Archive for the Review Category

Inkwell Ideas After the TPK; Modern; & Lovecraftian Sidequest Decks Plug

Posted in Podcasts, Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , , , , on 14 October 2018 by Mawdrigen

Wherein Mawdrigen tells you about a lovely kickstarter you might want to support if you have contrary players like his!

Check out 3 New Sidequest Decks: After the TPK; Modern; & Lovecraftian by Inkwell Ideas on @Kickstarter Kickstarter

The American Files – A Talky One – Mass Effect and Vampire 20

Posted in Podcasts, Review, Second 100 with tags , on 20 August 2017 by Mawdrigen

Episode 173

CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect the original trilogy, and Andromeda.

Bloodied, Allegory, and Ghostlyn join forces to enact a Talky one from Deepest California where the temperature is so warm that even Cacti are giving up the ghost and wilting. Please note it is a little bit echoey, but quite good sound quality for being recorded on a phone! First they review some Iced Teas which are standard issue for survivng the Mojave Desert, especially when you have turned off the air con to get better sound.

Then they get onto gaming! Ghostlyn has recently completely the Mass Effect Series so they went through this and provided their feed back on the game series.

After this they look into World of Darkness 20!

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Please let us know what you think either here, at thecultofteaanddice@gmail.com, or @Cultteaanddice if you want to give us any Feedback, please also feel free to leave us reviews on Itunes

This Podcast is Explicit and contains Politics!, Poop-Tea, Mass-Effect, Thumbs up doesn’t work on radio, anti-climatic endings annoy us, Dragon Age Origins Pacing issues, Mass effect relationship woes, Gay Male Krogan?, Permanent catatonia face, Biotic Space Cancer, Gamergate being dicks again, Giant books with bad spines, Toxic people, and New Newness!

CoC7e – Chin-wag on the Orient Express

Posted in Podcasts, Review with tags , , on 14 May 2017 by Mawdrigen

Episode 159

As Mawdrigen had three hours of sleep, hadn’t read the next chapter, and had just realised we’d reached the halfway point and two and a half YEARS (gods these players are slow).

So we actually decided to do a bit of a retrospective on the first half of the campaign, including talking through the campaign that came directly before we started doing the Podcast “Blood of the Father”.

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Announcement

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , , , on 25 April 2017 by Mawdrigen

Hi there guys!

Just a bit of information for you all, I’ve recently been doing some writing for a project which has now gone live! So I thought I’d let you know so if you fancied taking a look you could.

The project in question is a set of Adventure Seed card decks (available Here) for when your inspiration has run a little dry, or even if your players take a hard left rather than engage with the adventure hooks you have placed for them! These cards contain an adventure premise, a couple of ways to get the players involved, a few encounter ideas and even a couple of ways you can extend the adventure out into a longer narrative.

So if you want a stack of quick adventure ideas give them a look, you may even end up playing one of the ones I wrote!

Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen, Uncategorized with tags , on 12 August 2016 by Mawdrigen

TLDR Review: Oh My God I Love This Game.

I played Mansions of Madness 1st Ed with the rest of the Cult of Tea And Dice, and we (for the most part) liked it. It was a gorgeous game and despite issues with some of the missions it was enjoyable. It did suffer a bit from the same “Evil Overlord” problems that Descent has where the GM player had to play very hard and really victimise the players as much as possible to keep the game working as appropriate. It was less prevalent in Mansions however and I believe this was actually due to the subject matter, you expect a Cthulhu Mythos game to be “harsh and murdery”.

One thing about it that stopped us playing it more? Set up.
It took FOREVER to set up, and if the GM made a mistake the mission could be impossible but you wouldn’t necessarily realise that until the end. You had to create the decks of items and so on, build mythos decks, select and set out the clues in the rooms and so on and so on. The set up also mostly landed on the GM making the separation even more pronounced and making the GM position less fun. We tend to play games to get together with people and have fun, anything that isolates one player, then make them do more work than the other players? That’s not a good thing.

Does this get solved by Mansions of Madness 2nd Ed? YES

Mansions 2 now supports up to five players, and although one of them has to drive the app everyone gets to play. Which is AWESOME. No one is left out, and the work is taken out of the set up. Now you just sort the components and grab starting items, then the app shows you the first room setup, complete with “things you can look at, interact with, or go through” the player party sets all this down and begins play. Which is where the App comes in.

One thing that I would say is that the app probably should do more “keeping track” of how many actions that you have and are performing. Specifically I think it should keep track of how many “puzzle steps” each player has available. Also a back button, might be worthwhile, we skipped a monster attack by accident as we didn’t realise we had moved on to another monster of the same step.

That said the is pretty awesome, not only does it tell you your starting equipment, but going forward keeps track of what you have and have not investgated, controls the movement and attacks of monsters and NPCS and generating the map and “random occurences” which where before would be triggered by the GM to mess with the players, is now triggered by the app during the mythos phase.

As you take an action you move on the board, and then click on the appropriate item on the app to find out what happens or what tests you need to make. If a puzzle is required although it doesn’t keep track of how many actions you should have, it will record your progress and inform you once you have completed it and what happens next!

Handily the App doesn’t “take over” the game. As the rather fine review over at Rock Paper Shotgun noted, the app runs stuff, but the board is still integral as are the card decks and so on. You never end up feeling that you may as well just be playing a cooperative Ipad game instead of a board game, which is good. It does help to have a person do the voices however we found!

To give an idea of how the app works I’ll give an example of entering the Bathroom in the mission we played. I clicked to investigate the cupboard above the sink, only for the app to inform me that the floor had collapsed! It then asked for a Speed; 2 check, and told me if I failed I had to take facedown damage, and if I suceeded I took an item, and moved back to the hall. The Tests in the system work much the same way as before, with a slight difference. You still roll a number of dice = to your stat, but the dice ar d8’s with either Elder signs (Success) Blank (Fail) or magnifying glasses (mayyybe?!?) on them. You need enough elder signs to reach the target number, but if you have clue tokens you can turn magnifying glasses into elder signs on a one to one basis. I LIKE THIS A LOT. It makes clues powerful but not always so, if you have rolled no magnifying glasses those clues are useless.

It works similarly with the attacks as well, you choose what weapon you are attacking with (for example a bladed or heavy weapon) and the app tells you what to roll. In the starter adventure I’ll admit I murdered a ton of cultists and deep ones by the fact that I was a grave digger with a machete. Even better the app keeps track of the monsters hit points for you, no more pushing cardboard hearts into slots for me, and it will also tell you when they die.

The only vague worry I have is that the creatures attacks and horror checks can repeat fairly often, indeed the person I was playing with ended up worrying whether she was related to a deep one for most of the fight. With a few App updates however this should cease to be a problem.

One thing I havent done yet but that I intend to do at the weekend is to use the conversion kit and include everything from the first edition and it’s expansions. The inclusion of this kit is very definitely a feather in FFG’s cap, they could after all have made us all buy expansions to include these things, but they chose not to and I support this stance. The method of adding these items into the app is very easy (you just click on the extra item and mark it as enabled).

The only thing that does worry me is the app currently only has 4 missions in it, one of which is the *easier starting adventure. That said the app alters parts of the adventure each play through so the replayability is there, but I would like to see more adventures released for this via APP updates pretty quickly, specifically extra missions that use the 1st ed missions might be nice.

On the whole Mansions of Madness Second Edition is frankly awesome and i want to play it more, and with more missions!

*Easier here is relative. It just tried to drop a Star Spawn on us in the starting adventure… We ran away. FAST

Mad Max Fury Road – or why it is a damn shame that England is tiny.

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , , , , on 3 June 2015 by Mawdrigen

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, so this may end up being Spoilerriffic. So here is the Spoiler space… Continue reading

Killing Primals for Fun and Profit, OR oh my god is there any Job we don’t do in CT

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , on 8 March 2014 by Mawdrigen

It’s been a while since I talked about FFXIV: ARR (FFarr) which is not to say I haven’t been playing the game, more that I have been too busy playing the thing to write about it.

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Tea reviews summary

Posted in Review with tags on 18 February 2014 by Hardwick

Teas of the Cult

“Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn’t have tea?” –  Noel Coward

Well, yes it would! The cultists would all have less to talk about and be a lot less hydrated.  I have collated the tea reviews so far…….

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Thirsty Meeples, combining Games and Tea (plus cookies, cake, sandwiches and coffee!)

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , , on 1 February 2014 by Mawdrigen

Over in Oxford (which is surprisingly close to Goatswood), something new and awesome has opened.
Thirsty Meeples, which is a Gaming Cafe (Website).

Now other game shops (including the excellent Eclectic Games Website Here) have both games nights, where you can play the games from their library, and usually either allow food or have vending machines and snacks. However at Thirsty Meeples you have a fully functioning Cafe right there next to where you are gaming. The food and drink selection is very fine, and I was certainly pleased with the selection of Teas on offer. From Green tea, to Darjeeling first blush, to the rather nice Winter Brew (which was similar to Space Imperial) they seem to have a tea for everyone.

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Oh my God, what am I wearing.

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , on 14 January 2014 by Mawdrigen

As some of you have no doubt heard (read) I have been playing Fufaaarrr aka Final Fantasy a Realm Reborn (aka FFXiV) quite a bit recently. My progress has continued, and now I am slowly getting towards my first level 50 class as a Black Mage. What this means is, ALL THE DAMAGE COMES OUT OF MY FACE AND BURNINATES EVERYTHING THAT DARES STAND BEFORE MY ELDRITCH MIGHT… sorry that just popped out.

One thing I do like about FFXiV is that, at least for your first class to 50, it doesn’t feel too “grindy”. The grind is death in any MMO and is almost guaranteed to make me want to leave a game. The moment a game ends up feeling like a job, you know you are doing it wrong. Its why I stopped playing WOW, its why I stopper playing Secret World, its not why I stopped playing Planetside (that was all the fucking elmos) but you get my point surely.

That said I’ve Continue reading

The Final (Fantasy) Frontier

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , on 21 November 2013 by Mawdrigen

I’m a player of MMO’s, I’ll admit it. Now I don’t have many evenings when I’m not stupidly busy of course, what with having to record roleplaying games for you guys, planning games, and you know occasionally doing the social life thing. However I’ve lately been feeling the hankering for more social gaming. Dragon Age wasn’t cutting it, and planetside has fallen off a bit in the face of… well… terrans to be honest.

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Cult Special Episode – City of Zombies

Posted in Podcasts, Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen on 20 October 2013 by Mawdrigen

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Go to City of Zombies Kickstarter to back the game (and you really should!).

In this special episode the Cult plays the new game City of Zombies a game in which you use maths to kill zombies!
We have the designer Matt Tidbury here with us to both explain the game and watch in horror as Archive’s ability to square numbers at speed to decimate the zombie horde!

Scientist zombie
Horde!
Om Nom Nom
SURVIVORS

Please let us know what you think either here, at thecultofteaanddice@gmail.com, or @Cultteaanddice if you want to give us any feedback

NB: This Podcast is ACTUALLY clean with no swearing (despite Archive’s potty mouth).

The Resistance Dirty Stinking Spies Everywhere!

Posted in Actual Play, First 100, Podcasts, Review with tags , , on 19 October 2013 by Mawdrigen

Episode 12

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In this episode the Cult plays the rather fine game known as “The Resistance” a game in which evil spies try and stop us loyalists from saving the world from its tyrannical government. Usually using plots last seen in the Carry on Films! For further watching I suggest the Tabletop playthrough of Resistance found here (Watch here!).

Please let us know what you think either here, at thecultofteaanddice@gmail.com, or @Cultteaanddice if you want to give us any feedback

NB: this podcast includes swearing, dirty stinking spies, intense Britishness, and accusations of treachery (mostly aimed at me) and real treachery (Omarscen)!

A Cult Day Out – Special Episode

Posted in Podcasts, Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen on 14 October 2013 by Mawdrigen

A Cult Day Out

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Yesterday evening in … Goatswood (totally not Reading honest) the Cult of Tea and Dice descended on the South Street Arts centre (which is not in Reading either) for an evening of Steampowered awesomeness and comedy nerdery. We had an awesome time and felt the need to review both the evening and the rather fine tea which I purchased from the Professor himself. If you ever get chance to go to AF Harold’s Lovely Cabaret then you really should go, we will be the strange types sat near to the front, but not actually at the front of the place given what happened to Archive (we are getting to that).

Please note we continue to be both British and Irreverent, also you may learn more about dolphins than you ever wanted, or needed to know!

Professor Elemental – Website
Helen Arney – Website

The Fair Times Festival

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , , on 4 October 2013 by Mawdrigen

Down near Bilericay there is a farm called Barleylands. You would have been excused for thinking however that it had been the site of some kind of Temporal Rift a couple of weekends ago as there were all sorts of attractions from different periods of time scattered across the place!

From the huge palisaded gates, to the sound of Machine Gun fire the Fayre covered the whole gamut of re-enactment from dark ages Viking up to WW2, and also included Larp supplies, medieval crafts and foods, Laser tag and also an Archery Competion. Add to this the many Taverns including the Crimson Moon, well known to CP regulars, in which I’ll admit I spent rather more time than I was intending (I blame ex-Court of the Dragon members!) the Fayre literally had everything you could need for a day out.

Despite being in the countryside it’s remarkably easy to get to the place, a train to Bilericay from Liverpool street, then a 100 bus to directly outside the visitors centre just 50 metres from the entrance. Knowing when to get off the bus, and of course the usual underground palaver were the only trouble we actually had. All told however it was relatively easy to get to from Goatswood. Getting in to the Fayre itself was easy, and impressive as a full on Palisade had been put together to act as the gate (in fact two had but I didn’t get to see the other one) and the staff were quick and very pleasant.

The moment I got through the gate I headed straight to the “Archery Contest” not to compete as the final was the next day, but just plain to have a go. Which was free. Having taken my first few shots however I decided to quit while I was ahead having got my eye in! Shame I couldn’t come back the next day, with a prize of £1500 the Archery competition would have been well worth a try!

Now I will admit that the price of entry for the Fayre was a touch on the high side, which possibly put some people off. However given the plethora of things to do inside it was worth it in my book. Where else can you watch a man make a genuine Japanese style knife and then step 6 yards to the side and buy a Larp mask? The number of traders were fantastic, including an old style jerky and chutney maker, wood turners, bowyers, cosplay and military equipment sellers, and also Larp kit makers. I didn’t see half the places due to a lack of time on my part but the level of craftsmanship on show was ridiculously high. Avoiding buying all the things was the main problem I had, as there was so much good stuff there. Walking back through London festooned in mediaeval weaponry however would have been something of an issue, so its probably a good thing that I resisted. The fact that the sellers were all clustered in one place, with the re-enactors in the other field gave the sellers area a market place feeling which was good, sort of like walking down the high street of a slightly anachronistic city.

The food on show was good too, although as a long standing larper I went straight to the Hog Roast along with a friend of mine who promptly filled his buckler up with meat. If you have never helped a man devour a buckler full of meat you really haven’t lived! The food vans combined with the taverns meant that there were plenty of options for food, and relaxation. Efforts had definitely been made to make the fare on offer varied and cater to everyone.

There were a number of re-enactment crews present to show off their excellent costume and fighting mettle, all the way from Viking, and Anglo Saxon and ranging up to the WWII re-enactors. They were all exceedingly knowledgeable about their subjects, and at the same time more than willing to answer questions. In fact they were exceedingly informative, and I learned more than I thought I would ever know about WWII rifle patterns. Unfortunately for me one of my mutant powers seems to be sensitive hearing (along with too many taste-buds and the ability to produce minor static charges) so I didn’t get to spend too long near them due to the sheer amount of racket they produced with their machine gun.

There were also a number of talks throughout the weekend but unfortunately I didn’t have time to catch any of them. I would have like to, with such worthies as Matt Pennington (of Empire fame) speaking they would no doubt have been excellent.

All told I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Fayre and I hope they get to do another one next year! If they do I intend to go for both days, and would suggest you all do too!

Farcry 3

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , on 1 October 2013 by Mawdrigen

I have literally just finished this game.

I am utterly blown away by it.

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Curious Pastimes, Battlefield furniture taken to the max!

Posted in Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen on 1 September 2013 by Mawdrigen

I’ve been going to CP for a very very long time. Hell I’ve had people wander up to me and tell me stories about my previous characters without ever realising it was me (in their defence I was playing a leather masked sociopath at the time). Much like everything you do for so long slowly you start to see nothing but the bad bits of it, which is why when I turned up to Renewal I did so with zero Froth.

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The Cult talk New Players

Posted in First 100, Podcasts, Review with tags , , on 27 August 2013 by Mawdrigen

Episode 8

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In this episode we talk about getting new players into the role playing hobby and we review tea, Whittards lapsang souchon in this case, a tea which last time I drank it made me want to die (this time it didn’t). We were all surprised, but having had Russian Caravan before (freedom and adventure) we were a bit more ready for it. We also introduce Archive the newest member of the Cult (who you have already heard on the Pacific Rim Special Episode). Finally we discuss Kickstarter and how it is making us all poor.

The main subject of getting new players into RPG’s the methods we have used before and how it went from the other side of the table. We discuss my recent Spirit of the Century campaign for non-Gamers.

NB: this podcast includes swearing, adult themes and intense Britishness. Occasionally Archive even remembers that when on a podcast you should occasionally talk!

Pacific Rim Special Episode

Posted in Podcasts, Review, The Witterings of Mawdrigen with tags , on 23 July 2013 by Mawdrigen

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This Special Episode is a review of Pacific Rim the giant robot vs kaiju film that has recently hit the cinemas! We gush about how awesome the film is, talk about what we’d have like to have seen, and even discuss how we would set up a RPG Campaign to run a game similar!

This is somewhat spoilerific so if you have not seen the film either skip to 40 minutes, and also skip 1:08 to 1:10 or you know … GO AND SEE THE FILM.

NB: This podcast contains swearing, and also themes of an adult nature. Oh and Britishness, lots and lots of Britishness. We are somewhat irreverent, but we totally don’t mean any of it, well apart from the bit about the French.