Monday, December 30, 2013

Book of Amicus, Chapter 45

The Skull Collectors have several new trophies! My new found powers given by the almighty pantheon led by my master Jupiter has proved to be useful. The Skull Collectors have turned aside a malicious attack by the forces of Lucius Bastardo, and discovered an small underground complex of rooms below Skull Manor.

I have set up a storage rack in one of these underground rooms. There I have been jarring and pickling many of the bits and pieces I've collected from our arcane enemies:

  • The eyes and blood of a medusa
  • The teeth of two gargoyles
  • The blood of a Giant Weasel
  • The petrified, demonic feces of four spirit apes
  • Fingers from 4 of Lucius Bastardo's lieutenants
  • A wizard's tongue
  • The blood of a dozen orcs
  • The muscles and ligaments of four ogres
  • The claws and muscles of a werewolf
  • The brains and ichor of 15 ghouls
  • The sticky tongues and feet of 7 giant gecko lizards
  • The fungus spores of 4 shriekers
  • The fangs and tails of 2 giant rattlesnakes
  • The organs of a chaos serpent
  • Bone chips of 10 animated skeletons
  • Action Shot

    About to storm into the medusa's lair.

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

    Book of Amicus, Chapter 44

    Joy of joys! My research has finally borne fruit. It was by happenstance that I was able to secure the slim, dusty folio known only as the "Smokables of the Flamen Dialis" from my contacts to the South. I have paid a considerable fee of 200 gold coins to make sure it made the trip intact. It is considered apostasy by the formal Church of Bor so the recipes and chants contained therein were lost when the Empire fell, or so I thought. In it I have uncovered the following:

  • Blessing of Agnitia: By blowing into the face of a hurt ally the smoke pulled from the serpent-entwined pipe of Asclepius miraculous healing can be performed. Wounds can be closed and fear dispelled using a more potent form of the verses I knew for Jupiter's own basic blessing. (Cure Moderate Wounds)
  • Fellowship of Faunus: The blessed fumes of the sacred pipe extends to the animal world as well. By lighting smokables are appropriate for the creature and situation, I am now able to make them more agreeable and friendly to me. (Charm Animal)
  • Jupiter's Vengance: When in the presence of a thunderstorm, smoking this melange of tobacco allows the faithful to guide Jove's hand and call ruinous thunderbolts on unsuspecting enemies. (Call Lightning)

    In other news, my henchman Louse continues to do a great job. I recently gave her a 100gp bonus for her hard work.

    (+200 "banked" gp, and a simple 100gp stipend goes to Louise for her achievements)
  • Monday, December 23, 2013

    Choking Nerf

    Whilst investigating which spells to take for my next level, I came across this detail from the Choking Grip spell:
    The choking grip lasts so long as the caster concentrates upon it, or until the target makes a successful saving throw.
    Essentially, we shouldn't have been able to kill the leader because the spell would be done once the first saving throw was successful. Sorry.

    Monday, December 16, 2013

    GM-Less Game Part 2

    I propose that our next game, we play a GM-less "autopilot" session. Let me pitch it thusly:

  • I'll create a map/terrain of our base
  • Our guards report seeing something sketchy
  • At a randomly determined time, our base is attacked
  • Assuming we drive off the attack successfully, we may track the attackers back to their lair
  • A small dungeon lair of the attackers is then assaulted

    Random Factors:
  • What is attacking?
  • Why are they attacking?
  • When are they attacking?
  • Where is their lair, and what does it look like? Is it above ground? Below ground? Half and half?
  • How many of them are there? If there are a lot of them and they are powerful, are there factions?

    I'll examples of random factors and ask for submissions. I'll draw cards during play and be the "proxy GM", playing Pontifex Amicus as a quiet NPC while arranging what the attackers do. I'll also see that we all share in what the "bad guys" do by assigning each of us a unit of baddies to control. Imagine that instead of Dave controlling Ogres, Orcs, Pigdogs, etc, that we roll for our PCs AND roll for the baddies we control.

    Ideas? Concerns?

    Dave - Do we have any description of what our base looks like? Is it a manor like a building, or is it a palisade? How should we introduce the "masked adventurer"? Perhaps he carries with him an important piece of information that endears him to the group (and actually reads it off the randomly picked card)?
  • When Worlds Collide

    I forgot to mention this on Sunday, but in the last few weeks I've seen Jason's niece in the 7th grade exploratory language program, and ran into Andrew's sister at the parent coference night.  She said "I've heard so much about you"--while I was thinking to myself "I didn't know Andrew had a sister."

    Thursday, December 12, 2013

    Jury Duty

    Funny story. So, this week I was chosen to serve jury duty. As it turns out, a local celebrity was chosen as well. Ron Martin of WGAL 8 fame was chosen that week also. As the orientation video began Monday morning, the choice of narrator drew a round of laughter from all of us potential jurors.

    Monday, December 9, 2013

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

    The Book of Amicus, Chapter 43

    Following our conflict with the ghouls, Louise has proven herself to be a worthwhile henchman worthy of Jove's bounty. I shared 250 gold from my own hoard with her and asked that she stay on as my personal bodyguard. Furthermore I have spent another 950 gold toward relearning some of the ancient rites of Jupiter. With luck I will receive his boons shortly. (250 toward Louise and banking 950 in case I need a new character)

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    DM-less game

    Andrew brought up the idea of doing a DM-less game some time.

    Here's a quick suggestion:

    1--Draw 6-10 Tiles from the stack at random, this would be the maximum size of the dungeon.

    2--Come up with a table or a set of cards to draw as each room is entered.  It would say if there was a treasure, monster, both, or a trap.

    3--Monsters and Treasures would be rolled from the "Monster and Treasure Assortment" for the appropriate level (with a chance of encountering things from a higher or lower level of course).

    4--Maybe have a small stack of Tricks or Weird Rooms to draw from.

    5--To make it more interesting, since we would have few planned surprises or items of interest, perhaps have it so that we are deposited by magic or a trap, and must find the exit somewhere (randomly determined).

    If we didn't want to do a dungeon, but rather an outdoor type quest, we could use that GM emulator booklet I got this summer.   It was a lot of fancy falderal, but it kinda of boiled down to agreeing on the chance something would happen, roll for it and there was a chance that something weird would happen instead.   It might turn out really neat once we got used to it, if anyone wants to look at it, remind me on Sunday.

    Comments?  Thoughts?  Alternative Schemes?

    Monday, December 2, 2013

    Sharing the Tiles project

    The question has arisen of sharing the Dungeon Tiles for home access for prospective DM's.  I've thought of a couple of plans:

    1)  I could make sketches of each tile (several to a page) and scan and upload them.  

    2)  We could take photos of them, post them on the wiki, or something.

    3)  I could just lend people the stack between games.   I don't forsee designing any more dungeon levels in the near future, since there is still a fair amount of Skull Mountain unexplored.

    4)  I could just give people some blank tiles, the formula is pretty straight forward:   All entrances and exits are at the 5" to 7" mark on anywhere from 1 to 4 sides of the tile.

    Next Session

    Next ACKS game, Sunday December 8, 4pm

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Polymorph Other

    The Autarch guys say that Polymorph Other doesn't work on Undead or Constructs.   So, the "Steve the Elf" thing wouldn't have worked.  It would work with a snake or orc or something, but not ghouls.

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Painting and/or Terrain Party

    We should have a painting and/or terrain building party at some point, it must be 10 years since we've done one of those.   Can anyone think of a time that might work for that?   Maybe in the space between Christmas and New Year/s Day?

    I do know I'm thinking of getting rid of that battered old computer desk in the game room and replacing it with one of those metal storage shelves (maybe do the same with the plastic shelf unit too).  That might free up some space to store a few terrain pieces more efficiently.

    Henchmen Experience Question

    According to the ACKS Rulebook (p.115), Henchmen become 1st level fighters at 100xp. Sunday night Dave quoted a figure of 500xp. Do we have a ruling?

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    The Book of Amicus, Chapter 42

    An excerpt from the Book of Pontiflex Amicus regarding his travels in Skull Mountain.

    The Druid Tavish Furley has outed me as a true follower of the holy and ancient faith of the old gods. I made my intentions known, and was welcomed as a full member of the party. Strangely, the being that is the Brain of Bran has requested that we remove all the influence of the outsiders to our world from the mountain. With that, I have become one of these mighty "Skull Collectors", and we are set on a mission to clean out this entire complex and make it our own. What would be more glorious, than a lair that bears the likeness of our namesake? The thunderous voice of Jove says it shall be so.

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Fall-In Photos Find

    I found a guy who posted a slide-show of his trip to Fall-In,  a large number of the photos are from the "Gangs of Rome" game.   I don't know if it was from the session we played, but it does give a good look at the scenery.   You have to get through 2-3 pictures of some other stuff, then there are a lot of the Rome shots

    Fall In Slide Show

    Here's one picture, of the inside of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus:

    Saturday, November 16, 2013


    Chillaxing before our game.

    EDIT: Here are some gameplay videos.
    In this one, Dr. Skull and I are moving down the city toward our characters' homes in order to keep from having to vote to give the "little people" more power in Rome.

    Through clever maneuvering and shrewd bribes, Dr. Skull and I have arrived at our respective doorsteps whilst the third senator is being ransomed back and forth between the mercenary groups and our enemies. Victory is achieved!

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Interesting Links

    The "Interesting Links" to the left side of this blog are way out of date. One of them (Grognardia) went to a site that hadn't been updated in almost a year. Could you guys suggest a list of links that we could add?

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    240 Pounds of Pudding

    240 Pounds Dollars of Pudding

    New Website

    As part as a project at work, I've updated our Website with a new look. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you on your computer and your cell phone.

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Neat Offer

    There is a neat offer on for the next few days.  It is a collection of a ton of Old-School Revival Roleplaying game books for a low, low price.   It includes a PDF of ACKS.   If I'm reading correctly, the entire package is $4.

    Sunday, November 3, 2013


    Issue #4: June 13, 1430
    Editor in Chief: Bosco Smokey, president of Boscovania Fine Smokeables

    Friendly Steve, a well known centaur traveler and pine-cone trader was murdered on the Badlands Trail this month. According to his comrades, a group of 5 centaurs were passing along the trail when a strong party of bandits (perhaps from Bastardville, it is unclear) unleashed an unprovoked volley of crossbow bolts, killing Steve. The other centaurs fled, and when they visited Boscovania recently they were still inconsolable, weeping “You're kidding me, Why is life so hard?”

    The Bishop of Portchester is concerned that there has been an unexpected increase in preachers and magicians belonging to a cult worshipping a mysterious spirit known as “Grampius.” The shamans of this cult seem to be prone to becoming hermits and to encourage the abnegation of personal possessions. They are also known for demanding visible displays of faith in exchange for miraculous healing. The archdeacon of the dioceses is quoted as calling it “so much Druidic deviltry.”

    Early this month a brand new chapel and dojo of the Norrisite order was endowed by a certain Brother Punchy of the order within the walls of Orchester. Only days after the opening, the building was vandalized, painted with rude slogans, and robbed of its door and window fittings. It is believed by the authorities of the town that a rival order of mystics, known as the Segalians are behind the misbehavior.

    Lo, did Zacharias address the assembled multitudes: “Yea, verily I speak unto ye, for one who hath seen all sorts of people in this world, truly know that Crab People are the Worst Sort of People.” Zacharias, book 2, verse 23.

    A band of travelers killed one of the Giant Bandits who terrorized the northern road from Orchester toward the Therk country. The other two Giants kept clear for several weeks after their brother was killed, allowing several caravans to pass without the customary toll. Thanks, strangers. Thangers.

    Advertisement: Afraid of bandits peppering you with crossbows for no reason? Why not stay at Peaches' instead? Peaches'---it's Sweet as Can Be!

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Decius' Journal

    An Excerpt from Decius the Forgetful's Personal Journal

    I'm no longer able to make contact with my sister here in Portchester. It appears that she has gone to ground and cut her ties with all the old familiar faces. We are both now wanted for the murder of Captain Stanwick, one of the Sword King's stalwart Housecarls and our liaison to the in the city guard. I have no recollection of the murder other than the note written in my own handwriting that reads "Get to the Skull Collectors for Octavia" with smears of blood on it. Could I have been the murderer of Stanwick? I recall him being very kind and thoughtful to me. At least before the accident that robbed me of my memory. Why do I not trust King Osmund? Why would the Sceptre King slay one of the sword kings' finest? I have a notion that perhaps King Thurbrand's cousin Baldwulf the Atheling and his sister Athalwyn are wrapped up in the plot. I must find their whereabouts to get more information! Meanwhile, my plan is to once again track down these mighty "Skull Collectors" and lay low until the warrant for my arrest in Portchester is forgotten.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Boscovania News and Funk Report #3

    Issue #3: April 17th, 1430
    Editor in Chief: Bosco Smokey, president of Boscovania Fine Smokeables


    The reports from Bastardville indicate that a party of Bastardville thugs had gone to compel the Wizard Presfen, who was said to be dwelling in the mysterious Skull Mountain, to pay tribute to the mighty Bastardo. Lieutenant Murkley was in charge of the expedition of 60 men. Murkley was lured into Presfen's lair by the correct code-signals but then was ambushed, enchanted and murdered by Presfen and his henchmen. The expedition then re-grouped in the wilds for several days and the new leader, Wilbur Pudding, sent an experienced sneak-thief named Rex Moondog to scout out the wizard's lair. Moondog reported back that the wizard had apparently packed up and moved out, leaving only a handful of wounded men behind—probably to die as monster chow. Incidentally, contrary to previous rumors, it appears that Presfen is an elf enchanter and not an Ardean from Aetia.

    At the April Radish-Jubilee, King Osmund, the Scepter King, made an unexpected public oration to King Thurbrand the Sword King to begin preparing armaments for a war with the Old Ones. Thurbrand replied that it was the Hildric Familiy policy to maintain the Truce with the Old Ones as long as possible, as the previous wars with those genocidal maniacs were costly in lives and treasure far out of proportion to the gains involved. He also responded that BOR seems to agree since HE chooses the Hildric line for Sword-King year after year. Despite visible distress, the Lord Bishop of Portchester refused to comment one way or the other. It was an event of bad feeling and rancor which positively ruined the Radish-Jubilee this year.

    An anonymous donor has paid for the construction of a two-story stone hostel and chapel on the border of the Kingdom of Portchester along the Badlands Trail. It has been named “THE CHAPEL OF THE APOCALYPSE” and is open for the rest of travelers, and for the prayers and meditation of all worthies of the area. The Bishop has appointed a lay-brother to care for the place for now.

    An elf enchanter (could it be Presfen?) and his lovely assistant returned the kidnapped twins Eddie and Teddie to the grateful father Thane Osbert. The enchanter related that the boys were kidnapped by bandits (could it have been Murkley?) and he had liberated them. The boys jabbered on and on about an ugly dwarf and a dragon-man saving them, and how the wizard had been in jail with them for days before the rescue. Regardless of the details, Osbert richly rewarded the deliverer of his sons.

    Advertisement: If sleeping in a cold chapel, tended by one loser monk doesn't float your boat, skip the Chapel and the Trail, and take the River to Peaches'. Peaches'---it's Sweet as Can Be!

    Friday, October 18, 2013


    Andrew and Dave have registered for Fall-In.   We're going to go to a seminar on making Salt-Dough terrain, and playing in a game called "Gangs of Ancient Rome".  If anyone has a change of plans before Nov 16, and can indeed go, you can online pre-register up to the 25 of October, or sign in at the door.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Fall In

    I am indeed intending on going to Fall-In on Saturday November 16th for the day.  I've been asking around, and it is possible to show up for the day and register then "but you might not get into a game you want."   I know some of you are interested in coming too, so I don't want to pre-register myself without all of us doing it.

    Should we just take our chances and register in person in November, or should we get together sometime this week for an hour and all register online and perhaps do a thing or two together (some or all of us who are going)?  We can pre-register up until October 25.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Gamer movie review: Hammer of the Gods

    So I saw a snazzy trailer for this movie some time ago, and thought to myself, 'Eh, why not?' And that's what I got, meh. I've noticed a very minor recurring theme amongst several well-made, direct to video movies. The rehashing older classic movies by putting them in different time periods. Not exactly a new trend in hollywood (Magnificent Seven is a decent flick on it's own, and it's a remake of the fantastic Seven Samurai). I mention all this because it took me about five minutes to figure out that this low-budget, direct to video movie is a viking version of Apocalypse Now

    Basically, a viking king is dying after a lop-sided battle against saxons. His two sons (one apparently a fighter and the other a 'dandy') are not judged worthy to be his successor, so they are sent into the dangerous interior of Britain to recall their older, more capable brother from exile (if the reason he was exiled was explained, I sure as heck didn't catch it).

    Now I don't exactly expect a lot from a movie of this sort. Cheesy acting, sure. Bad special effects, indeed. Silly plots, expected. But what I cannot stand in a viking movie is half-assed fighting. It should be balls to the walls at all times. I imagine that, from a realistic standpoint, there would be times when you gently tap your sword on the shoulder of your enemy. But to have it one time produce a geyser of blood, and the next it be like a scratching an itch is just sloppy.

    It's not a bad movie, it's not a good movie. There's plenty of almost-decent fighting and slightly less than the proper amount of blood. There's an almost decent action sequence with a berserker fighting opponent after opponent that reminded me of the fight in the movie Kingdom of Heaven (the one where the soldiers are fighting the crusaders, and that totally metal german knight fights with the arrow through his throat). Is Hammer of the Gods worth watching? I'm going to say it's not worth watching, but it is watchable. If it happens to be on, check it out. Certainly not worth taking up shelf space with a DVD.

    Sunday, October 6, 2013

    Site Illustrations

    Here's the second awesome illustration for the Lords of Hack Website. This one is even better than the kick-flipping bishop IMHO.

    Color Scheme

    I've witnessed the colors of our blog going nuts again. At first I thought it was my mobile blogging app, but I'm pretty sure that Blogger just hates us. In the interest of being able to see all posts, and in response to Dave's light background preference, I've switched this blog back to a more neutral/bright look. Enjoy!

    Saturday, October 5, 2013


    Issue #2:  April 2nd,  1430
    Editor in Chief:  Bosco Smokey, president of Boscovania Fine Smokeables
    ITEM: Don't Go to Spunky's—-from the Journal of Amazing Steve

    I had joined a party of adventurers attempting to enter Tower Graff and meet it's mysterious master. The guards yelled down to us and asked whether we had any elves with us. We responded “no”, and the guards told us to get lost. Our leader, Wulftharg the Awful was filled with rage and led us on a charge against the gatehouse. After being repulsed by fire, stone, and arrows, the remains of our party (Myself, a Lizard-man, and 2 pack haulers) fled to a nearby “inn.” It turns out the inn was owned by a Cyclops named Spunky. His business plan is to sell everything for 2gp, and buy everything for 1gp. However, he has a very strict “No Cheating” policy. His definition of “Cheating” is incredibly broad (basically anything that does not involve giving him 2gp is considered cheating). In the week or so we were holed-up there we saw him smash a group of orcs for sleeping outside, when he had an empty room, smash a wizard who tried to offer him a “present”, and tear apart a pair of bandits who sold him a wagon full of grain and hops but didn't buy anything. We lost contact with the Lizard-man and did mange to escape with out lives somehow. My suggestion is don't go to Spunky's.

    ITEM: Deserters Sought after mysterious murder
    Captain Stanwic, one of Thurbrand's Royal Housecarls, was mysteriously murdered in the city on March 20th. The chief suspects are Octavia and Decius, a brother and sister pair who were members of the the City Guard, and who have since deserted their posts and have not been seen at their homes.

    ITEM: Barn Collapse Reveals Tunnel
    A barn, belonging to Earl Roderick of River Shires. in the south eastern corner of the kingdom collapsed unexpectedly. A sinkhole underneath the barn led to a stone transit tunnel running east to west. It is by such tunnels that the Old Ones are known to move on their nefarious missions. Because no Old Ones were actually discovered, and the age of the tunnel is unknown, King Thurbrand has declared that no violation of the treaty with Urvoltz has occurred. King Osmund was overheard saying that he would have flooded the tunnel with soldiers and hanged anyone they met, but such is not the bailiwick of the Scepter King, and the Sword King must make such decisions.

    Lord Lucius Bastardo has announced that the hamlet of Pickerville, destroyed in a rebellion 10 years ago against his majestic reign, has been re-founded. While originally a settlement of those scavengers who picked Ardean ruins for bricks, stones and artifacts, it will now be “collective farm” where settlers will work together to produce grain and vegetables for their fellow man in peace and harmony.

    ITEM: Endorsement
    Famous Chiurgeon Wilhelm the Competent declares that Bosco Brand Cigars are the most-filled with fine Smoky health-effects and he recommends them to all his patients!

    Advertisement: If you had planned to visit Spunky's, but now have changed your mind, remember “Peaches'” is still the premier establishment for all your drinking, dining, dancing, resting and entertainment needs in the Badlands. Peaches'---it's Sweet as Can Be!

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    What's the plan?

    So what was the plan moving forward?  Was the plan to move into level 1 of Skull Mountain?  Were you going to search around the neighborhood for a lair?   Buy masks?  I was going to suggest that you could send Jebbly and Robert's new guy into town for supplies, but Jebbly can't talk and Robert's guy is a freaking LIZARDMAN. 

    I was hoping someone would have taken Presfen's Journal to read through and comment to others on, but you left it here.  I suppose I could try to scan it.

    Man that Mortal Wounds table is BRUTAL

    It's going to be a lot of fun watching Miller the Torch Eunuch and Lipless Jebbly stagger around the dungeon next time.   Man, you really, really don't want to go below 0 hit points.  No sir.

    Session Photo

    Chaos monkies attack!

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Site Illustrations

    I'm looking to collect some more art for the site. Here's one I got for $5. It is a picture of a bishop kick-flipping a skateboard whilst wailing on an electric guitar.

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    Because nobody asked for it: Badaxe Hold

    Badaxe Hold is a small dwarven vault located roughly halfway between Boscovania and Bastardville, in the hills along the river. The founder of the stronghold is a Dwarven Craft-Lord who calls himself 'Badaxe Jack', a former adventurer and son of Stingy Jack, the Vaultlord of Stingy Jack's Freehold (a less lively vault located roughly in the middle of the Badlands). Badaxe Hold maintains friendly relations with Stingy Jack's Freehold and Boscovania, warm relations with Portchester and the smaller towns/villages in the northern badlands, and strictly business relations with Bastardville. Anybody associating with orcs (half-orcs are judged on their individual behavior), goblins, undead, old ones, barrow elves and other known enemies of dwarves are made violently unwelcome in the area.

    Badaxe Hold is notable mostly for the actions and policies of it's leader. Badaxe Jack provides significant benefits to the dwarves under his leadership, including free housing (in multiple refurbished mines under the vault), employment (every dwarf who can swing a pick can work in the mines in the area), medical care (clerical spells cast by the Badaxe himself or an under-priest or certain magic items), and provides affordable, quality weapons and armor to the populace. In addition, Badaxe is working hard to attract other dwarven craftsmen into the area. He provides workspace, and affordable tools, to mundane craftsmen (smiths, armorers, etc), and maintains a sizable workshop, and research library, for craft-priests or machinists. It is also worth mentioning that Badaxe Jack maintains a monopoly on the market for the buying and selling of gems and precious metals in his territory.

    Badaxe Jack is a neutral traditional craft-priest, following the old traditions of the dwarven religion. However, he is not overtly opposed to the more lawful, Bor-inspired traditions of the new dwarven religion. Badaxe is more interested in building things, and improving the lives of his people, than participating in religious debates.

    Notable persons in the vault include:
    Badaxe Jack (Level 9 Craftpriest, master weaponsmith and master siege engineer)
    -Craft lord
    Feeble Jack (Level 4 Craftpriest, master dwarven brewer and master alchemist)
    -Owner of Feeble Jack's Boffo Brewery
    New Jack (Level 5 Dwarven Machinist, master locksmith)
    Old Jack (Level 5 Dwarven Vaultguard, vault military leader)

    Badaxe Hold Market Demands
    Grain, vegetables -1
    Fish, preserved +3
    Wood, common +2
    Animals +0
    Salt +1
    Beer, ale +0
    Oil, lamp +2
    Textiles -2
    Hides, furs +2
    Tea or coffee +0
    Metals, common -2
    Meats, preserved +0
    Cloth -2
    Wine, spirits -2
    Pottery +1
    Tools -3
    Armor, weapons -3
    Dye & pigments +1
    Glassware +1
    Mounts +1
    Monster parts +0
    Wood, rare +1
    Furs, rare +2
    Metals, precious -4
    Ivory +3
    Spices +1
    Porcelain, fine +0
    Books, rare +1
    Silk -1
    Semipr. Stones -3
    Gems -6

    Next Session

    Next ACKS game, Sunday September 29th, 4pm.

    Sunday, September 22, 2013

    This site's scheme

    I've noticed that some of the comments lately have been coming out blackish, which makes them a bit hard to see on a blackish background.   As a general preference, I'd like it better if the site had a light background with dark letters, rather than dark with light letters.

    Saturday, September 21, 2013


    Issue #1: March 21st, 1430
    Editor in Chief: Bosco Smokey, president of Boscovania Fine Smokeables
    ITEM: Baldwulf the Atheling Is Slain; Athalwyn taken hostage
    The word is all around the kingdom and the northern Badlands that the kidnappers who had taken Baldwulf the Atheling hostage murdered him in front of Athalwyn, his sister, and then proceeded the kidnap her. A surviving critically wounded bodyguard, named Froedigar, was a bit fuzzy on the details, but it seems it was a dispute over the ransom money. The crimes occurred at the beloved Frank’s Awesome Pies in the dock district of Portchester city (a distributor of Bosco-brand Smokeables). The kidnappers also murdered 2 church servants and severely injured two others in addition to wounding Father Flavio of the Dock’s Edge Parish, when they attempted to rescue Athalwyn from their vile clutches.
    ITEM: Descriptions of the Killers
    Patrons at Frank’s Awesome Pies report that the killers include a Viking, the ugliest dwarf in the world, a wizard and a loudly self-proclaimed follower of Chuck Norris. The same Viking seems to have alone killed the church workers and injured Father Flavio.
    ITEM: The Kings Make Statements
    His Majesty Osmund II, of the Osric Line, says that Baldwulf’s killer must be brought to trial and face the fair and impartial justice that only he can dispense.
    His Majesty Thurbrand, of the Hildric Line, says that he will pay a princely reward for the return of his niece, and if the killers of Baldric are found they should be taken at any cost.
    ITEM: Peaches is suspicious of strange visitors
    The preeminent innkeeper of Boscovania, the delightful Peaches, was overheard saying that one group of travelers at the inn were very suspicious. They kept a young woman shackled and head-bagged during their arrival. Usually, folks wait until they get to their rooms to do that sort of thing.
    ITEM: WIgred the Bounty Hunter is missing
    Wigred has missed an important meeting with the Earl of Southshires. Perhaps he is hot on the trail of the killers already!
    ITEM: Grenda offers Ransom for Athalwyn
    Grenda, the Earl’s daughter, a childhood friend of Athalwyn, has offered to pawn some of her jewels and pay up to 1500gp in ransom for Athalwyn, despite her father’s objection.
    ITEM: Wanted: Miller the Torchboy
    After questioning the Earl of Southshire's guards, it appears that a certain “Miller the Torchboy” was the one who delivered the ransom demand for Baldwulf. King Thurbrand has offered a 200gp reward for his arrest.
    Advertisement: Remember, for all your Smokeable Needs in the Badlands, come to Boscovania Fine Smokeables, next to Peaches' in Boscovania. First 5 customers with this paper, get a free cigar. Bosco Brand is the BEST!

    PDF copy of this Newspaper available here:  Gatavia Newspapers and Journals

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    New Newspaper

    I'm going to start up the Campaign Newspaper again.  You know, where I give "in-game" reports about what the world's NPC's have heard or know about what the PC's are up to.

    I've got a few ideas for titles:

    "The Portchester News-Ledger"  this was the title in the last campaign, I suppose we could keep it going, but I thought we might consider a change.

    "Boscovania News and Funk Report, by Bosco Smokey"  get the news from a Boscovania perspective.

    "Bad News from the Badlands"  Bad News everyone?

    "The Jebbly Journal"--news from the Henchman perspective (or this could be a recurring column in the main paper.

    Opinions? Better Ideas? Suggestions?

    Also, should I "publish" it primarily on this site, or continue to attach it as an e-mail?

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    It's Official:

    In case you were wondering, you guys are now officially called the "Skull Collectors" whether you want to be or not.   Chuck called it, you can't uncall it.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Other People Have Other Problems

    I just read this post over at "RPG.NET" 

    I think my head just exploded.

    "This is my first post in this section, so usual disclaimers apply: hope I'm in the right place, etc. Also, it's a silly post, but I'd appreciate the thoughts of more experienced gamers.

    So, at the start of this year I joined my wife's gaming group. It's been fun times, though it's sometimes evident that the way I'm naturally inclined to play is different than how everyone else plays. (We're playing 4e, not that I think it's overly important for the nature of the problem) They like to kill stuff, and even the paladin is kind of a morally-ambiguous hardass. My character - a crossdressing Half-Elf bard and courtesan - quickly became the conscience of the party. He put rescuing NPCs as a priority and wouldn't attack anything that wasn't obviously hostile. As I said, it's contrary to the rest of the party's motivation, but the DM assures me he likes it, as it's leading the party to do things he didn't expect (he knows the other players very well).

    And this brings me to my current situation. The party encountered some unicorns that were afflicted with a kind of magical sickness that's affecting various NPCs. They were being chased. My character would have helped anyway, but in what seems to have been a genuine coincidence, he really adores unicorns. The party succeeded in saving all of the unicorns, and one of them gave birth. While the adult unicorns returned to the Feywild to seek a cure for their disease, the baby unicorns are trapped in the regular world until they reach adulthood. And my character, being who he is, swore to protect them. Now, the party's main healer is protecting two baby unicorns from things that can kill them in one hit.

    From talking with the DM, this was never supposed to happen: he didn't expect the party to help the unicorns. And I'm not sure what to do here. My character can't let them die. Protecting them constantly will be to the detriment of the party as a whole, because other people need healing too. I could simply retire my character from the campaign: this would be logical, but a shame as I really enjoy playing him.

    The DM has asked me what I plan to do, and is willing to discuss possible solutions, but I'm really not sure how best to approach this problem. What do you do when your character suddenly has a duty that's at odds with the main mission? For the DMs amongst you, how would you like to see this resolved if it happened in your campaign?"

    Chuck's E-Mail Must be Posted

    Well, there seems to be an overwhelming message here ...

    -- >> (Somebody) will probably hire bounty hunters to hunt them down and kill them << --

    Hence, here are some thoughts I have arrived at !

    #1 Flee to some far off land and wait for the bounty hunters to find us !
    #2 Hang out at peaches till the bounty hunters find us !
    #3 Head back to our new fortified base of operations and wait for the bounty hunters to find us !
    #4 Head back to skull mountain and throw ourselves at the mercy of Presfan to work with him ...
    and wait for the bounty hunters to find us !

    Or ... the coolest option ....

    Go back to Skull Mountain, Totally KICK Presfan's ASS and make him our bitch ! Loot the hell outta
    Skull Mountain, and buy our own group of brigands to help loot the mountain and surrounding areas!

    -- And Kick the CRAP outta any bounty hunter stooooopid enough to come after our new gang ...
    The Skull Collectors ! We need to decorate the outside of the mountain with some skulls,
    that will give the place a more homey feel !

    -- As far as what to do with the princess Athalwyn,
    ... I say we let her go, a good story always needs a good Antagonist !
    However, she needs to promise (LoL) to send us the 1,000gp she owes us.
    Then she will need not worry about us coming after her, OR hiring bounty hunters to kill her !
    As well, as send her off with the threat of having Rotwang implant his seed in her !
    -- O yeah, and she must accept the death of her brother as ware guild for the besmirching
    of THE ONE (brother Punchy) and his God CHUCK NORRIS !!!

    Or perhaps she would like to be the second skull placed upon the entrance to Skull Mountain ???

    WHAT SAY YOU !!! I think we got a plan !

    O yes, and Brother Punchy has a new punch line ...
    -- The price you pay, for besmirching the name of Chuck Norris, is, I collect your FRICKIN head, just like this F#$&ker here !


    The One, Brother Punchy
    of the The Skull Collectors !
    Faithful follower of the mighty Chuck Norris !

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    I don't know...

    After last night, I don't know whether to start an "Actual Play" thread over at the ACKS board.  On the one hand, it is sort of like the original "Blackmore Bunch" getting exiled to Lake Gloomy after letting Castle Blackmoor get sacked.  On the other, cutting off a prince's head in the middle of an awesome pie shop is a bit embarassing. 

    Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Standard Issue Looting Sack...

    From now on, my characters aren't carrying large sacks. They're carrying standard issue looting sacks.

    Retiring the Wall

    This morning I'm going to retire the WALL OF DEAD HENCHMEN from the Badlands (Gatavia II) Campaign, in honor of the the beginning of Gatavia III.

    Here are some pictures to immortalize it:

    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    Thinking about Fall-In this year

    I'm thinking about going to the Historical Miniatures convention "Fall-In" this year.  It's going to be in Lancaster.

    I had gone to 3-4 of the other conventions over the last 12 years or so, but haven't gone for a number of years now.

    In the past I've gone for only a single day, and mostly just went to buy things at the dealer's hall.   Once I played in the "Warhammer Ancient Battles" tournament (and came in last, well it was the first time I had actually played the game, and I nearly won one of the three matches).  I did learn not to do that sort of thing, since I had to bring my own army, and it was a major pain in the ass schlepping it around.  

    This time, I might consider signing up and playing some Game-Mastered games (where the dumb game-master brings the armies, and the players just show up and play). 

    It's going to be November 15th or thereabouts.   Admission is rather steep, but what are you going to do?   Here's the info site:  Fall-In 2013

    The amount of stuff in the dealer room is pretty dang impressive.  I might even wander through the flea market where non-dealers sell their old stuff.

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    A song for the hobby

    Apparently, Roger Moore was once overheard singing this song, to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"

    I once had a box of toy soldiers
    I knocked off the general's head
    I broke all my sergeants and corporals
    So, I play with my privates instead.

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013


    If anyone wants to purchase equipment before next game,  Portchester is a Class III Market.  What this means is as follows, if you want to buy any item from the gear book, you are limited to the number you can buy in a month based on the price of the item as follows:

    Price 1gp or less:       260 available

    Price 2-10gp:              15 available

    Price 11-100gp:          2 available

    Price 101gp-1000gp:   1 available

    Price over 1000gp:  check with me first.

    Monday, September 2, 2013

    The Cast-offs

    All 12 of our cast-off characters from the roll-up session have now entered the first level henchman deck:

    Bloody-Nose: orkin thug
    Bobby the Broken Bard
    Toki Wartooth:  elf ranger
    Zaphandle:  human warlock
    Grug Ug:  orkin hexmaster
    Ball Sacker: gnome titan
    Pete McTesty:  gnome titan
    Tantus, fleet of foot:  lackey
    Cracky the Lackey
    Bluto the Lackey
    Brutus the Lackey
    Smiley Bob:  human venturer

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Next Game

    Reminder that the next game is Sunday, September 1 at 4pm.

    We will be play-testing the ACKS system and creating characters.

    We will be doing one of the ACKS options:  each person will create 5 characters.   One character will be your starting guy, two of the others will be your "back-ups" and the last two you will hand over to me as NPCs or henchmen.

    If your main guy and both back-ups end up dead or retired, you will create 5 new ones.

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013


    We're about to start a new campaign, with a new game system, and I was wondering:  How do you guys come up with a personality/idea for your characters?  Do you come up with an idea of what you're looking to make before you start rolling stats? Do you wait until you get the stats rolled up, choose a class, and get a name before you decide what the character is like?  Or do you just make up the character, and let the personality sort of create itself during game play?

    Myself, I base most of my characters (and/or their names) on characters from movies, tv shows, and books.  I've run a bard named Jack Burton (from Big Trouble in Little China), a fighter named Madmartigan (from Willow), and a robot named Tom Servo (from MST3K). 

    Occasionally I'd make a character based off of class/race/skill combinations, usually to a cartoonish extreme.  A fire priest named Friar Ash (my personal favorite...every fight we got into I would shout 'WE MUST PURIFY THEM WITH THE HOLY FLAME!' in a horrific warbly voice), my dwarf fighter Badaxe Jack, or Old Doc Spurlock from Traveler.

    For ACKS, I read (and re-read) the books, checking out the various class/skill combinations.  A lot of what kind of character I make will be based on what kind of stats I roll up.  I've been watching Metalocalypse a lot lately, and I've been thinking about making a couple of characters with Dethklok band names.  Frankly, the idea of playing a dwarven Fury named Murderface makes me giggle a little, as does a magic-user named Nathan Explosion.  Of course I've also been reading a few Warhammer novels about this super-powerful, super-evil necromancer...and, well, I've never run a necromancer before.

    So how do you guys do it?

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Quotes from the Final Battle

    Of course, there's always Robert's "I'll take a shot at a crab person to try to save Frank Sinatra's life."

    But there was also Zach's  "Crab People are the worst sort of people."

    Add more....

    Battle Pictures

    I'd suggest clicking on all of the battle pictures in the previous 10 posts.  They look bigger and clearer when you click on each picture.

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    The Battle of Scarptown #10--Old Cookie Swanson and Spuds Markey prepare the cannon

    The Battle of Scarptown #9--The Mutant Cannibals

    The Battle of Scarptown #8--The Monkey Wagon with Machinegun

    The Battle of Scarptown #7 Crab People, Crab People

    The Battle of Scarptown #6-- The Hareballs and Nut-Spanky

    The Battle of Scarptown #5--The Spankies Attack!

    The Battle of Scarptown #4--The Red Squad at the Ready

    The Battle of Scarptown #3---The Green Squad at the Ready

    The Battle of Scarptown #2--The Militia take up position

    The Battle of Scarptown #1: The battlefield is set