Sunday, December 15, 2019

Game Review - G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.: Glorious Adventures in Science Loosely involving Generally Historical Times

Title:  G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.: Glorious Adventures in Science Loosely involving Generally Historical Times
Author: Christopher Palmer and John R. "Buck" Surdu
Rule Set: G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.
Year: 1984
Pages: 36
Number of Players: 2+
Rating: ★★★★★

I stumbled across this 2000 printing of  G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., a game of Victoria hi-jinx. On the first reading, it strikes me as a Victorian era Striker game. You create your hero, his extras, etc. and then go off to encounter something. It could be just like Chainmail with a few differences.

It's decidedly different. You'd think that the rules revolve around the hero but you'd be wrong. All that nonsense stops at page 7 when you get to design vehicles. The meat of the system revolves around modular system to create vehicles, monsters, and other contraptions right of the serials of the 1860s. It's nuts! Steampowered villains against dragoons and kung-fu powered fighters? Go for it!

I love it.

Now for this game, you'll want oodles and oodles of minis. It'd be expensive, except the rules seem to assume that you obtained your kit from the 99 cent store. Bags of dinosaurs, robots, spaceships, cars, tanks and those weird erector set want-a-be things from Dollar Tree would do nicely. You can match your designs to your minis which is awesome.

Once you have designed and assembled your minions, you need to build a deck of cards. This feature reminds me of The Sword and The Flame. The deck controls who goes when. Nerve racking. The system proceeds down the order of battle: card draw, morale, shooting/throwing, move, reload, lather, rinse, repeat.

The rules are simple, because things get hectic fast. The links below are paid ads and will take you to Amazon.com and DriveThruRPG, respectively.

While I have reviewed the original set here on These Old Games, you can obtain a completely updated set over at DriveThruRPG. The Compendium runs 190 pages, which is quiet an update from 36. If you want the 36 page set, check out Amazon. (It lists 40 pages, which includes the covers, and the inside covers which are also packed with information. I went by the actual numbered pages.)

The links below are paid ads and will take you to Amazon.com and DriveThruRPG, respectively.

You should also check out Buck's webpage. It's old school awesome.

Oh, G-d damn. It's always the scale and basing with you people. Movement for infantry 6" and for cavalry is 12". Looks like HO, 28 mm, 1/72, 1/76 or something like that. Formations are wavy lines and blobs, so basing doesn't matter except perhaps for one figure per base.

What I do on Sunday... Achieve!

I'm in cleaning mode. Well, my wife is in cleaning mode for the holidays. She is also a good photographer and has a nice camera. She has promised that I can borrow her camera, if I get all of the Christmas stuff upstairs and do some laundry.

Deal.

What do I need the camera for? Two semesters ago, I had to put together a video for a class project. I decided to cover the Battle of Rorke's Drift using minis I had on hand. Being me, I couldn't just do a PowerPoint, it was stop motion all the way.

Proof of concept video
Oh, but I couldn't stop there. I wanted actual students to participate. So I nervously packed up all of my figures and terrain and brought them into my 6:1:3 classroom. I have to say, my staff really didn't understand what was happening, but they did their best to help.

At the end of the day, I found that my lesson plans were wildly out of spec for 6 student with autism, so I brought in the NPC Players to help me out. The NPC Players are my children, Nathan, Catherine and Paul. I asked them to read the script which were based of social studies lesson plans I presented in my classroom. Since my children couldn't come into my classroom due to various privacy and safety concerns, I had to work backwards and sideways to create script based of adapted lesson plans for 10 year olds. Every evening for weeks, the NPC Players and I tried to make the script come to life in stop motion form.

I got an A on this assignment, but I honestly don't believe my professor had a good handle on how much I achieved. One teacher, one teaching assistant, 2 classroom aides (sometimes different people), 6 10 year old students, who happen have autism remotely working with 3 typical middle and high school students, all working together to produce an understandably scripted video and associated adapted lesson plans to meet my professor's college class standards. It was quite an achievement.

At the end of the day, it was a bridge to far. The audio we worked so hard to produce bombed big time. But I would totally do it again. I think my students and children gave a great grasp of the historical event.


One last task has remained undone since the end of the project. The clean up. 9 kids and 4+ adults made a hash of my models. A mess that remains to this day.

Over the Christmas break, I plan on reorganizing my models and post images of them here.

Here are some examples images of random figures from the jumbled hash.




Saturday, December 14, 2019

What did I miss? The Blogosphere.

This is a second post in my series about podcasts. This is very much an unreview, because if it was a review it would be redundant. Jeremy's Thought Eater blog and associated Frothcast is a weekly roundup of everything important happening out there in the world of OSR.

Thought Eater is the blog, Frothcast is the podcast. 
See? See redundant. This is the one podcast you need to keep up to date on everything out there. It is super handy and informative, every Frothcast has an associated blog post with links to everything mentioned in the show. Released on Wednesdays, it's an hour or so of OSR goodness. Jeremy also has a Five Minute Friday episode to cap off the week. 

It's awesome, go subscribe. now.   

Friday, December 13, 2019

What did I miss? Handling NPCs

I love podcasts. Everything from history to Disney and everything in between. I haven't listed to commercial radio in years. Being that there are easily 2 dozen podcasts in my queue right now, I am way behind.

This series covers podcast episodes I missed when they came out. Being These Old Games, you know I'm not going review new stuff.

They Might Be Gazebos! Banner. One of my favorite images from the OSR,
because I think I used to have these dice myself.
Anyway, the podcast and episodes that have caught my ear this week is They Might Be Gazebos' Playing Wrong: NPCs. I love this 'cast and this episode stand out as useful advice on the care and use of NPCs. My campaign has a great variety of NPCs, which you can download from the Pregenerated Character tab above.

Back in the day, I'd have 7 to 12 players sitting at my table, so the idea of loads and loads of characters is fun to me. When I know I'm introducing a character I usually have a sheet for them. PDFs make them easy. When I don't have sheet, I probably have another sheet that is applicable to a random person I make up on the fly or to sub in for a character the players find interesting.

It isn't so much the numbers on the sheet that make a difference, it's the immersion. If the players believe that I have stats on everyone, then everyone is real. It's pure showmanship, plain and simple.

Not every named person is terribly important, but sometimes, as Chuck says in his podcast is that sometimes the dice and players get to choose who is important. While Playing It Wrong espouses having simple character stats, I go the other direction. To an extent. I am actually using a modified character sheet from BSOLO to keep myself sane. They look pretty and 3 characters per sheet is handy.

Go ahead and bookmark my Pregenerated characters for you campaign and don't forget to give Playing It Wrong a try.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Product Update! New, remastered maps for the Kobold's Folly Mini-Setting

Welcome to the Kobold's Folly. This map set is a mini-setting for your campaigns. It is rules agnostic, containing no references to rules or settings.

This set of maps is easily plugged into almost any campaign as a strange and wondrous location for your players to explore.

The Kobold's Folly is a small community of strange creatures, with an even stranger background and outlook on life. Explore the House of Minwan, the first civilized kingdom of kobolds.

An updated version of this title is now available as of Dec. 12, 2019. All images in the booklet are remastered to a higher quality as have all maps files. The Exterior file contains 18 pages of maps which can be printed as 1 inch equals 5 feet. The Interior is to the same scale. Additionally, a single page map is available for each floor plus the exterior, to no particular scale. Total page count is now 41, up from 13.

The images below are the small interior artwork from the book.





The exterior map of the Folly is 36" by 30" with 1" equaling 5 feet. While the interior is much smaller, it is to the same 1" to 5 foot scale.

Available as Pay What You Want with a suggested price of $3.99, it will make an excellent addition to many campaigns. While I envisioned this tribe of kobolds as the classic dog-reptiles of D&D, there are hints of the mine dwelling little men of legend.

If you have already downloaded this set, please go log into DriveThruRPG and download your newly updated product from the library. If you enjoy it, don't forget to throw some coppers in the tip jar.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Improved memory... Better Maps

Just in time for Christmas, I updated my computer and can now do better maps for some of my products. The first update is for The Kobold Folly, which might fall under the category of "most improved".

Newest Map, throne room created with Inkwell Ideas Worldographer
1st map of all three floors and surrounding orchard.
By updating my computer to Linux 18.04 and doubling the memory, I can get 1" = 5 feet scale maps. Before the update, I didn't have the horses to do that.

Check back later for updates as to when this change goes live.