Friday, 31 August 2007

My HeroQuest games at Furnace 2007.

So here are the games I will be running at Furnace 2007. There are a couple of new games that are debuting at Furnace plus one game that hasn't been played too often. If there is time and demand I may run one of my other Serenity games as well.

'We are the Boys…'
This is a new game based on a very popular TV series in the UK. This will not only stretch my scenario writing ability and my GM style but the HeroQuest games mechanic as well. Very much a 'beer & pretzel' game played for some laughs. I hope that it goes well.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


'We are the Boys…' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.
HeroQuest adventure for 6 players.
Newcomers very welcome. Maturity preferred.

It is the dark summer of 1940 and the storm clouds of war still hang over Europe. Nazi Germany is poised to do Hitler's bidding and invade this green and pleasant land. The Local Defence Volunteers will be the last bastion of England when the invasion comes; if they fail then the country will be under the Nazi jackboot and all freedom lost.
And where will the Nazi vanguard attack?


Serenity/FireFly: HeroQuest
These are games based on the series FireFly and the film Serenity by Buffy's Joss Whedon. The player characters will be the crew of The Betty from Alien: Resurrection; Joss Whedon's first stab at a misfit crew of smugglers onboard an old, broken-down ship.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The first game, 'Echoes in the Black', has been run nineteen times now at various conventions and has always been over-subscribed.
The sequel, 'The Quick and the Dead', has only been run six times and has now been extended with extra dilemmas.
The second sequel [or is that threequel?] debuted at Conception 2007 and has only been ran once. I am running it again especially for Furnace 2007. 'Dead Reckoning' is the third in the series of Serenity:HeroQuest games and is completely brand new [though certain parts of the plot my be similar to the other games!]. It still uses the crew of The Betty but puts them in more perilous and immoral situations. Included with more silly props!
Debuting at Furnace 2007 is the fourth in the series called 'No Power in the 'verse'. This is payback time and the Alliance and Blue Sun will suffer when the crew of The Betty discover the darkest secret yet and will try to bring an end to their evil plots.
Due to the popular demand of these games a seventh player character has been added to all games. The games can be played in order to experience the full epic narrative arc but each game is also complete in itself and can be played as a one-off. 


'Dead Reckoning' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.
Serenity: HeroQuest adventure for 7 players.
Newcomers very welcome. Maturity preferred.

"Feh Feh Pi Goh! This job should have been shiny!
Here we are floating in the black about to make a move on the 'verse's easiest mark, a Research & Rescue vessel doing 'science' well away from civilisation. The Guay Tuh Guay Nown patron said it would be like taking candy from a baby. "Just don't use sensors as you approach," he said, "use dead reckoning to get in close."
Not only have we just seen what they are actually doing the 'science' on but we have just learnt who the Lao Buhn is who is bankrolling this caper.
A certain Crime Lord with his own Skyplex and a very nasty rep.
Dead Reckoning indeed!"


'No Power in the 'verse' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.
Serenity: HeroQuest adventure for 7 players.
Newcomers very welcome. Maturity preferred.

"Well, they have hurt me jobs, hurt my pay, hurt my ship, hurt my crew and now they are hurting my head.
Well I say 'no more!'
I ain't sitting back on this one, no sir. I am goin' to take it to them. Hurt them hard. See how they like that! I coming at them straight and true.
No power in the 'verse can stop me!"


Monday, 27 August 2007

Furnace 2007 Con Book Update

Okay chaps we have just less than a month to go until the deadline of Monday 24th September 2007.

Some stuff has been promised but not yet delivered to me.This listed below is what we have so far but there is a little bit of space for those articles that have been promised.

Furnace 2007 Con Book Contents
So far:
Games Timetable.
Game write-ups from all GMs. [Hopefully this will be part of the timetable]
Intro to Furnace by Chairman.
Committee Write-ups.
Garrison Hotel venue info by Darran Sims.
Water Aid info.
Top Ten Player Tips by Evilgaz.
Aggar Homeland Write Up for HeroQuest By David Millians.
Tal'Vorn a Game World for D&D by Joshua Binks.
'Love, Honour & Obey' a DitV Scenario by Ric Baines.
'Dragonewts' by Darran Sims.
'Dark Heart of the Dragonlands' a HeroQuest Scenario by Darran Sims.
"When the snow lay round about..." a Gloranthan story by Jane Williams.
'Nemesis RPG Madness Meters for CoC' by Dominic Mooney.

Looks good so far, should be a cracking book for every attendee of Furnace 2007.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Up & Coming RPG Conventions

August Update of RPG conventions.

Can you let me know of any I have missed please?

0 Gen Con UK 2007. University of Reading, Berkshire. UK.
Thursday 30th August - Sunday 2nd September 2007.

0 Confess 2007. The Southern Hotel, Sligo. Ireland.
Saturday 15th - Sunday 16th September 2007.

0 CONcrete Cow '07½. Old Bath House, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, UK.
Saturday 29th September 2007.

0 PSYCHOCON 2007. The Regent Suite, Golden Lion Hotel, Leeds, UK.
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th October 2007.

0 Spiel 2007. Messe Essen, Essen, Germany.
Thursday 18th - Sunday 21st October 2007.

0 Furnace 2007. The Garrison Hotel, Sheffield. UK.
Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st October 2007.

0 ODDconUK '07. Quality Hotel, Walsall, UK.
Friday 26th – Sunday 28th October 2007.

0 Gaelcon 2007. Clontarf Castle, Dublin. Ireland.
Saturday 27th - Monday 29th October 2007.

0 Consequences 2007. Naish Holiday Village, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, UK.
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th November 2007.

0 Dominicon 2007. N.U.I Maynooth, Kildare, Ireland.
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th November 2007.

0 Grand Tribunal 2007. Cheltenham. UK.
Saturday 17th November 2007.

0 Dragonmeet 2007. Kensington Town Hall, London, UK.
Saturday 1st December 2007.

0 Warpcon XVIII. University College Cork, Ireland.
Friday 25th - Sunday 27th January 2008.

0 Conception 2008. Naish Holiday Village, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, UK.
Wednesday 30th January - Sunday 3rd February 2008.

0 TravCon 08. Redwings Lodge, Sawtry, UK.
Friday 14th - Sunday 16th March 2008.

0 Tentacles 2008. Castle Stahleck, Bacharach, Germany.
Friday 9th - Monday 12th May 2008.

0 Continuum 2008. John Foster Hall [also known as New Hall], Leicester University. UK.
Friday 1st - Monday 4th August 2008.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

More Gun Cards for Serenity:HeroQuest

I’ll take you through the way I have used the cards at my last game to see if that sheds any light. Now I wanted a way to use the more unique weapons and equipment that we have seen in the Firefly setting, Mal has his special pistol, Zoë has her Mare’s Leg rifle and Jayne has his major gun fetish. Also in other Sci-Fi settings there is a focus on the ‘big guns’ that they use. Another problem I had was the weapons are listed on the character sheets but they had no further details about them. Also at points during some of the scenarios the characters are meant to hand over their guns [or try to smuggle them in]; or swap them between themselves, and with seven PCs that gets difficult to keep track of. My solution was to make Gun Cards, the size of credit cards nicely laminated, and hand them out to the players along with their character sheets. The games I run are fairly prop heavy anyway with printed money, Multipass name badges, full colour character sheets, computer screen handouts, and the like.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The M41A Pulse Rifle as seen from Aliens.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The Newtech Assault Rifle as seen from Alien:Resurrection.

As you can see the gun cards have a picture of the weapon, its mass, firing range, rate of fire, number of rounds in the weapon, power source if has one, and other types of projectile. It also has the HeroQuest keyword with rating, three extra abilities and the HP point spend for that weapon. So the players have their own gun cards, each with their own weapons that they can use at anytime. The player of Johner has these weapons or may get these weapons at some point:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Johner’s Gun-in-a-Thermos that he can sneak in anywhere. From Alien:Resurrection. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Johner’s Grenade Launcher. Not accepted at all establishments. From Alien:Resurrection. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The MP5K variant as seen from the Serenity Film. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Johner may get to use this weapon if Elgyn gives it to him in times of need. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is the gun Johner wants Elgyn to buy him. Elgyn would be a fool to do it!

So as you can see Johner can get tooled up should he be allowed to but for a simple trip to the bar or enter legitimately a high security area he would have to hand over most of these guns. The player would hand the cards to me, the narrator, so would be unable to use any abilities off them. The chances are the player may want to take along his ‘gun-in-a-thermos’ so he would have to use it’s concealed abilities to get past any security sensors.

So Johner tries to get his ‘gun-in-a-thermos’ past the Gun Detectors at the entrance to the Deep Space Research Complex and also past the Watchful Eyes of the gate guards. A difficulty rating of 1M2 in total. Johner’s Player uses Hidden in Thermos Flask 3M2 augmented by Small & Concealable 1M for a +2 off the card and augments with Johner’s Conceal Contraband 10M for another +3 making a total of 8M2. So masteries cancel so it becomes a 8 vs. 1 contest. If Johner had tried to get his Grenade Launcher through it would just be with his Conceal Contraband 10M with a negative augment of –3 from the Grenade Launcher keyword. So it would be a 7 vs. 1M contest, a lot harder!

With Grahams example I would use the Newtech Assault Rifle’s Rapid Fire-Quite Burst 19M augmented by Newtech Targeting Sensors 5M2 for a +5 and the character’s Rifle Trait 9M for another +3. So 7M2 in total versus the three Alien Bugs Skitter Menacingly 15M. Three bugs so a +8 for a total of 3M2 making a 7 vs. 3 contest. Far better than using the 9M Rifle Trait.

Here are some more Gun Cards

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As you can see Graham I have changed the 'M' for mastery on the old cards in my other post for the 'Ace of Spades' that fits in more with the Firefly setting!

More will follow!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Grandfather for the Seventh Time!

Illyas Sandanari was born at 16:45 today and weighing in at seven pounds two ounces. 
Both mother and baby are doing well, my wife Jenny is beeming and old granddad Sims is recovering. 

He is such a beautiful boy.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

August's EMD&DMUG Monthly Meet.

The East Midlands Dungeons & Dragons Meetup Group August Monthly Meeting
Sunday 12th August 2007
The Brunswick Inn
1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU.

So this was my first East Midlands D&D Meetup Group monthly meet and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I know the Brunswick Inn well, having spent my last night of freedom before my wedding there, though I have never played a game or knew that people meet up there for games.

There were a few problems with the original date as it clashed with Derby County’s first match of the season; the pub is one of the closest to the stadium and the railway station and was packed with football supporters. This would have made it very difficult to play games!
I did try to snag one of the small meeting rooms in the Assembly Rooms on the same day but was denied by The Powers That Be. So it was moved to the Sunday instead; nice and quiet but unfortunately the kitchen is closed on Sundays so people had to buy their food from the very expensive café at the railway station.

So I arrived at one o’ clock and sorted out my membership card and handed over my donation to the group of thirty-five badge-holders with neck chains. The membership cards double as name badges having a mug shot as well as the on-line avatar of the wearer – nice touch!
I then set up the table ready for my game in the far corner of the room. Sorting out all the money and other props.

I did have three people pre-booked for the game at the EMD&DMU website but I also managed to rope in four more players for the game, giving me a full set of players.
After checking that they all were familiar with the setting of Firefly/Serenity [they were!] I started off telling them that given a choice between doing something sensible but boring or doing something risky and fun always go for the risky option!

The whole group of gamers playing Serenity:HeroQuest.

The players picked their characters; all choosing characters that suited them well and I handed out the small stacks of money to each of them [except Call who only gets a ripped 1 Cred note!] along with their Gun Cards.

The money is used to show how rich [or poor] the characters were and they could use it to buy extra equipment or supplies with it. One player, Chris asked what else it was used for. I told him that you could earn or steal more and I would take some off you if you walked into a bar, brought fuel, weapons or ammo or pay your docking fees. It is part of the Firefly setting – ‘Get a job, get paid, keep flying’.
“Pay Bills? I play these games to get away for paying bills and direct debts and the like!” He stated incredulously. Nice moment that.

The gun cards are a new thing I have introduced to my games. I wanted to give the players more ‘flavour’ for the setting by allowing them to see picture of the weapons they will be using along with the associated abilities and capabilities of those weapons. Also it allows me to take them off them should they lose them or hand them over to someone else or they can trade them between each other. The Captain has the most and he can choose to give them to the other players or not.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I had advertised I was running ‘The Quick and the Dead’ but as no one had played before I decided to run the first game ‘Echoes in the Black’ as that is a better intro to the game I think.

I started the game with the Betty setting down at Eavesdown Docks on Persephone with a cargo of scrap metal in the hold, not worth much but better than dropping into atmo with an empty hold. Straight away as they walk off the Betty they are surrounded by Alliance soldiers lead by Redbone Bright, the officer in charge of the docks. He hit the Betty with a citation for littering as it was leaking oil all over the dock. He also wanted to know who they all are, my trick to get the players to introduce their characters to each other ‘in game’ so to speak. The group bribed him, haggling him down to almost next to nothing. From there they went onto the Palace Saloon to meet their contact, called Rogan Joshi, to whom they should ‘curry’ favour.

The Palace Saloon doesn’t quite live up to the image its name conjures. Located in the poorer area of the docks, the lower port fees being what makes this area so special, the Palace Saloon is a dive. A clean dive but a dive none the less, renowned for it late-night Karaoke and it’s private booths that are ideal for private meetings. Before they could get in through the door though the barkeep, Azcal Breen, made sure they enter his ‘fine’ establishment un-strapped of their iron. Why the gun control? ‘cause the damage done to the décor!’

Rogan had a private booth in the saloon and got to business straight away. The job is simple but comes in two parts. The first part is a legitimate delivery of lug nuts [you can’t have too many lug nuts] to the Highgate Skyplex in the Regina sector. The Highgate Skyplex use to be the HQ of the terraforming operation of the whole sector, but most of it is now dialect, the few functional areas used now as a space warehouse by the eccentric merchant Brian Hammond. Rogan has obtained, at great expense he points out, the Ident cards that allows docking at the Skyplex and will pay the crew for this job to avert suspicion.

The second part happens on U-day at 09:00. By quirk of a computer error all the secure sections of the Skyplex can then be entered, including Brian’s vault, for a two-hour window of opportunity. Also as it is U-day all the feds are away on shore leave just leaving the local guards on duty. It should be easy to deal with the local talent and walk into the vault. The contents of the vault include the payroll for all the Skyplex staff and all of it is for the taking, that’s their payment for the second part of the job. Rogan only wants the seven large black cases all marked with Alliance flags that are also in the vault as they are ‘technically’ his property. Do not open them, shake them up or scan them in any way. Drop them off at the rendezvous point on Angel and the job is done. Simple, huh?

The trouble is that U-day is six days away and the Highgate Skyplex is six days away on full burn so the timing will be tight. There can be no distractions. Rogan leaves after paying them for the lug nut job and giving them the seven ident cards, the ‘Multipass’ name badges I give out as another prop.

The group liked the sound of the job, a whole vault for themselves was good thing. However they were a little suspicious of the seven black cases. Could they be much needed medicine or something more sinister? Seven cases and there are seven of them, could that be something?

Before they left the bar the barkeep, Azcal Breen, came over to them and asked if they would do him a little job for him if they were departing soon. A case in his backroom needs ‘disposing of’ so no trace of it can be found. Just push it out of your airlock and into a sun if you can as long as is gone. And no its not what you are thinking, I have better ways of getting rid of bodies. You can check out the case if you like just lose it.

The group took this job on as well despite Rogan warning them earlier about distractions. They opened the case up and looked inside. It was broken engine parts, all with Alliance holographic serial numbers on.

The group then had to pay out for fuel, grenades, ammo, supplies and spare engine parts. The Captain give his second in command 200 Creds to buy the stuff, stuff worth nearly 1000 Creds!
Also Johner managed to find a contact selling a Gatling gun for 600 Creds, a barging!
The trouble is the Captain was a little stingy with his money so said no to the Gatling gun. However Johner asked if he could hire it!
Well that made me laugh so I said they could, the only thing is that it would have a great big ‘HIRE’ sign painted down the sides making it very un-cool.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From there the game went down hill very fast!
Some of the key moments for me were when encountering the distressed engineer adrift in space who pleading to be rescued, the pilot Hillard said “She sounds too needy and is talking too much. Women hate that!”
And when the group had their bar room brawl Johner used the Gatling gun to waste some of the other combatants away!

“Money, money, money!”

“I got the Gatling gun!”

More photos at:


So in all a very good afternoon and a very good game, probably made better by washing down pints of ‘White Feather’ ale.
It is a shame I could stay on after my game and play Paranoia with the rest of the group but I had to get back to wife who was feeling a little neglected.
All being well I will run the sequel ‘The Quick and the Dead’ Serenity:HeroQuest at September’s EMD&DMU monthly meet up.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Gun Cards for my Serenity:HeroQuest Game.

Over on the MoLaD forum on this thread, I was talking about giving key or special items of equipment abilities. This would to some degree follow the sidekick rules.

Well I have decided to follow this up and make some equipment cards [mainly weapons] up ready for my Serenity:HeroQuest game this coming Sunday.

I have used pictures of the weapons along with some brief information like range, weight, nuber of loaded bullets, rate of fire, etc.

The weapons come from numerous sources such as the Firefly series, the Serenity film, the Alien films, Bladerunner, Fifth Element, TV shows, plus many from real life.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Jayne's Vera from Firefly.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The Alliance Sonic Rifle stun gun from Firefly.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
A gun from MiB.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Johner's Grenade launcher from Alien:Resurrection.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Johner's gun-in-a-thermos from Alien:Resurrection.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Vriess's shotgun from Alien:Resurrection.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Vriess's pistol from Alien:Resurrection.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
An old picture of a rusty gun.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The M41a Pulse Rifle from Aliens.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The pistol from Aliens.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Deckard's P/K-D pistol from Bladerunner.

I have made a few more up than this and I have a few more to go as well so expect further postings.

Thoughts and comments?

Saturday, 4 August 2007

New Traveller from Mongoose

Well there will be a new Traveller out by Mongoose Publishing:

I am not sure how I feel about this but I am guessing it's good news?

I must admit that my only experience with Traveller was when I was in 6th Form. Lee Woodings used to run the games but most of the time was spent picking weapons and in-fighting in the group in and out of character. Lee used to keep the mechanics 'invisible' so I never had any dealings with them so I do not know what they are like.