JP On Gaming

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Plague Marines/ Plague Brothers

These plague marines are vile, plague-infected creatures. The last two pictures show all my plague marines together in a group shot (the ones that took part in this battle report)

In SpaceFOE, the Rot is a disease that affects everything, from living creatures to metallic structures. The Rot seeks to spread across the galaxy.

Monday, November 27, 2023

[SpaceFoe] Drones of Ivlae IV

Drones come from Ivlae IV, a planet filled with construct that serve a Collective Intelligence. The Collective is part of the Empire. Rogue Drones is a playable character race.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

[After Action Report] FOE day at the TEC

NB I thought I had posted this but that it is published in November means I did not.

On Sunday October 8th, at the TEC center in Murfreesboro TN, FOE invaded the regular campaign day. On offer: two introductory adventures.

ActionMan ran "Ghosts of Kurogawa" (which appears in the Ozaka Campaign Setting). This is the same adventure we ran multiple times previously, it was designed to use not only

The only sad thing is that neither of us thought of taking any picture of his game - and I forgot to remind him to take any. So this adventure will live on only in the memory of the brave adventurers who faced the wilds of Ozaka.

I reached out to some of his players and they gave him some great feedback AND provided constructive criticism.

I'm so proud to see a new generation of GMs starting to see a new generation taking up our mantle. It is so crucial for a hobby to have a new crop of GMs to run games and grow. And what's the only way for them to become good? Why, they must GM of course!

ActionMan and JP at ICCC

Meanwhile, I ran a new adventure introduction adventure set in Olympia, built on a similar frame as "Ghosts" and simply named "Bandits of Mytenia". This showcase adventure is designed to be easily alterable, making it so what the PCs are doing or looking for can be changed easily. Not fully modular but not far from it.

This adventure also uses a map with 3e terrain as a focal point for the game.

Bandit Camp Creatures revealed!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2023


Xenomorphs are great creatures. They were the antagonist of the greatest RPG game I ever played... So many memories with these dudes.

Plus, whenever they appear on the table, the players cower with fear.

Friday, November 24, 2023

[SpaceFOE NPCs] Cops and Security

The law is always present. However, since they are always short-handed and they often deal with heavily armored individuals. Therefore many officers command squads of heavy armored robots.

The picture show a lizardman officer surrounded by arrest robots and a canine robot. The last one show the giant robots.

These three guys are security personnel to reinforce the heavier security forces above. I painted them taking inspiration from the security forces from the movie Logan's Run.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

[SpaceFOE] Iconics

This week, I will be running a few early "alpha" version of SpaceFOE. This is an evolution to 5e I have been thinking about since the OGL debacle. Nothing overwhelming or crazy but it needs to be playtested and tried out to see if it breaks the game.

This week, I'll be running three sessions and reassess. One thing about that is that by having different players try out the iconics to uncover issues with the sheet, but different people approach characters and play differently, which will help me determine how well the system runs and uncover unexpected kinks.

The characters below are made very simple with easy archetypes and classes. No special FOE stuff. At this time, my focus is on the rules and how they run. Too fast, too slow, broken. And generally get some feedback.

SpaceFOE is an evolution of 5e, not a whole new game. I've taken into account things that annoyed me and things

Brother Lucius

Male Blue Praetorian Fighter
As a child, you only dreamed of become one of the Praetorians, one of the Emperor’s elite genetically-altered soldiers. You dreamed of glory and battles. When you were of age, you signed up and were chosen. After a long process, you were accepted as one of the Blue Cohort. You are currently on extended leave.

Brother Pius

Male White Praetorian Cleric
You remember little of your childhood except occasional glimpses of a pastoral landscape and your mother’s smile. You grew up in one of the orphanages and were recruited into the White Cohort because of your unshakable faith in the Benevolent light of the Emperor and the Imperial Cause. You are currently on a missionary tour to bring the faith to the far corners of the Empire.


Male Mutant Sorcerer
Your family comes from the lowest dregs of society. You decided to pull yourself out of this squalor and become someone important. You hold no illusion that it will be difficult for a mutant, but it can be done. You drunk the blood of the sacred dragon and now share its power. Only by amassing power and wealth can you reach your goals.


Drone Rogue
R1-K0 aka Rico spent the last few years among the wonder halls of the Tekno-Lodges across the galaxy researching all sorts of inventions. However, you have something of a reputation for taking items that are not yours “for later study.”

Tasha Skolenska

Female Human Bard
Born to a family of Navy officers, including many admirals and ship’s captains, you followed in their footsteps.However the strict regimen wore on you. You took an extended leave of absence to seek your fortune and make a name for yourself. You have a knack for commanding others and spur them on to greatness.


Male Human Wizard
Born on a planet where magic was common, you became an illusion with the intention to be rich. When the Empire conquered your planet, you defected without a second though. This whole universe of potential discoveries is filled with possibility to become wealthy beyond reason. You joined the Merchant Consortium to be with others sharing similar interest.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

[SpaceFoe] Xyronian Battle Androids

The following creatures are the first batch of miniatures I painted for SpaceFOE, the work-in-progress title for First Ones' Entertainment's Sci-fi setting.

Created by a dying race as a way to prevent their ultimate defeat, they now fight as mercenaries for other entities. Their armies are slow but methodical. Their War Maidens serve as leaders armed with scythes.

War Maidens Heavy Warriors Warriors War Beetles

Sunday, November 19, 2023

[Kinda Book Report] The Noise of War

I bought myself book 2 of the sertorius scroll by Vernon B Davis. I read the first tome previously and it left me with a positive impression.

Now tome 2 starts shortly after tome 1 ends with Sertorius gravely wounded, having lost an eye during the finale. As I read it, I kept worrying this would turn into a long presentation of a man suffering from ptsd. And believe me, there are many reasons for him to suffer from that. The first half was pretty bleak and depressing. It fit the story but it was not what I wanted to read. It turned me off more than a little.

However not so much as to want to quit reading.

Perseverance paid off and the story picked up steam as the plot unfolded. It had a number of interesting twist, namely how he got into his spying mission and the mission itself was an interesting twist.

There are so many bad things happening to our man... again.

What about a rating... I will give this a 4/5. It lost points for the depressing tone of the first half. But the writing is good and the topic interesting.

I'm not surprised to find I rated this second tome the same as the first one... consistent, I guess.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

[Kinda Book Review] Murena Ch 4: Ceux Qui Vont Mourir

Earlier this year, I posted about the first 3 chapters of this saga. This tome is the final entry of the first cycle.

The story culminates with Nero struggling for power with his mother, Agrippina. The longer Nero is in power, the more used to wielding it he becomes. Throughout the story, the two struggle for control. Eventually, seeing she is losing, she even tries to seduce Nero (!) but he spurns her.

Eventually, he has no choice but to rid himself of her. But Agrippina is a master politician and plots his downfall by selecting Poppea Sabina, a women whose heart is as hers. Thus she knows she will die, but strikes at him from beyond the grave. I really loved this entire segment when she realizes she is lost.

Then the accident Nero plotted to rid himself of her, her ship mutinied and sunk, failed when she jumped and swam to shore. Nero had to order her assassination. Brutal. Again the scene of her death brings us Mercury ordering Nero to stand and watch the sun. Nero falls in love with the flames.

The side story of Murena and the vengeance for the death of his mother (which Agrippina ordered) gets resolved here.

There is also a very well-illustrated battle between gladiators, Agrippina's and Nero's. That scene is, once again, awesome.

So many powerful and good scenes. Characters using every advantage they may have to come out on top. Good plot. Good characters. This is what I love of this series.

So in case you didn't guess, this is a solid 5/5.

Monday, October 16, 2023

[Kinda Book Review] Ulrich by James Walker

This book tells the tale of Ulrich, a germanic warrior in the 4th century. He lives near the border of the Roman Empire which lies beyond the Rhine.

We meet a variety of interesting characters with backgrounds that help the plot. Ulrich is a German prince whose throne is stolen by his covetous uncle. He escapes and is raised by a blacksmith, plotting to reclaim his kingdom.

One of the most interesting one Tau, a prince of Ghana, who ends up in Germania. His background makes it interesting. Another interesting non-main character is future Emperor Julian (the Apostate). Here, Julian is still junior emperor of the West.

The highlight is really in the relation and evolution of each character as their circumstances change. Their integration into the auxilia was an fun.

Now, this story is fine but not particularly unique. It follows the elements of history with the main battles. The crew does participate in the events but I never got a feel they had much agency. They felt, reactionary to everything that happened.

Another thing I disliked, though this one was minor: use of modern-day places and names.

Oh... And a map would've been nice. I'm not as up-to-date as I'd like with German geography.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

[Kinda Book Review] Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn

Book coverThis book has been on my list for a while. I saw the movie many times. It is excellent

The book tho... "The book is better" is not something I will use here. Most of the stories are very short, a few pages, and are not particularly interesting. In fact, the stories are mostly pointless or just end without a resolution. I really wanted to love this but... I did not.

I guess the worse part is that half the book is taken by the author's treatise on insects. There is no point to it and is just filler.

It has historical value but I expected so much more. I'll settle for a 2/5. Watch the movie instead.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Apple of a Mother's Eye now Electrum BestSeller

It is with great joy that I report that Ravenloft: Apple of a mother's eye has just been certified Electrum Best Seller on DM's Guild! Yay!

This adventure is a retelling of the rather bland and overly simple chapter in the otherwise awesome Curse of Strahd.

Berez here become the site of adventure that provide an alternate take on the characters of the "Strahd Mythos": Strahd, Ravenovia, Barov, Sergei, and Tatiana among others. Prepare to have fun giving your party something different to think about.

I cannot tell you all how grateful I am to everyone who has no only purchased it, but also spent some time to review and play it.

Big Thanks to everyone.

Oh! And this product along with others is part of the FOE Ravenloft Bundle, also available on the DM's Guild.

Let's not forget the many art pieces from the British Shark! Big thanks to him!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Labor Day After Action Report:Citadel by the Sea

This past Labor Day Weekend, I put together a game of D&D inspired by a classic adventure. This time, I ran an adapted version of The Citadel by the Sea by Sid Fisher from Dragon Magazine #78 (October 1983). While looking at many classic adventures, I wanted something that could be completed in about 8 hours.

The biggest change I made to the adventure was to move it from "Generic Setting" to Olympia. This is a story of a cursed location abandoned, conquered by barbarians, then abandoned again. The adventure has a few different twists that made it interesting: diversions and a backstory that can be uncovered (none of my players could read the language but they had enough information that it did not really matter).

To fit into my timeframe, I had to remove a whole dungeon level. It was a tough decision because it has a few cool things, but I wanted to make sure we could get through everything.

The Fortress
The Catacombs
The creature stands

In the end, the PCs returned with the spearhead they were sent to fetch and received their payment, but angered their employer. I used a number of my 3d printed models to use, including the warehouse boxes and bags. Those things looked really good.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Gencon 2023 After Action Report Part 6

Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Next Year

Looking at next year and the result of this year's adventure, I can announce the overall theme of next year's Gencon mini-campaign.

War with the Titans

War is a fertile ground for adventure and with so many settings to play with, I think we will have some very interesting plots coming. It is still early but having a direction to work from is very interesting, especially this early in the process.

Once again, I plan to challenge and play with the formula of tabletop RPG. Perhaps some wargaming elements?


My buddy Alex

Trying to put a neat bow on this year's Gencon is not easy. There are so many things to cover before the end.

- The FOE GMs have been asking me to run higher-level games to which I must say I am somewhat reticent as I value our games as being welcoming to all newcomers and we get a LOT of new players (both FOE and 5e new players). If I write or run level 7, training wheels are off and I will hurt people. Bad. That said, I want to leave the idea here to see what the community wants.

- Seeing our success this year, I have been thinking of increasing the number of games offered. This is twofold. First, I am thinking of going up to five tables per slot. This would require a MUCH greater involvement from GMs (ergo: I'd need AT LEAST four gms to accomplish that). Whether this would be more tables of the same adventures or extra adventures remains TBD. This is one thought that both terrifies and attracts me a lot.

- Partial follow-up of the previous, if you are willing to write and run your own FOE adventure, let me know as soon as possible and we can make that happen. This year, Thor and Bill wrote and ran their own adventure this year (Thor did it last year too)

- Two sidekicks made good this year: Kanato the samurai and Rin the martial artist. Be prepared to see them in future Ozaka adventures.

My new buddy Ray - This year, was the year I had the most visitors. Of course, Alex FG came by, but also Brandon-B on his scooter, and I saw JP2 give a quick wave. I forget others now, but don't worry I will remember after this gets published.

- One issue that caused consternation was the naming (and renaming) of specials, I may take a different approach next year. But... It will be difficult to get away from clever puns and double-entendre title...

- For the first time this year, I had my adventures bound in a spiral book. It was such a good idea and I was easily able to carry my adventures and specials without doing my typical spread-and-lose method. I will do that again next year. It was a little pricier, but well worth it.

- My 3d printer worked through the year to print the many models used in adventures by the GMs. I gave them baggies of miniatures as a small thank you.

- I will be producing a Narrative Kickoff before Christmas. This will be a short story that will bridge the time between Gencons 2023 and 2024...

Farewell JD

JD and ActionManThe passing of JD Conrad earlier this year, affected me. My good friend had moved on. By then, Gencon was turned in and much written already.

I wanted to do something for him.

So I did a small gesture: I altered the specials to include one table of Rhym characters. Thus, Rhym lived again! It was fun to write for that setting once again and the Rhym crew was perhaps the first really well-balanced group of Iconics.

Big Thanks to Logan and Sicquan for taking on that crew.

I was touched by the respect of the community for JD and his works. I don't think I was able to ask that of people without my voice breaking. I am writing this with wet eyes.

Thanks my friend for giving us Rhym.

Rhym will very likely return next year on the FOE program.


General thank yous: Gencon, the Marriott, city of Indy, and Dennys.

So many people to thanks, as usual. My first specific one goes to all attendees who woke up early, stayed up late, or both. For giving us your time and your confidence to entertain you with unique events.

It is also so pleasing to see returning faces, who come play with us, year after year, and the many who have tried to get FOE tickets only to see them disappear in an instant. I always want to grow but want to do so with quality GMs, products, and adventures.

Next, I must thank the FOE GMS: Adam, Bill, Brandon, Logan, Marissa, Rebecca, Sicquan, Steve, Thor, and Will. You guys really made everything sound great and come alive. I said it before but your personalities and skills crafted the game experience around my framework. I said it many times, but I really get a kick out of listening to you all and to the twists you create. I could not have done it without you. My thanks and love.

Another set of thanks goes to all those who heard me gripe about my adventures either sucking, falling flat, or being unimaginative, OR that I was stuck in the writing process. I would never have gotten it all done without your insight and rubber ducky powers. ActionMan, Brandon, Florence-M, Florent-F, and Will a big thanks to you guys.

This year, my workload was lightened particularly by Bill and Thor who both created awesome adventures that complemented the FOE offering and gave alternative approaches to the setting and new ideas. Bill's site-based investigation and Thor's dungeoncrawl helped craft a very complete slate of adventures, none of which were similar to the others. And you took my odd comments about adding things (green crystal) in stride. You guys rock. Now you've set your own bar pretty high. (Just sayin')

Thanks go to ActionMan who had to hear all about the awesomeness but not begin able to attend. Don't worry bud, you'll be joining us soon enough.

Thanks to my wife, Julie who tolerated my late nights as I tried to get it all done. And the frustrated groans of writer's block. And the online chats at odd hours.

Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Friday, August 18, 2023

Gencon 2023 After Action Report Part 5

Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6


Everyone wants to know... "So what are the final results?" For "Regular Mods" (those we ran multiple times), the rules for tabulating are as follows:
1 - The event that happen most often is taken as the result.
2 - In case of a tie, the playtesters' table get the deciding vote. (meaning they could choose an option not most chosen).

For Specials, the rules are simple: what happened is what happened.

AkhametAkhamet The Canopic Resurrection, Matt's excellent dungeoncrawl:
- The Queen of Cats escaped to cause chaos another day.
- The Lich Skunnezzar was resurrected and is free to go about as he wills.
- The lich's library will provide many avenues of study to those researching Pharaoh's current condition.

Akhamet The Dangling Castle, the point-crawl:
- The Castle was sent home, taking many adventurers with it.
- The village was saved.
- The bronze dragon Ratapedes vanished with the castle.

Olympia The Wolves in the Fold, the tale of Artemis' Revenge:
- Heraklea, priestess of Artemis was killed to slate the blood lust of her mistress.
- Truces were made between the PCs and the Spartian leader Keronides.
- Baetius was rescued and returned safely to Mytenia.
- Many instances of single combat, or of a priestess of Aphrodite vs the Spartians. (No, I did not ask more, ask the internet).

Olympia Deja Vu All Over Again, Bill's time and mind-bending titan hunt:
- The village of Delos was freed from Hades' grip
- The shape-shifting titan, Leodes was captured and turned over to the authorities.
- The mayor, Matullis, played up his role to the Queen.

Ozaka Lady Mijiko, A feel good coming-of-age story:
- Lord Azaki's youngest daughter safely reached the village of Iwazaki

Thursday Night's The Ozakan Race, with the rampaging Kaiju:
- The Yokai threatening the land is still out there
- Heroic sacrifices were made and heroes allowed their friends to escape. They were last seen charging the Kaiju Chuwatori as the portal closed.
- All portals were closed, binding Chuwatori once again.
- Relations between Ozakans and the outside world remain somewhat tense. Some links were made but prejudices and distrust still exist.
- Kallias the Oracle of Hermes was technically right... "I never said it was a Temple to Hermes. I said you'd help the Oracle of Hermes and find titans. Where's the lie?" (Smarmy grin)

Friday Night's Tearing Down the Wall, with GMs changing tables:
- Akhamet and Olympia both used Temizia's ritual, allowing the First Ones a secret entry point.
- The Land of the Princesses used Corfell's ritual, preventing the First Ones from reaching in.
- Rhym used Corfell's ritual but did not complete it in time.
- Hapatset had her feline companion killed. The poor kitty touched one of the crystals and burned to death. Bast will have retribution.

Daabi by KeelSaturday Night's Sinking of Bastis, set in another realm:
- Saggakara's natural charm did not come through as she thought. Many disliked or distrusted her.
- The performance contest was won by someone who rolled a 23!
- The princesses forced a goblin to swear fealty, Daabi the goblin. I am thinking of allowing him as a sidekick available only for the Princesses in future years. He could join if there are less than 6 princesses at the table. Whatever the case, I thought the idea so interesting that he has to return. Now I have art for him, he has to appear in future adventures. Isn't that how it works?
- The Sponsors were well-received and made connection to many groups of PCs.

Sunday Morning's Dousing Fire with Blood, the escape adventure:
- Everyone escape the fortress of Titan's Hold.
- The former king, Nestor was executed for his crimes against the Titans. He invoked Zeus before his execution and was struck with a bolt of lightning. His body was never found.
- Some PCs escaped through the portal while most others sailed away.
- Prince Alekreon and Princess Kreozandra was brought to her sister in Mytenia
- Prince Herakreon was taken to the land of the Princesses to be raised under their guardianship
- Emetros-the-Cursed was a big hit. Poor man was turned into a gelatinous cube by Apollo.

Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6