Friday, March 24, 2017

Two worlds

My (ir)regular RPG group has played a lot of superhero games in our day, and over time I've bought a bunch of Heroclix figures to use in those games.  Depending on what they have available, I've placed orders with two main places, Troll and Toad and Popular Collections.   

Years ago, as detailed HERE, I ended up entered in a contest at Troll and Toad through an order I made, and didn't realize there even was a contest until I received the prize along with my order.


More recently, this past August, Popular Collections had a Heroclix related contest up on Facebook.  I entered as a lark, and managed to win!  Great!  I sent them my information and waited.  

And waited.

And waited.

I don't keep up with when the various Heroclix sets come out, so figured it might be an issue with that.  Looking online, I saw that the set in question came out some time ago, so I contacted them again, figuring it somehow slipped through the cracks.  Things happen, no worries.

So again I waited.

And waited.

And contact them again, they again say it will be right out, then nothing.


The prize itself isn't even a big deal.  I'm not out any actual money, like from an order that wasn't shipped, but it makes me concerned that if I did have a problem with an order, I would similarly wind up in eternal customer service limbo.  Add to this that in the contest someone else had mentioned that they were still waiting on a prize from an even *earlier* contest, and it seems unfortunately to be a pattern.  It's just disappointing to be promised something and repeatedly let down.

(Facebook messages, with address info removed)
Wow! Thanks so much for the Heroclix prize! Go Black Manta! My address is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Congrats James! We have you down and your brick will ship when the Joker's Wild Set is out. Have a good weekend!
Hi, I just wanted to check on this Joker's Wild giveaway; I have not received anything or heard any more since August. Thanks!
Hi James, Our apologies as this should have been shipped months ago. I am checking our shipping records right now to have this figured out for you. No matter what we will get you your Brick of Joker's Wild! I will be in touch by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. Thanks, PC
Hi, hadn't heard anything back. Thanks.
Hi James, I spoke with Shipping and went though all records and cannot find record of the shipment which is very strange. I just submitted an order with one of our suppliers and we should have the Joker's Wild Brick in house by mid next week to ship. Until then if you have any questions please email me at any time. Thank you. PC
P.S. Could you please let me now your shipping address?
Hi, any word on this? Thank you.

So...Troll and Toad.  Great site.

UPDATE 04/10/17 - Rather than send me a brick, they've given me a code for credit on an order.  That'll probably work out better anyways as I tend to like the various common figs, and this'll let me order from various sets.  We'll see how the order goes...

UPDATE 05/24/17 - So nothing came.  I got an automated notice on 04/26 saying it had shipped, but without any tracking info.  I emailed 05/17 asking for a status and tracking info.  On the 20th they said they would look into it that weekend, then nothing.  Tonight I disputed the charge and they refunded the extra amount I had paid beyond the credit.  So, not out anything anymore but a very disappointing experience.  

So again - Troll and Toad, great site, check them out for any Heroclix needs you may have, plus they sell a variety of other gaming items.  Collectible figures, cards, RPGs, board games and more.  I fully expect that you'll have a great experience.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hyborian Age - Session One

I've started a Pathfinder campaign set in Conan's Hyboria, but a hundred years or so after King Conan disappeared.  For the deadly, generally low magic Hyboria I would generally prefer to use a system like HERO or GURPS, but I decided to use Pathfinder for ease of entry for the players, who have all played Pathfinder or D&D 3.x.  Magic items will be rarer and more expensive to create, and shipwrecks, etc. will be common so characters won't get a chance to get too attached to piles of gear.

We had our first session, and here's the recap:

Hyborian Age – Session 1 – “Cat’s out of the Bag”
(Larry) – Jubel, warrior from Cimmeria
(Mark) Fiala Suslaya – Cimmerian witch (and her owl, Odus too!)
(Cat) Nedra – Hyrkanian archer/sorceress
(John) – Ty Nightseeker – Hyrkanian bandit-hunter
(Joel) Trace Erbite – Kothic warrior/wizard
(Patrick) Toma Erbite – Kothic wizard/assassin (and his weasel Belal too!)
(James) – Malakul Xhoon, Nemedian holy man of Mitra, who somehow fell in with this band of murderous thugs!

Having all been part of the mercenary army raised by the Shemitish city-state of Sabatea in its conflict with Shushan, the characters fell in with each other during the rout of said army.  Helping to defend the city gates against the initial assault by the enemy, they come to the attention of King Zagat and enter his service directly, riding out the siege and depravation in the city in relative comfort.   

One night they are summoned and sent on a special mission – to retrieve LORD WIGGLES, the queen’s (hateful) cat that has escaped from the palace and is loose in the city, where some horrible fate may befall it.  While this fate would doubtless be just, it would be distressing for the queen, and therefore for the king.  Out into the night our heroes go!  Talking their way past a band of hungry thugs, the group befriends an old beggar who helps point them in the right direction of the rogue feline.  

They spot the cat, right as it is captured and taken into a walled compound, that of the nobleman Lord Aras.  While some knock on the front gate seeking entry, the other half of the group sneak over one of the compound walls.  After an initial rude reply to their requests, the group out front is greeted face to face and told to leave.  Instead, they attack and force their way in, with Fiala turning Jubel into a death-dealing giant, cleaving men apart with every blow.  The others take their own toll as well, while Ty Nightseeker fights his way clear and enters the house itself.  While the rest butcher the house guards out front, Ty finds a sack with a cat in it in the kitchen, and meets his fellows with his prize as they hack their way in the front door.  

They are about to depart, when Jubel insists they inspect the cat first – and it indeed turns out to be some common alleycat, not Lord Wiggles!  Returning to the kitchen, a more thorough search turns up the sack that indeed contains the object of their quest.  Returning to the palace, they are given thanks and a choice of rewards.

They can either take a monetary reward and continue in the king’s service, or be shown a way out of the city, past the encircling army.  They choose to leave rather than risk starvation or worse, and the next morning are led down to the dungeons, then to a secret tunnel out of town.  They are told where to find a spear and a drug to apply to it (made from purple lotus from the ghost-haunted swamps of southern Stygia), to use to subdue the guardian at the other end of the tunnel – the MAN-RENDER!  A foul near-manlike beast with great strength and sharp fangs and claws.  It is chained up at the end, but the spear should allow the drug to be administered from safety.  Jubel takes up the spear and engages with the creature, venturing closer in his blood-lust and drawing close enough to be partially rent before withdrawing with the rest of the group as the drug takes hold of the beast.  Out of the cave, they gaze down the mountain at Sabatea and her foes below, and consider where the road of adventure will take them next…
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