Sunday, June 26, 2016

More Super Dungeon Explore minis painting

I managed to get some more painting done on the fun miniatures with the Super Dungeon Explore game.  These are the four spawn point models and the six pets you can get as treasures.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kuro, a Japanese horror RPG

So my good friend Bill very kindly gave me a gift card for my birthday from our local FLGS, Games and Stuff.  I love going in there because it's full of exactly the sort of cool nerdy game stuff I love, but I hate going in there because it's full of exactly the sort of cool nerdy game stuff I love.  Thus, having a gift card helped save me from myself.  After wandering for a bit I decided I should get something new and different rather than adding to my Pathfinder or D&D archives.  Then I spotted this game, Kuro from Cubicle 7.

Kuro (exercise bike not included)
I love the cover and was immediately captivated by the blurb:

The year is 2048, and something dark has returned to Japan. With an international blockade set up around the beleaguered country, there is no escape. To ignore the horror will only delay the inevitable, but do you have the strength to face the nightmares?  Kuro is a developing game setting that mixes a dark near future with unremitting Japanese horror.

I was pleasantly surprised because it sounded a lot like a game I ran in the early 2000s I called Neo Tokyo using a mashup of some homebrew mechanics, skill trees ripped from Paranoia, and hacked anthro races from Teenage Mutant Turtles and Other Strangeness.  The setting was a near-future Tokyo in the aftermath of a mysterious catastrophe, full of Yakuza, aliens, robots, furries, interdimensional wierdness, and a dollop of the supernatural.

Naturally I bought Kuro immediately.

The basic mechanics are a d6 dice pool using dice from your attribute plus any dice for a relevant skill.  One very appropriately Asian twist is that fours don't count because the word for the number 4 sounds like the word for the word for death.  (I was a bit surprised here because I thought the taboo on the number four was a purely Chinese thing.  FYI, kuro/黑 means black or dark/darkness.)

Once I wrap up my current Pathfinder-based fantasy game I'll see if I can pitch a bit of Kuro to my group and revive my old Neo Tokyo campaign.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Another game of Super Dungeon Explore

Following my main birthday party with family I got together with a couple of my gaming crew for some gaming and BBQ in the yard.  I've been wanting to play a full-on game of Super Dungeon Explore (SDE) with the rules properly read.  I took the role of Consul and my two friends shared three heroes between them.  Set up was pretty quick since we have everything sorted into little ziplock plastic bags from the last time.  Also, since I only have the original set we just play with all the cards rather than having to build decks from lots of extra expansion sets.

SDE is a very tactical game with RPG elements.  The players start with minimal resources and equip themselves with loot from vanquished monsters and treasures from the single treasure chest on each board.  The monsters outnumber them to start with and each spawning point can re-spawn from it's dead pool up to three times.  As each spawn points is destroyed it spawns a tough mini-boss, and the lesser monsters still on the board gain "leveling up" bonuses to keep them tough as the players improve their equipment.  The final boss is very tough.  Nevertheless I was only able to take out one of the adventurers--albeit the same one twice--but then that little hero (they respawn at the entrance) finished off the big boss in epic single combat.

The players enter to find the dungeon swarming with monsters.

Quickly clearing the first room the storm into the next!

The defenders do a respawn as the players maneuver against the first wave.

The first mini-boss spawns, but the players get to summon a rooster.

Battling on as the final room monsters move up to reinforce.

The big boss teleports to safety as his "time out" frogknightspawns attack.

So what are the pros and cons of SDE?

Pros: great miniatures, high quality components, plenty of replay value with just the basic set, good tactical gameplay

Cons: game boards almost too busy and cluttered to make out key features, a few rules require a lot of hunting around in the rulebook to figure out; took a bit long to play

One thing I wasn't happy with was how long it took to play.  Granted we were doing a lot of reading and re-reading of the rules as we went but it still took about six hours to play a 3-hero/3-board game.  At that rate a really big game with all the heroes and more boards would take a full day to play through.

A Munchkin Birthday

So I had my birthday recently.  I started the day with lunch at a Korean barbeque place my son recommended--there's nothing quite like eating delicious food surrounded by non-stop Kpop videos on multiple widescreens. 

Back home, I was pleasantly surprised to find my amazing family bought me Munchkin Quest for a present.  Naturally, I insisted we play it immediately.

Munchkin quest is a board game-ish version (expansion?) for the Munchkin card game.  It adds a bunch of room tiles and connector (door/corridor) pieces, all of which are double sided.  They also have nice stand up monsters and little plastic munchkin tokens for the players.

The room tiles all have special characteristics which affect play and the connector pieces have colored directional markers which affect monster movement at the end of each player's turn.  Play is slower because there are a lot more things to adjudicate each turn but the core is the same as in the original card game.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

So, Pathfinder goes full-on sci-fi with Starfinder

 I've always been a sci-fi buff.  I was reading sci-fi before I got into fantasy novels (with Conan books at the library).  My love of fantasy and history led easily to an interest in fantasy RPGs which has continued for over 30 years.  With science fiction, alas, the story is not so rosy.  I've never found a set of rules I really liked.  Either the rules don't appeal for some reason or the setting is a turn-off.  For instance, the first set of rules I tried was Traveler and I really didn't like the rules or the setting.

Pathfinder is the current go-to fantasy rules set for my group and we have several campaigns underway using it.  It's got a definite case of over-crunch but it works.  I've even subscribed to some of Paizo's adventure paths, including the Iron Gods one which introduces sci-fi elements to gaming in their Golarion game world.

So I was excited and intrigued when Paizo has recently (or should I say "finally") announced a sci-fi version of Pathfinder.  (See this interview for lots of info on the new offering.)  Fans have been pestering them for a modern-day or futuristic version of it for some time.  It sounds pretty cool, particularly that it is set in the Golarion solar system but in the future.  I enjoyed their Distant Worlds book introducing the various planets and I'm excited to see what they'll do with "updated" versions of them for Starfinder.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Another healthy gaming snack/meal - Zucchini Pizza

Okay, so yesterday we had zucchini pizza here at chez moi.  It's very simple to make, has great pizza flavor, and is way healthier for you than regular pizza (and is cheaper than ordering out).

Zucchini Pizza
  • a couple large zucchinis
  • your choice of pizza sauce
  • mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced)
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • chopped garlic
  • your choice of toppings--but remember you only have a small surface area to work with
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C
  2. Slice zucchini in half, longwise (optional, shave a bit off the round side of each half so the have a flat area to rest level
  3. Spread a little chopped garlic (or skip if you don't like garlic)
  4. Spread pizza sauce
  5. Add slices of mozzarella
  6. Add toppings (this is the bit where you get to be creative)
  7. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese
  8. Bake in oven on pan for 12~15 minutes (watch and check until it looks done)
  9. Remove from oven and let cool a little
  10. Carefully move from pan to plate (toppings tend to slide off easily) 
  11. Eat!
Ready for the Oven

Baked and Cooling Off

Bon Appetit!