Bean! amongst the Clouds!

Burton on Trent Town Hall, Beer and Pretzels 20-21/5/17

On the second day of the 28th Beer and Pretzels gaming convention, in Burton on Trent’s fantastic town hall, on 21st May 2017 CE, the TMG crew assembled for a session of Bean! This is the charming and eminently playable D2 role-playing game designed by our American associate, Mr Jeff Freels. The day’s adventure was conducted by our own resident BeanMaster, Dr Sid Orpin, and was adapted from a Dungeon Crawl Classics scenario. It was called: The Doorway Amongst The Clouds.

 

Each of the participant ‘beans’ (represented in Lego) woke from troubled dreams, compelled to meet a mysterious ‘blue lady’ on a distant cliff-top. There the stoney-faced lady and her novel collection of talking heads fed us dubious sweetmeats and promised us a rewritten destiny, if we would but rescue her caged ally from her prison in the sky.

 

Forward, beans!

Nothing daunted, we stepped at dawn onto an invisible bridge and headed into the heavens, maintaining a good speed to outpace the unseen edge behind us that dissolved unnervingly. Predators on leathery wings assailed us, but sinking one with an arrow showed the others for the ruthless scavengers they were, as they plunged to feast on their fallen comrade.

The long march high over the sea led us at last to a meandering but thankfully solid and visible road in the clouds; yet one of our number tumbled at the road’s edge and fell to his doom! Our progress down the road brought us to the attention of some unwelcome giant spiders, and then to the enormous doorway of a vast hall. Within, a titanic guardian slept, and over his monstrous belly hung a woven cage. But as we beheld this strange scene, from the rocks and rubble leapt a nightmarish many-legged pumpkin creature that assailed us with lunatic ferocity. This, not without exertion, we threw back into the shadows.

 

Begone, foul pumpkin thing!

A bold bean, a humble clerk in daily life, exerted his Spirit and managed to fly to the cage; but its deranged denizen kicked him away, and, in a shocking display of ingratitude toward the indulgently somnolent titan who broke his fall, our bean scribbled disrespectful graffiti on its helpfully rotund abdomen.

Wiser beans, after defeating a band of wizened starvelings in the grip of some desperate command, undertook more conventional explorations, and thereby discovered a rickety and dangerous stair that led us to our goal: a passage at whose mouth the cage hung. Following several attempts, a descent was effected, and thus was the long-imprisoned (and surprisingly bat-winged) princess released, to whirl and screech once more! – And to kill the pumpkin thing in short order.

Dizziness and wiggly air left us once more on the cliff-top, where the mysterious lady, with her latest heads, thanked us for our aid, and then, with powerful magicks, spun the wheel of destiny and rewrote history for each of us!

 

Beansters at play

Bean! once again proved to be a system that allowed us to get stuck into our strange adventure with laughably little fuss, and Dr Sid’s dictatorship was, happily, as benign as ever.

BEAN! There Done That! part 2

Part II : Manufactured Dice
Having tried my best to make my own two-sided dice for Bean! I happened across some 8-sided dice used in the game ‘Ubiquity’, which are basically D2s. Here they are :-

8-sided D2 from ‘Ubiquity’

Actually, it doesn’t matter what sort of dice or method you use to create your ‘beans’, it’s simply all about telling a story, role-playing with gusto and having lots of fun! That’s what the one and only D2 role-playing game is all about, FUN!

A ‘Casserole’ of Bean! Dice

BEAN! There Done That! part 1

BEAN! is that fabulous D2 role-playing game brought forth from the fertile and twisted imagination of our good friend Jeff Freels. Inspired by the thought that an avid gamer could  toss a few beans while at work instead of dice to keep the boss from noticing what they were up to, there is the challenge of finding the two-sided dice required. Using dried kidney beans with “0” and “1” written on opposite sides certainly fulfils the criteria but, in practice, they don’t roll terribly well. For Bean! adventures I have run at Beer & Pretzels, therefore, we have used ordinary D6s and adopted the “low – high” approach where 1,2,3 represent and 4,5,6 1.

I have, therefore, been on the lookout for alternatives and here is what I’ve come up with :-

I: Blank Dice
As luck would have it, you can buy blank six-sided dice in a variety of colours and then using a permanent marker put whatever marks on them that you like.

Blank D6 with ‘1’ and ‘0’ stencil markings

Alternative stencil of ‘1’ and ‘0’ on blank D6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, you don’t have to put boring old numbers on the blank canvas that is the D6 face. When producing your own homemade ‘beans’ anything you like could represent the ‘1’ and the ‘0’ needed for the game as long as you can draw something appealing.

Beanfolk face as “1”

The Greatest Bean of Them All

Anyone looking at the Tavernmaster Games website is likely to be aware that our great mate Jeff Freels has been waiting for a kidney transplant. What you may not know is that he has now had the surgery (he got a new pancreas as well!) and after a few scary moments, he is now out of hospital and starting out on the long road to full recovery. Jeff is a man of many parts: artist, cartoonist, writer, gamer, heck he even plays a pretty mean ukulele!

As well as providing cover and interior artwork for many a TMG project, his greatest contribution to gaming must surely be Bean! the D2 Role-Playing Game and its various supplements (World of Bean and Beans in Space plus various BM and solo adventures). I certainly enjoy the action and fun-packed sessions I run using this superb system and now that my friend is out of the woods, medically so to speak, I would just like to take this moment to say,

“Good luck and get well soon Jeff Freels, surely the greatest Bean! of them all”.

Mini-Diorama of a Bean! Space Marine – figure crafted and painted by Simon Lee Tranter