01 January 2010

It snowed a lot yesterday, so I got to move my woodpile in a snowstorm. It wasn't too bad. After a while the pile in the driveway started to show signs of shrinking and eventually I got it all stacked up and looking okay. I do need to acquire some tarps to cover the stack up with, but we've got a firewood rack under the back awning that will keep a couple of weeks' supply under cover and dry. I am fairly pleased with the wood heating so far. It's a bit uneven compared to the central heating, but most of the house stays in a comfortable range several degrees higher than we can afford to set the thermostat at running on strictly electric heat. We went and looked at wood stoves the other day. We saw a nice one with some temperature controls and doo-dads but it was about $800 more that we wanted to spend. In reality we might be able to get another couple of years out of the current stove and apply the money to other things. I did like all the bells and whistles, though. They did go a bit too far, though, selling a stove-mounted fan for approximately $300. It's a fan. You bolt it onto the stove and it blows air. That's it. It isn't mounted inside the stove or hook up to any ducting or anything. It's just a $300 fan. I could buy a box fan for $30 and use the other $270 to buy a whole pile of firewood. Every industry has to upsell something, I guess. The HVAC guy who came to the house had some stuff that he was upselling as well, like a bacteria-killing UV light.

By the time it was all done guests had begun arriving to hang out for New Year's Eve. I was worn out from moving the wood and I went to bed for a while until the wife came upstairs to let me know my friend had shown up. We sat around and goofed off online for a while and put together a character concept for an e-mail campaign he's planning on running. The character is basically an angry lumberjack. I'm not sure if plaid flannel and fur hats with earflaps exist in high fantasy, but that's what I envision. The game is in theory going to be run on the Hero System 6th Edition rules. I don't have the books myself, so I can't really comment on what the rules are like. I've heard that combat tends to bog down, but I think that's true of any system really. I don't know if I want to shell out the $80 ($50 for digital copies) for both core books, but I may eventually swing the $20 to get the trimmed-down basic rules. I am looking forward to playing my lumberjack character. The wife has decided on a battle nun concept, although it hasn't been fully fleshed out yet. I'll leave it to the GM to determine how a lumberjack and a militant nun wind up adventuring together. My friend's wife also has to come up with her character, so we'll see what she comes up with. The idea of an adventuring party is a bit silly to begin with, if you really think about it. But it makes for better cinema than role-playing a group of commoners doing normal commoner stuff like farming and catching the Black Death or being caught up in their lord's petty disputes with another kingdom and being overrun by a bunch of well-armored knights.

While working on those Easterlings I've been worrying about Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings line. I don't really have much in the way of viable forces for LotR games, and it seems like the line (and the license) can't go on forever. They're really stretching for concepts these days, mostly just adding command figures to some armies. Most of my other gaming interests are relatively stable in terms of availability. The American Civil War isn't going anywhere. Warhammer Fantasy and 40k are both fairly stable and widely available. Vikings are everywhere. World War Two has plenty on offer in 15mm. Reaper's CAV and Warlord systems don't seem like they're going anywhere anytime soon, even if CAV releases are a bit stagnant and Warlord figures are perpetually on clearance at the local shop. But Lord of the Rings in the particular style and size of the Games Workshop line is really only available from one source, and I am worried that it will disappear before I am ready for it to be gone. This isn't to say that I've heard rumors or that I think the gaming industry in general is in danger, but I do worry about a licensed line that's been around for a while and that really doesn't seem to have a lot of room left for expansion or big-money releases that would convince GW to keep the line rolling.

1 comment:

  1. For more on how to dress a lumberjack perhaps you should research the monty python sketch - a classic!
    GW will suspend the LotR range as soon as sales drop more than they a;lready are. Afterall they are a business and need new stuff to keep profits up. On the upside this will mean that ebay sales will be ever more lucrative.
    Happy New Year.