GURPs Warhammer this weekend

This weekend we should finally be able to start our long-awaited GURPs Warhammer campaign, assuming we don’t spend most of the time tweaking and modifying characters.  Our player group is expanding a little bit up to the limit of 6 players, thanks to some extended family of the players.  Apparently they were talking about the upcoming game, and their friends expressed an interest to get involved.  I am rarely one to turn down players of any sort, especially eager ones, and so our group grows again.

For this campaign, I am not planning on filming or recording the sessions – I am too far behind on that effort anyway with Pathfinder.  But I will likely post short summaries of the sessions, along with any lessons learned from our GURPs mechanics, and how or why we may have modified them.

Zombie horde expands

So I finished the latest set of zombie runners last night, as I continue to work my way thru the Zombicide: Black Plague set.  Which is good, since over Christmas, I added the Wulfsburg expansion, so I have many Zombie dogs nipping at my heels to be painted as well.

From here, the next big set is the Zombie Fattys, and then I have another group or two of basic walkers.  Unfortunately, with the weather the way it has been recently, I am not sure when I will be able to prime any of these, which may delay my further efforts.  Hopefully the sun will come out and we will warm up a bit above frigid, so that the paint will work properly.

Zombie runners

Working on more painting for the Zombicide: Black Plague set, this time with another set of 7 zombie runners.  My snapshots are admittedly rather terrible, I am not sure if it was the camera or the photographer (likely the later), but hopefully you get the basic idea.  I started with a primer coat of zombie green, on top of which I added dark brown pants, green shirts, and a dark hood.  For some reason, these zombies only have a single shoe, which was done in a pale yellow.  On top of this will be a wash coat, likely a dark green on the skin and shirt, and a dark brown on the rest.

My biggest difficulty on these models was really just being able to pick out and see the detail.  The detail exists, but my eyes were either worn out from a work day, or starting to get a bit worse than my generic glasses can handle.  Made it a challenge to hit just the key pieces.

My other difficulty was another paint explosion – the matt black I was using for the base decided to get clogged again, and while attempting to get some paint out, the top came off.  Ended up with a wasted pot of paint, and black paint on the desk and my laptop.  Fortunately I was able to salvage almost all of the damage, but the paint pot itself was a lost cause.  I did have plenty of paint though to cover the bases.

Spambots

A few days ago, I added a new module to the website, which provides for Google Auto-Captcha connections.  If you are not familiar with Captcha, it is the small graphic picture or puzzle you have to answer when you connect to some sites.  In this case, the routine makes an attempt to decide if a user is a real person or an automated bot.  If you are human, no extra steps.  If you are a bot, then you are rejected.  If it is unsure, then you get the puzzle.  The older alternative was a puzzle for everyone, or more simply just ignoring it and allowing everyone.

In my case, I was originally just ignoring it – I didn’t really expect any significant volume from bots and have other methods in place to avoid repeated spam.  However, after adding this new module, I have noticed a very significant change.  Previously, new “user” accounts averaged perhaps one or two per day – those are now non-existent (and practically all of the existing accounts are almost certainly bots to be purged).  More unexpectedly, the amount of traffic and “hits” on the site has taken a nose dive, from 500-600 “hits” per day down to approximately 100.  Visitor counts are similarly down, from approximately 150 to 50 per day.  All of which makes me think that this traffic is either real visitors, or cataloging engines like Google and Yahoo (which I expect is the majority).

Also unexpectedly, my Search statistics have increased – the number of times the site shows up on an internet search.  Not a huge amount, and may just be a matter of the duration of the site, but there does seem to be an increase.

Overall, I would say I am rather happy with this option, it has been surprisingly more effective than I imagined.

Rise of the Runelords update

We have our next session of Pathfinder scheduled for this Sunday, as the group continues their exploration and assault on the Stone Giant city.  In the last session, they did battle with a pair of lamia matriarchs, who had charmed and dominated a pair of red dragons.  Although they initially managed to convince the dragons to let them pass in safety (the bard is rather convincing), the lamia’s forced them to attack the group, who then had to fight for their lives against both strong groups.  Fortunately, with the death of the lamia’s the charm was broken, which freed the dragons, though they had all but been defeated as well at that point.  The dilemma for the group now is to “save” and heal the dragon’s, who were acting against their will, or slay the beasts as creatures of destruction (and potentially raise them as skeleton or zombies with the necromancer).  It will be an interesting moral challenge for the group – is one’s nature defined by their genetics, or by the choice of action?

Family reunion

I don’t remember this event, I was only 3 in 1976, but this is an old family picture gathering most of the extended family.  My dad I assume is the photographer, with (from the left), my Mom’s parents Ethel and Truman (with me in the middle), my mom, my uncle Roelof with my brother, and then my dad’s parents with Martha and Tjalling.  This was taken in Spokane, Washington, I assume at Ethel and Truman’s house.  The piece that sticks out to me is the Lazy Susan turn-table in the middle of the table – that is a piece that my parents continued to use for ages.  I remember it well at all meals.  Not sure what ever happened to it, but I suspect it eventually broke and was lost.