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Gen Con 2018 – Link and Costumes

August 15, 2018

Ever since Gen Con moved to Indianapolis back in 2003, my gaming group has attended the convention. (We also attended Gen Con twice when it was in Milwaukee, 1993 and 2002.) It has become a highlight of our year – at least for me – with browsing and demos in the Vendor Hall, eating out at the finer restaurants of Indianapolis, we even manage to get some gaming in. I always want to write about it, but never seem to find the time. However, my friend and fellow Gen Con attendee, Bruce, does an excellent compilation of our experiences every year and publishes it on RPGGeek. Here’s the link:

If you want a thorough report, click on the link. I will be expanding on some of the topics Bruce discusses over the next week or so. My first topic is on the costumes worn by attendees…

Costumes and Attendees

I have to admit I used to dismiss attendees who were in costume. I personally don’t wear costumes and, sorry to say, tended to look down on those attendees that did. However, a funny thing happened around 5 years ago. I suddenly realized that many of the costumes I was seeing were quite good, some were downright amazing. Even those costumes I might not care for still added color and interest to the overall Gen Con experience. I realized I was being narrow-minded and starting taking pictures of my favorite costumed attendees. This year I attended the costume parade and took quite a number of pictures. Once I got home from the Con I showed them to the family on TV. I may have started a new tradition.

Anyway, here are some of the top costumes that I saw at Gen Con 2018:





Weird War II Mural – Axis Wunderwaffe Threats, 1943

August 12, 2018

Here is the second Weird War II mural, Axis Wunderwaffe threats. These tend to be more grounded in ‘reality’ than the preternatural threats. The propaganda arm of the Third Reich actually coined the term ‘Wunderwaffe’, German for “wonder-weapon”, to describe the various “superweapons” developed by German scientists and engineers for the Nazi war machine. Real world examples included various jet and rocket planes, the V1 and V2 program,  massive rail-based guns, a night vision system introduced late in the war, etc. Luckily for the Allies, the one Wunderwaffe the Third Reich decided to not focus on was an atomic weapon, a Wunderwaffe that would have truly made a difference…

Axis Mural OSI Wunderwaffe Threats

Note that these illustrations are taken from various sources around the internet.

Weird War II Mural – Axis Preternatural Threats, 1943

July 10, 2018

Back in 2014, for my Weird War II game, I came up with two handouts that first showed various Axis soldiers, then an OSI (Office of Special Investigations) addendum that showed supernatural and weird science threats. Both were dated 1942.

I’ve created two new handouts for 1943. The first shows preternatural threats and is shown below:

Axis Mural OSI Preternatural Threats

Monsters and Foes

July 4, 2018

Wow, I knew it had been awhile since I had posted on this blog, but I didn’t realize it had been 2 1/2 years! Where did the time go…?

Anyway, with the help of Photoshop I’ve created a collage or mural of the various ‘monsters and foes’ the characters in my current campaign have encountered. I’ve limited the collage to one foe per adventure, so the Slaad is from the adventure ‘Stumble into Limbo’, while the cultist is from ‘Catacombs of Madness’, etc. I like doing these sorts of visual aids, I think they add to the campaign story, as well as help with character immersion.

The illustrations that make up the collage are from various sources including D&D Monster Manuals, Pathfinder Bestiaries, etc.


Adventure So Far…

January 8, 2016

Below is a synopsis of our group’s first DCC adventure which is based on the Goodman Games funnel adventure ‘Sailors on the Starless Sea’. We will be playing Part 2 tomorrow: 

You are all either from the village of Draycott or from farms and homesteads nearby. Around two weeks ago, people from the area began disappearing. First it was the tinker, Milliken, who set out one day and never returned. Then two families that lived on the edge of the Wetzel Wood were attacked and carried off – only a young girl escaped to tell the tale. She told of beasts who walked like men had come in the night and had taken her family to the west. Other abductions followed, the creatures hitting where they were least expected. Shepherds disappeared, farm families were taken away. Those who followed the trail whispered with dread that the creatures always headed toward the fortress known as Thrax Castle, an ancient ruin 5 miles west of Draycott. The old castle was the source of an ancient fear and was known to be haunted.

A delegation of villagers from Draycott went to the town of Lyndhurst to seek help from the Royal Garrison, but they were overdue. The prior evening saw the worst raid yet with villagers and farm families both being taken during the night. You had enough. You and your comrades set off to Thrax Castle to destroy the men that walk like beasts and rescue your fellow villagers.

Before the gates of Thrax, the party was attacked by two horrid zombies who killed one of their number before they were destroyed. The group was then able to storm the gates and make it to the courtyard where they proceeded to bash down the door to the main tower. Waiting inside were the ‘beasts that walked like men’. A furious battle ensued and several of the party fell before three beastmen were killed including their leader, a horned brute who had killed one member of the party before being dispatched. Once he fell, the beastmen broke and fled down the steps leading north. Exploring a corridor off the main tower, several party members were able to rescue the farm girl, Morwenna, and slay a large spider that had ensnared her.

In the strange, smoldering chapel an unholy guardian killed another member of the party.

Now the characters are back in the foul smelling tower. Before them are steps leading down, steps that lead to their missing kin and neighbors, steps that very well may lead to their doom.

What You Know

  1. Castle Thrax is over 200 years old. It was built by two robber knights – brothers – who were said to be the dark paladins of a demonic god. They ravaged the lands around Castle Thrax until they were destroyed by an army from Veluna.
  2. While the keep fell to the armies of Veluna, they did not eradicate its fell legacy. Evil still festers within the ruined walls, awaiting the day when it can emerge once more.
  3. Based on evidence found in the tower, some of the kidnapped villagers have been turned into beastmen.
  4. Beware the well! It has swallowed many a poor soul.

Star Wars – The Force Awakens – Quick Review

January 1, 2016

I’ve been seriously lax in updating this blog. It doesn’t mean I’m gaming any less or have lost interest in the blog, it just hasn’t been a priority. Anyway, here’s a quick review of ‘Star Wars – The Force Awakens’ that I sent out to my gaming buddies.

The Good

  • Liked the new characters Fin, Rey, and Poe.
  • Liked having Han and Chewbacca in the movie, didn’t seem forced, and there was some pretty good banter.
  • Honestly, I liked seeing Han die, though it means my favorite character was killed off by his only son (which makes him and Leia’s relationship ultimately tragic). It worked.
  • Abrams gets the look and feel right. No cute/silly aliens.
  • Like that the Stormtroopers are actually badass.
  • Action scenes were pretty good.
The Bad
  • Really, ANOTHER Deathstar!? Yeah, yeah, I know there were differences, I actually thought the differences were cool, but it’s still a really big Deathstar that’s still is vulnerable to small one-man fighters with a couple of torpedoes.
  • Kylo Ren is poorly cast, the guy does not appear threatening at all. The actual character seems ineffectual and downright whiny.
  • I’m not a huge canon guy, but Abrams has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t care about canon. See the Star Trek movies. My main issue is with Rey and the Force, she can do stuff with no training. In fact, she seems to think the Force is a myth when first talking with Han(?). She goes from that to controlling minds a couple of days later with zero training. Um…no. She’s also able to take on Kylo Ren who can stop blaster bolts in mid-flight (which was awesome, btw), but he was badly injured already so I’ll give that a pass.
The Ugly
  • Can someone deactivate C3P0 already?
  • I liked the look of the Supreme Leader – giant, dim hologram – but is his name really Supreme Leader Snoke? That name is silly.
The Odd
  • The movie tried pretty hard to mimic New Hope. Start out on a desert world, the ‘maguffin’ is a droid that has something everyone wants, there’s a cantina with lots of weird aliens, the aforementioned Death Star, etc. Not sure why Abrams felt the need to do that.
 So overall I would give it an 4 out of 5. I liked it, but I think my expectations were too high.


Random Charts for Pulp Science Fiction Names

June 8, 2015

I’m currently looking at doing a pulp science fiction mini-campaign using one of the rulesets out there (Rocket Age, Cosmic Patrol or even Savage Worlds). One of the things I like to do for any campaign is have a list of names that evokes the setting. For this reason, I have compiled a ‘pseudo retro’ list of science fiction names for a pulp scifi game. Special thanks to Caroline Berg and Jonas over at for their input.

The current names listed come from a number of sources including: pulp science fiction stories, pulp scifi comics from the 1950s, 1950s scifi movies, the names of stellar phenomena, astronauts/cosmonauts, and ‘Golden Age’ scifi authors. Anything that evokes a pulp science fiction setting. This list works best if you roll once or twice on the first name list and once or twice on the last name list for at least 3 name combinations. Here are 2 results I rolled up:

Jack Aries Prometheus
Vonda Antares Barnhardt

Add a title and you have: Captain Jack Aries Prometheus, or just Captain Prometheus, and Doctor Vonda Antares Barnhardt. Both pretty good pulp scifi names in my opinion.

Die Roll Last Name Male First Name Female First Name
1. Aether Ace Alia
2. Allen Adam AlphaBetty
3. Anderson Alexander Altaira
4. Antares Alpha Amelia
5. Armstrong Aries Andromeda
6. Asimov Ashton Anzha
7. Barnhardt Astro Ariana
8. Beam Atlas Astra
9. Bester Basil Astrid
10. Blish Billy-Boy Ayesha
11. Blixseth Bolt Brun
12. Brackett Brett Callisto
13. Bradbury Buck Callistra
14. Burroughs Buzz Carialle
15. Campbell Caesar Carina
16. Carlyle Canis Cassandra
17. Carter Chad Cassiopeia
18. Chandler Clarke Constance
19. Clarke Cliff Dale
20. Clement Clifford Dawn
21. Clive Cody Dejah
22. Comet Comet Delta
23. Corbett Conan Dia
24. Crockett Constantine Domino
25. Dawnstar Corvus Dot
26. De Camp Cyril Dresdemona
27. Del Rey Dakota Earani
28. Dent Damon Estrella
29. Doyle Dash Futura
30. Earhart Deke Gale
31. Enigma Dmitri Gamma
32. Felsmark Dominic Gerry
33. Fifer Draco Helen
34. Finnegan Duncan Helva
35. Flandry Dusk Iluko
36. Frazetta Eric Janet
37. Gersen Erol Janice
38. Grail Flash Jodenny
39. Grim Flint Kate
40. Haggard Frederic Kyra
41. Hammond Fritz Lana
42. Harlin Galen Leigh
43. Hathway Georg Lizra
44. Hawk Glaive Lois
45. Heinlein Glenn Lorelei
46. Herrmann Graf Lucille
47. Holmes Griffin Luna
48. Howard Hal Lyra
49. Jax Horace Maeve
50. Jones Hugh Maida
51. Kazantsev Hugo Marga
52. Lanning Jack Margot
53. Lansing Jacques Maria
54. Leiber Jet Meg
55. Lester John Mieli
56. Levitan Kenton Mysta
57. Merril Kirth Nadine
58. Meteor Lance Nelvana
59. Miller Lars Nika
60. Moore Lazarus Nivara
61. Morningstar Lazer Nova
62. O’Malley Lazlo Penelope
63. Oliver Lester Pica
64. Pohl Lucky Polly
65. Powers Lyon Proxima
66. Prometheus Manfred Raven
67. Quartermain Morbius Rhea
68. Quasar Mycroft Rhiannon
69. Quinn Nelson Sabri
70. Raymond Neville Sally
71. Reith Nikoli Scrumpy
72. Rico Nova Shimmer
73. Rigel Perry Sirantha
74. Savage Phillip Sonya
75. Scheer Piter Starlight
76. Shin Poul Starr
77. Silenus Proteus Stella
78. Slayton Quilan Stellar
79. Smith Ray Su
80. Sprague Reed Tara
81. Starfury Rex Teena
82. Stark Rip Telzey
83. Starskimmer Rock(y) Terese
84. Starstrider Rocket Terra
85. Steele Rod Thisa
86. Tannhauser Ross Thuvia
87. Terwilliger Ryder Trillian
88. Tesla Simeon Ursa
89. Tungsten Skylar Ursula
90. Van Vogt Sol Valentina
91. Vance Speed Vana
92. Vega Spike Vara
93. Vinge Striker Vela
94. Volt Tarrano Virgo
95. Wentworth Ulysses Vonda
96. West Wiggin Wilma
97. Wilhelm Wulf Xina
98. Wyndham Yuri Zap
99. Zelas Zatar Zenith
00. Zodiac Ziller Zeta

Characters can choose a title, though any such title should match the character they have chosen. Titles include the following:

Aethernaut. Astropilot, Astronaut, Cosmonaut, Baron, Doc, Doctor, Ensign, Lord/Lady, Madame, Prince/Princess, Professor, Captain, Commander

Let me know if you have any other names you think I should add.