Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Braaaains... Zombie Dice 2!

So I broke down and bought Zombie Dice Two: Double Feature.  It really is a very cool expansion of the game.  It's so worth the 8 bucks.

The new dice (you swap out standard yellow or green dice to keep 13 as the total) add several fun twists and the one I didn't expect is that the two 'hero' dice, if rolled at the same time, can "rescue" each other.  The Santa die (yes) can power up your Zombie (helmet = tough, you take 4 shotgun blasts to kill, not three, or Energy Drink gives your Zombie extra speed so all the rolls of Feet are treated as Braaaains... NICE).  Of course, Santa may still blow your head off... if you've been naughty, I suppose.

So I'd say it's totally worth it.  More yummy brains, more fun!

Here's the rule sheet (link from www.sjgames.com)

Speaking of fun with Zombie Dice, dig this.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Forgot one

How could I forget the Reaper Miniatures BONES Kickstarter! 

This is SO what I'm talking about... I'm dying to drop hundreds on this, but of course I realize, I don't have time to paint them, so it's like, why do I still want it so bad?

Friday, August 24, 2012

John Kovalic captures the truth

Recently I've found several Kickstarter projects that I almost wish I hadn't found... And maybe I'm spoiled by Brave Halfling's KS because I'm finding them all to be just a tiny but pricey, or if not pricey when I really think about, just a little more than I want to spend or can really justify considering how little use I may realistically get out the products... but I really can be a Cheap Basterd*.  :-) 

I suppose it serves to help make sure I'm really really sure I'm committed to the pledge.  Damn this "responsibility" and "acting like an adult" and "spending wisely!"

Some examples:
Swords & Wizardry hardback book.  I already have and love the white box edition BHP published, but damn if this campaign doesn't make me just want this.  Maybe I'm just caught up in the momentum and hype.  I mean, even the publisher of Pathfinder bought a copy. I settled for the dice set because it's a good price for that many dice and the logo is just too cool.  I'm so close to pledging for the book, but really, any tabletop gaming I do is going to be Castles & Crusades or X-plorers.

Here's one I backed at the cheapo level: Starships & Spacemen just to get the pdf.  Being a Star Trek clone (in terms of setting) I was curious.  But not 25 buck curious for a soft cover.  Intellectually (dare I say logically?) I know that's a fair price for a soft cover, and yes, they should make some actual profit, but I didn't want to spend that much, especially when Far Trek is available for free!  And dig the 'bookmark' style character sheet!  It inspired me to create one for X-plorers (my Word-fu (MS Word, that is) was weak and to make it a 1/4 of a page in size, it became a page of that size.  When I re-size it to cut/paste four bookmark sheets on one page, the formatting goes haywire.  I've been unable to make it so that four fit on a standard 8x11 page and I've given up... can anyone help me out?  Of course, i I could print 4 small ones and tape them on a page and photocopy it...).  

Anyway, Far Trek is good, check it out!

Hulks & Horror was unique enough to get my vote in the form of 25 bucks for a softcover (so am I talking out my ass?).  The preview files of the classes really sold me.  I still think this could be a cool setting or spin off product of X-plorers, but some of the unique flavor might be lost if the rules conversion isn't careful (I'm fond of the two Attack Bonus Progressions, one for Melee and one for Missile/Ray gun).  But I'm hoping to see H&H make it to print.  The setting looks well thought out and cool.

I've been very public in my love of Crypts & Things, which I got the pdf for 12 bucks on indygogo.  Oh duh, that's a Swords & Wizardry variant, so that's another reason not to drop the money on that.  Maybe I do make a little sense now and then.  :-)  

Aside: after printing it at the UPS store and fitting it in a three ring binder, it was about 21 bucks... so it basically would have made sense to get the actual book in this case.  Much like the print it yourself version of the S&W white box I mentioned before, which next to my X-plorers box, looks totally ghetto.

Speaking of Kickstarters that didn't make it, I was bummed when Hungry Honey Badgers didn't fund.  Doesn't it seem like a good fun game?  Alas.

Then there's Numenera... oh that looks SWEET!  Monte, here's my money... Maybe not what he had in mind, but the description of the setting makes me think this would work for some far-out John Carter meets Masters of the Universe mash up.

I guess I could go on, but I'm trying to do this post in one sitting and have to get to work.  A final thought, I much prefer Kickstarter to Indygogo because KS doesn't take any money UNTIL (and if) the project funds.  IGG takes it immediately and refunds you if the project doesn't fly.  What are they doing with my money in the mean time?  (putting it in an interest-bearing account if they're smart) but hey, that's my money; leave it with me.  It's not a deal-breaker, but I much prefer the way KS does it.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Have a great weekend!

(cartoon posted without permission, but also without commercial gain and with attribution and, so please be cool)

* more on that later...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 days left to get Hulks & Horrors!

Get on board with Hulks & Horrors while there's still time!

Indegogo campaign

Don't just take my word for it, read a compelling pitch here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Zombie Dice: Review

Zombie dice.  I was a little skeptical, but the online reviews said it's good.  I'm here to add my voice to that chorus.  Zombie dice is fun and I think you'll like it.

What makes it fun is you actually make decisions, so while its a dice rolling game, it's not JUST the roll of the dice; you make decisions that determine your success or failure, and you can play conservatively or take more risk.

Set up: The players are all Zombies trying to eat Braaaainssss... the first to get to 13 Braaaains wins.  The dice represent human victims.  The dice have 3 symbols: Braaaaaaiinnnnns, Shotgun blasts, and feets.

Gameplay: shake the cup and draw out three dice without looking.  Roll them.  If you get Braaaainnnns, you keep them (yummy).  If you get shot gun blasts you keep those: accumulate three or roll three at once and your turn is over (I'll return to feets in a second).  You can score your Braaaaains and end your turn if you're not blasted to pieces (that is, have three shotgun blasts) or push your luck and press on.

To press on, you keep any dice with feets on them, and draw from the cup 1-3 more dice without looking at them, to make a hand of three dice (You always roll three dice).  Once you draw from the cup, you MUST roll the dice. 

If you get three blasts your turn ends, but otherwise you can stop or continue after each roll and rack up your brrraaaaaaiinnnnsssss.  Once one player gets to 13 braaaaaaaaains, everyone else gets last licks.

So that's the rules, but besides the braaaainnnns thing, the game play is fun.  It just is fun.  Even my wife who was like, "what the hell is wrong with you?" enjoyed playing it.  The probability and the gambling-like rolling of dice... well, I don't have to explain why that's fun to you.  :-)

Something that adds depth is the color of the dice.  Green ones are easy targets (3 braaaaains, 2 feets, 1 shotgun).  Yellow are average folk (2 each of blasts, feets, braaaains), and red dice are bad ass (3 blasts, 2 feets, 1 braaaain).  So you can guess your odds as you play and make informed decisions about your odds.  That said, it's wonderful to watch someone else get three shotgun blasts with three green dice.  HA!

At $13.13 with a very sturdy cup (that also fits 1 set of Chuthulu dice) and 13 custom made dice (yes 13 is a running joke/design element as well as the braaaainnnns thing) I think it's a good value.  It's re-playable and just plain fun.  I should add it's a quick game, maybe 10-15 mins with a crowded table, or as few as five if it's just two playing.

If you're going to Gencon there will probably be a sale there too (my guess, sorry if not).

Here's a great review and example of play from Wil Wheaton's TableTop.
SJ Games link: http://www.sjgames.com/dice/zombiedice/

Friday, August 10, 2012

S-Corp Announces its New Line of Space X-ploration Robots!

SanSteuben Robotics Corporation (S-Corp) proudly announces the release of its new Independent AutomatoN (SCorpIAN) line of planetary exploration and utility robots!

The “Scorpion” robots are all designed from a common hemispherical hull with an octagonal ring onto which any “limbs” and “tails” are fitted.  The common body design and interchangeable parts make customization and field repairs on remote worlds a breeze.  Multiple configurations are available to suit your specific needs at a fraction of the cost of typical custom manufactured robots. 
Our most popular configurations are shown here: 
the Utility Bot and Scientific Bots

Alternate appendages available
Utility Bot with Mining Drills
A) SCorpIAN Utility Bot.  This is the flagship “Scorpion” bot and the most common unit ordered.   Highly customizable, the configurations vary by task, but typically these bots are outfitted with a full mechanics kit and programmed to perform labor or repairs.  Typical “arms” or a Utility bot include multipurpose grasping claws, welders, cutting torches, sonic saws, augers, or mining appendages.  The two arms need not match.  The unit shown is outfitted with mining drills.  For an upcharge, magnetic feet are available to allow the bot to crawl over the outside surface of your space ship’s hull.  Many repairs to your ship are then possible without the risks of a manned space walk. Cost 9000cr; three to ten of same configuration = 8500cr each.  Ask about our "Fleet" bulk purchase discount program!

Stable over any terrain
"Stubby" Science Probe Bot
B) SCorpIAN Scientific Probe Bot, nicknamed “stubby” for its short legs, is ideal for exploring ruined urban areas, contaminated sites, crashed ships or asteroids, or anywhere that the more expensive scientific exploration model should not be put at risk.  A low center of gravity and six legs make the Stubby very stable over almost any land surface and it remains mobile if up to two legs are lost.  This bot will sink to the bottom of a body of water and crawl along the bottom without slowing down.  Cost 10,000cr.  Buy four or more and they're 9000cr each.

It's like Spock and Stompy had an unholy love child
Advanced Scientific Survey Bot
C) SCorpIAN Advanced Scientific Survey Bot, nicknamed the "Ph.D."  The Ph.D. includes an integrated Scientific kit as well as a Sensor/Survey kit. It even has storage for a spare portable Scientific kit, in case your Scientist needs a spare.  This robot features an advanced computer core, extra scanners, cameras and sampling tools for any sort of scientific inquiry. It can network with up to four Mini Science Probe robots to serve as a command center for automated planetary survey and mapping.  The Advanced robot can radio directly to an orbiting home ship as well.  It has storage space for mineral samples or small alien life forms. This is the only SCorpIAN bot made from two of the hemisphere-and-ring bodies fitted to either end of a cylindrical form to make an elongated and larger body. Cost 23,000cr.

SCorpIAN "ComBot"
The SCorpIAN hull can be outfitted with remote controls and laser weapons for combat use.  Scorpion ComBots are not autonomous AI robots.  To ensure compliance with the First Directive, they are drone robots operated by X-plorers by remote control.

Currently two models are available:
D) SCorpIAN Light ComBot
Note the subtle use of color to denote their aggressive nature.
Light ComBots
The Light ComBot is outfitted with a belly-mounted short range infantry stunner and a standard long range laser gun.  Cost 8000cr.

You know you want one in real life.
Heavy ComBot
E) SCoprIAN Heavy Combot. 
For heavy combat needs, the Heavy ComBot scorpion is outfitted with armor plating, a long range laser cannon and close range anti-infantry pincers, which can double as jaws of life in an emergency.  Cost 15,000cr

Public Service Reminder: Hacking robot AI or deleting a robot's First Directive is dangerous and illegal!  Report any suspicious robotic behavior to S-Corp and the UCNP immediately!


At S-Corp, we specialize in customization.  Contact us today for a free quote! 

Our robotics experts are waiting to hear from you!

Clever alt text goes here
SCorpIAN custom built for the Tanaka Research Rental Corporation (TRRC)

Astro-phone: 1-E-2543-518-445-4223    ssww.SCorp.biz3    inquiries@scorp.biz3*earth


A) SCorpIAN Utility Bot
AC 10  Hp 12  ST 14+  MV 6
Programs: Mechanic, Computers.  Upgrade to add Translation (+500Cr), and/or Advanced processor to increase skills to 12+ (+1000Cr).

B) SCorpIAN Scientific Probe Bot
AC 10  Hp 10  ST 14+  MV 3 – over any terrain, unless totally impassable at Referee’s discretion (e.g. quicksand). (MV 2 with four legs)
Programs: Science (duh), Data, Translation.  Upgrade to add Security (+1000Cr), and/or Advanced processor to increase skills to 12+ (+1000Cr).

C) SCorpIAN Advanced Scientific Survey Bot
AC 11  Hp 20  ST 8+ (Science only) 10+ (all others)  MV 4 (1 in difficult terrain. Being somewhat top-heavy despite its wide leg base, the PhD has to move slowly over difficult terrain and may topple if the terrain is too rough (at the Referee’s discretion).
Programs: Science, Data, Translation, Sociology, Medicine, choose two more.

D) SCorpIAN Light ComBot
AC 14  HP 30  ST na/16+  MV 6   Weapons: Laser 1-5d6,  Range 100; Stunner, Range 20, Ammo = 2 EU per shot.  Bot upgraded with Armor Plating and Damage Resisters.
Humans hit by the stunner ray must succeed a PHYS ST or are rendered unable to move for 1d3 rounds (they can still speak). The Light ComBot fits up to four 100-charge EU clips. See Operating ComBots, below.

E) SCorpIAN Heavy ComBot
AC 16  HP  40  ST na/14+  MV 6   Weapons: Heavy Laser 2-8d6, Range 120; Claws, Range 1 or melee, 2d6 each.  Bot upgraded with Armor Plating and Damage Resisters. The Heavy ComBot fits up to four 100-charge EU clips.  See Operating ComBots, below.

Operating ComBots

Remote control of a ComBot is done much like space ship combat.  Ideally, one X-plorer will navigate the bot while another will operate the bot's weapons.  Anyone with the Computers skill (the Referee may allow Pilot skill also) can make a Computers SC to operate the bot.  X-ploers who don't have the Computers skill can make an INT Saving Throw.

Generally, only one check is required at the beginning of combat unless the operator attempts a difficult maneuver, or the bot is moving over difficult terrain or is reduced to 6 or fewer HP.  If the first SC or ST is failed, the bot doesn't move, but the gunner can still use the weapons.  Any other character can operate the Bot's weapons, adding their own THB to all attack rolls (a Soldier is the obvious choice).

If one character tries to operate the bot and use its weapons at once, they must roll both a Computers SC (or INT ST) and an attack roll each round, both at -2.  The penalty is -4 if attempting a difficult maneuver, running over rough terrain, or the bot has 6 or fewer HP. 

After the initial SC to get the bot moving, the results of a failed SC later in combat are up to the Referee.  The bot may continue on its present course, or stop, or move randomly (which ever is worst would usually be best, if you catch my meaning).  :-)

S-Corp's dirty secret: The company has been mass producing the scorpion robot bodies in their automated factory for months before the introduction of the ComBot model.  Using the existing stock, it's easier and cheaper for them to disable the AI native to the robot "brain" circuit board than to manufacture "brainless" motherboards.  The original designers weren't privy to management's plans to introduce the ComBot as Phase Two of the product roll out.  We all know no one, no one would attempt to make a Robotics SC to hack the bot brain and create rogue killer robots, right?  
A Robotics Skill check will allow a Tech to reactivate the bot's native AI.  Once reactivated, the AI has the same Programs as the Utility Bot: Mechanic and Computers, but its First Directive will be active.  For the Bot to fight, it must be remote controlled or the First Directive must be disabled, with all related risks and side-effects.  Remote-Controlling a ComBot with active AI and intact First Directive is difficult, as the bot will resist attempts to make it harm any humans, and a protracted struggle of this nature may break its AI and make it... unpredictable....

How's this for an Awesome coincidence?  On the day I post this, I discover the Kickstarter for Stompy, the giant six-legged robot you can ride!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Follow up to 7/3 post...

More Hours Lost...

I've joined the Lego Speeder Bike group on Flickr and posted a few pics.  I see I need a better camera phone, LOL.