Monday, June 28, 2021

Stargrave "Misery Cluster Campaign" Mission 01: Botched Deal at Lonely Jack's

Despite being situated smack dab in the middle of the galaxy at the crossroads of numerous trade lanes the Misery Cluster was considered a bit of a backwater.  Home to numerous agricultural worlds and mining operations the worlds of the cluster are home to numerous tiny settlements with only a few larger cities.  One such outpost is "Lonely Jack's" situated on a small moon orbiting a gas giant of Johnson's Star.  
The mercenary crew of the "Hellhound" and the spacer crew of the "Cometary Blaze" have both been invited to bid on some valuable data and other goods but instead of the smugglers they were expecting the town had been taken over by the Bloodborn pirates.  Instead of a bidding war a desperate shootout breaks out.    

One of the Pirate ruffians is taken out early as the crew move in.  Another of the "Bloodborn" rushes into the streets and fires at the captain of the "Hellhound" crew but misses.  

More "Hellhound" crew members move into the outpost talking up a strong position behind a wall with their carbines laying down covering fire.  

Viper Eyes captain of the "Hellhound" crew cuts down a pirate quickly and efficiently before the drunken bastard can get any more shots off.    

As the crews move towards their objective a Grenadier from the "Hellhound" is stunned by a shot from a Pathfinder of the "Cometary Blaze".  Another pirate is shot and stunned by the Troopers from the "Hellhound".  

Angel the first mate of the "Hellhound" advances to cover their stunned Grenadier.  The manage to shoot and stun the Pathfinder that injured their comrade.  

Moving from building to building to avoid the carbine fire of the mercenaries some of the spacers move in on a location they believe has some data to be retrieved.  

Two more crewmen of the "Cometary Blaze" move in on the communication station where the deal for the data was to take place.  


Two spacers drag their crewmember into a nearby building after the Pathfinder was shot by Angel and his mercenary comrades.  

Kole of the "Cometary Blaze" and Velma of the "Hellhound" surprise each other inside the com station where they were suppose to meet up with the hacker who offered both crews the data.

Responding to Velma's distress call Viper Eyes burst into the com station and attack Kole.  The Tekker first mate manages to deploy a drone but get's cut up pretty bad by the mercenary captain.

Another spacer is dropped by the accurate fire of mercenary carbines.  Lying unmoving in dirt it doesn't look like he will be making it back to his ship.  

A Code Breaker from the "Cometary Blaze" enters the clinic to retrieve some data and kills one of the pirates wounded by the mercenaries.  However another pirate guards the clinic.  

More crewmen of the "Blaze" enter the clinic and a shootout ensues over the medical data stored there.

With Cole stunned Velma is able to download the data in the communication station's main computer.

Angel and his troopers secure another data station and download it's contents for the mercenaries after taking out a crewmember from the opposing crew.  

The spacer's manages to secure a recipe for combat drugs from the clinic's medical computer.  

Instead of downloading the data that the crews were looking for Velma manages to download a fat stack of credits instead.

After driving the spacers into cover Angel and his mercs are able to easily download data from the salvage station computer.  

Things were not looking great for the spacer crew of the "Cometary Blaze" so they decided to bug out with their stolen data.  The mercs managed to gather the rest of the loot before heading back to their ship with no real casualties.  

All in all the day went better for the mercs than the spacers but neither crew got away empty handed.  

Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Vale of the Twelve Towers a D&D BECMI sandbox setting.


The Vale of the Twelve Towers Introduction

Around thirty years ago a dozen evil wizards escaped from Hirshberg Castle in the Kingdom of Bierwald where they were being imprisoned by the order of the Hexenjager.

After escaping they fled to a wooded valley that lay between the Kingdom of Bierwald to the East and the Kingdom of Fleur De Lys to the West.

The wizards made a pact to use their combined powers to destroy the Hexenjager of Hirshberg. To that end they went about enslaving the orc and goblinoid tribes of the valley to build their fortress towers and elaborate dungeon complexes. For the next decade they armed and trained their hordes for war while constantly perfecting their own arts.

The armies of the twelve wizards gathered and began their siege of Castle Hirshberg. The siege was short, lasting only three weeks. With their magics and their armies the Hexenjager were nearly wiped out and Hirshberg Castle reduced to a smoking ruin.

After destroying the Hexenjager the twelve wizards turned their attention to the Grand Duchy of Kriegswald and in particular the nobility all of whom supported the Hexenjager. Every castle and estate in the duchy was sacked including the Grand Duke’s fortress. Most of the nobles and their servants were either killed or enslaved and their fortunes were plundered. Although this devastated the economy of the duchy and plunged the region into a state of anarchy the people of Kriesgwald view the twelve wizards as liberating folk heroes. They have since violently resisted any attempts at outside rule.

Once the wizards were through with their vengeance fueled rampage they returned to their valley. Most of the wizards were getting old by this time and their interests had turned towards extending their lives through one manner or the other. Some wished to attain litchdom, others immortality, and a few just wanted to find a way to live longer in their human forms. They formalized a non aggression pact then set about their individual goals.

For another decade the wizards were content to follow their own paths and desires largely staying out of each other's way and rarely venturing from their towers. When they needed something from the outside world they simply sent their minions to take care of it. Then without warning at the stroke of midnight on the night of the Winter Solstice all twelve of the wizards died.

It took months for the news of their mysterious deaths to reach the outside world. Typically this news would come from one of the wizard’s slaves who had escaped their haunted keeps or from their agents or enemies. Alway when the rumors spread they came with tales of fabulous treasures guarded by horrible monsters and enchantments.

Many expeditions are under way to take advantage of the perceived power vacuum. Many fortunes may be made not only from the treasure but from the riches of the land itself. What will become of this mystery is yet to be discovered.

This is my work in progress sandbox setting for a future Dungeons and Dragons basic campaign. I'm currently running an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2E campaign. Hopefully I will get a change to work on this setting as I run that campaign.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

In Search of Adventure: Session 0, The Road to Threshold

 Dara the Lawbringer, Rosco, Benzy, and the halfling Putzstaff set out from the small logging town of Riverside in the Black Peak Mountains bound for the town of Threshold.  The Lawbringer outpost in Riverside had seen better days and the village was in decline so the group had decided to seek better opportunities.  

It was early in Spring and storms had ravaged the area leaving the roads muddy and difficult to traverse.  though they were less than 16 miles from Threshold the journey would be difficult.  On their first day out they came across a creek that was flooded out of it's banks with a fast current.  They managed to get across but Dara and Benzy were nearly swept away when the log they were using to ford the river snapped under their weight.  Fortunately they had tied off a rope between two trees to aide their crossing.  Soaked through from their crossing they managed to find shelter in a rocky overhang where they could build a fire.

They set out the next day in a heavy rain.  Rosco was getting sick from the weather and Dara wasn't looking too well either.  Fortunately they found an abandoned camp at the junction in the road near some old ruins.  No one was in camp but there were two empty tents and a smoldering fire.  The road to the ruin seemed to have been cleared and the abandoned camp seemed suspicious but they didn't have much choice.  Benzy and Putzstaff decided to split the watch while their companions slept.

About an hour before dawn Putzstaff was keeping watch the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.  He knew he was being watched.  Scanning the area he saw a pair of glowing red eyes watching the camp from a wood across the road.  He started waking his companions but the eyes had vanished.  

At the crack of dawn the goblin made their attack.  First a large force came down the road to the ruins and attacked the party then another charged up the road from the direction of Threshold.  Dara caved in one of the goblins skulls with a shot from her sling but within moments they were surrounded and fighting for their lives.  

Roso and Benzy killed several of the creatures who were having a hard time finding openings in their heavy armor.  Dara brought down another two with her sling but several of the archers shot her and she passed out.  Eventually two of the goblin archer got behind Rosco and stabbed him in the back with their crude knives.  Roso fell as the goblins continued to work their blades between the gaps in his plate.

Benzy and Putzstaff managed to drive off the goblins.  They revived Dara but Rosco was done for.  After performing the funeral rights of the Lawbringers Rosco was buried and the three remaining travelers pushed on to Threshold.

After getting settled in at the Rowdy Rottweiler Inn and discussing their options travelers met a mercenary named Dieter who was also looking for work.  During the evening meal the Baron and Patriarch Sherlane Halaran arrived at the tavern with a contingent of town guards.  He invited them to be healed and provisioned the next morning to discuss an expedition to investigate reports of a renegade cleric named Elwyn who was gathering a raiding party of Orcs to the East.  With no better prospects the companions agreed.  

My gaming group has been exploring older editions of Dungeons and Dragons lately.  Having played several 2nd Edition AD&D games I have decided to run our group through the "In Search of Adventure collection" B1-9 for the Basic Dungeons and Dragons rules.  I will be running these on again off again when my group has a chance to play them.  


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Creative January Warhammer 40,000 Commander's Edition Space Marine Force

I managed to get my project in just under the wire for Creative January.  This is the Space Marine Force painted as Dark Angels using some pretty quick techniques and oil washes.  I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  I was going for an advanced tabletop quality for this force and I think I managed that.  The Ravenwing Outriders have the simplest paint jobs but I had to fully assemble them before painting and the legs of the bikers were molded into the piece with the exhaust so it was harder to get to the seat of the bikes.  They remained black which worked out okay.  

I was most happy with the way the bases blend into the red clay side of the battle board.  I think the color also provides a nice contrast to the Space Marines armor. 


The commander was definitely the hardest miniature in the box.  It took me nearly a full weekend to paint him.  My wife has been working on the Necrons that came in the boxed set so we will hopefully be able to play out the starter Scenarios soon.  

I managed to snag a box of Dark Vengeance from my FLGS for about $100.00 so I'm going to have several more Dank Angels to paint up soon.  The nice thing about this set is that all of the Dark Angels have their iconography molded on so I won't have to deal with fiddly decals.  

 When I painted the Outriders I also painted this old Chaplain.  I think he is from 2nd Edition.  He's metal and has a small base but I'm going to use him with my Scout detachment so he should work well for them.  I've found several other sets of Space Marines but my son is also working on his own chapter so we are splitting them between our forces.  I have "Kill Team" on order which I'm actually looking forward to playing than the full game.  I have a lot of 40K miniatures from the past from several different factions so I should be able to make several small forces.   

Monday, January 11, 2021

Warhammer 40K Dark Angels first squad finished for Creative January


I finished the Assault Intercessor Squad from the Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition Command Edition boxed set.  These guys were a lot of fun to paint.  I finished them off using some oil washing techniques.  Oil washes are a lot easier to use than most people would think.  They are easier to use than acrylic ink based washes in fact as long as you take a bit of care with your work space and gentle enough with your application.  I may make a post showing the difference between the two sometime soon.  

I had intended to show the rest of my process in painting these as I did in my first post but I've got a lot of miniatures to paint and not a lot of time to edit the images required for a step by step.  I didn't really use any exotic techniques.  Mostly standard dry brushing and highlighting.  I did use makeup brushes for the drybrushing which I have just started using.  I would highly recommend those for drybrushing and I'm looking to get a larger and better quality set soon.  

Next up on my paint table is this Primaris Captain from the boxed set and an older Dreadnaught I've had laying around for a while.  


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Creative January Project Dark Angels Space Marines Assault Intercessor Squad

So a largely photography based creative group I belong to on Facebook just issued a Creative January challenge so as a non conformist I am submitting some Space Marines.  I've just picked up the Commander's Edition for Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition and these miniatures were included in the Space Marine Force.

Assembly was interesting.  I have not played 40K in several editions although I did have a few 8th edition miniatures.  I'm not a big fan of the push to fit assembly but these went together pretty well with only a few mold lines to clean up.  I like the size and dynamic posing of the newer Games Workshop models but I miss the utility of the older multi part kits.  

First base coat was in black automotive primer.  For rattle can primers I prefer automotive primers because they tend to be pretty thin and therefore don't obscure detail too much.  I make a noob mistake and started painting a bit too far from these minis so they got a tad bit grainy from some of the paint droplets drying before the hit the mini but I'm just gonna press on and work with it.  

Next I grabbed some kind of random dark green and sprayed from above and at a 45 degree angle which left black in the lower recesses and undersides of the figures giving me some quick and dirty shading.  I've seen this technique used but outside of a few terrain projects I have not used it myself.  

Next I did some highlighting using a makeup brush for my drybrushing.  I used a pretty cheap brush but it worked pretty well.  These are really bright for my intended Dark Angels color scheme but I'm going to used some oil washes to finish these models so that will darken them considerably.  I know I use craft paints.  Deal.... 

Because these models are so dynamic I decided to pull some of the parts off to get at the miniature better.  Unfortunately during assembly I had decided against this so I glued a couple of the looser bits in place.  I almost always paint fully assembled miniatures but I think one models like these I may start taking advantage of this newer assembly method.  

Whenever possible I like to paint in one setting or I try to pick projects that I can finish in one day but I've just started a new supervisory position at work and I'm only getting about an hour or so at the paint table before fatigue sets in.  I plan to make more progress over the weekend.  I will almost surely have these done but Sunday night.  


Monday, November 30, 2020

Star Wars Shards of the Empire Season 02 "Restore the Faith" Episode 01 "The Force Is With Me" Part 1 "Life Debt"

Star Wars Shards of the Empire Season 02 "Restore the Faith" Episode 01 "The Force Is With Me"

Part 01: Life Debt

Balyn Tosh and Tracker Tam stood on the outskirts of Niima Outpost watching their YT-1300 freighter "The Rusty Gundark" take off from the "New Republic" outpost headed for who knows where.  A day before the New Republic had commandeered their ship to transport supplies off Jakku.  "You know last year I was fighting terrorist above Endor and now those same people are taking off in our ship" Balyn sighed.  "Yeah strange galaxy.....  Was that part of the engine flaring flying off?"  replied Tam.  The Zabrak looked over at her companion "Hey the voucher they gave us if they don't return the ship is worth more than that hunk of junk."  "Only if we can find someone to honor it" replied the ex-imperial.  

Back at their camp a curious sight awaited them.  Their shipmates Anno Sune and her B2 battledroid companion 00-C were talking to a Wookie.  Sune's head tails twitched like they always did when she was negotiating a deal.  "I wonder what she's getting us into" Tosh mused.  "Hey guys this is Jondara.  He says he needs our help rescuing a clone trooper captain called Stalker" the orange Twi'lek explained.  "Well I thought this day couldn't get any stranger but I seem to be wrong" replied Tam.  "The pay is a thousand creds and a trip off this rock" the Twi'lek said hopefully.  "Guess we got nothin better to do" Balyn agreed.  

Jondara explained that his friend "Captain Stalker" had rescued him from a Separatist attack on his home world during the Clone Wars but he was wounded in the process.  After being medically retired from the service the two had joined an order of monks called "The Guardians of the Whills" on a planet called Jedha.  The Guardians had taught Stalker to use a Kyber Crystal and force meditation to control his accelerated clone aging.  After the destruction of the Holy City the two had joined the rebellion but since the fall of the Empire Stalker had been trying to get help to liberate Jedha from the Imperial Warlord Moff Korrath.  The New Republic had declined to help liberate the planet so Stalker was looking to recruit a resistance.  They had traveled to Jakku to look for former rebels who might help them.  Unfortunately Stalker had been tricked by a bounty hunter working for Moff Korrath and captured.  During the fight his Kyber Cristal had been destroyed.  The bounty hunter had sold Stalker's armor to a band of Jawas in Scrapper Town and was waiting there at a comm station for his partners to pick him up.  The Wookie was adamant that they needed to rescue Stalker and his armor.  

Upon reaching the outskirts of Scrapper Town Jondara insisted that they recover the captain's armor from the Jawas first.  Although the crew didn't understand this logic they decided not to argue.  Everyone knows it's not wise to upset a Wookie.   

As they made their way down the dusty street towards the Jawa's bunker four old B1 Battle droids emerged from the structure.  "Halt!  By order of Clan Ooo'dora that Wookie is not allowed in Scrapper Town!" all four droids proclaimed over their metallic vocabulators.  

With a Wookie battle cry Jondara charged one of the droids and sliced it's arm off with his vibro knuckler.  00-C charged towards another of the B1s.  "By order of Separatist Alliance directive 062-386-1138 you are ordered to remand yourselves to the command of a superior model." the super battle droid said as it smashed it's hand accuator into the head of the lesser droid.  "Roger, Roger by your command" the other droids replied in unison.  

Unfortunately 00-C's crewmates cut one of the B1 droids down in a hail of blaser fire while the Wookie literally shook the one he was facing to pieces even as the poor droid exclaimed "Ssssammmme side! Same siiiiiiiiiide...." out of it's broken vocabulator.  
Three Jawa emerged from a hatch on top of the bunker and began taking shots at 00-C with their Ion rifles.  One scored a direct hit causing arks of Ion energy to flash across the droids shiny surface for several seconds.   

00-C moved towards the bunker firing his wrist mounted repeating blaster .  One of the scavengers was struck but not killed.  The Jawa returned fire and another blast hit 00-C "Systems operating at twenty eight percent initiating self repair protocol.....  Systems restored to seventy five percent efficacy" the droid explained as he trudged on.

Unfortunately for the super battle droid it marched right into a Jawa ambush.  Blue energy sparked across the droid's armored structure.  00-C dropped to the ferrocrete floor with a loud clang.  

Under the covering fire of the crew and their new droid allies Jondara leapt and vaulted over the top railing of the bunker.  With a roar he picked up the last rooftop Jawa and threw him over the railing into the side of an adjacent building.  The poor creatures scream was cut short as his body hit the building with a thud then fell to the ground dead.  

Anno and Balyn moved up and engaged the Jawa inside the bunker wounding one but the creatures fired back taking down one of the B1 droids.  

A heavy blaster shot hit the ferrocrete bunker just above Anno's head.  She turned and spotted an armed figure firing from the roof of the town's comm station.  "Sniper!" the Twi'lek yelled.

Inside the bunker 00-C's system rebooted.  "System online.  Operating at minimal efficiency" the droid intoned.  Standing in one sudden movement the massive droid stepped over and smacked one of the Jawa over the head with it's metallic fist dropping the creature just as Jondara was finishing off the other.  

As the rest of the party moved against the sniper Balyn Tosh's R5 astromech droid "Blooper" began repairing 00-C.  "Bloop, bloop!" the little droid chirped.  "Systems restroed to ninety eight percent efficiency."  reported the B2 droid.  "Good work R5-B4".  "Bloop, bloop" the astromech replied.  

Balyn, Anno, Tracker, and Jondara moved down the street towards the comm station trading fire with the Bounty Hunter on the roof.  As they reached the building the Wookie began climbing the wall.   

The Bounty Hunter turned and shot Jondara as he pulled himself onto the roof.  Undaunted the Wookie charged the man an hurled him off the roof to his death.

Inside the building sat a man who's face matched those on countless Republic propaganda posters from the Clone Wars sitting cross legged on the floor.  Over and over the man repeated a simple mantra "The force is with me.  I am one with the force".

Game Master Notes: This was the first session of my 2nd Star Wars Shards of the Empire campaign set just after the fall of the Empire.  In the first campaign former Rebel Alliance pilots were hired by the Queen of Naboo to help her pirate Ally Nym destroy a dangerous squadron of TIE Advanced pilots known as "Storm Squadron" out of the Lok system.  This campaign follows a more rag tag crew of smugglers as they are drawn into a war between a power hungry Imperial Warlord and the followers of various Force based faiths on the holy moon of Jedha.