Friday, October 1, 2010

Orctober - Take Two

Thankyou Charles Schulz for your contribution to my perspective on life, orcs, and the joys of seeing a poor naive place-kicker land flat on his back.

I should also give some inspiration credit here to Chuck Jones, who directed the Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons.

This was my last 28MMT comic to date. I have thought about starting a new comic in a similar style with miniatures, but not based on any particular real game product, but my game time and space have been too scarce to permit it so far.

I may yet write more short stories though.


Just another day at 28mm studios.

The "stick drawings" bit was by no means meant to be an insult to any other particular web comic. If Janara had truly wanted to be mean, she would have threatened the cast of 28MMT with being replaced by a reality TV program starring a pack of oxymoron LARPers in orc costumes.

Spelling Bee

Yagun and Kiakara get into a friendly spellcasting contest, ...which can only spell trouble.

This was a subtle (and  not nearly as personally financially rewarding) homage to another more famous web comic. Congratulations if you were able to figure out what Yagun was saying at the end.

Crazy Kormok

Orcs, like most other creatures, have a hard time resisting the urge to buy shiny new toys. Luckily for them, Crazy Kormok can pass the savings on to them by eliminating the middle-man. Luckily for Kormok, dead middle-men tell no tales.

In the beta version of RAGE Chronicles there was an upgrade called Cute Familiar that gave clerics a bonus to Cute Checks after midnight or something like that. Somehow the little joke got left in the final edit and some confusion ensued.

In the most recent revision of Warlord, most of the changes made by RAGE Chronicles were reversed or toned down.

The Status Queue

With so many new data cards to issue, Greka decides to follow the high efficiency standards set by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unfortunately for everybody else, there are no Bounty Points for killing time in line.

Beam Me Up, Greka!

Greka brings Kharg and his raiding party back from beyond the End Of The World. It seems as if Prugg's new treasure has already begun to work its magic on the raiding party. Meanwhile, Varaug continues to be Varaug.

Yep..there was a free download available for that particular revision.

The Latest RAGE - Part 2

Everybody is excited about the changes that are taking place in their world, but after Toughness Checks too numerous to count, poor Fourthorc just wants to go home.

For those who wonder, a WIP is a work-in-progress....and KIA I am told by one reliable orcish source stands for "kicked its #$@%".

For what it's worth, "reliable orc source" is an oxymoron.

For more of what it's worth, oxymoron has nothing to do with acne nor stupidity...any more than it has to do with being an orc...even a zitty-faced orc....or so I've been told.

The Latest RAGE - Part 1

At long last, our adventuresome heroes find what they've been looking for... but discover it was not quite what they expected. Special guest performance by #03043: Surkar, Orc Shaman, painted by the extremely talented Jester.

The RAGE Chronicles had just been released, a game revision that included many new rules and changes to character data cards. Many models gained extra Special Abilities and Damage Tracks. Faction abilities were also revised.

Other Side of the Rainbow

Captain Kharg and company go in search of paint, and are surprised to see a few familiar faces. Meanwhile, Lunk selflessly takes it upon himself to validate a certain legend concerning rainbows and pots of gold. WARNING! IF YOU READ THIS COMIC WHILE LISTENING TO PINK FLOYD, NOTHING PARTICULARLY PROFOUND WILL HAPPEN! nothing is sacred..not Warlord, not CAV..and now not even Reaper paints. At the time I had a pile of unassembled, unprimed, and unpainted orcs, not to mention a few that needed some touch-up work. Then I was just beginning to learn to paint.

Ironically enough it was about that time that Reaper announced their plans to launch their line of Legendary Encounters pre-painted plastic models.  They had seen my work and were afraid.

Lucky Streak

When Greka explains that the Ring Of Power has an evil side too, Lunk comes up with a plan that will improve the party's chances.

Our game store used to have a bucket of "cursed dice" for people to borrow if they had shown up without their own dice. I never did formal scientific tests to validate the curse, but most people preferred to remain on the safe side and buy dice there rather than chance losing another character to Old Snake Eyes.

Dial "O" for "Owwww!"

Kharg and company hatch a plan to hijack some big stompy robots. Meanwhile, Fourthorc finds what everybody else is looking for by using his head.

In original Warlord, a 10, or zero on a ten-sided die, is an automatic success or hit. 

East of Adon

After a seemingly endless trek across the vast and empty emptyness, Kharg's raiders discover a whole new world of surprise and danger...and cheesy pop-culture referrences. CAV Dictator 70 painted by guest-painter Chris "Bob" Holcomb.

Reaper also published a game called CAV that was a sort of futuristic big-stompy-robot fantasy game. The models were based on six-sided bases and 'could' be played on a hexagonal map.

While making this comic I had to repeatedly remind myself that there is no "k" in orc.

Reven Brides for Reven Brothers - Part 3

In spite of Greka's bad matchmaking, one lucky couple succeeds in walking away unwounded from le Jeu d'Amour.

Up in Kargir, the orcs have this little game they like to play in which they take up axes, swords, clubs and other hurtsy things, march into the human-occupied parts of Orc Country (which is pretty much the whole rest of the world) and wage war on the basis of "those gits stole our football". The football is in fact only symbolic, but the vuvuzela is all too real..and unfortunately for the orcs, the humans invented it first.

Reven Brides for Reven Brothers - Part 2

Proxy Models arrive from far and wide to help Greka in her mission to make the world a greener place. Special appearance in this strip by Skralla the Black, painted by Urion Franz.

Originally in official tournaments, only Reaper models from the Warlord line were allowed in the game, and each model could only represent the model it was intended to represent unless no model was yet available. This was eventually relaxed, and not long after that, ANY Reaper model could be used..even some of the orcs from the old Dark Heaven line...which made me and the rest of the Gragg Elfslayer Fan Club very happy.

Reven Brides for Reven Brothers - Part 1

Greka tries her hand at matchmaking to guarantee the future of orc-kind, completely unaware that she has just introduced the evils of Valentine's Day to the Monglash Steppes.

Monday Blues

Varaug discoveres that he is uniquely overqualified as a stock-boy. Meanwhile Kraug and Urmuk take a longer-than-expected smoke break.

Yes, Varaug the Great has always secretly dreamed of having a degree in Sociology...but we all know that in the real world, orcs usually drop out of college their freshman year and join the French Foreign Legion.

Player Characters

Urmuk recruits Varaug to take Nurd's place on game-night, and Gaaguk will soon learn why blind dates are best made sight-unseen.

I remember the first time I saw a LAN RPG being played at the game store. While the ability to show players only the part of the map they should be able to see, send secret notes to certain players, and allow the DM to have instant access to everything game-related on a spread sheet might seem nice, the complete lack of space on the table for soda cans and boxes of pizza was just too disconcerting. 

Tough Guys

Now that the End Of The World has come, Kharg, Prugg, Lunk and Fourthorc have to rely on their Toughness to survive.

Back then, most Warlord models only got one Damage Track. The Toughness ability, however, came in varying degrees. A Tough/3 model would survive if his combined roll + 3 was higher than 10.

Tent Revival

The next morning, Greka summons all of the slain back from the Afterlife. Meanwhile, Gurgh and Nurd find out that Heaven is not quite what either of them was expecting.

The nature of Reven Heaven was often discussed around my game table. It is quite a lovely place with shag carpets, faux-wood panel on the walls, a fridge full of high-octane cola and cheap beer in the corner, unlimited pretzels and snack cakes, and it is always Saturday night right around nine-ish and everyone's there...even the ones who somehow managed to get dates.

A Deal with the Devil

Varaug finds himself stuck between the forces of Good and Evil when Greka comes to collect her payment.

If Reaper makes a model of a female orc ugly enough to be Greka's sister, I am not aware of it.

Mission Impossible

Kharg the Awesome and his fellow Crusaders take it upon themselves to become missionaries in orc-country.

Admit it. You would  like to take an orc to church too, wouldn't you!

Bitter Victory

Meanwhile, Sir Krunk the Merciful recruits more Crusaders to aid him as he valiantly makes a stand against the foul Reven.

After making this comic, I decided to write a short story about Krunk and the Crusaders called The Broken Spear.

The End of the World

Finally Kharg's raiding party reaches the eastern mountains. What awaits them on the other side is something they never expected. Has the world come to an end..or just an edge?

The Foamy Mountains..that great ridge of blue insulating foam coated with painted sand and static grass..that great barrier that stands between orc-kind and the infinite unknown. It was long believed that any soul that goes beyond that point is "no longer in play".

Regarding orcs and dark-vision, I blame a certain band of seashore-dwelling sorcerers who would want us all to believe that they invented dark-vision, orcs, and fantasy gaming in general, and who dare any others to usurp their genre.

Lunk's Crystal Ball

Kharg, Lunk, Prugg and the Fourth Orc head east in search of arcane treasures and weapons; and the true nature of Lunk's coveted crystal ball is finally revealed.

At one time in Warlord, being on higher elevation not only helped Line Of Sight, but improved the distance of ranged attacks.

Reven Red Rover - Part 2

 Once again, Krunk gets trapped by womanly wiles. Now the Crusaders freshest recruits launch their counter-attack against the remaining orcs.

The "Mercy" special ability from the original version of Warlord let Crusader leader models who had reduced enemy models to zero hit points offer them mercy or death. If the enemy model failed a Discipline check, it became a Crusader soldier.  It would seem that the orcs..or at least my orcs,  had a Discipline value only slightly higher than their perceived value of their own faction special abilities.

Reven Red Rover - Part 1

In a last effort to win back a lost battle, Kharg and Dantral launch one final assault with a bit of help from Ombur. Unfortunately the Crusaders have one more surprise waiting for them.

The Broken Spear

Part 1

The mud was almost too deep to march through. It had been raining every day for almost an entire month, and it seemed foolish to Krunk that the great KhaKhan should want to conquer a place that had nothing better to offer than rocks, barren trees, scarce game and mud. Though he was soaked through to the bone and hungry, he plodded along with the rest of the thin column of orcs moving through the land the Boghul called “Tar-gar-thus”.

“Stop poking me!” growled a voice from behind. A swift kick to the backside sent Krunk sprawling forward face-down into the sticky mud. Before he could get back on his feet, he felt himself being pulled up by his hair. Soon he was staring into the narrow yellow eyes of a bull orc called Yaragath. The tusked tough was almost a third again larger than Krunk and carried a long crudely forged but sharp scimitar. Krunk had only his spear and had no shield to defend with. “I be more careful next time.”, Krunk apologized timidly. The brute expressed his acceptance of the apology by letting go of Krunk’s hair and shoving him backward into the mud again. Howls of laughter ensued from those around him, but Krunk swallowed his pride, got back on his feet and shouldered his spear, this time making sure the point of it came nowhere near anybody else, especially Yaragath.

A Matter Of Taste - a hill giant's tale

The last rays of a sinking sun reached across the evening sky like golden-red tethers, snapping loose one by one as the crescent moon ascended to steal the sun’s dominion. It was the sort of sunset that might be remembered in the epic songs of an elven bard if only one were there to witness its majesty.

He sat all by himself on the warm rocks on a small plateau overlooking the river below. He was waiting for his breakfast. The heat of the summer days made even the most basic tasks seem strenuous, and so he slept while the burning sun was overhead. Unfortunately, the days grew longer during the season and only prolonged his fasting.. He woke up hungry as usual. Before the days had grown so hot, he would venture down the long and winding path into the valley to seek more substantial meals such as the long-horned beasts that grazed in the tall grass along the riverbanks, but such delicacies had become rare of late. Besides, it was too hot to go wandering, even after the sun had gone.

A World Without War - Gurgh's story

It was the shouting that woke him, though they seemed unfamiliar and distorted. He opened his eyes and looked upward into the dense canopy of yellowing leaves which choked off all but a few rays of the late-afternoon sunlight. The air was heavy with the metallic scent of spilled blood, though it appeared the battle was now over and lost. The shouting continued but seemed to be far off and moving away further. He tried to sit up but his head throbbed, apparently from the same injury that had caused him to be laid flat on his back alone in the middle of the woods. He touched his brow expecting to find a bleeding gash across his forehead, but only found a large and tender lump. He tried to recall what happened after he and the others had been sent into the woods to suppress the mercenary crossbowmen.

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