GM Essentials–Pawns

Pawns

One of the things I’m always on the lookout for is something to represent characters and monsters in my Pathfinder games. So far, I have tried Lego minifigs, prepainted miniatures, and cardboard pawns. While all work reasonably well, the best I have found to suit my budget is the Pathfinder Pawns (shown above).

Paizo has released a line of versatile cardboard pawns that cater for a wide range of situations. Their first pawns came with their Beginner Box, offering a nice starter collection of monsters and NPCs or PCs. Then they produced the Bestiary Box, which contained a massive number of monsters from their first Bestiary. They have just released pawns for the NPC Codex, giving you a wide variety of characters to represent both your PCs and NPCs. Between these two, you’re off to a great start.

But Paizo didn’t stop there. They’ve also made pawn collections for several of their adventure paths, including Rise of the Runelords. While I really like my small collection of RotR prepainted miniatures, buying this set guarantees I will get all the characters I need, without duplicates and without breaking the bank. I’m really looking forward to expanding my pawn collection with these products. I never did enjoy substituting pawns that looked ‘kinda like’ the monster my PCs were facing.

Flight Rising

FR0Like dragons? Looking for something to occupy your time? Then look no further than Flight Rising, the browser-based game that’s been keeping me busy for the last couple of weeks. The main reason I mention it is because it’s the first thing I’ve kickstarted that has actually produced the finished product. I’m sure the other projects I’ve supported will eventually produce results, but it could be a while.

What attracted me to this project was not the game itself, but the artist, Jessica ‘neondragon’ Peffer. She’s written a few ‘how-to-draw’ books over the years, While I have numerous books on this topic, hers are my favourite as the tutorials are clear, easy to follow, and cover my favourite things to draw – fantasy beings like dragons, fairies, elves, dwarves and more (though, as the name suggests, dragons are the main focus). Anyway, the game features plenty of her art.

FR2

As to what the game is, it’s a virtual pet game with a bit of role playing thrown in. You start with a pair of dragons, which you can breed together. Their eggs eventually hatch and your dragon clan starts to grow. Unfortunately, this is a slow process measured in days, and once bred or hatched, your dragons have a cooldown of at least 15 days before they can breed again!

To keep you busy in the meantime, you can test your dragons in the coliseum, where they can fight monsters or other dragons, gaining experience and eventually levelling up. You can also interact with other players through the forums, trading dragons or other items. You also need to gather food to keep your dragons happy.

The game is completely free-to-play, meaning that you can buy gems to obtain special items or rare breeds of dragon. Nevertheless, there is plenty you can do without paying a cent of real money, so if you like the idea of having your very own clan of dragons, look no further. If you do decide to join, add me as a friend: TriangularRoom.

FR1

GM Essentials–Dice Bags

IMG_4073

Since my little gaming group is on a bit of break, I thought I’d mention one of my absolute favourite tabletop gaming accessories: my DragonChow dice bags. I guarantee these are (probably) better than whatever container you are currently keeping your dice collection in. You can buy them from the website linked above, or make them yourself using the pattern and instructions on the website.

Either way, what makes these dice bags superior to normal dice bags is the four-sided design with a flat bottom. So simple, yet just what you’ve needed all these years… a dice bag that doesn’t fall over on the table. With these guys, I can open it on the table and actually see inside and just grab the dice I need. It doesn’t get better than this!

Minifig Monday 12

12_PepperPottsToday we have another minifig from the Iron Man 3 set we looked at on Friday. Here is Pepper Potts, CEO of Stark Industries. She features the happy face shown here, as well as a scared face for when things go horribly wrong.

I love the ‘shapely’ body she’s been given by the lines on her body piece. You see this on a few minifigs where the character is not block shaped – these special Lego ladies at least have the illusion of curves.

Lego Set–Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 has several Lego sets, but my favourite is the Malibu Mansion Attack. It features several great minifigs, including Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, the Mark 42 suit, the Mandarin and an Extremis soldier. The set itself shows the lab part of Tony’s mansion, filled with gadgets and equipment. There is even his trusty little robot assistant.

MalibuDrive

On the outside are big windows that would be looking out onto the sea. One of these even pops out of its frame.

MalibuDrive_front

One of my favourite features are the suit windows on the side of the set. There are little platforms on the side of this that you can use to launch the Mark 42 suit off using the orange lever shown below.

MalibuDrive_side

The set also includes an enemy helicopter that can be used to fire the little green torpedoes at the mansion.

Mandarin_Helicopter_side

Mandarin_Helicopter

All in all, a nice little set, and not too pricey for what you get. I’ll be posting photos of the other minifigures in this set in future Minifig Mondays.

New GM – Session 8

Despite my being sick (again!), we managed to get together last week and complete the Thistletop dungeon. This time around, my players had a hard time dealing with nasty creatures like Yeth Hounds, whose nasty howl sent our ranger running in fear for most of the fight. Unfortunately for the rest of the party, there was also an issue of damage reduction, and since no one had an appropriate weapon, they really struggled without their largest damage dealer.

Things got better for the party as they went downstairs to fight Nualia (the boss in this adventure) and made clever use of the narrow corridor where the fight took place. Victory was swift as Nualia could neither flee nor receive aid from her faithful Yeth Hound, who could not reach our heroes. Needless to say, our heroes enjoyed looting her lifeless corpse.

From the game mastery side, this week I made use of a GM screen and a list of my players’ perception, stealth and knowledge modifiers, making rolls for these skills in secret. I think this helped with any potential metagaming that can result from seeing dice rolls, especially for things like stealth. The players also learnt the value of strategically retreating when outmatched, as they found Malfeshnekor more than they could handle. They are determined to return to Thistletop to finish him off, however.

With the conclusion of this dungeon, the characters reached level 5 and the end of chapter 1 of Rise of the Runelords. It’s now up to me to start preparing for chapter 2! Since one of our players is away on business, this gives me a couple of weeks to prepare.