« July 2002 |
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04:32 PM: Greg Kessler says...
I Just Lost $120,000 Just
I Just Lost $120,000
Just like the other 11,000 people who entered the Wizards of the Coast design a world contest, I was not notified this week that my entry was one of the eleven picked to go on to the second round. WotC was only going to pick ten entries to advance to the second stage, but the overwhelming response prompted them to pick one extra. For those of us that did not win, this will be our only notification that we are losers. Guess I gotta keep my job now!
04:23 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Blackmoor Rises from the Depths
Before there was Greyhawk or Dungeons & Dragons there was Dave Arneson and his Blackmoor Campaign. While some people will claim that D&D was conceived and created by just one person (someone with the initials GG), the impact of Dave Arneson can never be discounted and the significance of Blackmoor cannot be overlooked. Blackmoor was a campaign Arneson ran in the early 70's and was included in the original D&D white box set from TSR. Now Dave's master creation is coming to D20. Dave's Zeitgeist Games is going to publish the converted sourcebook, and although no date has been set for the first book to be published, you can bet it is going to be a great day for the RPG world. If you cannot wait that long, you can download a PDF of the original book from Dave's expansive site.
03:53 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Atlas Games is Just a
Atlas Games is Just a Big Tease
Atlas Games has solved the dilemma of giving a sneak peek of one of their upcoming books without ruining the surprise. Blood and Sand: An Ars Magica Sourcebook of the Near East is hitting the stores in September , and details the mysteries of the near east. Detailing the culture and minutiae of Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and the rest of Asia Minor, this book looks like a groundbreaking effort on the part of Atlas Games. Well, if you are interested in the book, you can take a look at some related content that will not be found in the book. Atlas Games has posted a PDF preview that deals with Arabic culture, the history of Islam, and the ways to integrate Islam into your existing game. The information posted on the web will not be part of the finished book, so check it out now.
03:31 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Weapons and Castles of the
Weapons and Castles of the Orient15 different, real world castles, each illustrated and with a basic floor plan.
Palladium Books wants us all to know that the new sourcebook Weapons and Castles of the Orient is now shipping to stores and your home. This new book is for use with any game system. The book includes all kinds of cool stuff.
The weapons & armor of Japan, China and the rest of the Orient.
Spears, swords, bow and arrow, and other weapons unique to the Orient.
A look at the Samurai, his weapons and armor.
This looks like a cool book and brings back images of the classic Bushido from Fantasy Games Unlimited.
12:42 AM: Craig Robertson says...
The Cold War's Back and You're Gonna Get in Trouble...
Far Future Enterprises has this item listed on their website with a release date of March 2002. I received the following in reply to my questions:
FFE Announces Classic Reprints of Twilight: 2000 Role-Playing Game
Far Future Enterprises announced that it has acquired the Twilight: 2000 role-playing game and will reprint every word of the original game and modules in compendium volumes. Twilight: 2000 has been described as "the ultimate military role-playing game." Set in various parts of the world after a massive nuclear world war, the game pits individual military characters against local forces, brigands, animals, and the forces of nature as the war rages around them. An award-winning game, the core system and its adventure modules have won major industry recognition. Twilight: 2000 was originally published by Game Designers' Workshop.
"This reprint series will provide all of the Twilight: 2000 material in a series of uniform books for collectors. Many of the original modules are collector's items increasingly hard to find," publisher Marc Miller commented. "But there's more: Twilight: 2000 is eminently playable and enjoys a large following. Quite a few players want new copies for playing purposes. Ultimately, Twilight: 2000 players or collectors will have the entire set in a series of uniform volumes."
The first volume of the reprint series will include the components and text of the original Twilight: 2000 first edition, plus four adventure Twilight: 2000 modules, all in a standard sized 8.5 x 11 bound book. It is scheduled for release in December, 2002. Retail price will be $32.
Far Future Enterprises publishes science-fiction role-playing products (including the award-winning Traveller, Twilight: 2000, and 2300 AD) and licenses designs to other publishers (including Traveller for GURPS and for D20, and Imperium)."I don't know about you folks, but this sucker's going on my Christmas List. 2300AD is also on their release schedule for October of this year. However, that project may also be subject to delay. After all, FFE is a game company...
11:21 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Mystic Eye Overruns Planet. Head for the Shelters
As Wild Spellcraft and The Witch of Loch-Durnan wind their way to stores this week, Mystic Eye Games has announced the details of their upcoming D20 releases. Sit back, there's a bit to take in.
In October, MEG will send in Raw Recruits, a 160 page Dragonstar campaign adventure aimed at taking characters from first to sixth level. The quests contained in the supplement will contain "strange planets, haunted factories, overrun freighters, experimental labs, pirate attacks" and more, all for a mere $24.99. Also in the pumpkin month, we'll see Interludes: Sands of Pain, a 64 page sourcebook that "brings the characters from Bluffside south to the Dragon Sands" in an Arabic style. $12.99 will get you the fourth level adventure, which will be adjustable to accommodate other levels, and MEG will provide web enhancements in a password protected area of its website. New creatures, items, Prestige Classes, spells and such will be included, naturally. I had a peek at Sands at GenCon, as well as the product it leads into, Dry Lands: Empires of the Dragon Sands, and I'm looking forward to both.
In November, Mystic Eye will present Arcane Mysteries: Necromancer's Legacy. This 96 pager sounds creepy from the word go. In it's pages, you can "meet the Lotahm, a prestige class of those whose link with their bird companions grants them eerie powers; revel in the power granted by the Canopic Jar; or lust after the alabaster maiden as her gaze strikes you dead." New creatures, items, spells... sounds like this supplement will be all things dead and undead, so break out your $16.99 and your priest. As if that weren't enough, Foul Locales: Beyond the Walls will add 128 pages of detailed locations to drop into any quest. This time, MEG will take it outside, with monster lairs, mountain fortresses, and the like. A mere $19.99 will get you a copy.
On top of all that, there's a couple of fan sites that have cropped up in support of Giant Monster Rampage, MEG's game of... um, giant monsters, rampaging. Get some extra monsters at this site, or the stats for a particular giant lizard here.
10:31 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Arkham? I don't even know 'um
Skotos Tech has announced an agreement that will bring Lovecraftian horror to online roleplaying. Under license from Chaosium, a design team has begun work on a new game entitled Lovecraft Country: Arkham by Night. Based in and around good old Miskatonic U. and the town of Arkham circa 1930, the brooding horror game will add special mechanics for dreaming and insanity to Skotos' prose roleplaying style. Lovecraft Country is targeted for an early 2003 release. Any game that fools with a player's perception of the game to simulate state of mind is worth a look, I think.
SnarfQuest D20: 'Cuz you know you want it
On November 1st, be on the lookout for the return of Larry Elmore's classic comic strip from the pages of Dragon Magazine, the one and only SnarfQuest. Only this time, Snarf, Telerie and the gang will have stats. Yep, the SnarfQuest D20 Worldbook is soon to show up at stores near you, allowing for that telepathic death leech your game was lacking to finally arrive. Designers Jamie Chambers and Tony Lee have insured the Worldbook will come standard with all the usual goodies a D20 gamer looks for: new feats, skills, and Prestige Classes. I'd tell you more about the 64 page book, but the PDF preview on the site doesn't seem to be working. Best left to the imagination, perhaps.
07:24 PM: Greg Kessler says...
New HeroClix at Wizkids Another
New HeroClix at Wizkids
Another Thursday, and another DC icon unveiled at WizKids. This week our guest is the Riddler. Less Jim Carrey and more Frank Gorshin, this nice little piece of Kanemania is just the latest DC villain to be revealed for the upcoming DC HeroClix: Hypertime game. So far they have revealed eight figures, four good guys and four bad guys. Gotta keep the odds even (unless you count Aquaman).
12:21 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Don't Mess Around With Those Scrabble Players
03:44 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Learn to Read Hobo Signs
Learn to Read Hobo Signs with Blindside Press
Blindside Press (a small game company from parts unknown, since it doesn't say on their web page) has released a novel new game called Knights of the Road, Knights of the Rail. Set in depression era USA, players get to be Hobos riding the rails and looking for adventure. You can download a free trial version in PDF from the Blindside Press site.
03:23 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Gary Gygax IS The Hermit
Gary Gygax IS The Hermit
Troll Lord Games has announced that the new Gary Gygax book The Hermit, a new adventure for the D20 and Lejendary Adventure game systems, is now available. The Hermit is a 64 page book with cover art by Dragonlance cover artist Daniel Horne. Those interested can find the book through Troll Lord, or through Impressions Marketing & Advertising. Also now available are the adventures Dark Druids by Rob Kuntz, and St. Anton's Fire.
07:13 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Green Ronin Wants to Teach
Green Ronin Wants to Teach you to Kill
Green Ronin has posted a nice PDF preview of their new supplement The Assassin's Handbook. While the book should hit stores this week, your friends at Green Ronin thought you deserved and early preview. You will get allot for your money if you decide to pick this up. The Assassin's Handbook includes Master Class features like the new core class, feats, and equipment. The PDF preview gives you a glimpse of the Fida'i, the most dedicated and dangerous members of the Sirat (I guess they are some sort of assassins).
08:34 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Two Interviews: Monte and Jim
Speaking of D20 companies, we've got two new interviews for you. First is Monte Cook, of Malhavoc Press and D20 in general, who tells us what he'd tell WotC to release next. Our second new interview is with Bastion Press and another former WotC employee, Jim Butler. See what these two companies have to say about the state of the hobby and their plans for world domination.
06:31 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Requiem for a God is
Requiem for a God is On Sale Now!
After a few months of teasers, Malhavoc Press has finally released the PDF version of Requiem for a God. While the print version is still slated for release in November, those of us obsessed with our laptops can get a nice electronic version of Monte Cook's newest tome. Requiem for a God is the first in Malhavoc's Event Book series. If you want to know more about Monte's new book concept you can check out his extensive home page. You can also reacquaint yourself with all the Requiem for a God teasers.
01:31 PM: Greg Kessler says...
New Western Dust Devils for
New Western Dust Devils for Sale Now
Dust Devils is a role-playing game set in the dust-ridden Old West. Dust Devils is a 36 page book containing all you need to be a cow poke. You can purchase it on the Chimera Creative website.
01:15 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Be Buffy's Master in Early
Be Buffy's Master in Early October!
Yes that is what I mean. The new Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG Directors Screen is coming in Early October. What did you think I meant? Eden Studios has posted a nice picture of the new screen cover art. Like the core rule book, this is as slick as games get.
01:06 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Metal Gods Cover Preview The
Metal Gods Cover Preview
The new supplement for the D20 post-apocalyptic RPG Darwin's World has been revealed to all. Metal Gods is 50 page supplement dedicated to robots, androids, and all manner of metal beings. This swell looking book includes all the information you need to incorporate these metal pals into your twisted earth campaign. It comes with a nice timeline of robot evolution (where does Steve Guttenberg fit into this game) and the reasons for current (game time) robot dominance. Additionally, you will get lost of crunchy bits about creating and running metal characters. So pick up the book, if for no other reason it looks like a Celtic Frost CD.
12:51 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
MechWarrior Dark Age Playtest Report
I now own one starter and two boosters of MechWarrior, and have a nice long 300-point game under my belt. With these new developments, I can say with definite confidence that MechWarrior has many more robots than Mage Knight does. Like, at least ten.
05:50 PM: Greg Kessler says...
New Tunnels and Trolls E-Zine
New Tunnels and Trolls E-Zine on the Way
Ken St. Andre (mastermind behind Tunnels and Trolls, Monsters, Monsters!, and the original Stormbringer) announced on his site that he foresees the first issue of a special e-zine for T & T fans to be out soon. Ken is expecting it to hit the web around September 1. Ken is raising a private troll army to help push the 6th edition of Tunnels and Trolls along, which is still a work in progress. If you want to check out his recruiting site or read his Tunnels and Trolls novel (or find anything having to do with Tunnels and Trolls) check out Ken's huge site, drop him a line and say hi.
11:05 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
When Miniatures Attack
Joe managed to visit the Games Workshop Chicago Game Day a few weeks back, and he's sent us his impressions of the event. Have a look at miniatures run amuck.
05:15 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Unbidden Game Site Comes Online
Unbidden has gone live. In anticipation of the release of the new game the company has launched a brief web site with information about the game. The game is described as: Unbidden is a role-playing game of horror predicated on street legend and myth (called urban lore in the book). It is perpetuated by a displaced people seeking a sense of mission. Not much on the site yet, but keep your eyes open.
Monte Cook Shows You His
Monte Cook has updated his site with previews of Requiem for a God. This 64 page book (to be on sale next week in PDF) is the first in Malhavoc Press's Event Book series. These new books will offer up epic events to fit into your campaign and ideas on how to incorporate them naturally. Sounds neat, be interesting see if it comes off.
Auran d20 Posts Sanctuary Trailer
Sanctuary, the forthcoming adventure from Auran D20 is previewed online with one of those slick new animated trailers they make now a days (all I ever got was a black and white ad in Pegasus #12). Designed for 4-6 characters of 4th level or so, Sanctuary takes place in a nice fantasy back water, always a nice place for an adventure to begin. When released, Sanctuary will be released with a bonus CD full of music and all manner of cool stuff.
08:03 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Help Me Aquaman! I Don't
Help Me Aquaman! I Don't Have Any Real Powers!
WizKids Games is following through on their promise to preview an new DC character each week until the release of the new DC HeroClix: Hypertime. This week's offering, Aquaman, lord of the sturgeon captain of the prawn and gar. Aquaman is nicely featured in a 3D format to reveal all his glory. DC HeroClix: Hypertime will be available in stores September 18th.
07:57 AM: Greg Kessler says...
New Star Wars Adventure from
New Star Wars Adventure from Wizards. And it's Free!
Wizards of the Coast has posted a new free adventure to be used with their (also new) Power of the Jedi Source Book (funny how that works out). Swim Meet has nothing to do with Personal Best, it is mini-adventure for four 12th-level characters in the Rise of the Rebellion time period. You'll have to find out for yourself what the title means.
02:20 PM: Craig Robertson says...
Mechwarrior: Dark Age is Unleashed on Unwitting Populace
In conjunction with yesterday's release, the folks at Wizkids Games have updated their Mechwarrior site to include a complete online guide to all mechs, vehicles and infantry in the initial line. They are also preparing a series of storyline events. Just what I need, a new collectible game. And I haven't even finished my TI: Armada collection yet.
01:39 PM: Craig Robertson says...
The Lighter Side of Colonial Wargaming
Who says that historical wargamers can't have a sense of humor? Check out Major General Tremorden Reddering's Colonial-era Wargames Page. In addition to some of the best battle reports I have ever seen (Lassenwelt Station is a classic), the site is filled with modeling guides for everything from land ironclads to gunboats and dhows. If you've ever thought about defending the Empire's interests in the depths of Darkest Africa, or expelling the White Devil from your tribe's ancient homeland, this is the place to start.
07:37 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Thousand Year Site Redesign Complete at LarryElmore.com
For what seems like an eternity the Larry Elmore site has been under reconstruction. Well the wait is over. The new site was relaunched this week with an all new look and all new store. For those not in the know, Larry Elmore is one of the great's of Role Playing artists. Along with people like Elizabeth Danforth and Erol Otus, Larry set the standard for art at TSR in the 1980's. Check out his site and buy some of his ever cool Snarf Quest chachkas and calendars.
07:02 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Two Towers Teaser from Games Workshop
This winter we get to see how much Peter Jackson is going to change to make The Two Towers an economic success for Hollywood (reportedly the naked Ents and the motorcycle chases at Helm's Deep are quite eye catching). This November, you can alter the course of Tolkien's masterpiece in your spare time by playing the second installment of games from Games Workshop. Today the nice folks at GW posted some really nice teaser pictures of the miniatures and box art for The Two Towers on their site.
More Savage Worlds Previews at Pinnacle
Pinnacle Entertainment has posted a PDF of important characters for their Savage Worlds adventure Hostile Climes: The Depths of Despair, a cryptic city at the bottom of a whirlpool! This is just the first in a line of free conversions for the Savage Worlds game. If Pinnacle keeps this up, people will be able to download enough Savage Worlds material to avoid buying the game. That's my kind of game company.
01:22 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Steve Jackson Games Does Something Else Too
And he isn't talking about it, perhaps understandably. No, it's nothing bad. It's Frag PvP, another variant of the FPS board game, this time themed around the popular video-gaming comic strip by Scott Kurtz published in paper form by John K's Dork Storm Press. It should be out by Christmas according to Kurtz, but nothing's on the Frag website yet.
06:34 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Steve Jackson Really Does Shock
Steve Jackson Really Does Shock the World
Steve Jackson Games has announced that they have formed a partnership with Worlds Apart Productions (Denver based makers of The Eternal City a Roman-themed RPG ) to develop an online GURPS universe. The plan, at the moment is for Worlds apart to develop a whole host of worlds from the GURPS line and give players much to choose from. In a statement from gaming icon Steve Jackson "We've been wanting to take GURPS online for a long time, until now, we just hadn't found the right partner. Worlds Apart understands the importance of taking care of the player community, and we're excited about what we're going to be able to do together." SJGames has set up a new web portal for updates on the project. Multi-player Bunnies and Burroughs here I come.
[I think he means Bunnies and Burrows, although playing a rabbit crossed with a typewriter that secretes narcotics certainly sounds like fun. -M]
06:38 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Necromancer Press has announced a new partnership with Reaper Miniatures and Dwarven Forge. From now on Necromancer products will have information explaining which miniatures and dungeon tiles a appropriate for use with individual adventurers. Additionally, Necromancer has posted a preview of the cover of the upcoming release The Vault of Larin Karr. Busy day for the Necromancer.
06:28 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Cannon Fire is now Online
AEG has corrected a problem for people who purchased their SwashbucklingAdventures Handbook. When the book was originally published AEG omitted the rules for cannon fire. Now you can go to the AEG web site and check them out for yourself.
03:28 PM: Demian Katz says...
26-cent Armies Ready for Battle
It's free game of the month time again at Invisible City Productions. This month's creation is MetalTalon, a space combat wargame in which the battling ships are represented by stacks of coins built from a 26-cent reserve. The rules are short and simple, but the inclusion of multiple races and lots of different ship combinations should make for lasting fun. As always, you can't beat the price (or absence thereof).
Lost Nose Unveiled
Fans of gamebooks may be interested to know that, although the form didn't take off until the late seventies and early eighties, science fiction parodist John Sladek was experimenting with it in the late sixties. His early work with interactive stories is included in Maps: The Uncollected John Sladek, a new release from British publisher Big Engine. Although game content makes up a very small percentage of the book, it is a highly amusing small percentage. To get a taste of it, you can read one of the stories, The Lost Nose, online in its entirety.
04:40 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Steve Jackson Games to Stun the World!
Well that maybe an exaggeration, but Steve Jackson has announced on his site that they will be making a huge announcement Tuesday night. The announcement will be made first on their three on-line magazines (Pyramid, Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, and their new D20 zine) but then everyone can check it out here. I am pinning my hopes on a new Be a Member of the Bush Family RPG (I can't tell you how long I have waited to play George W's brother Neil).
Free Adventure Download from Tyranny Games
Tyranny Games has posted a new FREE adventure for their game The End. The adventure is called Good Intentions and available in PDF. In addition to the free adventure, you can get some nice character sheets, combat system charts, and skills charts on their download page. The End is set in Biblical Judgement Day in the year 2006 (jeeze is it that close).
Henry Hill Has a Hit out on You
Citizen Games has picked up and begun work on what may be the coolest and questionably moral gaming license in recent memory. This December, a game called Henry Hill's MAFIA RPG will hit stores. The book will be based on the experiences of renowned mobster and federal squealer Henry Hill (subject of the Scorsese movie Goodfellas) You'll get to be a low level street thug or Paul Sorvino (big boss) and run any of the socially acceptable street rackets that have made the mob so popular these days. Since there is still a huge mob contract out on Hill's life, I doubt if you could get this signed at your local con.
01:31 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
WizKids To Fight Online Discounters
This is interesting. WK is trying to advocate for an end to the kind of loss-leading online discounts that retail store owners hate so much, for the simple reason that "[i]t leaves money on the table." WotC has never mounted a campaign like this, to my knowledge, even though this kind of thing certainly goes on with booster boxes. Why is WizKids suddenly interested in doing retailers a favor, after lowering their discount back in the spring? And why make a move that could be perceived as hurting the customers' bottom line, when the suggested retail prices for boosters (across all their games) are going up?
09:23 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Traveller T20 Updates
The RPG Realms official site for the new D20 Traveller has posted some more goodies in anticipation of the game's release.Check out the new Scout Class. The scout service is a great place for a young man to gain some experience and prepare himself for a life in the shipping lanes.
The new custom designed T20 character sheet has been posted in two places. You can check it out on the T20 page or the home page of its designer. Slide on over to the Mad-Irishman's home page and check out the best character sheets on the we. You will find custom designed sheets for everything from original Call of Cthulhu and Rolemaster to TSR's Top Secret and Gamma World. These are the best sheets I have seen on the net. Visit today.
10:23 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Black Orc Games Interview
The folks at Black Orc Games made a great first impression on many GenCon attendees last weekend, including Joe Kushner. He's tracked the orcs back to their lair for an interview.
10:01 AM: Greg Kessler says...
New Online Store and Magic Cards from Games Workshop
Games Workshop has invited everyone to take a look at their new new online store for the US. The new store front is as slick and professional looking as anything on the web. GW has also posted some new magic cards in PDF. These are little gifts from the WarHammer people, so you can print them out and not have to keep referring to the rule books all the time. The new cards include Orcs and Goblins and detail random spells and help keep track of used and remaining spells.
Warriors of the Realms Needs You
A small press called Warriors of the Realms Press put out an all call for playtesters. In a message posted to alt.binaries.e-books.rpg the editors say they need 200 G.M.s to playtest their new Warriors of the Realms RPG. If you are interested drop them an email at: APerdue@kc.rr.com. They used to have a web page but it seems to be down at the moment.
08:16 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Get Your Monster on at Wizards.com
The nice folks at Wizards of the Coast have posted a huge new preview of monster art on their site. The Gallery is filled with scads of new Monster Manual II art. There has to be over 100 drawings of all manner of beast. Included is a new drawing of Son of Kyuss (I wonder if Wizards will come out with a new D20 Queen of the Stone Age just to be fair). I am still waiting for a revised Ygorl, the wait goes on.
02:34 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Unlocking New Map Tools With Skeletonkey
Skeletonkey Games seemed to have fallen off my radar for a few months, but was out at GenCon pushing new items. Primary among these is Campaign Construction Paper, which is exactly what it sounds like: 20 sheets of paper made to look like gaming terrain, with movement squares built into the design. Ever wanted to cut out a random shape to have it represent the map? That's exactly what Skeletonkey's counting on. The first set, Caverns, will be out in early January 2003, and retail for $6.50.
Skeletonkey had some competition in the magnetic dungeon tile market this year, as Carnivorous Plant Games made its debut a mere two aisles away. CPG claimed to be "a little more durable," while Skeletonkey was stating, "You can write on ours." Which would I choose? Uh-uh, I'm not getting into this one. "My name's Paul, and this is between y'all."
02:23 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Jeseret Marches to the Beat of Multiple Drummers
Just who is Jeseret Games? Well, it's a british company that was in the back right corner of the GenCon exhibit hall showing off Magical Arena. The game pits CCG players against wargamers in both skirmish miniatures and card game formats, simultaneously. Of course, the cards and minis can play separately, but why not take advantage of the opportunity to prove gaming superiority across game types? Yes, there are booster packs, and many cards have a corresponding miniature to use (if not, players can use the small plastic stands to hold the cards upright). Magical Arena isn't available in the States just yet, but with an idea like this, it shouldn't be long.
12:58 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Of Anti-Feats and Dwarves
Kenzer & Company had one of the nice big booths at the front of the GenCon exhibit hall. There was a long, winding table that displayed the various product lines from Fairy Meat to Hackmaster, and the traditional doodle wall, of course. The Villain Design Handbook for d20 was selling well, and when I learned of the "anti-feats" concept introduced therein (think flaws from GURPS, or hindrances from Deadlands), I was mildly tempted to pick one up. Of course, I've been wondering why someone didn't do this sooner, so it would've been more an informational purchase than a "Dear god, I've got to have it!!" But I was pulled away by the sight of a boardgame being shown off near the doodle wall called Dwarven Dig. Coming in Spring '03, the game touted itself as the "hard hitting, cave-smashing, grit-digging game of dwarves," and several gamers were deeply engrossed in the experience. I'll have to watch for that one, anti-feats or no.
12:14 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Game Of Thrones CCG Playtest Report
...but I'm not too preoccupied to go down to the store and play a test game between House Lassiter and House Baratheon.
11:53 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
I'm A Little Preoccupied
Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander. Moonbase Commander.
06:29 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation Playtest Report
I got to play this two-player Knizia game (not to be confused with the Sauron expansion to the multiplayer LOTR game) once right after Origins, before it really hit stores, and then extensively last week. It is, right now, my favorite two-player strategy board game. It's like Stratego for smart people.
03:23 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Spell Decks, Other Printings From Paradigm
Let's face it: TSR's old spell decks were a good idea gone horribly wrong. Paradigm Concepts has a new attempt at easy reference spell cards with three sets of Spell Decks : Mysteries of the Arcane (arcane spells), Blessings of the Divine (divine spells), and Songs of the Wild (spells for rangers, druids and bards). Each set contains 360 spell cards covering the range of core D&D3e books, plus a sprinkling of selections from Green Ronin, Twin Crowns and Ambient Press. Mastery of the Mind, a set of cards for psionic powers, is ready to go to print, but until the WotC corrects the admitted oversight in the SRD, psionic power descriptions are off limits. Paradigm expects to go to press shortly, though. Additionally, the company's website will soon have a PDF available of the metamagic feat cards, which can be printed and clipped to the appropriate spells.
Paradigm's latest releases were on display at GenCon: Carnival of Swords, a supplement for the Living Arcanis RPGA campaign, Forged In Magic, which fully details 417 new mystic items, and Lords of the Peaks: The Essential Guide to Giants, which combines efforts with Green Ronin Publishing's Hammer & Helm dwarves supplement. While I didn't hear the outcome of the Living Arcanis Assault Upon the Gate of Tears tournament, Paradigm president Henry Lopez told me that several tables were running the event, so it's a good thing Paradigm brought additional RPGA judges.
Coming up for Paradigm are two Races of Legend supplements, Eldest Sons and Unveiled Masters. Both will take advantage of the OGL Interlink with Green Ronin to double the pleasure, double the fun. Paradigm's Eldest Sons: The Essential Guide to Elves will pair up with GR's Wrath & Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs, while Unveiled Masters: The Essential Guide to Mind Flayers will intertwine with GR's Plot & Poison: A Guidebook to Drow.
03:13 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Citizen Games Harasses OgreCave Reporter
Michael and Rob of Citizen Games tried to influence my posts while at GenCon (they got online from the computer next to me at the convention center). I resisted their offers of cash, and had already received Sidewinder and the new Masterscreen: Customizable GM Screen before the subject of bribery even came up. So the post they asked for, stating simply "Citizen Games Rox!" in two inch high letters, will not come to pass. However, I'll tell you that several companies are working on PDF GM screens to print and use with Masterscreen, including Bastion Press, Gold Rush Games, Grey Ghost Press, Living Room Games, Otherworld Creations, Paradigm Concepts, Tyranny Games, and Wingnut Games.
Dungeoneer should be out around November, despite the official page still saying March '02. Way of the Witch is due in a couple of weeks, and the Citizen Games booth was proudly displaying cover art for Path of the Magi, scheduled for a December release. I also had a look at an upcoming project the company has in the works, but I ain't tellin' you until I get the go-ahead.
06:34 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Hellboy Hardback Flies Out The Door
Steve Jackson Games has announced that their special hard bound edition of the Hellboy rule book has sold out. SJGames printed 1000 copies to only fill pre orders and a few to sell at GenCon and those are, apparently all gone. Advice from Steve himself is to check out their Warehouse 23 mail-order site in a day or so to see if any came back from GenCon unsold (I guess there are some boxes to unpack yet).
05:46 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Blaster Law Ships This Week
Blaster Law, the new Spacemaster supplement from Iron Crown Enterprises is finally going to ship on August 14th. Blaster Law is the complete guide to energy weapons and their use in combat for the Spacemaster system. This is a great accomplishment for a company that went under and was sold at auction less than a year ago. Additionally, the first new Rolemaster product in five years, Fire & ICE: The Elemental Companion is also in stores now.
02:07 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
WizKids Defends Convention Sales Of Unreleased Products
Here's ExecVP Martin Stever of WizKids, telling the world of gaming retailers why it's actually okay that they sold DC HeroClix at the San Diego Comic Con and at Gen Con (along with MechWarrior: Dark Age packs, in the latter case, and Allan, you had better have gotten your hands on some).
11:33 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Big Eyes, Brawl Louts
(I'm not sorry.) Here's an interesting project: fella on the Cheapasses mail list has not just converted a bunch of characters from the real-time card game BRAWL over to Big Eyes Small Mouth characters, but he's working on modifying the BESM rules until they play like BRAWL. More roleplaying, less time! Faster, pussycat! Kill, kill!
08:38 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Schedule Changes at Steve Jackson Games
SJGames has announced on their web site that there have been some minor changes in their release schedule.
- All Car Wars material scheduled for release (except those already at the printer) will be pushed back so Mr. Jackson can concentrate on finishing up the new Vehicle Design System.
- No new OGRE releases are in the offing until the OGRE Miniature rules can be revised.
- SJGames has pushed back (with no new release date) their new game Tabloids.
02:03 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Eden Finds Paradise At GenCon
The premiere of Eden Studios' Buffy: The Vampire-Slayer RPG is going great guns: of the 14,000 print run, half were sold on preorder, outdoing Decipher's Lord of the Rings RPG. The stock here at GenCon may not last through Sunday, so if you're here or plan to be, get yours fast. Next up for Eden is the September releases of the Director's Screen for Buffy, and Unseen Hand, the Black Book sourcebook for Conspiracy X. Then October will be even busier, bringing us the Terra Primate RPG, Pulp Zombies for AFMBE and a new zombie story anthology, the Book of More Flesh.
01:48 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
New Releases Slowly Lurching Forth at Pagan
I gave Pagan Publishing a hard time about the continually-upcoming The Hills Rise Wild supplement, The Reanimated. According to Pagan, the set is ready, entirely done, but stock market changes have... delayed funding. The current estimate is to release the set by Christmas, unless someone with cash to spare wants to step up and chip in. Pagan is also plugging away at Delta Green D20, a sure sell, which is also targeting a Christmas season release. The shelves weren't bare, though, as The Resurrected III: Out of the Vault is freshly released for GenCon. This book "resurrects" ten Call of Cthulhu scenarios from the earliest issues of The Unspeakable Oath. If you don't quite remember the other volumes in the Resurrected series, that's probably because they came out in the mid '90s.
01:40 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Fast Forward Speeds Along
Fast Forward Entertainment has a variety of new products selling like hotcakes at the show. Orcfest is an introductory d20 adventure that helps guide new players into the vast realms of adventure ahead. The new issues of Campaign and Games Unplugged were lurking in the booth as well, and the Encyclopedia of Demons & Devils: Volume 2 arrived fresh from the printer on the second day of the con. Like its predecessor, Volume 2 is packed with nasty beasts and great illustrations, and is a big thick book capable of crushing small animals. Also, the dice game Inning-A-Minute: Baseball was making a fair showing, and looked like a potential winner with sports enthusiasts. The game requires players to select their dice to roll according to what play they'd like to attempt, match up the results and go with whatever comes up most. Football and Basketball versions will follow soon.
01:35 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Game of Powers at GenCon
Hogshead Publishing was proudly displaying both Nobilis, the world's first coffee table RPG, and The Game of Powers, live-action rules for the Nobilis game. James Wallis was proudly showing the company's wares, and provided general estimates on the amount of beer the crowd put back at the Diana Jones Awards ceremony a few nights night before. But I've sworn not to repeat the staggering amount, so mum's the word here.
08:17 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
ENnies Award Winners Announced
On a stage near the donut vendor and the miniatures gaming room (pointing out again how inadequate this convention center has become for GenCon's purposes), the first annual EN World d20 System Awards (or "ENnies") were doled out before a crowd of industry members and gamers. Not too surprisingly, WotC came up the dominant winner. Here's the award winners, in the order they were announced:Best Adventure: If Thoughts Could Kill (Malhavoc Press)
Best Rules Supplement: Manual of the Planes (WotC)
Best Setting: Oriental Adventures (WotC)
Best d20 Game: Call of Cthulhu (WotC)
Best Setting Supplement: Freeport: City of Adventure (Green Ronin Publishing
Best Aid or Accessory: Dungeon Magazine/Polyhedron (WotC)
Best Free Product or Web Enhancement: Portable Hole Full of Beer (Ambient)
Best Fan Cartography: Freeport: City of Adventure (Green Ronin Publishing
Best Fan Resource Site: Star Wars RPG Network
Best Fan Campaign Site: Conan d20
Best Official Website: Wizards.com
Best Monster Supplement: Creature Collection 2 ((Sword & Sorcery)
Best Graphic Design & Layout: Call of Cthulhu d20 (WotC)
Best Cover Art: Lord of the Iron Fortress (WotC)
Best Interior Art: Deities & Demigods (WotC)
Best Publisher: Wizards of the CoastRyan Dancey, who served as MC for much of the ceremony, was also given an award by Peter Adkison for his role in thinking up the whole d20 System in the first place.
07:15 AM: Greg Kessler says...
What Makes a Monster Tick?
Wizards of the Coast has posted a new interview with the designers of Monster Manual II. Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Ed Bonny, Steve Winter, and Skip Williams sit down with the hard hitting interviewers of Wizards.com. This super team discusses how they chose monsters and made them even better at killing off your 15th level mage you like so much.
05:11 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Indy HeroClix: "Fun As Well As Financially Feasible"!
Yeah, Jordan, we'll just be the judge of that latter part, OK? But I think he's actually talking about the impressive feat of licensing that WizKids pulled off to make this HeroClix expansion of characters from CrossGen Comics, Dark Horse, Top Cow and others, right down to some creators who aren't even affiliated with publishers. I thought it'd never happen, but here it is. Also, I can't find a press release on it but check out the Adventure Packs, Indoor and Outdoor flavors, supposedly due this month. Mmmm, plastic mailbox minis. (No, there's no date on the Indy HeroClix announcement.)
01:39 PM: Greg Kessler says...
New Jovian Source Book Back from the Printers
Dream Pod 9, makers of Heavy Gear and Jovian Chronicles, has announced that their new Jovian Chronicles book, Mars Planetbook, has arrived from the printers and we should be seeing it in stores soon. If you haven't checked out Jovian Chronicles yet, it's worth your time. Besides being a really cool science fiction game with Heinlein overtones, it has the only core rule book that suggests listening to Rush during game play. There ought to be an Origins award for that.
Monte Cook has all kinds of new stuff on his web site this weekThe Banewarrens is now being shipped to your local hangout. The Banewarrens is a new epic adventure taking characters from 6th to 10th level. Fight the Banes and defeat evil in this new PDF and print adventure.
Monte Cook has updated his web site a few of his latest endeavors.
Monte recently designed a few prestige classes for Dark Nebula and the Shadow Council Archives: Materia Magica. Dark Nebula has them for free download on their site.
01:13 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Diana Jones Award Announced
And the winner is... Sorcerer! Ron Edwards' freeware-gone-print RPG of deals with various devils was judged by a panel of 17 semi-secret industry leaders to be this year's most significant development-and-or-developer in hobby gaming. Also announced at last night's awards party, a bit late due to the recipient's absence at the Origins Awards, was an Origins Hall of Fame Award for Dragonlance co-creator Tracy Hickman. Congratulations to Mr. Hickman (there are people who still don't know he's a guy!) on this recognition of his enduring contribution to gaming.
06:22 AM: Greg Kessler says...
PDF Preview of Silver Age Sentinels
Guardians of Order have posted some new pdf previews of Silver Age Sentinels material. On their site you can download fast play rules, character sheets, sample characters and more. Go check out the newest freebies from the home of Big Eyes Small Mouth.
End of Summer Violence (for those of us that couldn't afford GenCon)
Visionary Games (makers of the pen and paper Archangel) have launched a new free online game, Octagon. The game focuses on freaks who can talk some trash. Slide on over and throw some adjectives around.
03:01 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Everything Delayed Until End Of August
On top of WizKids' postponement of the MechWarrior release, Wizards announced yesterday that the announcement of the selections for the next round of the Fantasy Setting Search has been delayed again, until the end of the month. It's the same drill - lots of submissions, want to give everyone a fair shot, et cetera. It would have been very cool to have these announced at Gen Con, but we'll live. Hopefully, Allan will find a Kinko's near the convention center and be able to report soon on lots of reasons not to go into cryosleep for the next three weeks.
03:53 AM: Demian Katz says...
Murder and Archaeology: The Perfect Mix
Rogue Publishing has just released a new downloadable FUDGE adventure. This time around, it's Dead Sea Murder, a Middle-Eastern mystery adventure for the "pulp archaeology" Terra Incognita setting. The $4 PDF file is 47 pages long, containing complete adventure details (including variants for different types of campaign) and the essentials of the FUDGE rules.
09:48 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Traveller News from Steve Jackson
Traveller News from Steve Jackson
Steve Jackson Games announced today that they have signed an agreement with Marc Miller (the creator of Traveller) to continue to publish Traveller for another three years. In addition, SJ Games is preparing to delve into a previously uncharted time period in the Traveller universe. In the summer of 2003 Steve Jackson will release GURPS Traveller: The Interstellar Wars, focusing on the period in which humans from Terra: reached the stars for the first time, only to find that they were already owned by someone else. Centuries of conflict followed, in which the outnumbered Terrans fought for their very survival against a vast but decadent alien empire. We are all looking forward to this.
Even More Traveller News
RPG Realms has announced that the opportunity for consumers to pre-order the new D20 version of Traveller (T20) at a discount has ended. Citing concerns from game shops that the discount was going to hurt sales, RPG Realms has pulled their offer. However, if you want a look at (and perhaps playest) the new Traveller T20, check out the free PDF download of Traveller T20 Lite Rule Book on the official T20 site.
04:51 AM: Demian Katz says...
Fighting Fantasy Going Strong
According to AdvancedFightingFantasy.com, sales of the re-released Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have been good enough to convince the publisher to pull forward some release dates. As a result, we'll be getting House of Hell in addition to City of Thieves and Crypt of the Sorcerer before the year is out. Of course, read "we" in the previous sentence as "everyone in the English-speaking world except for the United States" -- for now, Americans will still have to import their gamebooks via amazon.co.uk (or friends in Canada) if they want to relive the wonders of the early eighties.
11:48 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Monsternomicon At GenCon, Plus WarMachine Preview Figs
This is a d20 System alert: Privateer Press has announced that The Monsternomicon will be in attendance at GenCon. The 200+ page book will add significant details from the Iron Kingdoms, including more than 80 creatures, each with a minimum of two pages devoted to it. A few new races, prestige classes, and special rules round things out, including what Privateer calls "Quickplates: quick templates to boost your monsters when you just need to bump up the Challenge Rating a bit." Should be interesting.
Privateer will also be selling preview figures from the long-awaited WarMachine miniatures game, which isn't due to arrive in stores 'til November. Can't make it to the con, but need those minis? Privateer has you covered with a temporary e-commerce site to order your WarMachine through, but only during the GenCon timeframe.
Gaming Frontiers Vol. 2 Review Posted
Taking a thick magazine head-on, Joe brings us some notes on Gaming Frontiers #2 by United Playtest. With the magazine's third issue coming soon, this may give you some idea of what to expect.
03:45 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Pinnacle Finally Finds Lost Colony, Heads For Savage Worlds
So I was scanning for news, thinking how strange it is that there aren't more big Earth-shattering kabooms in press-release-land on the week of Gen Con, when I ran across a note from Pinnacle that casually notes that they're finally doing a Deadlands: Lost Colony core book. Everyone but me probably knew already, but if not, there you go. They also talk about demos of something new - a new roleplaying system, the release of which from a large company inherently shows some sack in the post-d20 era - called Savage Worlds. What has me excited about this is it allegedly isn't just Yet Another System - this one has design differences geared towards running large combats, quickly. I'll tell you right now, a rules system that's substantially faster and can still account for some tactical options could possibly get me back into roleplaying on a regular basis. I'll have to look at these rules and see whether they light my fire. No tangible products have been announced yet, but there's plenty to download.
10:48 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Green Ronin Interview Posted
Joe asked Chris Pramas, head of Green Ronin Publishing, several questions, and got some interesting answers. Hence, the title "Green Ronin interview." Have a look.
12:46 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Wiz-War To Go Digital
Our buddy Tom Jolly dropped us a line to say that one of the Cave's favorite games, Wiz-War, will be making the conversion to computer screens by the end of 2003. CodeFire, Inc. has acquired the interactive rights from Jolly Games, and intends to develop both a "3D action shooter for game consoles based on the Wiz-War property as well as an online personal computer version." Since Magic: The Gathering was inspired in part by Wiz-War, and Magic's been in computer form for some time now, is it any wonder that the classic Wiz-War will make the leap as well? Can I get an "amen"?
That's not all the juicy Wiz-War news, either. Wiz-War: 8th edition will be out by the end of this month as well, featuring full color cards, 25 more cards overall, and art by David K. Wong. You know what we say: the bigger the Wiz-War, the better the battle. Hell, I may have to drag out my old set for GenCon, and possibly Drakon and Vortex as well. Anyone who calls me a Jolly ogre gets swatted, though.
04:45 PM: Greg Kessler says...
Steve Jackson Announces November Releases
Steve Jackson Games has announced a whole new slew of releases for November. Included in this schedule:Chez Greek: a fraternity / sorority version of the popular Chez Geek card game, this will be packed with activities such as parties and panty raids.
GURPS Assassins: Now this is more my speed. Be a killer, be a sneak, this is what role-playing is all about.
GURPS Traveller: Humaniti: A major work on the history and future of the 13 races descended from the inhabitants of Terra.
GURPS Deadlands: Varmints: Old west monsters and icky things. Includes monster conversions from the original Deadlands from Pinnacle. These things should scare the prairie poop out of any mean Weird West posse (despite my original hunch, there are no man-eating dance hall girls).
I,HERO's Got Some Sad News
IHERO sent out a mailer to to faithful with the bad news that their next four books have been delayed. To tide us over until these fiction tomes can be released, IHERO has posted a bit of super hero fiction on their web site. You can check out Blind Revenge by Frank Fradella if you have the time. Misunderstandings with Diamond Distributors and some ongoing trademark disputes with Hero Games, cited as reasons for the delay.
WarHammer Chronicles has Invaded the Web
Game Workshop has kindly decided to post the ever popular White Dwarf column WarHammer Chronicles on their ever changing web page. If you have not seen this feature in print, WarHammer Chronicles takes a close look at the WarHammer rules, background, and yet to be released game additions. Cruise by and check it out.
02:14 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Politically Incorrect Games has announced the release of The Colonies RPG. Clocking in at 67 PDF pages for $8.95, The Colonies provides all you could want in a sci-fi roleplaying experience: "powered armor, contagious nanotech units, genetic enhancements, loads of weapons, drugs, and bio-mechanical implants." The game can be purchased and downloaded from the PIGames' website, from the RPGnet Virtual Mall, or from RPGNow.com.
Eden Revises Release Schedule
In the midst of moving from California to New York, Eden Studios has announced its revised list of product releases for the next few months. Note that the Buffy RPG will still be available at GenCon:
Terra Primate should be an interesting one: an RPG that has rules for any setting where intelligent apes are the focus. From Planet of the Apes to Congo, Eden will have you covered.
- August: Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG (regular and Limited Edition)
- September: BtVS Director's Screen (Buffy RPG), Unseen Hand (Conspiracy X)
- October: Terra Primate (new corebook), Pulp Zombies (AFMBE), Book of More Flesh (anthology novel)
- November: Slayer's Handbook (Buffy), Waysides: The Book of Taverns (d20)
Alien Menace Scanning For Victims
Alien Menace, the folks behind such titles as Danger Guy, Juggler's Jam and Sucking Vacuum, are looking for playtesters. Interested applicants should fly by the website and apply. Be sure to tell them about your prior experience with being probed -- er, I mean, with playtesting and gaming.
08:06 AM: Greg Kessler says...
Lots of News from Pinnacle
Pinnacle has dropped a couple of pieces of news in the last few days: Toxic Tunes is Back! The Hell on Earth soundtrack, lost at the pressing plant, has been repressed by Pinnacle and is being offered for sale for the paltry sum of $8.00. If you are really in the mood for gaming music, you can get Hell on Earth and the Weird Western soundtrack, Weird Wailin's, for $20.00.
Pinnacle has been nice enough to post a "test drive" version of their new Savage Worlds game system. In addition, you can take a look at the first adventure for Savage Worlds, The Red Swamp. Download PDFs of each and try it before you buy it (ouch that cliché hurts).
A friend of Pinnacle has come to the aid of all card lovers and put up the money for Pinnacle to print The Last Crusade: the Russian Front. The Russian cards will appear as a boxed "factory set" so you won't have to worry about collectibility for the new troops, vehicles, or specials. The plan is to have the cards ready by Christmas.
02:32 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Freshly Turned Earth From Twilight Creations
Watch yer back at GenCon, 'cause the undead will be lurking. Twilight Creations, Inc. will be showing off the new expansions for Zombies!! fresh from the graveyard. The Bag O' Zombies!! will provide 100 glow-in-the-dark zombie figures for your boardgaming or other activities, for a mere $9.99. Even better, Zombies!!! 2: Zombie Corps(e), the military base expansion, will add 15 new map tiles like the Motor Pool and Secret Lab, along with 30 new event cards (Government Enhanced Zombies, anyone?), and six pack of glow-in-the-dark zombie figs. Zombie Corps(e) will sell for $14.99. Grab yours while they're cold and clammy.