Showing posts with label ThroughtheBreach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ThroughtheBreach. Show all posts

Monday, August 1, 2016

Gencon Countdown

               About a year ago, my darling wife was in Indianapolis for non-Gencon related reasons during the convention, and went to dinner with some of my friends form Nebraska. We used to go all the time, but budgets had prevented it from being a possibility in more recent years. Meanwhile, I was at home watching the BoardGameGeek livestream showing stuff that was premiering at the show with the sad Incredible Hulk music playing in the background. I was fine with this. I wanted to go to Gencon, but as a younger professional with a family sometimes sacrifices have to be made. However, my wife decided while she was in Indy that next year I was going, no matter what. And, as it is now the week of Gencon, I am excited and incredibly grateful that its almost time to make it happen.
                Part of why I can do this is because I volunteer with Wyrd whenever I’m there. I recommend doing this for people that want to attend but can’t afford it, as they cover the cost of my badge and let you work for booth credit and goodies as part of helping. In previous years, I had run demos of Malifaux in the event hall and the exhibit hall as well as working on the floor of the Wyrd booth, but this year I’m in for something quite a bit cooler: running a Through the Breach Penny Dreadful for convention-goers! I’m very excited, as GMing for RPGs is probably my favorite form of gaming and I've never gotten a chance to run at a convention before. I’ve even been fortunate enough to be able to help design the pre-generated characters that I’m then going to do my damndest to kill horribly.

Try to read the title and not start a CCR song in your head. I dare you.

                The module I’m running is called Bad Moon Rising. It was written in response to some feedback that combat wasn’t dangerous enough in the game, and as such this is a module designed to be quite deadly. I thought that it was a fine choice for a convention game in that the original convention games of Dungeons and Dragons were designed by E. Gary Gygax for tournaments and were intentionally designed to be treacherous, deadly, and sometimes borderline unfair (I’m looking at you, Tomb of Horrors.)

Pictured: Just a door. Probably.
                If any of my readers happen to be players in my games, I look forward to meeting you and then trying to murder you. Please be sure to introduce yourself as a Malifaux Musings follower, and maybe you might get a little boon in exchange. I want this to be a no-holds barred, Fatemaster versus the Fated throwdown. If you survive to escape, I want you to feel like you've really done something. So bring your A-game kids, because I'll have mine.
               The characters I’ve built are a mercenary company from a contract town who are responding to a call from the Guild to disrupt a Neverborn invasion of one of the Quarantine Zones in Malifaux. Their leader is an overseer of a failed contract town, trying to rebuild his fortune and make remake his name. His long-time companion is an old campaigner, son of a Texas Ranger, and adventurer with arthritic hands who is looking for one more big score before he retires. One is a convict laborer with a power for channeling sorcerous fire. One is a deadly lady bandit and gunslinger with an old connection to a member of the party. And the last is a gravedigger who occasionally speaks with his very special shovel.  This group of misfits, plus a handful of other nameless mercs (the redshirt company) will venture into what they think is a simple sweep and clear operation, and will rapidly find themselves in over their heads trying to save their skins and protect Malifaux from an ancient evil. I've been painting frantically to get the crew (and one of their antagonists)  ready as well as a few Malifaux models to play with Titania. Right now all of the slots in my games are full, but its always possible that people will drop or fail to show up so feel free to check in with me at the Marriott Utah room to see if a slot opens up or, if I got a group of five people, I could possibly be convinced to run it for you off the clock (bribes are always appreciated.) I’ll be keeping tabs on the blog of various statistics from the game (number of people killed in a particular encounter, number of times I’m cursed out by my players, number of times I make someone cry, etc.) So, look forward to that. Or, you know, look forward to posts about what’s in Ripples of Fate.

*walks away*

                What was that? Oh, yeah, the other Malifaux Musings news from Gencon. You might not have seen my various posts on the topic, but there’s this new Malifaux book coming out. Ripples of Fate? You may have heard of it. Anyways, we know who the new masters are and what they can do, but we only know the names of what comes in their crew box, and we know nothing of the rest of the new models in RoF. I’m going to do my best to change that (and, perhaps, drive a few online book sales for Wyrd in the process) by going through the factions individually (ok, probably in pairs) and discussing the models. I’m not going to tell you everything about them (because otherwise why would you buy the book) but I’ll give you the general idea of what’s coming and my quick (probably inaccurate) take on what they’ll do on the tabletop. And the best part is: YOU GET TO DECIDE THE ORDER! Just go here and vote in this poll. The leaders at the times when I’m writing the post get spoiled first, the rest have to wait for the next day (I do occasionally want to go do things at the convention, guys. Games won’t play themselves.)
                Finally, the contest. Who knows if anyone remembers, but I mentioned in my last post that I was going to give people the chance to win some prizes from Malifaux Musings! To do it, all you have to do is find one of the writers from the blog (myself, Mr. Adam Rogers, or the roving reporter Jon Goulbourne) and play us in a game of Malifaux or Through the Breach. If you mention that you’re a blog reader and we write down your name and email address, congratulations! You’re in the drawing! You have a shot to win…something that we get from the con. I don’t know for sure what it’ll be yet, and it’ll probably depend on how many entries I receive, but I have a strong inclination to include this year’s Miss Model since I don’t play Arcanists. We’ll see, but it doesn’t cost you anything to enter and you get a game out of it, so come and find us!

                Until later this week, happy playing and rejoice! For the Queen is risen!

She is risen indeed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Spectral Line: A Through the Breach Campaign Hook


            In the last days of the Black Powder Wars, General Hiram Beauregard Trask, considered by many to be the bloody hand of the Guild, had an idea that would ultimately lead to his ruination and the destruction of hundreds of other lives. Only a young lad when he fled with his family through the First Breach prior to its closing, he still remembered the riches in soulstones and fantastic artifacts they had left behind. An avaricious man by nature, he spent his life dedicated to returning and claiming what was lost. A permanent breach presented too much of a risk of invasion, he thought, but a device that could make the journey on its own had potential for short-term raids that could make any man rich beyond the dreams of the age. And thus, the bloody seeds of the Spectral Line were planted in history.
            The Wars gave him access to the soulstones he would need to power such a device. His troops had a reputation as looters and pillagers more akin to pirates and privateers than actual soldiers. His lieutenants were terrors, each infamous in their own right, granted a weapon imbued with potent magic that made them nearly unstoppable and terrible to behold on the battlefield. His forces devastated enemy civilian populations, leaving their armies to watch helplessly behind the walls of their fortifications while their farms, cities, and homes were looted and burned. And all the while, the plan smoldered away in General Trask’s brain.
            As the war was entering its final days, Trask’s engineers reported to him that, at long last, the device was nearing completion. Dozens of Guild Mages spent their best years exhausting their magical prowess and in many cases their lives in the construction of a locomotive capable of crossing the space between worlds. It was a fearsome steel and black-sooted monstrosity, towering over mundane trains and eerily lit from within by the pale green and white light shed by its soulstone engines. But you can only deny the Guild their share of the spoils for so long before they come to collect. When their ledgers finally started to come up light, three agents were sent to Trask’s army to settle accounts. His lieutenants took it upon themselves to send payment back to the Guild personally, in the form of the agents’ heads packed in a shipping crate. The army was then dispatched to bring in Trask, leading to a clash near Trask's personal fortification near Roanoke, VA that left both sides bloody.
Knowing that time was running out, Trask loaded his arcane monstrosity with all of his ill-gotten gains and activated the device, ignoring the pleas of his engineers to wait until further testing could be completed. Guild cavalrymen chased the locomotive as it sped away from the factory, peppering it with futile gunfire before the massive train vanished with a terrific crack and flash of light. It's said that half the men who looked through the hole ripped between the worlds were driven instantly mad from the terrors they saw through the breach, and many more were struck permanently blind. The last anyone heard of Trask was his mocking laughter as he leaned out the window of the locomotive, waving his hat in a mock salute, followed for a split second by the horrified, agonized screams of every soul trapped in that steel prison when it rocketed into the aether. None of them were ever seen again.

            What happened to Trask and his cache of plundered soulstones is the subject of much speculation and legend among the folk of Malifaux, today. Any attempts to recreate the Locomotive have failed, as the notes left behind by the engineers seem to be no more than the ramblings of madmen, so most sane folk who know the particulars of the story assume that the device simply exploded and destroyed everything onboard. The Guild is more than happy to accept this explanation, and Trask’s expedition is considered to be officially lost with all hands in the space between worlds. Expeditions to search for it are flatly discouraged. However, Travelers in the Badlands have repeatedly told tales of hearing the haunting sound of a ghostly train whistle echoing in the night despite being miles away from the closest railroad tracks. Rumors abound that one or more of the Lieutenants’ weapons have been recovered and used in scraps in and around Malifaux proper. The engines in the locomotive used up soulstones by the barrel when running at full burn, and Trask’s logs recorded his supply train as carrying enough fuel for three round-trips. Anyone who could find it would be instantly rich beyond his or her wildest imaginings, so expeditions still form from to seek the legendary Spectral Line in the wilderness. For the time being, however, none of them have found anything besides dust and frustration. It seems likely, however, that one way or another this horde of soulstones will be found if it still exists. The only question is how many more souls will be ground beneath the wheels of Trask’s locomotive, first.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nythera or Bust pt. 1

Seems like a lovely place to visit...

Today the details were released for Wyrd’s Fall 2016 organized event, in which players will battle to claim and profit from the discovery of a ruined city in the Badlands, Nythera. For the fluff heads out there, Nythera is sister city to Kythera, which the factions battled over back in book 1 due to it containing a portal to a realm of death. The living managed to seal it up and deal the Resurrectionists a blow there, but with the discovery of this sister city, the battle is on once again.

            On the Malifaux side of things, players sign up on the Wyrd forums for one particular faction that they will represent during the event. The factions will then battle it out on a map of the Badlands, fighting to seize territory for their side and defend their holdings from the enemy. Players will report their game results, and will be granted access to secret forums where the factions can plan their objectives for the week. It sounds very similar to the Dead of Winter event from several years ago which, ultimately, led to the creation of the Tara crew and the Kaeris alternate sculpt released earlier this year. This time around, the winning faction gets to be the 2016 Nightmare Edition Gencon crew, and second place gets the Miss alternate sculpt model. Cool stuff. I’m also intrigued by their integration of the Campaign system from Shifting Loyalties into the event, with players working towards constructing strongholds for their faction during the course of the event.

The campaign map, pre-violence.

            Excitingly, they’re also including the Through the Breach roleplaying game as part of the event. Fatemasters sign up to receive three one-session scenarios with characters responding to the Nythera events back in Malifaux city. Character generation will be skipped for this event in favor of pre-gens, which is a little bit of a bummer, but I understand why it will be necessary. In place of the destiny mechanic, each player will have individual goals that they will be trying to accomplish for their character. At the end of the event, the character which most-frequently accomplishes their personal goal will be made into a model for the Malifaux skirmish game! Awesome!

            I’m signed up for both sides of the event, so I see a lot of time spent on the other side of the breach in my future. My regular Wednesday Google plus gaming group is down for the Through the Breach stuff, though I’m going to have to figure out how to do it online, using Vassal perhaps. I am signed up for the Guild in the Skirmish game (natch) so I’ll be doing my best to earn us some new miniatures at next Gencon. “But Adam,” I hear you saying, “The Guild has already had a Nightmare Edition boxed set and two Miss models. Wouldn’t you rather see the Ten Thunders get something new?” And my answer is, frankly, no. We’re the Guild. We’re Law and Order. We deserve to get more Nightmare models, just in exchange for keeping peace and order in the city. And, frankly, that kind of seditionist talk is just the sort of thing that could get you thrown in prison or added to a work gang.

You wouldn’t want that, would you?

For more information, head to the Event section of the new and improved Wyrd forums.