Friday, December 31, 2010

2009 - Microarmor Challange at Chris' with my Nemisis Dwight

Chatting with Chris today he showed me to his facebook page (I will let Chris link it here if he wants) and I found some pictures of a game we played back in 2009 when I did beat Dwight. I had Russians and he had the UN and US Army bases in the photos. This was a really fun game. Admittedly he did not know the rules very well but he was a good sport. I used arty to my advantage and placed it on top of his UN HQ and the 155s tore him up! Still like I said in a previous blog entry, Dwight is a VERY tough opponent.

GHQ Helos

Today I am putting together GHQ helos for my friend Chris. I am putting together a pack of huey slicks, huey gunships and a pack of Cayuse. I really like the quality of GHQ for their airplanes and helos. The only downside is that flight stands are sold separately.

The detail on the helos are pretty decent and the armaments and skids fit without too much trimming of flash. I have enjoyed putting these models together. Chris gave me a lot more to put together so look for more helos and models in weeks to come!

Last Gaming Day of the Year - American Civil War

Yesterday after the modern microarmor game was played and we haggled over some more terrain prices we setup for the ACW game featuring the Johnny Reb II rules. No we do not use Johnny Reb III because we're old school ACWers (or so I am told).

 The house rule is that each side picks from a stack of Dwight's business cards on which he has written things like +100 men, Very Heavy Gun, -200 men, +repeaters, and Green Troops. This randomizes the game and allows both sides to get specials to their divisions without the other side knowing what they have. I particularly really enjoy this because we never know what we're going to get. I got a 24lb James and as I was to find out later on Dwight got Elite Repeaters...

Last Gaming Day of the Year - Modern Microarmor

Yesterday was the final gaming event of the year for me and I went all out. I went over to my buddy Chris' house for some military and microarmor discussion and then we headed down the street to Dwight's place to play microarmor and later Johnny Reb. 
German Deployment

US Depoloyment

The Microarmor game was a blast. We played a modern engagement featuring a company of US Army M2A2 Bradleys and M1A2 Abrams versus a company of German Marder 1 A3/ A5 and Leopard II A 4. Our missions were complete annihilation of the other side. I played the American side and Dwight played the German side. The rules we used were Chris' modification of Command Decision and Combined Arms. We did shooting and moving in centimeters.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WTNW at Warpath Games!

Well it's offical. WTNW will be available from WarPath Games to retail outlets for the print version of the book in Feb 2011.  You can still get the pdf version of the book on Wargamevault but the print version is full color and very pretty!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DM Advice - Man Do I Love Battlemats!

 From flip mats to dungeon tiles no matter what anyone says I personally believe that roleplaying in any sense is more fun with miniatures and a battle map! I believe that the dungeons of the fantasy game, the streets of the modern game, the shores of the pirates game, the deck of a spaceship, the rough and tumble alleys of sci fi and post apoc games and the gritty realism of the road for a modern or cyborg punk game really come into their own with the addition of battle mats!

WTNW- Design Your Own Capital Unit Contest!

That's right we're having a contest to see who designs the coolest most Victorian landship or airship. All you have to do to win is to send in a sketch of your idea along with a description. Whoever we like the best will win a free copy of the core book when it is released and will instantly get a copy of the pdf! Your concept will be included and featured in the upcoming Airpirates supplement. Please send submissions to and good luck! Contest runs until January 21st.

Editor's update: In addition to the WTNW Core rule book you will also recieve a copy of the Airpirates supplement!

Disclaimer: By submitting your design you agree to allow The ArmChair General to use copies of the submitted material for future works. You will be credited with the design.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Christmas Presents

This year for Christmas I picked up several mats for my collection of batte mats. The flip mats were picked up at the Paizo Cyber Monday sale the day after Thanksgiving and so I count those as Christmas gifts. The army and the other mats were picked up in December and are also Christmas presents.  The snow/urban sci fi army is for Tomorrow's War demos for next year. The ArmChair General will be hosting Ambush Alley Games and WTNW at conventions in Florida and Georgia all next year!

First up are the flip mats for the Caravan and the Slums.  The Caravan is my favorite one of these because there are always times where I need to put a wagon together.  The caravan features a full wagon train and several other goodies.  The Slums package is a lot of fun and includes some really nice places for PCs to be ambushed.  Of course neither set is fully interchangeable and like all the map packs they only go together a few ways.

Goodbye 2010 and Thank You

I am sure glad that this year is coming to a close and as I sit here typing this blog on the couch I think of what great fun I had this year and how many games I enjoyed playing. We have had a great run of gaming this year including:
  • Three fantasy campaigns that were ran concurrently in the same universe for the Nightlord Saga.
  • Multiple playtests of the When The Navy Walked Steampunk and VSF game that culminated in the release of the second edition and the writings of the supplements Conflict on Mars and Airpirates.
  • Multiple playtests of Tomorrow's War by Ambush Alley Games
  • Offical Demo/Convention games featuring Ambush Valley by Ambush Alley Games with prize support.
  • Offical Demo/Convention games featuring Ambush Alley Game's Force on Force using the advanced aircraft rules and featuring prize support.
  • Several games of Napoleonics using Le Flu Sacre rules by Too Fat Lardies.
  • A couple ACW Johnny Reb games and French Indian War with the Garrison.
  • Some pulp high adventure using Rugged Adventures rules with the Garrison.
  • Brushfire by On The Lamb games.
  • Several games of Uncharted Seas by Spartan Games and Full Thrust by Ground Zero Games.
  • Two good microarmor battles featuring modern microarmor.
  • Three solid Call of Cthulhu sessions for part one of the Black Pyramid (to continue with Masks of the Seven in 2011).
  • A good amount of boardgames and party games including Adventure, Small World, Life, UNO (my wife's favorite game), Cranium, Taboo, B17, Ticket to Ride, Trailer Park Wars, Redneck Life and others.
  • Started the Kingmaker play by post set in the Pathfinder world of Galantia on this very forum.

Friday, December 24, 2010

WTNW Core II Coming Soon to Retail Stores in US and Canada!

Like the PDF but want more? Shhh... We're finalizing the details between our distributor to enable to distrubution of When The Navy Walked to FLGS and retail stores throughout the US and Canada.  Here at The ArmChair General we're going to be running some special promotions throughout the time up to the release date.  Want to know more?  Keep watching this blog!

Also, do not forget we're going to be at Siege of Augusta and have plans to attend both HMGS South Recon and Hurricon this year!

Check us out on facebook by clicking the link on the sidebar
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That's Like Totally A Dragon!

This post is not really gaming related but it kind of is in a geeky way.  A friend of mine works as an IT Engineer (most of my friends are in IT, Accounting or Military go figure) and he said that he got a call from a VPN user who was trying to connect to the company VPN.  The problem was,  he says, that the user told him that the reason he was having problems is that the ISP told them that their Large Hadron Collider had gone down.

I wonder how many times we do these types of jokes at the gaming table?  Do any of you work in IT or share similar funny stories with your groups?  I think this one is a riot!

A picture of a Large Hadron Collider

It's like telling a party that there is a dragon guarding the treasure when really there is a couple of kobolds who have bad breath.  So when is a dragon not a dragon? Answer: When it's a Large Hadron Collider.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

DM Advice - Behind the Great Big Screen

If you are only a player do not read any further.  What follows are secrets that most DMs keep behind the great big screen.  Seriously.  If you continue you will only spoil it for yourselves.  Do not say I did not warn you...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pathfinder Bestiary II - And the Mome Raths Outgrabe

I have been waiting for this since I changed to Pathfinder!  Paizo has released the Bestiary II and it includes one of my all-time favorite monsters.  So far the reviews look promising.  Only the hard cover full color is available now but the pdf will be available by Dec 29.

Pathfinder Bestiary II - And the Mome Raths Outgrabe

I have been waiting for this since I changed to Pathfinder!  Paizo has released the Bestiary II and it includes one of my all-time favorite monsters.  So far the reviews look promising.  Only the hard cover full color is available now but the pdf will be available by Dec 29.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

New Meat-Eating Lizards from Khurasan!

Over at Khurasan Miniatures they have added a new Garn line to their Garns, the Garn Flesh Eaters a 'hulking reptilian alien' creature. These guys have huge weapons and mouths to match!  The fluff for the Garn have them as combat seeking gladiators who enjoy bloody duels and battle to the death!  The sheer size and bulk of these guys should make any opponent think twice about attacking.

I think this would be a perfect miniature for Ambush Alley's Tomorrow's War or even WTNW: Conflict on Mars (Coming Spring 2011).  Something to think about for the gamer on your Christmas list or for yourself after collecting all your Christmas cash!

Editors Note: Website for WTNW coming soon!

Another "Reindeer"

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, 
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen,
but do you recall the most famous err reindeer of all...

Randolf the Radioactive Rodent (of unusual size) had some very nasty teeth,
and with his large incisors he can tear out chunks of meat,
some of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names,
they never let poor Randolf play in any reindeer games,
then one dark and smelly night (in the Fire Swamp),
Prince Humperdink came to say.
Randolf for your evening snack, won't you chew up the Man in Black?

Then how the Six Fingered Man loved him, the kingdom shouted out with glean,
(Nobody withstands the machine)
Randolf the Radioactive Rodent (of unusual size),
You go down in history...

Merry Christmas from The ArmChair General with apologizes to Johnny Marks

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mountains out of Molehills or Reason 12,231 why custom is better

Since my last post on custom terrain was well received I decided to share what my friend Dr Dwight Jones of Dr Jones and Mr Hyde terrain made for me this year.  I went to my FLGS Friday night and picked it up.  I commissioned him to make this for me and of course he built exactly what I asked for. It is sectional for easy storage. The hill has a cave on each of the four sections. There are over twenty levels to this thing! This is a hill which I can do Hamburger Hill and many other battles upon.

A big thank you to you Dr Jones and a Merry Christmas to your family sir!  I look foward to kicking your butt on this hill in the coming year!

Jack and Jill and Susan

Check out the guy calling to the gorilla with the bananas...

Friday, December 17, 2010

WTNW Part of Wargamevault Winter Offensive Sale!

For three days 19 hours and 54 minutes only you can get our products for 20% off the already low sales price of this Christmas season.

When The Navy Walked Core II Full Color only 9.60
When The Navy Walked Core II Black & White only 8.00
They have a bunch of other great titles too so check them out!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Terrain Maker, Terrain Maker, Make me a Swamp build me a Hill

I went to my Friendly Local Gaming Store last night.  Our store is called Borderland Comics and Games and it is the last one of its kind in Jacksonville, FL.  I have been going to Borderlands since it opened many years ago and like many of you am on a first name basis with the owner and employees.  Chip over at Borderlands runs a very well maintained game store.  Sadly, other game stores did not do so well over the years.

It is sad really because of the economy and people putting less money into their hobbies stores are closing all around the country.  There used to be several FLGS here in town such as Sanctuary Comics and Games, Broadsword Comics and Games, and Wardogs Game Center but sadly their owners have sold them all over the past two years. 

Your Favorite Game

I try to do this every year to get an idea of what people are playing out there. We all have our favorites from wargaming to roleplaying.  What's your favorite game?  What makes it your favorite?  Is it the rules or the concept?  Is it the setting?  What is it that makes it special for you? Bonus points for anyone that says that When The Navy Walked is their favorite steampunk game ;) You can break it out by category if you want or just list them in your order of preference.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Urgent! The ArmChair General (WTNW) did not get Lucas Arts

This just in from the Martian substation Alpha Gamma Victoria Underclothes Five Listening Post. We are not, we repeat, we are not responsible for the purchase of the Star Wars License. 

The Skvani Overlords were noted at responding to the query with a fishy sounding 'pffttt' before they shattered the minds of the reporters and sucked down their entrails.

Ever faithful, their Gray servants clapped in admiration of their masters.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Minis, Minis, who's got the best Minis?

From Reaper, Blue Moon, WoTC, Irregular, Liberation, Old Glory, Khurasan and Britannia to Pulp Figures, Copplestone, Mage Knight, Hero Scape, Games Workshop and Magnificent Egos there sure are a lot of choices out there for miniatures!  I personally have a variety of them and I'll bet my best D20 that most of you have a collection of them yourselves.

Miniatures. We use them in a variety of ways from showing that lovable NPC to setting up fire teams or battalions of Young Guard. Sometimes we use toys like my walkers which are Burger King versions of the Wild Wild West toy, sometimes we use a proxy "Guys I know this looks like a beholder but it is really an Umberhulk." and sometimes we have to have it because it's cool and we want it.  Who says this isn't an addition?  

Miniatures. What's your favorite and why do you like it so much? 

Lastly, what is on your wish list this year? Are you wanting anything special or specific for Christmas this year from Santa?

Faerun is officially closed

Faerun is officially closed for Christmas!

Ah it's Christmastime.  Everyone enjoy it with your families.  We've had too many that had to bail out tonight and as such I am declaring game off until January 4th when we will pick up with the RoTFS game to be followed by the AtH (non good game) on January 11th.

Events for January

Rise of the Fallen Star (Tues biweekly good game) - 4th, 18th
Against the Heroes (Tues biweekly non good game) - 11th, 25th
Chronicles of the Six (Sat biweekly game) - 8th

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

From Under a rock - I knew you would Say That!

Ever notice how in the D&D cartoon the Dungeon Master always came from and disappeared behind a rock? From Under a Rock is a new semi regular column that I am starting featuring advice for players including different combinations of abilities and the challenges to consider when doing so.  This column will be similar to the DM Advice column but will target players.

Need to make a specialist wizard and have to select some opposition schools? The choice is usually the divination and enchantment schools. I believe the reason that they are usually the first schools dropped is because they are misunderstood.  Now before you start selecting Divination and Enchantment as your opposition schools consider for a moment exactly what it is that you are throwing away. In fact, the power of these schools is oftentimes overlooked.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CoTS taking a break.

Due to the fact that the Christmas Holiday is upon us many of us will have functions to go to this month and will have difficulties getting to the games. It is for this reason that I am suspending the Chronicles of the Six Saturday Night Bi-Weekly dnd game until next year. We will resume play on January 8th 2011. I hope to see everyone here!

Friday, December 10, 2010

DM Advice - Sharing the Loot

The cobweb-infested tomb was deserted of all living inhabitants and was now completely devoid of anything that moved - the party having recently slain the undead inhabitants. Jangle the Thief looked up at the moss-covered engraved golden columns that decorated the room.  Pausing before a large overly decorated flagstone he motioned for the others to stand back. 

Sensing danger, Grimblade the Fighter unsheathed his blade and Faststep the Monk pulled his hands from his pockets. “I think we should keep an eye out for other undead.” The voice belonged to their female companion Firefingers the Wizard who for some reason always smelled of bat guano.  “This is the tomb of Neverdying the Lich King after all and his sidekick Killcrush the Antipaladin ghost.” 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering our Heroes

Yesterday was a day that "Will live in infamy" as one very famous man once put it.  I would like to ask each of you armchairgenereals out there to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by our men and women everyday in the line of duty.  The sacrifices of not being home with their loved ones and not being in their beloved country, the sacrifice of spending countless hours protecting our freedoms and the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives for those back home.  Thank you to the men and women of our armed forces.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WTNW - Fiction

The more I get asked questions about the world of WTNW and the more I respond with short narratives the more I think that there may be some short stories and who knows what else in line for the world of WTNW.  I hope you enjoy this brief description of the Balee which will appear in the Conflict on Mars supplement.

Also I've added an optional rule for Alternate Command Points in the game.  This rule would supersede the way that Command Points are generated in the game and although it changes the nature of the game only slightly it does speed up the calculation of Command Points as the amount of command points necessary is drastically reduced and not based on the Command value of a unit.


The shaggy wolf-snouted beastman sat on his elephantine mount Zkor the motion of the beast lulling him into a light snooze.  Behind the beastman his companion sat dressed in traditional garb of long boots tucked into black leather breeches his billowy natural muslin shirt buttoned up only about half the length to the parting in the red woolen vest with checker board patterns.  He grinned, his features lighting up as he looked at his sleeping companion.  "Hey wake up L'Kor you know you cannot sleep on the Ride.  I did not figure you for the brains of a Yah-Kor but you seem to thing it is a good time for a snooze."  He poked the larger man with the rifle butt of his scythed musket-weapon and chucked as he drew blood from the man's back.  The blood pooled into the vest clotting very quickly as was normal for the resilient Balee.  Hardly noticing his companion L'Kor nodded his features forming a grimace "Boring that's what this is.  We need to be in Ikor before noon to surprise the Arabs." 

WTNW - Alternate Command Point System

Friday, December 3, 2010


At long last.  After a year of everyone putting their hard work into it the When the Navy Walked Core II final edition is done!!! There is a color and a black and white pdf that I will be putting up for download on Wargamevault soon.  In addition, BOTH the color and the b&w versions will be available for print on demand thanks to the efforts of our illustrious graphics layout guru!  The final version of WTNW Core II features stunning original artwork by Eli Arndt and Arsenale Shipworks, full color photo spreads of VSF games in progress, a full 10 army lists depicting all of the great powers (except Japan), Quick Reference and Command Point Expenditure sheets, alphabetized Edges and Flaws and the History of the When the Navy Walked alternate Earth setting!  

I will be uploading the final versions to Wargamevault this weekend and the print on demand titles following me running a final test copy of the print on demand version from the publisher.  A big thank you to Joey, J, Eli, Dave, Don, Howard, John, Shawn, Brent, Jeremy, Darby, Frank, Jim and the rest of you who helped Armchairgeneral take off from the pages of an Excel document to this quick and clunky (on purpose it's VSF after all!) rules set that gets the feeling of Victorian Science Fiction for large scale gaming!

Now on to Mars and the Airpirates!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nightlord Saga - Against the Heroes and their wonderful flying machine

So yeah I gave the Against the Heroes crew an airship. To be more precise the npc patron Dhampire named Galin gave the Against the Heroes crew an airship.  Now Match, sorry CAPTAIN Match and his trusty tiefling friend Talzia have the ability to take the game to an entirely new level.  Airpirates!

Sure I had initially intended the airship as a cool means for transportation and not much else but hey the players took it, obtained crew for it, armed it with a few ballista and christened it "The Reckless B***" Now they have a nifty flying airship about the size of a schooner and we have whole new ways to adventure.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WTNW - Conflict on Mars Scenarios

We have some exciting news here at ACG!

There will be two versions of the book available for download from the wargamevault site, one black and white giving the game a more rustic look and one color version. The color version will also be available as a print-on-demand!  Both versions feature the full rules and original artwork Quick Reference Charts and Army Turn Tracker charts to maintain your command point expenditures.  This final version of the Core II rules has 10 army lists including Two British, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, French, CSA, USA and the Turks!  It also includes the army build system and a blank army roster that you can photocopy at the back of the book.

I just finished writing the Conflict on Mars scenarios that will be part of the campaigns in the book. The scenarios cover various aspects of the history detailed in the fluff in the beginning of the book. The scenarios feature meeting engagements, ambushes, riots, territorial disputes and a few surprises in between!  Each scenario features new army lists specific for the scenario.  This is in addition to the army lists that will be provided in the back of the book.

I am proud to announce that there will be a crossover Pulp Ally / When the Navy Walked scenario book that will be available exclusively from ArmChairGeneral.  In addition to the Pulp Alley crossover which features pulp action  in small teams we are developing a skirmish variant of the rules that utilizes some of the mechanics but on a smaller scale than the Core II book.  I thank you for your patronage and have a happy and safe Christmas and Holidays and a great New Year.

Once again thank you to everyone that is part of the Armchairgeneral team.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

RotFS - The Darkness in the Mines

Last night Baronet Lavindra and her companions DD and Leah went into the dungeon and mines underneath the keep which they are renovating for war against the Nightlord and his factions.  As they descended past the Kobold tribe and into the third level of the mines they encountered a strange inky darkness that they could not penetrate with even the light of their celestial companion Ezekiel.   They were warned that there may be immature purple worms and other creatures of the darkness below including an opening to the underdark.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Day Gaming

Turkey - check, Ham - check, sodas - check, yams - check, family and friends - check, minis and dice... I don't know about you but I am hoping to get some gaming in over the Thanksgiving weekend. Since my bud Ray will be over I am hoping maybe Friday to do some Warengine and over the weekend maybe some VSF using WTNW.  If I have time I wouldn't mind trying out some of the new playtest rules for Tomorrow's War!  If nothing else though I'd like to get the insulation up in my game room and get it ready for the mini-split to be installed so that we can game out there in the summer!

So is anyone else gaming over Turkey Day weekend?  If so are you checking out Tomorrow's War or some other new game or playing an old standby?  What are your plans?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

CoTS - Drow Abbey

The Abby
The party makes it to Bell and the new member of the party, Whisper makes a deal with Harkon Lucas to get his son Casimar to go back to Harmonia for a Meistersinger contest.  The next day Ariadine is awoken by the flutter of wings which she quickly realizes as the feathers on the wings begin to shimmer and shine and the snake-like head and neck of the Couytl comes into view that it is Aobean.  The wizard runs to her friend Quia who was able to speak with the magical spirit before they entered the Caves of Lost Souls in the Nightmare realm.  After a quick conversation Aobean takes Ariadine and Quia on a fly-by of a nearby Abby Manorhouse where they are greeted by Drow and a Drow Spider High Cleric of Lolth.  They return and are told that the bell needs to ring before the sun(son) can fall and then the darkness will recede.  What this means they do not know..

At breakfast Marcus is poisoned by the wine sold to the bartender of Sundered Heart which the party learns is made by the Drow and is indeed poisoned with dark magics.  The party begin to make plans to attack the Abby.

Friday, November 19, 2010

You Scored a Crit!

Christopher over at A Rust Monster Ate my Sword posted this in his blog.  He did a good review of a really cool D20 that actually has a LED inside it that flashes red when someone rolls a 20.  He says that the D20 actually rolls accurately and does as advertised!  It currently sells for $9.99 US and is available at Think Geek.

He also reviewed that nifty wi-fi shirt that has an LED inside it that shows the 802.11 wifi signal strength.  The problem with it he says is that it is bulky and stands out over the shirt itself which is useless without the LED patch.  The other thing he says is that the battery pack is not at all small.  I told him that it would be cool to see a Big Bang Theory Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock shirt that flashed the images on the shirt but having to carry a Star Trek the Original Series sized tricorder around to power the thing wouldn't at all be fun.

Christopher also has other interesting articles over on his blog so check it out!

In all it's glory...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ereaders for Gaming or “How I learned how to get from behind my Laptop and join the action!”

OK I admit I use my laptop as a DM/GM/Keeper/Storyteller whatever all the time in games.  Let’s face it, my trusty lappy360 helps me keep track of initiative, npcs, combat, notes, character sheets and allows me to check references in rules at the touch of a few buttons.  I also use my laptop to podcast some sessions as well as to play music and surf the internet for names and other roleplaying goodies.  Without lappy I would be back to keeping notes on a pad with pen and paper (gasp!) I absolutely love my laptop and even though I am considering additional game aids which we will get to in just a moment, I believe that my lappy360 will always sit next to me on the separate table area someone nicely marked DM only!

Ok so time to get what this article is all about – ereaders!  If you have not been living under a rock or deep in the bowels of Shubnigaroth you’ve no doubt heard that ereaders are all the rage.  Now there are quite a number of these little bad boys on the market among them the giant Kindle and the ereader-but-not-really-an-ereader ipad.   
In case you do not already know what an ereader is it is basically a very skinny version of  the Nintendo gameboy that has been expanded in size to roughly a novel or a little bigger and allows for eye-friendly reading of novels, magazines and periodicals.  The concept of an ereader is that you can read a book without having to actually own it (a novel concept thank you public library) and you can have multiple books all in one nifty little device (much like a laptop or pc).

I saw this ereader at Barnes and Nobels a few months ago called the Nook and it got me to wondering if they would ever make a color version of the ereader other than the ipod?  Well guys guess what?  The Nookcolor has just been released!  This little gizmo is really cool but it unfortunately does not have the 3g capability of nook but it does have wireless. 

The ipod is really super cool and something I have considered awhile now but at the heart of myself I am really against the whole apple cult phenomenon.  While I did play on it with my friend Byron to play Small World and messed around with it to get some game updates.  It is kind of like paying money to Heaven’s Gate but not actually getting to ride the comet…  Now if Asus came out with an ipad type I’d be all over it.

The Kindle is also really cool but when I heard they pulled all Orwellian books even after people had already purchased them it sent up a red flag that said to me “IT’S INGSOC!” and well who really likes thought control?  You do not do you.  I knew you were thinking that.

So, I am leaning towards the nook color. Tell me has anyone else here used an ereader for gaming purposes?  What I want/need it to do is to be able to quickly scroll through pdfs during a session but also allow for some quiet down-time reading in between sessions.

The really cool capability about the nook is that it will read any pdf up to a certain file size.  The tech guy did not tell me what the file size maximums are for the nook.  He did say that files can be transferred to and from the nook.  So yes I can copy my Pathfinder books to the nook and back and forth.  Of course, I know that you probably already have the book in printed form so why not just use it right?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WTNW Core II Layout Nearing Completion!

Our layout artist has earned himself a permanent position here at ArmChairGeneral!  What a magnificent job he's done setting this book up to be printed.  Now all we have to do is update the new army lists and add some of the really wonderful artwork and we're there!  I have already sent the CSA and Italian armies off to Joey and now we're just waiting for the rest of the lists to make their way back.

With the addition of the original artwork from Arsenale Shipworks and Eli Arndt this book really pops!

My personal thanks to all who really helped get this off the ground and make it what it is including the reviewers who pointing out what the book lacked.

Look for the updated print on demand version to be available before Christmas this year!  As always, if you purchased this product before just email me the receipt and I'll update you for free!  As a new company we did have some growing pains to work out before the final product and my personal thanks goes out to all who supported the indy efforts by purchasing the early releases.

WTNW: Conflict on Mars looks to be a really good supplement!  It is in playtest stages now.  If you want to be part of the playtest please email me. I am looking for honest feedback from people after they play the game a few times. All playtesters will get their names mentioned in the CoM book.

Calling all DMS and Players!

It's the Dungeon Master!  Calling all DMS and Players!  The ArmchairGeneral forum is now open for play by post games for DMs and GMs who wish to use the forum as a means for running their adventures. Do you want to run an adventure on ACG?  Contact me at cronickain. As a kickoff I will be starting the sandbox style Kingmaker from Pathfinder's Adventure path.

The world of Golarion is full of unexplored regions and the River Kingdoms are among some of the most fierce! The forbidden kingdoms of the Stolen Lands are a land steeped in mystery and lost treasure a wilderness claimed by nobles, bandits, and beasts alike. The people on the outskirts of the kingdom take refuge in small settlements. Now the Swords of Restov have hired your party to explore the lands to the south.

Beyond the last rugged frontier stretches the home of voracious monsters, capricious fey, wily natives, and bandits who bow to the rule of a merciless lord none dare defy. Can the PCs survive the Stolen Lands, bring their dangers to heel, and lay the foundations of a new kingdom? Or will they just be one more fateful band, lost forever to the ravenous wilds?

To get to the forum just click on the steampunk goggles!  As a warning to the players who are wanting in on this game while it will be a sandbox adventure I will be adding elements of other adventures into the game so that we keep the momentum going!  The kingmaker series will be used but will only be a basis for the game as I will be running my own version of this adventure for those who would be king.

Monday, November 15, 2010

4th Edition DnD - New and Shiny

Over the weekend we went to the mall to allow the kiddos to play and while I was in the mall I checked out Barnes and Nobles.  As I perused my normal Christian, Computer Geek, Graphic Anime Novel-Sci Fi stuff, RPG aisles looking for my favorite books I came to the realization (rather suddenly) that there is a LOT of content out there for D&D4.0!  I mean there's a lot of content out there for something that's really only been out for about two years now.  It got me to thinking and I started to look at the DarkSun campaign book.  As I read the pages my mind began to drift back to the olden days of AD&D when I first played a Thri-kreen and did battle with the Sorcer King armies.  Looking at the new stuff combined with the old stuff made me giddy.

Then something funny happened - I started to flip through the other books including the DMG and the Monster Manual.  While looking in the Monster Manual I saw something that I thought was really cool and it is something that is almost right out of Hackmaster - Monster Lore.  That's right.  Even Goblins have a Monster Lore number and what this means is that the player has to roll their Monster Lore each time they first encounter a monster to see what they know about it's abilities.  Sort of like the scene in How to Train Your Dragon when the little Viking, Hiccup was going through the Book of Dragons and learning about their abilities.

This got me to thinking what's really so bad with D&D4.0 and I continued to read. The game is setup in three tiers that's right the main book goes to level 30! With 1-10 being Heroic, 11-20 being Paragon and 21-30 being Epic.  I had to learn more.

So.. I went home and started to really read the Players Handbook that a buddy gave me and right from the instant I opened it I could see the similarities to the MMORPG but not in a bad way.  I am going to take my time and read the entire Players Handbook and then the DMG before I give this edition the thumbs up for my group but so far I am very excited about the changes in how powers work (At Will, Encounter, Daily, Utility) and how the game allows for flexibility and allows for retraining if you want to change up as you level or if something is not working for you.  You remember retraining from 3.5 PHB2.

Take it or leave it 4.0 has some very nice new features.

I really liked the Eladrin race myself.  What do you think about the game?  Care to compare it to 3.5?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Victorian Science Fiction Skipray Battles

Here are some pictures of battles using WTNW and the Arsenale Shipwork's Skipray.  The British Skipray versus the German Buccaneer and the British Skiprays and Egyptian Guard versus the Arabian Crescent Army.

DM Advice - Rules Lawyers - Turning Questions into Answers

Today I start a new topic entitled DM Help.  These articles will focus on helping the DM/GM to run their games and will help players with interaction and rulings.  I attempt to explain situations that I have encountered in the past and how I dealt with these situations.  In addition, I may present adventures, magic items, tidbits, NPCs and other useful DM/GM bits.  This topic will focus on Roleplaying but not any specific system or genre and indeed multiple systems and genres maybe used.  This will be a somewhat regular topic featured on my blog. Feel free to comment.

“Hey, I know you’re the DM but it says right here on page 35 under Combat Effects that I can do it!” As a veteran gamer of many sessions, I have heard this question many times.  Rules Lawyers - almost every group has one, but what is considered by some to be a rules lawyer question others may consider the question necessary or even more important than the GMs call.  Oftentimes their questions can and do interrupt the flow of the game and have even been known to bring a session to a standstill.  What can we do about it?  What should we do about it? 

If you are like me then you probably find a bit of rules lawyer inside yourself but do not despair for I believe that there is a fair balance between being a rules lawyer and being a helpful player or DM.  Yes, even DM’s can become rules lawyers – just ask some of my players.  The trick is as a GM to be sure to give the rules lawyer adequate feedback when they are presenting rules.  Now if you are the rules lawyer we all know deep down inside it is more important to be part of the group than to be correct, right?  What if you presented your findings to the group instead of demanded that they listened?  How would you want something presented to you if you were running a game? 

I find that by gently reminding the GM that a rule may directly affect my character this tends to go over much better.   In the end, it is always the GMs call as to a particular rule but if you follow the below guidelines they might help you to keep the rules lawyer in your group happy and to keep yourself sane if you are a rules lawyer.

Be sure to set up front if you are going to allow any feedback on rulings you make.   What I mean by this is you can either tell your group that it’s your way or the highway (does not make for a very fun time for all) or you can establish the whens and wheres that a ruling may be questioned.  For instance, you may not allow the questioning of a monster’s abilities but you may allow a rogue to question why they are unable to use their sneak attack on a particular foe.  Generally, I find that for most rules lawyers if a GM sets the boundaries up front the game runs much more smoothly.

Establish when rulings can be questioned.  This is partly already discussed above but it bears mentioning a second time because I cannot stress enough how important it is to set these guidelines.  Maybe all rulings have to be discussed after a game with the exception of any ruling that would result in the death of a character.

What books are you allowing?  Are all the associated new books automatically allowed in the game as they are published or do you have to give them a read through and clear them before you let your players use them?  Make sure this is also stated up front.  No GM likes to be blind-sided by a player who wants to try a new ability from a new book that they have not been able to read yet.

Finally set the platform for discussions.  It is your job as the GM to facilitate the game and part of this includes the tone of any questions that arise in the game.  If you insist that all players address you as “Lord Master On High” each time they question a ruling they may be less prone to ask although I find that just by asking players to be more specific in their questions and more friendly when a disagreement occurs works much better than lofty titles. 

Also, and this one take a special kind of party to not run roughshod over the GM afterwards, admit when you made a mistake.  I know, I know this breaks DM/GM etiquette  but it works believe me.  When a group of players really knows you are trying to work hard on your understanding of the rules they really do appreciate the effort you put into the game on making sure that all has a good time at the table.

Finally, make sure that once you make a ruling it remains consistent throughout the campaign.  Even if you disagree with a rule in the book and decide to make your own house rule on the spot, write the house rule down so that you and all the players now know the change.  I cannot stress enough how important this really is.  I have been guilty of making a house rule in the past (charging for 3.0 comes to mind) and I actually forgot the house ruling in between sessions – my players didn’t though.  I have learned from my mistakes as a GM and very much value my rules lawyers in my game.  Rules lawyers really are not all that bad for they tend to be very helpful during conflicts and other odd rulings but always make sure that your players know that at the end of the day you are the GM and that you will and you reserve final ruling.

For the rules lawyers let me give you my own personal thank you for the challenge you present GMs everywhere and also a personal thank you on behalf of all the GMs who failed to tell you and show you their appreciation for helping them through the sometimes arduous rules that come with any Role Playing Game.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nightlord Saga - Rise of the Fallen Stars & Against the Heroes

This last Tuesday DD learned of her heritage with the Minovar Dungeon and Stoneheel Keep as the keys were handed to her and the keep was granted in a title and rite of land to Lavindra N'Toth.  The party got to start working on some ideas for their keep and delved into the mines to find the kobolds not entirely unplesant.  After a brief skirmish and some heated negotiations they secured a deal with V'llel the lead dragonwrought kobold magic user that the kobolds would guard and maybe mine the gold and silver from the mines.  The party also learned that purple worms and illithids lived in the lower levels of the mines but the mines were cleared about ten years ago by some adventurers hired by Anita Black who defeated a Necromancer and his cultists.
Kobolds Defending their home

The workshop and the portal
The Against the heroes party continued their attack on Goat Island and the tower of Gnarl the Dark the evil Arcmagic Mage Gnome and his metal creations.  A steam titan begins to churn in the workshop as the party watches as Galin's blood is given over to feed the machines.  A battle was waged between two forces of darkness, one of the night and one of steel.  In the end the titan and Gnarl escaped but Galin was rescued and the party was heavily rewarded.  Sadly, Ruby left the group to find other avenues of employement.

Steambots, Thayan Mages and Zhents

Animated Mulhurandi statues of Anubis guard the enterance to the workshop