Daily Punch 10-22-14 Boss’ Pet feat for Pathfinder

You’re the boss’ favorite and it shows!

 

Boss’ Pet

You always get the best from the boss.

Benefit:When you make a day job roll for the pathfinder society, you receive the benefits from the next level for your check.  If you hit a DC 40 for your check, you instead receive 200 gp.

 

Thoughts?

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Book Bout-Book Review of The Atrocity Archives  

Book-The Atrocity Archives

Author– Charles Stross

TL; DR-90%

 

Basics-Cthulhu is real, Turing’s death wasn’t a suicide, and the world’s fate rests in the hands of the guy from the IT department.  The Atrocity Archives follows Bob Howard as he deal with monsters from beyond time, creatures summoned from hell, illegal software updates, and a boss who really isn’t from hell because he’s seen what the real hell looks like.  This is the first book in a series called The Laundry Files.

 

Characters-This book has a large cast, but most of the book focuses on Bob Howard.  He’s as a fun character who is a tech geek who’s dragged into a world he never really wanted to be part of.   However, he makes the most of it all while feeling like he’s a real person.  I never felt like he was unrealistic even as he dealt with unreality.  I felt some of the other characters such as his managers from hell were a bit too much.  The world is going to die, and you’re fighting about flex time?!  That’s good comedic effect, but it does hurt some of the seriousness of the novel. 4.5 /5

 

Setting-This book takes place in a shadow world of spies, Lovecraftian horror….and IT computer help desks.  It’s an interesting balance as Bob has to split his time fighting internal politics as well as ice giants.   I did feel like I was where Bob was.  I could see the crazy, and I could see the normal.  Everything felt real. 5/5

 

Story-I liked the story, but some things were a bit much.  Get ready for techno babble.  I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and some of the finer points of math went over my head.  There maybe a bit too much techno babble for the books own good.  It does establish Bob as a genus, but it also kind of drives the reader away.  The main plot is about Bob fighting either monsters from another dimension trying to get a foot hold here or the misuse of a government program.  Those in broad strokes are fun, but the details get a bit muddled as the Bob has to fight a bit too much with his bosses over time management.  It’s funny, but it’s kind of a bit jarring.  It makes you laugh at its nonsensicalness, but that hurts some of the more dramatic moments.  If you can get past that, it’s an fun, fast-paced ride. 4/5

 

Summary-This was the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time.  The book moves fairly quick, the characters are fun, and the world feels real.  It’s modern Cthulhu mythos, and that always makes me happy.  Especially when you have some snarky characters in way over their heads.  It’s not perfect as I felt a few things were taken too far, but overall, I couldn’t put this one down and can’t recommend this enough.  If you want some modern office madness in your Cthulhu, you can ‘t go wrong with this one. 90 %.

 

Audiobook Extra- Gideon Emery does an excellent job with this book.   He sounds techy, geeky, and British enough to make an English CS nerd in way over his head come to life.   His voice really helped me picture the main character going through all these actions and emotions.  He was Bob Howard for me.  5 /5

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Tiny Epic Kingdoms

Product– Tiny Epic Kingdoms

Producer– Gamelyn Games

Price– ~Not out yet, but ~$20

Set-up/Play/Clean-up-30 minutes (2-5 players)

TL; DR– Truly a pocket-sized, quick 4X game! 94%

 

Basics– Tiny Epic Kingdom is a 4X game where players try to out expand, out exploit, out evolve, and out build there opponents.  Each player starts with some resources (corn, ore, and mana), a territory card in front of him/her, and two meeples on one location within that territory.  What makes this game interesting is the way these actions are handled and the game speed.  The current lead player chooses an action: move a meeple within a territory, move to another territory in front of another player, build your tower, research magic, make more meeples, or trade resources one for one.  When the player chooses his/her action, he/she must choose to take an action that hasn’t been taken for at least five turns.  When an action is selected, a wooden shield meeple is places on the action selection card, and the card is only cleared when five actions have been taken.  After the lead character chosen action is done, each other player in order chooses to take either the same action or gather resources.  When you gather resources, you gain corn, ore, and mana from each space you occupy.  Each action is also very simple.  Moving across a territory or to a new territory simply moves a meeple, but can result in wars.  When two meeples from different factions meet, the players must go to war.  War results are decided by how many resources each player is willing to spend.  Mana provides two war recourse, ore one, and corn none.  Each player then decides how they are willing to spend by secretly placing a 12 sided die down to indicate how much they will spend.  When this is done, the player with the most spent wins, but both players must spend all the resources.  However, each player can declare peace resulting in an alliance and sharing the space.  When you build your tower, you spend ore equal to the next level of the tower you’re building and move up a victory point track.  When you make more meeples, you spend food equal to how many meeples your currently have plus one, and gain another meeple on a space with only one of your meeple.  When you research magic, you spend magic equal to the next space on the magic track, and gain a special faction specific ability.  The trading action is a catch all action that allows you to trade one recourse for one of any other.  The game end is triggered when a player either: has seven meeples out, has fully built their tower, or fully researched their magic, and the game completely ends on the turn when the last of the five action marker shields is placed on the action selection board. Points are scored by ranks on the tower, magic research, meeples in play, and extra magic point powers.  Player with the most points is the winner.

 

Mechanics– This is an amazing game.  There is no randomness, no fiddly bits, and no wasted turns.  Each turn and action will somehow allow you to build you your faction.  I also can’t say enough about the action selection.  I love games where every player is always active somehow as opposed to some games where when you’re off turn, you might as well not even be in the same room  If you can out maneuver your opponents you will win and feel like a winner.  When you do something is almost as important as what you do and who does it. I’ve played quite a few 4X games, and this one feels the least fiddly.  Nothing here is tacked on for some odd aspect of balance.  Everything here feels smart and balanced.  Instead of dice, combat is an exercise in outsmarting your opponents and resource management.  The hidden dice wager mechanic here is amazingly fun and amazingly tense.  There are multiple paths for victory (ALWAYS a plus!).  And all of this is packed into a game that takes 30 minutes for FIVE players to play!  Hands down awesome. 5/5

 

Theme- This isn’t the most thematic game out there, but you have to keep in mind this game is designed to be played in less time than you get for lunch at work.  The races mostly feel different because of their magic powers.  The undead can get more food when people die.  You can eventually build constructs out of ore.  Those little things drive home what theme is in this game.  The player interactions do tell a story, but this isn’t a game where you can expect the Lord of the Rings to just happen.  You will feel like you’re in a fantasy world, but don’t expect RPG level of immersion. 4/5

 

Instructions– The instructions do a decent job of explaining the rules.  The rules are short, well written, and overall great.  However, there are a lot of powers and interactions that could use a set of FAQ’s or some further information and explanation.  It’s nothing game breaking, but an extra page or two on the seven pages of rules would really help me understand exactly what the designers meant in some cases.  However, if your group has some common sense, it won’t stop this game from being fun. 4.75/5

 

Execution– This game comes in the same size box as Dungeon Heroes which is a small box about one inch high, by six inches long, by four inches wide.   That’s a pretty small box.  But what you get in it is anything but small.  You get a ton of wood pieces, player boards, territory cards, and action boards.  All of this is done on good quality cardstock.  I also know Gamelyn Games prides itself on its wooden meeples, and this was no exception as all the wooden tokens and meeples are well done. With all the stuff you get in here, this box feels like a Tardis. 5/5

 

Summary-This is a fun, quick, well done game.  It’s small enough to fit on a bar table top and easy enough to play you can learn and win in under an hour.  My only problems are the game’s theme isn’t its strongest assets and the rules are a tad ambiguous in a few places.  These are not in any way major problems.  And, I promise if you want 4X that you can play in less than a weekend (looking at you Twilight Imperium!), you will have a blast with this game.  I have never played a game of this that didn’t end with all the geeks standing around the table assessing the other players, and that’s when you know stuff gotten real!  And, for the price, you can’t beat this game. 94 %

Daily Punch 10-21-14 Dragon Warrior Fighter Archetype for DnD 5e

I’ve been thinking about the Eldrich Knight archetype, and I thought there should be one for the charisma based casters out there.  Here’s my contribution:

 

Dragon Warrior

Somewhere in your family line was a dragon.  It might be something open to all.  It might be a secret passed down through the generations.  Or, it might be unknown to anyone.  But, for some reason, it shows in your.  You’re starting to look a lot like someone you may never have met, as well as, being able to tap into power that most people in your family and most mortals can only dream of.

 

Spellcasting

At 3rd Level, you gain the ability to cast spells as a Sorcerer.  Use the Spellcasting rules of the Eldrich Knight (PHB 75), except you cast using your charisma modifier instead of intelligence.

 

Dragon Ancestry

At 3rd level, you must choose a draconic ancestor using the types presented on page 102 of the Players Hand Book.  Once choose, you may not change this type.  Based on the type of dragon chosen, you gain resistance to the type of damage associated with that dragon.

 

Elemental strike

Beginning at 7th level, when you your action to cast a spell that does the damage of the type associated with your Dragon Ancestry, you can an extra action to make a weapon attack.

 

Draconic Metamorphosis

At 10th level you begin to change to look like your draconic progenitor.  Your body gains scales and possibly small horns as your fore-father/fore-mother.  This makes most conventional armor all but useless, but your natural armor gives your AC equal to 16+dexterity.

 

Draconic Breath

At 15th level, you gain the ability to perform a breath attack as a dragonborn (PHB 34).  The DC for this save is not based on your constitution, but based on your charisma.

Dragon Wings

At 18th level, your metamorphosis completes as you gain a pair of dragon wings.  These are permanent wings that grant you a flight speed equal to your normal movement speed.

 

 

Thoughts?

Blurbs from the Booth-What the Heck is a Throat Punch Games?!

Hi, I’m Dr. Edward Alan Kabara, Ph.D., and I, along with my wife, run Throat Punch Games (http://www.throatpunchgames.com).  I started Throat Punch Games after GenCon one year.  I wasn’t in a supper happy place in my life as my current job wasn’t very fulfilling, I had just moved to a town with NO board games or RPGs groups, and I just wasn’t happy.  So, I decided to be creative.  I’ve always loved RPG and board games, but I didn’t know how to make my own.  To be honest, I still might not, but after having spent the con talking to tons of the industry leaders, the best way to get into the industry was JUST START CREATING!  If you want to paint, paint.  If you want to make video games, start to program.  If you want to be something, then start to be that something.  That first few things you make will be crap (most likely).  The first cake you bake will be crappy and misshapen.  The first thing you draw will look like crap.  And, the first feats I made were not the best.  But, a master has failed more times than a beginner has even tried.  Thus, I’ve made it my (week) daily mission to develop my favorite games.  I’ll keep banging on this website till I get something awesome to fall out.  And, I invite any criticism you have!  Tell me it sucks.  Tell me I’m stupid.  Tell me exactly why what I proposed will break the game.  But, tell me your thoughts.  I’d like to know what you think.  It’s the only way I can get better.

Over time, I’ve added a few things to my weekly lineup.  Mondays, I do a board game review.  I love board games, and I figured I should put my thoughts out there on game design and the games I play.  Wednesdays, I do an RPG review.  Some days it’s a whole system and other days it’s a simple module.  Fridays….I *try* to put up an opinion piece on something.  This is one of those.  These reviews and opinion pieces are where my wife is most helpful.  I love games, but the weakest subject for me in school was always writing.  I’ve keep working on it, but it’s never going to be my favorite thing to do.  Thus, I decided to make a website where I pound out 5-10,000 words a week. (Hay, you don’t have to be a smart person to get a Ph.D., just a persistent one!)  My wife loves English and wields it like a repair man fixing all my flaws.  So, blame her for when a participle is still dangling!  I’ve also added book, video game, and movie reviews to the lineup, but those happen when I finish some media that has a relation to gaming in any way.

Where will Throat Punch Games go next?  Well, I’d like to use this website as a spring board to some industry involvement.  I’m still a scientist, and I don’t want to stop being one.  But, one day I’d like to see my name as a developer, designer, or author of some major RPG and board game products.   That’s the big goal, but I’d also like to expand the website.  First, I’d like to learn how to make this thing look better.  I’ve done some web design before.  That’s crappy hard coded HTML, not fancy Dreamweaver.  However, with some learnin’, I’m sure I can make this look better.  With the website up and running, I next plan to work on our podcast.  I’m working behind the scenes assembling the greatest geek minds I can to get a podcast up and rolling.  We’re looking to December to get the first one out the door, but this is a process and much harder than I thought.  Also, Ph.D. stand for poor, hungry doctor, and these things take money!  With an every-three-weekly podcast moving forward, I’m also working on a YouTube channel reviewing board games and RPGs.  That’s much further down the line and much more expensive as good cameras cost money!

 

Where does the name come from?

Let me reveal the secrets of where Throat Punch Games come from…for it is a tale of children, violence, and bored gamers.  My closest siblings are 18 years younger than me.  Same mother, same father, same everything, but my parents had just moved to a much larger house and wanted to finally expand the family after living in a double wide trailer for 16 years.  My sister is even younger than that as we’re over 24 years apart.  Well, one day I was at home visiting from grad school.  I was putting on my socks getting ready to go out and help with some chores.  My sister, as carefully and as stealthfuly as only a as a 4 year can manage (which is to say not at all), snuck up to my other sock on the chair, grabbed it, and hid it behind her back.  She then quietly tried to hide the fact she was walking away with her face turned to me as I stared her right in the eyes, backwards walked to a corner of the house, and throw my sock down a hall far from me.  She strode up toward me, looked me in the eye and said “Ha, Ha, socks all gone!”

I responded as an adult…by grabbing the collar of her shirt, looking her in the eye and saying, “You’re so lucky you’re cute, or I’d punch you in the throat!”

She giggled and ran away, and  I was left with a quick anecdote.   Later, when I was telling my friends about this during a Living Forgotten Realms game as I was drawing the map for an encounter, they all laughed.  This became a rallying cry for my party.  And, at the Dungeons and Dragons Expo during the battle interactive, our group was called to the center to decide the fate of the forgotten realms, and we needed a name.  Guess what name came to mind…. Announcing our group as Throat Punch! we were met with cheers. And much later when I was thinking of what the heck to call my fledgling gaming company I thought back to that con, my family, and my silly sister.

Daily Punch 10-17-14 Society Patron Vanity for Pathfinder

Played a ton of Pathfinder Society this weekend, and I was surprised by the number of people who didn’t want to roll for a day job.  Some of these people just wanted to have their characters do something else.  How about some support for those people….

 

Follower

Patron( 5pp): Be it an art collector, someone who likes to hear your stories, a leader of the Pathfinders, or a wealthy person at your church, someone has taken an interest in you.  This patron will now pay for you to adventure full time removing your need for a day job roll.  After each adventure, you gain five times your current level for your day job roll instead of rolling any skill.

 

 

Thoughts?