Kobolds Ate My Baby: Snack Bowl Outfits

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



"I'm Jamie Dodger and with me as always is former Snack Bowl Legend Duncan Bisket. For those of you joining us for the post game analysis of Tabriz Terrors versus the Cube Crushers you missed a heck of a game.. How would you describe it Duncan?" “Delicious Dodger, simply delicious.” “From the happy look on the faces of the crowd I think they agree with you Duncan, most of them will be going home with a full stomach today.” “Indeed, Snack Bowl fans are nothing if not voracious, something the teams learned today. Lets hope there is enough left of them for the rest of the season, or seasoning's for that matter.”

Greetings and salutations and welcome to another Kobolds Ate My Baby special, this article will be expanding upon the Snack Bowl adventure for those of you wanting more Kobold sports mayhem.
Specifically I'll be covering the Star Player Outfits, while in future updates this will be expanded with several alternative game rule sets and finally a few particular opposing teams.

As always I'd love to hear feedback, ideas and comments below for further rule sets or adventure hooks you'd like to see in the future.

I don't believe my eyes, it looks like one of the Tabriz Terrors thrown out of the arena earlier has made his way back!” “Wasn't he the one that got snatched by by that pair of orc fans?” “Yes he was Jamie and he looks like he brought what is left of them back for a snack, now there is Star Muncher material right there.” “Well lets hope the furry blighter does just as well on the pitch in the future Duncan, the Tabriz Terrors really need that iron stomach if they want to reach the finals again this year.”

The Outfits for Snack Bowl work in a similar way to regular Kobold outfits though with somewhat narrower requirements and a progression system though they still cost 9 Victory Points.
While Evil Apprentices, Kobold Veterans, Short Order Cooks and the other various skilled Kobolds are always welcomed by any Snack Bowl Coach, would be Snack Bowl Pros are those Kobolds willing to live (& die) on the pitch for the reward of tasty food and the cheers of the crowd (though the wild after game parties are also a big incentive).
This does not stop Snack Bowl players getting into between game mischief and disaster however because if King Torg (All Hail King Torg) says “Fetch Baby” you fetch baby.

Pro Rookie

Congratulations you beat the cut (or the chomp if the case may be) and manage to survive at least half a game, that makes you superior to 75% of other kobolds and worth been given an actual uniform. Keep it up and you might even get your own playing card but be careful your new status will attract plenty of jealous attention.

Requires: Surviving half a Snack Bowl game (Been sent off or taken out of the match counts if you make it back alive for the next game.)

Flair: Team Jersey (3 Armour Hits), this can be worn in addition to a helmet.

Bonus: You gain the Perform Skill and can perform Grandstanding to gain a Victory Point, if you do this after performing a feat of remarkable skill (or more likely luck) such as eating a giant creature, fighting off multiple foes alone and winning or preventing a opponents Chow Down you don't take a Horrible Death Check. If you already have the Perform Skill gain 2 Luck instead for actually having this normally useless skill.

Bonus: If your armour is destroyed you can get a new Team Jersey at half time, otherwise you'll have to wait until after the game or can sneak back to the locker rooms.

Penalty: While Grandstanding anyone trying to hit/shoot you gets a 1 die bonus to clobber your smug little face.

Pro ?

Wow your still alive and you've been pushed to your limits time and time again, but you've made it out there by been tougher, stronger, faster, HUNGRIER than all those others. The fans know who you are and cheer your name, while your rivals want to Chow Down.. on your skull.

Each Pro speciality has its own unique additional requirement but below is the general bonus and flair all PRO's receive.

Requires: Surviving a Snack Bowl game as a Pro Rookie (Been sent off or taken out of the match counts if you make it back alive for the next game.)

Flair: You've got your own Snack Bowl collectors card and collectable card case necklace. It is worth 2VP if traded in to any Cave Bazaare Shops but you'll have to spend 4VP if you want a new one. (This can be stolen or taken from your still warm corpse). You also keep your Team Jersey.

Bonus: You remove 1 Horrible Death Check as Snack Bowls greatest patron Vor The Big Red Angry God takes an interest in your career (for better or worse).

Pro Dinesman

Everyone knows that Kobold is tasty and after years of trying to resist the urge to devour those around you the life of a Snack Bowl player gives you all the excuse you need to let loose, in any other civilisation you'd be recognised as the cannibalistic little monster you are but here the fans love it.

Requires: Eat 3 other players (either side, the fans ain't picky).

Flair: Great Spork (Dam 4, +Cook +Bash -Big -Bulky) or Wok Shield (Armour 4, +Cook +Bash -Item), the referee would argue your breaching rule 4 'Teams will not bring weapons onto the pitch' but since you debated/threatened that eating contests are a sport this is been overlooked for now.

Bonus: You gain a additional 3 Hits whenever you eat Kobolds (instead of 2) or + 2 Hit for any other small races such as Halflings, Goblins and midget clowns.

Penalty: Taste like Kobold checks are now a 2 Die Ego roll, you horrible little creature.

Pro Muncher

The Dinesmen may get to eat first, the Rollers may get the glory and the Flingers may get to stay the heck out of danger but you are the mighty serving dish of the team upon which all other ingredients for success are placed. If it wasn't for you chomping down on those pesky opposing Rollers and all those wanting to squish your Rollers and Flingers you'd all end up in the coaches cook pot after losing the game.

Requires: Prevent a opposing Chow Down within 2 squares of the scoring area or Wrassle 2 other players attacking your teams Roller or Flinger into your mouth. (Not necessarily at the same time but if you do gain a VP for enthusiasm.)

Flair: Spiky Shoulder Pads ( 2 Armour Hits, + Pokey), this can be worn in addition to other armour. Also between games your given access to special treatment to ensure those fangs and claws of yours stay in perfect condition for maximum chomp to surface area ratio.

Bonus: Gain a bonus Die to all Wrassle Checks, you also do +1 Dam whenever you use your teeth or claws to attack or chew.

Pro Flinger

It may have been fluke, it may have been skill (come on we all know it was a fluke) but your well timed boot of the ball has brought you fame and a significant confidence boost. For whatever reason you seem to have gotten much better at hitting your mark, maybe you just needed to believe or perhaps its these new glasses making everything much less fuzzy?

Requires: Score a Chow Down by Shooting the ball to a fellow Kobold in the scoring area.

Flair: Oversized Goggles or Glasses.

Bonus: Gain a bonus Die to all Shoot Checks and now can shoot 4 squares before taking penalty Dice.

Pro Roller

Your in this game for one thing and one thing only, those glorious moments when you Chow Down. Whether its Baby, Badger or some poor bugger stuffed into the ball your going to eat them all and your not going to let anyone stop (or catch) you before you can. So you been working out sprinting through the cavern between games and even managed to make yourself a pair of running sandals to avoid anything nasty underfoot.

Requires: Score 3 Chow Downs.

Flair: Running shoes or Sandals

Bonus: You can now move 6 squares as normal movement instead of 5.

Bonus: Gain a bonus Die to all Wiggle Checks and ignore minor foot hazards like sharp rocks and caltrops.

Pro Cheat

Deception, theft and downright dirty deeds are your weapons of choice and lets be honest you love every moment of it as does the crowd, the referees may hate you but with your life (and dinner) on the line your willing to do whatever it takes. Taking inspiration from other dastardly plotters you've grown quite the impressive moustache and find the occasional twirl helps you think of all new ways to confound your fellow Kobolds.

Requires: Cheat 3 times.

Flair: A long handlebar moustache.

Bonus: You ignore 1 Horrible Death Check for been spotted cheating, this recovers at half time (meaning you can reuse this ability if you already used it before half time).
To use this ability the player must pretend to twirl a long handlebar moustache, cackling is also advised.

Bonus: You gain an additional bonus VP for each new way you cheat.

Seasoned Pro

Some Kobolds tend to focus on a single role during a Snack Bowl game (usually eating) but you've shown that if push comes to shove and your teammates prove useless your going to step in and get things done. Coach has noticed your hard work and provided you some relaxing spar treatment or at least that is what he told you, your not sure how relaxed you are after been sat in a extremely tasty marinade overnight but your certainly hungry.

Requires: Own two different Pro Outfits

Flair: Both flairs of Owned Outfits and a tasty marinade rub down.

Bonus: You can wear both Pro Outfits and gain their bonuses and penalties.

Penalty: That seasoning smells sooo good, gain the bogie – Taste Like Baby also anyone who eats you gains 2 + 1d6 additional Hits.


Snack Bowl Legend

You done it, you've gone the distance with the eye of Owlbear, you float like a Beholder and sting like a Stirge or something like that. Regardless of just how you've managed to reach these lofty heights of stardom your name and deeds will be remembered in Snack Bowl records for all time including your future inevitable humourous and embarrassing death. For now however you plan to live large and eat well with all the meals and cheer squads you can get your hands on, enjoying your debauchery while it lasts. 
 
Requires: Survive 5 games of Snack Bowl and be a Seasoned Pro or Survive falling all the way into the Horrible Screaming Pit Of Tentacle Death.

Flair: Customised Snack Bowl Helmet (3 Armour Hits), this can be worn in addition to Armour that is not a helmet (no stacking hats). Your own Snack Bowl collectors card is now worth 4VP if traded in to any Cave Bazaare Shops but you'll have to spend 8VP if you want a new one. (This can be stolen or taken from your still warm corpse). You also keep your Team Jersey if you wish.

Bonus: For a single VP you may select any item on any of the Sports Equipment Charts while in the Locker Room though you still take a Horrible Death Check if you use the Dangerous! Charts.

Bonus: Gain the + Extra Padding Edge even if you already have it (yes you chubby Kobolds will roll 2d6 additional Hits).

Bonus: If you are a Seasoned Pro you retain your Seasoned Pro bonuses and penalties, if you got this outfit by surviving falling all the way into the Horrible Screaming Pit Of Tentacle Death you instead regain a single Luck point for each further game you survive (up to initial starting Luck determined by your Extraneous stat)

Bonus: Choose 2 stats to gain +1 Stat Point in as long as your a Snack Bowl Legend.

Bonus: You can choose to gain one of the following skills Bully, Duel, Shoot, Dungeon, Fast or Wiggle. Should you somehow already possess all these skills (you talented little Kobold you) pick a skill to gain a bonus Die in to all its checks, (this does not stack with other Outfit bonus die and anyone trying to minmax in such a fashion takes a Horrible Death Check).

Penalty: Vor The Big Red Angry God wants you for his personal star team collection, +1 on the result of any Horrible Death Check or Chart Roll.

Penalty: Should you be eaten (& presumably killed) during a Chow Down the opposing team gains 5 points.

Card Collector

Usually a hobby for those simply watching the game, your desire to complete your collection drove you to take to the pitch retrieving those First Edition Print cards from around the necks of the players themselves. After all its a dangerous game and these valuable pieces of Snack Bowl history would be much safer in your King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG) Certified Snack Bowl Collectors Cardbook tm.
 
Requires: Have 5 Snack Bowl collectors cards.

Flair: You gain a King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG) Certified Snack Bowl Collectors Cardbook tm (Dam 2, +Ricochet +Bash, -Big)

Bonus: You can choose to gain one of the following skills: Fear, Sage or Bard, you may also use Sage once a game without taking a Horrible Death Check (unless the other players give a thumbs down).

Bonus: You gain a Bonus die in against anyone whose card is in your collection.

Bonus: If you somehow receive a replica card you can trade this in for 1 addition VP to its normal worth.

Penalty: You can't bear to part with your collection and thus unable to trade unique cards in to any Cave Bazaare Shops and must attempt to recover your Snack Bowl Collectors Cardbook if you somehow lose it. (If it is lost permanently somehow you lose the ability to wear this outfit)


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Silverain Reviews: SakuraGame: Hell Girls

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: ,

Greetings and salutations over the last few years Steam either listening to its maturing user base (or simply motivated by money) has become slightly more lax in regards to more adult rated games that focus on sexual rather than violent content.
In this series of reviews I am going to be focusing on a small publisher SakuraGame (not to be confused with Winged Cloud who create the Sakura series of games), this small publisher has released a variety of cheap content of various genres ranging from simple erotica to undoubtedly a hentai game with quality wildly fluctuating between its smaller developer studios. 

Hell Girls is a R18 puzzle RPG created by SakuraGame that prioritizes match 3 strategy over speed, in a similar vein to other match 3 games such as Puzzle Quest the game is heavily focused around turn based combat by matching icons to perform certain attacks.
Coining a term from a fellow reviewer Athravan Hell Girls match system could be described more accurately as link & match in that you can make long chains of matches going in any direction with a simple premise of longer the chain, greater the effect. However simply creating a long chain is not enough each of the three available characters has a unique bonus that triggers from the special spellbooks that are created from long chains and often it is more tactical to make chain the length of the spellbook you need.
I certain agree with Athravans own comment that 'Making combos and setting up the board for something massive is genuinely entertaining', it adds a level of tactical depth to the match 3 genre that is often lacking. In addition each character is focused on a element and attack style theme with the ability to learn and equip various usable skills which add further options and variety, this also applies to the various mixture of foes who usually have 2 to 4 different methods of attack each making each monster encounter tactically varied and rather challenging when these monster types are grouped together in a string of fights in a single encounter.

Not all the mechanics are great however, the additional RPG element comes in levelling which increases your stats such as defence and damage as expect, as experience points are spent individually by each character while supporting varying ones play style it leads to a long grind for Soul and Money. It is also responsible for the sudden spikes of difficulty where certain encounters are simply impossible until the character has progressed several levels forcing you to replay levels even further.
Each level does have a series of typical challenges such as moves taken, items collected and number of enemies defeated so occasionally this does force a player back to these levels once their characters have developed to achieve a better rating. 
Further unlocks include alternative costumes mostly in the design of bikinis and other fan service outfits though each has its own powerful effect and downsides. There is no mandatory requirement to use these however and the default armour will serve quite fine.
The story in game is told sporadically and honestly rather badly if it wasn't for the steam store description I really would not know anything about it and even then it is rather vague:
Three mysterious families are blessed by the gods to give birth to girls with powers over fire, ice, and lightning every century.
Their powers are unknown to others, but they will be called by the gods to travel across Hell and Earth, slaying monsters to save the world from being swallowed by Hell’s corruption.
In game they have been referred to as angels by various NPCs or just hired as mercenaries by more eccentric ones. The little dialogue is cliché with cumbersome attempts to add sexual undertones and humour. One NPC I encounter was a budding alchemist who needed Orc 'fluids' with heavy suggestions that they fluid was semen. Given the (admittedly tame) fan service in the game I half expected one of the six images in the game to be of this 'collection'. Instead I was pleasantly relieved that after defeating the orcs she simply said thank you and taught my character a skill (though that adds all new questions of if these girls are the only ones with magic how are other teaching them magic skills).

Finally the visual in the game are quite good in all honesty, the 3d models for both the girls and the enemies are quite detailed with minimum clipping observed. The few scenes with artwork are of high quality but it is just a shame its all fan service and drives away more customers than it attracts.

Pros:
  • Good quality if cliche artwork and character design, with impressive 3d model detail for its production value.
  • Enjoyable and varied mechanics with various levels of customisation.
  • Art gallery options.
  • Reasonable game length.
  • Easy to pickup and play, no punishment for failure.
  • Energetic and upbeat music.
  • Variation on the match 3 genre.
  • Publisher gives acknowledgements to those who helped with the game.
  • Steam Cards and Achievements.

Cons:
  • Fan service is laughable and sadly stereotypical in design, too much and embarrassing for the average player and too little and tame for those looking for a more adult game.
  • Level grinding required.
  • Mechanics have variety but are rather shallow and many enemies are recolours with higher stats.
  • Sudden difficulty curves due to RPG elements.
  • Game occasionally forces you to play as particular characters against enemies that their playstyle is weak against.
  • Steam recommendations feed changed to focus on anime from playing this one game.

If you'd like to see more check out my video below:


If your looking for the decensor patch it can be found on the download page.


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Silverain Reviews: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , ,



Created by 773 Cherry Tree High Comedy Club mixes up the RPG Maker formula creating this RPG/Visual Novel crossover. Indeed Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is all but unrecognisable as an RPG maker game and is regarded as one of the most impressive examples of what the software can be used for outside of its more traditional game styles.

Comedy fanatic and high school student Mairu Hibisu has decided to set up a comedy club in her school, but the school rules require a minimum of 5 students to set up a new club and Mairu is 3 people short! Spring break has just started and Mairu has until the end of April to recruit the 3 new members she needs to start the club or her rival Chitose will have the last laugh! 
 Hard to believe this is a RPG Maker Game
The gameplay focuses on story through character interaction as you walk around town, meet people, and try to talk to them and make friends. Mechanically this is done by levelling your conversation skills in different subjects by reading magazines, attending talks or watching television/movies. Each of the 6 possible candidates that are introduced throughout the month the game takes place in have their own preferences in topics with some topics earning their friendship quicker while others simply waste the little time you have.
It should be said though that the conversation system is somewhat simple and in some ways quite unfair, the method of learning which topics are worth while for each person is down to a mixture of random chance through causal conversation (e.g. chatter that does not take time or contribute to friendship), educated guesswork from observing the various cut-scenes or simply using the option after which the result is recorded on the persons profile page in the options.
However as each major conversation option can only be used once per person other than the gossip option which can be used repeatedly (and is nearly useless) this information only helps in subsequent playthroughs, though the new game+ option is only accessible if a minimum of 3 people are convinced to join the club otherwise its a simple restart after 3 to 5 hours with none of the conversational skill levels or information gathered.


 I do like the various menus and huds in the game, the various comments often brought a chuckle
Speaking of skill levels even if you guess the favoured topics of your would-be members if the topics level is rather low you will have little gain in friendship making the most ideal method of play spending the early game addressing the additional minor needs such as completing homework on time, earning money while minimizing your fatigue level, and taking advantage of free methods of levelling topics before focusing on just 3 people to join the club.
The result of this is a average of 2 to 3 playthroughs to get the best ending where all six candidates join the club though as there is no player input to the story the player will be forced to repeatedly watch the same cut scenes and dialogue. 
The story isn't bad by any means, each character has their own goals and personal issues that they want to address but what stood out was that our protagonist Mairu Hibisu (or Miley Verisse in the westernised version) doesn't magically solve everyone's problems. In fact in most cases problems still exist but the various characters take their own steps towards fixing them, Mairu simply acts as a catalyst through her actions or occasionally a throw away comment that has a deeper affect than she realises. Its a nice alternative to much of today's story telling but does have the affect of making the game feel a little shallow and short with the Player an observer rather than having any actual effect.
For a game about Comedy and whose menus and descriptions are filled with small titbits of amusing descriptions the dialogue itself is relatively lacking in these regards in both the original and westernised versions with Mairu's outlandish behaviour often been used as a source of comedy (like most high school animes) but often falls a bit flat of the mark. In the westernised version is in the same vein as the Ace Attorney games more effort has been put into gag names and hand waving why obviously Japanese elements such as a shrine are in 'America' which might amused some players but personally this has always been a particular pet peeve of mine.   

Pros:
  • Nice visual art style through the game and a clear informative hud with lots of little details that contain much of the games humour.
  • Visually attractive and clear in design for menus and most mechanics are explained adeptly in easy to understand tutorials.
  • Unique gameplay, suitable for younger audience.
  • Choice between westernisation version and original names and references.
  • New Game + Option (if completed with minimum requirements)
  • Steam Cards.

Cons:
  • Music is short, lacks variation and obviously loops.
  • Average playthrough length dragged out by skill grinding, this is also made further problematic by the fact that certain conversation topics are far less useful than others and certain actions are quite pointless with little benefit.
  • Appalling westernisation version in spite of Ace Attorney inspiration.
  • Very little actual gameplay beyond "Go to location and select option" which quickly grows repetitive.
  • Very limited re-playability with the game easily completable in two playthroughs depending on which skills have been improved in the first playthrough.
  • Player feel like an observer to the character due to having next to no input on story events.
  • Money and items do not carry over in New Game +

TLDR: A wonderful example of what can be done with RPG Maker but with limited replay appeal and gameplay. Recommended as sales purchase.
If you'd like to see a more example of the game check out my video below:



Or alternatively the Lets Play can be be found Here


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3rd Party Showcase: Coins And Scrolls: Monster Menu

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



Some older readers may remember the first series of articles I wrote back in 2013, the Survival Out in the Wilds series focused upon a mixtures of D&D 3.5 / Pathfinder rules to expand players capabilities to use monster remains. The first article focused on skinning and the sales value of pelts, the second article was my groups own custom armour creation rule set, the third article continued with spell reagents and the final article was the cooking of creatures and some points to consider.

For quite some time since my group and I have often discussed how to cook various monsters and make logical guesses upon how they taste to the point in our campaigns we often attempt to cook at least one new monster each time.

Skerples of the Coins And Scrolls has taken this one step further, in support of GLOG (Goblin Laws of Gaming,) an old-school themed rules set published by Arnold K, Skerples has taken the 1977 AD&D Monster Manual and has listed beasts mundane and magical in alphabetical order with flavour, effects and occasional serving suggestion.

Below are a few highlights:

d30CreatureFlavour or Effect
1Barracuda or Gar, giant or MasherFish
2Beaver, giantOily, fatty pork
3
Boar
Dense but faintly spiced pork
4BuffaloFaintly spiced beef
5Bull or Cattle, wildBeef
6Camel, wildStringy beef
7
Crocodile
Cross between chicken and fish
8DolphinFishy. Next sailing voyage is cursed. 1-in-100 chance of being haunted by a vengeful dolphin ghost.
9 EelFishy
10
Frog, giant 
Buttery, faintly algal
11 Goat, giantMutton
12
Herd animal
Varies, but probably beef or mutton
13 Horse or MuleStringy mutton, lots of crunchy bits
14
Irishdeer or Stag
Venison
15 LampreyFish

A glance at the regular creatures one may encounter.

People
Eating most of the things on this list would be considered impolite or insufficiently rewarding. Adventurers will still try though. You could also roll to see what the trolls are roasting over the fire tonight. Intelligent creatures with significant magical effects are listed in the Special Creatures section. Eating fresh People might turn you into a wendigo. Eating rotten people might turn you into a ghoul.


Creature
Flavour or Effect
Brownie
or Halfling
Fatty pork
Bugbear
Really bad mutton
Centaur or Minotaur 
Fatty pork, blending into stringy mutton or beef
Dwarf
or Gnome
Fatty pork
Elf
Pork, cures acne and dandruff
Giant
Fatty, very dense pork, requires 12+hrs of boiling
Gnoll
Fatty, very acidic pork
Goblin or Hobgoblin
Fatty pork, acidic aftertaste
Halfling
Fatty pork, slightly tastier than usual
Harpy
Mix of pork and chicken, tastes absolutely foul,
provides no healing. Save vs Nausea.
Ixitxachitl
or Sea Hag
Fish, but crunchy and bitter
Jackalwere or Lycanthrope
Fatty pork or creature's flavour. S
ave vs intermittent partial lycanthropy
Kobold
Fatty pork, acidic aftertaste


Even the sentient races aren't safe, though I sense a theme in flavour.

Beholder
Flavour: flesh crackles like dry french fries. Invisible ichor drips upwards from your chin. In the distance, howling, or music.

Notes: must be eaten raw, and quickly.

d10
Result
1-2
Screaming Madness. Save or become permanently insane.
3-4
Outsider Flesh. Save vs Con. If you pass, gain 1 random mutation.
If you fail, gain 1d6+1 random mutations.
5-7
Twisting Cells. Permanently gain +2 to a random stat and -2 to a
different random stat.
8-9
Eye Rays. Gain a random spell. 1. Charm Person, 2-3. Eye Laser,
4. Fear, 5. Sleep 6. Telekinetic Shove. If you are not a spellcaster,
Save or immediately cast the spell on a random target using d4
magic dice. If you pass your Save, you can cast the spell once
per day using 1 MD, firing it from a random eye.
10
Natural Magic. You gain 1 Magic Dice and 1 spell slot. If you were
not one already, you become a spellcaster.

 Some Monsters have their own special rules and horrible risks.  

I highly recommend checking out the full article and its follow up: Monster Menu-All Part 2: Veins of the Earth

And remember once you've done with the body you can always use their souls


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