Daily Punch 12-25-13 The Manhattan Project Alternative Card Setup

I LOVE The Manhattan Project.  But, I have a problem with how the card drop.  Inspired by Suburbia (board game, not the movie), I have a new way to set up the cards.

Below I have pictures for each of the the card types.  Each type is set up in four rows.  The top row is the standard start cards.  Below that I have the cards for set “A”, then set “B”, and finally set “C”.  At the start of the game, you shuffle the separate sets independently.  Then you stack the B card set on the C card set without shuffling.  Then you put the A set on top on the pile.  You then set up the game as normal.  Look at the cards below and give me your thoughts.

*NOTE*-I just saw I lost a card for the universities-The One Engineer to four general work card goes in the “C” set for the universities.

5 4 2 1 3

Daily Punch 12-24-13 Santa’s Sleigh for Pathfinder

In honor of Christmas, let’s stat up Santa’s Sleigh for Pathfinder!

 

Santa’s Sleigh

Aura overwhelming transmutationCL 30th; Slot none; Weight 2000 lbs.

DESCRIPTION

This is a simple, large sleigh made of red lacquered wood.  It comfortably sits three regular people or one larger person and a small person.  Behind the seat sits an enormous bag that looks too big to be lifted.

 

The sleigh grants the power of time stop for as long as the driver desires, but allows the user to freely leave the sleigh and maintain the effect.  The sleigh also allows any normal animal the ability to pull the sleigh conferring the powers of flight and freedom of movement to them and the sleigh.

The bag is a bag of holding that has infinite space with no size restrictions.

Any animals pulling the sleigh are continually affected the the spell hero’s feast as are the driver and any passengers.

Any driver is given the ability to teleport without error to and from the sleigh with a distance of one mile.  The driver is given clairaudience-clairvoiance with a range of 1 mile.

The sleigh is not affected by any antimagic fields.

While the driver has control of the sleigh, he may do no evil act.  If the driver does, the sleigh instantly returns to its creator.

Daily Punch 12-23-13 Coins of Tracking item for Pathfinder

How about another pathfinder magic item for RPG superstar?

Coins of Tracking

Aura light divination; CL 5th

Slot —; Price 2,000 gp; Weight 20 lbs.

Description

Favored by dragons the world over, this spell is to locate a pile of treasure.  When created, a focus coin is selected that will lead anyone who holds it to a pile of 1000gp.  When a character holds this coin, a character will feel a pull toward the largest pile of the 1,000gp.  If the pile is divided equally, a character will feel pulls toward each pile.  If the character holds a portion of the 1,000gp, the focus coin will pull toward the remaining piles of gold.

Construction Requirements

Craft Wondrous Item, Locate Object; Cost 1,000 gp

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Flash Point

Game- Flash Point

Producer-Indie Boards and Cards

Price- $40

TL;DR- An ok co-op game with a fun theme 75%

 

Basics- Time to be a hero!  Take a role of a fire fighter and enter a burning building to save the people inside.  Each turn you spend action points to move, fight fires, chop walls, and move people in the house.  Different role cards give you different powers and extra action points.  After your turn you roll to see where the fire spreads.  Fires do structural damage that eventually cause the house to collapse.  Fires also kill victims in the house.  You must save seven before four die.  Good luck out there!

 

Mechanics- This game is an interesting one.  Everyone works together to fix the problem as any good co-op should be.  For the players the game is surprisingly almost a eurogame.  Few if any of the players actions are random.  For the bad things that happen and victim placement, the game is almost completely random.  However, despite the differences in how these two separate parts of the game work, the two mechanics work well together.  4/5

 

Theme- This game has an interesting theme.  I did feel like I was working with a team fighting to save people in a burning building.  Some parts of the game do brake the theme/4th wall like knowing where the points of interest are without knowing if they are people or when people show up in exactly the same spot, but that’s part of the game that makes this a game. 4/5

 

Instructions- Overall I think this was a well done instruction book.  However, a few events happened that were not covered in the rules.  It made playing the game a bit more difficult.  There is a video that answers some questions, but I want the rules to speak for themselves.  All and not, not the greatest rules I’ve read, but it does a good job. 4/5

 

Execution/Art- The art and components are good.  I liked what I saw.  However, art isn’t very consistent.  The game has some very serious art in some places, but then has very comical art in others.  I do love the components as they are good quality.  But the tone tends to shift quickly for a game where people die in fires! 3/5

 

Summary- This was a pretty fun game.  It’s all co-op which makes it fun for my wife and I to play and a slow night at home.  The game has different levels of difficulty for days when I want to win vs. when I want a challenge.  The tone is a mix, but overall I did have a good time.  It might need a bit more explanation up front, but even with all that, this game is fun if you want a pure co-op. 75%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Gun H(e)aven 3

Item-Gun H(e)aven 3

System-Shadowrun 20th Anniversary edition and 5e

Producer– Catalyst

Price– ~$7

TL;DR- An all around well done supplement for both systems. 93%

Basics-Oi, chummers!  It’s time to log onto the shadownet and read about the latest batch of guns to hit the streets of the sixth world.  Each of the over 30 guns in this book gets a full page treatment with a picture, stats for 4th and 5th edition, and some fluff from some of the more notable members of the Shadownet.

 

Mechanics or “Crunch”- I wouldn’t say this is a revolutionary book for mechanics, but its goal is to show off new guns.  And, at that it succeeds quite well.  The book shows off new guns like cap and ball guns and flamethrowers while giving stats for a lot of weapons.  If you’re looking for a good collection of new guns for your game, this is a great addition for Shadowrun. 5/5

 

Theme/Story or “Fluff”-This part is well done also.  Its pretty easy to lose the story of the world when you make a book primarily for numbers, but this book doesn’t do it.  Each gun gets a picture which helps with your mental picture of the game.  Also, I LOVE the fact that each gun gets a little debate by various players of the shadownet.  It really makes me think like I was playing Shadowrun when I read this book.  5/5

 

Execution/Art- I liked the layout of this book.  That was well done.  I loved the art in this book.  That was AMAZING!  What I didn’t like was the price.  The book is under 50 pages and it costs about ~7 bucks.  I know art is expensive, but this was a bit too much for the book.  4/5

 

Summary- Honestly, this is a well done splat book for both SR4A and SR5.  You might only need one copy per group since you only really need it when you buy your gun.  I might complain about price, but I am glad I bought it.  If you want to play the man with the gun and to know why your guy has that gun besides some metagame numbers, this is the book for you. 93%

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Pixel Lincoln

Game-Pixel Lincoln

Producer– Game Salute

Price– ~$45

TL;DR- An awesome game that you will either love or hate-87.5%

Basics-John Wilkes Booth has stolen Lincoln hat!  Players quest across different levels trying to face monsters like barfing turtles, midlevel bosses, and bosses like Booth himself.  This game is a semi-deck builder/players scroll across different worlds moving each Lincoln meeple encountering different cards that are either added to their deck or score pile changing the standard mechanics of games like Thunderstone.  The game is played till the players defeat two bosses.

 

Mechanics-This game is a deck builder in the very loosest of terms. You start with a deck of cards that have attack and money/jump cards.  Each card you encounter needs either attack to defeat it, money to buy it, or jump to avoid it.  If you can’t beat a card it might damage you or it might just halt you.  If you defeat a card the card either goes to your score pile or your discard pile.  Since point cards only go to the point pile, you don’t have the difficult choices you normally have in deck builders.  It’s a very light game, but it plays quick and is relatively fun.  4/5

 

Theme-This game oozes theme out of every pore.  In every aspect of the game, you get the feeling of 80’s old school video game nostalgia.  If you want to play a card game of a side scroller clone, this is it! 5/5

 

Instructions-The instructions are not bad. It explains the rules fairly well, but I did have some questions that our group had to make some choices over the game to interoperate the rules.  It’s not bad, but a bit more of the rules would have answered most of my questions.  Also a suggested start deck list would have helped.  3.5/5

 

Components/art-Again this part of the game is a home run.  Everything looks like it should if it’s from my childhood.  The cards, inserts, and instructions all look fun and make me think of the 80’s! 5/5

 

Summary- This is the game you will either love or hate.  If you want a really complex deck building card game with depth strategy, then this is not for you.  If you want some crazy fun with an old school theme, this is for you.  There are really only two camps for this game.  It’s well done for what it is.  Just make sure this is what you want!  87.5%

Blurbs from the Booth-The Fake Geek Girl, Effort Justification, and Big Bang Theory

NOTE-I do not endorse anyone saying anyone else is not a geek.  You’re all your own little special kinds of geeks out there.  Let’s all just not be an ass to one another?-END NOTE

So, I have been doing some thinking lately.  Some has to do with the idea of a Fake geek, while some is how many board games can I afford before my wife will kill me.  Let’s focus on the one that is important now.

So a tweet long ago talked about “con-pretty” girls pretending to be geeks.  That’s pretty interesting on the surface of it, but I think there is a lot more going on here than we really realize.  I also kind of want to understand where this comes from.  Now we, as civilized humans, all realize this comes from a place of purely being an ass.  That starts off as our given, but I think the “why” is almost as important as universally disdaining this behavior.

I want to introduce an idea called Effort Justification. Check this YouTube link to see it applied to Homestuck and Ulysses.  I haven’t read either.  The crux of this video is effort justification.  Simply put, effort justification is getting more out of a activity because you put so much more effort into the activity.  I bring this in because I am a 30 year old geek.  I’ve been a geek for a “decent” amount of time.  I’ve paid my dues.  I’ve EARNED the right to be a geek!  And that’s where I think the idea of fake geeks comes in.

I’ve talked before about working for gaming companies and the fact that they give you free games/products.  One of the products I got was the new copies of First Edition DnD.  And that game was HORRIBLE!  The layout is bad; it’s walls of text, random strangeness for no apparent reason, no thoughts were given to any sort of balance, the writing seemed more stream of consciousness than organized, and honestly if that is where DnD was today we might not have an RPG hobby.  However, if you look past all those faults, it’s the game I play today.  You have to really put time and energy into making that game work.  If you do, it’s a fantastic experience.  Some of the most fun you can EVER have.  But it does take time and energy.

I didn’t have to put that energy/time into my first game.  My first game was with some friends and we played 3.0 DnD.  I played a half Golem fighter who was basically Mega man (my friends didn’t understand the rules, but it was fun).  When I took over and really read/learned the rules, it was pretty easy to understand.  Now does that make me less of a geek than a gronard sitting in his basement poring over his white box of DnD?

Right now, being a geek is easier than ever.  In the last 24 hours, I’ve bought board games off Amazon (free Prime Shipping!), video games off Steam (no shipping!), the newest Shadowrun books from rpgnow.org (right to dropbox then iPad!), and gotten a free comics sent to my comixology account (right to the android phone!).  I didn’t have to hunt across old stores for any of these.  I didn’t have to fight through hard-to-understand computer code to install. I didn’t have to look through mountains of splat books to find a copy.  I didn’t have to pore over long boxes to find these comics.  In short, I did this while I watched The Daily Show in five minutes.  Heck, when I play a new board/card/video/Role Playing Game, if I have rules questions, I check YouTube and live tweet with the game designer to get my answers and done have to muddle through esoteric rules.  It’s easy to be a geek.

As things are getting easier, we geeks are also getting more noticed.  Computer literacy is assumed now.  You might be the tech guy at Thanksgiving because you stole a song once, but in your daily life, if you can’t get on the Wi-Fi at work, then you are assumed that you somehow aren’t quite up to snuff for the workplace.  And as we get more noticed, we grow more.  I propose The Big Bang Theory is the Will and Grace of geeks.  I hate that show, but in the end, it’s getting us out there in a way all the free demo games of Shadowrun I run never could.  I get questions about Settlers of Catan from family members whose last gaming experience is Candyland and now they want to play.  The number one movie of last year was The Avengers!  Right now the biggest things in Hollywood are if WB can figure out how to properly market Superman and get Justice League out there!

And now I come back to the original purpose of this: fake geeks.  None of the newest people will EVER have to go through what I went through to be the geek I am today.  They won’t dive into the rules of 1st ed. Civilization.  They won’t have to dig up 2nd printing of Spawn #1 to learn his origins.  They won’t have to read poorly written books to learn an RPG.  They won’t have to order from an obscure store in the UK and PRAY it shows up (EVER).

But are these new people geeks?  I say yes.  As we grow, geek becomes nebulous.  We don’t really have a good definition anymore of what we are.  And defining what we are not doesn’t really help either.  My own discrimination shows because I think if you only buy an Xbox One to play Call of Duty and Halo, you might not be a geek.  But then again, that honestly isn’t being fair to those people.  I put lots of time into my hobbies, and they most likely do to.

Now I know that most of this fake geek strangeness has centered on women.  For most of our hobby’s history they have been a minority.  Now?  The numbers bear out that they are approximately equal.  However, the assumption is the average geek is a pasty, fat male who doesn’t observe most/any hygiene norms.  This isn’t true.  But I believe we as geeks may have started to believe our own stereotype.  When our assumptions are challenged as a clean cut woman walks into the hobby store it’s easy to assume that they must be one of these “new” geeks here because being geeky is the trendy thing to do.  However at this point in reality, that makes as much sense as assuming that if you see a fat guy walking about in WalMart he must be able to fix a computer.

But I have an “excuse” for why some people behave this way.  I think its because they are being defensive.  Another assumption is that geeks are the bullied ones.  We’re the ones pushed around on the play ground (apparently).  Now that we’re adults (to various degrees), we want to keep that crap from happening.  I think the reason we challenge women is we assume they are just doing the “trendy” thing.  It’s like assuming that a woman is wearing Uggs because it’s what all the other women are wearing on a college campus.  Now, I’m not excusing that behavior.  I just provide it as a possible explanation.  In the end, the people complaining about fake geeks are just being asses.  However, yes, I promise somewhere, someone is just going with the crowd.  This is at least a few individuals who are doing the geeky thing because it’s cool.  I can also tell you from my work research there are some HIV+ individuals who now go around infecting unsuspecting people.  I promise that the percentage of people who do both of these things is about equal and amazingly low.  Also, the reason Uggs are popular is because they are warm (I have tried them and really pissed off a friend doing so since I stretched them out).

And what if those people are doing a trendy thing?  DnD was trendy in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  Heck it got its own cartoon and a brand of meat in Italy (look it up!).  We’ve all jumped on the bandwagon because something was trendy.  We stayed because it was fun and we liked the community.  We need to be inviting.  If we’re inviting we will grow.  And our hobby needs to grow!

Also, as a straight male, here is a tip.  If you see a woman in a hobby/comic store, if you’re not an ass you have an easy in-road to a conversation.  You both obviously like something there.  If you want to know how deep she is into the hobby (I’ve read a trade paperback vs. I have the first edition alternate art covers to all 50+ issues), ask general questions in a friendly manner.  “Have you seen the latest issues? It’s AMAZING!” vs. “Who was XXXX hero’s sidekick in the short lived 80 buddy series by Jack Kurby?” is a hell of a world of difference.  One gets you talking and shows you depth in the hobby, while one makes you an ass.  If you can’t tell which one, then maybe there is no hope for you….

I think we live in interesting times.  Right now, geek is chic.  It will change.  We won’t always be the summer box office draw.  Target won’t always stock Settlers of Catan.  Life is easy now.  We need to embrace as many of these young whippersnappers as we can.  It won’t always be this easy.  But, just because the younglings didn’t have to walk up hill both ways in the snow storm doesn’t mean they wouldn’t if they had too.