Sunday, 28 February 2021

Newsround Feb 21st to Feb 27th

In the best tradition of John Craven's Newsround here's my rundown of "What I Learned" on the Internet this week.

Bromley has a new games store called Troll Trader Bromley

Bromley had until recently had only one dedicated games store.  Yes you could get your Games Workshop fix at the Warhammer store and yes you could buy some of the most popular games at Waterstones, but if you wanted to buy anything that was remotely niche or you wanted some Army Painter or Vallejo paints then War Boar was the place to go.  Unfortunately, they bit the dust just before the pandemic, closing their doors in late 2019.

Troll Trader Bromley is a new venture in association with Cornwall based miniature manufacturer  The new shop is located at 3 The Mall, Bromley, BR1 1TS (directly opposite Iceland and Poundland).  

Troll Trader Bromley
Troll Trader Bromley

With the Lockdown still in effect, I sincerely hope that they managed to open physically as I'm running out of paint!!

Bridgerton Star Signs on for New Dungeons & Dragons Movie

Rege-Jean Page has officially signed on for the new Paramount Dungeons & Dragons movie alongside Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu).  Slated for a 2022 release the movie is written and directed by the partnership of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Game Night, Spiderman Homecoming).

There's scant details at the moment, but this is seen as a welcome 4th movie and a reboot of the Dungeons & Dragons movie series (Which I must rewatch) given the renewed popularity of Dungeons & Dragons.

Here's hoping that they do a serious rendition and hopefully they can feature some cameos from famous D&D fan actors like Henry Cavill, Joe Manganiello, Matthew Lillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Favreau and Vin Diesel

Wyloch's Armoury is Back

After a 4 month hiatus YouTuber Wyloch's Armoury is back in the saddle and building cheap as chips scenery again.  I have been waiting with baited breath to see the culmination of the Tomb of Horrors Dungeon Series (now on Part 9) and am so glad to see him return to D&D crafting.  Keep up the great work.

Tabletop Gaming Magazine 

I can't say that I've been into a Newsagents for quite some time and haven't bought a monthly magazine in even longer so it's no surpise that I missed the launch of Tabletop Gaming Magazine in 2017.  

However, doing some promotional work for my Friday Night club Dragons Keep has meant that our paths have finally crossed.

They have recently launched a Tabletop Gaming YouTube Channel which is a refreshing addition to my subscribed list rather than than the plethora of American channels which seem to pump out let's play video after video ad nauseum.  It's nice to hear an English accent with high production values for a change.

The Glenn (Ford) and Mike (Hutchinson) show is a particular highlight as the two hosts are responsible for my favourite tabletop game of car carnage Gaslands.

Give it a whirl it might just suit you too.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

With their shift at an end Judges Hammer, Teal and Uthred return to the sector house and turn in the scrap of hairy flesh.  A persuasive Teal convinces Senior Pathologist Judge Quincy to run it as a priority job as lives could be at risk.

The team hit the changing rooms and meet up with Judge Cully who has been dealing with the GC Essexwood suicide all day.  It's been a real long one and she is in need of some excitement so she agrees to go accompany them to Dapper John's apartment.

Hob Nobbing with the Big Cheese at Buck House

Dapper John lives at 72055 Buck House Block on the north fringe of the Eurozone.  It is one of the more luxurious apartment blocks reserved for the sectors wealthy or famous elite.  

The robo-knocker announces their arrival and the door is opened by Call Me Arthur, Dapper John's robo-butler, who shows the guests into the palatial living room dominated by a floor to ceiling window which opens onto a balcony terrace overlooking the city.  John descends from a mezzanine floor via a sweeping synthi-marble staircase and immediately urges Arthur to serve the guests drinks.  After taking the Judges requests he waddles into the kitchen to prepare the beverages.

Judge Cully goes upstairs on the pretense of a attending a call of nature and immediately heads for John's office.  Accessing his terminal she is soon copying accounts documents and sending them to Sector House for forensic examination.

Meanwhile Judges Hammer and Uthred question Dapper John about the origins of the Trend Topper Toupee line and the manufacturers.  John reveals that the owners Duncan Spivey and Melvin Why have been suppliers for some time although the Trend Toppers line is relatively new and a vast improvement on their previous wigalicious products.  He gives them a business card with their contact details.

Judge Teal is surveying the room and notices that of all the objet d'art and curios that Dapper John has decorated his apartment one looks out of place.  On the mantelpiece under a huge mirror stand 3 Maneki Neko (Chinese fortune cats) two are lazily waving in sync but one is out of phase. He is joined by Judge Cully who returns from her investigation upstairs.

Chinese Fortune Cats Maneki Neko
"One of these cats is not like the others, one of these cats just doesn't belong..."

Despite the protestations of a very anxious Arthur Judge Teal picks up the out of sync cat and turns it over to reveal a sticker which reads "Good Job, You caught us - COVID-55".  Peeling off the sticker reveals a plastic twist bung which when pulled out reveals a complex surveillance device.

Surveillance Device

An embarrassed Dapper John, reaches for the TV remote and pulls up COVID-55 on the 15ft wide Tri-D screen which dominates one wall of the apartment.  The screen is filled with a fish-eye view of Judge Teal inspecting the device.  The screen is filled with snow and a graphic explaining that COVID-55 is experiencing Technical Difficulties.

My John apologises profusely and assures that he will get his PR team on it right away.  He wasn't aware that he was a person of interest but then he is one of the most eligible and fashionable bachelors in Sector 55 so he has always suspected that he was in their sights. 

" They do like to dish the dirt.  Why only yesterday evening they exposed GC Essexwood for her romantic involvement with her robo-butler!"

The hour is late and the judges need to catch up on their regulation sleep chamber time if they are going to be an effective team in the morning.

Another Glorious Morning Briefing

The morning starts with Judge Belloch's customary and compulsory briefing
"OK ladies, we had an incident at Buck House last night which has put the city on edge.  The COVID-55 surveillance of Dapper John has unleashed the Justice Department Legal Eagles.  They swooped in last night and shut their operation down.  The citizens are melting down.  COVID-55 was one of their favourite shows and now they're out to get us.  Be extra vigilant out there and expect some retaliation.  
The anti-gang and loony squads have been doing some great work taking out key gang members and keeping that powder keg from exploding.  
Weather control reports that it is still on the fritz with a reboot expected at 14 hunderd hours so expect a cold front to move in from the east.  Cully!, you're with Hammer. Teal and Uthred for the time being."   

A Moloko Droog

As they peel out of the sector house they get a call from despatch
"There's a problem down at Resyk, sewer droid says they've seen something that's put the willies up them.  Asked for you personally."

Alex - A Moloko Droogs Gang Member
Alex - a Molok Droogs Gang Member

On their way they spot a citizen in all white overalls and a bowler hat admiring a freshly scrawled "Droogs Roolz" in red paint.  As they approached he runs.  Cully shouts "Freeze Punk" and gives chase firing off a burst of GP rounds blowing the saps legs clean off at the shins.  Uthred spots a bulge in the punks overalls and reaches into a pocket pulling out a recently used can of red spray paint.  

Judge Scully asks the perp if he has anything to say in his defence.  The perp can only manage "AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGG" as he screams in pain.  A meat wagon turns up moments later and bundles him into the back.  Judge Teal retrieves the punks legs and hands them to the Med Techs commenting "Hey punk you nearly got 5 years for littering".  

Trouble at RESYK

When the Judges get to resyk they are met by  Ro-Jaws who recounts seeing several small furry creatures matching the description of the wigs that the Judges gave yesterday.  He says there was a lot of them offers to show them to the spot in the sewers where they encountered the creatures.  Sadly Harry didn't make it out alive.

Descending to city bottom Ro-Jaws leads them to a manhole in the middle of a street in a rough part of the sector close to RESYK.  He flips the manhole cover open and drops down into the darkness below.

Following the fetid stream of waste as it follows the tunnel the judges hear a horrifying bellowing  animal roar.

Uthred goes down a 5ft wide side tunnel into a cistern in which a giant alligator is being attacked by a tiny hairy creature.  The alligator is in obvious distress and lashes out at Uthred who returns fire with an armour piercing round.  The hairy creature leaps into the tunnel and begins to attack Cully.  Teal fires an AP round through the alligators head as Cully stabs the hairy monstrosity with her boot knife.

Sewer Map
Map of the Sewers

Uthred calls Ro-Jaws into the tunnel and orders him to open up his trash bin and stash the dead wig.  Reluctantly he agrees but demands that he wait outside for their return.

Exploring further down the tunnel Hammer and Cully are ambushed by a pair of wigs who lay in wait in side tunnels.  Uthred assists Hammer and attempts to bash the wig with his day stick.  Teal aids Cully and tears the thing off her helmet and whips it against the wall until it stops squeaking.  Cully fishes out an evidence zipper from her utility belt and bags the evidence for the boys back at forsensics.   

Prog 5 - The Big Wig ->

Back Issues

Friday, 26 February 2021

What on the D&D Earth is this?

The Dungeons and Dragons movie is 21 years old this year and after a 9 year hiatus there is 4th movie in production.  Hollywood does love a reboot.

However, The thing that has been bugging me for the last two decades is...

What the hell is Phil Cornwell supposed to be?

Phil Cornwell - Dungeons & Dragons Movie
Phil Cornwell as uncredited Purple Humanoid

Obviously someone spent a whole heap of effort to design the prosthetics that Phil wore (you can't disguise his voice though) but I don't know of any civilised humanoid race which matches his description.  I do think he is kind of cool though. 

Is he supposed to be a triclops? Perhaps he is supposed to be some form of demi-beholder?  What is the purpose of the third eye? what is that vestigial fin on his head? why is he purple?

Answers (and any homebrew builds) in the comments box below.

My favoured explanation is that he is the product of some ill conceived magical experiment fusing the DNA of Mick Jagger with Xanathar?

What if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ran a corner shop?

Of course this comes several months after the sad passing of John Sessions who was a long time partner of Phil during the 80s alternative comedy explosion.  Mick and Keith's corner shop on Stella Street holds a very dear place in my heart.  He is sorely missed but I will immortalise them both in my RPG campaigns.  Mick & Keef's Magical Emporium & Shoppe of Convenience.

Mick and Keef - Stella Street
Phil Cornwell (Mick Jagger) John Sessions (Keith Richards) - Stella Street

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Netflix Binge - Tribes of Europa

Every now and then Netflix has a bit of a stonker on its hands and Tribes of Europa feels like it's going to be another one.

Pitched Like a Young Adult Novel

Tribes of Europa
Tribes of Europa
art reminds me of 80s Chocky

I was a little wary going into this series as I knew absolutely nothing about it except for the teaser photo and the trailer.  It came across as another Hunger Games / Scorch Trials style post apocalyptic YA novel.  I've been burned before with the sanctimonius "Kids save the future" mantra but I'm a glutton for punishment and so I fired up the Netflix and gave it a go.

Older Cast Members Show the Kids How It's Done

Whilst the 3 main protagonists we follow through the series are all young performers in their teens or early twenties, the cast is made up of some heavyweight older actors who put meat on this stories bones.  I dont want to sound dismissive about their acting talents, they do a reasonable job, but they pale before their much more experienced co-stars. 

Perhaps that is exactly the point.  Liv (Henrietta Confurius), Kiano (Emilio Sakraya) and Elia (David Ali Rashed) are supposed to have led a sheltered life as forest dwelling Origine, protected by the forest and their elders non-confrontational philosophy.  

When they are exposed to the other tribes and the world outside their tiny microcosm their naivete, like their acting, is laid bare.  

The standouts for me are Moses (Oliver Masucci) sporting a moustache that would make Nikola Tesla proud.  A grifter and con man who befriends Elia (pr. El-e-ya), he is a pre-collapse survivor and a necessary tool of exposition filling in the blanks about how the world got to where it is. 

Sebastian Blomberg steals every scene as the menacing Kapitan Yvar of the Crow gang.  He looks like he has just stepped off stage supporting Danzig or The Sisters of Mercy (Flood period).  Cutting an imposing figure he rules a post apocalypse Berlin with a studded leather fist and demands undying loyalty from his subjects or, you guessed it, you die horribly.

Mekika Faroutan (Lord Varvara) oozes seduction and machiavellian schemery with every graceful step.  She craves power and position among the elite Crow but you get the distinct impression that Yvar knows that she is a threat and keeps her subdued with promises of elevation dangled in front of her like a ball of string to a cat.

Tonal Shift and Adult Themes

The opening episode reminded me of classic 80s TV Scifi shows like Chocky (1984), The Tomorrow People (1973) and The Tripods (1984) 

As the series progresses we are gradually introduced to the other tribes and the tone shifts to something much darker.  Some of the scenes are distinctly adult in nature and the series carries a 15 rating for a good reason.  I guess that the TV landscape has changed since Game of Thrones.  Now every show has to have its fair share of bloody gore and nudity. There is also a strong drug reference with the Crows being fueled on some strange inhaled narcotic much like the war boys from Mad Max: Fury Road.

This makes for engaging adult viewing and to be honest is a refreshing change from the usual Young Adult glittery vampire or schoolboy scorceror nonsense that we had to put up with in the noughties.  I for one think that you should let Young Adults watch things which challenge them rather than shield them from adult themes and concepts. 

To the writing crews credit, they've managed to make a believeable world in just six episode short series and I now now eagerly anticipate a second.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

It's Alive!!! - New 3D Printer at RGP HQ

A sad and sorry tale has finally come to an end...

I have been without a 3D Printer since November 2020 when my something got fried on my CTC i3 Pro B motherboard.  I blame the operator carelessly backdriving the extruder motor when extracting filament although it didn't help that the printer was equipped with an early Mk3 extruder with no way to disengage the drive wheel.

Geetech i3 Prusa Pro W

I took delivery of my new printer last Thursday, but opening the box revealed a kit of parts which filled me with dread.  My previous printer came partially assembled and I had no motivation to get stuck in to what could possibly be the larget single meccano challenge I have embarked upon.

Two days later and the printer was built.  

Geetech Prusa i3 Pro W
My New Geetech Prusa i3 Pro W

What were my initial observations?

No Manual - I am no newbie to 3D printing and this printer is essentially the same as my last one.  I knew I would find a comprehensive guide to building the printer on the Geetech YouTube channel and lo and behold there it was.  What I wasn't expecting was getting to the final stage in the build process, wiring the control board and there being no final step!!!

Luckily the printer uses the ubiquitous GT2560 control board so finding a manual and a picture online was no problem.  However, by following the manual I did manage to connect all the limit switches incorrectly which meant the printer didn't home properly (cue horrible motor clunking sounds as the x-carriage refured to recognise the limit switch).

In addition this printer differs in one respect from my old printer in that the x-axis limit switch is set considerably further back and so the home position is actually off the print bed by about half an inch.  I could have fixed this by updating the printers firmware and setting an offset, but I've been here before.

Half an inch makes all the difference
Half an inch makes all the difference

My old printer had a similar problem in the Y-axis which meant that it would home too far forward.  The solution now as then was to print off an extension finger which would press the x-axis limit switch that half an inch early.  

So off to thingiverse I went and lo and behold someone had made a model and bish bash bosh my printer was off to the races printing out its first part.  Given that the Prusa design is derived from the Rep Rap project itself I think this is quite fitting.

An x-axis trigger extension
First Part Printed - An x-axis trigger extension

Upgraded Parts - The reason I bought this particular printer was that it was one of the cheapest I could find with a Mk8 extruder.  However, this was not the only upgrade that the printer came with.  No siree, I got proper lead screws for the z-axis instead of plain old threaded rod, proper flexible couplers not pieces of rubber tube and a significantly better x-carriage assembly with threaded holes for mounting a second hot end fan.  The hot bed was also an upgraded version without the annoying brass rivet in the middle like my old printer.  The borosilcate glass platter now sits perfectly flat on the hot bed ensuring no distortion in z height and no hot spots.

Laser Cutter Dust - I could not believe how dirty I got when handling the laser cut plywood panels which make up the frame.  Every edge of the printer is covered in a thin film of wood ash which comes off on your clothes and hands.  If I were ever to build another laser cut framed printer then step 1 would be to wipe down all the wooden parts with a damp rag.

Jessie Will Be Chuffed

Now I have a working 3D Printer I can return to blogging about the things that I print in my Jessie's Prints series.  Jessie has been on a severe no PLA diet since June 2020 so he will be chuffed to bits.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb - Vintage Fun from 1988

Recently I blogged about rescuing my copy of the vintage Games Workshop boardgame Curse of the Mummy's Tomb.  This weekend I actually got to play it for the first time in about 30 years. 

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
Curse of the Mummys Tomb

Vintage Games Play Very Differently

Back in 1988 boardgames were very different.  Wolfgang Kramer had only just invented the Kramer Track implemented for the first time in Heimlich & Co. (1984) and no-one had heard of the term Euro game.

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb is essentially an exploration game set in a 3 tiered cardboard pyramid.  You move your token by playing movement cards on yourself but your fellow players can play movement cards on you to send you off your chosen path.

If you land on an encounter space, numbered 1, 2 or 3, they can also play encounter cards on you up to the value on your space.  These can be either a hazard, a creature or a discovery and you can have only 1 of each.  This means as a player you must search out the encounter 3 spaces in order to guarantee that you can lay a discovery on yourself.  Of course the more players the more chance that they will play hazards and creatures on you.

Heavy Player vs Player

I was quite surprised at how heavy the PvP action was.  In fact in order for you to get the right movement cards for yourself you have to get rid of as many hazard and creature cards in your hand as possible because you can only hold 5 cards at a time.  

The Mummy Is Not That Much of a Threat

Players bid to control the mummy each round by bidding with their Tana leaf tokens.  This auction style movement runs out of steam unless players are regularly pausing to burn their cards and acquire new tana leaf tokens.

If I were to play again I would definitely up the ante and instigate two house rules.

  1. The Mummy moves every turn not just every round.
  2. Either the player to the right of the active player moves the mummy or the mummy moves randomly using a d10.  (1 North, 2, North East, 3 East etc.. 9 Go Up, 10 Go Down)

The End Game

Once you find a Key of Osiris you can attempt the end game and ascend the pyramid to find the Chamber of Osiris and try to find the elixir of immortality by testing 3 of your attributes.

This is a bit of a lacklustre endgame to be honest as I hate a dice off.

Player Reaction

My boardgame pals didn't hate it completely.  Once they had gotten to grips with the forced PvP nature of the whole thing and the crippling nature of some of the hazards the pace of the game picked up.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Reaper Bones #28 - Medium Fire Elemental

Like a bad movie franchise that seems to go on forever (I'm looking at you Sharknado!!) here is another transparent mini but this time it's RED.

Medium Fire Elemental - Bob Ridolfi (SKU: 77083)

Smaller and much, much sexier than the Large Fire Elemental thus is a cute mini with ridiculous wings.  Whilst this may have worked in metal (this is a remoulded Dark Haven mini) in plastic she's a bit floppy given her slender form.  Still I enjoyed painting her even if the transparency effect has been lost a little.  

As promised I did use a pot of old (and I do mean old) Citadel Red Glaze that has probably seen better days.  My Blacklist Miniatures Kickstarter is inbound and includes 18 transparent minis!! 

I think I might need some new inks.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Newsround - Feb 14th to Feb 20th 2021

In the best tradition of John Craven's Newsround here's my rundown of "What I Learned" on the Internet this week.

Gelatinous Cube Love Song

I've always considered Gelatinous Cubes to be unfeeling unsentient slimes with the notable exception of the Forgotten Realms Glabagool.  However, Ginny Di has obviously spent far too much time considering the romantic emotions of the most famous slimes of D&D Lore, penning this 1950s style ditty of unrequited love.

Pixels - The Latest in Light Up Dice

I was recently made aware of these cool looking light up dice which might be launching on Kickstarter soon.  They were supposed to go live in June 2020 but for some reason (possibly a worldwide epidemic) they didn't.  

The dice are purported to connect digitally to Virtual Tabletops like Roll20 so what you roll in meatspace appears in the VTT.  The designers have undergone exhaustive product testing and  produced randomness comparisons with the gold standard platonic solid random number generating Gamescience Dice and those Chessex ones mere mortals use.  

Clearly they know what their target market wants and, fingers crossed, they get their ducks in a row and launch soon. 

Bonkers Bladesmith Fashions Real Life Gotrek Axe

YouTuber Michael Cthulhu has excelled himself once more and made a life size replica of the famous Axe from Warhammer's Gotrek and Felix novels.  No stranger to building stupid sized axes, Michael has really gone balls out on this one and you can follow every step of the way in his 4 part series on YouTube.  

Mike is a larger than life character but this time he is dwarfed (pun intended) by the size of this iconic weapon, wielded by one of Warhammer's most iconic characters.  As part of a charity live stream raising money for Doctors Without Borders (Medicine Sans Frontier), Mike shaves his hair and cosplays as the famous Dwarf before taking one for the team and needing medical attention himself.


Are you Struggling to Find a Roleplay Group Near You?

It's hard enough to find likeminded Tabletop RPG fans near you at the best of times but this has only been made worse by the current year predicament and the various lockdowns which have been imposed on everyone.

At Dragons Keep we are looking to recruit players from our local area (South East London) in anticipation of our venue reopening in the very near future so that we can return to playing face to face as soon as possible.

Our Tabletop RPG Club is in Chislehurst, South East London, within easy reach of Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Eltham, Greenwich, Lewisham, Sidcup and Orpington.  But that's too far a commute for many people and whilst we are playing online games it is a purely temporary measure.

We thought it would be helpful to provide some tips and tools to help you find a local group which is right for you.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Sector 55 Blues Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

The trail seems to have gone cold leaving the Judges with only a couple of leads left from yesterdays events to chase down.

  1. Does Victoria Nobody remember anything else from this morning's incident?
  2. Are the deaths of Rock Dwayneson and Brittany Little connected or just a coincidence?
  3. Is Synthi-Joe the most popular synthi-caf brand in Sector 55?

Thankfully the morning briefing is short but Judge Belloch informs the patrols that 

"The removal of Mosh 55 leader Vicious Sid has led to a power vacuum which the other Gangs will be quick to fill.  Tensions are running high and the Night Watch lost a couple of good judges last night to turf wars.  Judges Gonner and Toast will be sorely missed. 

Weather Control is still on the fritz and word is it's getting worse.

Black, Evans and Simpson you're off to Stallone Block.  looks like Z-list Tri-D star GC Essexwood took a dive in the ratings this morning and she's made a big mess of the pedway. 

Hammer, Teal and Uthred, I want you on crowd control at Sump's Ugly Parlour in JCVD Block.  There's an ugly pageant going down at 13 hundred hours and I don't want it any uglier."

Back in the Saddle

The Judges decide to interview Victoria Nobody again to see if she can recall anything from yesterdays incident.  As they cruise down Duke Street heading towards Bags O Style, they spot a man standing on the parapet of the skedway with a small crowd of people around him.  Half the citizens are urging the man to reconsider and the other half are baiting him to jump.

Uthred pushes the crowd back, whilst Hammer tries to arrest one citizen who is clearly guilty of coercion to suicide.  The perp remonstrates with the Judge "I've got 50 creds riding on this guy jumping Judge!" his friend retorts "No way Bert, I say he's gonna live".  Teal tries to persuade the jumper that its not worth it and that he has a lot to live for but is unsuccessful.  Hammer grows impatient and follows up Teal's Good Judge routine with some Bad Judge intimidation and lunges at the the perp trying to drag him down.  

The perp instinctively doges out of the way and steps back off the parapet.  Teal desperately reaches out to grab a leg as the man falls over the edge but all he can grasp is thin air.  He rushes to the edge to get a better view of the unfortunate citizen falling to his death some 300 storeys below.  Miraculously the flight path of a Resyk Trash Truck intersects with the man's death plunge and he lands in the back amidst the garbage of hundreds of Sector 55 residents.  Teal calls it in and tells MAC to inform Trash Truck 55-157 that they have a stowaway.

Hammer returns to the coercive citizen who is brandishing 50 Creds in 5 crisp notes.  He cuffs the pair of them to the pedway railing and takes the money.  "You are both going down for illegal gambling"  

Bags O Style

Twenty minutes later the Judges arrive at Bags O Style a ladies fashion emporium two doors down from Zooty Slutes Suits You.  Victoria Nobody recounts the horrific events of yesterday morning.  She does recall seeing something out of the corner of her move down the alleyway away from the victim (Rock Dwayneson) who then turned around and showered the alleyway with blood from his neck wound.  She was very lucky to avoid being covered in his blood and you can never really get blood out of white synthi silk.

 The Judges decide to check out the alleyway once more.  The alleyway ends in the reinforced rockcrete wall of Trump Tower ascending 300ft up like a concrete and glass cliff face.  Piles of trash bags litter the dead end, all of them having been ripped open by hungry vermin.  A cracked manhole cover sits in the middle of the alleyway.  Teal opens it up revealling a 5ft wide shaft which descends into darkness.

The Sewer

Pulling out their torches the Judges descend the slime and algae covered ladder 10ft until they enter a 5ft wide circular tunnel which runs the length of the alleyway.  No-one has been down here in many months if not years.  They move down the tunnel towards an intersection some 50ft away.  This is clearly the larger 10ft wide sewer beneath Melania Way.  There are no signs of recent activity and so head to Zooty Slutes to see if they missed any clues.

Mr Slute shows the Judges Demo Room 1, a state of the art office environment simulator where clients can road test their suits in "Real World" circumstances.  The fire door which opens onto the alleyway seems to be in working order.  Returning to the alleyway they question the other two vending machines (a Rola-Cola and a Burrito-bot) about yesterdays events.  Teal consumes a Triple Chilli Burrito in the process.  No extra information is forthcoming.

Munce Burger

They turn their attention to the Munce Burger restaurant on the other side of the alley.  The manager shows them into the office at the back of the restaurant past two bots shovelling frozen munce and synthibread patties into a giant kitchen bot.  They examine the CCTV and identify the 4 members of Mosh 55 who enter the restaurant about 30 minutes before they tried to rob Zooty Slute's.  The restaurant fire doors are operational and only open outwards.

Back to the Sewer

The Judges engage their bleepers and bikes to track their positions and take another look at the sewer.  Following the route of the flowing sewage they come out into Melania Way and then onto Meg 352.

Ro-Jaws - A sewer bot
Up ahead a sewer bot crew are clearing a massive fatberg which has almost completely blocked the 15ft wide tunnel.  Ro-Jaws and his buddy Ro-Harry are chisling away at the concreted mass of congealed fat refuse and wet wipes.  They are suprised to see Judges down here.  

Hammer asks if they've seen anything come down the tunnel in the last 24 hours or if they have seen a wig.  After a short explanation of what a wig is, Ro-Jaws triumphantly dons a bedraggled floppy hairy monstrosity upon his head and says "You mean like this!!"

It is a broken mop head.

Judge Teal asks if they have found any knives.  Ro-Harry fishes about in his waste receptacle and proudly retrieves a collection of miscellaneous cutlery including a rusty stiletto.  "I stick to the shiny stuff" he claims.

The Judges leave the two sewer bots and return to the surface.  Checking their wrist terminals they have about an hour before they need to be at JCVD Block for the Ugly Pageant leaving just enough time to go back to the sector house, shower and change into fresh suits.

A Call from Dapper John

Uthred's comm buzzes and sector despatch relays through a call from Dapper John.  He confirms that Rock Dwayneson was not a client.  

Perhaps if they have time they can call round to his apartment this evening and go through some of the finer points of the case.  

An Ugly Situation at the Ugly Pageant

The Judges arrive at the Ugly Pageant (Plaza Park Level 400 JCVD Block) just before ceremonies begin.  The crowd is a mix of block citizens and wannabe contestants of all shapes and sizes.  A Tri-D news crew is filming the event.

The Judges Patrol the crowds on the lookout for any suspicious activity.  Judge Uthred's keen senses highlight a small croup of young juves huddled round a bench.  One juve holds a small booklet and the rest seem to be utterly engrossed in its pages.  

As he approaches the juves scatter in all directions leaving the booklet on the ground.  It's a badly printed copy of 2000AD, a banned publication in Mega City One.

2000AD The Most Thrilling Comic Ever
Highly addictive containing brain melting stories and thrilling action
likely to cause seizures in small children, the elderly and pregnant citizens

Judges Hammer and Teal both spot a known dunker, Pogo Patterson, at work with his hands in other peoples purses.  He is surfing the crowd on his way towards the Plaza Park exit.  They instinctively set up a pincer movement but Hammer struggles to make his way through the crowd unnoticed and his eyes lock on Patterson's.  The dunker quickens his pace, he's obviously been made and its time to make a dash for it.  As the perp gets to within feet of safety Teal jumps out brandishing his day stick "Freeze you pickpocketing Punk!!"

Patterson puts up his hands and says "Hey Judges you got it all wrong, I'm legit these days" he pulls out handfulls of Otto Sump Ugly Clinic discount vouchers from his pockets which fall to the floor.  "I was hired to give out these discount vouchers, I'm in live event marketing now".  Hammer, tells the creep that he's arresting him on a charge of Disorderly Conduct.  This doesn't sit well with Pogo who claims that he is being brutalised by a system designed to criminalise the population.  In desperation he throws a punch at Hammer who effortlessly dodges and cracks the dunker over the head with his day stick.  

"Brutal but fair" he muses to himself as he radios in for a med wagon to pick up the unconcious perp.

An Unexpected Shower

Everything is peaceful as the various disgusting contestants parade their horrifying visages to the gawping crowd.  Suddenly there is a crack of thunder and a blaring siren from high above the park.  Weather control deluges the crowd in a short 30 second shower.

Not long after a scream errupts from one of the contestants on the stage. 

"Help, Help I've been assaulted!" she cries.

Jocelyn Wildenstein - An Ugly Pageant Competitor
Jocelyn Wildenstein / Mr. Blofeldt
Ugly Competitor / Pet Cat
The victim is one Jocelyn Wildenstein, one of the favourites to win.  She is dripping wet and bald and she claims that someone ripped off her wig.  She also claims that her cat Mr. Blofeldt is missing.  She has minor lacerations to her head.

Jocelyn is most concerned about the survival of her pet and holds an impromptu press conference with the news crew posting a 10,000 credit reward for the apprehension of the vile individual who hurt her cat.  

If questioned about the wig she will say she bought it at a Wigiculous Wendy's over in Ozzy Apartments a couple of weeks ago.  It was a Trend Toppers Toupee "Lady Crystal".

The Judges search the park for the missing cat and Teal discovers it unconcious near a loose manhole cover under the stage bleeding profusely from several bite wounds.  

The cat has a scrap of bloody, hairy flesh in its mouth matching the colour and style of the "Lady Crystal".  The Judges will need to send this scrap of flesh to the lab for further analysis.

Back Issues

Friday, 19 February 2021

Judge Dredd Random Crime Drop Table

I wouldn't be much of a fan of the Old School Rennaisance (OSR) of Roleplaying if I didn't love making a drop table every now and then.

How To Use the Judge Dredd Random Crime Drop Table

  • Download it and print it out.  
  • Grab some dice 
  • Roll up some Crimes


Armed Robbery - As the Judges pass by the Bank / Shop / Truck an alarm sounds and a group of balaclava wearing perps start blazing away with their spit guns.  SENTENCE: 18 to 30 years.

Arson - An eagle eyed judge spots a perp running away from a smoking building / vehicle / vending machine - SENTENCE: Life

Assault - A fight breaks out between some citizens and the PCs need to break it up.  SENTENCE: 1 to 5 years for brawling,  3 to 10 years if anyone is seriously injured.  10 years if someone injurs a Judge or a public figure.

Boinging in Public - The tranquility is broken by screams as a giant bouncing ball careens through the crowd.  SENTENCE: 20 years.

Coercion to Suicide - A Judge spots a citizen about to take a dive and a crowd is urging them to jump.  SENTENCE: 10 to 15 years.

Comic Book Smuggling - A comic book smuggler is peddling his filth to you impressionable juves.  SENTENCE: 6 months for possession, 5 to 18 years for trading.  10 to 25 years for manufacture or smuggling.

Criminal Damage - Venting your spleen against a Building / Car / Vending Machine / Robot / Street Furniture is no way for a citizen to behave.  SENTENCE: 2 to 6 years.

Disorderly Conduct - Covers a wide range of minor public order crimes including queue jumping, being drunk or homeless, begging.  SENTENCE: 1 to 5 years.

Dunking - An alert Judge spots a dunker with their hand in someone else's pocket.  SENTENCE: 2 to 7 years.    

Forgery - Despite advances in modern crypto technology there is still a brisk trade in illegal documents and counterfeit cred sticks.  Your Judges might stop someone for a minor traffic violation and their Drivers License doesn't pass the sniff test.  SENTENCE: Posession 2 to 8 years, Forgery 8 to 15 years.  

Illegal Gambling - There are plenty of sanctioned venues such as Robo-Fighting, Slot Parlours and Bingo Halls but that doesn't stop citizens from indulging in this most destructive of vices. 
Be it a pedwalk game of 3 Shells or a friendly side bet at the Shuggy table your average citizen will bet on just about anything, anywhere, anywhen.  SENTENCE: Attendance at an illegal event 2 to 6 years, organising 10 to 15 years.

Illegal Trading - Many citizens turn entrepreneur to make a few extra credits on top of their welfare checks.  Trading without a license or trading in a proscribed location is illegal.  SENTENCE: 2 to 5 years.  

Jay Walking - Walking on a highway (or in a designated running zone, or running in a walking zone) is an offence.  Better to nip it in the bud Judge.  SENTENCE: 3 to 12 months.

Jimping - There's something funny about those Judges over there.  Their uniforms aren't regulation spec.  Judge Impersonation (or known perp impersonation) is no joke, especially at halloween, comic-cons (because comics are illegal remember) and dinner parties.  SENTENCE: 1-5 years for defamation.  10 years if committing another crime.

Littering (and Spitting) - Statistically speaking one of the most common gateway crimes.  Despite a zero tolerance policy and stiff sentencing millions of citizens every year start out on the long downward slope into progressively more serious criminality.  Criminologists have suggested that once a perp enters into the Justice System that it is the system itself which brutalises and criminalises citizens.  Needless to say those criminologists are behind bars.  SENTENCE: 3 to 6 months.

Parking Violation - There's no excuse for bad parking especially when the cars can do it for you.  SENTENCE: 1000 C Fine or 1 Year.

Rioting - Mega City One is a powderkeg and it doesn't take much disruption to a citizen's life for them to go nuts and start rioting.  Thankfully the Justice Department has an arsenal full of non-lethal weaponry to quell even the most peacefull protests including stumm gas, riot foam and sonic cannon.  SENTENCE: 2 to 10 years

Robot Tampering - Robots are an everyday thing in Mega City One.  They serve you breakfast, clean your apartment, vend your food and many other mundane every day tasks leaving you plenty of time to enjoy your unemployment.  Some Citizens however take to robot tampering either as some form of political statement or as a means to make money.  Sometimes this tampering can have deadly consequences.  SENTENCE: 10 years to Life depending on the severity. 

Robbery - Be it burglary or theft from a vehicle or person, robbery is one crime which never goes out of style.  Usually the preserve of street punks or gentlemen thieves its all the same to the Law.  SENTENCE: 5 to 12 years.

Scrawling - The modern form of grafitti, it is usually the preserve of the young bored juve, scrawling offers a degree of notoriety or infamy for those who can get their tag in the most outrageous or prominent location.  However, it is also a popular way for gangs to mark their territory.  Judges should always be vigilant for gang signs whenever they encounter the work of scrawlers.  SENTENCE: 3 months to 3 years.   

Shoplifting - Low level criminality needs to be treated with a short sharp shock or a day stick to the face.  SENTENCE: 2 to 7 years.

Smoking in Public - Despite tobbacco being a heavily regulated substance and nicotine having long been removed from cigars and cigarettes smoking or vaping is a popular passtime among citizens.  The Justice Department outlawed public smoking many years ago and regulated smokatoriums sprang up in every sector.  SENTENCE: 10 minutes in a smokatorium without a helmet.

Sponting - Spontaneous Confessors aren't really criminals they just like to waste Judges time and resources by confessing to crimes they haven't committed.  The Justice Department being the caring and considerate organisation that it is made Sponting a crime.  Now everyone is happy.  SENTENCE: 3 to 6 months

Tapping - Street mugging or tapping is an all two common crime of violence.  SENTENCE: 5 to 15 years.

Unlicensed Miming - Whilst clowning around is perfectly legal miming is not.  Unless of course you are carrying a permit and operating with the designated miming zone outside Mitterand Maisons in Sector 55SENTENCE: 5 years.

Judge Dredd Random Crime Table
Judge Dredd Random Crime Drop Table - Click to Download

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Mega City Morphs - Sci-Fi City Geomorphs

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I made a few citymorphs and was one of the featured artists on the Inkwell Ideas Citymorph dice Kickstarter.

Now I am about to run a new Judge Dredd campaign (Mega City Blues) its time to spruce up Sector 55 with some new sci-fi orientated Mega City geomorphs.  So far I've created a set of 9 tiles which you can download here Mega City Morphs Set 1 zip

I have submitted these to Dave's Mapper in the Sci-Fi City collection and they should be available soon.

example of 9 tiles arranged in a 3x3 grid

The whole point of this exercise was to generate a quick and dirty map for my Judge Dredd campaign which I am running online in Discord / Roll20.  You can follow the exploits of Judges Hammer (Apo), Teal (Mark) and Uthred (Ryan) in the Sector 55 Blues weekly session reports.  

I will also be publishing occasional articles where I detail house rules or tips which make my GMing life easier.

Sector 55 Mega City One
Sector 55 Mega City One

Happy geomorphing.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

How Do I Find a Tabletop RPG Group Near Me?

Finding a tabletop RPG group near me has always been a challenge and I've ended up creating more than one club to satisfy my passion.  

I know others out there find it very difficult to find clubs or groups to play their favourite roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons near where they live too. 

Are you looking for a group of friends like this?
Are you looking for a group of friends like this?

Local Tabletop RPG Groups Need Committed Members Like You

My club is on a recruitment drive at the moment and we are looking forward to resuming our normal Friday night sessions in our community hall in Chislehurst, South East London.

We try to host 3 games each week and to ensure lots of variety and prevent Games Master burnout we like to rotate the GMs in and out of GMing and playing 3 times a year.  Our typical game rotation is about 17 weeks long so we are actively looking for members who are going to turn up every week and take an active role in an entire campaign session.  We do string sessions back to back and I for one have run at least one campaign which ran for 60+ consecutive sessions.

That's a heck of a committment from GMs and so we try to recruit members from towns within easy reach of our venue such as Bexley, Bromley, Eltham, Lewisham, Orpington and Sidcup.  This makes travel to club easy on public transport especially when our games finish at 11pm and it's a cold dark wet October night.  This is the UK after all.

How Do I Find a Roleplay Club Near Me?

Obviously our club is just not going to be a viable option if you are living in North London, but the internet has a bunch of resources to help you find the right club for you.

  1. Google - I know it sounds obvious but many Tabletop RPG clubs have websites which they use as their primary advertising mechanism when they are looking for players.  The most popular search terms are "Tabletop RPG near me", "DnD near me" and "Dungeons and Dragons near me" but also consider using terms which include "in (your town name)" for a more local search result. Avoid the term "Roleplay" as this tends to throw up adult orientated or early years educational resources.

  2. Meetup - Is a useful listing service which many clubs (my own included) pay to use.  However, remember that RPGs are typically are a long term time commitment so if you are looking for more casual drop-in play or if your other real-life commitments such as work or home take precedent then consider looking for the boardgame or online game groups.

  3. Reddit - The homepage of the internet has a thriving roleplaying community and many subreddits dedicated to specific systems or genres of tabletop RPGs.  Three places I would look are:
    • r/rpg (1.3M members) - a sub for Tabletop RPGs of all flavours
    • r/DnD (2.3M members) - a dedicated sub for fans of Dungeons and Dragons
    • r/lfg (155K players) - a sub for those people looking for a group.  Post a message and see who replies.

  4. Your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) - Will usually have a clubs register or a notice board where people can advertise their clubs or groups.  Talk to the staff as well as they may know of some themselves.  Check their website too as they may offer free advertising for clubs.  My FLGS is Orcs Nest in Central London and my club is on its listings page.

  5. Register with Tabletop Wizard's Tabletop Finder - This is a relatively new worldwide personals ad space dedicated to the needs of Roleplayers, Boardgamers and Wargames looking for a game either face to face or online.  It's got a growing community with just under 40,000 members.

  6. Check with Forums - There are a few big tabletop game forums out there and meny have dedicated threads for players seeking games and game group announcements.

Be Patient, but Be You

Roleplaying is a social contract between people and you might not fit in with the first group you appraoach.  Many things can influence a game; GM play style, age, experience and exposure to pop-culture tropes.  

Don't get disheartened if you don't gel with the first group you try.  In my experience new groups tend to be a bit reserved with new players and likewise people new to a group.  Everyone is on their on their best behaviour until they work out exactly who you are.  

My advice is to be you and engage with everyone.  This gives the group the best opportunity to get to know you and work out if you are going to be a good fit for their group.

More Advice for Players Looking for a Tabletop RPG Group

If you have any useful advice, tips or tricks which have worked for you then please share in the comments below.

Boardgames Should I Punch It or Punt It?

Having a bit of a tidy up at Roleplay Geek Publishing HQ and I dug out these two unplayed boardgames.

The big question is should I punch it out and play it or punt it out on eBay? 

Civilization (Gibson Games)

The original boardgame that didn't launch a million computer games or make Sid Meir a household name.  This is infact the earlier boardgame version by Francis Tresham and is complete, unpunched and minty fresh.  

Clearly an unwanted Christmas gift from circa 1988.  The giftee must have opened the box looked at all the tiny pieces of cardboard and smiled back saying "thanks I can't wait until they bring out a version of this on my MS DOS PC."

eBay-ability: £5 to £20

Civilization (Gibsons Games) circa 1988
Civilization (Gibsons Games) circa 1988

Soldier Raj (Avalanche Press)

One for the real Grognards.  Soldier Raj is a traditional counter wargame simulation of the British Raj period between 1767-1848.  I'm not one to cast aspersions about the people who like to play these sorts of heavy wargames.  

My introduction to gaming was through my father who was a dedicated wargamer back in the 80s.  He gravitated from Napoleonics to Ancients, dabbled in a bit of micro-armour gaming and even converted the Pony Wars game to the Condominium of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1899 - 1956.

Sadly, playing this sort of game comes lower on my bucket list than poking my eyes out with red hot pokers.  Never mind "The Struggle for India" I'm struggling to stay awake and I've only just opened the box.

eBay-ability: Unknown

Soldier Raj The Struggle for India 1767-1848

Monday, 15 February 2021

Reaper Bones #27 - Grave Wraith & Labella DeMornay, Banshee

More translucent minis again this week. 

Grave Wraith - Bob Ridolfi (SKU: 77097)

I'm starting to develop a sort of technique using progressively darker washes and then dry brushed highlights.

Labella DeMornay, Banshee - Julie Guthrie (SKU: 77096)

Controlling the amount of light leak is very difficult and if you overdo it you lose the transparency effect.  Sometimes it's difficult to actually see what you are painting on these minis as the raw transparent plastic doesn't create shadows which define things like facial features.  A blackwash to begin with really helps.  

A much better painter friend of said I should really be using inks so maybe on my next transparent mini I can throw some 30 year old Citadel shade on it.

Big shout out to Daniel of for the tips.  If you are looking for some quality graphic design for your company or a fantastic digital painting give him a shout. 

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Newsround - Feb 7th to Feb 13th 2021

In the best tradition of John Craven's Newsround here's my rundown of "What I Learned" on the Internet this week.

New Easy to Use VTT - Owlbear Rodeo

If you are ovewhelmed by the likes of Fantasy Grounds or Roll20 then this relative newcomer in the Virtual Table Top (VTT) space might be more your kind of thing.

Owlbear Rodeo is entirely free to use (although Patreon funding is welcome) and browser based promising all the usual map sharing functionality that GMs demand of their online game experiences.

I was very impressed with the feature set as reviewed by WASD Roleplay so if you have tried it out let me know in the comments below what you thought of it.

Alan Tudyk Stars in New Alien Doctor Murder Mystery Comedy - Resident Alien

Resident Alien - Alan Tudyk
Resident Alien - Alan Tudyk
Yes, you read it right the inimitable Alan Tudyk (Firefly / Doom Patrol / Dale & Tucker vs Evil / Rogue One) stars in this new SYFY original and they have covered all the genre bases and then some.  Set in a small ex-mining town in the Colorado mountains this show has all the vibes of Due South but instead of a mountie, it's an alien.  

Tudyk of course is a joy to watch and his comedic character acting chops are in full view as the alien on a mission to destroy humanity but having to masquerade as the towns new doctor.  His arch nemesis and the only resident who can see his true form is a 10 year old boy.

Throw in some mysterious paranormal researchers and you've got a recipe for some serious shenanigans.

This is not a laugh out loud (there is no laughter track) joke-a-minute show, more a gentle comedy about messed up people with messed up lives.  Resident Alien is full of pathos interspersed with some fish-out-of water and cultural confusion moments keeps you engaged throughout.

Avatar Gets a New Roleplaying Game

Viacom CBS Consumer Products and Magpie Games have signed a deal for a new roleplaying game based on the popular noughties Nickolodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and the sequel series The Legend of Korra.

Now I for one think this is long overdue and am looking forward to seeing what results.  Magpie are already slated to release a ROOT RPG based on the art of Kyle Ferrin’s in LEDER Games very popular ROOT Boardgame.

No scheduled release date yet but fingers crossed it will happen and happen soon.

Avatar The Last Airbender - Ang
Avatar The Last Airbender - Ang

Blacklist Miniatures - Fantasy Series 1 Unboxing & Fantasy Series 2

Those lucky backers who managed to get in on the Fantasy Series 1 Kickstarter way back in May 2020 are about to receive their rewards.  

Flush with success the Kickstarter for Series 2 is expected to launch on 30th March so put that date in your diary and get your wallets ready people.

In the meantime here's an unboxing video from Guerilla Miniature Games to whet your appetite

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Rock Dwayneson's Apartment

The Judges descend to the 7th floor of Trump Tower and exit the elevator.  The decor is distinctly shabbier and it looks like these apartments are reserved for the tower's lower income citizens.  The tranquility of the upper floors is replaced by the smells and sounds of people living cheek by jowl.

The carpet in the corridor is decades old hasn't seen a cleaner in many years judging by the filth ingrained into it's bizarre repeating pattern. The judges overlook the designers horrific choices and locate apartment 738.

After a full sweep of Mr Dwayneson's apartment the judges find nothing out of the ordinary.

Lower Rent apartments in Trump Tower

In the bedroom there are a series of 5 mannequin heads on a shelf wearing wigs and one empty head.  The heads all have sharpie labels, the missing one reads "The Magnum", the one matching his ID Card photo reads "The Black Mamba" 

A message hand-written in sharpie on the dresser mirror reads. 


In the trash is a plastic packaging for a Trend Topper Toupee "Magnum" hairpiece. 

Meet the Blunders

The screaming and shouting from the apartment 740 nextdoor intensifies.  It sounds like whoever lives there needs to blow off some steam in the Agrodome.  The apartment is registered to Brandon & Betty Blunder a married couple of 30 years.  

Brandon & Betty Blunder
Brandon & Betty Blunder a well adjusted married couple

Betty politely answers the door in curlers and a dressing gown.  Her husband Brandon is watching the Vid and tells his wife

"Get rid of the roz luv I'm trying to watch my COVID!!"

Mr Flowers is watching the new hit show CO-VID-55 which is sweeping the sector.  Celebrities caught in their own homes on hidden CCTV cameras.  

The Justice Department doesn't take a position on censoring Vid shows until there is clear evidence of criminal activity.  As a result most Vid Shows either keep it clean or don't get a second season.

Betty tells the Judges that her next door neighbour is a lovely man, very quiet and in fact a model citizen.  She last saw Mr Dwayneson a couple of days ago and he was in high spirits as he had just purchased a new toupee and was eager to try it out. 

If questioned Mr Blunder reveals that he used to have a management job at Resyk in charge of the team that operated the sludge-o-matic 3000 but was made redundant when they upgraded to the sludge-o-matic 4000.  He hasn't worked a day since.  He remarks that they used to live on the 300th floor and had a window in their apartment, but welfare didn't cover the rent and so the had to move further down the block. 

    "Drocking robots taking everyones jobs!!"

Judge Teal notices Mr Blunder is clearly suffering from future shock syndrome making him a powder keg of negative emotions.  He way be okay today but he could blow at anytime and go on a killing spree.  He contacts Barney and orders a psyche evaluation just to be on the safe side.

The Judges move on to Apartment 736 which is unnocupied.  The bedroom is full of the detritus of the last occupant who clearly used it as a workshop for some electronics repair business.  A residency check reveals that the last occupant was a Freddy Slump who is currently serving 5 years for robot tampering.  Judge Hammer requests a criminal record retrieval from MAC.  

They continue their house to house enquiries but the other residents have nothing further to give.

They decide to follow up on the Robo-Vend lead and head out to the factory located in the Elon Tusk Industrial Park.

The Fat and the Furious

Cruising along the Yes Way heading South Judge Uthred is hit in the face by a half eaten munce burger.  300 feet up ahead are three fatties riding souped up mobility scooters.  

Mega City One is a tough place to police and low level civil disobedience like littering is the start of the slippery slope to recidivism.  The Justice department take a dim view and a guilty citizen can wind up in the iso cubes with a 6 month sentence.  

Illegal Fattie Street Racing is one of the newer crazes in Mega City One.  Fattie juves with a need for speed souping up their mobility scooters and racing each other for kicks has become a real menace to the law abiding citizens.   

The Judges give chase but the fatties don't come quietly weaving dangerously in and out of traffic.  Inevitably two of them lose control of their scooters.  One lurches into the path of a mopad and is instantly crushed to a pulp by the 50 tonne behemoth.  The other spears off the skedway and crashes into the plasteel guardrail erupting in a fireball.  The third pulls out a spit gun and sprays a hail of lead behind him.  Bullets pepper the windscreens of several vehicles between him and the Judges but miss their intended targets completely.

The surrounding traffic begins to veer out of lane and a huge pile up begins in slow motion.  Uthred and Hammer slam on their brakes to avoid colliding with vehicles and skid to a halt.  Teal remembers the words of his Justice Academy Driving Instructor Judge Talladega

"If you see a car spin ahead, aim directly for the smoke, when you get there, it won't be" 

Teal bursts out of the smoke into clean bright sunshine with 100ft between him and the last fattie.  He opens up with his Cyclops Laser Cannon carving a trench in the road up ahead.  With no time to react the fattie scooter hits the gouge with its tiny wheels and comes to an abrupt halt.  The fattie is thrown forward and cut in two by his handlebars.  The top  half of his body landing 100ft further down the skedway.  Judge Teal mutters to himself "Well that only half worked" 

Typical light traffic on a Mega City One Skedway
Typical light traffic on a Mega City One Skedway

Carnage on the Yes-a-Bout

Judges Uthred and Hammer radio in the incident and Sector Control tells them to begin triaging the scene, Emergency Response Crews are 10 minutes out.  They go from vehicle to vehicle assessing the damage.  7 dead and 14 seriously wounded.  

Among the dead is registered mime artist Brittany Little.  He was thrown from his vehicle which has plowed into a tanker truck.  Highly flammable CHOO2 has leaked into the cabin of the vehicle which could explode at any time. 

Mr Little has lacerations over his body consistent with being thrown from a moving vehicle.  Judge Uthred spots what appears to be a human bite mark on the man's bald head.  His newly issued ID card photo shows him sporting a full head of shocking white hair.  

Without a care for his own safety, Hammer climbs into the CHOO2 sodden vehicle and searches for the missing wig.  

He can't find it but retrieves a hold-all containing a stripy turtleneck sweater, a black beret, a pair of white gloves and some face make up.

Unregistered Miming is a crime in every sector in Mega City One with the unique exception of a small area surrounding Mitterand Maisons block in the Euro Zone.

Brittany Little's Apartment

With Med and Tek judges on scene at the Yes-a-Bout the Judges resume their investigation but decide to visit Brittany Little's apartment in Thatcher Tower.

Thatcher Tower was the focal point for an unsavoury politically motivated crime a couple of years ago - You can read more about this in the case files: Tales from Mega City One

The apartment is of typical pre-Atomic construction but Mr Little has done his best to recreate the atmosphere of a 20th Century Parisian apartment complete with Toulouse Lautrect ballerina print and framed reproduction adverts for something called Absinthe.

In the bedroom the Judges find a collection of wigs and an accounts ledger.  A recent tax deductable expense for $99.99 has been entered with a description of "The Boris".  Uthred puts his access card in the bedroom comp terminal and pulls up the Trend Toppers Toupee website.  He searches for "The Boris" and "The Magnum" and finds product pages for each.  The wigs are in stock available direct from Trend Toppers or through numerous high street vendors.  Uthred recalls that he has a contact card for Dapper John and gives him a call.

Dapper John is initially reticent to reveal confidential client information to a Judge as he could face a confidentiality lawsuit.  When he is informed that the clients are now dead he divulges that The Boris was sold to a Mr Little a couple of weeks ago at his boutique in Trump Tower.  He explains he is not in his office so will get his people to look into Mr Dwayneson's purchase history.  He promises that they will "search the records with a fine toothed comb" and he'll get bake to Uthred Tomorrow.

Hammer, Teal and Uthred conclude their investigation in Thatcher Tower and head out to the Robo-Vend Factory.


The Robo-Vend factory is located in the Grimesy Wing of the Elon Tusk Industrial Park campus right  next door to the Sector 55 RESYK facility.

Clark Jeremy Head of Operations
Clark Jeremy
Head of
They are met by head of operations Mr Clark Jeremy.  He is more than happy to show the Judges their Business Operations Network Control Center (The BONCC) where they monitor the operations of the half a million vending machines distributed throughout Sector 55.

Whilst he is giving the Judges the grand tour a technician tries to interrupt him struggling to hold a cascading pile of computer printouts.  The technician wears a name badge W. Kidde - Area 51.

W. Kidde Technician Area 51
W. Kidde
Area 51
Jeremy shoos him away saying "not now Kidde! can't you see I'm busy?".  Faced with this intimidating and dismissive tirade of poor people management, the berated technician retreats  in a grovelling fashion.

Jeremy is very cooperative and shows the Judges the feeds from the cameras installed in the 3 vending machines in the alleyway.  He explains that the cameras are programmed to only operate in 2 circumstances; 

  1. when the machines have a cred stick or a valid MC1 ID Card inserted in them
  2.  If they are being tampered with or vandalised.   

Jeremy runs purchase checks on Rock Dwayneson, Victoria Nobody and Dapper John.  All three have prior purchase records at both the machine in the Alleyway and other machines in the sector.  

  • Dapper John's purchase history is consistent with an intern being sent out to collect large and myriad assorted Caf orders using a company cred stick.  Every order includes a Mocha with a shot of hazelnut.

  • Rock Dwsyneson's caf consumption reveals a pattern of consistent use of the machine in the alleyway and the same double cappuchino.

  • Victoria Nobody is an occasional buyer but always seems to purchase when she is running late for work and uses the same machine in the alleyway buying a skinny latte every time.

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There

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