Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wild Hunt Character Sheets

Another issue I had when playing the Wild Hunt was keeping track of who was playing which character. Then I remembered seeing somewhere a sort of tent card and I thought it would make a perfect design for some convention character sheets.

So as you can see, the tops are folded into a tent. From everyone's perspective but the player's you can see the character name and artwork. On the inner fold, the player can read their character description. And on the flat is the actual character sheet.

About the only things I have left to do for this con kit is get or make Bennies and a Benny Box.

This is fun. Any suggestions for a box or for bennies?

I'm going to go ahead and post the pawns and the character sheets. I hope Pinnacle doesn't mind.

Wild Hunt Character Sheets
Wild Hunt Gear Cards
Wild Hunt Pawns

I will be in Washington DC soon so there won't be any new posts for week of the 4th. I just heard that they've reinstalled the original Starship Enterprise at the Air and Space Smithsonian. If I can, I'll post a video of it lighting up.

Have a good fourth!

Edit: I updated the Gear Cards because a Gallon of holy water has 8 pints, not 4! And I included the Molotov Cocktails.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Freebies - The Wild Hunt Equipment Cards

Today's Freebies are Equipment Cards for the Wild Hunt. Now that I have pawns and status markers, the only other slowdown I came across was when the players had to copy down acquired tools and weapons. But since I'm prepping a benny box for cons, why not have equipment cards?

The full sheet is HERE. Just cut them out, fold them over and glue. I recommend printing them on card stock and laminating them for wet/dry erase markers.

And I decided to print my own themed bennies in the same way I made my old character tokens. That way I can get some reuse out of all of those wooden disks I have.

If you would like some blank cards, you can download them HERE.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

More On Making Pawns

It's official, Glue Sticks are worthless when working with craft foam. The paper just peels off after a while. Instead I'm going ahead with white glue and an old credit card as a glue spreader.

I updated my pawns for The Wild Hunt and look forward to using them at the next con I attend which ought to be Dragonflight.

I added a thick black outline to the figures to make them pop as well as to unify the appearance of all of the pawns, whether they are based on artwork or photographs.

I also cobbled together Daring Tales of the Space Lanes pawns with the help of some familiar robots. But I will have to start drawing the other races for more usable pawns. At least those I will be able to post for download.

As for my old tokens, they will get a paint job and become shaken markers that I will slide under the figures when appropriate.

And here's a short video about the process. Do I really sound like that?

Thursday, June 23, 2016


A movie combat translated with Savage Worlds.

Post Game: The Wild Hunt

So the game went well. By the end, my players were very interested in buying their own copies of Savage Worlds Deluxe. One of them was a Call of Cthulu player who was on the fence about getting Realms of Cthulu. Now he's ready to make the jump.

By the end of The Wild Hunt, the characters were beaten, bloody, and one had been torn limb from limb by 5 Huntsmen. There were also a few moments where Hindrances earned the players bennies. However, during the entire game only one Joker got pulled and it was for the villains. I've never gone through nearly a whole deck without pulling Jokers before but it happened twice last night.

So as I said everyone had fun. There were just a few problems, some do to it having been so long since I had a chance to play Savage Worlds.

  1. I wasn't as prepped as I thought I was and forgot about a surprise scene that would have showcased one of the character's Danger Sense edge. No one noticed though.
  2. The Hounds Howl ability uses the Test of Wills rules, which aren't included in the Test Drive. It's not a big deal for me but for new GMs using this as their intro to Savage Worlds, it is a problem.
  3. I had a hard time keeping track of who was Shaken.

Regarding number 3, this was a big issue since there were so many Extras and it meant the difference between who was up and who was gone after a semi successful attack. In the early days of playing savage worlds, I used tokens to represent heroes, villains, and innocent bystanders. One side was clear and the opposite side had a red ring to indicate Shaken. 

All I had to do was flip the token whenever someone got Shaken, but that was not an option with Pathfinder style pawns (or standees). So now I am facing the hard question of staying with pawns or going back to tokens. Tokens also have the virtue of not getting blown over everytime I exhale over the table.

Pawns have a bit more immersion than tokens by standing up and showing the full character. And both are easy to make and to transport. I took some time to Google how status is marked when using pawns or miniatures in other games. The options didn't thrill me.

Pinnacle has status chips. However leaning chips against the pawn or mini gets difficult when there is more than one status or when a character is surrounded by enemies (as happened last night, twice). Giving them to the player as a reminder is not an option as they are easily ignored in the mess and paperwork. Here's a Link to those chips in the Pinnacle store.

Another option is color coded disks that get placed below the mini/pawn, like those offered by Alea Tools. I'm not keen on this idea either as I would be constantly swapping the Shaken disk in and out, which again could get problematic when enemies are all bunched up.

The third option is to drop plastic rings or pipe-cleaner loops on to the minis, but that looks silly and again I would have a pain pulling them off of a bunched up group.

I'm interested in your thoughts or solutions. Do you think I should go back to tokens or does the verisimilitude of pawns outweigh the negative issues, in your opinion?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cheap Figure Flats Work!

I'm getting ready to run The Wild Hunt for some first time players tonight at my work and in true Jones fashion I am prepping at the last minute. I've never been a fan of the trifolds that Pinnacle uses as the artwork ends up too small for my tastes. I prefer the larger sizes of the Pathfinder Pawns. So with a little Photoshopping and some borrowed artwork off of the net I created some Pawns for the Wild Hunt. Unfortunately I left my card stock at home and so had to print the pawns on regular paper.

And I remembered reading somewhere that people were using binder clips for the Pawn stands. Let me tell you that they work fabulously. They add a good amount of weight to the bottom of the Pawn, lowering their center of gravity and making them about as stable as Pathfinder bases.

Since some of the artwork is proprietary, I won't post my file for these pawns. I will post the template so that you can use graphic software to make your own. You can find the file HERE. Remember to keep at least a quarter of an inch clear on the bottoms so the clips won't cover the art.

As for me, it's time to start making some art of my own. Hmmm.... if I cover the paper ones with clear packing tape, it will make them stiffer and stain resistant.

Addendum ---> I had also heard about gluing the paper to either side of craft foam. It supposedly makes them sturdy like balsa and the right thickness to use in Pathfinder Pawn stands if you have any. I tried to do something similar with my Pathfinder blast templates but they didn't feel very sturdy. Of course I had done only one side. As it turns out, gluing paper on both sides does make it sturdy and they do fit inside the stands (unlike chipboard I bought at Ben Franklin's which turned out to be just a little too thin). Since I have about a bajillion of those stands, I'm going to go with the craft foam idea. Mainly because it will allow me to integrate those Pathfinder monster's art into Savage Worlds.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The World of Digital Products Versus Real Products

You are probably expecting another treatise on the value of PDFs over paper books. I feel that path has been tread over sufficiently. This is about the FUTURE! Oooooooowwwwweeeeeeeeooooooo

I was watching a discussion on collectible monetization recently (basically it's why you always get things you don't want in randomized booster packs, et al). Combining that with the insidiousness of iTunes, it has started me thinking about the value I am getting out of my printed RPGs.

In the video game industry, there is a big push toward microtransactions. In a worst case scenario (like Star Wars the Old Republic) you are charged for nearly every feature of the game, even those that are purely cosmetic. Content is being held hostage in an effort to squeeze more dimes from the player.

Then there is iTunes, you don't own that music you have purchased. You have leased it. If you were to switch to a "not iPhone" and quit using iTunes, all of the music you had thought you had purchased would no longer be available to you. This motivates you toward staying with their product. The longer you use their product, the more painful it will be to switch.

Dungeons and Dragons used to follow a similar paradigm, getting players to invest a large amount of money into various books. In a sense, Pathfinder is worse as it not only continues that philosophy but as a Game Master of the Pathfinder Society I have too keep my library update because the scenarios for each new season require rules from the most recent books. What remains to be seen is if Paizo (the makers of Pathfinder) are going to engage in the same disaster as WotC once perpetrated: the new Edition.

Imagine you had spent over $400 in rule books for the game of your choice and then they came out with a new edition 6 years later that made all of your purchases obsolete. What incentive would you have to buy into the new edition? The D&D fanbase may be the largest in the RPG community but it is also the most fragmented. Their are groups who have refused to update beyond the edition they originally bought into. Many of the 3rd Edition fans went to Pathfinder. As a result Wotc has lost some share of their market with each new edition.

Now let's look at World of Warcraft. Recently there was an unauthorized vanilla server that ran the original WoW before any of the updates, patches, or expansions. By some reports it had over 800,000 active players before it was shut down by Blizzard's legal department. But it brought to light that the game had evolved into something very different from the original and that unless you engage in illegal activity, you can never play that game experience again.

But therein lies the beauty of owning pen and paper RPGs. We can ignore the update or the new edition if we want to. We can lock ourselves into the game version we love as long as we keep the books. A system with a good core book is all you need. The micro-transactions of maps and figurines are not necessary. And with a hobby like ours, forcing us to lease the product rather than own it is difficult (not that some groups aren't trying right now).

So find a good system. Have fun. Keep the books. If there are too many books to carry then sure, supplement your load with PDF versions. Just make sure you are willing to lose them when all is said and done. The way things are going in the entertainment industry, non-digital books may be the only items you can truly claim ownership over in a few decades.

For me, the best system will always be Savage Worlds. With one small book and my imagination, I can do anything.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Does Anybody Use ACC anymore?

When looking over Savage Vehicles, they always have a listed Acceleration and Top Speed. Acceleration is also a complaint more than a few people have as it is not really Fast or Fun.

It seems to me that the only place it gets used is if you are doing tabletop combat with vehicles. But with the new abstract Chase rules, Acceleration isn't needed. It doesn't figure into the rules at all.

So are people still performing tabletop vehicle combat? Should Pinnacle dump ACC, if not in favor of the chase rules then simply because it is annoying? Would it be better to switch tabletop vehicles to a Pace and Die movement instead?

I would be interested in your comments.

PS> I like Jerrod "Savage Daddy" Gunning's suggestion of switching it to a Pace die. Vehicles often have to adjust there speeds based on hazards and maneuvers in a chase so that makes sense. Plus it is closer to character movement rules.

I've started mulling over the vehicles/ ships as characters concept mainly because of this. And I'm leaning heavily on the Savage Space rules by Marcus “Chaosmeister” Burggraf and Paul “steelbrok” Duffy. Maybe they will give me permission to call my doc "Savage Space 2.0".

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

DIY Blast Templates

These were designed for Paizocon but I intend to do something similar for the Savage Worlds Templates.

First I did up some templates in photoshop. I added grid lines to these so that I could put down the template for ongong spell effects. I have learned that it would have been better to print these onto cardstock first instead of just paper.

Next I used a glue stick to attach the paper to some craft foam. If I had used cardstock, this would have been optional. The problem with plain paper on a squishy backing shows up when I tried to cut them out.

It is good I am learning this now. I intend to make figure flats the same way so they fit on Pathfinder figure stands. Look for new Sci-Fi figure flats in the future!