Chat about the game...

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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Sat May 12 2012, 14:44

We're heading for a major mechanic change with the start of the next issue. Hero Points and the way they work will change, in a nutshell. You will have large amounts of them to spend, and rather than add 2D10 to your existing roll, you roll 2D10, make sure you don't get double 1 (or any other double) then roll more D10s, 1 for every Hero Point you spend. Once all the dice are rolled, pick two to use (double or highest dice total) and discard the rest.

Fate Points give you an automatic, GUARANTEED double roll result. You spend a point, discard one of your dice and you get another die showing the same as the remaining roll, thus giving you a double, guaranteed.

I will dole those points out and they'll replace all existing totals, and keep a better track of those updated in every post, or at least at the start of every issue because not all issues involve combat. I'll update the house rules as a result too, and put those out for you guys to download.

We're getting to the stage where the version of Squadron UK/Golden Heroes that we play aren't really the same as the original rules (for a start off, 2d10 roll for everything save dodge rolls, which are 1d10). I need to pull my head out of my butt and rewrite the game. Keep the bits that are good, ditch the rest. Been saying it for ages, but time is the problem. I *will* get there - it's my mission in my gaming life to do it.

Just, ah, don't mention deadlines or dates *whistle*
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 11 2012, 00:07

As you might have gathered, the slowdown has been mainly due to the kids being off school and not getting a minutes peace! Should be fine from now though, and determined to update every day starting from tomorrow (actually today, should have been in bed an hour ago for work).
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Sat Apr 07 2012, 12:57

Update:

As you might have gathered, storm clouds are gathering in the game. Robots attack all major populated areas, the UK and USA are cleared of them (save for Sky Eagles over Manchester and we made need to 'hand wave' that) but the rest of the world is not so lucky. The Nazis are still trying to crush Britain with the last of their Battle of Britain/Operation Sea Lion, but those forces committed to the attack have no idea of the battle raging in their home country.

The Animen, and the recently revived Professor Bedlamm, have their own mad scheme, and it involves striking at the heart of the Vanguard - General Wynn and the base at Bletchley! Silver Sentinel is badly wounded and battling in London against a group of Nazis who want to kill or capture Winston Churchill and the King. London is ablaze in places, but Sentinel stopped most of that, though at high cost to himself. Anyman is in America (about) to urge the President to get the US into the war. Frostbite, Lionheart, Sunburst, Bulletman, NoMan and Gravity Girl fight to save Bletchley Park, whilst Sky Eagle and Nowhere Boy face off against the last carrier over UK soil.

Bentham and Trowers, having unleashed doom on mankind in the form of a murderous race of robots that conquered mankinds future (possibly due to Bentham and Trowers action in bringing them into the past, but don't think too hard about paradoxes - they will make your head hurt!) have seen their plans in ruins. Their hope to clone Lionheart has failed, Saladin is regrowing into a new body, Lionheart himself has evolved beyond their wildest dreams. The Vanguard are the line in the equation even Claude Bentham couldn't prepare for, and so they make ready to take their leave, but not without leaving a few surprises behind.

Alien races, including the Skrall and Qrii, seek to glean what they can of the Moons Lunarium, rarest and most powerful element in the universe (with the added effect of being able to give super powers to human beings) before the Devourer arrives. The Star League, a group of planets under one banner with their own Star Guard including the mighty Imperator, were witness to a demonstration of raw power when Nowhere Boy teleported himself across the Universe to arrive back home at Caer Alwyn. They watch from afar now, finally realising that the power the Vanguard possess is beyond their means to conquer. The Qrii and Skrall know only too well of that, having been crushed at every attempt to defeat the Vanguard.

There are two captured Robo Carriers - one with Frostbite which is badly damaged and near inoperable, having been battered then reprogrammed, with a 'broken spine' and the one off the coast of the US which Sir Franc... Anyman added to his collected fleet of enemy ships.

All the while, with every use of the Dark Power, the Devourer is drawn faster towards Earth. As well as that, the Shadows Darken, with the desperate Shadow Demons forming alliances with all of the Vanguards enemy to close the net and make one, final push to rid the world of the Earths Greatest heroes! It's the Vanguards darkest hour.

Someone said the night is always darkest before the dawn...

But what if the dawn never comes?

Everything the Vanguard do will echo through the multiple timelines, wherever they end up.

At the end of the current issues I want to start wrapping World War II. If the game turns off on a path of its own based on your actions, its possible the timeline will continue, but things as they stand are a disaster. Only the Vanguard can put them right - or add to it...
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Tue Apr 03 2012, 09:43

You're actually on the right track - I think a while back someone (you or other Dave) mentioned that it felt you were relying on the Dark power for every mission. With the enemies ranged against you, and mounting up, that was the plan, but it's been building to a head (the Devourer) and this timeline is so corrupted that there'll never truly be peace without the 'reboot' you mention. The reboot - to change time and space and 'fix' the various problems the Vanguard face, will come at a high price. You can probably guess what it is, but it's a solution to the relying on the Dark Power all the time. As for which is the 'correct' time, Frostbite and Stormwarden (Wynn) come from one time, Putty another, and Sentinel/Sky Eagle come from this one whereas Lionheart comes from a version of the future - you won't be able to please all of the people all of the time... unless you go to a time and place where there is no Dark power, because that has/is/will be the root of all evil in this campaign. They influenced events to send Bentham and Trowers into the past and the Devourer is pulled like a magnet towards the Planet every time you use your Dark power.

I consider the 'starting' timeline, the one where Heroes work for the Government or are outlawed, to be the 'core' timeline for the game, but there's no requirement to go back there. It's a get your head together, choose a time and hope you choose right. Do you pick a time before Adjutant unmasked and started rounding up heroes who didn't toe the line? What about the time of the Executive or Original Lore Knights? Or perhaps a time when there are no costumed heroes, only mystery men and women who do good in secret and melt back into the shadows, 'guardian angels' of sorts.

And there's no guarantee that you'll get the right time/place, all sorts of things could go wrong... But the second World War in this timeline has been corrupted and will not now follow history. Without the Vanguard this timeline will be overrun by robot conquerers, and mankind will go into hiding, unless the Vanguard stop them somehow.

Time travel is always a thorny subject, and never clear cut. That's part of the fun, and the trouble. Quite literally, where you guys want to go from here, I will adapt the story to. If you need hints, or nudging in the right direction, I will do that. If you choose to go your own separate ways, we will switch to individual threads, and I have no problem with that.

It's your calls Smile

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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Tue Apr 03 2012, 04:03

So, do we want to combine all our dark powers and warped reality, setting the timeline back closer to what it was? Or hold off on that for a bit longer?

And what is the proper timeline anyways? Which one of our characters actually existed in the "proper" timeline and remembers it? Frostbite came from a future timeline that we don't want existing. Putty came from a timeline where the Nazis won the war and we don't want existing. Lionheart and Nowhere Boy? Are they from the proper timeline or another one as well? And do they remember the proper timeline or have they forgotten it, if they are from the proper timeline?

The way I see it, we will have to do some kind of mind meld fusion and the one[s] who remember the "proper" timeline will have to be the ones who "correct" the past and guide the corrections up to the 'present day' while the rest of us try to be neutral and just provide a ton of Dark Power into Probability Manipulation and hope our subconscious desires don't screw things up too badly.

Actually, I'm starting to get a bit discouraged. Each "victory" we gain, leads us to a bigger potential loss, forcing us to become almost gods in order to just keep our heads above water. As much as I love the war setting, it is getting a bit too discouraging for me. I mean, the game is called Darkening Shadows but right now I feel like we have to set off a super-nova just to see a bit of ways into it. I'm almost to the point of actually letting Anyman lose a fight and be totally defeated and see if that actually makes things better somehow.

And if and when the Devourer comes, we will have to be actual gods in order to take him on. I really don't want a character in god status. Hard enough with Putty being demi-god right now.

What is your thoughts on this, guys?
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sun Mar 18 2012, 21:11

If you are in pain, get to the doctor so he can start a history on the injury so that they will pay the medical bills.
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Sun Mar 18 2012, 20:37

Sounds like you speak from experience Sad Got pain in my back now, down right leg and I get pins and needles in my right foot if sat down too long. Gobbling painkillers like sweets so its not too bad. Already had the other parties insurance company on the phone admitting 100% liability and offering a deal to keep solicitors out of the equation. Haven't had an accident for ages and things sure have changed - they automatically assume some kind of injury claim will be involved now (both sides) and I hadn't mentioned anything before today.

On the plus side, get your updates in gents - I'm on the sick now so apart from struggling to sit down for any length of time, I'm up for updating as much as possible...
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sat Mar 17 2012, 22:43

don't forget the hot shower and Bengay heat rub. Hope the stiffening up a bit is all that happens.
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 17 2012, 22:15

Huh, came on expecting to do a few updates - looks like everyone has their hands full with one thing or another. As Dave E saw on Facebook, I had a 'bit of a do' in the car today (I stopped for a red light, the guy behind me didn't) but am ok aside from stiffening up like the tin man from Oz. Car needs sorting out, but will let insurance sort that out. No one badly hurt, the old guy who bumped me was ok, my son ok so no real harm done save plastic and paperwork. Wish I'd not been in the accident, mind. It's a bit of a ball ache going through what happened time and again in different departments of the same company. I suppose they consider the notes made and look for discrepancies. Ah well, live to fight another day Smile Let's be careful out there...
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Mar 16 2012, 22:37

Well all good and well mate, grateful to hear you calling running the game relaxing - anyway just as it comes mate, Just as it comes.

On the other note, so sad to hear that about John Carter, hearing the guy on the radio made me think it was up for much more. Sad. Lets hope that Dark Knight and Avengers promises and delivers on those promises.

We can but see.

Laters

Sj
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 16 2012, 19:53

Well, that was the week that was (pure murder). Finished a 12 hour shift at 18.00, walked in house, assaulted by dog & kids, run around after everyone, feed dog, play with kids, sit down to eat dinner and the youngest throws up all over the place. Needless to say I felt like going back to work.

Anyway, next weeks shifts are longer, but hopefully I'll have more time to post. Will update tonight and *fingers crossed* at least twice over the weekend. If I miss anything/anyone, holler. I may have to split the team thread into separate teams because it's hard keeping track of Anyman and Lionheart/Bulletman/Gravity Girl/NoMan/Frostbot without adding Nowhere Boy/Frostbite/Silver Sentinel into the mix. Sky Eagle has his own thread so no worries there. The Lore Knights game will see updates too.

That'll be the only relaxing thing I get up to I think. Tearing around after kids/dog then having to sort out my car which was pranged a couple of weeks ago (I wasn't even in it at the time) will be somewhat less relaxing, I expect.

If anyone is thinking of seeing John Carter, it's at best worth 5/10. My recommendation would be to wait for bluray. It's 30 mins too long, some of the characters are bewildering and the CGI is odd in places, with tiny shrunken characters and enormous backgrounds. I don't know if the film makers were on drugs or its something to do with 3D. Anyway, the cinema with 20 people in sort of told its own story. It's not bad, just not great either. Disappointed because I love Sci Fi and Swords/Sandals movies, and like Conan last year, another nail in the coffin. After Conan now this, Movie studios will run a mile from the genre for a generation Sad The final nail in the coffin will be Wrath of the Titans. Watched the trailer, and I can honestly say I've never been less interested in special effects and monsters as I have from watching that. It quite literally did not register on my interest radar.

On the plus side, Avengers looked good from the trailer.

More later, thanks as ever for your patience Smile

Paul
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sun Mar 11 2012, 15:39

Wow sometimes players do stupid things because they don't know what to do (or sometimes think their being cool - like the time one super strong guy thought it would be good to pick up a sofa with his super strength and ram a wall -err, the average sofa doesn't so much smash the average office block supporting wall, as disintegrate on contact - just hit the wall with your super hard knuckles!)

Anyway thanks for the updates Paul.

Sj
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sun Mar 11 2012, 13:36

I was nice. I let him survive off the sharks that came to eat him. Very Happy

And he kept asking when he would get to the US so he could get back to the game. Sheesh!
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Sun Mar 11 2012, 12:51

I guess some people just don't 'get it'. Sure, they are superhumans, but in many cases, the laws of physics still apply to an extent...
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sun Mar 11 2012, 01:36

Yeah, my friends and I seemed to be the only ones who remember playing it with fondness. One of the few games I actually GMed.

One of my campaigns ended because of a young teenager who had a problem with waiting adn thinking. He was playing a Wolverine clone back when Wolverine was cool and new. We were doing the second module printed for the game, the one with the hidden base underwater and needing a sub to get there. So they hid away on the sub in various storage rooms.

This guy got bored and decided to use his claws and cut his way out of the wall, AWAY from the door so no one would notice. I mentioned that that was the hull he was about to carve through but he did it anyways. Dives out into the Atlantic Ocean, modified for an American team the mod was, 'cause he has regeneration and claws and tough skin and water pressure won't affect them.

Sub surfaces, finds the damage, seals the hole, luckily not figuring out what was going on and the mission continues with him out in the Atlantic Ocean not sure if North America or England is closer. He decides to swim West and months later, washes up on shore. The rest continue the mission with a good riddance all on their faces.

Needless to say, he wasn't invited back to play again.

Ah, those were the days! jocolor
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 10 2012, 23:27

Yeah I chuckled with the suggestion of the meetup, not least because for you and I to meet would take 7 hours of travelling in one direction for one of us. Probably faster for David M to get over here on a plane Razz

I think Simon is on the right path with self publishing. Having to lay out a big chunk of time, money and effort on something only for C7 to go over it, point out where he should redo things, then after time has passed, print and market it, then give him a cut (not the other way round) seems all wrong. The Supers genre is absolutely crowded these days (Bash!, Icons, M&M, Truth and Justice, Hearts and Souls, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Wild talents, Godlike, D6 Supers, Villains and Vigilantes, Hero System, and that's just off the top of my head). SquadronUk (or whatever it's called) will be a tiny fish in a small pond with bigger fish all swirling about for a slice of the market. As far as I know David M is the only American to have played, never mind heard of the game. Not sure what sort of release it got over there, but coming out as Golden Heroes back in the day in the shadow of Marvel from TSR can't have been easy, and I remember the game being in the bargain bins at Virgin megastore for a couple of quid I think. It's not worth much more on ebay seemingly, which is a crime, as it's self contained, easy to play and make characters for, and contains some genuinely good ideas. GW made a reasonable stab at promoting it in White Dwarf back in the day but I never saw it in Imagine or Dragon, so I guess it was considered a failure by GW. That only makes their recent cease and desist even more churlish. They are lucky they don't make RPGs any more so that I can't boycott them!

I considered making a serious stab at publishing my own game at one point, but it would never be finished to my satisfaction - I can't help tweaking and tinkering. Another downside was the cost of art and professional looking layout. You have to spend money to make money I suppose, and knocking something out in Word and hoping it sells is a sure fire way of sliding into obscurity, dismissed as another 'home brew' from some 'bearded live at home in his mothers basement' hack.

No one will get rich with RPGs (maybe few people, if any, ever did) but seeing your own game in print, played by people who like it, must surely give some sense of satisfaction, and at least Simons' had that, regardless of whether SQUK v2 sees the light of day or not.

Haven't seen a PM from you recently mate? Anyhow, thanks for the kind thought - sometimes life/work/kids do get on top, but I play this because I enjoy it and it de-stresses me. On another site, years ago, I'd have nattering players who wanted updates several times daily, and I ran several games. That felt like another job and I just burnt out completely, so having done that I can recognise the signs and see when to have a day off.

On the subject of marketing your work, I bought some superhero art from RPGnow the other day. It was uncoloured, and aside from the the proviso that the author be credited it can be used in anything I like. That might be a route you fancy taking a stab at with a 10 page PDF for a couple of dollars? Doesn't sound like a lot but sell, say, a few hundred copies and it might provide some pocket money for doing something you love, and get your name out there for commissions and the like. A fellow called Storn Cook does the rounds on several forums and he's seen print in Champions as well as other games. I guess he started out as a hobby and helps pay the bills with freelance commissions as well as paid work for books.

I'll try to squeeze John Carter in on Thursday night (so don't expect any updates that day). It'll be a case of finishing an 11 hour shift, playing with kids for 2 hours, going to flicks, getting home, up at 4.30 for another 11 hour shift. What can you do? Can't let work rule my life but it's hard squeezing anything else in. Coming up to weeks with days off though so things will get easier, and I won't work overtime for my employer (long story, but they basically fiddle things so you work for nothing, if you let them).

Right, I'll see how many updates I can do, after my ramble!

Cheers, Paul

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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Sat Mar 10 2012, 09:36

Admin wrote:ha! Get together... heh, I can barely find time to see family/friends etc with work as it is at the moment (another long week 10+ hour shifts next week, but should be more regular with posting hopefully). I wanted to go see the new John Carter (of Mars) film next week with a friend and the only way I'll be able to do that is if I scrape maybe 5 hours of sleep after getting home from the cinema. Still, needs must... (hope it's worth it!)

On the Yahoo group, seen Simon Burley has thrown together a draft of Squadron UK 2.2. Are you doing the art for it? There are a lot of good things that can be kept from Golden Heroes (combat sequence for one) but a lot of things need updating to (20m range, 25mph movement rates, lots of near useless/worthless powers (claws etc) and the list goes on)

Anyhow, finished late at work so will see what I can get done and do more tomorrow Smile

My suggestion (tongue in cheek) came about because Simon was looking to meet up with folk to play test the new rules at a convention. He is very well placed to get to them. I, on the other hand being in North Devon, the back of beyond am not. But yes it was all meant very light hearted, especially given how much you already do. I don't know how you do it.

As regards the new rules, Simon had been approached to redo them for Cubicle 7 I think, but he got nervous. I am not sure what the business model is that they use, but it seemed like he had to lay out a lot himself, they'd sell it, maybe market it etc, and he'd get a cut. In the end he's decided to go down the self publishing route. I know that on the Yahoo group he solicited for information. Whether he updates it beyond street level/X-men I don't know. But I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. For the Cubicle 7 job, as was, I did a big front cover, and the individual team members on the front were also separate individual shots inside, about 7 images plus another 5 or 6 more I had or redid. I spent about 5 months off and on working on it. So I kind of hope Simon will use the art in the end. He has always been very supportive of me in that regard, but I'm the creative type I have zero business acumen or drive to know how to make money from my work.

Anyway did you see my pm to you? I was worried that you were doing too much. Certainly you've not got a lot by way of margins in your life, by the sounds of it. I heard John Carter was good, some poor elements, but in some cases people went with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised.

I think I'll wait till it comes out on DVD, cinema is just sooo expensive for us as a family.

Laters

Sj
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 09 2012, 23:50

ha! Get together... heh, I can barely find time to see family/friends etc with work as it is at the moment (another long week 10+ hour shifts next week, but should be more regular with posting hopefully). I wanted to go see the new John Carter (of Mars) film next week with a friend and the only way I'll be able to do that is if I scrape maybe 5 hours of sleep after getting home from the cinema. Still, needs must... (hope it's worth it!)

On the Yahoo group, seen Simon Burley has thrown together a draft of Squadron UK 2.2. Are you doing the art for it? There are a lot of good things that can be kept from Golden Heroes (combat sequence for one) but a lot of things need updating to (20m range, 25mph movement rates, lots of near useless/worthless powers (claws etc) and the list goes on)

Anyhow, finished late at work so will see what I can get done and do more tomorrow Smile
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Mar 09 2012, 07:03

Sounds great Paul, thanks for the update. I look forward to getting and trying the new rules.

I hope the week ahead doesn't get you too bogged down. More than anyone I think its amazing what you've pulled off given what you do, have a young family etc. So all credit to you buddy.

So here is the next question, when do we have a DS convention where we get together and talk about things, even play a game or two face to face or over skype ;-).

Sj
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Thu Mar 08 2012, 23:40

On another note, we're averaging over 2500 posts/year (started April 2010, so there's time for that to increase a bit) which is great (or so I think) seeing as the forum is purely for playing by post, for one/two games (including the Lore Knights) and we have a small membership! Credit to you all and thanks for staying the course!

For any members who haven't posted yet/for a while, I'm happy to find a way to get you into the game. Things are coming to a head in the Vanguard game, with a big shake up possibly on the way (depending on how the players steer the story) so that could be an ideal time to jump in!

And on another note, we use the Golden Heroes/Squadron UK rules set, house ruled to suit right now, but at some point we'll be switching to another. In my spare time (ha!) I've dabbled with one or two other games with the following criteria:

1) Easy to play
2) Combat works well in play by post
3) cheap or free for players to get hold of (legally)
4) works from street to cosmic level without having to hand wave too much (because the rules don't cover it)
5) gives some degree of control/strategy to the player without bogging down too much. The GH/SQUK rules allow a character to dodge/parry if they've been struck, for instance, and the initiative system allows combat to flow pretty well. With the house rules I use (a single roll for hit and damage, and a double 'explodes' allowing the chance of spectacular one off results) it seems to be working well.

That said, the GH rules have served us well but are archaic and we've found a number of glaring limitations. It's like having a plastered wall, and putting wallpaper on to cover the cracks. The range of abilities is firmly street level, yet a few grades of strength can properly unbalance things.

I'm writing a diceless (don't groan at the back!) system whereby characters have a pool of energy points to spend to boost existing abilities as they see fit. I've finished the mechanics and combat section, working on powers, skills and other abilities, then doing character creation. It's all in draft, but I'm on it. I'm trying to mould it to suit our needs, so will give examples every now and again (in the Lore Knights section). I think by removing dice we concentrate more on story and don't have to worry about being completely derailed by an awful dice roll. Of course, characters will still fail, but it won't be down to a crappy dice roll. I think it's something I need to sell on you guys, so will give examples when I've gotten further into writing it. More to come.

Other than that (again!), I may have the odd crappy/slow/awful week at work (I'm up at 6 and it's 23.38, so I'll stop waffling shortly) but am committed to the game, long term. As long as you guys are here and want to play, so am I Smile

Cheers! (And goodnight!)

Paul
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Thu Mar 08 2012, 18:12

Updates tonight from 9pm on when the noise machines are in bed. Cheers, Paul
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Fri Mar 02 2012, 22:05

No worries Paul will certain poke if needed, but its rare for you to be caught out on anything but the most small of details. Its the weekend so do the updates when you are ready. Thanks for updating us anyways.

Sj
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 02 2012, 21:16

Am currently grinding my way through a 12 hour shift, so I'll post when I get home (around 3am, with my eyeballs hanging out). Next week, expect updates around 10pm thanks to more crappy shifts, but at least its a bit earlier.

If I miss an update/reply (I think I missed Lionheart yesterday?) feel free to give me a kick or a nudge - I won't mind, and to be honest am glad for the reminder. With so many different strands in a thread going on (if that makes sense...) sometimes my squeezed schedule means I miss 'em. As usual, thanks for your patience Very Happy
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Admin on Wed Feb 15 2012, 09:41

All updated later today. Rushing around getting ready for work at the minute, but I can't help wondering if David M went for his 'Apocalypse Gambit' with the Dark Power, so am gonna take a sneak peek now!
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Re: Chat about the game...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Feb 08 2012, 06:59

No sweat mate, sleep well.

Sj
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Re: Chat about the game...

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