Kingbeast's Lair

Growling about the RPG industry and my gaming life. RPG and anime reviews from a passionate fan. (Formerly John's Hero HQ.)
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Archive for 2014

Session #19 – Daring Tales #9 – Kingdom Of The Blood God

October 20, 2014 By: John Taber Category: Daring Tales Of Adventure News, Games

Mushroom Forest[Author’s Note: This is the log for the 19th and final session. Note that the order of the events in this record may not be in the exact order that they occurred during play. The narrator is shown in italics.]

In this hair-raising adventure of Tesla’s Power Corp you can follow the exploits of the following heroes:

  • Mike Callahan – Tough private-eye with a zest for life.
  • Tommy Kelly – Teen thief with a “Robin Hood” complex.
  • Miles Ravenwood – Mysterious man-of-means with knowledge in all things arcane.

Returning Home

After an uneventful trip back from the Island Of The Blood God the group enters Amazonia. The Amazons greet the heroes with cheers! As Cassandra approaches the old crone walks forward and goes to one knee. The new Queen Of The Amazons raises her hands to quiet the crowd. Cassandra explains that she has rescued six of their warriors. Even though the mission was successful there are still four fallen soldiers that were sacrificed to the Blood God. She then tells the crowd that her slaves are not from this world and that they wish to return home. Due to their bravery in the quest they will be released as her slaves.

In the palace the old crone brings items of the Queen Of The Amazons to Cassandra. One of the treasures is a sacred map. On the map is a spire with a beam of light emerging from it. When the members of Tesla’s Power Corp ask about the spire the old crone explains that it is an ancient city with magic beyond their understanding. The group quickly decides that this will be their destination.

The next morning Cassandra is approached by one of her warrior scouts. The scout reports that Athena has left with one of the slaves not from the Hollow Earth (aka Stefan). After gathering a small crew and boat the group sets sail for the spire.

Mushroom Forest

The boat makes good time to the landmass where the spire is located. The heroes say goodbye to the Amazons and setoff on foot. They find themselves in a forest made up of huge mushroom. After travelling for some time they are beset by strange fungal zombies! The group quickly dispatches them with some well placed shots and lightning.

The Lost City Of Atlantis

On the far side of the mushroom forest a magnificent city appears. The buildings of the city glow with white marble in the bright sun of the Hollow Earth. The heroes make their way towards the spire when they find a broken floor leading to a stairway. The stairway descends to a dark walkway over inky black water. Tommy does not feel safe and Miles detects a large magical creature moving in the water. At first Mike leads the way with his rifle in hand. Icky black tentacles flail out! Mike and Miles blast away at the tentacles as they appear. Tommy sees an opening and races through them dodging as he goes!

On the far side of the dark tunnel is a round white marble room with benches, a strange railing with hand prints, and a dais. Tommy examines the room and notices a seam going along the outer edge of the round room. Miles senses magic on the benches, rail, and dais. Tommy and Miles sit on the benches curious as to what will happen. On the dais the image of a man in a robe appears. The man explains that this is the City Of Atlantis and was made by great men. He then informs the heroes that they are not Atlanteans and so they will be eliminated. With that the floor opens up sending them falling into another room This room appears to be some sort of metal smelting line and the heroes are on a moving conveyor belt! Thinking quickly Miles touches Mike and teleports to the end of the conveyor. Tommy dives through saw blades then springs off of hammers where Mike waits with an outstretched hand!

I Can Destroy You With My Mind!

The members of Tesla’s Power Corp next find a huge chamber with glowing concentric circles suspended by chains over a room filled with lava. In the center of the circle is Stefan bathed in a green light. He soliloquys that he will soon have the mental power of a god! When Athena asks when she will be given power to become the queen Stefan sends her flying off the lower ring where at the last minute she grabs a chain! The heroes jump into action! Miles blasts Stefan with a massive bolt of lightning that miraculously finds a gap in the green shield surrounding the Greek mobster. Tommy dives down to the lower ring in a roll. Mike follows and using Tommy as a springboard barrels through the shield where he knocks Stefan out the other side! The next second Mike’s fists send Stefan nearly off a walkway. Stefan narrowly manages to grab hold with his fingertips! At that moment a group of angry Chicomoztoci priests appear from a walkway and start advancing! Tommy sends his voracious spiders to stop the deranged tribesman then throws a rope to the Amazon warriors so that they may save Athena. When Stefan tries to grab Tommy with his telekinetic mind powers he steps on his fingers sending him sprawling into the lava. Miles then teleports down into the green light! In seconds he feels powerful! Concentrating Miles teleports the heroes and the Amazons back to his penthouse apartment in New York City.

Although returned from the Hollow Earth the impact of their journey will be felt for a long time by the members of Tesla’s Power Corp.

Thank you for listening to Tesla’s Power Corp! We here at Kingbeast Radio Drama hope you enjoyed listening to the show. Take care and goodnight!

[I wanted to send a special thanks to my players for making this a great campaign. I enjoyed all the pulpy actiony goodness. GAME ON!]

John’s Gamer Dad Level Up List

October 03, 2014 By: John Taber Category: Games, Growlings

RPG Kids

Summary

I really excited that my two boys are now old enough to start playing games that are much more sophisticated. I am having a blast teaching them about a hobby that I adore. During this time I have seen them improve in many areas. While they have been improving I have been carefully following their progress. This list is my fun way to track our progress. I call it John’s Gamer Dad Level Up List. The ones we have completed are in gold. I added a computer knowledge list because it is important to me even though it is not really game related. :)

Board Games

  • Play hide & seek
  • Play simple kids board games
  • Play a more complicated Euro style board game
  • Play a simple wargame
  • Reference rules from one game while playing another game
  • Save money to buy games at a game store
  • Kid beats me regularly at a board game
  • Makes a reference to a board game in an unrelated conversation

My Comments
Right now my boys are playing many different board games with various mechanics and difficulty levels. Probably the most complicated might be our favorite, Memoir 44. The piggy bank to save money for games was actually their Mom’s idea. It is a great one that they have literally bought into.

RPGs

  • Play pretend
  • Play kid focused rpg
  • Go to first gaming com
  • Play a more advanced rpg
  • Refer to dice as “d[number of sides]”
  • GM an RPG
  • Teach an RPG to someone else
  • Makes a reference to an RPG in an unrelated conversation

My Comments
We started with Hero Kids and it has worked great. It is simple and really fun. Having Don present at the first session and some that follow has been wonderful. He is teaching them by example that the best way to solve issues is with your brains not at the tip of a sword. Evan has asked to try Dungeons & Dragons so he may get that as a gift at some point. SHHH!!! ;)

Video Games

  • Play video games with me
  • Play video game alone
  • Beat bosses alone
  • Beat an entire game alone
  • Buy a video game with their own money.
  • Makes a reference to a video game in an unrelated conversation

My Comments
At first the boys and I started playing simple games like Monkey Island, Animal Crossing, and Mario Kart. We then moved to the Zelda games and really enjoyed it. We finished Skyward Sword and nearly finished Twilight Princess…I cannot beat Gannondorf at the end. :( Recently we started playing Fire Emblem which is a turn based strategy game. The boys loved it and actually finished it during the summer on their own. Hot darn! :D

Computer Knowledge

  • Feel comfortable playing on a tablet
  • Know how to turn on the PC and play with simple software
  • Know how to search for something on the internet
  • Can create documents
  • Know the various parts of a computer
  • Help Grandpa and Grandma with their computer

My Comments
I am really proud of how my guys are taking to the computers and tablet. Josh is especially great at finding stuff on Google. He found tons of games with police officers, pictures of tanks, etc. Just awesome. Next I need to get a PC I can pull apart to show them.

Did I miss anything? :D

Session #18 – Daring Tales #9 – Kingdom Of The Blood God

September 23, 2014 By: John Taber Category: Daring Tales Of Adventure News, Games

Tribesmen[Author’s Note: This is the log for the 18th session. Note that the order of the events in this record may not be in the exact order that they occurred during play. The narrator is shown in italics.]

In this hair-raising adventure of Tesla’s Power Corp you can follow the exploits of the following heroes:

  • Clyde Beatty – Whip crackin’ animal expert with a troubled past.
  • Mike Callahan – Tough private-eye with a zest for life.
  • Tommy Kelly – Teen thief with a “Robin Hood” complex.
  • Miles Ravenwood – Mysterious man-of-means with knowledge in all things arcane.

Off The Rails!

When the mine tracks reach their terminus the cart plunges into an underground river. The heroes try to fight the suffocating water but succumb. The group awaken naked on a rough straw cot in leg manacles. Attending them is a beautiful young teenage woman known as Cassandra. She explains that the “slaves” were fished out of the lake by one of the Amazon hunting parties. The members of Tesla’s Power Corp are to be the property of the “new queen”. When prompted Cassandra explains that the old queen has just passed and a new queen will be selected today. She claims to be the daughter of the old queen Antiope. With that Cassandra escorts the group out into a central courtyard. At a small stone ziggurat a raven haired woman tells the crowd that she, Athena, claims the throne and asks for any challengers. At that moment one of the Amazon warriors who is standing behind Cassandra pushes her into the courtyard. Cassandra stands bravely but there is a look of fear in her eyes. She must battle Athena and her slaves for the throne. Cassandra claims the newly found slaves as her own.

As the battle starts the group moves into action. Tommy baits a slave towards the edge of the arena then throws him outside. Mike starts throwing powerful punches sending slaves to the dirt. Clyde works on other slaves while Miles cuts loose with lightning bolts. Cassandra fights defensively until Athena signals the crowd and is thrown weapons. Clyde grabs a sword and throws is to Cassandra. As Miles fells Athena, Cassandra puts a sword to her throat and asks her to surrender to the new queen. Athena assents.

Questing With The Queen

As the new “queen elect” Cassandra returns the group their gear. While relaxing in the palace the levity is interrupted by an Amazonian warrior. The warrior explains that one of the Amazon fishing villages is under attack by a group of Chicomoztoci tribesmen. They are capturing Amazons to sacrifice to their evil blood god! The heroes jump into action with Cassandra. They find a group of deranged tribesman burning down the village when they start their attack. The unorganized tribesman are quickly put down by the heroes. As the battle closes the Amazons report that ten of their members have been taken.

Upon returning to the Amazon fortress Cassandra is confronted by an old Amazon shaman. The crone tells the group that Cassandra must conduct a quest to rescue the Amazons who were taken to be crowned as queen. The fates should be confronted to guide the group. With that the heroes and Cassandra enter a sacred chamber below the Amazonian temple ziggurat. They soon find astral forms of themselves and must confront ghostly warriors using only their minds. The tables are turned when Tommy, Clyde, and Miles let loose in hand-to-hand mind combat. The crone gives the team magic stones as a reward for their victory.

Island Of The Blood God

Five days on the water take the heroes and Cassandra to the home of the Chicomoztoci. As they approach the island that is the home of the blood god’s minions they are beset by pirates! After boarding the pirate ship the heroes defeat the pirate captain and commandeer the ship. They then devise a plan to use the pirate ship as a distraction. Tommy sets the pirate ship on fire then jumps overboard! When the boat explodes ships from the island are sent to investigate. This gives the heroes a chance to sneak onto the island and free the captured Amazons.

As they sneak into the ruined city that is the Chicomoztoci home they find the Amazons tied up in a hallway inside the main ceremonial ziggurat. When Tommy sneaks up he finds five Amazons and Stefan Andropolous! Apparently the Greek mobster survived the mine cart descent and was rescued by the Chicomoztoci who now plan to sacrifice him. The group unties the Amazons but are caught as they are trying to escape. A pitched battle ensues! Miles and the Chicomoztoci witchdoctor trade blasts! Clyde start whipping tribesman off the ziggurat steps. Mike fires some deadly shots with his rifle then enters into hand-to-hand combat with them. Tommy grabs the ceremonial dagger from the fallen witchdoctor then uses it to impale the last temple guard. The party rushes back to their small boat and the trip back to the Amazonian homeland.

Cassandra is now the queen but the heroes of Tesla’s Power Corp still need to return to the surface. An ancient map will lead them to unspeakable horrors that must be braved. Keep your eyes open and your fists at the ready!

Comics Review – Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes & Pariah Missouri Book One

September 06, 2014 By: John Taber Category: Fun Reads, Media Interests

Dotter Of Her Father's Eyes

-== Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes ==-

Author: Mary Talbot
Artist: Bryan Talbot
Layout: 6″ x 8 1/2″, 94 pages, hardcover, with a color cover and interior.
Publisher: Dark Horse
Year Published: 2012

-== What is it? ==-

Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes (DOHFE) is the story of Lucia Joyce, the daughter of James Joyce, and Mary Talbot. Mary Talbot is the daughter of a James Joyce scholar and the author. The story switches back and forth comparing and contrasting the lives of these two women. Each story takes place in different times as well.

-== What I Like ==-

The artwork in DOHFE is done in a simple style that reminded me of Maus. The coloring switches between blues for Lucia and browns for Mary. Although the artwork is not detailed it does a great job keeping the focus on the story.

DOHFE is a powerful narrative of growing up under a controlling parent. The graphic novel does a great job following the two women as they try to make their own way in the world. As they work their way into adulthood they encounter many emotional encounters that shape them. The writing in DOHFE is exceptional.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

The story is definitely stronger if the reader knows at least some basic facts about James Joyce and his works. Those unfamiliar with Joyce can still enjoy the story but it helps to have some background.

The artwork quality can vary. In some areas DOHFE feels “sketchy” instead of crisp and clear.

-== Summary ==-

DOHFE is a very different graphic novel. I think it shows the emotional power that can be carried in the medium. For a price of $11.77 this is a no brainer…go check it out. ;)

I give it 8 out of 10 paws.

Amazon has copies of the graphic novel for $11.77 at this URL.

Pariah Missouri

-== Pariah Missouri ==-

Author: Andres Salazar
Artist: Jose Luis Pescador with coloring by Andres Salazar
Layout: 7″ x 10″, 112 pages, softcover, with a color cover and interior.
Publisher: SE Studios And Decade Brothers Studios
Year Published: 2013

-== What is it? ==-

Pariah Missouri is a wild west tale set in a city that is being infected by evil creatures and men. The first book revolves around a set of characters that are gathered together to fight back against the darkness. I am reading a copy that I purchased through the initial Kickstarter. Pariah Missouri is now released through regular comic distribution channels and can be found or ordered at most comic stores. You can also get copies of book one as part of the Kickstarter for book two.

-== What I Like ==-

The line work in Pariah is wonderful. Pescador has a thin line technique that shows lots of detail without making it feel cluttered. The lines are precise and strong. I particularly like the costume and accessory designs which really fit the wild west setting perfectly.

Salazar does a masterful job on the coloring. The coloring uses watercolor like washes in predominately orange/sepia or blue tones. The coloring really enforces the mood of the story as it moves along. I was particularly entranced by the thought that went into the color choices on each page.

I really enjoyed the characters in Pariah. There is a handsome card sharp leader, a beautiful call girl with a caring heart, a black voodoo practitioner, an Indian bounty hunter, and a crackpot Indian shaman. The group really feels like a well crafted RPG team. :)

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

One of my only complaints is with the cover. I really think it could be enhanced so that it really pops when put on the shelf. Maybe a bit more action would also be good.

-== Summary ==-

Pariah Missouri feels like a mashup of the A-Team, Supernatural, and Wild Wild West. The feel is light and fun. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book! :D (You can order book one and book two right now through the Kickstarter. Here is a link to that campaign. I was very excited to learn that as part of the Kickstarter for Pariah Book 2 there will be an RPG! Hot darn! See the Kickstarter for details.)

I wanted to send a special thanks to Andres Salazar. When I got book one from the last Kickstarter it was badly creased through the spine. It honestly looked like someone bent if over a curb. Andres sent me a new copy with a nice signature at no cost. Awesome customer support is a good thing. ;)

I give it 9 out of 10 paws.

Right now the only place to get it is through your local comic book store or the Kickstarter for book two. Most friendly local comic stores have it for around $20.

Session #17 – Daring Tales #8 – The Island Of Terror

August 27, 2014 By: John Taber Category: Daring Tales Of Adventure News, Games

Giant Centipede[Author’s Note: This is the log for the 17th session. Note that the order of the events in this record may not be in the exact order that they occurred during play. The narrator is shown in italics.]

In this hair-raising adventure of Tesla’s Power Corp you can follow the exploits of the following heroes:

  • Clyde Beatty – Whip crackin’ animal expert with a troubled past.
  • Johnny Kelly – Self-taught mechanic and chemist who knows he is the best at what he does…just ask him!
  • Mike Callahan – Tough private-eye with a zest for life.
  • Tommy Kelly – Teen thief with a “Robin Hood” complex.
  • Miles Ravenwood – Mysterious man-of-means with knowledge in all things arcane.

Chamber Of The Moon

As the fight ends the group speaks with the “intended sacrifice” and examines the chamber just inside the mountain at the back of the ziggurat. The sacrifice has olive skin and deeply stained tan pants. When the heroes address him in English he replies that he knows only little English. He is apparently fluent in Greek. His name is Lander. Lander claims to work for Stefan. He says that most of his party has been sacrificed by the savages. The lone Greek guesses that he might be the only survivor.

While Lander gets his strength the group examines the chamber just inside of the ziggurat. The chamber walls are full of strange pictographs. Using the journal from the American explorers Miles is able to translate the pictographs. He learns that these ruins were built by an ancient race known as the Chicomoztoci, or “those who dwelt in the seven caves.” They apparently worship some type of moon good. A set of pictographs over the only way out of the room warn of the “dawn plunderers of the Valley Of The Moon.”

After giving the Greek a spare pistol, the members of Tesla’s Power Corp moves out of the chamber. After along walk in a dark cave the group finds a large round copper metal door. In the center of the round door is an Aztec calendar. After investigating Tommy realizes that it is like a simple safe tumbler and sets to crack it. A minute later and the door opens. The next room is full of large centipedes! When the door opens they surge forward followed by two humongous centipedes that are over 18 feet long! After a pitched battle the group is able to take down the creatures.

Ruins In The Valley Of The Moon

On the other side of the room with the bugs is a short hallway that leads to a beautiful grass meadow. Tommy climbs up the mountain side and borrowing Johnny’s binoculars takes a look around. On one side of the meadow he spies some dinosaurs that resemble velociraptors. On the other side is a ruined city. Behind both is the volcano. About 1/2 way up is a cave entrance. The top of the volcano is sputtering ash.

Clyde finds trails from several men leading towards the city ruins. Examining the trails carefully reveals that the Americans appear to be being led by the Greeks. Are they captives?

At the ruins Tommy scouts ahead. He spies a thin wisp of smoke from a fire and investigates. Several of the tribesmen are watching the trail through the city from cover. On one of the them has a shiny knife that obviously does not belong to the man. Tommy attempts to steal it but gets his hand caught on the mans belt. He then whistles for the heroes who are actually able to back down the savages without getting attacked. Quietly the group leaves towards the cave mouth.

Out Of The Pteranodons And Into The Fire

Johnny rigs up some of his sticky goo so that the group can climb up the side of the volcano a bit easier. As they near the cave mouth some pteranodons take to the air. Their nests have apparently been disturbed by the presence of the heroes. As they swoop down the group jumps into action. Tommy scampers up the hill. The baby t-rex grabs a pteranodon out of the air snapping its neck! Johnny and SAM let loose with gas attacks stunning the beasts. Clyde pulls one out of the air with his whip sending it crashing into the rock hard lava wall. When one swoops down Mike punches it in the neck sending it sprawling down the side of the volcano.

As Tommy climbs over the crest of the ridge towards the cave he hears a rifle bolt click back. The familiar Greek accented voice of Stefan Andropolous speaks out, “Climb up slowly and the rest of the Americans in your party will be allowed to live!” Next to Stefan is his bodyguard Mr. Scar. Standing nearby are four of his mercenaries. After binding and disarming the heroes Stefan goes on to explain that he believes the creators of this structure are the fabled Atlanteans. Stefan also relays that his men have just broken through a tunnel that will lead him to the Hollow Earth where he can get their fabled technology and use it to get the power he so rightly deserves. Lander is not being bound but instead appears to have rejoined Stefan’s group.

The members of Tesla’s Power Corp are led into a large room with a strange metal floor. On one side of the room sit four tied up members of the American expedition. On the other side of the room are rail cart tracks that lead into the heart of the volcano. Lander speaks with Stefan in Greek but he seems nervous and not comfortable with the plan. Lander keeps glancing back at the heroes then the other Grecians.

With some careful trickery the group escapes their bonds and rushes the Greek mercenaries, Stefan, and Mr. Scar. After felling two of the mercenaries Mike stuns Mr. Scar and Stefan with some well placed fists. Tommy runs towards the carts. Johnny lets loose with gas stunning several of the men. Miles cuts loose on Stefan with lightning bolts. Clyde grabs Mike’s rifle from one of the fallen mercenaries then start shooting at the other men. After regaining his senses Stefan jumps into a mine cart then pulls forth an item that summons four huge metal sphinx statues! The statues move forward to attack the group. Mike grabs on to the back of Stefan’s mine cart while it goes down the tracks. Tommy, Johnny, and Miles jump into another cart to pursue. This leaves Clyde who takes out sphinx after sphinx with well placed rifle shots! Once the Americans are safe he jumps into a mine cart with baby t-rex and rolls down the tracks.

After a wild ride the lead mine cart with Stefan and Mike hanging on the back reaches a sharp dip with broken tracks in the center! Mike jams on the breaks as the mine cart tumbles off the tracks towards the lava! Thinking fast Johnny pulls a rope and grappling hook from the bottom of the mine cart and asks Tommy to throw Mike a line. Tommy throws a perfect shot to Mike who swings under the cart then up inside of it! After clearing the jump the heroes trundle down the roller coaster track where they plunge off into the darkness…

What fate awaits the members of Tesla’s Power Corp in the Hollow Earth?!? Terrible cults!?! Ancient temples!?! Strange creatures that defy description!?! THAT AND MORE!!!