Blaugust 2021 Day 9 (of 31) – This is the end (for now)

And so we come to the end of Blaugust and I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to the blog as I’d hoped, but I did manage to get 8 posts in (9 if we include this!), so two a week is better than nothing!

As much as I enjoy writing about gaming, I enjoy gaming more, so what little free time I’ve had has been spent doing that. I’ve tried a new game in Beta (Back4Blood), I’ve continued grinding the end game on LOTRO and I’ve started a new Cthulhu RPG campaign on the Play by Post site, Gamer’s Plane, so a lot has happened. I’ve also dived into not one but two D&D games as a player, a first for me and I’m enjoying both. So I don’t feel too sad not have achieved a higher post count for this years Blaugust, it has been a very productive time.

I was hoping to get in another guest post from a beloved author and that may still appear yet. I don’t intend to stop blogging just because the festival has ended and this has somewhat invigorated my interest in the site if only to keep track of all the fun I’m having!.

So thanks to you, Belghast for creating and organising Blaugust and thank you to those readers that took to time to at least glance at my posts or even comment, and I look forward to Blaugust 2022!

Blaugust 2021 Day 8 – Back 4 Blood

OK, so time got away with me and I missed a number of days, but I’m going to keep my numbering so at least I can see how many times I posted.

Back in 2008 a game-changing game was released on the world, Left 4 Dead, a co-operative shooter where four survivors of a zombie apocalypse survive through scenarios filled with endless waves of zombie hordes. The game was followed a year later by the originally titled “Left 4 Dead 2”, same scenario, different episodes.

I was a big fan of both games, playing them on the Playstation 3. Similar games have launched in recent years, notably Big Shark’s “Warhammer: Vermintide” with a similar idea but set in the Fantasy world of Warhammer Fantasy and instead of zombies, you face the rat-men known as Skaven.

Now Turtle Rock studios, makers of the original Left 4 Dead (as Valve South) and Evolve have created what they describe as a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, entitled Back 4 Blood. Thanks to Discord user, everwake, I got a key for the beta so jumped in over a few days to check it out.

I can definitely say that what little I saw did not disappoint. It has the same feel and general gameplay of the originals, running and gunning through hordes, searching for supplies, special mobs that can take down a disorganised team with ease. In addition, the game has a card system adding extra buffs and you can select from a deck which cards to use based on your play style. Graphics and sound are clearly improved for a modern version.

Obviously being Beta, the game is not completely bug-free yet, but I loved getting into the world and I look forward to its official release.

Blaugust 2021 Day 7. How not to be an MMO cockwomble

I don’t usually have cause to vent about anything, let alone other players in LOTRO and especially on my server of Landroval which has an exemplary level of considerate community members though but tonight something occurred that really got my goat.

I am accustomed to running my own daily stair runs, a 6 man instance that is the current daily end game but today I joined someone else’s run. It was a little odd as I was the third man in, the other two being in the same kin as each other. I recognised the name of one of them but have had no negative dealings. We started clearing trash mobs and normally at this point, the lead would be calling for more to fill the six. Often this isn’t necessary but it’s generally accepted that its good form to give everyone an opportunity to join a run. I asked if they were inviting anyone else, which they did but ran straight into the first boss before the others had reached the fight. This happens to reset the boss so as soon as they arrived it did so, so we went through the fight again. As is usual I looted and one started shouting, why did I loot, not everyone was in the instance. Sure enough, we had done it on five and the sixth man hadn;t entered. It seemed odd and I apologised saying I hadn’t realised. They promptly booted the sixth man without a word.

The rest of the instance went fine with the five of us, no problems, then as we were about to kill the final boss, the leader booted me without a word. This starts a countdown before I get booted from the instance but I had seconds to grab the chest before I realised what had happened. It seemed they intended me to not get the loot.

Don’t do that, it really is a dick move. I feel somewhat vindicated that I managed to get my loot in time but I’m sure they were having a good laugh. Idiots!

Blaugust 2021 Day 6: Play by Post Update 2

Further to my earlier post about the current state of my play by post games on Gamer’s Plane, here I go through what’s currently happening in my other games.

Call of Cthulhu – Masks Of Nyarlathotep

Following the end of the Time To Harvest campaign, I’ve decided to launch one of the biggest Cthulhu campaigns ever written, often considered the best. I’ve never had the opportunity to run it, so this updated 7th edition version is beautiful, easy to follow and well illustrated, I’m enjoying it already. This one has been tricky to get started, as very firmly set in 1921 but the characters were previously in an adventure ten years later, but a bit of timey-wimey, bendy-wendy stuff related to portals they passed through and we made it work.

The heroes has just arrived in Lima, Peru to meet the head of an expedition to a before undiscovered pyramid. Not much else to say without going into spoilers for the new players but needless to say, Horror’s Await!

Call of Cthulhu – Shadows of Yog Sothoth

This one has been going on for some time and is very slow going, but the characters are currently in the Scottish portion, having rescued a baby from the clutches of serpent people with a penchant for sacrifice, they are now in a standoff against the main villain and her henchmen.

Call of Cthulhu – Flotsam and Jetsam – Insanitarium

This one is fast becoming my favourite campaign. In the last scenario, the investigators were sent to investigate the reading of a will for a woman purportedly well over 100 years old. Uncovering the family’s dark secret of a bloodline of Deep One hybrids, they also discovered that one of the investigators is related and cursed to change into one of the sea-dwelling creatures, or so he was told. Approached by a mysterious character with a magical needle, who offered a warding tattoo to protect against the curse. The character went through with it and it has a dark side-effect, he needs to sacrifice a deep one every sixty days.

Following that episode, the characters are now investigating a rash of supposedly virgin-births taking place around a wellness centre.

Blaugust 2021 Day 4 Still taking the hobbits to Isengard!

Since discovering Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) back some 12 years ago I have taken a shine to MMOs, trying many differing ones but none compare to my first love, as is the case with many. I have taken breaks here and there but otherwise have played consistently for those 12 years.

In that time I have amassed a ton of characters over a number of servers but Landroval is my main home after my original server of Windfola was cast to the wind. Occasionally on this blog I record where some of my commonly played characters are up to and how I spend time in game.

Jestro – Level 130 Hobbit Hunter – currently my most complete character in terms of gear, he spends most of him time running the daily “stairs battle” to obtain Embers of Enchantment, the end game currency.

Pinhealer – Level 130 Elf Minstrel – Also running Stairs daily and half way to being geared. Downside is that I need to go through the gear grind twice, for DPS and for Heals. I’m not an incredibly talented healer but they seem to be in demand, especially in raids.

Jodri – Level 130 Dwarf Runekeeper – I’ve been playing Jodri the lot these recent weeks as although he’s level cap, he’s not completed Minas Morgul yet, which restricts him from some weekly quests. Also doing daily stair runs with him for more embers.

Brandenhelm – Level 130 Human Loremaster – Brandenhelm only gets pulled out for dailies, but like Pinhealer, he is not well geared for much more than that.

Diaspora – Level 121 Captain. Most of my solo questing is on Diaspora as I’m trying to get her to level cap, despite knowing that will add to the grind! Currently she’d in the Vale of Anduin, running errands for the Beornings

Knifesedge – Level 115 Human Hunter. Knifesedge is the character that I play with my daughter and he has run with Itse, the Loremaster from level 1. Currently they are in the Beorning lands too, but Minas Morgul is just around the corner and we can start the grind of running dailies together and maybe even the odd raid or two!

My other alts are all on the back burner at the moment so apart from crafting they barely get logged onto but I’m thinking my next challenge might be to level Saxlang my guardian, as I don’t have a tank in my cadre of characters and they are always in deman on the server.

Blaugust 2021 Day 3. Play by Post update part one

As mentioned earlier this week, most of my roleplaying these days is done online, via a play by post platform, Gamer’s Plane. I sometimes use this blog to update what’s going on in my games.

Call of Cthulhu: A Time For Harvest

This Cthulhu campaign ran for just over five years and finished a couple a weeks ago. It’s the first full blown campaign I’ve managed to complete is PBP and it’s a very satisfying feeling. The final episode featured a new team as all but one of the original characters died, but sadly the surviving player wasn’t around to rejoin and see the game the end.

Spoiler ahead!

The scenario, which involved students wrapped up in a Mi-Go plot to take over the Earth from a secret base on the Moon was thwarted when investigators traveled to the moon itself via a dimension gate and blew up the Mi’Go’s access point.

Warhammer Fantasy – Paths of the Damned

Paths of the Damned: Ashes of Middenheim (Warhammer ...

The party recently wrapped up the first scenario in the campaign, Ashes of Middenheim, in which the heroes uncovered a chaos cult that had infiltrated the church of Ulric to the highest levels are were attempting to cause civil war with the Sigmarites. The adventure culminated in the party fighting half a dozen frenzied members of the Brotherhood of the Axe, the Deputy High Priest and minor demon. Almost the entire party were taken out leaving heroic former Watchman, Harald Haselrieder to defeat the demon single-handed.

Spoiler ahead!

The party have since discovered that a relic that they brought to the city contained part of the soul of Xathrodox the Red Flayer. They are now heading to the capitol of Altdorf in pursuit of the second part embedded in a knife. the Dagger of Yul K’chaum.

Warhammer Fantasy – The Enemy Within: Death on the Reik

Age of Ravens: Death on the Reik: Reading Warhammer's "The ...

Well into the campaign now, on the third scenario Death on the Reik and after discovering an imperial signalling device is being built on the foundations of an observatory, they ventured below finding it guarded by undead, each holding a strange key. Five of these keys were found and Six keyholes, indicating one missing. They also found evidence of some kind of expedition planned in the past to a place called Devil’s Bowl. Right now they are at Devil’s Bowl which appears to be the site of a meteorite landing, the surrounding land blighted, Skaven appear looking for a stone. Meeting a ghost who claims to be part of an expedition gone wrong and a nearby cave with more undead, will our heroes put two and two together?

Blaugust 2021 Day 2 – First forays into 5th Edition D & D

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know my passion and perhaps my history with tabletop RPGs. From the age of 12 when I discovered the first edition it has been the cornerstone of my gaming experience, moving to 2nd edition through my late teens and college years before drifting off to other systems like Warhammer Fantasy and Call of Cthulhu (both of which I still run in Play by Post games)

I never really dipped into 3rd or 4th edition or anything in between but I have recently been tempted to try 5th edition, thanks to the great podcasts/Youtube videos of two Matts, kings of the hobby, Matt Mercer and Matt Colville. As I no longer have a tabletop group and all my gaming is done by forum post, it’s hard for me to learn a new system but recently I took the plunge, both as a player and a DM

As a player I have joined a game over on my PBP site of choice, Gamer’s Plane. My character, Father Belathor Smythe, a human cleric of Lathander, former alcoholic and gambler turned holy man who carries with him a mysterious red egg.

Belathor with his prized possession (Figure designed on HeroForge)

My second foray needed a little more planning, I decided to GM for my daughter. She has played kids RPGs through her early years, games like First Fable, but this was her first proper step into a “grown up RPG”. As we both love Tolkien we decided to use the Adventures in Middle Earth. Our first Adventure, saw Chara the Beorning Wanderer, outcast of noble birth, aid a man and his son from Lake Town, through Mirkwood and to the Forest Gate on the edge of her Ancestral lands.

Learning the system was a lot easier than I thought and playing in person definitely speeds up the learning process over just reading to books. I’m already prepping the next adventure for Chara and with a long school holiday ahead I’m sure there will be many more tales to come.

Blaugust 2021 Begins! Day One.

So cheating a little bit here, as most entrants seem to write an intro to Blaugust before it actually kicks off, but I’m not ready at all so this will be my first post.

I’ve been involved with Blaugust, partly on the sidelines, since it began way back when (2014 I think) so I’ll give it another try. I hope to post once a day though that’s not always possible but as I haven’t blogged in a while I have a lot to share about what I’ve been up to. I potentially might have a guest post or two in there as well, adding to my series of writers who were influenced by gaming.

So what is Blaugust? Well, I can’t assume everyone reading this knows, so it’s been described as a Festival of Blogging, started by Belghast of the “Tales of the Aggronaut” blog – definitely go check him out. The initial idea was to encourage bloggers to try to post something every day through the month of August. Over the years that hardcore element has stripped away, allowing participants to write as much as they have time or the inclination to, though there are still the hardcore bloggers out there who will chase the golden price awarded for a full month of blog posts.

It’s a great way to encourage newbies to start a blog, to bring back old hacks like me and to bring a little community back to something that has been pushed aside in favour of cat videos on Youtube.

Although originally focussed on gaming blogs, Blaugust is open to all, an it’s not to late to sign up. Get over to Bel’s post and there you will find a sign up form to get involved. There’s even a Discord server to get help and advise on blogging and to share your posts for other folks to peer at.

So watch this space. It might not be all about gaming, feel free to skip over whatever doesn’t interest you but I’m glad to have you here. Feel free to comment or reach out on Twitter @knifesedgegames

Trudvang Adventures 5E Kickstarter about to close!

In case you haven’t seen it, get yourself over to the Kickstarter page for Trudvang Adventures 5E. It looks incredible!

This is a new setting for Dungeons and Dragons 5E! For 20 years Trudvang has been a hailed and awarded fantasy setting.

Set in a world inspired by norse and celtic myths and folklore, Trudvang is set in dark forests, the home of trolls, lindwurms, grendels and old mysetrious places where elves worshipped gods that long abandoned them.

The beautiful artwork is built on classic sagas such as Beowulf and the Celtic Mabinogion.

Now it is time for us to share this fantastic and unique world setting with all 5E fans out there. Trudvang Adventures is a game setting for 5E and it is inspired by Norse and Celto myths, mythologies and folklore with a twist towards the dark and down-to-earth. Whereas many fantasy settings take place in taverns and dungeons, Trudvang adventures is set in deep and dark forests where you will find trolls, lindwurms, grendels and old mysterious places where the elves worshipped their gods that abandoned them, or dark nests filled with treasures long lost.

At time of writing, there is just 68 hours to go and for $50 you can snag The Adventurer pledge set:

  •  Settings companion (+PDF)
  •  Hero Companion (+PDF)
  • Character Sheets
  • Trudvang Poster Map
  •  Game Master Screen 
  •  Wurmtongue (+PDF)
  •  Ribbon bookmarks 
  • Spell sheets
  •  Wildheart (+PDF)
  • Spelldeck