Wednesday, February 17, 2021

DragonRaid - a Closer Look (Part One)

As mentioned in my other post, I finally bought a copy of the DragonRaid boxed set.  I am going to use some posts to take a closer look at this game.  This is not a review but just thoughts and observations about the contents of this boxed set.

The Contents
There is a ton of material inside this box!  There are seven manuals of various lengths (New Player Briefing, LightRaider Handbook, Adventure Master Manual, Rulebook, and three Adventures), Character Sheet pad, LightRaider Worksheets, a laminated Battle Worksheet, a set of StarLot dice, a Shadow Stone die, maps, counters, and some fluff (bookmark, discount coupon, and an ink pen). The only thing not included is the old cassette tape that serves as an introduction to the game but the recording is available on their website.  I am pretty impressed by how much stuff they have crammed into the box. If you replace the cassette tape pictured below with another adventure manual then you have an accurate representation of the non-fluff material inside the box.

DragonRaid: New Player Briefing
The New Player Briefing seemed like a logical choice on where to begin my observations so that is what I did.  New Player Briefing is a slim volume of 15 pages divided into 8 small chapters serving as an introduction to DragonRaid.

The opening chapter, The Great Rescue on Eden Again, sets up the basic premise of the game.  There will be much that is familiar to someone with basic knowledge of Christianity or the Bible.  This section touches on the act of creation, the war in heaven, the rise of evil, enslavement of chosen people, and the coming of the rescuer is all here but adapted to a fantasy role-playing setting.  It made me interested in playing.

What is Dragonraid? explains that the game is "an action adventure story for spiritual learning and fun.".  While a player can expect the typical activities of most fantasy role-playing games two things set them apart from characters in other games.  First, the use of WordRunes in play.  WordRunes are pieces of scripture used in small prayers for aid.  Second, the characters are Lightraiders.  As a Lightraider, their main purpose is to serve the Rescuer - a representation of Jesus Christ - the son of the High One.  

There are also the typical chapters included in most games scattered throughout the book.  Definitions covers nine terms and their meaning in DragonRaid.  Your Character is a brief synopsis of your characters' place in the game.  The Adventure Master serves the same role as a Dungeon Master or Game Master in other games.  Role Playing is a brief explanation of how to play.  DragonRaid Tools explains how to use the dice and gives some basic information each character is expected to know at the start of play.  The Lightraider Test serves as the first adventure for new characters.

DragonRaid: Rulebook
The rulebook is the next book I read. It is another slim volume of only 24 pages split up into 15 chapters.  The first four chapters expand on typical subjects such as game definitions, game equipment (contents of the DragonRaid box), using the starlot and shadow stone (included dice), and success or ability checks.  The biggest deviation from the standard game expectations is that the players us the crystalline d10 (the starlot) while the adversaries use the dark d8 (the shadow stone) when determining success on ability checks.  

Creating a Character  is the next chapter of the rulebook.  It is recommended that you use a LightRaider (player character) Worksheet while creating your character.  You will roll the starlot to determine the score of nine Character Strengths: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  In addition, there are also eight Character Abilities such as Courage, Hope, and Wisdom.  You will round out your character with information on Weapon Abilities, Armor, Physical Vitality, equipment, etc.


Continued in Part Two...

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Good Old Games - Everything Ultima

After reading the most recent post on Ultima V at Dungeon Fantastic I decided to check Good Old Games for that series.  I discovered that they have everything Ultima for the price of $8.94 after the current discounts.  As you can see, I snatched up everything.  I had the Ultima Collection years ago but I misplaced the CD over the years.  GOG has everything on that CD (Akalabeth plus Ultima 1 to 8) plus Ultima Underworld 1 & 2, and Worlds of Ultima 1 & 2.  Maybe I will try to beat all of them? I will definitely play all of them.  I never beat any of the PC versions but I did beat one or two of the NES ports years ago.  


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Winter IS Here

The weather forecast is looking pretty grim for the weekend so I think it is safe to say I will be INSIDE working on posts*, painting miniatures, reading, and catching up on watching something from one of my streaming subscriptions...

* I am at a point on the DragonRaid post where I will either split it up or just make it one long post.  Leaning towards splitting it up. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Gaming on the Cheap

I tend to be on the lookout for bargains and deals when it comes to games and gaming accessories.  I hit the usual discount racks or used game areas of my local gaming stores every time I pay them a visit.  I am fortunate that Tulsa has a really awesome used book store - Gardner's - that has gaming items also.  They used to have much more but some of the employees became hip to ebay and many of the items are put up on their site.  I have found other sources to buy low cost gaming items.

Dollar General and Dollar Tree

If you have gamer friends on social media then I am sure you have seen these two items pictured above in the last six moths.  I found the Skeleton Army at Dollar General.  I believe they are supposed to go on cupcakes or used as some sort of Halloween decoration.  They are a little bit bigger than the Reaper Bones I use but does it really matter? I bought the dice at Dollar Tree for one dollar a pack.  I had intended to go back and buy some more but they were wiped out by the time I returned.  I have been on the lookout ever since but I have not had any luck so far.  

Hobby Lobby

I found these sets of brushes at Hobby Lobby for $5.99 to $6.99 each.  As you can see, there are at least six brushes in each set.  If you buy these brushes at Hobby Lobby you are paying more than a dollar less than what you would be paying for just one brush from the "official sources".  I am still very much learning the art of painting and I think it makes no sense to use top of the line equipment to practice.  I have had no issues using the cheaper brushes.  You just have to clean and care for the brushes; that is true regardless of cost.  Honestly, I have had good results with even cheaper brush sets from Wal-Mart.  In a nutshell, shop smart.


Now for the best deal on this list because it is free because I am just re-purposing these inserts or packing material or whatever they are called.  These are the extra things packed in with coffee makers or other small appliances.  I have kept a stack of these things from the last six or more items I have bought.  You could always ask friends or family for theirs if you needed many more.  I am going to paint the one above on the right a silver color and add yellow lights and maybe some sort of turrets on the top.  It will be an outpost, research lab, or some other structure for Warhammer 40K or the big box Ogre set.

What are you ideas and suggestions?

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Doctor Wolfula

If you enjoy stuff like Joe Bob Briggs, Svenghoulie, or those old weekly Saturday night monster shows from the 80s then Doctor Wolfula should be right up your alley.  This is a link to his most recent video; a review of Terror Train.  He is my go to horror youtube channel.  

Friday, February 5, 2021

Upcoming Projects

I always seem to have several creative projects ongoing at one time.  I admit that I am not very focused in that aspect of my life.  I just can not focus solely on one creative endeavor or I will burnout and put it down and there is no telling when I will pick it back up at that point.  Listed below are some things I am currently working on and will post about in the near future.


I remember seeing the ads for DRAGONRAID in issues of Dragon Magazine from the 1980s.  I always wanted a copy but I never did see it in any of the stores so I never got around to adding it to my collection.  All these many years later and I discovered that the company printing the game is still around and I decided to order a copy of the boxed set to satisfy my curiosity.  I am pretty impressed just with the contents stuffed inside this box.  I will be going through the contents and offering up my thoughts and observations; not necessarily a review.  I suspect it will take 3 - 5 posts to do that and maybe it will lead to more posts in the future.  


I am continuing to paint more miniatures for use in games.  Most of them have been from the Reaper Bones line but I will not hesitate to pick up whatever works for my games.  The picture above shows a row of possible player character minis (top row) and some encounters (Kobolds, Mind Flayer, Minotaur, and a Mimic to name some) that will most likely see use in the games.  I am sticking to what seems like the mostly used encounters right now so I will get maximum use from my efforts.  I plan on adding more exotic types of miniatures when needed. 


I am scaling things back.  No, not the possibilities and opportunities but the information.  I used to crave all the encyclopedic facts that some campaign worlds offer but that does not fit my current mood.  I am taking the "less is more" approach as the map above can show.  The bigger world is still out there and all sorts of possibilities await the characters but all of it is starting small and local.  The actual discovery of the larger world needs to take place instead of having all of that information logged at the start.  Gaming like that is cool but I am at a point where I would rather just play instead of trying to figure out all sorts of minutia beforehand. Simply put, bang for the buck. 


The above list is by no means comprehensive. I have a notepad handy for jotting down ideas and expanding on stuff I have already in progress.  There will certainly be posts about GURPS Dungeon Fantasy RPG, The Fantasy Trip, D&D 5E, house rules, my own games, and all sorts of related items.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ghost Pirate Entertainment - PG PSYCHO GOREMAN (Spoiler free Movie Reaction/Review).

I recently subscribed to Ghost Pirate Entertainment on youtube.  I thought others might enjoy his videos so I am sharing a link to his most recent review, Psycho Goreman.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Reverse Flash: Origins Episode 1

One of my favorite things to do on YouTube is watching fan films. While there are the fair share of cheesy fan films out there, some of them truly shine.  I believe that some of these franchises are even being handled better by the fans rather than the rights-holders.  Friday the 13th and Star Trek Continues are two great examples of properties the fans have handled really well.  

Another property that has been handled extremely well by the fans is Reverse Flash.  I will admit that I am not an expert on the character.  I have read some comic book issues with the character years ago and I have yet to see a single episode of the CW version of The Flash.  With that being said, I am a big fan of the Reverse Flash: Origins fan series on YouTube.  It does not come off as goofy or amateurish to me.  I have watched the entire series three times and I am looking forward to more episodes.  

Do you watch fan films? Do you have any favorites or recommendations?

Monday, February 1, 2021

Miniatures I Have Painted

I have only been painting miniatures for a few months.  I never bothered with it back in the day because I believed I would not be able to paint "good".  Fast forward years later and I have a teenage son who has become interested in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000.  I agreed to buy a small Games Workshop novice set for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar to serve as a test run. If we were satisfied with the results and game play then we would continue.  The Stormcast Eternals pictured below are the first seven miniatures I painted.  

I was pleasantly surprised that I was satisfied with the results.  I realize the paint job is not something that is going to get me commission work or anything like that but that was not my goal.  I simply wanted the figures to be a reasonable representation of the character without looking like a sloppy mess.  I think I achieved that and I found painting to be extremely relaxing. I picked up some Reaper Bones miniatures to paint for a future roleplaying campaign. I began with typical minis like orcs, goblins, kobolds, and player character classes.  Here are two examples below.

 3 Orc Spearmen

 Player Character (Human Fighter or Paladin)

I stress again that my miniatures are for in-game use only and not for competitive painting at all. I am just displaying them here because I was surprised at how satisfied I was with the results. I have discovered that I enjoy painting them and I can see where I have shown improvement even so I will continue. I am still experimenting with paint.  I have used Citaldel, Reaper, The Army Painter, and Vallejo; I have not decided on a favorite. 

Do you use or paint miniatures? What are some of your favorites?