“Bound by Blood”, the Prologue Chapter of Guild Wars 2: The Icebrood Saga, Out Now

The prologue chapter of The Icebrood Saga, Guild Wars 2’s latest Living World episodic content, is out now free for all players who own Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire.

The Icebrood Saga is a totally new story in the world of Guild Wars 2. After Season Four’s thrilling conclusion in which Dragon’s Watch finally defeated Kralkatorrik, elder dragon of Crystal and Fury, it is a time of great celebration. But a shadow of dread grows over the festivities as whispers from the Far Shiverpeaks indicate Jormag, another of Tyria’s elder dragons, is emerging from its slumber and luring charr and norn warriors under its thrall. A new cast of characters take center stage as the Pact Commander and crew investigate the looming conflict that threatens the world’s snowy reaches.

Bound by Blood introduces myriad new features to Guild Wars 2, including:

  • An all-new story exploring the culture and mysterious traditions of the norn and charr races while setting the stage for the conflict to come
  • A new map, Grothmar Valley, the homeland of the feline charr and their military legions
  • The debut of strike missions, an epic new 10-player activity allowing groups to face off against challenging bosses, including a titanic Icebrood golem
  • New map-wide meta events, including an interactive musical performance from the Metal Legion, a thrashing charr rock group that puts the “band” in “warband”, and featuring three original songs created especially for this episode
  • Hair for Braham

As announced at PAX West, Guild Wars 2’s first expansion Heart of Thorns is now free for all players who purchase Path of Fire.

#Blaugust2019 The End of Blaugust (for this year!)

 

Blaugust-2019-FullsizeWell, it’s the end of August and with it the end of another Bluagust. Sadly time got away with me this year and I barely wrote at all, certainly less than in previous years. Given that I spent a quarter that time on the Mediterranean with no internet connection. Having said that, I have been inspired to pay more attention to my blog and try to record more, especially with my introduction of my daughter to the world of roleplaying, that’s something I’d like to record for posterity.

So until another year, I hope you all had a good August, discovered some awesome new bloggers and if you started blogging this year, I wish you luck and hope you can keep it up beyond Blaugust!

#Blaugust2019 Taking the leap into 5ed

Back the early 1980’s , my sister bought me a red box of books that became the start of a lifelong hobby. Dungeons and Dragons was in its infancy and I had no idea what a role playing game was but my friends and I posted over those books and figured out for ourselves how to play. We had no if we were doing it right, but we were having fun and soon enough I fell into the role of Dungeon Master.

A few years later, as a teenager, I stepped into Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and this became the game I played most for the next ten years along with other flavoured RPGs, Middle Earth RPG, Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu and so on.

In the following years, new editions came along, but I mostly ignored them. I dabbled a little with 3rd Edition but I preferred the complexity of 2nd Edition.

Now I am introducing my daughter to RPG’s and decided to try out the last edition of the game, referred to by those in the know as 5ed.

This 5th edition is quite different to my old game but seems easy to learn and play so I’ve got the bug again. We’ve rolled up two characters for her to play, an Elven Bard and a half elf ranger. She’s even picked some minis to match her characters perfectly, so I need to practice my painting skill again.

I look forward to crafting adventures, just as I did almost 40 years ago!

#Blaugust2019 – New Organised Play Campaign from Chaosium

Call of Cthulhu has been in my life for many years. Whether as fiction; the Cthulhu Mythos being classified a genre unto itself thanks to the work of HP Lovecraft and those that followed or in roleplaying form, the RPG Call of Cthulhu produced by Chaosium is currently in its 7th Edition and is currently having something of a renaissance thanks to its introduction of a one-shot on popular podcast show, Critical Role

I have been running Call of Cthulhu Campaigns in my play by post sites for many years and today I got some exciting news, a new “Organised Play” Campaign is coming later this year. These are designed for GM’s that play publicly to introduce players to the game, often at conventions, and are available to insiders, part of the “Cult of Chaos” – GM’s that apply for this honoured position. I have been playing their last campaign of this nature on Gamer’s Plane – A Time to Harvest and the introduction of another campaign is great news, especially if the quality of the stories are as excellent.

Entitled Flotsam and Jetsam, this campaign is a four-part serial, and introduces the journal, Strange But True! and presumably, the investigators will be employees of the newspaper.

STRANGE BUT TRUE! is a weekly newspaper publishing “true” accounts of the bizarre, the weird, and the frankly unbelievable. Elijah Cleaver, the chief editor and publisher, may have a taste for the outlandish, but he knows that the world is filled with darker secrets than most of his readers could care to imagine. When he can, he uses the resources of his newspaper and its loose network of investigators to uncover the truth and present it to an incredulous readership. Whether or not such investigations result in a publishable story, Cleaver hopes to, at least, make the world a safer place.

#Blaugust2019 – LOTRO goals

LotRO_604x423As most of my PC gaming time is currently dedicated to a single game, The Lord of the Rings Online, I often think I should organise my goals for my characters in the hope that I might focus on them instead of wandering off into random dailies and instances. I am also levelling a couple of new characters with my daughter but not too concerned about goals for them. Other alts will be on the backburner while the three mains get to scratch.

What better place to hash this out than my blog. This is more for my benefit than anyone else’s but hey, it’s good to share!

Jestro – Hobbit Hunter

Current level 120

Goals

  • Complete steps required to get all class points.
  • Max out virtues (45 left)
  • Max out legendary items – Scrolls needed Bow 33/Dagger 35
  • Complete Anduin Vales Zone
  • Achieve Kindred with Iron Dwarves and Beorning Faction

Brandenhelm – Human Loremaster

Current Level 120

Goals

  • Max out legendary items – Scrolls needed Staff 58/Book 217
  • Achieve Kindred with Beornings
  • Work on Iron Dwarves Dailies
  • Max out Virtues (35 left)

Pinhealer Elf Minstrel

Current Level 116

Goals

Get to level 120

  • Get gear for level 120
  • Max out Jewellery crafting tier

Blaugust2019 – Play by Post update

It’s been a while since I wrote about my RPG gaming over at Gamer’s Plane. The site is stronger than ever and since I joined, the play by post games I’ve been running have gone from strength to strength.

Note that this may contain spoilers for specific adventures (though as some of them are over 30 years old, I think it’s safe to post)

Warhammer: The Enemy Within

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was always a favourite of mine and my decision to resurrect this classic campaign in Play by Post form was a good one. Following the adventures of Airandille the Elven Initiate, Tobias the Bounty Hunter and Piter the Mighty – former soldier, among others, the party have travelled to the town of Bogenhafen for the annual Schaffenfest. They have currently uncovered a plot involving cultists, the trading families of the town and demons.

Warhammer: The Ashes of Middenheim

This is the first part of the Paths of the Damned campaign, original released with Warhammer 2nd Edition. I have converted it to good old first edition and it’s running smoothly. This campaign involves Laurellia the Elven Targeteer, Rufus the Smuggler turned Fence, Eldryn and Elven hypnotist and others as they escorted a group of refugees from a village destroyed by chaos hordes, to Middenheim, a city also suffering after its own assault by the forces from the north. On arriving in the city, they became involved in a murder investigation, tracking a skaven assassin deep underground and successfully defeated a whole group of the chaotic rat men.

Call of Cthulhu: A Time to Harvest

This campaign has been running for some time and the team of investigators led by survivalist Mathis Steele have discovered the mysterious brain-stealing Mi-Go, aliens from the 9th planet. Having infiltrated one of their bases in the Vermont hills and rescuing a number of captured folks, the team are headed back through the worst storm in history, to the disturbing town of Cobb’s Corners.

Call of Cthulhu : The Shadows of Yog Sothoth

Another long-running campaign, this game predates Gamer’s Plane and at this stage has been running for well over ten years. Millionaire playboy, Hal Green and his friends are currently in the Scottish village of Cannich and have uncovered a coven of witches who are seeking three parts of an unusual artifact. Our heroes have discovered two parts, and are racing to find the third before the coven does.

Call of Cthulhu: The Dreaming Ward

This game has been a series of one-shots rather than a long campaign and follows the adventures of Luis Karabekian, Larry Getz and Marc Armando. They are currently investigating a hospital studying dream therapy and have found themselves dragged into the Dreamlands, a dream-like dimension where nightmares are real.

Gamer’s Plane has a huge selection of games and new games opening up every day. If you ever thought about roleplaying but never had the chance to play over the table, why not check out play by post? It’s great fun and it’s a wonderful welcoming community.

Blaugust2019:Return to over the table RPGs – The Birth of a New GM

It’s scary to realise that it has been close to 30 years since I had the opportunity to role play over the table. Since leaving home in the late 80’s, my RPG activities have been restricted to Play by Mail and Play by Post games in which I’m generally always the GM, however now, as my daughter approaches the age at which I discovered Dungeons and Dragons, I thought it was time to introduce her to the hobby.

After some research, I found that the market now has a number of kid-friendly games, something that didn’t exist back in the 80’s and I stumbled across Hero Kids which works perfectly as an introduction for youngsters. The system is simple enough, using d6’s for combat and skill tests and a simple selection of character classes. After a few simple scenarios, we delved into more complex rules, with magic items, level advancement and new skills and spells giving greater customisation.

It was after maybe four or five adventures, that my daughter told me she wanted to run an adventure for me. I was sceptical, thinking she’s not seen enough to take on the GM mantle but I gave her the chance. She then sat and wrote a 3-4 page document, along with maps, monsters, puzzles and treasure.

When she started, she thought playing through would only take ten minutes, but this turned out to be a full one hour adventure (about normal for Hero Kids) and I was stunned, she was a natural. She’d carefully thought out the scenario, planned the encounters and even voiced the main villain. It was awesome!

I’m sure as she gets older and dives into more complex systems, she’ll get to explore more ways to GM and I hope this allows her to be as creative as possible and bring others into the hobby as I have over the years.