, so they're the great quality we've come to expect from the series. I think these awesome monsters deserve a T&T stat conversion - so I'll be putting a few on the blog every now and again.

Sunday 12 December 2010

T&T Villian: Kandy Kane

You better watch out, you better not cry, because Kandy Kane will lay the smackdown on your sorry ass. Kane used to be a joyful lass, but that was when she was back in her own world - a dimension inhabited almost exclusively by elves, where Christmas came everyday and everyone was ridiculously happy. However, one day a mage in Trollworld was experimenting with cosmic magic to open a portal that would let him get to the shops down the road in a second, but instead tore a rift in space-time. Kandy Kane was in the wrong place at the wrong time and she fell through the dimensional rift and appeared in Trollworld, right before the rift closed permanently. Then she turned angry. Real angry. The comparatively hellish realm that she had been forced into was too much for her and after a while she snapped and began plotting the world's downfall supervillian style and find a way to get to her old home.

NAME: Kandy Kane
Level 5 Female Elf Warrior
Height: 6'11", Weight: 200 lbs.

ST: 21, INT: 31, LK: 31
CON: 5, DEX: 34, CHR: 40
SPD: 9, WIZ: 10

Adds: 50

Wt. Possible: 2100, Wt. Carried: 959.5
Elven (native language), Common Tongue, Orcish,
Balrog, Avian

Gold: 641 gp

Chill Blade of the Northlands, Dice+Adds: 4+1
ST Req'd: 10, DEX Req'd: 12
Value: 55, Wt: 90.0

Wintertip Bow, Dice+Adds: 3+2
ST Req'd: 5, DEX Req'd: 8
Value: 35, Wt: 50.0
Range: 30 yards

Buckler, Hits Taken: 3
ST Req'd: 1
Value: 10, Wt: 75.0

Breastplate of Winter's Wrath, Hits Taken: 14
St Req'd: 10
Value: 130, Wt: 15

Saturday 11 December 2010

Journeying to the Fabled Lands this Xmas

I've focused a few posts lately on Fighting Fantasy, but I've just found out some news that will add another gamebook series for me to obsess over. Fabled Lands has been re-released, at least the first four of the six books, and I've just ordered the first two to play over Christmas.

What sets the Fabled Lands series (or Quest series, for my American friends)apart from other gamebooks is the massive open-ended gameplay. There is no overarching quest that you must complete to 'win' the game, like in Fighting Fantasy. Rather, each book contains an area of the game world that you can explore at your own leisure. There are hundreds of quests to undertake, from really short to fairly epic; property to invest in and a fluid economy for you to trade in. You also get to choose from a bunch of classes when you begin your adventure, giving Fabled Lands more depth than your run-of-the-mill gamebooks.

There were six books that were originally printed (although 12 were planned), each increasing in difficulty as the series progressed and each with their own theme. If you want to travel to another land then all you need to do is pick up the book that land is set in. Think of each of the sequals as an MMO expansion, adding vast amounts of content for you to roam in.

The books in the re-released series are as follows (descriptions from Wikipedia):

1. The War-Torn Kingdom

Sokara, a nation at war with itself

Set in the land of Sokara, shortly after a civil war in which the king was overthrown in a military coup. This background provides the book's two major quests; the player can choose to either help the heir to the throne and his band of partisans regain power, or assist the new leader General Grieve Marlock in crushing the last few pockets of resistance.

Other quests involve assassinating the king of the rat-men infesting the sewers in the city of Yellowport, looting treasure from the lair of Vayss the Sea Dragon, delivering packages between the druids of the City of Trees and the Forest of Larun, defeating the Black Dragon Knight in combat to the death and rescuing a trapped god from the summit of Devil's Peak.

2. Cities of Gold and Glory

Golnir, a wealthy land steeped in curious folklore

Set in the prosperous kingdom of Golnir, wealthy from its rich agriculture. A common complaint readers had about the second book was that it was far more difficult to find quests than in the first book. There are still several major quests, however, including slaying a dragon for the Baroness Ravayne (the ruler of Golnir), searching for magical artefacts for the wizard Estragon, bringing to justice a murderer on behalf of his victim's ghost, finding the key of stars to gain access to a treasure filled tomb in the Forest of the Forsaken and making a map of the northern mountains.

The quests in the second book have a more whimsical, fairy tale nature to them than those in the first book. This gives Golnir a very strong Merry England atmosphere.

3. Over the Blood-Dark Sea

Swashbucking adventure on the high seas

Set in the Violet Ocean, which separates the northern continent of Harkuna from the southern continent of Ankon-Konu. Travel is severely restricted without a ship, making it a difficult book to start off in, particularly for less experienced gamebook readers. Over the Blood-Dark Sea is also one of the first in the series to feature regular danger - the player is almost always at risk of pirates, storms and even sea monsters.

Key quests include assassinating Amcha, king of the pirates, enrolling at a wizard's college in the city of Dweomer to learn magic, searching for buried treasure on hidden islands and climbing the enormous mountain on Starspike Island.

4. The Plains of Howling Darkness

The desolate wastes of the Great Steppes

Set in the Great Steppes, an environment of grasslands, plains and tundra similar to Siberia and Mongolia. Key quests include liberating the Citadel of Veris Corin for the King of Sokara (closely linked with quests in The War-Torn Kingdom), releasing the King of Harkuna from his prison underneath the Rimewater (closely linked with quests in The Court of Hidden Faces) and killing the immortal tyrant Kaschuf (based on the legend of Koschei the Deathless) who rules over the village of Vodhya (which requires the player to find and release his soul, hidden on an island in Over The Blood-Dark Sea).

This was the first book in the series to introduce the concept of a harsh environment - out on the Steppes, the player must make constant SCOUTING rolls in order to find enough food, and on the northern steppes the player loses one point of stamina a day from the cold, unless they have a wolf pelt to keep warm.

I'll be reviewing each book when I've had a play. Hopefully we'll see the remaining two books released soon.

T&T Monster: Sugar Plum Fairy

I suppose it's time for Trollish Delver to get festive, so to kick it off here's a holiday themed monster for your T&T game.

Sugar Plum Fairy

Monster Rating: 34
Combat Dice: 4d6+17
Special Damage: 1/Call Flame
Special Abilities: Hidden in Pastries - Sugar Plum Fairies are undetectable by any form of magic when they are concealed inside a pie. They can even survive being baked! They get an automatic surprise round when coming out of a pastry.
Description: Sugar Plum Fairies are evil little creatures that hide in fruit pies or pastries and lie in wait for a family to tuck into the violent dessert before jumping out and unleashing magic fire on its victims. It has become festive tradition to stab a hot pie a few times with a fork just in case one of these little blighters is hidden inside.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Playing Fighting Fantasy books with a group

Now I realise that there are in fact two Fighting Fantasy roleplaying games as well as d20 and GURPS conversions, but I've been thinking today about how I would go about running a Fighting Fantasy gamebook for a gaming group. Since the material is all there for you in one book it would be easy to pick up and play with little to no prep.

I'd imagine the players would all be one character. You could duplicate creatures for each player at the table but I could see that becoming cumbersome and time consuming. But to stop the players from getting bored of being part of the same character, I would assign them each roles, such as these:

Master of Stats

The Master of Stats would take care of all the character's stats, deducting and adding to attributes as well as overseeing special rules such as fear and time. The Master of Stats has the final say in using potions to increase/decrease stats.

Master of Equipment

This player would note down all items that the character begins with and collects/loses on the way. The Master of Equipment has the final say in whether a magical object should be used.

Master of Maps

This player draws a map of the gamebook world as the character travels, noting page numbers as he goes. He is also in charge of plotting the three save points on the character's journey. The Master of Maps has the final say in which direction to go and where to plot a save point.

I can't really think of any more roles. If there were a Master of Dice he wouldn't have a whole lot to do, so I would suggest letting players go round the table clockwise for each round of combat to roll dice. I've also mentioned the Master of Maps can plot save points. There coould be three that can only be used once, so they must be used wisely. If the map is any good then the players shouldn't have any problem finding their way back to a point where they died anyway, even if it's a long way from the last save point.

What do you think? I envision plenty of arguments, but the final say much go to the relevant Master. I may try it out and report back.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Why I love Memoir '44

Back in the day I played 40K and the Lord of the Rings wargame, mainly with friends but sometimes in big in-store games. More recently I played Napoleonics and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I always tend to lose. Miniature wargames have always been a part of me, but it's only recently that I have got into war-themed boardgames.

The great thing about these is that you get everything you need to play from the get-go in one box. Granted, they're not cheap, but often you can get many hours of play just from that one box, whereas miniature games tend to swallow money gradually as you expand and upgrade your army.

The one aspect of war boargames is you need a good head for rules. Luckily I'm used to complex rules, as a result of playing lots of roleplaying games and CCGs, so that doesn't really bother me. However, some of the more advanced games can really get bogged down in the most intricate mechanics (see Advanced Squad Leader), and although they are really great games, they aren't games I have time to get into.

Not too long ago I picked up Memoir '44, which was my first step into the hobby. Since it was recommended for beginners I thought it would be a good way to start. I was right. Memoir '44, a boardgame based on some of the more famous battles of WWII in 1944, is wonderful. The rules are simple to learn but there is a lot of strategy involved in the game. The components are well-made and when set up the whole thing looks impressive. Me and my girlfriend have a lot of fun playing Memoir, and she doesn't like my 'nerdy' games.

For my birthday she bought me Tide of Iron, which we decided to take for a spin at the weekend. We were working through the rules as we went but she soon became bored and a bit confused (not that I can blame her) so we packed up after a few turns. I'll probably introduce TOI to my regular gaming group and get some games going, but right now Memoir '44 is really scratching that wargame itch. Since there are a bunch of expansions and hundreds of free scenarios online, it's definitely a game that will keep me interested for a long time to come. So if you're looking to step into the war boardgaming hobby or maybe you're a wargamer who fancies something a bit lighter, then I highly recommend this game.

The sexiest adventure

Awww yeah!

Weird monkeys.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Fighting Fantasy Newspunch: November

As the nights grow dark and the winter chill sets in, there's never been a better time to curl up with a good Fighting Fantasy adventure and a hot chocolate by the fire. Here's what's been happening in November in the world of Titan.

New Books: Curse of the Mummy and Forest of Doom

Wizard have released the covers for two revised adventures that will be dropping in February: Curse of the Mummy and Forest of Doom. I think they look awesome.

PSN Fighting Fantasy Minis

There has been more information released about the upcoming Talisman of Death on the Playstation Network. Check out these images and details to whet your appetite.

Destroyer of Worlds Fan Adventure

Are you a bit out of pocket because of all the Christmas spending, but you want to play some original Fighting Fantasy material? Then fear not, because Shane Garvey, R M Kawano and Phil Sadler have you covered with their ongoing effort called Destroyer of Worlds. It's free!