Tag Archives: NatureBoy

USS Albacore

Earlier this Spring, Beloved Wife attended a conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and NatureBoy and I tagged along. While BW was conferring, the boy and I ourselves busy. In the evenings, we ate out and explored some of the shops in Portsmouth downtown.

One of the things NatureBoy and I did was visit the USS Albacore submarine museum, which comprises a small gift shop and museum, and a self-guided tour of the actual submarine.

The Albacore has two large, offset rudders and twin, counter-rotating propellers for increased speed and power. 

USS Albacore - port side

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Father’s Day

Beloved Wife made a Father’s Day slide show for me:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Happy Father's Day

Pretty amazing to see a survey like that. [sniff]

After a pleasant morning, NatureBoy and I trundled into town to visit the FLGS, where we picked up a few things, including some Dungeon Tiles, and several True20 products on sale.

This afternoon, NB ran some more Fourth Edition D&D. I must say that I’m really enjoying 4E, especially in comparison to the recent session of 3.5. The PCs have run out of healing and spells, but have to try to find the missing children before something happens to them…

All in all, it’s been a happy Father’s Day, and a nice Summer Solstice, too. I wish Dads everywhere a happy Father’s Day, hoping you’ve been able to send time with your offspring.

Blessed Be.

Warcosm – space fleet battles

When we attended Carnage in November, NatureBoy and I played in a huge game based on the Star Fleet Battles, a tactical space ship combat system set in the Star Trek Universe. The rules were dense, even for a stream-lined homebrew, and once combat was engaged, it took twenty minutes to resolve a single round.

NatureBoy playing Star Fleet Battles at Carnage 2008

One aspect of the game that I found really intriguing involved movement. Rates of travel were constant, and you could accelerate or decelerate on you turn by half you current movement, and your rate of movement affected how quickly and tightly you could maneuver. If you weren’t careful, you could fly right off the edge of the map.

Skip forward to December. I am placing my pre-order for the Mouse Guard RPG at Indie Press Revolution, and I noticed a game in the sidebar called Warcosm – Victory in the Stars. Curious, I took a closer look. The description promised an easy-to-learn, stream-lined ruleset for battles with counters or minis. The price was reasonable, so I tossed it (book and pdf bundle) in my cart, too.

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Mouse Guard RPG

I first heard about the Mouse Guard RPG on a Fear the Boot interview with Luke Crane. I picked up a copy of Mouse Guard Fall 1152 soon after; my first graphic novel!

mouse-guard-01

I was hooked. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. The story and characters are compelling. Knowing that there was going to be a role playing game in this setting made it the much more interesting.

I had played a bit of Luke’s Burning Wheel game. I liked it a lot, though it took some work to get into it. But I really liked the way the story was integrated into the characters and the mechanics oft he game.

Luke based the Mouse Guard RPG on Burning Wheel, but streamlined and integrated into the Mouse Guard story and setting. He’s done several interviews in which he describes the new game, and sputters about people who think Mouse Guard is “Burning Wheel Lite.” (Here’s one from the Sons of Kryos.)

NatureBoy and I played through a one-on-one session the other day, and had a good time working through some of the different mechanics. I opted to have his character go solo, rather than tossing him multiple characters or having me run NPCs. Getting into character is the point of these games, after all.

mouse-guard-02

NatureBoy chose to play as Quentin, a guard mouse we haven’t encountered in the graphic novels yet (the Winter collection is coming!), but is included as a pre-generated character in the game text.

Quentin is a Scientist and Cartographer, in addition to being a member of the Guard.

A sudden late afternoon thunderstorm threatened to catch a family of harvesters in the field. Quentin is asked to hurry to the family and bring them back safely to Lockhaven.

As Quentin hurried along the well-marked trail to the field, he paused to update a map with his location. As he did, rain drops began to fall on the leaves and ground. Soon, the storm had begun. He hurried to find the mice in the field.

Although he didn’t see the mice, he did find a small pile of grass seeds on the ground. Further along, another group of seeds appeared as though spilled from a basket. Quentin continued in the direction of the trail of grain, and eventually found the family. They had taken refuge in hole in the stump of an old oak, and the stump was in a small hollow that had filled with rain water.

Quentin looked about for possible options; maybe there would be material for a raft or stick to use to build a bridge. Then he noticed that the nearby shrubs had strong, flexible branched that arched above the stump. He signaled to the family to climb to the top of the stump.

Quentin then used his Nature (Mouse) skill to climb one of these slender but springy branched, and as he neared the end, it flexed and bent down to the stump.

Then there was an argument. Serra and Curt wanted Quentin to take little Ivy back first. Quentin wanted them all to go up the branch before he did. Quentin won the argument, but in a compromise Serra went first, then Quentin carrying little Ivy, followed by Curt. All mice made their Nature (Mouse) tests. They then took a brief rest in the shelter of the shrub, and when the rain slackened a bit, Quentin guided them all home to Lockhaven.

It’s a fun game, and we look forward to playing again.

Growing gamers

The most recent newsletter from NatureBoy’s school included a description of the Chess and Game club, which began…

Hey… are there 3,875 Orcs behind that door? […] Yes, Chess Club is back, but now it’s more than just pawns and checkmates.

How could I resist?! I sent off an email to the teacher, offering to volunteer with the group. He was happy to have me, so today I packed a couple different games that I thought might interest the middle school gaming crowd:

When I arrived, the teacher welcomed me, and explained that he had forgotten his games at home, so I was glad that I took those games with me.

After a perfunctory introduction, I gave a brief description of the three games. The teach also offered chess boards “as always.” One student wanted really wanted to play Catan, so NatureBoy and I joined him to give that a whirl. Several kids played or watched the labyrinth game with the teacher. Infernal contraption had no takers.

The club meeting is short, about forty minutes, so the Catan game had gone a few rounds, but folks seemed to have a good time. I was invited to be a regular participant, so I think things went well.

The teacher said that one of the games he wants to bring in is Wings of War. I’ve played some variants of Wings of War miniatures with TedMan, but this is a card-only game and can support eight players, I think. Anyway, I had fun; NatureBoy had fun; the kids seemed like they were enjoying themselves.

I’m just waiting for the opportunity to get a Pen and Paper RPG in there. Maybe Mouse Guard? NB also said he though WizWar would be fun to bring.

Game On!