Kobolds Ate My Baby Adventure: Snack Bowl

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , , , , ,



With 9th Level Games still lacking any support for KAMB beyond their paid content I've continued with creating further adventures in order to support the Kobolds Ate My Baby community.

While Kobolds Ate My Baby in Colour was used to design the encounters the adventure can easily be adapted for earlier editions or for the Home Brew Kobolds Ate My Baby (TG Edition) which is designed for play by post. For clarification like many publications by WOTC's or 3rd party writers italic paragraphs will sections to be read out to the players with alterations if needed while regular text is information for the Dungeon Master.

The maps in this adventure were created with the free online map maker of Ye Olde Map Maker.

Kobolds Ate My Baby Adventure: Snack Bowl


This short adventure is design for between 4 to 6 Kobolds but can easily support additional players in either Player V.S. Player scenario or players as a single team. The game should take approximately a hour to complete depending on how much trouble and chaos occurs, however with additional players this may increase.
 
This adventure contains several rule variants due to its unusual premise however each will be covered in the appropriate headings or after area descriptions.
Finally this adventure has been influence by Games Workshops Blood Bowl and like many KAMB adventures this is a parody work. 

Snack Bowl: Basic Premise

Snack Bowl is one of the few sports that kobolds enjoy been a combination of two of their favourite things, eating and inflicting violence to other critters (with another favourite; mating often taking place shortly after the game.. for the victorious survivors at least).

Snack Bowl is not just popular amongst kobolds as a spectator sport, its not unusual for the crowd to contain a variety of species from Goblins, Orks and Trolls to Humans, Halflings and Dwarves. While not as common various other races have been know to play against the kobolds on occasion.

The concept is simple (otherwise the kobold wouldn't be able to play it) two teams of either usually six to eight players line up on opposing areas of a field, a hollow ball stuffed with either a tasty meal or critter is then rolled between the teams by a referee who signals play to begin.
The two teams battle for possession of the ball attempting to capture it and take it to the far end of the opponents side of the field to score a Chow Down, when a Chow Down is achieved the scoring team gains points depending on what is inside the ball and the scoring player is allowed to eat it (along with anything/one else he was holding when he scored).    

After a Chow Down (and all the fights have been broken up) the teams return to their starting positions and play begins again. The game continues until either A) The games time runs out, B) A team forfeits by running out of players or C) There is nothing left to put in the ball.
It should be noted that C has never occurred when kobolds have hosted a Snack Bowl event partly due to their willingness to eat anything, their inventiveness in find food and finally a willingness to stuff other kobolds not playing into the ball.

Below is a example of a typical Snack Bowl Pitch:


 A: These are the teams dug outs where team coaches and substitute players can watch the game unfold from the sidelines, these dugouts are sunken into the ground with sheltered ceilings to protect them from objects thrown from crowds and kept separate to prevent brawling between the opposing team players (off the pitch at least). The door at the back leads to each teams locker room.

B: The scoring areas for a Chow Down.

C: Typically this is where the ball is placed before teams begin play, though depending what is inside the ball it may move out of place by its own actions.

The area surrounding the pitch is usually the crowd stands making it hazardous for any player knocked or thrown off the pitch. Finally given the scale of the pitch above a kobold can move up to 5 squares with a single move action.

The rules of Snack Bowl

While Snack Bowl at its heart is a organised brawl with the occasional fatality seen as just highlight to the game it does have several rules that enforced with a strong word, an iron stomach or giant tenderiser depending on the referees personal preference on mood.

  1. Obey the Referee for upon the pitch he is as Vor (The Big Red Angry God).
  2. Unless King Torg (All Hail King Torg) says otherwise or Vor smites him.
  3. All Players must have colours of their team clearly displayed.
  4. Teams will not bring weapons onto the pitch.
  5. All spell casting must be done on the pitch.
  6. Substitutions can happen any time and play will continue as they happen.   
  7. No eating the Ball or its contents before scoring a Chow Down, in the case of this the offending players team loses points and a FOWL Ball is declared.
  8. Chow Downs can only be done with the ball or its contents.
  9. If a opposing player is carried into a Chow Down with the ball he may be eaten for a bonus point.
  10. All fighting stops after a Chow Down.
  11. No entering Another Teams Dugout or Locker Room.
There are two final unwritten rules respected and understood by both the players and the fans of Snack Bowl; Firstly 'Its only cheating if you get caught.' and 'If you must cheat make it entertaining.'
Indeed cheating, bribery and dirty tactics are so common place that its really only the more obvious and boring cheaters that are punished harshly.

However even with all the power the referees processes on the field it is still a risky position, while distraction and bribery are common some teams are not above assaulting (and eating) a referee and indeed the crowd can often be a threat if they disagree with a ruling. As a result in some high stakes matches more referees than players are replaced.

A Typical Team

A typical Snack Bowl team consist of the following:

The Coach: Arguably the most important member of the team (or so they claim), responsible for the players training, feeding and that they turn up to the game on time, it can be said that the coach is the guiding hand (or fist) behind the team.

Dinesmen: The thin squishy front line the Dinesmen are named as such for often been the first players to eat another or be eaten themselves. Even in kobold terms the best Dinemen have short but often spectacular careers.

Munchers: Those kobolds with the sharpest teeth, strongest muscles or just lucky enough to find some proper armour survive long enough to become Munchers, their role is to guard the Rollers and the Flingers or to pummel the opponents who have the ball.

Rollers: Nimble, quick and able to focus on something other than food (or at least just focus on the food in the ball) the Rollers are the ball carriers or more often pushers, scoring Chow Downs as they flee for their lives from the opponent Munchers.

Flinger: Occasionally a kobold has some magical talent or a good aim that makes him more useful out of the messy melee, in those rare times the ball needs to be thrown its the Flingers job.The rest of the time they are happy to stand back and chuck whatever they can get their hands on at the other team, the crowd or even the referee.

Depending on the success of the team they may have several additional members of staff such as the all important team chief, various cheer leaders, a mascot or a band for example. Kobold teams or their coaches rarely invest in apothecaries as kobolds often have few people skilled in such areas and there are plenty of eager kobolds waiting for their chance to be a player.

GMing Snack Bowl

Due to its unusual style of play compared to a normal game of KAMB this section is to help give a breakdown of a game.

First of all Snack Bowl is a game of two halves with 8 rounds of play in each half meaning each player should 8 turns per half if there no interruptions. Play is only typically paused after a Chow Down or during a Referees interference e.g. Make a call, punish a cheater, replace the ball etc.

So a typical games flow would be:
  • Initial set-up And Roll Off.
  • 8 Rounds Of Play.
  • Half Time.
  • 8 Rounds Of Play.
  • Optional: Sudden Death!
During Half Time the players leave the pitch as a half time show begins, during this time the Kobolds can rest up, spend personal Victory Points or even substitute to another character.

For those players of a more diabolical nature they may wish to use the Half Time as a chance to sabotage the opponents team, lay traps on the pitch or enact other schemes, in this regard treat this like a normal KAMB game and use your best judgement on how long they would have to enact a plan. If the players are eager to get back on the pitch however don't feel forced to slow the game and just skim over the evens of half time.

On returning to the pitch the teams swap sides before resuming play and the game continues as normal.

Number of Players

A typical game of Snack Bowl requires 6 to 8 players on the pitch for each team, if you have only 3 to 4 players consider having the players control 2 kobolds each.
An alternative is to use the generic player stats for any additional kobolds required on a team and have a alternative player control them each round.

Snack Ball can be played as a Player V.s. Player adventure if your players are feeling competitive though this can make the game take longer so be warned.

The Ball & Scoring

In Snack Bowl the ball is usually stuff with some kind of tasty critter and come in 3 sizes:
  • Small: These grant 1 Point on Chow Down and can be easily carried in a single paw, usually contains a small meal such as a sandwich/mixed salad or a tiny critter like a Chicken, Cat, Giant Rat.
  • Medium: These grant 2 Points on Chow Down and are about the size of a kobold usually containing a critter like a large dog, goat, sheep or pig.
  • Large: Granting 4 points on a Chow Down, these heavy balls are the size of a human adult and need to be pushed (or carried by a Hefting kobold) these contain the largest/tastiest monsters the kobolds can find.      
If left unattended a ball with a critter inside will move 2 squares away from the nearest person except in the case of a big ball which will roll towards the nearest player in an attempt to crush them (treat as a attack from the creature inside).
If a kobold is inside the ball they can only move 2 squares but can direct the ball and use Fast to move an additional 3 Squares and attempt Brawn Checks at a 1 Die penalty to roll free of someone's grip if been carried.

The balls are rather robust but can be broken open with a 2 die Break Roll though each scoring area usually includes various tools (giant nut crackers been favour) that can be used for a 1 die bonus. Should a ball roll off the pitch it will be tossed towards the nearest player by the fans (treat as a Shoot attack).

Finally in order to score a Chow Down a kobold must be holding the ball in the appropriate scoring area for their team even if it is just clinging to the ball as it rolls over them it counts. If a ball is opened after scoring and the critter inside is eaten the team gains points equal to the critters VP (the player still gains VP) however the player could literally bite off more than they can chew if not careful.

For best affect don't let the players know what exactly is in the ball until it is opened.

For ease of use a quick play chart has been included:

Basic Ball Quick Chart
D6 Type Filling Dam Special
1 Big Adventurer Or Bear
4

- Big
- Bulky
2 Medium Dog 2 - Big
+ Bootable
3 Medium Sheep 2 - Big
+ Bootable
4 Small Chicken or Kobold 0 + Bootable
5 Small Giant Rat 0 + Bootable
6 Small Small Starter or Baby 0 + Bootable

 In the all too likely event that the ball is opened or smashed and the creature within eaten before a Chow Down the offending players team loses score equal to the creatures victory points and a FOWL Ball is declared.

During a FOWL Ball four chickens are released onto the pitch, two opposite each teams dugout is the typical pattern but occasionally they thrown in by the crowd of simply released in the centre of the pitch. Only one of these chickens is marked with a small black spot on its breast and counts towards scoring while the others serve as a distraction, should this chicken also be eaten the offending player is tackled by the referees and is placed inside the next ball.
The poor kobold in question now risks been by not only the opposition but his own team mates as well. 

The other method to score points is to Wrassle opponents into the scoring area while scoring a Chow Down, this allows the players to gang up on the unfortunate souls without interference and the team gain a point for each opponent slain and eaten in this manner.
    
If the teams have matching scores by the end of a game then either Sudden Death! begins or a Tie is declared (which can be worse depending on the crowds reaction or their coaches temperament).
In Sudden Death! play continues until either a player is killed causing that ex-players team to forfeit or a Chow Down is scored. 

Cheating

Inevitably someone will cheat but this shouldn't be discouraged (unless they are breaking KAMB rules rather than Snack Bowls), in fact for every unique method of cheating the players succeed at then the first time the player gains 1 VP however they also take a Horrible Death Check unless the Referee is been distracted or bribed in some fashion or they are making attempts to Hide their actions.
 
A quick mind (or +Winning Smile) a silver tongued kobold should be given the chance to save themselves however like in this example:
The rules state clearly that teams can't bring weapons onto the pitch but lets say the crowd hurl daggers at a few players and a ambitious kobold picks one up (or yanks its out the corpse of their buddy) and proceeds to get rather stabby with the opposition. Once the referee catches up if our kobold makes the point that he didn't break the rules as he didn't bring the weapon onto the pitch he should be let off (after turning over the dagger) and a FOWL Ball declared.

Of course such excuses only work once and anyone attempting to cheat in the same way takes an additional Horrible Death Check for each time the cheat has been repeated.

To continue our example our stabby little kobold thinking he has found a loophole in the rules decides to Hide in the crowd Stealing weapons to throw to his friends on the pitch while one of his team Cher distracts the Referee with the left over chicken from the Chow Down and his Winning Smile.

Cher rolls his 7 Ego opposed the Referees 2 Cunning, Cher succeeds with a 5 (2 and 3 on the dice respectively), meanwhile our Stabby friend has been busy and managed to throw two more weapons onto the pitch. The painful whimpers of a kobold been impaled and the crowd booing bring the Referee's attract their attention back to the pitch and they now notice two more armed kobolds on the field.
The armed Kobolds now take 2 Horrible Death Checks, 1 for been spotted cheating and a additional check as this is the second time this cheat has occurred in this match. 

For those kobolds caught cheating there is a special Horrible Death Chart below:

Kobold Horrible Death Chart: Cheaters Never Prosper
D6:
Event
1 Mob Justice!: Your not quite sure what set it off, your obvious cheating, the Ref's call or maybe its just the crowd had finally worked itself up into a frenzy but a horde of disgruntled fans have jumped the barriers and are coming for both you and Ref.
1D6 + 2 Enraged Fans charge for you and the Referee from the nearest Pitch edge attacking anyone who gets in their way, they won't be satisfied until they get their hands on one of you and not even a +Winning Smile will save you this time.

Enraged Fans: 6B, 6E, 6E, 6R/2 Agl / Wrassle / Punch 2 DAM / 1VP
2 Red Card!: With a shrill whistle the Ref slaps you with a troll sized red card, for 2 DAM while you can keep playing your stuck holding the thing.
Red Card: 1 DAM – Big, - Bulky, - Flail.
If you drop the card for any reason, gain 1 Horrible Death Check each round until you pick it up again.
3 Extra Fowl!: Your deed is so dark that its is considered extra foul thus extra Fowl will be needed. 4 + 1D3 Chickens are released onto the field but amongst them is the bane of all kobolds CLUCKY , The Dark Rook. CLUCKY will attempt to kill all kobolds one at a time starting with those that have harmed chickens.

4B, 4E, 4E,15R,/ 5 Agl / Sport / Beak 1 DAM, Egg 2 DAM + Throw / 6 VP
4 Benched!: You don't believe it you've been kicked out the game, some might think that not been squished, eaten or shoved into a ball would be a good thing but this happens so rarely it embarrassing. Lose 4 VP for this shameful way to survive the match.
5 New Ball!: You admit you were distracted, the crowd cheering your name, stomping their feet in approval it was all overwhelming that you didn't even hear what the Ref said or see the ball case until it was too late. Now your the ball and everyone wants to get their hands on you, hopefully it will be someone friendly (and not too hungry) that gets you out.
6 Vor The Big Red Angry Referee!: Rule 1 of Snack Bowl is 'Obey the Referee for upon the pitch he is as Vor (The Big Red Angry God)' but people tend to forget Rule 2 'Unless King Torg (All Hail King Torg) says otherwise or Vor smites him.' Well Vor was watching the today and he has a few disputes to make with the Referee.

Everyone who has cheated in this game rolls a D6 + amount of times they have cheated, On a total of 6 + they are flash fried by lightning along with the Referee, any kobolds that survive gain 2 VP and remove a Horrible Death Check for you have been judged worthy (or not worth the effort) in the big angry gods eyes.


Don't be afraid to make up your own punishments for cheating if the kobolds are caught Snack Bowl Referees tend to be both power hungry and quirky individuals.

Finally typical stats of a kobold Referee are:
4B, 8E, 8E, 8R/ 2 Agl / Bully / Rule Book 1 DAM / 2VP 
If your players are chewing through referees (especially if it literally) then bring on replacements with a bit more clout, I personally like a Minotaur with a taste for kobold using the Bear stats or a large burly Ork and use the Adventurer stat block.


The Pitch & Events

Below is the layout of a blank Snack Bowl Pitch:


While few lairs contain a dedicated Snack Bowl pitch Kobolds are happy to play Snack Bowl wherever there is enough room, so here are some ideas of typical locations and ways it can affect the terrain of the pitch:

Large Cavern: Columns of natural stone block areas of the pitch (and support the roof), stalactites and stalagmites create regions of dangerous spikes, critters such as bats or giant cave spiders occasionally wander onto the pitch. 

Old Graveyard: Dugouts are usually crypts, numerous tombstones or markers litter the pitch and players risk the occasional zombie or upset ghost attack.

Ruins: Remains of walls, doors and stairways make the pitch a interesting mix of different levels for the players to scurry across though often giant rats nest in such ruins which for kobolds are a bonus mid game snack.

If your having trouble of thinking of ideas then a favourite method of mine is to take a handful of dice and drop then in the centre of the board, once they have stopped rolling go round the players one by one and ask them to pick a dice and describe a terrain feature where it landed.

Regardless of the location the edge of the pitch is dangerous, waiting beyond that thin line is the frothing, ravenous horde that make up the fans, any kobold not Sneaking into the crowd and for example is barged into the crowd risks becoming a souvenir or a mid game snack for the fans (usually depending on when they to eat).

Any kobold knocked off the pitch rolls on the following table:

Crowd Control Table
D6:
Event
1
Get Back In There!: A particularly bulky member of the crowd (possibly a incredibly hairy dwarf or an exceptionally fat kobold) pries you from the hungry grasping hands of the crowd hurling you back onto the pitch in the direction you came from 1d6 squares. You and anything you collide with take 1 DAM.
2
Souvenirs!: Barely wriggling free from the multitude of hands tearing at your clothes you make it back to the pitch completely naked and paws empty.
3
Snack Time.: Obviously not enough people brought snacks today as numerous teeth bite into you. Take 5 DAM, each round until you escape with a 3 Die Wiggle or are – Foul Smelling and discarded in disgust.
4
Crowd Surf!: Riding the tide of tightly pressed bodies your tossed from person to person, Roll 1 dies, odds you head left, evens you head right, roll again and move that many squares down the pitch (+2 if you are +Bouncy ). If you leave the pitch entirely then you have been hurled outside the arena and are not coming back this game.
5
Chug Chug Chug.: Tossed left and right it seemed like you would be crushed in the crowd until you impacted with a plop into a food vendors open keg, with the option to drink or drown you drink, which was fine until attempting to climb out you fell into his other open casket. Roll twice on the random alcohol chart and take both effects before staggering back onto the field you lush. Oh and you also found yourself with a giant Foam Finger along the way: Foam Finger: DAM 2, - Bulky, + Pokey (extra square reach)
6
Brown Fluffy Heaven <3: Spinning and tumbling through the crowd you end up in the place you least expected as your tossed over the head of King Torgs (All Hail King Torg) Royale Guard and straight into the fuzzy embrace of his private cheer squad. Gain 2 VP for the confidence boost from their fluffy affection before you retreat back to your dugout next turn. Unless you - In Heat take 2 Horrible Death Checks and if you survive gain 5 VP as you abscond with several of the cheer squad, your not returning to the game but your going to have a great time anyway.

Snack Bowl is know for the random chaos which occurs each game and its highly recommended that if the players get too cocky or the action lulls that you encourage "random" spells striking the field, various snacks and items been tossed on the field or the fields own properties coming to play.

Below is handy quick table with some fun ideas:

Roll Off Events
D6:
Event
1
Multi-Ball: A firm fan favourite, intentional or not 1d6 additional balls spill onto the pitch. Play doesn't stop until all of them have been used to score or opened.
2
Feral Critter On The Pitch: It shouldn't be here but to the players and the fans its just another mid game snack, select a suitable critter for the setting and place in a random Chow Down zone. This critter moves to attack the nearest player or referee.
3
Get On With It!: The crowd growing restless begins hurling items onto the pitch at the players and referee. Each player rolls a Die, on a 1 or 2 an item from the Basic Gear Chart (or any other that catches your fancy) is thrown at them.
Crowd Reflexes: 7.
4
Referee Toilet Break?: Your not sure where they have gone but the referee seems to have vanished. Cheating is unpunished until next Chow Down or ball is needed.
5
Cheer Squad: King Torgs (All Hail King Torg) Private cheerers have begun a small show. - In Heat Kobolds must make a 2 Die check or run towards the crowd.
6
For The Glory Of Torg (All Hail King Torg): King Torg (All Hail King Torg) grows hungry and demands tribute, upon the next Chow Down whatever is inside the ball is confiscated by the Royale Guard to be served to his largeness but the scoring team gains double points.


Character Creation

When creating a kobold to play in Snack Bowl rather than using the Basic or Dangerous! equipment charts in the book please use the following tables:


The Basic Random Sports Gear Chart
D6 Type Armour Hits Special
1 Over Sized Hockey Mask 4 + Bully
- Face guard
2 Bike Helmet 3

3 Life Jacket & Floaties 2 + Bouncy
+ Swim
- Bulky
4 Kids Soccer Clothes 2

5 Jock Strap 1 - Foul Smelling
6 Boxing Shorts 0 + Fonzie
-1 If You Can Sport


The Dangerous! Star Player Sports Gear Chart
D6 Type Armour Hits Special
1 Kids Football Gear With Extra Spikes! 8 + Pokey
- Razor
2 Luchador Outfit 6 + Wrassle
+ Wiggle
3 Ice Hockey Goalie Gear 6 - Bulky
+ Ricochet
4 Cricket Gear 4 - Face guard
5 Adults Football Helmet 3 - Bulky
- Face guard
6 Cheerleader Outfit 2 + Attractive
-1 If You Can Sport


The Basic Random Sports Equipment Chart
D6 Type Dam Special
1 Kids Bike 4 - Big
+ Ride (Move 8)
2 Badminton Racket 2 + Stones
3 Rounders Bat 1 + Bash
4 Soccer Ball 1 + Bootable
5 Boxing Gloves 2

6 Nothing! 0

-1 If You Can Sport


The Dangerous! Star Player Sports Equipment Chart
D6 Type Dam Special
1 Caber 8
- Big
- HUGE
- Bulky
- Flail
+ Long
2 Kids Hockey Stick 4 -Big
- Bulky
3 Metal Baseball Bat 3 + Bash
4 Cricket Bat 4 - Big
5 Tennis Racket 3 + Stones
6 Fold Up Chair 2 - Big
+ Bash
-1 If You Can Sport


The Ranged Sports Equipment Chart
D6 Type Dam Special
1 Crossbow 3 + Arrows
+ Piercing
- Big
2 Bow 2 + Arrows
- Big
3 'Hammer' 3 - Heft
- Flail
4 Shot Put 2 - Heft
5 Discus 1
6 Tennis Ball 0

Use instead of The Basic Random Sports Equipment Chart If You Can Shoot



Item Edges and Bogies

+ Attractive: This item grants the +Winning Smile edge, also wear attracts -In Heat Kobolds.
+ Bootable: This item can be used as a range weapon using a Sport roll.
+ Long: Can strike at foes up to 2 squares away.

- Face guard: You are unable to Bite or Wrassle creatures into your mouth while wearing this item.
- HUGE: This item is so big that a Heft roll is needed not only to pick it up but also to move or attack while carrying it.

Beginning Play


The following paragraph should be read after character creation.

The air is tense in the locker room as you await to begin your first game with the long time Snack Bowl team Tabriz Terrors, around your your fellow kobolds buzz with excitement in the scrabble for equipment and last minute snacks. Tabriz Warlock (& Coach) Supreme watches you all usually that would be bad news for kobold minions but today is different, today you have a chance for food and glory that usually is only scene on the royal dining table of King Torg (All Hail King Torg).
A bell rings and the locker room grows silent, your coach gazes over you all once last time before pointing at you and several other teammates "You Will Be The First.. Do not disappoint me. Now get out there and eat the competition." With a cheer you all rush into the dugout, the sudden roar of the crowd at your arrival rolls over you in a deafening wave, this must be how the king feels as you chant his name in glory.

Now is a good time to quickly go over the basic rules with your players but don't worry too much if its a bit much for them to understand at first, it puts them in just the right state of mind to roleplay their kobolds.

As the teams line up:

As you take the field the crowd lets out another roar as the announcers begin the introductions "I'm Jamie Dodger and with me as always is former Snack Bowl Legend Duncan Bisket. What do you think of the Tabriz Terrors chances today Duncan?" "Well Dodger the Tabriz Terrors look great in their new black and scarlet uniforms but with no star players its really anyone's guess how they will play today. We will have to see if the Warlock Supreme has managed to find another set of kobolds that can take him to the cup finals again. As for the Cube Crushers they look as ready as ever but lets hope they not full before the match again." " True, true but the Crusher could never resist a ooze or jelly Duncan but it looks like roll off is about to begin." 


From here on you should be ready to play, don't be afraid to add additional rounds to the game if you feel its going too quickly and play fast and loose with the statistics make teams of Hobbits using the Kid (Good) critter stats or Goblins with Kid (Bad), fling spells, have pitch invasions but most of all have fun. 


Stat Quick Reference:

Kobold Referee: 4B, 8E, 8E, 8R/ 2 Agl / Bully / Rule Book 1 DAM / 2VP

Opposing kobold team:

Team Starts with 4 Horrible Death Checks, overall number of checks are shared by the team and is reset to 0 whenever one of the team dies to a Horrible Death Check.
Teams of six have 1 Roller, 1 Flinger, 2 Munchers, 2 Dinesmen.
Teams of eight have 1 Roller, 1 Flinger, 2 Munchers, 4 Dinesmen.   
Generally Dinemen are worth 1 VP, Munchers and Flingers 2 VP and Rollers 3 VP 

Dinesmen: 8B, 5E, 10E, 8R/ 1 Agl / Wrassle / Boxing Gloves 2 DAM / Life Jacket & Floaties 2 Armour

Munchers:  10B, 5E, 8E, 8R/ 2 Agl / Sport / Metal Baseball Bat 3 DAM / Bike Helmet 3 Armour

Rollers: 5B, 8E, 8E, 10R/ 3 Agl / Fast / Rounders Bat 1 DAM / Kids Soccer Clothes 2 Armour

Flinger: 5B, 10E, 8E, 8R/ 2 Agl / Shoot or Lacky / Badminton Racket 2 DAM / Kids Soccer Clothes 2 Armour

I'm hoping to do a follow up post on Snack Bowl with new game types, a few special outfits and unique teams and star players.
If your looking for further adventure then please see my other works Trick & Treat Troubles and Short & Sweet


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Kickstarter Curiosities: Saga World Builder: Modular tiles for tabletop and D&D games

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , , ,


Greetings and Salutations , some of you may remember my previous post on Kickstarter Curiosities and other various Dungeon Master tools such as speciality dice and dice towers, today I'm going to focusing on project that has been done many times before ranging from the simple to the grandiose the dungeon tile.

The Saga World Builder: Modular tiles definitely settle on the simpler side of the equation but their sturdiness, versatility, low space requirements and ease of used definitely makes them worth a look.

video


Now on a personal note I think the tiles look great with definite classical dungeon map appearance, with significant enough variety and variation that a traditional dungeon crawl style adventures or even a hack and slash board game like Hero Quest could be played repeatedly without much design overlap.


Been able to simply drawn doors on saves time.

The focus on durability and been able to use board markers on the tiles is a testament to their quality and expands their use even further as I am no fan of the adhesive film items, having used such things in the past I found they had a tendency to be fiddly to use and keep clean.  

This might be a good inventory system for a few homebrew systems I've wanted to try.

The pricing is fair for a niche product though I do regret missing the early bird pack even the basic pledge offers 100 map tiles (6”x6" and 3"x3” erasable interlocking tiles), 160 objects (1”x1” till 3"x3” size printed on adhesion film) and 2 inventory boards (with 60 1”x1” slots).  

Having already met their €5,000 goal with a staggering €99,247 pledged there is no worry that it won't succeed and the fact ALL pledges from the basic set upwards will receive stretch goal bonuses is even better. I for one am very much hoping we can can get the larger village tiles.


So if this seems like a worthy addition to your gaming table I'd hurry as there are only 15 days left (at time of this posting) and the Kickstarter page can be reached by clicking the link below:

Saga World Builder: Modular tiles

 


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MCM London Comic Con 2017: Part 2

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , ,



While I have already mentioned some of the games I came across at MCM London Comic Con 2017 there are quite a few more I simply can't discuss in any real detail, there was a distinct lack of advertising material this year with few flyers or leaflets and many others were on handhelds with mixed advertising around them so there wasn't much to take a photo of.

So here is a quick run down of what else caught my eye:

Cooking Mama Sweet Shop, Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers and Drive Girls by Rising Star Games

With Cooking Mama on the 3DS it seemed business as usual with the new game focusing on sweets and deserts though I was unimpressed by limited choice 60 different recipes to create though its boast 160 different mini-games did catch my eye (though I personally hate any mini game that requires blowing into the microphone).


Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers on the other hand was quite unexpected, going in blind I quickly discovered that the game was a collection of stripped down and bluntly dull mini games aimed at young children presumably toddlers given the simplicity.


Finally the strangest game released for the PS Vita by Rising Star Games Drive Girls, an action and driving hack ‘n’ slash hybrid uou can play as one of five different Drive Girls and transform from superheroine to supercar and back again, as you smash through wave after wave of mechanised Bug enemies in both arena and race course based combat.
Featuring a single player campaign it also boasts local and online multiplayer for up to four players, players can boost the Drive Girls’ stats in the garage by tuning and customizing their ride with new parts and decals using the currency earned after every mission. The tighter your tuning, the more protected the Drive Girls are against losing their armoured clothing in combat though if this feature remains in the Europe release I will be most surprised.



Farpoint VR by Impulse Gear

Alas I was unable to play this due to my unfortunate motion sickness that I get whenever I play VR games but the display was rather impressive (though I refused to take photos of those playing as I was unable to obtain permission from them beforehand) and it looked like an excellent first person shooter from what I observed. The controllers have a rather cheap plastic look to them but I can't deny they seem functional.

 

Star Trek Bridge Crew by Ubisoft
 
The second major VR game been advertised I was significantly less impressed by its fiddly looking controls and game making features (thus this may have simply been a result poor set up by those running the display.) The gameplay certainly seems to revolve around playing with friends and learning the various orders in which the ships systems need to be implemented, as the trailer was rather uninformative I've placed a link to Ubisoft's Lets Play below:


As you can see this is an example of the game play in its best conditions but I certainly think that much of the charm would be lost playing with strangers, for anyone looking for a non VR alternative to this then I recommend Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator.

ARMS By Nintendo
ARMS is a fantasy boxing game which is seen as many as a spiritual successor to Wii Sports Boxing due to similarities in controls and playstyles. In ARMS the left and right Switch JoyCons are your boxers left and right arms respectively, this control method can be affect your play style as weapons on each arm can be differently equipped. For example a Boomerang on your right arm and glove on the left arm.

Unlike earlier available demo's there are now 5 characters to select from and after a small tutorial you are put into battle with a choice of 3 weapons per arm.
Punching like Wii Sports Boxing is done by moving one’s hands in a similar fashion, with the position of fists contributing towards techniques, such as movement, blocking, and even the direction of blows like curving your punches. During your fight you can build up a meter which enables you to use “Flurry Attack” by pressing ZL and ZR.

The trailer while amusing is rather uninformative of play so the link below is the 2017 E3 presentation on ARMs:


Splatoon 2 By Nintendo

Admittedly the first I had heard of its release, the sequel to the popular Splatoon was on demonstration at MCM Expo and was set up to have up to 8 players per single match.
Chatting with a few others who took a moment to try the game, Splatoon 2 feels more like an expansion than a sequel to the Wii U original as the graphics are only slightly touched up (though the fluid effects are impressive as ever) though it also boasts some new weapons and some new arenas.
Now if it included local coop or V.S. then I may consider it an improvement on the original.



Mao Mao Castle by AsobiTech

Those older gamers amongst us may remember the Space Harrier series of games which for a time in 1985 dominate the arcade and home consoles, Mao Mao Castle harkens back taking heavy inspiration from the games design whilst modernising it and making it non violent.

Trying my own hand at the game I attempted to match some of the high scores in order to win a copy of the game, Asobitech had the LEAP motion controller on show to play the game, which you hold your hand and move it over the sensor to move the cat and make a fist in order to use the dash features. Unfortunately I was both too tired and completely clumsy with this method of motion control to get anywhere near the top scores but it certainly let me appreciate the games mechanics. 

Winner of the Castle Game Jam 2016 Mao Mao Castle is expecting release on Android and iOS and the demo is available on their website.



Agents Of Mayhem By Volition

Agents of Mayhem is a spin-off of the Saints Row series, taking place after the "recreate Earth" ending of the Saints Row IV expansion, Gat out of Hell and frankly as a Saints Row Fan I found myself eventually despising it shortly after playing through the two mission demo at MCM London.

I won't go into too much detail here as I have enough to make an article and a half of criticism but ultimately I found myself bored senseless while playing as did my friend who actually left halfway through their play through unable to stick it out until the end. The combat was over the top visually flashy but mechanically poor to control, confusing and tedious compared to the Saints Row games but it wasn't until making several of the characters PREORDER DLC BY SUPPLIER it finally earned my utter disgust and hatred.   



Finally below are some of my favourite cosplays of this year:

Optimus Prime:




Shovel Knight:


Monster Hunter:



Legend Of Zelda: Windwaker:


And finally anyone there may have seen myself and my friend from Buzy Bobbins as the Sorceress and Rannie from Dragons Crown.



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MCM London Comic Con 2017: Part 1

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , , , ,


Greetings and salutations once I again I return from MCM London with mixed but mostly positive results, for you long time readers you may remember that last year was my first time attending.

For those of you unaware of MCM, the MCM London Comic Con is a multi-genre fan convention held in the London Borough of Newham twice yearly, usually on the last weekend in May and October. Interests range from Anime to video Games, tabletop roleplay games to cinema it really is a varied event with talk panels, video game previews, various celebrations of eastern culture and more cosplayers than you can shake a stick at.

 A quieter moment of  MCM
   
Let me say now that I had intended to post this a little earlier in the month but upon my return home from the comic con left me wiped out and the growing stress on the election was a distraction to say the least.

Arriving at London unable to secure our previous hotel our group was staying at a shared apartment which in all honest turned out to be not only cheaper but also far nicer and closer to ExCeL London.
Now it must be stated that after the Manchester Bombing things were a little more tense on arrival this year with additional security everywhere but to their credit this did little to interrupt travel through the London.

Travelling to the ExCel via DLR on the Friday did come with its own set of problems with works under way at the Custom House stop, thankfully the organisers had foreseen this and arranged staff and directions at the following stop Prince Regent. While this was highly effective there was some confusion in staff instructions regarding allowing visitors to "Swipe Out" at the station causing issues with travel payments resulting in some overcharging costs for many people initially myself included.

This was thankfully rectified by some very kind and helpful people at Transport For London who had a brilliant support number and we highlighted the issue on the MCM facebook page with advice for others in the same predicament.

 The bag checking queue...

The security staff inside the ExCel were organised extremely well, courteous and generally well humoured to those in costume, even with hundreds of people streaming in the queues were kept short and were no more than 15 minutes. Later we discovered that initially there was intended backpack ban but with the hot weather the health risk of people not carrying bottled water and the general inconvenience to the public it was decided against. 

and the rest of it on the quiet Friday start.


Now to avoid simply reiterating my post from last year I am going to make a few comparisons to my previous experience:

The Map
  
Just to highlight what I said last year: 
 
I found the map near useless apart from from a general gist of the layout, just look below to see what I mean:

Front with map
 Back with panels and events
Now the astute amongst you may already notice something important missing from this map, that's right there is no key referring to the numbers listed on the stalls apart from the big name logos. In addition there is no reference to the ExCeL London own hall numbers or the entrance area so it is extremely easy to get turned around and disorientated due to the similarity of the stalls and lack of directions posted about.

There is a key but its inside the 140 page advert and article event magazine which also has a copy of the map located between pages 62 and 65, after another advert the key is listed BY ALPHABETICAL ORDER OF THE STALLS which is bloody useless unless you already know what stall your wanting to find beforehand. I'm looking at the damn key to find out what 471 is not the other way round. The panel event program is also a nightmare to find and read through in the magazine with information scattered between articles so at least the map was an improvement in this regard.
 In short just as bloody useless this year with all the same problems.

Stalls:

Thankfully far more variety this year, only a single major stall focused in Pop Figures much to my relief and while many of the stalls of the previous year returned there was far more variation between their stock. A few stalls did earn my ire however with blatant absurd pricing and lets just say if I was selling my PS1 game collection for the amounts they were charging  I would be a few thousands pounds better off.

 Pokemon plush were everywhere this year

CEX also didn't make a reappearance this year which was for the better, last year they had annoyed me with their loud music blaring out over the hall drowning out the various talks and panels and while GAME was there they didn't take up nearly as much space this year. Unfortunately also missing were table top roleplay stands as not a single one was available this year, but in their place the Lincoln Steam Punk Society had turned up much to my surprise and were advertising The Asylum Steampunk Festival later this year.   

All in all a major improvement from the year before especially since more of the hall was available this year there was far more space between the stalls so the horrible overcrowding of last year wasn't an issue at all much to my delight.

 Just a small amount of the manga on offer

I also ran into some old acquaintance from the Sheffield Space Centre, this was my main source of anime and manga growing up 15 years ago and it was great to see them still going strong today as they always stocked a large variety of comics, manga, anime, even figures, model kits and table top roleplaying games. It was great to see them with a stall at MCM London this year and I discovered yet another niche manga series through them Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter.
I highly recommend popping to their store if in Sheffield or checking out their website.

Video Games:

This year there were no major video game talk panels though a smaller stage had been set up by Rice Digital covering a handful of games, when generally this layout worked well the sound team really dropped the ball on the Saturday and a lot of the commentators were inaudible.

It would of also been easier to hear if the esports commentator just behind the panel had shut up for 5 minutes.
  
With this said there were two games there were two games covered that stood out to me:

Akiba's Beat:
Akiba's Beat is an action role-playing video game for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 video game consoles, a spiritual successor to Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed and the third game in the Akiba series its focus is to highlight the music culture of Akiba during its story.
In all honesty after the highly quirky arcade action and self acknowledging parody humour of the second game Akiba's Beat just came across as dull, slow paced and honestly rather boring in it mechanics, with very little originality that the series had previously been know for.
It seems that many other reviews agree with this observation.

      Advised Strong Language.


Project Rap Rabbit



Project Rap Rabbit is a global collaboration between Japanese developers NanaOn-Sha (PaRappa The Rapper, Vib-Ribbon) and iNiS Corporation (Gitaroo Man, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan), and UK-based publisher PQube Ltd.

Having developed some of the most revered music games of all time, they're committed to creating the greatest rhythm-action videogame in history with a new rapping adventure than infuses the best ideas from their past with innovative mechanics that  they hope will go on to shape the genre's future forevermore.

However not everything is going as planned as the Kickstarter for the project is woefully underfunded even with 2,549 backers only £129,806 of £855,000 goal has been reached and with only 10 days to go they have finally releasing a gameplay video of Rap Rabbit which is too little too late.

As one backer states:
Here's how this will go.
There will be this big unveiling of the gameplay video tomorrow. People from all over show up on this KS page as a result. They'll immediately notice that, after 3 weeks, the game is not even 20% funded, and that there's only a week and a half left to raise the remaining 80%. Maybe they'll hit that Remind Me button, but at the end of the day, they aren't gonna pledge.
Building up the Thunderclap, and hyping up the unveiling of the video, are both things that should have begun weeks before the campaign launched. Matsuura-san, Yano-san: PLEASE relaunch this campaign. Suspend it early so whatever resources you allocated to this one can be reallocated to the next one. But unless you have a massive E3 presence planned, there is no way this game is being funded with this particular campaign.

As a backer myself I totally agree with this prediction, there has been a complete failure to market the game to the community or the gaming media, I MYSELF have made seeming the only post on Reddit about the project (at the time of my posting) and I can help but feel that somewhere along the line the PR just flopped.


Just behind the Digital Rice Panel

Other than Digital Rice the Esports community really were making a hit with Tekken 7 with a massive set-up and tournament over the weekend and Guilty Gear XRD Rev 2 was making its own impact on its admittedly much smaller collection of consoles. The halls also boasted various arcade machine set ups with a one company selling the cabinets it was displaying, though I think the real moment that stole it was the Gandalf V.s. Gimli on the dance machines.



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Concepts: Players as Pawns: Example Of Play

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , , ,



In my own personal experiences I have found that after the initial wariness my party constantly trust NPCs that have proven themselves to be useful and often begin to take everything they say at face value until proven otherwise. Providing an organisation can subtly influence a person in contact with the players this makes it easy to guide the players as pawns.

It is important however that opportunities to see through the deception should be present especially if the player characters will be disadvantaged by the manipulations, this doesn't have to rushed however especially if a large premise of the campaign revolves around the party becoming more and more aware of the situation as evidence slowly builds up.

This can be a difficult balance to achieve as too many clues will make it too obvious and too few will leave the players feeling rail-roaded into choices, but if done well can lead to amazing stories and feelings of great satisfaction (and often betrayal) once the players realise their predicament.   
  
Below is an example scenario of how a campaign with a 50's Noir theme would develop with players as pawns.

The characters have recently beaten down/arrested or otherwise removed a locally feared thug, shortly after they receive a small message from a local bar owner thanking them for their help and offering them drinks on the house that evening. The bar itself is in fact a safehouse and a cover for a small local brothel under the control of the criminal organisation that wishes to influence the party, they are also responsible for the invitation.
When the party arrives they are indeed treated to free drinks and are the heroes of the hour, a few of the waitresses or local girls flirt with them, the bartender chats happily with them thanking them for removing the thug and they have a great time with the promise of half price drinks whenever they are in and perhaps some favours. 
The party begins seeing this as their potential hangout and begin frequenting it more often though only the most astute characters should realise something is a little off about the place at this time I.E: The locals girls with different men each time, a general nervousness around some regulars, the girls vanishing into the backrooms on occasion.

At this point the bartender begins asking them questions along the lines of "If they had heard about those shady deals over in.." in a manner that he is under the assumption the party as local vigilantes already know and intend to do something.
Of course this is all a ploy to subtlety direct the characters towards a rival mob's shipments of drugs and weapons, for the criminal gang at this point everything is a win/win either their rivals suffer a set back or a possible future problem is killed off.

This drip feed of information continues with stories of "My brothers kid in the force says.." and "I've heard from one of the delivery lads.." each with just enough information or a name to have the party start investigating until the group trusts their bartender friend perhaps even coming to rely on him for information more so than other sources even in unrelated cases.

At this stage all these tips have been aimed at obviously illegal operation's that have had no connection to the Criminal Gang but the removal of which would help them stabilise their position in their territory and they can claim they had no hand in the attacks as they were done by a unaffiliated party thus preventing retribution attacks. However a minor complication/opportunity has arisen for the Criminal Gang, one of the corrupt police officers that they pay off so their businesses are ignored is demanding a larger cut. Not wanting to continue paying the corrupt officer nor obviously remove him the Criminal Gang begins a scheme to use the characters group as more direct pawns.

Informing the corrupt officer to collect his pay off from the players frequented bar with the code word "This months insurance" the players observing the transaction. If the party tries to intervene they are rebuffed and threatened by the arrogant and aggressive officer and the bartender pleads with them to not intervene. Once the corrupt officer leaves the Bartender privately breaks down and confides in the players informing them that he caught several of his waitresses prostituting themselves to customers for extra money but rather than throwing them out onto the street where they would continue he allowed them to use the backrooms so they would be safe and not risk been murdered however the police officer found out and has been blackmailing him since keeping all the records in a personal ledger.

The story is a complete lie but the group now face a dilemma, they could report the officer for corruption but their friend would be jailed for allowing prostitution on the premises so now they are increasing forced into the morally grey.

At this point the party may start planning ways to remove the officer whether it would be having him killed, threaten or even framing him for another crime but the Bartender informs them that in order to prevent himself been arrested in the investigation they would have to retrieve or destroy the ledger also. To add weight to this the Criminal Gang after ensuring any illegal goods are relocated elsewhere give an anonymous tipoff which results in a brutal police raid on the Bar a few days later. The players either getting caught up in the raid or seeing its after effects are further enraged and more seeds of distrust regarding the police are sown. Especially as they now believe this raid was a result of the threat made by the corrupted police officer.       
                
Where the campaign goes from here (as in discovering they have been tricked or been drawn deeper into the criminal world) heavily depends on the party and how they use the ledger, so I'll end my example here for now but I hope it helped to see how this theory works in practice.


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