December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Ho! I'll swallow your soul!

December 20, 2010

Who wants an invitation to an Invitation-only Hobby Games Sales Site (i.e., Deniath)?

Update 12/21/10: I have an unlimited amount of invitations, so don't worry if you might "waste" one.

A while back some guy from WizKids created a new gaming sale site called Deniath: link  The trick to this one is that it's invitation-only. I managed to get myself invited when it was still in development (I think Purple Pawn posted about it or something). 

From the Denaith About Us page:
Headquartered in Seattle, Deniath is a privately held company offering invitation-only access to exclusive online sales for hobby games and pop-culture collectibles at up to 70% off. Each sale lasts only 36 hours and features limited product from select brands. Founded in 2010, and led by former WizKids manager, Wade Sugiyama, Deniath is determined to provide gamers, collectors, and pop-culture fans a unique and exciting online shopping experience featuring the industry’s newest and most popular brands.

It just started up a month of so ago and has had some good deals on board and card games, including stuff from Fantasy Flight, Rio Grande, WizKids, Mayfair Games, and others.

So why am I telling you all this?  As an existing member I'm allowed to dish out invitations to other people. Yeah, I get a kick back ($10 for your first order; it's that whole viral-marketing bit), but the deals really have been pretty good. I have an unlimited amount of invitations, so don't be shy about asking for one.

If you want an invitation, just send me an email: thebitterfrost a.t. gmail d.o.t. com

December 15, 2010

Gaming Deal: Troll Lord Games 12 Days of Christmas Sale

TLGXmasThe Trolls are having their annual 12 Days of Christmas Sale: link

Perhaps the most notable thing is that at least two of the deals (the 5th Day and the 10th day) include the yet to be released infamously delayed Castle Keepers Guide. For those who don’t know, the CKG has been in development since 2007 (at least the product page for it at Amazon has been up since then: link).

The 5th Day Deal is tempting in a novelty fashion because it includes digest-sized versions of all the rule books.

Questions and answers about the deals can be found here: link.

Given that I just ordered some stuff on Black Friday, I’m going to pass, but this sale is always a good way to get in on C&C if you’re interested.

December 13, 2010

My Players are Awesome

Ha freakin' ha.

We had our last session for 2010 last Friday and my players surprised me with a bucket load of Christmas gifts.
  • Dungeon Master For Dummies (Smart-asses. Yes, that is the correct title; I'm not sure why it's not Dungeon Mastering for Dummies)
  • A LEGO Jester (I use a Red Jester from the Tome of Horrors II as a reoccuring character in the campaign.)
  • An Orcus and his followers mini gift pack (an Aspect of Orcus as well as a ton of Orcus priest minis)
  • AND Oh-hell-no-you-didn't-fuck-yeah-you-did!:

Orcus impresses Snow White and Sleeping Beauty with his "wand."

December 6, 2010

Gaming Deal: Folding Game Table on the Cheap

folding poker table
A quick note:  I will post substantial content here when time allows, but between the work load, the holidays, and family life, I haven’t had time. Until then, consider this a “hey, look at this cool shit!” blog.

UPDATE: The table is now $100.00.
I’m pretty well set for my gaming table, but I got an interesting piece of holiday junk mail today from Sears and figured I’d share.  On Tuesday 12/7/10 (tomorrow as of this posting) at 11:00 AM central time, this Sportscraft Parlour Poker table will be on sale for $50.00.  It’s normally 200 bones.  I’m not sure about shipping and handling (although it’s listed as available for free in-store pickup.)

This is part of Sears’ Chimney Buster promotion.  I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I believe they offer a limited quantity (only 10 for this time) at this link (again, at 11 AM CT tomorrow) and I think you have to be signed up for Sears spam to qualify (although you can sign up now).  Here is the complete FAQ: link  From what I've seen with these deals, the limited quantity applies only for that super low price and then they bump it up to another still-discounted, but not as good, price.

$50 is a good price for what seems to be a quality folding gaming table.  Obviously, it’s meant for poker and I have no clue how suitable it would be for tabletop gaming, but the cup holders seem kind of sweet for dice or, well, drinks, ha.  Here are the dimensions:
·Table Dimensions: 81.5L x 42W x 31H (inches)
·Playing Surface Dimensions: 72L x 32.5W (inches)
If anyone splurges on this, let me know how it works out.

November 25, 2010

Troll Lord Games Black Friday Sale

RPGbailoutThe details are still fuzzy and the sale isn’t up yet, but here is some info from the Troll’s Tusk Newsletter:

So this is the first year we've actually participated in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday event. As usual we put our own twist on it.

The sale will kick off sometime Thursday night and run through the weekend...mainly because we are too lazy to log on and change it all back. Also of course because, well, really that's the only reason.

So enjoy the mark downs while you can, they will be gone as quick as they appear.

For all the U.S. Crusaders: Happy Thanksgiving.

For those living in Europe, Canada, and Asia, or whereever you may fare...well Happy Thanksgiving to you too!


Castles & Crusades: The Rosetta Stone.”

Judging from newsletter, looks like the sale will include:
  • Half-Priced: Gods & Monsters, the Players Handbook, and the Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde
  • $20 Off StarSiege, and Tainted Lands
I’ll provide an update when I know more.  M&T of Aihrde is supposed to be dang cool, so I’ll likely snag that.

November 19, 2010

My Hill Giant Impersonation

The Castles & Crusades adventure I ran at GASPCon 11, Dwarven Glory: The Winding Stair, was a bit on the short side, so I added a hill giant encounter.  I made the hill giant not-quite right to tie in a bit with the adventure.  Here I show how the hill giant acts when he misses with a boulder. (Many thanks to John for the footage!)

November 18, 2010

GASPCon 11 Footage

GASPCon 11 was last weekend and it was a blast.  I’ll hopefully post more about it at some point, but until then, here is some footage by Tim (the head of RPGing for GASP).  He played in my Castles & Crusades game (check out around 3:37 for some video of it).  That was a great session and I look forward to GMing more C&C next year.

November 10, 2010

Anthropomorphic Action at Half Price: Harvesters

8901_bigI held off getting Harvesters by Troll Lord Games when it came out last spring, but just ordered it since it’s on sale for half price ($9.00 instead of $18.00: link).  The reviews on DriveThruRPG are very positive (check ‘em out) and it sounds like a great game to run with kids.  Judging from what I’ve read, it’s basically Castles & Crusades with animals, which is a-okay in my book.  No need to reinvent the wheel.

I’m still not sure if my six-year-old is ready for RPGs, but we’ll see.  She absolutely loves animals, so this is right up her alley.  When asked to bring in her favorite book to school, she took in Mouse Guard and she already wrote her own Cat Guard version. I think we might have a winner here.

November 9, 2010

Looking for Miniatures for Your Kids?

dragonballzcentral_2127_359992568… then pick up a Bucket of Dragons!  I already picked this up for my girls, but it will be held in reserve until Christmas.  It looks like this has already been discussed at ENWorld (link).  Since my bucket will remain closed until Christmas morn, here are some shots from that ENWorld thread:


Amazon has it going for $20 or so, but my local Wal-Fart has it for $11.00.  It appears Wal-Fart has some kind of exclusive “How to Train Your Dragon” deal going on (we could only find my daughter’s Astrid costume at Wal-Fart as well), so that would account for the online mark up.  Strangely, you can’t order it from Wal-Fart online though.

October 31, 2010

Chaos on Halloween

My oldest daughter, Chaos, is going as Astrid from "How to Train Your Dragon" for Halloween.  The best part?  Her favorite part of her costume is the battle axe. Suffice it to say, I am one very proud Dungeoneering Dad.

October 29, 2010

Lazy Friday Fantasy Metal Post (Halloween Edition): Fastway - Trick or Treat

Ok, so the "fantasy" element here is suspect, but I do still feel a D&D connection.  This song is from an old 80s horror flick called "Trick or Treat" about a kid resurrecting his metal hero, Sammi Curr, by playing a record backwards (check out the trailer here).  Of course, Sammi comes back all evil-like and starts the killin’.  This film came out at the height of the "Metal is Evil" era which overlaps with the "D&D is Evil" era, so there you have my tenuous connection.  These two manias are always connected in my mind and  Classic D&D will always have a metal vibe to me. The movie features cameos by Gene Simmons and Ozzy. This was back when Ozzy really was seen as a Prince of Darkness and not some stuttering clown and, in a brilliant move, he was cast as an evangelist preaching against the evils of metal music (see his scenes here).

Now, full disclosure, I have never seen this movie. I was chicken shit little kid when it came out (too young to see it in the theatres, not that my wimpy butt would have gone anyhow).  However, my brother did have the soundtrack (completely by Fastway) on cassette and I listened to it all the time.  The movie is not on Netflix yet, so I still haven't seen it.  It definitely looks like a "so bad, it's good" kind of movie.

Anyhow, without further ado, here is the rocking title track.

October 22, 2010

Down in the Dungeon at Monster Brains

Monster Brains has posted some awesome art from the 1981 picture book, Down in the Dungeon, by Don Greer and Rob Stern. Check it out at the blog or the Flickr site.

Here is my favorite from the set, The Trap Door:

Also, check out these excellent maps:


My Contributions to the Too Many T-Shirts Project

Dave the Knave is still going strong with his Too Many T-Shirts project.  He was starting to run low a while back, so I shared a few shirts to help him out (I’m the “Dan” he mentions from time to time).  He wore most of these back in September (yes, this post is long overdue).  You can find the project at its official web site: link or at Flickr: link

Here are some of the gaming-related ones:

This one was given to me by Han Scharler for GenCon 2006 (he wrote about it here: link)

Ok, this one isn’t mine, but it’s too cool not to share.  It’s a “Roots” t-shirt designed by Wil Wheaton for J!NX.  Dave wore it to one of our Rappan Athuk sessions (on a side-note, updates on those forthcoming).

GenCon ‘97…

…and GenCon '98

Back in the day, TSR put out some nice t-shirts at one point.  I always loved the cover for the “Death’s Ride” module, so I couldn’t pass this one up.
Dave-death's ride

October 20, 2010

15 Games in 15 minutes Meme

Ok, my turn for this meme. The rules for the uninitiated: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen games you've played that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

In no particular order apart from how they popped into my head.

Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D through 3.5)

Castles & Crusades (was tempted to include this above, but kept it separate due to the SIEGE mechanic)

The Classic Dungeon




Magic: The Gathering

Call of Cthulhu

Gamma World (4th edition of GW, not the current one based on D&D 4e which I have not played)

Arhkam Horror

Ambush Alley (made me realize there is such a thing as a rules-light war game)

Battle Tech

War Gods

Nite Life (and old RPG with vampires and werewolves)

Battle Masters (the old miniatures board game)

October 13, 2010

20-Sided Rhymes

Hipster, please! has posted a free, downloadable album called 20-Sided RhymesDave the Knave did the sweet-ass album art (he also did the art for Hipster-Free Singles Club Vol. 1).
There are a lot of great tracks.  I’m still working my way through them all, but “Random Encounter in the Cereal Aisle” and “Roll the Dice” are my favorites so far.
Front Cover:
Back Cover:

October 12, 2010

Really Cheap Tact-Tiles Substitute

dry eraseA while back I talked about Tact-Tiles, both the kinds you can buy and do-it-yourself ways to make them.  For my Lazy Homemade Tact-Tiles #2 idea, I suggested buying a very cheap dry erase kit from LTD Commodities. Well, it no longer appears to be available at LTD, but I did pick up a set myself before they pulled it.  I poked around a bit and, man, the kit is hard to find now, but I did find one set on eBay here: link.  So, obviously, right out of the gate, this option now has one strike against it.  I figured I’d go ahead and post my thoughts on this kit as a gaming tool anyhow.  Hopefully someone out there has better Google-Fu than I do and can locate a retailer if they’re interested.

Here is what you get:

The panels are paper-thin, but they are basically big stickers after all.

Each panel is 12 inch x 12 inch and you get 8 panels total.  That is a pretty good sized gaming area.

I put the panels down on my gaming table and they covered a large chunk.

I doodled a bit of a dungeon on them and they worked fairly well.  Understandably, I had to hold down the panel so it wouldn’t move, but it wasn’t a problem.

So here is the skinny:
  • If you want a grid, you’ve got some work to do. I know from personal experience,
    there really is no way to permanently mark this kind of surface apart from scoring it.  These panels are going to turn into confetti if you score them.  One possibility would be to mount the panels onto sections of poster board and then score them.
  • A quick note regarding a grid, keep in mind games like D&D 3.5 and 4e work on a one-inch grid, so you can really just use a tape measure without much trouble (well, I’m assuming that is true for 4e. I haven’t played it).  Savage Worlds operates on this grid too and, despite the emphasis on a battle map in the Savage Worlds rule book, the official demo I played at Origins used a tape measure.
  • The panels stay in place reasonably well. I bumped the table a bit to test this and the panels more or less stayed in place.  I’m guessing inadvertent bumps by players might be more problematic. Having not played with the interlocking Tact-Tiles, I’m not sure how much of an advantage they offer.
  • The panels were covered with a clear film that came off.  I initially wasn’t certain if this was suppose to happen. I’m still not sure, but the panels were still erasable after I removed the film (although shadowing did increase noticeably).
The Verdict
  • You get what you pay for. These panels aren’t as snazzy as the original Tact-Tiles or the current Battlegraph Boards.  However, if you can find a set, this kit is a hell of a lot cheaper, especially if you consider the amount of playing surface you get.  You get 8 panels for a 2 foot by 4 foot playing area. In comparison, the Battlegraph Boards are $7.00 per 12 inch piece and a set of Tact-Tiles will run you several hundred dollars on eBay (no joke, check the ENWorld forums).
  • If nothing else, these panels would be handy for those times combat spills off your regular battle mat.
Since I am fine with my homemade battle mat, I didn’t keep the kit for myself.  I hung it up in two sections in our kitchen, thinking it would be fun for my daughters.  They really liked it, but, whoa boy, was it a bad idea.  My girls are six and three and, well, their marker control is still rather suspect.  Suffice it to say, they didn’t always stay on the dry erase area.  Word to the wise, dry erase markers don’t wash off non-dry erase walls…  our kitchen is a bit more colorful now.  I certainly do not recommend the kit for its intended purpose unless you have a wall you probably be ok with your kids drawing on to begin with.

October 8, 2010

My Kind of Friday Night…

  Two growlers of Yuengling in the mini-fridge.   My motley crew chomping at the bit to roll  dice.  New sections of Rappan Athuk to explore.  It’s my kind of Friday night.


October 4, 2010

A Winner is Me!

a_winner_is_you So I was perusing my Google Reader today and saw I’ve won a copy of Rite Publishing’s Book of Monster Templates (in PDF and print, no less).  Many thanks to Troll in the Corner and Rite Publishing.

October 1, 2010

Lazy Friday Fantasy Metal Post: Attacker - Battle of Helm's Deep

This is a pretty sweet fan-made video including a bunch of clips from Ralph Baski's Lord Of The Rings movie.  I particularly like 3:24 or so where it looks like Frodo is getting down to the metal music.

September 30, 2010

September 29, 2010

I am a Remorhaz. Excellent.

I saw this over at The Dump Stat and had to give it a try. According to the WotC "What Monster Are You?" Quiz, I am a:

Excellent. Nothing like an old school, freezing death beast. Appropriate for a guy who often goes by "Frost." Although they spelled it wrong (should be "remorhaz").

September 28, 2010

Miniature Terrain and Painting, the Polymythic Way

My good friend Polymythic Steve (not to be confused with Steve the Yuan-ti Party Hound) has  posted an excellent “how-to” series about creating terrain and painting miniatures for miniature wargaming.  Steve shows how he made his terrain and painted his miniatures for Ambush Alley, but this stuff is applicable for any game involving miniatures.  I think the terrain creation is particularly ingenious. 

Give it a look:AA-Terrain14

September 25, 2010

Let’s See What You Got – The Gestalt World Challenge

Fantasy_World_by_EvilDemonAkira Last year I entered a Castles & Crusades Society contest and managed to win a copy of Brave Halfling’s Ruins of Ramat module (see here: link).  The contest took place on the now-defunct C&CS message boards.  It was called the Gestalt World Contest and I think Robert Doyel, author of the excellent (and highly underrated) Engineering Dungeons, started it. (A quick side note, if you are interested in Engineering Dungeons, don’t let the fact it’s a C&C product put you off. It is damn near system neutral and well worth $10).

The contest was a lot of fun and generated some great content.  I say we bloggers do something similar.  It won’t be a contest, but rather simply a cool way to churn out some ideas.
Here is how it works:

1.) Take the name of a person, item, or location offered up by a fellow blogger.

2.) Write up your description for the name and post it on your blog.  Include a link to the name’s source.

3.) Include a new name in your blog post for another person to use.

4.) Rinse, wash, repeat.

Obviously the blog-o-world isn’t centralized, so we’ll have some redundancy, but who cares?  The worst that will happen is we’ll get alternate descriptions. That sounds fine to me.

I’ll kick this off with the description I used for the original contest.

Manistus the Scrivener

Manistus the Scrivener was renowned for his ability to transcribe magic writings, such as spells ink and scrolls. His transcriptions were works of art, containing beautiful calligraphy. However, the transcribed texts he provided were not quite the same as the originals: they were superior. A wizard casting spells from such transcriptions was able to empower his magics beyond his normal capabilities. Not surprisingly, Manistus' services were in high demand and he charged a pretty price.

Thirteen years ago, Manistus disappeared. Three wizards, clients of the scrivener, eager to protect their works (and possibly pilfer those of others) invaded his home, a nondescript outpost outside the city of Wavery. They discovered that not only was Manistus gone, but so were all of his instruments: papers, inks, quills, and so on. Much to their dismay, not one page of magic writing was to be found.

Although no proof has ever been shown, dark rumors still circulate as to the nature of Manistus' abilities. Some say that he made a dark pact with a devil. Others say that his transcriptions, often noted for their odd color, were penned in the blood of the innocent.

Next: The Green Gauntlet of Magla Lock

Go for it.
[*Fantasy World by EvilDemonAkira and  Blood Ink picture by Minutestocountdown]

September 22, 2010

Duke Omote’s Castles & Crusades House Rules, Enhancements, and Conversions

ACNCCastles & Crusades Society member and FPQ Member (president? founder perhaps?), Duke Omote has created some kick ass house rules for Castles & Crusades, which he calls Advanced Castles & Crusades.  One of the great features of C&C is that it is very easy to house rule the  hell out of it.  Omote demonstrates this with style with these rules, giving his take on elements of other editions of D&D.  Want to add Feats ala D&D 3rd edition?  Try his Talents rules.  Like those Secondary Skills from 1st edition? Check out his rules for ‘em.

All of his stuff is great for supplementing your existing C&C game or perhaps easing the conversion from another version of D&D (e.g., 3.5 to C&C).

On his Rules Expansions page, he has rules for:
Many thanks, Omote, for all the hard work and thanks for sharing this with the gaming world.
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