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March 2003 Archive

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March 31, 2003

10:19 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Bad Axe 2003 releases announced

Bad Axe Games has just posted their release schedule for the rest of 2003, which is filled to the brim with d20 goodness. In June, the Heroes of High Favor d20 series will complete its goal of providing a sourcebook for each of the most popular race/class combinations. Heroes of High Favor: Halflings will present new feats, skills, prestige classes and more for halfling rogues, and Heroes of High Favor: Gnomes will do the same for gnomish illusionists. In July, Bad Axe will make use of its new partnership with Phil Reed to start bringing his PDF products into the printed marketplace. The first of these projects will be The Book of Unusual Treasures, which the schedule says will include "material collected from four of Philip's PDFs: 101 Spellbooks, 101 Spell Components, and 101 Mundane Treasures, books I and II." In September, Grim Tales will arrive, a pulp adventure campaign toolkit derived from the d20 Modern SRD. Finally, November will herald the Heroes of High Favor: Anthology, compiling and expanding information from the rest of the series in a hardback reference volume.

March 30, 2003

07:20 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Initial D and HumAliens are the CCGs they sound like

It looks like our initial source was inaccurate - those two weird AEG RPGs for kids are card games after all. According to this, the original HumAliens property "is being designed for and released to the core gaming market first." Does that mean it'll be followed by a dumbed down version? Or just by a TV show?

07:14 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
White Wolf does WarCraft

I'm surprised this didn't come out more loudly at GTS - but maybe that's because WotC's old Blizzard-licensed RPGs were so poor. My interpretation of this blurb is that this new hardcover (street date: July) will take after WarCraft III's integration of role-playing elements. Imagine a tabletop RPG in which you controlled whole squads in combat, and only incidentally a hero... I have no reason to expect anything that interesting, but we can hope.


02:26 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Knizia's Samurai board game available for PCs

Holy crap, Homestar! One of Reiner Knizia's most subtle and acclaimed board game designs is available for the PC or Mac, playable in single player mode against an AI or against other humans online. This implementation looks gorgeous and well worth the shareware fee.

March 28, 2003

12:45 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Hey, you can vote now and stuff

Voting is now open for the 2002 Origins Awards.

12:43 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Plucky 'indie RPGs' have own website, awards

The finalists for the 2002 Indie RPG Awards have been announced. This gig focuses not just on PDF releases, but on new system designs, and appears to have some kind of game built into its awards-voting system wherein you "buy" votes. Hmm. Anyway, this is as good a place as any to take a gander at some innovative RPGs you might have missed. Ceremony to be hosted by Ron Edwards and John Waters. That was a lie.

12:37 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Upper Deck announces trojan-horse CCG

This somewhat mistitled press release says that Upper Deck, the conventional trading card company that somehow scored Yu-Gi-Oh, will be slipping "SportsNut" E-cards into one in three of its baseball card packs for the new season. Fans can then enter the card's ID in a website and add that card's player to his fantasy-baseball team for the season. Aren't there already fantasy baseball games online where you can play with essentially any player you want?

March 26, 2003

01:40 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Green Ronin GTS recap

Green Ronin had to wait quite a while to make their presentation at GTS, being part of the Tuesday night dinner that included Wizard Entertainment, the Origins Awards nominations, and Games Workshop. But once Chris Pramas was finally able to take the podium, the GR gospel was spread.

Some copies of Freedom City, a campaign setting for Mutants & Masterminds,made it to GTS by the end of the convention, starting the game's line of support products. Such products are an excellent idea, as shown by M&M being one of only two RPGs nominated for the Origins Game of the Year Award. A 64-page adventure called Time of Crisis will follow next month, and Crooks! will fill a Monster Manual type of role in May. GR also announced the licence of the Nocturnals for a sourcebook late this summer, rounding out the M&M products.

The city of Freeport will see two new products this year, one of them rather massive. Tales of Freeport, written by Graeme Davis, will present four new adventures within its 96 pages this April. Later this summer, the looming darkness of Black Sails over Freeport will arrive, an epic adventure of approximately 192 pages in length.

In the Master Class line, The Avatar's Handbook has just hit stores, and its unwaivering goodness will need to be balanced out by something more sinister. That's where The Unholy Warrior's Handbook, due in June, comes in.

The Races of Renown series received the extra-length Plot & Poison just before GTS, detailing all things drow. Bastards & Bloodlines should be in stores by now as well, bringing life to such strange horrors as the half-dwarf/half-roper, which I don't want to think about for too long. Fang & Fury, a vampire sourcebook that will provide balanced options for vampires as PCs, is due to arrive in May.

As you can probably tell from the new product line's title, Mythic Vistas will expand the range of Green Ronin's d20 products with new campaign settings. The series kicks off in April with Skull & Bones, a 192-page resource for pirates and voodoo that began its development at Adamant Entertainment, Gareth-Michael Skarka's company. In May, GR will bring us Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era, a 224-page book which is appropriately being described as "part history, part mythology." In June comes Monsters of the Mind, a 64-page creature book for July's release, the Mindshadows psionic campaign setting (128 pages). During his presentation, Pramas pointed out that Mindshadows will be fully D&D 3.5 compatible.

With Ultramodern Firearms d20 soon to hit a second printing, GR will also be supporting the Modern gamers with a D20 Modern Player's Guide written by the guys from The Game Mechanics. Speaking of which, GR will also be publishing some other Game Mechanics products in paper form, beginning with Artifacts of the Ages: Swords & Staves in July, which will combine the PDF products Swords of Our Fathers and Staves of Ascendance.

Other various products were mentioned toward the end of the presentation. As if to show that the legions below are never far from their thoughts, Green Ronin will publish a third volume of the Legions of Hell monster supplements, Hordes of Gehenna (Daemons). Todd Gamble's Cartographica will provide 64 pages of maps of professional quality maps in late April/early May, which will certainly provide fuel for many a GM's imagination. Of course, Mike already reported the news of GR's Torches & Pitchforks non-collectible card game (2-5 players, 200 b&w cards) coming in June.

Finally, as I mentioned, Green Ronin received some Origins Awards nominations just before gaining control of the podium. The five noms they received were:

  • Game of the Year: Mutants & Masterminds
  • Best Role-playing Game: Mutants & Masterminds
  • Best Graphic Presentation of the Book Product: Mutants & Masterminds
  • Best Role-playing Supplement: Freeport: The City of Adventure
  • Best Game Accessory: Pocket Grimoires
Much of what we see this year in adventure gaming products will have a distinctly green tinge. From where I sit, there's nothing wrong with that.

March 25, 2003

02:06 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Green Ronin burns mad scientist alive

Actually, they won't get him till June. Allan's casual observation at GTS was that everyone seems to want to get into (non-trading) card games, and if that's true, Green Ronin is evidently no exception. Expenses are higher than in the D20 market, but it looks like that market's pretty dry right now. Will this market stay strong? I can tell you right now, I predict that in a year's time there will be way too many dungeon- and swords-and-sorcery-themed standalone card games, and none of them will be making money anymore. There may be way too many already in fact. Some are still decent though (I'm about half done with my Dungeoneer review; hopefully it'll be ready next week).


02:02 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
GURPS Faerie and other playtests

For those who enjoy getting an early peek at stuff, Steve Jackson Games has announced three more playtests you could get in on. The long-awaited GURPS Faerie, by Graeme Davis, is now in playtest on Pyramid, as is GURPS Covert Ops by William H. Stoddard and Hans-Christian Vortisch. Last but not least, Savant Garde's upcoming non-collectible card game, Storm Siege, is also in playtest mode. As always, you have to be a Pyramid subscriber to participate. Sign up and get in there!

March 24, 2003

12:29 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Last links of Chainmail

For those of you who didn't get your fill of Chainmail, you should head over to SVGames. We've heard they have a big sale on the individual figures and boxed sets. Grab 'em while you can. Word.

12:22 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Our game could be your life

There doesn't appear to be any big news in the post-GTS hangover, so have a look at this. Allan will have a mop-up report soon on the less-huge announcements from the show.

March 21, 2003

10:53 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Alien Menace doing Modern Naval Battles

After their Origins nom for Sucking Vacuum, the guys at Alien Menace are really moving from strength to strength, although I confess I am not totally sure what that expression means. Modern Naval Battles will be a full-color, boxed version of the classic military card game by Dan Verssen (who designed the 7th Sea CCG, among other major titles). Look for this in the fall.

10:47 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Shots of LotR prepainted collectible yada yada

They look fine and everything - of course, they can always cherry-pick nice paint jobs when they're doing a trade show like this. The frustrating thing is we don't get a good look at those hexes. They obviously have some kind of little window in them, and it looks like maybe a lever? Anyway. I guess WizKids would have called the patent lawyers already if there were an infraction. But I like hex movement, I think it's the best balance between speed and flexibility for this kind of game.

10:38 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
WotC makes weird-ass DVD solo adventure

At their GTS presentation for D&D 3.5, WotC announced Scourge of Worlds, a computer-animated DVD set in Greyhawk. Viewers will use DVD menus to choose the path of the story at 20 different points, leading to one of four endings. It streets on June 10th. "We took some pictures as the movie played as you’ll see below." Right, well, if that's the case, I hope the final version looks less like a PowerPoint document.


04:24 AM: Demian Katz says...
Yowling Reported in Invisible City

Invisible City's latest game of the month has arrived. It's Black Cat, a real-time, high-speed card game in the tradition of such classics as Spit and the alarmingly-named Egyptian Rat Screw. The game supports two to four players and should generate plenty of noise and chaos if you feel the need to wake up your gaming group.

March 20, 2003

12:25 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Chaosium cultists loose at GTS

Chaosium was moderately high profile, despite all the recent rumors flying around (which feeds into their Latin motto, "All rumors are true"), having a decent sized booth in the third exhibit hall and a big ad on the show bag. Arkham, the latest Cthulhu supplement, is shipping now, complete with a fold-out town map in the back and small fold-out newspaper in the front. Disciples of Cthulhu II will continue the stream of popular Lovecraftian fiction this month, followed later (no date specified) by The White People and Other Tales. Further down the line, H.P. Lovecraft's Kingsport will describe the famed coastal town for CoC, imitating the neighboring Arkham with a tourist brochure and fold-out map. A second edition of The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana will bring 150 pages more than the previous edition, including an expanded Necronomicon appendix and a Cthulhu Mythos timeline. Last among the planned products, the long awaited Secrets of Japan will detail the Great Old Ones' effects on the Land of the Rising Sun. And yes, it will explain the enigma that is adult tentacle anime, though it won't make it any less odd.

Sources also say that Chaosium has begun inquiring with RPG publishers about the possibility of producing licensed supplements for Call of Cthulhu, Call of Cthulhu d20, Stormbringer, and Dragonlords of Melnibone. No word yet on who, if anyone, might pursue such a license.

12:23 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Shadowrun Duels tournament thoughts

At the Tuesday dinner presentation, we got details on some of WizKids' plans for the coming year. A humorous promo movie on Creepy Freaks, a number of HeroClix, MechWarrior and MageKnight expansion announcements, and it was on to what everyone really wanted to dive into: a tournament of Shadowrun Duels. Everyone in the room received a prototype package, containing an action figure with interchangable equipment, a large click base with three dials, small dice of certain colors and sides, and a storage tray that affixed to the underside of the base. For the tournament, each table of 10-14 people was split down the middle to form teams. Having been fortunate enough to get Kyushi, a cute Asian sniper chick, I opted to join in.

To my dismay, there were six players against five, and I was on the smaller team. However, my teammates made better decisions on their equipment, which gave us an advantage. The figures have little pegs at various locations (hands, waist, etc) that can hold weapons, medpacks, mystic talismans, and such, up to 12 points worth. Each little plastic piece of equipment has a point cost printed on it, along with a color and size of die the item affords the character. Lose the item in combat, and you've got fewer dice to do your actions with each round, which might mean you don't have enough dice to block with, shoot, attack close-up, or whatever. There's more to it, of course, including criticals, varying range capabilities for each character, and armor. But from our couple hours of competition (which we won, btw), the game seems to run very smoothly. The basic game has only a slight learning curve, easily manageable by the target audience (ages 8 and up), and loads of potential. I'll be interested to see larger combat scenarios and campaign rules, which were mentioned earlier that evening. I expect the gorgeous figures and seamless combat of Shadowrun Duels will draw in hordes of new WizKids devotees.


11:08 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
AEG doing Stargate, Warlord RPGs, and two for the kids

Stargate is a slam dunk for gaming (hey, we found a gate to Gamma World!), and a game set in the Warlord universe makes sense for the last successful CCG besides Magic that isn't a license. The puzzling things announced in this report, though, are the two games evidently pitched at the younguns. HumAliens is an original property aimed at 10- to 14-year-olds, and then they got this license for "Japan’s number one anime show for teen boys," a street-racing-themed show called Initial D. Will the Yu-Gi-Oh crowd really want to roleplay? And is AEG getting away from their core strengths with these two titles? Anyway, they'll all be out in July (Origins?).


10:59 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Hot, live snap-together dungeon action

Creepy Freaks is nice and all, but the presumably MK Dungeons-related plastic dungeon tiles which this post barely talks about but has drooly pictures of, ought to make some folks at Dwarven Forge sweat.

March 19, 2003

10:39 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Decipher ups RPG support, continues twitching and winking about Matrix

GR's notes about the Decipher seminar at GTS indicate that they told a bunch of retailers that they were really, really sorry about their apparent love-em-and-leave-em policy for their RPG releases of late. "Decipher will be releasing a minimum of 2 releases a month for the next few years for their RPG lines." As far as the Matrix rumors, "[t]here was a hint given of an important announcement coming tomorrow or Thursday of a new product or license." Morpheus and his sons have 48 hours to get out of rumorland, or military action will begin at a time of our choosing. (Imagine Ken Hite dressed as Schwartzkopf when you read that. OK, maybe I shouldn't have shared my private fantasy there.)

10:31 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
GOO doing GoT RPG

Or, more properly, A Song of Ice and Fire. Available in "fall" (read: "Gen Con, we hope"), this RPG based on George R.R. Martin's line of novels will be dual-system-dual-rulebook like Silver Age Sentinels. I wonder why Fantasy Flight didn't get this one; maybe their RPG plate is full, or Martin didn't like the way they named the whole card game after the first book, or there were sunspots.

10:16 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
This is hilarious: D&D minis are mini after all

And then I realized that it was all a dream! That's right: apparently GR and many, many retailers were reacting to a typo in the D&D Miniatures promo materials. So now they have some photos and the minis are indeed Mage Knight/classic scale. Some poor WotC copy editor will be sleeping on the streets, I fear...

10:11 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Hey, ya stupid kid, that round thing ain't just for whacking people

Check out the pics of the Shadowrun Duels package, specifically of the back. Do you think maybe they wanted to append a big red "Dammit!" but legal wouldn't let them get away with it?

09:57 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Green Ronin site haX0Red

Um... what? This is actually pretty funny. Yes, they were really hacked, evidently by idiot Russian teens. All the online news sources are certainly giving Green Ronin lots of love right now, and rightfully so. I hope Chris and Nicole are having a chuckle instead of stressing overmuch.

March 18, 2003

04:04 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Complete Origins nominee list

There's still no change to the official site, but here's a list. We are now open for kibitzing.


10:35 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
The kids love the dragons: new post-3.5 D&D books

Two books hitting in November, one's a big dragon book, lots of art, yay, not a hardcover for some reason. The other appears to duplicate the entire mission and role of Mongoose's Quintessential Fighter. Unless "warrior" means something else, I've lost track. Perhaps not the exciting D&D announcement you're looking for, but there's still a couple days left in the show.

10:27 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Simpsons CCG and D&D big-atures hit this fall

No, they didn't kill the Simpsons game. That's about all the new info on that, but there was a big burst of new intel on the upcoming prepainted, randomized D&D Miniatures game. The big shocker is that these figs will not be standard 25mm scale like MK and, well, all the leads you own, but will be 40 to 65mm in scale. Some of the products claim to "expand any collection of D&D miniatures," though, so who knows, maybe the catalog stuff is just unclear. If true, though, we're looking at lots of pissed-off gamers.


10:19 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
3 of 5 Origins Game of the Year nominees have combat dials

The site doesn't appear to have voting up the way they said it did at brunch this morning, but Allan (who is alive) remembers the Game of the Year nominees as Mutants and Masterminds, Buffy RPG, MK Dungeons, Marvel HeroClix, and MechWarrior. We'll try to have a complete nominee listing or link as soon as we can.


12:39 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Phil Reed expands 101 Spellbooks, then goes looking for a wrist brace

See, 'cause spellbooks are handwritten, and he'd expand a lot of them and then, uh, forget it. New edition of this PDF product includes over 100 books and 75 spells for your enjoyment. Stay out of the carpal tunnel, kids. It's dark in there.

12:21 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Nocturnals are go

May or may not apparently equals may: Green Ronin will publish a Nocturnals sourcebook for Mutants and Masterminds. The Halloweeny flavor of this property is something new for superhero roleplaying, so, hey, new things are good, right? Press release lives riiiiight about here.

March 17, 2003

11:58 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Dave Arneson kicks it with Goodman

As we reported forever ago, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor setting (the first first roleplaying setting) is heading for D20-land. As we did not report forever ago because they hadn't announced it, Goodman Games will be handling the publishing, and it'll be here for Gen Con. Click "Read more" for the full release.


11:05 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Mongoose magazine mayhem

ENworld reported last week that Mongoose dropped a big, fat, absurdly coy, practically-an-announcement hint that they're doing a magazine of some kind. We couldn't find where they made the statement that ENworld quotes, so we considered it a rumor. GR now apparently has live, in-person confirmation from Mongoose. Full color, Mongoose product coverage only, no word on monthly or bimonthly or what.

10:39 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
In the surprising-no-one department...

And yes, the MechWarrior Dropship has already hit eBay.


10:29 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
D&D in OED

GamingReport reports that the Oxford English Dictionary has added "Dungeons & Dragons" as a noun. I would caution against getting too excited about this; every year, the OED committee adds a bunch of vogue words, and most of them get removed again in a year's time. They mostly do this to get press attention. If I were handicapping, I'd allow that D&D has its long history as a concept, not just a brand, going for it, but I'd still say that its status as a corporate trademark argues against its long-term inclusion in the English language's most authoritative dictionary. Sorry, kids.

10:24 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Ars Magica: free as in beer

Atlas Games is making some pretty big moves right now, releasing the 4th edition of Ars Magica as a free PDF download, and messing with their website in some pretty positive ways. I like.


09:49 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Dream Pod 9 goes OGL, sort of, confusing area journalist

You know what really chaps my business? When people report about the OGL as if "OGL" means "that system that WotC released under the OGL and makes available under additional rules as the D20 System." The OGL is just a set of terms! Under which anyone can distribute content! Get off my lawn, you moist, squishy disease-carriers! For clarification, I went to DP9's excellent FAQ on their new world order; while they will be relaunching all their roleplaying lines with dual-system core books (using d20 stuff under the OGL, not D20, license), their own Silhouette system is not being OGLed. (Hey, that sounds cool. OGLed.) Instead, the Silhouette CORE Rules are their own book, and all the new Player's Handbooks will go with it. The recent relaunch of Tribe 8 is already dual-statted.

09:19 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Human Head ups the Academy

Lo those many months ago we reported that Human Head Studios, the video game company that brought you Rune, was starting a paper-games division to be led by Matt Forbeck. Their first product, The Redhurst Academy of Magic, has been announced for a July release. It's a fat hardcover and will contain guidelines for inclusion into no less than six already-published D20 campaign books (by other publishers).

March 15, 2003

03:57 AM: Demian Katz says...
New Tunnels & Trolls... sort of

Flying Buffalo has announced that they've sold out of fifth edition rulebooks for their classic Tunnels & Trolls RPG. Although the sixth edition isn't ready yet (in fact, it's still just a rumor, really), they had to print something, and thus, Tunnels & Trolls 5.5 has been created. It's the fifth edition rules combined with the Buffalo Castle solo adventure and some extra material by creator Ken St. Andre and noted Battletech novelist Michael Stackpole. T&T 5.5 should be out in May.

March 14, 2003

11:50 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Eden gets Army of Darkness license

The press release says the license covers roleplaying and card games, and then says "the game" will come out in October, without saying which one. I suppose this means the RPG, although the card game appears to be another Abduction clone like HACK, so maybe they'll bust it out pretty fast. Shane Lacy Hensley of Deadlands fame will be working on the RPG, which will use Eden's Unisystem, not anything d20-fied.

March 13, 2003

11:52 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Superlink for Supers RPG

Green Ronin has created a license for its Mutants & Masterminds RPG, in addition to the Open Gaming License it was released under. This new license, called M&M Superlink, is for non-Green Ronin products that are compatible with Mutants & Masterminds. Any new creations will have to be checked by the GR folks at different stages to ensure that both the M&M Superlink and the Open Gaming License are being properly followed. However, this opens the door for new superhero materials to come flooding into the marketplace.

March 12, 2003

11:47 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Troll Lord to publish Necromancer Games products

The current big d20 news is that Troll Lord Games and Necromancer Games announced a joint publishing venture. Starting in June, Troll Lord will begin publishing d20 products for Necromancer, increasing Necromancer's product flow and adding to what's already being published by Sword and Sorcery. The first such product will be the adventure module Vampires and Liches, due in June (click the "Read more" link below for the product description), and more products will be announced at GTS next week. Will this added venue of Necromancer products increase their presence on game store shelves? Or will the two publisher approach serve to confuse customers and distributors? Either way, an interesting move.


07:55 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
End of a bubblicious era: WotC loses Pokemon license

The open letter to fans from Wizards CEO Chuck Huebner says that WotC's proposal "to manufacture and distribute the Ruby & Sapphire releases was not accepted." (Ruby and Sapphire are the two latest versions of the original Pokémon game for the Game Boy.) Three already-booked expansions will hit this year, but WotC "will not be manufacturing and distributing the Pokémon trading card game after the above releases". Something tells me it's a bad idea to open up comments on this, but I'll do it anyway.


02:31 PM: Demian Katz says...
Rio Grande Keeps Up the Good Work

Rio Grande Games has just posted their latest newsletter. This month's releases include Paris, Paris, a game about the effect of Parisian tourism on the economy, and Traders and Builders, the new Carcassonne expansion. Next month will see Amon-Re, a new Reiner Knizia design, and Bean Trader, the Bohnanza board game, among other things. It's nice to see that the German game scene hasn't lost its momentum....

March 11, 2003

12:12 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Green Ronin goes mental

Green Ronin has just added two psionic-related d20 supplements to their product schedule for the summer. Monsters of the Mind will present 64 pages of psionic beasties written by Kevin Brennan, James Maliszewski, Morgan Peer, and Tracey Peer. More than 50 creatures will crawl out of the book, along with notes on using the beasts in Naranjan, the setting detailed in Mindshadows, which I'll get to in a second. Monsters arrives in June for $14.95.

Mindshadows will follow in July with 128 pages on "the distant island-continent of Naranjan," Green Ronin's third book in the Mythic Vistas series. Written by Kevin Brennan and James Maliszewski, Mindshadows "blends the rich legends of Southeast Asia with furious martial arts action inspired by the Psionics Handbook." New feats, psionic powers, and of course prestige classes will all serve to round out this psionic-themed setting. Mindshadows will hit you up for a reasonable $22.95.

March 10, 2003

11:21 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
More Star Wars cards that don't suck quite so much

The new-model WotC Star Wars TCG, that launched so auspiciously with box shots of Anakin and freakin' Jar Jar, got better with the New Hope expansion. In the blessed absence of Episode 3, it stands to get much better by the end of the year with the Battle of Yavin expansion at the end of the month, and in November, a card set from the greatest Star Wars movie so far (heh), The Empire Strikes Back. And a nice new website. Give this one a try if you can still find it, it's an ingenious Garfield design like they used to make 'em.

March 07, 2003

11:42 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave Interview: The Inner Circle

Crikey! Joe's cornered the rare and elusive Inner Circle, a D20 company with a violet outer coat. Isn't it gorgeous? Watch as Joe asks it a few questions. Careful now, Joe!

01:12 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
One of those times we link to a web game

Hey, look! A free game that's as good a simple, turn-based board game as you'll find online! Yeah, it's all a big Lego advertisement, but whatever. If they're supporting game development that's this smart, I'll go out and buy a little. Do watch your billable hours if you go to this site, though.

12:54 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Elmore recovering nicely after heart attack last week

As a friend put it in an IM: "Dude, Elmore almost ate it." That might be a little strong, but GamingReport says the painter and illustrator Larry Elmore, whose name is almost synonymous with Dungeons & Dragons artwork, had to be flown to a Louisville hospital after collapsing during his routine workout. Nothing serious had to be done in surgical terms, and Elmore returned home today to take it slow for a little while. OgreCave wishes him a speedy recovery.

March 05, 2003

11:38 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Monte's big adventure: Arcana Unearthed

By some miracle we haven't reported on this yet - probably because the title Arcana Unearthed: The Malhavoc Handbook kinda "buries the lead," as they say in our country. 'Cause, see, what it really is, is much more interesting than it sounds. It's essentially the Player's Handbook, OGL-happy and free of a D20 logo, with the standard-issue races and classes replaced with new ones. Not Monte Cook's take on the old ones - those revisions are scattered throughout his D20 work - but new archetypes to replace the old. Fae, giants, and wacky new races instead of standard-issue elves and dwarves and such. Crazy swashbucklers and intense martial monks to replace ordinary rangers and fighters. The same framework as standard D&D, but with new playing pieces.

Me, I think this sounds pretty entertaining, but I wonder if it'll be properly marketed, or even deemed necessary by most gamers. Here's a FAQ (good readin'), a column about it (more good readin'), and the weekly design diary (lotsa good readin'). When you've had your fill of all that, weigh in below - good idea, bad idea?


06:35 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
The inevitable return of Macho Women with Guns

Mongoose will release a D20 Modern take on the old Macho Women With Guns RPG in time for Gen Con (click "Read more" for the details). I remember always wondering over this one on the Games of Berkeley shelves back when I was a kid. Of course, I didn't ever pick it up - I think I was a little afraid - and I certainly never played it. (Did anyone? "Hey man, I only read it for the articles.") The same author who unleashed Encyclopaedia Arcane: Nymphology on the world will be writing this - That's Mongoose Quality!(TM) Ah well, this one'll probably be comparatively harmless fun. Full color hardback, no announced page count.

March 04, 2003

10:52 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Babylon 5 Sneak Preview

The guys at Mongoose have given up a little info about the upcoming Babylon 5 RPG in their latest press release (click "Read more" below to see it). Sounds like they intend to cover everything, from Mars terrorist organizations to the Dilgar War to creating jump points. Stats for all the main characters, prestige classes, background, a thorough explanation of the setting for the uninitiated... yep, I'm definitely looking forward to this one.


01:02 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Look, a monkey! I mean a helicopter!

First preview (that I'm aware of) of the MechWarrior aerial expansion Death From Above. I doubt we will post too many of the huge volume of DFA previews with which we will no doubt be buffeted between now and June, so if your sole connection to the world is OgreCave, get a look now.

March 02, 2003

06:44 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Spongebob CCG details, sort of

Upper Deck's SpongeBob SquarePants CCG will debut in April, and expansions are already planned for June and October. It's alleged that the game will likely appeal to older fans of the show as well as kids, and Lord knows, Gregory Horror Show points to UD's skills at simple and elegant game design - oh, sorry, did I get some sarcasm on you? I'll be careful next time. The rest of the article was thrown clear of the accident.

March 01, 2003

11:49 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Delta Green d20 finally surfaces

... insert Deep One joke here. At a price point of $35 in April. Hardbound? Doesn't say. Given the supply problems with the CoC d20 core book, will this still do well (meaning, will it stand alone from the core book sufficiently to make it as a d20 worldbook)?
[UPDATE: I've received independent confirmation that the book will be hardcover, and will not only have d20 conversions, but some OGL content as well. - Allan]

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