Friday, 19 May 2017

After These Messages: Role-Playing In 1980s Cartoon Land

"One shall stand; one shall fall"
 I love Transformers, me.

...Not, like, in a creepy way!  I know the internet has taught us that Rule 34 means someone out here is sexually attracted to anything you can think of but get your mind out of the gutter, people.  No, my love for Transformers is a pure platonic love that goes back to them being one of my favourite childhood toys/comics/cartoons and which never entirely went away.

Apparently the first my parents knew of this was when very small George started singing to himself, "Transformers!  Roboto in daki".  If they'd intervened then maybe I'd have grown up to be cool and watch football orsomething.

Doubledealer, my first ever Transformers toy.

Probably not though.  My interests have always been slightly, shall we say, immature - I was quite slow growing up as a kid and there's definitely still a certain childlike streak in me.  When my peers were truculent teenagers experimenting with getting drunk in fields and snogging their classmates behind bike sheds, I was discovering Transformers newsgroups with other longtime fans and was trawling toy fairs to find old relics.  When I got to university it was right as companies realised that 80s kid nostalgia was a money spinner - suddenly a whole new bunch of comics, toys and books were available and a chunk of my peers had grown up past the "we're too grown up for that" stage.

At Uni I had talked with fellow Transformers and RPG fan Graeme about running an RPG in which we would take dual GMing duties - on any given session one of us would run, the other would play a character - and I even worked on a homebrew system for it.  (Alas I think my copy has been lost to the ages.)  This never quite materialised though as it was around this time I dropped out of Uni, had some big mental health problems and ended up eschewing a few of my old hobbies because of complicated emotions.




Cartoon Action Hour has had three editions - you can find the most recent one for sale as a PDF.

In the last months of 2016, however,my love for Transformers slowly saw a rekindling.  I worked through the entire Marvel comics run, started watching episodes of the cartoon with Sister Superior and even mooted a role-playing game again.  This time my group's responce was pretty deafening and we sat down with Cartoon Action Hour to run this, and also a Rescue Rangers-themed game, as part of a six-episodes-each block.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Dungeon World Mini-Campaign Summary

When 2017 began we had no ongoing RPG campaign running, so we started a new year with a new game - Dungeon World, the dungeon crawling RPG from the same "Powered By The Apocalypse" rules family as previously ran games The Regiment, Night Witches and The Warren.  This was a quick burn with a character gen session and then three full play sessions before calling it quits.

What followed was a game long on my to-do list but never gone ahead with: Transformers.  To be exact, Cartoon Action Hour was used to make not one but two series - an explosion filled Transformers game and a lighter, more surreal Rescue Rangers game.  I've used Cartoon Action Hour before but not the latest edition thereof and never for anything more than 2 sessions of play.  Each game was ran for 6 episodes, though on some weeks we played an short episode of each for a cartoon double-bill.



This post covers Dungeon World - I'll address Cartoon Action hour in another post as this got a bit big.  The TL;DR is that both games seemed to go down well and we'd run them again.  If you can face the details, though, click on!

If you can't face the details, click on anyway because there's some pretty pictures of dragons and stuff.


Bearded Quail Video: Nerd Room Tour, Current Painting Projects And "Why I Play 40K"


I made another video in the unusually sunny weekend that Glasgow had.  In this I show off the newly redecorated and operational nerd room; show off the current items on my painting desk; and answer a question from my nerd chum 40K Dave who asked me: "Why do you play 40K?"

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Painting Update: Chaos Cultists, MDF Terrain And The Nerd Room

So many boxes, but at least most of them are now gone.

After many months of inactivity, 2017 saw me resume my painting and my playing of wargames.  This is because I finally have a new nerd room!

Shelves upon shelves of roleplaying games, board games and wargames.

Long time readers will know that in my old flat we had a spare bedroom which became The Nerd Room™, also known as "the fungeon", "the man cave", "the shed" or "that bloody mess".  Such is also in the case in my latest abode but it took a few months to decorate and unpack it - inexplicably, Sister Superior insisted that minor areas like the dining room and bedroom took priority.

Check out those hues!  Hopefully Fulgrim is proud of his new digs.  Also that's yet more games in the corner

She did however help me to get it painted a glorious Slaneeshi palette of colours, with Dulux supplying us with the wonderfully titled Lavender Quartz and Purple Pout.  She also helped me assemble some new furniture: a dedicated table with storage drawers for my painting and a clear display cabinet for my cooler figures.  For my part, I arranged three folding aluminium tables which combined together make a 6' x 4' play space.

The painting table and trays holding all my stuff.  We will get to those figs in a minute

With all my bits and bobs unpacked and displayed, I could finally try painting for the first time in.... according to my blog, over half a year.  It took me a bit to get myself psyched up enough to do it but for the last week or so I've very much had a hobby bug and some bits and pieces have been going on.

Details follow!


Thursday, 13 April 2017

RPG Update: Dread, Fiasco and Doctor Who

Sorry for nicking your graphic to headline this post, The Nerd Work, but damn it's a fine graphic.
It's time to catch you all up on some unrecorded nerdity from 2016.  This time we're talking about role playing games and in particular three seasonal one-offs I ran during some off weeks of Starfleet Academy - one mid-way through for Halloween, two at the end for Christmas.

All of these are games I've ran before so more long-term readers will probably recognise the systems involved.  Hell, one of them features the same characters as wel always play in that system so it should be a true blast from the past for those strange people who read my blog religiously.  (Well not "past" since they're walking around  a good century or two in the future.  This time.)


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Unboxing Video: Rumbleslam

Something I've not done much of lately.

Oops, I've rather let this blog slide, haven't it?  I haven't posted since my birthday which is three months ago and since then I've had a bunch of RPG escapades as well as continued progress on the nerd room to report back.

More updates to follow but to tide you over here's a video from the end of March when I got Rumbleslam, the fantasy wrestling board game, delivered.  Think Blood Bowl meets WWE - then think a ten minute video in which I talk about it.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

One Score And Thirteen Years Ago - A Bearded Quail Birthday With Bonus Video


When you're born on Friday 13th, all the bad luck stuff associated with it always feels kinda mean-spirited.
Those of you with a good memory may well realise we've passed an important milestone in the Bearded Quail's calendar. The 13th of January is my birthday - this year like the year I was born it was a Friday.  (Unlike the year I was born, there wasn't a snowstorm causing blackouts.

With that I have become older and now scale the heady heights of 33 years old.  I do now own a house so I feel a bit more grown-up than last year, but I still spent a chunk of my birthday reading comics based on 1980s toylines and eating an R2-D2 cake so it kinda cancels out.

Basically every element of my birthday is associated with something negative.  Even though I have the same starsign as Jesus, which you'd think would count for something.
Inevitably my birthday means a few new nerdy odds and ends as gifts.  Some are more vaguely practical, like a whiteboard easel that just happens to be convenient for use while RPGing to track initiative or draw maps.  Some are nerdy but outside the scope of this blog, like the Bluray of Tron and Tron Legacy.

Some, however.... some fit right in.  And one even justifies the first ever Bearded Quail Vlog!  Oo-er, missus!


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A Cadet Will Not Lie, Cheat Or Steal: Starfleet Academy Series 1 Conclusion

My only experience prior to this point of playing in Starfleet Academy.
 Last time I blogged in 2016 it was about Starfleet Academy – the Star Trek RPG I was running a sort of “spin-off” to my main Trek game.  The players were all taking the roll of teenage/twenty-something students who were trying to survive military university and graduate as a Starfleet officer.  They were mostly first year students (with a couple of “veterans”) and represented not the crème de la crème but the “just passing” sort of student.

This game has now concluded and the TL;DR is that the game seemed to go down well and the group agreed they would play it again in the future.  Everyone had their spotlight episode with some better than others – Ailsa and Dave had particularly good episodes I would say.  I think Molly would withdraw K’Ratak (possibly back to the main Star Trek game) and roll up a fresh new player – but everyone else I think would hang onto their character and continue their story, with some strong ideas for future episodes floating about.

Of course I’m not the kind of guy to leave it at a short description like that.  So details follow...

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Everyone Looks Smart And Wears A Tie - Christmas 2016





OK, so we have passed the Epiphany and thus Christmas is over.... but better late than never, right?

This blog has lain rather dormant for a while because Sister Superior and I have been continuing work on the new house.  Since I last wrote we have painted, floored and assembled furniture for the dining room/study.  Into this room and it’s many bookshelves have gone most of our novels, dictionaries, graphic novels, DVDs, computer games and CDs. 

Rather than assembling tanks I’ve been assembling IKEA furniture, which tends to be less fiddly than Warhammer figures and with fewer skulls.


Alas despite this progress the Nerd Room remains a Nerd Room only in potentia.  It’s next on the to do list – and no reflooring or DIY work is required bar a fresh lick of paint, so it should be quick going.  Once the nerd room is done not only can I finally unpack all my RPG and wargaming stuff but I’ll be able to finally get some more miniature painting done and thusly have something worth talking about on this blog.  For now, however, it remains home to many cardboard boxes and not much else


I could really use the Constructions about now.

The other reason why I haven’t posted much lately is that it has been Christmas, which inevitably means I have been stuffing my face and sleeping inbetween family shindigs.  In anticipation of the return to geeky normality, though, Hobby Santa even brought me a couple of treats… and it seemed to me the epiphany was as good a day as any to update you on these.