Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls!

The following is none other than the Arcane Alienists' post-session summary from our private social media group.  This esotericist has lots of great ideas about roleplaying games in general, and has been hard at work turning out episodes of his podcast, titled (aptly) The Arcane Alienist!! Check out the podcast here on Anchor.FM!

** Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

The party returns to the castle after executing the necromancer Viktora Ash. They bring the stone head of the orc chieftain to the wizard Olivere who informs them that if they had the rest of the petrified body he might be able to restore the orc to life. 

Harald suggests that this might go a long way towards keeping peace with the local orcs and getting information about what the necromancer has been up to. Roderick and Harald also suspect that the gunpowder was being manufactured for an assault on the keep, perhaps even to blow it up from within or below.

Ghouls Ghouls Ghouls!  Old School Essentials on Fantasy Grounds!
Moved to the OSE engine on Fantasy Grounds!  Love that graph-paper chic!

The party decided to return to the necromancer’s lair to retrieve the rest of the “statue” and also clear out the ghouls that remain there. Hagle is sent into the cave to scout and reports that after a short tunnel it opens into a wide chamber. There is a green glow coming from somewhere at the back.

The party cautiously makes its way into the cave. Suddenly they hear growling and movement in the darkness around them. Three ghouls come at the front different directions along with a pair of zombies (all are orc corpses). From the side chamber emitting the green glow, a ghast also emerges and sets upon Hedemar’s retainer, Volker. Volker falls dying.

Hedemar is able to turn the two zombies and the rest of the party slays the ghouls, but the ghast proves to be a bigger challenge. It is able to resist all attempts at turning by both Hedemar and Roderick. Fortunately everyone it attacks also manages to resist its paralyzing effects. It is finally slain by Dolly and Dominique.

The turned zombies had fled towards the green glow. The party catches up to them and kills them. The glow is coming from a crude alter marked with Chaos runes and set with a large jade gemstone. The party destroys the altar. Copper and electrum coins are scattered about the room along with a sword that turns out to be magical. Dolly claims the sword as a new weapon.

Ghouls Ghouls Ghouls!  Old School Essentials on Fantasy Grounds!
Filthy Harald patiently awaits a clear line-of-sight...

The party then obtains the headless statue and takes it back to Olivere, who tells them they can expect an audience with the Castellan to be forthcoming.

The next day, they are invited to a luncheon at the Castellan’s manor within the inner walls of the castle. The room is decorated in the maroon and gold colors of the Castellan’s banners and her family crest bearing a chestnut tree. They are first greeted by the elf, Maravek, who is the Castellan chief advisor. Maravek then introduced them to the Castellan herself, Lady Diomira Kastenienbraun. 

Lady Diomira asks them to recount their exploits thus far. They do so and also share their concerns about an attack on the castle itself. She tells them that her soldiers will be rescuring the tradeway and that she’ll look into any places where gunpowder could be smiled into or below the castle.

She would like to retain them for the time being to track down the final destination of all the gunpowder the goblins had manufactured. She also wants them to help the kobolds find their queen so they can return back to the underworld. 

Roderick suggests that they might make good trading partners and prompts Hagle to tell them what his tribe can trade with. He reports that the only other thing they had been doing besides mining sulfur was collecting guano from a cave in the forest. He also admits that he is not sure he can find the exact location of the passage back to the kobold’s home. They had never come to the service before and were herded out into the forest under duress and marched to the sulfur mine. Others of his tribe might remember more details.

The party departs the luncheon on the Castellan’s payroll and with two objectives. It seems they will be once again heading into the forest/ and caves to the north.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Necromancy and Undead Orcs

The following is from GameDoc's session notes, which are posted in our private social media.  You can listen as the Arcane Alienist describes the diplomacy style of his player characters...

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Hub **

(AKA “Necromancy and Undead Orcs”)

Having killed most of the mercenary bandits and captured the few survivors and camp followers, the party decides to lay an ambush for the bandit captain, Serne Raxor. In exchange for clemency, two captured bandits agree to draw the captain out of his chambers, assuming he is there.

The bandits knock on the door, yelling about intruders in the cave complex and calling for Raxor to come help. Meanwhile, the party waits around the corner of the darkened corridor. Raxor’s lieutenant, Lirrit, answers the door and questions the two bandits before emerging into the corridor with another bandit.

Dolly approaches, greeting Lirrit and explaining that there’s been a misunderstanding. She is searching for a lost friend that she thought may have wandered into the cave. Raxor appears in the doorway, armed for battle, including a finely wrought shield. He is suspicious and although Dolly is emphatic in her bluff, he orders her killed.

However, the distraction is enough to let the rest of the party take them by surprise. Harald is able to shoot the bandit captain with an arrow. The party easily defeats Lirrit and the other guard, but Raxor doesn’t go down so easily. He drops Dolly with a blow from his axe, but Roderick is able to heal her before it’s too late. Harald plants two more arrows in him before he finally surrenders. Celestina indicates that his shelf is magical and Dolly claims it. 

"Orc" Hunting on Fantasy Grounds
"Nothing wrong with shooting - as long as the RIGHT people get shot." - Filthy Harald

When questioned, Serne Raxor reveals that he was hired out of the Northern Kingdoms by a woman named Viktora Ash. She is some sort of dark priest or necromancer, and is responsible for the ghouls that the bandits work alongside. Their mission is to raid along the tradeway. His only dealings with the goblins was to hand over any captives taken. He doesn’t know what kind of deal Viktora Ash made with them otherwise. 

Raxor will lead them to her to avoid the hangman’s noose. He then reveals a secret door leading to a hidden chamber where he meets with her from time to time. There is a second secret door on the other side of the room, but he has never gone past this room. He tells them that she stays somewhere in the caves beyond. 

The party ventures through a passage and comes to a door. There is no discernible sound from the other side. Dolly kicks the door open and is confronted by two undead warriors - the animated corpses of yet more orcs Further into the room, Dolly sees a cloaked figure emerge and begin to chant a spell. 

Dolly, Roderick, and the retainer Dominique briefly battle with the undead in attempt to breach the doorway before Hedemar is able to turn them with his holy symbol. The warriors cut down the stunned undead. The cloaked figure unleashes a spell obscuring the doorway in darkness. 

Roderick and Harald rush into the darkness and Harald finds his way through and comes face to face with Viktora Ash. The amulet hanging from her neck bears an  unholy symbol of Chaos. In the meantime, Dolly lobs a bomb into the room, hoping to hit their foe, but overshoots and the bomb explodes without harming anyone. 

Harald jabs Viktora Ash in the shoulder with the spike of his halberd and in return she places her palm on his arm and drains away a sliver of his life force with an unholy spell. He overbrears her and pins her to the floor as Roderick emerges from the darkness and piles on.

The party interrogates the evil priestess. She confesses that her cult slaughtered a local band of orcs to use their corpses to create undead and  She doesn’t know what was promised to the Troll King by her superiors, only that the goblins were to clear the forest and manufacture gunpowder. When asked about the kobold’s queen, she replies that she was taken back to the kobold’s original lair for safekeeping. When asked what her ultimate goals are, she only replies “Chaos!”

Searching the room, the party discovers a magical rope of climbing, which Jessup (the thief) stows in his pack, a page apparently torn from a book on the history of the region, and a stone head that appears to have been broken from a statue. The head is that of an orc and the details are uncannily realistic. Harald conjectures that it must have been a monument to some great orcish hero, to which Viktora Ash laughs aloud and says “He was brave to end, for sure. Didn’t even cower when the time came.”

Suddenly, the kobold retainer Hagle gasps “The queen!” Revealing that the kobold’s queen can turn people to stone. The party agrees that they need to find the queen as quickly as possible, but Viktora Ash taunts them again, asking if they think they can rescue her before everyone the humans hold dear “explodes”. It seems they also need to figure out what the bugbears did with all that gunpowder. 

Viktora will tell them no more and seems willing to die rather than let anything else slip. The party briefly searched the remains caverns, finding and destroying several more undead orcs before heading back to the castle with their sole prisoner (Raxor and the remaining bandits having ran off), who will presumably be hanged for both banditry and heresy.

Upon examining the torn page, Dolly sees that it tells of the deaths of Zelligar the Unknown and Rhaegan the Fearless along with their companions in the collapse of the tower while confronting the orc warlord Azhug III centuries ago. She notes that Roderick’s ancestor and namesake was among the heroes to fall that day. The page also makes a passing reference to Rhaegan and Zelligar’s secret base of operations - Quasqueton - thought to be hidden somewhere in the area

Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: "Orc" Hunting

The following comes from GameDoc's session notes on our private social media.  You can also check out another recap of the game at the Arcane Alienists' Podcast, where he goes into much more detail...

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

After their battle with ghouls made from dead orcs and human bandits disguised as live orcs, the party returns to the dwarves' mine to rest and reclaim their mounts. The next morning they set out to track the “orcs.” The trail leads them to another cave in the forest.

The entrance is decorated with a row of skulls and severed heads mounted on a ledge above. As they scout the vicinity, Roderick discovers another cave obscured by the undergrowth of the forest. It emanates the stench of rotten flesh and a grave chill not unlike that of the ghouls encountered the day before. Roderick’s clerical attunement also senses the presence of chaos. He retreads back to the others.

Meanwhile, Dolly senses a brief movement from one of the mounted heads and moves forward to get a closer look, but it remains still. At last she hurls a stone at it to which it cries out in pain  and falls back into a small opening that had been unseen behind it until then. 

But before anyone else can react, a trio of orcish ghouls emerge from the second cave. Everyone is able to react with ranged attacks before the ghouls can reach them and Roderick then calls upon the power or Saint Cyrus to turn them. The ghouls retreat back into their cave. 

Dolly moves back to inspect the place where the severed head had moved. Seeing nothing there, she lights a poster bomb and tosses it up into the hole. A few seconds later all can hear the explosion from within. Dolly climbs up and through the opening while everyone else enters the skull-lined entrance.

Dolly finds herself in a small alcove where there is gray curtain, a dead human, and a charred, shattered stool, both the handiwork of her bomb. The human had painted his face to resemble an orc so that he could sit on the stool and rest his chin on the ledge with the stone-colored curtain behind him so as to appear to be a severed head perched on the ledge and keep a lookout. 

Beyond the alcove is a large cavern set up as a crudely furnished dining hall. A passageway exits to the east, seemingly in the direction of the cave entrance. To the west is a pair of large curtains covering another set of exits. Dolly peeks behind one and sees several bandits readying weapons. There are about 20 or so camp followers and children as well. She backs into the dining hall and crouches behind a table.

Meanwhile the others are immediately confronted just inside the cave entrance by four human bandits. They quickly kill two and capture the others, but not before the alarm is raised. Harald looks back to see the dining hall and Dolly waiting there as more bandits emerge from behind the curtains. The party converges on the dining hall as yet another group of bandits appears from somewhere deeper in the cave complex.

Despite being surrounded, the party holds their own. Roderick falls to a bandit's sword, but his kobold retainer, Hagle, quickly applies a healing potion and the revived Roderick rejoins the fight. All but two of the bandits are killed. The captives (now numbering four) explain that their mercenary company was hire to raid along the tradeway disguised as orcs.

Their ghoul allies remain in the nearby cave until called on to joint raiding parties. They don’t know where the ghouls came from. They were already here when the bandits arrived to set up camp. The ghouls have helped ensure there were few survivors and that the attacks were so quick that those who escaped had little time to realize their attackers aren’t actually orcs. 

When asked about the kobold’s queen, the bandits know nothing. The bandits suggest their captain knows all the details of who hired them and what other plans may be afoot. They agree to help lure their captain out of his quarters if he’s there. It seems he has some means of coming and going from the cave complex undetected when he wants to.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Training Day

The following is from GameDoc's session notes from our private social media.  It got pretty tense last time, but we're in the saddle again without so much touch-and-go.  And by saddle, I mean a 'big' saddle on a BIG lizard.

You can even listen to his recap over on the Arcane Alienist Podcast, right this very minute!

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

Training Day

After the party’s defeat of the goblins and hobgoblins, the kobolds agree to leave the dwarves’ mine and relocate to the caves previously occupied by the goblins until their queen is located. Hagle, the sole surviving kobold that accompanied the party in their fight with the goblins, elects to stay with the group as Roderick’s retainer.

Returning to the Keep and the Canopies, the party is greeted as heroes. They take a week of rest so that Celestina can research a new spell under the guidance of the archwizard Olivaire and Harald can attempt to tame the captured tuatara as a mount. Both are successful in their endeavors. Meanwhile, the rest of the group secured their own (normal) mounts - horses for the humans and ponies for Dolly and Hagle. 

Training Day

The party has amassed too much coinage to carry around. The clerics are granted the privilege of storing their gold and spare equipment at the chapel. The others elect to use the guildhall bank, except for the ever suspicious Jessup, who converts his coins to gems to keep with him at all times.

At the end of the week, the grateful dwarves host a feast to honor the party with strong ale, heaps of food, and raucous music. They all want to dance with Dolly. Marevek, tue castellan’s advisor is also present. He offers condolences for the loss of Dewey and Urgash, and offers the party a new mission.

Several days ago, the castellan sent a group of scouts up the road in preparation for a march on the orcs, but none returned. A few of their horses wandered back to the keep a couple of days later. He would like to employ the party to investigate.

Filthy Harald and Monch on the Forest Trail.

The next day, the party sets out to the dwarves’ mine and leaves their mounts for safekeeping. They then proceeded to the spot on the tradeway where the orc attacks have occurred. Coming to a stretch of road lined with boulders and low bluffs on either side, Hedemar and Roderick cautiously move forward while the rest of the group splits up and scales the bluff on either side.

To the west, Dolly, Jessup, and Harald encounter six orc archers laying in wait and preparing to shoot at Hedemar and Roderick below. To the east, Celestina and two of the retainers find no orcs but can see what is about to unfold.

As the eastern group opens fire at the orcs, two more feral orcs rush from hiding at the roadside and attack Hedemar. Hedemar realizes these are ghouls and unsuccessfully attempts to turn them. They fall upon him and one manages to scrape him with a claw, leaving him paralyzed.

Dolly closes in for close combat while the rest of the eastern located group support her with ranged attacks. They make easy work of the orcs. The other group descends to the road to aid Hedemar and Roderick. Celestina managed to paralyze one ghoul with a wand, but the other resists and turns on her, paralyzing her with a bite. Her retainer, Dominique, is also paralyzed. 

The rest of the party joins in and manages to kill the ghouls before anyone else succumbs. The ghouls turn out to be undead orcs. Celestina reports that ghouls are dead bodies possessed by a demon, much like gnolls are possessed, mutated animals. Chaos rears its head once again. 

The other ambushers turn out to be human bandits who have divided themselves as orcs using orcish war masks and face paint. This revelation leaves the party wondering what exactly is going on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

The following is GameDoc's session notes, posted in our private social media.  You can listen to this session's rundown on the Arcane Alienist as well!


We find the party where the last session ended, in a room full of discarded armor and weapons apparently taken from the various foresters and merchants the goblinoids have killed or captured. They have also located a secret passage that the fleeing hobgoblins must have used to escape. 

Dolly notices a dwarf-sized suit of plate armor and quickly dons it, and then the party proceeds down the passage with their kobold allies bribing up the rear. At the end of the passage is another concealed door, but it’s location is easy to deduce.

Harald and Roderick kick the door open to find a room full of hobgoblins, already on alert. The hobgoblins crowd the doorway and form ranks, as do the warriors and clerics of the party. Harald is mortally wounded, but Hedemar is able to get off a healing spell to revive him and get him back into the fight.

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 1

After a few exchanges of melee, two hobgoblins are killed and others begin to lose morale and flee. The party takes the room. There are two doors on the north end. Roderick spreads lamp oil on the floor in front of them and the party waits for the hobgoblins to respond as the kobolds crowd in to help.

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 2

One door opens to reveal four hobgoblin archers. Their volley kills two kobolds but fails to harm any of the party members. Two of the other kobolds abandon the group and flee back the way the party came. The party returns fire but the hobgoblins remain. The second door opens and two more hobgoblins appear. Both groups of hobgoblins draw swords and advance towards the party merging into a single unit. Hedemar ignites the oil and all six hobgoblins die a fiery death. 

However, three more hobgoblins appear in the second doorway, two archers and a spellcaster standing behind them who begins an incantation. Celestina begins to cast her sleep spell. Hedemar takes down one archer with a sling, clearing up Durgash to fire  a pistol at the spellcaster. The spellcaster survives, but her spell is disrupted. Celestina’s spell goes off and the remaining hobgoblins fall asleep. The last remaining kobold, Hagle, rushes in a coup-de-gras the sleeping hobgoblins.

The party advances to the next room to find only two hobgoblins remain. One of them is Bhyth, the captain of the goblinoid warband. He surrenders and is persuaded to lead the party safely back outside. He is also compelled to explain what the goblins are doing. He reiterated that they are effectively mercenaries and we’re deployed by their archfey patron, the Troll King. The will of the Troll King is communicated to the hobgoblin’s seer, the spellcaster that now lies dead.

The goblinoids were to run the humans, dwarves, and the like out of the area and press the kobolds and any prisoners they obtained into service in the sulfur mine or burning charcoal. The kobolds also gather guano from another cave in the area. It’s clear now that the goblinoids are manufacturing gunpowder. As to the kobold queen, she is not here. Byth suggests they check with the orcs plaguing the tradeway, as there is an active exchange of prisoners between them and the goblinoids.

Bhyth takes them down a side passage where they encounter another hobgoblin, standing guard to the entrance of a side chamber. Behind him on the wall has been painted an image of a fire with a large “X” over it. A goblin is heard yelling from the room for whomever is out there to douse their torches. This is the goblin “booyahg” (sorcerer), Gnurk. Gnurk comes out to investigate and managed to fire off a magic missile spell before Bhyth can order him to stand down. 

The party takes Gnurk into custody as well. In the room, they discover three barrels of gunpowder and several of the individual ingredients- guano (being manufactured into saltpeter), charcoal, and sulphur. Byth tells them that they make the powder, but the bugbears collect it and take it elsewhere for storage.

Future down true passage they re-enter the goblins’ area of the caves. Bhyth reveals there are probably 20 or so goblins still about. They encounter and capture four more goblins. With an ever growing number of prisoners, they party binds them all together, chain gang style. 

Byth calls ahead “Bree-yark! Bree-yark!” and explains that it’s the goblin call to surrender. Harald suspects he’s lying. As they round a corner, Durgash spots a group of goblin archers lying in wait beyond what the humans can see in the darkened caves. Bhyth again orders the to surrender, but is met with mocking laughter.

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 3

A burly goblin emerges from the darkness. This is Ihazz, the boss goblin. She finds it amusing that Bhyth got himself captured. However, when Harald demands the goblins surrender, she agrees and motions for one of the goblins to drop its bow and move forward. This proves to be a ruse as she orders the others to shoot while their ally has the party’s attention. Durgash is mortally wounded by goblin arrows, but the party has expanded its healing resources and he dies.

As Ihazz and the goblins close in for melee, Bhyth and the other captives begin attempting to free themselves. The party retainers close in on Bhyth and eventually force him to surrender agains. Roderick and Hagle the kobold kill the remaining hobgoblins several goblins before they can escape. Dolly, Harald, and Hedemar engage the goblins and soon rout them, killing some and causing others to flee.

In a last ditch effort to save himself, Byth reveals they still have human prisoners and will lead the party to them. He takes them to one final chamber, deep in the cave complex. Inside are two hobgoblins who immediately surrender. There are five human captives, a merchant couple captured on the road, along with their two guards, and a captured forester. There is also a gnoll in a cage. Hedemar explains that gnolls are basically mutated animals possessed by a demon. Harald executes the gnoll with his firearms and turns to kill the hobgoblins.

There have already been disagreements as to disposition of the prisoners, but now it turns heated. Harald wants to execute the three hobgoblins for their crimes. The clerics, Hedamar and Roderick, argue that they’re defenseless and defeated and that killing them now crosses the line. Harald views this as a military operation, citing everyone’s willingness to kill indiscriminately up to this point, but the others disagree. Harald threatens to shoot Roderick if he doesn't get out of the way. 

The Mythic World of Urd: Hobnobbing with Hobgoblins 4

Celestina suggests allowing the kobold, Hagle, to decide their fates since of all present, his people have been the most aggrieved. Everyone agrees to this and Hagle condemns them to death, but asks Harald to perform the deed. Harald shoots the hobgoblins and storms off in anger at his comrades.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Assault on the Goblin Lair

** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

The following was posted by GameDoc on our private social media.  Check out the Arcane Alienist Podcast and listen to the session here!

Assault on the Goblin Lair

As the party retreats into the forest to regroup, the come across a small band of kobolds kicking and stabbing at a dead bugbear – the bugbear they had driven off only a few moments earlier. The kobolds explain that they were out foraging when they heard the bugbear crashing through the forest, so they hid and ambushed it. After some discussion, they agree to meet the part back at the same spot the next day and try and help them get into the goblins’ lair.

Settling in back at the Canopies, the various retainers discover that all the weapons they’ve taken from goblinoids are made of bronze, not steel. This leads to the realization that as fey-descended creatures, they cannot abide the touch of iron. 

The next day, the kobolds are there as promised. They party again approaches the upper entrance to the lair while the kobolds distract the goblins guarding the lower entrance. The kobolds wind up picking off the goblins with slings while the party is able to overcome the hobgoblins guarding the upper entrance. The kobolds agree to bring up the rear as they party explores the caves within.

Assault on the Goblin Lair - Fantasy Grounds 1
When in doubt, just run at 'em.  They never expect you to just run at 'em.

Forging ahead, they discover a dining hall where several hobgoblins oversee a large brood of juvenile goblins. The hobgoblins move to attack and all but two are slain. It seems the party has learned how to better use positioning and coordinated attacks! The two survivors are concerned for their young and agree to a binding pact that if they can leave with the juveniles unharmed, they will make no attempts to harm any of the party again. They explain that the curse of the Troll King befalls any who violate such a pact. 

Assault on the Goblin Lair - Fantasy Grounds 2
The retainer pool consists mostly of kobolds.

Doubling back, the party discovers a guard post and again combat quickly turns in their favor. One hobgoblin loses its nerve and surrenders, but the kobolds, seeking revenge for their enslavement, fall on it and kill it anyway. Roderick chastises them, much to their confusion. Two more guards surrender an offer to tell the party how to find their captain’s hidden chambers but are also clearly stalling and speaking a little too loudly. A second wave of guards appears but seeing they are outnumbered, retreat. The party follows them into the next room to find an armory of steel armor and weapons, unusable by the goblins, but no hobgoblins at all. Dolly and Hedegar also locate a hidden door and a secret passage the hobgoblins must have used to escape. 

Assault on the Goblin Lair - Fantasy Grounds 3
Secret doors lead to secret prizes.

What lies beyond the passage… riches and glory, or certain death?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Woodland / Grassland Hills

Woodland Hills All Finished!

 I consider hills to be one of the cornerstones of the tabletop.  Whenever I build a new table, these are one of the first things I count for terrain.  Of course, I'm old school so these hills are 'free-placed' rather than built into any tabletop.  Modular hills - they are ubiquitous, and every table needs some modular hills.

Woodland Hills 1

Continuing with the motif of updating the hills from the old club.  Obviously, these were concerned with functionality over aesthetics.  All of these were cut from standard styrofoam, probably cribbed from packaging.  They were then treated like I normally do them - covered in pva to create a hard shell and then spraypainted.  This makes them very sturdy - the big one on the bottom right is almost 25 years old.

Woodland Hills 2

The edge-old dilemma of storing these kind of hills is the 'chipping' that will occur as they are tossed around over the decades.  Every time I redo these, this is the #1 thing that must be fixed every single time.  Luckily, I ran across a method I would have never thought of to fix this - or at least heavily mitigate it.

Woodland Hills 5

And thus I found - the wet toilet paper method.

Woodland Hills 3

The idea apparently is used quite a bit across the terrain-o-sphere, but I got the idea to use it here at the edges of my chipping styro-hills because of the apparent strength granted.  The methodology is simple:  using watered-down PVA glue, you apply a rim of 'wet' toilet paper and let it dry.  This not only hardens the edges of the styrofoam, but also can be spray-painted.

Woodland Hills 4

Make sure to get up under there.  Don't worry - it dries flat.  The reason you can see under the rims in some of the pics is because of my tables slight warpage in the center.  

Hey, it's old too.

Woodland Hills 6

Once they were dried, I painted them up with some acrylic.

Woodland Hills 7

I almost called it done here.  

Woodland Hills 9 - Battletech!

Yet, I decided to go ahead and apply some flock before I took pics of the table in my dimly lit dungeon.

Woodland Hills 10 - Star Wars Miniatures

There's a special mix of flocking material including sand and talus, but it's mostly different colored flocks.

Woodland Hills 11 - Dungeons & Dragons

So yeah...I should probably replace my tables or build a new one.  That bend in the middle really grinds my gears, but oh well.  Maybe I should just resurface it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Content Update / Site Overhaul

Before the Good Times, Comes Work.
Inspirobot will tell you like it is.

Oof.  I really let the fire rush to my head on that last post.  Let's forget all that for a while, and maybe we'll circle back in a while.  Maybe not.  

So many things have changed since the end of 2019, it's taken this long to really see the impact on how we do gaming in our area.  The very nature of the hobby has changed quite a bit for me personally since our activities have been limited.  Now that we've spent some time in the 'new normal', I think it's time to shift gears.  We've come to see how things have matured and how people have begun to interact.  Now, it will be easier to create engaging content instead of having 'false-starts'.  With the Beer Koof returning in force, it might be some time before we see larger scale organized gaming...

Anyways...seems a good a time as any to overhaul the site!

I've been thinking this over for a while and it's time to prune old articles, as well as update a few.  I've been fighting with the mobile display code for a while since I'm stubborn and used an older template style, but I think I finally have it licked.  You should have a much better time navigating the site on mobile, but this is just the beginning.  I have been building a better organization for everything than what I have now, with a much better presentation.

One important change will be my publication days.  Due to the way our schedule has developed over almost two years of Beer Koof, my original publication days of Sunday and Friday are no longer workable.  Starting now, publication for Iron Seer Wargames will be Wednesday and RAWRPG will be Saturday.  That should help me with gathering up time to maintain the site much better than my trickle of posts would show.

I also have content from old, defunct blogs that I keep finding myself referring to over time.  The answer here is obvious, so I'll begin to update and integrate content from those places as well where it's relevant.  There are a few gems out there I'm proud of and I'd like to see renewed for a new decade.  Yeah...I've been at this a while...

During this maintenance time, some parts of the site may become inaccessible for short periods...or may become replaced by a new section entirely.  Don't worry - it's being put back together in a nice package.  This will be a slow process for me, and I expect it to take me at least a week as I'm going to go through all the content piece by piece.  I'm considering a lot of actions here...from merging the subdomain to a 'soft' relaunch of the wargames section.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but be advised there will be some changes to organization and display.

If you have any suggestions for changes you'd like or features that might be cool to integrate, let me know by dropping a comment here on the blog or on social media.  Give me your suggestions!

If you haven't already, take a moment and sign up for Disqus.  It's a fantastic comment system you can use across the blogosphere, most notably (and most importantly) right here on this site!  Just click 'comment' below and tell me why dark UI sucks, or why I'm going to hell for cursing last week...

Whatever.  You can follow me here on Disqus, and I'll follow you back.  Then we'll Disqus things as we follow each other around. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Games Workshop: A Catalog of Consumer Complaints, 2021

WARNING:  Apoplectic nerdrage-induced cursing bordering on terminal neckbeardia.  Do NOT proceed if you are vulnerable to malediction-by-proxy.  Proceed at your own risk.  Note:  Bellicose visitors may have their status upgraded to belligerent after reading. If you find this to be the case, please comment below with Disqus.  


Well, we're back here.  Some announcements and a strangled rant.

First, we're locking in at Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition for the forseeable future.  We'll use this ruleset as a basis to develop the Nemesis Nihilum campaigns.  You can still add units from new editions, and we're going to be bringing back some stuff from the older editions. 

In addition, Kill-Team is locked at KT18.  KT21 will not be recognized by the council.

More on how all this will be handled will be disclosed as we get closer to Nemesis Nihilum...


We really have to take a moment to talk about Games Workshop.  This recent bullshit by them is inexcusable and it's time for action. 

I tried to write a more eloquent article.  Every time I tried, I went off the deep end and got WAAY to detailed and wordy.  Turns out I have a lot to say about this, but writing all that out again isn't worth the "uh, nuh uhs" I'd get from monkey-brain mendicants.

This is draft three...and after this preamble I will limit myself to super short sentences.  Let's get some conceits regarding this malediction of society down before we begin.

  1. I feel personally aggrieved by Games Workshop's actions since 2012.  I do not care how you feel in the slightest, and defending GW is a one way ticket to the mendicant's aisle.
  2. To anyone thinking "it's just a game" -  you're a fucking half-wit.  Go to mendicant's aisle and contemplate this.
  3. If you have no idea why I'm angry, kindly pay attention to GW's actions.  
  4. I am not going to do a list of these grievances because it's super obvious to anyone that's not a complete and total moron - which is to say every single shill and newb defending GW.
  5. This has nothing to do with money, but GW really thinks highly of their unworked plastic.  Too much, methinks.
  6. This has to do entirely with the way NU-GW has reversed the policies of the company they co-opted.  So much potential wasted, so much goodwill squandered.
  7. I hold GW personally responsible for the gradual decline of the local groups, which used to be a gigantic pool for our part of the country.  We were the pride spot, and now a guy I know had to drive 350 miles out of state to get a tourney.
  8. I feel this is all disgusting and anyone supporting GW's current endeavors is either a shill, a rube or just a fucking asshole.  You can't change my mind because you have access to all the facts and honestly as a human being you should feel the same way I do.
  9. I don't give a shit about your parroted capitalist apologetics that COMPLETELY misunderstands intellectual property law.  Unlike most of the rubes I happen to actually know what I'm talking about here and I don't have to prove it to you.  Read a fucking book.
  10. GW thought it was a good idea to cancel Warhammer Fantasy.  WARHAMMER FUCKING FANTASY.
  11. Age of Sigmar is fucking stupid.  Float around in your stupid bubbles as you circle my turd drain.
  12. I'm starting to get worked up, so let's get on with it before I fucking wolf out and have to delete all this again.
  13. The only ethical thing to do is play Oldhammer, and immediately cease support for NU-GW.  
  14. Buy OOPs or secondhand only, but better yet get a brain and let's 3D Print the Future.  
  15. Warhammer Belongs to Us. 
Indictment:  How to Strain Your Customer Base Like A Fuckin' Hedge Fund Manager

Community?  Not any more, chums.  Sit in your corners looking at your phone and wait for GW to tell you how much you owe to either A) not play because Beer Koof or B) rearrange your warband / army because it's now illegal and you're stupid.

All this only makes sense if the basic business model is changing.

Fine.  I'm not with it anyway.  Damn mainstreamers are making 40k hopeful again with their idiot primaris retcon and tech-up.  They're like all the other sci-fi supersoldiers now, which is what the mendicants wanted.  Nice flavor.  Much unique (?)

Make no mistake, they have deliberately attempted to destroy game groups.  They no longer will be relying on "guys" to induct new players - they have YouTube Reactors, Warhammer+, Social Media Marketing and they won't be needing the expectations we have.

You know, of cool new releases we can actual use for a few years and get to know.

They have a different tune to sing to us now.

Well, fuck Games Workshop.  No longer am I able to support this vile company's practices. 

This time, we're not abandoning OUR game.  GW gave it to us a long time ago.

We made up our own stories instead of following an "official" storyline.  We could do everything and anything we wanted because GW was chock full of badass talent and gave us the tools.  Updates were a cool 4 years apart for a long, long time - and new editions were generally better.

The legitimate creators of 40k shared it with us and we made it big.  We literally made worlds with our hands, and told stories of OUR guys.

They are doing everything they can to make sure no one else plays in 'their' sandbox - which is just a pastiche of a million sci-fi and fantasy concepts from history and literature.

The fact that these lawyers feel like we're so fucking stupid they can literally trademark the term 'space marine' is coldly telling of what was to come.  That incident only happened after GW's new hedge fund masters sent the lawyers in to check where MONEY was hiding.  Fuck the community, we can make more money of all the people who AREN'T gamers.  Who cares if we only make one sale?


It's all mainstream now... and with them they bring metaplot "progress" to the setting and FOMO to the business model.


I believe the shortages and sell-outs on the site aren't.  It's a lockdown issued by the controllers to increase the market squeeze.  It's fucking obvious.

As you'll see, they are peddling some serious trash for a premium price, and the mendicants EAT it up.  Generally, these days you get 20 models for $200.  BUY IT NOW OR FOREVER BE A LOSER WITH NO SPECIAL MODELS.

Worse and more concerning, the game systems are incomplete and unworkable.  UNWORTHY.

Unnecessary and unwelcome.

9th Edition, released last year, as had a few releases since and is already showing how poorly designed and thought out these projects are.

If you don't care about this, find somewhere else to fuck yourself.

With every release you buy, GW takes a shit on your head.  And they laugh - oh, my man they are FUCKING LAUGHING AT US.

Nothing for it.

Stop supporting GW immediately.  You can't continue to do so and consider yourself an actual person.  You're a mere mendicant and you should go participate in the MLM cult that GW is becoming.

Your online echo chambers don't prove shit.  Internet anecdotes are worth less than my popcorn farts.

Any yells of 'but business' or 'capitalism' proves you're an idiot and don't even understand capitalism.  Competition is allowed, and I can make Space Knights that look like your designs and THERE'S NOT A GOD DAMNED THING YOU CAN DO.

Now, I have my own intellectual property to develop and protect - but the actual ethical concerns are raised by GW, not my bootleg tyranids.  Again, if you don't get it just SHUT THE FUCK UP and go to the mendicant's aisle and tell them you have been detrimental to your community.

The only ethical thing we CAN do as patriotic American Consumers is to kill motherfucking Games Workshop.  Do not buy a single product and let them and everyone else know you're doing it.  You don't have to explain yourself to a GW apologist.

I will not be guiding new players to GW.  That would be unethical.  If they are interested in joining, I'll guide them to Oldhammer rules in use.  After that, I'd introduce them to the fantastic world of 3d printing.  NU-GW will not make a dime.

Play Oldhammer with 3d printed models and house rulings.  Ignore Warhammer+. 

Call me if you're unsure, I'll help you find the right 3d models for your army - and then I'll play whatever edition of 40k you want except 9th.  For real though - stop collecting.  No new armies, just finish the ones you've got.

Find a better game with designers that give a shit.  Maybe I'll work something up and show you what that looks like.

Anyway, like I said before in case you feel the need to reiterate my fuming curses:

Fuck Games Workshop.  #KMFGW

Warhammer belongs to US.  YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BACK.

You've pushed too far, GW.  You made sure we knew that you didn't give a shit about us - and now we don't give a shit about you.  Cat's Cradle, Silver Spoon.

Prepare for a wash of "retro-clone" wargames that will blatantly challenge your IP legally.  It's so easy to parody what you've become, it's astounding no one has done so.  You only really have a claim to iconography you have trademarked, because all that other concept stuff you stole yourself.

Even so, you can't stop me from doing whatever art I want.  Also, I can give whatever I want to anyone I want.

Buy my new retro-clone wargame: Hammerzeit 400,000,000,000 - Heavy Metal Combat in a Refried Universe.

Or, maybe Welcome to Planet Motherfucker - Superviolent Superfuzz Superpsychic Superwar on the Superworld in Superspace.

Of course the legion of mendicants will carry GW through this, not that they will show they care about your sacrifice.  For NU-GW, it's all about those high revenue licenses now, isn't it?

I hope your journey into money takes you to hell.

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Retainers & Revenge

** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **
The following is GameDoc's after-session notes from our private social media.  It is included here for posterity and ease of access.  You can also listen to this session's notes at the Arcane Alienist!

Retainers & Revenge

Retainers in UrdOn the return from the forest, the reduced caravan guard Dominique recounts how her group was ambushed by orcs. She notes that they sprang silently from out of nowhere and reeked of death. She was unconscious before she knew it and awoke blindfolded and bound as her captors seemed to negotiate with some hobgoblins before roughly handing her over.

The heroes rerun to the keep and split up. Celestina, Khaine, and Jessup head into the keep to deliver the carcass of the tarantella spider to the wizard Olivair. He agrees to harvest its venom in exchange for half the yield. It will take a couple of days.

Outside the wizard’s tower, they’re met by a dwarf who asks about their progress in the mines. Khaine explains how they left things with the kobolds. The dwarf seems unsatisfied with the news and darts off to report in to Horrik, the leader of his clan.

They then visit the chapel where Khaine inquires about more access to healing magic. The curate tells him to either recruit more clerics into the party or find an alchemist or herbalist who can make potions. The curate can also pen scrolls, but it’s a lengthy and expensive endeavor.

In the Canopies, the rest of the party heads to the tavern to carouse with the locals. Harald beings talking up the warrior types, mostly unemployed mercenaries and caravan guards. He learns they’re none to happy with the castellan for not only closing down the tradeway, but insisting his own soldiers will handle the orcs rather than hire any of them. They mention a traveling priest who has come into camp who feels the same way.

Khaine makes a point to take in this priests next sermon at the shrine in the center of the encampment. The priest, Hedemar, is a cleric of St. Arnhilde the Liberator. Hes a firebrand who calls out the castellan and the merchants of the keep for imposing their will on the free people of the Hinterlands. He travels with two acolytes who have taken vows of silence - Volker and Thilo.

After some discussion, Khaine discovers that Hedemar is concerned about the orc situation. Hedemar points out that the orcs have long been peaceful neighbors and there most be something more afoot. He agrees the join the party as Khaine’s retainer, bringing the acolytes along as hirelings.

In the meantime, Durgash takes on Jessup as a retainer and Celestina offers to take on Dominique as a retainer and bodyguard. She cashes in on the offer of access the the castellan’s armory to properly and and equip herself.

How to catch a giant tuatara, Lesson 2
Tuatara wrangling.
After a day of rest, the reinforced party heads back into the woods towards the goblin’s cave. Along the way they encounter the giant tuatara lizard that nearly killed Harald earned his enmity. Harald decides to capture rather than kill it, and with some help form the others manages to hogtie it and put it in the cart.

The party then proceeds to the caves to find that the goblins and hobgoblins have prepared for future invaders. They have posted guards and erected barricades. Scouting ahead, Jessup discovers a second interest higher up on the ridge. The part elects to storm that entrance. As they depart they just manage to notice a bugbear scout and prevent it from raising the alarm.

The party assaults the the entrance. Harald is seriously wounded and falls in battle, but is healed by Roderick. Khaine is also felled by a hobgoblin but is too far removed from the group to be healed in time and dies. The party secured the entrance but finds themselves out of healing resources with wounds remaining. They elect to retreat into the woods and make camp and try again later.

The Goblin Caves are daunting...

Friday, August 6, 2021

The Saints of Mythic Urd

The Mythic World of Urd: Saints

What follows is GameDoc's treatise on the Saints that have been encountered and described for his Mythic World setting.  The Mythic World has different standards for a lot of conventions, and they are cool and welcome spins on old tropes - but you don't have to take MY word for it!  You can listen to GameDoc himself tell you about the Saints and the nature of divine magic in the Mythic World right here!

Arnhilde the Liberator

Saint Arnhilde is said to have been a champion of peasants and laborers in the north . She was martyred for speaking out against the abuse of power. Her iconography often utilizes broken chains or shackles.

  • Stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.
  • Power is a responsibility, not a privilege.
  • Free the oppressed and oppose the tyrant.

Cyrus the Bloodied

Saint Cyrus was military commander and a champion of law and order who was always vigilant against the threat of Chaos. His iconography incorporates a sword and warrior's helm.

  • A firm hand is necessary to encourage faith and piety.
  • Protect the faithful, from themselves if necessary.
  • Cleanse the land of heresy.

Dudimus the Abiding

Saint Dudimus was an aesthetic know for his patience and perseverance, but also his love of distilled spirits. He is said to have solved many mysteries by simple contemplation. His iconography often includes a a bottle or chalice. 

  • Strive for balance in all situations and promote harmony in all facets of life.
  • The truth will reveal itself in due time if you are patient. 
  • Live simply and practically; take no more than you need.

Iambulous the Charitable

Saint Iambulous was a philosopher who traveled much of the known world and lived among many different peoples, seeking the means of building a utopia. His iconography incorporates a compass. 

  • Promote community spirit and mutual aid.
  • Make peace wherever you go; resort to conflict is a final resort.
  • Encourage those that have more to give to those that have less

Leilani the Merciful

Saint Leilani was renown as a healer and as a lover of all living things. She offered kindness and aid even to those others would deem unworthy. Her iconography always incudes flowers. 

  • Heal those who are ill or injured
  • Spread the word of love; we are all brothers and sisters.
  • Lift up the weak and make them strong.

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Laughing Company Raises Their Crest

** Howl of Oblivion Campaign Page **
With Fasha unwilling to set some of his personnel to guarding the party's growing hoard of treasure, he suggests they establish themselves with the authorities and hire some help of their own.  Over the last several days, the members of the band go about the city searching for a proper place to stash their loot and maintain as a new base in Yecha.

The party secures a writ from the Khan's Regent to incorporate an armed adventuring company.  This will allow them to maintain armed guards in the city and grant other privileges' granted to such incorporations, provided they answer to the Khan if they are called to do so.  The party agrees, and begins to look for a suitable building.

The party also commissions a local artisan to create their crest.  Calling themselves the Laughing Legion, the party decides to use the hyena as their symbol - since they have encountered far more dangerous hyenas than anything here in the Baklunish West.  Once they find their 2-story stone building, which they rent for a modest sum, they hang their crest and begin to hire personnel to guard the building and the massive safe they procure as a small treasure vault.

The party hires Blashi, a self-proclaimed 'outfitter'.  He has a lot of contacts across the city, and begins as the Majordomo of the Laughing Legion's new headquarters.  Five local men-at-arms and two Zyrjan archers are recruited as well, and the Legion sits at a registered thirteen members.  The party begins furnishing their new headquarters as they like, with the lower area being a common area and the upper floor being living quarters.

Now that they have a much stronger foundation to adventure in the West, the party can now focus it's attention as it likes.  It has many opportunities for adventure, it seems.  There are tales of hobgoblin fortresses on the coast.  Rai Suli asked the party for help, though they have not answered.  There are whispers of cult murders within the city, and the party knows the evil cultists are gathering everywhere.  The terror of the Blazing Omen still haunts those aware of the horror in the sky. 

In addition, the Khan's said to be on his way back to the city, only a few weeks away.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Wooden Bases for Wood Bases

Woodland Bases Wide

A lot of terrain needed to be slightly repaired after being removed from the vault.  This set of woods has been with me for more than two decades - and this is not the first time they've been remade with new materials after serving until they aren't so convincing models.  The last time I talked about them at the old club, they looked like this.

Woodland Bases 2
Low-altitude VTOL chases are daring ventures, indeed.

These trees are DEFINITELY not the same ones featured in those old pics, so at some point between here and there the trees were replaced with these conifers.

Come to think of it, I think these were once snowtopped - but were repainted.  You can still see some of the light snow coloring.  I guess it's some sort of spruce?  I don't know.  It's an alien Yule-tree.

Woodland Bases 3
Lizardmen are known to frequent marshes and bogs.  Always be prepared.

A few of these were early attempts at using water effects.  Scummy ponds and bogs are all over the woodlands.  I've still got most of a bottle of Woodland Scenics Realistic Water.  And a bottle of Water Effects.  

I'm going to need to use those on as many products as I can ... OR dispose of them, properly, if they are no longer able to serve their purpose due to some unseen deterioration.  We'll find out, I suppose.

Woodland Bases 4
Brave Republic Clone Troopers advance through the trees to assault the Separatist position.

These bases have been through the Eye of Terror all the way to Northern Russia.  Their bases are an eclectic mix of various sorts of detritus that have been used to repair them over the years...and I love them.  All I really did this time was clean a bit of the old turf off, replace any of the trees that had detached (all of them) and then I got lazy and just added new base material where it was needed.

I used a mix of flocks from different companies, and actually used my static grass applicator for what is basically the first time.  It was neat, but requires space and preparation to use.  These small patches of grass really didn't warrant it, I think.  Maybe I need to GIT GUD and then I'll know how to hold the stick or when in the build order statics are applied.

Maybe I'm thinking about it too hard.  Despite their haphazard and languorous journey, they serve perfectly well.  These bases aren't overwrought with various materials that require super-careful handling - they are meant to serve on the table proudly.  My best guess is, I cut that MDF board 22 years ago.