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Friday, 28 February 2014

Paper minis - Gwindel

As things still aren't working out on the real life front, I thought I'd post another link, and as so many people have commented on my blog header I thought I'd let you know where I got the illustrations from.

It comes down to the amazing work of Patrick Crusiau. My figures above are taken from his Swashbucklers line of paper figures, I think they are fantastic, they are just full of character.

He has a number of equally fabulous character sets, Thirty Years War and Swiss in particular for my game, plus various fantasy, historical, modern and science fiction pages. They are all free and all of the same amazing quality.

Now as an added bonus I stumbled across his blog, quite by accident really as it is not linked to his webpage at all. On there he talks about using Virtual Tabletop software/websites and has various interesting links and some top down swashbuckling tokens which I also love.

I mention these, well because they demand mentioning anyway, but also because of the use I have made of his horse tokens (actually intend to use, I need to get crafty this weekend). I have some odds and ends of foamboard left over from another project and thought his horses, and carriages too, would be great as a means of indicating who is riding.

Now clearly the ideal is a matching, or even close, figure on foot and riding, and Blue Moon and Redoubt Enterprises do in fact make Musketeers and a few others using this brilliant idea, but hardly anyone else does - until now (sort of)!

Simply take one of Patrick's tokens, resize it (I used Word of all things), print it out in glorious colour, cut it out, stick to foamboard, cut the foamboard, et voila! Now ANY figure can be riding a horse just by interposing your new token betwixt game surface and figure.

A quick tip, one thing I should have done though is get a grass, or other texture, first to use as a background, but they will definitely do.

Now for those all important links:

Paper figures

Patrick's blog

Finally, if you're interested, the text is simply Parchment and is available in MS Office 2007 and probably more, with a small drop shadow.

All for one and one for all!
Steve

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Letter of introduction

Dear Mr Lemieur

Greetings old friend, this letter should be delivered to you by a young man by the name of Olivier Tourillon, and it is my intention that you should find a place for him in a suitable regiment of gentlemen.

I have sent him with a small purse for his own provision and the sum of 50 Guilders for the coffers of my old regiment, I am sure you will use it wisely my dear friend.

He is a little head strong but has performed admirably in the local milita under my command and I believe he warrants further training, I am sure you will find a suitable placement.

We must catch up the next time you are in the vicinity of Tannhauser or I am in the capital.

Yours

Count of Chatelaine

Olivier Tourillon was a local tearaway until automatic enlistment in the militia of Tannhauser in the Edenstein East Gate district at age 15 where his combative tendencies found a home. The Count, identifying something in the handsome young man, has decided to sponsor him by giving him a small sum of money and a letter of introduction to his old friend the Captain of the King's Musketeers.

Partially equipped by the Count, with horse, sword, pistols and musket he has been sent from his family, a jobbing carpenter, and given this chance to improve himself, something he intends to take with all vigour. He has two purses, one with a sum for his own provision, both sustenance and further equippage once he has been allocated a regiment, and another for the Count's friend.

His first task is to travel from Tannhauser, the most Easterly city in Edenstein, and home to the famous Tannhauser Gate which separates the country from Eisen and its troubles, to Edenstein Central and the capital, Royal City.

Now for his stats, you will note I have modified the initial setup, effectively making him weaker than recommended as he is younger than normal, being now only 18, and adding in those stats that tie him into my own background. I shall have to see what effect this has on the poor lad. Now the stats:

Olivier is REP 4, Steady and Charismatic. He is an Edensteiner and not entirely devout Vaticine Church supporter, the official religion of Edenstein.

As his father is a carpenter he is a townsfolk with starting Fame of 3, being the 3rd oldest of 5 in the family (both older, then younger, sister and brother) plus a Level 2 Favour. His starting Social Standing is only 1, but I expect this to increase unless disaster befalls him on his journey.

I have allocated his class as Military, which gives him the Fast loader stat. Here I have a house rule, I have decided that reloading should take longer than indicated, requiring 2 activiations to reload, unless a Fast loader which reduces it to 1.

His starting equipment is mentioned above, all the weapons needed to start a career in the military, together with a horse. I will decide on his exact equipment and will only pick one of the options for each encounter, most likely sword and pistol, but a musket will be required for his enrolment and therefore felt he needed one too.

His purse contains the currency of Edenstein which I have detailed before, the large coin the golden Guilder, and the lesser value copper Florin.

A few other house rules, I will bring in the People, Fitness and Savvy skills from New Beginnings, giving Olivier Pep 4 (with Charismatic), Fit 4 and Sav 2. I will allocate skills to other NPCs based on duelling stats, Qwik for Sav, Pwr for Fit and Agg for Pep. I may tweak as required, but for rough purposes this will do. I want these to round him out, as I expect to see him in other situations when these may be called for.

Regarding duelling stats, Olivier has Swordplay of 4, Aggression of 2, Quickness of 3 and Power of 1, with Stamina set at 4.

I will avoid the convention of using French (and other languages) in titles and places, both because of my own poor skills and my belief a true translation would translate those aspects too? Anyway it's my blog so that will be the way it is!

His first task is the delivery of his letter of introduction to the Count's friend Mr Lemieur in March 1625.

This post references two of my favourite films, see if you can spot them and where!

As an addendum I have struggled to post comments on my own blog, so do not think I am ignoring you if you have taken the time to post a comment, and accept my apologies.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Paper minis - Villagers

OK, so real life has intervened into my gaming schedule so I've only managed to make a few paper miniatures this week.

Paper miniatures?! What's this all about!

Well, you see I have a selection of swashbuckler-y miniatures but have not had a chance to paint them. This comes down to not having any paints whatsoever. This is a situation I will remedy at some point in the future, but to start off there is a lot to get, and with my budget somewhat limited by real life concerns this is a real hurdle. Couple this with the fact that when I do have some spare cash in my pocket there always seem to be some figures want.

Perhaps it is my first forays into the hobby, Milton Bradley's HeroQuest and GW's Advanced Heroquest, that came with plastic miniatures that didn't necessarily need painting, but I can happily game with unpainted minis. My brothers and I did in fact later paint those minis, but I have moved away from my family and in the great divi up I got custody of the aforementioned games and they got the paints etc. In light of the cost of these games now on eBay I got the better deal by far!

Now I know unpainted metal looks horrendous on blogs, so I thought I'd go an alternate route and use paper minis. I have a decent enough selection but I thought I'd explain each one I'm going to use in a little mini series.

First up Microtactix Vyllages on the Cheep - Vyllagers.

Cheap Folks COLOR Vyllagers cardstock figures

These are almost exactly what they say they are. Unfortunately more medieval than renaissance, and with some non-human races, but at £3.64 ($6.00) for 84 I can easily stuff those I won't use in a bag for another game and not lose any sleep over it.

The figures come coloured on one side and in black silhouette on the other. I have seen some complain about this but I also have some where the front and back are illustrated but identical, and this is worse as you have no idea on facing. Additionally, if there where two illos per mini I imagine this would push the price up by quite a margin, so I'm quite happy with them.

So what do you get?

1 Captain, 2 City guard (halberds) and 2 Jail guards (spears)
Prisoner
3 Tramps/invalids
Eastern style noble
5 Orcs
Werewolf
Hunchback
Priest and Monk
Some farmers
Some nobles
Some 'general' townsfolk
Executioner
5 Dwarfs
A few elves (you can't really tell and so are good as humans at the table)
2 Horses
4 Cows
Bull
Donkey
5 Sheep (one black)
4 Goats
Wolf

I don't know about you, but I always used to find villager style minis really hard to come by, especially unarmed, and in an RPG or immersion game environment they are almost more important than the easily found combatants. I admit this has changed somewhat with the number of mini producers seemingly increasing exponentially, but still, for the price I really recommend them. If you use metal minis I would still be tempted because of the clear definition between combatants and villagers.

Here they are on RPGNow

All for one and one for all
Steve

Friday, 31 January 2014

Religious setup

So I have the countries for my own Thirty Years War Europe, but now I need the flint and steel to spark it off, otherwise masquerading as religion.

I don't want to get into any real religion, as I'm dealing with fictional (and caricature) countries with real world analogues, I think I'll do the same for religion.

While looking into 7th Sea I discover they too have thought of this, which to be fair they would need to just I like need them.

So they have the Vaticine Church, I think we can all see the relation here and it's good enough for me, and names one of my Italian states last post.

Opposed to them are the Objectionists, again good enough for me.

That's it for 7th Sea as far as I'm aware, but I want a little extra, so Puritans are renamed Constrainters, I'm not entirely happy with this, but it fits the theme.

I think that is all the major bases covered, do I need to rename the Pope? Hmm, probably I do. Turning to translate once again Leader in Italian is capo (too many Godfather connotations!), a quick thesaurus review gives me principal, or Principale, that's it! Bishops etc. are pretty universal so they'll stay as is.

Now for the dreaded Inquisition, according to a website I can no longer find it was original called the Tribunal of <something> so I thought I'd partially resurrect this and just call them The Tribunal.

Finally, it would be good to have an organisation similar to the Jesuits, here thematic application is tricky, as stated I don't want to touch on real world religion at all, so I'd rather leave out any reference to religious figures. Therefore I need to think about the wider mission of a militaristic priesthood, this makes me think of the stereotypical fantasy cleric class. Therefore I will reserve the word Cleric to refer to those in this secretive organisation of Clerics.

OK, so now I have a much more detailed setting that I can mess around in without fear of upsetting historical or religious purists. Feel free to plunder the above for your own campaign if you so wish.

Of final note is not a religion but a region I neglected to mention last post, stolen from 7th Sea once again, the Crescent Islands, although the French iles de croissant (?) just make me hungry! These lie close to the Castille Main and the New World, but that is perhaps a campaign to come in the future!

Given a little time I may put this all together in a pdf, but the campaign's the thing so don't wait around!

All for one and one for all
Steve

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Country setup

So, I felt the need to create new countries. Spanish Netherlands, France etc. come with their own detailed history, historical figures with known personality traits and defeats and successes.

I wanted to get away from those, so I thought I would create my own, not complete creations, I still wanted to retain the essence of those countries, just not the potentially rigid structure.

So I sat down and tried to think of potential names, eventually after word checking a couple to make sure I hadn't chosen inappropriate I got fed up and wondered if there were any out there ready to steal.

This instantly made me think of Florin, Guilder and Ruritania. While Florin and Guilder are a bit too whimsical, Ruritania got me thinking, a quick Google search for Fictional European countries lead me to the inevitable Wikipedia, plenty there although surprisingly balkanised I thought.

I then thought of an old RPG called 7th Sea, it has a reputation for an excellent background that got screwed up as more was added. Well I could easily steal the country names if nothing else.

I ended up with this:

Edenstein
My base of operation as per Savvy and Steel

Montaigne
France per 7th Sea

Castille
Spain per 7th Sea

Heiliges Eisen Reich
Holy Iron Empire if Google translate is to be trusted, Eisen was from 7th Sea too.
As the HRE was many states I thought I'd utilise that Wikipedia article for:
Kravonia, Mittenheim, Ruritania and Glottenberg, all Anthony Hope.
Duchy of Strakenz, from Royal Flash by George Macdonald Fraser, based on Anthony Hope's The Prizoner of Zenda itself.
Grunewald from Robert Louis Stevenson
Finally, Evalonia from John Buchan
At this point I thought I'd channeled enough Penguin Classics!

Geringland
The Netherlands, and low country with my pidgin use of translate

Castille-Geringland
The Spanish Netherlands

Brandmark
Denmark, and possibly fire land

Stomark
Sweden, again possibly great land

Angeland
My own creation, heading back to the Angles root of England, and pronounced Anger-land as in anger managment.

Highland Marches
From 7th Sea for Scotland

Glasland
Ireland, I know this is a real mishmash glas meaning green in Irish per Google, with land tacked on the  end but it will do for me.

Ussura
Russia per 7th Sea. I'm not convinced I'll ever use this one, but it's there in case.

Voddace, Fiori, Marcia, Vatice
These are the equivalent Italian city states. Vodacce is from 7th Sea, Fiori means flower, not sure where Marcia came from and Vatice is from the name of the 7th Sea religion, my next post.

So that's my sandbox!

All for one and one for all!
Steve

Friday, 24 January 2014

Swashbuckling endeavour

Hello all to my new blog.

I have set this blog up to record my adventures in Edenstein in particular, but also to write about anything else swashbuckling that happens to cross my path.

In case you don't know, Edenstein is the imaginary nation from Two Hour Wargames 'By Savvy and Steel' game. It is my first exposure to the Swordplay variant of Ed's rules so I've been reading it extra carefully, and got fired up to really give a proper solo campaign a go, which is where Ed's rules shine.
So what can you expect from this shiny new blog?

My campaign in Edenstein
Not sure if I will concentrate on one character (pure heroic swashbuckler) or an ensemble (that character, plus spies, highwaymen etc.). Perhaps if you have some views you'd like to post them below.

House rules
I expect to dabble a little here and there to get a real living environment, it will all be adding in for flavour, the rules themselves won't change. So expect new encounters, some additional rules and whatever else I think of.

My Europe that never was
In the game, Edenstein is surrounded by the nations of the Thirty Years War, as you'd expect as the game is set from 1625. Well I'd like a little more freedom in that respect, so I will be detailing my alternative kingdoms, duchies and countries as they appear. I initially started by trying to think of names and details, but in the end I have stolen piecemeal as I'll explain as the time comes.

Reviews
I am a fan of the swashbuckling genre, with many a book, film, role-playing game and supplement in my collection. I will review these and more as I find the time and inclination, particularly in respect to how they may impact my ongoing campaign.

Tools & links
Not only will I review, I will also point out particular tools and links of interest. As I find the time I will add to my Links page, but if you have a particular swashbuckling link, let me know and I'll gauge and link to it as appropriate.

Downloads
Those house rules, encounters and details? I'm intending to make them available to download, again, if I find the time.

So that is where I am at and where I am heading, hopefully. One thing I should point out is that my AARs will not be blow by blow, step by step affairs, I do not have the time or the inclination to record the minutiae of encounters. However this does mean I may be able to finesse them as a story somewhat more, although I am not decided at present what form they may take, letters, journal entries, death bed confession? Anyway whatever form they may be in I hope they will be entertaining, as swashbucklers are meant to be!

One final note, if you have an opinion on the layout and style of the blog, please let me know. I'm not sure if I'm entirely happy with it, but the opinions of others would help me immensely.

All for One and One for All!
Steve