Friday 30 May 2014

E14 Presents: The Gamecast! Gamecast 2 - What Games Have You Been Playing?

So there's no real agenda to this Gamecast, we talk a bit about what we're playing.

This includes:

  • Titanfall
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Half-Life 2
  • Some assorted mobile games
  • Doom 3: BFG Edition
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Pokemon X
  • Crystal Warriors
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • WWF: No Mercy
  • Nintendo 64

Starring: Blake Harmer, Omer Ibrahim, Rob Wade
Subscribe on iTunes: Listen to the show

Tuesday 13 May 2014

E14 Presents: The Crazy Train! Episode 24 - Thermistocles' Hot Love Explosion!

On iTunes
The Crazy Train Page on E14

In this episode:

  • The cast talk about Facebook Like whores.
  • Omer talks about Salute, the wargaming convention.
  • We talk about the new 300 movie.
  • We talk a bit of history.
  • We talk about Wrestlemania
  • We talk gambling
  • We talk about spoilers

Starring: Blake Harmer, Omer Ibrahim, Rob Wade

Friday 9 May 2014

Dickass DM - The Adventures Of Hercule Braggart: Trouble At The Track - Part 7

Remember good, old-fashioned gamebooks? They promised all the fun of a role-playing game, with none of the social interaction - what more could a teenage boy desire? The thing is, that while the gamebook became a great gaming experience in its own right, the only RPG it could possibly have simulated was one being GM'd by Satan himself. 90% of decisions led to certain death, and combat was often fatal. Satan wasn't available, so Brad will be GMing Rob through an RPG based on a classic Sherlock Holmes gamebook. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Hercule Braggart.

When last we left our hero, Braggart was poised to interview a veterinarian (not the kind who fought in 'Nam). How will that go? I wonder...

Catch up with Part 1 Here
Catch up with Part 2 Here
Catch up with Part 3 Here
Catch up with Part 4 Here
Catch up with Part 5 Here
Catch up with Part 6 Here

Brad: Shall we make him the Viennese cake from the Halloween special?
Rob : Ask about the drug.
BRAGGART: "I hear you're a Viennese whirl. Do you know much about horse medicine? Only I received a bottle of Hastings Distillate of Opium the other day, and I'm worried my horse might explode. It's the kind of prank my mate does, he's a real prick."
Brad: You hand him the bottle and wait as he stares at it. Finally he begins to say something:
ANTHROPOMORPHIC CAKE: "I didn't know there was any of this left in the country...seeing as there was never much of it."
BRAGGART: "Hastings a bit of a hoarder?"
ANTHROPOMORPHIC CAKE: "Dr. Hastings was a good horse doctor who liked to experiment. He mixed this up as something to calm wild horses but died before he could decide how well it worked."
BRAGGART: "Do I have some with me then?"
ANTHROPOMORPHIC CAKE: "Only a few friends of his ever used it, and no-one ever found the formula. I'm very surprised to see it at a track, I can tell you. It's something you'd use back home at the farm."
BRAGGART: "Any idea who tested it?"
ANTHROPOMORPHIC CAKE: "I don't recall all the names. I believe most of them were Scots or Irish. Dr Hastings was a Scot himself and tended to people from his own part of the country."
BRAGGART: "Right..."
ANTHROPOMORPHIC CAKE: "The only one who runs horses down here was Lord Hampton."
BRAGGART: "Cheers."

Brad: Having gathered all the evidence you seem likely to get, you return home to await the arrival of Mr Holmes and Dr Watson. You turn your mind to useful reading of the sort Holmes recommends, hoping to avoid constantly rehashing the case, but night after night you still find this case a distraction. "Have I uncovered the pertinent information and interpreted it logically?" you wonder. It is a relief to receive a note from Mr Holmes, informing you of his return and asking you to come around to Baker Street and give him your solution. You waste no time going to see him. Watson and Colonel Stuart are with the detective when you arrive, the latter willing to explain some of the unusual elements of the case. Before requesting your solution, Holmes listens to Colonel Stuart, who has some other information to offer.
COL. STUART: "Yes, Mr Holmes, it's more clear than ever than Irish Star was drugged. Now that there has been time for it to wear off, the horse is back to his old energetic self."
BRAGGART: "I imagine the comedown was a bitch."
HOLMES: [to Braggart] "Did you discover what drug was used to slow Irish Star?"
BRAGGART: "Indeed. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you....Hasting's Distillate of Opium. Well, not literally give it to you. You'd get off your tits."
HOLMES: "Yes, I have heard of that. It would be an excellent method of slowing a horse, though Dr Hastings developed it for a much different use."
Brad: Colonel Stuart looks sharply at you.
BRAGGART: "Ouch! You almost cut me, you fucker."
COL. STUART: Why, Mr Holmes, that's remarkable!"
BRAGGART: "Sorry, am I here?"
WATSON: "Pfft. Get used to it."
COL. STUART: "That is just what the track veterinarian found when he examined Irish Star."
BRAGGART: "Did he find any gratitude for me under there?"

HOLMES: [turning to you] "Now, young man, suppose you tell us just how this deed came to happen, and who is responsible."
BRAGGART: "Mm. I thought you might ask for that."
Brad: You run through the case for your hero.
HOLMES: "A fine summation of the evidence...but get to the crux of the matter. Whom do you accuse of drugging Irish Star?"
BRAGGART: "The jockey. I shall give you my reasoning, gentlemen, for I believe it to be a much grander conspiracy than it may first appear."
Brad: Holmes looks astonished.
HOLMES: "How could you bring such a charge? Or think such a thing?"
BRAGGART: "I'm not prejudiced against short people, if that's what you're getting at."
HOLMES: "With the drug that was used, the horse must have been doped long before the jockey ever touched him."
BRAGGART: "Yes...that's true. I still think he was in on it, though."
HOLMES: "Irish Star was already showing the lethargy from it when he approached the starting line."
Brad: Holmes lights his pipe and settles back to explain the case.

HOLMES: "The evidence points to John Oliver, Colonel Stuart's groom, as the man who drugged Irish Star. He certainly would have had access to the horse at the right time for the drug to work, a fact that is true of few others."
BRAGGART: "There is that, but the jockey had a lot of money and seemed in good spirits at the bar, which struck me as odd."
HOLMES: "Oliver also predicted that Irish Star would run badly when everyone else around the track expected him to run well, and a groom, especially a poorly-paid one, would be an easy target for a generous bribe."
Brad: Colonel Stuart blushes at the mention of his financial woes.
BRAGGART: "All right then, smart-arse, so how did the jockey get the money?"
HOLMES: *stares*..."Of course, while knowing who drugged the horse is important, it is critical to prove who paid him to do the deed."
BRAGGART: "Ah, see now that I do have a better idea of."
HOLMES: "Oliver will likely have little chance to repeat this crime, but his master might strike again through some other agent. So, Braggart, who bribed John Oliver to drug Irish Star?"
BRAGGART: "Lord Hampton."

Brad: Holmes smiles.
HOLMES: "And how did you deduce that?"
BRAGGART: "Elementary."
HOLMES: "You must have evidence to bring so serious a charge against peer of the realm."
BRAGGART: "Lord Hampton was looking to expand his horsey collection, and had made Colonel Stuart an offer to purchase the horse before the race for 500 pounds. The fact that he offered a lower sum in advance of the terminus of the race led me to suspect that he knew that the horse would perform poorly, and that Colonel Stuart's hand may be forced through financial hardship. Add to that the fact that Lord Hampton was a colleague of the late Dr Hastings, who created the Distillation which caused all this bother, and it is not hard to imagine how he obtained the means."
HOLMES: "Very good."
BRAGGART: "Of course, Colonel, if you hadn't been so motherfucking poor, he couldn't have done this."
HOLMES: "His Lordship will be here himself in a few minutes. How shall we command justice from the villain?"
BRAGGART: "I suggest a double-dog dare. Or a game of 'I have never'."

Brad: The plans made, you are all seated and ready when Mrs Hudson introduces Lord Hampton. The peer looks dapper and distinguished as ever.
LORD HAMPTON: [eagerly] "Your invitation, Mr Holmes, indicated that you would help to settle the matter of my purchase of Irish Star?"
Brad: Then, noting the intensity of Holmes' look and the hatred in Colonel Stuart's eyes, he stops, his smile faded.
LORD HAMPTON: "What is this? Why are you looking at me like that?"
BRAGGART: *stares*
LORD HAMPTON: "I demand that someone explain this inquisition!"
BRAGGART: "Who are you?!"
MCSPINDLE: "Chimney sweep. That's why I'm in the chimney."
BRAGGART: "Right...You realise this is not the top floor?"
MCSPINDLE: "Is it not?"
BRAGGART: "No. Not that that's relevant, but I thought I might flummox you and maybe you'd fuck off."
MCSPINDLE: "Oh. Didn't work did it?"

HOLMES: "I wonder, why a man of your reputation would see his name dragged in the mud, just to buy a horse more cheaply. You are wealthy, your Lordship; you could have paid more than the horse was worth and never noticed the loss. What will people say, I wonder? Will they ever let you on a track again? It's difficult to believe, but I have solid evidence now."
Brad: Lord Hampton does not deny the charge, or try to defend himself.
Brad: Instead, he turns so pale that you see Watson stir with professional concern. Then he bows his head in shame.
LORD HAMPTON: "I do not deserve mercy."
WATSON: *reflex clothesline*
LORD HAMPTON: "It was greed that sealed my fate. I hated to see that great horse running so far below himself, when under my silks he would achieve fame. It is idle to say I would never repeat my crime - the stewards will warn me off for life, now."
BRAGGART: "You must have been sitting upside down to think the horse was running like that."

Brad: The man looks crushed. Holmes' face softens a little.
HOLMES: "Perhaps it is not too late. I am not Scotland Yard."
BRAGGART: "He doesn't have to know that!"
HOLMES: "I suggest that you give orders to your solicitor that Colonel Stuart's stable be financed as it should. For yourself, I know that you have been offered a foreign appointment that would occupy you for the next two years. Purge your crimes by service to the Queen and with restitution to your victim."
BRAGGART: "Better that than the other way round!"
HOLMES: "Thus, when Irish Star becomes a champion, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you assisted him in his climb to excellence."
Brad: After a moment, the peer accepts Holmes' terms. He leaves with Colonel Stuart to arrange their financial agreement, and after a little more talk, you leave Holmes and Watson to walk back to your own quarters. One question fills your mind: What will your next case be?...

Friday 2 May 2014

Dickass DM - The Adventures Of Hercule Braggart: Trouble At The Track - Part 6

Remember good, old-fashioned gamebooks? They promised all the fun of a role-playing game, with none of the social interaction - what more could a teenage boy desire? The thing is, that while the gamebook became a great gaming experience in its own right, the only RPG it could possibly have simulated was one being GM'd by Satan himself. 90% of decisions led to certain death, and combat was often fatal. Satan wasn't available, so Brad will be GMing Rob through an RPG based on a classic Sherlock Holmes gamebook. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Hercule Braggart.

When last we left our hero, Braggart had been given permission to search the stables, horse shit and all. What will he find? Only time will tell...

Catch up with Part 1 Here
Catch up with Part 2 Here
Catch up with Part 3 Here
Catch up with Part 4 Here
Catch up with Part 5 Here

Brad: You stand poised to search Colonel Stuart's stables. You could search the groom's room, Irish Star's stall or the tackroom.
Rob: What's a tackroom?
COL. STUART: "One of these"
BRAGGART: "...I don't know how you did that."
Rob : The groom's room.
Brad: When you glanced over the stables, you had thought the groom customarily slept in the tackroom. Now you see that a wooden partition breaks the space into two little rooms. John Oliver's quarters consist of a shelf with his razor and combs, a cot with blankets folded on it, and a chest shoved under the cot. Clothes hang on three hooks on the wall. A small window with a sliding shutter provides a little air. You find a small medicine bottle wrapped in a man's handkerchief hidden between the shutter and the outside wall. Turning it around, you look at the label. A handwritten label reads:


You recognise the bottle drug as something that could make a horse run more slowly, but it would have to be given to the animal several hours before the race to hamper his performance. You carefully put the bottle in your jacket pocket and wonder whether you should search the other parts of the stable. Later, certain that you have learned everything possible at Colonel Stuart's stable, you decide to leave. Bidding the Colonel a good day, you remind him that you will continue your investigative efforts elsewhere. Walking back towards the track, you see a group of high-spirited men congratulating a slender, well-dressed fellow. As you get closer, and the men shout of how well his horse ran, you realise that this richly appointed man is Lord Hampton.
BRAGGART: "Oh, that tosspot."

Rob : Talk to Lord Hampton. The tosser.
Brad: You boldly approach Lord Hampton and introduce yourself.
BRAGGART: "Lord Hampton, well done on winning the money of a fair few chumps. I'm here simply to make sure that there was no foul play."
Brad: After looking perplexed for a moment, Lord Hampton nods and leads you to a small, tidy office beside his stable.
LORD HAMPTON: "With a matter this delicate, I prefer to talk in private. Now, how can I help you?"
BRAGGART: "Wow, you're quite nice. Now I feel awful. Why do you think Irish Star had such a dour race?"
Brad: Lord Hampton takes his time before answering.
LORD HAMPTON: "It certainly surprised me. [slowly] The horse trained with my best earlier this week and all but beat him. Irish Star should have finished lengths ahead of Maiwand and the rest. But that's racing. You can never be sure what a horse will do, no matter how good it is."
BRAGGART: "Indeed."
LORD HAMPTON: [deliberately] "I shall be glad to see this matter cleared up. Any hint of scandal is bad for all of us."
BRAGGART: "I can do more than hint, if that'll help."
LORD HAMPTON: "And it's doubly revolting to see a horse as fine as Irish Star perform so poorly."

Brad: You realise that Lord Hampton is an ambitious man and wonder whether that ambition might include owning Irish Star.
BRAGGART: "I understand you were looking to pick up a horse of the same sort of type as Irish Star. As in that specific horse."
Brad: Lord Hampton raises one eyebrow in surprise, then laughs softly.
LORD HAMPTON: "I always say that there are no secrets around a race track. I knew that Colonel Stuart was in financial trouble and I offered to buy the horse. I thought I might get a bargain, and now I shall likely strike an even better deal."
BRAGGART: "I didn't realise Hampton was a cheap bastard name."
LORD HAMPTON: "I've heard that if he didn't win the purse, the stewards might take legal action to force the Colonel to pay his track debts. But I gave him fair warning."
BRAGGART: "In what way?"
LORD HAMPTON: I told him I would pay 500 pounds before the race, or 250 after. A wager between us, you might say."
BRAGGART: "Interesting...I'm amazed that the stewards let the horse run."
LORD HAMPTON: "Oh, the stewards would be very reluctant to scratch him, especially considering the popularity of the horse."
BRAGGART: "How does a horse become popular? I don't imagine they're a charismatic interview."

Brad: As you talk, you look around Lord Hampton's small office.
Rob : That can't take long.
Brad: Light reflected from a medicine cabinet catches your eye; as the glare fades, you can clearly see the bottles inside. One reads:


Brad: You consider an immediate confrontation with Lord Hampton, then remember Holmes' instructions of tact. You thank Lord Hampton for his time, stalling as you think of what loose end to pursue next. What timely task remains to be done, you ask yourself. Checking your watch, you see that it is almost time to meet Holmes' irregular; you must leave the track now.
BRAGGART: "I hope he's not a mutant, that'll be so awkward if he is."
Brad: You walk to a pub near the track, where Holmes instructed the irregular to meet you. While you wait, you order supper. As you eat, you see Irish Star's jockey enter boisterously and order a round of drinks for a group of men who entered with him.
Rob : Talk to the jockey.
Brad: You approach Irish Star's jockey.
BRAGGART: "Hello, my name's Hercule Braggart...Alright? Would you care to talk about the race? Colonel Stuart asked me to chat to people about it. I'm trying to work out what happened, but I keep coming up short....Oh.....sorry."
JOCKEY: "Well, if the Colonel hired you, I suppose I can spare you a moment."
BRAGGART: "Great stuff. I don't need much time, just a little..."
JOCKEY: "Though I don't know what there is to talk about. The horse ran bad and got its tail whipped. I just take what the trainer gives me and ride as best as I can."
BRAGGART: "What was it you gave the horse before the race started? Why leave it so late to feed him?"
JOCKEY: "Aye, I guess it might look a little odd to you...but it's a habit of mine. I ride many and many a different horse each day, you see. Some of them are a little unfriendly, and a morsel makes them more willing to have me aboard. Sometimes, with a horse like Irish Star was today, I think a bite wakes them up a bit."
BRAGGART: "I find Relentless works better."
JOCKEY: "The horse was dead on his hooves when I warmed him up. Didn't do no good though, as you saw."

Brad: He turns away and waves for the bartender to serve more drinks, ignoring you. As you finish your supper in the pub, young Stanly peeks in, looking for you. It takes a word from you before the proprietor allows him entry. Stanly hurries to your table.
STANLY: "Evenin', guv. I followed that man Oliver like you told me to."
BRAGGART: "Great stuff. Where'd he go?"
STANLY: "It took some time, guv, but I did finally see something interesting. He wove here and there through the crowd, but he wasn't looking for a little fellow like me to be following him. And he finally led me to someone else."
Brad: Stanly smiles, preparing you for the climax
MCSPINDLE: "Wa-hey!"
Brad: ...of his story.
STANLY: "Yes, guv, Oliver led me a chase, he did, but I kept on him and he finally went to Roscoe's gambling table, and Roscoe gave him a big handful of money - without nothing being said about no wager. I snuck around behind where I heard everything they said, guv, and there weren't nothin' about any wager."
BRAGGART: "Moooost interesting."
Brad: You thank Stanly for his good work and leave the pub. You contemplate what you have learned. At a nearby table, you see a man who is slowly drinking himself into a stupor. A black bag rests on the table beside him, and from the teasing of people who speak to him, you realise that he is a veterinarian. That's a Vet, not someone who fought in Vietnam.
Rob : Okay. So not a Vietnam Veterinarian. How did I glean his occupation, from the jibes?
Brad: I guess...
BRAGGART: "Aaaaaaah, horse wanker."

Stay tuned to E14 for the next thrilling edition of Dickass DM, coming May 9th!