Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Starfire - Unboxing an Old Game I Loved

This game was one of the earliest science fiction space combat games that I played from 1980 onward. It and Star Fleet Battles were extremely popular at the time and hold a special place in my heart and collection.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Saltmarsh Sentinel Issue 3

Editor ~ Abelard Larthe                                         Earthday Issue #3, 576

Giant Crocodile Hunts Sport
Reports have been coming in from berry pickers for Ryan Kirtap at the Blue Frog Brewery that a giant crocodile is hunting berry pickers in the Hool Marshes.  While no one has been taken yet, there have been several narrow escapes. Losses among guardian beasts have been high. 

Bear tracks in Saltmarsh
Citizens are alarmed at the appearance of bear tracks inside the Saltmarsh precinct.
Saltmarsh’s normally stalwart Guards are more alarmed with the fact that these tracks are located around the buildings that serve as their barracks.
Investigations are ongoing and troubling.

Non-existence Proven?
A fascinating pamphlet has hit the local markets and is being peddled to the less than wise proving the non-existence of the very pamphlet that expresses the very nature of the subject.  Kalmah a Druid of seedy and dubious patronage is a known proponent of the philosophy in this dodgy parchment, which while well written and presents as an academic text its very premise is clearly circular and fallacious.  Kalmah has been seen around Saltmarsh quoting sections of the texts to any passerby not quick enough to dodge his crazed enthusiasm.  The author whose identity was read it only is known as A Blessed Feline is making a fortune in royalties from this scam.

Highlight Article : A Blessed Cat
Flower Thief Arrested
The vandal who stole the flowers from widow Rowland has been found and arrested by the local militia. 
“It was thanks to the goodwill of strangers and a magical cat that we were able to arrest this lowlife, who sadly had wormed his way into the very heart of our society,” Councillor Gellan Primewater told the editor over a very cheap lunch at the Empty Net.  “Thanks to the anonymous tip from these upstanding persons the guards overcame the individual known as Salt Bae during a daring night raid as the criminal slept off the affects of a nights heavy drinking.  It was our guard showing its finest display of ethical performance and bravery. Councillor Primewater commended Corporal Augh Astorio for his demonstration in applying the Saltmarsh Steelcap for fellow squad members to see on the prone, bound and hapless villain.”
Citizens will know with some trepidation the skill Corporal Augh has with his steelcap boots, so I think no more needs be dwelt on as to this brutal application of swift justice – to a victim who clearly deserved it we can all concur.  Remember people Widow Rowland is a much loved member of this community of Saltmarsh, her son’s murderer has yet to be brought to justice.  At least some small justice is served by arresting the flower thief.

Highlight Article : Goodwill from a stranger who wished to be anonymous?
Festival of Tossers
The annual Toss and Swim Races is due to start in less than a week.  This bracing event involves a two part celebration.  The first is an act of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones at sea - many chose this time to take the jump to commemorate those they have lost.  For others it’s a chance to earn cash and unwind during the last touches of winters chill. So people anticipate the Festival of Tossers.
Terms and Conditions:
Entry: 1sp (for pair of entrants)
Entry must consist of a thrower (may not be mechanical or magical or assisted) and a thrown entrant. 
A thrower will throw the thrown as far from cliffs as possible, earning the best score for distance.  The thrown then must swim back to the base of the cliff as quickly as possible. 
Entries are timed and judged on distance with the winner announced at the nights Festival of Tossers held at the Leap.
Prize pot this year is 100 gold and a free tankard of ale each week from the Blue Frog Brewery.

Lizardfolk on the Move
Last night Bill Sandbody while crossing the Sharkfin Bridge swore he saw several of the Lizardfolk swimming upriver.
“I had not been drinking,” belched the inebriated Halfling who needed to be propped up to report his findings to the night watch who found him retching (he said in terror) over the bridge walls. 
“I saw them following a winged dragon the size of a duck.”
How much truth can be found in the words of a drunk is yet to be known. The Hool Marshes is known to house a population of Lizardfolk and if they are on the move then it does not bode well for Saltmarsh.  Report any sightings of these beings to the council with undue haste.

Amnon Mansion Haunted
The alchemist home on the lonely and desolate cliffs to the east of Saltmarsh are proving to be a thorn in the side of several adventuring bands.  The smuggler smashers reported the unearthly activities in the mansion to the council when they returned with the Sea Ghost and stolen merchandise.
A reputable band of adventurers were then sent to investigate. Sadly they lacked the intellect and guidance of their leader who had come down with bad case of food poisoning.  The result was they too had to leave the mansion confused and perplexed as to solving the mansions haunting. 
Will they return to solve the mystery?  The editor asked Hudson Millblood a junior member of the band as he was seen buying large quantities of flammable siege oil “yes,” was his reply, “I have a burning desire to light a match in the darkness and let the flame of ignorance be burned away – revealing only the truth of the matter.”
It is hoped that his zealousness does not set Saltmarsh aflame with enthusiasm.

There Can Only Be ONE
There has been some confusion in Saltmarsh with competing adventuring bands heralding champions with the audacious name of Glug.  As there can only truly be ONE Glug in any multiverse strong enough to survive, the wisest individual chose to change their name by deed poll. Rising from the ashes of the fire-fighting, nay to the rumour contrary to hearsay, comes Kod, Slayer of Fish Dresdon!
The other Glug, known as Boarnog can be found passed out and fleeced of any items of worth in any establishment willing to risk its clientele, merchandise, staff and surroundings. 

Noisey Amphibians
A petition has been delivered to Ferrin Kastilar the melancholy druid who keeps the Sea Grove of Obad-Hai complaining of the increased amphibians in the village precincts.  Kastilar actually flew into a rage at this petition and entangled the petitioners in vines and set fire to their petition.
Long time acquaintances of Kastilar are concerned at the druid’s odd behaviour in reaction to people’s hatred to his beloved amphibians.

Editorial Dating Issues
Due to the erroneous problems of keeping track of the many exciting events happening around Saltmarsh the harried and forgetful editor has come across an issue (ha ha I made a pun) with the dating system used.  To rectify this simple and erroneous exigency the Sentinel will now be simply numbered.

Highlight Article : The impressions of a slightly mad editor?
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The artwork provided in this issue is supplied by Mic of DZY Art n Comics - @artbydzynes.  Mic plays Mikas Blakflag the ranger with his panther companion Dimebagheera. This excludes lighthouse picture which was sourced from Pinterest.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Dungeon Tile Update 1

Update with figures on the board now.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Saltmarsh Sentinel Issue 2

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Editor ~ Abelard Larthe                                Needfest, Earthday 13th, 576

Silver Lady Ghost Ship
The remains of the merchant ship Silver Lady was towed into harbour today by the Wave Runner, captained by Radella Oakenheart.  The Silver Lady had been all but burnt to the waterline and how it had not sunk beneath the waves before being found by Captain Oakenheart is unfathomable. 
The council has sent investigators to examine the ships remains.  Anders Solmor has pledged additional resources to battle the Sea Princes.
There is an oversupply of goats in Saltmarsh. Check your goat carefully before accepting one.

City Guard Patrol Doubled
The number of guards detailed for nightly patrols has doubled in the last month.  When the council was questioned about this need for extra details it was coy and said the citizens had nothing to worry about it.  The rumour of the shadow beast had – no substance.

Poisoning Scam Uncovered
Tobias Moonridge son of the owners of the Squiggling Squid was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder by poison. His scam occurred where he led strangers to his family eatery where he prepared meals laced with a poison.  For a price young Moonridge would provide the antidote. 
Young Moonridge will be sentenced next week.  His parents have already replaced the child with another of their litter of progeny this time with Alianore.  The Sentinel hope she knows the difference between all the secret herbs and spices the family uses.  The editor is partial to deep fried squid jelly and eyes. 
When the Sentinel asked the family for a comment they were greeted with a pragmatic response. “I must feed those who are still with us,” said Edwin Moondrige.  “Yes I grieve for the deeds my wayward son has done. I hope that councilman Primewater takes pity on him and sends him to one of his work houses to pay off his debt to society.”

High Sea Courtship
Romance was at its highest point during the finale in settling the account with the smugglers operating from the haunted house once known as the residence of Demedor Amnon the Alchemist. 
While aboard the smuggler ship The Ghost, excise officers Coldshore and Kreel witnessed the touching exchange between the delicate (dare we say effete) half-elf da Mare and the hirsute (and we do say brutal) half-orc Boarnog.

Headline 1 Handsome Glug Boarnog, smiter of fae hearts.
Officer Coldshore was quoted as saying “it brought tears to my eyes when I saw him drop to his knees, and then scrabble for the ring in haste before presenting it to his surprised companion.”  Coldshore’s offsider Kreel thought that da Mare had dropped the ring and questioned his friend’s interpretation of the events.  However the size of the lady like engagement ring now adorning Boarnog’s left hand is unmistakable even if the diamond is less than substantial.
Rodelik Karneth and up-and-coming member of the Jewelers’ Guild has promised to fashion a magnificent ring for the couple – for a price.

Empty Net Not So Empty
Questions are being asked as to the closed events at the local dive known as the Empty Net.  Long rumoured to be a haven for the less reputable citizens of Saltmarsh, it is becoming more and more common for some to notice the establishment to close its doors.
Council member Gellan Primewater spoke to the editor that it was none of the papers business as to what any business did as long as it did not break the laws set down by the Kingdom or those imposed by the council of Saltmarsh. 
When questioned about the rumours of his attendance at such a dive, he shrugged off the questions with “well we all like to live dangerously by poking our noses into places they aren’t wanted.”

Body Fished from Harbour
The body of Zander Rowland was fished from the harbour showing signs of murder most foul.  Only son of much loved widow Ana Rowland, she is known for the magnificent flowers she tends and is much admired by the townfolk.  The loss of her only son has aged the widow and the council at the urging of angry citizens are demanding action is taken against the perpetrator or persons involved.

Jasker’s New Project
Are you worried that your pampered pet might come to harm from marauding panthers or shadowy monsters in the night.  Then come see Jasker at the armourer’s guild.  Custom jobs now a becoming popular after local socialiettes spotted a kitty in what appeared to be armour.
Lady Shawna Towerfall was smitten by the sight, and after being treated for superficial scratches and bites from the modelling beast she declared “I simply must have Mr Fish Eggs accoutred in something far more magnificent.”
Citizens all know that this is the delightful and animated feline of such ancient lineage that none know whose ancestors it had, though Lady Towerfall assures us all constantly that it’s breading is impeccable.  We all recall that damp feeling left in our lap after visiting her Ladyship, in which we are reminded to always use the privy before visits and not blame poor Mr Fish Eggs.
Jasker sees a boom in new business opportunity in the well heeled if not well balanced citizens of Saltmarsh.

Winged Monsters Sighted
Travellers are warned to watch the skies for the foul monstrosity born from the meat of hanged murderess.  It is known that these creatures came about from the villainy of the scorned wife who killed and eat the heart of their husbands’ lover(s).  When finally caught and hung for their crimes the carrion that fed on their cursed carcass became the creatures which now fly the winds seeking those foolish enough to travel without precaution.
The council is offering a reward to find and eliminate the nest.  Attend the council chambers or provide proof of deed to claim reward.

Additional Fishing Contracts
Captain Xendros of the Faithful Quartermasters of Iuz are seeking larger quantities of fish product.  If you are a passing merchant with trade connections then contact Captain Xendros on the western side of the harbour during daylight hours.

Beating the Wicker Goat
Lankus Kurrid one time soldier of the Keoish army is threatening extreme violence on the village children who are periodically breaking his tavern sign.
The sign, which is in the form of a goat, a wicker one – made from plaited twigs or osiers. 
Investigation has shown that the local birdlife have taken to nesting in this effigy and the resultant eggs is what spurs on the act of vandalism.
When told to change his sign to the more traditional wooden sign common to other establishments Kurrid replied heatedly “then this wouldn’t be The Wicker Goat then would it.  When I was in the army...”
Kurrid then went on for some length of time about army life, forgetting about what the actual issue was.  However when reminded he threatened a sound thrashing to any person who broke his tavern sign that he caught and would demand reparations for repairs.

Indignities on top of Loss
The city guard remind all people, both citizens and transients to respect the property of those who call Saltmarsh home.
Ana Rowland, the widow and now grieving mother of recently murdered Zander has had her prized flower patch raided and flowers taken.
Residents will know that Ana took to gardening and in particular growing flowers when her husband Lukas, Captain of the Iron Prow was lost twenty years ago.  This activity and the support of the community helped her cope with the loss of her husband.
Councilman Primewater, a long time friend of the Rowlands is said to be outraged at this lack of common civility and has threatened to lock the offender up when caught.

Next Issue Out - Needfest, Earthday 21st, 576

D&D for June

Yes I love my D&D groups and I enjoy my creating of a newsletter of Saltmarsh.

Dungeon Tiles

Some will know I'm a fan of Four Against Darkness the solo adventuring dungeon game. For a while now I've been wanting to experiment with the tile laying side of the game. Thanks to my good friend Paul from I've had a set of tile produced (included open and closed doors). Here is my video explaining, for better or worse - the concept.