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November 2004 Archive

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November 29, 2004

02:44 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
A Game of Thrones RPG Limited Edition in preorder

The Game of Thrones RPG seems to have finally appeared on the horizon, as Guardians of Order just announced the start of preorders for the game's Deluxe Limited Edition. Described as 450 pages of full-color resource material, with a foil-embossed leatherette cover and a special dust jacket, the game was personally reviewed by George R.R. Martin for authenticity (which contributed to the delay in releasing it, no doubt), and signed for extra awe-inspiring power. The Deluxe version provides both d20 and Tri-Stat rules, and carries a $99.95 asking price, which many A Game of Thrones fans are surely reaching for right now. According to the website, we'll actually be able to pick up the game in stores in March.

November 27, 2004

02:52 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Uncle Moneybags is right

Shopping for a Monopoly fan this holiday season? Got three grand burning a hole in your pocket?


02:49 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Eagle takes more PC games to tabletop, may yet take them to web pages

True to form, Eagle has allegedly announced a lot of stuff that is nowhere to be found on their website. Although this release summary is not that old, so Eagle may yet break their land speed record. This is a very interesting passel of projects, including board versions of popular PC games Railroad Tycoon and Age of Discovery, and a firm-ish date for Sid Meier's Pirates (March). The one they actually have a page up for is Blood Feud in New York (featuring 300 pieces of the Mafia) - which, to be fair, is actually shipping.


09:43 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
True Dungeon to expand at Gen Con Indy '05

Easily the most lavish LARP-like game in the industry these days, True Dungeon is preparing for its west coast appearance at Gen Con SoCal next weekend. In an email update sent yesterday to fans of the game, Jeff Martin, president of True Adventures Ltd., said "The finishing touches are being put on an agreement where True Dungeon will greatly expand at Gen Con Indy 2005. The event will more than double in size, and it will move to the Grand Ballroom in the Marriott Hotel which is directly across from the Exhibit Hall."

November 24, 2004

11:23 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
White Wolf announces $20,000 fiction contest

Taking a page from WotC's setting search contest, today White Wolf announced a $20,000 Fiction Contest. Entrants are asked to send a one-page synopsis of the World of Darkness novel they envision. One hundred of those will get $50 apiece and an invitation to enter the second round, which requires an entire first chapter. Of those, only five will be awarded $1,000 each and an invitation to the final round, producing an entire manuscript for a chance at the $10,000 grand prize and publication in late 2006. At least White Wolf has learned from WotC's mistakes, and seems to be giving itself enough time to sort through the entries.

November 23, 2004

05:00 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Army of Darkness CCG finally fires its boom-stick

Now, the Army of Darkness CCG has seen its release date slip considerably, but to be fair, it was never announced that the game was shipping before. That's exactly what Eden has declared today, making the game due to arrive in stores sometime next week. It's sure to swallow your soul shortly thereafter.


02:38 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Gen Con So Cal, round two. Fight!

In a last-ditch attempt to be heard over the sounds of Thanksgiving feasting, Gen Con So Cal has released its updated schedule of events (see the press release below). After last year's somewhat shakey, but still solid, start, next month's return engagement should prove a better gauge for where the show's heading. OgreCave will have operatives at the show, so be sure to check back here for breaking news from So Cal.

November 22, 2004

10:47 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Blue Rose Fast Play rules available

Green Ronin has put together a free download of the new Fast Play rules for the Blue Rose RPG. For some reason, mention of flowers and Fast Play makes me think of a gamebook with scratch-and-sniff entries throughout. Sorry, don't mind me.

November 19, 2004

10:48 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Dragonlance Adventure Game called off

This just in: Wizards of the Coast and Sovereign Press have jointly decided to call off the Dragonlance Adventure Game. To quote the press release, "At this time, there are no plans to develop the product further, and there are no plans to release the product in the future. Both Wizards of the Coast and Sovereign Press are excited about the Sovereign Press Dragonlance 2005 product line-up, and a revised product schedule will be released soon." The Dragonlance Adventure Game had been due to come out this month, and as the title implies, would have provided all the rules to play.

November 18, 2004

11:31 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
White Wolf names new Vampire line developer

Former Atlas team member Will Hindmarch has been brought aboard at White Wolf as the Line Developer for Vampire: The Requiem, the recent relaunch of the popular RPG property. Justin Achilli, longtime Developer and Intellectual Property Manager for the previous Vampire line, has stepped into the role of Vice President of Editing & Development. Considering how Hindmarch has written multiple, well-received books for Vampire: The Masquerade, here's hoping White Wolf fans won't be worried about the change.

November 17, 2004

06:37 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
We're not going to the town, we're going to...

This Carcassonne-related report features a distinctly erotic, if lo-res, photo of the wooden bits from the soon-to-ship Carcassonne: The City. Yes, you will be building actual little walls and towers, instead of just wondering what the hell the walls around all the cities have to do with anything besides the back-cover copy. Neat.

09:53 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says... your source for WotC product info

As EN World reported, several WotC products were added to Amazon's catalog. Among the items listed was the July '05 release of an Angelfire Booster Pack for D&D Miniatures, confirming our earlier suspicions, as well as the Legends Huge Pack, which has already been denied by WotC staff as incorrect information. Other products mentioned on Amazon included Dungeon Master's Guide II : Race Builders Series, Battlefield Adventures : A Genre Series Supplement, another City of Splendors: Waterdeep book, Weapons of Legacy : A Magic Series Supplement, Maelstrom : An Environment Series Supplement, and Deluxe Eberron Player Character Sheets for the Warforged gamer in your posse.


09:45 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
City of Heroes tells Marvel to step off

The smallest dog in the brewing legal fight over the future of the City of Heroes MMORPG has spoken out. Marvel Comics has threatened legal action against NCsoft and Cryptic Studios, the companies behind CoH, and now Cryptic has a reply posted on its website:

As reported by The Associated Press, Marvel Enterprises Inc. and Marvel Characters, Inc. have sued NCsoft Corporation and Cryptic Studios. The complaint is meritless. Cryptic Studios is confident that the District Court will reject all of Marvel's claims and fully vindicate Cryptic Studios in all respects.
Guess it's time to lawyer up or shut up. Considering Marvel's monetary power, some may see this as a brave stance by Cryptic. Others will just agree that Marvel needs to go have a seat in the time-out chair.

November 13, 2004

01:00 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Marvel sues over City of Heroes

Comic book company Marvel has brought suit against NCSoft and Cryptic Studios Inc. over their MMORPG City of Heroes. Essssssentially, Marvel is claiming that City of Heroes provides players the tools needed to nearly duplicate certain Marvel characters, such as the Hulk or Wolverine. Extending the logic of the complaint, tabletop RPGs could theoretically be affected, as they too provide the tools. As does a #2 pencil.

November 11, 2004

04:22 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Possible Firefly RPG in the works

According to a post made on the official fan site for Serenity (the Firefly movie due next April), the recently established company Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd is looking for playtesters for a new RPG. Why post about it there? Good question, but I'm sure you can figure it out.


03:05 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Grimm leaves D20 System, ventures into scary forest instead

Fantasy Flight's acclaimed mini-d20 setting Grimm from last year is getting the standalone treatment next month (supposedly next month, at least), with its own system and a greatly expanded page count. Grimm was one of the better-realized entries in the ooohh-childhood-is-scary RPG boomlet we had a while back, so it's good to see this; nonetheless, I have my fingers crossed that the system gets stripped down substantially. I can't think of many settings better suited to role-playing's insurgent development ethos of making rules for, and out of, storytelling... rather than just injecting numbers and dice into the middle of story, like cream filling in a Twinkie.


01:53 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Oh, hey: this year's GAMES 100 is out

Sid Sackson's BuyWord is the Game of the Year (but, curiously, not Best Word Game) according to GAMES Magazine. Also notable is Memoir '44 in the Historical Simulation category I didn't know they had, and a tie for Best Abstract Strategy Game. Our men at Funagain have the whole, absurdly long list.


12:04 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Beat cheeks, Stimpy! It's M:tG Unhinged!

Yes, the only Magic expansion I ever bought more than five boosters from is getting its sequel, and it streets next week. Here is a preview of the chaos that results from an average card, and here's that logo to look for again. Since the only Magic play I'm interested in is casual play, and since Pack Wars only goes so far, Magic is pretty feast-and-famine for me... with Unhinged, I get to feast again. ON HUMAN BLOOD - *ahem* sorry.

November 10, 2004

05:36 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Next MLB SportsClix set bred for speed

The next set for MLB SportsClix has been announced, and Wiz Kids appears to be retooling the game a bit (see the press release below). Maybe if it weren't as slow as real baseball games, and a single package contained enough pieces to actually play, gamers would play it more. I guess we'll find out.

November 06, 2004

01:17 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
If Cthulhu were on Park Place, would he pay rent?

The website doesn't reveal much, but the idea's intriguing: Necronomonopoly. Yep, it appears to be a twist on the family game of real estate hoarding, with the goal of grabbing land being overshadowed by the goal of staying sane. For $10, you can download the satirical horror boardgame and get a look at components the website doesn't show... like the game board, or a sample card, or something. C'mon, give us a taste. [EDIT: Oops. The tastes are there, I just missed 'em.]

November 05, 2004

10:48 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
HeroClix: Still licensable

NCsoft is using the power of HeroClix to make its City of Heroes Collectors DVD Edition even more attractive to gamers. An exclusive Statesman HeroClix figure is part of the package, which also includes a fold-out Paragon City map, a novel excerpt, a unique in-game item, and trailers of the upcoming City of Villains expansion. All announced on the day The Incredibles comes out. Hey, a superheroes fan is a superheroes fan, I guess.

November 04, 2004

03:19 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Agyris: because no one should have to settle for a full-color book

I've held the belief for a while now that the future of tabletop roleplaying - and really, its whole future - lies not just in online distribution, but in distribution for free in open formats. I have a lot of reasons for believing this, but what I didn't have until now was much in the way of evidence that I'm right. So here's Agyris, an alternative-fantasy setting presented as a website. I think the latter part is important; people making PDFs still have books on the brain, as if being on paper is more real somehow. But printouts never really look all that good, color on the screen looks great and is dirt cheap, and making people load a PDF is just that much more friction to put between readers and your content. These folks do great design, have great art, and have big ambitions - I only caught them because they sent a press release about their new Flash cartoon. (And they have even bigger furniture: check out this completely insane multi-headed workstation they call the "Ultimate Game Table.") Your hobby might look an awful lot like this in five years, so have a peek now.

November 03, 2004

01:44 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Aethereal FORGE Powers up

The folks at aethereal FORGE have released the Power Grrrl Worldbook, which seems like the perfect game to simulate my daughter's current fave show, Totally Spies. Besides, any game with "Grrrl" in it has got to be worth a look.

November 02, 2004

02:32 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave reviews: Basic Game and Ultimate Brick

We've got two new reviews for you today, on entirely different product types. Justin brings us a look at The Ultimate Brick, the recent release from Hero Games. Also, Demian looks at the latest attempt at a D&D Basic Game from WotC. Read on, and see what they thought.

November 01, 2004

04:49 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Episode III poster sighted, trailer looms closer

For those who haven't lost faith in George Lucas and the Star Wars prequel movies yet, there's news that broke just before the weekend while I was buried in a deadline. The Episode III teaser poster is available, to view or purchase, and it tries real hard to be ominous. I'll reserve judgement until The Incredibles comes out this weekend, which will supposedly have the Episode III preview trailer attached. But after the lame execution on the "love story" plotline in Episode II, I'm not getting my hopes up. "Ooo, Anakin. When you slaughtered those sandpeople and whined about Obi Wan, you got me so hot..."


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