One of my major personality defects is that I tend to get really excited about some random project or thing, expend a huge amount of time and effort on it, then get bored and/or excited about something else and drop the whole thing. As such my home and computer are littered with half completed projects and ideas, some of which might actually be really cool if I ever got around to finishing them.
Autism? Yes, why do ask? ADHD? Well I don’t have a formal diagnosis…
Anyway, when I actually do manage to complete something it is cause for at least a little celebration, and a posting of the results.
My obsession of late has been content for the Hellboy board game. I invested in the Kickstarter and have managed to acquire just about every expansion (I don’t have Drinking with Skeletons, Giant Robot Hellboy and Unexpected Plot Twist) including the most recent “Big Box of Doom” which I completely forgot I bought – its unexpected arrival being the catalyst for my current episode. The game contains plenty of content from the Hellboy universe, but there’s also a bunch of really cool stuff that isn’t included, either due to copyright tangles or simply because a game that included everything would take up a rather large room and be wildly unplayable.
“Wildly Uplayable” being my middle name I decided to rectify this by adding some of the cooler stuff that Mantic elected (or were forced) to leave out. And wonder of wonders I’ve actually finished some of it!
AGENT BEN DAIMIO
During the Kickstarter for the original game there were a lot of requests from the community to include ex-marine-with-a-dreadful-secret Ben Daimio (AKA Captain Zombie). To everyone’s disappointment Mantic made it quite clear that they couldn’t because they only had the rights to the Hellboy comic and not the spin-off BPRD in which he exclusively appears. Curiously the expansions have since included plenty of BPRD content, but Ben is still AWOL -possibly they haven’t been able to figure out a way to make him playable without being either useless or horribly overpowered.
Being unrestrained by issues of copyright or game balance I have attempted to correct this anomaly by making a playable version of Ben complete with starting items, a Deck of Doom card, and rules and cards for when his ‘little problem’ gets out of hand.
One of my favourite Hellboy series is 1947, which chronicles the early BPRD’s attempts to deal with a vampire by the name Baron Konig who didn’t take some of the Nazi’s more esoteric WWII experiments very well (to be fair, who would?). Naturally everything pretty quickly goes to hell and the consequences extend into the sequel series Vampire where things get even worse.
There are other vampires that show up in Hellboy, the most prominent being Vladimir Giurescu and his exploding horse (note: no matter how hard you hit them horses don’t usually explode). He’s in the game, but apart from that vampiric content is conspicuously lacking – a situation I feel it necessary to correct.
My Vampire kit adds three new Bosses, a new minion, a bunch of re-organised Boss Behaviour cards and a collection of vampire hunting equipment to give your agents a fighting chance against the undead.
Later: And now version 1.2 is up, which adds a new minion, renames a minion, adds a couple more unexpected threats and allows you to equip your agents with garlic – which I can’t believe I left out in version 1.1!
One of the few flaws of the game is the way it implements tracking of a number of agent statistics (another is the way they’ve implemented Roger – go get Saduhem’s Thematic Roger rebuild – you’ll thank me). To keep track of, say, Liz Sherman’s flame level you need to keep a tiny plastic cube precisely positioned on a half sized card – which on a table with models being moved and dice flying around is no mean feat. To fix this I’ve created a set of print’n’build tracker dials* which should make your games a lot less frustrating.
I have a number of other Hellboy projects on the boil, which I may or may not complete before I lose interest, so stay tuned!
BPRD Archives Box
And here we go with one of those projects, a print’n’build box for your B.P.R.D. Archives cards – assuming you have that add on, naturally. The design is blatantly ripped off from Matt “King Friday” Sturm’s case file envelopes – I really should give him a heads up.
Make Your Own Agent
And if you’re feeling inspired to make some content of your own I’ve prepared an SVG Agent template with icons and cards layouts and such. Enjoy!
*Not to be confused with print’n’build crocodiles, which are another thing entirely…
It’s a clear black night, a place remote, Robert Stack is on the corner in a pale trench-coat, Got the mystery cases that remain unsolved, Robert Stack is gonna lay out some trails gone cold,
He’s got all the reports, tracked the witness down, Who didn’t think that it could happen in their own hometown, He’s droppin’ all the facts ’cause it’s not too late, For Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries to investigate…
I did not invent it. I wrote it down in order to get it out of my brain.
Shelly Winters, Scary Go Round
Every now and then Triple J – the youth radio station I listen to despite no longer being a youth and radio being a dying medium – holds what they call “Requestival”, which is where they play nothing but songs requested by listeners for an entire week.
This leads to some… strange juxtapositions. For instance a few days ago One Day More from Les Miserables led immediately into Push the Little Daisies by Ween, which is likely something that has never happened previously in the entire history of music, and – if God is merciful – will never happen again. As I type, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell is transitioning to Middle by DJ Snake, so you get the idea of the kind of thing that can happen.
The other kind of thing that can happen is being woken up to the sounds of Billy Ray Cyrus and Achy Breaky Heart, which is what I had to suffer this morning.
Frankly it’s amazing that I got up rather than rolling over and going back to sleep for ever.
In any case this horrid occurrence reminded me of the parody version of said song that my brain insisted on producing 30 years ago when Billy Ray first foisted his infamous crime against music upon us. It is not a good parody. It is, in fact, one of the very worst things I have ever written, and the only reason I’m posting it here is – Shelly Winters style – to get it out of my brain. It is deeply shameful and not healthy for children and other living things, so I recommend you stop reading here and go back to your life with your consciousness unsullied.
Still here? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
You can smell my knees, Smell anything you please, You can smell my trousers any day,
You can smell my breath, And choke yourself to death, I never really liked you anyway,
But don’t smell my arse, My farting, barking arse, It’s something that you gotta understand,
‘Cause if you smell my arse, My farting, barking arse, I might blow off and kill you man, Oooooo!